21:34 But some in the crowd shouted one thing, and others something else, 1 and when the commanding officer 2 was unable 3 to find out the truth 4 because of the disturbance, 5 he ordered Paul 6 to be brought into the barracks. 7
21:37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, 8 he said 9 to the commanding officer, 10 “May I say 11 something to you?” The officer 12 replied, 13 “Do you know Greek? 14
2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the commanding officer) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
3 tn This genitive absolute construction has been translated temporally; it could also be taken causally: “and since the commanding officer was unable to find out the truth.”
4 tn Or “find out what had happened”; Grk “the certainty” (BDAG 147 s.v. ἀσφαλής 2).
5 tn Or “clamor,” “uproar” (BDAG 458 s.v. θόρυβος).
6 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
9 tn Grk “says” (a historical present).
11 tn Grk “Is it permitted for me to say” (an idiom).
12 tn Grk “He”; the referent (the officer) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
13 tn Grk “said.”
14 sn “Do you know Greek?” Paul as an educated rabbi was bilingual. Paul’s request in Greek allowed the officer to recognize that Paul was not the violent insurrectionist he thought he had arrested (see following verse). The confusion of identities reveals the degree of confusion dominating these events.