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Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament
Acts 18

 

 

Verse 1

Acts 18:1. μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα: in continuation of the narrative, cf. Luke 10:1.— χωρισθεὶς: in Acts 1:4 with ἀπό, and so usually—only here with ἐκ, departure from Athens emphasised, because events had compelled the Apostle to alter his intended plan (Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 240, and Blass, in loco), cf. 1 Chronicles 12:8 (A al.); 2 Maccabees 5:21; 2 Maccabees 12:12, with an accusative of place.— κόρινθον: Corinth from its position as the capital of the Roman province Achaia was the centre of government and commerce, while Athens was still the great educational centre of Greece. St. Paul, with his keen eye for the most important and prominent stations of Roman government and the meeting points of East and West, might be expected to choose a place from whence the influence of the Gospel could spread over the whole province. Like Ephesus, Corinth lay on the great highway between East and West; like Ephesus it was, as Professor Ramsay terms it, one of the knots on the line of communication, the point of convergence for many subordinate roads. But Corinth, with all its external beauty, its wealth and fame, had become a byword for vice and infamy, cf. κορινθιάζεσθαι, κορινθιάζειν, Wetstein, 1 Corinthians 1:2, and references in Farrar, St. Paul, i., 557 ff., and it has not been unfairly termed the Vanity Fair of the Roman empire: at once the London and the Paris of the first century after Christ (Farrar, u. s., p. 556). To this infamous notoriety not only the cosmopolitanism of the city contributed, but the open consecration of shameless impurity in its temple service of Venus, see Ramsay, “Corinth,” Hastings’ B.D.; C. and H., small edition, p. 324 ff.; McGiffert, Apostolic Age, p. 262, and notes below.


Verse 2

Acts 18:2. ἀκύλαν, cf. Acts 18:18, Romans 16:3, 1 Corinthians 16:19, 2 Timothy 4:19 : the Latin Aquila in its Greek form; the name may have been assumed, as often the case, in place of the Jewish name. It is altogether unreasonable to suppose that Luke made a mistake and that this Aquila’s name was Pontius Aquila, which he bore as a freedman of the Gens Pontia, a distinguished member of which was called by the same two names, Pontius Aquila, Cic., Ad Fam., x., 33; Suet., Jul. Cæs., 78. The fact that another Aquila, who is famous as giving us the earliest version A.D. of the O.T. in Greek, is also described as from Pontus goes far to show that there is nothing improbable in St. Luke’s statement (Schürer, Jewish People, div. ii., vol. ii., p. 226, E.T.). The name, moreover, was also a slave name (Ramsay, p. 269), as a freedman of Mæcenas was called (C. Cilnius) Aquila. But it is probable that as the greater part of the Jews in Rome were freedmen, Aquila may also have belonged to this class, see Schürer, u. s., p. 234, and also further, Sanday and Headlam, Romans, p. xxvii., 418; Lightfoot, Philippians, p. 173.— τῷ γένει: “by race,” R.V., cf. Acts 4:36, of Barnabas, and Acts 18:24, of Apollos; the word need not mean more than this.— ἰουδαῖον: The word has been pressed sometimes to indicate that Aquila was still unconverted to Christianity. But the fact that he is called a Jew may simply refer to the notice which follows “that all Jews,” etc. Whether Aquila was a Christian before he met St. Paul is very difficult to determine. He is not spoken of as a disciple, and similarity of employment rather than of Christian belief may account for the Apostle’s intercourse with him and Priscilla, Zahn, Einleitung, i., 189. But the suspicion with which most of his countrymen regarded St. Paul rather indicates that Aquila and Priscilla must at least have had some leanings towards the new faith, or they would scarcely have received him into their lodgings. It is quite possible that, as at the great Pentecost Jews from Rome had been present, cf. Acts 2:10, Christianity may have been carried by this means to the imperial city, and that such tidings may have predisposed Aquila and Priscilla to listen to St. Paul’s teaching, even if they were not Christians when they first met him. If they were converted, as has been supposed, by St. Paul at Corinth, it is strange that no mention is made of their conversion. That they were Christians when St. Paul left them at Ephesus seems to be beyond a doubt. Renan describes them as already Christians when they met the Apostle, so too Hilgenfeld, on the ground that their conversion by St. Paul could scarcely have been passed over, see further “Aquila,” B.D.2, and Hastings’ B.D.; Wendt, in loco; Lightfoot, Phil., pp. 16 and 17, Hort, Rom. and Ephes., p. 9.— προσφάτως: here only, lit(317), lately slaughtered or killed; hence recent, fresh; Latin, recens (Grimm). In LXX, Deuteronomy 24:5, Ezekiel 11:3, Judges 4:3; Judges 4:5, 2 Maccabees 14:36, so too in Polybius, Westcott on Hebrews 10:20 πρόσφατος regards all derivations from σφάω ( σφάζω) φάω ( φένω) φάω ( φημί) as unsatisfactory.— πρίσκιλλαν: in Epistles, Romans 16:3, 1 Corinthians 16:19, 2 Timothy 4:9, Prisca, R.V., W.H(318), Priscilla, perhaps the diminutive, cf. Lucilla, Domitilla. Probably St. Luke used the language of conversation, in which the diminutive forms were usually employed, St. Paul, p. 268. On Bezan text see critical note, Ramsay, u. s., and Church in the Roman Empire, p. 158. In Acts 18:18; Acts 18:26 we have Priscilla mentioned before her husband, and so by St. Paul, except in 1 Corinthians 16:19. The reason may be that she was of higher social status, and indeed not a Jewess at all, as this seems the best way of accounting for the curious arrangement of the sentence here, the point being to emphasise the fact that Aquila was a Jew. Her name may indicate some connection with the Priscan Gens; whilst Sanday and Headlam, Romans, p. 420, in an interesting discussion find reasons to connect both her (and possibly her husband) with the Acilian Gens. That she was a woman of education is evident from Acts 18:26, and it is possible that her marriage with Aquila may afford us another proof amongst many of the influence of the Jewish religion over educated women in Rome, Jos., Ant., xviii., 3, 5. But many commentators from St. Chrysostom have referred the precedence of Priscilla not to social rank, but to her greater fervency of spirit or ability of character; or it may be simply due to the fact that she was converted first.— διὰ τὸ διατεταχέναι: St. Luke’s statement is fully corroborated by Suet., Claudius, 25: “Judæos impulsore Christo assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit”. But Dio Cassius, lx. 6, in referring to what is most probably the same edict, states that the Jews were not expelled, because of the difficulty in carrying such an order into effect on account of their great numbers. Another passage in Suet., Tiberius, 36, gives us the probable explanation: “expulit et mathematicos sed deprecantibus veniam dedit”: an instance of a contemplated expulsion, afterwards abandoned. If we thus interpret the meaning of Suetonius with reference to the edict of Claudius by giving the same force to “expulit,” it explains the silence of Tacitus and Josephus, who do not mention the edict, while the words of Dio Cassius emphasise the fact that although no expulsion took place the assemblies of the Jews were prohibited, and on that account, we may fairly suppose, that many Jews would leave the city, Schürer, u. s., p. 237. On any view the edict could not have remained in force very long, cf. Acts 28:15, and also the return of Aquila and Priscilla to Rome, Romans 16:3. Ramsay dates the edict at the end of 50 A.D. on the ground that although Orosius, Hist., vii., 6, 15, states that it occurred in the ninth year of Claudius, 49 A.D., the historian here, as elsewhere (e.g., cf. the famine) in connection with the events of this reign, is a year too early. Wendt (1899), p. 59, gives 49–50 as the year of the edict. But it must be remembered that the authority of Orosius is not altogether reliable in this case, as there is no proof that he had any direct reference to Josephus, to whom he appeals for his date; see O. Holtzmann, Neutest. Zeitgeschichte, p. 129; Blass, Proleg., 23, and Turner, “Chronology of the New Testament” Hastings’ B.D. McGiffert, p. 362, maintains that as the date of the edict is thus unknown, we cannot base any chronological conclusions upon it, cf. Zahn, Einleitung, ii., 634. Meyer maintained that by Chrestus Suetonius meant a Jewish agitator so called, but it is more probable that the historian confused Christus with Chrestus—an unfamiliar name with one in use among both Greeks and Romans. This Chrestus Suetonius speaks of as actually living, as the historian might have heard enough to lead him to regard the commotions between Jews and Jewish Christians in Rome as instigated by a leader bearing this name, commotions like those excited in the Pisidian Antioch, in Thessalonica, and elsewhere; or it may be that he thus indicates the feverish hopes of the Messiah amongst the Jews resident in Rome, hopes so often raised by some pretentious deliverer. But Lightfoot makes the important remark that even in this case we may fairly suppose that the true Christ held a prominent place in these reports, for He must have been not less known at this time than any of the false Christs (Philippians, p. 16, note). Such indifference on the part of a Roman of the period is surely not surprising, and the probability is more generally maintained that this Chrestus was really Christ, the leader of the Christians, see Weiss, Didache 1 N. T., p. 227; Wendt (1899), in loco; Ramsay, St. Paul, pp. 47, 254; McGiffert, Apostolic Age, p. 362, note, but, on the other hand, Zahn, Einleitung, i., p. 306.


