What does Acts 23:18 mean?
ESV: So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.”
NIV: So he took him to the commander. The centurion said, 'Paul, the prisoner, sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.'
NASB: So he took him and led him to the commander and *said, 'Paul the prisoner called me over to him and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.'
CSB: So he took him, brought him to the commander, and said, "The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, because he has something to tell you."
NLT: So the officer did, explaining, 'Paul, the prisoner, called me over and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.'
KJV: So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.
NKJV: So he took him and brought him to the commander and said, “Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to bring this young man to you. He has something to say to you.”
Verse Commentary:
Paul, as a Jew, was circumcised as an infant (Philippians 3:5), raised in Jerusalem, and trained by the famous Pharisee rabbi Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). He had so much passion for the Mosaic law that he voluntarily hunted Jesus-followers for the Sanhedrin (Acts 8:1–3; 9:1–2), voting against the Jesus-followers if they did not abandon their faith (Acts 26:10).

Once he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul's relationship with the Jewish leadership changed to the point that now the Sanhedrin is conspiring to assassinate him (Acts 23:12–15). In fact, Paul has a better relationship with the Roman military than his former colleagues. The tribune of Jerusalem has already rescued him from the Jews twice (Acts 21:31–32; 23:10) and is about to do so again. One of the centurions posted in Jerusalem had the presence of mind to keep Paul from being flogged (Acts 22:22–29) and another will protect him from being killed during a shipwreck (Acts 27:42–43).

So, when Paul's nephew hears of the Sanhedrin's murderous plot, Paul trusts the centurion will take the information to the tribune (Acts 23:12–17). The tribune will validate Paul's trust, sending him with an escort of two centurions, two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to the relative safety of the governor in Caesarea Maritima (Acts 23:23–24).
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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