The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Acts of the Apostles
And now word was given for the voyage to Italy, Paul being handed over, with some other prisoners, to a centurion called Julius, who belonged to the Augustan cohort.
We embarked on a boat from Adrumetum which was bound for the Asiatic ports, and set sail; the Macedonian, Aristarchus, from Thessalonica, was with us.
Next day we put in at Sidon; and here Julius shewed Paul courtesy by allowing him to visit his friends and be cared for.
Then, setting sail, we coasted under the lee of Cyprus, to avoid contrary winds,
but made a straight course over the open sea that lies off Cilicia and Pamphylia, and so reached Lystra in Lycia.✻
There the centurion found a boat from Alexandria which was sailing for Italy, and put us on board.
We had a slow voyage for many days after this; we made Gnidus with difficulty, and then, with the wind beating us back, had to sail under the lee of Crete by way of Salmone.
Here we were hard put to it to coast along as far as a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Thalassa.✻
Much time had now been wasted, and sailing had become dangerous; the fast was already over; and Paul bade them make the best of it.✻
Sirs, he said, I can see plainly that there is no sailing now, without injury and great loss, not only of our freight and of the vessel, but of our own lives too.✻
The centurion, however, paid more attention to the helmsman and the master than to Paul’s advice.
The harbour was not well placed for wintering in; so that more of them gave their voices for sailing further still, in the hope of making Phoenice and wintering there; it is a harbour in Crete, which faces in the direction of the South-west and North-west winds.✻
A light breeze was now blowing from the South, so that they thought they had achieved their purpose, and coasted along Crete, leaving their anchorage at Assos.✻
But it was not long before a gale of wind struck the ship, the wind called Euraquilo;✻
she was carried out of her course, and could make no head against the wind, so we gave up and let her drive.
We now ran under the lee of an island named Cauda, where we contrived, with difficulty, to secure the ship’s boat.
When it had been hoisted aboard, they strengthened the ship by passing ropes round her; then, for fear of being driven on to the Syrtis sands, they let down the sea-anchor, and so drifted.✻
On the next day, so violently were we tossed about in the gale, they lightened ship,
and on the third, they deliberately threw the spare tackle overboard.
For several days we saw nothing of the sun or the stars, and a heavy gale pressed us hard, so that we had lost, by now, all hope of surviving;
and we were much in want of food. And now Paul stood up in their presence, and said, Sirs, you should have taken my advice; if you had not put out from Crete, you would have saved all this injury and damage.
But I would not have you lose courage, even now; there is to be no loss of life among you, only of the ship.
An angel stood before me last night, sent by the God to whom I belong, the God whom I serve,
and said, Have no fear, Paul, thou art to stand in Caesar’s presence; and behold, God has granted thee the safety of all thy fellow voyagers.
Have courage, then, sirs; I trust in God, believing that all will fall out as he has told me.
Only we are to be cast up on an island.
On the fourteenth night, as we drifted about in the Adriatic sea,✻ the crew began to suspect, about midnight, that we were nearing land;
so they took soundings, and made it twenty fathom; then they sounded again a short distance away, and made it fifteen fathom.
Afraid, therefore, that we might be cast ashore on some rocky coast, they let down four anchors from the stern, and fell to wishing it were day.
And now the sailors had a mind to abandon the ship, and lowered the boat into the sea, pretending that they meant to lay out anchors from the bows.
But Paul told the centurion and the soldiers, These must stay on board, or there is no hope left for you;
whereupon the soldiers cut the boat’s ropes away and let it drop.
As day began to break, Paul entreated them all to take some food; To-day, he said, is the fourteenth day you have been in suspense, and all that time gone hungry, neglecting to eat;
pray take some food, then; it will make for your preservation; not a hair of anyone’s head is to be lost.
And with that he took bread, and gave thanks to God before them all, and broke it, and began to eat.
Thereupon they all found courage, and themselves took a meal.
The whole number of souls on board was two hundred and seventy six.
So all ate till they were content; and afterwards they began to lighten the ship, throwing the corn into the sea.
When day broke, they found that the coast was strange to them. But they sighted a bay with a sloping beach, and made up their minds, if it should be possible, to run the ship ashore there.
They lifted the anchors and trusted themselves to the mercy of the sea, at the same time unlashing the tiller; then they hoisted the foresail to the breeze, and held on for the shore.✻
But now, finding they were running into a cross-sea, they grounded the ship where they were. The bows, which were stuck fast, felt no movement, but the stern began falling to pieces under the violence of the waves;
whereupon the soldiers would have killed the prisoners, for fear that any of them should dive overboard and escape,
but the centurion balked them of their will, because he had a mind to keep Paul safe. He gave orders that those who could swim should go overboard first, and make their way to land;
of the rest, some were ferried across on planks, and some on the ship’s wreckage. So it was that all reached land in safety.
The Holy Bible