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GOD: new evidence

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Real People: Festus

'Testing Luke' #21

 

What's in the series?      Previous: The Riot in Ephesus      Next: The Appian Way

According to the book of Acts, in the Bible, Paul the apostle visited Jerusalem in around 57 AD. His visit set off a riot, and he ended up as a prisoner of the Roman authorities. Under the Roman Governor Felix, Paul was held for two years in Herod's palace in Caesarea.

There are a couple of places where we can pin down the date when something happened in Paul’s life, and this is one of them. Luke says that after Paul had been in prison two years, Felix was succeeded as governor by Porcius Festus.

We know that Felix was recalled to Rome in around 59-60 AD. The emperor Nero appointed Festus to replace him, and Festus was governor for two years around 59-62 AD. The book of Acts tells us that very soon after Festus arrived, he had Paul brought before him. This must have been in 59 or 60 AD.

Earlier in this series, we saw that we can also pin down the date when Paul was hauled in front of Gallio the Roman governor of Greece, in Corinth. This was in 51 or 52 AD. So there are these two fixed points in Luke's account, which help us to put dates to the events in Paul's life.

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