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Book of Acts Chapter 16, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 10-18-2013
In the first part of Acts chapter 16, we saw that Paul of Tarsus departed from Antioch with his new companion Silas to embark on what would be his second recorded missionary journey. Ostensibly, however, it is really his third missionary journey, since when he departed from Jerusalem for Tarsus after the dispute with the Hellenists as it is recorded in Acts chapter 9, it is made manifest later that he had spent at least some portion of that time proselytizing in Tarsus and other places in Kilikia. This is made evident at Acts 15:41, where embarking on this journey with Silas it says there that “...they passed through Suria and Kilikia reinforcing the assemblies.” The beginning of Acts chapter 16 brought Paul and his company once again through Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. Then, being prevented by the Holy Spirit to enter either Asia Minor or Pamphylia, they traveled into the Troad and crossed into Makedonia. Here they are found in Philippi, which was a Roman colony.
Explaining Galatians chapter 2 in correlation with the events in Acts, we had asserted here that the confrontation with Peter in Antioch which Paul describes in that letter must have taken place some time after Paul's having circumcised Timothy, which is described in the opening of Acts chapter 16. Doing that, we overlooked the fact that Paul did indeed visit Antioch in Syria on one more occasion, of which nothing is recorded in Acts except the brief mention of Paul's visit there, in Acts chapter 18 where upon Paul's having made arrangements to sail to Syria and departing from Ephesus Luke records this: “22 And coming back into Caesareia, going up and greeting the assembly he went down into Antiocheia. 23 And spending some time he departed, passing through successively the land of Galatia and Phrugia, confirming all of the students.” This visit to Antioch, we would assert, is where Paul must have confronted Peter. It may be, that because of the division among the apostles, Luke never recorded anything that had transpired during this later visit to Antioch, even though he said that Paul had been there for “some time”.
14 And there was a certain woman named Ludia, a seller of purple cloth from the city of Thuateira, respecting Yahweh, who listened, who’s heart the Prince opened to heed the things being spoken by Paul. 15 And as she and her house were immersed, she exhorted saying “If you have judged me to be faithful in the Prince, entering into my house you stay.” And she compelled us.
Paul's custom in each town he visited was to first go to the Judaean assembly hall, using that as a starting point to preach the gospel to both Judaeans and non-Judaeans alike, and many of those assembly halls were attended by both. However here in Philippi there is no mention of such a hall, where it is apparent that the Judaean population of the city may not have been large enough to support one. Therefore, as we witnessed at the close of the last segment of this presentation from the writings of the prophets Ezekiel and Daniel, where there is no assembly hall or temple the ancient Hebrews were accustomed to gathering by a river to pray, and ostensibly the people of Judaea continued in that custom to this time. It was also observed last week, that this is the most likely reason for the success of the ministry of John the Baptist, since evidently many people in Judaea in the first century had gathered by the rivers on the Sabbaths for prayer.
With this, along with the testimony that Lydia was a pious woman, it is evident that she was also a Judaean, originally from Thyatira in Asia, a city of the ancient and former kingdom of Lydia, and under Greek rule the country retained that name although the kingdom itself was decimated by the Persians under Xerxes in the 5th century BC, before his invasion of Greece. Thyatira was one of the seven assemblies later addressed by Yahshua Christ in the Revelation. Some sources state that it was a center of the ancient fabric and dye trade.
Many commentaries like to point out that Lydia was the first so-called “European Christian”, however that is certainly not true. Here the year is 47 or 48 AD, and from the Edict of Claudius and the history behind that edict, it is quite evident that there were already a significant number of Christians in Rome by this time, who had been brought to Christ independently of either Paul or Luke. Therefore Lydia is only the first person recorded in the Biblical accounts as having been accepting of the faith while being in Europe, but she was not necessarily the first who did so, and she herself was said to be from Anatolia, and was obviously a Judaean. A significant proportion of Bible commentaries make their judgments by examining the Bible in an incubator, not considering things that transpired in the world outside of the Biblical records.
