Archive for September, 2010

Acts 27:37-38

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Acts 27:37

Altogether there were 276 of us on board.

Acts 27:38

When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.

Note 88: 276 Souls

When I discussed verse 27:30, I made a comment about the nautical tradition of calling people on board a ship “souls.”  This tradition comes from our English background. The King James version of 27:37 reads “And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.

Note 89: So just how big was this ship?

The placement of verse 37 has always seemed to me to be a very strange location in the text.  It just really seems to be randomly inserted.  I don’t now why Luke places it here rather than verse 1, or 6, or 44 or at any other point in his narrative.  But Luke places it here.  To me it just seems a little out of place in verse 37 and, for someone reading the bible for perhaps the first time, this verse may seem completely unimportant and not necessary in the text at all.  However, from a shipwreck narrative perspective, verse 37 provides critical information.  This ship was a grain carrier of the Alexandrian trade, a supertanker, and the larger it was the more special its design had to be.  The emphasis of this ships design was on the cargo of grain, not passengers.  It was the cargo that paid for the ship, the expenses of travel and of course any profit. The ship architects probably didn’t care about passengers, yet here we are told that, in addition to its grain cargo, it also carried 276 people.  It is much more difficult to design a ship to accommodate people as opposed to accommodating grain and grain doesn’t complain. A passenger count of 276 was a huge number of people especially when it was in addition to a cargo of grain; thus, the ship had to be quite large in order to accommodate all that it was carrying.  The USS Constitution, a ship that measured 175 ft (53 m) long and 43 ft 6 in (13.26 m) wide and about 45 feet from deck to Keel, carried nearly 500 people but absolutely no cargo other than necessary supplies.  It is interesting to note that the USS Constitution used nearly 60 acres of trees to build and had copper spikes and copper sheathing.  We can only speculate how big the Acts ship was, but to carry all the grain and 276 people it had to be very large.  With this in mind, this shipwreck hunter is very happy that Luke decided to include the passenger count in his narrative.

Note 90: They threw cargo overboard.

In verse 38 Luke informs us that the people on the ship ate “as much as they wanted” and then began throwing the remaining grain overboard.  Throwing cargo overboard to lighten a ship is a common practice during perilous times.  In fact, lightening the load was perhaps the only way to ensure that the most people survived and that the ship made it as close to shore as possible (since the closer the ship could get to dry land the more people would survive).  It is unclear if they dumped ALL the grain overboard or, if not all, exactly what percentage got tossed.  Nonetheless, lightening the cargo load of a ship is very common when an ordeal such as this begins.

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Acts 27:33-36

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Act 27:33

Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food-you haven’t eaten anything.

Act 27:34

Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.”

Act 27:35

After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.

Act 27:36

They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.

Note 82: Paul speaks one last time

Just before dawn, probably more dark than light, and still not light enough to start making the life critical decisions needed to prepare themselves for whatever lies ahead, Paul speaks one last time.  Regardless of your personal religious beliefs, it must be noted that Paul once again gives these people great survival advice, which is critical in their situation.  The encouragement he provides and example he sets are in the best tradition of compassion and leadership, especially in a nautical crisis.

Note 83: Paul points out the problem

The first thing Paul does is state the challenges they face, which will set the stage for the advice he is about to provide.  He reminds them of three important facts:

First, he reminds them how long they have been in peril: “For the last fourteen days.”  Second, he emphases the intensity of the stress they have been subjected to: “you have been in constant suspense…”  I’m sure everyone who is reading this has been under stress due to something during their lifetime.  Do you remember how draining that suspense or stress was on you physically and mentally?  Stress is terrible and it can be a killer. Here he tells them the stress they have thus far endured has been constant.  They have had no relief.  Third, Paul states the most important fact under these circumstances when he says, “you have gone without food – you haven’t eaten anything.”  Today, medical science can scientifically tell us why not eating causes a person to get sick, be weakened, and not perform to their very best. In a survival situation, lack of food and the resulting loss of energy and alertness can be a death sentence. Even if we didn’t know the scientific reasons why, we would still know that we need to eat to keep up our strength.  Keep in mind that eating now will not only help them survive the wreck, but may help them to survive once they make it to shore. This may be the only food they will get for days to come, even once they are safe on land.

Where ever they end up, feeding nearly 300 extra people will be a substantial task for the local native population.

Note 84: Paul urges them to take action

Paul tells them what to do about this situation: “Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” It is important to note here that these people have been on a violently tossing boat in terrible seas for two weeks and that most, if not all of them have been seasick the whole time.  They almost certainly haven’t wanted to eat and probably do not feel like eating right now.. I also find it interesting that here he tells them, “You will need it to survive.”  Earlier, Paul told them an angel had told him that God had graciously granted him all their lives. Now they need to eat in order to survive? Is this a contradiction?  I don’t think so.

Personal Note 85: Follow the plan

Let me illustrate with a couple of examples.  The first is a personal one. When I was a SCUBA instructor, I taught a couple of hundred people how to dive and dive safely.  I always told my students that the sport of diving was safe and that once they completed my course they would be safe divers.  I genuinely believed then, and still do today, that this was factual.  However, it was always understood by those students that they MUST listen to what I said, do what I told them to do, and do it the way I told them to do it. Even if I didn’t say all those words, they were implied in my promise to them that they would be safe. When I taught diving I could teach anybody to dive safely, but they had to follow through and then DO what they were taught.

Back in verse 23, 24, Paul told everyone on the ship that God promised Paul everyone would be saved….but he never said they would have no responsibility or task they would have to perform.  His promise placed on each individual the responsibility to do what they needed to do to be saved.

Need another example? If the authorities tell you there is a hurricane coming and you need to evacuate your home to save your life then you need to leave, and leave immediately.  Remember Katrina! Hundreds died. Why?  They died for the most part, because they wanted to do things their way. This is not an editorial comment, just a fact.  You always have some responsibility to save yourself.  So why would that rule be any different if it is a promise from God?

Note 86: Leadership

After telling them what they need to do to be saved, Paul then leads the way by following his own advice. Paul took some bread, then gave thanks to God in front of them all. Aside from the obvious need for a follower of Christ to pray and give thanks, the prayer was also an important act that needed to be done in front of non-believing pagans.  The prayer reminded them that Paul had said this was all controlled not by the ship owner, captain, crew, centurion, soldiers or even luck, but by the God that Paul served and to whom he belonged. Next, Paul simply took the bread, broke it, and began to eat it.

Note 87: I love it when a plan comes together

And Luke tells us in Acts 27:36, “They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.”

Enough said.

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Acts 27:31-32

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Act 27:31
Then Paul said to the Centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.”

Act 27:32
So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away.

Note 80: Paul speaks again

Once again Luke quotes Paul directly. This time, he is addressing the Centurion and the soldiers. It would not be normal for the soldiers to act without orders from the Centurion but it is apparent that they hear Paul’s comments at this point. I will condense Paul’s statement; “Unless….you cannot be saved.” It appears that once they learn of the crew’s plan, the soldiers waste no time in taking action. These passages are written in a way that appears to imply they moved quickly and without delay. Understandably so, based on Paul’s description of the consequences of the crew’s actions to the soldiers:  “…YOU cannot be saved.”

Note 81: Soldiers take the necessary action

Paul does not say why or from where he gets the information about the consequences of the sailors’ intended actions, but it is interesting to note that the soldiers seem to react based solely on Paul’s statements. Maybe they react because Paul has earned some credibility with the soldiers based on his previous statements and their eventual validation. Maybe they simply acted as you or I would have. Their reaction seems logical enough to me. Ask yourself the following question:  If you were on a ship, in a storm, for 14 solid days and nights, and the ship is now likely going to smash into the rocks, would YOU let the crew, off the ship? Not me and certainly not these soldiers. Their reaction may have been due to the combination of Paul’s track record and plain logic. At any rate, Paul probably gains more credibility with Julius and the soldiers by pointing out what the crew is about to do.

