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Bible Commentaries
Acts 18

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "After these things Paul departed from Athens," (meta touta choristheis ek ton Athenon) "After these things had occurred Paul parted from and went out of Athens," that is after the encounter at Mars’ Hill, the salvation of several souls, and perhaps their formation of a church, demonstrating that the Lord’s word, when sown or shared, produces good results, Isaiah 55:10-11; Ecclesiastes 11:1-6.

2) "And came to Corinth;” (elthen eis Korinthon) "And came into Corinth of his own choosing," some forty-five miles south of Athens. The Acropolis of one city may be seen from that of the other on a clear day. A 2,000-foot high citadel rock (mountain) on its south side rises above the sea. The city was a Roman colony located on a narrow isthmus between the Ionian and Aegean Seas. It was a city of commerce with a large Jewish population, perhaps enlarged when Claudius banished all Jews from Rome, shortly before Paul’s arrival in Corinth. While Athens was wholly given over to idolatry, the city of Corinth was almost wholly given over to a refined sensuality, that embraced grave immorality, even as a part of religious acceptance, Acts 17:2; 1 Corinthians 5:1-4.

Verse 2

1) "And found a certain Jew," (kai heuron tina loudaion) "And finding (there) a certain Jew," an unusual Jew, one of leadership qualities, given to charity and care of devout persons, Hebrews 13:1-2; Acts 18:18-19; Acts 18:26; 1 Corinthians 16:19.

2) "Named Aquila, born in Pontus," (onomati Akulan Pontikon to genei) "Known by name as Aquila, belonging to Pontus by racial nativity," or by native birth- The name Aquila means an "eagle." Very little is known of him, but tradition holds that he was beheaded for his faith. Pontus was the most easterly port of Asia Minor, near the Black Sea, from which some were saved at Pentecost ’ After their return to Pontus, Peter address them in his letter, Acts 2:9; 1 Peter 1:1.

3) "Lately come from Italy," (prosphatos eleuthota apo tes Italias) "Recently having arrived (in Corinth) from Italy, across the Ionian Sea, westward from Corinth.

4) "With his wife Priscilla;” (kai Priskillan gunaika autou) "And his wife Priscilla," who had accompanied him to Corinth, and who had a church in their home residence, Romans 16:3-5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19. The name Priscilla means "ancient," to be respected.

5) "(Because that Claudius had commanded all Jews,’’ (dia to diatetachenai Klaudion pantas ioudaious) "Because Claudius had commanded or mandated all the Jews;" The order of the Caesars was a dictatorial order; What he ordered was to be done or the disobedient was to die,

6) "To depart from Rome:)” (chorizesthai) "To depart, leave, or be dispersed," (apotes Romes) --From the city of Rome,’’ probably about 52 A.D. Why he expelled them is not made clear in history, except it be explained by divine purpose, Lu 21 24.

7) "And came unto them." (proselthen autos) "And they (Paul, Timothy and Silas) came unto them, Aquila and Priscilla, in Corinth." Paul and his companions came to the home of Aquila and Priscilla, who had arrived before them, and had a home, Acts 18:3; Romans 16:3-5.

Verse 3

1) "And because he was of the same craft," (kai dia to homotechnon einai) "And because he was of the same trade," technology in work or handcraft. They were likely, and apparently, mature Christians from the time Paul met them, likely having been saved as former dwellers of Pontus, who were saved at Pentecost among those saved that day, Acts 2:9; 1 Peter 1:1.

2) "He abode with them and wrought," (emenen par’ autois kai ergazanto) "He remained with them and they worked," in their trade, together. Paul often referred to this, and made it clear that manual work is no disgrace and may be even honorable for ministers at times, to maintain their independence and integrity in preaching the Gospel, without a just cause of criticism against meeting financial obligations, Acts 20:34; 1 Corinthians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 7:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:8.

3) "For by occupation they were tentmakers." (esan gar skenopoioi te tekne) "For they were tentmakers by trade or by technology training, " eit ’ her fabricators (weavers) of the cloth, or of the tents that were made of the cloth. Every Jewish youth, whatever the financial condition of his parents, was taught some (one) special trade, Luke 2:42. The trade of Paul was tent-making, from youth, on another continent, yet it became a matter of occupation from idleness, and a source of livelihood for Aquila and Priscilla in dispersion, and Paul in his early mission testimony there in Corinth, that his ministry be not blamed, 2 Thessalonians 3:7-10.

In labor, "the sweat of his face," God has decreed that man should eat bread or earn a living, till he returns to the dust, Genesis 3:19; Perhaps few ever grow so old that they cannot do something helpful, constructive in labor, as long as they live, 2 Thessalonians 3:10.

