23 Paul looked directly 1 at the council 2 and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience 3 before God to this day.” 2 At that 4 the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near 5 Paul 6 to strike 7 him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! 8 Do 9 you sit there judging me according to the law, 10 and in violation of the law 11 you order me to be struck?” 4 Those standing near him 12 said, “Do you dare insult 13 God’s high priest?” 5 Paul replied, 14 “I did not realize, 15 brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’” 16
6 Then when Paul noticed 17 that part of them were Sadducees 18 and the others Pharisees, 19 he shouted out in the council, 20 “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection 21 of the dead!” 7 When he said this, 22 an argument 23 began 24 between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) 25 9 There was a great commotion, 26 and some experts in the law 27 from the party of the Pharisees stood up 28 and protested strongly, 29 “We find nothing wrong 30 with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 When the argument became 31 so great the commanding officer 32 feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, 33 he ordered the detachment 34 to go down, take him away from them by force, 35 and bring him into the barracks. 36
11 The following night the Lord 37 stood near 38 Paul 39 and said, “Have courage, 40 for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, 41 so you must also testify in Rome.” 42
12 When morning came, 43 the Jews formed 44 a conspiracy 45 and bound themselves with an oath 46 not to eat or drink anything 47 until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. 48 14 They 49 went 50 to the chief priests 51 and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath 52 not to partake 53 of anything until we have killed Paul. 15 So now you and the council 54 request the commanding officer 55 to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine 56 his case 57 by conducting a more thorough inquiry. 58 We are ready to kill him 59 before he comes near this place.” 60
16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, 61 he came and entered 62 the barracks 63 and told Paul. 17 Paul called 64 one of the centurions 65 and said, “Take this young man to the commanding officer, 66 for he has something to report to him.” 18 So the centurion 67 took him and brought him to the commanding officer 68 and said, “The prisoner Paul called 69 me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” 19 The commanding officer 70 took him by the hand, withdrew privately, and asked, “What is it that you want 71 to report to me?” 20 He replied, 72 “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council 73 tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. 21 So do not let them persuade you to do this, 74 because more than forty of them 75 are lying in ambush 76 for him. They 77 have bound themselves with an oath 78 not to eat or drink anything 79 until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request.” 80 22 Then the commanding officer 81 sent the young man away, directing him, 82 “Tell no one that you have reported 83 these things to me.” 23 Then 84 he summoned 85 two of the centurions 86 and said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea 87 along with seventy horsemen 88 and two hundred spearmen 89 by 90 nine o’clock tonight, 91 24 and provide mounts for Paul to ride 92 so that he may be brought safely to Felix 93 the governor.” 94 25 He wrote 95 a letter that went like this: 96
26 Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor 97 Felix, 98 greetings. 27 This man was seized 99 by the Jews and they were about to kill him, 100 when I came up 101 with the detachment 102 and rescued him, because I had learned that he was 103 a Roman citizen. 104 28 Since I wanted to know 105 what charge they were accusing him of, 106 I brought him down to their council. 107 29 I found he 108 was accused with reference to controversial questions 109 about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. 110 30 When I was informed 111 there would be a plot 112 against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges 113 against him before you.
31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, 114 took 115 Paul and brought him to Antipatris 116 during the night. 32 The next day they let 117 the horsemen 118 go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. 119 33 When the horsemen 120 came to Caesarea 121 and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented 122 Paul to him. 34 When the governor 123 had read 124 the letter, 125 he asked 126 what province he was from. 127 When he learned 128 that he was from Cilicia, 129 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing 130 when your accusers arrive too.” Then 131 he ordered that Paul 132 be kept under guard in Herod’s palace. 133
24 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. 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 3 Most excellent Felix, 13 we acknowledge this everywhere and in every way 14 with all gratitude. 15 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 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 6 He 25 even tried to desecrate 26 the temple, so we arrested 27 him. 7 [[EMPTY]] 28 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 9 The Jews also joined in the verbal attack, 32 claiming 33 that these things were true.
