1 Five days later the head priest, Ananias, came down [to Caesarea] with certain [Jewish] elders and an attorney [named] Tertullus, who brought their case against Paul before the governor. 2 When Paul was called [to appear before the court] Tertullus began the prosecution by saying, "Your Excellency Felix: Since through you we are able to enjoy peace [in this province] and under your jurisdiction the problems in our society are being [properly] dealt with, 3 we welcome all such efforts in each district with full gratitude. 4 But, not wanting to prolong matters for you, I urge you to give consideration to this brief account [of the problem we face]. 5 We have found this man [i.e., Paul] to be extremely bothersome, and an instigator of strife among the Jews throughout the world and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 We arrested him, for he attempted to desecrate [even] the Temple {{Some ancient manuscripts add verse 7 and we would have judged him according to our law but commander Lysias came and forcibly took him out of our hands}} 8 [and] you will be able to determine the nature of our accusations against him by questioning him yourself." 9 Then the Jews also joined in [making] the charge, and confirmed all the facts that were being presented.
10 And when the governor had motioned for him to speak, Paul answered [the charges, by saying], "I know [Your Excellency] that you have administered justice for this nation for many years, so I am glad to make my defense [before you]. 11 [I know] you can verify that it has not been over twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 [While there] I was not observed arguing with anyone or trying to stir up a crowd [to riot] in the Temple or in the synagogues or [anywhere else] in the city. 13 Neither can anyone prove to you the charges they are now bringing against me. 14 But, I declare to you, I am serving the God of our forefathers according to the 'Way,' called [by my detractors] a sect, and I believe everything that is in harmony with the law of Moses and what is written in [the writings of] the prophets. 15 I have a hope in God that there will be a resurrection both for those who have done right and those who have done wrong, just as the Jews themselves also expect. 16 So, for this reason I make every effort to have a clear conscience before God and men at all times. 17 "Now after several years I came [to Jerusalem] to bring relief for the poor people of my nation and to present my offerings. 18 While doing this, they [i.e., the Jews] found out that I had undergone the rites of purification in the Temple. There was no crowd and no commotion. But certain Jews from [the province of] Asia 19 should have been here before you, [Your Excellency] to make their accusations, if they [really] had a valid charge against me. 20 Or let these men themselves [i.e., members of the Sanhedrin] testify what they found wrong with me when I stood before their Council [meeting]. 21 However, this one point, which I made when I stood among them [could have been objectionable]: I shouted, 'The reason I am being charged before you today is [my preaching of] the resurrection of the dead.' "
22 But because Felix [felt he] had more accurate knowledge of the "Way" [than was being presented by Paul's accusers], he dismissed them, saying, "When commander Lysias comes down [to Caesarea] I will make a decision on your case." 23 So, he ordered his officer to keep Paul in custody, yet with some freedom, and not to prevent any of his friends from ministering to his needs.
24 After a number of days, Felix and Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess, came [back to the palace] and sent for Paul to [come and] tell them about [the] faith in Christ Jesus. 25 And as he discussed the matters of doing right, and [maintaining] self control and the coming judgment, Felix became terrified and answered, "Go on away for now; I will call you back when it is convenient for me." 26 He had hoped, along with everything else, that he would receive money from Paul, so he sent for him more frequently and had discussions with him.
27 So, Felix allowed Paul to remain in chains, because he wanted to gain favor with the Jews [during that period of time]. Two years passed and Felix was succeeded by Portius Festus.