What does Acts 23:15 mean?
ESV: Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
NIV: Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.'
NASB: Now therefore, you and the Council notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to investigate his case more thoroughly; and as for us, we are ready to kill him before he comes near the place.'
CSB: So now you, along with the Sanhedrin, make a request to the commander that he bring him down to you as if you were going to investigate his case more thoroughly. But, before he gets near, we are ready to kill him."
NLT: So you and the high council should ask the commander to bring Paul back to the council again. Pretend you want to examine his case more fully. We will kill him on the way.'
KJV: Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would inquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.
NKJV: Now you, therefore, together with the council, suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him; but we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
Verse Commentary:
Forty Jews have vowed to kill Paul as soon as possible and are asking the elders and chief priests for help. The text isn't clear who these Jews are. The term "the Jews" typically means religious leaders, but these assassins are going to the religious leaders for help (Acts 23:12–14). They may be Jews from the province of Asia in modern-day Turkey who accused Paul of bringing a Gentile into the temple (Acts 21:27).

After these Jews accused Paul of desecrating the temple, a mob formed and nearly killed him. The Roman tribune heard about the riot and rescued Paul by arresting him. He asked the mob why they were attacking Paul, but most didn't know (Acts 21:27–36). Attempting to find out more, he allowed Paul to speak to the crowd, but that didn't help. He then tried to scourge the information out of Paul, but Paul's Roman citizenship protected him from torture before a proper conviction (Acts 22:1–29).

In a final effort, the tribune took Paul to the Sanhedrin to see if they could explain. Paul had his own agenda which included talking to the Sanhedrin about salvation through Jesus, but with only a few sentences he wound up insulting the high priest and turning the Pharisees and Sadducees against each other (Acts 23:1–10).

If the Sanhedrin promised to behave itself, it's very likely the tribune would welcome another chance to get these things straightened out. The assassins are also wise in implicating the Sanhedrin: they can devise a charge against Paul that justifies the act. This will prevent them from losing fellowship in the temple.

They don't know that Paul's nephew is listening. He reports the plot to Paul who sends him to the tribune. The tribune realizes there's nothing else he can do except keep Paul safe. He calls on two centurions to assemble a military escort to take Paul to the governor in Caesarea Maritima (Acts 23:16–24).
Verse Context:
Acts 23:12–22 shows Paul just how unwelcoming Jerusalem can be. False accusations and old religious-political differences have conspired to keep him incarcerated in the Roman barracks. Forty men gain the approval of the Sanhedrin to murder Paul. But Paul's nephew hears of their plan and tells the Roman tribune. The tribune swears him to secrecy as he makes plans for Paul to go to the governor: a man with higher legal authority and a larger army.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 23 continues the tribune's attempt to discover why a mob of Jews suddenly turned violent and attacked Paul (Acts 21:27–33). He takes Paul to the Sanhedrin to see if they understand what his crime is. Paul barely begins his story when he is slapped for impudence. He disrespects the high priest and starts a fight between the Pharisees and Sadducees. The next day, a group of forty Jews invite the Sanhedrin to help them murder Paul. Paul's nephew reports the plot to the tribune who gives up and sends Paul to the governor. The governor awaits Paul's accusers for trial.
Chapter Context:
Jews from near Ephesus accused Paul of bringing a Gentile into the temple and incited a crowd to attack him. The tribune saved Paul but couldn't uncover the reason for the violence; most of the mob didn't know, and Paul was a Roman citizen, so the tribune couldn't beat the truth out of him (Acts 21—22). When the Sanhedrin would rather murder Paul than talk to him, the tribune sends Paul to the governor. The governor holds Paul without charges for so long he invokes his right to a trial before Caesar. The governor agrees, and Paul finally gets to Rome (Acts 24—28).
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.
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