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Pardon my ignorant question....

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Scarlett O., Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Well-Known Member
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    ...but how do we KNOW that Paul was imprisoned a second time in Rome was martyred under Nero?
     
  2. MartyF

    MartyF Active Member

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    The implication comes from the the end of the second letter to Timothy by Paul.

    2 Timothy 4:13-17 NLT
    [13] When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers. [14] Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm, but the Lord will judge him for what he has done. [15] Be careful of him, for he fought against everything we said. [16] The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. [17] But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death.

    The implication is that he was taken suddenly the second time. He left his coat at Troas which is near modern day Istanbul.

    The first time he was taken to Rome, he was alone and on the second time he was not.

    This is just one way to read it.

    However, after reading the last 6 or so chapters of Acts, I am pretty sure he’s talking about the time he was before Felix as the time he was alone.

    Before going to Rome, the last place he visited was Troas.

    For me, I think a single visit is the best fit. But if someone believes in a double visit, I won’t fault them.
     
  3. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Church tradition, I guess. Luke ends Acts with Paul in prison but doesn't record the outcome. If I remember correctly, the tone if his epistles seems to change. In 2nd Timothy (his last letter?) he seems to understand he is about to be executed, saying he had fought the good fight, kept the faith and so on. His earlier epistles seem to indicate he expected to visit people again once released. Some believe Paul founded churches in Spain after his first imprisonment (again, if my memory is good). Hope that helps.

    Peace to you.
     
  4. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Well-Known Member
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    Thanks to both of you.

    I understand the implications in 2 Timothy as I have read and taught it.

    I was just wondering if there was something - even extrabiblical that was definitive.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Did you check Wikipedia?
     
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  6. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    The correct answer is we do not know. Writings near the 2 Century support the tradition Paul died around AD 64-68. Tradition also says Peter died about the same time as Paul.

    What we do know, 2 Timothy, is that Paul was in chains and expected to die, 2 Timothy 1:8, 16; 4:6-8.
     
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  7. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Just a side note: Most questions are do to ignorance, or none of us would need to ask.

    It is has been said, the only one's who are suppose to ask stupid questions are our teachers [of the students].
     
  8. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    and it is not in itself to be ignorant - but we shine when we seek to lean more.
     
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  9. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    To me there is nothing definitive since we have to rely on history and tradition. There is the implication of the matter found in 2 Timothy 4, but the details we have often been taught – that Paul was executed under Nero after a second imprisonment in Rome – are a matter of early Christian writings that have been passed down.

    One of the earliest is in the letter called I Clement. Clement’s writing (often dated around 96 AD) says Peter and Paul were martyred, and says Paul’s occurred in the extreme limit of the west (Rome?).
    Ignatius, writing around 105-115 AD to the Ephesians, calls Paul “the martyred.”
    In his Prescription Against Heretics (circa 200 AD), Tertullian seems to assert that Paul was beheaded like John the Baptist, and that it occurred at Rome.
    I suppose one can choose whether or not to believe these accounts are accurate, but they do exhibit that there was an early tradition of Paul being a martyr (circa 96 AD) and at least not too much later that this occurred in Rome by beheading (110-200 AD).
     
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  10. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    It is worth noting that sometimes the historical references do not exactly agree. For example, the early reference by Clement states that Paul suffered martyrdom under the prefects, while later Eusebius says that Paul was beheaded in Rome under Nero. That is not to say these accounts cannot be harmonized, for the prefects might have been operating under the authority of Nero, and, of course, being beheaded is a form of martyrdom.
     
  11. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, rlvaughn. This is what I was looking for.
     
  12. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.

    To me, we really don't know for sure, since Scripture doesn't directly tell us.
    It only hints at it, and we're forced to go outside of God's word and into the writings of men to establish the answer.
     
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  13. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    Or you could read it that Paul's martyrdom occurred after he had preached at the "extreme limit," which could indicate a trip to Spain that Paul was planning in Romans 12:24. Spain would be the obvious location described as the "extreme limit" because nothing of interest was believed to lie beyond the Pillars of Hercules.

    As you say, whether Nero or the prefects ordered the execution is probably moot. Under Nero simply means during Nero's reign. It seems unlikely that Nero would have wasted his precious time (which he could be spending on his theatrical rehearsals) on a trial of some obscure religious malcontent. The Praetorian and Urban (Roman) prefects both had the authority to summarily issue death penalties, even to Roman citizens.
     
  14. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Good point. Spain makes more sense as the extreme limit of the West. To me it seems Lightfoot's translation comes closer to saying that the martyrdom was not in the extreme limit of the West but just that it occurred after that, so that Clement is speaking in relation to time and not place (though I suppose all three translations could be interpreted that way).
     
  15. SolaSister

    SolaSister Member

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    Just to throw this in, I do wholeheartedly believe Paul stood before Nero, because of this scripture:
    24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
    Acts 27:24
     
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