What does Acts 24:4 mean?
ESV: But, to detain you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly.
NIV: But in order not to weary you further, I would request that you be kind enough to hear us briefly.
NASB: But, that I may not weary you further, I beg you to grant us a brief hearing, by your kindness.
CSB: But, so that I will not burden you any further, I request that you would be kind enough to give us a brief hearing.
NLT: But I don’t want to bore you, so please give me your attention for only a moment.
KJV: Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
NKJV: Nevertheless, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your courtesy, a few words from us.
Verse Commentary:
The Sanhedrin is before Governor Marcus Antonius Felix, presenting their accusations against Paul. Wisely, they have hired the lawyer Tertullus as their spokesman. Tertullus knows the customary method of presenting evidence in a Roman court: first, flatter the judge. Next, promise the testimony will be short, whether it actually is or not.

Tertullus's flattery of Felix is an odd mixture of contextualization and sincerity. Felix did attain "much peace" (Acts 24:2) during his term, but by violence and brutality. Ironically, the Sanhedrin followed his example by attempting to assassinate Paul (Acts 23:12–15).

If Acts 24:5–8 is the entirety of Tertullus's speech, it is, indeed, brief. He claims Paul is a public menace and a cult leader who tried to commit a capital offense against Roman law by defiling a religious structure. Tertullus should have been more thorough, however. Despite the affirmations of the high priest and some of the elders that these charges are true (Acts 24:9), he provides no evidence. No one there witnessed Paul's supposed menace and he didn't try to defile the temple. Paul asserts their problem isn't a physical threat, but rather his belief in the resurrection of the dead (Acts 24:21).

Felix agrees but, to placate the Jewish leaders, keeps him in custody until his term is over, two years later (Acts 24:27).
Verse Context:
Acts 24:1–9 describes an attempt by members of the Sanhedrin to convince Governor Felix to convict Paul of capital offenses. They accuse Paul of inciting mayhem among Jews around the empire and leading a cult. Most damning, they accuse him of desecrating a religious structure. Their words sound condemning until Paul speaks and points out the charges are unfounded and unwitnessed. The truth is these accusers are just angry he believes in the resurrection of the dead.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 24 covers Paul's trial before Governor Felix. The Sanhedrin claim he is a menace and a cult leader who tried to desecrate the temple. Paul explains the real conflict: he believes in the resurrection of the dead and the Sadducees don't. Felix knows the charges are spurious but doesn't want to upset Jewish leaders. He holds Paul under house arrest, hoping Paul will offer him money and make the inconvenience worth his while.
Chapter Context:
Acts 24 is a transition period for Paul from freedom to captivity. For several years, he has traveled around Judea, Syria, modern-day Turkey, Macedonia, and Greece, spreading the good news about Jesus' offer of salvation. Through a series of misunderstandings and outright lies, he is now in custody in Caesarea Maritima. He will remain there for two years before demanding his case be sent to Caesar (Acts 25:11). Once he arrives in Rome, he will spend another two years in custody (Acts 28:30). Despite his confinement, his message will reach a king and the household of Nero.
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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