New International Version
Paul’s Trial Before Festus
25 Three days after arriving in the province, Festus(A) went up from Caesarea(B) to Jerusalem, 2 where the chief priests and the Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul.(C) 3 They requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way.(D) 4 Festus answered, “Paul is being held(E) at Caesarea,(F) and I myself am going there soon. 5 Let some of your leaders come with me, and if the man has done anything wrong, they can press charges against him there.”
6 After spending eight or ten days with them, Festus went down to Caesarea. The next day he convened the court(G) and ordered that Paul be brought before him.(H) 7 When Paul came in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him. They brought many serious charges against him,(I) but they could not prove them.(J)
8 Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple(K) or against Caesar.”
10 Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews,(N) as you yourself know very well. 11 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!”(O)
12 After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!”
Festus Consults King Agrippa
13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea(P) to pay their respects to Festus. 14 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.(Q) 15 When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him(R) and asked that he be condemned.
16 “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.(S) 17 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.(T) 18 When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. 19 Instead, they had some points of dispute(U) with him about their own religion(V) and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive.