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A Synoptic Life of the Apostle Paul

Written by: Pendleton, Philip Y.     Posted on: 02/15/2004

Category: Bible Studies

A Synoptic Life of the Apostle Paul
Philip Y. Pendleton

EXPLANATORY.--Years, etc., are indicated by brackets and precede the paragraphs to which they relate. Scriptural citations are indicated by parentheses and follow the paragraphs to which they relate. The sign "&c." indicates that there are other passages than the one cited. The synopsis is modeled after Goodwin. His Harmony of the Life of Paul, published by the American Tract Society of New York, is the most perfect work on the subject extant.

      [--] Paul is born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia (Acts xxii. 3, &c.): an Israelite, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew, i. e., one who spoke Hebrew (Phil. iii. 4, &c.); educated in Jerusalem under the celebrated Gamaliel (Acts xxii. 3); a Pharisee (Acts xxiii. 6, &c.); zealous of Jewish traditions (Gal. i. 13, 14, &c.); with his conscience pure (II. Tim. i. 3); blameless (Phil. iii. 6). [--] He becomes the persecutor of the church (I. Tim. i. 12, 13, &c.) consenting to the death of Stephen (Acts xxii. 20, &c.): making havoc--a word "applied to the wild boars which uproot a vineyard"--of the church (Acts viii. 3, 4, &c.); imprisoning, beating (Acts xxii. 19, &c.); persecuting unto death (Acts xxii. 4, 5); compelling Christians to blaspheme, and being exceeding mad against them he persecuted them even unto strange cities (Acts xxvi. 11). [36] Paul, yet breathing out threatenings, obtains letters from the high priest to the synagogues at Damascus to persecute the Christians of that city (Acts ix. 1, 2, &c.). As he drew near to Damascus about noon a blinding light shines round about him (Acts xxii. 6, &c.), and Christ appears to him and appoints him a minister and witness to the Gentiles (Acts xxvi 15-18), calling him to be an apostle (I. Cor. i. 1 and xv. 7-10 and Gal. i. 1, 11, 12, 15, 16, &c.) Being, however, sent first to Damascus that it may be told him what to do, he is led by the hand, because of his blindness, into that city (Acts xxii. 10, 11, &c.). In Damascus Ananias is sent to him after three days to restore his sight (Acts xxii. 13, &c.) and baptize him (Acts xxii. 16 and ix. 18), after which he straightway preaches Christ in the synagogues of Damascus for "certain days" (Acts ix. 19-22, &c.), [36-39] but "immediately" * departs into Arabia, where he appears to have been spiritually instructed, after which he returns to Damascus (Gal. i. 15-18), but the Jews, seeking to kill him (Acts ix. 23, 26), and the governor aiding their designs (II. Cor. xi. 32, &c.), he is let down by the wall at night in a basket, and escapes, after which he goes to Jerusalem (Acts ix. 23-26). At Jerusalem he seeks to join himself to the disciples, but they fear him till assured by Barnabas, when he is received and preaches (Acts ix. 26-29), being, however, in the city only fifteen days (Gal. i. 18), the Lord appearing unto him in the temple and sending him to the Gentiles (Acts xxii. 17-21), the brethren bringing him down to Cæsarea and sending him to Tarsus (Acts ix. 29, 30). It is probable that he was shipwrecked on this journey, as he suffered this discomfiture four times--once as we shall see hereafter, and three times of which we have no details (II. Cor. xi. 25). [39-43] After reaching Tarsus, some four years pass in the Syrian and Cilician ministry, of which we have no details (Gal. i. 21-24). He appears to have founded churches in Syria and Cilicia (Acts xv. 23, 41), and it is probable that many of the sufferings mentioned in II. Cor. xi. belong to this period, for there are five Jewish scourgings and two Roman beatings with rods of which we have no record. It is also probable that Paul's great vision belongs to this period (II. Cor. xii. 1-4), [--] Certain disciples having founded a church in Antioch in Syria, Barnabas is sent from Jerusalem to visit