The Church in Rome

Intro to the Early Church

Week 6

  • Acts 19:21 – 28:31

We finish our study with a look at Paul's final journey to Rome and the events leading up to it. Without a doubt, imprisonment would have been frustrating to Paul but it resulted in the many letters which now make up nearly a third of the New Testament. There is no definite ending 'wrap up' to the book of Acts because the acts of the Holy Spirit and the church continue to this day.

People & Places

  • Felix
    The Roman governor of Judea from 52 to 59 AD. He was married multiple times and was known for being a harsh ruler open to bribery and corruption.

  • Agrippa
    Last of the Herodian kings, Agrippa grew up in Rome and was thus was closely aligned with the empire. He was thus overthrown during the first Jewish-Roman war in 66 AD.

  • Ephesus
    The third wonder of the ancient world, the Temple of Artemis, was constructed here. Ephesus was located in what is now western Turkey and during this time probably had a population of around a hundred thousand people

  • Malta
    At this period of the Roman empire, Malta (sometimes translated Melitene) was well known for its sailing harbors as well as its olive and textile production. It lies about six hundred miles to the south of Rome.

Temple of Artemis, third wonder of the ancient world, was the size of a football field and stood 4 stories tall.

Historical Context

Around the years AD 56 - 62:

  • Emperor Nero orders his mother executed.

  • Thousands killed during riots over the gladiator games in Pompeii.

Happening soon after the book of Acts:

  • 64 AD – Great Fire of Rome - Nearly of Rome burns down. Officially blamed on Christianity but popular rumors blame emperor Nero.

  • 70 AD - The Jewish revolt against Rome - Jerusalem is burned and the Second Temple is destroyed by Rome. The conflict lasts three years later and ends in Masada. The heavily fortified city falls to a long-term siege by the Romans. The last of the Jewish revolt ends in the mass suicide of 960 rebels.

  • 79 AD - Explosion of Mt. Vesuvius - Twenty thousand Romans are killed instantly and the city of Pompeii is wiped off the map in one of the most famous volcanic eruptions of all time.