Five days after this, Ananias the High Priest came down to Caesarea with a number of Elders and a pleader called Tertullus. They stated to the Governor the case against Paul.
So Paul was sent for, and Tertullus began to impeach him as follows: "Indebted as we are," he said, "to you, most noble Felix, for the perfect peace which we enjoy, and for reforms which your wisdom has introduced to this nation,
in every instance and in every place we accept them with profound gratitude.
But--not to detain you too long--I beg you in your forbearance to listen to a brief statement from us.
For we have found this man Paul a source of mischief and a disturber of the peace among all the Jews throughout the Empire, and a ringleader in the heresy of the Nazarenes.
He even attempted to profane the Temple, but we arrested him.
You, however, by examining him, will yourself be able to learn the truth as to all this which we allege against him."
The Jews also joined in the charge, maintaining that these were facts.
Then, at a sign from the Governor, Paul answered, "Knowing, Sir, that for many years you have administered justice to this nation, I cheerfully make my defence.
For you have it in your power to ascertain that it is not more than twelve days ago that I went up to worship in Jerusalem;
and that neither in the Temple nor in the synagogues, nor anywhere in the city, did they find me disputing with any opponent or collecting a crowd about me.
Nor can they prove the charges which they are now bringing against me.
But this I confess to you--that in the way which they style a heresy, I worship the God of our forefathers, believing everything that is taught in the Law or is written in the Prophets,
and having a hope directed towards God, which my accusers themselves also entertain, that before long there will be a resurrection both of the righteous and the unrighteous.
This too is my own earnest endeavour--always to have a clear conscience in relation to God and man.
"Now after an interval of several years I came to bring alms to my nation, and to offer sacrifices.
While I was busy about these, they found me in the Temple purified, with no crowd around me and no uproar; but there were certain Jews from the province of Asia.
They ought to have been here before you, and to have been my prosecutors, if they have any charge to bring against me.
Or let these men themselves say what misdemeanour they found me guilty of when I stood before the Sanhedrin,
unless it was in that one expression which I made use of when I shouted out as I stood among them, "`The resurrection of the dead is the thing about which I am on my trial before you to-day.'"
At this point Felix, who was fairly well informed about the new faith, adjourned the trial, saying to the Jews, "When the Tribune Lysias comes down, I will enter carefully into the matter."
And he gave orders to the Captain that Paul was to be kept in custody, but be treated with indulgence, and that his personal friends were not to be prevented from showing him kindness.
Not long after this, Felix came with Drusilla his wife, a Jewess, and sending for Paul, listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus.
But when he dealt with the subjects of justice, self-control, and the judgement which was soon to come, Felix became alarmed and said, "For the present leave me, and when I can find a convenient opportunity I will send for you."
At the same time he hoped that Paul would give him money; and for this reason he sent for him the oftener to converse with him.
But after the lapse of fully two years Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and being desirous of gratifying the Jews, Felix left Paul still in prison.