Verse 3

Acts 18:3. διὰ τὸ ὁμότεχνον: the word is peculiar to St. Luke, and although it is found in classical Greek and in Josephus, it is not used in the LXX, and it may be regarded as a technical word used by physicians of one another; the medical profession was called ἰατρικὴ τέχνη, physicians were ὁμότεχνοι; thus Dioscorides in dedicating his work to Areus speaks of his friendly disposition towards fellow-physicians ( ὁμοτέχνους), Hobart, p. 239, Weiss in Meyer’s Kommentar, Luke 1:6, and also Vogel, Zur Charakteristik des Lukas, p. 17 (1897). On the dignity of labour as fully recognised by Judaism at the time of the Advent, see Edersheim, Jewish Social Life, chapter xi.; Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, pp. 18, 19, 141 (Taylor, 2nd edit.).— ἔμενε παρʼ αὐτοῖς: “In Alexandria the different trades sat in the synagogue arranged into guilds; and St. Paul could have no difficulty in meeting in the bazaar of his trade with the like-minded Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:2-3), with whom to find a lodging,” Edersheim, u. s., p. 89, and see passage from T. B. Sukkah, 51 b, quoted by Lumby, in loco, and on Acts 6:9.— ἠργάζετο: “at Corinth St. Paul’s first search seems to have been for work,” cf. Acts 20:34-35, 1 Thessalonians 2:9, 2 Thessalonians 3:8, 1 Corinthians 4:11-12, 2 Corinthians 11:9, Philippians 4:12. In close connection with this passage cf. “St. Paul a Working Man and in Want,” An Expositor’s Note-Book, pp. 419–438 (the late Dr. Samuel Cox), see also Ramsay, St. Paul, pp. 34–36.— σκηνοποιοὶ: only here in N.T. ( σκηνοποιεῖν, Symm., Isaiah 13:20; Isaiah 22:15); much has been said about the word, but there seems no reason to depart from the translation “tent-makers,” i.e., σκηνοῤῥάφος, Aelian, V.H., ii., 1, and so St. Paul is called by Chrysostom and Theodoret, although Chrysostom also calls him σκυτοτόμος, 2 Timothy 2, Hom., iv., 5, 3. It is no doubt true that tents were often made of a rough material woven from the hair of the goats in which Cilicia abounded, and that the name κιλίκιον (Lat. cilicium, Fr. cilice, hair-cloth) was given to this material; but the word in the text does not mean “makers of materials for tents”. There is no ground for rendering the word with Renan tapissier, or with Michaelis “Kunst-Instrumentenmacher”. On the curious notion that St. Paul was a landscape painter, which appears to have arisen from a confusion between σκηνοῤῥάφος and σκηνογράφος, and the fact that he is described as ἡνιοποιός, probably a confusion with σκηνοποιός, see Expository Times, and notes by Ramsay, Nestle, Dec., 1896, Jan. and March, 1897. As it was often enjoined upon a son not to forsake the trade of his father, perhaps from respect, perhaps because a similar trade might be more easily learnt at home, it is likely that Saul followed his father’s trade, which both father and son might easily have learnt at Tarsus. Schürer, Jewish People, div. ii., vol. i., p. 44, E.T. In a commercial city like Corinth the material would be easily obtainable, see critical note.


Verse 4

Acts 18:4. διελέγετο δὲἔπειθέ τε: “and he used to discourse … and tried to persuade,” so Ramsay, marking the imperfects, see also Hackett’s note.— ἐλληνας: proselytes, since they are represented as in the synagogue, cf. Acts 14:1. The heathen are not addressed until Acts 18:6. McGiffert considers that this notice of work in the synagogue is untrustworthy (p. 268) and at variance with the fact that in St. Paul’s own Epistles there is no hint of it, but cf. 1 Corinthians 9:20, words which we may reasonably suppose had a special application to Corinth, or the Apostle would scarcely have so expressed himself. It would have been strange if in such a commercial centre there had been no Jewish synagogue.


Verse 5

Acts 18:5. See note on Acts 17:15; McGiffert, Apostolic Age, p. 269, recognises this among the striking points of contact between Acts and the Epistles to the Corinthians. Here Silas and Timothy are said to have been with St. Paul in Corinth, cf. St. Paul’s own statement in 2 Corinthians 1:19, to the fact that the same two names occur in the salutations of 1 and 2 Thess., both of which were written from Corinth, see also Paley, Horæ Paulinæ, iv., 6, 7, and viii. 4.— συνείχετο τῷ πνεύματι: “he was wholly absorbed in preaching,” λόγῳ, so Ramsay; “in teaching the word,” Grimm-Thayer, cf. Wisdom of Solomon 17:11 (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14). The verb occurs frequently in Luke, six times in his Gospel, three times in Acts, twice in St. Paul, only once elsewhere in N.T., but nowhere as in the particular phrase here. It looks as if St. Paul’s preaching in Corinth was specially characterised by “greater concentration of purpose and simplicity of method,” cf. 1 Corinthians 2:2. The philosophic style in which he had addressed the Athenians is now abandoned, and so too, at least primarily, the proclamation of the living and true God, and of the coming of His Son to save His people in the day of wrath, with which apparently he had commenced at Thessalonica, 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10. Such methods and truths had their place, but in Corinth “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” was to be preached as the power of God and the wisdom of God, and in both his Epistles all that the Apostle says about the duties of the Christian life is brought into relation with this fundamental truth (see McGiffert, u. s., p. 266). Silas and Timothy found him wholly possessed by and engrossed in the word (so the imperfect, Page, Alford, Wendt). On the other hand it has been maintained that the arrival of Silas and Timothy brought St. Paul help from Macedonia, and that on the account, Philippians 4:15, 2 Corinthians 11:9, he was able to give himself up to preaching, as he was thus relieved from the strain of working for his bread (so Wordsworth, Lewin, Rendall). But 1 Corinthians 9:1 seems to imply that St. Paul still continued to work for his livelihood at Corinth. Blass seems to find in the uniqueness of the phrase a reason for its alteration; see critical note for his view. Plumptre refers the words to the Apostle’s desire to see Rome, which the Apostle cherished for many years, and which had been further kindled by finding himself in company with those who came from Rome; and the announcement of a journey to Rome, Acts 19:21, after the Apostle had been some time in the company of Aquila and Priscilla both at Corinth and Ephesus, is emphasised by Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 255. But on the whole, Ramsay’s interpretation is very striking, p. 252, cf. the remarks of McGiffert much to the same effect, Apostolic Age, pp. 263–266.— διαμαρτ., see above on p. 92.— τὸν χ. .: “that the Anointed One is Jesus,” cf. Acts 17:3, so Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 226. So far the message was evidently for Jews. See critical note for reading in .