What is clear from this account, is that Lydia was a woman, and that Paul not only must have felt that it was acceptable to approach a woman, but was also quite comfortable approaching with the Gospel message a woman whom he did not even know. It is also certain that Lydia did not have a husband, since he is never mentioned and since she is depicted as having invited Paul and his company into her house on her own decision. Now if Paul himself were married, he would have had his own wife with him in all of these circumstances, as he attests at 1 Corinthians 9:5 where he asks “Do we not have license to always have with us a kinswoman: a wife, as also the other ambassadors, and the brethren of the Prince, and Kephas?” Yet then he explains that for the sake of the Gospel, he himself would rather not be burdened with the responsibility of having a wife.
That Paul treated women equally with men in the transmission of the gospel message is fully evident in Galatians 3:28: “ 28 There is neither Judaean nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Of course, all Christians have different stations in life, however in the eyes of our Creator not one of us is better than another. While women could not speak in assembly nor be teachers of men, they still served the assemblies in other capacities which were just as valuable.
Lydia also owned a business, as a “seller of purple”. This meant that she sold purple cloth and dye, which had limited use in Rome. The use of clothing, what one wore or was permitted to wear in public, was heavily regulated in the Roman empire by both law and custom. Kings, Roman magistrates and priests used purple in their garments. Children of the Roman upper class wore togas with purple borders. Ostensibly, there were other household or decorative uses for such cloth aside from clothing.
Among the ancient Greek city-states, it would have been quite improper for Paul to approach the women. It would also have been impossible for Lydia to have had a business, and perhaps a household, of her own. In ancient Greece women could not make property transactions of any significant value, and they could only come to own property in very limited circumstances since they did not normally inherit property, and they themselves were treated as property. Rome had a much more liberal attitude towards women regarding participation in business and in property rights, and even in divorce. In Rome women could own property and hold it separately from that of her husband.
That Lydia and her house were immersed does not mean that a water baptism ritual was conducted, or even if it were, that such a thing is now necessary in order to come to Christ. While the Book of Acts is a book which records a religious transition, and while it cannot be told exactly when Paul came to the full realization of the faith which he expressed in his later epistles, we have already seen Peter's explanation that the household of Cornelius received the Holy Spirit without any water baptism ritual, and that in connection with that event Peter himself later professed, as it is recorded at Acts 11:16: “Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” It is therefore more likely, in spite of their presence at the river, that Lydia and her house were immersed in the Holy Spirit, in the words being spoken by Paul, when their hearts were opened “to heed the things being spoken by Paul”, as Paul later wrote in Ephesians chapter 5 that the assembly of Christ would be cleansed “with the washing of water by the Word”.
16 And it came to pass upon our going to the prayer, a certain slave girl having a spirit of a python met with us, who produced much business for her masters by divining.
The Codex Bezae (D) has “because of this divining”. Sorcery is a racket perhaps as old as prostitution, which was also a lucrative business for the pagan temples of antiquity.
Where the King James Version has divination, the Greek word πύθων (4436) is simply transliterated as python here, so as not to lose the connection to the mythological serpent Python, which both the choice of words in the text of Luke here, as well as the traditions of the Greeks, had directly connected to the powers of divination and especially of that of their god, the idol Apollo. In Greek legend Apollo slew the Python which guarded Delphi, which was described alternatively as either a serpent or a dragon, by which doing Apollo had gained control of the powers of divination which were associated with the place (cf. Apollodorus, Library, 1.4.1). The place where Delphi was located was then called Pytho, which was thereafter considered to be the home of Apollo. The priestess of Apollo at Delphi was called the Pythoness, whose oracles were believed to reveal future events. According to the Homeric Hymn entitled To Pythian Apollo, a priesthood of men from Crete was said to have been appointed by Apollo himself to keep the oracle of Delphi and to make their livelihoods from its proceeds, which throughout ancient history were rather plentiful. (Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, Epic Cycle, Homerica, Loeb Classical Library, vol. 57, Harvard University Press, Translated by Hugh Evelyn-White, pp. 337-363, The Homeric Hymns, To Pythian Apollo.)
