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ACTS
The continued Life of Jesus through the Apostles

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

"Corinth"
Key Verse = Acts 18:10

  1. Ministering at Corinth
  2. Paul Returns to Antioch
  3. Ministry of Apollos



MINISTERING  AT  CORINTH

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Acts 18:1
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth.

Then Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;


Corinth
Corinth was one of Athens's ancient rivals; the capital of Achaea, it had long since surpassed Athens. Roman Corinth was the political and economic center of Greece, still proverbial for its immorality.

A city of Greece, on the narrow isthmus between the Peloponnesus and the mainland. At an early date a town grew up at the south end of this neck of land on the plateau at the north foot of the Acro-Corinthus. The Acro-Corinthus was a mountain 1,800 feet high, and its summit served as a citadel and as the site for a temple. The town attracted Phoenician settlers, who made a purple dye from fish of the neighboring waters, introduced the manufacture of cloth, pottery, and armor, and established the impure worship of the Phoenician deities. About 1074 B.C. the political supremacy passed to the Dorians (from the areas north, called Macedonia). In 196 B.C. Greece was declared independent by the Romans, but in 146 B.C., in consequence of rebellion against Rome, the Roman consul Mummius burned the city to ashes. The city was rebuilt by Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., became the capital of the Roman province of Achaia, and was ruled by a Proconsul. Through all of this the character of the inhabitants remained unchanged; they were commercial in spirit, unwarlike, luxurious, and licentious. Their immoral life gave rise to a verb “to corinthianize.”

Its people comprised the three main elements upon whom the apostles sought to impress the truths of the gospel:
1. There were in largest numbers the native Greeks of every class and degree of culture.
2. As a Roman colony, there were also a great number of Romans, as is intimated by the Latin names found in Romans 16, and the epistle being written from Corinth during Paul’s second visit.
3. And that a chief settlement of Jews was at Corinth, we know from its commercial distinction and their universal prominence as world-traders and from Paul’s epistles to the Corinthians.

Paul probably arrived at Corinth between A.D. 52-54.
 
It is said (according to the Companion Bible) that Paul wrote the epistles of Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and Hebrews during this time.

The 1800 foot Acro-Corinthus still stands, but the Acropolis with its temple on the plateau of the summit is no more.

The city itself stood on a little island; it had two ports, Lecheeum on the west, and Cenchrea on the east. It was one of the most populous and wealthy cities of Greece, and at the same time one of the most luxurious, effeminate, ostentatious, and dissolute. Lasciviousness here was not only practiced and allowed, but was consecrated by the worship of Venus; and no small part of the wealth and splendor of the city arose from the offerings made by licentious passion in the very temples of this goddess. No city of ancient times was more profligate. It was the Paris of antiquity; the seat of splendor, and show, and corruption.

Yet even here, notwithstanding all the disadvantages of splendor, gaiety, and dissoluteness, Paul entered on the work of rearing a church; and here he was eminently successful. The two epistles which he afterward wrote to this church show the extent of his success; and the well-known character and propensities of the people will account for the general drift of the admonitions and arguments in those epistles. Corinth was destroyed by the Romans 146 years before Christ; and during the conflagration several metals in a fused state, running together, produced the composition known as Corinthian brass. It was afterward restored by Julius Caesar, who planted in it a Roman colony. It soon regained its ancient splendor, and relapsed into its former dissipation and licentiousness. Paul arrived there in 52 or 53 A.D.

Some insights into Paul's emotions as he came to Corinth are seen in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. His acknowledged weakness, fear, and much trembling may have been due to several factors:
(1) He came alone.
(2) The difficulties he had faced since coming to Macedonia may have filled him with apprehension as to what would happen in Corinth (cf. Acts 18:9-10).
(3) Even in a world hardened to profligacy Corinth held a reputation for its sexual license.
The fact that Paul came to Corinth alone may account for his having baptized some people in that city, a practice he normally delegated to others (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:14-17).
(from Bible Knowledge Commentary/Old Testament Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries; Bible Knowledge Commentary/New Testament Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries. All rights reserved.)
 
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.     (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 1:14-17
I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.     (NKJV)

From the Amplified Bible
(1)  After this [Paul] departed from Athens and went to Corinth.

Acts 18:2 & 3
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(2)  And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them.

And there he found a Jew named Aquila, from the region of Pontus, who had just arrived from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudias Caesar had commanded all Jews to leave Rome; and Paul went to them.

(3)  So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.

And because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked with them; for they were saddle makers by trade.


Aquila ("an eagle")
Aquila was a Jew, born in Pontus (as was the Aquila who translated the Old Testament into Greek); the name is Latin, assumed as Jews often took a Roman name, when thrown into much contact with Romans.  He and his wife, Priscilla, had lived in Rome, but had recently moved to Corinth because Claudias had forced all Jews to leave Rome.

Along with his wife, Priscilla, at least once risked their own lives to save Paul's life (Romans 16:4 "who risked their own necks for my life").

Priscilla
Aquila's wife, who is never mentioned without her. 
Romans 16:3: Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus
2 Timothy 4:19: Greet Prisca and Aquila
She took part with Aquila in instructing Apollos (Acts 18:26).
(from Easton's Bible Dictionary, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Claudius
Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus
Fourth Roman emperor; he reigned from A.D. 41 to 54; he was successor of Caligula; son of Nero Drusus; born 9 B.C.
He lived in privacy until he became emperor ( A.D. 41) mainly through the influence of Herod Agrippa I (Josephus, Ant. 19:2, section 1, 3, 4), whose territory therefore he enlarged by adding Judaea, Samaria, and part of Lebanon.  He appointed Herod's brother to Chalcis and the presidency over the temple at Jerusalem.
In Claudius' reign occurred the famine in Palestine and Syria (Acts 11:28-30) under the procurators Cuspins Fadus and Tiberius Alexander.
Suetonius (Claud., 25:4) writes: "Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome, as they were constantly raising disturbances under the instigation of one Christ" (this was between A.D. 50 and 52): a sample of the ignorance of pagan writers in respect to Christ and Judaism.
Claudius was poisoned by his fourth wife, Agrippina Nero's mother ( A.D. 54), after a weak reign in which, according to Suetonius (29), "he showed himself not a prince but a servant" in the hands of others.
(from Fausset's Bible Dictionary, Electronic Database Copyright © 1998, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

It is presumed that the pagan Suetonius was speaking not of some otherwise unknown Chrestus but of Christos  and misspelled the word (The Greek word “Christos” is usually brought over into English as “Christ.”). If so, Suetonius ( 75-160 C. E.) is one of the earliest writers outside the New Testament to mention Yeshua Jesus the Messiah, and his expression, “instigation of Christos,” would refer to disputes between Messianic and non-Messianic Jews. However, the possibility remains that “Chrestus” was someone else altogether. See 28:24-25.
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

The same trade - tentmakers
In the ancient economy, people of the same trade did not compete with one another as they do today.
They usually lived together in the same part of town and formed trade guilds.
Their trade guilds normally adopted a patron deity, and they ate sacrificial food at their regular banquets together.
This cultic orientation of trade guilds would exclude practicing Jews from the fellowship, making Jews delighted to find other Jews of their own trade.
By this period, the term translated "tentmaker" was also applied to leatherworking in general.
As a leatherworker, Paul would have been an artisan. Artisans were typically proud of their work, despite the long hours they had to invest to succeed, and were higher than peasants in status and income; but they were despised by higher classes, who thought labor with one's hands degrading.
Corinth's agora (central marketplace) had the longest line of colonnaded shops in the empire.
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Sha’ul Saul (Paul) earned his own living (see also 1 Corinthians 9:1-19), even though he taught that those who proclaim the Good News are entitled to be supported by their fellow believers (1 Corinthians 9:14). In observing the Mishnaic admonition, “Do not make of the Torah...a spade with which to dig” (which means, don't use your knowledge of spiritual things as a means of getting rich), he went beyond the call of duty.