Verse 4


1) "And he reasoned in the synagogue," (dielegeto de en te sunagoge) "And he lectured in the synagogue," at Corinth; He discoursed constantly, or repeatedly, in the synagogue with much opposition, and little success.

2) "Every sabbath," (kata pan sabbaton) "On every sabbath," the sacred day of Hebrew worship, Acts 13:5; Acts 17:2; Acts 19:8.

3) "And persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." (epeithen te loudaious kai Hellenas) "Then he persuaded both Jews and Greeks," sought to persuade both. The Greeks had become (as Gentiles) proselytes to Judaism from idolatrous heathenism, Acts 13:43; Acts 14:1. Paul believed that the gospel was able to save both racial groups or classes, each being in a similar lost condition, though religious, Romans 1:11-13; Acts 15:9.

Perhaps it was his teaching, lecturing, discoursing in the synagogue at Corinth, that he later wrote of "becoming all things to all men that he might by all means win some," as regards customs, where no moral or ethical principle is concerned, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.

Verse 5

1) "And when Silas and Timotheus," (hos de hote Silas kai ho Timotheus) "Then when or (as) both Silas and Timothy," companions on this missionary tour with Paul, Acts 15:22; Acts 15:39-41; Acts 16:1-5.

2) "Were come down from Macedonia," (katelthon apo tes Makedonias) "Came down from Macedonia," or were having arrived from Macedonis, where Paul had left them behind to strengthen the brethren there, at least in Berea; Some believed they also had returned to Thessalonica to encourage the church, Acts 17:13-14.

3) "Paul was pressed in the spirit," (suneichetp to logo ho Paulos) "Paul was pressed by the word," thru the spirit, as true ministers of God are, anxious that sinners be saved and "Christ be formed" in their hearers, in new disciples, that they "put on the Lord-Jesus Christ," in their pattern of living, Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 2:15-17; Galatians 4:19.

4) "And testified to the Jews," (diamarturomenos tois loudaiois) "Solemnly witnessing to the Jews," evangelically and fervently witnessing to the Jews of his own race, that they might receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, as he had done, Romans 9:1-3; Romans 10:1-4.

5) "That Jesus was Christ." (einai ton Christon lesoun) "Jesus to be (exist as) the Christ," as related Acts 18:28, as he had done before the Jerusalem brethren, Acts 9:22, and as he had done in the synagogue at Thessalonica, Acts 17:3.

Verse 6

1) "And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed,’’ (antitassomenon de auton blasphemounton) "Then when they (the unbelieving Jews) resisted, (opposed) and repeatedly blasphemed," or protested his teaching and preaching, with deriding and derogatory remarks,

2) "He shook his raiment, and said unto them," (ektinaksamenos ta himata eipen pros autous) "Shaking his garments (before them) he responded to them," shook the dust from his garments before their faces, as Nehemiah did, Nehemiah 5:13; and as Paul and Silas had done at Antioch in Pisidia, Acts 13:45-46; Acts 13:51, and even as the Lord had instructed His apostles, Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11.

3) "Your blood be upon your own heads;” (to haima humon epi ten kephalen humon) "Your blood is or (shall be) upon your own heads," that is the effect or full consequence of your guilt shall hereafter be your own, without excuse, Romans 2:1; Proverbs 29:11; Acts 20:26. Pilate tried to separate himself from the blood of Jesus by washing his hands, but he did it with ulterior motives, Matthew 27:24; not as directed by the Lord, Ezekiel 33:4-5.

4) "I am clean" (katharos ego apo tou) "I am clean," or clear from further responsibility to or toward you all; I have a clean or clear conscience from the consequences of your guilt, Ezekiel 33:9; Acts 20:26.

5) "From henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles." (nun eis ta ethne poreusomai) "Now and hereafter I will go unto (among) the nations, races, or mixed ethnics of men," Ezekiel 33:9-11; Romans 11:4-16; 2 Peter 3:9.

Verse 7

1) "And he departed thence," (kai metabas ekeithen) "And moving away (from)thence," from the synagogue in Corinth, where he had witnessed so fervently; He withdrew, not from Corinth, but from the synagogue, where it appeared he was "casting his pearls before the swine," Matthew 7:6.

2) "And entered into a certain man’s house,"(elthen eis oikian ton) "He went into or entered into the residence of a certain one," not leaving the home of Aquila and Priscilla, where he resided, but changing the place of his lecturing every sabbath day.

3) "Named Justus, one that worshipped God " (onomati titou loustou sebomenou ton theon) "Known by name as Titus Justus who was worshipping God continually," about whom nothing further is known, except that he furnished or opened his home as a place for preaching service, adjacent to the synagogue, where he had lectured until the Jews became blasphemously disturbing when he tried to preach, Acts 18:6.

