The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Acts of the Apostles
And Festus, three days after entering his province, went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
Here the high priest and the leaders of the Jews put before him their case against Paul, and were urgent with him,
asking as a favour, that he would summon Paul to Jerusalem; meanwhile they were preparing an ambush, so as to make away with him on the journey.
But Festus answered that Paul was in safe keeping at Caesarea; he himself would be removing there as soon as possible;
Let those of you who are men of influence, he said, travel down with me, and bring your charges against this man, if you have anything against him.
So, when he had spent a week with them, or ten days at most, he went down to Caesarea; and next day, sitting on the judgement-seat, he gave orders for Paul to be brought in.
When he appeared, there were the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem, standing round him and bringing many grave accusations against him, which they could not prove;
while Paul said in his defence, I have committed no crime against the Jewish law, or against the temple, or against Caesar.
But Festus had a mind to ingratiate himself with the Jews, so he answered Paul thus, Art thou ready to go up to Jerusalem, and meet these charges before me there?
Upon which Paul said, I am standing at Caesar’s judgement-seat, where I have a right to be tried. As for the Jews, I have done them no wrong, as thou knowest well enough.
If I am guilty, if I have done something which deserves death, I do not ask for reprieve; if their charges are without substance, no one has a right to make them a present of my life. I appeal to Caesar.
Then Festus conferred with his council, and answered, Hast thou appealed to Caesar? To Caesar thou shalt go.
Some days later, king Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea, to give Festus their greeting,
and, since he was spending several days there, Festus put Paul’s case before the king; There is a man here, he said, whom Felix left behind him in prison;
and when I went to Jerusalem the chief priests and elders of the Jews denounced him to me, asking for his condemnation.
I replied that it is not the Roman custom to pronounce a condemnation, until the accused man has been confronted with his accusers, and been given the opportunity to clear himself of the charge.
So they came here with me, and I did not keep them waiting; the next day, sitting on the judgement-seat, I gave orders for the man to be brought in.
His accusers, as they stood round him, could not tax him with any criminal offence, such as I had expected;
their controversies with him were concerned with scruples of their own, and with a dead man called Jesus, whom Paul declared to be alive.
For myself, I hesitated to enter upon the discussion of such matters; so I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem, and meet these charges there.
Upon which Paul appealed to have his case reserved for the emperor’s cognizance; and I gave orders that he should be kept safe until I can send him to Caesar.
Then Agrippa said to Festus, I have often wished, myself, to hear this man speak. Thou shalt hear him, said he, to-morrow.
So, on the next day, Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and made their entry into the hall of judgement, attended by the captains and all the eminent persons of the city; and Paul, at Festus’ command, was brought in.
Then Festus said, King Agrippa, and all you who are present, you see before you a man over whom the whole Jewish body has been petitioning me, not only here but at Jerusalem, crying out that he must not be allowed to live a day longer.
For myself, I was satisfied that he had not done anything deserving of death; but, since he has appealed to the emperor, I have thought it best to send him,
and now, writing to my sovereign lord, I have no clear account to give of him. That is why I have brought him before you, and before thee especially, king Agrippa, so that the examination may afford material for my letter.
It would be unreasonable, I conceive, to remit a prisoner for trial without putting on record the charges that lie against him.
The Holy Bible