The Bible had a horror ending that Christianity “lost”

A religion didn’t like its own story

Jonathan Poletti
I blog God.


The vast storylines of the Bible end on a strange note: the apostle Paul is released from prison. The apostle’s epic—and the New Testament—just stops.

But if that works well enough for church, I’ve been reading up in scholarly literature, where a puzzling fact is noted. In early Christian sources, more was known of the story.

And it got messy.

Midjourney (2024)

Paul spent two years in a Roman prison waiting for a trial.

He’d been accused back in Jerusalem and transported to Rome to stand trial. His accusers had two years to make their case. They never showed, and Paul was released. That’s the last scene in the book of Acts.

Was it a weird way to end the story? Christians have often thought so. The book of Acts ends “mid-air,” and “frankly, in a very strange manner,” writes Christian commentator Phil Moore.

But key writers seemed to think Paul had next gone to Spain. Paul had spoken of wanting to bring the gospel of Jesus “to the ends of the earth,” as he says in Acts 13:46–47. At the time, that meant Spain.