Verse 6

Acts 18:6. ἀντιτασσ.: classical use, of an army ranged in hostile array, or of those opposed to each other in opinion, Thuc., iii., 83. So in later Greek, in Polyb-generally to oppose, to resist. Ramsay renders “and when they began to form a faction against him,” but cf. Romans 13:2, James 4:6; James 5:6, 1 Peter 5:5, Proverbs 3:34.— βλασφ., cf. Acts 13:45, or it may be used generally as in Acts 19:9, and 2 Peter 2:2.— ἐκτιναξ., cf. Acts 13:51, note; cf. Matthew 10:14, and LXX, Nehemiah 5:13, “undoubtedly a very exasperating gesture,” Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 256; but we must remember that the opposition at Corinth seems to have been unusally great, as Ramsay himself points out, u. s., pp. 143, 256.— τὸ αἶμα ὑμῶν, cf. Acts 20:26, Hebraistic, cf., e.g., Matthew 27:25, and in LXX, Leviticus 20:16, 2 Samuel 1:16, 1 Kings 2:37, Ezekiel 3:18, etc., i.e., ἐλθέτω, Matthew 23:35. Both here and in Acts 20:26 we can scarcely doubt that St. Paul had in mind the words of the prophet, Ezekiel 33:6.— ἐπὶ τὴν κεφ., i.e., upon yourselves, the head being used for the person—for other ideas of the word see Wendt (1888), in loco. De Wette interprets of moral ruin, and others of the eternal ἀπωλεία, but we cannot refine so much upon a figurative phrase. In Acts 18:5 b and 6 Spitta and Jüngst see the hand of a Reviser, the former holding that the whole passage runs smoothly with these omissions, whilst Jüngst ascribes also the word ἐκεῖθεν, Acts 18:7, to the Reviser. According to Clemen, 4 and 5b, the preaching in the synagogue belongs to Redactor Judaicus, the Jewish persecution in Acts 18:6 to the Redactor Antijudaicus. Hilgenfeld agrees with Spitta in so far that he ascribes 5b and 6b to “the author to Theophilus”.— καθαρὸς ἐγὼ: scarcely enough to say “I am pure,” have discharged my duty with a clear conscience, cf. Acts 20:26, the same idea here, better to punctuate at ἐγώ, but see Blass, in loco.— ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν: from henceforth, i.e., so far as he is concerned. It is evident that the words did not apply to other places, for in Acts 19:8 St. Paul goes to the synagogue according to his wont. The phrase is found five times in St. Luke’s Gospel, but only here in Acts. It is used once elsewhere in N.T, and there by St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 5:16 (cf. John 8:11). See Friedrich, p. 16, and Hawkins, Horæ Synopticæ, p. 29.


Verse 7

Acts 18:7. μεταβὰς ἐκεῖθεν, i.e., from the synagogue, cf. Luke 10:7, “he removed,” Rendall; “he changed his place from the synagogue,” Ramsay: the verb is found three times with ἐκεῖθεν in St. Matthew, and in each place “departed” R.V., this gives perfectly good sense: cf. Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, p. 158, and critical note.— ἰούστου: if the addition τίτου or τιτίου is correct, there is no need to discuss the possible identification with the companion of St. Paul in Galatians 2:1, etc.; see Alford and Page, in loco, and critical note. The identification was adopted by Chrysostom and Grotius, and for a statement of the evidence on either side see Plumptre, in loco. It should be remembered that we have Barsabbas Justus, Acts 1:23, and Jesus Justus, Colossians 4:11, see also Lightfoot “Acts of the Apostles,” B.D.2, i., 32. The house of a proselyte may have been chosen because it offered easy access to those who wished to come, whether Greeks or Hebrews (see Chrysostom’s comment), but in Paul’s thus going into the house of a proselyte hard by the synagogue we may see how his spirit had been stirred. But further: this Titus Justus was evidently a Roman citizen, one of the coloni in Corinth, and thus St. Paul would gain access through him to the more educated class in the city, Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 256, and “Corinth,” Hastings’ B.D., i. 480.— συνομοροῦσα: there is no need to suppose that he left his lodgings with Aquila—this house became Paul’s place of meeting (so in Ephesus, cf. Acts 19:9-10); he had his own synagogue there (Blass); in classics simple verb ὁμορέω, ὁμουρέω; compound only found here; συνόμορος, Eccl(319) writers.


Verse 8

Acts 18:8. κρίσπος, cf. 1 Corinthians 1:14, coincidence with, admitted by McGiffert, p. 269 (so too by Holtzmann), “no reason to doubt that he is the man whose conversion Luke reports,” according to tradition he became Bishop of Ægina, Const. Apost., vii., 46. Though a Jew he bore a Latin name, cf. for a parallel case J. Lightfoot, Hor. Heb., in loco.— ἀρχισ., if we cf. Acts 18:17 it looks as if in the Corinthian synagogue there was only one person bearing this title, and that Sosthenes succeeded Crispus when the latter became a Christian, see “Corinth” (Ramsay), Hastings’ B.D., i., p. 482, and see also Ramsay, Expositor, April, 1895, and above on Acts 13:15 : on the reason of St. Paul’s baptism of Crispus, Gaius, Stephanas, see B.D.2, and Hastings’ B.D., u. s. There is certainly no ground for supposing that St. Paul depreciated baptism although he baptised so few in Corinth with his own hands, Speaker’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:17. It is evident from this notice that St. Paul’s preaching had not been without its effect on the Jewish residents, and probably one reason why the feeling against the Apostle was so strong, Acts 20:3, was because this influence extended to persons of importance in Corinth; the next words show good results among the Gentile population of the city.— σὺν ὅλῳ τῷ οἴκῳ, cf. Acts 16:15, 1 Corinthians 1:16.— τῶν κ., not ἰουδαῖοι, who are always so called, but ελληνες, Acts 18:4, including for the most part “proselytes of the gate”.— ἀκού. ἐπίστευον καὶ ἐβαπτ.: “used to hear, and believe, and receive baptism,” imperfects; the spread of the new faith was gradual but continuous, ἀκού. is taken by some to refer to the hearing of the fact that Paul had separated himself from the synagogue (so Wendt, Weiss); see critical note.


Verse 9

Acts 18:9. So at other crises in the Apostle’s life, cf. Acts 22:17, Acts 27:23.— κ., i.e., Jesus.— μὴ φοβοῦ, cf. Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 43:2, and for the phrase Luke 1:13; Luke 2:10; Luke 5:10; Luke 8:50; Luke 12:7; Luke 12:32, Acts, in loco, and Acts 27:24, characteristic of the Evangelist; Friedrich, p. 35, and Plummer on Luke 1:13. Cf. Acts 20:3 for the continued malignity of these Corinthian Jews; the Apostle’s apprehension as expressed here is confirmed by the statements in 1 Thessalonians 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 3:7, which describe the Jewish opposition as existing at the time he wrote (see this fully acknowledged by McGiffert, Apostolic Age, p. 270). Hilgenfeld sees no reason to refer Acts 18:9-10 to the Reviser (with Jüngst). He finds them in his source (320) of which they are characteristic, cf. Acts 16:9-10; the vision refers not to what had preceded, but to what follows, and explains the stay of Paul at Corinth mentioned in Acts 18:11.— ἀλλὰ λάλει καὶ μὴ σιωπ., i.e., “continue to speak,” “speak on,” cf. Isaiah 58:1, affirmation and negation; solemnity in the double form; see too Jeremiah 1:6-8; Jeremiah 15:15-21; on the form of the tenses see Weiss, in loco. In 1 Corinthians 2:3-4 we have a proof of the effect of this assurance, and of the confidence with which the Apostle was inspired.


