Acts 18

acts-18.jpgGreetings!  Paul went to Corinth, the political and commercial center of Greece and a city with a reputation for serious immorality.  He will later write them letters, two of which are in the Bible (I Corinthians and II Corinthians). 

In Corinth

18     After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

Paul reasoned with them.  Many people – even Christians! – make the mistake of saying that Christianity is blind faith.  It is not blind faith, it is faith in Jesus and his finished work.

5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

I know I’m repeating myself here, but once again we have Paul preaching the simple Gospel that Jesus is the Messiah.  He is not preaching a health-and-wealth gospel or that God is soft on sin.

Paul does what we should do: Make good faith attempts to share the Gospel, but not to push it on people who are hostile to it. 

7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court. 13 “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.”

14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” 16 So he had them ejected from the court. 17 Then they all turned on Sosthenes the synagogue ruler and beat him in front of the court. But Gallio showed no concern whatever.

Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos

18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.

23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Apollos reasoned and debated and proved that Jesus was the Christ (the Messiah). 

Paul and his co-workers made great strides and developed many friendships as the church grew.

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5 Responses

  1. Some interesting side notes…..

    v. 2 – Claudius was Emperor of Rome from A.D. 41 – 54 and ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Suetonius, who lived at the time, wrote that this was because of “their continual tumults instigated by Chrestus” (a common misspelling of “Christ”). If “Chrestus” refers to Christ, the riots obviously were “about” him rather than led “by” him. To say that “ALL the Jews” were ordered to leave is probably an exaggeration, for Suetonius’ Latin may be translated “the Jews who were constantly causing tumult” – i.e., the leaders among the very large Jewish population in Rome, both the unconverted Jews and the Jewish Christians, who may have been exceedingly zealous in their missionary endeavors.

    v. 12 – Gallio was the brother of Seneca, the philosopher, who was the tutor of Nero. Gallio was admired as a man of exceptional fairness and calmness. From an inscription found at Delphi, it is known that Gallio was proconsul of Achaia in A.D. 51-52. This information enables us to date Paul’s visit to Corinth on his second journey as well as his writing of the Thessalonian letters.

  2. For Rebecca V

    Since Gallio was Proconsul 51-52 CE, what would the date of the Jewish excpulsion from Rome be? 48-51 CE?

  3. Frank –
    Are you referring to the expulsion in verse 2? Paul would have met with Aquila during his second Missionary Journey which took place, according to my sources, between 49-52 A.D. So, your guess of 48-51 is probably pretty close.

  4. Frank –
    Note Acts 28:17. Paul met with Jewish leaders in Rome. The decree of the emperor Claudius had been allowed to lapse, or the decree automatically lapsed at the death of Claudius, and the leaders of the Jews had returned to Rome. This is even a better indication that it wasn’t a complete expulsion of the Jews, but rather of only those who were causing unrest.

  5. Rebecca

    Thanks for the info. I’ve been fighting a head cold. The expulsion I was referring to is the one in verse 2. Acts 28 clearly indicates that the earlier expulsion was probably of a sect of the Jews – the Nazarene Sect as the Jews called the disciples.

    Thanks
    Frank

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