25:13 After several days had passed, King Agrippa 1 and Bernice arrived at Caesarea 2 to pay their respects 3 to Festus. 4 25:14 While 5 they were staying there many days, Festus 6 explained Paul’s case to the king to get his opinion, 7 saying, “There is a man left here as a prisoner by Felix. 25:15 When I was in Jerusalem, 8 the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed 9 me about him, 10 asking for a sentence of condemnation 11 against him. 25:16 I answered them 12 that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone 13 before the accused had met his accusers face to face 14 and had been given 15 an opportunity to make a defense against the accusation. 16 25:17 So after they came back here with me, 17 I did not postpone the case, 18 but the next day I sat 19 on the judgment seat 20 and ordered the man to be brought. 25:18 When his accusers stood up, they did not charge 21 him with any of the evil deeds I had suspected. 22 25:19 Rather they had several points of disagreement 23 with him about their own religion 24 and about a man named Jesus 25 who was dead, whom Paul claimed 26 to be alive. 25:20 Because I was at a loss 27 how I could investigate these matters, 28 I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried 29 there on these charges. 30 25:21 But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, 31 I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” 32 25:22 Agrippa 33 said to Festus, 34 “I would also like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, 35 “you will hear him.”
25:23 So the next day Agrippa 36 and Bernice came with great pomp 37 and entered the audience hall, 38 along with the senior military officers 39 and the prominent men of the city. When Festus 40 gave the order, 41 Paul was brought in. 25:24 Then Festus 42 said, “King Agrippa, 43 and all you who are present here with us, you see this man about whom the entire Jewish populace 44 petitioned 45 me both in Jerusalem 46 and here, 47 shouting loudly 48 that he ought not to live any longer. 25:25 But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, 49 and when he appealed 50 to His Majesty the Emperor, 51 I decided to send him. 52 25:26 But I have nothing definite 53 to write to my lord 54 about him. 55 Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, 56 so that after this preliminary hearing 57 I may have something to write. 25:27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating 58 the charges against him.”
1 sn King Agrippa was Herod Agrippa II (
5 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.”
7 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.”
9 tn BDAG 326 s.v. ἐμφανίζω 3 has “to convey a formal report about a judicial matter, present evidence, bring charges…ἐ. περί τινος concerning someone 25:15.”
10 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).
12 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.
sn “I answered them.” In the answer that follows, Festus is portrayed in a more positive light, being sensitive to justice and Roman law.
13 tn Grk “any man.” This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpos).
14 tn Or “has met his accusers in person.”
15 tn Grk “and receives.”
16 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.”
18 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.
19 tn Grk “sitting…I ordered.” The participle καθίσας (kaqisa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
20 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.
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.
21 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.
22 tn Or “I was expecting.”
23 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.”
24 tn On this term see BDAG 216 s.v. δεισιδαιμονία 2. It is a broad term for religion.
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 tn Grk “a certain Jesus.”
26 tn Or “asserted.”
27 tn Or “Because I was undecided.” Grk “Being at a loss.” The participle ἀπορούμενος (aporoumeno") has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.
28 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.’”
29 tn Or “stand trial.”
30 tn Grk “on these things.”
31 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.”
32 tn Or “to the emperor” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).
35 tn Grk “said.”
37 tn Or “great pageantry” (BDAG 1049 s.v. φαντασία; the term is a NT hapax legomenon).
sn Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp. The “royals” were getting their look at Paul. Everyone who was anyone would have been there.
38 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).
39 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.
41 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.
44 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.
45 tn Or “appealed to” (BDAG 341 s.v. ἐντυγχάνω 1.a).
47 sn Here means “here in Caesarea.”
48 tn Or “screaming.”
50 tn The participle ἐπικαλεσαμένου (epikalesamenou) has been taken temporally. It could also be translated as causal: “and because he appealed…”
52 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.
53 sn There is irony here. How can Festus write anything definite about Paul, if he is guilty of nothing.
54 sn To my lord means “to His Majesty the Emperor.”
55 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.
58 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.”
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.