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 11 As you can verify 36 for yourself, not more than twelve days ago 37 I went up to Jerusalem 38 to worship. 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 13 nor can they prove 44 to you the things 45 they are accusing me of doing. 46 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. 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 16 This is the reason 55 I do my best to always 56 have a clear 57 conscience toward God and toward people. 58 17 After several years 59 I came to bring to my people gifts for the poor 60 and to present offerings, 61 18 which I was doing when they found me in the temple, ritually purified, 62 without a crowd or a disturbance. 63 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. 20 Or these men here 66 should tell what crime 67 they found me guilty of 68 when I stood before the council, 69 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
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 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
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 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.” 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. 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
25 Now 1 three days after Festus 2 arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem 3 from Caesarea. 4 2 So the chief priests and the most prominent men 5 of the Jews brought formal charges 6 against Paul to him. 3 Requesting him to do them a favor against Paul, 7 they urged Festus 8 to summon him to Jerusalem, planning an ambush 9 to kill him along the way. 4 Then Festus 10 replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, 11 and he himself intended to go there 12 shortly. 5 “So,” he said, “let your leaders 13 go down there 14 with me, and if this man has done anything wrong, 15 they may bring charges 16 against him.”
6 After Festus 17 had stayed 18 not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, 19 and the next day he sat 20 on the judgment seat 21 and ordered Paul to be brought. 7 When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, 22 bringing many serious 23 charges that they were not able to prove. 24 8 Paul said in his defense, 25 “I have committed no offense 26 against the Jewish law 27 or against the temple or against Caesar.” 28 9 But Festus, 29 wanting to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and be tried 30 before me there on these charges?” 31 10 Paul replied, 32 “I am standing before Caesar’s 33 judgment seat, 34 where I should be tried. 35 I have done nothing wrong 36 to the Jews, as you also know very well. 37 11 If then I am in the wrong 38 and have done anything that deserves death, I am not trying to escape dying, 39 but if not one of their charges against me is true, 40 no one can hand me over to them. 41 I appeal to Caesar!” 42 12 Then, after conferring with his council, 43 Festus 44 replied, “You have appealed to Caesar; 45 to Caesar 46 you will go!” 47
13 After several days had passed, King Agrippa 48 and Bernice arrived at Caesarea 49 to pay their respects 50 to Festus. 51 14 While 52 they were staying there many days, Festus 53 explained Paul’s case to the king to get his opinion, 54 saying, “There is a man left here as a prisoner by Felix. 15 When I was in Jerusalem, 55 the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed 56 me about him, 57 asking for a sentence of condemnation 58 against him. 16 I answered them 59 that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone 60 before the accused had met his accusers face to face 61 and had been given 62 an opportunity to make a defense against the accusation. 63 17 So after they came back here with me, 64 I did not postpone the case, 65 but the next day I sat 66 on the judgment seat 67 and ordered the man to be brought. 18 When his accusers stood up, they did not charge 68 him with any of the evil deeds I had suspected. 69 19 Rather they had several points of disagreement 70 with him about their own religion 71 and about a man named Jesus 72 who was dead, whom Paul claimed 73 to be alive. 20 Because I was at a loss 74 how I could investigate these matters, 75 I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried 76 there on these charges. 77 21 But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, 78 I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” 79 22 Agrippa 80 said to Festus, 81 “I would also like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, 82 “you will hear him.”
23 So the next day Agrippa 83 and Bernice came with great pomp 84 and entered the audience hall, 85 along with the senior military officers 86 and the prominent men of the city. When Festus 87 gave the order, 88 Paul was brought in. 24 Then Festus 89 said, “King Agrippa, 90 and all you who are present here with us, you see this man about whom the entire Jewish populace 91 petitioned 92 me both in Jerusalem 93 and here, 94 shouting loudly 95 that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, 96 and when he appealed 97 to His Majesty the Emperor, 98 I decided to send him. 99 26 But I have nothing definite 100 to write to my lord 101 about him. 102 Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, 103 so that after this preliminary hearing 104 I may have something to write. 27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating 105 the charges against him.”