From the Amplified Bible
(2)  There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently arrived from Italy with Priscilla his wife, due to the fact that Claudius had issued an edict that all the Jews were to leave Rome. And [Paul] went to see them,
(3)  And because he was of the same occupation, he stayed with them; and they worked [together], for they were tentmakers by trade.

Acts 18:4-6
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(4)  And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

And he spoke in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the pagans.

(5)  When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.

And when Silas and Timotheus came from Macedonia, Paul felt he was not free to speak, because the Jews opposed him and blasphemed as he testified that Jesus is the Christ.

(6)  But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, "Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."

So he shook his garments and said to them, From henceforth I am not to be blamed for what I am about to do; I am going to the Gentiles.


Reasoned
Dialegomai  (NT:1256) - middle voice; to say thoroughly, i.e. discuss (in argument or exhortation)

The church met in houses for the first three centuries (12:12; Romans 16:5 "greet the church that is in their house").  Synagogues also sometimes gathered in homes until the Jewish community could afford a special building, and between persecution and the need for funds to free slaves, feed the poor and support missionaries, the churches had no money left for buildings anyway. Patrons' homes in Corinth normally seated nine in the triclinium (the best room) and as many as forty others in the adjoining atrium (the largest furnished room). The status and thoroughly Latin name of "Titius Justus" identify him as a Roman citizen and part of the Roman culture (Corinth was both Greek and Roman in this period); he may have been from one of the Roman families established there in the time of Julius Caesar. His first name may be Gaius (Romans 16:23; 1 Corinthians 1:14).

Persuaded
Peithos  (NT:3981) -  to being able to persuade or convince - 'persuasive, convincing.'

When Silas and Timothy  had come
Everyone agrees that Paul was a great Christian and a great missionary evangelist, but how much would Paul have accomplished alone? Friends like Aquila and Priscilla, Silas and Timothy, and the generous believers in Macedonia, made it possible for Paul to serve the Lord effectively. His Christian friends, new and old, encouraged him at a time when he needed it the most.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

They came to Paul according to the request which he had sent by the brethren who accompanied him from Thessalonica, Acts 17:15.

Paul apparently planned to return from Corinth to Macedonia and continue his ministry in Thessalonica and Beroea after the arrival of Silas and Timothy. The Epistles tell us more about the movements of these two than does Acts. Paul had left them in Beroea with instructions to join him in Athens as soon as possible (Acts 17:15). They did, in fact, join Paul in Athens (1 Thessalonians 3:1), apparently bringing word that it was not safe for him to return to Macedonia. He therefore sent Timothy back to Thessalonica and Silas to some other city in Macedonia, possibly Philippi. Now Silas and Timothy joined him again in Corinth; and when they reported that Paul could not return to Macedonia, he devoted himself with fresh vigor to the evangelization of Corinth.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)

Compelled
He was urged; was borne away by an unusual impulse. It was deeply impressed on him as his duty.

He was constrained by the Spirit of God, in an extraordinary manner, to testify to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.

Some believe this was the result of the coming of Silas and Timothy with offerings which enabled Paul to leave his trade and focus full time on spreading the Gospel.

Another view suggests that this was a low point in Paul's spiritual experience, and the coming of Timothy and Silas  encouraged him, and allowed him to be more open to the moving and direction of the spirit.
This journey began with an unresolved dispute between Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:39).
Paul was unable to get clear direction from God (Acts 16:6-8)
He was left alone (Acts 17:15).
When a dispute between believers is allowed to grow, and left to be unresolved, the communication between God and the believer is clouded, and discouragement finds a foothold that can disrupt the witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Opposed and blasphemed
Antitassomai  (NT:498)  to set the battle in array - to range in battle against. Translated elsewhere resist (Romans 13:2; James 4:6; 5:6; 1 Peter 5:5).

Blasphemeo  (NT:987)  abusive speech, personal mockery

This is all that is left for men to do when they have no arguments against Jesus being the Messiah; so, having sold themselves to rebellion, they were pressed to the point of blasphemy.
(from Dake Annotated Reference Bible © 2007 by Dake Publishing. All rights reserved in U.S.A. and Other Countries.)

Whenever God is blessing a ministry, you can expect increased opposition as well as increased opportunities.
1 Corinthians 16:9
"For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries"        (NKJV).
After all, the enemy gets angry when we invade his territory and liberate his slaves. As in Thessalonica and Berea (Acts 17:5-13), the unbelieving Jews who rejected the Word stirred up trouble for Paul and his friends (see 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16). Such opposition is usually proof that God is at work, and this ought to encourage us. Spurgeon used to say that the devil never kicks a dead horse!
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Your blood be on your own heads
Compare Matthew 27:24, 25
When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it."  And all the people answered and said, "His blood be on us and on our children."

That is, let the guilt of putting him to death, if there be any; be on us and our children. We will be answerable for it, and will consent to bear the punishment for it. It is remarked by writers that, among the Athenians, if anyone accused another of a capital crime, he devoted himself and children to the same punishment if the accused was afterward found innocent. So in all countries the conduct of the parent involves the children in the consequences of his conduct. The Jews had no RIGHT to call down this vengeance on their children, but, in the righteous judgment of God, it has come upon them. In less than forty years their city and temple were overthrown and destroyed. More than a million of people perished in the siege.

Thousands died by famine; thousands by disease; thousands by the sword; and their blood ran down the streets like water, so that, Josephus says, it extinguished things that were burning in the city. Thousands were CRUCIFIED suffering the same punishment that they had inflicted on the Messiah. So great was the number of those who were crucified, that, Josephus says, they were obliged to cease from it, "room being wanted for the crosses, and crosses for the men."  They have been a nation scattered and peeled; persecuted almost everywhere, and a hissing and a byword among people. No single nation, probably, has suffered so much; and yet they have been preserved.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

I am clean
For my part, I am clean. At Ezekiel 18:16-19 God tells the prophet that he will be blameworthy if he fails to warn the wicked person to leave his wicked ways, but if he does warn him he will be guiltless. Sha’ul is, in effect, applying the passage to himself and saying, “I have done what I could to bring you the message of salvation; you choose to reject it at your peril, but I have discharged my responsibility.
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Ezekiel 3:17-21
Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.
Ezekiel 33:1-9
Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,  "Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: 'When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.'
So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall surely die!' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 9 Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

I Thessalonians written
At this time Paul probably wrote his first letter to the Thessalonians, whom he had just visited (17:1-9). He wrote his second letter to them about three months later.
(from Willmington's Bible Handbook by Harold Willmington Copyright © 1997 by Harold L. Willmington. Produced with permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(4)  But he discoursed and argued in the synagogue every Sabbath and won over [both] Jews and Greeks.
(5)  By the time Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was completely engrossed with preaching, earnestly arguing and testifying to the Jews that Jesus [is] the Christ.
(6)  But since they kept opposing and abusing and reviling him, he shook out his clothing [against them] and said to them, Your blood be upon your [own] heads! I am innocent [of it]. From now on I will go to the Gentiles (the heathen). [Acts 13:46.]

