Paul denied the charges. "I am not guilty," he said. "I have committed no crime against the Jewish laws or the Temple or the Roman government."
Then Festus, wanting to please the Jews, asked him, "Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there?"
But Paul replied, "No! This is the official Roman court, so I ought to be tried right here. You know very well I am not guilty.
If I have done something worthy of death, I don't refuse to die. But if I am innocent, neither you nor anyone else has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!"
Festus conferred with his advisers and then replied, "Very well! You have appealed to Caesar, and to Caesar you shall go!"
A few days later King Agrippa arrived with his sister, Bernice, a to pay their respects to Festus.
During their stay of several days, Festus discussed Paul's case with the king. "There is a prisoner here," he told him, "whose case was left for me by Felix.
When I was in Jerusalem, the leading priests and other Jewish leaders pressed charges against him and asked me to sentence him.
Of course, I quickly pointed out to them that Roman law does not convict people without a trial. They are given an opportunity to defend themselves face to face with their accusers.
"When they came here for the trial, I called the case the very next day and ordered Paul brought in.
But the accusations made against him weren't at all what I expected.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)