4) "Whose house joined hard to the synagogue." (hou he oikia en sunomorousa te sunagoge) "Whose house or residence adjoined (was attached to) the synagogue next door." It was therefore convenient for those proselytes and Jews, yet open to hear the truth about Jesus Christ, and as a Gentile proselyte, his residence would draw a mixed audience more readily than the Jewish controlled synagogue. From this time conversions increased rapidly, confirming that out of persecution and oppression souls are often reached for Christ as at no other time, or under no other circumstances; Note that the persecutions in Acts were almost always followed by conversions, from Pentecost to the Philippian jail Acts 16:30-34, and to here, Psalms 126:5-6.

Verse 8

1) "And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue” (Krispos de ho archisunagogos) "Then Crispus, the ruler of the adjoining synagogue," to the house of Justus, where Paul had come to preach for an extended period of time. Tho a Jew, he bore a Latin name - He was followed by Sosthenes the next chief ruler of the synagogue, Acts 18:17.

2) "Believed on the Lord with all his house;” (episteusen to kurio sun holo to oiko auto) "Believed on the Lord with all his household," all responsible members of his household, perhaps including his servants. The entire family of Jews became saved from religious, ceremonial Judaism, as Paul so often prayed for his own racial brethren, Romans 9:1-3; Romans 10:1-4. He is one of only a few that Paul baptized personally in Corinth, 1 Corinthians 1:14-16.

3) "And many of the Corinthians hearing," (kai polloi ton Korinthion akouontes ) "And many of the Corinthians hearing," giving heed to the preaching of Paul, for "Faith cometh by hearing," Romans 10:17; Luke 14:35.

4) "Believed, and were baptized." (episteuon kai ebaptizonto) "Believed and were baptized," were immersed subsequent thereto," after they believed in Jesus Christ, as their savior, with all their heart, after they became children of God, received a pure heart by faith, they were baptized to "put on" Christ, to be identified with Him in His work, as a nurse, doctor, or soldier, puts on a uniform, not to make them become a nurse, doctor, or soldier, but to identify them as such. Thus baptism is pictorial, not procurative, is not designed as a means of making one become a child of God, but as identifying a child of God as a follower, a servant, and a steward of Jesus Christ, See? John 1:11-12; Romans 5:1; Acts 10:43; Acts 13:38-39; Acts 15:9; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 1:16; Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 6:16.

Verse 9

1) "Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision," (eipen de ho kurios en nukti di’ horamatos to Paulo) "Then the Lord spoke to Paul in the night, through a vision," as He had spoken to Abraham, Daniel, Cornelius, Peter, and others before that time, before and until the Bible was completed, as the complete Revelation of Jesus Christ, till He comes again. He no longer appears and speaks in the same miraculous way today, Hebrews 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 13:11-13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Revelation 1:1; Revelation 22:18-19.

2) "Be not afraid, but speak," (me phobou alla lalei) "Do not fear, but speak (out)," Acts 23:11; as He later did on the stormy sea, Acts 27:23-25, John 15:16-17; Acts 4:20. On the arrival of Silas and Timothy from Macedonia, Acts 18:5, Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians, then at about the time of this experience he also wrote 2 Thessalonians, which further confirms his trials at this time, 2 Thessalonians 3:2. His success was continually attended with, and hounded by, opposition, even as our Lord foretold, Matthew 5:11-12; John 15:20; Acts 23:1-11; Ephesians 6:19-22; 2 Timothy 3:12.

3) "And hold not thy peace," (kai siopeses) "And do not keep silence," or restrain yourself from speaking at all. He who has a message from the Word of God, or a testimony of life’s experience in harmony with the Word of God, should bear it and share it with others, for to such each is called, Psalms 107:2; Psalms 126:5-6; Ecclesiastes 11:1-6, John 20:21; Acts 1:8.

Verse 10

1) "For I am with thee," (kioti ego eimi meta sou)

"Because I am with you," and He, the Lord, means more than all who can be against a child of God, Acts 23:11; Hebrews 13:5; Psalms 34:7; Matthew 28:20. He gives comfort, support, and protection, accompanied by inner peace and joy, to those who do His will, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Romans 5:5; John 15:11; John 16:33.

2) "And no man shall set on thee to hurt thee:” (kai oudeis epithesetai soi tou kakosai se) "And not even one shall set on you to ill treat you," opposition shall not succeed or triumph, Isaiah 54:17; Jeremiah 1:19; For the Lord is with His people alway, in blessing labors of love, as they obey Him, and chastening them for their profit, when they are wrong, to bring them back to a life of fruitbearing, Matthew 28:20; 2 Timothy 4:17-18; Hebrews 12:6-11.