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Acts 27:30

September 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Act 27:30

In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow.

Note 77: Every man for himself

This verse is pretty clear and if you compare it with a modern day TV newscast this passage is quite believable.  Unfortunately, over the last decade reports of crews abandoning passengers during a ship’s sinking is very commonplace. It may be sickening to hear but it still happens today.   Remember the saying “Abandon ship, every man for himself.”  We think of these crew members as cowards, but to them their priority is save themselves first, while the responsibility of the passenger is to save themselves by any means possible.

In more modern times Bruce Ismay, the director of the White Star was aboard the Titanic the night she sank.  He survived, along with the other 705 survivors by getting into a lifeboat. For the rest of his life he was haunted by his actions.  He was harshly criticized for ‘abandoning’ the ship as she sank, which was done in an effort TO SAVE HIS LIFE.   We make heros of the band members who bravely stayed on deck, playing music for the remaining passengers and then went down with the ship.  Today we really have a different attitude toward crews who leave passengers, however it is what it is.

Personal Note 78: Look to your own soul

At 2:20 AM, on April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank and 1,517 souls were lost with her. The blame for this tragedy ranges from blaming Captain Edward Smith, to blaming Bruce Ismay, to the ship going too fast near icebergs, to the Irish steel used for building the hull, to man’s arrogance in thinking it was unsinkable. In the long run, it really doesn’t matter to the people who were lost that cold night. We believe the crew of the Titanic acted bravely. We often believe the crew in Acts 27:30 acted like cowards. They hatched a plan to save themselves in the small boat.

One thing I have learned from studying shipwrecks and life in general,  YOU are responsible for YOU – It is the decisions YOU make and the actions YOU take that ultimately determine whether you are numbered as a lost soul or a survivor.

Note 79: Using the small boat to lower anchors?

It was a common practice to use the ship’s boat to carry the anchor out away from the boat to give it wider spacing for an anchorage.  Remember, at this time the ship was now being held by the four anchors attached to the stern, however, in that postition means the ship it could still swing like a watch on a string. If they dropped one anchor from the right side of the bow and one off the left side of the bow then they could have a three point anchorage, which is more stable.  However, if they just dropped two anchors at the bow then those anchors would be side by side.  In this case a crew would lower the boat and move each anchor a distance away from the ship.  Once again Luke provides a key piece of nautical information that is accurate and key to our modern understanding.

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Acts 27:28-29

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Act 27:28

They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep.

Act 27:29

Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.

Note 69: soundings

The next actions taken by the crew was They took soundings”. Sailing ships carried lead sounding weights tied to long lines used to find out how deep the water was.  A sailor would throw the weight in front of the ship and let it quickly sink to the bottom.  As he brought it back up, he would measure the line with his arms, one full arm span, measured from tip to tip, equals about six feet or one fathom. This procedure would tell the captain how much water was beneath the hull.  Sometimes they took multiple soundings, off each side of the ship.  Sir Francis Drake became stranded once on a reef in the Pacific. Sounding on one side revealed six feet of water, yet from the other side, only about 40 feet away, they were unable to find the bottom.  Completely stuck on this reef, he jettisoned eight Bronze cannon to lighten his ship in an attempt to free his ship.

Note 70: Mark Twain

Remember Mark Twain our national treasure of a writer?  His real name was Samuel Clemens.  He took the name Mark Twain from his early days on River Boats.  As the lead sounding line was thrown over the side, many times the sailor’s report shouted to the captain would be,  “Mark Twain”, meaning two fathoms of water under the boat.  Clemens adopted Mark Twain for his name.

Note 71: finding the bottom

“They sailors found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep.” The Greek term was twenty orguias (about 37 meters) and the KJV translation (English) named it 20 fathoms ( the Royal British Navy used the term fathom). But regardless of the term there was 120 of water under the vessel, so the ship was actually safe from grounding at that moment.  But remember, they are still drifting along, pushed by the wind.  So the text says “a short time later they took soundings again.” This time they found the water was only ninety feet deep.  The bottom is coming up fast, meaning they are approaching land and it is happening fast. Now everyone on the ship starts to move more quickly.