it. Having visited it, he goes to Tarsus after Paul, whom be brings back with him to Antioch. [44] Barnabas and Paul labor together one year in Antioch (Acts xi. 19-26). [45] A famine occurring in Judæa, the church at Antioch sends relief by the hands of Barnabas and Paul (Acts xi. 27-30), who fulfill their mission and return, bringing with them John Mark (Acts xii. 25). [45-49] The church at Antioch, guided by the Holy Spirit, send Barnabas and Paul as missionaries; John Mark accompanies them. They strike the sea coast at Seleucia, sail thence to Cyprus, and preach at Salamis (Acts xiii. 1-5), thence they pass through the island to Paphos, where, under Paul's preaching, Elymas the Sorcerer is smitten with blindness, and Sergius Paulus, the deputy of the island, is converted (Acts xiii. 6-12). Thence they sail to Perga in Pamphylia, where John Mark forsakes them and returns to Jerusalem, for "either he did not like the work or he wanted to go and see his mother" (Acts xiii. 13). Some critics believe that Paul was sick while at Perga (Gal. iv. 13-15). From Perga their journey lies up the Cestrus River to Antioch in Pisidia (Acts xiii. 14). It is probable that some of Paul's "perils of rivers" and "perils of robbers" were endured on this journey (II. Cor. xi. 26). Paul's sermon at Antioch is the first of those preserved for us (Acts xiii. 15-41). Hearing somewhat of this sermon the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath, and accordingly, on that day, nearly the whole city came together to hear the word; but the Jews, being moved with envy, grew bitter in their opposition, which caused Paul and Barnabas to {xvi} turn to the Gentiles, many of whom believed (Acts xiii. 42-49), but the Jews, raising a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, expelled them out of their coasts (Acts xiii. 50). Going thence to Iconium, where they abode a "long time," many Jews and Gentiles believing, the city was divided for and against the apostles. But an assault being made upon them they flee to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia (Acts xiii. 51, 52 and xiv. 1-6). At Lystra Paul heals the cripple, and the people prepare to sacrifice to the apostles, calling Barnabas, Jupiter, and Paul, Mercury, and were hardly restrained from so doing (Acts xiv. 6-18). But Jews from Antioch and Iconium, coming to Lystra, persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, they drew him out of the city supposing him dead. But as the disciples stand around about him he rises up and comes into the city (Acts xiv. 19, 20). This is the stoning Paul mentions (II. Cor. xi. 24, 25). It is probable Timothy, his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice were converted at this time (II. Tim. iii. 10, 11). The next day they depart to Derbe, and when they had preached the gospel there, and had taught many, they return again to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, confirming and exhorting the disciples, and ordaining elders in every church. Thence they return to Perga, and going down to Attalia, they sail to Antioch, where, gathering the church together, they rehearse all that God had done with them. [48, 49] Having finished this so-called "first missionary tour," they abode a "long time" (two years) with the disciples at Antioch (Acts xiv. 20-28). [50] Certain Jews come to Antioch from Jerusalem and teach that circumcision is necessary to salvation, thereby spreading dissension in the church. Paul and Barnabas are therefore sent to Jerusalem to have the question settled by the apostles and elders there (Acts xv. 1, 2). Paul takes Titus, a Gentile, with him (Gal. ii. 1, 2). They go up to Jerusalem by way of Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles and causing great joy unto all the brethren (Acts xv. 3). Arriving in Jerusalem the church received them (Acts xv. 4), and Paul conversed privately with the leaders (Gal. ii. 2). Circumcision was contended for in a public meeting (Acts xv. 5), and the circumcision of Titus was