Acts 18:7 & 8
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(7)  And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue.

And he departed thence and entered into the house of a certain man named Titus, a devout man whose household had joined the synagogue.

(8)  Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.

And Crispus, the chief of the synagogue, believed in our Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians hearing him believed in God and were baptized.


Entered the house
Not necessarily changing his lodging, but no longer preaching in the Synagogue.

And henceforth carrying on his labors in this house of Justus, which, 'joining hard to the synagogue.' would be easily accessible to such of its worshippers as were still open to light. Justus, too, being probably a proselyte, would more easily draw a mixed audience than the synagogue. From this time forth conversions rapidly increased.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Justus
Called Titus Justus in some manuscripts and versions.

The status and thoroughly Latin name of "Titius Justus" identify him as a Roman citizen and part of the Roman culture (Corinth was both Greek and Roman in this period); he may have been from one of the Roman families established there in the time of Julius Caesar. His first name may be Gaius (Romans 16:23  "Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you."; 1 Corinthians 1:14  "I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius").
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

Evidently a Roman citizen and not Titus, brother of Luke, of Galatians 2:1. We had Barsabbas Justus (Acts 1:23) and Paul speaks of Jesus Justus (Colossians 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"
(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright © 1985 by Broadman Press.)

Next to the synagogue
Definitely a confrontational tactic. Sha’ul had no intention of being intimidated or dropping out of sight. He still intended his and the Gospel's presence to be very visible in the Jewish community. Believers today should consider following his example and making the saving message of Yeshua clearly evident to Jewish people. The wisdom of Sha’ul's policy is shown in the following verse and in the reassurance of vv. 9-10.
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Crispus
"Crispus" is a typical Roman name. It was not uncommon for Jewish people to have Latin names ("Crispus" and "Crispina" appear several times in Jewish inscriptions), but the proportion of Latin names among Paul's associates is so much higher than generally in inscriptions (even though inscriptions were normally made by the well-to-do) that it is likely that a number of Paul's Jewish and Greek associates were also Roman citizens. To be "synagogue ruler" means that Crispus is a person of status and wealth, responsible for the synagogue services.

He was the president of the synagogue, or: “the synagogue-ruler,” meaning one of several (see v. 17). Sha’ul himself immersed Crispus (1 Corinthians 1:14).
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

He is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:14  ("I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius") as having been one of the few whom Paul baptized with his own hands. The conversion of such a man must have tended greatly to exasperate the other Jews, and to further the progress of the Christian faith among the Corinthians.

Many of the Corinthians
Many even in this voluptuous and wicked city. Perhaps the power of the gospel was never more signal than in converting sinners in Corinth, and rearing a Christian church in a place so dissolute and abandoned. If it was adapted to such a place as Corinth; if a church, under the power of Christian truth, could be organized there, it is adapted to any city, and there is none so corrupt that the gospel cannot change and purify it.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(7)  He then left there and went to the house of a man named Titus Justus, who worshiped God and whose house was next door to the synagogue.
(8)  But Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed [that Jesus is the Messiah and acknowledged Him with joyful trust as Savior and Lord], together with his entire household; and many of the Corinthians who listened [to Paul also] believed and were baptized.

Acts 18:9-11
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(9)   Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;

Then the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, Be not afraid, but speak and be not silent.

(10)  for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city."

For I am with you and no man can harm you; and I have many people in this city.

(11)  And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

For he had already been in Corinth a year and six months and had taught the word of God among them.


Assurance oracles such as "I will be with you" were standard in the Old Testament (e.g., Genesis 15:1; 26:24; Jeremiah 1:8  "8 Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you," says the Lord."; 15:20 "For I am with you to save you and deliver you,").
(From IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

Afraid
fobeoo, foboo (NT:5399)  to terrify, frighten, to put to flight by terrifying
1. to be put to flight, to flee
2. to fear, be afraid; Matthew 10:31
(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2000, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Perhaps Paul was in need of this encouragement from the Lord because of what had happened earlier during this missionary journey.

Acts 16:22-24 At Philippi Paul was beaten and thrown in prison.
Acts 17:5-10 At Thessalonica The unbelieving Jews stirred up the mob in Thessalonica and, not able to find Paul, they attacked Jason. Paul escaped in the night and went to Berea.
Acts 17:13-15 At Berea The Jews from Thessalonica followed Paul to Berea and stirred up the Jews at Berea.  Paul had to escaped once again and went to Athens..
God is letting Paul know that he does not need to flee as he did in Thessalonica and Berea.

That this comfort and assurance were necessary himself shows us in his first epistle to these Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 2:3: "I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling".
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Paul's vision speaks to us about three things
I THE WORKER
Paul, at a time of sore discouragement and depression. The best of men are but men at the best. The strongest men, apart from a firm faith in the Lord God, are as weak as the weakest. Now if any working Christian feels weak and discouraged, let it rally him to know that no affliction has overtaken him but such as is common to men.
II THE WORKER'S MASTER
1. He knows us in the midst of all our weakness and discouragement, and makes His first concern the individual worker. He is not simply concerned with the whole mass and movement of the spiritual campaign, like some great general who cannot be concerned with the individual soldier. Christ is concerned in the whole; but at the same time He says, "I see every man who is tugging and fighting, and feeling himself discouraged."
2. The Lord's comfort comes straight to the sore place. Now, Paul's greatest failing and fear, as suggested by the narrative, was: "It's no use my preaching here. To the Greeks it is like the idle wind; and to the Jews it is like the red rag to the bull." The Lord speaks straight to the point; and says,
"Be not afraid" -- pointing to the fact that he was afraid --
"but speak, and hold not thy peace" -- pointing to the fact that fear was beginning to muzzle his mouth.
In Athens they called Paul "spermologos," a chattering sparrow, a seed picker, a man talking a kind of rant, with the suggestion that it is not his own; it was picked up somewhere else, and we can't understand it.
God says to Paul: "Babble away, Paul. I will be with you, and to those who are saved the babbling will be the power of God and the wisdom of God."
3. The Lord gave him a word about personal safety -- "No one will attack you to hurt you."  Let us go on with the work for which we are here. I wish we would look to the Master. Paul was looking at himself and at the Corinthians; Christ said, "Look at Me! I am nearer to you than your fears." "Lo, I am with thee always, even to the end of the world"
III THE MASTER'S VERDICT ON THE WORK
"I have much people in this city." You will always find that while the Lord is comforting Elijah, and David (1 Kings 19:18 "Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal"), and Peter, and Paul, and you, and me, there is a smile on His face, as much as to say, "You are forgetting 'I have much people in this city.' If the work had been yours, that were another thing. But this gospel is Mine. I weighed this Corinthian pigsty in the scales of My eternal purposes, and from all eternity I marked out my own in Corinth, and I will get them. Go out and call them. They will come."
Whatever department of social life you look at, if you look carefully through the Epistles to the Corinthians, you will find that there was a sample of Christ's saving grace. It went right into the midst of Corinthian worldliness and commercial activity, and laid hold of Erastus, the City Chamberlain, and held him out as a sample. Then, again, there was the household of Stephanas. He got the families there. And if he would say again, "Lord, there are people here sunken in drunkenness and in lasciviousness."  How it must have encouraged Paul, this look of things from the Master's point of view.                                                                                                         (J. McNeill.)
(from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.)

A year and six months
This was A.D. 54-55, during which time he wrote
1 Thessalonians (54 A.D.)
2 Thessalonians (55 A.D.)
(from Dake Annotated Reference Bible © 2007 by Dake Publishing. All rights reserved in U.S.A. and Other Countries.)

