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Acts 27:2

Acts 27:2 – (NIV) – “We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea (launched).  Aristarchus, a Macedonian [Greek] from Thessalonica, was with us.”

Note 4:

The starting point of the journey was the Harbor of Caesarea Maritima, which is on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. The harbor at Caesarea was constructed by Herod the Great, from about 25–13 BC and it is one of the greatest feats of engineering ever built by man.  Today, much of the ruins of Caesarea, still exist.  Today, a great deal of the harbor is available for visitors to see and they have three diving tours of the ruins.  There is a Hippodrome (horse and chariot stadium). Caesarea is a “must see” if you ever go to Israel.

Note 5:

Notice the NIV version states “We boarded a ship ‘from’ Adramyttium”. The phrase translated here as ‘from’ generally means that this was the home port of this vessel or the vessel “belongs’ to this port.  Adramyttium was a port city, with a good harbor on the NW coast of modern Turkey.  This statement implies that this was probably a trading vessel and went on a regular route up and down the coast.

We can glean some additional pieces of information from this verse.

First, the ship does not appear to be headed to Italy as it’s final destination.  It was “about to sail along [North – up] the coast”, They were likely involved in trade along the way and to winter in its home port of Adramyttium.

Second, it was “about to sail”. Later in the narrative, we learn it was late in the sailing season.  So it is possible that the immediate departure mentioned here may have been a consideration, at least to Julius, the centurion.  By sailing immediately he might be trying to avoid having to winter in some remote port or maybe even having to resort to land travel to complete the journey to Rome.

It is apparent that this group never planned to go to Adramyttium.  Once again it appears (to me at least) that when Luke mentions the home (and ultimate destination) of the ship again seems to be just a matter observation on his part.  It appears that he hears information and  simply writes down the information.  This is his writing style and how the narrative will develop.

Note 6:

Luke states “Aristarchus, a Macedonian [Greek] from Thessalonica, was with us”. Aristarchus, was an early Christian and is actually mentioned in a few other passages of the New Testament. He accompanied Paul on his third missionary journey. Along with Gaius, another Macedonian, Aristarchus was seized by the mob at Ephesus (Acts 19:29). Acts 20:4 tells us that Aristarchus returned with Paul from Greece to Asia.

At Caesarea, Aristarchus was placed on this ship with Paul.  Whether he traveled with Paul all the way to Rome is not recorded and some people contend that he left the ship at Myra. Whether he was a prisoner is also not known.  However, he is described as Paul’s “fellow prisoner” and “fellow laborer” in Colossians 4:10 and Philemon 1:24, respectively.  Aristarchus has no role in the later events of this story and he is not mentioned again in Acts 27.

Note 7:

In this passage we learn more about the pattern of Luke’s work. Remember, the pattern of a witness can determine if they are a reliable eyewitness and how much weight to place in their version of events.  In these passages Luke provides “extra” information that does not help develop any storyline.  In fact he adds information seems to detract from a main storyline.  However, he does show is a pattern of personal observation and writing style.

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