Acts 25:1-25

Acts 25:1-3-24-26 The Message (MSG)

Three days after Festus arrived in Caesarea to take up his duties as governor, he went up to Jerusalem. The high priests and top leaders renewed their vendetta against Paul. They asked Festus if he wouldn’t please do them a favor by sending Paul to Jerusalem to respond to their charges. A lie, of course—they had revived their old plot to set an ambush and kill him along the way. Festus answered that Caesarea was the proper jurisdiction for Paul, and that he himself was going back there in a few days. “You’re perfectly welcome,” he said, “to go back with me then and accuse him of whatever you think he’s done wrong.” About eight or ten days later, Festus returned to Caesarea. The next morning he took his place in the courtroom and had Paul brought in. The minute he walked in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem were all over him, hurling the most extreme accusations, none of which they could prove. Then Paul took the stand and said simply, “I’ve done nothing wrong against the Jewish religion, or the Temple, or Caesar. Period.” Festus, though, wanted to get on the good side of the Jews and so said, “How would you like to go up to Jerusalem, and let me conduct your trial there?” Paul answered, “I’m standing at this moment before Caesar’s bar of justice, where I have a perfect right to stand. And I’m going to keep standing here. I’ve done nothing wrong to the Jews, and you know it as well as I do. If I’ve committed a crime and deserve death, name the day. I can face it. But if there’s nothing to their accusations—and you know there isn’t—nobody can force me to go along with their nonsense. We’ve fooled around here long enough. I appeal to Caesar.” Festus huddled with his advisors briefly and then gave his verdict: “You’ve appealed to Caesar; you’ll go to Caesar!” A few days later King Agrippa and his wife, Bernice, visited Caesarea to welcome Festus to his new post. After several days, Festus brought up Paul’s case to the king. “I have a man on my hands here, a prisoner left by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem, the high priests and Jewish leaders brought a bunch of accusations against him and wanted me to sentence him to death. I told them that wasn’t the way we Romans did things. Just because a man is accused, we don’t throw him out to the dogs. We make sure the accused has a chance to face his accusers and defend himself of the charges. So when they came down here I got right on the case. I took my place in the courtroom and put the man on the stand. “The accusers came at him from all sides, but their accusations turned out to be nothing more than arguments about their religion and a dead man named Jesus, who the prisoner claimed was alive. Since I’m a newcomer here and don’t understand everything involved in cases like this, I asked if he’d be willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried there. Paul refused and demanded a hearing before His Majesty in our highest court. So I ordered him returned to custody until I could send him to Caesar in Rome.” Agrippa said, “I’d like to see this man and hear his story.” “Good,” said Festus. “We’ll bring him in first thing in the morning and you’ll hear it for yourself.” The next day everybody who was anybody in Caesarea found his way to the Great Hall, along with the top military brass. Agrippa and Bernice made a flourishing grand entrance and took their places. Festus then ordered Paul brought in. Festus said, “King Agrippa and distinguished guests, take a good look at this man. A bunch of Jews petitioned me first in Jerusalem, and later here, to do away with him. They have been most vehement in demanding his execution. I looked into it and decided that he had committed no crime. He requested a trial before Caesar and I agreed to send him to Rome. But what am I going to write to my master, Caesar? All the charges made by the Jews were fabrications, and I’ve uncovered nothing else.

Acts 25:1-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Festus then, having arrived in the province, three days later went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the leading men of the Jews brought charges against Paul, and they were urging him, requesting a concession against Paul, that he might have him brought to Jerusalem (at the same time, setting an ambush to kill him on the way). Festus then answered that Paul was being kept in custody at Caesarea and that he himself was about to leave shortly. “Therefore,” he *said, “let the influential men among you go there with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them prosecute him.” 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. After Paul arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him which they could not prove, while Paul said in his own defense, “I have committed no offense either against the Law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.” But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me on these charges?” 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. If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar.” Then when Festus had conferred with his council, he answered, “You have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you shall go.” Now when several days had elapsed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus. 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; and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. 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. So after they had assembled here, I did not delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought before me. When the accusers stood up, they began bringing charges against him not of such crimes as I was expecting, but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive. 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. But when Paul appealed to be held in custody for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him to be kept in custody until I send him to Caesar.” Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he *said, “you shall hear him.” So, on the next day when Agrippa came together with Bernice amid great pomp, and entered the auditorium accompanied by the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. Festus *said, “King Agrippa, and all you gentlemen here present with us, you see this man about whom all the people of the Jews appealed to me, both at Jerusalem and here, loudly declaring that he ought not to live any longer. But I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death; and since he himself appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him.

