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The Case Against Paul

24 After five days Ananias the high priest arrived with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They brought before the governor their charges against Paul. When he was summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, “Since through you we enjoy much peace, and your foresight is bringing reforms to this nation, with all thankfulness, most excellent Felix, we always welcome it everywhere. But not to detain you further, I beg you to briefly hear us in your patience.

“We have found this man a troublemaker, instigating riots among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the temple. So we seized him and wanted to judge him according to our law. But the commander, Lysias, came to us and forcefully took him out of our hands, ordering his accusers to come before you. By examining him yourself you will be able to learn about all these things concerning which we accuse him.”

The Jews assented, alleging these things to be true.

Paul’s Defense Before Felix

10 After the governor motioned to him to speak, Paul answered, “Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully defend myself. 11 You may verify that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 They did not find me in the temple or in the synagogues or in the city disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd. 13 They cannot prove the things concerning which they now accuse me. 14 However, I affirm that in accordance with the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of my fathers and believe everything written in the Law and in the Prophets. 15 I have hope in God that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, which they also expect. 16 In this do I always strive to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men.

17 “Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation, 18 when some Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with a crowd nor an uproar. 19 They ought to be here before you to accuse me if they have any charges. 20 Or let these men say what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin, 21 unless it is concerning this one statement which I cried out while standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead, I am being judged by you this day.’ ”

22 When Felix, who had more exact knowledge concerning the Way, had heard this, he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander arrives, I will decide your case.” 23 Then he ordered the centurion to guard Paul, and to let him have liberty, and to forbid none of his own people from attending to him.

Paul Held in Custody

24 After several days, when Felix arrived with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess, he sent for Paul and heard him speak concerning faith in Christ. 25 As he lectured about righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix was afraid and answered, “For now, leave! When time permits, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. So he sent for him more often and conversed with him.

27 But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix. And Felix, desiring to do the Jews a favor, left Paul imprisoned.