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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 18)

18:1 {To Corinth} (\eis Korinthon\). Mummius had captured and
destroyed Corinth B.C. 146. It was restored by Julius Caesar B.C.
46 as a boom town and made a colony. It was now the capital of
the province of Achaia and the chief commercial city of Greece
with a cosmopolitan population. It was only fifty miles from
Athens. The summit of Acrocorinthus was 1,800 feet high and the
ports of Cenchreae and Lechaeum and the Isthmus across which
ships were hauled gave it command of the trade routes between
Asia and Rome. The temple of Aphrodite on the Acrocorinthus had a
thousand consecrated prostitutes and the very name to
Corinthianize meant immorality. Not the Parthenon with Athene
faced Paul in Corinth, but a worse situation. Naturally many Jews
were in such a mart of trade. Philippi, Thessalonica, Beroea,
Athens, all had brought anxiety to Paul. What could he expect in
licentious Corinth?

18:2 {Aquila} (\Akulan\). Luke calls him a Jew from Pontus,
apparently not yet a disciple, though there were Jews from Pontus
at the great Pentecost who were converted (2:9). Aquila who
made the famous A.D. translation of the O.T. was also from
Pontus. Paul "found" (\heurōn\, second aorist active participle
of \heuriskō\)
though we do not know how. Edersheim says that a
Jewish guild always kept together whether in street or synagogue
so that by this bond they probably met. {Lately come from Italy}
(\prosphatōs elēluthota apo tēs Italias\). Second perfect
participle of \erchomai\. _Koinē_ adverb, here only in the N.T.,
from adjective \prosphatos\ (\pro, sphaō\ or \sphazō\, to kill),
lately slaughtered and so fresh or recent (Heb 10:20). {With
his wife Priscilla}
(\kai Priskillan gunaika autou\). Diminutive
of \Priska\ (Ro 16:3; 1Co 16:19). Prisca is a name in the
Acilian family and the Prisci was the name of another noble clan.
Aquila may have been a freedman like many Jews in Rome. Her name
comes before his in verses 18,26; Ro 16:3; 2Ti 4:9. {Because
Claudius had commanded}
(\dia to diatetachenai Klaudion\).
Perfect active articular infinitive of \diatassō\, old verb to
dispose, arrange, here with accusative of general reference.
\Dia\ here is causal sense, "because of the having ordered as to
Claudius." This was about A.D. 49, done, Suetonius says
(_Claudius_ C. 25), because "the Jews were in a state of constant
tumult at the instigation of one Chrestus" (probably among the
Jews about Christ so pronounced)
. At any rate Jews were unpopular
in Rome for Tiberius had deported 4,000 to Sardinia. There were
20,000 Jews in Rome. Probably mainly those implicated in the
riots actually left.

18:3 {Because he was of the same trade} (\dia to homotechnon
. Same construction with \dia\ as above. \Homotechnon\ is
an old word (\homos, technē\), though here alone in N.T. Rabbi
Judah says: "He that teacheth not his son a trade, doth the same
as if he taught him to be a thief." So it was easy for Paul to
find a home with these "tentmakers by trade" (\skēnoipoioi tēi
. Late word from \skēnē\ and \poieō\, here only in the
N.T. They made portable tents of leather or of cloth of goat's
hair. So Paul lived in this home with this noble man and his
wife, all the more congenial if already Christians which they
soon became at any rate. They worked as partners in the common
trade. Paul worked for his support elsewhere, already in
Thessalonica (1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8) and later at Ephesus with
Aquila and Priscilla (Ac 18:18,26; 20:34; 1Co 16:19). They
moved again to Rome (Ro 16:3) and were evidently a couple of
considerable wealth and generosity. It was a blessing to Paul to
find himself with these people. So he "abode" (\emenen\,
imperfect active)
with them and "they wrought" (\ērgazonto\,
imperfect middle)
, happy and busy during week days.