Verse 10

Acts 18:10. διότι ἐγώ: fundamentum fiduciæ, Bengel.— ἐπιθ.: only here in this sense, but so in LXX, aggrediri, cf. Genesis 43:18, Exodus 21:14, 2 Chronicles 23:13, Judges 16:7.— τοῦ κακῶσαι: infinitive with τοῦ, probably to express conceived or intended result, Burton, p. 157 and also p. 148, i.e., an event indicated by the context not to have actually taken place.— λαός: “qui mei sunt et mei fient”: Bengel—even in Corinth, proverbial for its vice, Christ has His “chosen people,” and in Cenchreae, where all the vices of a seafaring population found a home, “Christianity wrought its miracle,” so Renan, Saint Paul, p. 219, cf. the Apostle’s own description, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 : “in Corinth the Gospel had been put to a supreme test, and nowhere had it triumphed more gloriously”. No wonder that in facing this stronghold of the powers of darkness St. Paul needed an assurance similar to that which cheered the heart of an Elijah, 1 Kings 19:18. But whilst the new faith thus gained adherents chiefly from the lowest social grade, cf. also 1 Corinthians 1:26, which indicates that there were some in the higher social ranks and some versed in the learning of the schools who welcomed the Gospel; to a Crispus, a Gaius, a Stephanas, we may add Erastus, the public treasurer of the city, Romans 16:23, an office which in a place like Corinth carried with it considerable influence and position (as even Renan admits, although he regards him as the only adherent won from the upper classes), and the readiness with which the Corinthian Church responded to St. Paul’s appeal for the poor saints indicates that many of its members had some means at their disposal (cf. the striking account of Paul’s work at Corinth by McGiffert, p. 267, and Orr, Some Neglected Factors in Early Christianity, p. 108).


Verse 11

Acts 18:11. ἐκάθισε, see critical note, “he dwelt,” R.V., cf. Luke 24:49, but not elsewhere in N.T. in this sense, but constantly in LXX, 1 Maccabees 2:1; 1 Maccabees 2:29. Rendall renders “he took his seat,” i.e., as a teacher, a Rabbi, and see also the remarks of Ramsay on the way in which St. Paul was evidently regarded at Corinth as one of the travelling lecturers on philosophy and morals so common in the Greek world, “Corinth,” Hastings’ B.D.1, p. 482. The word may be purposely used here instead of the ordinary μένειν to indicate the quiet and settled work to which the Apostle was directed by the vision which had calmed his troubled spirit, and had taught him that his cherished plan of revisiting Macedonia must be postponed to preaching the Word in Corinth. During this period 1 and 2 Thess. were probably written. The year and a half is taken to include the whole subsequent residence in Corinth, Acts 18:18, in which Acts 18:12-17 form an episode. Men attacked him with a view of injuring him, but without success, and his continuous abode in Corinth was a fulfilment of the promise in Acts 18:10 (indicated perhaps more clearly by τε than by δέ in Acts 18:11). On ἡμέρας ἱκανὰς, Acts 18:18, see below—the words are taken to mark simply a note of the time spent between the incident of Acts 18:12-17 and the departure of Paul from the city. In this period the Apostle would have founded the Church at Cenchreae, and his labours seem to have extended still further, for in 2 Corinthians 1:1 we read of the saints in the whole of Achaia (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:10) and the household of Stephanas is spoken of as the firstfruits not of Corinth but of Achaia.


Verse 12

Acts 18:12. ἀνθ., cf. Acts 13:7, another proof of St. Luke’s accuracy, Achaia from B.C. 27 (when it had been separated from Macedonia, to which it had been united since B.C. 146, and made into a separate province) had been governed by a proconsul. In A.D. 15 Tiberius had reunited it with Macedonia and Mysia, and it was therefore under an imperial legatus as an imperial province, Tac., Ann., i., 76. But a further change occurred when Claudius, A.D. 44, made it again a senatorial province under a proconsul, Suet., Claudius, 25. On subsequent changes in its government see Ramsay, “Achaia,” Hastings’ B.D. Corinth was the chief city of the province Achaia, and so probably chosen for the residence of the governors.— γαλλίωνος: we have no direct statement save that of St. Luke that Gallio governed Achaia. Gallio’s brother Seneca tells us that Gallio caught fever in Achaia, Ep. Mor., 104, and took a voyage for change of air (Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 258) (see also the same reference in Zahn, Einleitung, ii., p. 634, and as against Clemen, Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 260), a remark which Ramsay justly regards as a corroboration of St. Luke; on the date see Ramsay St. Paul, p. 258, and Expositor March, 1897, p. 206; “Corinth,” Hastings’ B.D.1, p. 481; Turner, “Chronology of the New Testament,” ibid. Gallio could not have entered on the proconsulship of Achaia before 44 A.D., and probably not before 49 or 50: Ramsay thinks during the summer of A.D. 52 Renan and Lightfoot, A.D. 53), whilst recently Schürer (so Wendt, 1899) places the proconsulship of Gallio between 51–55 A.D., Zw. Th., 1898, p. 41 f. as against O. Holtzmann, Neutest. Zeitgeschichte, who places it before 49 A.D.). The description of Gallio in Acts is quite consistent with what we know of his personal character, and with his attitude as a Roman official. Statius, Silv., ii., 7, 32, speaks of him as “dulcis Gallio,” and his brother Seneca writes of him: “Nemo mortalium uni tam dulcis est quam hic omnious,” Quæst. Nat., iv., Præf., and see other references and testimonies, Renan, Saint Paul, p. 221, and “Gallio,” B.D.2 It is quite possible that the Jews took advantage or his easy-going nature and affability, or, if he had recently arrived in the province, of his inexperience. Gallio’s Hellenic culture may have lea to his selection for the post (Renan, u. s., p. 222). The notion that as a Stoic he was friendly disposed towards the Christians, and on that account rejected the accusations of the Jews, is quite without foundation, see Zöckler, in loco. The name of Junius Gallio was an assumed one; its bearer, whose real name was Marcus Annæus Novatus, had been adopted by the rhetorician, L. Junius Gallio, a friend of his father.— κατεπέστησαν, cf. Acts 16:22, verb, only found here. Rendall, in loco, renders “made a set assault upon Paul,” expressing the culmination of the Jewish hostility in a set assault (not against, as in A. and R.V.).— ὁμοθ., as in Acts 15:25.— τὸ βῆμα: of the proconsul, probably erected in some public place, a movable seat o judgment.


Verse 13

Acts 18:13. λέγοντες: in the set accusation which follows there is probably an indication that the Jews could not stir up the crowd against Paul as at Philippi and Thessalonica, for already he had gained too good an influence over the common people (Weiss).— ἀναπείθει: only here in N.T., “persuadendo excitare, sollicitare,” it is used of evil persuasion in LXX, Jeremiah 36(39):8 and in 1 Maccabees 1:11.— παρὰ τὸν νόμον: “contrary to the law”: what law? Roman or Jewish? in a certain sense the expression might include both, for as a religio licita the Jewish law was under the protection of the Roman law, and Josephus tells us how leave had been granted to the Jews to worship according to their own law, Ant., xiv., 10, 2 ff. But Paul’s teaching was to these Jews the introduction of something illegal, contrary to the religion which they were allowed to practise, and so they sought to bring his teaching under the cognnisance of the proconsul (see Zahn, Einleitung, i., p. 190). They may therefore have designedly used a phrase which had a double meaning. But whatever their design, Gallio saw through it, and drew a hard and fast distinction between a charge of illegality against the state and of illegality against Jewish, νόμου τοῦ καθʼ ὑμᾶς, not Roman law. In this reply Gallio showed that he knew more about the matter than the Jews supposed, and he may have had some intelligence of the Jewish disturbances at Rome about “Chrestus”. Both ἀνθρώπους and σέβ. τὸν θεόν point to the general nature of the charge, as including Paul’s efforts to convert not only Jews but proselytes. At least the Jews would try to give their accusation a colour of illegality against the Roman law, for they would themselves have dealt with it if it had been simply connected with their own religious observances, see “Corinth,” Hastings B.D., i., 481.


Verse 14

Acts 18:14. μέλλοντος: Lucan; see Burton, p. 71, on οὖν, see critical note and Alford, in loco, for its retention.— ἀδίκημα, cf. Acts 24:20, only once elsewhere in N.T., Revelation 18:5, here it may perhaps mark a legal wrong, a wrong against the state—the word is used in classical Greek of a breach of law ἀδίκ. τῶν νόμων, Dem., 586, 11, while ῥᾳδιούργημα marks rather the moral wrong. ῥᾳδ., cf. Acts 13:10, not elsewhere either in classical Greek or LXX, but cf. Plut., Pyrrh., 6, “if a misdemeanour or a crime”: so Ramsay.— κατὰ λόγον: ut par est, merito; cf. use of the phrase in Polyb. and 3 Maccabees 3:14 ( παρὰ λ., 2 Maccabees 4:46, 3 Maccabees 7:8).— ἰουδαῖοι without ἄνδρες perhaps in contempt (so Knabenbauer), but see critical note.— ἠνεσχόμην, cf. Luke 9:41, and so several times in St. Paul’s Epistles, 2 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Corinthians 11:4; on the augment and construction see Blass, Gram., pp. 39, 102, Simcox, Language of the New Testament, p. 34, note, and Burton, p. 103.


