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Paul expresses his intention to go to Spain in Romans 15:

24I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. 26For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. 28When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you. ESV

Is it confirmed one way or the other in biblical or extra-biblical texts whether Paul's intention was fulfilled?

  • I brought this question format up on meta. – Susan Aug 16 '14 at 17:50
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    G.Rassovsky - after the meta question linked above and some discussion in chat, it seems that there is an interesting and on-topic question here, but we needed to broaden it to include extra-biblical texts. The answer to your question about whether the bible says that he went to Spain is simply "no." However, the bible does not say that he didn't go to Spain either, and it seems there are other available texts that have more to say on the topic. – Susan Aug 16 '14 at 21:10
  • Yes, i know it is not stated in plain text that he has been to Spain, however I just wanted to make sure I am not missing something out, when I am reading. As there is a doctrine in that in itself. Not all the Apostle's plans came to pass, nevertheless he had such and they weren't bad. That's why I asked because I thought there might be a hint to him being there. As his thorn in the flesh also isn't mentioned however there are definitely hints in the text to do with the fact that it could have been something with his eyes. But we should never be dogmatic on things which are not clearly stated. – G.Rassovsky Aug 16 '14 at 21:38
  • One interesting article: Otto F. A. Meinardus, "Paul's Missionary Journey to Spain: Tradition and Folklore", The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 41, No. 2 (Jun., 1978), pp. 61-63. He outlines the Spanish traditions about this, and doesn't the explore "manifold arguments for and against the apostle's journey to Spain". However, he does in passing mention that both Chrysostom and Jerome believed Paul went to Spain. FWIW. – Dɑvïd Aug 17 '14 at 17:56
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Great question. The short answer is that there is nothing explicit in the text of Scripture that proves without question that Paul reached Spain, but there is some evidence (both in and out of Scripture) which suggests that he did (at least to some scholars.)

A couple of sources which you might find helpful are Homer A. Kent, The Pastoral Epistles, (Moody Press, 1958) and Harold Hoehner, Chronology of the Apostolic Age, (Dallas: Th.D. dissertation, 1965).

Here is one plausible reconstruction of Paul's journeys after his first Roman imprisonment:

  • Colossae in Asia Minor (Philemon 22)

  • Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3)

  • Macedonia (1 Tim. 1:3)

  • Philippi (Php. 1:25, 2:24)

  • Ephesus (1 Tim. 3:14)

  • Spain (Romans 15:24)

  • Crete (Titus 1:5)

  • Asia Minor (2 Tim 4:13; 4:20)

  • Greece (Titus 3:12; 2 Tim. 4:20)

  • Rome (2 Tim. 1:16,17)

In this scenario Paul was imprisoned in Rome more than once, under very different circumstances, and he did reach Spain.

The conclusion that he did in fact reach Spain is also supported by extra-biblical sources:

  • 1 Clement 5:7 says he reached "the extreme limit of the west"

  • The Muratorian Canon refers to "the journey of St. Paul to Spain"

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    There is some interesting literature speculating as to whether or not Paul had the fulfillment of Isaiah 66:18-19 in mind. If Tarshish is Spain (there is some controversy on this identification), then at the time Paul wrote Romans, he and other believers had taken the gospel to every region in Isaiah 66 except for Tarshish. Perhaps he thought reaching Spain meant the "fullness of the Gentiles" would be reached. This is just fun food for thought. – Dan Nov 16 '16 at 16:52
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To the above, I'd add that Clement 1, if taken as early to mid second century A.D seems to be a very reliable source. Some scholars situate this Clement earlier, the same as one mentioned in Romans and Catholic tradition ordained by Peter. The later dating seems more reasonable to many from critical studies. The letter itself is a masterpiece of exegetics written by an author extraordinarily well versed in the scripture as a reading will handily show, he quotes from all over the Bible without even mentioning the book he's quoting as if expecting careful contemplation of his theme.

He says he was asked by some in Corinth to weigh in on a dispute over leadership there, the context perhaps suggesting that his exegetical skills were known and considered helpful. As a seemingly prominent Roman citizen, which is implied by a hard to come by (in that either a compendium in either schools or codex would be neither common or inexpensive) literacy in writings that were not Roman at all and by his considerable composition skills, (suggesting an above average education) in a church wealthy enough to have been regularly sending funds to churches throughout the empire (as mentioned in the letter), the author's statement that Paul did preach in the far west has credibility.

Paul converted praetorians and members of Caesar's household, very prominent Romans indeed, and it is believable that people from such high-status families would have knowledge of the well-known Apostle who may have personally converted their own direct ancestors but a generation before. One cannot find him suggesting that Peter himself ever even visited the Roman Capitol. The writer here clearly familiar with contemporary churches and mentions an earlier generation than his as having grown up as children already in the Christian faith. His familiarity with these happenings suggests his statements about Paul going further west are entirely believable.

