New Heart English Bible
1Festus therefore, having come into the province, after three days went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2Then the high priest and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul, and they urged him, 3asking a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem; plotting to kill him on the way. 4However Festus answered that Paul should be kept in custody at Caesarea, and that he himself was about to depart shortly. 5"Let them therefore," said he, "that are in power among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong in the man, let them accuse him."
6When he had stayed among them more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea, and on the next day he sat on the judgment seat, and commanded Paul to be brought. 7When he had come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing against him many and grievous charges which they could not prove, 8while he said in his defense, "Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar, have I sinned at all." 9But Festus, desiring to gain favor with the Jews, answered Paul and said, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem, and be judged by me there concerning these things?" 10But Paul said, "I am standing before Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also know very well. 11For if I have done wrong, and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true that they accuse me of, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar." 12Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, "You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go."
13Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the King and Bernice arrived at Caesarea, and greeted Festus. 14As they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, "There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix; 15about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the Jewish elders informed me, asking for a sentence against him. 16To whom I answered that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone to destruction before the accused has met the accusers face to face, and has had opportunity to make his defense against the charge. 17When therefore they had come together here, I did not delay, but on the next day sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought. 18Concerning whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought no charge of such things as I supposed; 19but had certain questions against him about their own religion, and about one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20Being perplexed how to inquire concerning these things, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters. 21But when Paul had appealed to be kept for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be kept until I could send him to Caesar." 22Agrippa said to Festus, "I also would like to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," he said, "you will hear him."
23So on the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and they had entered into the place of hearing with the commanding officers and principal men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24And Festus said, "King Agrippa, and all people who are here present with us, you see this man, about whom the whole assembly of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. 25But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and as he himself appealed to the emperor I determined to send him. 26Of whom I have no certain thing to write to my lord. Therefore I have brought him forth before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, that, after examination, I may have something to write. 27For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to also specify the charges against him."