Acts 23-25 American Standard Version

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23 1  And Paul, looking stedfastly on the council, said, Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day. 2  And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. 3  Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: and sittest thou to judge me according to the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? 4  And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? 5  And Paul said, I knew not, brethren, that he was high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of thy people.

6  But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees: touching the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. 7  And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees; and the assembly was divided. 8  For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both. 9  And there arose a great clamor: and some of the scribes of the Pharisees part stood up, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: and what if a spirit hath spoken to him, or an angel? 10  And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the castle. 11  And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer: for as thou hast testified concerning me at Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

The Plot against Paul's Life

12  And when it was day, the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13  And they were more than forty that made this conspiracy. 14  And they came to the chief priests and the elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, to taste nothing until we have killed Paul. 15  Now therefore do ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you, as though ye would judge of his case more exactly: and we, before he comes near, are ready to slay him. 16  But Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, and he came and entered into the castle and told Paul. 17  And Paul called unto him one of the centurions, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain; for he hath something to tell him. 18  So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and saith, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and asked me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say to thee. 19  And the chief captain took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, What is it that thou hast to tell me? 20  And he said, The Jews have agreed to ask thee to bring down Paul tomorrow unto the council, as though thou wouldest inquire somewhat more exactly concerning him. 21  Do not thou therefore yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, who have bound themselves under a curse, neither to eat nor to drink till they have slain him: and now are they ready, looking for the promise from thee. 22  So the chief captain let the young man go, charging him, Tell no man that thou hast signified these things to me.

Paul Sent to Felix the Governor

23  And he called unto him two of the centurions, and said, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go as far as Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night: 24  and [he bade them] provide beasts, that they might set Paul thereon, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor. 25  And he wrote a letter after this form: 26  Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix, greeting. 27  This man was seized by the Jews, and was about to be slain of them, when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. 28  And desiring to know the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him down unto their council: 29  whom I found to be accused about questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds. 30  And when it was shown to me that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to thee forthwith, charging his accusers also to speak against him before thee. 31  So the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32  But on the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle: 33  and they, when they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, presented Paul also before him. 34  And when he had read it, he asked of what province he was; and when he understood that he was of Cilicia, 35  I will hear thee fully, said he, when thine accusers also are come: and he commanded him to be kept in Herod's palace.

Paul's Defense before Felix

24 1  And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with certain elders, and [with] an orator, one Tertullus; and they informed the governor against Paul. 2  And when he was called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy much peace, and that by the providence evils are corrected for this nation, 3  we accept it in all ways and in all places, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness. 4  But, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I entreat thee to hear us of thy clemency a few words. 5  For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: 6  who moreover assayed to profane the temple: on whom also we laid hold: [and we would have judged him according to our law. 7  But the chief captain Lysias came, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, 8  commanding his accusers to come before thee.] from whom thou wilt be able, by examining him thyself, to take knowledge of all these things whereof we accuse him. 9  And the Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that these things were so.

10  And when the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, Paul answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I cheerfully make my defense: 11  Seeing that thou canst take knowledge that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship at Jerusalem: 12  and neither in the temple did they find me disputing with any man or stirring up a crowd, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city. 13  Neither can they prove to thee the things whereof they now accuse me. 14  But this I confess unto thee, that after the Way which they call a sect, so serve I the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets; 15  having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust. 16  Herein I also exercise myself to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men always. 17  Now after some years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings: 18  amidst which they found me purified in the temple, with no crowd, nor yet with tumult: but [there were] certain Jews from Asia— 19  who ought to have been here before thee, and to make accusation, if they had aught against me. 20  Or else let these men themselves say what wrong-doing they found when I stood before the council, 21  except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question before you this day.

22  But Felix, having more exact knowledge concerning the Way, deferred them, saying, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will determine your matter. 23  And he gave order to the centurion that he should be kept in charge, and should have indulgence; and not to forbid any of his friends to minister unto him. 24  But after certain days, Felix came with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ Jesus. 25  And as he reasoned of righteousness, and self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was terrified, and answered, Go thy way for this time; and when I have a convenient season, I will call thee unto me. 26  He hoped withal that money would be given him of Paul: wherefore also he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him. 27  But when two years were fulfilled, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and desiring to gain favor with the Jews, Felix left Paul in bonds.

Paul Appeals to Caesar

25 1  Festus therefore, having come into the province, after three days went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2  And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they besought him, 3  asking a favor against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem; laying a plot to kill him on the way. 4  Howbeit Festus answered, that Paul was kept in charge at Caesarea, and that he himself was about to depart [thither] shortly. 5  Let them therefore, saith he, that are of power among you go down with me, and if there is anything amiss in the man, let them accuse him. 6  And when he had tarried among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and on the morrow he sat on the judgment-seat, and commanded Paul to be brought. 7  And when he was come, the Jews that had come down from Jerusalem stood round about him, bringing against him many and grievous charges which they could not prove; 8  while Paul said in his defense, Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar, have I sinned at all. 9  But Festus, desiring to gain favor with the Jews, answered Paul and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? 10  But Paul said, I am standing before Caesar's judgment-seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou also very well knowest. 11  If then I am a wrong-doer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die; but if none of those things is [true] whereof these accuse me, no man can give me up unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. 12  Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Thou hast appealed unto Caesar: unto Caesar shalt thou go.

Paul Brought before Agrippa and Bernice

13  Now when certain days were passed, Agrippa the King and Bernice arrived at Caesarea, and saluted Festus. 14  And as they tarried there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the King, saying, There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix; 15  about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed [me], asking for sentence against him. 16  To whom I answered, that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man, before that the accused have the accusers face to face, and have had opportunity to make his defense concerning the matter laid against him. 17  When therefore they were come together here, I made no delay, but on the next day sat on the judgment-seat, and commanded the man to be brought. 18  Concerning whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought no charge of such evil things as I supposed; 19  but had certain questions against him of their own religion, and of one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20  And I, being perplexed how to inquire concerning these things, asked whether he would go to Jerusalem and there be judged of these matters. 21  But when Paul had appealed to be kept for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be kept till I should send him to Caesar. 22  And Agrippa [said] unto Festus, I also could wish to hear the man myself. To-morrow, saith he, thou shalt hear him. 23  So on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and they were entered into the place of hearing with the chief captains and principal men of the city, at the command of Festus Paul was brought in. 24  And Festus saith, King Agrippa, and all men who are here present with us, ye behold this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews made suit to me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. 25  But I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death: and as he himself appealed to the emperor I determined to send him. 26  Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I may have somewhat to write. 27  For it seemeth to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not withal to signify the charges against him.

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