Bible Study Moment

We come to Acts 28, the last chapter. When those on the shipwreck come ashore on Malta the islanders start a fire to welcome and warm them. Paul helps tend the fire and a poisonous snake, warmed by the fire, latches onto his hand. The islanders conclude that the goddess of justice will not permit him to live. He must be a murderer or something like that. When he shows no ill effects from the snake they now conclude that he is a god. This seems to fulfill Mark 16:18 about handling deadly snakes except that the versions of Mark that scholars have identified as being the oldest do not have this ending to the gospel of Mark. So some speculate that the ending was added to explain why this has happened to Paul.

Anyway, after 3 months they continue the trip to Rome on a ship with Castor and Pollux has the twin figureheads. After stops on Sicily and the “toe” of Italy they land in Puteoli, the port city serving Rome. They still have a trip overland that takes about a week when they finally arrive in Rome. Paul is under house arrest in that he lives by himself with a soldier to guard him. Paul invites Jews in the area that Paul thinks may have been told untruths about him from the Jews who were in Jerusalem that caused Paul to put under arrest. The ones in Rome haven’t heard anything about that but they are interested in Paul’s views about this faction they have heard about, those following Jesus. Paul makes his arguments for following Jesus and like in other places some believe and decide to follow Jesus while others reject the message. Paul quotes Isaiah 6:9-10 to explain why the message will go more and more to the Gentiles.

Paul continues this for 2 years and Acts ends. Tradition says Paul was released and perhaps traveled to Spain, as he expressed his plan to go to Spain in Romans 15, written before this arrest and subsequent journey. The chronological daily Bible reading I’ve been using this year on has Romans shortly after Paul’s time in Ephesus (remember the riot) in Acts 19.


Mark Phillips


Now that I’ve reached the end of Acts does anyone have a preference for which part of the Bible to look at next? Let me know.