PAUL TAKEN IN CHAINS TO ROME
Arrested in the temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 57, Paul was taken to Caesarea to be interrogated by Antonius Felix, the Roman governor. Felix was friendly to Paul and kept him at Caesarea for two years until he was replaced as governor by Festus. Festus offered to send Paul to Jerusalem to stand trial, but Paul requested trial in Rome -- his right as a Roman citizen.
Placed under guard by a Roman centurian named Julias, Paul was escorted to a boat at Caesarea. He was accompanied by Luke and Aristarchus, a Macedonian Christian from Thessalonica. The journey took them to Sidon and then to Myra in Lycia where another vessel was chartered. Sailing along the seacoast, they tried to get to Cnidus, but the winds would not cooperate and so they headed south to the island of Crete.
After putting into port at Fair Haven on the island of Crete, the boat captain tried to sail to Phoenix several miles away to spend the winter. But a storm called the 'northeaster' disrupted the plan. The boat foundered in the waves and became lost at sea under the leaden skies of the hurricane. It finally ended up a thousand miles away, shipwrecked on a shoal on the tiny island of Malta. (See Acts 27 & 28).
Another ship took Paul to Puteoli in the Bay of Naples. From there, the party journeyed by land to Rome where news of Paul's arrival had preceded him. Many groups of Christians came to welcome him, appearing both at the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns. Paul spent 2 years as a prisoner in Rome, chained to the soldier who guarded him. Apparently no trial was held and he was released in 63 A.D.
Paul was later martyred by Nero in Rome in 67 A.D.
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