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The Acts of the Apostles

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Chapter 23

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)


      Paul beheld the council and said: men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. The high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul to him: God smite thee, thou painted wall. Sittest thou and judgest me after the law? and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood by, said: revilest thou Gods high Priest? Then said Paul: I wist not brethren, that he was the high priest. For it is written, thou shalt not curse the ruler of thy people.
      When Paul perceived that the one part were Saduces, and the other Pharises: he cried out in the council. Men and brethren, I am a Pharise, the son of a Pharisaye. Of the hope and resurrection from death, I am Judged. And when he had so said, there arose a debate between the Pharises and the Saduces, and the multitude was divided. For the Saduces say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit. But the Pharises grant both. And there arose a great cry, and the Scribes which were of the Pharises part, arose and strove saying: we find none evil in this man. Though a spirit or an angel hath appeared to him, let us not strive against God.
      And when there arose great debate, the captain fearing lest Paul should have been plucked asunder of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him from among them and to bring him into the castle. The night following, God stood by him and said: Be of good cheer Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness at Rome. When day was come, certain of the Jewes gathered themselves together, and made a vow, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. They were about forty which had made this *conspiration. And they came to the chief Priest and elders, and said: we have bound ourselves with a vow, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul. Now therefore give ye knowledge to the uppercaptain and to the council, that he bring him forth unto us tomorrow, as though we would know something more perfectly of him. But we (or ever he come near) are ready in the mean season to kill him.
      When Pauls sisters son heard of their laying wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul. And Paul called one of the under captains unto him, and said: bring this young man unto the high Captain: for he hath a certain thing to show him. And he took him, and said: Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, which hath a certain matter to show thee.
      The high captain took him by the hand, and went apart with him out of the way: and asked him: what hast thou to say unto me? And he said: the Jewes are determined to desire thee that thou wouldest bring forth Paul tomorrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly. But follow not their minds: for there lie in wait for him of them, more than forty men, which have bound themselves with a vow, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now are they ready, and look for thy promise.
      The uppercaptain let the young man depart and charged him: see thou tell it out to no man that thou hast showed these things to me. And he called unto him two under Captains, saying: make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Cesarea and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night. And deliver them beasts that they may put Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the high *debite, and wrote a letter in this manner.
      Claudius Lisias unto the most mighty ruler Felix, sendeth greetings. This man was taken of the Jewes, and should have been killed of them. Then came I with soldiers, and rescued him, and perceived that he was a Roman. And when I would have known the cause, wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council. There perceived I that he was accused of questions of their law: but was not guilty of any thing worthy of death or of bonds. Afterward when it was showed me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent him straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers, if they had ought against him, to tell it unto thee: farewell. Then the soldiers as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatras. On the morrow they left horsemen to go with him, and returned unto the castle. Which when they came to Cesarea, they delivered the epistle to the *debite, and presented Paul before him. When the *debits had read the letter, he asked of what country he was. And when he understood that he was of Cicill. I will hear thee (said he) when thine accusers are come also: and commanded him to be kept in Herods palace.

*conspiration (conspiracy) *debite (deputy; deputies )

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