Acts 23

Acts 123456, 7, 8910111213141516171819202122, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28


Acts 23:1

ἀτενίσας δὲ ὁ Παῦλος τῷ συνεδρίῳ εἶπεν· Ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, ἐγὼ πάσῃ συνειδήσει ἀγαθῇ πεπολίτευμαι τῷ θεῷ ἄχρι ταύτης τῆς ἡμέρας.

Then Paul, staring at the Sanhedrin, said, “Men, brothers, I have behaved in all [things] with a good conscience before God until this day.

Paraphrase:  When Paul was brought into the place where the Sanhedrin had hastily gathered, he looked closely at each of the members.  “Men, brothers,” he began, “Ever since I have stepped foot in Jerusalem, I have behaved myself as an upstanding citizen.  I have not violated any of the Roman laws, nor have I broken any of your own laws as they pertain to my own personal religion or those laws which regulate the temple worship.  I have a clear conscience in these matters before God and my own soul.


Is Paul looking intently here because his eyesight is weak?  Perhaps the blaze of light which brought him to Christ also permanently injured his eyes. (Galatians 4:15; 6:11)  And does this partially explain why he didn’t recognize the high priest?  See the middle of p528.


Acts 23:2

ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς Ἁνανίας ἐπέταξεν τοῖς παρεστῶσιν αὐτῷ τύπτειν αὐτοῦ τὸ στόμα.

Then the high priest, Ananias, commanded those standing by him to slap his mouth.

Paraphrase:  At this statement from Paul, the high priest flew into a rage.  “Slap his impudent mouth!” he commanded some of those who were standing near Paul.  The Roman guards quickly stepped up, however, and prevented this. 


Paul’s rights as a roman citizen (Acts 22:29) would have trumped the high priest’s order here.


Acts 23:3

τότε ὁ Παῦλος πρὸς αὐτὸν εἶπεν· Τύπτειν σε μέλλει ὁ θεός, τοῖχε κεκονιαμένε· καὶ σὺ κάθῃ κρίνων με κατὰ τὸν νόμον, καὶ παρανομῶν κελεύεις με τύπτεσθαι;

Then Paul said to him, “To strike you, God is about to, you painted wall, and you are seated judging me according to the law and transgressing, you are calling me to be struck?!”

Paraphrase:  When Paul heard this, he was outraged at this order.  “God is about to strike you down, you boldfaced hypocrite!” he shouted at Ananias, “Are you going to sit there with all your fake piety and presume to judge me by a law which you just violated by giving this ridiculous command?”



Acts 23:4

οἱ δὲ παρεστῶτες εἶπαν· Τὸν ἀρχιερέα τοῦ θεοῦ λοιδορεῖς;

Now those standing by said, “Would you insult the high-priest of God?”

Paraphrase:  Those standing near Paul were shocked at his boldness and asked him if he really meant to address God’s high-priest in this way.



Acts 23:5

ἔφη τε ὁ Παῦλος· Οὐκ ᾔδειν, ἀδελφοί, ὅτι ἐστὶν ἀρχιερεύς· γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι Ἄρχοντα τοῦ λαοῦ σου οὐκ ἐρεῖς κακῶς.

Then Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he is the high-priest, for it is written, “The ruler of your people you will not speak badly.”

Paraphrase:  At this, Paul quickly regained his composure and apologized.  “I am sorry, brothers, I spoke rashly. (Proverbs 13:3)  I did not recognize this man as the high priest.  My vision is poor, and I was not able to see him clearly.  I surely do believe that we are to honor those in authority over us as the Bible says, “You shall not curse your ruler.” (Exodus 22:28)


Neander (p359): “The manner in which the apostle conducted himself on this occasion, shows him to have been a man who knew how to control the agitation of his feelings by a sober judgment, and to avail himself of circumstances with Christian prudence, without any compromise of truth. When he was suddenly carried away by the impulse of righteous indignation to speak with greater warmth than he intended, he was able to recover the mastery of his feelings, and to act in a manner becoming his vocation. In a moment of excitement at the arbitrary conduct of the high priest Ananias, while thinking only of the person and losing sight of the office whose duties had been violated, he had used intemperate expressions though containing truth; but on being informed that it was the high priest whom he had so addressed, he at once corrected himself and said, he had not considered the dignity of the person he had thus addressed, to whom Reverence was due according to the law.”