Acts of the Apostles 25:1-25 New Living Translation (NLT)

Three days after Festus arrived in Caesarea to take over his new responsibilities, he left for Jerusalem, where the leading priests and other Jewish leaders met with him and made their accusations against Paul. They asked Festus as a favor to transfer Paul to Jerusalem (planning to ambush and kill him on the way). But Festus replied that Paul was at Caesarea and he himself would be returning there soon. So he said, “Those of you in authority can return with me. If Paul has done anything wrong, you can make your accusations.” About eight or ten days later Festus returned to Caesarea, and on the following day he took his seat in court and ordered that Paul be brought in. When Paul arrived, the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem gathered around and made many serious accusations they couldn’t prove. Paul denied the charges. “I am not guilty of any crime against the Jewish laws or the Temple or the Roman government,” he said. Then Festus, wanting to please the Jews, asked him, “Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there?” But Paul replied, “No! This is the official Roman court, so I ought to be tried right here. You know very well I am not guilty of harming the Jews. If I have done something worthy of death, I don’t refuse to die. But if I am innocent, no one has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!” Festus conferred with his advisers and then replied, “Very well! You have appealed to Caesar, and to Caesar you will go!” A few days later King Agrippa arrived with his sister, Bernice, to pay their respects to Festus. During their stay of several days, Festus discussed Paul’s case with the king. “There is a prisoner here,” he told him, “whose case was left for me by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem, the leading priests and Jewish elders pressed charges against him and asked me to condemn him. I pointed out to them that Roman law does not convict people without a trial. They must be given an opportunity to confront their accusers and defend themselves. “When his accusers came here for the trial, I didn’t delay. I called the case the very next day and ordered Paul brought in. But the accusations made against him weren’t any of the crimes I expected. Instead, it was something about their religion and a dead man named Jesus, who Paul insists is alive. I was at a loss to know how to investigate these things, so I asked him whether he would be willing to stand trial on these charges in Jerusalem. But Paul appealed to have his case decided by the emperor. So I ordered that he be held in custody until I could arrange to send him to Caesar.” “I’d like to hear the man myself,” Agrippa said. And Festus replied, “You will—tomorrow!” So the next day Agrippa and Bernice arrived at the auditorium with great pomp, accompanied by military officers and prominent men of the city. Festus ordered that Paul be brought in. Then Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are here, this is the man whose death is demanded by all the Jews, both here and in Jerusalem. But in my opinion he has done nothing deserving death. However, since he appealed his case to the emperor, I have decided to send him to Rome.

Acts 25:1-25 King James Version (KJV)

Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem. Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him, And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him. But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither. Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him. And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought. And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove. While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all. But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go. And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus. And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix: About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him. To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth. Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters. But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar. Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him. And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth. And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.

Acts 25:1-25 New Century Version (NCV)

Three days after Festus became governor, he went from Caesarea to Jerusalem. There the leading priests and the important leaders made charges against Paul before Festus. They asked Festus to do them a favor. They wanted him to send Paul back to Jerusalem, because they had a plan to kill him on the way. But Festus answered that Paul would be kept in Caesarea and that he himself was returning there soon. He said, “Some of your leaders should go with me. They can accuse the man there in Caesarea, if he has really done something wrong.” Festus stayed in Jerusalem another eight or ten days and then went back to Caesarea. The next day he told the soldiers to bring Paul before him. Festus was seated on the judge’s seat when Paul came into the room. The people who had come from Jerusalem stood around him, making serious charges against him, which they could not prove. This is what Paul said to defend himself: “I have done nothing wrong against the law, against the Temple, or against Caesar.” But Festus wanted to please the people. So he asked Paul, “Do you want to go to Jerusalem for me to judge you there on these charges?” Paul said, “I am standing at Caesar’s judgment seat now, where I should be judged. I have done nothing wrong to them; you know this is true. If I have done something wrong and the law says I must die, I do not ask to be saved from death. But if these charges are not true, then no one can give me to them. I want Caesar to hear my case!” Festus talked about this with his advisers. Then he said, “You have asked to see Caesar, so you will go to Caesar!” A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to visit Festus. They stayed there for some time, and Festus told the king about Paul’s case. Festus said, “There is a man that Felix left in prison. When I went to Jerusalem, the leading priests and the elders there made charges against him, asking me to sentence him to death. But I answered, ‘When a man is accused of a crime, Romans do not hand him over until he has been allowed to face his accusers and defend himself against their charges.’ So when these people came here to Caesarea for the trial, I did not waste time. The next day I sat on the judge’s seat and commanded that the man be brought in. They stood up and accused him, but not of any serious crime as I thought they would. The things they said were about their own religion and about a man named Jesus who died. But Paul said that he is still alive. Not knowing how to find out about these questions, I asked Paul, ‘Do you want to go to Jerusalem and be judged there?’ But he asked to be kept in Caesarea. He wants a decision from the emperor. So I ordered that he be held until I could send him to Caesar.” Agrippa said to Festus, “I would also like to hear this man myself.” Festus said, “Tomorrow you will hear him.” The next day Agrippa and Bernice appeared with great show, acting like very important people. They went into the judgment room with the army leaders and the important men of Caesarea. Then Festus ordered the soldiers to bring Paul in. Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are gathered here with us, you see this man. All the people, here and in Jerusalem, have complained to me about him, shouting that he should not live any longer. When I judged him, I found no reason to order his death. But since he asked to be judged by Caesar, I decided to send him.

