Acts 25 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Paul Appeals to Caesar
25 Three days after Festus assumed his duties in Caesarea, he made the journey to Jerusalem.[a] 2 Religious authorities and prominent leaders among the Jews brought formal charges against Paul before Festus. 3 They came asking him for a favor—that he would transfer Paul from Caesarea to Jerusalem—all the while plotting to ambush and kill Paul along the way.
4 Festus responded to their request by informing them that he planned to return to Caesarea shortly. 5 He told them, “Your leaders can come with me to Caesarea. If this man has broken any laws, you can bring charges against him there.”
6 After Festus had stayed in Jerusalem no more than eight to ten days, he left for Caesarea. The day after he arrived, he convened the court and took his seat on the bench as judge over the proceedings. After he ordered Paul brought into the courtroom, 7 the Jewish leaders who came from Jerusalem encircled him and leveled against him many serious charges, which they were unable to substantiate.
9 Festus, because he wanted to curry favor with the Jews, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go with me to Jerusalem and be tried for these charges?”
10 Paul replied, “I am standing here before Caesar’s tribunal. This is where I should be tried. As you well know, I have done no harm to the Jews. 11 If I have committed a crime worthy of death, I won’t seek to escape the death penalty. But if none of their charges are true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”
12 After conferring with the members of his council, Festus replied, “Since you have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you will go!”
Festus and King Agrippa
13 Several days later, King Agrippa and Bernice[d] arrived at Caesarea for a visit with Festus. 14 During their stay of many days, Festus explained Paul’s situation to the king to get his opinion on the matter, saying, “There is a man here whom Felix left as a prisoner. 15 When I was in Jerusalem, the leading priests and Jewish elders pressed charges against him and demanded that I issue a guilty verdict against him. 16 I explained to them that it is not our Roman custom to condemn any man before he has an opportunity to face his accusers and present his defense. 17 So they returned here with me. I didn’t postpone the trial, but convened the court the very next day and ordered the man to be brought before me. 18 I listened to their accusations against him, but they were not what I expected to hear, for he had committed no crime. 19 Rather, their issues centered around disagreements with him over their religion, and about a dead man named Jesus, who Paul claimed was alive. 20 Because I was perplexed about how to proceed, I asked him if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem to stand trial on these charges. 21 When Paul appealed his case to the emperor for a decision, I ordered him to be held in custody until I could send him to Caesar.”
22 King Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to listen to this man myself.”
“Tomorrow,” he replied, “you will have that opportunity.”
Paul before King Agrippa
23 The next day King Agrippa and Bernice entered the audience hall with much pomp and pageantry. Accompanying them were the senior military officers and prominent citizens. Festus ordered that Paul be brought before them all.
24 Then Festus said, “King Agrippa, and esteemed guests, here is the man whom the entire Jewish community, both here and in Jerusalem, has asked me to condemn to death. They have screamed and shouted at me, demanding that I end his life. 25 Yet upon investigation I couldn’t find one thing that he has done to deserve the death penalty. When he appealed to His Majesty the emperor, I determined to send him. 26 But I have nothing concrete to write to His Majesty, so I have now brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa. After this preliminary hearing I should have something to write, 27 for it seems absurd to me to send a prisoner without specifying the charges against him.”
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, 2 where the chief priests and the Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul. 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. 4 Festus answered, “Paul is being held at Caesarea, 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 and ordered that Paul be brought before him. 7 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.
8 Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.”
9 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.”