Acts 24:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 24:21, NIV: "unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: 'It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.''"

Acts 24:21, ESV: "other than this one thing that I cried out while standing among them: ‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.’”"

Acts 24:21, KJV: "Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day."

Acts 24:21, NASB: "other than in regard to this one declaration which I shouted while standing among them, ‘For the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today!’?'"

Acts 24:21, NLT: "except for the one time I shouted out, 'I am on trial before you today because I believe in the resurrection of the dead!''"

Acts 24:21, CSB: "other than this one statement I shouted while standing among them, 'Today I am on trial before you concerning the resurrection of the dead.' ""

What does Acts 24:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

With this, Paul finishes his defense. About a week before, the Roman tribune in Jerusalem found him on the temple mount in the middle of a mob that was trying to kill him (Acts 21:27–36). Trying to determine what Paul had done to make so many people so angry, he arrested Paul and brought him before the Sanhedrin. In the middle of the meeting, Paul declared himself to be a Pharisee who believed in the resurrection of the dead. The rival sects of Jews flew into violence, and the tribune, again, had to rescue Paul. The next morning, Paul's nephew relayed to the tribune that the Sanhedrin and forty other Jews had conspired to assassinate Paul. The tribune decided Paul would be safer in the court of the governor and sent him to Caesarea Maritima (Acts 23).

Five days later, the high priest, a few of the elders, and their spokesman arrive. They accuse Paul of inciting riots, leading an illegal religion, and trying to defile a religious structure—all serious crimes. Paul points out he didn't start the melee on the temple mount and that he follows the Scriptures of Judaism—just in a slightly different way. The men who accuse him of desecrating the temple aren't there to testify (Acts 24:1–20). The only charge that can be laid against him is that in the middle of a meeting with the Sanhedrin, he affirmed his belief in the resurrection of the dead—a belief the Pharisees in the council held, as well. It isn't his fault the honored council reacted by throwing punches.

Governor Felix knows quite a bit about Christianity and that the charges against Paul are spurious. He tells the gathered he will wait for Lysias, the tribune, to arrive and give his testimony. But when Lysias wrote his introductory letter to Felix (Acts 23:26–30), he left out the part where he had chained and nearly whipped a Roman citizen—another serious crime (Acts 21:33; 22:22–29). Lysias never shows. Felix is corrupt, violent, and cruel. He has nothing with which to charge Paul, but he doesn't want to antagonize the Sanhedrin. He keeps Paul in Caesarea under loose house arrest until he is replaced by Festus two years later (Acts 24:22–27).