18:4 {He reasoned} (\dielegeto\). Imperfect middle, same form as
in 17:17 about Paul's work in Athens, here only on the
Sabbaths. {Persuaded} (\epeithen\). Imperfect active, conative,
he tried to persuade both Jews and Greeks (God-fearers who alone
would come)

18:5 {Was constrained by the word} (\suneicheto tōi logōi\). This
is undoubtedly the correct text and not \tōi pneumati\ of the
Textus Receptus, but \suneicheto\ is in my opinion the direct
middle imperfect indicative, not the imperfect passive as the
translations have it (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 808). Paul held
himself together or completely to the preaching instead of just
on Sabbaths in the synagogue (verse 4). The coming of Silas and
Timothy with the gifts from Macedonia (1Th 3:6; 2Co 11:9; Php
set Paul free from tent-making for a while so that he
began to devote himself (inchoative imperfect) with fresh
consecration to preaching. See the active in 2Co 5:14. He was
now also assisted by Silas and Timothy (2Co 1:19). {Testifying
to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ}
(\diamarturomenos tois
Ioudaiois einai ton Christon Iēsoun\)
. Paul's witness everywhere
(9:22; 17:3). This verb \diamarturomenos\ occurs in 2:40
(which see) for Peter's earnest witness. Perhaps daily now in the
synagogue he spoke to the Jews who came. \Einai\ is the
infinitive in indirect discourse (assertion) with the accusative
of general reference. By \ton Christon\ Paul means "the Messiah."
His witness is to show to the Jews that Jesus of Nazareth is the

18:6 {When they opposed themselves} (\antitassomenōn autōn\).
Genitive absolute with present middle (direct middle again) of
\antitassō\, old verb to range in battle array (\tassō\) face to
face with or against (\anti\). In the N.T. only here and Ro
13:2; Jas 4:6; 1Pe 5:5. Paul's fresh activity roused the rabbis
as at Antioch in Pisidia and at Thessalonica in concerted
opposition and railing (blasphemy). {He shook out his raiment}
(\ektinaxamenos ta himatia\). First aorist middle of \ektinassō\,
old verb, in the N.T. only here as in 13:51 (middle) and Mr
6:11; Mt 10:15 where active voice occurs of shaking out dust
also. Vivid and dramatic picture here like that in Ne 5:13,
"undoubtedly a very exasperating gesture" (Ramsay), but Paul was
deeply stirred. {Your blood be upon your own heads} (\To haima
humōn epi tēn kephalēn humōn\)
. As in Eze 3:18f., 33:4,8f.; 2Sa
1:16. Not as a curse, but "a solemn disclaimer of
responsibility" by Paul (Page) as in Ac 20:26. The Jews used
this very phrase in assuming responsibility for the blood of
Jesus (Mt 27:25). Cf. Mt 23:35. {I am clean} (\katharos
. Pure from your blood. Repeats the claim made in previous
sentence. Paul had done his duty. {From henceforth} (\apo tou
. Turning point reached in Corinth. He will devote himself
to the Gentiles, though Jews will be converted there also.
Elsewhere as in Ephesus (19:1-10) and in Rome (Ac 28:23-28)
Paul will preach also to Jews.

18:7 {Titus Justus} (\Titou Ioustou\). So Aleph E Vulgate, while
B has \Titiau Ioustou\, while most MSS. have only \Ioustou\.
Evidently a Roman citizen and not Titus, brother of Luke, of Ga
2:1. We had Barsabbas Justus (Ac 1:23) and Paul speaks of
Jesus Justus (Co 4:11). The Titii were a famous family of
potters in Corinth. This Roman was a God-fearer whose house
"joined hard to the synagogue" (\ēn sunomorousa tēi sunagōgēi\).
Periphrastic imperfect active of \sunomoreō\, a late (Byzantine)
word, here only in the N.T., followed by the associative
instrumental case, from \sunomoros\ (\sun\, \homoros\ from
\homos\, joint, and \horos\, boundary)
having joint boundaries,
right next to. Whether Paul chose this location for his work
because it was next to the synagogue, we do not know, but it
caught the attendants at the synagogue worship. In Ephesus when
Paul had to leave the synagogue he went to the school house of
Tyrannus (19:9f.). The lines are being drawn between the
Christians and the Jews, drawn by the Jews themselves.

