Acts 27-28: Paul Testifies All the Way to Rome

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 109–110

The Roman authorities in Judea realized that Paul had done nothing wrong and were in favor of letting him go free. But Paul had requested to be tried before Caesar, so he was sent to Rome (see Acts 26:31–32). That might seem unfortunate to us, but it was actually a blessing for Paul. Had he been freed in Judea, the Jews would have continued to try to kill him. Also, the Lord had told Paul that he would “bear witness also at Rome” (Acts 23:11). Sending Paul to Rome as a prisoner of the empire was the safest way to get him there even though the journey was difficult. Paul faced many challenges while on the Lord’s errand, but he was also able to testify all the way to Rome. Notice the opportunities that came to Paul that he would not have had if the journey had been easier.

Understanding the Scriptures

Acts 27

Contrary (v. 4)Blowing in the wrong direction 
The fast (v. 9)The day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) 
Admonished (v. 9)Warned 
Commodious (v. 12)Comfortable, suitable 
Undergirding the ship (v. 17)Tying ropes under the ship 
Long abstinence (v. 21)Long time without food 
Sounded (v. 28)Dropped a rope to measure the depth of water 
Twenty fathoms (v. 28)100–120 feet (36.5 meters); one fathom is six feet (1.8 meters) 
Under colour (v. 30)Pretending 
Threescore (v. 37)Sixty; one score is twenty 

Acts 28

Melita (v. 1)Malta 
Barbarous people, barbarians (vv. 2, 4)Those people were called barbarous because they spoke neither Greek nor Latin, not because they were uncivilized. 
Viper (v. 3)Poisonous snake 
Vengeance (v. 4)God’s justice 
Laded (v. 10)Supplied 
Suffered (v. 16)Allowed, permitted 
Constrained (v. 19)Forced by circumstances, of necessity 
This sect (v. 22)Christianity, the Church of Jesus Christ 

Acts 28:30—The Final Years of Paul’s Life

We learn from other sources that Paul was tried and released after two years in Rome. He visited several more places in his missionary efforts, perhaps traveling as far as Spain. After about four years he was arrested again and taken to Rome. He was martyred there, probably in the spring of A.D.  65. (See Bible Dictionary, “Paul,” pp. 742–43.)

Studying the Scriptures

Do the following activity as you study Acts 27–28.

Activity A iconPaul, a Tireless Missionary

Paul’s journey to Rome was full of challenges but he turned them into opportunities.

  1. 1.

    Acts 27–28 tells how Paul took many opportunities to teach and bless others. Describe each opportunity in your notebook and list the blessings that came to Paul and to others because of his faith and courage.

  2. 2.

    Think back over all you have learned about the Apostle Paul and describe one characteristic or quality he had that impressed you. Give at least one example from Paul’s life that illustrates that quality.

  3. 3.

    What could you do to better develop that quality in your own life?