Paul and Company Sail for Rome
1 When it was decided we#sn The last “we” section in Acts begins here and extends to 28:16 (the previous one ended at 21:18). would sail to Italy,#sn Sail to Italy. This voyage with its difficulty serves to show how God protected Paul on his long journey to Rome. From the perspective of someone in Palestine, this may well picture “the end of the earth” quite literally (cf. Acts 1:8). they handed over Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion#sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1. of the Augustan Cohort#tn According to BDAG 917 s.v. σεβαστός, “In σπεῖρα Σεβαστή 27:1 (cp. OGI 421) Σεβαστή is likew. an exact transl. of Lat. Augusta, an honorary title freq. given to auxiliary troops (Ptolem. renders it Σεβαστή in connection w. three legions that bore it: 2, 3, 30; 2, 9, 18; 4, 3, 30) imperial cohort.” According to W. Foerster (TDNT 7:175), “In Ac. 27:1 the σπεῖρα Σεβαστή is an expression also found elsewhere for ‘auxiliary troops.’” In no case would this refer to a special imperial bodyguard, and to translate “imperial regiment” or “imperial cohort” might give this impression. There is some archaeological evidence for a Cohors Augusta I stationed in Syria during the time of Augustus, but whether this is the same unit is very debatable.sn The Augustan Cohort. A cohort was a Roman military unit of about 600 soldiers, one-tenth of a legion. There is considerable debate over the identification of this particular cohort and the meaning of the title Augustan mentioned here. These may well have been auxiliary (provincial) troops given the honorary title. named Julius. 2 We went on board#tn Grk “Going on board.” The participle ἐπιβάντες (epibante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. a ship from Adramyttium#sn Adramyttium was a seaport in Mysia on the western coast of Asia Minor. that was about to sail to various ports#tn Grk “places.” along the coast of the province of Asia#tn Grk “Asia”; in the NT this always refers to the Roman province of Asia, made up of about one-third of the west and southwest end of modern Asia Minor. Asia lay to the west of the region of Phrygia and Galatia. The words “the province of” are supplied to indicate to the modern reader that this does not refer to the continent of Asia. and put out to sea,#tn BDAG 62 s.v. ἀνάγω 4 states, “as a nautical t.t. (ἀ. τὴν ναῦν put a ship to sea), mid. or pass. ἀνάγεσθαι to begin to go by boat, put out to sea.”sn Although not explicitly stated, the ship put out to sea from the port of Caesarea (where the previous events had taken place (cf. 25:13) and then sailed along the Asiatic coast (the first stop was Sidon, v. 3). accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian#sn A Macedonian. The city of Thessalonica (modern Salonica) was in the Roman province of Macedonia in Greece. from Thessalonica.#map For location see JP1-C1; JP2-C1; JP3-C1; JP4-C1. 3 The next day we put in#tn BDAG 516 s.v. κατάγω states, “Hence the pass., in act. sense, of ships and seafarers put in εἴς τι at a harbor…εἰς Σιδῶνα Ac 27:3.” at Sidon,#sn Sidon is another seaport 75 mi (120 km) north of Caesarea.map For location see Map1-A1; JP3-F3; JP4-F3. and Julius, treating Paul kindly,#tn BDAG 1056 s.v. φιλανθρώπως states, “benevolently, kindly φιλανθρώπως χρῆσθαί (τινι) treat someone in kindly fashion…Ac 27:3.”sn Treating Paul kindly. Paul’s treatment followed the pattern of the earlier imprisonment (cf. Acts 24:23). allowed him to go to his friends so they could provide him with what he needed.#tn Grk “to go to his friends to be cared for.” The scene is an indication of Christian hospitality. 4 From there we put out to sea#tn Grk “putting out to sea.” The participle ἀναχθέντες (anacqente") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. BDAG 62 s.v. ἀνάγω 4 states, “as a nautical t.t. (ἀ. τὴν ναῦν put a ship to sea), mid. or pass. ἀνάγεσθαι to begin to go by boat, put out to sea.” and sailed under the lee#tn BDAG 1040 s.v. ὑποπλέω states, “sail under the lee of an island, i.e. in such a way that the island protects the ship fr. the wind Ac 27:4, 7.” Thus they were east and north of the island. of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 5 After we had sailed across the open sea#tn Grk “the depths,” the deep area of a sea far enough from land that it is not protected by the coast (L&N 1.73). off Cilicia and Pamphylia,#sn Pamphylia was a province in the southern part of Asia Minor; it was west of Cilicia (see BDAG 753 s.v. Παμφυλία). we put in#tn BDAG 531 s.v. κατέρχομαι 2 states, “Of ships and those who sail in them, who ‘come down’ fr. the ‘high seas’: arrive, put in…ἔις τι at someth. a harbor 18:22; 21:3; 27:5.” at Myra#sn Myra was a city on the southern coast of Lycia in Asia Minor. This journey from Sidon (v. 3) was 440 mi (700 km) and took about 15 days. in Lycia.