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Acts



The Acts of the Apostles, chapter 23, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 23

New English Translation


   1 Paul looked directly at the council and said, "Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God to this day." 2 At that the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, "God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit there judging me according to the law, and in violation of the law you order me to be struck?" 4 Those standing near him said, "Do you dare insult God's high priest?" 5 Paul replied, "I did not realize, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, 'You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.'"
   6 Then when Paul noticed that part of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, he shouted out in the council, "Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead!" 7 When he said this, an argument began between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. ) 9 There was a great commotion, and some experts in the law from the party of the Pharisees stood up and protested strongly, "We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?" 10 When the argument became so great the commanding officer feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, he ordered the detachment to go down, take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.
   11 The following night the LORD stood near Paul and said, "Have courage, for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome."
   The Plot to Kill Paul
   12 When morning came, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink anything until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, "We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath not to partake of anything until we have killed Paul. 15 So now you and the council request the commanding officer to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine his case by conducting a more thorough inquiry. We are ready to kill him before he comes near this place."
   16 But when the son of Paul's sister heard about the ambush, he came and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, "Take this young man to the commanding officer, for he has something to report to him." 18 So the centurion took him and brought him to the commanding officer and said, "The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you." 19 The commanding officer took him by the hand, withdrew privately, and asked, "What is it that you want to report to me?" 20 He replied, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. 21 So do not let them persuade you to do this, because more than forty of them are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink anything until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request." 22 Then the commanding officer sent the young man away, directing him, "Tell no one that you have reported these things to me." 23 Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, "Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea along with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen by nine o'clock tonight, 24 and provide mounts for Paul to ride so that he may be brought safely to Felix the governor." 25 He wrote a letter that went like this:
   26 Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor Felix, greetings. 27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, when I came up with the detachment and rescued him, because I had learned that he was a Roman citizen. 28 Since I wanted to know what charge they were accusing him of, I brought him down to their council. 29 I found he was accused with reference to controversial questions about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed there would be a plot against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges against him before you.
   31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him to Antipatris during the night. 32 The next day they let the horsemen go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. 33 When the horsemen came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34 When the governor had read the letter, he asked what province he was from. When he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, "I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive too." Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod's palace.

King James Version


   1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
   2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
   3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
   4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest?
   5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
   6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
   7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
   8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
   9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
   10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
   11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
   12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
   13 And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.
   14 And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.
   15 Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.
   16 And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
   17 Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him.
   18 So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.
   19 Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?
   20 And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.
   21 But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.
   22 So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.
   23 And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;
   24 And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.
   25 And he wrote a letter after this manner:
   26 Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting.
   27 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
   28 And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council:
   29 Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.
   30 And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.
   31 Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.
   32 On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle:
   33 Who, when they came to Caesarea, and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him.
   34 And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;
   35 I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.
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