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The Jews Accuse Paul

24 1Five days later Ananias went to the city of Caesarea. Ananias was the high priest.* Ananias also brought some of the older Jewish leaders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They went to Caesarea to make charges against Paul before the governor. 2Paul was called into the meeting, and Tertullus began to make his charges. Tertullus said, "Most Excellent Felix! Our people enjoy much peace because of you, and many wrong things in our country are being made right through your wise help. 3We are very thankful to accept these things from you. We accept these things always and in every place. 4But I don't want to take any more of your time. So I will say only a few words. Please be patient. 5This man (Paul) is a troublemaker. He makes trouble with the Jews everywhere in the world. He is a leader of the Nazarene group. 6-8Also, he was trying to make the temple* unclean, but we stopped him.* You can decide if all these things are true. Ask him some questions yourself." 9The other Jews agreed. They said, "These things are really true!" 10The governor made a sign for Paul to speak. So Paul answered, "Governor Felix, I know that you have been a judge over this nation (Israel) for a long time. So I am happy to defend myself before you. 11I went to worship in Jerusalem only twelve days ago. You can learn for yourself that this is true. 12These Jews who are accusing me did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple.* I was not making trouble with the people. And I was not making trouble or arguing in the synagogues* or any other place in the city. 13These Jews cannot prove the things they are saying against me now. 14But I will tell you this: I worship the God of our fathers* as a follower of the Way [of Jesus]. The Jews say that the Way [of Jesus] is not the right way. But I believe everything that is taught in the law of Moses. And I believe everything that is written in the books of the prophets.* 15I have the same hope in God that these Jews have--the hope that all people, good and bad, will be raised from death. 16This is why I always try to do what I believe is right before God and men. 17"I was away [from Jerusalem] for many years. I went back there to bring money to my people and to give some offerings (gifts). 18I was doing this when some Jews saw me at the temple.* I had finished the cleansing (washing) ceremony.* I had not made any trouble; no people were gathering around me. 19But some Jews from Asia* were there. They should be here, standing before you. If I have really done anything wrong, those Jews from Asia are the ones who should accuse me. They were there! 20Ask these Jews here if they found any wrong in me when I stood before the Jewish council meeting in Jerusalem. 21I did say one thing when I stood before them: I said, 'You are judging me today because I believe that people will rise from death!'" 22Felix already understood a lot about the Way [of Jesus]. He stopped the trial and said, "When commander Lysias comes here, I will decide about these things." 23Felix told the army officer* to keep Paul guarded. But he told the officer to give Paul some freedom and to let Paul's friends bring the things that Paul needed.

Paul Speaks to Felix and His Wife

24After a few days Felix came with his wife, Drusilla. She was a Jew. Felix asked for Paul to be brought to him. Felix listened to Paul talk about believing in Christ Jesus. 25But Felix became afraid when Paul spoke about things like living right, self-control, and the judgment that will come in the future. Felix said, "Go away now! When I have more time, I will call you." 26But Felix had another reason for talking with Paul. Felix hoped that Paul would pay him a bribe.* So Felix sent for Paul often and talked with him. 27But after two years, Porcius Festus became governor. So Felix was no longer governor. But Felix left Paul in prison, because Felix wanted to do something to please the Jews.

high priest The most important Jewish priest and leader. temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. Verses 6-8 After "... but we stopped him." some Greek copies add 6b-8a: "And we wanted to judge him by our own law. 7But the officer Lysias came and used much force to take him from us. 8And Lysias commanded his people to come to you to accuse us." synagogue(s) Synagogues were places where Jews gathered for prayer, study of the Scriptures, and other public meetings. father(s) Important ancestors of the Jews; the leaders of the twelve Jewish family groups. prophets People that spoke for God. Some of them wrote books that are part of the Old Testament. cleansing ceremony The special things Jews did to end the Nazirite vow. Asia The western part of Asia Minor. army officer A centurion, a Roman army officer who had authority over 100 soldiers. bribe Money to pay for Paul's freedom.

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