#sn Lycia was the name of a peninsula on the southern coast of Asia Minor between Caria and Pamphylia. 6 There the centurion#sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1. found#tn Grk “finding.” The participle εὑρών (Jeurwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. a ship from Alexandria#sn Alexandria (modern Alexandria) was a great city of northern Egypt which was a center for grain trade to Rome. Therefore this type of travel connection was common at the time. For a winter journey (considered hazardous) there were special bonuses and insurance provided (Suetonius, Life of Claudius 18.1-2). sailing for Italy, and he put us aboard it. 7 We sailed slowly#tn The participle βραδυπλοοῦντες (braduploounte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. for many days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus.#sn Cnidus was the name of a peninsula on the southwestern coast of Asia Minor. This was about 130 mi (210 km) from Myra. Because the wind prevented us from going any farther,#tn This genitive absolute construction with προσεῶντος (prosewnto") has been translated as a causal adverbial participle. L&N 13.139 translates the phrase μὴ προσεῶντος ἡμᾶς τοῦ ἀνέμου (mh prosewnto" Jhma" tou anemou) as “the wind would not let us go any farther.” we sailed under the lee#tn BDAG 1040 s.v. ὑποπλέω states, “sail under the lee of an island, i.e. in such a way that the island protects the ship fr. the wind Ac 27:4, 7.” of Crete off Salmone.#sn Salmone was the name of a promontory on the northeastern corner of the island of Crete. This was about 100 mi (160 km) farther along. 8 With difficulty we sailed along the coast#tn Grk “sailing along the coast…we came.” The participle παραλεγόμενοι (paralegomenoi) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. L&N 54.8, “παραλέγομαι: (a technical, nautical term) to sail along beside some object – ‘to sail along the coast, to sail along the shore.’ …‘they sailed along the coast of Crete’ Ac 27:13.” of Crete#tn Grk “it”; the referent (Crete) has been supplied in the translation for clarity. and came to a place called Fair Havens that was near the town of Lasea.#sn Lasea was a city on the southern coast of the island of Crete. This was about 60 mi (96 km) farther.
Caught in a Violent Storm
9 Since considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous#tn Or “unsafe” (BDAG 383 s.v. ἐπισφαλής). The term is a NT hapax legomenon. because the fast#sn The fast refers to the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It was now into October and the dangerous winter winds would soon occur (Suetonius, Life of Claudius 18; Josephus, J. W. 1.14.2-3 [1.279-281]). was already over,#tn The accusative articular infinitive παρεληλυθέναι (parelhluqenai) after the preposition διά (dia) is causal. BDAG 776 s.v. παρέρχομαι 2 has “διὰ τὸ τὴν νηστείαν ἤδη παρεληλυθέναι because the fast was already over Ac 27:9.” Paul advised them,#tn Grk “Paul advised, saying to them.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in English and has not been translated. On the term translated “advised,” see BDAG 764 s.v. παραινέω, which usually refers to recommendations.sn Paul advised them. A literary theme surfaces here: Though Paul is under arrest, he will be the one to guide them all through the dangers of the storm and shipwreck, showing clearly God’s presence and protection of him. The story is told in great detail. This literary effect of slowing down the passage of time and narrating with many details serves to add a sense of drama to the events described. 10 “Men, I can see the voyage is going to end#tn Grk “is going to be with disaster.” in disaster#tn Or “hardship,” “damage.” BDAG 1022 s.v. ὕβρις 3 states, “fig. hardship, disaster, damage caused by the elements…w. ζημία Ac 27:10.” and great loss not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.”#tn Grk “souls” (here, one’s physical life). 