Acts 22:23-30

Acts 22:22-25-30 The Message (MSG)

The people in the crowd had listened attentively up to this point, but now they broke loose, shouting out, “Kill him! He’s an insect! Stomp on him!” They shook their fists. They filled the air with curses. That’s when the captain intervened and ordered Paul taken into the barracks. By now the captain was thoroughly exasperated. He decided to interrogate Paul under torture in order to get to the bottom of this, to find out what he had done that provoked this outraged violence. As they spread-eagled him with strips of leather, getting him ready for the whip, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is this legal: torturing a Roman citizen without a fair trial?” When the centurion heard that, he went directly to the captain. “Do you realize what you’ve done? This man is a Roman citizen!” The captain came back and took charge. “Is what I hear right? You’re a Roman citizen?” Paul said, “I certainly am.” The captain was impressed. “I paid a huge sum for my citizenship. How much did it cost you?” “Nothing,” said Paul. “It cost me nothing. I was free from the day of my birth.” That put a stop to the interrogation. And it put the fear of God into the captain. He had put a Roman citizen in chains and come within a whisker of putting him under torture! The next day, determined to get to the root of the trouble and know for sure what was behind the Jewish accusation, the captain released Paul and ordered a meeting of the high priests and the High Council to see what they could make of it. Paul was led in and took his place before them.