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Acts 25:11

    Acts 25:11 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    If then I am a wrong-doer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die; but if none of those things is true whereof these accuse me, no man can give me up unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    If, then, I am a wrongdoer and there is a cause of death in me, I am ready for death: if it is not as they say against me, no man may give me up to them. Let my cause come before Caesar.

    Webster's Revision

    If then I am a wrong-doer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die; but if none of those things is true whereof these accuse me, no man can give me up unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

    World English Bible

    For if I have done wrong, and have committed anything worthy of death, I don't refuse to die; but if none of those things is true that they accuse me of, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar!"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    If then I am a wrong-doer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if none of those things is true, whereof these accuse me, no man can give me up unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 25:11

    For if I be an offender - If it can be proved that I have broken the laws, so as to expose me to capital punishment, I do not wish to save my life by subterfuges; I am before the only competent tribunal; here my business should be ultimately decided.

    No man may deliver me unto them - The words of the apostle are very strong and appropriate. The Jews asked as a favor, χαριν, from Festus, that he would send Paul to Jerusalem, Acts 25:3. Festus, willing to do the Jews χαριν, this favor, asked Paul if he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged, Acts 25:9. Paul says, I have done nothing amiss, either against the Jews or against Caesar; therefore no man με δυναται αυτοις χαρισασθαι, can make a Present of me to them; that is, favor them so far as to put my life into their hands, and thus gratify them by my death. Festus, in his address to Agrippa, Acts 25:16, admits this, and uses the same form of speech: It is not the custom of the Romans, χαριζεσθαι, gratuitously to give up any one, etc. Much of the beauty of this passage is lost by not attending to the original words. See on Acts 25:16 (note).

    I appeal unto Caesar - A freeman of Rome, who had been tried for a crime, and sentence passed on him, had a right to appeal to the emperor, if he conceived the sentence to be unjust; but, even before the sentence was pronounced, he had the privilege of an appeal, in criminal cases, if he conceived that the judge was doing any thing contrary to the laws. Ante sententiam appellari potest in criminali negotio, si judex contra leges hoc faciat. - Grotius.

    An appeal to the emperor was highly respected. The Julian law condemned those magistrates, and others having authority, as violaters of the public peace, who had put to death, tortured, scourged, imprisoned, or condemned any Roman citizen who had appealed to Caesar. Lege Julia de vi publica damnatur, qui aliqua potestate praeditus, Civem Romanum ad Imperatorem appellantem necarit, necarive jusserit, torserit, verberauerit, condemnaverit, in publica vincula duci jusserit. Pauli Recept. Sent. lib. v. t. 26.

    This law was so very sacred and imperative, that, in the persecution under Trajan, Pliny would not attempt to put to death Roman citizens who were proved to have turned Christians; hence, in his letter to Trajan, lib. x. Ephesians 97, he says, Fuerunt alii similis amentiae, quos, quia cives Romani erant, annotavi in urbem remittendos. 'There were others guilty of similar folly, whom, finding them to be Roman citizens, I have determined to send to the city." Very likely these had appealed to Caesar.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 25:11

    For if I be an offender - If I have injured the Jews so as to deserve death. If it can be proved that I have done injury to anyone.

    I refuse not to die - I have no wish to escape justice. I do not wish to evade the laws, or to take advantage of any circumstances to screen me from just punishment. Paul's whole course showed that this was the noble spirit which actuated him. No true Christian wishes to escape from the laws. He will honor them, and not seek to evade them. But, like other people, he has rights; and he may and should insist that justice should be done.

    No man may deliver me unto them - No man shall be allowed to do it. This bold and confident declaration Paul could make, because he knew what the law required, and he knew that Festus would not dare to deliver him up contrary to the law. Boldness is not incompatible with Christianity; and innocence, when its rights are invaded, is always bold. Jesus firmly asserted his rights when on trial John 18:23, and no man is under obligation to submit to be trampled on by an unjust tribunal in violation of the laws.

    I appeal unto Caesar - I appeal to the man emperor, and carry my cause directly before him. By the Valerian, Porcian, and Sempronian laws, it had been enacted that if any magistrate should be about to beat, or to put to death any Roman citizen, the accused could appeal to the Roman people, and this appeal carried the cause to Rome. The law was so far changed under the emperors that the cause should be carried before the emperor instead of the people. Every citizen had the right of this appeal; and when it was made, the accused was sent to Rome for trial. Thus, Pliny Ephesians 10, 97 says that those Christians who were accused, and who, being Roman citizens, appealed to Caesar, he sent to Rome to be tried. The reason why Paul made this appeal was that he saw that justice would not be done him by the Roman governor. He had been tried by Felix, and justice had been denied him, and he was detained a prisoner in violation of law, to gratify the Jews; he had now been tried by Festus, and saw that he was pursuing the same course; and he resolved, therefore, to assert his rights, and remove the cause far from Jerusalem, and from the prejudiced people in that city, at once to Rome. It was in this mysterious way that Paul's long-cherished desire to see the Roman church, and to preach the gospel there, was to be gratified. Compare notes on Romans 1:9-11. For this he had prayed long Romans 1:10; Romans 15:23-24, and now at length this purpose was to be fulfilled. God answers prayer, but it is often in a way which we little anticipate. He so orders the train of events; he so places us amidst a pressure of circumstances, that the desire is granted in a way Which we could never have anticipated, but which shows in the best manner that he is a hearer of prayer.