How long was
the Apostle Paul in prison?
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Question: How long was the Apostle Paul in prison?
Answer: Apostle Paul, as well as the other Apostles, were hated by most of the Jews because they openly and publically taught that Jesus was the Son of God. The Jews thought this was blasphemy against God and were more than willing to put them in prison.
Ironically, before his conversion, Paul persecuted and and put in prison many Christians. The Christians were afraid of Paul after his conversion because they didn't believe that he was converted. They remembered how he had treated their Christian brethren in the past. The more zealous a Jew was about their belief in God, the more they hated the Apostles. Consequently, the Apostles were persecuted and jailed more than most people.
"Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 'Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.' " (Acts 5:17-20, NKJV)
All the Apostles were beaten, put in prison, and eventually killed for their beliefs. Christ told them "no man is greater than his master" (John 13:16), and He also said, to paraphrase, "they would drink out of His cup." In both statements, He was telling them they would be persecuted and killed as He was. In God's Kingdom they will receive their rewards.
While the exact time and duration of when the Apostle Paul was in prison can vary depending on which commentary or reference work is used, one of the most recent studies in this area states:
- In Philippi, during his second missionary journey, he casts a demon out of a female slave. Her masters, angry that they have lost the ability to make money from the slave's divination, stir up the city. Paul and Silas are arrested, beaten and put in prison. It takes a miraculous earthquake to free them. (Acts 16:16-18)