Five days later the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They pressed charges against Paul before the governor.
After the governor summoned Paul, Tertullus began to make his case against him. He declared, "Under your leadership, we have experienced substantial peace, and your administration has brought reforms to our nation.
Always and everywhere, most honorable Felix, we acknowledge this with deep gratitude.
I don't want to take too much of your time, so I ask that you listen with your usual courtesy to our brief statement of the facts.
We have found this man to be a troublemaker who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the empire. He's a ringleader of the Nazarene faction
and even tried to defile the temple. That's when we arrested him.a8
By examining him yourself, you will be able to verify the allegations we are bringing against him."
The Jews reinforced the action against Paul, affirming the truth of these accusations.
The governor nodded at Paul, giving him permission to speak. He responded, "I know that you have been judge over this nation for many years, so I gladly offer my own defense.
You can verify that I went up to worship in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago.
They didn't find me arguing with anyone in the temple or stirring up a crowd, whether in the synagogue or anywhere else in the city.
Nor can they prove to you the allegations they are now bringing against me.
I do admit this to you, that I am a follower of the Way, which they call a faction. Accordingly, I worship the God of our ancestors and believe everything set out in the Law and written in the Prophets.
The hope I have in God I also share with my accusers, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.
On account of this, I have committed myself to maintaining a clear conscience before God and with all people.
After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring gifts for the poor of my nation and to offer sacrifices.
When they found me in the temple, I was ritually pure. There was no crowd and no disturbance.
But there were some Jews from the province of Asia. They should be here making their accusations, if indeed they have something against me.
In their absence, have these people who are here declare what crime they found when I stood before the Jerusalem Council.
Perhaps it concerns this one statement that I blurted out when I was with them: ‘I am on trial before you today because of the resurrection of the dead.'"
Felix, who had an accurate understanding of the Way, adjourned the meeting. He said, "When Lysias the commander arrives from Jerusalem, I will decide this case."
He arranged for a centurion to guard Paul. He was to give Paul some freedom, and his friends were not to be hindered in their efforts to provide for him.
After several days, Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and summoned Paul. He listened to him talk about faith in Christ Jesus.
When he spoke about upright behavior, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became fearful and said, "Go away for now! When I have time, I'll send for you."
At the same time, he was hoping that Paul would offer him some money, so he often sent for him and talked with him.
When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. Since Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.