Now when Festus had come into his province, after three days he went up to Jerusalem from Caesare'a.
And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they urged him,
asking as a favor to have the man sent to Jerusalem, planning an ambush to kill him on the way.
Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesare'a, and that he himself intended to go there shortly.
"So," said he, "let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them accuse him."
When he had stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesare'a; and the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought.
And when he had come, the Jews who had gone down from Jerusalem stood about him, bringing against him many serious charges which they could not prove.
Paul said in his defense, "Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended at all."
But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, "Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem, and there be tried on these charges before me?"
But Paul said, "I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried; to the Jews I have done no wrong, as you know very well.
If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death; but if there is nothing in their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar."
Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, "You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go."
Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Berni'ce arrived at Caesare'a to welcome Festus.
And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, "There is a man left prisoner by Felix;
and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews gave information about him, asking for sentence against him.
I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up any one before the accused met the accusers face to face, and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him.
When therefore they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in.
When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed;
but they had certain points of dispute with him about their own superstition and about one Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive.
Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wished to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them.
But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be held until I could send him to Caesar."
And Agrippa said to Festus, "I should like to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," said he, "you shall hear him."
So on the morrow Agrippa and Berni'ce came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then by command of Festus Paul was brought in.
And Festus said, "King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.
But I found that he had done nothing deserving death; and as he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to send him.
But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you, and, especially before you, King Agrippa, that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write.
For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him."
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)