Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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ACTS - Chapter 18

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Acts 18

Supplemental Commentary:

II.  THE CHURCH IN ASIA MINOR AND EUROPE:
THE MISSIONARY JOURNEYS OF ST. PAUL  13, 1 -- 28, 31 (continued)

2.  Second Missionary  Journey  15, 36 -- 18, 22 (continued)

18, 1-11:  Corinth.  Corinth was the capital of Achaia and the headquarters of the proconsul who governed the province; it was noted for commerce, wealth, culture, and the worship of Aphrodite.    2.  The edict of Claudius, published about 50 A.D., was enforced for only a short time; Acts 28, 17 shows that the Jews were then once more settled in Rome.  In his life of Claudius (25) Suetonius seems to refer to this edict in the words "he banished from Rome all the Jews, who were continually making disturbances at the instigation of one Chrestus"; the fact probably was that the Jews had been trying to persecute the Christians, and the Roman authorities classed both factions as Jews.    3.  At Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul, one of the chief industries was the making of tent-cloth from Cilician goat hair.

18, 12-17:  Gallio.  Gallio became proconsul in the year 51/52 A.D.  The charge was that St. Paul violated the Mosaic Law by teaching a religion condemned by the Jews, but Gallio dismissed the case since it was a mere question of their Law, all of them admitting a Messias and St. Paul simply recognizing him in Jesus while the other denied this.

17.  Sosthenes: perhaps there were several presidents or several synagogues, or he was the successor of Crispus (8).

18, 18-22:  Return to Antioch.  After a year and a half spent in establishing and organizing the Corinthian church St. Paul left for Ephesus where he stayed only long enough to find out what promise it held for the gospel.

3.  Third Missionary Journey  18, 23 -- 21, 16

18, 23 -- 19, 40:  Return to Ephesus.    25.  This shows how strong and widespread was the influence of John the Baptist.    28.  Apollos became an innocent cause of the factions at Corinth which are denounced in 1 Cor. 1-4.  [Commentary on this section is continued at the beginning of the next chapter.]


Confraternity Bible:

Corinth  1 After this he departed from Athens and came to Corinth.  2 And there he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome.  3 Paul visited them and, as he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and he set to work; for they were tent-makers by trade.  4 And he would preach in the synagogue every Sabbath, [bringing in the name of the Lord Jesus] and try to convince Jews and Greeks.  5 But when Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul was wholly occupied with the word, emphatically assuring the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.  6 But as they contradicted him and blasphemed, he shook his garments in protest and said to them, "Your blood be upon you own heads; I am innocent of it.  Henceforth I will go to the Gentiles."  7 And he departed from there, and went into the house of a man named Titus Justus, a worshipper of God; his house adjoined the synagogue.  8 But Crispus, the president of the synagogue, believed in the Lord and so did all his household, and many of the Corinthians heard Paul, and believed, and were baptized.  9 And one night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, "Do not fear, but speak and do not keep silence; 10 because I am with thee, and no one shall attack thee or injure thee, for I have many people in this city."  11 So he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Gallio  12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a concerted attack upon Paul and took him before the tribunal, 13 saying, "This fellow is persuading men to worship God contrary to the Law."  14 But as Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If there were some question of misdemeanor or serious crime, O Jews, I should with reason bear with you.  15 But if these are questions of doctrine and of titles and of your Law, look to it yourselves; I have no wish to decide such matters."  16 And he drove them from the tribunal.  17 Then they all seized Sosthenes, the president of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal; but Gallio paid not attention to it.

Return to Antioch  18* But Paul, after staying there some time longer, took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria with Priscilla and Aquila; at Cenchrae he had his head shaved, because of a vow he had made.  19 He arrived at Ephesus and there he left them; but he himself entered the synagogue and had a discussion with the Jews.  20 But when they besought him to stay some time longer, he did not consent, 21 but bade them farewell, saying, "I will come back to you, God willing."  22 He put to sea from Ephesus, and landing at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem to pay his respects to the church and then went down to Antioch.

Return to Ephesus  23 After spending some time there he departed, and travelled through the Galatian country and Phrygia in turn, strengthening all the disciples.

24 Now a certain Jew named Appollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus.  He was an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures.  25 He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit, used to speak and teach carefully whatever had to do with Jesus, though he knew of John's baptism only.  26 This man therefore began to speak confidently in the synagogue, and on hearing him Priscilla and Aquila took him home and expounded the Way of God to him more precisely.  27 And as he wanted to go to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him.  On his arrival there he was of great service to those who had believed, 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews in public and showed from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
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18: The vow (cf. Num. 6, 1-21) bound him to abstain from wine and to let his hair grow.  Perhaps this period covered the time of his stay in Corinth and was now over.