How long was Paul in prison?

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Paul and Prison

According to the accounts in the New Testament of the Bible, the Apostle Paul spent various periods of time in prison throughout his life. The specific duration of his imprisonment varies depending on the references.. The following are some references that help us trace the apostle’s prison time:

In Philippi, during his second missionary journey, the apostle and Silas were imprisoned according to Acts 16:16 – 18. In Rome, he spent two years in jail from AD 60-62. We know this from the references in the book of Acts that show that he was guarded by soldiers (Acts 28:16), allowed to see visitors (Acts 28:30), and given the chance to share the gospel (Acts 28:31).

The book of Acts also tells us that certain Jews from Asia tried to beat the apostle to death but the Roman army saved his life (Acts 21:30-32). In order to protect him, they took him to Caesarea to be heard by the Governor Felix who imprisoned him there for more than two years.

The apostle was then taken to Rome and spent time in jail until his trial before the Emperor Caesar. At the end of his fifth and last journey, in 67 A.D., he was again arrested and sent to Rome. There, he stayed in jail until he was beheaded by the Romans around May or June of 68 A.D.

From the above references we can conclude that the apostle spent about a total of 5 1/2 to 6 years in jail.

Even though he was under house arrest in Rome, the apostle was able to write the epistles Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. These letters had  much doctrinal and practical instruction. Thus, his time in prison was a great blessing not only to the churches at his time but also a blessing to all generations that followed. These stands as a wittiness to the power of God that manifests itself even in the most unfavorable situations.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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