Almost identical to the charges in Luk 23:2 and Mat 26:61, re
NAZARENE SECT: Cp Mat 2:23; John 1:46;
TRIED TO DESECRATE THE TEMPLE: But Paul was actually
purified in the Temple (v 18)!
The "tried" indicates a more careful charge than the one in
V 7 (in NIV mg): "But the commander, Lysias, came and with the
use of much force snatched him from our hands": That is, 'We would have handled
this matter easily, not disturbing you... if only Lysias had left us
BY EXAMINING HIM YOURSELF: "Him" = Lysias, who will --
they say -- confirm their story (vv 7,22).
In ct Tertullus' speech (Acts 24:2-8), Paul uses no flattery
at all; he speaks in a clear and straightforward manner. And so would we always
speak. If we feel there is a need to flatter the one to whom we are speaking;
then probably our case is not as good as we would like to think.
NO MORE THAN TWELVE DAYS AGO: As if to say, 'How could
I have achieve as many extraordinary things as my accusers allege in only 12
Vv 14-21: Why does Paul include so much seemingly irrelevant
information? Perhaps because he has a higher motive: he wants Christianity to be
validated, in the highest possible Roman court, as a legitimate
THE WAY, WHICH THEY CALL A SECT: "The (one true, and
living) Way, which they (erroneously) call (just another Jewish)
RIGHTEOUS: See 2Co 5:10; 1Th 4:14,17; Rev
WICKED: See Mat 25:41,46; 2Th 1:8,9; Rev
The word translated "unjust" (KJV) or "wicked" (NIV) is the
Greek "adikos"; other uses of the same original word plainly include the
unbaptized: (a) "When one of you has a grievance against a brother, does he dare
go to law before the unrighteous (adikos) instead of the saints?" (1Co 6:1) --
the "unrighteous" are directly contrasted with the "saints"; (b) "For Christ
also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust (adikos), that he
might bring us to God" (1Pe 3:18) -- the "unjust" are those who are in the
process of being brought to God, a perfect definition of the as-yet-unbaptized!;
and (c) "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to
reserve the unjust (adikos) unto the day of judgment to be punished" (2Pe 2:9)
-- the immediate context here equates the godly with Lot (v 7), and the unjust
with the men of Sodom and Gomorrah (v 6), and plainly says that they -- being
"unjust" -- will be punished on the day of judgment.
Again in the immediate context of Acts 24:15, the Gentile
ruler Felix, who heard these words of Paul about a "resurrection of the wicked",
grew fearful when -- only a few days later -- Paul spoke to him again of "the
judgment to come" (Acts 24:25). If a resurrection of the "wicked" or the
"unjust" (v 15) plainly held no threat at all for any unbaptized Gentile, why
did Felix tremble when told of the judgment?
'They have brought these charges against a man pronounced
ceremonially clean and purified by their own priests!'
WELL ACQUAINTED: Having "rather accurate knowledge"
ADJOURNED: Gr "anaballomai" (only once in NT) describes
how Felix "deferred" the Jews after the first hearing of the case against Paul.
There is an evident suggestion of impatience about this word ("thrust them
back": a quite strong word), which crystallizes out further when reference is
made to Psa 78:21; 89:38, LXX, where this is used.
WHEN LYSIAS COMES... I WILL DECIDE YOUR CASE: But Felix
already had the captain's witness in the letter before him (Act
DRUSILLA: Born in AD 38, she was a Jewess, previously
married to Azizus, king of Emesa, whom she left for Felix (Jos Ant 20:7:1,2). As
the youngest daughter of Herod Agrippa I, Drusilla belonged to the infamous
family of the Herods. When Paul stood before Felix and Drusilla, the apostle
spoke "concerning the faith in Christ Jesus," with the result that Felix was
"terrified" as Paul "reasoned of righteousness, and self-control, and the
judgment to come" (Acts 24:25, ASV). The effect on Drusilla is not
SELF-CONTROL: Listed as one of the products of the
Spirit in the life of a believer (Gal 5:23). "Felix was a naturally violent and
headstrong man, used to exercising power, and getting his own way. If men
revolted against his authority, he destroyed them. If the High Priest
remonstrated with him, he had him put to death. If he fancied another man's
wife, he took her. But if he wanted to be a Christian, he would have to get down
off his high horse and learn to control his passions. 'Except a man be
converted, and become as a little child', the founder of Christianity had laid
down, 'he cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven.' And neither Felix or anybody else
is exempted. There is no place for people on hand-made pedestals in the Kingdom
of Christ, and of God" (LR).
JUDGMENT TO COME: Knowledge of the "Way" (vv 14,15) can
bring responsibility to the judgment of God: Acts 17:30,31; John 12:48;
FELIX WAS AFRAID: But conviction is not
"The bloated slave sitting on the seat of judgment and power,
representing all the worst vices of Roman degeneracy; the heads of the sinking
Jewish commonwealth, blinded by history and mad with hate, forgetting for the
moment their abhorrence of their Roman masters and their deeper detestation of
the apostle Paul; the hired advocate with his fulsome praise and false charges.
And the great apostle with his inimitable skill in debate, pure-minded, upright,
fearless, pleading his own cause with consummate force and dignity, and
overawing his heathen judge by the majesty of his character. A graphic
description of a noble scene" (AC Hervey, SB 14:85).
HOPING THAT PAUL WOULD OFFER HIM A BRIBE: He knew of
the funds Paul had brought with him (v 17).
PORCIUS FESTUS: "The successor to Antonius Felix as
procurator of Judea under Nero. According to Schurer, he was unable to undo the
damage done by his predecessor, although he himself was disposed to rule well.
Josephus (Ant 20:8:9-11) presents Festus as a wise and just official, an
agreeable contrast to Felix and to Albinus his successor.
"According to Acts 24:27, Paul had been in prison two years
when Festus arrived in Caesarea. When the procurator, anxious to gain favor with
the Jews, asked Paul if he would consent to being tried in Jerusalem (Acts
25:9), the apostle objected to what (in his mind) would have been a risky
situation, and then made his classic reply: 'I appeal unto Caesar' (Acts 25:11).
Because Festus had no charge to send to Nero with the prisoner (Acts 25:25-27),
he appealed to Herod Agrippa II to hear the case" (EBC).
FELIX WANTED TO GRANT A FAVOR TO THE JEWS: He could
have settled the case before he left (being called to Rome), but he did not