apparently made the test, but Paul delivered him (Gal. ii. 3-5). Then the regular Council was called, and, after speeches by Peter, Barnabas, Paul and James, gospel liberty triumphed (Acts xv. 6-21). The Jerusalem church thereupon wrote a letter to the churches in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia, condemning the doctrine of the circumcisionists, and appointed Judas Barsabas and Silas delegates to bear the letter and confirm it by word of mouth (Acts xv. 22-29). In this meeting at Jerusalem it became apparent that Paul's apostleship was secondary to none, and therefore the work was divided, Paul, with Barnabas, taking the Gentile world, and the rest, the Jews or circumcised portion (Gal. ii. 3-9). They, however, desire Paul to remember their poor, which he was forward to do (Gal. ii. 10). (See Acts xi. 30; xxiv. 17; I. Cor. xvi. 1-3; II. Cor. viii. 9; Rom. xv. 25-27). Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch with the delegates, and assembling the multitude, the letter is read with rejoicing. Judas afterwards returns to Jerusalem, but Silas remains with Paul and Barnabas (Acts xv. 30-35). Afterward Peter comes down to Antioch, and, with characteristic vacillation, to wavers in his conduct with regard to the relation of Jewish and Gentile Christians, that Paul reproves him (Gal. ii. 11-14). [51] "And some days after," at Paul's suggestion, Paul and Barnabas set out on what is called the second missionary tour, but as Barnabas wishes to take John Mark, and Paul objects because of the manner in which be deserted them on their first journey, the two friends separate, Barnabas taking John Mark, and Paul choosing Silas (called Silvanus in the Epistles). Paul and Silas went throughout Syria and Cilicia confirming the churches, and coming to Derbe and Lystra they find Timothy and take him with them. "And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, but were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith and increased in number daily" (Acts xv. 36-41 and xvi. 1-5). And when they had gone throughout Phrygia and Galatia, and were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to go into Asia, they come to Mysia, and being forbidden to go into Bithynia they come to Troas. Here Paul has the vision of the Macedonian calling for help. So loosing from Troas in company with Luke, they come to Samothracia, and next day to Neapolis, and thence to Philippi, the chief city where they abode certain days (Acts xvi. 6-12). Euodias, Syntyche, Syzygus (yokefellow), and Clement assisted Paul at Philippi, but whether he found them there, or converted them after his coming, we can not say (Phil. iv. 2, 3). On the Sabbath day Lydia is converted, and invites the missionaries to her home (Acts xvi. 13-15). Later Paul heals the girl possessed of a spirit of divination, and her masters losing the gain which they received for her divination, catch Paul and Silas, and drag them before the rulers. The magistrates had them stripped, beaten and cast into prison, but that night as they sing praises in the prison. God sends the earthquake to release them, and the conversion of the jailor is the result. When the magistrates send to release them Paul stands upon his rights as a Roman citizen, and makes them come and bring him out. Going from the prison to the house of Lydia, they see the brethren, comfort them and depart (Acts xvi. 16-40). Paul mentions the Philippian persecution in his letters (I. Thess. ii. 2 and Phil. i. 29, 30). This church at Philippi was Paul's especial joy. He nowhere upbraids it; his epistle abounds in expressions of love for it (Phil. i. 3-5; ii. 12; iv. 1) "From them alone he consents to receive alms for his personal wants" (Phil. iv. 15, 16; II. Cor. xi. 8-9). Leaving Philippi, passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia "they" (Luke being left in Philippi) come to Thessalonica. Here, for three Sabbaths, Paul reasons with the Jews. Of the Jews "some" of the devout Greeks, "a great multitude," and of the honorable