18:8 {Crispus} (\Krispos\). Though a Jew and ruler of the
synagogue (cf. 13:15), he had a Latin name. Paul baptized him
(1Co 1:14) himself, perhaps because of his prominence,
apparently letting Silas and Timothy baptize most of the converts
(1Co 1:14-17). Probably he followed Paul to the house of Titus
Justus. It looked like ruin for the synagogue. {With all his
(\sun holōi tōi oikōi autou\). Another household
conversion, for Crispus "believed (\episteusen\) in the Lord with
all his house." {Hearing believed and were baptized} (\akouontes
episteuon kai ebaptizonto\)
. Present active participle and
imperfect indicatives active and passive, expressing repetition
for the "many" others who kept coming to the Lord in Corinth. It
was a continual revival after Silas and Timothy came and a great
church was gathered here during the nearly two years that Paul
laboured in Corinth (possibly A.D. 51 and 52).

18:9 {Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace} (\Mē
phobou, alla lalei kai mē siōpēsēis\)
. Literally, "stop being
afraid (\mē\ with present middle imperative of \phobeō\), but go
on speaking (present active imperative of \laleō\) and do not
become silent (\mē\ and first aorist active of \siōpaō\,
ingressive aorist)
." Evidently there were signs of a gathering
storm before this vision and message from the Lord Jesus came to
Paul one night. Paul knew only too well what Jewish hatred could
do as he had learned it at Damascus, Jerusalem, Antioch in
Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Thessalonica, Beroea. He had
clearly moments of doubt whether he had not better move on or
become silent for a while in Corinth. Every pastor knows what it
is to have such moods and moments. In 2Th 3:2 (written at this
we catch Paul's dejection of spirits. He was like Elijah
(1Ki 19:4) and Jeremiah (Jer 15:15ff.).

18:10 {Because I am with thee} (\dioti egō eimi meta sou\). Jesus
had given this promise to all believers (Mt 28:20) and here he
renews it to Paul. This promise changes Paul's whole outlook.
Jesus had spoken to Paul before, on the way to Damascus (9:4),
in Jerusalem (22:17f.), in Troas (16:9), in great crises of
his life. He will hear him again (23:11; 27:23). Paul knows the
voice of Jesus. {No man shall set on thee to harm thee} (\oudeis
epithēsetai soi tou kakōsai se\)
. Future direct middle indicative
of \epitithēmi\, old and common verb, here in direct middle to
lay or throw oneself upon, to attack. Jesus kept that promise in
Corinth for Paul. \Tou kakōsai\ is genitive articular infinitive
of purpose of \kakoō\, to do harm to. Paul would now face all the
rabbis without fear. {I have much people} (\laos estin moi
. Dative of personal interest. "There is to me much
people," not yet saved, but who will be if Paul holds on. There
is the problem for every preacher and pastor, how to win the
elect to Christ.

18:11 {A year and six months} (\eniauton kai mēnas hex\).
Accusative of extent of time. How much time before this incident
he had been there we do not know. He was in Corinth probably a
couple of years in all. His work extended beyond the city (2Co
and there was a church in Cenchreae (Ro 16:1).

