13 A few days later King Agrippa arrived with his sister, Bernice,[a] to pay their respects to Festus.14 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.15 When I was in Jerusalem, the leading priests and Jewish elders pressed charges against him and asked me to condemn him.16 I pointed out to them that Roman law does not convict people without a trial. They must be given an opportunity to confront their accusers and defend themselves.
17 “When his accusers came here for the trial, I didn’t delay. I called the case the very next day and ordered Paul brought in.18 But the accusations made against him weren’t any of the crimes I expected.19 Instead, it was something about their religion and a dead man named Jesus, who Paul insists is alive.20 I was at a loss to know how to investigate these things, so I asked him whether he would be willing to stand trial on these charges in Jerusalem.21 But Paul appealed to have his case decided by the emperor. So I ordered that he be held in custody until I could arrange to send him to Caesar.”
22 “I’d like to hear the man myself,” Agrippa said.
And Festus replied, “You will—tomorrow!”
Paul Speaks to Agrippa
23 So the next day Agrippa and Bernice arrived at the auditorium with great pomp, accompanied by military officers and prominent men of the city. Festus ordered that Paul be brought in.24 Then Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are here, this is the man whose death is demanded by all the Jews, both here and in Jerusalem.25 But in my opinion he has done nothing deserving death. However, since he appealed his case to the emperor, I have decided to send him to Rome.
26 “But what shall I write the emperor? For there is no clear charge against him. So I have brought him before all of you, and especially you, King Agrippa, so that after we examine him, I might have something to write.27 For it makes no sense to send a prisoner to the emperor without specifying the charges against him!”
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