Acts 24:8

ESV By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.”
NIV By examining him yourself you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges we are bringing against him.'
NASB By interrogating him yourself concerning all these matters, you will be able to ascertain the things of which we are accusing him.'
NLT You can find out the truth of our accusations by examining him yourself.'
KJV Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.

What does Acts 24:8 mean?

The Sanhedrin's lawyer, Tertullus, finishes his case. According to this series of accusations, Paul is a plague, a rioter, a cult leader, and a defiler of religious structures (Acts 24:5–6). In short, he is a danger to the Roman Empire.

It is true that Paul's presence and message has caused public unrest (Acts 13:44–52; 14:1–2, 19–20; 17:1–9, 13–14; 18:12–17), but only one occasion occurred in the jurisdiction of Governor Felix who is hearing this testimony. About a week prior, Paul was falsely accused of bringing a Gentile into the temple, a capital offense against the Roman law. A mob attacked him and would have beat him to death had Lysias, the Roman army tribune, not rescued him (Acts 21:27–32). Lysias spent three days investigating to try to determine what crime Paul had committed. The Sanhedrin foiled his inquiry by engaging in a plot to ambush Lysias's soldiers and assassinate Paul (Acts 23:12–15).

"By examining him yourself" is vague; we don't know if Tertullus is referring to Paul or Lysias. Paul will give his testimony (Acts 24:10–21), and Felix will quickly determine the Sanhedrin's accusations are baseless. He will wait to give his decision until Lysias comes, but apparently the tribune never shows (Acts 24:22). During Lysias's investigation, he bound Paul's hands and nearly had him flogged, not knowing Paul was a Roman citizen (Acts 21:33; 22:22–29). It's possible Lysias skips the trial in fear that he'll be charged with that error.

Less-reliable sources add a section that some versions include in the last part of verse 6, the whole of verse 7, and the first part of verse 8. The entire missing part is: "and we would have judged him according to our law. But the chief captain Lysias came and with great violence took him out of our hands, commanding his accusers to come before you." The text infers that Lysias is wasting Felix's time with an internal religious matter. The Sanhedrin may not know that Lysias—and now Felix—knows the Sanhedrin tried to murder Paul, a Roman citizen (Acts 23:26–30).
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