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Paul Presents His Case to Felix

24 Five days later the chief priest Ananias went to the city of Caesarea with some leaders of the people and an attorney named Tertullus. They reported to the governor their charges against Paul.

When Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him. He said to Felix, “Your Excellency, through your wise leadership we have lasting peace and reforms that benefit the people. We appreciate what you’ve done in every way and in every place, and we want to thank you very much. I don’t want to keep you too long. Please listen to us. We will be brief. We have found this man to be a troublemaker. He starts quarrels among all Jews throughout the world. He’s a ringleader of the Nazarene sect. He also entered the temple courtyard in a way that violates our tradition. So we arrested him.[a] When you cross-examine him, you’ll be able to find out from him that our accusations are true.”

The Jews supported Tertullus’ accusations and asserted that everything Tertullus said was true.

10 The governor motioned for Paul to speak. Paul responded, “I know that you have been a judge over this nation for many years. So I’m pleased to present my case to you. 11 You can verify for yourself that I went to Jerusalem to worship no more than twelve days ago. 12 No one found me having a discussion with anyone in the temple courtyard or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues throughout the city. 13 These people cannot even prove their accusations to you. 14 But I’ll admit to you that I’m a follower of the way ⌞of Christ⌟, which they call a sect. This means that I serve our ancestors’ God and believe everything written in Moses’ Teachings and the Prophets. 15 I hope for the same thing my accusers do, that people with God’s approval and those without it will come back to life. 16 With this belief I always do my best to have a clear conscience in the sight of God and people. 17 After many years I have come back to my people and brought gifts for the poor and offerings ⌞for God⌟. 18 My accusers found me in the temple courtyard doing these things after I had gone through the purification ceremony. No crowd or noisy mob was present. 19 But some Jews from the province of Asia were there. They should be here in front of you to accuse me if they have anything against me. 20 Otherwise, these men who are accusing me should tell what I was charged with when I stood in front of their council. 21 They could accuse me of only one thing. As I stood among them, I shouted, ‘I’m being tried in front of you because ⌞I believe that⌟ the dead will come back to life.’ ”

22 Felix knew the way ⌞of Christ⌟ rather well, so he adjourned the trial. He told them, “When the officer Lysias arrives, I’ll decide your case.” 23 Felix ordered the sergeant to guard Paul but to let him have some freedom and to let his friends take care of his needs.

24 Some days later Felix arrived with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him talk about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul discussed the subjects of God’s approval, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became afraid and said, “That’s enough for now. You can go. When I find time, I’ll send for you again.” 26 At the same time, Felix was hoping that Paul would give him some money. For that reason, Felix would send for Paul rather often to have friendly conversations with him.

27 Two years passed. Then Porcius Festus took Felix’s place. (Since Felix wanted to do the Jews a favor, he left Paul in prison.)


  1. 24:6 Some manuscripts and translations add verses 6b–8a: “We wanted to try him under our law. But the officer Lysias used force to take him from us. He ordered his accusers to come in front of you.”

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