Paul’s Defense before Agrippa
Acts 25:13 – 26:32
Acts 25:13 – 26:32
13 And when certain days had elapsed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to salute Festus. 14 And when they had spent many days there, Festus laid before the king the matters relating to Paul, saying, There is a certain man left prisoner by Felix, 15 concerning whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid informations, requiring judgment against him: 16 to whom I answered, It is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man before that the accused have the accusers face to face, and he have got opportunity of defence touching the charge. 17 When therefore they had come together here, without putting it off, I sat the next day on the judgment-seat and commanded the man to be brought: 18 concerning whom the accusers, standing up, brought no such accusation of guilt as “I” supposed; 19 but had against him certain questions of their own system of worship, and concerning a certain Jesus who is dead, whom Paul affirmed to be living. 20 And as I myself was at a loss as to an inquiry into these things, I said, Was he willing to go to Jerusalem and there to be judged concerning these things? 21 But Paul having appealed to be kept for the cognisance of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I shall send him to Caesar. 22 And Agrippa said to Festus, I myself also would desire to hear the man. To-morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him. 23 On the morrow therefore, Agrippa being come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and having entered into the hall of audience, with the chiliarchs and the men of distinction of the city, and Festus having given command, Paul was brought. 24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men who are here present with us, ye see this person, concerning whom all the multitude of the Jews applied to me both in Jerusalem and here, crying out against him that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But I, having found that he had done nothing worthy of death, and this man himself having appealed to Augustus, I have decided to send him; 26 concerning whom I have nothing certain to write to my lord. Wherefore I have brought him before you, and specially before thee, king Agrippa, so that an examination having been gone into I may have something to write: 27 for it seems to me senseless, sending a prisoner, not also to signify the charges against him.
1 And Agrippa said to Paul, It is permitted thee to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretching out his hand answered in his defence: 2 I count myself happy, king Agrippa, in having to answer to-day before thee concerning all of which I am accused by the Jews, 3 especially because thou art acquainted with all the customs and questions which are among the Jews; wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. 4 My manner of life then from my youth, which from its commencement was passed among my nation in Jerusalem, know all the Jews, 5 who knew me before from the outset of my life, if they would bear witness, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand to be judged because of the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers, 7 to which our whole twelve tribes serving incessantly day and night hope to arrive; about which hope, O king, I am accused of the Jews. 8 Why should it be judged a thing incredible in your sight if God raises the dead? 9 “I” indeed myself thought that I ought to do much against the name of Jesus the Nazaraean. 10 Which also I did in Jerusalem, and myself shut up in prisons many of the saints, having received the authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death I gave my vote. 11 And often punishing them in all the synagogues, I compelled them to blaspheme. And, being exceedingly furious against them, I persecuted them even to cities out of our own land. 12 And when, engaged in this, I was journeying to Damascus, with authority and power from the chief priests, 13 at mid-day, on the way, I saw, O king, a light above the brightness of the sun, shining from heaven round about me and those who were journeying with me. 14 And, when we were all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against goads. 15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, “I” am Jesus whom “thou” persecutest: 16 but rise up and stand on thy feet; for, for this purpose have I appeared to thee, to appoint thee to be a servant and a witness both of what thou hast seen, and of what I shall appear to thee in, 17 taking thee out from among the people, and the nations, to whom “I” send thee, 18 to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me. 19 Whereupon, king Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision; 20 but have, first to those both in Damascus and Jerusalem, and to all the region of Judaea, and to the nations, announced that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. 21 On account of these things the Jews, having seized me in the temple, attempted to lay hands on and destroy me. 22 Having therefore met with the help which is from God, I have stood firm unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying nothing else than those things which both the prophets and Moses have said should happen, 23 namely, whether Christ should suffer; whether he first, through resurrection of the dead, should announce light both to the people and to the nations. 24 And as he answered for his defence with these things, Festus says with a loud voice, Thou art mad, Paul; much learning turns thee to madness. 25 But Paul said, I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but utter words of truth and soberness; 26 for the king is informed about these things, to whom also I speak with all freedom. For I am persuaded that of these things nothing is hidden from him; for this was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, In a little thou persuadest me to become a Christian. 29 And Paul said, I would to God, both in little and in much, that not only thou, but all who have heard me this day, should become such as “I” also am, except these bonds. 30 And the king stood up, and the governor and Bernice, and those who sat with them, 31 and having gone apart, they spoke to one another saying, This man does nothing worthy of death or of bonds. 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, This man might have been let go if he had not appealed to Caesar.