What does Acts 25:5 mean?
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.
NKJV: “Therefore,” he said, “let those who have authority among you go down with me and accuse this man, to see if there is any fault in him.”
Verse Commentary:
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Two years later, Felix has been replaced by Festus.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).
Verse Context:
Acts 25:1–5 describes the new governor, Festus, meeting the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. They immediately present the one thing Festus can do to earn their good graces: bring Paul to Jerusalem for trial. Festus doesn't know it's a trap. He does know Paul is a Roman citizen and has the right to choose the place of his trial. For good reason, Paul does not want to go to Jerusalem. Festus invites the leaders to the capital, Caesarea Maritima, to present their case.
Chapter Summary:
In Acts 25, the new governor, Festus, must clean up Felix's mess. He tries to ingratiate himself with the Sanhedrin but when they ask him to bring Paul to Jerusalem for trial, he refuses. The Sanhedrin agrees to come to Caesarea Maritima, instead, to present their accusations. Festus quickly realizes they don't have a case. Yet when he hesitates to dismiss the charges, Paul appeals the case to a higher court. Festus then invites King Agrippa II, the king's sister Bernice, and the city leaders to hear Paul and determine how to justify Paul's presence before Caesar.
Chapter Context:
When Felix is called back to Rome to answer for his cruelty, he leaves a bit of a mess. Paul is still under house arrest without charges (Acts 24). When the new governor Festus refuses to exonerate him, Paul appeals to a higher court. Paul is a Roman citizen, so Festus must send him. Yet he still has no formal charges. After inviting King Agrippa II and the city leaders to hear Paul's testimony, they realize Paul has done nothing wrong and should have been released. Paul and Luke survive a harrowing sea voyage but finally arrive at Rome (Acts 27—29).
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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