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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on Acts of the Apostles

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

27.1–28.31 : Paul taken to Rome.

5–6 :

Myra in Lycia was an important way station for grain ships that regularly brought wheat from Egypt to Rome. Alexandria was the chief city of Egypt.

8 :

The exact locations of Fair Havens and Lasea are unknown.

9 :

The Fast probably refers to the Jewish Day of Atonement, which comes in early fall, a risky time for sailing. By November, all sailing ceased due to winter storms.

15 :

Ancient ships had severely limited capabilities of beating into the wind.

17 :

The meaning of tackle is unsure. How such a ship was braced is also unclear.

23–24 :

See 23.11 n.

24 :

Divine rescue from danger at sea was attributed to many Hellenistic deities.

37 :

The number is well within the capacity of such a ship.

39–44 :

Paul reports suffering three earlier shipwrecks and drifting once twenty-four hours at sea (2 Cor. 11.25 ), but Acts gives no report of these incidents.

28.1–10 : Paul at Malta.

1 :

Sometime after leaving Cauda, the wind must have shifted to the east; a continuing northeast wind would have landed them on the coast of Africa ( 27.17 ), not Malta.

6 :

Much of what Paul did and said in 27.9–28.10 would make him appear to be a Hellenistic divine hero, or even a god.

28.11–15 : On to Rome.

11 :

Three months: probably between November and February. Sailing resumed in late February or early March.

13 :

Grain ships from Egypt unloaded at Puteoli, the major Roman harbor for foreign trade.

14 :

When Paul reached Rome, the prophecy of 23.11 was fulfilled, as well as the program outlined in 1.8; see also Rom. 15.22–24, 28 .

15 :

Though Paul had never been to Rome, he and the Christians there knew about each other; see Rom. 1.8; 15.14–16 . The NT tells us nothing about the origin of the Christian congregation in Rome.

28.16–31 : Paul in Rome.

17 :

This was the original accusation by the Jews from Asia; see 21.28 .

18 :

No capital charge; see 23.29; 25.25; 26.31 .

23 :

Kingdom of God: see 19.8 n.

26 :

Isa. 6.9–10 Sept.; compare Mk. 4.12 and parallels. This is similar to Stephen's condemnation of the Jews ( 7.51–53 ).

28 :

As the whole narrative has shown, this is a major theme of Acts; see 13.46 n.

31 :

The story which began with Jesus in Galilee (the Gospel of Luke) has now moved through Jerusalem to Rome, and, in the author's view, will continue to the ends of the earth ( 1.8 ). Although we would like to know the outcome of Paul's imprisonment, that information is not essential for the author's purpose. The author has had in mind a story that remains incomplete until the fulfillment of God's plan in the remote future. Meanwhile, disciples will be proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the facts about the Lord Jesus Christ.

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