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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Acts 23:1-35

23  And Paul, fixing his eyes on the Sanhedrin, said “Brethren, I have lived as God’s citizen with an all-around good conscience up to this day”— 2  but Hananiah the high priest ordered those who stood beside him to give him a cuff on the mouth. 3  Then Paul said to him “God will cuff you, you whitewashed wall: are you both sitting to judge me under the law and breaking the law by ordering me cuffed?” 4  And those who stood beside him said “Abusing God’s high priest, are you?” 5  And Paul said “I did not know, brothers, that he was high priest; for it is written ‘To a ruler of your people you shall use no bad language.’” 6  But, finding out that the one part was of Sadducees and the other of Pharisees, Paul cried out in the Sanhedrin “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; it is about the hope and resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” 7  And as he uttered this there arose an altercation of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the main body took sides. 8  For the Sadducees say there is no such thing as resurrection, nor angel nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge all these. 9  And there was a great deal of shouting, and some of the scribes on the Pharisee side stood up and were fighting the case, saying “We find nothing wrong with this man; and if a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel—” 10  And, as there was coming to be a great deal of altercation, the tribune was afraid Paul would be torn in pieces by them, and gave the word for the troops to come down and snatch him out of their midst and bring him into the barracks. 11  And in the following night the Lord stood over him and said “Courage, for as you testified about me at Jerusalem so you must bear witness at Rome too.” 12  But when day came the Jews got a party together and laid an imprecation on themselves, saying they would neither eat nor drink till they killed Paul. 13  And it was more than forty that made this conspiracy; 14  they came to the chief priests and the elders and said “We have bound ourselves by an imprecation not to taste anything till we kill Paul. 15  So now apply to the tribune, you with the Sanhedrin, to bring him down to you with the idea that you are going to determine the facts about him more precisely, and we are ready to dispatch him before he comes near.” 16  But Paul’s sister’s son, hearing of the ambush, came on and went into the barracks and reported it to Paul. 17  And Paul called one of the centurions to him and said “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to report to him.” 18  So he took him along and brought him to the tribune and said “Prisoner Paul called me to him and requested me to bring this young man to you, who has something to speak to you of.” 19  And the tribune, taking him by the hand and withdrawing with him to be by themselves, inquired “What is it you have to report to me?” 20*  And he said “The Jews have agreed to request that tomorrow you would bring Paul down to the Sanhedrin with the idea of inquiring more precisely about him. 21  So don’t you take their word for it; for more than forty men out of them are in ambush for him, who have laid an imprecation on themselves not to eat nor drink till they take his life, and they are ready now, watching for the notification from you.” 22  So the tribune dismissed the young man with the injunction “Don’t let it out to anybody that you gave me this information”; 23  and he called to him a certain two of the centurions and said “Get two hundred soldiers ready to go through to Cesarea, and seventy horsemen and two hundred chasseurs, by nine o’clock at night,” 24  and told them to furnish beasts on which to mount Paul and bring him safe to Governor Felix, 25  and wrote a letter of which this was the gist: 26  “To his excellency Governor Felix. Dear Sir: 27  This man having been seized by the Jews and being on the point of losing his life by them, I came on with the troops and rescued him, learning that he was a Roman, 28  and wishing to ascertain the offense with which they charged him I took him down to their Sanhedrin; 29  and I found him accused about questions of their law, but not having against him any charge to deserve death or imprisonment. 30  But, being notified that there would be a plot against the man, I instantly sent him to you, instructing the prosecutors also to say what they had to say of him before you. Respectfully, Claudius Lysias.” 31  So the soldiers, in accordance with their directions, took Paul up and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32  And next day they returned to the barracks, letting the horsemen go off with him; 33  and they, coming into Cesarea and delivering the letter to the governor, presented Paul also to him. 34  And he read it and put the question what province he was from, and, learning that it was Cilicia, 35  said “I will give you a hearing when your prosecutors too arrive,” ordering him kept in custody in Herod’s praetorium.

Footnotes

23:20 Var. idea of its inquiring