Acts 25:13–26:32 (ESV)
Acts 25:13 Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus.
Acts 25:14 And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a man left prisoner by Felix,
Acts 25:15 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him.
Acts 25:16 I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him.
Acts 25:17 So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought.
Acts 25:18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed.
Acts 25:19 Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive.
Acts 25:20 Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them.
Acts 25:21 But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar.”
Acts 25:22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” said he, “you will hear him.”
Acts 25:23 So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in.
Acts 25:24 And Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.
Acts 25:25 But I found that he had done nothing deserving death. And as he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him.
Acts 25:26 But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write.
Acts 25:27 For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.”
Acts 26:1 So Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:
Acts 26:2 “I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews,
Acts 26:3 especially because you are familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
Acts 26:4 “My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews.
Acts 26:5 They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee.
Acts 26:6 And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers,
Acts 26:7 to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jews, O king!
Acts 26:8 Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
Acts 26:9 “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Acts 26:10 And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them.
Acts 26:11 And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
Acts 26:12 “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
Acts 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
Acts 26:14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
Acts 26:15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
Acts 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,
Acts 26:17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you
Acts 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
Acts 26:19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
Acts 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.
Acts 26:21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.
Acts 26:22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass:
Acts 26:23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
Acts 26:24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.”
Acts 26:25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.
Acts 26:26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner.
Acts 26:27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.”
Acts 26:28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”
Acts 26:29 And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.”
Acts 26:30 Then the king rose, and the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them.
Acts 26:31 And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.”
Acts 26:32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”