The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Acts of the Apostles
Chapter 23
Paul fastened his eyes on the Council, and said, Brethren, all my life I have behaved myself with full loyalty of conscience towards God.
At this, the high priest Ananias bade those who were standing near smite him on the mouth.
Then Paul said to him, It is God that will smite thee, for the whitened wall thou art; thou art sitting there to judge me according to the law, and wilt thou break the law by ordering them to smite me?
What, said the bystanders, wouldst thou insult God’s high priest?
And Paul said, Brethren, I could not tell that it was the high priest; to be sure, it is written, Thou shalt not speak ill of him who rules thy people.
And now, finding that there were two factions among them, one of the Sadducees and the other of the Pharisees, Paul cried out in the Council, Brethren, I am a Pharisee, and my fathers were Pharisees before me. And I am standing on my trial because I am one who hopes for the resurrection of the dead.
When he said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the assembly was in two minds.
The Sadducees will have it that there is no resurrection, that there are no angels or spirits, whereas the Pharisees believe in both.
So that a great clamour followed; and some of the Pharisees came forward to protest; We cannot find any fault in this man, they said. Perhaps he has had a message from a spirit, or an angel.
Then dissension rose high; and the captain, who was afraid that they would tear Paul in pieces, ordered his troops to come down and rescue Paul from their midst, and bring him safe to the soldiers’ quarters.

On the next night, the Lord came to his side, and told him, Do not lose heart; thou hast done with bearing me witness in Jerusalem, and now thou must carry the same witness to Rome.
When day came, the Jews held a conclave, and bound themselves under a solemn curse that they would not eat or drink until they had killed Paul;
more than forty of them joined in this conspiracy.
So they went to the chief priests and elders, and told them, We have bound ourselves under a solemn curse not to take food until we have killed Paul.
Your part, then, is to signify to the captain your wish and the Council’s, that he would bring him down before you, as if you meant to examine his cause more precisely; and we are ready to make away with him before he reaches you.
Paul’s sister had a son who heard of this ambush being laid; and he went to the soldiers’ quarters and gave news of it to Paul.
Whereupon Paul had one of the centurions brought to him, and said, Take this young man to the captain; he has news to give him.
So he bade him follow, and took him to the captain; The prisoner, Paul, he said, had me summoned and asked me to take this young man into thy presence; he has a message for thee.
And the captain, taking him by the hand and drawing him aside, asked, What is the news thou bringest me?
The Jews, he said, have formed this design; they will ask thee to bring Paul down before the Council to-morrow, as if they meant to examine his cause more precisely.
Do not listen to them; some of them will be lying in ambush for him, more than forty in number. They have sworn not to eat or drink until they have made away with him; even now they are in readiness, only waiting for thy consent.

Thereupon the captain dismissed the young man, warning him not to let anyone know that he had revealed this secret to him.
Then he summoned two of the centurions, and told them, You are to have two hundred men from the cohort ready to march to Caesarea, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen; they will set out at the third hour of the night.
And you must provide beasts, so that they can mount Paul and take him safely to the governor, Felix.
(He was afraid that the Jews might seize on Paul and kill him; and that he himself might be falsely accused of taking a bribe from them.) He also wrote a letter, with these contents:
Claudius Lysias, to his excellency Felix, the governor, sends greeting.
Here is a man whom the Jews seized, and set about killing him; but I came up with my men and rescued him, learning that he was a Roman citizen.
Since I had a mind to discover what complaint it was they had against him, I took him down into the presence of their Council;
but I found that the accusation was concerned with disputes about their own law, and that he was charged with nothing that deserved death or imprisonment.
And now, since I have information of a plot which they have laid against him, I am sending him to thee, telling his accusers at the same time that they must plead their cause before thee. Farewell.

The soldiers, obeying their orders, took Paul with them, and conducted him, travelling all night, to Antipatris.
Next day they left the horsemen to accompany him, and went back to their quarters.
The horsemen, upon reaching Caesarea, delivered the letter to the governor, and brought Paul, too, into his presence.
So the governor read the letter, asked from what province he came, and was told, From Cilicia;
then he said, I will give thee a hearing when thy accusers, too, are present. And he gave orders that he should be kept safe in Herod’s palace.