Is Acts 29 The Missing Chapter?
When you get to the end of the book of Acts you may notice something peculiar. Unlike most of the other epistles included in the New Testament (other than James and 3 John) Acts does not end with the customary “amen.” Chapter 28’s rather abrupt conclusion to the story of the beginnings of the early church has led to speculation that the book of Acts is missing a final chapter. This is an important observation since Paul was chosen by Yeshua to be the Apostle to the nations (Gentiles).
But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. ‘I will deliver you from the people, as well as the nations, to whom I send you, to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to Elohim, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’Acts 26:16-18
Although Paul immediately answered the call to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom, he was constantly being thwarted in his efforts by a certain sect of the Pharisees. The religious leaders who crucified the Messiah were determined to kill him.
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and to the nations, that they should repent, turn to Elohim, and do works befitting repentance. For these reasons the Yahudiym seized me in the Temple and tried to kill me.”Acts 26:19-21
Many of us were led to believe that Acts 28 was the beginning of the end for Paul while under Roman house arrest. We were left with the impression that Paul was immediately beheaded in Rome. But was this the case? According to Dr. Ralph F. Wilson:
Presumably Paul would have had a hearing before Caesar (Acts 27:24) at the end of this period. The possible results might be: (1) conviction and execution, (2) conviction and much stricter confinement, (3) exile from Rome, or (4) Paul’s accusers don’t appear and his case is dismissed. Perhaps the significance of the “two years” of Acts 28:30 is that it is the statutory time that Paul’s accusers have to bring their case before the emperor before the case is dismissed. We’re not sure. At any rate, there seems to be a firm Christian tradition that Paul was released for a time before his final execution.Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, Doctor of Ministry & Master of Divinity, Fuller Theological Seminary
As usual, do your own research. I have posted the text of Acts 29, better known as the “Long Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles” for your convenience. It picks up where Acts 28:31 ends. Or, you can watch the video which features a voiceover narration with images.
1 And Paul, full of the blessings of Christ, and abounding in the spirit, departed out of Rome, determined to go into Spain, for he had a long time proposed to journey thither ward, and was minded also to go from thence to Britain.
2 For he had heard in Phoenicia that certain of the children of Israel, about the time of the Assyrian captivity, had escaped by sea to “The Isles afar off” as spoken by the Prophet Esdras, and called by the Romans – Britain.
3 And the Lord commanded the gospel to be preached far hence to the Gentiles, and to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
4 And no man hindered Paul; for he testified boldly of Jesus before the tribunes and among the people; and he took with him certain of the brethren which abode with him at Rome, and they took shipping at Ostrium and having the winds fair, were brought safely into a haven of Spain.
5 And many people were gathered together from the towns and villages, and the hill country; for they had heard of the conversion to the Apostles, and the many miracles which he had wrought.
6 And Paul preached mightily in Spain, and great multitudes believed and were converted, for they perceived he was an apostle sent from God.
7 And they departed out of Spain, and Paul and his company finding a ship in Armorica sailing unto Britain, they were therein, and passing along the south Coast, they reached a port called Raphinus.
8 Now when it was voiced abroad that the Apostle had landed on their coast, great multitudes of the inhabitants met him, and they treated Paul courteously and he entered in at the east gate of their city, and lodged in the house of an Hebrew and one of his own nation.
9 And on the morrow he came and stood upon Mount Lud and the people thronged at the gate, and assembled in the Broadway, and he preached Christ unto them, and they believed the Word and the testimony of Jesus.
10 And at even the Holy Ghost fell upon Paul, and he prophesied, saying, Behold in the last days the God of Peace shall dwell in the cities, and the inhabitants thereof shall be numbered: and in the seventh numbering of the people, their eyes shall be opened, and the glory of their inheritance shine forth before them. The nations shall come up to worship on the mount the testifieth of the patience and long suffering of a servant of the Lord.
11 And in the latter days new tidings of the Gospel shall issue forth out of Jerusalem, and the hearts of the people shall rejoice, and behold, fountains shall be opened, and there shall be no more plague.
12 In those days there shall be wars and rumors of war; and a king shall rise up, and his sword, shall be for the healing of the nations, and his peacemaking shall abide, and the glory of his kingdom a wonder among princes.
13 And it came to pass that certain of the Druids came unto Paul privately, and showed by their rites and ceremonies they were descended from the Jews which escaped from bondage in the land of Egypt, and the apostle believed these things, and he gave them the kiss of peace.
14 And Paul abode in his lodgings three months confirming in the faith and preaching Christ continually.
15 And after these things Paul and his brethren departed from Raphinus and sailed unto Atium in Gaul.
16 And Paul preached in the Roman garrison and among the people, exhorting all men to repent and confess their sins.
17 And there came to him certain of the Belgae to inquire of him of the new doctrine, and of the man Jesus; And Paul opened his heart unto them and told them all things that had befallen him, howbeit, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; and they departed pondering among themselves upon the things which they had heard.
18 And after much preaching and toil, Paul and his fellow laborers passed into Helvetia, and came to Mount Pontius Pilate, where he who condemned the Lord Jesus dashed himself down headlong, and so miserably perished.
19 Immediately a torrent gushed out of the mountain and washed his body, broken in pieces, into a lake.
20 And Paul stretched forth his hands upon the water, and prayed unto the Lord, saying O Lord God, give a sign unto all nations that here Pontius Pilate, who condemned thine only-begotten son, plunged down headlong into the pit.
21 And while Paul was yet speaking, behold, there came a great earthquake, and the face of the waters was changed, and the form of the lake like unto the Son of Man hanging in an agony upon the Cross.
22 And a voice came out of heaven saying, Even Pilate hath escaped the wrath to come for he washed his hands before the multitude at the blood-shedding of the Lord Jesus
23 When, therefore, Paul and those that were with him saw the earthquake, and heard the voice of the angel, they glorified God, they were mightily strengthened in the spirit.
24 And they journeyed and came to Mount Julius where stood two pillars, one on the right hand and one on the left hand, erected by Caesar Augustus.
25 And Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, stood up between the two pillars, saying, Men and brethren these stones which ye see this day shall testify of my journey hence; and verily I say, they shall remain until the outpouring of the spirit upon all nations, neither shall the way be hindered throughout all generations.
26 And they went forth and came unto Illtricum, intending to go by Macedonia into Asia, and grace was found in all the churches, and they prospered and had peace. Amen.1
1 This version of Acts 29 was reproduced from a work known as the “Long Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.” Also referred to as the Sonnini Manuscript, it is named for C. S. Sonnini, who translated the document from the original Greek manuscript found in the archives at Constantinople (presented to him by the Sultan Abdoul Achmet). You will have to do your own research and draw your own conclusions as to the authenticity of this chapter addition to the Book of Acts. Here are links to two articles for your convenience: The Sonnini Manuscript (from The Saxon Messenger) and The Lost Chapter of Acts of the Apostles (from Torah Truth Seeker).
~ It is widely believed that 2 Timothy was Paul’s final letter written prior to his execution while held in Mamertine Prison in Rome. Tradition holds that Paul was beheaded by Nero.
Brenda Ross is a co-author of the book, “The Gospel Worth Dying For.” She is a former major market radio and television broadcaster who has served as Single’s Ministry Director at one of Houston’s Memorial Drive-area churches, a Jews for Jesus staff volunteer, and participated in mission outreach activities in Costa Rica, Mexico, and China. Urban mission experience includes volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity and catering to the homeless in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.