18:12 {When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia} (\Galliōnos de
anthupatou ontos tēs Achaias\)
. Genitive absolute of present
participle \ontos\. Brother of Seneca the Stoic (Nero's tutor)
and uncle of Lucan the author of the \Pharsalia\. His original
name was M. Annaeus Novatus till he was adopted by Gallio the
rhetorician. The family was Spanish. Gallio was a man of culture
and refinement and may have been chosen proconsul of Achaia for
this reason. Statius calls him "_dulcis Gallio_." Seneca says of
him: _Nemo enim mortalium uni tam dulcis quam hic omnibus_ (No
one of mortals is so pleasant to one person as he is to all)
Luke alone among writers says that he was proconsul, but Seneca
speaks of his being in Achaia where he caught fever, a
corroboration of Luke. But now a whitish grey limestone
inscription from the Hagios Elias quarries near Delphi (a letter
of Claudius to Delphi)
has been found which definitely names
Gallio as proconsul of Achaia (\authupatos tēs Achaias\). The
province of Achaia after various shifts (first senatorial, then
back and forth with Macedonia, in A.D. 44 Claudius gave
back to the Senate with proconsul as the title of the governor.
It is amazing how Luke is confirmed whenever a new discovery is
made. The discovery of this inscription has thrown light also on
the date of Paul's work in Corinth as it says that Gallio came in
the 26th acclamation of Claudius as Emperor in A.D. 51, that
would definitely fix the time of Paul in Corinth as A.D. 50 and
51 (or 51 and 52). Deissmann has a full and able discussion of
the whole matter in Appendix I to his _St. Paul_. {Rose up}
(\katepestēsan\). Second aorist active of \kat-eph-istēmi\,
intransitive, to take a stand against, a double compound verb
found nowhere else. They took a stand (\estēsan\) against
(\kata\, down on, \epi\, upon), they made a dash or rush at Paul
as if they would stand it no longer. {Before the judgment seat}
(\epi to bēma\). See on ¯12:21. The proconsul was sitting in the
basilica in the forum or agora. The Jews had probably heard of
his reputation for moderation and sought to make an impression as
they had on the praetors of Philippi by their rush (\sunepestē\,
. The new proconsul was a good chance also (25:2). So
for the second time Paul faces a Roman proconsul (Sergius Paulus,
though under very different circumstances.

18:13 {Contrary to the law} (\para ton nomon\). They did not
accuse Paul of treason as in Thessalonica, perhaps Paul had been
more careful in his language here. They bring the same charge
here that the owners of the slave-girl brought in Philippi
(16:21) Perhaps they fear to go too far with Gallio, for they
are dealing with a Roman proconsul, not with the politarchs of
Thessalonica. The Jewish religion was a _religio licita_ and they
were allowed to make proselytes, but not among Roman citizens. To
prove that Paul was acting contrary to Roman law (for Jewish law
had no standing with Gallio though the phrase has a double
these Jews had to show that Paul was making converts in
ways that violated the Roman regulations on that subject. The
accusation as made did not show it nor did they produce any
evidence to do it. The verb used \anapeithei\ means to stir up by
persuasion (old verb here only in the N.T.), a thing that he had
a right to do.

18:14 {When Paul was about to open his mouth} (\mellontos tou
Paulou anoigein to stoma\)
. Genitive absolute again. Before Paul
could speak, Gallio cut in and ended the whole matter. According
to their own statement Paul needed no defence. {Wrong}
(\adikēma\). _Injuria_. Old word, a wrong done one. In N.T. only
here, Ac 24:20; Re 18:5. Here it may mean a legal wrong to the
state. {Wicked villainy} (\rhāidiourgēma\). A crime, act of a
criminal, from \rhāidiourgos\ (\rhāidios\, easy, \ergon\, work),
one who does a thing with ease, adroitly, a "slick citizen."
{Reason would that I should bear with you} (\kata logon an
aneschomēn humōn\)
. Literally, "according to reason I should have
put up with you (or held myself back from you)." This condition
is the second class (determined as unfulfilled) and means that
the Jews had no case against Paul in a Roman court. The verb in
the conclusion (\aneschomēn\) is second aorist middle indicative
and means with the ablative \humōn\ "I should have held myself
back (direct middle) from you (ablative). The use of \an\ makes
the form of the condition plain.

