The Jews say bad things about Paul
1 Five days after that, Ananias, the leader of the priests, went to Caesarea. Some important Jews went with him. A man called Tertullus also went with them. He was a lawyer. All these people went to meet with Felix the ruler. They told Felix what Paul had done. Felix would judge who was right. 2 Felix told a soldier to bring Paul to the meeting. Then Tertullus began to speak against Paul. He said, ‘Sir, you have ruled us well for many years. Because of you, our country has had no wars for a long time. You have made new laws that are good for our country. You have thought well about how you should lead us. 3 Everywhere, the people are happy about what you have done. So we want to thank you very much for all these good things. 4 I do not want you to sit here for a long time. So, I will speak for a short time about our problem. Please be kind to us and listen to me.
5 We know that this man brings trouble everywhere. Anywhere in the world that Jewish people live, he makes them angry. Then they all fight each other. He is the leader of a group called the Nazarenes.’
24:5Tertullus wanted Felix to think that Paul was a problem to the Roman authorities.
6 ‘He also did bad things in God's Great House that are against our laws. So we took hold of him. [We wanted to judge him by what our own law says. 7 But Lysias, the leader of the soldiers, came to us. He attacked us and he took Paul away from us. 8 Then he told us to come and to speak to you about it.] You should ask this man some questions about what he has done. You will find out that what we say against him is true.’
9 The other Jews that were there also spoke against Paul. They said, ‘All these things that Tertullus has said are true.’
Paul tells Felix his own story
10 Then Felix raised his hand towards Paul to show that he should speak. So Paul said to Felix, ‘I know that you have judged the people in this region for many years. So now I am happy to tell you everything. 11 I went to Jerusalem less than 12 days ago. You can check that that is true. I went there to worship God. 12 When the Jews saw me in God's Great House, I was not arguing with anybody. I was not causing trouble among Jewish people in their meeting places. Nor did I cause problems in any other places in Jerusalem. 13 They have said bad things against me. But they cannot show you that these things are true. 14 What I do agree is this: I worship the same God that our Jewish ancestors worshipped. But I do this in the Way that Jesus has taught us. These men say that this is not the right way. But I believe in all God's Law that Moses wrote for us. I also believe in the messages that God's prophets have written in the Bible. 15 I also trust God like these men do. Like them, I believe that people will become alive again after death. God will do this for all people, both good people and bad people. 16 Because of that, I always try to do what is right. I do not want to do anything bad against God or against other people.
17 I had not been to Jerusalem for several years. Now I returned there with a gift of some money. I brought it to give to poor people who are Jews, like me. I also wanted to offer sacrifices to God. 18 I was doing this in the yard of God's Great House when these men found me. I had obeyed all the rules to make myself clean in front of God. There was no crowd with me. Nobody was arguing or fighting because of me. 19 But there were some Jews there who had come from Asia. They are the people who caused the trouble. Maybe they have something bad to say against me. They themselves should come here to speak to you about it. 20 Or these men here should tell you what wrong thing I have done. I stood in front of the meeting of the Jewish leaders and they asked me questions. 21 When I stood there, I shouted, “I believe that dead people will rise and they will live again. That is the reason why you are judging me today.” They may think that is a wrong thing that I did.’
22 Felix knew much about the Way of the Lord Jesus. He now said that the meeting had finished. He said to Paul, ‘Soon Lysias, the leader of the soldiers, will arrive here. Then I will decide what to do with you.’ 23 He said to the officer who was holding Paul, ‘Continue to guard this man carefully. But his friends can come and see him. They can help him and they can bring things for him.’
Felix and Drusilla listen to Paul
24 After some days, Felix came with Drusilla, his Jewish wife. He told his soldiers to bring Paul to them. Paul talked to them, and they listened to everything that he said. Paul spoke about how people believed in Jesus, the Messiah. 25 Paul continued to speak for some time. He said, ‘People need to do what is right. They need to stop themselves doing wrong things. One day, God will judge people for how they have lived.’
While Paul talked about these things, Felix became afraid. He said to Paul, ‘You can leave us now. At some time I may want to listen to you again. Then I will ask you to come to me again.’ 26 But Felix also hoped that Paul would give him some money. For that reason he often met with Paul and they talked together.
24:26Some rulers wanted people in prison to give them money. Then the rulers would let them go. If the rulers did this, they would not be obeying the law. So Felix often listened to Paul.
27 This happened for two years. Felix left Paul in the prison, because he wanted to make the Jewish leaders happy. Then Porcius Festus became the ruler instead of Felix.