Acts 24:16

ESV So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.
NIV So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.
NASB In view of this I also do my best to maintain a blameless conscience both before God and before other people, always.
CSB I always strive to have a clear conscience toward God and men.
NLT Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people.
KJV And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

What does Acts 24:16 mean?

The judge overseeing this trial is Marcus Antonius Felix, the governor of Judea and Samaria from AD 52 to 58. Prior to his career in politics, he had been a slave, and uncharitable historians have said he continued to act like one. His method of ruling is so corrupt and cruel the people of Caesarea Maritima complain to Nero; two years after Paul's trial, Felix will be removed from office.

Paul's accusers are the high priest Ananias and some of the elders of the Sanhedrin (Acts 24:1). They have charged Paul with starting riots and profaning the temple (Acts 24:5–6). Yet, the only "riot" they personally witnessed occurred in the Sanhedrin when they fought with their fellow council members (Acts 23:6–10). They then joined in a conspiracy to assassinate Paul (Acts 23:12–15).

Before the Sanhedrin members turned against each other, Paul had told them, "Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day" (Acts 23:1). The high priest, who accuses Paul now, had him struck for his insolence, despite the fact Paul had not been charged or convicted of a crime against the Mosaic law (Deuteronomy 25:1–3).

Meanwhile, several witnesses are missing. First, the men who erroneously accused Paul of bringing a Gentile into the temple, thus defiling it (Acts 21:27–30; Acts 24:18–20). Second, the military tribune who bound Paul's hands and nearly scourged him. This was illegal when done to an un-convicted Roman citizen (Acts 21:33; 22:25–29).

And yet, Paul doesn't charge the false accusers from the temple or the tribune with the crimes they've committed. We, too, are to live peaceably (Romans 12:18) and honorably (1 Peter 2:15) while maintaining our own integrity (1 Corinthians 10:32–33).
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