Acts 25:1-25 American Standard Version (ASV)

Festus therefore, having come into the province, after three days went up to Jerusalem from Cæsarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they besought him, asking a favor against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem; laying a plot to kill him on the way. Howbeit Festus answered, that Paul was kept in charge at Cæsarea, and that he himself was about to depart thither shortly. Let them therefore, saith he, that are of power among you go down with me, and if there is anything amiss in the man, let them accuse him. And when he had tarried among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down unto Cæsarea; and on the morrow he sat on the judgment-seat, and commanded Paul to be brought. And when he was come, the Jews that had come down from Jerusalem stood round about him, bringing against him many and grievous charges which they could not prove; while Paul said in his defence, Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Cæsar, have I sinned at all. But Festus, desiring to gain favor with the Jews, answered Paul and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? But Paul said, I am standing before Cæsar’s judgment-seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou also very well knowest. If then I am a wrong-doer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die; but if none of those things is true whereof these accuse me, no man can give me up unto them. I appeal unto Cæsar. Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Thou hast appealed unto Cæsar: unto Cæsar shalt thou go. Now when certain days were passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Cæsarea, and saluted Festus. And as they tarried there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix; about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, asking for sentence against him. To whom I answered, that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man, before that the accused have the accusers face to face, and have had opportunity to make his defence concerning the matter laid against him. When therefore they were come together here, I made no delay, but on the next day sat on the judgment-seat, and commanded the man to be brought. Concerning whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought no charge of such evil things as I supposed; but had certain questions against him of their own religion, and of one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. And I, being perplexed how to inquire concerning these things, asked whether he would go to Jerusalem and there be judged of these matters. But when Paul had appealed to be kept for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be kept till I should send him to Cæsar. And Agrippa said unto Festus, I also could wish to hear the man myself. To-morrow, saith he, thou shalt hear him. So on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and they were entered into the place of hearing with the chief captains and the principal men of the city, at the command of Festus Paul was brought in. And Festus saith, King Agrippa, and all men who are here present with us, ye behold this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews made suit to me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. But I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death: and as he himself appealed to the emperor I determined to send him.

Acts 25:1-25 New International Version (NIV)

Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, where the chief priests and the Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul. They requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way. Festus answered, “Paul is being held at Caesarea, and I myself am going there soon. Let some of your leaders come with me, and if the man has done anything wrong, they can press charges against him there.” After spending eight or ten days with them, Festus went down to Caesarea. The next day he convened the court and ordered that Paul be brought before him. When Paul came in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him. They brought many serious charges against him, but they could not prove them. Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.” 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?” Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!” A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus. Since they were spending many days there, Festus discussed Paul’s case with the king. He said: “There is a man here whom Felix left as a prisoner. When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and asked that he be condemned. “I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over anyone before they have faced their accusers and have had an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges. When they came here with me, I did not delay the case, but convened the court the next day and ordered the man to be brought in. When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges. But when Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.” Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.” He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.” The next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the audience room with the high-ranking military officers and the prominent men of the city. At the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. Festus said: “King Agrippa, and all who are present with us, you see this man! The whole Jewish community has petitioned me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. I found he had done nothing deserving of death, but because he made his appeal to the Emperor I decided to send him to Rome.

