Bible: Acts 24-25

The Accusations Against Paul

24:1 After five days the high priest Ananias 1  came down with some elders and an attorney 2  named 3  Tertullus, and they 4  brought formal charges 5  against Paul to the governor. 24:2 When Paul 6  had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, 7  saying, “We have experienced a lengthy time 8  of peace through your rule, 9  and reforms 10  are being made in this nation 11  through your foresight. 12  24:3 Most excellent Felix, 13  we acknowledge this everywhere and in every way 14  with all gratitude. 15  24:4 But so that I may not delay 16  you any further, I beg 17  you to hear us briefly 18  with your customary graciousness. 19  24:5 For we have found 20  this man to be a troublemaker, 21  one who stirs up riots 22  among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader 23  of the sect of the Nazarenes. 24  24:6 He 25  even tried to desecrate 26  the temple, so we arrested 27  him. 24:7 [[EMPTY]] 28  24:8 When you examine 29  him yourself, you will be able to learn from him 30  about all these things we are accusing him of doing.” 31  24:9 The Jews also joined in the verbal attack, 32  claiming 33  that these things were true.

Paul’s Defense Before Felix

24:10 When the governor gestured for him to speak, Paul replied, “Because I know 34  that you have been a judge over this nation for many years, I confidently make my defense. 35  24:11 As you can verify 36  for yourself, not more than twelve days ago 37  I went up to Jerusalem 38  to worship. 24:12 They did not find me arguing 39  with anyone or stirring up a crowd 40  in the temple courts 41  or in the synagogues 42  or throughout the city, 43  24:13 nor can they prove 44  to you the things 45  they are accusing me of doing. 46  24:14 But I confess this to you, that I worship 47  the God of our ancestors 48  according to the Way (which they call a sect), believing everything that is according to the law 49  and that is written in the prophets. 24:15 I have 50  a hope in God (a hope 51  that 52  these men 53  themselves accept too) that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. 54  24:16 This is the reason 55  I do my best to always 56  have a clear 57  conscience toward God and toward people. 58  24:17 After several years 59  I came to bring to my people gifts for the poor 60  and to present offerings, 61  24:18 which I was doing when they found me in the temple, ritually purified, 62  without a crowd or a disturbance. 63  24:19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia 64  who should be here before you and bring charges, 65  if they have anything against me. 24:20 Or these men here 66  should tell what crime 67  they found me guilty of 68  when I stood before the council, 69  24:21 other than 70  this one thing 71  I shouted out while I stood before 72  them: ‘I am on trial before you today concerning the resurrection of the dead.’ 73 

24:22 Then Felix, 74  who understood the facts 75  concerning the Way 76  more accurately, 77  adjourned their hearing, 78  saying, “When Lysias the commanding officer comes down, I will decide your case.” 79  24:23 He ordered the centurion 80  to guard Paul, 81  but to let him have some freedom, 82  and not to prevent any of his friends 83  from meeting his needs. 84 

Paul Speaks Repeatedly to Felix

24:24 Some days later, when Felix 85  arrived with his wife Drusilla, 86  who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him speak 87  about faith in Christ Jesus. 88  24:25 While Paul 89  was discussing 90  righteousness, self-control, 91  and the coming judgment, Felix 92  became 93  frightened and said, “Go away for now, and when I have an opportunity, 94  I will send for you.” 24:26 At the same time he was also hoping that Paul would give him money, 95  and for this reason he sent for Paul 96  as often as possible 97  and talked 98  with him. 24:27 After two years 99  had passed, Porcius Festus 100  succeeded Felix, 101  and because he wanted to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. 102 

Paul Appeals to Caesar

25:1 Now 103  three days after Festus 104  arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem 105  from Caesarea. 106  25:2 So the chief priests and the most prominent men 107  of the Jews brought formal charges 108  against Paul to him. 25:3 Requesting him to do them a favor against Paul, 109  they urged Festus 110  to summon him to Jerusalem, planning an ambush 111  to kill him along the way. 25:4 Then Festus 112  replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, 113  and he himself intended to go there 114  shortly. 25:5 So,” he said, “let your leaders 115  go down there 116  with me, and if this man has done anything wrong, 117  they may bring charges 118  against him.”

25:6 After Festus 119  had stayed 120  not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, 121  and the next day he sat 122  on the judgment seat 123  and ordered Paul to be brought. 25:7 When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, 124  bringing many serious 125  charges that they were not able to prove. 126  25:8 Paul said in his defense, 127 I have committed no offense 128  against the Jewish law 129  or against the temple or against Caesar.” 130  25:9 But Festus, 131  wanting to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and be tried 132  before me there on these charges? 133  25:10 Paul replied, 134 I am standing before Caesar’s 135  judgment seat, 136  where I should be tried. 137  I have done nothing wrong 138  to the Jews, as you also know very well. 139  25:11 If then I am in the wrong 140  and have done anything that deserves death, I am not trying to escape dying, 141  but if not one of their charges against me is true, 142  no one can hand me over to them. 143  I appeal to Caesar! 144  25:12 Then, after conferring with his council, 145  Festus 146  replied, “You have appealed to Caesar; 147  to Caesar 148  you will go! 149 

Festus Asks King Agrippa for Advice

25:13 After several days had passed, King Agrippa 150  and Bernice arrived at Caesarea 151  to pay their respects 152  to Festus. 153  25:14 While 154  they were staying there many days, Festus 155  explained Paul’s case to the king to get his opinion, 156  saying, “There is a man left here as a prisoner by Felix. 25:15 When I was in Jerusalem, 157  the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed 158  me about him, 159  asking for a sentence of condemnation 160  against him. 25:16 I answered them 161  that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone 162  before the accused had met his accusers face to face 163  and had been given 164  an opportunity to make a defense against the accusation. 165  25:17 So after they came back here with me, 166  I did not postpone the case, 167  but the next day I sat 168  on the judgment seat 169  and ordered the man to be brought. 25:18 When his accusers stood up, they did not charge 170  him with any of the evil deeds I had suspected. 171  25:19 Rather they had several points of disagreement 172  with him about their own religion 173  and about a man named Jesus 174  who was dead, whom Paul claimed 175  to be alive. 25:20 Because I was at a loss 176  how I could investigate these matters, 177  I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried 178  there on these charges. 179  25:21 But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, 180  I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” 181  25:22 Agrippa 182  said to Festus, 183 I would also like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, 184 you will hear him.”

Paul Before King Agrippa and Bernice

25:23 So the next day Agrippa 185  and Bernice came with great pomp 186  and entered the audience hall, 187  along with the senior military officers 188  and the prominent men of the city. When Festus 189  gave the order, 190  Paul was brought in. 25:24 Then Festus 191  said, “King Agrippa, 192  and all you who are present here with us, you see this man about whom the entire Jewish populace 193  petitioned 194  me both in Jerusalem 195  and here, 196  shouting loudly 197  that he ought not to live any longer. 25:25 But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, 198  and when he appealed 199  to His Majesty the Emperor, 200  I decided to send him. 201  25:26 But I have nothing definite 202  to write to my lord 203  about him. 204  Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, 205  so that after this preliminary hearing 206  I may have something to write. 25:27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating 207  the charges against him.”

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