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Paul Presents His Case to Felix

24 Five days later, the high priest Ananias arrived with certain elders and Tertullus, an attorney, and they summarized their case against Paul before the governor. When Paul[a] had been summoned, Tertullus opened the prosecution by saying:

“Your Excellency Felix, since we are enjoying lasting peace because of you, and since reforms for this nation are being brought about through your foresight, we always and everywhere acknowledge it with profound gratitude. But so as not to detain you any further, I beg you to hear us briefly with your customary graciousness. For we have found this man a perfect pest and an agitator among all Jews throughout the world. He is a ringleader in the sect of the Nazarenes[b] and even tried to profane the Temple, but we arrested him.[c] By examining him for yourself, you will be able to find out from him everything of which we accuse him.”

The Jewish leaders[d] supported his accusations by asserting that these things were true. 10 When the governor motioned for Paul to speak, he replied:

“Since I know that you have been a judge over this nation for many years, I am pleased to present my defense. 11 You can verify for yourself that I went up to worship in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago. 12 They never found me debating with anyone in the Temple or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or throughout the city, 13 and they cannot prove to you the charges they are now bringing against me. 14 However, I admit to you that in accordance with the Way, which they call a heresy,[e] I worship the God of our ancestors and believe in everything written in the Law and the Prophets. 15 I have the same hope in God that they themselves cherish—that there is to be a resurrection of the righteous and the wicked. 16 Therefore, I always do my best to have a clear conscience before God and people. 17 After many years, I have come back to my people to bring gifts for the poor and to offer sacrifices. 18 They found me in the Temple doing these things just as I had completed the purification ceremony. No crowd or noisy mob was present. 19 But some Jews from Asia were there, and they should be here before you to accuse me if they have anything against me. 20 Otherwise, these men themselves should tell what wrong they found when I stood before the Council[f] 21 unless it is for the one thing I shouted as I stood among them: ‘It is for the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’”

22 Felix was rather well informed about the Way, and so he adjourned the trial with the comment, “When Tribune Lysias arrives, I’ll decide your case.” 23 He ordered the centurion to guard Paul[g] but to let him have some freedom and not to keep any of his friends from caring for 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 Jesus[h] the Messiah.[i] 25 As Paul[j] talked about righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became afraid and said, “For the present you may go. When I get a chance, I will send for you again.” 26 At the same time he was hoping to receive a bribe from Paul, and so he would send for him frequently to talk with him.

27 After two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. Since Felix wanted to do the Jews a favor, he left Paul in prison.


  1. Acts 24:2 Lit. he
  2. Acts 24:5 The Gk. Nazoraios may be a word play between Heb. netser, meaning branch (cf. Isa 11:1), and the name Nazareth.
  3. Acts 24:6 Other mss. read arrested him, and we wanted to try him under our law. But Tribune Lysias came along and took him out of our hands with much force, ordering his accusers to come before you.
  4. Acts 24:9 I.e. Judean leaders; lit. The Jews
  5. Acts 24:14 Or sect
  6. Acts 24:20 Or Sanhedrin
  7. Acts 24:23 Lit. him
  8. Acts 24:24 Other mss. lack Jesus
  9. Acts 24:24 Or Christ
  10. Acts 24:25 Lit. he