What does Acts 28:17 mean?
ESV: After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
NIV: Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: 'My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.
NASB: After three days Paul called together those who were the leading men of the Jews, and when they came together, he began saying to them, 'Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was handed over to the Romans as a prisoner from Jerusalem.
CSB: After three days he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had gathered he said to them, "Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
NLT: Three days after Paul’s arrival, he called together the local Jewish leaders. He said to them, 'Brothers, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Roman government, even though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors.
KJV: And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
Verse Commentary:
Several years before Paul reached Rome, he wrote to the church there (Romans 15:24–28). He has now been in the city for three days, under house arrest while awaiting his trial before Caesar (Acts 25:6–12). Instead of church members, some of whom he's already seen (Acts 28:14–16), he invites the Jewish leaders. He wants to get ahead of any rumors they may have heard about him.

Two years prior, in Jerusalem, he was falsely accused of several crimes against the Mosaic and Roman laws. The claim that Paul encouraged Jews not to circumcise their sons is patently false; he only stipulated that for Gentile Jesus-followers (Acts 15:1–5; 21:20–21). Neither did he bring a Gentile into the temple, which would be desecration of a religious structure and against the Roman law (Acts 21:27–29). Formal charges included that he started riots among the Jews, something only true if it includes being falsely accused and nearly beaten to death (Acts 21:30–31; 24:5). The charge that he leads a sect of the Nazarenes is true, but the Romans won't consider Christianity and Judaism two different religions until after the Bar Kokhba Rebellion of AD 132 (Acts 24:5).

The Jews in Rome know the Jews from Jerusalem do not approve of Christianity, but they don't know why. Fortunately, they haven't heard anything about these specific charges against Paul. They agree to meet again to hear Paul's message; some will agree that Jesus of Nazareth is their Messiah while others won't. Paul, who desperately wants all Jews to come to Christ (Romans 9:1–5), considers this a rejection and decides to concentrate on the Gentiles (Acts 28:21–28).

Rome had a significant Jewish population at this time. In the first century BC, the Roman general Pompey captured some Jews, enslaved them, and took them to Rome. The Jewish captives followed their religion so strictly, including their diet and observance of the Sabbath, that they were useless as slaves. So, Pompey released them. Some of these returned to Jerusalem and established the synagogue of the Freedmen (Acts 6:9). Others stayed in Rome. In AD 49, the emperor drove the Jews out, which is how Paul met Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:2). Later, the Jews were allowed to return; Priscilla and Aquila were already home and hosting a church by the time Paul wrote his letter about three years before (Romans 16:3).
Verse Context:
In Acts 28:17–29 Paul finally receives his heart's desire: to witness to the Jews in Rome. Rome is a strategic city and if the Jews there accept Jesus as their Messiah, they will legitimize Jesus-worship to the other Jews in the Empire. As in every city Paul visits, however, some accept Jesus and others don't. Paul becomes frustrated and redoubles his efforts to reach the Gentiles. He spends two years under house arrest but with the freedom to write and to speak with whomever chooses to come through his door.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 28 records Paul's three-month stay on the island of Malta and two-year house arrest in Rome. On Malta, God empowers Paul to perform healing miracles which endear him to the locals. Once he reaches the shores of Italy, many other believers accompany him on his last leg to Rome. In Rome, he finds the Jews just as accepting of Jesus as elsewhere; some believe, but many don't. Paul reaffirms his mission to the Gentiles and spends his time preaching while under house arrest.
Chapter Context:
Acts 28 is the end of Luke's story of the witness of Jesus' story (Acts 1:8). After his wrongful imprisonment in Caesarea Maritima, Paul appealed his case to Caesar (Acts 25:1–12). He, Aristarchus, and Luke survived a raging winter storm before finally reaching Rome (Acts 27). Again under house arrest, Paul is able to share Jesus' offer of forgiveness with any who wish to visit. While there, he writes the letters Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. After two years, Paul is released; tradition says he takes one more evangelistic tour before being arrested and eventually martyred around AD 67.
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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