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Acts 27:1

Paul and Company Sail for Rome

27:1 When it was decided we 1  would sail to Italy, 2  they handed over Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion 3  of the Augustan Cohort 4  named Julius.

Acts 27:43

27:43 But the centurion, 5  wanting to save Paul’s life, 6  prevented them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land, 7 

1 sn The last “we” section in Acts begins here and extends to 28:16 (the previous one ended at 21:18).

2 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).

3 sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1.

4 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.

5 sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1.

6 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.

7 tn BDAG 347 s.v. I. ἔξειμι has “ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν get to land Ac 27:43.”

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