3) "For I have much people in this city.” (dioti laos esti moi polus en te polei taute) "Because I have a great many people existing in this city," already in the city. How they had come to be or to (exist already as) His, is not told. Some hold that they were unsaved, but God just foreknew that they were going to be saved. This interpretation seems to be borne out of presumption, without scriptural justification. The greater likelihood, based on certain scriptural justification, is that in this international port city, converts from Pentecost had found their way there and already won many to the Lord, though they needed to be taught the way of the Lord more perfectly, as certified in Acts 18:11; Acts 2:1-47.

Verse 11


1) "And he continued there a year and six months," (ekathisen de eniauton kai menas eks) "And he sat (for a period of) one year and six months," in that city, in Corinth thereafter, from autumn A.D. 52 to spring A.D. 54, conducting what might be termed a Bible School or Bible ,Institute, to help these many people of the Lord in that place, Acts 18:10. Paul established or taught in four Bible Schools as follows: 1) In Antioch of Syria, one year Acts 11:26; Acts 2) In Corinth, Greece, a year and a half, Acts 18:11; Acts 3) In Ephesus, two years, Acts 19:10; Acts 4) In Rome, two years, Acts 28:30-31.

2) "Teaching the word of God among them” (didaskon en autois ton logon tou theou) "Teaching among them the word of God," for their strength and help in soul and life, John 5:39; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 3:9. By the Word, faith comes, and it is quick and powerful, Hebrews 4:12; It perfectly furnishes to every good work, and is the standard by which all men shall one day be judged, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Revelation 20:11-13.

Verse 12

1) "And when Gallio, was the deputy of Achaia," (Gallionos de anthypatou ontors tes Achaias) "Then when Gallio was deputy (proconsul) of Achaia (Greece)," brother of Seneca, the moralist. His contemporaries called him the "agreeable Gallio." Both he and Seneca were put to death by Nero. The province of Achaia included both Hellas and Peloponnesus.

2) "The Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul," (katepestestesan homothumadon hoi loudaioi to Paulo) "The Jews with one mind-theme (intent) set on (pounced upon) Paul," in consort or collusion, for a "pound of flesh," as they had done in Thessalonica and Berea, Acts 17:5; Acts 17:13.

3) "And brought him to the judgement seat," (kai

egagon auton epi to Bema) "And led him up to the tribunal," the Bema, a platform where he was to offer a public defense against charges they were to hurl against him, much as they had against the Lord, Matthew 26:59-65; Mark 14:55-65. The (bema) judgement seat was usually a movable one, to be moved about to be used in prearranged public places, for public judgement. It is a term Paul used to signify the place of judgement of believers, after they are resurrected or caught up in the rapture, to meet the Lord in the air, 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

Verse 13

1) "Saying, this fellow," (legontes hautos) "Repeatedly saying that this man," this fellow, directly leveling the following charges against Paul.

2) "Persuadeth men to worship God," (anapeithei tous anthropous sebesthai ton theon) "Urges (earnestly persuades) men to worship God," this part of the charge was true - to worship God, in spirit and in truth, as a living God, not thru media of the ceremonies of Moses’ law, or idols of the heathen, John 4:24; Acts 17:25.

3) "Contrary to the law." (hoti para ton nomon) "Differently (from what we do) from the law," different from the Mosaic order of procedure of worship. It is likely that the major offence to the Jews was that Paul did not require Christian converts from among the Gentiles to be circumcised, in keeping with the advice of the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:24-31), rather than complying with the rigid laws of the Mosaic era which had passed away.

Gallio referred to their charges as "your law," Acts 18:15, not "the law" the Roman civil law, that they were under.

Verse 14

1) "And when Paul was now about to open his mouth," (mellontes de tou Paulou anoigein to stoma) "Then as Paul was about to open his mouth," to make his defense against the insinuations of the charges that he had broken the civil law, to respond to the truthful charges, that "he persuaded men to worship God contrary to the law," not the Roman or Grecian law, but the law of Moses.

2) "Gallio said to the Jews," (eipen ho Gallion pros tous loudaious) "Gallio (the proconsul or deputy) responded to the rabble Jews."

3) "If it were a matter of wrong," (ei men en adikemati)

"If it (your charge or complaint) "was some specific crime," a violation of the civil law that I adjudicate; If it were related to personal injury or injustice.

4) "Or wicked lewdness, o ye Jews," (e hradiourgerna poneron 0 loudaioi) "Or (even) some specific villanous evil of wickedness, 0 ye Jews," if it were a matter of specific wrong against the state, something that was my business, without my becoming a meddler, Proverbs 20:3.

