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Acts 23:25-30

23:25 He wrote 1  a letter that went like this: 2 

23:26 Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor 3  Felix, 4  greetings. 23:27 This man was seized 5  by the Jews and they were about to kill him, 6  when I came up 7  with the detachment 8  and rescued him, because I had learned that he was 9  a Roman citizen. 10  23:28 Since I wanted to know 11  what charge they were accusing him of, 12  I brought him down to their council. 13  23:29 I found he 14  was accused with reference to controversial questions 15  about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. 16  23:30 When I was informed 17  there would be a plot 18  against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges 19  against him before you.

1 tn Grk “writing.” Due to the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was begun here in the translation, supplying “he” (referring to the commanding officer, Claudius Lysias) as subject. The participle γράψας (grayas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

2 tn Grk “having this form,” “having this content.” L&N 33.48 has “γράψσς ἐπιστολὴν ἔχουσαν τὸν τύπον τοῦτον ‘then he wrote a letter that went like this’ Ac 23:25. It is also possible to understand ἐπιστολή in Ac 23:25 not as a content or message, but as an object (see 6.63).”

3 tn Grk “Procurator.” The official Roman title has been translated as “governor” (BDAG 433 s.v. ἡγεμών 2).

4 sn Governor Felix. See the note on Felix in v. 24.

5 tn The participle συλλημφθέντα (sullhmfqenta) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. The remark reviews events of Acts 21:27-40.

6 tn Grk “and was about to be killed by them.” The passive construction has been converted to an active one in the translation for stylistic reasons.

7 tn Or “approached.”

8 tn Normally this term means “army,” but according to BDAG 947 s.v. στράτευμα, “Of a smaller detachment of soldiers, sing. Ac 23:10, 27.” In the plural it can be translated “troops,” but it is singular here.

9 tn In Greek this is a present tense retained in indirect discourse.

10 tn The word “citizen” is supplied here for emphasis and clarity.

sn The letter written by the Roman commander Claudius Lysias was somewhat self-serving. He made it sound as if the rescue of a Roman citizen had been a conscious act on his part. In fact, he had made the discovery of Paul’s Roman citizenship somewhat later. See Acts 21:37-39 and 22:24-29.

11 tn Or “determine.”

12 tn Grk “to know the charge on account of which they were accusing him.” This has been simplified to eliminate the prepositional phrase and relative pronoun δι᾿ ἣν (di}hn) similar to L&N 27.8 which has “‘I wanted to find out what they were accusing him of, so I took him down to their Council’ Ac 23:28.”

13 tn Grk “their Sanhedrin” (the Sanhedrin was the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).

14 tn Grk “whom I found.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) has been changed to a personal pronoun (“he”) and a new sentence begun in the translation at this point.

15 tn BDAG 428 s.v. ζήτημα states, “in our lit. only in Ac, w. the mng. it still has in Mod. Gk. (controversial) question, issue, argumentAc 15:2; 26:3. ζ. περί τινος questions about someth.…18:15; 25:19. – In 23:29, since περί had already been used, the subj. of the discussion is added in the gen. ζ. τοῦ νόμου αὐτῶν.”

sn With reference to controversial questions. Note how the “neutral” Roman authorities saw the issue. This was a religious rather than a civil dispute. See Acts 18:15.

16 tn Grk “but having no charge worthy of death or imprisonment.” BDAG 273-74 s.v. ἔγκλημα 1 has “legal t.t.…. ἄξιον θανάτου ἢ δεσμῶν a charge deserving death or imprisonment 23:29.”

sn Despite the official assessment that no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment, there was no effort to release Paul.

17 tn Grk “It being revealed to me.” The participle μηνυθείσης (mhnuqeish") has been taken temporally.

18 tn The term translated “plot” here is a different one than the one in Acts 23:16 (see BDAG 368 s.v. ἐπιβουλή).

19 tn Grk “the things against him.” This could be rendered as “accusations,” “grievances,” or “charges,” but since “ordered his accusers to state their accusations” sounds redundant in English, “charges” was used instead.

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