Acts 25

Paul's Trial Before Festus

Three days after his arrival in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, [where] the chief priests and Jewish leaders presented their case against Paul. They urged [Festus] to grant them a concession against [Paul] by summoning him to Jerusalem, [ because ] they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way. But Festus replied, “ - Paul is being held in Caesarea, and [I myself] am going there soon. So if [this] man has done anything wrong, {let} some of your leaders come down with me and accuse him [there] .” [After] spending no more than eight or ten days with them, [Festus] went down to Caesarea. The next day he sat on the judgment seat [and] ordered that Paul be brought in. [When] [Paul] arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many serious charges that they could not prove. [Then] Paul made his defense: “I have committed no offense against the law of the Jews [or] against the temple [or] against Caesar.” But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem to stand trial before me on these [charges] ?”

The Appeal to Caesar

10  Paul replied, “I am standing before the judgment seat of Caesar, where I ought to be tried. I have done nothing wrong to [the] Jews, as you [yourself] know very well. 11  If, however, I am guilty [of] anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die. But if there is no [truth] to their accusations against me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” 12  Then Festus conferred with [his] council [and] replied, “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!”

Festus Consults King Agrippa

13  [After] several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice came down to Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus. 14  Since they were staying several days, Festus laid out Paul’s case before the king: “There is a certain man [whom] Felix left in prison. 15  While I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and elders of the Jews presented their case [and] requested a judgment against him. 16  I told [them] it was not [the] Roman custom to hand a man {over} before [he] has [an] opportunity to face [his] accusers and defend himself against [their] charges. 17  So [when] they came here {with me} , I did not delay. The next [day] I sat on the judgment seat [and] ordered that the man be brought in. 18  [But when his] accusers rose to speak, they did not charge [him] with [any of the] crimes I had expected. 19  They only had some contentions with him regarding [their] own religion and a certain Jesus [who] had died, [but] whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20  [Since] I was at a loss as to how to investigate these [matters] , I asked if he was willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried {there} on these [charges] . 21  But [when] Paul appealed to be held over for the decision of the Emperor, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.” 22  Then Agrippa [said] to Festus, “I would like to hear [this] man myself.” “Tomorrow you will hear him,” Festus declared.

Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice

23  The next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the auditorium, along with [the] commanders and leading men of the city. And Festus ordered that Paul be brought in. 24  Then Festus said, “King Agrippa and all [who] are present with us, you see this [man] . The whole Jewish community has petitioned me about [him] , both here and in Jerusalem, crying out [that] he ought not to live [any] longer. 25  But I found he had done nothing worthy of death, [and] since he has now appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send [him] . 26  I have nothing definite to write to [our] sovereign one about [him] . Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after this inquiry I may have something to write. 27  For it seems unreasonable to me to send on a prisoner without specifying the charges against him.”
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