The case before Felix
24 1 After five days Ananias the High Priest came down to Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. And they presented their case against Paul before the governor. 2 Paul was called in and Tertullus accused him in this way:
3 “Most Excellent Felix, thanks to you – your labors and your wise reforms – our people now enjoy great peace. We accept all this in every way and in every place, and we are totally grateful to you. 4 So as not to take more of your time, I beg you to listen briefly to us with your usual kindness. 5 We have found that this man is a pest, he creates division among the Jews throughout the world and is a leader of the Nazarene sect. 6 He even tried to profane the Temple, so we seized him. We would have judged him according to our law, 7 but Lysias the commandant intervened in a very violent way and took him from us. 8 Then he declared that his accusers must present themselves before you. By examining him yourself, you will learn from him about all that we accuse him of.”
9 The Jews confirmed this, firmly maintaining that all this was so.
10 Then the governor motioned to Paul who said:
“As I know that you have administered this nation for many years, I make my defense with much confidence. 11 You yourself can ascertain that not more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship, 12 and that they did not find me disputing with anyone or inciting the people, either in the Temple or in the synagogues or in the city. 13 So they cannot prove the things of which they now accuse me.
14 But this I admit before you, that I serve the God of our ancestors according to the Way that they call a sect. I believe everything written in the Law and in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God that they have, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both the good and the sinners. 16 So I strive always to have a clear conscience before God and before people.
17 After many years, I came to bring help to those of my nation and to offer sacrifices. 18 On that occasion, they found me in the Temple; I had been purified according to the Law and there was no crowd or commotion. Yet all began with some Jews from Asia 19 who ought to be here before you to accuse me, if they have anything against me. 20 Let these men say what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin, 21 unless it was for having declared in a loud voice when I was before them: ‘Today I am being judged on account of the resurrection of the dead.’”
22 Felix who was well-informed about the Way, postponed the case and said to them, “When the commandant, Lysias, comes down, I will examine the case thoroughly.” 23 So he ordered the captain to keep Paul under guard, giving him certain liberty and without preventing his friends from attending to him.
24 After some days, Felix came with his wife Drusilla who was a Jew. He sent for Paul and let him speak about faith in Christ. 25 But when Paul spoke about justice, self-control and the future judgment, Felix was frightened and he said to him: “You may leave now; I shall send for you some other time.” 26 Felix was hoping that Paul would give him money, so he sent for him often and conversed with him.
27 Two years passed, and Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and as Felix wanted to remain on good terms with the Jews, he left Paul in prison.
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