How Many Times Was Paul Stoned

How Many Times Was Paul Stoned?

Paul is one example of many men and women in the Bible that experienced extreme hardship and persecution because of their faith. Throughout the book of Acts and Paul’s letters, we read about the numerous sufferings Paul endured.

In total, Paul was stoned one time. We read about this in Acts 14:19-20 and 2 Corinthians 11:25.

“Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.”
Acts 14:19-20 NKJV

“Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep.”
2 Corinthians 11:25 NKJV

Biblical stoning was a common method of execution. A large group of people would gather and throw stones at the guilty person until they were dead. This was a horrifically painful and brutal way to die. It was also likely an effective deterrent of crimes.

The Bible isn’t clear if Paul died during the stoning incident, but it’s very likely the case. The people who were throwing the stones had the expectation that Paul would die, and they dragged him out of the city thinking he was dead. This could be connected to Paul’s experience in Heaven that he describes in 2 Corinthians 12.

If Paul died and was raised to life, he would no longer fear death. After the disciples gathered around Paul, he got up and returned to the city where he was just stoned. 

If anything, it appears that this experience only encouraged Paul to share the Good News with greater zeal.

As we read in 2 Corinthians 11:25, being stoned wasn’t the only physical persecution Paul faced. He was beaten with wooden rods on multiple occasions, whipped 39 times on three occasions, and he spent about 5 years in prison.

About 10 years after writing 2 Corinthians, Paul was beheaded by the Roman Emperor Nero because of his faith. 

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