5) "Reason would that I should bear with you:" (kata logon an aneschomen humon) "I would of my own accord, rightly, logically endure you all," your complaints and charges against Paul, and the brethren he represents, would then be a matter of my business as a Roman magistrate. Gallio simply told them that he was not intending to meddle into their religious prejudices and hatred against Paul, the missionary laborers with him, and believers of the Corinthian church. Much trouble comes from meddling in affairs of others, Proverbs 24:21-23.

Verse 15

1) "But if it be a question of words and names," (ei de zetemata estin peri logou kai onomaton) "On the other hand, if it is (exists as) a question concerning a word and names," as it appears to be, simply a question of controversy over language and terms of your law, over which I, as a Roman magistrate, have no jurisdiction. Gallio respected the premise of separation of duties and obligations of persons, to God and to Caesar, you see, Matthew 22:21; Acts 23:29; Acts 25:19.

2) "And of your law," (kai nomou tou kath’ humas) "And a question concerning your (Jewish) law," of Paul’s conduct and preaching, according to the Law of Moses, which it was. For he preached that men were no longer under the religious jurisdiction, or the administration, of the Law of Moses, but of Jesus Christ, Romans 6:14; Galatians 3:19-25; Galatians 5:18.

3) "Look ye to it;” (opsesthe autoi) "You all as Jews will see about (take care of that religious matter) yourselves," take care of your own business, leave that of others alone. Be not a busybody in matters of business and conscience of others, 2 Thessalonians 3:11; 1 Timothy 5:13; 1 Peter 4:15.

4) "For I will be no judge of such matters." (krites ego touton boulomai einar) "Because I do not intend to be a critic or judge of these matters," or I have not, will not assume jurisdiction over such matters. Gallio simply, dutifully, with integrity, laid down the proper limits of his office as magistrate of Roman law, in "rendering to Caesar the things that were Caesar’s" then keeping his nose out of other people’s matters, Matthew 22:21; 1 Peter 4:15.

Verse 16

1) "And he drave them," (kai apelasen autous) "And he expelled, chased or drove them away from the tribunal, the Bema, or judgement seat, as unworthy accusers at that place of civil and criminal judgement. He ordered the lictors, or sergeants at arms, to remove them, to take them out of his presence, as Gamaliel had done in a similar meeting against the apostles, Acts 5:34.

2) "From the judgement seat." (apo tou Bematon) "From the tribunal," located near the synagogue in Corinth, where he had been brought by the accusing Jews, Acts 18:12-13. He ordered them out of the court, with annoyance and an indication of contempt for their wanting him to take part in an illegal trial of Paul. He used prudence and discernment regarding his moral and ethical values, such as becomes righteous judgement, Deuteronomy 27:19; Proverbs 31:5.

Verse 17

1) "Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes," (epolabomenoi de pantes Sosthenen) "Then all the (Greeks) seizing (laying hold on) Sosthenes," 1 Corinthians 1:1, the belligerent mob leader of the Jews, who had apparently led the incitement against Paul, because he did not require that the Greek Proselytes had to be circumcised before they could enter the Jewish synagogue, among those who believed in the one true God, Acts 15:24-29; Acts 16:4.

2) "The chief ruler of the Synagogue," (ton archisunagogon) "The synagogue ruler," chief administrator of the synagogue of the Jews, those who had brought malicious charges against Paul. Sosthenes had followed Crispus as chief ruler of the Jewish synagogue in Corinth, after Crispus had been saved and soon thereafter also became a beloved brother in the Corinth church, 1 Corinthians 1:1.

3) "And beat him before the judgement seat." (etupton emposthen tou Bematos) "They beat him (struck him) in front of the tribunal place," before the eyes of the judge, Gallio, or out in front of the Bema, where the Jews had led Paul for accusations against him. The Jews had (were granted) civil rights to discipline their own members for what they considered to be immoral or unethical conduct based on their own laws, as they related to religious rites, worship, and service, Galatians 6:7-8. Chickens do come home to roost, Romans 2:6; Hosea 8:7; Hosea 10:13.

4) "And Gallio cared for none of those things," (kai ouden touton to Gallioni emelen) "And not one of these things mattered to Gallio," as far as his jurisdictional care, riot necessarily human care, was concerned. It is a Divine axiom (rule), even in religious matters that, "your sins will find you out," or overtake you, in life or at the judgement bar of God, Genesis 44:16; Numbers 32:23; Isaiah 59:12; Luke 16:25; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

Verse 18


1) "And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while," (ho de Paulos eti peosmeinas hemeras hikanas) "Then Paul having yet remained many days," in the area of Corinth, after his arrest and release, where he had been for the previous year and six months teaching the Word of God, Acts 18:11.

2) "And then took his leave of the brethren," (tois adelphois apotaksamenos) "And having bidden farewell to the brethren," of the church at Corinth, where he had labored so faithfully for near two years, perhaps leaving them only temporarily, for visits with other congregations in Achaia, during that two year residence in Corinth, 2 Corinthians 1:1.

3) "And sailed thence to Syria," (ekseplei eis ten Surian) "He sailed away from Greece, across the Aegean Sea, into Syria," from the European to the Asian continent; Antioch in Syria was his ultimate destination, though he stopped off at Ephesus on the way, Acts 15:40; Acts 18:19.

4) "And with him Priscilla and Aquila;" (kai sun auto Priskilla kai Akulas) "And in close affinity or colleague with him Priscilla and Aquila;" who had been his close confidants and helpers for near two years in Corinth, as they were devout Christian Jews, Acts 18:2-3; Romans 16:3-5.

5) "Having shorn his head in Cenchrea:” (keiramenos en kegchreais ten kephalen) "Having shorn or shaved his head in Cenchrea," a small seaport city near Corinth, on the Mediterranean Sea, some nine miles east of Corinth where the missionary woman Phoebe had lived, Romans 16:1-2.

6) "For he had a vow." (eichen gar euchen) "Because he had a vow," of ancient Jewish custom; The nature and occasion for the vow, however, is a matter of uncertainty, Numbers 6:18; Acts 21:24. Paul subscribed to the custom of the Jews, so long as it did not compromise principle, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. The shaving of the head was a symbol of a vow fulfilled.

Verse 19

1) "And he came to Ephesus," (katentesan de eis Epheson) "Then they came down into Ephesus," in Asia Minor, where he later spent more than two years disputing (debating, first in the Jewish Synagogue, then teaching the Word of God, conducting a Bible Institute program in the private school of Tyrannus, Acts 19:8-10.

2) "And left them there:” (kakeinous katelipon autou) "And those (Aquila and Priscilla) he left there," to work with the church brethren in Ephesus, while he returned to Antioch of Syria, his home base church to give account of his mission stewardship for them.

3) "But he himself entered into the synagogue," (autos de eiselthon eis ton aunagogen) "Then he himself entering into the synagogue (as his custom was)," in every community he visited that had a synagogue for Jewish worship and study, Acts 18:4; Acts 17:2-3.

4) "And reasoned with the Jews," (dieleksato tois loudaiois) "Lectured to the Jews," who met there to worship and search the scriptures, John 5:39; Acts 13:5; Acts 13:13-16; Acts 13:42; Acts 14:12; Acts 13:38-45; Acts 17:1-3.

Verse 20

1) "When they desired him," (erototon de auton) "As they of Ephesus asked (requested) them," Paul, Timothy, and Silas.

2) "To tarry longer time with them," (epi pleiona chronon meinai) "To remain over (for) a longer period of time," in Ephesus, before sailing on for Antioch in Syria. The Jews seldom rose up in mob violence against Paul and his gospel preaching, until souls began to be saved, baptized, and work in the church, severing their allegiance to the Law of Moses and the synagogue.

3) "He consented not;" (ouk epeneusen) "But he, Paul did not consent," or did not agree to do so. He had overcome Jewish enemies in Corinth, to do the will of God, and now had to resist personal appeals of friends to "stay a little longer," like a mother or father who appeals to a long absent son or daughter, to "stay a little longer." He understood the will of God, and did not turn back from doing it, whatever the cost, Ephesians 5:17; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

Verse 21

1) ’’But bade them farewell, saying," (alla apotaksamenos kai eipon) "But he bid (them) farewell explaining,"

2) "I must by all means keep this feast," (Omitted in A.R.V.) Perhaps the feast of Pentecost.

3) "That cometh, in Jerusalem:" (omitted in A.R.V.) Where the Jews met for the Annual Pentecost fifty days after the annual Passover.

4) "But I will return again unto you, if God will." (palin anakampso pros humastou thelontos) "I will return to you all again, if God wills," which He did, as recounted later, Acts 19:11; Paul made personal decisions and appointments based on the will of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 4:19; Hebrews 6:3; James 4:15; Ephesians 5:17. He subordinated his plans and purposes, to the will of God, Romans 1:10; Romans 15:32; Philippians 2:19. D.V. (Deo Volente) "God willing."

5) "And he sailed from Ephesus." (anechthe apo tes Ephesou) "He set sail from Ephesus," leaving Priscilla and Aquila behind, Acts 18:18; Acts 18:26.

Verse 22

1) "And when he had landed at Caesarea," (kai katelthon eis Kaisareian) "And when they had come down into Caesarea," by the seaside, from the highland of the coastline, at the harbor.

