Paul wants an apology (Acts 16:37)

“But Paul replied

To them.

‘They have beaten us

In public,

We are

Non-condemned men,

Who are Roman citizens.

They have thrown us

Into prison.

Now they are going

To discharge us

In secret!

Certainly not!

Let them come

And take us out themselves!’”

ὁ δὲ Παῦλος ἔφη πρὸς αὐτούς Δείραντες ἡμᾶς δημοσίᾳ ἀκατακρίτους, ἀνθρώπους Ῥωμαίους ὑπάρχοντας, ἔβαλαν εἰς φυλακήν· καὶ νῦν λάθρᾳ ἡμᾶς ἐκβάλλουσιν; οὐ γάρ, ἀλλὰ ἐλθόντες αὐτοὶ ἡμᾶς ἐξαγαγέτωσαν.

The author of Acts indicated that Paul (ὁ δὲ Παῦλος) replied (ἔφη) to these officers (πρὸς αὐτούς) that they had beaten them (Δείραντες ἡμᾶς) in public (δημοσίᾳ), even though they were non condemned men (ἀκατακρίτους ἀνθρώπους), but they were Roman citizens (Ῥωμαίους ὑπάρχοντας).  They had been thrown (ἔβαλαν) into prison (εἰς φυλακήν).  Now they were going to discharge them (ἡμᾶς ἐκβάλλουσιν) in secret (νῦν λάθρᾳ).  Paul said, “Certainly not (οὐ γάρ)!”  He wanted them to come themselves (ἀλλὰ ἐλθόντες αὐτοὶ) and take them out (ἡμᾶς ἐξαγαγέτωσαν).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word δημοσίᾳ, that means public and publicly and the word ἀκατακρίτους, that means not condemned or not yet tried.  Paul was indignant.  They had beaten them in public and thrown them into jail.  Yet, they had no trial and they were Roman citizens.  Now they were trying to get rid of them in secret.  Paul wanted them to show up in person and take them publicly out of jail.  Whether Paul was an actual Roman citizen is not sure.  This was the first time that it was mentioned.  He grew up in Tarsus, so that his father may have been a Roman official.  A Roman citizen had certain prerogatives or privileges that they could not be punished without an investigation or trial.  Paul, as usual, took more offense at this than most people.  Would you make a big deal about getting out of prison?

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