The Final Journey
There is little doubt as to God’s favor on Paul.
Paul may have been set free had he not appealed to Caesar but Rome was Paul's destiny.
Ramsay suggests that Luke and Aristarchus accompanied Paul as his slaves b/c of the importance and respect showed Paul by the centurion.
I believe it was mostly due to God’s favor on him b/c God wanted him in Rome.
God’s favor always rests where His will is.
It is believed that the voyage was around 59-60 A.D.
Paul, himself, intended to go even further west than Italy.
Romans 15:24,28 tell us that it was his intention to see the church at Rome on his way to Spain.
Give brief account of the shipwreck.
Paul was not dreading going to Rome; he was looking forward to it.
Paul in Rome
Josephus claims that Nero's second wife, Poppaea was a Jewess, but I did not find sufficient proof. If she indeed was, Paul could have been concerned that his Jewish protractors would influence her against him. This could be why Paul sits the Jewish leaders down and gives them a brief history of his case.
Paul waited some two years before his trial; Roman judiciary was just that slow. It is also plausible that Paul first appeared before a Praetorian Prefect and not Nero, as he was capricious, impulsive, and more interested in games than the business of governance and military matters.
Nero was the incarnation of unbridled lust and whimsical power.
This is important when one considers Nero's 14 years as emperor. For the first five he was seemingly normal and received senatorial and citizenry approval. Then around A.D. 59 he began to change and by the time Paul arrives in Rome, Nero is beginning to show greater signs of neurosis.
The Great fire of Rome had not happened yet, and there were no real charges against Paul. It is probable that both Festus and Agrippa, not to mention Justus spoke highly of Paul.
Though Christianity had spread to Rome, little was known about it and it was not believed to be a threat to the principate.
When his first trial finally came, Paul was acquitted as he felt certain he would be.
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,
At the same time also prepare me a lodging, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given to you.
Philippians and Philemon are two of Paul’s four prison letters.
It is not exactly known what Paul did until his death. The end of Acts is not the end of Paul’s life and ministry. Luke only records up until Paul’s first trial.
However we know that he was released and imprisoned again b/c of his last letter to Timothy.
2 Tim 4:6-18
In every respect the situation thus indicated is the opposite of the circumstances described on the first trial. Phil. occupies the same place in the first as II Tim. in the second trial; but Phil. looks forward to a fresh career among the Churches, while II Tim. is the testament of a dying man (Ramsay).
Furthermore, Clement of Rome, whom Paul mentions in Phil 4:3 states in his first epistle to the Corinthians
“After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects.”
Clement of Rome, “The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians,”
Some contend this was Rome; however, some contend it was Spain. Spain was part of the Roman Empire and west of Italy.
Toward the end of Nero’s reign , which ended in 68, Paul is arrested again and this is when 2 Timothy was written and from whence Paul is martyred.
The charges could have been treason for preaching another king than caesar, or he could have been accused of the fire.
It is possible that Timothy made it in time to see Paul before his death. It is also likely he was arrested, but escaped w/ his life.
Take notice that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom, if he comes soon, I will see you.
As a Roman citizen, Paul would not have to die a slow agonizing death; he would not die in the area at the mouth of a lion or be burned alive; he would be beheaded.
The details are all wanting. Tradition supplies only a few, which may be true or not. The story is that Paul was beheaded on the Ostian Road. It was customary for criminals of prominence to be executed several miles out of the city so as to avoid the crowds (Robertson).