What does Acts 28:11 mean?
ESV: After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods as a figurehead.
NIV: After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island--it was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux.
NASB: After three months we set sail on an Alexandrian ship which had wintered at the island, and which had the Twin Brothers for its figurehead.
CSB: After three months we set sail in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered at the island, with the Twin Gods as its figurehead.
NLT: It was three months after the shipwreck that we set sail on another ship that had wintered at the island — an Alexandrian ship with the twin gods as its figurehead.
KJV: And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.
NKJV: After three months we sailed in an Alexandrian ship whose figurehead was the Twin Brothers, which had wintered at the island.
Verse Commentary:
Paul has wanted to go to Rome for years (Romans 1:11). Jesus has promised he will get there (Acts 23:11), a promise Paul embraced in full faith. What he didn't know was the path would include two years under house arrest in Caesarea Maritima (Acts 24:27), a terrible winter storm on a ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and a shipwreck (Acts 27). Fortunately, the ship sank just off the coast of Malta, where kind locals became more than generous after Paul provided healing for their sick (Acts 28:1–10).

Now, winter is ending and ship traffic resumes, as it typically does the first week of February. Another Alexandrian ship, probably one almost identical to the ship they had lost, has moored at Malta and agreed to take them on. The "twin gods" are the Greek gods Castor and Pollux, twin sons of Jupiter/Zeus and the divinities of sailors.

Malta is a small island directly south of Sicily. Sicily is a larger island off the "toe" of Italy's boot-like shape. The ship will travel north and skim the eastern coast of Sicily, first landing at Syracuse on the southeastern shore, and then at Rhegium on the toe of Italy, itself. From there they will sail up the western coast of Italy to Puteoli where Paul, Aristarchus, and Luke will disembark. As they walk the last few miles to Rome, they will encounter several Christ-followers who provide support and encouragement. Paul will spend two years under house arrest with the time to write and the freedom to teach anyone who will visit (Acts 28:12–31).
Verse Context:
Acts 28:11–16 records the final steps of Paul's arduous journey to Rome. He, Aristarchus, and Luke survived a fierce tempest and a shipwreck before spending three months in the care of the people of Malta (Acts 27:1—28:10). Now Paul and his friends board another ship that takes them to Puteoli, Italy. There, Christ-followers provide a warm welcome. As they walk toward Rome, more believers meet them and give them encouragement for the last few miles. Paul spends two years in Rome, under house arrest, but free to teach anyone who will listen about Jesus (Acts 28:30–31).
Chapter Summary:
Acts 28 records Paul's three-month stay on the island of Malta and two-year house arrest in Rome. On Malta, God empowers Paul to perform healing miracles which endear him to the locals. Once he reaches the shores of Italy, many other believers accompany him on his last leg to Rome. In Rome, he finds the Jews just as accepting of Jesus as elsewhere; some believe, but many don't. Paul reaffirms his mission to the Gentiles and spends his time preaching while under house arrest.
Chapter Context:
Acts 28 is the end of Luke's story of the witness of Jesus' story (Acts 1:8). After his wrongful imprisonment in Caesarea Maritima, Paul appealed his case to Caesar (Acts 25:1–12). He, Aristarchus, and Luke survived a raging winter storm before finally reaching Rome (Acts 27). Again under house arrest, Paul is able to share Jesus' offer of forgiveness with any who wish to visit. While there, he writes the letters Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. After two years, Paul is released; tradition says he takes one more evangelistic tour before being arrested and eventually martyred around AD 67.
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.
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