Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice 13 Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus. 14 And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, t “There is a man left prisoner by Felix, 15 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case u against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. 16 v I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone w before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him. 17 x So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on y the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. 18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. 19 Rather they z had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20 Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I b asked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. 21 But c when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of d the emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar.” 22 Then e Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” said he, “you will hear him.” 23 So on the next day f 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. 24 And Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom g the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, h shouting that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But I found that i he had done nothing deserving death. And j as he himself appealed to k the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him. 26 But 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. 27 For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.” Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa 26 1 So l 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 m against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 especially because you are familiar with all the n customs and o controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently. 4 p “My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among q my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. 5 They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that r according to the strictest s party of our t religion I have lived as u a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in v the promise made by God to our fathers, 7 w to which x our twelve tribes hope to y attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope z I am accused by Jews, O king! 8 Why is it thought a incredible by any of you that God raises the dead? 9 b “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of c Jesus of Nazareth. 10 d And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority e from the chief priests, but f when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And g I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them h blaspheme, and i in raging fury against them I j persecuted them even to foreign cities. Paul Tells of His Conversion 12 “In this connection k I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At 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. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me l in the Hebrew language, 1 ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and m stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, n 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, 17 o delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles— p to whom I q am sending you 18 r to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from s the power of Satan to God, that they may receive t forgiveness of sins and u a place among those who are sanctified v by faith in me.’ 19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to w the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first x to those in Damascus, y then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also z to the Gentiles, that they should a repent and b turn to God, performing deeds c in keeping with their repentance. 