Paul’s Voyage to Rome

Acts 24-28

Soon after Paul arrived in Jerusalem at the end of his third missionary journey, he went up to the Temple. While he was there some Jews stirred up a riot against him. A Roman officer stationed at the Temple arrested Paul and took him to safety, eventually transferring him to the Roman headquarters at Caesarea (Acts 21:27-23:35). Paul spent about two years there under arrest and made his case to the Roman governor Felix, but Felix chose not to release Paul. Later, a new governor named Festus gave Paul another opportunity to make his case. As Paul was finishing up his defense, he invoked his prerogative as a Roman citizen to appeal his case to Caesar himself. So the governor arranged for Paul to be taken by ship to Rome, even though their voyage would take place late in the season for sea travel and would face difficult weather. Along the way they stopped at Myra in Lycia and then made their way to the southern coast of Crete to search for safe harbor. The centurion and the owner of the ship chose not to wait out the weather at Fair Havens and headed for the harbor at Phoenix further west on the coast. The strong winds, however, caused them to lose control of the ship, and they were driven along by the storm for several days. Eventually they were shipwrecked off the coast of the island of Malta, but the crew was saved. After three months the crew set sail from Malta once again, stopping at Syracuse and Rhegium before arriving at Puteoli in Italy. They traveled the rest of the journey along the Appian Way to Rome. When believers from Rome heard that Paul was coming, they came as far as the Forum of Appius about 40 miles away to meet Paul and escort him back to Rome. Paul stayed in Rome under house arrest for two years awaiting his trial before Caesar.

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