From the Amplified Bible
(9)    And one night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, Have no fear, but speak and do not keep silent;
(10)  For I am with you, and no man shall assault you to harm you, for I have many people in this city. [Isaiah 43:5; Jeremiah 1:8.]
(11)  So he settled down among them for a year and six months, teaching the Word of God [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God].

Acts 18:12 & 13
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(12)  When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat,

And when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul; and they brought him to the judgment seat,

(13)  saying, "This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law."

Saying, This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.


Gallio
Gallio was proconsul of Achaia between 51 and 53 C. E.[A. D.], according to an inscription from Delphi; this is an important factual landmark in determining the chronology of Sha’ul's travels. Unbelieving Jews here and at v. 28.

The proconsul of Achaia had ended his term of office, and the proconsul appointed by the emperor was Marcus Annaeus Novatus, who, having been adopted by the friendly rhetorician Lucius Junius Gallio, had taken the name of Lucius Junius Antaeus Gallio. Very different was the estimate of his contemporaries from that which has made his name since proverbial for indifferentism. The brother of Seneca and the uncle of Luean, he was the most; universally popular member of that distinguished family. "No mortal man is so sweet to any single person as he is to all mankind"; "Even those who love my brother Gallio to the utmost yet do not love him enough," wrote Seneca of him. He was the very flower of pagan courtesy and culture. A Roman with all a Roman's dignity and seriousness, and yet with all the grace and versatility of a polished Greek. Whatever the former proconsul had been, he had not been one with whom the Jews could venture to trifle, nor had they ventured to hand Paul over to the secular arm. But now that a new proconsul, well known for his mildness, had arrived, who was perhaps unfamiliar with the duties of his office, and whose desire for popularity might have made him complaisant to prosperous Jews, they thought they could with impunity excite a tumult. Though Claudius had expelled the Jews from Rome, their religion was a religio licita; but the religion of "this fellow," they urged, was a spurious counterfeit of Judaism which had become a religio illicita by running counter to its Mosaic Law.
(from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.)

The use of this term here (proconsul) is another striking confirmation of the historical accuracy of this book, since Tiberius had changed this province from a senatorial to an imperial one, and accordingly sent there a Procurator (as Tacitus states, Ann. i. 76); but Claudius having restored its senatorial character (as we learn from Suetonius, Claud. 25), its proper governor would be, as here stated, a Proconsul. This Gallio was brother to the celebrated philosopher Seneca, Nero's tutor, who afterward passed sentence of death upon both of them.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Achaia, in its largest sense, comprehended the whole of Greece. Achaia proper, however, was a province of which Corinth was the capital. It embraced that part of Greece lying between Thessaly and the southern part of the Peloponnesus.

Rose up...against Paul
They excited a tumult, as they had in Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea..
The Jews seized the opportunity to try the mettle of this new proconsul, hoping that he might yield to their pressure. An unfavorable verdict from a Roman governor against Paul would have been effective not only in Corinth but throughout the entire province. Therefore they instigated a riot and brought Paul before Gallio's judgment seat, accusing the evangelist of propagating a religion that was contrary to the Roman law. Roman law recognized Judaism as a legitimate religion. The Jews accused Paul of teaching a new religion that was contrary to Judaism and therefore contrary to Roman law.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)

Judgment seat
Greek: bema (NT:968),  a seat on a platform on which the judge sat between the accused and the accuser on two other platforms in the court. Jews had no power to punish any person in a Roman province, so were obliged to bring Paul before the Roman governor. Had they possessed power of death here Paul would have been put to death.
(from Dake Annotated Reference Bible © 2007 by Dake Publishing. All rights reserved in U.S.A. and Other Countries.)

Contrary to the law
Evidently intending contrary to all law - the laws of the Romans and of the Jews. It was permitted to the Jews to worship God according to their own views in Greece; but they could easily pretend that Paul had departed from that mode of worshipping God. It was easy for them to maintain that he taught contrary to the laws of the Romans and their acknowledged religion; and their design seems to have been to accuse him of teaching people to worship God in an unlawful and irregular way, a way unknown to any of the laws of the empire.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

This accusation was very insidious. The Jews had permission by the Romans to worship their own God in their own way: this the laws allowed. The Roman worship was also established by the law. The Jews probably intended to accuse Paul of acting contrary to both laws. "He is not a Jew, for he does not admit of circumcision; he is not a Gentile, for he preaches against the worship of the gods. He is setting up a worship of his own, in opposition to all laws, and persuading many people to join with him: he is therefore a most dangerous man, and should be put to death."
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(12)  But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia (most of Greece), the Jews unitedly made an attack upon Paul and brought him before the judge's seat,
(13)  Declaring, This fellow is advising and inducing and inciting people to worship God in violation of the Law [of Rome and of Moses].

Acts 18:14-17
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(14)  And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O Jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you.

And as Paul was desirous to open his mouth and speak, Gallio said to the Jews, If your accusations were based on something criminal, fraudulent, or vicious, I would welcome you properly, O Jews;

(15)  But if it is a question of words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; for I do not want to be a judge of such matters."

But if they are a mere question of words and names and concerning your law, you can settle it better among yourselves; for I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.

(16)  And he drove them from the judgment seat.

And he drove them from his judgment seat.

(17)  Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. But Gallio took no notice of these things.

Then the pagans seized Sosthenes, the elder of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio disregarded these things.


About to open his mouth
In self defense, ever ready to vindicate his conduct.

A matter of wrong
Injustice, or crime, such as could be properly brought before a court of justice.

Or wicked crimes
Villainy  (NT:4467)
1. rhadiourgia Literally. and primarily denotes "ease in working" (rhadios, "easy," ergon, "work"), "easiness, laziness"; hence "recklessness, wickedness,"
RV, "villainy,"   KJV, "mischief."     In the papyri it is used of "theft."
2. rhadiourgema  "a reckless act" (akin to No. 1)
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

Any flagrant and gross offence.  The word used here occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It denotes properly an act committed by him who is skilled, facile, or an adept in iniquity an act of a veteran offender. Such crimes Gallio was willing to take cognizance of.

A Roman magistrate's first decision was whether to accept a charge and so decide a case.

Of words
A dispute about words, for such he would regard all their controversies about religion to be.

And names
Probably he had heard something of the nature of the controversy, and understood it to be a dispute about names; that is, whether Jesus was to be called the Messiah or not. To him this would appear as a matter pertaining to the Jews alone, and to be ranked with their other disputes arising from the difference of sect and name.

Your law
A question respecting the proper interpretation of the Jewish Law, or the rites and ceremonies which it commanded. The Jews had many such disputes, and Gallio did not regard them as coming under his cognizance as a magistrate.

Gallio dismisses the case. Roman courts decided violations of Roman law; but various individual edicts throughout the empire had given Jewish courts jurisdiction over internal Jewish affairs, and Gallio is not about to meddle in them. Gallio thus accepts Paul's religion as a variant form of Judaism, rather than a new and illegal religion (religio illicita). Although precedent was not binding in Roman law, it was important and would likely be followed by other provincial governors; if involved in legal cases, Luke's Christian readers can cite this case on their own behalf.

And he drove them
Apelauno  (NT:556)  to dismiss.

