25:1 Now 1 three days after Festus 2 arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem 3 from Caesarea. 4 25:2 So the chief priests and the most prominent men 5 of the Jews brought formal charges 6 against Paul to him. 25:3 Requesting him to do them a favor against Paul, 7 they urged Festus 8 to summon him to Jerusalem, planning an ambush 9 to kill him along the way. 25:4 Then Festus 10 replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, 11 and he himself intended to go there 12 shortly. 25:5 “So,” he said, “let your leaders 13 go down there 14 with me, and if this man has done anything wrong, 15 they may bring charges 16 against him.”
25:6 After Festus 17 had stayed 18 not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, 19 and the next day he sat 20 on the judgment seat 21 and ordered Paul to be brought. 25:7 When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, 22 bringing many serious 23 charges that they were not able to prove. 24 25:8 Paul said in his defense, 25 “I have committed no offense 26 against the Jewish law 27 or against the temple or against Caesar.” 28 25:9 But Festus, 29 wanting to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and be tried 30 before me there on these charges?” 31 25:10 Paul replied, 32 “I am standing before Caesar’s 33 judgment seat, 34 where I should be tried. 35 I have done nothing wrong 36 to the Jews, as you also know very well. 37 25:11 If then I am in the wrong 38 and have done anything that deserves death, I am not trying to escape dying, 39 but if not one of their charges against me is true, 40 no one can hand me over to them. 41 I appeal to Caesar!” 42 25:12 Then, after conferring with his council, 43 Festus 44 replied, “You have appealed to Caesar; 45 to Caesar 46 you will go!” 47
25:13 After several days had passed, King Agrippa 48 and Bernice arrived at Caesarea 49 to pay their respects 50 to Festus. 51 25:14 While 52 they were staying there many days, Festus 53 explained Paul’s case to the king to get his opinion, 54 saying, “There is a man left here as a prisoner by Felix. 25:15 When I was in Jerusalem, 55 the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed 56 me about him, 57 asking for a sentence of condemnation 58 against him. 25:16 I answered them 59 that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone 60 before the accused had met his accusers face to face 61 and had been given 62 an opportunity to make a defense against the accusation. 63 25:17 So after they came back here with me, 64 I did not postpone the case, 65 but the next day I sat 66 on the judgment seat 67 and ordered the man to be brought. 25:18 When his accusers stood up, they did not charge 68 him with any of the evil deeds I had suspected. 69 25:19 Rather they had several points of disagreement 70 with him about their own religion 71 and about a man named Jesus 72 who was dead, whom Paul claimed 73 to be alive. 25:20 Because I was at a loss 74 how I could investigate these matters, 75 I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried 76 there on these charges. 77 25:21 But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, 78 I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” 79 25:22 Agrippa 80 said to Festus, 81 “I would also like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, 82 “you will hear him.”
25:23 So the next day Agrippa 83 and Bernice came with great pomp 84 and entered the audience hall, 85 along with the senior military officers 86 and the prominent men of the city. When Festus 87 gave the order, 88 Paul was brought in. 25:24 Then Festus 89 said, “King Agrippa, 90 and all you who are present here with us, you see this man about whom the entire Jewish populace 91 petitioned 92 me both in Jerusalem 93 and here, 94 shouting loudly 95 that he ought not to live any longer. 25:25 But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, 96 and when he appealed 97 to His Majesty the Emperor, 98 I decided to send him. 99 25:26 But I have nothing definite 100 to write to my lord 101 about him. 102 Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, 103 so that after this preliminary hearing 104 I may have something to write. 25:27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating 105 the charges against him.”
[25:2] sn Note how quickly the Jewish leadership went after Paul: They brought formal charges against him within three days of Festus’ arrival in the province.
[25:3] 7 tn Grk “Requesting a favor against him”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation, the understood direct object of “requesting” has been supplied, and the phrase “to do them” supplied for clarity.
[25:3] 9 sn Planning an ambush. The Jewish leadership had not forgotten the original plan of several years ago (see 23:16). They did not trust the Roman legal process, but preferred to take matters into their own hands.
[25:5] 15 tn Grk “and if there is anything wrong with this man,” but this could be misunderstood in English to mean a moral or physical defect, while the issue in context is the commission of some crime, something legally improper (BDAG 149 s.v. ἄτοπος 2).
[25:5] 16 tn BDAG 533 s.v. κατηγορέω 1 states, “nearly always as legal t.t.: bring charges in court.” L&N 33.427 states for κατηγορέω, “to bring serious charges or accusations against someone, with the possible connotation of a legal or court context – ‘to accuse, to bring charges.”
