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Category Archives: Paul in bonds

The Gospel Cannot Be Hindered

Luke ends his thesis in Acts 28:30-31, showing Paul in his rented house welcoming all—Jews or gentiles—who would come to him, and there he preached the Kingdom of God and those things that concerned the Lord, Jesus Christ, with no one forbidding him. Luke shows us that Paul did this for at least two years, and afterward nothing more is written about Paul or anything further about any of the acts of the Apostles. This, I believe, is meant to be the end of Luke’s thesis. It is not an accident than nothing further is written. Acts has a real ending, and it ends here. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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How Can You Be So Obtuse?

Throughout the day there was, no doubt, and exchange of ideas and questions put forward as Paul spoke to the Jewish assembly at his residence in Rome (Acts 28:23, 30). The problem was that some believed, but, evidently, most did not (Acts 28:24), which was characteristic of the Jewish response throughout Paul’s ministry (Acts 13:45, 48; 14:4; 17:4-5; 18:6-8; 19:8-9). So, I don’t believe the ending in Rome came as a surprise to Paul. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Argument in Rome

The Jewish leaders in Rome decided to give Paul a hearing (Acts 28:22), and when they decided upon a particular day, they, and it seems many others with them, assembled at Paul’s rented residence for what would be an all day affair (Acts 28:23, cp. 28:30). Luke doesn’t state it clearly, but his choice of words implies that this was not simply Paul preaching, but what occurred was more like a heated debate. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Did Rome Know Nothing of Paul

Some critics have pointed out that the text’s “We have neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren come here and reported or spoken anything bad about you” (Acts 28:21) is quite unbelievable. However, just as is usually the case, the whole truth cannot be derived from a cursory read of Luke’s account. His record needs to be compared with what we know of Paul’s time in the 1st century CE, and Luke’s account needs to be tested against what he says elsewhere in his thesis. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Triumphal Entry

It seems that Luke continues his theme of presenting the final acts of Paul in a similar fashion that he presented those of Jesus in Luke 19:29-40. Just as Jesus had a triumphal entry into the capital of Judea, so Paul, although he is a prisoner of Rome, is presented as having a triumphal journey to the capital of the world (Acts 28:14-16). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul on the Island of Malta

Once everyone was safely on land, they realized the place was called Melita (known today as Malta). Melita was named by Phoenician sailors, and it is a Canaanite word meaning refuge. Paul’s knowledge of Hebrew would have been especially useful here in that the natives were so friendly and hospitable toward the people. Luke’s reference in Acts 28:1 to the fact they knew the island was called Melita may very well mean it was well named. The sailors may have recognized the island or the natives themselves may have disclosed the name, but it was the kindness and hospitality they had shown the shipwrecked people that Luke seems to mean when he says “they knew that the island was called Melita.”[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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The Gospel and the Voyage to Rome

It has been said that “the tendency to over allegorize” the account should be resisted. Luke’s focus is on the rescue of the passengers from danger, including Paul. There is no proclamation of the Gospel message by Paul, and the pagans on board remain pagans after they arrive on the shore of Malta.”[1] Nevertheless, if this is so, why record anything that occurred in Acts 27? Why not simply begin with Acts 27:1 and let verse-2 begin at Acts 28:12? If what occurs between Acts 27:1 and 28:12 have no meaning for the Gospel, then what meaning would they have for Theophilus (Acts 1:1), to whom Luke wrote in order to offer him a more perfect understanding of the things he had been told (Luke 1:3-4)? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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The Storm and Paul’s—I told you so…

Once the winds over the sea calmed down, the captain and crew supposed they could then reach their desired end and set sail away from Fair Havens, but it wasn’t long before a strong storm arose and came upon them without warning, driving them further out to sea and away from the safety of Crete (Acts 27:13-15). Luke tells us that the storm was what sailors called a Euroclydon (we would call it a Noreaster today), and the Greek seems to attest to it swirling nature, somewhat like a typhoon, but, unlike a typhoon which is soon over, this storm lasted many days. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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The Voyage to Rome Begins