He refused to hear and decide the controversy. The word used here does not denote that there was any violence used by Gallio, but merely that he dismissed them in an authoritative manner.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

How strange and wonderful are the providences of God! The Jews tried to force the Roman proconsul to declare the Christian faith illegal, but Gallio ended up doing just the opposite. By refusing to try the case, Gallio made it clear that Rome would not get involved in cases involving Jewish religious disputes. As far as he was concerned, Paul and his disciples had as much right as the Jews to practice their religion and share it with others.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

That Gallio "drove them away" (NASB), perhaps with the force of his lictors' (attendants') rods, betrays more than a tinge of Roman impatience for Jewish religious disputes. Many upper-class Romans viewed Jews as uncultured troublemakers, classing them alongside other religions from Syria and Egypt.
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

Then all the Greeks
The Greeks who had witnessed the persecution of Paul by the Jews, and who had seen the tumult which they had excited.

Sosthenes
As he was the chief ruler of the synagogue, he had probably been a leader in the opposition to Paul, and in the prosecution. Indignant at the Jews; at their bringing such questions before the tribunal; at their bigotry, and rage, and contentious spirit, they probably fell upon him in a tumultuous and disorderly manner as he was leaving the tribunal. The Greeks would feel no small measure of indignation at these disturbers of the public peace, and they took this opportunity to express their rage.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Law courts (especially if held at the forum, or agora) were typically loud and crowded, and tempers flared. Luke may mean that the Jewish community disciplined a leader who was a Christian sympathizer (if this is the same Sosthenes as in 1 Corinthians 1:1 - it was a common name), or that they beat their leader for getting them into political trouble. Or Luke may mean that, given Gallio's expression of his anti-Jewish sentiments, some local Greeks felt free to vent their own. Other Roman officials had encouraged or done worse. If the *synagogue officials had publicly charged Paul to dissociate themselves from a potential troublemaker, the plot backfired.
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

Sosthenes, the president of the synagogue (Greek archisunagœgos, “synagogue ruler,” also at v. 8, 13:15; Mk 5:22, 35-38; Lk 8:49, 13:14). Probably the new president, after Crispus, the former president, became a Messianic Jew. But it is not impossible that Crispus and Sosthenes were both “synagogue rulers,” two among several, and that Crispus continued to hold office even after becoming Messianic. This Sosthenes may be the same as the one at 1 Corinthians 1:1—which would mean that he later became Messianic himself, perhaps in consequence of this incident. They all grabbed him and gave him a beating. Either the other Jews did this to Sosthenes because he had led them into public humiliation; or the Greeks, observing that Gallio the governor was not interfering, “proceeded to indulge their anti-Jewish feelings” (I. Howard Marshall, Acts, ad loc.).
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Beat him
Etupton  (NT: 5180).  This word is not what is commonly used to denote a judicial act of scourging. It probably means that they fell upon him and beat him with their fists, or with whatever was at hand.

Gallio took no notice
This has been usually charged on Gallio as a matter of reproach, as if he were wholly indifferent to religion. But the charge is unjustly made, and his name is often most improperly used to represent the indifferent, the worldly, the careless, and the skeptical. By the testimony of ancient writers he was a most mild and amiable man, arid an upright and just judge. There is not the least evidence that he was indifferent to the religion of his country, or that he was of a thoughtless and skeptical turn of mind. All that this passage implies is:
(1) That he did not deem it to be his duty, or a part of his office, to settle questions of a theological nature that were started among the Jews
(2) That he was unwilling to make this subject a matter of legal discussion and investigation.
(3) That he would not interfere, either on one side or the other, in the question about proselytes either to or from Judaism. So far, certainly, his conduct was exemplary and proper.
(4) That he did not choose to interpose, and rescue Sosthenes from the hands of the mob. From some cause he was willing that he should feel the effects of the public indignation. Perhaps it was not easy to quell the riot; perhaps he was not unwilling that he who had joined in a furious and unprovoked persecution should feel the effect of it in the excited passions of the people. At all events, he was but following the common practice among the Romans, which was to regard the Jews with contempt, and to care little how much they were exposed to popular fury and rage.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

HISTORICAL OUTLOOK FROM 400 A. D. BY ARCHBISHOP JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Homily 39 - Acts 18:1-16
"And after these things," etc. "And having found a certain Jew by name Aquila, of Pontus by birth, lately come from Italy, because that Claudius had ordered all Jews to depart from Rome, he came to them, and because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tent-makers." (ch. 18:1-3.) Being of Pontus, this Aquila. Observe how, not in Jerusalem, nor near it (the crisis), was hasting to come, but at a greater distance. And with him he abides, and is not ashamed to abide, nay, for this very reason he does abide, as having a suitable lodging-place, for to him it was much more suitable than any king's palace. And smile not thou, beloved, to hear (of his occupation). For (it was good for him) even as to the athlete the palaestra is more useful than delicate carpets; so to the warrior the iron sword (is useful), not that of gold.
"And wrought," though he preached. Let us be ashamed, who though we have no preaching to occupy us, live in idleness. "And he disputed in the synagogue every sabbath day, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks" (v. 4): but "when they opposed and blasphemed" he withdrew, by this expecting to draw them more.
For wherefore having left that house did he come to live hard by the synagogue? was it not for this? For it was not that he saw any danger here. But therefore it is that Paul having testified to them-not teaches now, but testifies- "having shaken his garments," to terrify them not by word only but by action, "said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads" (v. 6): he speaks the more vehemently as having already persuaded many. "I," says he, "am clean." Then we also are accountable for the blood of those entrusted to us, if we neglect them. "From this time forth I will go to the Gentiles." So that also when he says, "Henceforth let no man trouble me" (Galatians 6:17), he says it to terrify. For not so much did the punishment terrify, as this stung them. "And having removed thence he came into the house of one named Justus, that worshipped God, whose house was contiguous to the synagogue" (v. 7), and there abode, by this wishing to persuade them that he was in earnest to go to the Gentiles.
Accordingly, mark immediately the ruler of the synagogue converted, and many others, when he had done this. "Crispus the ruler of the synagogue believed in the Lord, with his whole house: and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized."-(v. 8.) "With his whole house:" observe the converts in those times doing this with their entire household. This Crispus he means where he writes, "I baptized none save Crispus and Gaius." (1 Corinthians 1:14.) This (same) I take to be called Sosthenes-(evidently) a believer, insomuch that he is beaten, and is always present with Paul. "And the Lord said in the night," etc. Now even the number (of the "much people") persuaded him, but Christ's claiming them for His own (moved him) more. Yet He says also, "Fear not:" for the danger was become greater now, both because more believed, and also the ruler of the synagogue. This was enough to rouse him. Not that he was reproved as fearing; but that he should not suffer aught; "I am with thee, and none shall set upon thee to hurt thee." (v. 9, 10.)
For He did not always permit them to suffer evil, that they might not become too weak. For nothing so grieved Paul, as men's unbelief and setting themselves (against the Truth): this was worse than the dangers. Therefore it is that (Christ) appears to him now. "And he continued a year and six months," etc. (v. 11.) After the year and six months, they set upon him. "And when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia," etc. (v. 12, 13), because they had no longer the use of their own laws. And observe how prudent he is: for he does not say straightway, I care not, but, "If," says he, "it were a matter of wrong-doing or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you; but if it be a question of doctrine and words and of your law, see ye to it, for I do not choose to be a judge of such matters." (v. 14, 15.) (g) He taught them that not such are the matters which crave a judicial sentence, but they do all things out of order. And he does not say, It is not my duty, but, "I do not choose," that they may not trouble him again.
Thus Pilate said in the case of Christ, "Take ye Him, and judge him according to your law." (John 18:31.) But they were just like men drunken and mad. "And he drove them from the judgment-seat" (v. 16)-he effectually closed the tribunal against them. "Then all" (the Jews) "having seized Sosthenes the ruler of the synagogue, beat him before the judgment-seat. And Gallio cared for none of these things." (v. 17). This thing, of all others, set them on (to this violence)-their persuasion that the governor would not even let himself down (to notice it). It was a splendid victory. O the shame they were put to! For it is one thing to have come off victorious from a controversy, and another for those to learn that he cared nothing for the affair. "And Gallio cared for none of these things:" and yet the whole was meant as an insult to him! But, forsooth, as if they had received authority (they did this). Why did he (Sosthenes), though he also had authority, not beat (them)? But they were (otherwise) trained: so that the judge should learn which party was more reasonable. This was no small benefit to those present-both the reasonableness of these, and the audacity of those. He was beaten, and said nothing.
(Archbishop John Chrysostom of Constantinople A. D. 400)
(From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Volume 11, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(14)  But when Paul was about to open his mouth to reply, Gallio said to the Jews, If it were a matter of some misdemeanor or villainy, O Jews, I should have cause to bear with you and listen;
(15)  But since it is merely a question [of doctrine] about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves; I decline to be a judge of such matters and I have no intention of trying such cases.
(16)  And he drove them away from the judgment seat.
(17)  Then they [the Greeks] all seized Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him right in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.



