Paul before Felix
1 Five days later, the high priest Ananias came down [from Jerusalem to Caesarea] with some elders and a certain forensic advocate Tertullus [acting as spokesman and counsel]. They presented to the governor their evidence against Paul. 2 And when he was called, Tertullus began the complaint [against him] by saying: Since through you we obtain and enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight and provision wonderful reforms (amendments and improvements) are introduced and effected on behalf of this nation, 3 In every way and in every place, most excellent Felix, we accept and acknowledge this with deep appreciation and with all gratitude. 4 But not to hinder or detain you too long, I beg you in your clemency and courtesy and kindness to grant us a brief and concise hearing. 5 For we have found this man a perfect pest (a real plague), an agitator and source of disturbance to all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the [heretical, division-producing] sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He also [even] tried to desecrate and defile the temple, but we laid hands on him and would have sentenced him by our Law, 7 But the commandant Lysias came and took him from us with violence and force, 8 And ordered his accusers to present themselves to you. By examining and cross-questioning him yourself, you will be able to ascertain the truth from him about all these things with which we charge him. 9 The Jews also agreed and joined in the accusation, declaring that all these things were exactly so.
10 And when the governor had beckoned to Paul to speak, he answered: Because I know that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I find it easier to make my defense and do it cheerfully and with good courage. 11 As you can readily verify, it is not more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship; 12 And neither in the temple nor in the synagogues nor in the city did they find me disputing with anybody or bringing together a seditious crowd. 13 Neither can they present argument or evidence to prove to you what they now bring against me. 14 But this I confess to you, however, that in accordance with the Way [of the Lord], which they call a [heretical, division-producing] sect, I worship (serve) the God of our fathers, still persuaded of the truth of and believing in and placing full confidence in everything laid down in the Law [of Moses] or written in the prophets; 15 Having [the same] hope in God which these themselves hold and look for, that there is to be a resurrection both of the righteous and the unrighteous (the just and the unjust). 16 Therefore I always exercise and discipline myself [mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desires, endeavoring in all respects] to have a clear (unshaken, blameless) conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men. 17 Now after several years I came up [to Jerusalem] to bring to my people contributions of charity and offerings. 18 While I was engaged in presenting these, they found me [occupied in the rites of purification] in the temple, without any crowd or uproar. But some Jews from [the province of] Asia [were there], 19 Who ought to be here before you and to present their charges, if they have anything against me. 20 Or else let these men themselves tell of what crime or wrongdoing they found me guilty when I appeared before the council (Sanhedrin), 21 Unless it be this one sentence which I cried out as I stood among them, In regard to the resurrection of the dead I am indicted and on trial before you this day!
22 But Felix, having a rather accurate understanding of the Way [of the Lord], put them off and adjourned the trial, saying, When Lysias the commandant comes down, I will determine your case more fully. 23 Then he ordered the centurion to keep [Paul] in custody, but to treat him with indulgence [giving him some liberty] and not to hinder his friends from ministering to his needs and serving him.
24 Some days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess; and he sent for Paul and listened to him [talk] about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But as he continued to argue about uprightness, purity of life (the control of the passions), and the judgment to come, Felix became alarmed and terrified and said, Go away for the present; when I have a convenient opportunity, I will send for you. 26 At the same time he hoped to get money from Paul, for which reason he continued to send for him and was in his company and conversed with him often. 27 But when two years had gone by, Felix was succeeded in office by Porcius Festus; and wishing to gain favor with the Jews, Felix left Paul still a prisoner in chains.