When and how did Paul die?


By BibleAsk Team

Paul’s Death

The Scriptures don’t mention how the apostle Paul died. Bible students believe that his death took place in Rome after his fifth missionary journey in 67 A.D.


Christian tradition mentions the death of Paul in the early church history:

I Clement (95–96 AD) suggests that Paul was martyred for his faith – McDowell, Sean (2016-03-09). The Fate of the Apostles. pp. 67–70.

Tertullian records the way that Paul was martyred in his Prescription Against Heretics (200 AD) indicating that the apostle had a similar death to that of John the Baptist, who was beheaded – Quintus Septimius Florens, Tertullian. “Prescription Against Heretics Chapter XXXVI.”

Eusebius of Caesarea in his Church History (320 AD) says that when a general persecution was raised against the Christians by Nero, about A.D. 64, under pretense that they had set Rome on fire, both St. Paul and St. Peter then sealed the truth with their blood; the latter being crucified with his head downward; the former being beheaded, either in A.D. 64 or 65, and buried in the Via Ostiensis. He also wrote that the tombs of these two apostles, with their inscriptions, were extant in his time; and quotes as his authority a holy man of the name of Caius. – Caesarea, Eusebius. “Church History Book II Chapter 25:5–6.”

Jerome in his De Viris Illustribus (On Illustrious Men) (392 AD) likewise confirms that Paul was beheaded at Rome – Saint, Jerome. “On Illustrious Men Chapter 5.”

Bible Commentary

Adam Clark’s commentary on the death of Paul concludes that “there is great uncertainty on these subjects, so that we cannot positively rely on any account that even the ancients have transmitted to us concerning the death of this apostle…” (Commentary on the Bible by Adam Clarke, commenting on Acts 28:31).

One fact remains true, Paul lived and died to honor his Master and had fulfilled God’s plan for him; he did not slack or falter, he met every challenge, even his execution, with Christian faith and resoluteness. Before his death, he wrote, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). But during the dark hours of his faithful ministry for the faith the Lord’s promises had given him courage and hope (Colossians 1:5).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

Leave a Reply

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments