If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”
After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!”
A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus.
Since they were spending many days there, Festus discussed Paul’s case with the king. He said: “There is a man here whom Felix left as a prisoner.
When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and asked that he be condemned.
“I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over anyone before they have faced their accusers and have had an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges.
When they came here with me, I did not delay the case, but convened the court the next day and ordered the man to be brought in.
When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected.
Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive.
I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges.
But when Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”