Acts 25:19

ESV Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive.
NIV Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive.
NASB but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive.
CSB Instead they had some disagreements with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, a dead man Paul claimed to be alive.
NLT Instead, it was something about their religion and a dead man named Jesus, who Paul insists is alive.
KJV But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.

What does Acts 25:19 mean?

C. S. Lewis, in On the Reading of Old Books, explained how seemingly monumental differences over an issue in one culture would barely be noticed by those of a different culture. This was the case for Greek and Roman leaders when faced with Judaism and Christianity in the first century. The Roman Empire did not allow the practice of a religion it had not specifically sanctioned. Judaism was sanctioned, even though the religion was considered nearly atheistic since it had no images of its God. Until the Khobar Rebellion of AD 150, Christianity was thought to be a sect under Judaism—not much different from the Pharisees or the Essenes. The only identifying marker seemed to be that Christians claimed a man named Jesus rose from the dead.

This confusion has protected Paul. When the Jewish leadership of the synagogue wished to persecute him and his new church in Corinth, the proconsul Gallio responded, "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). When the Jews in Jerusalem tried to kill Paul, the tribune wrote to the governor, "I found that he was being accused about questions of their law, but charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment" (Acts 23:29).

Festus, the new governor, has the same problem. The Sanhedrin's reaction to Paul's belief that Jesus rose from the dead seems grossly out of proportion. It has nothing to do with their unfounded accusations that he desecrated the temple, started riots, or leads a cult (Acts 24:5–6). Festus now asks for help from King Agrippa II who is an expert in Jewish culture (Acts 26:3). What did Paul do wrong?
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