1Five days later Ananias the high priest arrived with some of the Jewish leaders, and with a lawyer called Tertullus. They presented formal charges against Paul to the governor. 2When Paul was summoned, Tertullus began making his case against him. He said, “Your Excellency Governor Felix, we have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and as a result of your wise judgment reforms have been enacted for the benefit of the nation. 3All of us throughout the country are so very grateful to you for this.
4But in order not to bore you, please be so kind as to give us your attention for a short while. 5We discovered that this man is a real pest,#24:5. Literally, “plague.” stirring up rebellions among Jews all over the world, a ringleader of the Nazarene sect. 6He tried to defile the Temple, so we arrested him. 7#24:7. There is doubt as to the originality of verses 24:6b-8a and are omitted from the standard Greek text. 8By interrogating him yourself you will discover the truth of our accusations.” 9The Jews joined in, saying that this was all true.
10The Governor motioned for Paul to respond. “Recognizing you have been a judge over this nation for many years, I gladly make my defense,” Paul began. 11“You can easily verify that I arrived in Jerusalem to worship just twelve days ago. 12Nobody found me arguing in the Temple with anyone, or inciting people to riot in any synagogue or anywhere in the city. 13Nor can they prove to you any of their accusations against me.
14But I will admit this to you: I serve the God of our fathers following the beliefs of the Way, which they call a heretical sect. I believe everything the law teaches and what is written in the books of the prophets. 15I have the same hope in God that they do, believing that there will be a resurrection of the good and the wicked. 16Consequently I try to make sure I always have a clear conscience before God and everyone.
17Having been away for a few years I returned to bring some money to help the poor and to give offerings to God. 18That's what they found me doing in the Temple—completing the ceremony of purification. There was no crowd and no disturbance. 19But some Jews from the province of Asia were there, who should be present here before you today to bring their charges, if they have anything against me. 20Otherwise let these men here explain themselves what crime they found me guilty of when I stood before the council, 21except for the time when I shouted out to them, ‘I am on trial before you today because of my belief in the resurrection of the dead.’”
22Felix who was well-informed about the Way then adjourned the trial. “When Lysias the commander comes I will make my decision regarding your case,” he said. 23He ordered the centurion to keep Paul in custody but to allow him some measure of freedom and to let Paul's friends care for him without interference.
24Some days later Felix returned with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him speak about trusting in Christ Jesus. 25He discussed with them about living right, self-control, and the coming judgment. Felix became alarmed and told Paul, “You can go now, and I'll send for you when I get the chance.” 26Hoping that Paul would give him a bribe, Felix often sent for Paul and talked with him. 27Two years passed and Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. To stay in favor with the Jews, Felix left Paul in prison.