Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Acts 24:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Commanding his accusers to come, etc. - Here Tertullus closes his opening and statement of the case; and now he proceeds to call and examine his witnesses; and they were no doubt examined one by one, though St. Luke sums the whole up in one word - The Jews also assented, saying, that these things were so. Whoever considers the plan of Tertullus's speech, will perceive that it was both judicious and artful. Let us take a view of the whole: -

  1. He praises Felix to conciliate his favor.
  • He generally states the great blessings of his administration.
  • He states that the Jews, throughout the whole land, felt themselves under the greatest obligations to him, and extolled his prudent and beneficent management of the public affairs every where.
  • That the prisoner before him was a very bad man; a disturber of the public peace; a demagogue of a dangerous party; and so lost to all sense of religion as to attempt to profane the temple!
  • That, though he should have been punished on the spot, yet, as they were ordered by the chief captain to appear before him, and show the reason why they had seized on Paul at Jerusalem, they were accordingly come; and, having now exhibited their charges, he would,
  • proceed to examine witnesses, who would prove all these things to the satisfaction of the governor.
  • 7. He then called his witnesses, and their testimony confirmed and substantiated the charges. No bad cause was ever more judiciously and cunningly managed.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    Commanding his accusers … - Acts 23:30.

    By examining of whom - That is, the Jews who were then present. Tertullus offered them as his witnesses of the truth of what he had said. It is evident that we have here only the summary or outline of the speech which he made It is incredible that a Roman rhetorician would have on such an occasion delivered an address so brief, so meagre, and so destitute of display as this. But it is doubtless a correct summary of his address, and contains the leading points of the accusation. It is customary for the sacred writers, as for other writers, to give only the outline of discourses and arguments. Such a course was inevitable, unless the New Testament had been swelled to wholly undue proportions.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    See here the unhappiness of great men, and a great unhappiness it is, to have their services praised beyond measure, and never to be faithfully told of their faults; hereby they are hardened and encouraged in evil, like Felix. God's prophets were charged with being troublers of the land, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that he perverted the nation; the very same charges were brought against Paul. The selfish and evil passions of men urge them forward, and the graces and power of speech, too often have been used to mislead and prejudice men against the truth. How different will the characters of Paul and Felix appear at the day of judgement, from what they are represented in the speech of Tertullus! Let not Christians value the applause, or be troubled at the revilings of ungodly men, who represent the vilest of the human race almost as gods, and the excellent of the earth as pestilences and movers of sedition.
    Ellen G. White
    The Acts of the Apostles, 419-22

    This chapter is based on Acts 24.

    Five days after Paul's arrival at Caesarea his accusers came from Jerusalem, accompanied by Tertullus, an orator whom they had engaged as their counsel. The case was granted a speedy hearing. Paul was brought before the assembly, and Tertullus “began to accuse him.” Judging that flattery would have more influence upon the Roman governor than the simple statements of truth and justice, the wily orator began his speech by praising Felix: “Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence, we accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.” AA 419.1

    Read in context »
    Paul's Arrest and Imprisonment