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Tertullus Prosecutes Paul
1 Five days later the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a lawyer a named Tertullus, who presented to the governor their case against Paul.
2 When Paul had been called in, Tertullus opened the prosecution: “Because of you, we have enjoyed a lasting peace, and your foresight has brought improvements to this nation. 3 In every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this with all gratitude. 4 But in order not to burden you any further, I beg your indulgence to hear us briefly.
5 We have found this man to be a pestilence, stirring up dissension among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes, 6 and he even tried to desecrate the temple; so we seized him. b 8 By examining him yourself, you will be able to learn the truth about all our charges against him.”
9 The Jews concurred, asserting that these charges were true.
Paul’s Defense to Felix
10 When the governor motioned for Paul to speak, he began his response: “Knowing that you have been a judge over this nation for many years, I gladly make my defense. 11 You can verify for yourself that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 Yet my accusers did not find me debating with anyone in the temple or riling up a crowd in the synagogues or in the city. 13 Nor can they prove to you any of their charges against me.
14 I do confess to you, however, that I worship the God of our fathers according to the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God that they themselves cherish, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 In this hope, I strive always to maintain a clear conscience before God and man.
17 After several years, then, I returned to Jerusalem to bring alms to my people and to present offerings. 18 At the time they found me in the temple, I was ceremonially clean and was not inciting a crowd or an uproar. But there are some Jews from the province of Asia c 19 who ought to appear before you and bring charges, if they have anything against me. 20 Otherwise, let these men state for themselves any crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin, d 21 unless it was this one thing I called out as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’ ”
The Verdict Postponed
22 Then Felix, who was well informed about the Way, adjourned the hearing and said, “When Lysias the commander comes, I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard, but to allow him some freedom and permit his friends to minister to his needs.
24 After several days, Felix returned with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul expounded on righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, “You may go for now. When I find the time, I will call for you.” 26 At the same time, he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe. So he sent for Paul frequently and talked with him.
27 After two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.
1 a Or an orator
6 b BYZ and TR include and we would have judged him according to our law. 7But Lysias the commander came with great force and took him out of our hands, 8ordering his accusers to come before you.
18 c Literally from Asia ; Asia was a Roman province in what is now western Turkey.
20 d Or the Council