4/2/17 Festus Tells Agrippa About Paul

Festus tells King Agripps, “When I arrived here to take up the role of governor, there was a man here named Paul.  He was a prisoner during Felix’s time as governor, and was not released when Felix was removed from the office.  I knew very little about the situation.  I traveled to Jerusalem to assess the situation there, and was accosted by a large group of the Jewish ruling council.  They told me that this man, Paul, deserved a penalty of death for his crimes and requested that I rule in their favor and execute him.  I told them, ‘As a Roman governor, I cannot send a man to his death unless he has had an impartial trial and been convicted.  If you have any among you who is qualified to bring charges against this man, they may accompany me back to Caesarea and present your case before me there.’  They assembled a large delegation and came back to Caesarea with me, and I held a full trial the day after we arrived, even using the judgment seat, as I would for a major trial.  I had the soldiers bring in the accused man, and I allowed the Jews to make their case first.  From the way they demanded his execution, I had thought the Jews would accuse the man of inciting rebellion, murder, or some similar crime.  But they only questioned him about various matters concerning their religious laws.  One of the main points of contention was a man named Jesus.  It seems that Paul claims the man is alive, whereas the Jews are certain that he is dead.  I was flabbergasted by this, and since none of it had anything to do with Roman law, I asked the prisoner if he would be willing to return to Jerusalem to stand trial before the Sanhedrin.  But Paul refused and instead declared that he would appeal to Caesar.  So I sent the Jews away and retained Paul as a prisoner here until such time as I may send him to Caesar.”


Acts 25:14b-21


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