What does Acts 22:26 mean?
ESV: When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune and said to him, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.”
NIV: When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. 'What are you going to do?' he asked. 'This man is a Roman citizen.'
NASB: When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and told him, saying, 'What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman.'
CSB: When the centurion heard this, he went and reported to the commander, saying, "What are you going to do? For this man is a Roman citizen."
NLT: When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and asked, 'What are you doing? This man is a Roman citizen!'
KJV: When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.
NKJV: When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.”
Verse Commentary:
The tribune is only trying to do his job. With the governor away in Caesarea Maritima, it is his responsibility to keep the peace in Jerusalem. Historically, this has been very difficult. When he first hears of a mob attacking a man on the temple mount, he asks witnesses what is going on, but everyone gives a different answer (Acts 21:31–34). When the victim—Paul—asks to address the mob, the tribune agrees, hoping he will reveal the reason for the attack (Acts 21:39–40). But either the tribune doesn't understand the cultural background of Paul's defense, or he doesn't understand Aramaic. The crowd rages again, and the tribune is no closer to an answer (Acts 22:1–22).

So, the tribune resorts to the traditional Roman practice of flogging the prisoner senseless until he tells the truth. Unfortunately, Paul reveals he is a Roman citizen. The tribune has already violated Paul's rights by chaining his wrists and tying him down (Acts 21:33; 22:25). Beating him without a conviction from a public hearing would be even more illegal.

Paul has faced this issue before, but this time he is ready. When he and Silas were arrested in Philippi, either they didn't think quickly enough, or they didn't have time to announce their Roman citizenship before they were beaten. The next morning, however, they forced the magistrates of the city to meet them at the prison and give a formal apology (Acts 16:22–39).
Verse Context:
Acts 22:23–30 describes how the Roman army tribune continues to seek understanding. A mob of Jews on the temple mount want Paul dead (Acts 21:27–40). The officer let Paul speak, hoping to uncover the cause, but Paul only managed to agitate the crowd more (Acts 22:1–22). Now, the tribune tries the traditional Roman way of uncovering the truth: flogging. Unfortunately, he missed the part where Paul is a Roman citizen. Even the chains on Paul's wrists are illegal. The next morning, the tribune will try one last tactic: the Sanhedrin. It doesn't end well (Acts 23:1–10).
Chapter Summary:
In Acts 22, a young Roman military officer realizes he cannot control Jews who do not wish to be controlled. He has just rescued Paul from a crowd that largely doesn't know why they want to kill Paul. In hopes of gathering information, the tribune allows Paul to speak to the crowd. The crowd listens only briefly, then explodes again. The tribune tries flogging but is foiled by Paul's Roman citizenship. Finally, the tribune schedules a meeting with the Sanhedrin. It does not go well (Acts 23:1–10).
Chapter Context:
Paul came to Jerusalem to tell the church of his ministry's success with Gentiles. The leaders are more worried about a rumor that Paul no longer respects the Jewish law. Paul agrees to perform a very Jewish ritual, but in the process is falsely accused of bringing a Gentile into the temple. A mob assaults him, and the Roman tribune arrests him (Acts 21:17–36). The tribune tries to uncover the truth by letting Paul speak to the crowd, then almost flogging him (Acts 21:37—22). Next, he will bring Paul to the Sanhedrin, to no avail (Acts 23:1–10).
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 5/29/2024 2:07:22 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com