Acts 24:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 24:5, NIV: "We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect"

Acts 24:5, ESV: "For we have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes."

Acts 24:5, KJV: "For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:"

Acts 24:5, NASB: "For we have found this man a public menace and one who stirs up dissensions among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes."

Acts 24:5, NLT: "We have found this man to be a troublemaker who is constantly stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the cult known as the Nazarenes."

Acts 24:5, CSB: "For we have found this man to be a plague, an agitator among all the Jews throughout the Roman world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes."

What does Acts 24:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Tertullus, a lawyer hired by the Sanhedrin, is trying to convince Governor Felix that Paul is a danger to the Roman Empire. "Plague" is the Greek word for "pestilence." The slang infers a public nuisance with an edge of treasonous intent.

The charge of stirring up riots is an interesting one. The only riot Paul has been a part of in Felix's jurisdiction was about a week prior. Jews from the province of Asia in southwestern modern-day Turkey thought Paul had brought a Gentile to the temple. In response, they grabbed him, dragged him to the courtyard, and beat him. Many other Jews joined in, although they didn't know who Paul was or what he had supposedly done (Acts 21:27–34). So, Paul "stirred up a riot" by peacefully going to the temple and letting himself be attacked by a mob.

Tertullus, however, claims that Paul stirs up riots "throughout the world," meaning, throughout the Roman Empire. Those same Asian Jews probably knew of an event that occurred in Ephesus a few months before. Paul's message of forgiveness and healing was so popular in Ephesus that a great number of magicians burned their books. So many Artemis-worshipers turned to Jesus that the idol-makers started a protest that nearly turned into a riot (Acts 19:11–41).

In other cases, however, Paul's ministry did result in disturbances among the Jewish population (Acts 13:44–52; 14:1–2, 19–20; 17:1–9, 13–14; 18:12–17). This was due to his attempts to get the Jews to see Jesus was the fulfillment of Judaism, not any treason against the emperor. None of these events occurred in Felix's jurisdiction, and the Asian Jews aren't at the trial to give their testimony (Acts 24:18–19). Further, Felix, who has "a rather accurate knowledge of the Way" (Acts 24:22), knows the "Nazarenes" are a sect of Judaism that follows Jesus of Nazareth and isn't a great threat to him or the Roman Empire.