Acts 28: House Arrest

After they reached shore, why would it have been important to account for everyone?

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Acts 28:1 After all 276 had been accounted for, they learned that they were on the island Malta.
King James
Acts 28:1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.

Why do you think the prisoners didn’t try to escape?

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Acts 28:2 The natives showed them great kindness by starting a fire to provide relief from the cold and the rain.
King James
Acts 28:2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.

What would have motivated the natives to show kindness to the storm’s victims?

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Acts 28:2 The natives showed them great kindness by starting a fire to provide relief from the cold and the rain.
King James
Acts 28:2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.

Considering all that Paul had done in ministry, why do you think God didn’t protect him from being bitten by the poisonous snake?

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Acts 28:3 Paul gathered an armload of wood, but when he laid the sticks on the fire, a poisonous snake leaped out from the flames and sank its fangs into his hand.
King James
Acts 28:3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.

When the natives saw what happened to Paul, why did they think he must be guilty of some terrible crime?

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Acts 28:4 When the natives saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt, this man is a murderer. He escaped the storm, but justice has not allowed him to live.”
King James
Acts 28:4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.

Why might Paul have been unconcerned about the snake bite?

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Acts 28:5 Paul shook his hand to drop the snake into the fire as if the bite was of no concern to him at all.
King James
Acts 28:5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.

Why did the natives jump from one wrong conclusion about Paul to another?

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Acts 28:6 The natives expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after watching him for a long time and seeing no effect from the snake’s venom, they changed their minds about him, saying he must be a god.
King James
Acts 28:6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

If Paul became aware of what the natives were thinking, what might he have said to them?

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Acts 14:14 When Paul and Barnabas understood what the people intended, they tore their clothes in grief, ran through the procession, and shouted,
14:15 “You shouldn’t be doing this. We are ordinary men, no different from you. Listen to our message, forsake this liturgy, and give your hearts to the living God, who made the earth, sea, sky, and every living thing.”
28:6 The natives expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after watching him for a long time and seeing no effect from the snake’s venom, they changed their minds about him, saying he must be a god.
King James
Acts 14:14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.
28:6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

With Paul being a prisoner, by what arrangement could he and his companions have been allowed to lodge with the chief official on the island and minister to those in need?

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Acts 28:7 The properties of the island’s chief official, Publius, were nearby. He graciously invited Paul, Luke, and others into his home, and they stayed with him for three days.
28:8 At that time, Publius’s father was sick with a fever and dysentery. Paul went to see him, laid his hands upon him, and he was healed.
28:9 After other sick people on the island heard what had happened, they came to him and were healed.
28:10 So Paul and his company were treated like kings and were given all that they needed when it was time to leave
28:11 after three months, on another Alexandrian ship that had docked at Malta for the winter, bearing the images of the twin gods Castor and Pollux.
King James
Acts 28:7 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.
28:8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.
28:9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
28:10 Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.
28:11 And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.

What might Paul have done while in Syracuse for three days?

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Acts 28:12 Their next stop was Syracuse, where they stayed for three days.
King James
Acts 28:12 And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days.

How would the Christians at Puteoli have learned about Paul’s arrival?

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Acts 28:13 From there, they skirted the coast to Rhegium, where they waited a day until they were favored with a south wind. On the next day, they arrived at Puteoli
28:14 where followers of Jesus begged Paul and the others to spend the week with them before going on to Rome.
King James
Acts 28:13 And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli:
28:14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.

While Paul and others were spending time in ministry, what do you think Captain Julius and other prisoners were doing?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 28:13 From there, they skirted the coast to Rhegium, where they waited a day until they were favored with a south wind. On the next day, they arrived at Puteoli
28:14 where followers of Jesus begged Paul and the others to spend the week with them before going on to Rome.
28:15 More believers heard about Paul and met him on the Appian Way—at the Forum and the three inns. He was glad to see them and thanked God for their encouragement.
King James
Acts 28:13 And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli:
28:14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.
28:15 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.

In Rome, why wasn’t Paul delivered to the authorities and treated like the other prisoners?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 28:16 When they arrived in Rome, Captain Julius delivered the other prisoners to the authorities, but Paul was allowed to live in a house guarded by only one soldier.
King James
Acts 28:16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.

Why are we first told about Paul reaching out to the Jews in Rome and not foreign unbelievers or followers of Jesus?

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Acts 28:17 Three days later, Paul called the Jewish leaders to meet with him. “My friends,” he said, “I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, yet I was taken captive in Jerusalem, and I was turned over to the Roman authorities.
King James
Acts 28:17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.

What might the Jews have thought about Paul’s unusual treatment by the Roman authorities?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 28:18 Before the court, after hearing my accusers and considering my defense, the Roman judges wanted to release me, for I had done nothing worthy of a death sentence.
28:19 But when the Jews protested, I felt it necessary to appeal to Caesar, even though I have no desire to bring charges against my own people.
28:20 I asked to see you so I could tell you how I have been imprisoned for the hope of Israel—the Messiah.
King James
Acts 28:18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.
28:19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
28:20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.

Why might we think Paul told these Jews about his experience on the way to Damascus?

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Acts 28:21 “We have received no letter from Judea concerning you,” they said. “None of our fellow-Jews here have anything negative to say about you.”
King James
Acts 28:21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.

Among whom and for what reasons would the followers of Jesus have been denounced?

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Acts 28:22 But we would like to hear what you believe about these followers of Jesus, because we know that movement is denounced everywhere.
King James
Acts 28:22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.

Why would these Jews be interested in hearing more about Jesus?

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Acts 28:23 They set a day to meet again and brought many more to Paul’s house to hear him tell his story and speak at great length concerning the Kingdom of God. From morning until evening, he reasoned with them, trying to convince them that the Law of Moses and the prophets were fulfilled in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
King James
Acts 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.

Since everyone heard the same message, why do you think some Jews believed but others didn’t?

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Acts 28:24 Some of them believed, but others did not.
King James
Acts 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

In what way could Isaiah’s condemnation have any value in encouraging Jews to accept the truth about Jesus Christ?

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Acts 28:25 Unable to settle the dispute among themselves, they were about to leave when Paul said, “The prophet Isaiah was right when he spoke to our ancestors by the Holy Spirit,
28:26 saying, The Lord said to deliver this message to the people: You listen but do not understand. You see but have no recognition.
28:27 Harden the hearts of these people and close their ears and cover their eyes so they will not see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts and be forced to turn to me and be healed.
28:28 I want you to know that the Jews have had their chance, and now the nations are given an opportunity to hear and believe.”
28:29 That said, the Jews left, still disputing among themselves.
King James
Acts 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
28:29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

If Paul was under house arrest for the next two years, how might the rent have been paid?

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Acts 28:30 For the next two years, Paul lived in his own rented house, where he welcomed visitors all the time.
King James
Acts 28:30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him.

Why is it so difficult to dispute the validity of Paul’s own personal-experience story?

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Acts 28:31 He boldly proclaimed the Kingdom of God, teaching everyone about the Lord Jesus Christ. He told his stories and shared his convictions with such honesty and clarity that nobody dared say he didn’t know the one he was talking about.
King James
Acts 28:31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.