11 But the centurion#sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1. was more convinced#tn Or “persuaded.” by the captain#tn BDAG 456 s.v. κυβερνήτης 1 has “one who is responsible for the management of a ship, shipmaster…W. ναύκληρος, the ‘shipowner’…Ac 27:11” See further L. Casson, Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World, 316-18. and the ship’s owner than by what Paul said.#tn Grk “than by what was said by Paul.” The passive construction has been converted to an active one to simplify the translation.sn More convinced by the captain and the ship’s owner than by what Paul said. The position taken by the centurion was logical, since he was following “professional” advice. But this was not a normal voyage. 12 Because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided#tn BDAG 181-82 s.v. βουλή 2.a, “β. τίθεσθαι (Judg 19:30; Ps 12:3) decide 27:12 (w. inf. foll.).” to put out to sea#tn BDAG 62 s.v. ἀνάγω 4, “as a nautical t.t. (ἀ. τὴν ναῦν put a ship to sea), mid. or pass. ἀνάγεσθαι to begin to go by boat, put out to sea.” from there. They hoped that#tn Grk “from there, if somehow” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was begun here in the translation and the introductory phrase “They hoped that” supplied (with the subject, “they,” repeated from the previous clause) to make a complete English sentence. somehow they could reach#tn Grk “if somehow, reaching Phoenix, they could…” The participle καταντήσαντες (katanthsante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. Phoenix,#sn Phoenix was a seaport on the southern coast of the island of Crete. This was about 30 mi (48 km) further west. a harbor of Crete facing#tn Or “a harbor of Crete open to the southwest and northwest.” southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there. 13 When a gentle south wind sprang up, they thought#tn Grk “thinking.” The participle δόξαντες (doxante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. they could carry out#tn Or “accomplish.” L&N 68.29, for κρατέω, has “to be able to complete or finish, presumably despite difficulties – ‘to accomplish, to do successfully, to carry out.’ …‘thinking that they could carry out their purpose’ Ac 27:13.” their purpose, so they weighed anchor#tn Or “departed.” and sailed close along the coast#tn L&N 54.8, “παραλέγομαι: (a technical, nautical term) to sail along beside some object – ‘to sail along the coast, to sail along the shore.’…‘they sailed along the coast of Crete’ Ac 27:13.” With the addition of the adverb ἆσσον (asson) this becomes “sailed close along the coast of Crete.” of Crete. 14 Not long after this, a hurricane-force#tn Grk “a wind like a typhoon.” That is, a very violent wind like a typhoon or hurricane (BDAG 1021 s.v. τυφωνικός). wind called the northeaster#sn Or called Euraquilo (the actual name of the wind, a sailor’s term which was a combination of Greek and Latin). According to Strabo (Geography 1.2.21), this was a violent northern wind. blew down from the island.#tn Grk “from it”; the referent (the island) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 15 When the ship was caught in it#tn Or “was forced off course.” Grk “The ship being caught in it.” The genitive absolute construction with the participle συναρπασθέντος (sunarpasqento") has been taken temporally; it could also be translated as causal (“Because the ship was caught in it”). and could not head into#tn BDAG 91 s.v. ἀντοφθαλμέω states, “Metaph. of a ship τοῦ πλοίου μὴ δυναμένοι ἀ. τῷ ἀνέμῳ since the ship was not able to face the wind, i.e. with its bow headed against the forces of the waves Ac 27:15.” the wind, we gave way to it and were driven#sn Caught in the violent wind, the ship was driven along. They were now out of control, at the mercy of the wind and sea. along. 16 As we ran under the lee of#tn BDAG 1042 s.v. ὑποτρέχω states, “run or sail under the lee of, nautical t.t.…Ac 27:16.” The participle ὑποδραμόντες (Jupodramonte") has been taken temporally (“as we ran under the lee of”). While this could also be translated as a participle of means (“by running…”) this might suggest the ship was still under a greater degree of control by its crew than it probably was. a small island called Cauda,#sn Cauda. This island was located south of Crete, about 23 mi (36 km) from where they began. There are various ways to spell the island’s name (e.g., Clauda, BDAG 546 s.v. Κλαῦδα). we were able with difficulty to get the ship’s boat#sn The ship’s boat was a small rowboat, normally towed behind a ship in good weather rather than stowed on board. It was used for landings, to maneuver the ship for tacking, and to lay anchors (not a lifeboat in the modern sense, although it could have served as a means of escape for some of the sailors; see v. 30). See L. Casson, Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World, 248f. under control. 