18:15 {Questions} (\zētēmata\). Plural, contemptuous, "a parcel
of questions" (Knowling). {About words} (\peri logou\). Word,
singular, talk, not deed or fact (\ergon, factum\). {And names}
(\kai onomatōn\). As to whether "Jesus" should also be called
"Christ" or "Messiah." The Jews, Gallio knew, split hairs over
words and names. {And your own law} (\kai nomou tou kath' humās\)
Literally, "And law that according to you." Gallio had not been
caught in the trap set for him. What they had said concerned
Jewish law, not Roman law at all. {Look to it yourselves}
(\opsesthe autoi\). The volitive future middle indicative of
\horaō\ often used (cf. Mt 27:4) where an imperative could be
employed (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 874). The use of \autoi\
(yourselves) turns it all over to them. {I am not minded} (\ou
. I am not willing, I do not wish. An absolute refusal
to allow a religious question to be brought before a Roman civil
court. This decision of Gallio does not establish Christianity in
preference to Judaism. It simply means that the case was plainly
that Christianity was a form of Judaism and as such was not
opposed to Roman law. This decision opened the door for Paul's
preaching all over the Roman Empire. Later Paul himself argues
(Ro 9-11) that in fact Christianity is the true, the spiritual

18:16 {He drave them} (\apēlasen autous\). First aorist active
indicative of \apelaunō\, old word, but here alone in the N.T.
The Jews were stunned by this sudden blow from the mild proconsul
and wanted to linger to argue the case further, but they had to

18:17 {They all laid hold on Sosthenes} (\epilabomenoi pantes
. See 16:19; 17:19 for the same form. Here is
violent hostile reaction against their leader who had failed so
miserably. {Beat him} (\etupton\). Inchoative imperfect active,
began to beat him, even if they could not beat Paul. Sosthenes
succeeded Crispus (verse 8) when he went over to Paul. The
beating did Sosthenes good for he too finally is a Christian
(1Co 1:1), a co-worker with Paul whom he had sought to
persecute. {And Gallio cared for none of these things} (\kai
ouden toutōn tōi Galliōni emelen\)
. Literally, "no one of these
things was a care to Gallio." The usually impersonal verb
(\melei, emelen\, imperfect active) here has the nominative as in
Lu 10:40. These words have been often misunderstood as a
description of Gallio's lack of interest in Christianity, a
religious indifferentist. But that is quite beside the mark.
Gallio looked the other way with a blind eye while Sosthenes got
the beating which he richly deserved. That was a small detail for
the police court, not for the proconsul's concern. Gallio shows
up well in Luke's narrative as a clear headed judge who would not
be led astray by Jewish subterfuges and with the courage to
dismiss a mob.

18:18 {Having tarried after this yet many days} (\eti prosmeinas
hēmeras hikanas\)
. First aorist (constative) active participle of
\prosmenō\, old verb, to remain besides (\pros\ as in 1Ti 1:3)
and that idea is expressed also in \eti\ (yet). The accusative is
extent of time. On Luke's frequent use of \hikanos\ see 8:11.
It is not certain that this period of "considerable days" which
followed the trial before Gallio is included in the year and six
months of verse 11 or is in addition to it which is most
likely. Vindicated as Paul was, there was no reason for haste in
leaving, though he usually left after such a crisis was passed.
{Took his leave} (\apotaxamenos\). First aorist middle (direct),
old verb, to separate oneself, to bid farewell (Vulgate
, as in verse 21; Mr 6:46. {Sailed thence}
(\exeplei\). Imperfect active of \ekpleō\, old and common verb,
inchoative imperfect, started to sail. Only Priscilla and Aquila
are mentioned as his companions though others may have been in
the party. {Having shorn his head} (\keiramenos tēn kephalēn\).
First aorist middle (causative) of \keirō\, old verb to shear
(sheep) and the hair as also in 1Co 11:6. The participle is
masculine and so cannot refer to Priscilla. Aquila comes next to
the participle, but since mention of Priscilla and Aquila is
parenthetical and the two other participles (\prosmeinas,
refer to Paul it seems clear that this one does
also. {For he had a vow} (\eichen gar euchēn\). Imperfect active
showing the continuance of the vow up till this time in
Cenchreae, the port of Corinth when it expired. It was not a
Nazarite vow which could be absolved only in Jerusalem. It is
possible that the hair was only polled or trimmed, cut shorter,
not "shaved" (\xuraō\ as in 21:24) for there is a distinction
as both verbs are contrasted in 1Co 11:6 (\keirāsthai ē
. It is not clear what sort of a vow Paul had taken
nor why he took it. It may have been a thank offering for the
outcome at Corinth (Hackett). Paul as a Jew kept up his
observance of the ceremonial law, but refused to impose it on the

