Atos 25

1 Three days after Festus entered his province, he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem.

2 The high priest and the Jewish leaders laid charges against Paul before him.

3 They urged him, asking it as a favor, to send for him to Jerusalem. They meant to lay in wait for him and kill him on the way.

4 But Festus answered that Paul was in custody at Caesarea, and that he himself was going there soon.

5 "Let those then," he said, "who are in authority among you, go down with me, and if there is anything amiss in the man, let them accuse him."

6 After staying not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, and the next day, after taking his seat upon the tribunal, he ordered Paul to be brought.

7 When he came in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him and brought a number of serious charges against him, which they could not prove.

8 Paul said in his defense, "I have committed no crime against the Law of the Jews, against the Temple, or against Caesar."

9 But Festus, wishing to ingratiate himself with the Jews, answered Paul and said, "Will you go up to Jerusalem and be tried there by me upon these charges?"

10 "I am standing before Caesars tribunal," answered Paul, "where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you very well know.

11 "If I am a criminal and have done anything for which I ought to die, I do not object to die. But if none of their charges is true, no man can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar."

12 Then Festus, after conferring with the council, answered. "You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go."

13 A short time after this King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus.

14 And while they tarried many days, Festus laid Pauls case before the king. "There is a man here," he said, "whom Felix left a prisoner.

15 "The chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me about him, when I was at Jerusalem, demanding a sentence against him.

16 I told them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give any man up for punishment, before the accused had his accusers face to face, and had opportunity of defending himself against the charges that had been brought against him.

17 "So when a number of them came together here, I made no delay, but the next day took my seat in the tribunal, and commanded the man to be brought.

18 "But when his accusers stood up, they did not begin charging him with any of the crimes that I was expecting,

19 but they kept quarreling with him about certain matters connected with their own religion, and about one Jesus who had died, but whom Paul affirmed over and over was alive.

20 I was perplexed how to investigate such questions, and asked Paul whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters.

21 But when Paul appealed to have his case reviewed for the decision of the Emperor, I ordered him to be detained until I could send him up to Caesar."

22 "I should like to hear the man, myself," said Agrippa to Festus. Festus answered, "You shall hear him tomorrow."

23 So the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and took their places in the hall of audience, accompanied by the tribunes and men of high rank in the city. At the command of Festus Paul was brought in.

24 "King Agrippa," said Festus, "and all men who are present with us, you see here the man about whom the entire body of the Jews at Jerusalem, and here also, sent to me, crying out that he ought not to live any longer.

25 "I could not find that he had done anything for which he ought to die; but as he himself has appealed to the Emperor, I have determined to send him.

26 "Now I have nothing very definite to tell our sovereign about him. So I have brought the man before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, in order that, after examination, I may have something to write.

27 "For it does seem to me unreasonable to send a person without signifying the charges against him."