Atos 25

1 Festus then, three days after arriving in the province, went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea.

2 And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews brought charges against Paul; and they urged him,

3 as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way.

4 Festus answered that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and that he himself intended to go there shortly.

5 »Therefore,« he said, »let the men of authority among you go there with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them prosecute him.«

6 After he had spent not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, and on the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought.

7 And when Paul arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many serious charges against him, which they could not prove.

8 Paul said in his defense, »Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended at all.«

9 But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, »Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?«

10 But Paul said, »I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know.

11 If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of the charges brought against me is true, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar.«

12 Then when Festus had conferred with his council, he answered, »You have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you shall go.«

13 Now when a few days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus.

14 While they were spending many days there, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, »There is a man who was left as a prisoner by Felix;

15 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him, asking for sentence against him.

16 I answered them that it is not the custom of the Romans to hand over any man before the accused meets his accusers face to face and has an opportunity to make his defense against the charges.

17 When therefore they came together here, I did not delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in.

18 When the accusers stood up, they did not charge him of such crimes as I had expected,

19 but they simply had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive.

20 Being at a loss how to investigate such matters, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these matters.

21 But when Paul appealed to be held in custody for the Emperor's decision, I ordered him to be kept in custody until I could send him to Caesar.

22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, »I also would like to hear the man myself.« »Tomorrow,« he said, »you shall hear him.«

23 So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the audience room with the high ranking officers and the prominent men of the city. At the command of Festus, Paul was brought in.

24 Festus said, »King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.

25 But I found that he had done nothing deserving of death; and as he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to send him.

26 But I have nothing definite about him to write to my lord. Therefore I have brought him before you all and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the investigation has taken place, I may have something to write.

27 For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.«