Note 72: Fear is very motivating

Verse 29 says “Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks,” . It is still shortly after midnight and before daylight so the sailors would be unable to see any rocks.  I am unsure if the crew even knew there were actually rocks.  Perhaps they could hear the waves crashing on rocks but Luke’s writing says it was rocks they faced.  He says they were afraid of being dashed against the rocks.  This is the most common terminology used by sailors to state their fears, even if it does not describe the exact hazard they might be facing.   In this case, rocks are exactly the hazard these sailors are facing.

Note 73: Hit the brakes

Every person knows when driving a car and faced with a fast approaching danger, HIT THE BRAKES. That’s exactly what this crew did when “they dropped four anchors”. Sailing ships carry multiple anchors. We know this ship carried at least six and probably more. At this point they drop four anchors to stop the forward progress of the ship.  They would not have dropped all four at the same moment, so the ship would not have stopped immediately. I estimate they would also have to have had a minimum of 300 feet (probably 400 feet) of rope attached to each of these anchors. There is a ratio of line length to water depth required to get the anchors to hold the bottom.

Note 74: From the stern

Luke continues to help us understand events in Verse 29 when he states the anchors were dropped “from the stern”.  This is not the usual position for dropping anchors. Remember these ships are pointed on both ends. The bow was aiming north northwest (NNW) due to the tackle they have been dragging as a sea anchor giving the ship this heading (verse 17). They could drop the anchors in a manner that would catch and hold the ship and cause the bow of the ship to swing around from NNW to a westerly direction.  They would then be facing the land they have been rapidly approaching.  By actually facing the island, they would gain more control for steering the ship.  But for now at least the anchors have caused the ship to stop it’s rush toward the rocks of the island.

Note 75: alone in the dark

Luke finishes his narration about the sudden flurry of movement by the crew to save the ship saying “they prayed for daylight”. Sooner or later everybody prays.  Christian, Jew, pagan or atheist, sooner or later everybody prays.

Note 76: Details

Notice the details that Luke could have left out of the narrative and still told a complete account. How deep the water was, how many anchors were dropped, from which part of the ship they were dropped. He continues to add details that help us understand the fullness of the events and actions of the crew.  Through his choice of words we can verify not only what happened, but figure out why they reacted as they did.

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Acts 27: 27

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Act 27:27

On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land.

Note 63: Time Gap

“On the fourteenth night…” Luke’s narrative now skips to the fourteenth night of the journey.  This ‘fast forward’ of the account is not unusual to this story or other eyewitness accounts.  Often eyewitness accounts will skip across long time periods where nothing dramatic changed in their circumstances.  The length of time is also credible since it is more than 460 nautical miles from Caudia to the shores of Malta.

Note 64: Adriatic Sea:

“…we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea,” Some debate has occurred over the years about the location of the Adriatic Sea. In the first century the Adriatic Sea extended all the way down to Malta and over to Sicily back across to Crete. The map shows the modern area meant by the term.

Note 65: Land

“when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. My parents always told me that nothing good ever happens after midnight.  I have passed that wisdom on to my kids as well.  Well it’s now midnight.  This is a good news and bad news situation. Yeah! land… Oh no! land.  Land is really their only rescue, but at midnight land is also the biggest threat to their lives. Wooden ships on rocks are not a good combination, and the darkness gives them no time to react to hidden dangers.

Note 66: the sailors sensed danger

Here once again Luke’s narration is invaluable to understanding what is really happening.  First notice he has distinguished who is involved, the sailors.  Only the sailors notice or sense something has changed.  The sailors sense danger.  Notice he did not say they heard something, but they sensed something. Presumably they sensed some unknown danger of rocks or surf or something they could not yet identify.  I Personally have seen sailors do this very thing. It is remarkable when you see it happen. But, notice Luke did not sense anything nor did anyone else.  From this we can deduce that it was not a noise that alerted the sailors (or else Luke and the others on the boat would have been aware of the danger) but rather something else sensed only by the sailors.