Delphi was the most important of all such oracles of the ancient Greek world. An eternal flame was kept in its temple, where there was a crevice in the earth from which a gas was emitted. All of the Greek cities traditionally received and burned a flame which was acquired from this flame at Delphi. Breathing the gas supposedly gave the Pythoness her powers of divination, and her oracles were not issued immediately but instead they were formulated apart from those who were making the inquiry. Throughout the accounts of the ancient poets and historians, the words of the Pythoness were esteemed to have a considerable impact upon the events of the entire Greek world. Colonies were ventured, wars were fought and alliances between nations and kings were made or broken by the results of inquiries to the oracle. Imagine the political power that the priesthood of Delphi had in their control of the words which the Pythoness issued. The place was also considered the center, or navel, of the earth. Many other legends and myths were therefore associated with the place, and many other attributes and legends were associated with Apollo.
For many centuries, possibly for more than fifteen centuries, kings and other notable men consulted with the oracle in reference to their endeavors. They also brought gifts, and made additional tithes to the oracle when they were successful. However the ambiguity of the Pythoness’ oracles led the Greeks to refer to Apollo as ὁ λοξίας, or the Ambiguous One. The word πύθων appears only here in the New Testament. The verb μαντεύομαι (3132), “to divine, prophesy, presage” (Liddell & Scott), is to divine here, and this word also appears only here in the New Testament. This type of divination, or μαντεία, was forbidden in Israel, and was considered a form of sorcery. In this manner the word μαντεία often appears in the Septuagint. In contrast, the verb προφητεύω (4395) and related words are always used of Biblical prophecy.
The site of the oracle of Delphi and its temple were finally destroyed circa 390 AD in the name of Christianity, by the order of the Emperors Theodosius I and his son, co-ruler and successor Arcadius, in an ongoing campaign against paganism. Even in its best light, Christians should view it all as demonic activity, and ascribe no true legitimacy to any of it.
17 She following after Paul and us cried out saying “These men are servants of Yahweh the highest, who declare to you the way of salvation!”
The Codices Alexandrinus (A) and Ephraemi Syri (C) and the Majority Text have “who declare to us”; the text of the Christogenea New Testament follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B), Bezae (D) and Laudianus (E). The last phrase of the text may have been read “who declare to you a way of salvation”, since the definite article does not appear in the Greek. In context, the difference is immaterial, although some commentators do elaborate upon it.
18 And this she did for many days. Then Paul being quite troubled and turning to the spirit said “I order you in the Name of Yahshua Christ to depart from her!” And it departed at that same moment.
Literally the demon “departed at that same hour”, however the Greek word ὥρα (5610) is only an indefinite period of time and not necessarily an hour, and therefore here it is a moment. The Codex Bezae (D) has instead “and immediately it departed.”
The apostle James said in his epistle “You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe it, and they shudder!” Yet that does not mean that we should ever enlist the demons to our cause. From this Christians must derive an important lesson: that Christ does not need the help of demons, even if those demons agree to the truth! [Knowing this, Identity Christians should indeed reject the likes of out-of-the-closet-Jews and other aliens who only appear to have turned against evil, such as Joseph November, Nathaniel Kapner, James Manning, Bobby Fischer, Jeff Rense, Harold Rosenthal, or the host of others who pretend to stand against Satan, when in fact they too are little but demons fulfilling an anti-Christ agenda in one manner or another. They turn against one evil, while they allure you into embracing another. The most popular ploy is to embrace universalism while displaying antipathy for communism and zionism, when in reality universalism is world-widecommunism and zionism!]
19 And her masters seeing her, because the hope of their business departed, taking Paul and Silas they dragged them into the market before the rulers,
In ancient times the administrators and magistrates of a city sat in the markets daily, and heard cases brought to them by citizens. This practice is again seen in Ephesus, as it is recorded at Acts 19:38, although in that passage the King James Version has law for a word which means market. Augurs or diviners were employed with regularity in Rome, even by the noble classes and the emperors, as Tacitus often mentions in his writing, and they were a class among the priests. [They were probably the primary prospects for Lydia's trade in purple cloth and dye, since they officially wore purple garments.] However here it may be evident that the priesthood did not have the market on divination cornered, since there is no indication that these men were indeed pagan priests. However they were profiting from the ability of divination attributed to their slave girl by the demon that possessed her, and lost this business once Paul expelled the demon.
