Acts  ◦   Chapter 24

1Five days later, the high priest Ananias, some of the religious leaders, and a lawyer named Tertullus went to Caesarea and put their charges against Paul before the governor.2Once Paul was brought in, Tertullus presented his case before Felix: "Because of your vision, wisdom and the reforms instituted in our nation, we have enjoyed a long period of peace and prosperity.3Most Honorable Felix, we acknowledge our gratitude to you constantly, everywhere we go.4Therefore, we don't want to take too much of your time, but request your kind indulgence to listen to this brief account.

5"We have determined that this man is an insurrectionist, traveling all over the world instigating riots amongst the Jews. He is one of the ringleaders of the Nazarene cult6and even tried to defile our holy temple–so we seized him and would have judged him as our law demands,7but commander Lysias took him by force8and ordered his accusers to appear before you. If you question him yourself, you will discover that all the charges we have made against him are true."9The Jews then spoke up and said they agreed with the charges cited by Tertullus.

10When the governor indicated for Paul to speak, he answered the accusations: "I know you have ruled over our nation for many years and are familiar with our customs, and therefore, I'm glad you will hear my defense.11You can easily confirm that it was only twelve days ago when I arrived in Jerusalem to worship.12I argued with no one at the temple, nor did I incite any disturbance at any worship center or any other place in the city, as my accusers well know.13They cannot provide any evidence to support the charges they have brought against me.14But this I admit: I worship the God of our ancestors, following the Way unfolding truth that the Jews call a cult. I believe all things that are in agreement with the books of Moses and the Prophets,15and I hold to the same hope in God as these people do–that there will be a resurrection of both the healed and the terminal.16So I am dedicated to living in harmony with God's design for life, keeping my conscience clear before God and people.

17"After being away from Jerusalem for several years, I returned with gifts for the needy and offerings for God's cause.18I was completing a ceremony of purification when they found me in the temple courts, quietly praying. There was no crowd or commotion of any kind.19But there were some Jews from Asia there who instigated this entire issue, and they should be here to present their charges if they have any evidence to present.20Or these men here accusing me should present evidence of whatever crime they claim I committed while I stood in their High Court–21unless I am here for shouting in their presence: 'I am on trial today because I believe in the resurrection from the dead!'"

22But Felix, who knew all about the expanding way of worshiping God, rather than giving a ruling, adjourned the proceedings. He said, "When Commander Lysias arrives, I will decide your case."23Then he ordered the centurion to guard Paul, but to also give him some freedom and allow his friends to provide for his needs.

24Several days later, Felix and his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, sent for Paul and listened to his presentation about the Remedy of Jesus Christ.25As Paul taught them about the restoration to God's righteous design for life, with recovery of self-mastery and the future diagnosis of all people, Felix became afraid and said, "That's all for now. You may leave. When I have the time, I will call for you."26He was hoping Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him often and talked with him.

27After two years of this, Felix left office, but because he wanted to remain popular with the Jews, he left Paul in prison. He was replaced by Porcius Festus.