Note 67: Personal Note, the Flower Gardens

Once when I was a younger man I was on a trip in Texas and was invited to dive a place called the Flower Gardens in the Gulf of Mexico with a dive shop from Houston.  The Flower Gardens are over 110 miles off the Texas coast and the northern most coral reef in the US.  One of the most unusual places on Earth to dive, but it requires a long boat ride to get there.  The overnight trip is generally made on larger dive boats, which leave at night for the long voyage so everyone can sleep.  In those days we did not have GPS, and it wasn’t that long ago.  We do have a depth finder, and there is no danger of hitting the bottom, but there is a chance of missing the dive spot entirely. There are no land marks, and we are traveling at night. On this trip the first mate was running the boat and I was talking to him when suddenly the captain who had been sleeping suddenly burst into the wheel house hollering “didn’t you feel that?” I had no clue and from the look on his face neither did the first mate, who was dumb enough to answer with “what?” The old captain responded “the bottom came up”.  Sure enough in just a moment we could see on the depth finder the bottom rise sharply.  The sleeping captain was awakened by something he sensed. Maybe tiny change in vibrations, sounds, or pressure, or the rolling of the waves I’m not sure what he sensed, he just sensed there was a change and it was time to act.

Note 68: Luke

The sailors on Paul’s ship knew something was changing and in Luke’s narrative his word choice describes the scene perfectly, PERFECTLY.  I can’t say it enough – Luke’s eyewitness account tells us far more than meets the eye or any ordinary writer could provide us with.  The next few verses tell us what the crew did next and how things progress from here.  Things are about to hit the fan!

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Acts 27:21-26

September 2, 2010 2 comments

Acts 27:21- (NIV)

After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.

Acts 27:22 – (NIV)

But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.

Acts 27:23 – (NIV)

Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me

Acts 27:24 – (NIV)

and said, “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.”

Acts 27:25 – (NIV)

So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.

Acts 27:26 – (NIV)

Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”

Note 56: It’s been a long trip

The sequence starts by telling us “After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said”. This brief opening sentence is packed with a great deal of unstated facts.  Everyone on board has been beat up, they are fatigued and afraid they are going to die.  Many are seasick! Once you experience the onset of seasickness, everything deteriorates very quickly.  If the condition last for more than an hour, you think you are going to die and are thinking that is a good alternative. You will not eat! You will revisit what you have eaten, often multiple times.  It is politely called feeding the fish.  If you have never experienced seasickness for an extended time you need to, at least once but only once. I am using humor to tell those unacquainted with this when you get it, you really want to die, I mean REALLY WANT TO.  The other problem created by extended seasickness is fatigue and loss of strength.

Note 57: “You should have listened to me the first time”

During this voyage Luke records Paul speaking to the others on the ship several times. In verse 21 he addresses everyone for the second recorded time during this voyage. Back in verse 10, Paul warned them not to sail, which they summarily ignored.  In that verse he said they would lose ship, cargo and life. It is important that Paul reminds them here they should have listened to him earlier.  His comment here (besides being irritating to those who overruled him the first time) serves to strengthen what he is

about to say and gives it more weight for their consideration.   The reminder here only helps build his credibility.

Note 58: Paul’s bold statements

Paul’s comments contain four major points. He tells them WHAT they should do, next WHY they should do it, he tells them what AUTHORITY is behind his comments, and finally he declares to them the logical CONCLUSION they should make based on the facts he has just given them, “so keep up your courage.”

1). The WHAT;  “I urge you to keep up your courage”

2). The WHY;  “because not one of you will be lost”

3). The AUTHORITY;  “Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’

Notice, Paul starts the statement with the same instructions given to him personally that he now passes on to the others, “do not be afraid.”.  I’m sure the  reason it was addressed to him personally, because he was afraid.