21 For this reason d the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 e To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so f I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what g the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 h that the Christ i must suffer and that, j by being the first k to rise from the dead, l he would proclaim m light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” 24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, n you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, o most excellent Festus, but I am speaking p true and q rational words. 26 For r 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. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be s a Christian?” 1 29 And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day t might become such as I am—except for u these chains.” 30 Then the king rose, and v the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. 31 And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, w “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, x “This man could have been set y free if he had not appealed z to Caesar.” Paul Sails for Rome 27 1 And when it was decided a that b we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan c Cohort named Julius.
13 Ἡμερῶν δὲ διαγενομένων τινῶν Ἀγρίππας ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ Βερνίκη κατήντησαν εἰς Καισάρειαν ἀσπασάμενοι τὸν Φῆστον. 14 ὡς δὲ πλείους ἡμέρας διέτριβον ἐκεῖ, ὁ Φῆστος τῷ βασιλεῖ ἀνέθετο τὰ κατὰ τὸν Παῦλον λέγων• ἀνήρ τίς ἐστιν καταλελειμμένος ὑπὸ Φήλικος δέσμιος, 15 περὶ οὗ γενομένου μου εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἐνεφάνισαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τῶν Ἰουδαίων αἰτούμενοι κατʼ αὐτοῦ καταδίκην. 16 πρὸς οὓς ἀπεκρίθην ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἔθος Ῥωμαίοις χαρίζεσθαί τινα ἄνθρωπον πρὶν ἢ ὁ κατηγορούμενος κατὰ πρόσωπον ἔχοι τοὺς κατηγόρους τόπον τε ἀπολογίας λάβοι περὶ τοῦ ἐγκλήματος. 17 συνελθόντων οὖν [αὐτῶν] ἐνθάδε ἀναβολὴν μηδεμίαν ποιησάμενος τῇ ἑξῆς καθίσας ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος ἐκέλευσα ἀχθῆναι τὸν ἄνδρα• 18 περὶ οὗ σταθέντες οἱ κατήγοροι οὐδεμίαν αἰτίαν ἔφερον ὧν ἐγὼ ὑπενόουν πονηρῶν, 19 ζητήματα δέ τινα περὶ τῆς ἰδίας δεισιδαιμονίας εἶχον πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ περί τινος Ἰησοῦ τεθνηκότος ὃν ἔφασκεν ὁ Παῦλος ζῆν. 20 ἀπορούμενος δὲ ἐγὼ τὴν περὶ τούτων ζήτησιν ἔλεγον εἰ βούλοιτο πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα κἀκεῖ κρίνεσθαι περὶ τούτων. 21 τοῦ δὲ Παύλου ἐπικαλεσαμένου τηρηθῆναι αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν τοῦ Σεβαστοῦ διάγνωσιν, ἐκέλευσα τηρεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ἕως οὗ ἀναπέμψω αὐτὸν πρὸς Καίσαρα. 22 Ἀγρίππας δὲ πρὸς τὸν Φῆστον• ἐβουλόμην καὶ αὐτὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀκοῦσαι. αὔριον, φησίν, ἀκούσῃ αὐτοῦ. 23 Τῇ οὖν ἐπαύριον ἐλθόντος τοῦ Ἀγρίππα καὶ τῆς Βερνίκης μετὰ πολλῆς φαντασίας καὶ εἰσελθόντων εἰς τὸ ἀκροατήριον σύν τε χιλιάρχοις καὶ ἀνδράσιν τοῖς κατʼ ἐξοχὴν τῆς πόλεως καὶ κελεύσαντος τοῦ Φήστου ἤχθη ὁ Παῦλος. 24 καί φησιν ὁ Φῆστος• Ἀγρίππα βασιλεῦ καὶ πάντες οἱ συμπαρόντες ἡμῖν ἄνδρες, θεωρεῖτε τοῦτον περὶ οὗ ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐνέτυχόν μοι ἔν τε Ἱεροσολύμοις καὶ ἐνθάδε βοῶντες μὴ δεῖν αὐτὸν ζῆν μηκέτι. 25 ἐγὼ δὲ κατελαβόμην μηδὲν ἄξιον αὐτὸν θανάτου πεπραχέναι, αὐτοῦ δὲ τούτου ἐπικαλεσαμένου τὸν Σεβαστὸν ἔκρινα πέμπειν. 26 περὶ οὗ ἀσφαλές τι γράψαι τῷ κυρίῳ οὐκ ἔχω, διὸ προήγαγον αὐτὸν ἐφʼ ὑμῶν καὶ μάλιστα ἐπὶ σοῦ, βασιλεῦ Ἀγρίππα, ὅπως τῆς ἀνακρίσεως γενομένης σχῶ τί γράψω• 27 ἄλογον γάρ μοι δοκεῖ πέμποντα δέσμιον μὴ καὶ τὰς κατʼ αὐτοῦ αἰτίας σημᾶναι. 26 1 Ἀγρίππας δὲ πρὸς τὸν Παῦλον ἔφη• ἐπιτρέπεταί σοι περὶ σεαυτοῦ λέγειν. τότε ὁ Παῦλος ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα ἀπελογεῖτο• 2 Περὶ πάντων ὧν ἐγκαλοῦμαι ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων, βασιλεῦ Ἀγρίππα, ἥγημαι ἐμαυτὸν μακάριον ἐπὶ σοῦ μέλλων σήμερον ἀπολογεῖσθαι 3 μάλιστα γνώστην ὄντα σε πάντων τῶν κατὰ Ἰουδαίους ἐθῶν τε καὶ ζητημάτων, διὸ δέομαι μακροθύμως ἀκοῦσαί μου. 4 Τὴν μὲν οὖν βίωσίν μου [τὴν] ἐκ νεότητος τὴν ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς γενομένην ἐν τῷ ἔθνει μου ἔν τε Ἱεροσολύμοις ἴσασιν πάντες [οἱ] Ἰουδαῖοι 5 προγινώσκοντές με ἄνωθεν, ἐὰν θέλωσιν μαρτυρεῖν, ὅτι κατὰ τὴν ἀκριβεστάτην αἵρεσιν τῆς ἡμετέρας θρησκείας ἔζησα Φαρισαῖος. 