But Paul defended himself: "I have done nothing wrong against the Law of the Jews or against the Temple or against the Roman Emperor."
But Festus wanted to gain favor with the Jews, so he asked Paul, "Would you be willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried on these charges before me there?"
Paul said, "I am standing before the Emperor's own judgment court, where I should be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you yourself well know.
If I have broken the law and done something for which I deserve the death penalty, I do not ask to escape it. But if there is no truth in the charges they bring against me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to the Emperor."
Then Festus, after conferring with his advisers, answered, "You have appealed to the Emperor, so to the Emperor you will go."
Some time later King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to pay a visit of welcome to Festus.
After they had been there several days, Festus explained Paul's situation to the king: "There is a man here who was left a prisoner by Felix;
and when I went to Jerusalem, the Jewish chief priests and elders brought charges against him and asked me to condemn him.
But I told them that we Romans are not in the habit of handing over any who are accused of a crime before they have met their accusers face-to-face and have had the chance of defending themselves against the accusation.
When they came here, then, I lost no time, but on the very next day I sat in the judgment court and ordered the man to be brought in.
His opponents stood up, but they did not accuse him of any of the evil crimes that I thought they would.