17 After the crew#tn Grk “After hoisting it up, they…”; the referent (the ship’s crew) has been specified in the translation for clarity. had hoisted it aboard,#tn The participle ἄραντες (arantes) has been taken temporally. they used supports#tn Possibly “ropes” or “cables”; Grk “helps” (a word of uncertain meaning; probably a nautical technical term, BDAG 180 s.v. βοήθεια 2). to undergird the ship. Fearing they would run aground#tn BDAG 308 s.v. ἐκπίπτω 2 states, “drift off course, run aground, nautical term εἴς τι on someth….on the Syrtis 27:17.” on the Syrtis,#tn That is, on the sandbars and shallows of the Syrtis.sn On the Syrtis. The Syrtis was the name of two gulfs on the North African coast (modern Libya), feared greatly by sailors because of their shifting sandbars and treacherous shallows. The Syrtis here is the so-called Great Syrtis, toward Cyrenaica. It had a horrible reputation as a sailors’ graveyard (Pliny, Natural History 5.26). Josephus (J. W. 2.16.4 [2.381]) says the name alone struck terror in those who heard it. It was near the famous Scylla and Charybdis mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. they lowered the sea anchor,#tn Or perhaps “mainsail.” The meaning of this word is uncertain. BDAG 927 s.v. σκεῦος 1 has “τὸ σκεῦος Ac 27:17 seems to be the kedge or driving anchor” while C. Maurer (TDNT 7:362) notes, “The meaning in Ac. 27:17: χαλάσαντες τὸ σκεῦος, is uncertain. Prob. the ref. is not so much to taking down the sails as to throwing the draganchor overboard to lessen the speed of the ship.” In spite of this L&N 6.1 states, “In Ac 27:17, for example, the reference of σκεῦος is generally understood to be the mainsail.” A reference to the sail is highly unlikely because in a storm of the force described in Ac 27:14, the sail would have been taken down and reefed immediately, to prevent its being ripped to shreds or torn away by the gale. thus letting themselves be driven along. 18 The next day, because we were violently battered by the storm,#tn BDAG 980 s.v. σφόδρῶς states, “very much, greatly, violently…σφ. χειμάζεσθαι be violently beaten by a storm Ac 27:18.” they began throwing the cargo overboard,#tn Or “jettisoning [the cargo]” (a nautical technical term). The words “the cargo” are not in the Greek text but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.sn The desperation of the sailors in throwing the cargo overboard is reminiscent of Jonah 1:5. At this point they were only concerned with saving themselves. 19 and on the third day they threw the ship’s gear#tn Or “rigging,” “tackle”; Grk “the ship’s things.” Here the more abstract “gear” is preferred to “rigging” or “tackle” as a translation for σκεῦος (skeuos) because in v. 40 the sailors are still able to raise the (fore)sail, which they could not have done if the ship’s rigging or tackle had been jettisoned here. overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and a violent#tn Grk “no small storm” = a very great storm. storm continued to batter us,#tn Grk “no small storm pressing on us.” The genitive absolute construction with the participle ἐπικειμένου (epikeimenou) has been translated as parallel to the previous genitive absolute construction (which was translated as temporal). BDAG 373 s.v. ἐπίκειμαι 2.b states, “of impersonal force confront χειμῶνος ἐπικειμένου since a storm lay upon us Ac 27:20.” L&N 14.2, “‘the stormy weather did not abate in the least’ or ‘the violent storm continued’ Ac 27:20.” To this last was added the idea of “battering” from the notion of “pressing upon” inherent in ἐπίκειμαι (epikeimai). we finally abandoned all hope of being saved.#tn Grk “finally all hope that we would be saved was abandoned.” The passive construction has been converted to an active one to simplify the translation. This represents a clearly secular use of the term σῴζω (swzw) in that it refers to deliverance from the storm. At this point those on board the ship gave up hope of survival.
