Festus, Porcius

Acts 25‑26  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Procurator of Judaea, appointed by Nero to succeed Felix, A. D. 60. The Jews at once informed Festus against Paul, but he did not consent to their request that Paul should be fetched to Jerusalem; he said he should be tried at Caesarea. When Festus had come thither and the Jews from Jerusalem also, he, wishing to please the Jews, asked Paul if he would go to Jerusalem and be judged there. Paul, knowing the plots of the Jews to kill him, appealed to Caesar. Festus gave Paul a hearing before Agrippa, during which Festus called out, "Paul, thou art beside thyself: much learning doth make thee mad." Paul said no, he spoke the words of truth and soberness (Acts 25-26).
Festus had a dispute with the Jews: they had built up a high wall, that the courts of the temple should not be seen from the palace. The emperor was appealed to, who decided in favor of the Jews. Josephus implies that Festus was a just ruler.