Acts 25:5

ESV “So,” said he, “let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.”
NIV Let some of your leaders come with me, and if the man has done anything wrong, they can press charges against him there.'
NASB Therefore,' he *said, 'have the influential men among you go there with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, have them bring charges against him.'
CSB "Therefore," he said, "let those of you who have authority go down with me and accuse him, if he has done anything wrong."
NLT So he said, 'Those of you in authority can return with me. If Paul has done anything wrong, you can make your accusations.'
KJV Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.

What does Acts 25:5 mean?

Two years prior, the Sanhedrin had presented evidence before then-governor Felix explaining that Paul was a menace to society. They claimed that Paul instigated riots all over the Roman Empire, he desecrated a religious structure, and he led a religious cult that was not authorized by the Roman government (Acts 24:5–6). Paul's defense could be summarized by the responses, "No, I didn't," and, "They have no witnesses" (Acts 24:10–21).

Felix realized Paul was right. The Sanhedrin didn't have a case. But he also realized the Sanhedrin was powerful and could cause a lot of problems. Normally, he might send in the Sicarii—political assassins—to kill a few to show them who's boss. Yet, the Sanhedrin's influence on the Jews was too strong. So, Felix refrained from convicting Paul, saying he would wait for the testimony of Lysias, the Roman tribune who had initially arrested Paul and sent him to Felix's custody (Acts 24:22). He didn't know that the tribune was never going to come. Presumably the tribune did not come because he had bound the hands of Paul and almost had him flogged, which were serious crimes against a Roman citizen (Acts 21:33; 22:23–29). But Felix didn't release Paul, either (Acts 24:23–27).

Two years later, Felix has been replaced by Festus. Festus is much more honorable than Felix and eager to start a good relationship with the Jewish leaders. The Sanhedrin asks him to bring Paul to trial in Jerusalem, planning to assassinate him along the way. Festus counters by inviting their representatives to bring their evidence to Caesarea first (Acts 25:1–4). Festus doesn't ask Lysias as he's probably gone. The position of tribune is typically only for a year and at least two years have passed (Acts 24:27).
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