21 Since many of them had no desire to eat,#tn Or “Since they had no desire to eat for a long time.” The genitive absolute construction with the participle ὑπαρχούσης (Juparcoush") has been translated as a causal adverbial participle. It could also be translated temporally (“When many of them had no desire to eat”). The translation of πολλῆς (pollhs) as a substantized adjective referring to the people on board the ship (“many of them”) rather than a period of time (“for a long time”; so most modern versions) follows BDAG 143 s.v. ἀσιτία, which has “πολλῆς ἀ. ὑπαρχούσης since almost nobody wanted to eat because of anxiety or seasickness…Ac 27:21.” This detail indicates how turbulent things were on board the ship. Paul#tn Here τότε (tote) is redundant (pleonastic) according to BDAG 1012-13 s.v. τότε 2; thus it has not been translated. stood up#tn Grk “standing up…said.” The participle σταθείς (staqeis) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me#tn L&N 36.12 has “πειθαρχήσαντάς μοι μὴ ἀνάγεσθαι ἀπὸ τῆς Κρήτης ‘you should have listened to me and not have sailed from Crete’ Ac 27:21.”sn By saying “you should have listened to me and not put out to sea from Crete” Paul was not “rubbing it in,” but was reasserting his credibility before giving his next recommendation. and not put out to sea#tn BDAG 62 s.v. ἀνάγω 4, “as a nautical t.t. (ἀ. τὴν ναῦν put a ship to sea), mid. or pass. ἀνάγεσθαι to begin to go by boat, put out to sea.” from Crete, thus avoiding#tn The infinitive κερδῆσαι (kerdhsai) has been translated as resultative. this damage and loss. 22 And now I advise#tn The same verb is used for Paul’s original recommendation in Ac 27:9. you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only the ship will be lost.#tn Grk “except the ship.” Here “but” is used to translate the improper preposition πλήν (plhn; see BDAG 826 s.v. πλήν 2) since an exception like this, where two different categories of objects are involved (people and a ship), is more naturally expressed in contemporary English with an adversative (“but”). The words “will be lost” are also supplied for clarity.sn The “prophecy” about the ship serves to underscore Paul’s credibility as an agent of God. Paul addressed his audience carefully and drew attention to the sovereign knowledge of God. 23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong#tn Grk “of whom I am.” The relative clause with its possessive was translated following L&N 15.86 s.v. παρίσταμαι. and whom I serve#tn Or “worship.” came to me#tn Or “stood by me.” BDAG 778 s.v. παρίστημι/παριστάνω 2.a.α states, “approach, come τινί (to) someone…Ac 9:39; 27:23.” 24 and said,#tn Grk “came to me saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. ‘Do not be afraid, Paul! You must stand before#tn BDAG 778 s.v. παρίστημι/παριστάνω 2.a.α states, “Also as a t.t. of legal usage appear before, come before…Καίσαρι σε δεῖ παραστῆναι you must stand before the Emperor (as judge) Ac 27:24.” See Acts 23:11. Luke uses the verb δεῖ (dei) to describe what must occur. Caesar,#tn Or “before the emperor” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor). and God has graciously granted you the safety#tn Grk “God has graciously granted you all who are sailing with you.” The words “the safety of” have been supplied to clarify the meaning of the verb κεχάρισται (kecaristai) in this context.sn The safety of all who are sailing with you. In a sense, Paul’s presence protects them all. For Luke, it serves as a picture of what the gospel does through Christ and through the one who brings the message. of all who are sailing with you.’ 25 Therefore keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God#tn BDAG 817 s.v. πιστεύω 1.c states, “w. pers. and thing added π. τινί τι believe someone with regard to someth….W. dat. of pers. and ὅτι foll…. πιστεύετέ μοι ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρί J 14:11a. Cp. 4:21; Ac 27:25.” that it will be just as I have been told. 26 But we must#tn This is another use of δεῖ (dei) to indicate necessity (see also v. 24). Acts 28:1 shows the fulfillment of this. run aground on some island.”
