The Accusation against Paul
1 After five days Ananias the high priest came down with some elders and a lawyer(a) named Tertullus. These men presented their case against Paul to the governor.(A) 2 When he was called in, Tertullus began to accuse him and said: “Since we enjoy great peace because of you, and reforms are taking place for the benefit of this nation by your foresight, 3 we acknowledge this in every way and everywhere, most excellent(B) Felix, with utmost gratitude. 4 However, so that I will not burden you any further, I beg you in your graciousness to give us a brief hearing. 5 For we have found this man to be a plague,(C) an agitator(D) among all the Jews throughout the Roman world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes! 6 He even tried to desecrate the temple, so we apprehended him [and wanted to judge him according to our law. 7 But Lysias the commander came and took him from our hands with great force, 8 commanding his accusers to come to you.](b) By examining him yourself you will be able to discern all these things we are accusing him of.” 9 The Jews also joined in the attack, alleging that these things were so.
Paul’s Defense before Felix
10 When the governor motioned to him to speak, Paul replied: “Because I know you have been a judge of this nation for many years, I am glad to offer my defense in what concerns me.(E) 11 You are able to determine that it is no more than 12 days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem.(F) 12 They didn’t find me disputing with anyone or causing a disturbance among the crowd, either in the temple complex or in the synagogues or anywhere in the city.(G) 13 Neither can they provide evidence to you of what they now bring against me. 14 But I confess this to you: I worship my fathers’ God according to the Way,(H) which they call a sect, believing all the things that are written in the Law and in the Prophets.(I) 15 And I have a hope in God, which these men themselves also accept, that there is going to be a resurrection,(c)(J) both of the righteous and the unrighteous.(K) 16 I always do my best to have a clear conscience(L) toward God and men. 17 After many years, I came to bring charitable gifts and offerings to my nation,(M) 18 and while I was doing this, some Jews from Asia found me ritually purified in the temple, without a crowd and without any uproar.(N) 19 It is they who ought to be here before you to bring charges, if they have anything against me. 20 Either let these men here state what wrongdoing they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin, 21 or about this one statement I cried out while standing among them, ‘Today I am being judged before you concerning the resurrection of the dead.’”
The Verdict Postponed
22 Since Felix was accurately informed about the Way,(O) he adjourned the hearing, saying, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered that the centurion keep Paul(d) under guard, though he could have some freedom, and that he should not prevent any of his friends from serving(e) him.(P)
24 After some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and listened to him on the subject of faith in Christ Jesus. 25 Now as he spoke about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come,(Q) Felix became afraid and replied, “Leave for now, but when I find time I’ll call for you.” 26 At the same time he was also hoping that money would be given to him by Paul.(f) For this reason he sent for him quite often and conversed with him.
a. Acts 24:1: In Gk, the word rhetor is similar to the Eng “rhetoric.” In this situation, a rhetorician who was skilled in public speaking in the Gk language was needed.
b. Acts 24:8: Other mss omit bracketed text
c. Acts 24:15: Other mss add of the dead
d. Acts 24:23: Lit him
e. Acts 24:23: Other mss add or visiting
f. Acts 24:26: Other mss add so that he might release him