Many Christians often give in to worldly and so-called scientific paradigms and dismiss the demon possession described in Scripture as the manifestation of some sort of illness or psychotropic phenomenon. However it is evident here that this girl's possession must have been more than just a simple state of mind, since once the demon was expelled she suffered a sudden and noticeable change in her personality and ability that cannot be explained from such a secular perspective. Her possession must have been more than an illness, since Paul spoke to the demon, as Christ often addressed the demons who answered Him in return, and Paul did not merely address the girl whom the demon-spirit possessed. Her possession and her ability to divine when possessed must have been of substance, since the demon-possessed girl was indeed able to divine the mission of Paul and his company, and professed the basic truth of that mission, without any indication in Luke's writing that she could have known about it in some other manner.
This leads to a discussion of the true meaning of exorcism. The Greek word ἐξορκιστής (1845) appears only once in Scripture. Liddell and Scott define the noun as an exorcist, however the Greek verb ἐξορκίζω from whence it is derived means to exhort as well as to conjure, or to make one swear, as the word is used in the Septuagint at Genesis chapter 24:3, 37; Genesis 50:5, 6 and elsewhere. Here, it is asserted, that these men who were profiting from the demon-possessed slave girl were actually exorcists, in the sense that they exhorted the demon that they may profit from it. At Acts 19:13, the King James Version says “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” The word translated as adjure in that passage is the Greek verb ὁρκίζω, the root of the verb ἐξορκίζω, which is only a strengthened form, from which we have the English verb exorcise. Knowing the full meaning of the term exorcist, it becomes evident that those men also sought only to control the demons, that they may profit from them, and certainly not to cast them out from those whom the demons possessed.
20 and bringing them to the chief magistrates they said “These men agitate our city, being Judaeans, 21 and they declare customs which are not lawful for us to receive nor to do, being Romans!”
The Greek word στρατηγός (4755) is commonly a general. Here it is a chief magistrate, as such a magistrate was called in some Greek cities, which Liddell and Scott explain in their lexicon.
Here the men declare that being Romans, it is not lawful for them to adopt the religious customs being declared by Paul and his companions. Religion was regulated in Rome by both law and tradition. There were strong ties between Roman civil and social life and their pagan religious beliefs. Every head of household in Rome embodied the genius spirit of his ancestors, and was therefore granted cult status; vows of loyalty and evenworship were granted to him and oaths were sworn on his name by both family members and slaves. Dead ancestors became the family gods of the afterlife, or underworld. However this was all within the scope of private family life, extended only as far as the limits of each household or estate. It was part of the glue that kept extended families together. In the Roman Republic, along with the pagan Roman pantheon the legendary founders Romulus and Aeneas were publicly worshiped as gods, and citizens with exceptional accomplishments were seen as having served those gods. Later, and as it is evident in the writings of the poet Virgil, Julius Caesar was said to be descended from Aeneas and from the goddess Venus, in order to strengthen his claim to divinity.
After Rome became an empire, these religious beliefs found a greater manifestation in the Imperial Cult. The Roman cult of emperor-worship was instituted in the time of Julius Caesar, who was worshiped as a god even while he lived. Strabo, the Greek historian and geographer who wroteuntil about 25 AD, consistently referred to Julius Caesar as “the deified Caesar”. Octavian, or Augustus, was also worshiped as a god in the later period of his rule, and called by the title “Caesar Divi Filius” or “Son of Deified Caesar”. The Imperial Cult was further developed and strengthened under Octavian. The Senate then began the practice of voting deceased emperors to the status of divinity, as was the case with Julius and Octavian, and then offering each living emperor such a cult status while he was still alive. This served to show that the emperor's rule was divinely approved. [The “divine right of kings” was later claimed by European monarchs, which should only be viewed by Christians as a stage in Israel's punishment under the beast systems.]
The Imperial Cult did not replace traditional Roman religion, but was rather a supplement to it, but it was seen by some traditionalists in Rome as an impious innovation. When the Roman Senate began granting the emperors an imperial cult, the emperor's genius, or spirit, would be worshiped publicly. Images of the emperor would be set up throughout the empire, and oaths would be taken on thatgenius, or spirit, of the emperor. The military was required to take oaths of loyalty to the emperor.