18:19 {Came} (\katēntēsan\). Came down, as usual in speaking of
coming to land (16:1). {To Ephesus} (\eis Epheson\). This great
city on the Cayster, the capital of the Province of Asia, the
home of the worship of Diana (Artemis) with a wonderful temple,
Paul at last had reached, though forbidden to come on the way out
on this tour (16:6). Here Paul will spend three years after his
return from Jerusalem. {He left them there} (\kakeinous katelipen
. That is, Priscilla and Aquila he left (second aorist
active indicative)
here (\autou\). But Luke mentions the
departure by way of anticipation before he actually went away
(verse 21). {But he himself} (\autos de\). Paul again the
leading person in the narrative. On this occasion he may have
gone alone into the synagogue. {He reasoned} (\dielexato\).
Luke's favourite word for Paul's synagogue discourses (17:2,17;
18:4 which see)
as also 19:8,9.

18:20 {When they asked him} (\erōtōntōn autōn\). Genitive
absolute of present participle of \erōtaō\, old verb to ask a
question, common in _Koinē_ to make a request as here. {He
consented not}
(\ouk epeneusen\). First aorist active indicative
of \epineuō\, old verb to express approval by a nod, only here in
the N.T.

18:21 {I shall return} (\anakampsō\). Future active indicative of
\anakamptō\, old verb to bend back, turn back (Mt 2:2). {If God
(\tou theou thelontos\). Genitive absolute of present
active participle. This expression (\ean\ with subjunctive)
occurs also in 1Co 4:19; 16:7; Jas 4:15. Such phrases were
common among Jews, Greeks, and Romans, and are today. It is
simply a recognition that we are in God's hands. The Textus
Receptus has here a sentence not in the best MSS.: "I must by all
means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem." This addition by
D and other documents may have been due to a desire to give a
reason for the language in verse 22 about "going up" to
Jerusalem. Whether Paul said it or not, it was in the spring when
he made this journey with a company of pilgrims probably going to
the feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem. We know that later Paul did
try to reach Jerusalem for Pentecost (20:16) and succeeded. As
the ship was leaving, Paul had to go, but with the hope of
returning soon to Ephesus as he did.

18:22 {He went up and saluted the church} (\anabas kai
aspasamenos tēn ekklēsian\)
. The language could refer to the
church in Caesarea where Paul had just landed, except for several
things. The going up (\anabas\, second aorist active participle
of \anabainō\)
is the common way of speaking of going to
Jerusalem which was up from every direction save from Hebron. It
was the capital of Palestine as people in England today speaking
of going up to London. Besides "he went down to Antioch" (\katebē
eis Antiocheian\, second aorist active indicative of \katabainō\)

which language suits better leaving Jerusalem than Caesarea.
Moreover, there was no special reason for this trip to Caesarea,
but to Jerusalem it was different. Here Paul saluted the church
in the fourth of his five visits after his conversion (9:26;
11:30; 15:4; 18:22; 21:17)
. The apostles may or may not have
been in the city, but Paul had friends in Jerusalem now.
Apparently he did not tarry long, but returned to Antioch to make
a report of his second mission tour as he had done at the close
of the first when he and Barnabas came back (14:26-28). He had
started on this tour with Silas and had picked up Timothy and
Luke, but came back alone. He had a great story to tell.

