You shall go to the Emperor Caesar (Acts 25:12)

“Then Festus,

After he had conferred

With his council,


‘You have appealed

To the Emperor Caesar.

To the Emperor Caesar,

You shall go.’”

τότε ὁ Φῆστος συνλαλήσας μετὰ τοῦ συμβουλίου ἀπεκρίθη Καίσαρα ἐπικέκλησαι, ἐπὶ Καίσαρα πορεύσῃ.

The author of Acts indicated that then Festus (τότε ὁ Φῆστος), after he had conferred (συνλαλήσας) with his council (μετὰ τοῦ συμβουλίου), replied (ἀπεκρίθη) that Paul had appealed to the Emperor Caesar (Καίσαρα ἐπικέκλησαι).  Then he would go to the Emperor Caesar (ἐπὶ Καίσαρα πορεύσῃ).  Porcius Festus was not impulsive.  He gathered his council together.  Then he said that since Paul had appealed to Caesar, then he was going to go to Caesar.  Let’s see how that will go, since Nero was now the emperor from 54-68 CE.  Have you have had a case go to a higher court?

I appeal to Caesar! (Acts 25:11)

“Now if I am in the wrong

And have committed something

For which I deserve

To die,

I am not trying

To escape death.

But if there is nothing

To their charges

Against me,

No one can turn me

Over to them.

I appeal to the Emperor Caesar.”

εἰ μὲν οὖν ἀδικῶ καὶ ἄξιον θανάτου πέπραχά τι, οὐ παραιτοῦμαι τὸ ἀποθανεῖν· εἰ δὲ οὐδέν ἐστιν ὧν οὗτοι κατηγοροῦσίν μου, οὐδείς με δύναται αὐτοῖς χαρίσασθαι· Καίσαρα ἐπικαλοῦμαι.

The author of Acts indicated that Paul said if he was in the wrong (εἰ μὲν οὖν ἀδικῶ) and committed something (πέπραχά τι) for which he deserved to die (καὶ ἄξιον θανάτου), then he would not refuse to die (οὐ παραιτοῦμαι τὸ ἀποθανεῖν).  However, if there was nothing to their charges against him (εἰ δὲ οὐδέν ἐστιν ὧν οὗτοι κατηγοροῦσίν μου), no one can turn him over to them (οὐδείς με δύναται αὐτοῖς χαρίσασθαι).  He appealed to the Emperor Caesar (Καίσαρα ἐπικαλοῦμαι).  Paul agreed that the Roman civil authority had the right to put him to death, if he had done something against the Romans that deserved the death penalty.  He was not going to refuse the Romans or try to escape, if he was guilty.  However, there was nothing to the charges against him.  He was not going to let the governor turn him over to the Jerusalem Jews, where certain death awaited him.  Instead he was appealing to Cesar.  As a Roman citizen, he had the right to appeal any case against him, even though there was no verdict.  Paul felt that his chances with the Romans were much greater.  The Roman commander Lysias, and the two governors at Caesarea, Felix and Festus, had been fair to him.  This was not the case with the Jews from Asia Minor and from Jerusalem.  What do you think is fair?

Paul wanted to be tried by Caesar’s tribunal (Acts 25:10)

“But Paul said.

‘I am standing

At the emperor Caesar’s tribunal.

This is where I should be tried.

I have done no wrong

To the Jews,

As you know very well.’”

εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Παῦλος Ἑστὼς ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος Καίσαρος εἰμι, οὗ με δεῖ κρίνεσθαι. Ἰουδαίους οὐδὲν ἠδίκηκα, ὡς καὶ σὺ κάλλιον ἐπιγινώσκεις.

The author of Acts indicated that Paul said (εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Παῦλος) that he was (εἰμι) standing (Ἑστὼς) at the emperor Caesar’s tribunal (ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος Καίσαρος).  This is where he should be tried (οὗ με δεῖ κρίνεσθαι).  He had done nothing wrong to the Jews (Ἰουδαίους οὐδὲν ἠδίκηκα), as the governor knew very well (ὡς καὶ σὺ κάλλιον ἐπιγινώσκεις).  Paul had no intention of going back to Jerusalem.  He felt that he was in the right place before Cesar’s tribunal.  He had done nothing wrong to the Jews, and the governor knew it.  He just wanted his innocent sentence rendered.  He wanted to remain under Roman jurisdiction, rather than under the Jerusalem Jews.  Paul preferred to be a Roman gentile citizen rather than a Jerusalem Jewish Pharisee.  Would you like to be tried by a religious organization or a civil court?

