Paul before the Council

23 Paul, looking intently at (A)the [a]Council, said, “(B)Brethren, (C)I have [b]lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.” The high priest (D)Ananias commanded those standing beside him (E)to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, (F)you whitewashed wall! Do you (G)sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?” But the bystanders said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?” And Paul said, “I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, ‘(H)You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

But perceiving that one group were (I)Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in (J)the [c]Council, “(K)Brethren, (L)I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for (M)the hope and resurrection of the dead!” As he said this, there occurred a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For (N)the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. And there occurred a great uproar; and some of (O)the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “(P)We find nothing wrong with this man; (Q)suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 And as a great dissension was developing, the [d]commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into (R)the barracks.

11 But on (S)the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, (T)Take courage; for (U)as you have (V)solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.”

A Conspiracy to Kill Paul

12 When it was day, (W)the Jews formed a [e]conspiracy and (X)bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who formed this plot. 14 They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have (Y)bound ourselves under a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 Now therefore, you [f]and (Z)the [g]Council notify the [h]commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case by a more thorough investigation; and we for our part are ready to slay him before he comes near the place.”

16 But the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, [i]and he came and entered (AA)the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Lead this young man to the [j]commander, for he has something to report to him.” 18 So he took him and led him to the [k]commander and *said, “Paul (AB)the prisoner called me to him and asked me to lead this young man to you since he has something to tell you.” 19 The [l]commander took him by the hand and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, “What is it that you have to report to me?” 20 And he said, “(AC)The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to (AD)the [m]Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him. 21 So do not [n]listen to them, for more than forty of them are (AE)lying in wait for him who have (AF)bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they slay him; and now they are ready and waiting for the promise from you.” 22 So the [o]commander let the young man go, instructing him, “Tell no one that you have notified me of these things.”

Paul Moved to Caesarea

23 And he called to him two of the centurions and said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready by [p]the third hour of the night to proceed to (AG)Caesarea, [q]with seventy horsemen and two hundred [r]spearmen.” 24 They were also to provide mounts to put Paul on and bring him safely to (AH)Felix the governor. 25 And he wrote a letter having this form:

26 “Claudius Lysias, to the (AI)most excellent governor Felix, (AJ)greetings.

27 “When this man was arrested by the Jews and was about to be slain by them, (AK)I came up to them with the troops and rescued him, (AL)having learned that he was a Roman. 28 “And (AM)wanting to ascertain the charge for which they were accusing him, I (AN)brought him down to their [s](AO)Council; 29 and I found him to be accused over (AP)questions about their Law, but [t]under (AQ)no accusation deserving death or [u]imprisonment.

30 “When I was (AR)informed that there would be (AS)a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, also instructing (AT)his accusers to [v]bring charges against him before you.”

31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 But the next day, leaving (AU)the horsemen to go on with him, they returned to (AV)the barracks. 33 When these had come to (AW)Caesarea and delivered the letter to (AX)the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34 When he had read it, he asked from what (AY)province he was, and when he learned that (AZ)he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing after your (BA)accusers arrive also,” giving orders for him to be (BB)kept in Herod’s [w]Praetorium.


  1. Acts 23:1 Or Sanhedrin
  2. Acts 23:1 Or conducted myself as a citizen
  3. Acts 23:6 Or Sanhedrin
  4. Acts 23:10 I.e. chiliarch, in command of one thousand troops
  5. Acts 23:12 Or mob
  6. Acts 23:15 Lit with
  7. Acts 23:15 Or Sanhedrin
  8. Acts 23:15 V 10, note 1
  9. Acts 23:16 Or having been present with them, and he entered
  10. Acts 23:17 V 10, note 1
  11. Acts 23:18 V 10, note 1
  12. Acts 23:19 V 10, note 1
  13. Acts 23:20 Or Sanhedrin
  14. Acts 23:21 Lit be persuaded by them
  15. Acts 23:22 V 10, note 1
  16. Acts 23:23 I.e. 9 p.m.
  17. Acts 23:23 Lit and
  18. Acts 23:23 Or slingers or bowmen
  19. Acts 23:28 Or Sanhedrin
  20. Acts 23:29 Lit having
  21. Acts 23:29 Lit bonds
  22. Acts 23:30 Lit speak against him
  23. Acts 23:35 I.e. governor’s official residence