women "not a few" believe. But the unbelieving set all {xvii} the city on an uproar, and assault the house of Jason. Failing to apprehend Paul and Silas, they take Jason before the rulers, who require surety of him and let him go, (Acts xvii. 1-9). Whether Timothy was with them at Thessalonica does not appear. At Thessalonica we have the first indication of how Paul sustained himself by work, the Philippians alone aiding him (I. Thess. ii. 9; II. Thess. iii. 6-10; Phil. iv. 16). His Epistle shows the manner of his preaching (I. Thess. i. 9, 10; ii. 1-12), and also the conduct of the members of that church toward him (I. Thess. i. 1-8; ii. 13-16; iv. 9, 10), and his love toward them (I. Thess. iii. 7-13; II. Thess. i. 2-7, 11, 12; ii. 13-17; iii. 1-5). After the arrest of Jason the brethren send Paul and Silas, by night, to Beroea. Here the Word is received with readiness, the Scriptures are searched, and many Jews and Greeks believe. But the Jews of Thessalonica, hearing of it, come thither and stir up the people, and immediately the brethren send away Paul, conducting him to Athens, but Silas and Timothy abide there still (Acts xvii. 10-15). Paul expects to return quickly, but is hindered (I. Thess. ii. 17-20). From Athens he sends for Silas and Timothy (Acts xvii. 15). They may have come to Paul at Athens and have been straightway sent back by him, but it seems more reasonable that Paul changed his mind, concluding to remain alone in Athens, leaving Silas in Beroea, and sending Timothy to Thessalonica (I. Thess. iii. 1-5). While waiting in Athens Paul delivers the celebrated address on Mars' hill, gaining, however, but a few converts, and founding no church (Acts xvii. 16-34). From Athens he proceeds to Corinth, where he meets with Aquila and Priscilla (or Prisca), and abode with them, being of the same craft or trade (Acts xviii. 1-3). Here also Paul supported himself by laboring (I. Cor. ix. 6-15; II. Cor. xi. 6-10), assisted by the Philippians (Phil. iv. 15). He reasons in the synagogues every Sabbath, and is joined by Timothy and Silas (Silvanus) (Acts xviii. 4, 5). This is the last time Silas is mentioned in the book of Acts. [52] He writes the first letter to Thessalonians (I. Thess. i. 1; iii. 6). Paul preaches Christ to the Jews until they blaspheme, when he turns from them to the Gentiles, and abandoning the synagogue, he holds services near by in the house of one Justus. Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believes, and many others believe and are baptized (Acts xviii. 5-8). Paul baptizing certain of them with his own hand (I. Cor. i. 14-16). The house of Stephanas being his first fruits (I. Cor. xvi. 15), Paul is encouraged by a vision to remain in Corinth, and accordingly he abides there a year and six months (Acts xviii. 9-11). [53] From here Paul also writes the second Epistle to the Thessalonians, as is shown by the presence of his companions in the ministry there (II. Thess. i. 1; II Cor. i. 9). Also by the fact that the second Epistle appears to have been written soon after to "correct a wrong impression made by the first." (Compare II. Thess. ii. 1 seq. with I. Thess. iv. 16 seq. and v. 1 seq.) At length the Jews make insurrection against Paul, and bring him before Gallio, who, perceiving that the charge related to doctrine and not to conduct, refuses to interfere. This is followed by a retaliatory outbreak on the part of the Greeks. After tarrying there yet a good while Paul sails to Syria, taking with him Priscilla and Aquila, having shorn his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow. Touching at Ephesus he reasons in the synagogue, and they beseech him to tarry, but he bids them farewell, saying, "I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem." Leaving Priscilla and Aquila at Ephesus he lands at Cæsarea, and when he had "gone up" (to Jerusalem) and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch. And after he had spent some time there he departed on his third missionary tour (Acts xviii. 