6 καὶ νῦν ἐπʼ ἐλπίδι τῆς εἰς τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν ἐπαγγελίας γενομένης ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἕστηκα κρινόμενος, 7 εἰς ἣν τὸ δωδεκάφυλον ἡμῶν ἐν ἐκτενείᾳ νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν λατρεῦον ἐλπίζει καταντῆσαι, περὶ ἧς ἐλπίδος ἐγκαλοῦμαι ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων, βασιλεῦ. 8 τί ἄπιστον κρίνεται παρʼ ὑμῖν εἰ ὁ θεὸς νεκροὺς ἐγείρει; 9 Ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν ἔδοξα ἐμαυτῷ πρὸς τὸ ὄνομα Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Ναζωραίου δεῖν πολλὰ ἐναντία πρᾶξαι, 10 ὃ καὶ ἐποίησα ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις, καὶ πολλούς τε τῶν ἁγίων ἐγὼ ἐν φυλακαῖς κατέκλεισα τὴν παρὰ τῶν ἀρχιερέων ἐξουσίαν λαβὼν ἀναιρουμένων τε αὐτῶν κατήνεγκα ψῆφον. 11 καὶ κατὰ πάσας τὰς συναγωγὰς πολλάκις τιμωρῶν αὐτοὺς ἠνάγκαζον βλασφημεῖν περισσῶς τε ἐμμαινόμενος αὐτοῖς ἐδίωκον ἕως καὶ εἰς τὰς ἔξω πόλεις. 12 Ἐν οἷς πορευόμενος εἰς τὴν Δαμασκὸν μετ᾽ ἐξουσίας καὶ ἐπιτροπῆς τῆς τῶν ἀρχιερέων 13 ἡμέρας μέσης κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν εἶδον, βασιλεῦ, οὐρανόθεν ὑπὲρ τὴν λαμπρότητα τοῦ ἡλίου περιλάμψαν με φῶς καὶ τοὺς σὺν ἐμοὶ πορευομένους. 14 πάντων τε καταπεσόντων ἡμῶν εἰς τὴν γῆν ἤκουσα φωνὴν λέγουσαν πρός με τῇ Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ· Σαοὺλ Σαούλ, τί με διώκεις; σκληρόν σοι πρὸς κέντρα λακτίζειν. 15 ἐγὼ δὲ εἶπα· τίς εἶ, κύριε; ὁ δὲ κύριος εἶπεν· ἐγώ εἰμι Ἰησοῦς ὃν σὺ διώκεις. 16 ἀλλʼ ἀνάστηθι καὶ στῆθι ἐπὶ τοὺς πόδας σου· εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ὤφθην σοι, προχειρίσασθαί σε ὑπηρέτην καὶ μάρτυρα ὧν τε εἶδές [με] ὧν τε ὀφθήσομαί σοι, 17 ἐξαιρούμενός σε ἐκ τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἐθνῶν εἰς οὓς ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω σε 18 ἀνοῖξαι ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν, τοῦ ἐπιστρέψαι ἀπὸ σκότους εἰς φῶς καὶ τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ σατανᾶ ἐπὶ τὸν θεόν, τοῦ λαβεῖν αὐτοὺς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν καὶ κλῆρον ἐν τοῖς ἡγιασμένοις πίστει τῇ εἰς ἐμέ. 19 Ὅθεν, βασιλεῦ Ἀγρίππα, οὐκ ἐγενόμην ἀπειθὴς τῇ οὐρανίῳ ὀπτασίᾳ 20 ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἐν Δαμασκῷ πρῶτόν τε καὶ Ἱεροσολύμοις, πᾶσάν τε τὴν χώραν τῆς Ἰουδαίας καὶ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἀπήγγελλον μετανοεῖν καὶ ἐπιστρέφειν ἐπὶ τὸν θεόν, ἄξια τῆς μετανοίας ἔργα πράσσοντας. 21 ἕνεκα τούτων με Ἰουδαῖοι συλλαβόμενοι [ὄντα] ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ ἐπειρῶντο διαχειρίσασθαι. 22 ἐπικουρίας οὖν τυχὼν τῆς ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἄχρι τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης ἕστηκα μαρτυρόμενος μικρῷ τε καὶ μεγάλῳ οὐδὲν ἐκτὸς λέγων ὧν τε οἱ προφῆται ἐλάλησαν μελλόντων γίνεσθαι καὶ Μωϋσῆς, 23 εἰ παθητὸς ὁ χριστός, εἰ πρῶτος ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν φῶς μέλλει καταγγέλλειν τῷ τε λαῷ καὶ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν. 24 Ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀπολογουμένου ὁ Φῆστος μεγάλῃ τῇ φωνῇ φησιν· μαίνῃ, Παῦλε· τὰ πολλά σε γράμματα εἰς μανίαν περιτρέπει. 25 ὁ δὲ Παῦλος· οὐ μαίνομαι, φησίν, κράτιστε Φῆστε, ἀλλʼ ἀληθείας καὶ σωφροσύνης ῥήματα ἀποφθέγγομαι. 26 ἐπίσταται γὰρ περὶ τούτων ὁ βασιλεὺς πρὸς ὃν καὶ παρρησιαζόμενος λαλῶ, λανθάνειν γὰρ αὐτόν [τι] τούτων οὐ πείθομαι οὐθέν· οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ἐν γωνίᾳ πεπραγμένον τοῦτο. 27 πιστεύεις, βασιλεῦ Ἀγρίππα, τοῖς προφήταις; οἶδα ὅτι πιστεύεις. 28 ὁ δὲ Ἀγρίππας πρὸς τὸν Παῦλον· ἐν ὀλίγῳ με πείθεις Χριστιανὸν ποιῆσαι. 