  • +1 Good answer so far, especially since it's your first! To improve it, I would recommend adding paragraph breaks to make it easier to read, and also citing some evidence (i.e. either quote Clement directly or at least refer the reader to what paragraph in his letter you are referring to) – Pascal's Wager Nov 14 '18 at 23:10
  • Very good points, thank you. Actually, I had no idea that stack was what it is, expecting my comment to gather dust for ages. – Dennis Golding Nov 14 '18 at 23:16
  • +1 I like your answer as well. I think, however, it could be a bit more readable. – phil-al-sophy Dec 3 '18 at 4:49
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Working only from scriptural sources we know that Paul claims at least twice that the witness of the apostles had already gone to the ends of the empire:

[Rom 10:18 KJV] 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

[Col 1:23 KJV] 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Also, in his mission for the truth he might be described as a "bull fighter". :_)

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Paul never made it to Spain. Why? Look at what history has taught us about Spain. The Spanish are pagans and they hide in the dark about it as if that subject is a void, yet it is not. They beheaded people as in incapacitating them for chattel slavery, a system that forces people to be in bondage as they say forever. Now this is the human version of this form of mindset, not the Lord God's version. And though people of Spain and the Black Code believe in lying about their intentions to enslave the world of God, the bottom line is Paul was killed like Zachariah was slain between the pew and the altar because that disdained word of mouth, that soiled rubbish that spills forth into the world made it impossible for Paul to never reach Spain alive. Maybe like Thomas Pain's head, he reached Spain. But not as a living man.

Therefore, it is not that Paul didn't want to venture to Spain. I believe Spain didn't want Paul to see them, didn't want to hear what Paul wanted to say to their faces. Spain, with the help of their so called children, the Romans, beheaded Paul. This is what HISTORY has taught me. And they have also taught me the personal issue of chattel slavery; issues that they want fruition again as Christ indicated in Revelations as to why they would be buying and selling people even today. They are huge instruments of necrophilia.

Christ said in Revelations: all those stamped in the forehead or hand have the rights to buy and sell people as commodity, yet they too are going to their destruction as that power fades to their true fruition of deeds, the Lake of Fire and Sulfur. With the help of Roman-Americans, Black Coded Bourgeois: a nasty diseased French Kiss of a dirty deal: a dirty mouth of unholy wordy people, and Spain, I believe the Satan of it all.

Here is in this great nation found when Spain commissioned Christopher Columbus, a Spaniard, to find the City of Gold? Of course, Spain didn't have the money to find the gold as to why Asian dynasties forwarded silver to fund the expedition as to say it was borrowed money they used to claim a land called America. In order to take it by force, they spread war, famine, and disease to kill off the inhabitants that they also enslaved and colonized as in to assimilate into their world.

Is it wrong to say God said that the evil that is condemned is the name of a man (Washington?), the number of a man, 666? Are we so stupid not to assume or question in order to help save our own souls with the right decision making in such a stressful wicked nation as is in these late days?

Something to speculate for those true philosophers out there who truly want to know what is plausible. That is to delay their true intent of crime or to repent of it and not claim what is truly Babylonia and her wicked crazy loving self.

By the way, when the abolitionist won the banding of slavery, those who apposed it still do practice it illegally; they have never stopped and never intend on stopping. I believe they have no choice. Why? They were condemned long ago already and are just buying time to live it up as they say and offend God in the process. They don't care for they have no reason to. It wouldn't help them in their case. Their crimes are heaped up to the limit. Therefore again, who are the true chattel slaves who are enslaved forever? The answer is: they are through their own laws, mindset, belief system. Remember, Christ said, "A slave is no better than its master and a master no better than a slave." That is the truth. So God is right and since he is taking his people with him, people who are truly not enslaved, the masters who are slaves will be left with themselves in that bondage forever. Amen.

  • Edit: "impossible for Paul to ever reach Spain" "Thomas Pane's" – Michelle N. Gibbs Dec 24 '18 at 22:01
  • Explanation: "Here is" means: the issue is in this great nation found when... – Michelle N. Gibbs Dec 24 '18 at 22:05
  • Explanation: Washington is the head of America. Yet since the money was "borrowed" and Asian Dynasties have indemnities, long lasting rights: payments rendered to them, for the funding of such a find. As to why Jefferson, who abolished slavery, was also one who argued with Pane to import goods with foreigners in order to honor the deal that was not the so called way since the Constitution was written and enforced as well as the Bill of Rights. What? Was he going to openly forfeit what he claimed was legal in order to have "independence" from European control? – Michelle N. Gibbs Dec 24 '18 at 22:13
  • Conclusion: That is why I believe Spain didn't want to hear what Paul had to say. We learned the answers in history thereafter his time and death on this earth. They didn't want Paul to see them, to read them with his own eyes, his Holy Spirit eyes. Paul with the help of the Holy Spirit would have told them of themselves and asked them to repent and change from their wicked ways. – Michelle N. Gibbs Dec 24 '18 at 22:27
  • Cont... Like I who have the reluctance of knowing such ridiculous people as described above, Paul never made it to just have his time wasted with further delay, so they ended his life and he went home to be with Christ. Maybe... No. I know it would have been a moot point if Paul went there. Maybe that is why they did what they did and left the mystery of how. – Michelle N. Gibbs Dec 24 '18 at 22:29

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