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Paul Sails for Rome December 23, 2016

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Acts 27:1-12.

Summary: In this passage, Paul was transferred to the custody of a centurion, Julius. He and his companions boarded a ship at Caesarea; after a brief stop at Sidon where his friends met his needs, they sailed to Myra. There, they boarded another ship; they then sailed – with great difficulty – to Fair Havens near Lasaea. At that point, Paul advised his fellow travelers to winter there – warning them of great calamities if they proceeded on their journey to Rome. Yet the pilot and the owner of the ship advised Julius to winter in Phoenix in Crete. Julius did not heed Paul’s warnings, and they sailed toward Phoenix.

Thoughts: In verses 11 and 12, we see that Paul’s advice regarding wintering in Fair Havens was disregarded. Calvin offers some insights on this point:

The centurion is not to be blamed for listening to the pilot and owner rather than Paul. He deferred to Paul’s advice in other matters but knew that Paul was not an experienced sailor. And the owner did not advise him to commit the ship to the high seas but to go to the next haven, which was almost within sight. Thus they could reach a suitable place for the winter with little effort.

Before I encountered Calvin’s thoughts, I was rather critical of the pilot and the owner of the ship for ignoring Paul’s advice. Now I wonder: what was the status of their finances? What cargo were they carrying, and where did they need to deliver it? Was at least some of it intended for Phoenix in Crete (if so, then they could assuage the loss stemming from a late delivery of the rest of it)? What were the other benefits of sailing from Fair Havens to Phoenix? Did they secretly believe that they could sail to Rome before the onset of winter?

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