Book of Acts Chapter 24 - Christogenea Internet Radio 12-27-2013
As we saw last week in Acts chapter 23, after a plot against Paul's life was revealed to the Roman military tribune, Paul is sent under arms and cloak of night to the residence of the Roman procurator in Caesareia. Upon his arrival there the procurator accepted Paul as his prisoner, when he declared that he would hear his case. This is in spite of the fact that Paul had not violated any Roman laws, but as the Roman commander had written to the governor, he found the Judaeans “accusing him concerning inquires of their law, and having not one accusation worthy of death or of bonds.”
XXIV 1 And after five [A has “some”] days the high priest Hananias came down with some [the MT wants “some”] of the elders and a certain orator Tertullos, who appeared to the governor against Paul. 2 And upon his [B wants “his”] being called, Tertullos began to accuse him, saying: “Having obtained much peace on account of you, and reforms coming to this nation by your foresight, 3 in every way and in every place we approve, noble Phelix, with all gratitude.
Rather than reforms the Majority Text has accomplishments; or worthy deeds in the King James Version. The text of the Christogenea New Testament is in agreement with the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B) and Laudianus (E).
Phelix, or Felix, is mentioned frequently by Josephus (i.e. Antiquities 20:137-196 [20:7-8], Wars 2:247-271), and he is also mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus (Annals of Imperial Rome, 12:53). He was the Roman procurator of Judaea from 52 until 59 AD, so the date here may be determined from Acts 24:27 to be about 57 A.D. As we explained briefly in our Acts chapter 23 presentation, Phelix, or by his full Latin name Marcus Antonius Felix, held this office until he was recalled to Rome before the end of his last term over a dispute between the Judaeans and the Syrians of Caesareia, whom Josephus also sometimes calls Greeks, in which Felix was accused of certain injustices.
The Roman historian Tacitus discusses the brother of this Felix, whose name was Marcus Antonius Pallas. Tacitus records certain proposals in the Roman Senate in the time of Claudius Caesar, which were made circa 52 AD, and attributes to Publius Scipio the remark that Pallas “should be given the nation's thanks because, though descended from Arcadian kings, he preferred the national interests to his antique lineage, and let himself be regarded as one of the emperor's servants” (Annals, 12:53) . So we see that Felix was indeed of noble lineage, however he was evidently not a very noble man.