The New Testament tells us that Paul was:
- a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin; Phil. 3:5
- a Roman citizen by birth; Acts 22:28
- a Pharisee born and bred; Acts 23:6
- fluent in the Greek and Hebrew languages; Acts 21:27, 21:40
- of the sect of the Nazarenes; Acts 24:5
- a tent-maker by trade; Acts 18:3
Paul had long cherished a wish to preach the gospel in Rome (Rom.1:10, 15:23) and received his instruction to do so in a night vision (Acts 23:11). Rome already had an established Chistian community, "...all over the world they tell of your faith" (Rom. 1:8), but the New Testament is silent about who founded it, and when.
Paul's Roman citizenship by birth gave him the right of appeal directly to Caesar in any dispute over which he felt aggrieved. It was precisely because governors Felix and then Festus would not make a decision after two years of "open captivity" that Paul appealed to Caesar (Acts 25:12).
Stay tuned for Paul's arrival in Rome...