29 ὁ δὲ Παῦλος· εὐξαίμην ἂν τῷ θεῷ καὶ ἐν ὀλίγῳ καὶ ἐν μεγάλῳ οὐ μόνον σὲ ἀλλὰ καὶ πάντας τοὺς ἀκούοντάς μου σήμερον γενέσθαι τοιούτους ὁποῖος καὶ ἐγώ εἰμι παρεκτὸς τῶν δεσμῶν τούτων. 30 Ἀνέστη τε ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ ὁ ἡγεμὼν ἥ τε Βερνίκη καὶ οἱ συγκαθήμενοι αὐτοῖς, 31 καὶ ἀναχωρήσαντες ἐλάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους λέγοντες ὅτι οὐδὲν θανάτου ἢ δεσμῶν ἄξιόν [τι] πράσσει ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος. 32 Ἀγρίππας δὲ τῷ Φήστῳ ἔφη· ἀπολελύσθαι ἐδύνατο ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος εἰ μὴ ἐπεκέκλητο Καίσαρα. 27 1 Ὡς δὲ ἐκρίθη τοῦ ἀποπλεῖν ἡμᾶς εἰς τὴν Ἰταλίαν, παρεδίδουν τόν τε Παῦλον καί τινας ἑτέρους δεσμώτας ἑκατοντάρχῃ ὀνόματι Ἰουλίῳ σπείρης Σεβαστῆς.
Paul testifies to the resurrection again When Paul was converted, he was told he would witness before Kings (Acts 9); here it is happening. There are three 'acts' here: 1. Festus gets Agrippa involved (25.13-27) 2. Paul's defense and Agrippa's response (26.1-29) 3. Paul is sent to Rome (26.30-27.1) And through these we see these three things: 1. Paul is repeatedly shown to be innocent Even by evil rulers. What we know about Agrippa; part Jew, very knowledgeable about Jewish affairs. Great grandson of Herod the Great. Limited kingdom, basically a vassal of Rome. He appointed the high priest. He sided with Rome in AD70. And Bernice had been married to multiple men, was mistress to others eg Emperor Vespasian, and these two were surrounded in gossip about an incestuous relationship - brother and sister. 25.18 , 25.25 , 26.31-32 App: Our conduct and manner so exemplary as to declare us innocent, even if opposed? 2. Paul is an exemplary Christian witness Called by the Lord Jesus himself 26.12-18 To proclaim the whole message so that people's eyes are opened and they turn from darkness to light, receive forgiveness of sins, and a place among Jesus' saints by faith. He has obeyed all this v19-21 Proclaiming nothing but what the OT looked ahead to (v22), the suffering and resurrection of Jesus, the bringer of light (v23). Paul calls for a response from Agrippa (v27); i.e., you know the Scriptures yourself, so respond to them! App: Telling what you know? Telling the Word? Calling for a response? 3. The resurrection is what this is really all about Again, it's all about the resurrection as fulfilment of the OT - 25.19, 26.6-8, and 26.22-23, and 26.27. v19 the heart of it all. If Jesus is not alive, there's nothing for us to talk about. The centrality of the resurrection from the dead is the test of true apostolic Christianity. This divides response: outright opposition from the Jews; ridicule and avoidance from Agrippa; or joyful faith from Paul and others. Psalm 2 as the key hermeneutic for all this. God's glory: that his gospel is straightforward from beginning to end. Not done in a corner. FCF: we miss the weight of the resurrection. Either blatantly oppose it because we see the implications, or lazily dismiss it because we don't want the hassle of considering it, or ridicule it as Agrippa does. Or, living sub-Christianly because we haven't put the pieces together as fully as they are in the Bible. E.g., therapeutic, moralistic deism. Even in conservative forms. Not 5 steps to health and wealth, but marriage, family, giving to church, working a good job, avoiding conflict, making sure you're not too zealous. Like anyone else just tidier and more sorted. If we actually believe what the Scriptures say, then resurrection must be central to how we think about everything, all the time! Jesus' person: foretells the resurrection and tells us it is worth everything to gain it. His parables etc. Jesus' work: his death and resurrection ensure ours. If you are in him then you have died, all your bankruptcy and shame before God died with him. You live in him. You receive all these benefits - acceptance, being set apart, being adopted, being forgiven - through being in him, united to him, a member of him. Repentance: Faith: