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Bible Commentaries

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible
Acts 18

 

 


Introduction

THE BOOK OF ACTS | CHAPTER 18

OUTLINE AND COMMENTARY - MARK DUNAGAN

I. OUTLINE OF CHAPTER 18:

I. Paul in Corinth:

A. Working with Priscilla and Aquila:

B. Arrival of Silas and Timothy:

C. Jesus" promise:

D. Before Gallio:

II. End of second missionary journey and beginning of third:

III. Apollos:

Before we move into this chapter we need to set the stage. Here we see the strength and resolve of the Apostle Paul, because many things were happening at this time that could have completely overwhelmed or discouraged men with less faith. The situation back in Thessalonica: While Paul is at Corinth, he will write two letters to the Church at Thessalonica, a congregation of relatively new converts who are facing persecution and false doctrine (1 Thessalonians 3:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:1 ff) He was all by himself until he meet Aquila and Priscilla (18:2). Instead of being able to devote all his time to teaching and preaching, initially he had to support himself (18:3). "Financial need is always depressing, and particularly when one sees that this Christian work is suffering for lack of more liberal support" (Erdman p. 143). The vast size of Corinth: "Corinth at its zenith had nearly three-quarters of a million people" (Stott p. 293). Imagine being initially the only Christian in the Portland metropolitan area and being given the task to evangelize this community. The pride and immorality of the Corinthians: "The Corinthians were a proud people. Their intellectual arrogance emerges clearly in Paul"s correspondence with them. They were proud of their city, which Julius Caesar had beautifully rebuilt in 46 B.C. They boasted of its wealth and culture, of the world-famous Isthmian games which it hosted every other year, and of its political prestige as the capital of provincial Achaia, taking precedence even over Athens. Secondly, Corinth was associated in everybody"s mind with immorality. Behind the city, nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, rose the rocky eminence called the Acrocorinth. On its flat summit stood the temple of Aphrodite or Venus, the goddess of love. A thousand female slaves served her and roamed the city"s streets by night as prostitutes. The sexual promiscuity of Corinth was proverbial, "korinthiastes" was a synonym for a harlot. Corinth was "the Vanity Fair of the Roman Empire"" (Stott pp. 295-296).

The gospel that Paul preached came into direct collision with such attitudes, because the cross of Christ demands self-humbling (not arrogance) and self-denial (not indulgence) (1 Corinthians 1:18-31; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Erdman notes, "Commercialism and materialism were absolutely absorbing; and the intellectual pride was almost invincible" (p. 143). Here is a city of which many people would have said, "There is no way that the gospel can penetrate the hearts of those people. They are absorbed in the pursuit of material things, human wisdom, and physical pleasure. The gospel stands for everything they don"t want". And yet, many people in this city did become Christians (18:10). Paul"s stay in Corinth should teach us that you can never judge a person"s possible receptiveness to the gospel by their current attitudes. People can put on a good front, and people who look like they are self-satisfied, happy, content, fulfilled, and on top of the world, might actually be starving on the inside for a message of real substance and meaning.


Verse 1

Acts 18:1 "After these things he departed from Athens, and came to Corinth"

"Came to Corinth" "The journey may have been either by land along the Isthmus of Corinth, or by sea from Piraesus to Cenchrea." (Reese p. 638) Corinth was located some 50 miles south of Athens, if by land a two day"s journey, or by sea, a one day"s sail. This city was positioned for greatness. Located on "the land-bridge connecting the Peloponnese with Northern Greece, occupied a most favorable position for commercial enterprise, at the junction of sea-routes to the west and east and of land-routes to the north and south. It had two ports Lechaeum, on the Gulf of Corinth (leading to the Ionian Sea and western Mediterranean), and Cenchrea, on the Saronic Gulf (leading to the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea)" (Bruce p. 366). "It commanded the trade routes in all directions. Before the Corinthian canal was cut, there was a slipway along which cargoes and even small vessels could be hauled, thus saving 200 miles of perilous navigation round the southern tip of the peninsula. F.W. Farrar imagined its markets stocked with cosmopolitan goods "Arabian balsam, Egyptian papyrus, Phoenician dates, Libyan ivory, Babylonian carpets, Cilician goat"s-hair, Lycaonian wool, Phrygian slaves"" (Stott pp. 293-294). "It was therefore a city of great commercial advantages, and these had drawn into it a large Jewish population" (McGarvey p. 132).

Thus the letter than Paul writes to the Church in this city, completely "fits". You would expect Paul to deal with moral issues (1 Corinthians 6:9-11); lawsuits (this was a huge commercial center, 1 Corinthians 6:1-8); various abuses (for these people had been accustomed to excess, 1 Corinthians 11:18 ff); the marriage relationship (which probably wasn"t too highly regarded in such a city,1 Corinthians 7:1 ff); and church discipline (1 Corinthians 5:1 ff). Yet various strengths of the world can also be turned into advantages for the kingdom of God. Stott notes, "If trade could radiate from Corinth in all directions, so could the gospel" (p. 294). Paul probably comes to Corinth around the year 52 A.D. At this time the city was a little over 100 years old (it had been rebuilt by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C.).


Verse 2

Acts 18:2 "And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome: and he came unto them"

"Found a certain Jew named Aquila" Although Aquila was Jewish by birth, it seems Aquila and his wife were both Christians when Paul found them. "There is no mention of Priscilla"s and Aquila"s listening to Paul, of believing, or being obedient to Christ through baptism" (Reese p. 638). "Jew" Luke probably informs us concerning the ethnic race of this man, for it prepares us for the statement that "Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome". That is, this is why this couple had recently come from Italy to Corinth. "Aquila" (A kwil uah). "A man of Pontus" Born in the Roman province known as Pontus. "Pontus was one place where the Jews became very numerous" (Reese p. 639) (Acts 2:9). This province was located in northern Asia Minor (modern Turkey), on the southern shore of the Black Sea. "A mountainous area broken by fertile plains, Pontus produced olives, grain, and timber" (Nelsons p. 860). Priscilla" (prih SIL uh). Her name is also given as Prisca (2 Timothy 4:19).

"When Paul mentions her in his letters, he refers to her by her formal name Prisca; Luke calls her by her more familiar name Priscilla" (Bruce p. 369). The fact that her name comes before Aquila"s in verses 18,26; Romans 16:3; 2 Timothy 4:9, has caused some to think, "it has been inferred that she belonged to a higher social class than her husband" (Bruce p. 369). This couple poses an interesting study in itself, for we find them being a very mobile couple. Aquila had migrated from Pontus to Italy, they move to Corinth, then to Ephesus (18:18-19); and then we find them back at Rome (Romans 16:3), and then back at Ephesus (2 Timothy 4:19).

"Because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome"

"Suetonius claims that this happened about A.D. 49, "because the Jews were in a constant tumult at the instigation of one Chrestus". At any rate Jews were unpopular in Rome, for Tiberius had deported 4,000 to Sardinia" (Robertson p. 295). Some think that "Chrestus" was a Jewish leader of insurrection at Rome, but others believe that "Chrestus" is a corruption of the name "Christ" (the pronunciation of "Christus" and "Chrestus" will have been very similar, see Stott p. 296) and that these riots were attacks of unbelieving Jews upon Jewish Christians in Rome. Claudius was emperor from A.D. 41-54.


Verse 3

Acts 18:3 "and because he was of the same trade, he abode with them, and they wrought, for by their trade they were tentmakers"

"Because he was of the same trade" Notice how God is taking care of Paul. He needs both Christian companionship and a job. In finding this couple, both needs are providentially met. "Trade" Paul had been trained to be a Jewish rabbi (Acts 22:3), but according to Jewish practice every rabbi must have a trade "The Jew glorified work. "Love work", they said. "He who does not teach his son a trade teaches him robbery". It meant that they never became detached scholars, and that they always knew what the life of the working-man was like" (Barclay p. 147). Paul regularly earned his living in this way (Acts 20:34; 1 Corinthians 9:1 ff; 2 Corinthians 11:7 ff; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8). "Abode with them" He evidently moved into the residence in which they were living. "They wrought" Apparently, all three of them were tentmakers. Aquila and Priscilla may have had a small tent-making business. "Tentmakers" "This trade was closely connected with the principal manufacture of Paul"s native province, a cloth of goat"s hair called "cilicium", used for making cloaks, curtains, and so forth" (Bruce p. 367). "Tarsus was in Cilicia; in that province there were herds of a certain kind of goat with a special kind of fleece. Out of that fleece a cloth called cilicum was made which was much used for making tents and curtains and hangings" (Barclay p. 147). This trade may have included the weaving of the cloth, but probably involved putting the actual tent-together. "What is certain is that he worked with his hands" (Stott p. 297).


Verse 4

Acts 18:4 "And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks"

"Reasoned" This reasoning would be from the O.T. Scriptures (Acts 17:2-3). Notice how Paul felt that preaching was based upon the logical and orderly presentation of the Scriptures. Unfortunately, some professed Christians today ridicule the idea of using reason and logic when you approach the study of the Bible. In contrast to such critics, both Paul and Jesus did use finely tuned arguments (Matthew 22:29-32; 43-46; Galatians 3:16). "In the synagogue" The gospel was to the Jew first (Romans 1:16). "A commercial city like Corinth inevitably had a large Jewish colony, and Paul was able immediately to follow his usual procedure and proclaim the Christian message in the local synagogue" (Bruce p. 369) (Acts 17:2). "Every Sabbath" Thus we find Paul working during the week, trying to convert the Jews on the Sabbath, and worshipping with Priscilla and Aquila on Sunday(Acts 20:7). "Persuaded" "Trying to persuade" (NASV). "An imperfect tense expressing his persistence" (Stott p. 297). "Greeks" Gentile converts to Judaism and those who were loosely attached to the synagogue.


Verse 5

Acts 18:5 "But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ"

"Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia" The Roman province of Macedonia included such cities as Philippi and Thessalonica and was north of the province of Achaia, of which Corinth was the capital. When Paul was at Athens, Timothy had come to him, but Paul had immediately sent him back to see if the brethren in Thessalonica were remaining faithful, despite the suffering they were enduring (1 Thessalonians 3:1 ff). Apparently Silas had remained for some time with the brethren in Berea. Thus we find that in the churches that Paul established, Paul either stayed with these new Christians for some length of time or tried to leave another evangelist behind. From the city of Corinth, First and Second Thessalonians will be written (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 1:1). "Paul was constrained by the word" "Engrossed with the word" (ABUV). "Completely possessed" (Ber). "Absorbed in preaching the message" (Gspd). "That Jesus was the Christ" Compare with Acts 17:3.

The KJV here reads, "pressed in the spirit", but the best texts have "by the word", instead of spirit. Evidently circumstances changed with the arrival of Silas and Timothy. First, their presence would have greatly encouraged Paul. Secondly, it appears that they probably brought some financial support from the congregations in Macedonia with them (2 Corinthians 11:7-9; Philippians 4:15). Therefore, Paul could take a break from the tent-making business and devote his time to the full-time preaching of the gospel.


Verse 6

Acts 18:6 "And when they opposed themselves and blasphemed, he shook out his raiment and said unto them, Your blood {be} upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles"

"Opposed themselves" "Resisted" (NASV). The word here "is a military term, implying an organized and systematic resistance" (Reese p. 642). "Implying an organized or concerted resistance" (Vincent p. 548). Indicating that the Jewish leadership put up a stubborn and organized resistance to Paul"s preaching. "Blasphemed" (Acts 13:45) "Some have supposed that "Anathema be Jesus" (1 Corinthians 12:3) is a reflection of what some in Corinth had been saying" (Reese p. 642). "He shook out his raiment" "It would be an act that the Jews would remember long after the service was over, for it was the type of thing a man would do when he found that his appeals to their reason and conscience made no impression" (Reese pp. 642-643) (Matthew 10:14-15; Acts 13:51). "The schools of the scribes taught that the dust of heathen lands was defiling" (Manners/Customs Freeman p. 346).

Thus Paul is giving the synagogue a taste of its own medicine. The same type of physical demonstration (which they had done to others) is now done to them. God is trying to impress upon their minds, that rejecting Jesus puts you into the "pagan" category, regardless of your physical race, social status, and position in the community.

"Your blood be upon your own heads" Echoing the instructions given years ago to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:18 ff; Ezekiel 33:4; Ezekiel 33:8 ff). Also note Acts 20:26. This expression infers, the gospel is a very clear message and easy to understand, for Paul places this rejection of his preaching solely on the heads of those who rejected it. If people end up lost then it is their own fault. God is not going to give mankind any additional "warning" besides the Word of God. No second-chances will be given at the final judgment. Paul didn"t have the attitude, "Oh well, if you reject my preaching, God will give you another chance to believe at the last day." In addition, notice how the responsibility of rejecting Christ rests solely upon the unbeliever. This means that I cannot blame others for my lack of faith or bad attitude. "I am clean" Notice the fairness. God does not place the responsibility of converting people on our shoulders. He realizes that nobody can be forced to become a Christian, rather God simply requires that we share the gospel with people. The final decision for becoming a Christian rests squarely on the shoulders of the person making that decision. "Henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles" "He would take his saving message to people who knew how to appreciate it. And he had not far to go. For adjoining the synagogue was the house of a God-fearer who had listened to Paul" (Bruce p. 371).

While persistence in teaching someone is important, Paul realized that he could not force people to become Christians, and he did not believe that he had failed when those to whom he preached failed to respond. He realized that he only had so much time and therefore he needed to spend that time preaching to people who would be willing to listen and obey. Paul knew that there always existed people who would hear. We must have that same confidence in the gospel message. There always exists in any community people that will respond. This verse should also serve as a wake-up call to those Christians who have allowed themselves to become apathetic. The church will survive without them, new converts will take their place, and their absence in heaven will not detract from the happiness found there.


Verse 7

Acts 18:7 "And he departed thence, and went into the house of a certain man named Titus Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue"

"Titus Justus" This is a Roman name. "One that worshipped God" "It is probable that this man had been attending synagogue as a proselyte" (Reese p. 644). Hence, Paul did have some success among those who were attending the synagogue (). "House joined hard" "Having joint boundaries, right next to" (Robertson p. 297). "Was next door to" (RSV).


Verse 8

Acts 18:8 "And Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized"

"Crispus" Paul later mentions this man as one that he had personally baptized (1 Corinthians 1:14). "Ruler of the Synagogue" "The ruler of the synagogue occupied a very important position. No one was eligible to this office until he had a certificate from the Great Sanhedrin. His election, however, was by the members of the synagogue. It was his duty to supervise all matters connected with worship" (Freeman p. 443). This is another case of conversion which should remind us "do not prejudge who might and who might not obey the gospel". Too often we assume, "They would never become a Christian, for the personal sacrifices would be too great". Actually, such an attitude on our part is rather worldly. It is all a matter of perspective. No sacrifice is too great to the person who wants eternal life and a relationship with God (Matthew 13:44-46).Yes, a honest heart will sacrifice status, power, earthly goods and relationships to become a Christian! "Believed in the Lord" In this verse "believing in the Lord" includes being baptized. The faith that saves is never a mere mental assent or the moment that one believes that Jesus is the Son of God. "With all his house" Not only did the synagogue lose its ruler, it also lost his whole family. There is no infant baptism here, for each member in the household believed for themselves. "And many of the Corinthians" We are given some of their names besides Titus Justus and Gaius. We also are told of Epaenetus, Stephanas (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15); Fortunatus and Achaicus (1 Corinthians 16:17), even many of the Corinthians who had been indulging in a sinful lifestyles (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) believed. Many also came from the lower classes in Corinthian society (1 Corinthians 1:26). "Hearing, believed, and were baptized" These are the same basic steps that we find in the Great Commission (Mark 16:15-16) and the conversions in the book of Acts (Acts 2:37-38; 8:12; 35-38). "The tense of the two verbs here implies a process going on daily, over a long period of time" (Reese p. 645).


Verse 9

Acts 18:9 "And the Lord said unto Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace"

"Be not afraid" "Literally, "stop being afraid"" (Robertson p. 298). "The Greek prohibits the continuance of something already going on" (Reese p. 645). "But speak" Keep on speaking. "Hold not thy peace" "And refuse to be silenced" (TCNT); "never stop" (Mof); "and do not give up" (Gspd). Such statements remind us that even the apostle Paul battled the same type of temptations and fears with which we struggle (1 Corinthians 9:27), see 1 Kings 19:4; Jeremiah 15:15 ff; and James 5:17. Thus the message being revealed through them to Christians is not an unrealistic standard or lifestyle for mankind (1 John 5:3). As older preachers were fond of saying,""The gospel God gave is perfectly suited for the man that God made". Fear and anxiety are not acceptable reasons for giving up. After all, people still keep on trying when they have encouragement from human beings, how much more should Christians keep on trying, when we have Divine encouragement? (Hebrews 12:5-6). Christians can never allow themselves to be silenced. Souls are lost, and the gospel is the only message that can save them (Romans 1:16), and the church is the only body of people with that message (1 Timothy 3:15).


Verse 10

Acts 18:10 "for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to harm thee: for I have much people in this city"

"For I am with thee" This is the greatest protection that one could ever have. Sadly, even some professed Christians have very little confidence in God. They feel secure when surrounded by financial stability, good health, friends, a steady job, deadbolt locks, and a home security system, but they cannot allow themselves to place their trust in God. Yet such people have everything mixed up. Physical things are very limited in the real protection that they provide, and they never can provide protection for our souls (Matthew 10:28). "No man shall set on thee to harm thee" This may have been the thought preoccupying Paul"s mind, that is, when will persecution hit next? "The resistance by the Jews might at any hour burst into furious violence or deliberate plots (as it had in other cities). Some might form plans to harm him, and might even try, but they would not succeed" (Reese pp. 645-646). "For I have much people in this city" "There were many people in the sinful streets of Corinth who would obey the Gospel if they had opportunity" (Reese p. 646).

On the surface it would have appeared that very few people, if any, in Corinth would have been interested in the gospel message, but we need to be careful about jumping to conclusions. Remember, God calls people outside of Christ "lost". Some people end up in addictive lifestyles simply because that is where their aimless wandering for happiness has led them. Please note that this verse also infers (considering the immoral nature of Corinth), that all living in the fast lane are not really enjoying themselves, and given the chance to change, they will.

From the above statement, Calvin argued that this verse was teaching "predestination". In addition to the fact that such a view does not harmonize with the rest of Scripture, neither does it make sense in the above verses, for according to Calvinism, the gospel message isn"t sufficient to convict the heart of the sinner, and yet God is telling Paul to speak out. Obviously God does not believe that the salvation of the potential converts in Corinth is already locked in. The verse infers that such people will not be saved unless they hear the gospel and obey it (Romans 1:16; Hebrews 5:9).


Verse 11

Acts 18:11 "And he dwelt {there} a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them"

"Dwelt there" "Supported by the assurance given in the vision, and full of fresh confidence, Paul settles down to evangelize the city" (Reese p. 646). "A year and six months" How much time Paul had spent in Corinth prior to this verse, we do not know, but from other verses we know that Paul"s efforts in Corinth apparently reached beyond the community and helped start congregations in neighboring cities, including Cenchrea, Corinth"s port to the East (Romans 16:1; 2 Corinthians 11:10; 2 Corinthians 1:1). Here we find one more example of a preacher settling down in a location and working with the Christians in that city. The advocates of "no located preacher" find themselves accusing even the apostle Paul of being less than Scriptural. "Teaching the word of God among them" This probably includes teaching non-Christians and strengthening new Christians in the faith (Matthew 28:20).

PERSECUTION

This section of Scripture is very enlightening concerning how God kept His promise to Paul, that no man would harm him in this city (). As you read the following verses be impressed that God does not work any miracles to protect or deliver Paul. Here we find a great example of God"s ability to work through natural means to achieve His purposes. Much like the Book of Esther in the Old Testament, this section is a classic example of what is known as the "Providence of God".


Verse 12

Acts 18:12 "But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment-seat"

"Gallio" Here is another instance in which the reader should be impressed that the events mentioned in the Bible actually took place in real history. "Gallio and his brother Seneca were born in Cordova, Spain, and their father brought them to Rome in the reign of Tiberius. Gallio"s real name was Marcus Annaeus Novatus; but after his arrival in Rome he was adopted by the rhetorician Lucius Junius Gallio. Several ancient writers note the fact that he had a remarkably mild and easy-going disposition. An inscription found at Delphi places him in office at Corinth in the year 52 A.D" (Reese p. 647). "He was the younger brother of Seneca, the Stoic philosopher and tutor of the youthful Nero, and Seneca spoke appreciatively of his brother"s tolerant kindness" (Stott p. 299). "Proconsul" "Luke is correct to call Gallio proconsul, since Achaia was at this time a senatorial province of the Empire, and therefore governed by a proconsul--as opposed to an imperial province, which was governed by a legate. The province"s status had changed only in A.D. 44" (Stott p. 299). Thus we again find that Luke is minutely accurate in his account. "There were two types of provinces in the Roman empire. If there was an army in the province to keep law and order, the province answered to the Emperor, and was governed by a Governor (procurator). If there was no army in the province, the province answered to the Roman Senate, and was governed by a Proconsul" (Reese p. xv).

One writer noted, "If the Bible were a fictitious account we would expect to find errors throughout. One of the best places to trip up the writers would be in their description of the land in which these events are said to have taken place" The same would be true concerning the "political" description of the times, yet in all these details the Biblical writers are always accurate. Therefore, if the Biblical account is minutely accurate in all those places in which we can verify it, then it must be accurate in those things which we cannot presently verify, such as heaven and hell.

"Jews with one accord rose up against Paul" "A combined attack" (TCNT). It appears that this plan had been in the works for some time and now the Jews felt they had the opening they needed.

"It was very likely that when Gallio first entered into his proconsulship the Jews attempted to get him to act against the Christians. They tried to influence him before he was settled in" (Barclay p. 148). "Either the Jews were taking advantage of Gallio"s easy-going disposition, or else there has recently been a change of men at the top post of government in Achaia--and the Jews try to take advantage of the new and inexperienced man to get at Paul" (Reese p. 648). "Brought him before the judgment seat" "On certain days each week, the Roman officials held court sessions in the market place, presiding from a raised platform, called "bema" in the Greek. This raised platform is still visible among the ruins of ancient Corinth. A portable chair, called a curule, was carried to the platform, covered with a purple cloth; when the proconsul had seated himself on the chair, court was in session" (Reese p. 648).


Verse 13

Acts 18:13 "saying, This man persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law"

"Saying" Here is the specific case brought against Paul. "This man persuadeth men" This admits that Paul was having a lot of success in Corinth in terms of converting Jews and Gentiles. "To worship God contrary to the law" There is some question concerning what "law" is under consideration in their complaint. Their own law, or Roman law? Now Gallio will take their complaint as referring to their own law (). Possibly they had deliberately left the word law unspecified, hoping that they could get Paul arrested on either stirring up trouble in the Jewish community or introducing a new religion which violated Roman law.


Verse 14

Acts 18:14 "But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If indeed it were a matter of wrong or of wicked villany, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you"

"When Paul was about to open his mouth" Carefully note that Paul did not know how God was going to fulfill His promise (). So he prepares to answer the charges. "Gallio said unto the Jews" Gallio speaks before Paul can say anything. "If indeed it were a matter of wrong or of wicked villany" "Some actual offense or crime" (Rieu). "Reason would that I should bear with you" "There would be some reason for my listening patiently to you" (TCNT). "It would only be fair that I listen to you" (Beck).


Verse 15

Acts 18:15 "but if there are questions about words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; I am not minded to be a judge of these matters"

"Questions" "Plural, contemptuous, "a parcel of questions"" (Robertson p. 301). "Words and names" "The Jews, Gallio knew, split hairs over words and names" (Robertson p. 301). "Your own law" Gallio did not fall into the trap that the Jewish leaders had set. He knew that what upset the Jews was not some breach of Roman law (which they resented), but their own law. "What Paul was propagating, in his view, was simply a variety of Judaism which did not happen to commend itself to the leaders of the Jewish colony in Corinth" (Bruce p. 375). "Look to it yourselves" "Settle the matter yourselves" (Rieu). "I am not minded to be a judge of these matters" Gallio realized that he had not been appointed to settle theological disputes. "Gallio was absolutely impartial, that he refused to allow himself to be influenced or prejudiced, that he brought impartial Roman justice to his task" (Barclay p. 148). "This is one of the few instances in all the experiences of Paul in which his accusers were dealt with justly and summarily" (Reese p. 649).


Verse 16

Acts 18:16 "And he drove them from the judgment-seat"

"These words probably imply that Gallio gave an order to his lictors to clear the court. Any of the Jews who did not immediately retreat would expose themselves to blows from the lictor"s rods" (Reese p. 650). "The Jews were stunned by this sudden blow from the mild proconsul and wanted to linger to argue the case further, but they had to go" (Robertson p. 302).


Verse 17

Introduction To Christian Evidences. Ferrell Jenkins p. 68.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Acts 18:4". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/acts-18.html. 1999-2014.

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