Holman Christian Standard Bible
1Three days after Festus arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2Then the chief priests and the leaders of the Jews presented their case against Paul to him; and they appealed, 3asking him to do them a favor against Paul, that he might summon him to Jerusalem. They were preparing an ambush along the road to kill him. 4However, Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself was about to go there shortly." 5Therefore," he said, "let the men of authority among you go down with me and accuse him, if there is any wrong in this man."
6When he had spent not more than eight or 10 days among them, he went down to Caesarea. The next day, seated at the judge's bench, he commanded Paul to be brought in. 7When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him and brought many serious charges that they were not able to prove, 8while Paul made the defense that, "Neither against the Jewish law, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I sinned at all." 9Then Festus, wanting to do a favor for the Jews, replied to Paul, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem, there to be tried before me on these charges?"
10But Paul said: "I am standing at Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as even you can see very well. 11If then I am doing wrong, or have done anything deserving of death, I do not refuse to die, but if there is nothing to what these men accuse me of, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar!" 12After Festus conferred with his council, he replied, "You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you will go!"
13After some days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea and paid a courtesy call on Festus. 14Since they stayed there many days, Festus presented Paul's case to the king, saying, "There's a man who was left as a prisoner by Felix. 15When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews presented their case and asked for a judgment against him. 16I answered them that it's not the Romans' custom to give any man up before the accused confronts the accusers face to face and has an opportunity to give a defense concerning the charges. 17Therefore, when they had assembled here, I did not delay. The next day I sat at the judge's bench and ordered the man to be brought in. 18Concerning him, the accusers stood up and brought no charge of the sort I was expecting. 19Instead they had some disagreements with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, a dead man Paul claimed to be alive. 20Since I was at a loss in a dispute over such things, I asked him if he wished to go to Jerusalem and be tried there concerning these matters. 21But when Paul appealed to be held for trial by the Emperor, I ordered him to be kept in custody until I could send him to Caesar." 22Then Agrippa said to Festus, "I would like to hear the man myself."" Tomorrow you will hear him," he replied.
23So the next day, Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the auditorium with the commanders and prominent men of the city. When Festus gave the command, Paul was brought in. 24Then Festus said: "King Agrippa and all men present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish community has appealed to me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he should not live any longer. 25Now I realized that he had not done anything deserving of death, but when he himself appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him. 26I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore, I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after this examination is over, I may have something to write. 27For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner and not to indicate the charges against him."