PAUL  RETURNS  TO  ANTIOCH

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Acts 18:18
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

.(18)  So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow.

And after Paul had remained there many days, he bade the brethren farewell and sailed for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila, having shorn his head in Cenchrea because he had vowed a vow.


Remained a good while
Probably about 2 years.

Except where his own life was in immediate peril Sha’ul never left at a time of crisis or under duress.
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

The persecuting Jews plainly saw, from the manner in which the proconsul had conducted this business, that they could have no hope of raising a state persecution against the apostles; and the laws provided so amply for the personal safety of every Roman citizen that they were afraid to proceed any further in their violence. It could not be unknown that Paul was possessed of the right of Roman citizenship; and therefore his person was sacred as long as he did nothing contrary to the laws.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Sailed for Syria
Or set sail for Syria. His design was to go to Jerusalem to the festival which was soon to occur, Acts 18:21.

Cenchrea
Cenchrea was Corinth's main port on the isthmus; it also harbored temples of Isis, Artemis, Aphrodite, Asclepius and Poseidon. Travel was easier, faster and cheaper by ship than by land. But ships were generally meant as cargo transports, so seafarers had to bring their own bedding.

A church was formed in Cenchrea, Rom 16:1 (I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea).

He had taken a vow
A "vow" is a solemn promise made to God respecting anything.
The use of vows is observable throughout the Scripture. Jacob, going into Mesopotamia, vowed one-tenth of his estate, and promised to offer it at Bethel to the honor of God, Gen 28:22. Moses made many regulations in regard to vows. A man might devote himself or his children to the Lord.

He might devote any part of his time or property to his service. The vow they were required sacredly to observe (Deut 23:21-22), except in certain specified cases they were permitted to redeem what had been thus devoted.

The most remarkable vow among the Jews was that of the Nazarites, by which a man made a solemn promise to God to abstain from wine, and from all intoxicating liquors, to let the hair grow, not to enter any house polluted by having a dead body in it, or to attend any funeral.

Some pagan priests (e.g., of Isis) shaved their heads; hence a pagan observer who did not know Paul could have taken him for such a priest. But Jewish people shaved their heads after completing a Nazirite vow, and Paul's faith in Jesus had not diminished his own Jewishness in the least (21:23-24). That Palestinian teachers demanded that Nazarites fulfill the vows in Jerusalem shows only that Paul had taken the less Jerusalem-centered approach of Diaspora (non-Palestinian) Jews who had not the time or money to travel to Jerusalem very frequently.

Many interpreters have supposed that this refers to Aquila, and not to Paul. But the connection evidently requires us to understand it of Paul, though the Greek construction does not with certainty determine to which it refers. The Vulgate refers it to Aquila, the Syriac to Paul.

Some suggest, and the Greek text allows, that it was Aquila and not Sha’ul who took the vow; but since the overall narrative is about Sha’ul, this is unlikely. Yeshua rules out oaths for Messianic believers (Mt 5:33-37) but not vows, although the distinction between them is not a clear one. The Greek word for “vow” occurs only here and at 21:23. What kind of vow did Sha’ul take, and what did cutting his hair have to do with it?  Nothing is said of what he vowed to do, but Numbers 6:1-21 describes the Nazirite vow, which involves allowing the hair to grow during the days of the vow; and Mishna tractate Nazir spells out the details of such vows, including their minimum length, thirty days.
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

This vow generally lasted eight days, sometimes a month, sometimes during a definite period fixed by them, and sometimes during their whole lives. When the vow expired, the priest made an offering of a he-lamb for a burnt-offering, a she-lamb for an expiatory sacrifice, and a ram for a peace-offering. The priest then, or some other person, shaved the head of the Nazarites at the door of the tabernacle, and burnt the hair on the fire of the altar. Those who made the vow out of Palestine, and who could not come to the temple when the vow was expired, contented themselves with observing the abstinence required by the Law, and cutting off the hair where they were. This I suppose to have been the case with Paul. His hair he cut off at the expiration of the vow at Cenchrea, though he delayed to perfect the vow by the proper ceremonies until he reached Jerusalem, Acts 21:23-24. Why Paul made this vow, or on what occasion, the sacred historian has not informed us, and conjecture, perhaps, is useless. We may observe, however:
(1) That if it was common for the Jews to make such vows to God, as an expression of gratitude or of devotedness to his service, when they had been raised up from sickness, or delivered from danger or calamity. See Josephus, i. 2, 15. Vows of this nature were also made by the Gentiles on occasions of deliverance from any signal calamity (Juvenal, Sat., 12, 81). It is possible that Paul may have made such a vow in consequence of signal deliverance from some of the numerous perils to which he was exposed. But,
(2) There is reason to think that it was mainly with a design to convince the Jews that he did not despise their law, and was not its enemy. See Acts 21:22-24. In accordance with the custom of the nation, and in compliance with a law which was not wrong in itself, he might have made this vow, not for a time-serving purpose, but in order to conciliate them, and to mitigate their anger against the gospel. See 1 Cor 9:19-21. But where nothing is recorded, conjecture is useless. Those who wish to see the subject discussed may consult Grotius and Kuinoel in loco; Spencer, De Legibus Hebrae., p. 862; and Calmet's Dictionary, "Nazarite."

Strictly speaking, however, this cannot have been a Nazirite vow; for if it had been, Sha’ul would not have been shaved in Cenchrea but would have waited till he arrived in Yerushalayim  (Jerusalem) to shave his head and offer the obligatory sacrifice at the Temple (compare 21:23-24).  Furthermore, if we assume that the patterns described in the Mishna, compiled around 220 C. E., were already being followed in Sha’ul's time, he would have had to spend at least thirty days in Israel to validate his vow (Nazir 3:6, 7:3), since a Nazirite vow undertaken in a “land of the Gentiles” is invalid. Perhaps this was a Diaspora adaptation of the Nazirite vow. No matter what the details of Sha’ul's vow were, this verse proves that he did not abandon the Torah; on the contrary, even when he became as a Gentile among Gentiles he continued to observe Jewish practices. See 1 Corinthians 9:20-22&NN.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;
and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews;
to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;
to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;
to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak.
I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.        (NKJV)
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

From the Amplified Bible
(18)  Afterward Paul remained many days longer, and then told the brethren farewell and sailed for Syria; and he was accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he [Paul] cut his hair, for he had made a vow.

