Paul Appeals to Caesar

1 Now [when] Festus set foot in the province, after three days he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea.
2 And the chief priests and the most prominent men of the Jews brought charges against Paul to him, and were urging him,
3 asking for a favor against him, that he summon him to Jerusalem, [because they] were preparing an ambush to do away with him along the way.
4 Then Festus replied [that] Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and [he] himself was about to go [there] in a short time.
5 So he said, "Let those among you [who are] prominent go down with [me], [and] if there is any wrong in the man, let them bring charges against him."
6 And [after he] had stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. On the next day he sat down on the judgment seat [and] gave orders [for] Paul to be brought.
7 And [when] he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges that they were not able to prove,
8 [while] Paul said in his defense, "Neither against the law of the Jews nor against the temple nor against Caesar have I sinned with reference to anything!"
9 But Festus, [because he] wanted to do a favor for the Jews, answered [and] said to Paul, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem to be tried before me there concerning these [things]?"
10 But Paul said, "I am standing before the judgment seat of Caesar, where it is necessary [for] me to be judged. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also know very well.
11 If then I am doing wrong and have done anything deserving death, I am not trying to avoid dying. But if there is nothing [true] of [the things] which these [people] are accusing me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar!"
12 Then Festus, [after] discussing [this] with [his] council, replied, "You have appealed to Caesar--to Caesar you will go!"

Festus Asks King Agrippa for Advice

13 Now [after] some days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to welcome Festus.
14 And while they were staying there many days, Festus laid out the [case] against Paul to the king, saying, "There is a certain man left behind by Felix [as] a prisoner,
15 concerning whom [when] I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews presented evidence, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him.
16 To {them} I replied that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up any man before the one who had been accused met [his] accusers face to [face] and received an opportunity for a defense concerning the accusation.
17 Therefore, [when] they had assembled here, [I] made no delay; on the next [day] I sat down on the judgment seat [and] gave orders [for] the man to be brought.
18 [When they] stood up, [his] accusers began bringing no charge concerning {him} of the evil deeds that I was suspecting,
19 but they had some issues with him concerning their own religion, and concerning a certain Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul claimed to be alive.
20 And [because] I was at a loss with regard to the investigation concerning these [things], I asked if he was willing to go to Jerusalem and to be judged there concerning these [things].
21 But [when] Paul appealed [that] he be kept under guard for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, I gave orders [for] him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar."
22 So Agrippa [said] to Festus, "I want to hear the man myself also." "Tomorrow," he said, "you will hear him."
23 So on the next day, Agrippa and Bernice came with great pageantry and entered into the audience hall, along with military tribunes and the most prominent men of the city. And [when] Festus gave the order, Paul was brought in.
24 And Festus said, "King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole population of the Jews appealed to me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting [that] he must not live any longer.
25 But I understood [that] he had done nothing deserving death himself, and [when] this man appealed to His Majesty the Emperor, I decided to send [him].
26 I do not have anything definite to write to [my] lord about {him}. Therefore I have brought him before you [all]--and especially before you, King Agrippa--so that [after] this preliminary hearing has taken place, I may have something to write.
27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner and not to indicate the charges against him."