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Background to Acts 27

The Background of the Voyage

The first step in the hunt for any shipwreck is to do as much research as possible, in as many research papers as possible.  You must dig through ALL available information and documents.  In this case, that means this search must start with the Bible.  Our research for the historical accuracy of this wreck will not end with reading the bible, but that is where we find all the basics that make up this case study.

The details concerning this shipwreck are found in the Bible, in the Book of Acts.  Most experts conclude that Luke, a physician, a companion and fellow worker with Paul, was the writer of both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.

The Apostle Paul was arrested and spent two years in prison in Caesarea, which is on the Mediterranean coast of Israel.  The Apostle Paul had been accused of crimes by the Jewish leaders and was put on trial before the Governor, Festus and visiting King Agrippa.  During his trial, Paul demanded his right, as a Roman citizen, to be tried by Caesar. Festus agreed and sent Paul to Rome to stand trial.  That brings us to Acts 27

Acts 27

The details of the voyage, which took Paul and Luke to Rome, start in Acts 27.  The group of soldiers and prisoners were under the command of a Roman centurion named Julius.  They set sail from Caesarea and made a couple of stops before they landed at Myra in Lycia.  Here they boarded a second ship, an Alexandrian Ship, bound for Rome.  Beginning in Acts 27:6 the text starts to lay out the details of the voyage and the sinking.  They were sailing late in the sailing season and very soon the ship and the 276 people on board were all caught up in a great storm (much like a very large Hurricane, blowing out of the East-Northeast).  They fought the storm, but soon gave up all hope of rescue and the ship was driven across the Mediterranean Sea.

Fourteen days later the ship would be driven aground and wrecked on a remote island in the Mediterranean. However, everyone on board was saved and managed to get safely on shore.  After three months, Paul and Luke would continue the journey to Rome where Paul was eventually tried before Caesar and ultimately put to death.  Of course, I have left out most of the details in this overview, but I promise we will review them in a future post.

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