Do you want to go to Jerusalem for a trial there? (Acts 25:9)

“But Festus,

Wishing to do the Jews

A favor,

Asked Paul.

‘Do you wish

To go up to Jerusalem

And there be tried

Before me

On these charges?’”

ὁ Φῆστος δὲ θέλων τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις χάριν καταθέσθαι, ἀποκριθεὶς τῷ Παύλῳ εἶπεν Θέλεις εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἀναβὰς ἐκεῖ περὶ τούτων κριθῆναι ἐπ’ ἐμοῦ;

The author of Acts indicated that Governor Festus (ὁ Φῆστος δὲ) wished (θέλων) to do or give (καταθέσθαι) the Jews (τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις) a favor (χάριν).  He asked Paul (ἀποκριθεὶς τῷ Παύλῳ εἶπεν) if he wanted (Θέλεις) to go up to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἀναβὰς) and there (ἐκεῖ) be tried before the governor (κριθῆναι ἐπ’ ἐμοῦ) on these charges (περὶ τούτων).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word καταθέσθαι, that means to lay down, deposit a favor, with the view of receiving one in return, or seek favor.  Governor Felix in the preceding chapter, 24:17, also wanted to do the Jews in Jerusalem a favor by keeping Paul in jail in Caesarea.  Instead here, Governor Festus wanted to know if Paul wished to go back to Jerusalem for a trial there where Festus preside over it.  He believed that the Jews might want to make a spectacle of Paul in Jerusalem.  What are some valid reasons for moving a trial to a different place?

Paul claimed he had done nothing wrong (Acts 25:8)

“Paul said in his defense.

‘I have in no way

Committed an offense

Against the law of the Jews,

Or against the Temple,

Or against the Emperor Caesar.’”

τοῦ Παύλου ἀπολογουμένου ὅτι Οὔτε εἰς τὸν νόμον τῶν Ἰουδαίων οὔτε εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν οὔτε εἰς Καίσαρά τι ἥμαρτον.

The author of Acts indicated that Paul (τοῦ Παύλου) said in his defense or apologia that (ἀπολογουμένου ὅτι) he had in no way sinned or committed an offense (τι ἥμαρτον) against the law of the Jews (Οὔτε εἰς τὸν νόμον τῶν Ἰουδαίων), or against the Temple (οὔτε εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν), or against the Emperor Caesar (οὔτε εἰς Καίσαρά).  Paul was clear about his defense.  He had not violated the Torah or Jewish law in any way.  He had done nothing to violate the Temple in any way.  Finally, he had done nothing to violate the public order of the Roman Empire.  He was innocent on all counts.  They could not prove that he had done any of these things.  Has anyone ever accused you without any proof?

The charges against Paul (Acts 25:7)

“When Paul arrived,

The Jews

Who had come down

From Jerusalem

Surrounded him.

They brought

Many serious charges

Against him,

But they could not prove them.”

παραγενομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ περιέστησαν αὐτὸν οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων καταβεβηκότες Ἰουδαῖοι, πολλὰ καὶ βαρέα αἰτιώματα καταφέροντες, ἃ οὐκ ἴσχυον ἀποδεῖξαι,

The author of Acts indicated that when Paul arrived (παραγενομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ), the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem (οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων καταβεβηκότες Ἰουδαῖοι) surrounded him (περιέστησαν αὐτὸν).  They brought (καταφέροντες) many serious charges (πολλὰ καὶ βαρέα αἰτιώματα) against him, but they could not prove them (ἃ οὐκ ἴσχυον ἀποδεῖξαι).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word αἰτιώματα, that means complaint, charge, or accusation, and the word καταφέροντες, that means to bring down, bear down, overpower, or bring charges.  Most of the charges were complaints without any eyewitness testimony.  Paul was called before Festus.  Then the Jews who had come from Jerusalem with Festus surrounded Paul and brough serious charges against Paul, but they could prove any of their charges.  How would you prove something against a person who had done something wrong to you?

Festus will try Paul (Acts 25:6)

“After Festus

Had stayed among them

Not more than eight

Or ten days,

He went down

To Caesarea.

The next day

He took his seat

On the tribunal.

He ordered Paul

To be brought.”

Διατρίψας δὲ ἐν αὐτοῖς ἡμέρας οὐ πλείους ὀκτὼ ἢ δέκα, καταβὰς εἰς Καισαρίαν, τῇ ἐπαύριον καθίσας ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος ἐκέλευσεν τὸν Παῦλον ἀχθῆναι.