27 When the fourteenth night had come, while we were being driven#tn Here “being driven” has been used to translate διαφέρω (diaferw) rather than “drifting,” because it is clear from the attempt to drop anchors in v. 29 that the ship is still being driven by the gale. “Drifting” implies lack of control, but not necessarily rapid movement. across the Adriatic Sea,#sn The Adriatic Sea. They were now somewhere between Crete and Malta. about midnight the sailors suspected they were approaching some land.#tn Grk “suspected that some land was approaching them.” BDAG 876 s.v. προσάγω 2.a states, “lit. ὑπενόουν προσάγειν τινά αὐτοῖς χώραν they suspected that land was near (lit. ‘approaching them’) Ac 27:27.” Current English idiom would speak of the ship approaching land rather than land approaching the ship. 28 They took soundings#tn Grk “Heaving the lead, they found.” The participle βολίσαντες (bolisante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. See also BDAG 180 s.v. βολίζω. Although the term is used twice in this verse (and thus is technically not a NT hapax legomenon), it occurs nowhere else in the NT. and found the water was twenty fathoms#sn A fathom is about 6 feet or just under 2 meters (originally the length of a man’s outstretched arms). This was a nautical technical term for measuring the depth of water. Here it was about 120 ft (36 m). deep; when they had sailed a little farther#tn L&N 15.12, “βραχὺ δὲ διαστήσαντες ‘when they had gone a little farther’ Ac 27:28.” they took soundings again and found it was fifteen fathoms#sn Here the depth was about 90 ft (27 m). deep. 29 Because they were afraid#tn Grk “fearing.” The participle φοβούμενοι (foboumenoi) has been translated as a causal adverbial participle. that we would run aground on the rocky coast,#tn Grk “against a rough [rocky] place.” L&N 79.84 has “φοβούμενοί τε μή που κατὰ τραχεῖς τόποις ἐκπέσωμεν ‘we were afraid that we would run aground on the rocky coast’ Ac 27:29.” they threw out#tn Grk “throwing out…they.” The participle ῥίψαντες (rJiyante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. four anchors from the stern and wished#tn BDAG 417 s.v. εὔχομαι 2 states, “wish…τὶ for someth.…Foll. by acc. and inf….Ac 27:29.” The other possible meaning for this term, “pray,” is given in BDAG 417 s.v. 1 and employed by a number of translations (NAB, NRSV, NIV). If this meaning is adopted here, then “prayed for day to come” must be understood metaphorically to mean “prayed that they would live to see the day,” or “prayed that it would soon be day.” for day to appear.#tn Grk “and wished for day to come about.”sn And wished for day to appear. The sailors were hoping to hold the ship in place until morning, when they could see what was happening and where they were. 30 Then when the sailors tried to escape from the ship and were lowering the ship’s boat into the sea, pretending#tn BDAG 889 s.v. πρόφασις 2 states, “προφάσει ὡς under the pretext that, pretending that…Ac 27:30.” In other words, some of the sailors gave up hope that such efforts would work and instead attempted to escape while pretending to help. that they were going to put out anchors from the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion#sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1. and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you#sn The pronoun you is plural in Greek. cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut the ropes#sn The soldiers cut the ropes. The centurion and the soldiers were now following Paul’s advice by cutting the ropes to prevent the sailors from escaping. of the ship’s boat and let it drift away.#tn Or “let it fall away.” According to BDAG 308 s.v. ἐκπίπτω 1 and 2 the meaning of the verb in this verse could be either “fall away” or “drift away.” Either meaning is acceptable, and the choice between them depends almost entirely on how one reconstructs the scene. Since cutting the boat loose would in any case result in it drifting away (whether capsized or not), the meaning “drift away” as a nautical technical term has been used here.
33 As day was about to dawn,#tn BDAG 160 s.v. ἄχρι 1.b.α has “ἄ. οὗ ἡμέρα ἤμελλεν γίνεσθαι until the day began to dawn 27:33.” Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have been in suspense#tn Or “have waited anxiously.” Grk “waiting anxiously.” The participle προσδοκῶντες (prosdokwnte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. and have gone#tn Or “continued.” without food; you have eaten nothing.#tn Grk “having eaten nothing.” The participle προσλαβόμενοι (proslabomenoi) has been translated as a finite verb (with subject “you” supplied) due to requirements of contemporary English style. 34 Therefore I urge you to take some food, for this is important#tn Or “necessary.” BDAG 873-74 s.v. πρός 1 has “πρ. τῆς σωτηρίας in the interest of safety Ac 27:34”; L&N 27.18 has “‘therefore, I urge you to take some food, for this is important for your deliverance’ or ‘…for your survival’ Ac 27:34.” for your survival.#tn Or “deliverance” (‘salvation’ in a nontheological sense). For not one of you will lose a hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, Paul#tn Grk “he”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity. took bread#tn Grk “taking bread, gave thanks.” The participle λαβών (labwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. and gave thanks to God in front of them all,#tn Or “before them all,” but here this could be misunderstood to indicate a temporal sequence. broke#tn Grk “and breaking it, he began.” The participle κλάσας (klasas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. it, and began to eat. 36 So all of them were encouraged and took food themselves. 37 (We were in all two hundred seventy-six#tc One early ms (B) and an early version (sa) read “about seventy-six.” For discussion of how this variant probably arose, see F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles, 465. persons on the ship.)#sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. 38 When they had eaten enough to be satisfied,#tn Or “When they had eaten their fill.” they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat#tn Or “grain.” into the sea.
