23 They kept shouting. They waved their clothes around and threw dust into the air. 24 The Roman commander ordered Paul to be taken into the fortress and beaten with a whip. He did this to find out why the people were screaming at Paul.
25 While the soldiers were tying Paul up to be beaten, he asked the officer standing there, “Is it legal to beat a Roman citizen before he has been tried in court?”
26 When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and said, “What are you doing? This man is a Roman citizen!”
27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”
“Yes,” Paul answered.
28 The commander then said, “I paid a lot of money to become a Roman citizen.”[c]
But Paul replied, “I was born a Roman citizen.”
29 The men who were about to beat and question Paul quickly backed off. And the commander himself was frightened when he realized that he had put a Roman citizen in chains.
30 The next day the commander wanted to know the real reason why the Jewish leaders had brought charges against Paul. So he had Paul’s chains removed, and he ordered the chief priests and the whole council to meet. Then he had Paul led in and made him stand in front of them.