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. Chapter 24.

The Case against Paul

1 FIVE DAYS LATER the High Priest Ananias came down, accompanied by some of the elders and an advocate named Tertullus, and they laid an information against Paul before the Governor. 2 When the prisoner was called, Tertullus opened the case.

'Your Excellency,' he said, 'we owe it to you that we enjoy unbroken peace. It is due to your provident care that, in all kinds of ways and in all sorts of places, improvements are being made for the good of this province. 3 We welcome this, sir, most gratefully. 4 And now, not to take up too much of your time, I crave your indulgence for a brief statement of our case. 5 We have found this man to be a perfect pest, a fomenter of discord among the Jews all over the world, a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He even made an attempt to profane the temple; and then we arrested him." [Some manuscripts insert here: It was our intention to try him under our law;] 7 [Some witnesses insert here: but Lysias the commandant intervened and took him by force out of our hands,] 8 [Some witnesses insert here: ordering his accusers to come before you.] If you will examine him yourself you can ascertain from him the truth of all the charges we bring.' 9 The Jews supported the attack, alleging that the facts were as he stated.

Paul Defends Himself before Felix

10 Then the Governor motioned to Paul to speak, and he began his reply: 'Knowing as I do that for many years you have administered justice in this province, 11 I make my defence with confidence. You can ascertain the facts for yourself. It is not more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage. 12 They did not find me arguing with anyone, or collecting a crowd, either in the temple or in the synagogues or up and down the city; 13 and they cannot make good the charges they bring against me. 14 But this much I will admit: I am a follower of the new way (the "sect" they speak of), and it is in that manner that I worship the God of our fathers; for I believe all that is written in the Law and the prophets, 15 and in reliance on God I hold the hope, which my accusers too accept, that there is to be a resurrection of good and wicked alike. 16 Accordingly I, no less than they, train myself to keep at all times a clear conscience before God and man.

17 'After an absence of several years I came to bring charitable gifts to my nation and to offer sacrifices. 18 They found me in the temple ritually purified and engaged in this service. I had no crowd with me, and there was no disturbance. But some Jews from the province of Asia were there, 19 and if they had any charge against me it is they who ought to have been in court to state it. 20 Failing that, it is for these persons here present to say what crime they discovered when I was brought before the Council, 21 apart from this one open assertion which I made as I stood there: "The true issue in my trial before you today is the resurrection of the dead."'

22 Then Felix, who happened to be well informed about the Christian movement, adjourned the hearing. 'When Lysias the commanding officer comes down', he said, 'I will go into your case.' 23 He gave orders to the centurion to keep Paul under open arrest and not to prevent any of his friends from making themselves useful to him.

Paul Held in Custody

24 Some days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess, and sending for Paul he let him talk to him about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But when the discourse turned to questions of morals, self-control, and the coming judgement, Felix became alarmed and exclaimed, 'That will do for the present; when I find it convenient I will send for you again.' 26 At the same time he had hopes of a bribe from Paul; and for this reason he sent for him very often and talked with him. 27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. Wishing to curry favour with the Jews, Felix left Paul in custody.

<< | Acts: 24 | >>

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