12-23). Passing through Galatia and Phrygia in order, he strengthens tile disciples. Coming to Ephesus he finds certain converts of Apollos who had been baptized with the baptism of John, Apollos not being thoroughly grounded in knowledge. Paul rebaptizes these, some twelve men, and they receive the Holy Spirit (Acts xviii. 24-28; xix. 1-7). [54-56] At Ephesus, Paul remains three years (Acts xx. 31); he speaks in the synagogue for three months, then, withdrawing to the school at Tyrannus, he reasons daily for two years (Acts xix. 8-12). Luke's brief narrative apparently omits many items of this period. Paul must have taken a flying trip to Corinth of, say, ten days or two weeks (II. Cor. xiii. 2), for the visit of Acts xx. 1, 2, he calls his third visit (II. Cor. xii. 14 and xiii. 1). He also wrote a letter to the Corinthians which is now lost (I. Cor. v. 9). The last nine months of Paul's stay at Ephesus inaugurated a signal triumph of the truth. The seven sons of Sceva are punished for impiously attempting to exorcise in Christ's name; fear falls upon all; sins are confessed, and books of divination are publicly burned, "so mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed" (Acts xix. 13-20). Then Paul purposes to pass through Macedonia and Achaia, and thence to Jerusalem, and later to Rome. Accordingly he first sends Timothy and Erastus into Macedonia (Acts xix. 22; 1. Cor. iv. 17; xvi. 10, 11), he himself tarrying in Ephesus until Pentecost--springtime (Acts xix. 22 and I. Cor. xvi. 8, 9). Afterwards he writes our first Epistle to the Corinthians, telling them of his sending Timothy, and of his intention to come also (I. Cor. iv. 17; xvi. 3-7, 10, 11). Paul had at least three reasons for writing the letter: (1) Divisions (I. Cor. i. 11); (2) unchastity (I. Cor. v. 1); (3) the receipt of a letter from them (I. Cor. vii. 1). It is probable that Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus, who were then with Paul on a visit from Corinth, were made bearers of Paul's letter on their homeward journey (I. Cor. xvi. 17). Paul's Ephesian ministry was one of great anxiety and suffering (Acts xx. 17-19; 1. Cor. xv. 30-32; II. Cor i. 8-11); of self-support (Acts xx. 33-35); and intense privation (I. Cor. iv. 11, 12). It culminated in the uproar raised by Demetrius (Acts xix. 23-41), which caused Paul to depart immediately for Macedonia (Acts xx. 1), and come to Troas (II. Cor. ii. 12). Sometimes, either during the latter part of his stay at Ephesus, or during his sojourn at Troas, he hears--probably {xviii} through Timothy--evil news of the church at Corinth. Becoming uneasy as to the effects of his letter he dispatches Titus to investigate and bring him word (II. Cor. xii. 17, 18, and vii. 6-16). This uneasiness increases so that he abandons Troas, and crosses the Ægean to meet Titus (II. Cor. ii. 13). He is probably shipwrecked during the passage (II. Cor. xi. 25). Landing at Macedonia, his distress continues until Titus comes with good news (II. Cor. vii. 5, 6). As Titus had begun taking the collection for the poor at Jerusalem, Paul sends him back to Corinth to complete this work, and sends with him our second Epistle to the Corinthians; also two brethren, probably Trophimus and Tychicus (II. Cor. viii. 6-8, 16-24; ix. 1-15). In Macedonia Paul is joined by Timothy (II. Cor. i. 1). Paul had originally designed to visit Corinth first, then Macedonia, and then returning to Corinth embark thence to Judæa (II. Cor. i. 15, 16). But the plan was altered. Paul reaches Macedonia, intending to winter in Corinth (I. Cor. xvi. 5, 6). He travels over Macedonia, exhorting the churches (Acts xx. 2), and raises generous contributions for the poor at Jerusalem (II. Cor. viii. 1-5). He also enters Illyricum (Rom. xv. 19, 20), and plans to go to regions beyond, probably Spain (II. Cor. x. 15, 16; Rom. xv. 24, 28). Completing his Macedonian visitation he goes to Corinth (Greece) and abides there three months (Acts xx. 1-3; I. Cor. xvi. 1-7; II. Cor. ix. 4; xii. 20 to xiii. 