Verse 15

Acts 18:15. If we read the plural ζητήματα we may regard it as expressing contempt: “a parcel of questions,” Alford; but if they are questions of word (teaching) not deed (opposite ἔργον, factum) and of names not things, verba, opposite πράγματα (Blass); i.e., the arguments as to whether Jesus could rightly or not claim the title of Messiah, see also Page’s note.— νόμου τοῦ καθʼ ὑμᾶς: of your law—not Roman law; with the phrase cf. Acts 17:28 (Acts 16:39 (321)), Acts 24:22. It is used only once elsewhere in N.T., by St. Paul, Ephesians 1:15 (cf. Acts 26:3).— ὄψεσθε αὐτοί, cf. Matthew 27:4; Matthew 27:24; pronoun emphatic, Acts 13:18-19; so in LXX, Numbers 13:19, Judges 7:17; Judges 21:21, etc. Blass quotes two passages from Epictetus, ii., 5, 30, and iv., 6, 41.— κριτὴς γὰρ ἐγὼ: omit γάρ; pronoun more emphatic; they could determine their matters according to their own law; so Lysias, xxiii., 29, Festus, xxv., 19.— οὐ βούλομαι: “I am not minded,” R.V.; the decision while it testifies to the strength of Gallio’s character, since unlike Pilate he would not allow himself to be influenced against his better judgment, expresses at the same time his sovereign contempt for the Jews and their religion; to him as to his brother Seneca the Jews were only sceleratissima gens (Aug(322), De Civ. Dei, vi., 10). The decision shows no favourable inclination to Christianity itself, but this does not take away from its importance as proving that so far as the Roman authorities were concerned the freedom of speech thus granted would enable the religion of the Christ to make its way through the civilised, i.e., the Roman world; cf. Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 260, who sees in his residence at Corinth an epoch in Paul’s life not only as regards his doctrine and his presentation of it but also as regards his aim that Christianity should be spread throughout the empire, an aim made more clear by the imperial policy of which Gallio was the exponent.


Verse 16

Acts 18:16. ἀπήλασεν: probably by his lictors who would be commanded to clear the court. This interpretation of the word is in accordance with the next verse, which describes the crowd of Greeks as prepared to follow up the decision of Gallio by similar treatment of a leading Jew on their own account. See critical note.


Verse 17

Acts 18:17. ἐπιλαβ. δὲ: of hostile action, Acts 17:19, Acts 16:19.— οἱ ἕλληνες, see critical note. If πάντες alone is read it seems clear from the context that only the Jews could be meant, and Weiss supposes that when they had failed so ignominiously they vented their rage on their own leader, Sosthenes, who as head of the synagogue would naturally have been prominent in presenting the complaint to Gallio. Some of the later MSS. insert οἱ ἰουδαῖοι after πάντες to make the meaning clearer. Probably confusion arose in the MSS. from identifying Sosthenes either rightly or wrongly with the Sosthenes in 1 Corinthians 1:1, and therefore ἕλληνες was omitted on the supposition that the Jews were allowed to console themselves by beating a Christian. But not only is it difficult to conceive that Gallio would have allowed them to do this, but there is no occasion to suppose that the Sosthenes here is the same as in 1 Corinthians 1:1 (for the name was common), and even if so, he may have become a Christian at a later date. It is much more conceivable that the Corinthians in their hatred of the Jews proceeded to second as it were the supercilious treatment dealt out to them by Gallio, and they would naturally fix upon Sosthenes as the leading spirit in the Jewish community. So far as he cared at all, Gallio may have been pleased rather than otherwise at the rough and ready approval of his decision by the populace, see Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 250, and “Corinth,” Hastings’ B.D.1, p. 482; Plumptre, in loco, and Wendt (1809). The whole of the section, Acts 18:12-17, is regarded by Clemen, p. 126, Jüngst, p. 165, as an interpolation, but Hilgenfeld puts aside their varying grounds of rejection as unconvincing, and finds it very conceivable that the Jews attempted to hinder the preaching of Paul as is here described (1 Thessalonians 2:16). With regard to the whole narrative of Paul at Corinth, Acts 18:1-17, Spitta, p. 244, concludes, as against Weizsäcker’s attack on its historical character, that we may regard it as scanty or even one-sided, but that there is no valid reason to regard it as unhistorical.— ἔτυπτον: Hackett interprets the imperfect as showing how thorough a beating Sosthenes received; but “exitus rei quæ depingitur (imperf.) non indicatur, quia nihil gravius secutum est,” Blass; the imperfect may simply mean “began to strike”.— οὐδὲνἔμελεν, cf. Luke 10:40, a Gallio has become a proverbial name for one indifferent to religion, but there is nothing in St. Luke’s statement to support such a view. All the words show is that Gallio was so little influenced by the accusations of the Jews against Paul that he took no notice of the conduct of the Greeks (?) in beating Sosthenes. And if the beating was administered by the Jews, Gallio might well overlook it, as he would regard it as the outcome of some question which only concerned their religion (Weiss).


