Acts 24:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 24:14, NIV: "However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets,"

Acts 24:14, ESV: "But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets,"

Acts 24:14, KJV: "But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:"

Acts 24:14, NASB: "But I confess this to you, that in accordance with the Way, which they call a sect, I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and is written in the Prophets;"

Acts 24:14, NLT: "'But I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a cult. I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets."

Acts 24:14, CSB: "But I admit this to you: I worship the God of my ancestors according to the Way, which they call a sect, believing everything that is in accordance with the law and written in the prophets."

What does Acts 24:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is on trial in Caesarea Maritima, defending himself from the accusations representatives of the Sanhedrin have brought before Governor Felix. Paul has already addressed the claim that he has habit of instigating riots (Acts 24:11–12) and now turns to their description of him as "a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5).

In Roman law, it was highly illegal to spread a religion that was not officially sanctioned by the government. Cicero stated in De Legibus, ii. 8, "…let no one have private gods—neither new gods nor strange gods, unless publicly acknowledged, are to be worshipped privately…" Judaism was officially sanctioned, despite the fact the Romans called the Jews atheists because they have no images of their God.

Paul, who has traveled through Syria and modern-day Turkey and Greece, understands something the Sanhedrin members, who never leave Judea, do not: the Romans don't yet see any difference between traditional Judaism and Christianity. In Corinth, Jewish leaders brought him to the proconsul Gallio and said, "This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law" (Acts 18:13). Gallio shut them down, saying "If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things" (Acts 18:14–15).

Felix appears to be better educated than Gallio (Acts 24:22) but has the same point of view. It isn't until after the Khobar Rebellion around AD 150 that Christianity's distinctives draw the attention of the Roman government and persecution starts in earnest.

"The Way" is the term Paul uses for Christianity. It is based on Jesus' quote "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). However, Paul's wording indicates he follows the beliefs of the Jews in the way taught by Jesus.