Chapter

Acts 21:28

ESV crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”
NIV shouting, 'Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.'
NASB crying out, 'Men of Israel, help! This is the man who instructs everyone everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides, he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place!'
CSB shouting, "Fellow Israelites, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this place. What's more, he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place."
NLT yelling, 'Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who preaches against our people everywhere and tells everybody to disobey the Jewish laws. He speaks against the Temple — and even defiles this holy place by bringing in Gentiles. '
KJV Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.

What does Acts 21:28 mean?

Asia is the large district in western modern-day Turkey and includes the cities of Ephesus and Troas. Paul spent three years in Ephesus, healing people, expelling demons, and introducing people to the saving grace of Christ. So many Gentiles abandoned their witchcraft and idol-worship that local shrine makers started a riot. They tried to reassert the importance of Artemis worship in Ephesian culture. But by the time Paul moved on, everyone in the province of Asia knew Jesus' name (Acts 19:8–34).

Years before, Paul had fought against the errant beliefs of Pharisees who had become Jesus-followers. They taught that Gentile Jesus-followers had to adopt Jewish practices like circumcision and kosher eating. Paul and others from the church in Syrian Antioch brought the issue to the church in Jerusalem. The apostles and elders determined that Gentiles needed to refrain from sexual immorality, food sacrificed to idols, and blood, but they did not have to be circumcised (Acts 15:1–21).

When Paul returns to Jerusalem from Ephesus, he encounters a rumor which is almost the exact opposite: that he teaches Jewish Christians they should not be circumcised (Acts 21:21). To publicly reaffirm his devotion as a faithful Jew, he agrees to help four men complete a ceremonial vow (Acts 21:23–27). Jews from Asia see him in the city with Trophimus, a Gentile from Asia (Acts 21:29). When they later see Paul in the temple, they assume Paul has brought Trophimus into the temple.

This is the evidence they need. Although encouraging a Jew to forsake the Mosaic law is punishable by death (Deuteronomy 13:1–5), Jews have lost the right to capital punishment under the Roman law. However, bringing a Gentile into the temple is desecrating a religious structure: a crime under the Roman law and punishable by death.

So, these critics and enemies try to kill Paul.
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