Festus Porcius

FESTUS PORCIUS (Gr. Porkios Phēstos, festal, joyful). The Roman governor who succeeded Felix in the province of Judea (Acts.24.27). The date of his accession is uncertain. Almost nothing is known of the life of Festus before his appointment by Nero as procurator of Judea. He appears in the Bible (Acts.24.27-Acts.26.32) principally in his relationship with his prisoner, the apostle Paul. Festus was apparently a far better and more efficient man than his predecessor. At the very beginning of his rule, he took up the case of Paul, and as King Agrippa said, Paul “could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar” (Acts.26.32). Paul had made this appeal when Festus, at the request of the Jews, was considering bringing Paul to Jerusalem for trial. Festus evidently knew that Paul was a good man (Acts.25.25), but he was unable to understand Paul’s reasoning with King Agrippa and thought that Paul had gone mad with much study (Acts.26.24). Festus died at his post and was followed about a.d. 62 by Albinus.