What does Acts 16:11 mean?
ESV: So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis,
NIV: From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis.
NASB: So after setting sail from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the following day to Neapolis;
CSB: From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, the next day to Neapolis,
NLT: We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis.
KJV: Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;
NKJV: Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis,
Verse Commentary:
Reading his writing, it's clear that Luke enjoys narrating a sea voyage. He met Paul, Silas, and Timothy in the port town of Troas on the western coast of modern-day Asia Minor. Now he joins the three on their short sail across the northern Aegean Sea to Macedonia. Samothrace is an island where ships regularly stay overnight instead of risking the open water in the dark. Neapolis is the port on the Macedonian side, about ten miles from Philippi.

Paul's travels—what cities he visits when and where he plants churches—can only be explained by the leading of the Holy Spirit. He spent several years in his hometown of Tarsus. There, he shared the gospel and built a church (Acts 9:29–30). Barnabas called him to Syrian Antioch to help disciple the new Gentile Jesus-followers (Acts 11:25–26). Both cities are on the far northeast coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Paul and Barnabas' first missionary journey took them southwest to the island of Cyprus, then north into center of modern-day Asia Minor (Acts 13:1—14:23). After planting churches there, Paul revisited them twice, establishing leaders and reinforcing their beliefs (Acts 14:24; 16:1–5).

But then, the Holy Spirit led him straight through the western third of the peninsula, by-passing several large, influential cities including Colossae and Ephesus (Acts 16:6–7). Instead, Paul and his team go to Philippi on the border of Macedonia and Greece. From here, Paul will make his way south to Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, and Corinth. He will briefly stop at Ephesus, but he won't spend any significant time there until his third missionary trip (Acts 16:12—18:21).

Very rarely does the Holy Spirit give us detailed direction as to where He wants us to serve. When He does, however, we should remember how flexible and trusting Paul was. God has a strategic plan for the spread of the gospel into the world (Acts 1:8). Paul willingly follows it.
Verse Context:
Acts 16:11–15 sees Jesus' offer of salvation come to Macedonia. Paul, Silas, and Timothy have traveled through the province of Galatia, building up the churches. Now they quickly move through the western end of modern-day Asia Minor. They meet with Luke and cross the Aegean Sea. In Philippi, they meet Lydia who helps them plant the first church in Europe: the first predominantly Gentile church. The church in Philippi grows into a strong, generous body that Paul proudly holds up as an example for others.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 16 follows Paul and Silas as they take the letter of Acts 15 into modern-day Asia Minor and Macedonia. They collect Timothy in Lystra and Luke in Troas. In Philippi, they meet Lydia and baptize her family. After expelling a demon from a fortune-telling girl, city officials illegally beat and imprison Paul and Silas. An earthquake frees them of their chains, but they stay and bring the jailer and his family to Christ. The next morning, Paul and Silas refuse to leave quietly, politely insisting that their civil rights have been violated. The officials apologize, and Paul, Silas, and Timothy go to Thessalonica.
Chapter Context:
Acts 15 ends with Paul and Silas spreading the news that Gentile Christians don't have to be circumcised. Acts 16 begins with Paul circumcising a Jewish man, Timothy, to prevent difficulties in preaching to older Jews as the boy grows into church leadership. Paul's second missionary trip finds the church growing east, into Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, and Corinth (Acts 16:11—18:18). On his way back to Syrian Antioch, Paul will stop by Ephesus and soften the Jews for the extended ministry of Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos. During his first trip, Paul planted churches and ordained elders; in his second, he commissions more missionaries.
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 6/16/2024 3:03:55 AM
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