Paul is Shipwrecked
39 When day came, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed#tn Or “observed,” “saw.” a bay#tn Or “gulf” (BDAG 557 s.v. κόλπος 3). with a beach,#sn A beach would refer to a smooth sandy beach suitable for landing. where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 40 So they slipped#tn That is, released. Grk “slipping…leaving.” The participles περιελόντες (perielonte") and εἴων (eiwn) have been translated as finite verbs due to requirements of contemporary English style. the anchors#tn The term is used of a ship’s anchor. (BDAG 12 s.v. ἄγκυρα a). and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the linkage#tn Grk “bands”; possibly “ropes.” that bound the steering oars#tn Or “rudders.” together. Then they hoisted#tn Grk “hoisting…they.” The participle ἐπάραντες (eparante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. the foresail#tn Grk “sail”; probably a reference to the foresail. to the wind and steered toward#tn BDAG 533 s.v. κατέχω 7 states, “hold course, nautical t.t., intr….κατεῖχον εἰς τὸν αἰγιαλόν they headed for the beach Ac 27:40.” the beach. 41 But they encountered a patch of crosscurrents#tn Grk “fell upon a place of two seas.” The most common explanation for this term is that it refers to a reef or sandbar with the sea on both sides, as noted in BDAG 245 s.v. διθάλασσος: the “τόπος δ. Ac 27:41 is a semantic unit signifying a point (of land jutting out with water on both sides).” However, Greek had terms for a “sandbank” (θῖς [qis], ταινία [tainia]), a “reef” (ἑρμα [Jerma]), “strait” (στενόν [stenon]), “promontory” (ἀρωτήρον [arwthron]), and other nautical hazards, none of which are used by the author here. NEB here translates τόπον διθάλασσον (topon diqalasson) as “cross-currents,” a proposal close to that advanced by J. M. Gilchrist, “The Historicity of Paul’s Shipwreck,” JSNT 61 (1996): 29-51, who suggests the meaning is “a patch of cross-seas,” where the waves are set at an angle to the wind, a particular hazard for sailors. Thus the term most likely refers to some sort of adverse sea conditions rather than a topographical feature like a reef or sandbar. and ran the ship aground; the bow stuck fast and could not be moved, but the stern was being broken up by the force#tn Or “violence” (BDAG 175 s.v. βία a). of the waves. 42 Now the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners#sn The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners. The issue here was not cruelty, but that the soldiers would be legally responsible if any prisoners escaped and would suffer punishment themselves. So they were planning to do this as an act of self-preservation. See Acts 16:27 for a similar incident. so that none of them would escape by swimming away.#tn The participle ἐκκολυμβήσας (ekkolumbhsa") has been taken instrumentally. 43 But the centurion,#sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1. wanting to save Paul’s life,#tn Or “wanting to rescue Paul.”sn Thanks to the centurion who wanted to save Paul’s life, Paul was once more rescued from a potential human threat. prevented them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land,#tn BDAG 347 s.v. I. ἔξειμι has “ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν get to land Ac 27:43.” 44 and the rest were to follow,#tn The words “were to follow” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. They must be supplied to clarify the sense in contemporary English. some on planks#tn Or “boards” according to BDAG 913 s.v. σανίς. and some on pieces of the ship.#tn Grk “on pieces from the ship”; that is, pieces of wreckage from the ship.sn Both the planks and pieces of the ship were for the weak or nonswimmers. The whole scene is a historical metaphor representing how listening to Paul and his message could save people. And in this way#tn Grk “And in this way it happened that.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. all were brought safely to land.