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Acts 25 New Century Version (NCV)

Paul Asks to See Caesar

25 Three days after Festus became governor, he went from Caesarea to Jerusalem. There the leading priests and the important leaders made charges against Paul before Festus. They asked Festus to do them a favor. They wanted him to send Paul back to Jerusalem, because they had a plan to kill him on the way. But Festus answered that Paul would be kept in Caesarea and that he himself was returning there soon. He said, “Some of your leaders should go with me. They can accuse the man there in Caesarea, if he has really done something wrong.”

Festus stayed in Jerusalem another eight or ten days and then went back to Caesarea. The next day he told the soldiers to bring Paul before him. Festus was seated on the judge’s seat when Paul came into the room. The people who had come from Jerusalem stood around him, making serious charges against him, which they could not prove. This is what Paul said to defend himself: “I have done nothing wrong against the law, against the Temple, or against Caesar.”

But Festus wanted to please the people. So he asked Paul, “Do you want to go to Jerusalem for me to judge you there on these charges?”

10 Paul said, “I am standing at Caesar’s judgment seat now, where I should be judged. I have done nothing wrong to them; you know this is true. 11 If I have done something wrong and the law says I must die, I do not ask to be saved from death. But if these charges are not true, then no one can give me to them. I want Caesar to hear my case!”

12 Festus talked about this with his advisers. Then he said, “You have asked to see Caesar, so you will go to Caesar!”

Paul Before King Agrippa

13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to visit Festus. 14 They stayed there for some time, 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 priests and the elders there made charges against him, asking me to sentence him to death. 16 But I answered, ‘When a man is accused of a crime, Romans do not 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, I did not waste time. The next day I sat on the judge’s seat and commanded that the man be brought in. 18 They stood up and accused him, but not of any serious crime as I thought they would. 19 The things they said were about their own religion and about a man named Jesus who died. But Paul said that he is still alive. 20 Not knowing how to find out about these questions, I asked Paul, ‘Do you want to go to Jerusalem and be judged there?’ 21 But he asked to be kept in Caesarea. He wants a decision from the emperor.[a] So I ordered that he be held 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 The next day Agrippa and Bernice appeared with great show, acting like very important people. They went into the judgment room with the army leaders and the important men of Caesarea. Then Festus ordered the soldiers to bring Paul in. 24 Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are gathered here with us, you see this man. All the people, here and in Jerusalem, have complained to me about him, shouting that he should not live any longer. 25 When I judged him, I found no reason to order his death. But since he asked to be judged by Caesar, I decided to send him. 26 But I have nothing definite to write the emperor about him. So I have brought him before all of you—especially you, King Agrippa. I hope you can question him and give me something to write. 27 I think it is foolish to send a prisoner to Caesar without telling what charges are against him.”

Footnotes:

  1. 25:21 emperor The ruler of the Roman Empire, which was almost all the known world.
New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Acts 25 New International Version (NIV)

Paul’s Trial Before Festus

25 Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, where the chief priests and the Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul. 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. Festus answered, “Paul is being held at Caesarea, and I myself am going there soon. Let some of your leaders come with me, and if the man has done anything wrong, they can press charges against him there.”

After spending eight or ten days with them, Festus went down to Caesarea. The next day he convened the court and ordered that Paul be brought before him. When Paul came in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him. They brought many serious charges against him, but they could not prove them.

Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.”

Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?”

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, 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!”

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 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. 15 When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him 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. 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. 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 with him about their own religion 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. 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.”

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

He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.”

Paul Before Agrippa

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

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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