The Jewish leaders blamed Paul in Felix’s court
Then, 5 days later, the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem came to Caesarea. One of them was Ananias, the big boss of the Jewish ceremonies, and another one was Tertullus, a lawyer. And there were some Jewish elders in that mob too.
They went to the court house of Felix, the government boss, and they told him that Paul did bad things. 2-3 So Felix told a soldier, “Bring Paul into this court house.”
Then Tertullus started to blame Paul. He said to Felix, “You have been our government boss for a long time, and you have been a good boss for us. You have made a lot of things good in this country, and we have been happy all the time, with no trouble. So we just want to thank you for everything that you do for us all the time. But now, I don’t want to take up too much of your time, so I’m asking you to listen to me for a little while. You see, this man is a trouble maker. He makes trouble everywhere he goes. He gets the Jewish people angry everywhere, and they go wild. He is the leader of the Nazarene mob. 6-7 He even tried to do things in God’s ceremony house that are against our law. So we grabbed him. If you ask him questions, you will find out for yourself that everything we are telling you is true.”
The other Jewish leaders blamed Paul too, and they reckoned that everything Tertullus said was true.
Paul said that the Jewish leaders were wrong
10 Then Felix, the government boss, let Paul know that it was his turn to talk.
So Paul said, “I know that you have been a judge in this country for a long time, so I’m happy to tell you the true story.
11 You can check on my story, and you will find out that it was just 12 days ago that I went to Jerusalem to show respect to God. You know, 12 days is not enough time for me to make a lot of trouble. 12 This mob didn’t see me do anything wrong. I wasn’t arguing with anyone, and I wasn’t making people angry or wild. I didn’t do those things at God’s ceremony house, or in a Jewish meeting house, or anywhere in Jerusalem. 13 They can’t show you that the things they say are true.
14 But I can tell you this, I do show respect to the God that our Jewish people respect, the God that our grand-fathers respected a long time ago. It is true that I’m with the mob called the Jesus Way mob. The Jewish leaders say that we are wrong, but that is not true. And I believe everything in God’s book. I keep our law, and I believe everything that God got his men to write in his book. 15 You know, these Jewish leaders here believe that one day God will make all the dead people come alive again, both the people that were good and the people that were bad. And I believe that too. 16 So I always try to do whatever God wants, and I always try to do whatever other people want too. You see, I want to feel good about everything I do.
17 Let me tell you what happened. A few years ago I went to some other countries, and then a few days ago I got back to Jerusalem. I brought some money with me to give to poor people there, and I wanted to show respect to God by giving things to him at his ceremony house.* 18 And I did the ceremony to make myself clean. Some Jewish people saw me there at God’s ceremony house. But I was by myself. There was no mob of people with me, and I was not getting anyone to go wild. 19 It was some other Jews from Asia country that made the people go wild. If those Asia Jews really thought I did something wrong, why didn’t they come here to blame me in front of you? I reckon they know their story isn’t true. 20 And this mob here, they had me in their Jewish court in Jerusalem. But can they tell you that they found me guilty of something? No. I told them my story, and they didn’t say that I was guilty of anything. 21 But there is one thing that I said in that court that made them angry. I shouted, ‘You are judging me today because I believe that God will make all the dead people become alive again.’ That’s all.”*
Felix stopped the court to wait for the big boss soldier to come
22 Then Felix stopped the court. You see, he already knew a lot about the Christian people, the Jesus Way mob. Felix said to the people in the court, “Lisias will come here later. He is the big boss over the soldiers in Jerusalem. And after I listen to his story I will say if Paul is guilty or not.”
23 Then he told the boss soldier, “Take Paul back to the jail and make sure that he stays there, but don’t tie him up. And let his friends come to visit him, to look after him.”
Felix wanted Paul to give him money to let him go free
24 A few days later, Felix came back with his wife. She was a Jewish woman. Her name was Drusilla. Felix told a soldier to bring Paul to them, and they listened to him talk. Paul told them, “We have to believe in Jesus. He is the Christ, the special man that God sent to save us.” 25 And Paul told them about the way God wants people to live. He said that God wants us to do what is right, and that he wants us to control ourselves. And Paul told them that God will judge everybody one day.
Felix heard Paul talking about those things, and he got frightened. He said, “Stop, Paul, thats enough for today. You can go back to the jail now. Maybe I will have time to listen to you another day, and then I will get you to come and talk to me again.”
26 Felix hoped that Paul might give him some money to let him get out of jail, so he often sent somebody to get Paul, and he talked with him. But Paul didn’t give Felix any money, so Felix didn’t let him go.
27 Felix kept Paul in jail there for 2 years. Then the time came for them to change the boss over that country, and another big boss came to take over from Felix. The name of the new boss was Porcius Festus. Felix wanted to keep the Jewish leaders happy, so he didn’t let Paul go out of jail. Paul was still in jail there when Festus took over.
* 24:17 Acts 21:17-28 * 24:21 Acts 23:6