The Jews Accuse Paul
1Five days later Ananias, the high priest, went to the city of Caesarea. With him were some of the Jewish elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They had come to make charges against Paul before the governor. 2Paul was called into the meeting, and Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: “Most Excellent Felix! Our people enjoy much peace because of you, and many wrong things in our country are being made right through your wise help. 3We accept these things always and in every place. And we are thankful for them. 4But I do not want to take any more of your time. I beg you to be kind and listen to our few words. 5This man is a troublemaker. He makes trouble among the Jews everywhere in the world. He is a leader of the Nazarene group. 6Also, he was trying to make the Temple unclean, but we stopped him. [And we wanted to judge him by our own law. 7But the officer Lysias came and used much force to take him from us. And Lysias commanded his people to come to you to accuse us.]# Some Greek copies do not contain the bracketed text. 8You can decide if all these things are true. Ask him some questions yourself.” 9The other Jews agreed and said that all of this was true.
10The governor made a sign for Paul to speak. So Paul said, “Governor Felix, I know that you have been a judge over this nation for a long time. So I am happy to defend myself before you. 11I went to worship in Jerusalem only 12 days ago. You can learn for yourself that this is true. 12Those who are accusing me did not find me arguing with anyone in the Temple. I was not stirring up the people. And I was not making trouble in the Temple or in the synagogues or in the city. 13They cannot prove the things they are saying against me now. 14But I will tell you this: I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way of Jesus. The Jews say that the Way of Jesus is not the right way. But I believe everything that is taught in the law of Moses and that is written in the books of the Prophets. 15I have the same hope in God that they have—the hope that all people, good and bad, will be raised from death. 16This is why I always try to do what I believe is right before God and men.
17“I was away from Jerusalem for several years. I went back there to bring money to my people and to offer sacrifices. 18I was doing this when they found me in the Temple. I had finished the cleansing ceremony. I had not made any trouble; no people were gathering around me. 19But some Jews from Asia were there. They should be here, standing before you. If I have really done anything wrong, they are the ones who should accuse me. 20Or ask these Jews here if they found any wrong in me when I stood before the Jewish council in Jerusalem. 21But I did say one thing when I stood before them: ‘You are judging me today because I believe that people will rise from death!’”
22Felix already understood much about the Way of Jesus. He stopped the trial and said, “When commander Lysias comes here, I will decide about your case.” 23Felix told the officer to keep Paul guarded. But he told the officer to give Paul some freedom and to let his friends bring what he needed.
Paul Speaks to Felix and His Wife
24After some days Felix came with his wife, Drusilla, who was a Jew. He asked for Paul to be brought to him. He listened to Paul talk about believing in Christ Jesus. 25But Felix became afraid when Paul spoke about things like right living, self-control, and the time when God will judge the world. He said, “Go away now. When I have more time, I will call for you.” 26At the same time Felix hoped that Paul would give him some money. So he sent for Paul often and talked with him.
27But after two years, Porcius Festus became governor. Felix was no longer governor, but he had left Paul in prison to please the Jews.