Festus travels to Jerusalem to speak to the leaders of the Jews
1 Three days after Festus began to rule in Caesarea, he travelled from there to Jerusalem. 2 When he arrived there, the leaders of the priests and the Jewish leaders told him about Paul. They spoke bad things against Paul. 3 They said to Festus, ‘Please listen to us. We really want you to bring Paul here to Jerusalem. You can judge him here. Then we would be very happy.’ They wanted to kill Paul while he was travelling to Jerusalem.
4 But Festus answered them, ‘Paul will remain in prison in Caesarea. I myself will return there soon. 5 So, your leaders should go to Caesarea with me. If this man has done anything wrong, they can speak against him there. I will listen and I will judge.’
6 Festus stayed for another eight or ten days in Jerusalem. Then he returned to Caesarea. On the next day, he sat down on his special seat as judge. He said to his soldiers, ‘Bring Paul here!’ 7 Some of the Jewish leaders had also come from Jerusalem. When Paul came into the room, they all stood round him. They began to speak to Festus against Paul. They said that he had done very many bad things. But they could not show Festus that these things were really true.
8 Then Paul spoke to show what was true. He said, ‘I have not done anything wrong against our Jewish laws or against God's Great House in Jerusalem. Also, I have not done anything wrong against your Roman ruler, Caesar.’
9 Festus wanted to make the Jewish leaders happy. So he asked Paul, ‘I would like to judge this problem in Jerusalem. Would you be happy to go there? Then I can decide if what these men are saying against you is true.’
10 Paul answered him, ‘I am already in the place where Caesar's officers judge people. This is the right place for you to judge me. I have never done anything wrong against the Jews. You yourself know very well that it is true. 11 Have I done something bad that you should kill me for it? If that is true, then I will agree to it. It is right that I should die. But these Jews are not speaking true words against me. Nobody should let them take hold of me. So now I ask you to send me to Caesar himself. I want him to be the judge.’
12 Festus talked to his officers about what Paul had said. Then he said to Paul, ‘You have asked to go to Caesar, for him to be your judge. So, prepare yourself to go to Caesar!’