Acts 24: Trial without Judgment

How much time and effort do you think Jewish leaders put into their case against Paul?

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Acts 24:1 Five days later, the high priest Ananias arrived with the Jewish leaders and the orator Tertullus, who was to present to the governor their case against Paul.
King James
Acts 24:1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.

Why would Tertullus have been appointed to speak for the prosecution and not the high priest?

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Acts 24:2 After Paul was called in, Tertullus spoke for the prosecution: “Most noble Felix, under your rule, our nation has enjoyed great peace due to your thoughtful decisions.
King James
Acts 24:2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,.

Was recognition of Roman authority more than a respectful formality? Why or why not?

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Acts 24:3 We accept your authority in every way, being grateful.
King James
Acts 24:3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.

Why might Tertullus have thought it wise to get directly to the point?

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Acts 24:4 I don’t want to bore you with a long, boring speech, so I pray that you graciously hear me as I present these few important words.
King James
Acts 24:4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.

Why would the Jews have claimed that Paul was chief leader of the Christians and not Peter or the most prominent person in the Jerusalem church?

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Acts 24:5 This man is a troublemaker, one who has stirred riots among Jews throughout the world. He is the chief leader of the Nazarene sect.
King James
Acts 24:5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

What did Tertullus say Paul did to defile the Temple?

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Acts 21:29 They had seen Trophimus in the city earlier, an Ephesian, and assumed that Paul had brought him into the Temple.
24:6 He was about to defile our holy Temple, so we arrested him and wanted to judge him according to our laws.
King James
Acts 21:29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
24:6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.

Why would Tertullus claim this should have been a matter for a Jewish court, not a Roman court?

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Acts 24:6 He was about to defile our holy Temple, so we arrested him and wanted to judge him according to our laws.
24:7 But the captain Lysias arrived with his soldiers and forcibly took him from our control,
24:8 and ordered us to present our accusations to you. Examine him yourself and you will recognize the truth of our charges.”
King James
Acts 24:6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
24:7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
24:8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.

What did the Jews expect the governor to learn from his investigation of Paul?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 24:7 But the captain Lysias arrived with his soldiers and forcibly took him from our control,
24:8 and ordered us to present our accusations to you. Examine him yourself and you will recognize the truth of our charges.”
King James
Acts 24:7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
24:8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.

What do you think the rest of the Jewish delegation had to say about Paul?

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Acts 24:9 The Jewish delegation confirmed what Tertullus was saying.
King James
Acts 24:9 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.

Why might it have been effective for Paul to say his words could easily be verified?

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Acts 24:11 You can easily verify the truth of my words. I arrived to worship in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago.
King James
Acts 24:11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.

The Jews were known to have brought false witnesses before the Sanhedrin . Why wouldn’t they do that in a Roman court?

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Matthew 26:59 The chief priests and Jewish council brought in witnesses who were to give false testimony about Jesus so they could sentence him to die.
Acts 24:13 These men have no evidence to prove what they accuse me of.
King James
Matthew 26:59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death.
Acts 24:13 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.

Was Paul making an accurate statement that he believed all that was written in the Law and the prophets? Why or why not?

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Acts 24:14 confess to you, the way they call heresy is true worship of the God of our ancestors, for I believe all that is written in the Law and the prophets.
King James
Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.

If Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the prophets, how could the Jews think that Paul’s message was heresy?

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Matthew 5:17 Do not think I am here to abolish the Law or the words of the prophets. I came to fulfill their purpose.
John 8:44 You come from your father, the devil, and your desires are like his. From the beginning, he was a murderer and opposed the truth, because truth was not in his nature. When he lies, he speaks from his heart, because he is a liar and the father of lies.
Acts 24:15 My hope in God rests upon what they also believe—that the dead will rise from the grave, both the righteous and the unrighteous.
King James
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

How did Paul’s relationship with God make it possible for him to have no offense toward people?

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Matthew 5:43 People usually say, “Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy,”
5:44 but I say you should show kindness to your enemies, doing good to those who persecute you.
Acts 24:16 Knowing this, I live with a clear conscience, holding no offense toward God and people.
King James
Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

Did Paul tell the governor the whole truth about why he had gone to Jerusalem? Why or why not?

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Acts 24:17 After many years away from Jerusalem, I returned to give money to benefit my people and to offer sacrifices.
King James
Acts 24:17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.

How did the Temple worshipers’ attitude toward Paul compare with those who had stirred a mob against him?

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Acts 24:18 When some Jews from Asia found me in the Temple following our rites of purification, no crowd was gathered around me. There was no uproar among the people.
King James
Acts 24:18 Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.

If the Temple worshipers had been brought to the court in Caesarea, what might their testimony have been?

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Acts 24:19 I wish they were standing before you now, for they would say they had nothing against me.
King James
Acts 24:19 Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me.

Why had the high council in Jerusalem not been able to find Paul guilty of any wrongdoing?

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Acts 23:7 These words divided the council, the Pharisees favoring Paul, the Sadducees arguing against him.
24:20 Ask the men here whether the high council found me guilty of any wrongdoing.
King James
Acts 23:7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
24:20 Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council.

Of what charge did Paul admit his guilt?

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Acts 24:21 They have only one charge they can raise against me, which I shouted while standing among them. I am being judged because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.
King James
Acts 24:21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.

For what reasons might Governor Felix have deferred judgment concerning Paul until later?

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Acts 24:22 After hearing this, Felix postponed his decision, fully aware of the peaceable manner of Christians. “When Captain Lysias arrives, I will hear what he has to say. Then I will give my judgment.”
King James
Acts 24:22 And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.

How would you describe the nature of Paul’s imprisonment?

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Acts 24:23 He put Paul under an officer’s care, allowing him to receive friends who took care of his needs.
King James
Acts 24:23 And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.

Why do you think the governor wanted to hear more from Paul about his faith in Jesus Christ?

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Acts 24:24 A few days later, Felix returned with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul to hear him speak about his faith in Jesus Christ.
King James
Acts 24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.

What part of Paul’s message might have caused Felix not to want to hear any more, at least for now?

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Acts 24:25 As Paul gave strong arguments concerning righteousness, self-control, and God’s judgment, Felix became fearful and said, “That’s enough for now. When I have more time, I’ll send for you again.”
King James
Acts 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

What circumstances might have led the governor to believe someone would give him money for Paul’s release?

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Acts 24:26 He often sent for Paul and listened to what he had to say, because he thought someone would eventually give him money for his release.
King James
Acts 24:26 He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.

For what reason was Paul not released? How would you describe the nature of his imprisonment during those two years?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 24:27 Two years later, Felix welcomed Porcius Festus, his successor. Wanting the favor of the Jews, Felix had left Paul under guard for all this time.
King James
Acts 24:27 But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.