Some Jews Accuse Paul
1Five days later Ananias, the high priest, went to the city of Caesarea. He brought with him some of the older Jewish leaders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They went to Caesarea to make charges against Paul before the governor. 2-3Paul was called into the meeting, and Tertullus began to make his accusations.
Tertullus said, “Most Honorable Felix, our people enjoy much peace because of you, and many wrong things in our country are being made right through your wise help. For this we all continue to be very thankful. 4But I don’t want to take any more of your time. So I will say only a few words. Please be patient. 5This man is a troublemaker. He causes trouble with the Jews everywhere in the world. He is a leader of the Nazarene group. 6-8Also, he was trying to make the Temple unclean, but we stopped him.#24:6-8 Some Greek copies add 6b-8a: “And we wanted to judge him by our own law. 7 But the officer Lysias came and used great force to take him from us. 8 And Lysias ordered those who wanted to accuse him to come to you.” You can decide if all this is true. Ask him some questions yourself.” 9The other Jews agreed and said it was all true.
Paul Defends Himself Before Felix
10The governor made a sign for Paul to speak. So Paul answered, “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 twelve days ago. You can learn for yourself that this is true. 12These Jews who are accusing me did not find me arguing with anyone at the Temple or making trouble with the people. And I was not making trouble or arguing in the synagogues or any other place in the city. 13These men cannot prove the things they are saying against me now.
14“But I will tell you this: I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which these Jews say is not the right way, and I believe everything that is taught in the Law of Moses and all that is written in the books of the prophets. 15I have the same hope in God that these Jews 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 before everyone.
17-18“I was away from Jerusalem for many years. I went back there to take money to help my people. I also had some gifts to offer at the Temple. I was doing this when some Jews saw me there. I had finished the cleansing ceremony.#24:17-18 cleansing ceremony The special things Jews did to end the Nazirite vow. See “Nazirite” in the Word List. I had not made any trouble, and no one was 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. They were there! 20Ask these men here if they found any wrong in me when I stood before the high council meeting in Jerusalem. 21I did say one thing when I stood before them and shouted, ‘You are judging me today because I believe that people will rise from death!’”
22Felix already understood a lot about the Way. He stopped the trial and said, “When commander Lysias comes here, I will decide what to do with you.” 23Felix told the army officer to keep Paul guarded but to give him some freedom and to let his friends bring whatever he needed.
Paul Speaks to Felix and His Wife
24After a few days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jew. Felix 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 doing right, self-control, and the judgment that will come in the future. He said, “Go away now. When I have more time, I will call for you.” 26But Felix had another reason for talking with Paul. He hoped Paul would pay him a bribe, so he sent for Paul often and talked with him.
27But after two years, Porcius Festus became governor. So Felix was no longer governor. But he left Paul in prison to please the Jews.