Verse 18

Acts 18:18. ἔτι προσμείνας: this may be an addition to the year and a half, or may be included in it; on ἔτι see critical note.— ἱκανάς, Lucan, see on Acts 8:11, etc. the expression shows how little the attack upon the Apostle had injured his prospects of evangelising the city and neighbourhood.— ἀποταξ., Vulgate, valefacio, used by Luke and Paul only, except Mark 6:46, Luke 9:61; Luke 14:33, Acts, in loco, and Acts 18:21, 2 Corinthians 3:13; in this sense only in middle voice in N.T., in classical Greek not used in this sense, but ἀσπάζεσθαί τινα (Grimm, sub v.); cf. also its use in Jos., Ant., xi., 6, 8 (so too in Philo), like Latin, renuntio, to forsake (cf. Luke 14:33), and in Eccl(323) writers, Ignatius, Ad Philadelph., xi., 1; Euseb., H.E., ii., 17, 5 (2 Clem., vi. 4, 5).— ἐξέπλει: “he set about the voyage,” in Acts 20:6, aorist, not imperfect as here; “recte impf(324), nam de perfecta navigatione, Acts 18:22, demum agitur,” Blass.— κειρ.… εὐχήν: in the interpretation of this passage it is undoubtedly best to refer the vow to Paul; grammatically it would refer to Aquila, but it is difficult to see what point there would then be in the statement. If it is urged that Aquila’s name placed after Priscilla’s indicates that he is the subject of the following verb, we have clearly seen that this is not the only occasion on which Priscilla’s name preceded her husband’s, see above, and Acts 18:26, and Romans 16:3. The argument that the notice is intended by St. Luke to show that Paul counselled observance of the law, and did not tempt him to break it, as he was afterwards accused of doing, Acts 21:21, is still more irrelevant, for so far nothing has been definitely said as to Aquila’s conversion. And if the vow involved any obligation to appear at Jerusalem, it is quite evident that Paul and not Aquila went up to the Holy City. A list of the names on either side is given by Alford, Felten, Wendt. Amongst recent writers we may add Wendt, Zückler, Blass, Jüngst, Matthias as favouring the view that Aquila is the subject, whilst Weiss, Felton, Ramsay, Hort, Rendall, Page, Knabenbauer, Luckock take the opposite view. What then was the nature and occasion of the vow? Those who connect this vow with the journey to Jerusalem, as if the latter was obligatory in the fulfilment of the former, are justified in regarding the vow as a modified form of the Nazirite vow, Numbers 6:1-21. The man under the Nazirite vow was to drink no wine or strong drink, and to let no razor pass over his head or face. At the end of the time during which the vow lasted, his hair was shaven at the door of the Tabernacle (the Temple), and burnt in the fire of the altar as an offering. But it is to be observed that in this passage the word is κειράμενος, whilst of thus completing the Nazirite vow, Acts 21:24, the word ξυρήσωνται is used (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:6), and there is evidence (Wordsworth, in loco) that a man who had taken a Nazirite vow in a foreign land was allowed to poll or cut his hair shorter ( κείρω), provided that the hair so polled was taken to the Temple and burnt there as an offering together with the hair shorn off at the completion of the vow. That the Jews took upon themselves a modified form of the Nazirite vow is proved from Josephus, B. J., ii., 15, 1, when they were afflicted by disease or any other distress. Possibly therefore the vow followed upon St. Paul’s deliverance from an attack of sickness, and the warm praise bestowed upon Phœbe, the deaconess of the Church at Cenchreae (Romans 16:1), for her personal aid to himself may be taken as some confirmation of this. But if we thus place St. Paul’s vow here under the category of the vows mentioned by Josephus, the journey to Jerusalem must be immediately connected with it, as the description given by the Jewish historian plainly shows that the vows in question were modified forms of the regular Nazirite vow. It is a very reasonable conjecture that the vow may be connected with St. Paul’s danger at Corinth, and with his safe deliverance from it. As one consecrated to the service of the Lord, he would allow his hair to grow until the promise of his safety had been fulfilled and his embarkation from Corinth was assured. The vow was thus analogous to the Nazirite vow, inasmuch as the same idea of consecration lay at the root of each; but it was rather a private vow (Hort, Judaistic Christianity, p. 91, and Weiss, in loco), and in this case the journey of the Apostle to Jerusalem would not be conditioned by the vow, but by his desire to be present at some great festival, beyond doubt that of the Passover. On the custom amongst other nations to cut off the hair, and to let it grow in votive offering to the gods, see Holtzmann, Apostelgeschichte, p. 395, and Page, in loco. Hilgenfeld ascribes the narrative of the incident to his “author to Theophilus,” whether the vow refers to Paul or Aquila, and considers that the story is intended to connect St. Paul as much as possible with Judaism. One of the most curious instances of perverse interpretation is that of Krenkel, who thinks that the κειρ. may be referred to Paul, who shaved his head to counteract the epileptic fits with which he was afflicted, 2 Corinthians 13:7, see Zöckler’s note.— κεγχρεαῖς, see notices of the place in Renan, Saint Paul, p. 218, and Hastings’ B.D., modern Kalaniki (in Thuc. κεγχρειαί): the eastern harbour of Corinth, about nine miles distant, connecting the trade with Asia; Lechæum, the other port (“bimaris Corinthi,” Horace, Odes, i., 7, 2), connecting it with Italy and the West. τούτῳ μὲν οὖν χρῶνται πρὸς τοὺς ἐκ τῆς ἀσίας, πρὸς δὲ τοὺς ἐκ τῆς ἰταλίας τῷ λεχαίῳ, Strabo, viii., 6, p. 380.


Verse 19

Acts 18:19. κατήντησε, see critical note.— εἰς ἔφεσον: a voyage of two or three days with unfavourable wind. Cicero mentions two occasions when the voyage from Ephesus to Athens took two weeks, Ad Attic., vi., 8, 9; iii., 9, but in both instances extraordinary delays were the cause of the lengthy voyage; on Ephesus see Acts 19:1.— κἀκείνους κατέλ. αὐτοῦ: Ephesus, famous for its commerce, where they might carry on their trade, although it is perhaps somewhat hazardous to regard the city as the centre of the particular trade in which they were engaged. Lewin quotes two passages in support of this, but they both refer to one event, the presentation of a tent by the Ephesians to Alcibiades, “Ephesus” B.D.2.— αὐτὸς δὲ: this does not mean that Paul for his part (in contradiction to Aquila and Priscilla) went into the synagogue; such an interpretation seems unnatural. Others explain that Aquila and Priscilla were left in the town, and that the synagogue was outside the town (so Alford), but this does not seem satisfactory as a full explanation, especially after Acts 16:13. It seems most probable that St. Luke uses the words in an anticipatory way, and passes on to the doings of the chief figure, Paul. In spite of all that he had suffered at the hands of his countrymen, St. Paul Is still an Israelite, yearning for the hope of Israel, and desirous that others should participate in his hope, see critical note on (325) and Wendt (1899), note, p. 305.— διελέχθη: aorist, not imperfect as in Acts 18:4; “delivered a discourse to the Jews,” so Ramsay, in contrast to the continued stay at Corinth marked by the imper ect; so Alford.


Verse 20

Acts 18:20. ἐπένευσεν: only here in N.T., but cf. 2 Maccabees 4:10; 2 Maccabees 11:15; 2 Maccabees 14:20, frequent in classical Greek. St. Paul must have had some very pressing reason for refusing such an invitation from his own countrymen.


Verse 21

Acts 18:21. See critical note. The Feast, as Ramsay maintains, St. Paul, p. 264 (so Ewald, Renan, Zöckler, Rendall, Blass and others), was the Passover, the one which seems most reconcilable with the chronology; others maintain Pentecost, so Anger, Alford, Wieseler, Plumptre—see Alford, in loco, and Turner, Chron. of the N. T., p. 422; Lewin favours Tabernacles.— ἀνακάμψω, cf. Acts 19:1 : used by St. Luke, Luke 10:6, Matthew 2:12, Hebrews 11:15; used also several times in LXX, Jud.ges11:39 A, 2 Samuel 8:13, 1 Kings 12:20, Job 39:4, Sus. 14, and other instances, so in classical Greek, to return to a place, Herod., ii. 8.— τοῦ θ. θέλ., cf. 1 Corinthians 4:19; 1 Corinthians 16:17, James 4:15. Not only amongst Jews and Arabs but amongst Greeks and Romans similar phrases were in vogue, see Meyer’s note on James 4:15; see critical note on β.— ἀνήχθη, see above on Acts 13:13.


Verse 22

Acts 18:22. κατελθὼν εἰς κ., i.e., Cæsarea Stratonis, i.e., came down from the high sea to the coast, the shore, cf. Acts 27:5 (Acts 21:3), so in Homer, and also of coming down from the high land to the coast, see Grimm-Thayer, sub v.ἀναβὰς, i.e., to Jerusalem, the usual expression for a journey to the capital, cf. Acts 11:2, Acts 15:2 (b), Acts 25:1; Acts 25:9, Matthew 20:18, Mark 10:32, see Luke 2:42; Luke 18:31; Luke 19:28, John 2:13; John 7:8, Galatians 2:1; cf. Acts 24:1; Acts 24:22; Acts 25:6, where “to go down” is used of the journey from Jerusalem to Cæsarea. To suppose that the word is used to indicate simply that they landed in the harbour, or because the town lay high up from the shore, or because the place of assembly for the Church was on high ground, is quite arbitrary, and cannot be set against the usage of the term “going up” and “going down” in relation to Jerusalem; see Hort, Ecclesia, p. 96; Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 264; so Bengel, Neander, Meyer, Hackett, Zückler, Rendall, Page, Weiss, Weizsäcker, Spitta, Jüngst, Hilgenfeld, Wendt, Knabenbauer, and Belser, Beiträge, p. 89, who opposes here the position of Blass (and if the T.R. in Acts 18:21 is retained in (326) certainly “the going up” to Jerusalem seems naturally to follow). Blass maintains that Cæsarea is meant, but he is evidently led to adopt this view by his desire to retain the reading in , Acts 19:1, see Zöckler, in loco, and Ramsay, p. 264, and Belser, u. s., for a criticism of Blass’s view. Amongst the more recent critics, Zahn, Einleitung, ii., 343, 350. combats the reasons alleged by Belser, and takes the going up and the Church mentioned to refer to Cæsarea and the Church there, not to Jerusalem. This visit of St. Paul to Jerusalem is disputed by McGiffert, although he does not deny with Weizsäcker the whole journey, but admits that the Apostle went as far as Antioch. So too Wendt is not prepared to follow Weizsäcker entirely, although he holds that as the Apostle went to Syria, Luke concluded that he must have gone up to Jerusalem (so McGiffert). On the other hand, the historical truthfulness of the journey to Jerusalem is stoutly defended by Spitta (pp. 246–248). The silence of the Galatian Epistle is admitted by Wendt to be in itself no proof against its occurrence, and still less objection can be based on the supposed variance at this time between St. Paul and the Jewish Christians of the capital. See Zöckler’s note, p. 272, and also Alford, in loco.— τὴν ἐκκ.: the Church at Jerusalem may be fairly regarded as indicated, the ἐκκ. κατʼ ἐξοχὴν: “primariam, ex qua propagatæ sunt reliquæ,” Bengel. If St. Luke had meant the Christians in Cæsarea, he would probably have said that Paul saluted the brethren or the disciples, cf. Acts 24:7 (see Belser, u. s., p. 90). This visit of St. Paul to Jerusalem would probably be his fourth, Acts 9:26, Acts 11:30 (Acts 12:25), Acts 15:4, and if he went on this fourth occasion to complete a vow, this fact alone would prove that the visit was not wanting in an object: see however note on Acts 18:18.— ἀσπασ.: the word indicates a short stay. Blass interprets that the Apostle went up from the harbour to the city of Cæsarea, and then “went down to Antioch”. But Ramsay, p. 264, urges that it is impossible to use the term κατέβη of a journey from the coast town Cæsarea to the inland city Antioch; on the contrary, one regularly “goes down” to a coast town, Acts 13:4, Acts 14:25, Acts 16:8, etc. At the Syrian Antioch, the mother of the Gentile churches, St. Paul would find a welcome after his second journey, as after his first—this so far as we know was his last visit to a place which was now no longer an effective centre for the Apostle’s work, or for the supervision of his new churches.


