Acts 251 And so, when Festus had arrived in the province, after three days, he ascended to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2 And the leaders of the priests, and those first among the Jews, went to him against Paul. And they were petitioning him, 3 asking for favor against him, so that he would order him to be led to Jerusalem, where they were maintaining an ambush in order to kill him along the way. 4 But Festus responded that Paul was to be kept in Caesarea, and that he himself would soon go there. 5 “Therefore,” he said, “let those among you who are able, descend at the same time, and if there is any guilt in the man, they may accuse him.” 6 Then, having stayed among them no more than eight or ten days, he descended to Caesarea. And on the next day, he sat in the judgment seat, and he ordered Paul to be led in. 7 And when he had been brought, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, throwing out many serious accusations, none of which they were able to prove. 8 Paul offered this defense: “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar, have I offended in any matter.” 9 But Festus, wanting to show greater favor to the Jews, responded to Paul by saying: “Are you willing to ascend to Jerusalem and to be judged there about these things before me?” 10 But Paul said: “I stand in Caesar’s tribunal, which is where I ought to be judged. I have done no harm to the Jews, as you well know. 11 For if I have harmed them, or if I have done anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying. But if there is nothing to these things about which they accuse me, no one is able to deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar.” 12 Then Festus, having spoken with the council, responded: “You have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you shall go.” 13 And when some days had passed, king Agrippa and Bernice descended to Caesarea, to greet Festus. 14 And since they remained there for many days, Festus spoke to the king about Paul, saying: “A certain man was left behind as a prisoner by Felix. 15 When I was at Jerusalem, the leaders of the priests and the elders of the Jews came to me about him, asking for condemnation against him. 16 I answered them that it is not the custom of the Romans to condemn any man, before he who is being accused has been confronted by his accusers and has received the opportunity to defend himself, so as to clear himself of the charges. 17 Therefore, when they had arrived here, without any delay, on the following day, sitting in the judgment seat, I ordered the man to be brought. 18 But when the accusers had stood up, they did not present any accusation about him from which I would suspect evil. 19 Instead, they brought against him certain disputes about their own superstition and about a certain Jesus, who had died, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20 Therefore, being in doubt about this kind of question, I asked him if he was willing go to Jerusalem and to be judged there about these things. 21 But since Paul was appealing to be kept for a decision before Augustus, I ordered him to be kept, until I might send him to Caesar.” 22 Then Agrippa said to Festus: “I myself also want to hear the man.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.” 23 And on the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had arrived with great ostentation and had entered into the auditorium with the tribunes and the principal men of the city, Paul was brought in, at the order of Festus. 24 And Festus said: “King Agrippa, and all who are present together with us, you see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews disturbed me at Jerusalem, petitioning and clamoring that he should not be allowed to live any longer. 25 Truly, I have discovered nothing brought forth against him that is worthy of death. But since he himself has appealed to Augustus, it was my judgment to send him. 26 But I have not determined what to write to the emperor about him. Because of this, I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, O king Agrippa, so that, once an inquiry has occurred, I may have something to write. 27 For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not to indicate the accusations set against him.”
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