1 Therefore Festus, after arriving in the province and taking charge, went up three days later to Jerusalem from Caes·a·reʹa.
2 And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews gave him information against Paul. So they began to beg Festus
3 as a favor to send for Paul to come to Jerusalem. But they were planning to ambush Paul and kill him along the road.
4 However, Festus answered that Paul was to be kept in Caes·a·reʹa and that he himself was about to go back there shortly.
5 “So let those who are in power among you,” he said, “come down with me and accuse him if, indeed, the man has done something wrong.”
6 So when he had spent not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caes·a·reʹa, and the next day he sat down on the judgment seat and commanded Paul to be brought in.
7 When he came in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing against him many serious charges that they were unable to prove.
8 But Paul said in defense: “Neither against the Law of the Jews nor against the temple nor against Caesar have I committed any sin.”
9 Festus, desiring to gain favor with the Jews, said in reply to Paul: “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and be judged before me there concerning these things?”
10 But Paul said: “I am standing before the judgment seat of Caesar, where I ought to be judged. I have done no wrong to the Jews, of which you are also becoming well-aware.
11 If I am really a wrongdoer and have committed anything deserving of death, I do not beg off from dying; but if there is no substance to the accusations these men have made against me, no man has the right to hand me over to them as a favor. I appeal to Caesar!”
12 Then Festus, after speaking with the assembly of counselors, replied: “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you will go.”
13 After some days had passed, A·gripʹpa the king and Bernice arrived in Caes·a·reʹa for a courtesy visit to Festus.
14 Since they were spending a number of days there, Festus presented Paul’s case to the king, saying: “There is a man who was left as a prisoner by Felix,
15 and when I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought information about him, asking for a judgment of condemnation against him.
16 But I replied to them that it is not Roman procedure to hand any man over as a favor before the accused man meets his accusers face-to-face and gets a chance to speak in his defense concerning the complaint.
17 So when they arrived here, I did not delay, but the next day I sat down on the judgment seat and commanded the man to be brought in.
18 Taking the stand, the accusers did not charge him with any of the wicked things I had expected concerning him.
19 They simply had certain disputes with him concerning their own worship of the deity and concerning a man named Jesus, who was dead but who Paul kept asserting was alive.
20 Being at a loss as to how to handle this dispute, I asked if he would like to go to Jerusalem and be judged there concerning these matters.
21 But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision by the August One, I commanded him to be held until I should send him on to Caesar.”
22 A·gripʹpa then said to Festus: “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you will hear him.”
23 So the next day A·gripʹpa and Bernice came with much pompous show and entered the audience chamber together with military commanders as well as the prominent men in the city; and when Festus gave the command, Paul was brought in.
24 And Festus said: “King A·gripʹpa and all you who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish populace have petitioned me both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.
25 But I perceived that he had done nothing deserving of death. So when this man himself appealed to the August One, I decided to send him.
26 But I have nothing certain to write about him to my Lord. So I brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King A·gripʹpa, so that after the judicial examination has taken place, I might have something to write.
27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner and not also to indicate the charges against him.”