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Chapter 24

1Five days later, the high priest Ananias came down with some of the elders and an attorney named Tertullus, and they presented their case against Paul before the governor. 2When Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began the prosecution.

“Your Excellency Felix,” he said, “since through your efforts we enjoy perfect peace, and through your foresight this nation is securing needed reforms, 3we always and everywhere acknowledge this with profound gratitude. 4But—not to detain you too long—I beg you to be kind enough to give us a brief hearing. 5For we have found this man a pest and a disturber of the peace among Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect, 6and actually tried to desecrate the Temple, but we caught him. 8If you will examine him yourself you will be able to find out from him all about the things we charge him with.”

9The Jews also joined in these charges, and said that the statement was true. 10The governor made a sign to Paul to speak, and he answered,

“As I know that for many years you have acted as judge for this nation, I cheerfully undertake my defense, 11for it is not more than twelve days ago, as you can easily satisfy yourself, that I went up to worship at Jerusalem, 12and they have never found me debating with anyone in the Temple, or creating a disturbance among the people in the synagogues or about the city, 13and they cannot sustain the charges they have just made against me. 14I admit that in worshiping the God of my forefathers I follow the way of life that they call a sect, but I believe everything that is taught in the Law or written in the prophets, 15and I have the same hope in God that they themselves hold, that there is to be a resurrection of the upright and the wicked. 16Therefore I strive always to have a clear conscience before God and men. 17After an absence of several years, I had come to bring charitable donations for my nation, and to offer sacrifice. 18I had undergone the rites of purification and was occupied with these matters when they found me in the Temple, with no crowd or disturbance at all. But there were some Jews from Asia 19who ought to be here before you and to present their charges if they have any to make against me. 20Or let these men themselves tell what they found wrong in me when I appeared before the council— 21unless it was the one thing I shouted out as I stood among them—‘It is on the question of the resurrection of the dead that I am here on trial before you today!’ ”

22Then Felix, who was somewhat well informed about the Way, adjourned the trial, saying to the Jews,

“When Lysias, the colonel, comes down here, I will decide your case.”

23He ordered the officer to keep Paul in custody, but to allow him some freedom, and not to prevent his friends from looking after him.

24Some days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and sent for Paul and heard what he had to say about faith in Christ Jesus. 25But as he talked of uprightness, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became alarmed, and said,

“You may go for the present. I will find time later to send for you.”

26At the same time he hoped to get money from Paul, and for that reason he used to send for him very often and talk with him.

27But when two whole years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and as he wanted to gratify the Jews, Felix left Paul in prison.

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