Next Paul continues to quote this angel messenger, (this is my paraphrase) Paul, your fate has been decided and you MUST stand trial.  This declaration has nothing to do with anyone else on the vessel, including Luke. It reminds Paul he will be saved so he can go before Caesar. Then the angel adds this (again my paraphrase) God, who will deliver Paul to stand trial, also has given the lives of everyone else on this vessel to Paul.

4). The CONCLUSION:   “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”  Notice Paul started his address to everyone in verse 22, with “I urge you…” a personal request.  This time he starts by saying “SO (after hearing what My God says) take courage.”  By using the term “So” this time he is basing the request on the evidence he was shown and the conclusion they should now draw from that evidence.

Paul’s encouraging words are meant to change their minds, their attitudes and their future actions.  These people are in a desperate situation where loss of their life is probable.  They have given up ALL HOPE of surviving.  These words are meant to encourage them and tell them they will survive.

Note 59: Paul’s Leadership

Paul shows real leadership by speaking to these people at this time. These statements are made so those around him can regain their hope and courage, and he gives them a reason for hope. He tells them they will not die. He tells them to take courage, DON’T BE AFRAID. Whether or not one is a Christian or believes that Paul was an inspired Apostle, he must be given credit as a leader. This statement is exactly what these folks needed at that moment.

If this were John Paul Jones, David Farragut, Sir Francis Drake or Admiral Nelson, or any other heroic figure from history, we would accept the testimony at face value. Why would we do that?.   Because we believe the testimony of the witnesses of their events. But because this testimony is recorded in the Bible some people refuse to believe this as credible testimony.

Note 60: Luke as a witness.

Let’s examine what we know about Luke as an eyewitness. So far our every sentence recorded by Luke has been detailed and believable. Luke has proven to be accurate and precise in his language and his observations. He is as consistent with his writing as other survivor accounts from recorded history.  In this dialog as well, Luke appears to be simply recording what Paul said.  There is no need to doubt whether Luke actually heard Paul say these things.  Since Luke has already stated that he had given up all hope, along with everyone else, he probably paid very close attention to what Paul said.  I can find no reason to doubt Luke’s eyewitness account of this portion of events.

Note 61: Do you believe Paul?

Believing that Luke wrote of what Paul said is an easy conclusion.  Believing Paul said it is also an easy decision since it is quite consistent with Paul’s testimony about God in other circumstances during his lifetime.  Believing Paul is the part where people have difficulty.  Aside from the tremendous leadership Paul provides to this situation he has made some pretty bold claims.  He said there is a God, to whom Paul belongs (a slave term) and that he serves (Paul does as his God commands him to do).  Paul’s God sent an angel (a messenger), who stood beside Paul the night before to confirm to Paul that the mission was from God, and that in order to fulfill God’s mission for Paul to stand trial, Paul must survive. This Messenger then tells Paul that the lives of everyone else on the ship have been (graciously) granted to Paul. Paul must have specifically asked God (through prayer) that they all be rescued.

Remember back in verse 10, Paul actually said “I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also. Here, he reverses his earlier comment and now informs them that God would spare their lives.

Some people doubt what Paul said is factual.  Some people doubt because the account appears in the Bible and they have made up their minds that the Bible can’t possibly be true.  The claims Paul made were apparently made in front of everyone.  One thing is certain, no one on this ship will have to wait very long to see if Paul’s words are true or false.  He said that no one on the ship will die, but the ship itself will be wrecked on some island.  I’m sure they were all clinging to the hope that his words and the God he declares are true.

Note 62: Luke’s reliability

Remember, the purpose of this analysis is to examine the reliability of Luke as an eyewitness of this voyage and shipwreck.  In that regard, once again his narration about the voyage continues to follow a logical sequence of events and Paul’s speaking to everyone seems perfectly plausible.  From this point forward, the account will quickly move to the ultimate fate of the ship and those on board who will test  the hope offered by Paul.

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