1 FESTUS entered the province and after three days went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea.
2 There the high priests and the leaders of the Jews spoke to him against Paul
3 and begged as a favor that he would send for him to Jerusalem, intending to have an ambush and kill him on the road.
4 But Festus answered that Paul was being kept in Caesarea and that he himself was going back very soon.
5 "Let those of you who can," he said, "go down with me, and, if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring their charges against him."
6 After spending not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea and on the next day took his seat on the judge's bench and ordered Paul to be brought in.
7 When he had come in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him and brought many serious charges, which they were unable to prove,
8 while Paul claimed in his own defense, "Neither against the Jewish Law nor against the Temple courts nor against Caesar, have I committed any wrong."
9 Festus, wishing to gain favor with the Jews, asked Paul, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried for this before me?"
10 Paul said, "I am standing before Caesar's bar, where I ought to be tried. I have not harmed any Jews in anything, as you very well know.
11 If I am in the wrong and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not ask not to die. But if there is nothing in the accusations of these men, no one has the power to give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar."
12 Then Festus, after talking with his council, answered, "You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go."
13 When some days had passed, Agrippa the King and Bernice came to Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus.
14 As they were spending a good many days there, Festus laid Paul's case before the King. "There is a man here," he said, "who was left a prisoner by Felix,
15 against whom when I was in Jerusalem the high priests and the elders of the Jews had much to say, asking to have him condemned.
16 I answered them that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any person for punishment before the accused has his accusers face to face and has opportunity for defense against the charge.
17 "So they came along down here and, without making any delay, on the very next day I took my seat on the judge's bench and ordered the man to be brought in.
18 When his accusers arose, they brought no charge of such crimes as I was expecting,
19 but they had some disputes with him about their own religion and concerning a certain Jesus who had died and whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
20 Being at a loss about a question of this kind, I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried there on the charges.
21 But when Paul appealed to be kept for the examination of the Emperor, I ordered him to be kept until I could send him to Caesar."
22 Agrippa said to Festus, "I should like to hear the man myself." "To-morrow," he replied, "you shall hear him."
23 So on the next day Agrippa came and Bernice with much display, and they entered the auditorium with the military tribunes and the principal men of the city, and at Festus' command Paul was led in.
24 Festus said, "King Agrippa and all present here with us, you see this man against whom all the multitude of the Jews pleaded with me, both in Jerusalem and here, crying out that he ought not to live any longer.
25 But I understood that he had done nothing worthy of death, and when he himself had appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him.
26 Concerning him I have nothing certain to write to my Lord. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, that after an examination I may have something to write.
27 For it seems to me unreasonable in sending a prisoner not to specify the charges against him."