The Meaning of Acts 23:25 Explained

Acts 23:25

KJV: And he wrote a letter after this manner:

YLT: he having written a letter after this description:

Darby: having written a letter, couched in this form:

ASV: And he wrote a letter after this form:

What does Acts 23:25 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The commander had to send a copy of the background of Paul"s case along with Paul himself. Luke wrote that what follows in the text was substantially what the letter contained.

Context Summary

Acts 23:25-35 - Sent To A Roman Tribunal
Antipatris was forty-two miles from Jerusalem. The escort and their prisoner made the forced march in a night. Next day the legionaries marched back to Jerusalem while the mounted soldiers rode forward to Caesarea, which was twenty-six miles farther on. The Apostle therefore entered Caesarea in a guise different from that in which he had left it, Acts 21:16. Philip and the other Christians must have been startled to see how soon their forebodings were fulfilled as the great missionary, from whom they had parted with so many tears, rode through the streets surrounded by soldiers.
When Felix read the letter which Lysias had sent explaining the case, he handed Paul over to a soldier to be kept in one of the guard-rooms of the old palace which now formed the stately residence of the governors of Judea. What mingled feelings must have filled that lion heart, as he realized that, while Rome had him in her power, all the artifice of his bitter foes would now be powerless to do him bodily harm. The psalms which he had sung at Philippi would come to mind with added force as he strengthened his soul in God. [source]

Chapter Summary: Acts 23

1  As Paul pleads his cause,
2  Ananias commands them to strike him
7  Dissension among his accusers
11  God encourages him
14  The Jews' vow to kill Paul,
20  is declared unto the chief captain
27  He sends him to Felix the governor

Greek Commentary for Acts 23:25

And he wrote [γραπσας]
First aorist active participle of γραπω — graphō agreeing with the subject (Lysias) of ειπεν — eipen (said) back in Acts 23:23 (beginning). [source]
After this form [εχουσαν τον τυπον τουτον]
Textus Receptus has περιεχουσαν — periechousan The use of τυπον — tupon (type or form) like exemplum in Latin (Page who quotes Cicero Ad Att. IX. 6. 3) may give merely the purport or substantial contents of the letter. But there is no reason for thinking that it is not a genuine copy since the letter may have been read in open court before Felix, and Luke was probably with Paul. The Roman law required that a subordinate officer like Lysias in reporting a case to his superior should send a written statement of the case and it was termed elogium. A copy of the letter may have been given Paul after his appeal to Caesar. It was probably written in Latin. The letter is a “dexterous mixture of truth and falsehood” (Furneaux) with the stamp of genuineness. It puts things in a favourable light for Lysias and makes no mention of his order to scourge Paul. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Acts 23:25

1 Thessalonians 1:7 An ensample [τυπον]
So B D, but Aleph A C have τυπους — tupous (plural). The singular looks at the church as a whole, the plural as individuals like υμας — humās Τυπος — Tupos is an old word from τυπτω — tuptō to strike, and so the mark of a blow, print as in John 20:25. Then the figure formed by the blow, image as in Acts 7:43. Then the mould or form (Romans 6:17; Acts 23:25). Then an example or pattern as in Acts 7:44, to be imitated as here, Philemon 3:17, etc. It was a great compliment for the church in Thessalonica to be already a model for believers in Macedonia and Achaia. Our word type for printers is this same word with one of its meanings. Note separate article with both Macedonia (τηι Μακεδονιαι — tēi Makedoniāi) and Achaia (τηι Αχαιαι — tēi Achaiāi) treated as separate provinces as they were. [source]
1 Peter 5:3 Examples [τύποι]
Peter uses three different terms for a pattern or model: ὑπογραμμός , a writing-copy (1 Peter 2:21); ὑπόδειγμα , for which classical writers prefer παράδειγμα , an architect's plan or a sculptor's or painter's model (2 Peter 2:6); τύπος (see on 1 Peter 3:21), of which our word type is nearly a transcript. The word primarily means the impression left by a stroke ( τύπτω , to strike)Thus John 20:25, “the print of the nails.” Used of the stamp on coin; the impression of any engraving or hewn work of art; a monument or statue; the figures of the tabernacle of Moloch and of the star Remphan (Acts 7:43). Generally, an image or form, always with a statement of the object; and hence the kindred meaning of a pattern or model. See Acts 23:25; Romans 5:14; Philemon 3:17; Hebrews 8:5. [source]
1 Peter 2:6 It is contained [περιέχει]
From περί , round about, and ἔχω , to hold. Hence, to contain or comprehend. So Luke 5:9,he was astonished ( θάμβος αὐτὸν περιέσχεν )lit., astonishment held him, encompassed. Also, Acts 23:25, “He wrote a letter after this manner ( περιέχουσαν τὸν τύπον τοῦτον )lit., containing this form. The verb here is impersonal. The kindred word περιοχή occurs only in Acts 8:32, rendered place; i.e., the passage of scripture: either the contents of the passage or the section of the book circumscribed or marked off. [source]

What do the individual words in Acts 23:25 mean?

having written a letter having the form this
γράψας ἐπιστολὴν ἔχουσαν τὸν τύπον τοῦτον

γράψας  having  written 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: γράφω 
Sense: to write, with reference to the form of the letters.
ἐπιστολὴν  a  letter 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: ἐπιστολή  
Sense: a letter, epistle.
τύπον  form 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: τυπικῶς 
Sense: the mark of a stroke or blow, print.
τοῦτον  this 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.

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