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.(A) 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.”(B)

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

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

Paul Before Agrippa(D)

23 The next day Agrippa and Bernice(E) 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(F) has petitioned me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.(G) 25 I found he had done nothing deserving of death,(H) but because he made his appeal to the Emperor(I) 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.”

26 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.”(J)

So Paul motioned with his hand(K) and began his defense: “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you(L) today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews,(M) and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs(N) and controversies.(O) Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.

“The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child,(P) from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. They have known me for a long time(Q) and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest sect(R) of our religion, living as a Pharisee.(S) And now it is because of my hope(T) in what God has promised our ancestors(U) that I am on trial today. This is the promise our twelve tribes(V) are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night.(W) King Agrippa, it is because of this hope that these Jews are accusing me.(X) Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?(Y)

“I too was convinced(Z) that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose(AA) the name of Jesus of Nazareth.(AB) 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people(AC) in prison,(AD) and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.(AE) 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished,(AF) and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.

Bible Gateway Recommends