Acts 18:19-21
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(19)  And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.

And they came to Ephesus, and Paul entered into the synagogue and spoke to the Jews.

(20)  When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent,

When they wanted him to tarry a longer time with them, he consented not,

(21)  but took leave of them, saying, "I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing." And he sailed from Ephesus.

Saying, I must by all means celebrate the coming feast as is my custom at Jerusalem; but I will return to you again, God willing.


Ephesus
This was a celebrated city in Ionia, in Asia Minor, about 40 miles south of Smyrna. It was chiefly famous for the Temple of Diana, usually reckoned one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Pliny styles this city the ornament of Asia. In the times of the Romans it was the metropolis of the province of Asia.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

A number of factors contributed to the prominence which Ephesus enjoyed.
(1) Economics
Situated at the mouth of the river Cayster, Ephesus was the most favorable seaport in the province of Asia and the most important trade center west of Tarsus. Today, because of silting from the river, the ruins of the city lie in a swamp 8 to 11 kilometers (5 to 7 miles) inland.
(2) Size
Although Pergamum was the capital of the province of Asia in Roman times, Ephesus was the largest city in the province, having a population of perhaps 300,000 people.
(3) Culture
Ephesus contained a theater that seated an estimated 25,000 people. A main thoroughfare, some 35 meters (105 feet) wide, ran from the theater to the harbor, at each end of which stood an impressive gate. The thoroughfare was flanked on each side by rows of columns 15 meters (50 feet) deep. Behind these columns were baths, gymnasiums, and impressive buildings.
(4) Religion
The Temple of Artemis (or Diana, according to her Roman name) at Ephesus ranked as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. As the twin sister of Apollo and the daughter of Zeus, Artemis was known variously as the moon goddess, the goddess of hunting, and the patroness of young girls. The temple at Ephesus housed the multi-breasted image of Artemis which was reputed to have come directly from Zeus (Acts 19:35).
(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

The Austrian Archaeological Institute began to excavate the city of Ephesus in 1897 and continued there for sixteen years under the leadership of Otto Bendorf and Rudolf Heberdey. In part subsidized by Rockefeller money, the Austrians worked there again from 1926 to 1935, and they have been working annually at the site since 1954. To date they have uncovered about 25 percent of the city. Today one can walk down the ancient streets past the odeion (covered concert hall), the Roman agora, the town hall, the temple of Hadrian, the magnificent library of Celsus (now restored), the Hellenistic agora, the great theater (where the mob scene of Acts 19 occurred), and much more.
(from The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright © 1988.)

This feast
Some manuscripts add at the beginning of Sha’ul's farewell, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Yerushalayim.” If the words are genuine, they surely refer to one of the pilgrim festivals, perhaps Shavu‘ot (as at Acts 20:16), and would account for Sha’ul's wanting to go there at this time, since no other reason is given.
(From Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Probably the Passover is here referred to. Why he was so anxious to celebrate that feast at Jerusalem, the historian has not informed us. It is probable, however, that he wished to meet as many of his countrymen as possible, and to remove, if practicable, the prejudices which had everywhere been raised against him, Acts 21:20-21. Perhaps, also, he supposed that there would be many Christian converts present, whom he might meet also.

Luke does not tell us how long Paul was in Ephesus, but the time was evidently very short. The Jews there were much more receptive to the Gospel and wanted Paul to stay; but he wanted to get to Jerusalem to complete his vow, and then to Antioch to report to the church. However, he did promise to return, and he kept that promise (Acts 19:1).

The statement "I must by all means keep this feast in Jerusalem" must not be interpreted to mean that Paul and the early Christians felt obligated to observe the Jewish feasts (see Acts 20:16). Being in Jerusalem during the important feasts (in this case, Passover) would give Paul opportunity to meet and witness to key Jewish leaders from throughout the Roman Empire. He would also be able to minister to Christian Jews who returned to their homeland.

Paul taught clearly that the observing of religious feasts was neither a means of salvation nor an essential for sanctification (Galatians 4:1-11). Christians are at liberty to follow their own conscience so long as they do not judge others or cause others to stumble (Romans 14:1-15:7). Also, keep in mind Paul's personal policy with regard to these matters of Jewish practice (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews.
To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.
To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law.
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.
I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.      (NIV)
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

God willing
"If God will" was more than a religious slogan with Paul, it was one of the strengths and encouragements of his life and ministry. Knowing and doing God's will is one of the blessings of the Christian life (Acts 22:14 "The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will").  In some of his letters, Paul identified himself as "an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God"
1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
2 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
At a most critical time in his life and ministry, Paul found courage in affirming, "the will of the Lord be done!"
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

From the Amplified Bible
(19)  Then they arrived in Ephesus, and [Paul] left the others there; but he himself entered the synagogue and discoursed and argued with the Jews.
(20)  When they asked him to remain for a longer time, he would not consent;
(21)  But when he was leaving them he said, I will return to you if God is willing, and he set sail from Ephesus.

Acts 18:22 & 23
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(22)  And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up and greeted the church, he went down to Antioch.

And he left Aquila and Priscilla at Ephesus and sailed and when he landed at Caesarea, he went up and saluted the members of the church, and went on to Antioch.

(23)  After he had spent some time there, he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.

And after he had spent some special days there he departed and traveled all through the country of Phrygia and Galatia, increasing disciples in all of them.


Summer winds were generally northerly but often east of north, which made Caesarea easier to reach than Antioch's port city of Seleucia.

Greeted the church
That is, the church at Jerusalem, called emphatically THE CHURCH, because it was the FIRST church-the MOTHER, or APOSTOLIC church; and from it all other Christian churches proceeded: those in Galatia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, Ephesus, Rome, etc. Therefore, even this last was only a daughter church, when in its purest state.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

THE THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY BEGINS
Acts 18:23–21:16

He departed
Thus simply and alone Paul began the third mission tour without a Barnabas or a Silas.

Only by late spring or early summer was the land route from Antioch through Galatia and Phrygia open, another indication of the time of year.

Galatia and Phrygia
He had been over these regions before, preaching the gospel, Acts 16:6.

His third journey, described in 18:23-21:16, commenced with his passing systematically through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples he had won to the Lord—this was part of his calling as an emissary and congregation-planter. His second journey began the same way (Acts 15:41).

Strengthening
Episteerizoo  (NT:1991)  to establish besides, strengthen more; to render more firm.

Paul's third missionary journey:

1. Went by land again through Syria, Cilicia, Galatia, and Phrygia (Acts 15:41-16:6 with Acts 18:23)
2. Ephesus, Ionia, Asia Minor (Acts 19)
3. Macedonia (tour of churches, Acts 20:1)
4. Greece (tour of churches, Acts 20:2)
5. Macedonia (tour of churches, Acts 20:3)
6. Philippi, to Troas, Mysia, across the Aegean to Asia Minor (Acts 20:4-12)
7. Assos, Mysia (Acts 20:13)
8. Mitylene, Isle of Lesbos (Acts 20:14)
9. Trogyllium (Acts 20:15)
10. Miletus, Caria, Asia Minor (Acts 20:15-38)
11. Isle of Coos (Acts 21:1)
12 Isle of Rhodes (Acts 21:1)
13. Patara, Syria (Acts 21:1)
14. Tyre, Phoenicia (Acts 21:2-6)
15. Ptolemais, Galilee (Acts 21:7)
16. Caesarea, Samaria (Acts 21:8-14)
17. Back to Jerusalem (Acts 21:15-23:30)
(from Dake Annotated Reference Bible © 2007 by Dake Publishing. All rights reserved in U.S.A. and Other Countries.)

