Acts 23:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 23:15, NIV: "Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.'"

Acts 23:15, ESV: "Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”"

Acts 23:15, KJV: "Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would inquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him."

Acts 23:15, NASB: "Now therefore, you and the Council notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to investigate his case more thoroughly; and as for us, we are ready to kill him before he comes near the place.'"

Acts 23:15, NLT: "So you and the high council should ask the commander to bring Paul back to the council again. Pretend you want to examine his case more fully. We will kill him on the way.'"

Acts 23:15, CSB: "So now you, along with the Sanhedrin, make a request to the commander that he bring him down to you as if you were going to investigate his case more thoroughly. But, before he gets near, we are ready to kill him.""

What does Acts 23:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Forty Jews have vowed to kill Paul as soon as possible and are asking the elders and chief priests for help. The text isn't clear who these Jews are. The term "the Jews" typically means religious leaders, but these assassins are going to the religious leaders for help (Acts 23:12–14). They may be Jews from the province of Asia in modern-day Turkey who accused Paul of bringing a Gentile into the temple (Acts 21:27).

After these Jews accused Paul of desecrating the temple, a mob formed and nearly killed him. The Roman tribune heard about the riot and rescued Paul by arresting him. He asked the mob why they were attacking Paul, but most didn't know (Acts 21:27–36). Attempting to find out more, he allowed Paul to speak to the crowd, but that didn't help. He then tried to scourge the information out of Paul, but Paul's Roman citizenship protected him from torture before a proper conviction (Acts 22:1–29).

In a final effort, the tribune took Paul to the Sanhedrin to see if they could explain. Paul had his own agenda which included talking to the Sanhedrin about salvation through Jesus, but with only a few sentences he wound up insulting the high priest and turning the Pharisees and Sadducees against each other (Acts 23:1–10).

If the Sanhedrin promised to behave itself, it's very likely the tribune would welcome another chance to get these things straightened out. The assassins are also wise in implicating the Sanhedrin: they can devise a charge against Paul that justifies the act. This will prevent them from losing fellowship in the temple.

They don't know that Paul's nephew is listening. He reports the plot to Paul who sends him to the tribune. The tribune realizes there's nothing else he can do except keep Paul safe. He calls on two centurions to assemble a military escort to take Paul to the governor in Caesarea Maritima (Acts 23:16–24).