3). The nature of his ministry there may be judged by his expressions of love for them (I. Cor. i. 4-9; iv. 14-16, 20, 21; II. Cor. i. 6, 7, 11-15; iii. 1-4; vi. 11-13; vii. 2-4, 16: xi. 1, 2; xii. 15, 16, 19; xiii. 9), and by his declared intentions (II. Cor. ii. 1; ix. 3, 4; xii. 14, 20, 21; xiii. 1-3) [57, winter] It is probable Paul wrote his Epistle to Galatians from Corinth. [58, spring] Paul writes his Epistle to Romans from Corinth (I. Cor. i. 14; Rom. xvi. 23), and probably sends it by Phoebe (Rom. xvi. 1, 2). His companions in Corinth are Phoebe, Timothy, Lucius, Jason, Sosipater, Tertius, Gaius, Erastus, Quartus, Stephanas, Achaicus and Fortunatus (Rom. xvi. 1, 2, 21-23: I. Cor. xvi. 17). Paul again plans to visit Rome and Spain after going to Jerusalem (Rom. i. 8-16; xv. 22-29). The collections being ready Paul designs to sail to Jerusalem with the offering, but finding that the Jews are laying in wait for him, he changes his purpose, and goes by land through Macedonia (Rom. xv. 25-27; Acts xx. 2, 3). Returning through Macedonia to Philippi he is again joined by Luke, and sails to Troas, where he preaches to the disciples and revives Eutychus. [58] From Troas Paul journeys on foot to Assos, where he is taken into the ship by his comrades. Thence they sail to Mitylene, thence passing Chios to Samos, they tarry at Trogyllium, and the next day come to Miletus, where, to avoid delay, he sends for the elders of the church at Ephesus and delivers his melting address and charge (Acts xx. 13-38). Doubtless he asked for their prayers as he did those of the disciples at Rome (Rom. xv. 30-32). From Miletus they proceed to Coos, Rhodes and Patara, thence leaving Cyprus, on the left, they sail to Tyre. At Tyre they sojourn seven days, and Paul is warned by disciples not to go to Jerusalem (Acts xxi. 1-6). From Tyre they come to Ptolemais, and then to Cæsarea, where they lodge with Philip, the evangelist, and are warned by his daughters and by Agabus not to go to Jerusalem. But Paul, being led of the Spirit, does not swerve from his purpose, but proceeds on his journey accompanied also by certain disciples of Cæsarea and by Mnason (Acts xxi. 7-16). Arriving at Jerusalem, and consulting with James, Paul decides to take upon himself avow that by thus conforming to the law he may appease the Jews; he accordingly does so, and enters the temple in company with others (Acts xxi. 17-26). Though he came bearing alms to his people (Acts xxiv. 17), and though he demeaned himself with all quietness (Acts xxiv. 18), yet the Jews, discovering him there, seized him, and would have repeated in him the martyrdom of Stephen had not the chief captain interfered (Acts xxi. 27-36). They sought to kill Paul (Acts xxvi. 21), but, being rescued by the chief captain, he is permitted to speak to the multitude from the castle stairs, and tells the story of his conversion (Acts xxi. 37-40; xxii. 1-21). But his speech ending in an uproar, he is taken within the castle, where his Roman citizenship saves him from being examined by scourging (Acts xxii. 22-29). Next day he is brought before the Sanhedrin, where, by declaring his belief in the resurrection, he raises such strife between the Pharisees and Sadducees, that the chief captain again interferes (Acts xxiii. 1-10; xxiv. 20, 21). After all the trouble and distress of these two days, in the quiet silence of the night, the Lord stood by him, saying "Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome" (Acts xxiii. 11). On the morrow some forty Jews bind themselves under a curse to kill Paul, intending to ask the chief captain to bring Paul again before the Sanhedrin, and to waylay and kill him while he is being brought down, but the plot is discovered, and Lysias, the chief captain, sends Paul by night to Felix at Cæsarea with a letter explaining why he sent him (Acts xxiii. 12-33). [58-60] Paul arrives in Cæsarea and is presented before Felix, who confines him in Herod's judgment hall pending trial (Acts xxiii. 