Contemporary English Version
Paul Is Accused in the Court of Felix
24 Five days later Ananias the high priest, together with some of their leaders and a lawyer named Tertullus, went to the governor to present their case against Paul. 2 So Paul was called in, and Tertullus stated the case against him:[a]
Honorable Felix, you have brought our people a long period of peace, and because of your concern our nation is much better off. 3 All of us are always grateful for what you have done. 4 I don’t want to bother you, but please be patient with us and listen to me for just a few minutes.
5 This man has been found to be a real pest and troublemaker for Jews all over the world. He is also a leader of a group called Nazarenes. 6-8 When he tried to disgrace the temple, we arrested him.[b] If you question him, you will find out for yourself that our charges are true.
9 The Jewish crowd spoke up and agreed with what Tertullus had said.
Paul Defends Himself
10 The governor motioned for Paul to speak, and he began:
I know that you have judged the people of our nation for many years, and I am glad to defend myself in your court.
11 It was no more than twelve days ago that I went to worship in Jerusalem. You can find this out easily enough. 12 Never once did the Jews find me arguing with anyone in the temple. I didn’t cause trouble in the Jewish meeting places or in the city itself. 13 There is no way that they can prove these charges that they are now bringing against me.
14 I admit that their leaders think that the Lord’s Way[c] which I follow is based on wrong beliefs. But I still worship the same God that my ancestors worshiped. And I believe everything written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets.[d] 15 I am just as sure as these people are that God will raise from death everyone who is good or evil. 16 And because I am sure, I try my best to have a clear conscience in whatever I do for God or for people.
17 After being away for several years, I returned here to bring gifts for the poor people of my nation and to offer sacrifices. 18 This is what I was doing when I was found going through a ceremony in the temple. I wasn’t with a crowd, and there was no uproar.
19 Some Jews from Asia were there at that time, and if they have anything to say against me, they should be here now. 20 Or ask the ones who are here. They can tell you that they didn’t find me guilty of anything when I was tried by their own council. 21 The only charge they can bring against me is what I shouted out in court, when I said, “I am on trial today because I believe that the dead will be raised to life!”
22 Felix knew a lot about the Lord’s Way.[e] But he brought the trial to an end and said, “I will make my decision after Lysias the commander arrives.” 23 He then ordered the army officer to keep Paul under guard, but not to lock him up or to stop his friends from helping him.
Paul Is Kept under Guard
24 Several days later Felix and his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, went to the place where Paul was kept under guard. They sent for Paul and listened while he spoke to them about having faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But Felix was frightened when Paul started talking to them about doing right, about self-control, and about the coming judgment. So he said to Paul, “That’s enough for now. You may go. But when I have time I will send for you.” 26 After this, Felix often sent for Paul and talked with him, because he hoped that Paul would offer him a bribe.
27 Two years later Porcius Festus became governor in place of Felix. But since Felix wanted to do the Jewish leaders a favor, he kept Paul in jail.
- 24.2 Paul was called in, and Tertullus stated the case against him: Or “Tertullus was called in and stated the case against Paul.”
- 24.6-8 we arrested him: Some manuscripts add, “We wanted to judge him by our own laws. But Lysias the commander took him away from us by force. Then Lysias ordered us to bring our charges against this man in your court.”
- 24.14 the Lord’s Way: See the note at 9.2.
- 24.14 Law of Moses. . . the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament.
- 24.22 the Lord’s Way: See the note at 9.2.