[25:6] 21 tn Although BDAG 175 s.v. βῆμα 3 gives the meaning “tribunal” for this verse, and a number of modern translations use similar terms (“court,” NIV; “tribunal,” NRSV), since the bhma was a standard feature in Greco-Roman cities of the time, there is no need for an alternative translation here.
[25:6] sn The judgment seat (βῆμα, bhma) was a raised platform mounted by steps and sometimes furnished with a seat, used by officials in addressing an assembly or making pronouncements, often on judicial matters. The judgment seat was a familiar item in Greco-Roman culture, often located in the agora, the public square or marketplace in the center of a city.
[25:8] 25 tn Grk “Paul saying in his defense”; the participle ἀπολογουμένου (apologoumenou) could be taken temporally (“when Paul said…”), but due to the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the participle was translated as a finite verb and a new sentence begun here in the translation. BDAG 116-17 s.v. ἀπολογέομαι has “W. ὅτι foll. τοῦ Παύλου ἀπολογουμένου, ὅτι when Paul said in his defense (direct quot. foll.) Ac 25:8.”
[25:8] sn The Jewish law refers to the law of Moses.
[25:8] sn Paul’s threefold claim to be innocent with respect to the law…the temple and Caesar argues that he has not disturbed the peace at any level. This was the standard charge made against early Christians (Luke 23:2; Acts 17:6-7). The charges here are emphatically denied, with the Greek conjunction oute repeated before each charge.
[25:10] 34 tn Although BDAG 175 s.v. βῆμα 3 gives the meaning “tribunal” for this verse, and a number of modern translations use similar terms (“court,” NIV; “tribunal,” NRSV), since the bema was a standard feature in Greco-Roman cities of the time, there is no need for an alternative translation here. Here of course Paul’s reference to “Caesar’s judgment seat” is a form of metonymy; since Festus is Caesar’s representative, Festus’ judgment seat represents Caesar’s own.
[25:10] sn The judgment seat (βῆμα, bhma) was a raised platform mounted by steps and sometimes furnished with a seat, used by officials in addressing an assembly or making pronouncements, often on judicial matters. The judgment seat was a familiar item in Greco-Roman culture, often located in the agora, the public square or marketplace in the center of a city.
[25:10] 37 tn BDAG 506 s.v. καλῶς 7 states, “comp. κάλλιον (for the superl., as Galen, Protr. 8 p. 24, 19J.=p. 10, 31 Kaibel; s. B-D-F §244, 2) ὡς καί σὺ κ. ἐπιγινώσκεις as also you know very well Ac 25:10.”
[25:11] 39 tn BDAG 764 s.v. παραιτέομαι 2.b.β, “οὐ παραιτοῦμαι τὸ ἀποθανεῖν I am not trying to escape death Ac 25:11 (cp. Jos., Vi. 141).” To avoid redundancy in the translation, the English gerund “dying” is used to translate the Greek infinitive ἀποθανεῖν (apoqanein).
[25:11] 40 tn Or “but if there is nothing to their charges against me.” Both “if” clauses in this verse are first class conditions. Paul stated the options without prejudice, assuming in turn the reality of each for the sake of the argument.
[25:11] sn The appeal to Caesar was known as the provocatio ad Caesarem. It was a Roman citizen’s right to ask for a direct judgment by the emperor (Pliny the Younger, Letters 10.96). It was one of the oldest rights of Roman citizens.
[25:13] 48 sn King Agrippa was Herod Agrippa II (
[25:14] 52 tn BDAG 1105-6 s.v. ὡς 8.b states, “w. pres. or impf. while, when, as long as…Ac 1:10; 7:23; 9:23; 10:17; 13:25; 19:9; 21:27; 25:14.”
[25:14] 54 tn Grk “Festus laid Paul’s case before the king for consideration.” BDAG 74 s.v. ἀνατίθημι 2 states, “otherw. only mid. to lay someth. before someone for consideration, declare, communicate, refer w. the added idea that the pers. to whom a thing is ref. is asked for his opinion lay someth. before someone for consideration…Ac 25:14.”
[25:15] 57 tn Grk “about whom.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) has been replaced with a personal pronoun (“him”) and a new sentence started in the translation at the beginning of v. 15 (where the phrase περὶ οὗ [peri Jou] occurs in the Greek text).
[25:16] 59 tn Grk “to whom I answered.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) has been replaced with a personal pronoun (“them”) and a new sentence started in the translation at the beginning of v. 16.
[25:16] sn “I answered them.” In the answer that follows, Festus is portrayed in a more positive light, being sensitive to justice and Roman law.