18:23 {Having spent some time} (\poiēsas chronon tina\).
Literally, having done some time. How long we do not know,
probably not long. There are those who place the visit of Peter
here to which Paul alludes in Ga 2:11ff. and which we have
located while Paul was here the last time (Ac 15:35). {He
(\exēlthen\). Thus simply and alone Paul began the
third mission tour without a Barnabas or a Silas. {Went through}
(\dierchomenos\). Present middle participle, going through. {The
region of Galatia and Phrygia}
(\ten Galatikēn chōran kai
. See on ¯Ac 16:6 for discussion of this phrase, here
in reverse order, passing through the Galatic region and then
Phrygia. Does Luke mean Lycaonia (Derbe and Lystra) and Phrygia
(Iconium and Pisidian Antioch)? Or does he mean the route west
through the old Galatia and the old Phrygia on west into Asia?
The same conflict exists here over the South Galatian and the
North Galatian theories. Phrygia is apparently distinguished from
the Galatic region here. It is apparently A.D. 52 when Paul set
out on this tour. {In order} (\kathexēs\). In succession as in
11:4, though the names of the cities are not given.
{Stablishing} (\stērizōn\). As he did in the second tour
(15:41, \epistērizōn\, compound of this same verb) which see.

18:24 {Apollos} (\Apollōs\). Genitive \-ō\ Attic second
declension. Probably a contraction of \Apollonios\ as D has it
here. {An Alexandrian} (\Alexandreus\). Alexander the Great
founded this city B.C. 332 and placed a colony of Jews there
which flourished greatly, one-third of the population at this
time. There was a great university and library there. The
Jewish-Alexandrian philosophy developed here of which Philo was
the chief exponent who was still living. Apollos was undoubtedly
a man of the schools and a man of parts. {A learned man} (\anēr
. Or eloquent, as the word can mean either a man of words
(like one "wordy," verbose) or a man of ideas, since \logos\ was
used either for reason or speech. Apollos was doubtless both
learned (mighty in the Scriptures) and eloquent, though eloquence
varies greatly in people's ideas. {Mighty in the Scriptures}
(\dunatos ōn en tais graphais\). Being powerful (\dunatos\ verbal
of \dunamai\ and same root as \dunamis\, dynamite, dynamo)
in the
Scriptures (in the knowledge and the use of the Scriptures), as
should be true of every preacher. There is no excuse for
ignorance of the Scriptures on the part of preachers, the
professed interpreters of the word of God. The last lecture made
to the New Testament English class in Southern Baptist
Theological Seminary by John A. Broadus was on this passage with
a plea for his students to be mighty in the Scriptures. In
Alexandria Clement of Alexandria and Origen taught in the
Christian theological school.

18:25 {Had been instructed in the way of the Lord} (\ēn
katēchēmenos tēn hodon tou kuriou\)
. Periphrastic past perfect
passive of \katēcheō\, rare in the old Greek and not in the LXX
from \kata\ and \ēcheō\ (\ēchō\, sound) as in Lu 1:4, to
re-sound, to re-echo, to teach by repeated dinning into the ears
as the Arabs do now, to teach orally by word of mouth (and ear).
Here the accusative of the thing (the word) is retained in the
passive like with \didaskō\, to teach (Robertson, _Grammar_, p.
. Being fervent in spirit (\zeōn tōi pneumati\). Boiling
(from \zeō\, to boil, old and common verb, in N.T. only here and
Ro 12:11)
like boiling water or yeast. The Latin verb _ferveo_
means to boil or ferment. Locative case after it. {Taught
(\edidasken akribōs\). Imperfect active, was teaching
or inchoative, began teaching, accurately. He taught accurately
what he knew, a fine gift for any preacher. {Only the baptism of
(\monon to baptisma Iōanou\). It was a {baptism of
(marked by repentance) as Paul said (13:24; 19:4),
as Peter said (2:38) and as the Gospels tell (Mr 1:4, etc.).
That is to say, Apollos knew only what the Baptist knew when he
died, but John had preached the coming of the Messiah, had
baptized him, had identified him as the Son of God, had
proclaimed the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but had not seen the
Cross, the Resurrection of Jesus, nor the great Day of Pentecost.