Later, Caligula demanded to be directly worshiped as a god, and Nero also claimed such divinity. Octavian was considered to have been Zeus Incarnate, and Nero therefore claimed to be Apollo Incarnate. Soon after Octavian and long before Nero, effigies of Tiberius were expected to be set up in temples everywhere and worshiped, which caused distress in Jerusalem, as Josephus explains how Pontius Pilate had brought the effigies of Tiberius Caesar into Jerusalem, and records the turmoil which resulted from his doing so (Antiquities 18:55 [18.1.3]).
Emperors were also called by the title Savior, which was also a title popularly used by the Roman people in reference to victorious generals or other benefactors. Seneca, Nero's tutor, is said to have called him “the long-awaited savior of the world”. Later, towards the end of the first century, Domitian adopted the title “Lord and God” and as a test of loyalty he commanded people to address him in that manner, according to Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars(Book 8: Domitian 13). At the time of these events here in Acts, Claudius was emperor, and while he resisted the Senate's appointment of an Imperial Cult for himself, he nevertheless participated in the veneration and worship of his dead predecessors. He had the wife of Octavian elected to divine status by the Senate long after her death. Claudius also accepted the cognomen of Caesar and the title pater patriae, or father of the fatherland, which Octavian also once held.
With all of this, it may become evident as to why the acceptance of Christianity was unlawful, and even considered to be treasonous for a Roman. Seeing the God of the Scripture as the Eternal Father and admitting His Son Yahshua Christ to be both God and Savior is to deny these titles to the emperor, and is also a denial of the traditional Roman gods. Yet the emperors were accustomed to being seen as God and Savior in order to maintain their tyranny over the peoples of an ethnically diverse empire. For this reason there were temples to the emperors, and their images were set up all over the empire. Yet Christianity precluded such practices as the worship of men. For these reasons alone it was inevitable that Paul would fail in his trial to persuade Nero, and for Christians to be persecuted by the Roman State. From the very beginning, the Jews understood what the Messiah was, even if they did not accept the Messiah, and therefore they accused Christ before the Roman authorities as “saying of Himself to be the anointed king”, as the statement in Luke 23:2 should be read, trying to convince Pilate that Christ was guilty of sedition against Rome.
Today we should be able to perceive that a subliminal form of imperial cult has slowly developed in our modern American society. Citizens pledge allegiance to a flag, and the military vows “hail to the chief”, thereby recognizing its allegiance to the executive of the State. The government and the tax codes have been used as tools by which religion is usurped so that it conforms to, or at least does not interfere with, either the political process or the perceived will of the State.
However because the State itself is now under the control of international bankers who are predominantly Jewish, rather conveniently Bibles with commentaries that promote the Jews as a people above all other peoples were developed around the same time that the bankers gained control of the government through the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, and those Bibles have become an important tool in maintaining both the elevated status of the Jews and the imperial status quo. It is not a mistake, nor is it a coincidence, that both the Scofield and Bullinger Bibles first appeared in 1909, and that they are both still promoted to this day. From the time of the Great Depression, which was engineered by those same bankers, the American people have been conditioned to see the government as both a god and a savior, while only giving lip service to Christ. In order to maintain an empire, one must enforce a tyranny, and the tyrant must control the religion of the people in order to conform them to his will.
In order to maintain an empire today, the idea that all peoples and cultures are of one and the same value must be enforced. Therefore the satanic ideas of egalitarianism, multiculturalism and diversity have become one with the approved religious values of the state, and are taught by all state-approved religions. Throughout most of White society, if the Christian principles of election and separatism are taught, then accusations of hate speech and appeals to political correctness are invoked to counter those principles. These are indeed the modern equivalents to the statement that “they declare customs which are not lawful for us to receive nor to do, being Romans!” With most citizens blindly obeying the government, Caesar has once again become a god.
22 And the crowd stood up against them[the Codex Bezae adds “crying out”]and the chief magistrates tearing off theirgarments commanded them to be beaten. 23 And laying upon them many blows they cast them into prison ordering the jailer to keep them securely, 24 who receiving such an order cast them into the inner cell and secured their feet in stocks.
The magistrates tore off the garments of Paul and Silas, in case anyone is confused by the ambiguity of the pronoun. The Greek word φυλακή (5438) is generally a prison, as it is in verse 23, but here it is a cell, in reference to a specific place within the prison.
