Paul Appeals to Caesar
1Now three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, 3asking as a favor against Paul1 that he summon him to Jerusalem—because they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. 4Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. 5“So,” said he, “let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.”
6After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. 7When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him that they could not prove. 8Paul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.” 9But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?” 10But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. 11If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.” 12Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.”
Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice
13Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus. 14And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, “There is a man left prisoner by Felix, 15and 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. 16I 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. 17So 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. 18When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. 19Rather 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. 20Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. 21But 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.” 22Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” said he, “you will hear him.”
23So 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. 24And 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. 25But 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. 26But 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. 27For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.”
- 1 25:3 Greek him
Paul's Defense Before Agrippa
1So Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:
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, 3especially because you are familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
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. 5They 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. 6And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, 7to 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! 8Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
9“I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10And 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. 11And 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.
Paul Tells of His Conversion
12“In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13At 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. 14And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language,1 ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16But 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, 17delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18to 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.’
19“Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20but 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. 21For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22To 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: 23that 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.”
24And 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.” 25But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. 26For 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. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”2 29And 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.”
30Then the king rose, and the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. 31And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.” 32And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
Paul Sails for Rome
1And when it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort named Julius. 2And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. 3The next day we put in at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him leave to go to his friends and be cared for. 4And putting out to sea from there we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. 5And when we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia. 6There the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing for Italy and put us on board. 7We sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, and as the wind did not allow us to go farther, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone. 8Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near which was the city of Lasea.
9Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast1 was already over, Paul advised them, 10saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 11But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. 12And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.
The Storm at Sea
13Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore. 14But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land. 15And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. 16Running under the lee of a small island called Cauda,2 we managed with difficulty to secure the ship's boat. 17After hoisting it up, they used supports to undergird the ship. Then, fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the gear,3 and thus they were driven along. 18Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo. 19And on the third day they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands. 20When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.
21Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. 22Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26But we must run aground on some island.”
27When the fourteenth night had come, as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. 28So they took a sounding and found twenty fathoms.4 A little farther on they took a sounding again and found fifteen fathoms.5 29And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the ship's boat into the sea under pretense of laying out anchors from the bow, 31Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship's boat and let it go.
33As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. 34Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength,6 for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” 35And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. 36Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37(We were in all 2767 persons in the ship.) 38And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.
39Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore. 40So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach. 41But striking a reef,8 they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf. 42The soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape. 43But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, 44and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.
- 1 27:9 That is, the Day of Atonement
- 2 27:16 Some manuscripts Clauda
- 3 27:17 That is, the sea-anchor (or possibly the mainsail)
- 4 27:28 About 120 feet; a fathom (Greek orguia) was about 6 feet or 2 meters
- 5 27:28 About 90 feet (see previous note)
- 6 27:34 Or For it is for your deliverance
- 7 27:37 Some manuscripts seventy-six, or about seventy-six
- 8 27:41 Or sandbank, or crosscurrent; Greek place between two seas
Paul on Malta
1After we were brought safely through, we then learned that the island was called Malta. 2The native people1 showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. 3When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. 4When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice2 has not allowed him to live.” 5He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. 6They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
7Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him. 9And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. 10They also honored us greatly,3 and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.
Paul Arrives at Rome
11After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods4 as a figurehead. 12Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14There we found brothers5 and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. 16And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.
Paul in Rome
17After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19But because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—though I had no charge to bring against my nation. 20For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.” 21And they said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. 22But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.”
23When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. 25And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
26“‘Go to this people, and say,
“You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
27For this people's heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’
28Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”6
30He lived there two whole years at his own expense,7 and welcomed all who came to him, 31proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
- 1 28:2 Greek barbaroi (that is, non–Greek speakers); also verse 4
- 2 28:4 Or justice
- 3 28:10 Greek honored us with many honors
- 4 28:11 That is, the Greek gods Castor and Pollux
- 5 28:14 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 15, 21
- 6 28:28 Some manuscripts add verse 29: And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, having much dispute among themselves
- 7 28:30 Or in his own hired dwelling
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.