18:26 {They took him unto them} (\proselabonto\). Second aorist
middle (indirect) indicative of \proslambanō\, old verb, to their
home and heart as companion (cf. the rabbis and the ruffians in
. Probably for dinner after service. {Expounded}
(\exethento\). Second aorist (effective) middle indicative of
\ektithēmi\ seen already in 11:4, to set forth. {More
(\akribesteron\). Comparative adverb of \akribōs\.
More accurately than he already knew. Instead of abusing the
young and brilliant preacher for his ignorance they (particularly
gave him the fuller story of the life and work of
Jesus and of the apostolic period to fill up the gaps in his
knowledge. It is a needed and delicate task, this thing of
teaching gifted young ministers. They do not learn it all in
schools. More of it comes from contact with men and women rich in
grace and in the knowledge of God's ways. He was not rebaptized,
but only received fuller information.

18:27 {Encouraged him} (\protrepsamenoi\). First aorist middle
participle of \protrepō\, old verb, to urge forward, to push on,
only here in the N.T. Since Apollos wanted (\boulomenou autou\,
genitive absolute)
to go into Achaia, the brethren (including
others besides Priscilla and Aquila)
wrote (\egrapsan\) a letter
of introduction to the disciples in Corinth to receive him
(\apodexasthai auton\), a nice letter of recommendation and a
sincere one also. But Paul will refer to this very letter later
(2Co 3:1) and observe that he himself needed no such letter of
commendation. The Codex Bezae adds here that certain Corinthians
who had come to Ephesus heard Apollos and begged him to cross
over with them to Corinth. This may very well be the way that
Apollos was led to go. Preachers often receive calls because
visitors from other places hear them. Priscilla and Aquila were
well known in Corinth and their approval would carry weight. But
they did not urge Apollos to stay longer in Ephesus. {Helped them
(\sunebaleto polu\). Second aorist middle indicative of
\sunballō\ used in 17:18 for "dispute," old verb to throw
together, in the N.T. always in the active save here in the
middle (common in Greek writers) to put together, to help.
{Through grace} (\dia tēs charitos\). This makes sense if taken
with "believed," as Hackett does (cf. 13:48; 16:14) or with
"helped" (1Co 3:10; 15:10; 2Co 1:12). Both are true as the
references show.

18:28 {Powerfully} (\eutonōs\). Adverb from \eutonos\ (\eu\,
well, \teinō\, to stretch)
, well-strung, at full stretch.
{Confuted} (\diakatēlegcheto\). Imperfect middle of the double
compound verb \dia-kat-elegchomai\, to confute with rivalry in a
contest, here alone. The old Greek has \dielegchō\, to convict of
falsehood, but not this double compound which means to argue down
to a finish. It is the imperfect tense and does not mean that
Apollos convinced these rabbis, but he had the last word.
{Publicly} (\dēmosiāi\). See 5:18; 16:37. In open meeting where
all could see the victory of Apollos. {Shewing} (\epideiknus\).
Present active participle of \epideiknumi\, old verb to set forth
so that all see. {By the Scriptures} (\dia tōn graphōn\). In
which Apollos was so "mighty" (verse 24) and the rabbis so weak
for they knew the oral law better than the written (Mr 7:8-12).
{That Jesus was the Christ} (\einai ton Christon Iēsoun\).
Infinitive and the accusative in indirect assertion. Apollos
proclaims the same message that Paul did everywhere (17:3). He
had not yet met Paul, but he had been instructed by Priscilla and
Aquila. He is in Corinth building on the foundation laid so well
by Paul (1Co 3:4-17). Luke has here made a brief digression
from the story of Paul, but it helps us understand Paul better
There are those who think that Apollos wrote Hebrews, a guess
that may be correct.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 18)