|Book||Acts of the Apostles|
|Christian Bible part||New Testament|
|Order in the Christian part||5|
Acts 23 is the twenty-third chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the period of Paul's imprisonment in Jerusalem then in Caesarea. The book containing this chapter is anonymous but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke.
The original text was written in Koine Greek and is divided into 35 verses.
Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:
The events in this chapter took place in Jerusalem, Antipatris and Caesarea.
This part continues the record of Paul's trial before the Sanhedrin from previous chapter. The tribune ordered the Sanhedrin to meet (22:30) in an advisory capacity to help him 'determine whether or not Paul had a case to answer in Jewish law'.
After the trial, Paul received 'private reassurance' that things happening to him 'are part of God's plan' (verse 11) and the first indication that "his 'witness' in Rome will not be as missionary but as prisoner". When 'the Jews' (the term used by Luke for 'those who are opposed to Paul') decide to assassinate Paul (verses 12–15), and Paul's nephew (verse 16) relays this information to Paul (and Luke), Paul receives 'a high-quality escort' to Caesarea (verses 23–24).
For years Paul has the ambition to preach the gospel in Rome, the great capital of the empire (Romans 1:13; Romans 15:23), and the comforting word of Jesus ("Be of good cheer") reflects what Jesus had 'promised and foretold' in John 16:33 ("In the world ye shall have tribulation, but in me ye shall have peace").
The necessity and extent of the military escort for Paul's transfer from Jerusalem to Caesarea (verses 23–24) indicate the danger on the roads at this period, which is corroborated by the historian Flavius Josephus (Josephus. Antiquities. 20.160-6, 185–8; Jewish War. 2.253-65). The tribune, Claudius Lysias, 'wrote a letter' (verse 25), telling 'the story in a way more flattering to himself' (verse 27), but 'otherwise repeats for the governor's benefit' what the readers had known.
Caesarea is located about 110 kilometer from Jerusalem by road, and Antipatris (verse 31) is about half-way, 'at the point where the hill-country road intersects with the road running north from Lydda along the coastal plain'. Paul was then detained in Herod's praetorium (verse 35), where some scholars have suggested is the place the Epistle to the Philippians could have been written (cf. Philippians 1:13), as an alternative opinions to Rome as the traditional origin.