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Acts 16:35-39

Context
16:35 At daybreak 1  the magistrates 2  sent their police officers, 3  saying, “Release those men.” 16:36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, 4  “The magistrates have sent orders 5  to release you. So come out now and go in peace.” 6  16:37 But Paul said to the police officers, 7  “They had us beaten in public 8  without a proper trial 9  – even though we are Roman citizens 10  – and they threw us 11  in prison. And now they want to send us away 12  secretly? Absolutely not! They 13  themselves must come and escort us out!” 14  16:38 The police officers reported these words to the magistrates. They were frightened when they heard Paul and Silas 15  were Roman citizens 16  16:39 and came 17  and apologized to them. After 18  they brought them out, they asked them repeatedly 19  to leave the city.

1 tn The translation “day is breaking” for ἡμέρα γίνεται (Jhmera ginetai) in this verse is given by BDAG 436 s.v. ἡμέρα 1.a.

2 tn On the term translated “magistrates,” see BDAG 947-48 s.v. στρατηγός 1. These city leaders were properly called duoviri, but were popularly known as praetors (στρατηγοί, strathgoi). They were the chief officials of Philippi. The text leaves the impression that they came to the decision to release Paul and Silas independently. God was at work everywhere.

3 tn On the term ῥαβδοῦχος (rJabdouco") see BDAG 902 s.v. The term was used of the Roman lictor and roughly corresponds to contemporary English “constable, policeman.”

4 tn The word “saying” is not in the Greek text, but is implied; it is necessary in English because the content of what the jailer said to Paul and Silas is not the exact message related to him by the police officers, but is a summary with his own additions.

5 tn The word “orders” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

6 tn Grk “So coming out now go in peace.” The participle ἐξελθόντες (exelqonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

7 tn Grk “to them”; the referent (the police officers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 tn Grk “Having us beaten in public.” The participle δείραντες (deirante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

9 tn Or “in public, uncondemned.” BDAG 35 s.v. ἀκατάκριτος has “uncondemned, without due process” for this usage.

10 tn The participle ὑπάρχοντας (Juparconta") has been translated as a concessive adverbial participle.

11 tn The word “us” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

12 tn L&N 28.71 has “send us away secretly” for this verse.

13 tn Grk “But they.”

14 sn They themselves must come and escort us out! Paul was asking for the injustice he and Silas suffered to be symbolically righted. It was a way of publicly taking their actions off the record and showing the apostles’ innocence, a major public statement. Note the apology given in v. 39.

15 tn Grk “heard they”; the referents (Paul and Silas) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

16 sn Roman citizens. This fact was disturbing to the officials because due process was a right for a Roman citizen, well established in Roman law. To flog a Roman citizen was considered an abomination. Such punishment was reserved for noncitizens.

17 tn Grk “and coming, they apologized.” The participle ἐλθόντες (elqonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

18 tn Grk “and after.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.

19 tn The verb ἐρώτων (erwtwn) has been translated as an iterative imperfect; the English adverb “repeatedly” brings out the iterative force in the translation.



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