Acts 16:37
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out."

King James Bible
But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.

Darby Bible Translation
But Paul said to them, Having beaten us publicly uncondemned, us who are Romans, they have cast us into prison, and now they thrust us out secretly? no, indeed, but let them come themselves and bring us out.

World English Bible
But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us publicly, without a trial, men who are Romans, and have cast us into prison! Do they now release us secretly? No, most certainly, but let them come themselves and bring us out!"

Young's Literal Translation
and Paul said to them, 'Having beaten us publicly uncondemned -- men, Romans being -- they did cast us to prison, and now privately do they cast us forth! why no! but having come themselves, let them bring us forth.'

Acts 16:37 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

They have beaten us openly uncondemned - There are three aggravating circumstances mentioned, of which Paul complains:

(1) That they had been beaten contrary to the Roman laws.

(2) that it had been public; the disgrace had been in the presence of the people, and the reparation ought to be as public.

(3) that it had been done without a trial, and while they were uncondemned, and therefore the magistrates ought themselves to come and release them, and thus publicly acknowledge their error. Paul knew the privileges of a Roman citizen, and at proper times, when the interests of justice and religion required it, he did not hesitate to assert them. In all this, he understood and accorded with the Roman laws. The Valerian law declared that if a citizen appealed from the magistrate to the people, it should not be lawful for magistrate to beat him with rods, or to behead him (Plutarch, Life of P. Valerius Publicola; Livy, ii. 8). By the Porcian law it was expressly forbidden that a citizen should be beaten (Livy, iv. 9). Cicero says that the body of every Roman citizen was inviolable. "The Porcian law," he adds, "has removed the rod from the body of every Roman citizen." And in his celebrated oration against Verres, he says, A Roman citizen was beaten with rods in the forum, O judges; where, in the meantime, no groan, no other voice of this unhappy man, was heard except the cry, 'I am a Roman citizen'! Take away this hope," he says, "take away this defense from the Roman citizens, let there be no protection in the cry I am a Roman citizen, and the praetor can with impunity inflict any punishment on him who declares himself a citizen of Rome, etc."

Being Romans - Being Romans, or having the privilege of Roman citizens. They were born Jews, but they claimed that they were Roman citizens, and had a right to the privileges of citizenship. On the ground of this claim, and the reason why Paul claimed to be a Roman citizen, see the notes on Acts 22:28.

Privily - Privately. The release should be as public as the unjust act of imprisonment. As they have publicly attempted to disgrace us, so they should as publicly acquit us. This was a matter of mere justice; and as it was of great importance to their character and success, they insisted on it.

Nay, verily; but let them come ... - It was proper that they should be required to do this:

(1) Because they had been illegally imprisoned, and the injustice of the magistrates should be acknowledged.

(2) because the Roman laws had been violated, and the majesty of the Roman people insulted, and honor should be done to the laws.

(3) because injustice had been done to Paul and Silas, and they had a right to demand just treatment and protection.

(4) because such a public act on the part of the magistrates would strengthen the young converts, and show them that the apostles were not guilty of a violation of the laws.

(5) because it would tend to the honor and to the furtherance of religion. It would be a public acknowledgement of their innocence, and would go far toward lending to them the sanction of the laws as religious teachers. We may learn from this also:

(1) That though Christianity requires meekness in the reception of injuries, yet that there are occasions on which Christians may insist on their rights according to the laws. Compare John 18:23.

(2) that this is to be done particularly where the honor of religion is concerned, and where by it the gospel will be promoted. A Christian may bear much as a man in a private capacity, and may submit, without any effort to seek reparation; but where the honor of the gospel is concerned; where submission, without any effort to obtain justice, might be followed by disgrace to the cause of religion, a higher obligation may require him to seek a vindication of his character, and to claim the protection of the laws. His name, and character, and influence belong to the church. The laws are designed as a protection to an injured name, or of violated property and rights, and of an endangered life. And when that protection can be had only by an appeal to the laws, such an appeal, as in the case of Paul and Silas, is neither vindictive nor improper. My private interests I may sacrifice, if I choose; my public name, and character, and principles belong to the church and the world, and the laws, if necessary, may be called in for their protection.

Acts 16:37 Parallel Commentaries

The Riot at Philippi
'And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20. And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21. And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22. And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23. And when they had laid many
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Lydia, the First European Convert
WE MAY LAUDABLY EXERCISE CURIOSITY with regard to the first proclamation of the gospel in our own quarter of the globe. We are happy that history so accurately tells us, by the pen of Luke, when first the gospel was preached in Europe, and by whom, and who was the first convert brought by that preaching to the Savior's feet. I half envy Lydia that she should be the leader of the European band; yet I feel right glad that a woman led the van, and that her household followed so closely in the rear.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

The Martyrs of Lyons and vienne (Ad 177)
Many other martyrs suffered in various parts of the empire under the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Among the most famous of these are the martyrs of Lyons and Vienne, in the south of France (or Gaul, as it was then called), where a company of missionaries from Asia Minor had settled with a bishop named Pothinus at their head. The persecution at Lyons and Vienne was begun by the mob of those towns, who insulted the Christians in the streets, broke into their houses, and committed other such outrages against
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

Scotland and Ireland
The only thing which seems to be settled as to the religious history of Scotland in these times, is that a bishop named Ninian preached among the Southern Picts between the years 412 and 432, and established a see at Whithorn, in Galloway. But in the Year of St. Ninian's death, a far more famous missionary, St. Patrick, who is called "the Apostle of Ireland," began his labours in that island. It is a question whether Patrick was born in Scotland, at a place called Kirkpatrick, near the river Clyde,
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

Cross References
Matthew 1:19
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

Luke 23:16
"Therefore I will punish Him and release Him."

Acts 22:25
But when they stretched him out with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?"

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