Paul is accused in the court of Felix
1Five days later Ananias the high priest, together with some of their leaders and a lawyer named Tertullus, went to the governor to present their case against Paul. 2So Paul was called in, and Tertullus stated the case against him:#24.2 Paul was called in, and Tertullus stated the case against him: Or “Tertullus was called in and stated the case against Paul.”
Honourable Felix, you have brought our people a long period of peace, and because of your concern our nation is much better off. 3All of us are always grateful for what you have done. 4I don't want to bother you, but please be patient with us and listen to me for just a few minutes.
5This man has been found to be a real pest and troublemaker for Jews all over the world. He is also a leader of a group called Nazarenes. 6-8When he tried to disgrace the temple, we arrested him.#24.6-8 we arrested him: Some manuscripts add, “We wanted to judge him by our own laws. But Lysias the commander took him away from us by force. Then Lysias ordered us to bring our charges against this man in your court.” If you question him, you will find out for yourself that our charges are true.
9The Jewish crowd spoke up and agreed with what Tertullus had said.
Paul defends himself
10The governor motioned for Paul to speak, and he began:
I know that you have judged the people of our nation for many years, and I am glad to defend myself in your court.
11It was no more than twelve days ago that I went to worship in Jerusalem. You can find this out easily enough. 12Never once did the Jews find me arguing with anyone in the temple. I didn't cause trouble in the Jewish meeting places or in the city itself. 13There is no way that they can prove these charges that they are now bringing against me.
14I admit that their leaders think that the Lord's Way#24.14 the Lord's Way: See the note at 9.2. which I follow is based on wrong beliefs. But I still worship the same God that my ancestors worshipped. And I believe everything written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets.#24.14 Law of Moses…the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament. 15I am just as sure as these people are that God will raise from death everyone who is good or evil. 16And because I am sure, I try my best to have a clear conscience in whatever I do for God or for people.
17After being away for several years, I returned here to bring gifts for the poor people of my nation and to offer sacrifices.#Ac 21.17-28. 18This is what I was doing when I was found going through a ceremony in the temple. I wasn't with a crowd, and there was no uproar.
19Some Jews from Asia were there at that time, and if they have anything to say against me, they should be here now. 20Or ask the ones who are here. They can tell you that they didn't find me guilty of anything when I was tried by their own council. 21The only charge they can bring against me is what I shouted out in court, when I said, “I am on trial today because I believe that the dead will be raised to life!”#Ac 23.6.
22Felix knew a lot about the Lord's Way.#24.22 the Lord's Way: See the note at 9.2. But he brought the trial to an end and said, “I will make my decision after Lysias the commander arrives.” 23He then ordered the army officer to keep Paul under guard, but not to lock him up or to stop his friends from helping him.
Paul is kept under guard
24Several days later Felix and his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, went to the place where Paul was kept under guard. They sent for Paul and listened while he spoke to them about having faith in Christ Jesus. 25But Felix was frightened when Paul started talking to them about doing right, about self-control, and about the coming judgment. So he said to Paul, “That's enough for now. You may go. But when I have time I will send for you.” 26After this, Felix often sent for Paul and talked with him, because he hoped that Paul would offer him a bribe.
27Two years later Porcius Festus became governor in place of Felix. But since Felix wanted to do the Jewish leaders a favour, he kept Paul in jail.