Acts 26:24

24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

Acts 26:24 in Other Translations

24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind."
24 Suddenly, Festus shouted, “Paul, you are insane. Too much study has made you crazy!”
24 That was too much for Festus. He interrupted with a shout: "Paul, you're crazy! You've read too many books, spent too much time staring off into space! Get a grip on yourself, get back in the real world!"
24 As he was making his defense this way, Festus exclaimed in a loud voice, "You're out of your mind, Paul! Too much study is driving you mad!"

Acts 26:24 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 26:24

And as he thus spake for himself
Asserting the integrity and innocence of his past life and conversation, in proof of which he appealed to the Jews themselves; setting forth the prejudices to the Christian religion he had been under; declaring the heavenly vision that had appeared to him, and the divine orders he had received; alleging, that in his ministry there was an entire harmony between him, and the writings of Moses, and the prophets, for which the Jews professed a veneration; as he was thus vindicating himself, ere he had well finished his apology,

Festus said with a loud voice;
that all might hear, and being moved with resentment at what he had heard; and it may be, he was displeased with Paul that he took so much notice of Agrippa, and so often addressed him, and appealed to him, when he scarce ever turned to, or looked at him:

Paul, thou art beside thyself;
not in thy senses, or right mind, to talk of such an appearance and vision, and especially of the resurrection of a person from the dead. This is no unusual thing for the ministers of the Gospel to be reckoned madmen, and the doctrines they preach madness and folly: our Lord himself was said to be beside himself, and to have a devil, and be mad; and so were his apostles, ( Mark 3:21 ) ( John 10:20 ) ( 2 Corinthians 5:13 ) and it is not to be wondered at that natural men should entertain such an opinion of them, since what they deliver is quite out of their sphere and reach: Festus added,

much learning doth make thee mad;
the apostle was a man of much learning, both Jewish, Greek, and Roman; and Festus perceived him to be of great reading by his making mention of Moses, and the prophets, writings which he knew nothing at all of. And as this sometimes is the case, that much reading, and hard study, do cause men to be beside themselves, he thought it was Paul's case: so the philosopher F6 suggests, that men of great wit and learning, and who are closely engaged in study, whether in philosophy, or politics, or poetry, or in technical affairs, are inclined to be melancholy, and phrenetic.


F6 Aristotel. Problem. sect. 30.

Acts 26:24 In-Context

22 But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen—
23 that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”
24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”
25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.
26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S John 10:20; S 1 Corinthians 4:10
  • 2. John 7:15
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