to the end of the earth

In their current canonical placement, Acts-Romans did hint to us that the gospel was on its way ‘to the end of the earth’ (Acts 1.8), as Jesus said to his disciples before he ascended to heaven. Acts ended with Paul in Rome and in his epistle to the church in Rome Paul wrote that he wanted to go to Spain (Rm 15.24) and he needed their help for his plan. And Spain was considered as ‘the end of the earth’ at that time. To be precise, ‘the extreme limit of the West’, as St. Clement put it in his epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cle 5.6). Indeed, although we can’t be really sure about this, Clement said that Paul did reach this ‘extreme limit of the West’: “Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the East and West, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the West, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience.” (1 Cle 5.5-6)

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