Late Winter 61 A.D. to Early Spring 63 A.D.
Prisoner in Rome
Although Paul is a prisoner, he is allowed in Rome to live by himself guarded only by a Roman soldier (Acts 28:16). He is able to receive visitors and continues to preach of the Gospel (Acts 28:17-31). He also has the opportunity to speak with Jewish religious leaders in Rome (Acts 28:17-29).
Spring 63 A.D.
Acquittal and freedom
In Rome the apostle is acquitted of the charges against him and is set free. He sails from Rome to the island of Crete in order to meet with Titus (Titus 1:5).
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The emblem of the Roman Empire was a red banner with the letters S-P-Q-R in gold letters. The letters were surrounded by a gold wreath hung on a military standard topped by a Roman eagle or an image of the goddess Victoria made of silver or bronze.
The letters SPQR stood for 'Senatus Populusque Romanus' which means: The Senate and People of Rome.
Travel to Nicopolis
Paul leaves Titus in Crete (Titus 1:5) and sails to Nicopolis in Macedonia (Titus 3:12). From Nicopolis he writes the New Testament books of 1Timothy and Titus.
In 117 A.D. the Roman Empire reached its peak of power
when Emperor Trajan conquered Dacia. In that year Rome's influence spanned 2.5 million square miles (6.5 million square kilometers) of territory under its control.
Surprisingly, Rome ranks only as the sixteenth largest world empire in terms of total land controlled. It is considered the third largest and most powerful of the ancient empires, taking its place behind the first place Persian and second place Han empires.
At the time of Jesus it is believed the empire had a total population of 60 million and an estimated population at its height of 88 million.
63 A.D. to 67 A.D.
The last missionary trip begins
Paul continues his mission of spreading the gospel by traveling to Spain. In the winter of 57 A.D. He writes to the church at Rome regarding his planned travel to this part of the empire:
Marble bust of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor | || |
"For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, WHENEVER I JOURNEY TO SPAIN, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.
"But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. . . . Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you (the city of Rome) TO SPAIN. " (Romans 15:22-25, 28, NKJV)
There is also evidence, though not conclusive, that Paul also preached the gospel in Britain (Britannia).
Back in a Roman prison
Paul is back in a prison in Rome. While prisoner he writes the book of 2Timothy. This letter to his close friend, traveling companion and fellow laborer in spreading the gospel would be his last epistle.
The Roman state (in one form or another) existed from
753 B.C. to 1453 A.D., a time span of more than 2,200 years!
The Apostle Paul dies
Paul is put to death by beheading, under Roman Emperor Nero, around May or June of 68 A.D. His death occurs just before Nero's suicide on June 9, 68 A.D. in Greece. At the time of his martyrdom he was about sixty-six (66) years old.
Nero is the first emperor of the Roman Empire to actively persecute and kill Christians. Rome will carry out at least TEN major efforts to exterminate Christians and expunge Christianity from the empire. The persecutions first start under Nero in 67 A.D. and continue until 313 A.D., when Emperor Constantine's Edict of Milan legalizes Christianity and ends Rome's persecutions.
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Paul's impact on Christianity is ENORMOUS. During his ministry he writes FOURTEEN epistles that become part of the Bible, almost TRIPLE that of any other writer. He conducts at least FIVE missionary journeys that take him to Asia Minor, Syria, Greece, Italy, Spain, Britain and elsewhere. He evangelizes countless cities and helps train others to do so (like Timothy) as well. During his service to God, however, he also spends at least five total years in prison, is whipped and beaten several times, survives a stoning and endures being shipwrecked in the Mediterranean. Remaining faithful to the very end he truly was a remarkable man of God!