Acts 14:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 14:19, NIV: Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.

Acts 14:19, ESV: But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.

Acts 14:19, KJV: And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

Acts 14:19, NASB: But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, thinking that he was dead.

Acts 14:19, NLT: Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead.

Acts 14:19, CSB: Some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and when they won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead.

What does Acts 14:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the time of the New Testament, before the full establishment of the written Bible, God more often allowed His messengers to perform miracles. Sometimes, those miracles gave evidence that the speaker's message was true and authorized by God. Sometimes the miracles validated the faith of the listener who responded to the message. In Lystra, a man born crippled listened to Paul's words about Christ, believed in Him, and received healing for his faith. The townspeople misunderstood and, thinking Paul and Barnabas were Greek gods, attempted to offer sacrifices to them. The two barely convinced the crowd they were mere men and continued trying to share the true Creator God of the universe (Acts 14:8–18).

This worshipful response was unusual in Paul and Barnabas' travels. In Pisidian Antioch, the two were run out of town by Jewish synagogue leaders who were jealous so many Gentiles responded to their message of salvation (Acts 13:44–50). In Iconium, the Jews and Gentiles who rejected the message tried to stone Paul and Barnabas, who managed to hear of their plans and escaped in time (Acts 14:1–7).

Now, Jews from both cities have come to the small, confused village of Lystra. Where a moment ago the people were willing to worship Paul and Barnabas as gods, they are now incited to kill them. God warned Paul he would suffer greatly in his work; this is just the beginning (Acts 9:16; 2 Corinthians 11:24–28).

In practice, there were two different ways to stone a person. When driven by mob violence, it was as simple as people throwing rocks at the condemned until they died (Acts 7:54–60). If the stoning is a legal act of capital punishment, the victim is pushed off a ten-foot height and a large stone is rolled off the edge onto his chest. If he still lives, the people throw stones at him until he is dead. Either way, the fact that the people stone Paul shows the punishment is spearheaded by the Jews. In the Jews' minds, Paul is a self-proclaimed prophet leading people to worship a false god; he has violated the Mosaic law, and the punishment is chosen accordingly (Deuteronomy 13:1–5). After a stoning, the victim would be left outside the city for the dogs and other animals. Some think 2 Corinthians 11:25 and/or Galatians 6:17 refer to this event.

This is not the last time trouble will follow Paul. While preaching to the thoughtful Bereans, Jews from Thessalonica will barge in, forcing Paul to flee to Athens (Acts 17:13). In Jerusalem, Jews from a province just west of Paul's current location in Galatia will accuse him of bringing a Gentile into the temple. This event leads to Paul's arrest and first imprisonment in Rome (Acts 21:27–28).