33-35). After five days the high priest and elders descend with Tertullus, a lawyer, and, appearing before Felix, they make information against Paul, charging him with sedition, heresy and sacrilege (Acts xxiv. 1-9). To this Paul replies, and demands evidence, showing that it was but twelve days, all told, since he went up to Jerusalem, and therefore his conduct could easily be proved, the time being both brief and recent. He confesses his Christianity boldly (Acts xxiv. 10-21). Felix suspends sentence, remands Paul to the keeping of the centurion, and directs that his friends have free access to him (Acts xxiv. 22, 23). Paul preaches before Felix and Drusilla (Acts xxiv. 24-26). Paul is a prisoner at Cæsarea for two years, but appears to have been kindly treated (Acts xxiii. 35; xxiv. 26, 27). When Festus succeeds Felix, and goes up to Jerusalem, the Jews ask him to send for Paul, intending to waylay and kill him on the {xix} way, Festus keeps him at Cæsarea and the trial is renewed. Festus suggests to Paul the propriety of his going up to Jerusalem to be tried, and this leads Paul to appeal to Cæsar (Acts xxv. 6-12). So far as truth and evidence were concerned Paul merited an acquittal by Festus, but Jewish influence so far prevailed as to compel Paul to appeal (Acts xxv. 9; xxviii. 17-19). When King Agrippa and Bernice come down to salute Festus, they hold a conference about Paul (Acts xxv. 13-22). Next day Paul appears before the king and the chief captain, and Festus briefly states the cause of his imprisonment, etc. (Acts xxv. 23-27), after which Paul makes his defense before Agrippa (Acts xxvi. 1-30). After withdrawing, both Agrippa and Festus acquit Paul of any crime, but having appealed they can not release him (Acts xxvi. 31, 32). [60, autumn] Therefore Paul is delivered to the centurion, Julius, and sails for Rome, Aristarchus and Luke accompanying him. Touching at Sidon they sail thence past Cyprus and land at Myra, thence they sail to Fair Havens in Crete. From here they depart contrary to Paul's advice, and, being driven by the tempest past Clauda, they find themselves in the open sea. After many days they are stranded and wrecked upon the coast of Melita, where, according to, a promise given Paul in a vision all on board are saved (Acts xxvii. 1-44). Here they abide three months, and Paul works many miracles (Acts xxviii. 1-10). [61, spring] From Melita they sail to Syracuse, thence to Rhegium, and thence to Putioli, where they land and proceed on foot to Rome. The disciples come as far as Appii Forum and Three Taverns to meet Paul: he thanks God and takes courage. In Rome, Julius delivers him to the captain of the guard, but Paul is suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him (Acts xxviii. 11-16). We can form some idea of whom Paul found at Rome by considering his letter written about three years before (Rom. xvi. 3-15). Paul meets the chief Jews of Rome (Acts xxviii. 16-22). They appoint a day and hear him, when some believe and others reject his testimony, whereupon he, as was his custom, turns to the Gentiles (Acts xxviii. 23-29). [61-63] Paul preaches unmolested in Rome in his own hired house for two years (Acts xxviii. 16, 30, 31). Here, unfortunately, Luke's history ends, and we are left to complete the story by a study of the Epistles Though allowed some liberty, he is still a prisoner in bonds (Phil. i. 8, 9; Col. iv. 3, 18; Eph. iii. 1; iv. 1; vi. 18-20; Phil. i. 7, 12-14, 16). Expecting release (Philem. 22; Phil. i. 23-27; ii. 24). His companions are Timothy (Philem. 1; Col. i. 1; Phil. i. 1; ii. 19-23); Epaphras (Philem. 23; Col. i. 3-8; iv. 12, 13); Onesimus and Tychicus (Philem. 10-21; Col. iv. 7-9; Eph. vi. 21, 22); Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke and Justus (Philem. 24; Col. iv. 10, 11, 14). Paul writes Epistles to Philemon, Colossians and Ephesians. Onesimus is made bearer of letter to Philemon at Colossæ (Philem. 