2) "And gone up and saluted the church," (anabas kai aspasamenos ten ekklesian) "Going up and greeting the church," or having greeted the church at Caesarea, where Cornelius and his saved household resided, and where Philip the evangelist and his daughters, who prophesied, also resided, Acts 10:1-2; Acts 21:8-9. It is also believed that he went up to Jerusalem before going to Antioch.

3) "He went down into Antioch." (katebe eis Antiocheian) "He went down into Antioch, of Syria, from which he had been sent out on his two extended missionary tours. Acts 13:1-4; Acts 15:35-40. This concluded his second missionary tour.

Verse 23



1) "And after he had spent some time there," (kai poiesas chronon tina) "And when he had spent sometime there," at Antioch, where he taught for more than a year in the church, before leaving for the first of his extended mission tours, Acts 11:26; Acts 13:1-4.

2) "He departed, and went over," (ekselthen dierchomenos) "He went forth, traveling of his own accord or choice through," from Antioch, overland through the following territories, beginning his third missionary journey.

3) "All the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order," (kathekses ten Galatiken choran ksi Phrugian) "The Galatian country and Phrygia, in order," in succession, as he had planned, according to the will of the Lord, Acts 18:21; James 4:15. It was a considerable detour that took Paul to Ephesus again, thru Galatia.

4) "Strengthening all the disciples." (sterizon pantas tous Mathetas) "Confirming or strengthening all the disciples," in the faith, the system of teachings of Jesus and His church, Acts 14:21-22; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-10; Acts 15:41; Acts 16:5; Judges 1:3.

The primary cause, near Paul’s heart, and purpose of this third journey was to raise funds for the needy saints (members) of the church in Jerusalem and Judea. His letters clearly indicated this, Galatians 2:9-10; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Romans 15:25-26.

On this third tour Paul had as missionary companions in travel Timotheus, Erastus, Gaius, Aristarchus, and Titus, Acts 19:22; Acts 19:29; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 8:16-24.

Verse 24

1) "And a certain Jew named Apollos," (loudaios de tis Apollos onomati) "Then a certain Jew by name of Apollos," a contraction from Apollonius.

2) "Born at Alexandria, an eloquent man," )aleksandreus genei aner logios) "An Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man," from Egypt, beloved by many for his moving eloquence of speech, 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 4:6. Paul wrote for Titus to bring Apollos to his side in A.D. 65, near the end of his life’s journey from Macedonia, Titus 3:13. Alexandria was a great seat of the Grecian language, learning, and philosophy.

3) "And mighty in the Scriptures," (dunatos on en tais graphis) "Who was dynamic (astute) in the Scriptures, who had become a Christian from the continent of Africa, following Pentecost, Acts 2:10; 1 Corinthians 3:4-6; Romans 12:3.

4) "Came to Ephesus." (katentesen eis Epheson) "Came down into Ephesus," commercial center of production of the heathen goddess Diana, Acts 19:24-35. As a man of God familiar with the letter and spirit of the Scriptures, he arrived in Ephesus to preach the Word, about the time of Paul’s departure, Acts 18:21.


He could take prophecy, psalms, history, and the ritual, and make the Jewish congregations feel that the great longing of the world for four thousand years had at last found its answer in the advent of Jesus as the Christ. Some modern scholars declare he wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews, Robinson, Apollos knew "only the baptism of John." If he could be so eloquent about water, what will he be when he comes to speak of blood? We shall find this man doing wonders in the Church. It is possible to teach even the alphabet earnestly. Apollos knew only the alphabet, but he taught the separate letters as if they were separate poems. The fervent man touches everything with his fervor. Do not despise the teachers who are not teaching exactly the fullness of the Gospel. If they are teaching up to the measure of their intelligence, thank God for their cooperation.

- Parker.

Verse 25

1) "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord;” (houtos en katechemenos ten hodon toi kuriou) "This man was orally instructed in the way of the Lord," perhaps by John the Baptist, or by Christians who had been saved at Pentecost and returned to Egypt, Acts 2:10.

2) "And being fervent in the spirit," (kai zeon to pneumati) "And burning (in zeal) in spirit," of a zealous, fiery, caring, driving disposition, an admirable trait for any minister or layman in Christ, Romans 12:11; 2 Corinthians 7:7; James 5:16; 1 Peter 4:8.

3) "He spake and taught diligently," (elalei kai edidsken akribos) "He spoke and taught accurately," or fervently, putting his heart and affections into his work for the Lord, as commended and exhorted in the Scriptures, Colossians 4:12; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

4) "The things of the Lord," (ta peri tou lesou) "The things concerning Jesus," and His Word, will, and work, which He did, Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 3:9.