[25:16] 63 tn Or “indictment” (a legal technical term). BDAG 273-74 s.v. ἔγκλημα 1 states, “legal t.t.…ἀπολογία περὶ τοῦ ἐ. defense against the accusation Ac 25:16.” L&N 56.6 defines ἔγκλημα (enklhma) as “(a technical, legal term) a formal indictment or accusation brought against someone – ‘indictment, accusation, case.’ …‘and might receive an opportunity for a defense against the indictment’ Ac 25:16.”
[25:17] 65 tn BDAG 59 s.v. ἀναβολή states, “‘delay’…legal t.t. postponement…ἀ. μηδεμίαν ποιησάμενος I did not postpone the matter Ac 25:17.” “Case” has been supplied instead of “matter” since it is more specific to the context. The participle ποιησάμενος (poihsameno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
[25:17] 67 tn Although BDAG 175 s.v. βῆμα 3 gives the meaning “tribunal” for this verse, and a number of modern translations use similar terms (“court,” NIV; “tribunal,” NRSV), since the bema was a standard feature in Greco-Roman cities of the time, there is no need for an alternative translation here.
[25:17] sn The judgment seat (βῆμα, bhma) was a raised platform mounted by steps and sometimes furnished with a seat, used by officials in addressing an assembly or making pronouncements, often on judicial matters. The judgment seat was a familiar item in Greco-Roman culture, often located in the agora, the public square or marketplace in the center of a city.
[25:18] 68 tn Grk “they brought no charge of any of the evil deeds.” BDAG 31 s.v. αἰτία 3.b has “αἰτίαν φέρειν…bring an accusation Ac 25:18.” Since κατήγοροι (kathgoroi, “accusers”) in the previous clause is somewhat redundant with this, “charge” was used instead.
[25:19] 70 tn Grk “several controversial issues.” BDAG 428 s.v. ζήτημα states, “in our lit. only in Ac, w. the mng. it still has in Mod. Gk. (controversial) question, issue, argument…Ac 15:2; 26:3. ζ. περί τινος questions about someth.…18:15; 25:19.”
[25:19] sn About their own religion. Festus made it clear that in his view as a neutral figure (and as one Luke had noted was disposed to help the Jews), he saw no guilt in Paul. The issue was a simple religious dispute.
[25:20] 75 tn L&N 27.34 states, “ἀπορούμενος δὲ ἐγὼ τὴν περὶ τούτων ζήτησιν ‘I was undecided about how I could get information on these matters’ Ac 25:20. The clause ‘about how I could get information on these matters’ may also be rendered as ‘about how I should try to find out about these matters’ or ‘about how I could learn about these matters.’”
[25:21] 78 tn A designation of the Roman emperor (in this case, Nero). BDAG 917 s.v. σεβαστός states, “ὁ Σεβαστός His Majesty the Emperor Ac 25:21, 25 (of Nero).” It was a translation into Greek of the Latin “Augustus.”
[25:23] sn Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp. The “royals” were getting their look at Paul. Everyone who was anyone would have been there.
[25:23] 85 tn Or “auditorium.” “Auditorium” may suggest to the modern English reader a theater where performances are held. Here it is the large hall where a king or governor would hold audiences. Paul once spoke of himself as a “spectacle” to the world (1 Cor 4:8-13).
[25:23] 86 tn Grk “the chiliarchs” (officers in command of a thousand soldiers). In Greek the term χιλίαρχος (ciliarco") literally described the “commander of a thousand,” but it was used as the standard translation for the Latin tribunus militum or tribunus militare, the military tribune who commanded a cohort of 600 men.
[25:23] 88 tn Grk “and Festus ordering, Paul was brought in.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was begun in the translation, and καί (kai) has not been translated. The participle κελεύσαντος (keleusanto") has been taken temporally.
[25:24] 91 tn Probably best understood as rhetorical hyperbole. BDAG 825 s.v. πλῆθος 2.b.γ states, “people, populace, population…τὸ πλῆθος the populace…ἅπαν τὸ πλ. τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων Ac 25:24.” However, the actions of the leadership are seen by Luke as representing the actions of the entire nation, so the remark is not inaccurate.
[25:26] 102 tn Grk “about whom I have nothing definite…” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) was replaced with a personal pronoun (“him”) and a new sentence begun in the translation at the beginning of v. 26.
[25:27] 105 tn L&N 33.153 s.v. σημαίνω, “to cause something to be both specific and clear – ‘to indicate clearly, to make clear’… ‘for it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating the charges against him’ Ac 25:27.”
[25:27] sn Without clearly indicating the charges against him. Again the point is made by Festus himself that there is difficulty even in articulating a charge against Paul.