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Detailed Observation 1

Detailed Observation: Acts 26 - 27

General Materials: Narrative/History

Acts 27 – 28 summarizes Paul’s sea journey from Caesarea to Rome. After many

obstacles Paul arrives in Rome. While in Rome Paul preaches under Roman guard but “without

hindrance” for two years (Acts 28:30-31).

Specific Chapter Titles:

Chapter 27. The Tumultuous Journey To Rome.


Chapter 28. Arrival and Trial In Rome.

Outline: (Outline From My Acts Book Survey and Expanded.)

I. The Tumultuous Journey from Caesarea to Malta (27:1-44)


a. Almost smooth sailing and promise (27:1-8)
b. The Northeaster Strikes but God Assures (27:9-26)
c. Praying for daylight – finding Malta (27:27-44)
II. The Smooth Journey From Malta to Rome (28:1-31)
a. Friendly people, miracles and supply (28:1-10)
b. Safe Sea Journey to Rome (28:11-16)
c. Paul in Rome (28:17-31)

Structural Relationships:

Segment I:

Summarizes the first leg of Paul’s journey from Caesarea to Malta.

I.a. prepares the reader for I.b.


Key phrase of preparation in I.a., “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be
disastrous…” (Acts 27:10)

I.b. is the realization of I.a.

I.b. contrasts with I.a. and I.c.


I.a. shows smooth sailing up to a point
I.c. also shows smooth sailing (after the storm of I.c.)

I.b. also contains a pivot between the two segments. Paul encourages his shipmates to have
courage as he has heard from God and is assured of safe passage despite the current problems.
Detailed Observation 2

Questions: Why is the reader given such detail about these journeys? What insight does this
detail provide for the reader to understand Paul and the advancement of the church? What does
this imply about the character of God and His relationship to Paul? What is the significance of
the smooth journey being contrasted with the tumultuous? What significance does the pivot
serve: what is the difference before and after this point?

Segment II:

• Summarizes the second leg of the journey from Malta to Rome and the work of Paul in
Rome.
• This segment portrays a smooth sea journey and contrasts with Segment I, which portrays a
rather tumultuous sea journey.
• This segment repeats miracles: Paul and the viper (28:3-6) & Paul and Publius’s father being
healed (28:7-10).
• Segment II.c. is the climax

Questions: Why does Luke summarize this huge event in the history of the church? What is
implied about Paul and the work in Rome by this summary?

Other Literary Structures:

• Both segments repeat the idea of kindness shown to Paul.


o Julius (27:3)
o The islanders (28:2) and Publius (28:7)
• Both segments repeat the stopping at numerous seaports.
• Both segments show Paul being able to visit with other Christians (Acts 27:3 [Sidon] &
Acts 28:14 [Puteoli])
• There is a repeat of God using others to supply the needs of Paul (Acts 27:3 & 28:10)

Key Themes:

1. God’s assurance in the midst of problems.


2. The kindness of strangers and Christians.
3. Adversity is sometimes an avenue for miracles; and miracles are often used of God to
move people to compassion.
4. The will of God works itself out in the lives of His servants.

Literary Patterns and Structures of Acts as a Whole

Looking at the book of Acts as whole unit would lead me to conclude that there are two

primary structures at work. The first structure is preparation and realization. This can be noted

as follows:
Detailed Observation 3

• Acts 1:1 – 2:47 prepares the reader for Spirit empowered witness of the apostles to the

world.

• Acts 3:1 – 21:17 is the realization of what the apostles were prepared to do (in

accordance with Acts 1:8 commission)

• Acts 21:18 – 28:31 summarizes what one Christian leader must face because of his

commitment to be a part of that realization.

Contained within these segments are numerous summarizations by the author. These

summarizations provide both general and particular glimpses of how the plan of God is worked

out through the church. For example:

• Acts 2:1-4 summarizes the general outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost whereby the

church is empowered to accomplish Acts 1:8.

• Acts 3:1-26 summarizes a particular event (healing of lame man) in the life of Peter and

John as they go about accomplishing Acts 1:8.

• Acts 8:4-40 summarizes a particular event in the life of Phillip and illustrates the

expansion of the Gospel into Judea as Acts 1:8 is further realized.

• Acts 13:1 – 21:17 is a huge summation of the evangelistic journeys of Paul and the

expansion of the church into the “ends of the earth”. There are occasions where the

summaries are more detailed than others. Nevertheless, these summaries all connect back

to the realization of Acts 1:8.

These structures provide a historical narrative summarizing for the reader how the church

began and expanded. The overall theme of the book connects back to Acts 1:8 and the

commissioning of the church. From this point forward Luke is showing the reader how this

commission is fulfilled though various Christian leaders.


Detailed Observation 4

There are numerous implications within the segments of the book of Acts but we will

look at some implications on the whole. The reader cannot move away from the key verse of

Acts 1:8 and its implications on the actions of the church. Connecting this verse with the

remainder of the book implies:

• God has a plan for the church to evangelize the world.

• God’s plan may include persecution and hardships but His plan will be accomplished.

• God uses people (Christian or otherwise) to bring about the fulfillment of His plan.

• God has a message that correlates with His plan: repentance, baptism and Spirit infilling.

• God expects this message to be uncompromisingly communicated in a manner that is

culturally relevant.

• God provides the church with a multitude of supernatural gifts in order to accomplish His

plan (i.e. miracles, tongues, wisdom, etc.)

The modern church must also realize its connection with Acts 1:8 and apply the

implications listed above. Today’s church should be an extension of the one we read of in Acts.

The commission of Acts 1:8 is still relevant but must be applied in unique ways. That is, Acts

records the preaching of the Gospel up to Rome. We know that in history others carried the

Gospel to other places on the globe. Today the Gospel has been carried in general to all parts of

the world. As a church we must begin to recognize the need to take the Gospel into particular

segments of particular societies. There are countless people groups who have not been reached

with the Gospel. As the characters of Acts demonstrated there is a need to understand these

groups and relate the Gospel to them in a way that is appropriate.