5) "Knowing only the baptism of John." (epistemenos monon ta Baptisma loannou) "Understanding only the baptism of John," of John the Baptist, who administered only heaven sent, or heaven ordained, that is heaven-mandated baptism, to those who repented and believed on Jesus Christ, who was to come after him, Acts 19:34; Matthew 3:1-12. To know the true heaven approved source and nature of John’s baptism, was and is, to accept it, as Jesus, the apostles, and every early member of His church did, without which one could not be an apostle, Acts 1:21-22; John 1:6; John 1:33-34; John 15:16; John 15:26-27.

Verse 26

1) "And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue," (houtos te erksato parresiazesthat en te sunagoge) "Then this man (Apollos) began to speak boldly in the synagogue," of the Jews at Ephesus, regarding sin, repentance, and faith in Jesus Christ, as requisites of the baptism of John, before one could enter into the program of worship and service of the messiah, Jesus Christ; Repentance and faith, the one way to salvation, must precede heaven sanctioned baptism, Acts 10:43; Acts 20:21; John 4:1-2; Matthew 28:18-20.

2) "Whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard," (akousantes de autou Priskilla kai Akulas) "Then when Aquila and Priscilla heard him," witnessing so fervently of the one way of salvation that all true prophets had preached, to the time of John the Baptist, the forerunner or herald of Jesus, the Messiah, Acts 10:43; Matthew 3:1-12; John 1:1-34.

3) "They took him unto them, and expounded unto him," (proselabonto auton kai akribesteron auto eksethento) "They took him (to themselves) and explained to him more accurately or carefully," with more clarity, as they for near two years had been instructed by Paul, concerning Jesus Christ and His New Covenant church, her call, her mission, her anointing or empowering, or her special Spiritual gifts, Acts 18:1-3; Acts 18:11.

4) "The way of God more perfectly." (ten hodori tou theou) "The way of God,--( ’ akribesteron) "More clearly, accurately, or explicitly," than when John the Baptist had preached. It was not different from, but in harmony with, and supplemental to the preaching of John, since the church had been established, instructed, commissioned or mandated, and empowered of the Holy Spirit and special spiritual gifts since the preaching of John, some of which Apollos did not know, Matthew 4:19-21; Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:18; Matthew 28:20; John 15:16; John 15:26-27; John 20:21; Luke 24:44-52; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-12.

Verse 27

1) "And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia," (boulomenou de autou dielthein eis ten Achaian) "Then when he intended (purposed in mind) to go through Achaia or Greece," of which province Corinth, which he proposed to visit, was the capitol. It was the place where Aquila and Priscilla had first met Paul and taken him into their home and trade, Acts 18:1-3;

2) "The brethren wrote, exhorting," (prostrepsamenoi hoi adelphoi egrapsan) "When the Ephesian brethren had been encouraged (revived by Apollos) the church brethren wrote," a letter of introduction and commendation of Apollos to the church brethren in Corinth.

3) "The disciples to receive him:" (tois mathetais apodeksasthai auton) "To the disciples (church brethren in Achaia or Greece) to welcome him," to receive Apollos, to show him a welcome of fellowship.

4) "Who, when he was come," (hos paragenomenos) "Who when he arrived," in Greece, in Corinth and perhaps Cenchrea as well. Corinth was on the Ionian Sea on the west side of the Isthmus (extended island), and Cenchrea was some ten miles on the east side of the Isthmus on the Aegean Sea, Acts 18:18.

5) "Helped them much," (sunebaleto polu tois) "Contributed much to those in Achaia," this particular province of Greece, some 45 miles south of Athens.

6) "Which had believed through grace:” (pepisteukosin dia tes charitos) "To those who had believed through the media of grace," John 1:16-17; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 2:11; Titus 3:5.

Verse 28

1) "For he mightily convinced the Jews," (eutonos gar tois loudaiois diakatelegcheto) "For he vehemently convinced or confuted the Jews," with a fervency, power and astuteness that was persuasive, as every child of God should be ready to do, for any person who knows not Jesus Christ, John 5:39; 1 Peter 3:15.

2) "And that publickly," (demosia) "Publicly," before the public, openly, of Jesus Christ, as a true witness, laborer, and ambassador for him, Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-19.

3) "Shewing by the scriptures," (epideiknus dia ton graphon) "Proving (establishing evidence) through media of the Scriptures," the true source of establishing evidence in determining harmonious truth, Isaiah 8:20; Psalms 119:160; John 8:32; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

4) "That Jesus was Christ-- (einai ton Christon lesoun) "Jesus to be (or exist as) the Christ," as the savior, Lord, and anointed, coming King, yet to be crowned, Isaiah 53:1-12; Luke 4:16-22; Acts 10:43; Galatians 4:4-5; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1-3.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Acts 18". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/acts-18.html. 1985.
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