Monday, August 10, 2009

The unhappy Felix (Acts 24)

I've gotten terribly behind on this project, so will try to play catchup for a while. Maybe on my next trek through, I'll be able to do this chapter more justice.

Paul is now in the custody of the occupying power, in the person of Felix, governor of the province. The chapter begins when the rulers of Israel "lawyer-up." They show up at the governor's palace, legal talent in tow, to demand that the person (and life) of Paul be handed over to them. Paul uses the trial as an opportunity to challenge the governor with the claims of the Gospel. A new King is on the scene, reigning from heaven, and ultimately judging all mankind in the life to come. This makes Felix nervous:
Act 24:25 Pavlus doğruluk, özdenetim ve gelecek olan yargı gününden söz edince Feliks korkuya kapıldı. "Şimdilik gidebilirsin" dedi, "Fırsat bulunca seni yine çağırtırım."
Act 24:26 Bir yandan da Pavlus'un kendisine rüşvet vereceğini umuyordu. Bu nedenle onu sık sık çağırtır, onunla sohbet ederdi.
Act 24:27 İki yıl dolunca görevini Porkius Festus'a devreden Feliks, Yahudiler'in gönlünü kazanmak amacıyla Pavlus'u hapiste bıraktı.
Let's look at the troubling words:
  • doğruluk -- righteousness. doğru is a wonderful word with a wide range of wholesome connotations, including straight, correct, true. The -luk converts this adjective into a noun -- that which demonstrates or embodies the property of the preceedeing word.
  • özdenetim -- lovely compound word, meaning self-mastery. Self-control.
  • ve -- and
  • gelecek -- the future, the coming
  • olan -- that is
  • yargı -- of judgment
  • gününden -- the day
Felix sees right away that the Jews really don't have a case. However, like so many civil "servants," he is a venal and corrupt little man. Paul apparently is a man of substance, with wealthy friends, so maybe a bribe might make the problems go away? In the end, to avoid stirring up the natives, Felix does nothing. Paul stays imprisoned.

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