Acts 25:1-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now Festus arrived in the province, and three days later he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea [Maritima]. And [there in Jerusalem] the chief priests and the leading men of the Jews brought charges against Paul [before Festus], and they repeatedly pleaded with him, asking as a concession against Paul, that he would have him brought to Jerusalem; (meanwhile planning an ambush to kill him on the way). Festus answered that Paul was being held in custody in Caesarea [Maritima] and that he himself was about to leave shortly. “So,” he said, “let those who are in a position of authority among you go there with me, and if there is anything criminal about the man, let them bring charges against him.” Now after Festus had spent no 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 (the judicial bench), and ordered Paul to be brought [before him]. After Paul arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many serious charges against him which they were not able to prove, while Paul declared in his own defense, “I have done no wrong and committed no offense either against the Law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.” But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial there in my presence [before the Jewish Sanhedrin] on these charges?” Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done nothing wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know. Therefore, if I am guilty and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not try to escape death; but if there is nothing to the accusations which these men are bringing against me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar (Emperor Nero).” Then Festus, after conferring with [the men who formed] his council, answered, “You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go.” Now several days later, Agrippa [II] the king and Bernice [his sister] arrived at Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus [the new governor]. While they were spending many days there, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a man here who was left as a prisoner by Felix. When I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews [told me about him and] brought charges against him, petitioning for a sentence of condemnation against him. I told them that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over any man [for punishment] before the accused meets his accusers face to face and has the opportunity to defend himself against the charges. So after they arrived together here, I did not delay, but on the next day took my place on the tribunal and ordered that the man be brought before me. When his accusers stood up, they brought no charges against him of crimes that I was expecting [neither civil nor criminal actions], instead they had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about one Jesus, a man who had died, but whom Paul kept asserting and insisting [over and over] to be alive. And I, being at a loss as to how to investigate these things, asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding these matters. But when Paul appealed to be held in custody for a decision by the Emperor [Nero], I ordered him to be kept in custody until I could send him to Caesar.” Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” Festus replied, “you will hear him.” So the next day Agrippa and [his sister] Bernice came with great pageantry, and they went into the auditorium accompanied by the military commanders and the prominent men of the city. At the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. Then Festus said, “King Agrippa and all you gentlemen present with us, you see this man [Paul] about whom all the Jewish people appealed to me, both at Jerusalem and here, loudly insisting that he ought not to live any longer. But I found that he had done nothing worthy of death; however, since he appealed to the Emperor [Nero], I decided to send him [to Rome].

Acts 25:1-25 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Three days after Festus assumed his duties in Caesarea, he made the journey to Jerusalem. Religious authorities and prominent leaders among the Jews brought formal charges against Paul before Festus. They came asking him for a favor—that he would transfer Paul from Caesarea to Jerusalem—all the while plotting to ambush and kill Paul along the way. Festus responded to their request by informing them that he planned to return to Caesarea shortly. He told them, “Your leaders can come with me to Caesarea. If this man has broken any laws, you can bring charges against him there.” After Festus had stayed in Jerusalem no more than eight to ten days, he left for Caesarea. The day after he arrived, he convened the court and took his seat on the bench as judge over the proceedings. After he ordered Paul brought into the courtroom, the Jewish leaders who came from Jerusalem encircled him and leveled against him many serious charges, which they were unable to substantiate. In his defense, Paul said by the Holy Spirit, “I have done nothing wrong. I’ve committed no offense against Jewish law, or against the temple, or against Caesar.” Festus, because he wanted to curry favor with the Jews, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go with me to Jerusalem and be tried for these charges?” Paul replied, “I am standing here before Caesar’s tribunal. This is where I should be tried. As you well know, I have done no harm to the Jews. If I have committed a crime worthy of death, I won’t seek to escape the death penalty. But if none of their charges are true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” After conferring with the members of his council, Festus replied, “Since you have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you will go!” Several days later, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea for a visit with Festus. During their stay of many days, Festus explained Paul’s situation to the king to get his opinion on the matter, saying, “There is a man here whom Felix left as a prisoner. When I was in Jerusalem, the leading priests and Jewish elders pressed charges against him and demanded that I issue a guilty verdict against him. I explained to them that it is not our Roman custom to condemn any man before he has an opportunity to face his accusers and present his defense. So they returned here with me. I didn’t postpone the trial, but convened the court the very next day and ordered the man to be brought before me. I listened to their accusations against him, but they were not what I expected to hear, for he had committed no crime. Rather, their issues centered around disagreements with him over their religion, and about a dead man named Jesus, who Paul claimed was alive. Because I was perplexed about how to proceed, I asked him if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem to stand trial on these charges. When Paul appealed his case to the emperor for a decision, I ordered him to be held in custody until I could send him to Caesar.” King Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to listen to this man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, “you will have that opportunity.” The next day King Agrippa and Bernice entered the audience hall with much pomp and pageantry. Accompanying them were the senior military officers and prominent citizens. Festus ordered that Paul be brought before them all. Then Festus said, “King Agrippa, and esteemed guests, here is the man whom the entire Jewish community, both here and in Jerusalem, has asked me to condemn to death. They have screamed and shouted at me, demanding that I end his life. Yet upon investigation I couldn’t find one thing that he has done to deserve the death penalty. When he appealed to His Majesty the emperor, I determined to send him.

Acts 25:1-25 English Standard Version (ESV)

Now three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, asking as a favor against Paul that he summon him to Jerusalem—because they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. "So," said he, "let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him." After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him that they could not prove. Paul argued in his defense, "Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense." But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, "Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?" But Paul said, "I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar." Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, "To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go." Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus. And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, "There is a man left prisoner by Felix, and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him. So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar." Then Agrippa said to Festus, "I would like to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," said he, "you will hear him." So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. And Festus said, "King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. But I found that he had done nothing deserving death. And as he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him.