25:10 Paul replied, 1 “I am standing before Caesar’s 2 judgment seat, 3 where I should be tried. 4 I have done nothing wrong 5 to the Jews, as you also know very well. 6 25:11 If then I am in the wrong 7 and have done anything that deserves death, I am not trying to escape dying, 8 but if not one of their charges against me is true, 9 no one can hand me over to them. 10 I appeal to Caesar!” 11 25:12 Then, after conferring with his council, 12 Festus 13 replied, “You have appealed to Caesar; 14 to Caesar 15 you will go!” 16
25:21 But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, 17 I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” 18
25:25 But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, 19 and when he appealed 20 to His Majesty the Emperor, 21 I decided to send him. 22
1 tn Grk “said.”
2 tn Or “before the emperor’s” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).
3 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.
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.
4 tn That is, tried by an imperial representative and subject to Roman law.
5 sn “I have done nothing wrong.” Here is yet another declaration of total innocence on Paul’s part.
8 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).
9 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.
10 sn That is, no one can hand me over to them lawfully. Paul was aware of the dangers of a return to Jerusalem.
11 tn Or “to the emperor” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).
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.
12 tn That is, with his advisers.
14 tn Or “to the emperor” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).
15 tn Or “to the emperor.”
16 sn “To Caesar you will go!” In all probability Festus was pleased to send Paul on to Rome and get this political problem out of his court.
17 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.”
18 tn Or “to the emperor” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).
20 tn The participle ἐπικαλεσαμένου (epikalesamenou) has been taken temporally. It could also be translated as causal: “and because he appealed…”
22 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.