Festus calls Paul insane (Acts 26:24)

“As Paul was making

His defense,

Festus exclaimed

In a loud voice.


You are out of your mind!

Too much learning

Is driving you insane.’”

Ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀπολογουμένου ὁ Φῆστος μεγάλῃ τῇ φωνῇ φησιν Μαίνῃ, Παῦλε· τὰ πολλά σε γράμματα εἰς μανίαν περιτρέπει.

The author of Acts indicated that as Paul was making his defense (Ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀπολογουμένου), Governor Festus (ὁ Φῆστος) exclaimed in a loud voice (μεγάλῃ τῇ φωνῇ φησιν) to Paul (Παῦλε) the he was out of his mind (Μαίνῃ).  Too much learning (τὰ πολλά σε γράμματα) had driven (περιτρέπει) him insane (εἰς μανίαν).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word περιτρέπει, that means to turn around or change.  Governor Porcius Festus brought an end to Paul’s defense.  He shouted out that Paul was insane, since too much learning had driven him crazy or turned him into a madman.  In other words, Paul could not be tried because he was insane.  Would you accept the verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity?

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