From the Amplified Bible
(22)  When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and saluted the church [at Jerusalem], and then went down to Antioch.
(23)  After staying there some time, he left and went from place to place in an orderly journey through the territory of Galatia and Phrygia, establishing the disciples and imparting new strength to them.



MINISTRY  OF  APOLLOS

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Acts 18:24 & 25
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(24)  Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.

And a certain Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent man and well versed in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

(25)  This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.

He had been converted to the way of the Lord, and was fervent in the spirit; he spoke and taught very fully concerning Jesus, but he knew only the baptism of John.


Apollos
Many Alexandrian Jews had names compounded with "Apollo," a prominent Greek god (Apollos may be a contraction for Apollonius).
Born at Alexandria
Alexandria may have had the largest Jewish community in the empire outside Syria-Palestine, with numerous synagogues. The Jewish aristocracy had worked hard to be culturally acceptable to the Greek privileged class, and they resented their own inferior status. (Most of the ethnocentric Greeks in Alexandria despised Jews and Egyptians, who made up the other two-thirds of their city; thus they spoke of "Alexandria near Egypt.") The clash of cultures and oppression of Jews ultimately led to a Jewish revolt — and the massacre of the entire Jewish community.
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)
Alexandria was the chief center of Diaspora Hellenistic Judaism. The great Jewish intellectual, Philo, lived there and possibly was still alive at the time of these events. Jews occupied two of the five districts of the city, named for its founder, Alexander the Great, who established it on the Mediterranean Sea near the mouth of the Nile River in 331 B.C. Its great library, destroyed in 699 C. E., made it a major center of learning. It developed its own variety of Judaism which made accommodations to Greek culture—it was a kind of “Reform Judaism” in its day. Alexandria even had its own Temple. The Septuagint was translated there around 200 B.C.
Eloquent
Alexandria was famous for its schools, and it is probable that Apollos, in addition to his natural endowments, had enjoyed the benefit of these schools.
As in other ancient uses of the term, "eloquent" (NASB) or "learned" (NIV) most likely means "formally skilled in rhetoric," the more practical form of advanced learning to which well-to-do pupils could attain (the other was philosophy).
Mighty in the Scriptures
Dunatos oon en tais grafais. - 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).
(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright © 1985 by Broadman Press.)
Instructed in the way of the Lord
Well instructed, or able in the Old Testament. The foundation was thus laid for future usefulness in the Christian church.
The word "way" often refers to doctrine. It means here that he had been correctly taught in regard to the Messiah.  By whom this was done we have no information.
Fervent in spirit
Being zealous and ardent.
He had correct views of the Messiah to come-views which he had derived from the study of the Old Testament. He was expecting a Saviour that would be humble, obscure, and a sacrifice, in opposition to the prevailing notions of the Jews.
Taught accurately
Defended with zeal and earnestness his views of the Messiah.
The baptism of John
He had heard of John; had embraced his doctrine; and probably had been baptized with reference to him that was to come.
Whether he had himself heard John, and been baptized by him. has been made a question which cannot now be decided. It is not necessary, however, to suppose this, as it seems that the knowledge of John's preaching and baptism had been propagated extensively in other nations beside Judea (Acts 19:1-3). The Messiah was expected about that time. The foreign Jews would be waiting for him; and the news of John's ministry, doctrine, and success would be rapidly propagated from synagogue to synagogue in the surrounding nations. John preached repentance, and baptized with reference to him that was to come after him (Acts 19:4), and this doctrine Apollos seems to have embraced.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
He knew only the immersion of Yochanan John (Mt 3:1-12), so that even though he accurately taught the facts about Yeshua Jesus, he had not experienced the full significance of Yeshua's life, death and resurrection and had not been filled with the Ruach HaKodesh Holy Spirit.
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Apollos came to Ephesus (about A.D. 49 A.D.), where he spake "boldly" in the synagogue (18:26), although he did not know as yet that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. Aquila and Priscilla instructed him more perfectly in "the way of God", i.e., in the knowledge of Christ.

He then proceeded to Corinth, where he met Paul (Acts 18:27; 19:1).
He was there very useful in watering the good seed Paul had sown (1 Corinthians 3:6  "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase."), and in gaining many to Christ.
He was with Paul at Ephesus when he wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians; and Paul makes kindly reference to him in his letter to Titus (3:13  "Send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste").
Some have supposed, although without sufficient ground, that he was the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
(from Easton's Bible Dictionary, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(24)  Meanwhile, there was a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, who came to Ephesus. He was a cultured and eloquent man, well versed and mighty in the Scriptures.
(25)  He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and burning with spiritual zeal, he spoke and taught diligently and accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he was acquainted only with the baptism of John.

Acts 18:26-28
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(26)  So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue; and when Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him to their home and fully showed him the way of the Lord.

(27)  And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;

And when he was disposed to go to Achaia, the brethren gave him a warm reception and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had come, he greatly helped all believers by means of grace.

(28)  for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

For he forcefully and publicly argued against the Jews, proving by the scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.


Aquila and Priscilla apparently accompanied Paul on his voyage, then stayed to help in the synagogue at Ephesus, which was apparently open to teaching about Jesus.

Aquila and Priscilla did not instruct him in public because that would have only confused the Jews.
 They took him home to a Sabbath dinner and then told him about Jesus Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit. They led' him into a deeper knowledge of Christ; and the next Sabbath, Apollos returned to the synagogue and gave the Jews the rest of the story!
In fact, so effective was his ministry that the believers in Ephesus highly recommended him to the churches in Achaia. Here Apollos not only strengthened the saints, but he also debated with the unbelieving Jews and convinced many of them that Jesus is the Messiah.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Apollos was useful in Achaia because he made use of the Tanakh Hebrew Scriptures and focused his efforts on showing that the promised Messiah is indeed Yeshua, rather than dealing with secondary issues that satisfy curiosity but do not lead people to salvation.
(From Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

He proved from the Old Testament, showing that Jesus of Nazareth corresponded with the account of the Messiah given by the prophets.

Jesus said in John 5:39  "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me."  We see by this:
1. That the Jews in the time of Jesus were expecting a future state.
2. The Old Testament Scriptures teach the way of life, and it is our duty to study them.
The Bereans are commended for searching the Scriptures (Acts 17:11).
Timothy is said from a child to have "known the holy scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation,"   (2 Tim 3:15).
They bear witness to the Messiah.  (They predict his coming and the manner of his life and death, Isaiah 53; Daniel 9:26-27)
Early life is the proper time to search the Bible, for they who seek the Lord early shall find him.
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From the Amplified Bible
(26)  He began to speak freely (fearlessly and boldly) in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him with them and expounded to him the way of God more definitely and accurately.
(27)  And when [Apollos] wished to cross to Achaia (most of Greece), the brethren wrote to the disciples there, urging and encouraging them to accept and welcome him heartily. When he arrived, he proved a great help to those who through grace (God's unmerited favor and mercy) had believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ as Lord and Savior).
(28)  For with great power he refuted the Jews in public [discussions], showing and proving by the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah).



(End of Chapter Eighteen)

 

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