Acts 22:28
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then the commander said, "I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship." "But I was born a citizen," Paul replied.

New Living Translation
"I am, too," the commander muttered, "and it cost me plenty!" Paul answered, "But I am a citizen by birth!"

English Standard Version
The tribune answered, “I bought this citizenship for a large sum.” Paul said, “But I am a citizen by birth.”

Berean Study Bible
"I paid a high price for my citizenship," said the commander. "But I was born a citizen," Paul replied.

Berean Literal Bible
Then the commander answered, "I bought this citizenship with a great sum." But Paul was saying, "But I even was born so."

New American Standard Bible
The commander answered, "I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money." And Paul said, "But I was actually born a citizen."

King James Bible
And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The commander replied, "I bought this citizenship for a large amount of money."" But I was born a citizen," Paul said.

International Standard Version
Then the tribune replied, "I paid a lot of money for this citizenship of mine." Paul said, "But I was born a citizen."

NET Bible
The commanding officer answered, "I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money." "But I was even born a citizen," Paul replied.

New Heart English Bible
The commanding officer answered, "I bought my citizenship for a great price." Paul said, "But I was born a Roman."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And the Chiliarch answered and said, “I bought Roman citizenship with much money.” Paulus said to him, “But I was born with it.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The officer replied, "I paid a lot of money to become a Roman citizen." Paul replied, "But I was born a Roman citizen."

New American Standard 1977
And the commander answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.” And Paul said, “But I was actually born a citizen.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the tribunal answered, With a great sum I obtained this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

King James 2000 Bible
And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

American King James Version
And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

American Standard Version
And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this citizenship. And Paul said, But I am a Roman born.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the tribune answered: I obtained the being free of this city with a great sum. And Paul said: But I was born so.

Darby Bible Translation
And the chiliarch answered, I, for a great sum, bought this citizenship. And Paul said, But I was also [free] born.

English Revised Version
And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this citizenship. And Paul said, But I am a Roman born.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the chief captain answered, With a great sum I obtained this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

Weymouth New Testament
"I paid a large sum for my citizenship," said the Tribune. "But I was born free," said Paul.

World English Bible
The commanding officer answered, "I bought my citizenship for a great price." Paul said, "But I was born a Roman."

Young's Literal Translation
and the chief captain answered, 'I, with a great sum, did obtain this citizenship;' but Paul said, 'But I have been even born so.'
Study Bible
Paul the Roman Citizen
27The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes,” he answered. 28“I paid a high price” for my citizenship, said the commander. “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied. 29Then those who were about to interrogate Paul stepped back, and the commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put a Roman citizen in chains.…
Cross References
Acts 22:27
The commander went to Paul and asked, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" "Yes," he answered.

Acts 22:29
Then those who were about to interrogate Paul stepped back, and the commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put a Roman citizen in chains.

Ephesians 2:12
remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

Ephesians 2:19
Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of God's household,
Treasury of Scripture

And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

But. It is extremely probable that the inhabitants of Tarsus, born in that city, had the same rights and privileges as Roman citizens, in consequence of a grant or charter from Julius Caesar, from whom it was called Juliopolis. But if this were not the case, Paul's father, or some of his ancestors, might have been rewarded with the freedom of the city of Rome, for his fidelity and bravery in some military service, as Josephus says several of the Jews were; or his father might have obtained it by purchase, as in the instance of the chief captain.

(28) With a great sum obtained I this freedom.--Better, this citizenship, the word expressing, not the transition from bondage to freedom, but from the position of an alien to that of a citizen. Probably the translators used the word in the sense in which we still speak of the "freedom "of a city. The chiliarch was himself, apparently, an alien by birth, and, as was customary at the time, had obtained the citizenship by the payment of a large bribe. As the admission of citizens now rested with the Emperor, as holding the office of Censor, the money had probably been paid to Narcissus, or some other of Claudius' favourite freed-men who carried on a traffic of this kind.

I was free born.--The Greek is somewhat more emphatic: I am one even from birth. This implies that St. Paul's father or grandfather had received the citizenship; how, we cannot tell. Many of the Jews who were taken to Rome by Pompeius as slaves first obtained their freedom and became libertini, and afterwards were admitted on the register as citizens. (See Note on Acts 6:9; Acts 16:37.) The mention of kinsmen or friends at Rome (Romans 16:7; Romans 16:11), makes it probable, as has been said, that the Apostle's father may have been among them.

Verse 28. - Citizenship for freedom, A.V; am a Roman for was free, A.V. A great sum (πολλοῦ κεφαλαίου). The word is only found here in the New Testament in the sense of a "sum of money," but is so used in classical writers. Citizenship; πολιτεία, for "freedom of the city," in Xenophon, AElian, Polybius, Dion Cassius, etc., and 3Macc. 3:21. Dion Cassius (9 17) relates that Messaliua, the wife of the Emperor Claudius, used to sell the freedom of the city, and that at first she sold it (μεγάλων ξρημάτων) for a very high price, but that afterwards it became very cheap. In all probability Lysias had so purchased it, and in consequence took the name of Claudius (Renan, ' St. Paul,' p. 524). I am a Roman born. It is not known how St. Paul's family acquired the Roman citizenship. And the chief captain answered, with a great sum obtained I this freedom,.... For, it seems, he was not a Roman born, but very likely a Grecian, or Syrian, by his name Lysias; and as all things were now venal at Rome, the freedom of the city was to be bought with money, though a large sum was insisted on for it: this the chief captain said, as wondering that so mean a person, and who he understood was a Jew by birth, should be able to procure such a privilege, which cost him so much money:

and Paul said, but I was free born; being born at Tarsus; which, as Pliny says (l), was a free city, and which had its freedom given it by Mark Antony, and which was before the birth of Paul; and therefore his parents being of this city, and free, he was born so.

(l) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 27. 28. With a great sum obtained I this freedom—Roman citizenship was bought and sold in the reign of Claudius, we know, at a high price: at a subsequent date, for next to nothing. But to put in a false claim to this privilege was a capital crime.

I was free born—born to it, by purchase, or in reward of services, on the part of his father or some ancestor.22:22-30 The Jews listened to Paul's account of his conversion, but the mention of his being sent to the Gentiles, was so contrary to all their national prejudices, that they would hear no more. Their frantic conduct astonished the Roman officer, who supposed that Paul must have committed some great crime. Paul pleaded his privilege as a Roman citizen, by which he was exempted from all trials and punishments which might force him to confess himself guilty. The manner of his speaking plainly shows what holy security and serenity of mind he enjoyed. As Paul was a Jew, in low circumstances, the Roman officer questioned how he obtained so valuable a distinction; but the apostle told him he was free born. Let us value that freedom to which all the children of God are born; which no sum of money, however large, can purchase for those who remain unregenerate. This at once put a stop to his trouble. Thus many are kept from evil practices by the fear of man, who would not be held back from them by the fear of God. The apostle asks, simply, Is it lawful? He knew that the God whom he served would support him under all sufferings for his name's sake. But if it were not lawful, the apostle's religion directed him, if possible, to avoid it. He never shrunk from a cross which his Divine Master laid upon his onward road; and he never stept aside out of that road to take one up.
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