THE CHURCH IN ASIA MINOR AND EUROPE:
THE MISSIONARY JOURNEYS OF ST. PAUL 13,
1 -- 28, 31 (continued)
Imprisonment in Rome 27, 1 -- 28, 31
1-13: Departure for Rome. They sailed about the middle of August on a ship bound for Adrumythium, a port
on the west coast of Asia Minor not far from Troy. From there they could have crossed to Macedonia and proceeded along
the Egnatian Way to Dyrrachium and then across the Adriatic to Brundisium. The prevalent summer winds being from the
west, they sailed close to the east coast of Cyprus and then coasted along Asia Minor till they reached Myra, a quiet port
used by Egyptian grain ships when westerly gales prevented them from sailing directly across the Mediterranean to Italy.
From Myra they could creep along the coast, from island to island, and make Italy in about ten days. A ship from Alexandria
happened to be about to sail for Italy, and the centurion decided to take it and so save the long journey by land across
27, 14-26: A Storm. After
passing Cnidus they were beyond the shelter of the land and were caught by winds from the north which drove them in a southwesterly
direction toward Crete. It was only with difficulty that they managed to get past the headlands of Crete, but, this
danger over, they found shelter in the port of Good Havens on the southern side of the island. Progress had been slow,
they were already off their course, and the season for navigation was almost closed. St. Paul's suggestion that they
be content to winter there was overruled, and with a favorable breeze they set out for Phoenix, a more commodious harbor about
a day's sail along the Cretan coast. But soon they were caught by a gale from the east-northeast. After a fearful
run over twenty miles they got a little respite under the lee of Cauda and took advantage of it to haul in the long boat and
to undergird the ship by passing cables under the hull and drawing them tight with a windlass, a custom said to be still in
use among sailors caught in a storm that threatens to tear the ship asunder. With all sails lowered, the ship simply
drifted before the storm and they feared they would be carried toward the Syrtis of Africa, the terror of ancient seamen,
consisting of shifting sandbanks with strong currents that made destruction almost certain.
27, 27-44: Shipwreck. Breakers ahead gave warning of land, and they cast
anchors from the stern for fear of running on the rocks. They were off the northeastern shore of Malta and directly
before them they saw a small bay with a stretch of sandy beach on the far end on which they hoped to run the ship. But
at the northeast corner of the bay there was a strip of land separated from the mainland by a channel about a hundred yards
wide, and the current of this channel caught them on the starboard as they tried to sail into the bay. The ship struck
a shoal of clay, and the prow stuck fast while the stern was buffeted by the waves. Those who could swim were ordered
to leap off and, once ashore, to help rescue the others who were to save themselves as best they could by clinging to the
wreckage of the ship.
Rome 1 Now when it was decided that he should sail to Italy, and that Paul, with the other prisoners,
should be turned over to a centurion named Julius, of the Augustan cohort, 2 we went on board a ship of Adrumythium which
was bound for the ports of the province of Asia, and set sail; Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, being one of our
The next day we reached Sidon and Julius treated Paul kindly, allowing him to go to his friends and receive attention.
4 And putting to sea from there, we passed under the lee of Cyprus, as the winds were against us, 5 and sailing over the sea
that lies off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we reached Myra in Lycia. 6 There the centurion found a ship of Alexandria bound
for Italy and put us on board her.
7 For many days we made slow progress and had difficulty in arriving off Cnidus. Then as the wind
kept us from going on, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone, 8 and coasting along it with difficulty we came
to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Thalassa.
9* But as much time had been spent and navigation was now unsafe, for the Fast was already
over, Paul began to admonish them, 10 saying to them, "Men, I see that this voyage is threatening to bring disaster and heavy
loss, not only to the cargo and the ship, but to our lives also." 11 But the centurion gave more heed to the pilot and
the captain than to what Paul had to say; 12 and as the harbor was unsuitable for wintering in, the majority favored sailing
from there to try whether they could get to Phoenis, a harbor in Crete facing southwest and northwest, to winter there.
13 So when a light south wind sprang up, thinking they had secured their object, they weighed anchor and ran close along the
coast of Crete.
A Storm 14 But not long afterwards a violent wind called Euroaquilo burst against
it; and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way and were driven along. 16 We ran under
the lee of a small island called Cauda, where we managed with difficulty to secure the boat; 17 after hoisting it on board,
they used supports to undergird the ship, and as they were afraid of being driven on the Syrtis quicksands, they lowered the
mainsail and so were driven along. 18 As we were being tossed about by the violence of the storm, the next day they
threw some of the cargo overboard; 19 and on the third day with their own hands they threw the ship's gear overboard.
20 As neither sun nor stars were visible for many days and no small storm was raging, all hope of our being saved was in consequence
Then, when they had eaten nothing for a long time, Paul got up in the midst of them and said, "Men, you should indeed have
listened to me and not have sailed from Crete, thus sparing yourselves this disaster and loss. 22 And now I beg you
to be of good cheer, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For last night an angel of
the God I belong to and serve, stood by me, 24 saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; thou must stand before Caesar; and behold,
God has granted thee all who are sailing with thee.' 25 So, men, be of good cheer; for I have faith in God that it will
be as it has been told me. 26 But we are to reach a certain island."
Shipwreck 27 It was the fourteenth night, and we were sailing
in the Adria, when about midnight the sailors began to suspect that they were drawing near to some land. 28 On taking
soundings, they found twenty fathoms, and a little further on they found fifteen; 29 then fearing that we might go on the
rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and longed for daylight. 30 But as the sailors were trying to escape
from the ship and had lowered the boat into the sea, pretending that they were going to cast anchors from the bow, 31 Paul
said to the centurion and the soldiers, "Unless these men remain in the ship, you cannot be saved." 32 Then the soldiers
cut away the ropes of the boat and let her drift off.
33 And when it began to grow light, Paul begged them all to take food, saying, "This is the
fourteenth day that you have been constantly on the watch and fasting, without taking anything to eat. 34 So I beg you
to take some food for your safety; for not a hair from the head of any one of you shall perish." 35 With these words
he took bread and gave thanks to God before them all and broke it and began to eat. 36 Then all became more cheerful
and took food themselves. 37 Now, we were in all two hundred and seventy-six souls on board. 38 And after eating
their fill, they proceeded to lighten the ship by throwing the wheat into the sea.
39 When day broke they could not make out the
land; but they noticed a bay with a beach, and they proposed to run the ship ashore there if they could. 40 So they
slipped the anchors and committed themselves to the sea, at the same time unlashing the fastenings of the rudders; and hoisting
the foresail to the breeze, they made for the beach. 41 But we struck a place open to two seas, and they ran the ship
aground. The prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern began to break up under the violence of the sea.
42 Now the soldiers planned to kill the prisoners lest any of them should swim ashore and escape, 43 but the centurion, wishing
to save Paul, put a stop to their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land,
44 and they brought the rest in, some on planks and others on various pieces from the ship. And so it came to pass that
all got safely to land.
9: The Fast: of the Day of Atonement, about
September 15. Navigation was considered dangerous after the middle of September.