10-21). He goes accompanied by Tychicus, the bearer of letter to Colossians (Col. iv. 7-9), and to Ephesians (Eph. vi. 21, 22). Epaphroditus arrives with a gift from the Philippians. Paul writes them a letter, and sends it by Epaphroditus on his return to Philippi (Phil. ii. 25-30; iv. 18, 22). The Epistles give us an abundant evidence of the character and effect of Paul's preaching at this period (Philem. 10; Col. i. 23-29; iv, 3, 4; Eph. iii. 1-9: vi. 18-20; Phil. i. 7, 12-20). With full assurance of faith he rejoices in suffering (Col. i. 24; Eph. iii. 13; Phil. i. 19-25, 29, 30; ii. 16-18; iii. 4-16, 20, 21; iv. 11-13); manifesting an undiminished care for the churches (Col. i. 1-9; ii. 1-5; iv. 15-17; Eph. i. 15, 16; iii. 14-21; Phil. i. 1-11, 27; ii. 12, 16-18; iv. 10, 14, 17); warning them against Judaizers (Phil. i. 15, 16; iii. 1-3, 18, 19), and other heresies (Eph. iv. 14; Col. ii. 4, 8, 16-23). [63-67] As to Paul's trial and acquittal the Bible is silent, but we find him again at large, preaching the gospel (I. Tim. i. 1, 12-16; ii. 7; iv. 10; Titus i. 1-3), with certain companions of whom he left Timothy at Ephesus (I. Tim. i. 3); Titus in Crete (Tit. i. 5); Erastus at Corinth (II. Tim. iv. 20); Trophimus at Miletus (II. Tim. iv. 20); Carpus at Troas (II. Tim. iv. 13). Onesiphorus (I. Tim. i. 16-18) Artemas, Tychicus, Zenas and Apollos (Tit. iii. 12, 13), Demas, Crescens and Titus (II. Tim. iv. 10) are also mentioned. Hymenæus, Philetus and Alexander are mentioned as his opponents (I. Tim. i. 19, 20; II. Tim. ii. 1, 17, 18; iv. 14, 15). It is probable that during this period Paul fulfilled his desires to visit certain places, viz.: Philippi (Phil. i. 26; ii. 24), Colossæ (Philem. 22), where were Epaphras, Philemon, Apphia, Archippus and Onesimus (Col. iv. 12, 17, 9; Philem. 1, 2, 10, 11), Laodicea and Hierapolis (Col. ii. 1; iv. 12, 13) for Nymphas was at Laodicea (Col. iv. 15), and Paul had written them a letter (Col. iv. 16). Spain (Rom. xv. 24-28). These journeys, however, are all conjectural; the following only are authentic. Paul goes with Timothy to Ephesus (I. Tim. i. 3). Leaving Timothy there Paul departs to Macedonia [67], where he writes I. Timothy (I. Tim. 1. 3; iii. 14, 15). Paul goes with Titus to Crete, and leaving Titus there (Tit. i. 5), he goes to Melitus, and leaving Trophimus there (II. Tim. iv. 20), he joins Timothy at Ephesus (II. Tim. i. 16-18), and writes his letter to Titus (?). From Ephesus he goes to Troas, where he leaves his cloak and books with Carpus (II. Tim. iv. 13), and goes to Corinth, where he leaves Erastus (II. Tim. iv. 20); from Corinth he goes to Nicopolis, where he winters (Tit. iii. 12); [68] from Nicopolis he is taken prisoner to Rome (?). He is imprisoned as an evil doer (II. Tim. i. 8; ii. 8, 9). Under persecution his friends turn away from him, and leave him lonely and forsaken (II. Tim. iv. 12, 20, 19, 10; i. 15). But some are still loyal (II. Tim. iv. 11, 21). Some believe that Onesiphorus was with him and suffered martyrdom, but there is no sufficient evidence (II. Tim. i. 16-18; iv. 19). He longs for Timothy and Mark (II. Tim. i. 3, 4; iv. 9, 21, 11). He desires his cloak and books and parchments (II. Tim. iv. 13). At his first trial he is forsaken by all save Christ; but for the time he is delivered (II. Tim. iv. 14-18). He writes his second letter to Timothy in joyous anticipation of his death and triumph through Christ (II. Tim. i. 8-12; ii. 8-13; iv. 6-8). And here the story ends, without even a plausible tradition as to the closing scene. {xx}

* According to some commentators, Paul preached "many days" in Damascus, and, escaping by the basket, went into Arabia. This is not consonant with the "immediately" of Gal. i. 16. This word, coupled with the phrases "certain days" and "many days," indicates that the sojourn in Arabia intervened between his first preaching and that for which the Jews sought to kill him. {xvi}

[Standard Eclectic Commentary for 1902, pp. xvi-xx.]


      The electronic version of Philip Y. Pendleton's "A Synoptic Life of the Apostle

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