Paul’s Trial Before Felix

24 Five days later the high priest Ananias(A) went down to Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus, and they brought their charges(B) against Paul before the governor.(C) When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented his case before Felix: “We have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and your foresight has brought about reforms in this nation. Everywhere and in every way, most excellent(D) Felix, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude. But in order not to weary you further, I would request that you be kind enough to hear us briefly.

“We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots(E) among the Jews(F) all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene(G) sect(H) and even tried to desecrate the temple;(I) so we seized him. [7] [a] By examining him yourself you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges we are bringing against him.”

The other Jews joined in the accusation,(J) asserting that these things were true.

10 When the governor(K) motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: “I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense. 11 You can easily verify that no more than twelve days(L) ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple,(M) or stirring up a crowd(N) in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city. 13 And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me.(O) 14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors(P) as a follower of the Way,(Q) which they call a sect.(R) I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets,(S) 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection(T) of both the righteous and the wicked.(U) 16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear(V) before God and man.

17 “After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor(W) and to present offerings. 18 I was ceremonially clean(X) when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance.(Y) 19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia,(Z) who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me.(AA) 20 Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin— 21 unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’”(AB)

22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way,(AC) adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard(AD) but to give him some freedom(AE) and permit his friends to take care of his needs.(AF)

24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus.(AG) 25 As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control(AH) and the judgment(AI) to come, Felix was afraid(AJ) and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.

27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus,(AK) but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews,(AL) he left Paul in prison.(AM)

Paul’s Trial Before Festus

25 Three days after arriving in the province, Festus(AN) went up from Caesarea(AO) to Jerusalem, where the chief priests and the Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul.(AP) They requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way.(AQ) Festus answered, “Paul is being held(AR) at Caesarea,(AS) and I myself am going there soon. Let some of your leaders come with me, and if the man has done anything wrong, they can press charges against him there.”

After spending eight or ten days with them, Festus went down to Caesarea. The next day he convened the court(AT) and ordered that Paul be brought before him.(AU) When Paul came in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him. They brought many serious charges against him,(AV) but they could not prove them.(AW)

Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple(AX) or against Caesar.”

Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor,(AY) said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?”(AZ)

10 Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews,(BA) as you yourself know very well. 11 If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”(BB)

12 After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!”

Festus Consults King Agrippa

13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea(BC) to pay their respects to Festus. 14 Since they were spending many days there, Festus discussed Paul’s case with the king. He said: “There is a man here whom Felix left as a prisoner.(BD) 15 When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him(BE) and asked that he be condemned.

16 “I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over anyone before they have faced their accusers and have had an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges.(BF) 17 When they came here with me, I did not delay the case, but convened the court the next day and ordered the man to be brought in.(BG) 18 When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. 19 Instead, they had some points of dispute(BH) with him about their own religion(BI) and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. 20 I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges.(BJ) 21 But when Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”(BK)

22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.”

He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.”(BL)

Paul Before Agrippa(BM)

23 The next day Agrippa and Bernice(BN) came with great pomp and entered the audience room with the high-ranking military officers and the prominent men of the city. At the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 Festus said: “King Agrippa, and all who are present with us, you see this man! The whole Jewish community(BO) has petitioned me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.(BP) 25 I found he had done nothing deserving of death,(BQ) but because he made his appeal to the Emperor(BR) I decided to send him to Rome. 26 But I have nothing definite to write to His Majesty about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that as a result of this investigation I may have something to write. 27 For I think it is unreasonable to send a prisoner on to Rome without specifying the charges against him.”

Footnotes

  1. Acts 24:7 Some manuscripts include here him, and we would have judged him in accordance with our law. But the commander Lysias came and took him from us with much violence, ordering his accusers to come before you.

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