Shipping in the Book of Acts

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Examines Shipping during the time of St.Paul, drawing on available data from his gospel. Thorough, Great Bibliography

Shipping in the Book of Acts

The account of St.Paul's ill-fated journey to Rome in the New Testament's Book of Acts provides some useful insights into shipping practices during the first century of the common era. In this paper, I intend to summarise the information and clues provided in the Book of Acts and present an overview of some of the basic interpretations of the relevant passages. It is important to understand that the Book of Acts is a continuation of the gospel according to Luke and any reference to him here is in his capacity as writer of the Book.

St. Paul, as a Roman prisoner, had been put in the charge of Julius, an officer in the 'Emperor's Regiment' who was to take the prisoners to Rome to see the Emperor.

At Caesarea, Julius had his prisoners board a ship from Adramyttium and they sailed overnight to Sidon. The next leg of their journey was more difficult as the winds were again against them. As such, they sailed the ship on the sheltered east side of the island of Cyprus, then west to Myra.

In Myra, Julius moved his prisoners to a boat from Alexandria which was bound for Italy. The first leg of their journey aboard this new ship was difficult as the winds were against them. It took several days to reach Cnidus. With the wind against them still, they were forced to sail south, hoping to take shelter behind the island of Crete. Keeping close to shore, they eventually arrived at Safe Harbours, on the southern coast of Crete. Here they stayed for several days and the Book of Acts notes that St. Paul advised against...