JMNT(i) 1 Then Festus, having stepped up to assume the governorship of the province, after three days went up from Caesarea into Jerusalem. 2 Along with this, the chief (ruling; ranking) priests and the leading (or: foremost) men of the Jews brought things to light (or: gave information; = gave evidence and presented their case) against Paul and began entreating him, 3 repeatedly asking for themselves a favor in regard to him, so that he would himself send after [Paul], [to bring] him into Jerusalem – all the while [themselves] laying an ambush to assassinate him along the road. 4 Nonetheless, Festus gave a discerning reply, [that] Paul is to continue being kept and observed in Caesarea and that he himself is now soon about to be departing on his way quickly (in haste; = without delay). 5 "Therefore, let those in power among you," he affirmed, "after coming down together, continue making accusations of him – if there is anything out of place in the man." 6 Now after spending no more than eight or ten days among them, then descending into Caesarea, on the next day, when sitting upon the elevated platform in the public court area, he gave orders for Paul to be brought [to him]. 7 So at his coming to be present, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood round about him progressively bringing down many and weighty reasons for accusations and results of charges against [him] – which they were having no strength of argument to demonstrate or prove, 8 with Paul's presently refuting in defense, that "Neither unto the Law (= Torah) of the Jews, nor unto the Temple, nor unto Caesar did I commit any sin or do anything in error or failure, nor commit any wrong to offend!" 9 Now Festus, presently desiring and intending to lay up favor with the Jews, in making a calculated response to Paul, said, "Are you now willing to be going up into Jerusalem, to be judged there before me concerning these matters?" 10 But Paul said, "I am taking a stand (or: I am presently standing) before the court of Caesar, in which place it is binding for me to be judged (or: where I must stand trial)! I have done not even one thing wrong [to the] Jews, as you yourself are now fully coming to find out in finer fashion (or: are presently more ideally recognizing). 11 "If, then on the one hand, I am habitually doing wrong (committing injury, injustice or unfairness) and have practiced anything worthy of death, I am not now seeking to be excused from dying (or: presently refusing to die). But since (or: Yet if), on the other hand, there exists not even one thing of which these men continue accusing me, no one has power (or: is able) to hand me over (or: surrender me) to them as a favor. I am now calling upon (or: appealing to) Caesar!" 12 At that point Festus, after conferring with the gathered council, answered decidedly, "You yourself have called upon (or: appealed to) Caesar; before Caesar you will proceed in going!" 13 Now with the elapsing of some days, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived in Caesarea, paying their respects to Festus. 14 So, as they were spending more days there, Festus submitted the matters regarding Paul to the king, saying, "There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix 15 "concerning whom, at my coming to be in Jerusalem, the chief (or: ranking) priests and the older men (or: elders) of the Jews brought to light information, while repeatedly asking a decision (or: judgment) of condemnation against him. 16 "– to which men I made the decided reply that it is not [the] custom for Romans to hand over any person as a favor before the one being accused might have the accusers face to face, as well as receive a place for (= have opportunity to make) a defense concerning the indictment (or: charge). 17 "Therefore, with their coming together in this place, on the following [day] – making not one postponement or delay – while sitting on the dais (raised platform in the public hearing area) to convene court, I gave command for the man to be brought [in], 18 "concerning whom, at their being made to take the stand, the accusers were not bringing even one cause for accusation (or: ground for a charge) of [the] bad things (= serious crimes) of which I myself had been supposing (or: suspecting; surmising), 19 "but instead they continued holding (or: having) certain questions aimed at him concerning [their] own reverencing of the animistic powers (or: fear of demons [Hellenistic concept and term: = animistic influence] and unseen powers) and about a certain Jesus – a person having died – whom Paul keeps on alleging to be alive (or: was continuing in claiming to be living now). 20 "So, I myself being perplexed concerning these questions and disputes, proceeded to ask if he might be willing to be journeying into Jerusalem and there to be judged (= stand trial) concerning these [matters]. 21 "But at Paul's personally calling upon (or: making an appeal) to be kept and reserved unto the investigation and determination (= judicial hearing) by the August One (or: Venerable One; = the Emperor), I gave orders for him to be kept and observed until which [time, or, situation] I can (or: would) send him up to Caesar." 22 And so Agrippa said to Festus, "I myself was also wanting and intending to listen to (or: hear) this person." "Tomorrow," [Festus] affirms, "you will (or, as an aorist subjunctive: may; can; should) proceed to be hearing him." 23 Therefore, on the next day, at [the] coming of Agrippa, as well as Bernice – with much pageantry for making an "appearance" – and their entering into the audience hall, together with both military commanders (tribunes) and the prominent men of the city, and then with Festus giving the command, Paul was led [in]. 24 Then Festus affirms, "King Agrippa, and all you men being present with us, you are now looking at this person about whom the entire multitude of the Jews interceded (or: petitioned) to me, both in Jerusalem and in this place, repeatedly shouting [that] by all means it continues necessary and binding for him to continue living no longer. 25 "Now as for myself, I grasped (caught; = found out about) him to have committed nothing worthy (or: deserving) of death, yet when this man himself was calling upon (= making an appeal to) the August One (= the Emperor), I decided to proceed in sending [him] – 26 "concerning whom I continue having nothing certain to write to [my] Lord (= the Sovereign; or: [our] Owner). On this account I bring him forth before you people – and most of all, before you, King Agrippa – so that with the examination having taken place, I would have something to write. 27 "For it now seems illogical and unreasonable for me (or: absurd to me), while proceeding in sending a prisoner, not also to give a sign of (or: to give some sign indicating) the charges against him."