Acts 25
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Paul’s Trial Before Festus

1Three days after his arrival in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, 2where the chief priests and Jewish leaders presented their case against Paul. They urged Festus 3to grant them a concession against Paul by summoning him to Jerusalem, because they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way.

4But Festus replied, “Paul is being held in Caesarea, and I myself am going there soon. 5So if this man has done anything wrong, let some of your leaders come down with me and accuse him there.”

6After spending no more than eight or ten days with them, Festus went down to Caesarea. The next day he sat on the judgment seat and ordered that Paul be brought in. 7When Paul arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many serious charges that they could not prove.

8Then Paul made his defense: “I have committed no offense against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.”

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

The Appeal to Caesar

10Paul replied, “I am standing before the judgment seat of Caesar, where I ought to be tried. I have done nothing wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. 11If, however, I am guilty of anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die. But if there is no truth to their accusations against me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”

12Then Festus conferred with his council and replied, “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!”

Festus Consults King Agrippa

13After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice came down to Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus. 14Since they were staying several days, Festus laid out Paul’s case before the king: “There is a certain man whom Felix left in prison. 15While I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and elders of the Jews presented their case and requested a judgment against him. 16I told them it was not the Roman custom to hand a man over before he has an opportunity to face his accusers and defend himself against their charges.

17So when they came here with me, I did not delay. The next day I sat on the judgment seat and ordered that the man be brought in. 18But when his accusers rose to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. 19They only had some contentions with him regarding their own religion and a certain Jesus who had died, but whom Paul affirmed to be alive.

20Since I was at a loss as to how to investigate these matters, I asked if he was willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried there on these charges. 21But when Paul appealed to be held over for the decision of the Emperor, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”

22Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.”

“Tomorrow you will hear him,” Festus declared.

Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice

23The next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the auditorium, along with the commanders and leading men of the city. And Festus ordered that Paul be brought in.

24Then Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man. The whole Jewish community has petitioned me about him, both here and in Jerusalem, crying out that he ought not to live any longer. 25But I found he had done nothing worthy of death, and since he has now appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him.

26I have nothing definite to write to our sovereign one about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after this inquiry I may have something to write. 27For it seems unreasonable to me to send on a prisoner without specifying the charges against him.”


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