Paul Is Accused
1Five days later Ananias, the high priest, went to the city of Caesarea with some of the 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 not wanting to take any more of your time, I beg you to be kind and listen to our few words. 5We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up his people 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. 7 But the officer Lysias came and used much force to take him from us. 8And Lysias commanded those who wanted to accuse Paul to come to you.] By asking him questions yourself, you can decide if all these things are true.” 9The others agreed and said that all of this was true.
10When the governor made a sign for Paul to speak, Paul said, “Governor Felix, I know you have been a judge over this nation for a long time. So I am happy to defend myself before you. 11You can learn for yourself that I went to worship in Jerusalem only twelve days ago. 12Those who are accusing me did not find me arguing with anyone in the Temple or stirring up the people 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 others 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 surely be raised from the dead. 16This is why I always try to do what I believe is right before God and people.
17“After being away from Jerusalem for several years, I went back 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 and had not made any trouble; no people were gathering around me. 19But there were some people from Asia who should be here, standing before you. If I have really done anything wrong, they are the ones who should accuse me. 20Or ask these people here if they found any wrong in me when I stood before the council in Jerusalem. 21But I did shout one thing when I stood before them: ‘You are judging me today because I believe that people will rise from the dead!’ ”
22Felix already understood much about the Way of Jesus. He stopped the trial and said, “When commander Lysias comes here, I will decide your case.” 23Felix told the officer to keep Paul guarded but to give him 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 Jewish, and 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 living right, 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 often sent for Paul and talked with him.
27But after two years, Felix was replaced by Porcius Festus as governor. But Felix had left Paul in prison to please the Jews.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.