Acts 25Expanded Bible (EXB)
Paul Asks to See Caesar
25 Three days after Festus ·became governor [L arrived in the province], he went [L up] from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 2 There the ·leading [T chief] priests and the important leaders [L of the Jews] made charges against Paul before Festus. 3 They ·asked [urged] Festus to do them a favor. They wanted him to send Paul back to Jerusalem, because they ·had a plan [L planned an ambush] to kill him on the way. 4 But Festus answered that Paul would be kept in Caesarea and that he himself was returning there soon. 5 He said, “[L Therefore,] Some of your ·leaders [authorities] should go with me. They can accuse the man there in Caesarea, if he has really done something wrong.”
6 ·Festus [L He] stayed ·in Jerusalem [L among them] another eight or ten days and then went ·back [L down] to Caesarea. The next day he ·told the soldiers to bring Paul [L ordered Paul to be brought] before him. Festus was seated on the ·judge’s seat [tribunal] 7 when Paul came into the room. The ·people [L Jews] who had come [L down] from Jerusalem stood around him, making serious charges against him, which they could not prove. 8 This is what Paul said to defend himself: “I have done ·nothing wrong [committed no offense/sin/crime] against the law [L of the Jews], against the Temple, or against Caesar.”
9 But Festus wanted to ·please [curry favor with; or do a favor for] the ·people [L Jews]. So he asked Paul, “·Do you want [or Are you willing] to go [L up] to Jerusalem for me to ·judge [try] you there on these charges?”
10 Paul said, “I am standing at Caesar’s ·judgment seat [or court; tribunal] now, where I should be ·judged [tried]. I have done nothing wrong to ·them [L the Jews]; you ·know this is true [clearly recognize this]. 11 If I have done something wrong and ·the law says I must die [L worthy of death], I do not ask to be saved from death. But if these charges are ·not true [baseless], then no one can ·give me [hand me over; or make me a gift; C Paul detects Festus’ desire to gain favor with the Jews] to them. I ·want Caesar to hear my case [appeal to Caesar/the emperor; C the right of a Roman citizen for a capital offense]!”
12 Festus talked about this with his ·advisers [council]. Then he said, “You have ·asked to see [appealed to] Caesar, so you will go to Caesar!”
Paul Before King Agrippa
13 A few days later King Agrippa [C Agrippa II, the Jewish king who ruled parts of Palestine from ad 52 to 92] and Bernice [C Agrippa’s sister and probably his lover] came to Caesarea to ·visit [or welcome; pay their respects to] Festus. 14 They stayed there for ·some time [L many days], and Festus told the king about Paul’s case. Festus said, “There is a man that Felix left in prison. 15 When I went to Jerusalem, the ·leading [T chief] priests and the elders there made charges against him, asking me to ·sentence him to death [L sentence/condemn him]. 16 But I answered, ‘When a man is accused of a crime, ·Romans do not [L it is not a custom for Romans to] hand him over until he has been allowed to face his accusers and defend himself against their charges.’ 17 So when these people came here ·to Caesarea for the trial [L with me], I did not ·waste time [postpone/delay the case]. The next day I sat on the ·judge’s seat [tribunal] and commanded that the man be brought in. 18 ·They stood up and accused him [L The accusers stood up (to speak)], but not of any ·serious crime [evil deeds] as I ·thought they would [expected]. 19 The things they ·said [disputed] were about their own ·religion [or superstition] and about a man named Jesus who died. But Paul ·said [claimed] that he is still alive. 20 ·Not knowing [At a loss] how to ·find out about [investigate] these questions, I asked Paul, ‘·Do you want [or Are you willing] to go to Jerusalem and be ·judged [tried] there [L concerning these things]?’ 21 But he asked to be ·kept in Caesarea [L held in custody]. He wants a decision from ·the emperor [or His Majesty; the Revered/August One; C A title for Caesar, the ruler of the Roman world, first given to Caesar “Augustus”; here it refers to Nero]. So I ordered that he be held [in custody] until I could send him to Caesar.”
22 Agrippa said to Festus, “I would also like to hear this man myself.”
Festus said, “Tomorrow you will hear him.”
23 [L Therefore] The next day Agrippa and Bernice ·appeared [entered] with great ·show [pomp; fanfare]. They went into the ·judgment room [audience hall] with the ·army leaders [tribunes] and the important men of ·Caesarea [L the city]. Then Festus ·ordered the soldiers [L gave the order] to bring Paul in. 24 Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are ·gathered [or present] here with us, you see this man. ·All the people [The Jewish community; L All the multitude of the Jews], here and in Jerusalem, have ·complained to [or petitioned] me about him, shouting that he should not live any longer. 25 But I found ·no reason to order his [L he had done nothing deserving] death. But since he ·asked to be judged by Caesar [appealed to the emperor], I decided to send him. 26 But I have nothing definite to write the ·emperor [L lord; sovereign] about him. So I have brought him before all of you—especially you, King Agrippa. ·I hope you can question him and give me [L …so that from this examination, I might have] something to write. 27 [L For] I think it is ·foolish [unreasonable] to send a prisoner to Caesar without telling what charges are against him.”
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