Verse 23

Acts 18:23. ποιήσας χρόνον τινὰ: St. Paul would naturally have spent some time in a place so associated with the origin of Gentile Christianity, and with his own labours, the starting place of each of his missionary journeys; on the phrase in St. Luke see Friedrich, cf. Acts 15:33, Acts 20:3, James 4:13, Revelation 13:5, St.Matthew 20:12, 2 Corinthians 11:25.—The stay was probably not lengthy, especially if advantage was to be taken of the travelling season for the highlands of Asia Minor, Turner, Chronology of N. T., p. 422, Hastings’ B.D. On the connection of the Galatian Epistle with this stay in Antioch see Ramsay, especially St. Paul, pp. 190, 265.— ἐξῆλθε, on his third missionary journey.— καθεξῆς, see above on p. 118.— διερχόμενος, see above on Acts 13:6.


Verse 24

Acts 18:24. ἀλεξ., cf. Acts 6:9, Schürer, Jewish People, div. ii., vol. ii., p. 226, E.T. At Alexandria the LXX was written and Philo lived; here too was the magnificent mosque of which it was said that he who had not worshipped in it had not witnessed the glory of Israel, Edersheim, History of the Jewish People, pp. 67, 186, 405, 409; on the contact of Jewish and Greek thought in Alexandria, “Alexandria,” B.D.2 (Westcott). What was the exact influence of his Alexandrian training upon Apollos we are not told, but as a cultured Jew of such a centre of Hellenistic influence, it is quite possible that Aquila and Priscilla chose him for the work at Corinth because they thought that his training and learning would attract the attention of a Corinthian audience. Possibly his preaching may have included some Philonian speculations, but the difference between him and St. Paul in their teaching at Corinth may have consisted in outward form and delivery rather than in substance; see Canon Evans, Speaker’s Commentary, iii., p. 240. No doubt the subtle Corinthian would admire the eloquence of Apollos and pervert his words, but there is no reason to suppose that Apollos encouraged any such party spirit. On his work at Corinth and the last notice of him, Titus 3:13, see “Apollos,” B. D.2, and Hastings’ B.D., cf. 1 Corinthians 16:12, for his unambitious and peaceful character, and Plumptre, in loco. The Book of Wisdom was attributed to Apollos by Dean Plumptre, but see on the other hand “Wisdom of Solomon,” B.D.2 (Westcott), and Speaker’s Commentary, “Apocrypha,” vol. i., p. 413.— λόγιος; “learned,” R.V., “eloquent,” margin; A.V., “eloquent”; the word may include both learning and eloquence. In classical Greek of a man learned, as, e.g., in history (Herod.), but in Plutarch λογιότης, eloquence, and so λόγιος, eloquent. Meyer rendered the word “eloquent,” so Weiss, Zöckler, Page, Alford, Hackett, Felten, Blass (doctus ap. antiquos), δυνατός referring rather to his learning and acquaintance with the Scriptures: “a good speaker and well read in the Scriptures” (Ramsay). Rendall however takes δυνατός as conveying the idea of eloquence, but in Acts 7:22 the word cannot mean eloquent as applied to Moses, but rather denotes the wise and weighty nature of his utterances, see Lobeck, Phryn., p. 198.


Verse 25

Acts 18:25. See critical note on the proposed omission of the verse and reading also in .— κατηχ., cf. Luke 1:4, “taught by word of mouth,” R.V., margin; . adds ἐν τῇ πατρίδι, and Blass holds that we may learn from this that some form of Gospel teaching had already been known in Egypt. But how far had Apollos been instructed? It is commonly held that he only knew the Baptism of John and nothing further, and that he was imperfectly acquainted with the facts of our Lord’s life. But he is said to have taught accurately ( ἀκριβῶς) “the things concerning Jesus” (see critical note), and not only so, but, as Blass also points out, the mention of the twelve disciples at Ephesus has previously been taken to mean literally that these men were disciples of the Baptist, and had never heard of Jesus, whereas the words used to describe them, μαθηταί and πιστεύσαντες, are never used except of Christians. What is the conclusion? That whilst Apollos, like these twelve men, was acquainted with no other Baptism than John’s, he may have known quite as much of our Lord’s words and deeds as was contained in the Gospel of St. Mark in its mutilated form, Acts 16:8, which tells us nothing of Christian Baptism. And if we further ask from what source did Apollos gain this accurate information, Blass answers: “videlicet non sine scripto aliquo Evangelio”. If, he urges, it had been otherwise, and Apollos had been instructed by some disciple of the Apostles and not through a written Gospel, the position of things in the text would be reversed, and Apollos would have been imperfectly acquainted with our Lord’s life and teaching, whilst he could not have failed to know of Christian Baptism as the admission to Christian churches. Blass therefore believes that before the year 50 (he places the Conference in 45 or 46) written Gospels were to existence, and he evidently leans to the belief that St. Marks Gospel, or some first edition of it, was the Gospel from which Apollos was instructed (see in loco, and cf. also Philology of the Gospels, p. 30). But the word κατηχ. on this view must be taken not to include but to exclude, at all events mainly, a reference to catechetical teaching, and this from the use of the word in the N.T. is most unlikely. In the majority of the cases, as Blass admits, the word denotes oral teaching, although he maintains that this meaning is not always strictly kept. In the N.T. the word is used only by Luke and Paul, altogether eight times, in six of which it is used with reference to oral instruction, according to Mr. Wright: “Apollos: a study in Pre-Pauline Christianity,” Expository Times, October, 1897 (but see also in answer, Blass, Philology of the Gospels, p. 31). Mr. Wright suggests that Apollos may have derived his knowledge of “the facts concerning Jesus” from one of the many Catechists who were sent out from Jerusalem, and visited in large numbers the capital of Egypt, and by him Apollos like Theophilus was instructed in the way of the Lord. This view certainly gives an adequate meaning to κατηχ., but still it seems strange that a Catechist, even if his chief business was to catechise or instruct in the facts of the Gospel history, should say nothing about Christian Baptism; surely a Catechist would himself be a baptised member of Christ. It is possible that Apollos may have deliberately decided to abide as he was; he may have said that as the Master Himself had fulfilled all righteousness in John’s Baptism, so that Baptism was sufficient for the servant. But on this view one has to suppose that no news of the events of Pentecost had reached Alexandria, although Egyptian Jews had been present at the feast. But the news which Apollos may have received had been imperfect, cf. Acts 19:2-3, and he had not therefore abandoned his position as a follower of the Baptist, who accepted the teaching that Jesus was the Messiah without knowing fully how that claim had been fulfilled, who had been baptised with the Baptism of the Baptist unto repentance without knowing the higher blessings conferred by membership in the Body of the Risen and Ascended Lord: see further Expository Times, vol. vii., pp. 564, 565; Hermathena, xxi. (1895); Weiss and Zöckler, in loco.— ἐλάλει καὶ ἐδίδασκεν: Blass prefers ἀπελάλει, which Wright, u. s., p. 11, renders “repeated by rote”.— ζέων τῷ πνεύματι, cf. Romans 12:11, this fervency was shown not only in speaking what he knew, but in teaching it to others, cf. Acts 18:11, where the same word is used of Paul’s instructions. We can scarcely take ἐλάλει as privatim, ἐδίδασκεν publice (Bengel).— ἀκριβῶς: “accurately,” so often in classics, and as agreeing best here with this verse and the comparative in Acts 18:26; on the use of the word in medical writers see Hobart, p. 251; Weiss, Meyer’s Kommentar, Luke 1:3, also compares the similarity between St. Luke’s phrase and Galen’s dedication of his work to a friend (he also finds a parallel in Jos., C. Apion., i., 10); see also below on ἀκριβέστερον and its employment by Dioscorides. The word occurs in Luke twice, Luke 1:3, Acts 18:25, and elsewhere in Matthew 2:8, and twice in St. Paul, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, Ephesians 5:15, whilst ἀκριβέστερον occurs four times in N.T., and each time in Acts, cf. Acts 18:26, Acts 23:15; Acts 23:20, Acts 24:22.


