Festus Consults King Agrippa

13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea(A) 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.(B) 15 When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him(C) 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.(D) 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.(E) 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(F) with him about their own religion(G) and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. 20 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.(H) 21 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.”(I)

22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.”

He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.”(J)

Paul Before Agrippa(K)

23 The next day Agrippa and Bernice(L) came with great pomp and entered the audience room with the high-ranking military officers and the prominent men of the city. At the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 Festus said: “King Agrippa, and all who are present with us, you see this man! The whole Jewish community(M) has petitioned me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.(N) 25 I found he had done nothing deserving of death,(O) but because he made his appeal to the Emperor(P) I decided to send him to Rome. 26 But I have nothing definite to write to His Majesty about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that as a result of this investigation I may have something to write. 27 For I think it is unreasonable to send a prisoner on to Rome without specifying the charges against him.”

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The Spirit(A) clearly says that in later times(B) some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits(C) and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.(D) They forbid people to marry(E) and order them to abstain from certain foods,(F) which God created(G) to be received with thanksgiving(H) by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good,(I) and nothing is to be rejected(J) if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God(K) and prayer.

If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters,[a] you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith(L) and of the good teaching that you have followed.(M) Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales;(N) rather, train yourself to be godly.(O) For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things,(P) holding promise for both the present life(Q) and the life to come.(R) This is a trustworthy saying(S) that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God,(T) who is the Savior of all people,(U) and especially of those who believe.

11 Command and teach these things.(V) 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you(W) because you are young, but set an example(X) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith(Y) and in purity. 13 Until I come,(Z) devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture,(AA) to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy(AB) when the body of elders(AC) laid their hands on you.(AD)

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save(AE) both yourself and your hearers.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Timothy 4:6 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family.