Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Acts 25:16

    Acts 25:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have license to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    To whom I answered, that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man, before that the accused have the accusers face to face, and have had opportunity to make his defense concerning the matter laid against him.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    To whom I gave answer that it is not the Roman way to give a man up, till he has been face to face with those who are attacking him, and has had a chance to give an answer to the statements made against him.

    Webster's Revision

    To whom I answered, that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man, before that the accused have the accusers face to face, and have had opportunity to make his defense concerning the matter laid against him.

    World English Bible

    To whom I answered that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man to destruction, before the accused has met the accusers face to face, and has had opportunity to make his defense concerning the matter laid against him.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    To whom I answered, that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man, before that the accused have the accusers face to face, and have had opportunity to make his defence concerning the matter laid against him.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 25:16

    It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die - Χαριζεσθαι τινα ανθρωπον, To Make a Present of any man; gratuitously to give up the life of any man, through favor or caprice. Here is a reference to the subject discussed on Acts 25:11.

    Before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, etc. - For this righteous procedure the Roman laws were celebrated over the civilized world. Appian, in his Hist. Roman., says: ου πατριον σφισιν ακριτους καταδικαζεσθαι. It is not their custom to condemn men before they have been heard. And Philo De Praesid. Rom., says: τοτε γαρ κοινους ἑαυτους παρεχοντες δικαϚας εξ ισου, και των κατηγορων και απολογουμενων ακουομενοι, μηδενος ακριτου προκαταγινωσκειν αξιουντες, εβραβευον ουτε προς εχθραν, ουτε προς χαριν, αλλα προς την φυσιν της αληθειας, τα δοξαντα ειναι δικαια. "For then, by giving sentence in common, and hearing impartially both plaintiff and defendant, not thinking it right to condemn any person unheard, they decided as appeared to them to be just; without either enmity or favor, but according to the merits of the case." See Bp. Pearce. England can boast such laws, not only in her statute books, but in constant operation in all her courts of justice. Even the king himself, were he so inclined, could not imprison nor punish a man without the regular procedure of the law; and twelve honest men, before whom the evidence has been adduced, the case argued, and the law laid down and explained, are ultimately to judge whether the man be guilty or not guilty. Here, in this favored country, are no arbitrary imprisonments - no Bastiles - no lettres de cachet. Lex facit Regem: the law makes the king, says Bracton, and the king is the grand executor and guardian of the laws - laws, in the eyes of which the character, property, and life of every subject are sacred.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 25:16

    It is not the manner ... - He here states the reasons which he gave the Jews for not delivering Paul into their hands. In Acts 25:4-5, we have an account of the fact that he would not accede to the requests of the Jews; and he here states that the reason of his refusal was that it was contrary to the Roman law. Appian, in his Roman History, says, "It is not their custom to condemn men before they are heard." Philo (DePraesi. Rom.) says the same thing. In Tacitus (History, ii.) it is said, "A defendant is not to be prohibited from adducing all things by which his innocence may be established." It was for this that the equity of the Roman jurisprudence was celebrated throughout the world. We may remark that it is a subject of sincere gratitude to the God of our nation that this privilege is enjoyed in the highest perfection in this land. It is a right which every man has: to be heard; to know the charges against him; to be confronted with the witnesses; to make his defense; and to be tried by the laws, and not by the passions and caprices of people. In this respect our jurisprudence surpasses all that Rome ever enjoyed, and is not inferior to that of the most favored nation of the earth.

    To deliver - To give him up as a favor χαρίζεσθαι charizesthai to popular clamor and caprice. Yet our Saviour, in violation of the Roman laws, was thus given up by Pilate, Matthew 27:18-25.

    Have the accusers face to face - That he may know who they are and hear their accusations. Nothing contributes more to justice than this. Tyrants permit people to be accused without knowing who the accusers are, and without an opportunity of meeting the charges. It is one great principle of modern jurisprudence that the accused may know the accusers, and be permitted to confront the witnesses, and to adduce all the testimony possible in his own defense.

    And have licence - Greek: "place of apology" - may have the liberty of defending himself.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 25:16

    25:16 It is not the custom of the Romans - How excellent a rule, to condemn no one unheard! A rule, which as it is common to all nations, (courts of inquisition only excepted,) so it ought to direct our proceedings in all affairs, not only in public, but private life.