25 And about midnight Paul and Silas praying were praising Yahweh, and the prisoners were listening to them.
The Greek verb ὑμνέω (5214) is a form of the noun ὕμνος, which gives us the English word hymn. While it is to praise here, it infers the act of praising by the singing of hymns.
26 Then suddenly a great earthquake came, so as to shake the foundations of the jailhouse, and immediately [the Codex Vaticanus wants the word for immediately] all the doors were opened and all the fetters let go.
The word δεσμωτήριον (1201) is jailhouse here, to distinguish it from φυλακή, which is prison at verse 23 and cell at verse 24. Once again those held captive for Christ are released in a miraculous manner. However here, contrary to expectation, nobody chose to escape – which also must have been the will of God. The text infers that the other prisoners were captivated by the Word of God through Paul and Silas.
27 And the jailer coming from sleep and seeing the doors of the prison opened, drawing a sword was about to slay himself, believing the prisoners to have fled away. 28 But with a great voice Paul cried out saying “Do nothing evil to yourself! For we are all here!”
The words in Paul's exclamation seem to be prophetic, because since the jailer required a light to see, it is unlikely that Paul - who had very poor eyesight - could have seen the jailer when he drew his sword. In Acts 12:19 we see Herod treat of the guards who - in his perception - had allowed Peter to escape the prison in Jerusalem. In that passage, it is said that Herod “examining the guards commanded them to be taken away.” However the Greek word for taken away in the Christogenea New Testament may have been rendered metaphorically as put to death, as the King James Version has it. Here, with the intent of the jailer being to commit suicide, as he imagined the prisoners to have escaped, we may see an indication that the jailer did indeed fear a punishment of death in such an event, even though it is obvious that the circumstances were beyond his control.
29 And requesting a light he burst in and coming trembling fell before [the Codex Bezae has “before the feet of”] Paul and Silas, 30 and leading them outside [here the Codex Bezae inserts “having secured the others”] he said [the Codex Bezae has “he said to them”] “Masters, what is necessary for me to do that I be saved?” 31 And they said “Believe in the Prince Yahshua and you and your house shall be saved.”
It should be apparent that more was said to the jailer, but that Luke only recorded the jailer's conclusion, otherwise no context is provided explaining the jailer's inquiry. The Codices Ephraemi Syri (C), Bezae (D), Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text have “Prince Yahshua Christ...”; the text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A) and Vaticanus (B).
31 And they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
All of Israel shall be saved, but salvation means different things. First there is spiritual salvation, and then there is preservation of one's life here on this earth. The distinction is seen in Paul's words at 1 Corinthians 5:5, where speaking of an unrepentant sinner he advises the assembly to put that sinner out of the Christian community, thereby forcing him out into the world at large, "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
The apostles had consistently seen the imminent return of Christ and awaited the punishment of the ungodly. That was their worldview. They had that worldview because that was the way Christ had wanted them to think and act, as for example He had said in the Gospel "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." (Matthew 24:42, et al.) Since the jailer was not already a Christian, then he was a pagan, and he and his family would be susceptible to the pagan practices and immorality of the time, as well as the judgement of God that the apostles perceived was to come upon the world because of those practices.
The world of the apostles consisting of both wheat and tares (without the even more pressing question of race which we now have in all Christian lands), rejecting Christ you do not need to worry about morality if you are a tare. Accepting Christ you would accept the Gospel and keep the commandments, separating yourself from the immoral pagans and their practices (an example is in Romans chapter 1), and thereby having a hope to not suffer the judgement impending upon the ungodly.
August 23rd, 2015. End amendment.
32 And they spoke to him the Word of the Prince with all those in his house.
The Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B) have “Word of God”, the text follows the third century papyrus P45 and the Codices Alexandrinus (A), Ephraemi Syri (C), Bezae (D), Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text.
33 And taking them at that hour of the night he washed their wounds [literally “he washed from the blows”], and he and all those of his were immersed immediately,
The third century papyrus P45 has “he and his whole house”; the Codex Alexandrinus (A) “he and all his house”; the text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B).
34 and bringing them up to the house he provided a table and they rejoiced with all the house believing in Yahweh.
