Acts 25:11

ESV If 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.”
NIV If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!'
NASB If, therefore, I am in the wrong and have committed something deserving death, I am not trying to avoid execution; but if there is nothing to the accusations which these men are bringing against me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar.'
CSB If then I did anything wrong and am deserving of death, I am not trying to escape death; but if there is nothing to what these men accuse me of, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar! "
NLT If I have done something worthy of death, I don’t refuse to die. But if I am innocent, no one has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!'
KJV For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

What does Acts 25:11 mean?

Paul has been under house arrest for two years without cause (Acts 24:27). The Sanhedrin had attempted to murder him (Acts 23:12–15) and prove his guilt before then-governor Felix (Acts 24:2–9) but failed both times. Now, he's at a hearing where the Jewish leaders are trying to convince the new governor, Festus, that Paul is a menace to society (Acts 25:7). Their true goal is to convince Festus to send Paul to Jerusalem for trial or so they can kill him along the way (Acts 25:3).

Unlike the Sanhedrin members, Paul is a Roman citizen. This offers him certain rights, including the right to defend himself in a trial; protection from being beaten, tortured, or scourged; and protection from being executed unless found guilty of treason. He also has the right to appeal his trial to Caesar. Ironically, the emperor at the time is the infamously wicked Nero, though this is the beginning of his rule when the Stoic philosopher Seneca and the noble Afranius Burrus held influence over the administration. It will be another five years before Nero's true colors become obvious to the world.

Paul likely wants to appeal to Caesar for several reasons. First, Festus is new and wants to develop a good relationship with the Sanhedrin; Paul probably doesn't trust him to do the right thing. Second, Paul not only really wants to go to Rome (Romans 1:11–15), Jesus has told him he will go to Rome (Acts 23:11).

Most urgently, Paul isn't safe just because he's innocent. The Sanhedrin has charged Paul with crimes against both the Roman and Jewish laws (Acts 25:7). If Festus clears Paul of the charges against Rome, he could remand Paul to the Jewish leadership to try him for the crimes against the Mosaic law. The likelihood of Paul surviving a journey to Jerusalem for that trial is very slim. By appealing to Caesar—meaning to ask for the case to be appealed to a higher court—Paul escapes the grasp of the Jews and gets a ride to where he wants to be, anyway. The Jews overreached, and Paul slips away.
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