Acts 23:6

Γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Παῦλος ὅτι τὸ ἓν μέρος ἐστὶν Σαδδουκαίων τὸ δὲ ἕτερον Φαρισαίων ἔκραζεν ἐν τῷ συνεδρίῳ· Ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, ἐγὼ Φαρισαῖός εἰμι, υἱὸς Φαρισαίων· περὶ ἐλπίδος καὶ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν ἐγὼ κρίνομαι.

Then Paul, knowing that the one part is Sadducees and the other part is Pharisees, cried out in the Sanhedrin, “Men, brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; concerning hope and resurrection of the dead, I am being judged. 

Paraphrase:  Now at this point in the trial, Paul remembered the sharp disputes that existed in the Sanhedrin between the Sadducees and the Pharisees.  Realizing that he no longer had any chance for a fair trial, he decided the best thing to do for himself and his own safety was to play these two factions off against each other.  “Men, brothers!” he said loudly and clearly, “I am a Pharisee and the son of Pharisees.  You have put me on trial for teaching that there is a future hope for the people of God, namely a resurrection from the dead and an entrance into eternal life.”


Farrar (p541) says that Paul’s actions here cannot be defended.  He says that Paul was dishonest in his claim that he was on trial for his belief in the resurrection of the dead as well as his claim that he was a Pharisee.  The Sanhedrin would not have been so determined to destroy him for belief in the resurrection.  “[T]he fury against St. Paul was kindled by the far more burning questions which arose out of his doctrine of the nullity of the Law, and the admission of the Gentiles to equal privileges with the seed of Abraham.”  Calvin (bottom of p319) defends Paul here:  “Yet because he seeth them cry out on him clamorously, and that he had no place granted to defend himself, he setteth his enemies together by the ears.”

Gloag (p313) understands “hope” here to be the hope of the Messiah and “resurrection” to be the resurrection of Jesus.


Acts 23:7

τοῦτο δὲ αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος ἐγένετο στάσις τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων, καὶ ἐσχίσθη τὸ πλῆθος.

Now while he was speaking this, a quarrel arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the multitude was divided.

Paraphrase:  Now as soon as Paul mentioned the resurrection, the tension in the room increased rapidly, and the assembled members of the Sanhedrin began to divide over this issue.



Acts 23:8

Σαδδουκαῖοι μὲν γὰρ λέγουσιν μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν μήτε ἄγγελον μήτε πνεῦμα, Φαρισαῖοι δὲ ὁμολογοῦσιν τὰ ἀμφότερα.

For on the one hand, the Sadducees say to be no resurrection neither angel, neither spirit; the Pharisees, on the other hand, confess each one of these.

Paraphrase:  Now you need to know that the Sadducees are materialists.  They do not believe in any non-material thing like spirits, angels, or the resurrection.  The Pharisees do believe in all these things.


Josephus explains the Sadducean view in §4 on p58.  For more on the Sadducees, see p29.


Acts 23:9

ἐγένετο δὲ κραυγὴ μεγάλη, καὶ ἀναστάντες τινὲς τῶν γραμματέων τοῦ μέρους τῶν Φαρισαίων διεμάχοντο λέγοντες· Οὐδὲν κακὸν εὑρίσκομεν ἐν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ τούτῳ· εἰ δὲ πνεῦμα ἐλάλησεν αὐτῷ ἢ ἄγγελος—

Then there was a great outcry and certain of the scribes which were part of the Pharisees, standing, argued sharply saying, “Nothing evil we find in this man; but if the spirit spoke to him or an angel…

Paraphrase:  The dispute grew more and more heated until there were scholars from both parties shouting down the other and even hurling insults at each other.  The Pharisees with their Scribes demanded what the charge was against Paul?  Many of them began to protest his innocence and that there was not yet any credible charge against him.  Some even suggested that perhaps Paul was sincere in his belief that an angel or spirit had spoken to him.


RWP says the last clause is an aposiopesis; see Winer bottom of p621 or Bullinger.


Acts 23:10

πολλῆς δὲ γινομένης στάσεως φοβηθεὶς ὁ χιλίαρχος μὴ διασπασθῇ ὁ Παῦλος ὑπ’ αὐτῶν ἐκέλευσεν τὸ στράτευμα καταβὰν ἁρπάσαι αὐτὸν ἐκ μέσου αὐτῶν, ἄγειν τε εἰς τὴν παρεμβολήν.

Now a great quarrel was, the officer, fearing [that] Paul might be torn apart by them, commanded the troop, descending, to remove him from them, to lead into the barracks.

Paraphrase:  By this time, the meeting had descended into complete pandemonium.  Yelling at each other and hurling insults was the order of the day.  At this point, the commanding officer began to fear that they might actually tear Paul limb from limb.  He barked an order at the detachment of troops that were standing by telling them to get Paul out of the room and down into the barracks for safety.



Acts 23:11

Τῇ δὲ ἐπιούσῃ νυκτὶ ἐπιστὰς αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος εἶπεν· Θάρσει, ὡς γὰρ διεμαρτύρω τὰ περὶ ἐμοῦ εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ οὕτω σε δεῖ καὶ εἰς Ῥώμην μαρτυρῆσαι.

The following night, the Lord, standing by, said to him, “Take courage, for as you have protested about Me in Jerusalem, in this manner it is necessary you even to testify in Rome.

Paraphrase:  That night, as Paul was resting in the barracks, the Lord Jesus appeared to him, standing right next to where he was sleeping.  “Don’t lose heart, Paul,” He said, “My plan for you is secure and unfazed by all what has happened to you.  The wrath of unbelieving men only serves My purpose. (Psalm 76:10)  You have given a powerful testimony to Me here in Jerusalem.  Now, the next step for you is to do the same thing in Rome.  Prepare to preach the gospel in the greatest city of the empire.”


“In the LXX θαρρεῖν is a summons which men issue to one another in times of emergency and stress and anxiety (e.g. Moses to Israel in Ex. 14:13; 20:20; Elijah to the widow of Sarepta in 3 Βασ‌. 17:13; on the lips of the prophet in Zeph. 3:16; Bar. 4:5, 21, 27, 30).” TDNT


Acts 23:12

Γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας ποιήσαντες συστροφὴν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἀνεθεμάτισαν ἑαυτοὺς λέγοντες μήτε φαγεῖν μήτε πιεῖν ἕως οὗ ἀποκτείνωσιν τὸν Παῦλον.


Acts 23:13

ἦσαν δὲ πλείους τεσσεράκοντα οἱ ταύτην τὴν συνωμοσίαν ποιησάμενοι·

Acts 23:14 οἵτινες προσελθόντες τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις εἶπαν· Ἀναθέματι ἀνεθεματίσαμεν ἑαυτοὺς μηδενὸς γεύσασθαι ἕως οὗ ἀποκτείνωμεν τὸν Παῦλον.

Acts 23:15 νῦν οὖν ὑμεῖς ἐμφανίσατε τῷ χιλιάρχῳ σὺν τῷ συνεδρίῳ ὅπως καταγάγῃ αὐτὸν εἰς ὑμᾶς ὡς μέλλοντας διαγινώσκειν ἀκριβέστερον τὰ περὶ αὐτοῦ· ἡμεῖς δὲ πρὸ τοῦ ἐγγίσαι αὐτὸν ἕτοιμοί ἐσμεν τοῦ ἀνελεῖν αὐτόν.

Acts 23:16 Ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀδελφῆς Παύλου τὴν ἐνέδραν παραγενόμενος καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὴν παρεμβολὴν ἀπήγγειλεν τῷ Παύλῳ.

Acts 23:17 προσκαλεσάμενος δὲ ὁ Παῦλος ἕνα τῶν ἑκατονταρχῶν ἔφη· Τὸν νεανίαν τοῦτον ἄπαγε πρὸς τὸν χιλίαρχον, ἔχει γὰρ ἀπαγγεῖλαί τι αὐτῷ.

Acts 23:18 ὁ μὲν οὖν παραλαβὼν αὐτὸν ἤγαγεν πρὸς τὸν χιλίαρχον καὶ φησίν· Ὁ δέσμιος Παῦλος προσκαλεσάμενός με ἠρώτησεν τοῦτον τὸν νεανίαν ἀγαγεῖν πρὸς σέ, ἔχοντά τι λαλῆσαί σοι.

Acts 23:19 ἐπιλαβόμενος δὲ τῆς χειρὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ χιλίαρχος καὶ ἀναχωρήσας κατ’ ἰδίαν ἐπυνθάνετο· Τί ἐστιν ὃ ἔχεις ἀπαγγεῖλαί μοι;

Acts 23:20 εἶπεν δὲ ὅτι Οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι συνέθεντο τοῦ ἐρωτῆσαί σε ὅπως αὔριον τὸν Παῦλον καταγάγῃς εἰς τὸ συνέδριον ὡς μέλλον τι ἀκριβέστερον πυνθάνεσθαι περὶ αὐτοῦ·

Acts 23:21 σὺ οὖν μὴ πεισθῇς αὐτοῖς, ἐνεδρεύουσιν γὰρ αὐτὸν ἐξ αὐτῶν ἄνδρες πλείους τεσσεράκοντα, οἵτινες ἀνεθεμάτισαν ἑαυτοὺς μήτε φαγεῖν μήτε πιεῖν ἕως οὗ ἀνέλωσιν αὐτόν, καὶ νῦν εἰσιν ἕτοιμοι προσδεχόμενοι
τὴν ἀπὸ σοῦ ἐπαγγελίαν.

Acts 23:22 ὁ μὲν οὖν χιλίαρχος ἀπέλυσε τὸν νεανίσκον παραγγείλας μηδενὶ ἐκλαλῆσαι ὅτι ταῦτα ἐνεφάνισας πρὸς ἐμέ.

Acts 23:23 Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενός τινας δύο τῶν ἑκατονταρχῶν εἶπεν· Ἑτοιμάσατε στρατιώτας διακοσίους ὅπως πορευθῶσιν ἕως Καισαρείας, καὶ ἱππεῖς ἑβδομήκοντα καὶ δεξιολάβους διακοσίους, ἀπὸ τρίτης ὥρας τῆς νυκτός,

Acts 23:24 κτήνη τε παραστῆσαι ἵνα ἐπιβιβάσαντες τὸν Παῦλον διασώσωσι πρὸς Φήλικα τὸν ἡγεμόνα,

Acts 23:25 γράψας ἐπιστολὴν ἔχουσαν τὸν τύπον τοῦτον·

Acts 23:26 Κλαύδιος Λυσίας τῷ κρατίστῳ ἡγεμόνι Φήλικι χαίρειν.

Acts 23:27 τὸν ἄνδρα τοῦτον συλλημφθέντα ὑπὸ τῶν Ἰουδαίων καὶ μέλλοντα ἀναιρεῖσθαι ὑπ’ αὐτῶν ἐπιστὰς σὺν τῷ στρατεύματι ἐξειλάμην, μαθὼν ὅτι Ῥωμαῖός ἐστιν,

Acts 23:28 βουλόμενός τε ἐπιγνῶναι τὴν αἰτίαν δι’ ἣν ἐνεκάλουν αὐτῷ, κατήγαγον εἰς τὸ συνέδριον αὐτῶν.

Acts 23:29 ὃν εὗρον ἐγκαλούμενον περὶ ζητημάτων τοῦ νόμου αὐτῶν, μηδὲν δὲ ἄξιον θανάτου ἢ δεσμῶν ἔχοντα ἔγκλημα.

Acts 23:30 μηνυθείσης δέ μοι ἐπιβουλῆς εἰς τὸν ἄνδρα ἔσεσθαι ἐξαυτῆς ἔπεμψα πρὸς σέ, παραγγείλας καὶ τοῖς κατηγόροις λέγειν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐπὶ σοῦ.

Acts 23:31 Οἱ μὲν οὖν στρατιῶται κατὰ τὸ διατεταγμένον αὐτοῖς ἀναλαβόντες τὸν Παῦλον ἤγαγον διὰ νυκτὸς εἰς τὴν Ἀντιπατρίδα·

Acts 23:32 τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον ἐάσαντες τοὺς ἱππεῖς ἀπέρχεσθαι σὺν αὐτῷ ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς τὴν παρεμβολήν·

Acts 23:33 οἵτινες εἰσελθόντες εἰς τὴν Καισάρειαν καὶ ἀναδόντες τὴν ἐπιστολὴν τῷ ἡγεμόνι παρέστησαν καὶ τὸν Παῦλον αὐτῷ.

Acts 23:34 ἀναγνοὺς δὲ καὶ ἐπερωτήσας ἐκ ποίας ἐπαρχείας ἐστὶν καὶ πυθόμενος ὅτι ἀπὸ Κιλικίας,

Acts 23:35 Διακούσομαί σου, ἔφη, ὅταν καὶ οἱ κατήγοροί σου παραγένωνται· κελεύσας ἐν τῷ πραιτωρίῳ τοῦ Ἡρῴδου φυλάσσεσθαι αὐτόν.

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