Tag Archives: Claudius Caesar

Famines and Fair Havens

We are told that it was only with great difficulty that the vessel was able to get around the cape at the eastern extremity of Crete to gain shelter from the strong sea winds out of the northwest (Acts 27:7-8). Not long afterward they were able to sail into the port of Fair Havens. Considering the late time of the year and the fact that already the vessel had been struggling against the prevailing winds in this arduous journey, one might expect the captain to want to winter at this harbor that seemed to promise safety for both lives onboard and the ship’s cargo. In fact, this is exactly what is behind Paul’s argument (cp. Acts 27:9-10). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Kingdom of God


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Paul’s Trial Before Felix

Governors of Roman provinces were recruited from the equestrian order (Roman knights) and assumed the official title of prefect or procurator. Felix was the procurator of the province of Judea cir. 52-58 CE, but had been a slave of Claudius Caesar’s mother, Antonia. When he was freed, he took the name Antonius to honor his former master, and, probably through the influence of his brother, Pallas, who was a favored official in Claudius’ court, was sent to the eastern frontier Province of Judea to assist Cumanus, whom he later replaced in 52 CE in governing the troublesome eastern frontier. Josephus claims it was at the request of Jonathan, the Jewish high priest, that Claudius named Felix to replace Cumanus as the governor of Judea. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Kingdom of God


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Paul Appears Before Gallio

If my understanding of the time of Paul’s journeys is correct, Paul arrived in Corinth either late summer or near the beginning of autumn in 51 CE. Some scholars place Paul’s appearance before Gallio’s court near the end of his term as proconsul of Achaia, but I think Luke’s “remained many days longer” (NASB) in verse-18 should be seen in light of his “he settled there a year and six months” (NASB) in verse-11. In other words, Paul probably appeared before Gallio nearer to his arrival at Corinth than his departure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 6, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey


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Corinth and Aquila and Priscilla

The city of Corinth was little more than 100 years old when Paul visited there. The original city had been destroyed in a revolt against Rome in 146 BCE, but rebuilt about a century later by Julius Caesar in 44 BCE. It was one of the greatest commercial centers in the Empire, being situated along a small 3 ½ mile isthmus connecting the northern and southern Grecian mainland, as well as being a valuable naval center for ships on the Adriatic Sea traveling east to the Aegean Sea and then eastward through the Mediterranean Sea or northward to the Black Sea. It was to this busy international commercial center that Paul came from Athens, a journey of about 37 miles, to preach the Gospel. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey


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Imprisonment at Philippi

Philippi was a Roman colony as was Pisidian Antioch, where Paul visited earlier (Acts 13). Roman colonies were settled by Roman citizens, usually military men and their families, and they were governed and treated as though they were the cities in Italy. Roman citizens there were very influential and were often among the very wealthy land owners. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey


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Paul’s Fourteen Year Journey

Josephus records the time of the great famine occurring during the terms of Cuspius Fadus and Tiberius Alexander. This would cause the worst season of the famine for Jews to occur during the Sabbatical Year of 48-49 CE (autumn to autumn). [Antiquities 20.5.2; compare 20.1.2 – Claudius Caesar in the year of his 4th time as consul, i.e. 47 CE, wrote a letter to Judea’s procurator, Cuspius Fadus before July of that year]. So, Fadus was still governor in 47 CE. A bad harvest season in autumn of 47 CE and spring of 48 CE would produce famine conditions for the poor in the Sabbatical year of autumn 48 CE to autumn 49 CE. These conditions began during the tenure of Cuspius Fadus, but famine conditions grew to its worst state during the term of Tiberius Alexander. The Jerusalem church would have been able to care for the poor for a few months, but as food reserves and funds grew low, they would have found it necessary to send to the gentile churches for help. Therefore, the famine-relief offering and the Jerusalem Council occurred at the same time, most likely in the spring of 49 CE. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Fourteen Years, Kingdom of God


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The Cost of Taking Christ into the World

We now come to chapter 18 in Acts. Paul left Athens to come to Corinth (Acts 18:1). Both cities were part of the Roman province of Achaia, connected by a land bridge in the southern peninsula of mainland Greece. It is here that he met Aquilia and Priscilla, two Jewish Christians who would become his friends. They are often mentioned in connection with Paul in some way. It seems they share a common trade, for Paul and they were tentmakers, so it was convenient for them to stay together.

Aquilia and Priscilla were among the Jews who were expelled from Rome by Claudius Caesar (Acts 18:2). Claudius was poisoned in 54 CE, so this would put Paul in Corinth with his new friends at about 52-53 CE. The reason for the Jewish expulsion is mentioned in the history of Suetonius as due to a quarrel or sedition in the Jewish sector of Rome over one called ‘Chrestus.’ It is not surprising that Suetonius would not be familiar with the Jew’s religion, so who he calls Chrestus is probably Christ. Wherever Christ was mentioned in the 1st century among the Jews of the Diaspora, a conspicuous quarrel often developed, usually involving the local magistrates. So, there is little doubt Aquilia and Priscilla had recently arrived in Corinth due to Claudius’ expulsion of the Jews in Rome over quarrels among the Jews over Jesus being the Christ (Messiah). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 4, 2010 in Gospel, Religion


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