Luke commences Paul’s journey to Rome by resuming the we passages that he left off using in Acts 21:18 at Jerusalem. It had been argued that the we passages simply refer to the people in the boat and immediately afterward on land, but this doesn’t seem to fit. For example, Luke continued to use the first and third person plural in passages on land from Acts 21:4 to 21:18, a time-span of over two weeks. Moreover, in Acts 27:1 Luke says: “When it was determined that we should sail to Italy…” At this point Paul and company weren’t on the vessel they hoped would bring them to Italy. Neither the captain of this vessel nor its crew would go to Italy. The ship Paul boarded was a coasting vessel that hugged the shore line, while making stops at several ports where it unladed its cargo and perhaps took on more. Eventually, the centurion with Paul was able to find a seaworthy vessel that could take them to Italy at Myra of Pamphylia (Acts 27:6). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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A Contrast of Paul’s Conversion Accounts

Luke records Paul’s conversion three times in Acts, first in chapter 9 where he simply narrates the event, and secondly, through Paul’s testimony in chapter 22 before the Jews after they tried to kill him, and finally before Festus and King Agrippa in chapter 26. Each have similarities, but there are also differences in the accounts, and some have tried to make a point that the differences prove either the event never occurred, or that one cannot know for certain what happened. Is this true? The simple answer is, no; there are reasons for the differences in the accounts, just as there are reasons for the similarities. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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This Is Madness!

One of the most often used criticisms of Christianity today is that our trust in the validity of the Scriptures is a clear expression of our ignorance of reality. Anyone who is claims to be Christian and pursues a career in science is viewed with suspicion—after all isn’t a Christian scientist an oxymoron? Like jumbo-shrimp the two words simply don’t go together. Centuries ago nearly all the great universities of the west were run and financed by Christians, yet today we’re seen as a bunch of coneheads who are simply irrelevant when it comes to education or politics.[1] Perhaps it may come as a surprise that this attitude of being out of touch with reality can also be found in the 1st century CE among the movers and shakers of the times. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa

The king gave Paul permission to speak, and Paul raised his hand in salutation to Agrippa (Acts 26:1). The Greek expression is different here.[1] In both Acts 13:16 and in 21:40 the gesture was intended to invite silence, but here Paul meant to express respect to the king’s office. He began by admitting it was his (Paul’s) honor to discuss his case before Agrippa, whom, Paul claimed, was well aware of the traditions of the Jews, as well as those matters in which they vigorously debated among themselves (Acts 26:2-3). Thus, with the matter of his being accused of treason against Caesar taken out of the way by Festus (Acts 25:25, cp. 25:18-19), Paul framed his charges around that of Jewish tradition and theology. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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The Matter Set Before King Agrippa

King Agrippa, the son of Herod of Acts 12, came to Caesarea to with his sister, Bernice, of offer Festus his royal welcome to the east (Acts 25:13). The meeting occurred sometime in 59 CE either during the summer just after the Pentecost holy day or during the autumn just after Tabernacles, which includes several annual holy days.[1] Since Paul’s journey to Rome occurs some weeks after the fast (Acts 27:9 – i.e. the Day of Atonement), Agrippa’s visit probably occurred just after the autumn holy days, showing Festus spent the summer months in vain, wondering what to write to Caesar concerning Paul (cp. Acts 25:26). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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Festus’ Consultation with Agrippa

We can probably date King Agrippa’s visit with Festus just after one of the Jewish annual feast days, either Pentecost or Tabernacles, cir 59 CE. No doubt the king and his sister, Bernice, celebrated the Jewish holy day(s) at Jerusalem and afterward came to Caesarea to pay their respects to the new Roman governor of Judea (Acts 25:13). Since the royal couple’s visit lasted for some time, Paul’s house arrest would have no doubt been noted, and whoever initiated the discussion of Paul’s state, Festus took the opportunity to seek Agrippa’s advice on how to accuse Paul in his letter to the emperor (cp. Acts 25:26). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Appeal and Festus’ Predicament

If only I could undo some of the things I have done… if only! Have you ever felt this way too? I believe this may have been how Festus felt after Paul appealed to Caesar. At first, one might presume that Paul had many prominent accusers, so surely something could be written up to show that Caesar’s court is where Paul should be. After all, he had been accused of treason, no matter how one looked at the Jewish authorities’ accusations. Yet, it wasn’t long before Festus realized that he was in a very uncomfortable position. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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