Acts 16:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."

King James Bible
And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

Darby Bible Translation
and announce customs which it is not lawful for us to receive nor practise, being Romans.

World English Bible
and set forth customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans."

Young's Literal Translation
and they proclaim customs that are not lawful for us to receive nor to do, being Romans.'

Acts 16:21 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

And teach customs - Εθη, Religious opinions, and religious rites.

Which are not lawful for us to receive - The Romans were very jealous of their national worship. Servius, on the following lines of Virgil, has given us correct information on this point; and has confirmed what several other writers have advanced: -

Rex Evandrus ait: Non haec solemnia nobis

Vana superstitio, veterumque ignara deorum, Imposuit.

Aen. viii. v. 185, etc.

King Evander said: - It is not vain superstition, ignorant of the ancient worship of the gods, which has imposed these rites on us.

Duo dicit, says Servius: non ideo Herculem colimus; aut quia omnem religionem veram putamus; aut quia deos ignoramus antiquos. Cautum enim fuerat, et apud Athenienses, et apud Romanos; ne quis Novas introduceret Religiones: unde et Socrates damnatus est: et Chaldaei et Judaei unt urbe depulsi.

"He says two things: we do not worship Hercules because we believe every religion to be true; nor are we ignorant of the ancient gods. Great care was taken, both among the Athenians and Romans, that no one should introduce any new religion. It was on this account that Socrates was condemned, and on this account the Chaldeans and the Jews were banished from Rome."

Cicero, De Legibus, lib. ii. c. 8, says: Separatim nemo habessit deos; neve Novos; sed nec Advenas, nisi publice Adscitos, Privatim colunto. "No person shall have any separate gods, nor new ones; nor shall he privately worship any strange gods, unless they be publicly allowed." The whole chapter is curious. It was on such laws as these that the people of Philippi pleaded against the apostles. These men bring new gods, new worship, new rites; we are Romans, and the laws forbid us to worship any new or strange god, unless publicly allowed.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Acts 26:3 Especially because I know you to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: why I beseech you to hear me patiently...

Jeremiah 10:3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.

Library
Paul at Philippi
'And on the sabbath day we went forth without the gate, by a river side, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which were come together.' --ACTS xvi. 13 (R.V.). This is the first record of the preaching of the Gospel in Europe, and probably the first instance of it. The fact that the vision of the man of Macedonia was needed in order to draw the Apostle across the straits into Macedonia, and the great length at which the incidents at Philippi are
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The Great Question and the Plain Answer
'He brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved.'--ACTS xvi. 30, 31. The keeper of a Macedonian jail was not likely to be a very nervous or susceptible person. And so the extraordinary state of agitation and panic into which this rough jailer was cast needs some kind of explanation. There had been, as you will all remember, an earthquake of a strange kind, for it not only opened the prison doors, but shook
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Measures to Promote Revivals.
Text.--These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city and teach customs which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.--Acts xvi. 20, 21. "THESE men," here spoken of, were Paul and Silas, who went to Philippi to preach the Gospel, and very much disturbed the people of that city, because they supposed the preaching would interfere with their worldly gains. And so they arranged the preachers of the Gospel before the magistrates of the city, as culprits, and charged
Charles Grandison Finney—Lectures on Revivals of Religion

The Missionary on the Sea Shore.
"And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: There stood a man of Macedonia and prayed him saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us."--Acts 16:9. "Wei schaumt so feierlich zu unsern Fuessen." [65]F. de la Motte Fouque. transl., Jane Borthwick, 1858 Dark mighty Ocean, rolling to our feet! In thy low murmur many voices meet, The sound of distant lands brought strangely near To Fancy's ear. From shores unknown comes the sweet Sabbath bell, New languages the old glad tidings tell, We hear the
Jane Borthwick—Hymns from the Land of Luther

Cross References
Esther 3:8
Then Haman said to King Xerxes, "There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king's laws; it is not in the king's best interest to tolerate them.

Matthew 12:2
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."

Acts 16:12
From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.

Acts 16:20
They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar

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