Acts 23:35 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 23:35, NIV: "he said, 'I will hear your case when your accusers get here.' Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod's palace."

Acts 23:35, ESV: "he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.” And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod’s praetorium."

Acts 23:35, KJV: "I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall."

Acts 23:35, NASB: "he said, 'I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive as well,' giving orders for Paul to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium."

Acts 23:35, NLT: "'I will hear your case myself when your accusers arrive,' the governor told him. Then the governor ordered him kept in the prison at Herod's headquarters."

Acts 23:35, CSB: "he said, "I will give you a hearing whenever your accusers also get here." He ordered that he be kept under guard in Herod's palace."

What does Acts 23:35 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is in the praetorium—the residence of the governor—in Caesarea Maritima, awaiting trial. He hasn't committed any crime, but the Roman army tribune from Jerusalem is overwhelmed by and afraid of the Jewish Sanhedrin and has sent Paul to the governor. Governor Felix is awaiting Paul's accusers from Jerusalem—the same men who conspired to kill him (Acts 23:12–15).

In the few days Paul was in Jerusalem, three sets of people accused him of crimes. Unnamed persons claimed he taught that Jews didn't have to follow the Mosaic law (Acts 21:20–21). Jews from the province of Asia in southwest modern-day Turkey falsely accused Paul of bringing a Gentile into the temple (Acts 21:27–28). And the Sadducees of the Sanhedrin don't know what Paul did but they're sure he deserves death (Acts 23:1–10). The Roman tribune, Lysias, can neither find a valid charge against Paul nor keep him safe; he hopes the governor has the knowledge and experience to resolve the issue (Acts 23:26–30).

In five days, the high priest, a lawyer, and some representative elders arrive and present their case; Paul's accusers from the temple are nowhere to be found (Acts 24:1, 18–19). The Jewish leaders claim Paul has been inciting riots and profaning the temple (Acts 24:2–8). Unfortunately for them, Felix knows quite a bit about Christianity and doesn't believe them. He tells them he'll wait for Lysias to arrive and give his own testimony (Acts 24:22). The Jewish leaders leave but Lysias never shows, possibly afraid Paul will reveal Lysias almost flogged a Roman citizen (Acts 22:25–29). As a favor to the Jews, and seeking a bribe from Paul, Felix leaves Paul under house arrest. He alternates between calling Paul to discuss religion and sending him away when Paul's words prove too convicting. Two years later, Festus replaces Felix and Paul is still waiting. (Acts 23:24–27).

But Jesus has told Paul he will go to Rome (Acts 23:11). In frustration, Paul appeals his case to Caesar (Acts 25:11). Paul can give his testimony to King Agrippa II (Acts 26) before taking a harrowing trip across the Mediterranean to Rome where he stays for two years (Acts 28:30).