The author of Acts indicated that after Porcius Festus had stayed (Διατρίψας) among them (δὲ ἐν αὐτοῖς) in Jerusalem not more than eight or ten days (ἡμέρας οὐ πλείους ὀκτὼ ἢ δέκα), he went down to Caesarea (καταβὰς εἰς Καισαρίαν).  The next day (τῇ ἐπαύριον), he took his seat (καθίσας) on the tribunal (ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος).  He ordered (ἐκέλευσεν) Paul (τὸν Παῦλον) to be brought in (ἀχθῆναι).  Porcius Festus, the new governor had spent about 8-10 days in Jerusalem.  Then he went down to Caesarea.  One of his first acts, the next day, was to sit on the throne as the governor to hear the case against Paul.  He ordered Paul to be brought in for his trial.  What would your priority be if you took over a new position?

Festus invited Paul’s accusers to Caesarea (Acts 25:5)

“Festus said.


Let those of you

Who have the authority

Come down with me.

If there is anything wrong

About the man,

Let them accuse him.’”

Οἱ οὖν ἐν ὑμῖν, φησίν, δυνατοὶ συνκαταβάντες εἴ τί ἐστιν ἐν τῷ ἀνδρὶ ἄτοπον, κατηγορείτωσαν αὐτοῦ.

The author of Acts indicated that Porcius Festus said (φησίν) that if anyone among them (Οἱ οὖν ἐν ὑμῖν) was in authority (δυνατοὶ), they could come down with him (συνκαταβάντες).  If there was anything wrong about this man Paul (εἴ τί ἐστιν ἐν τῷ ἀνδρὶ ἄτοπον), let them accuse him (κατηγορείτωσαν αὐτοῦ).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word συνκαταβάντες, that means to go down with.  The Roman commander of Jerusalem, Claudius Lysias, was not even mentioned at all here.  The new governor of Judea, Festus, wanted some Jewish person with authority to go with him to Caesarea.  That way, they could accuse Paul directly, if there was something wrong with this man Paul.  This could solve the whole issue for Festus, as if there had not been a trial already in chapter 24 before the former Judean governor Felix.  Festus was going to use his new authority.  Do you think that people should get more than one trial?

Festus was going to Caesarea (Acts 25:4)

“Festus replied

That Paul

Was being kept

At Caesarea.

He himself intended

To go there shortly.”

ὁ μὲν οὖν Φῆστος ἀπεκρίθη τηρεῖσθαι τὸν Παῦλον εἰς Καισαρίαν, ἑαυτὸν δὲ μέλλειν ἐν τάχει ἐκπορεύεσθαι·

The author of Acts indicated that Porcius Festus replied (ὁ μὲν οὖν Φῆστος ἀπεκρίθη) that Paul was being kept (τηρεῖσθαι τὸν Παῦλον) at Caesarea (εἰς Καισαρίαν).  He himself (ἑαυτὸν) intended or was about (δὲ μέλλειν) to go (ἐκπορεύεσθαι) there shortly (ἐν τάχει).  The new governor Porcius Festus did not go for this transfer of Paul.  He said that he was soon going to go to Caesarea, since Paul was already there.  He wanted the trial on his own turf.  How important is the place where a trial is heard?

Send Paul to Jerusalem! (Acts 25:3)

“The Jewish leaders

Requested a favor

Against Paul.

Have him transferred

To Jerusalem!

They were

Planning an ambush

To kill him

Along the way.”

αἰτούμενοι χάριν κατ’ αὐτοῦ, ὅπως μεταπέμψηται αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ, ἐνέδραν ποιοῦντες ἀνελεῖν αὐτὸν κατὰ τὴν ὁδόν.

The author of Acts indicated that the Jerusalem Jews requested a favor (αἰτούμενοι χάριν) against Paul (κατ’ αὐτοῦ).  They wanted to have him transferred or summoned (ὅπως μεταπέμψηται αὐτὸν) to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ).  They were planning an ambush (ἐνέδραν ποιοῦντες) to kill him (ἀνελεῖν αὐτὸν) along the way (κατὰ τὴν ὁδόν).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word μεταπέμψηται, that means to call from one place to another, summon, or send for, and the word ἐνέδραν, that means to lie in wait, an ambush, a plot, treachery, or fraud.  Interesting enough, even though Paul had been imprisoned in Caesarea for two years, this group of Jews in Jerusalem were still mad at him.  They wanted Paul brought back to Jerusalem.  They once again had set up an ambush to kill him as he was being transferred from Caesarea to Jerusalem.  They wanted to kill him along the way since he was defending the way of Jesus.  Do you think that two years in prison is a good punishment?