The words which are literally rendered “provided a table” infer with certainty the serving of a meal.
35 Then day coming the chief magistrates sent to the bailiffs, saying “Release those men.”
The Codex Bezae (D) has this verse to read: “Then day coming the chief magistrates gathered in one place in the market and remembering the earthquake, becoming fearful then they sent to the bailiffs, saying ‘Release those men who you received yesterday.’”
The Greek word ῥαβδοῦχος (4465) is literally “one who carries a rod or staff of office...a magistrate’s attendant...so, at Rome, [it was used] of the lictors who carried the fasces...” (Liddell & Scott). Therefore here, in a Roman colonial setting, a lictor is an “attendant and bodyguard of a magistrate” (The New College Latin & English Dictionary, by John C. Traupman), and therefore the word bailiff is appropriate both here and at Acts 16:38. The word is not found elsewhere in the New Testament.
36 And [here the Codex Bezae inserts “entering in”] the jailer announced those words to Paul, that “the chief magistrates sent in order that you be released, so now departing you go in peace.”
The Codices Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Bezae (D) have “the words”; the text follows the third century papyrus P45 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text.
The Codex Bezae wants the words rendered “in peace”.
37 And Paul said to them: “Flaying us [the Codex Bezae inserts a word for guiltless] in public, being uncondemned Roman men, they cast us into prison, and now secretly they would cast us out? Indeed not! Rather coming, they themselves must lead us out!”
Only men who were Roman citizens and freemen had the right to wear a toga in public, and that would have identified them as such. Evidently neither Paul nor Silas exercised that right. While non-citizens and slaves were treated quite differently, it was unlawful to punish Roman citizens without due process. This is an issue again upon Paul's arrest by the Roman commander in Acts chapter 22, where he is about to be beaten by the centurion.
It is unlikely that here Paul made this insistence to be freed by the magistrates themselves simply because his feelings as a Roman citizen were injured. Perhaps here, Paul uses this as an opportunity to once again exhort the leaders of the city, however in any event Luke did not record any explicit reason, or any exchange between Paul and the leaders.
38 Then the bailiffs announced these words to the chief magistrates, and they were afraid, hearing that they are Romans. 39 And coming they summoned them and leading them out asked them to depart from the city. 40 And departing from the prison they went to Ludia and seeing the brethren encouraged them and they departed.
The Codex Bezae has verses39 and 40 to read: “And arriving at the prison with many friends they summoned them to come out saying ‘We were ignorant of the things against you, seeing that you are righteous men.’ And bringing them out exhorted them saying ‘Depart from this city, lest those shouting against you return again to us.’ And departing from the prison they went to Ludia and seeing the brethren related as much as the Prince did for them encouraging them and they departed.”
From the text of the opening verses of chapter 17, it is clear that from this point Paul and Silas departed from Philippi to go to Thessalonika. It is also evident that Luke was not jailed along with Paul and Silas, but rather recorded the account as having received it from them later. It is further evident that Luke does not accompany Paul on his further trip through Macedonia, or from there to Athens and Corinth. Luke must have therefore also received those accounts later, adding them to his records. Luke does not write in the first person again until Acts chapter 20, at verse 6, where he is among others who are sailing from Philippi to meet Paul and his company in the Troad.
The time covered by Acts chapters 18 and 19 alone is at least three-and-a-half years, where Paul is recorded has having spent two years in Corinth and a year-and-a-half in Ephesus. It is not likely that Luke spent all of that time in Philippi, but his own travels are not recorded unless Paul was involved, so it cannot be told how much of this time he may have actually spent with Paul, or how long he stayed in Philippi without him. Luke is not mentioned in Paul's company in any of those epistles which Paul wrote while he was free, unless he is the Lucius (Lukios) of the epistle to the Romans, which was most likely written from Cenchrea (Kenchreae) which is near Corinth, where Paul is recorded as having stopped in Acts 18:18. Luke is only mentioned in two epistles which Paul wrote while he was imprisoned in Rome, which are those which were written to the Colossians and the second epistle to Timothy. It can be fairly determined that perhaps seven of Paul's surviving epistles were written during his travels, and seven were written while he was under arrest.