Verse 26

Acts 18:26. παῤῥησιάζεσθαι, see above on p. 242; whatever was the exact form of the belief of Apollos, he had at all events the courage of his convictions.— ἀκούσαντες showing that Priscilla and Aquila had not separated themselves from their fellow-countrymen.— προσελάβοντο, cf. Acts 17:5, i.e., for instruction in private.— ἀκριβέστερον: on its use by St. Luke see above on Acts 18:25. The word is used by Dioscorides in his preface to his De Materia Medica: see Weiss-Meyer’s Kommentar on Luke 1:1, and Vogel, p. 17, as an instance of medical language.— ἐξέθεντο: we are not told whether he was baptised, but Acts 19:5 makes it probable that he was; see Zöckler’s note. “Qui Jesum Christum novit, potentes in Scriptura docere potest,” Bengel, and Vogel u. s.


Verse 27

Acts 18:27. διελθεῖν εἰς, cf. Luke 8:22, Mark 4:35, Latin, trajicere.— προτρεψ.… ἔγραψαν: “encouraged him and wrote,” R.V., so Chrysostom, Erasmus, Grotius, Bengel, Felten, Lumby, Rendall, Knabenbauer: “currentem incitantes” Bengel. But others refer it to the disciples, “wrote exhorting the disciples,” i.e., wrote letters of commendation, 2 Corinthians 3, so Luther, De Wette, Ewald, Zöckler, Alford, Wendt, Weiss, Nösgen, Hackett. Blass thinks that the word can be referred to neither in the sense of cohortari, and prefers the rendering in accordance with the Syriac anteverterunt, but cf. Wisdom of Solomon 14:18, 2 Maccabees 11:7 for the former sense, so in classical Greek; only here in N.T., classed not only by Hobart, but also by Vogel, as amongst the medical words in St. Luke, u. s., p. 17.— συνεβάλετο: only here in N.T. in middle, with dative of the person, profuit, so often in Greek authors, especially Polybius; Wisdom of Solomon 5:8, Xen., Cyr., i., 2, 8; cf. 1 Corinthians 3:6, “rigavit A. non plantavit” Bengel.— διὰ τῆς χ.: “helped much through grace them which had believed” R.V., margin. This connection of the words seems preferable, as stress is laid upon the fact that the gifts and eloquence of Apollos were only available when God gave the increase—the position of the words is not against this, as they may have been so placed for emphasis. Blass, who joins the phrase with πεπιστ., adds “quamvis ibi abundat”. It does not seem natural to explain the word χάρις here as the Gospel, or to refer it to the grace of the eloquence of Apollos.


Verse 28

Acts 18:28. εὐτόνως: “powerfully,” only in Luke, cf. Luke 23:10, “vehemently,” like Latin, intente, acriter, Joshua 6(7):8 (- νος, 2 Maccabees 12:23, 4 Maccabees 7:10, A R); found also in classical Greek, and may be one of the “colloquial” words common to the N.T. and Aristophanes, cf. Plutus, 1096 (Kennedy, p. 78). But as the word is used only by St. Luke, it may be noted that it is very frequently employed by medical writers, opposed to ἄτονος.— διακατηλέγχετο: “powerfully confuted,” R.V. The word does not prove that Apollos convinced them (A.V. “mightily convinced”), lit(327), he argued them down; but to confute is not of necessity to convince. The double compound, a very strong word, is not found elsewhere, but in classical Greek διελέγχω, to refute utterly (in LXX, middle, to dispute), κατελέγχω, to convict of falsehood, to belie.— ἐπιδεικνὺς: only once elsewhere in N.T., Hebrews 6:17, and in classical Greek as in Plato, to prove, to demonstrate.

Additional note on Acts 18:23 (see on Acts 16:6).

In a brief attempt to refer to a few difficulties connected with this verse, it is well to bear in mind at the outset that St. Luke never uses the noun γαλατία (which is twice used by St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 16:1, Galatians 1:2), but the adjective γαλατικός, Acts 18:23 and Acts 16:6, in both cases with the noun χώρα; St. Paul in each case is speaking of the “Churches of Galatia”; St. Luke in each case is speaking of the Apostle’s journeys. How may we account for this different phraseology? If St. Luke had meant Galatia proper, we may believe that he would have used the word γαλατία, but as he says γαλατικὴ χώρα he speaks as a Greek and indicates the Roman province Galatia, or the Galatic province; a name by which the Greek-speaking natives called it, whilst sometimes they enumerated its parts, e.g., Pontus Galaticus, Phrygia Galatica, Expositor, pp. 126, 127, August, 1898 (Ramsay), and Hastings’ B.D., “Galatia” (Ramsay), pp. 87–89, 1899; cf. the form of the derived adjective in - ικός in the pair λακωνικὴ γῆ and λακωνία. St. Paul on the other hand, speaking as a Roman citizen, used the word γαλατία as = the Roman province, for not only is there evidence that γαλ. could be so employed in current official usage (the contrary hypothesis is now abandoned by Schürer, one of its former staunch supporters, see Expositor, u. s., p. 128, and Hastings’ B.D., ii., 86), but it seems beyond all dispute that St. Paul in other cases classified his Churches in accordance with the Roman provinces, Asia, Macedonia, Achaia, Expositor, u. s., p. 125; Zahn, Einleitung, i., 124; Renan, Saint Paul, p. 51; Hausrath, Neutest. Zeitgeschichte, iii., p. 135; Clemen, Chron. der Paulinischen Briefe, p. 121. Why then should the Churches of Galatia be interpreted otherwise? Ramsay (“Questions,” Expositor, January, 1899) may well appeal to Dr. Hort’s decisive acceptance of the view that in 1 Peter 1:1 (First Epistle of St. Peter, pp. 17, 158) the Churches are named according to the provinces of the Roman empire (a point emphasised by Hausrath, u. s., in advocating the South-Galatian theory), and that in provincial Galatia St. Peter included at least the Churches founded by St. Paul in Galatia proper, i.e., in Phrygia and Lycaonia, although it must be remembered that Dr. Hort still followed Lightfoot in maintaining that the Galatians of St. Paul’s Epistle were true Galatians, and not the inhabitants of the Roman province. “But if St. Peter, as Hort declares, classed Antioch, Iconium, Derbe and Lystra among the Churches of Galatia, must not Paul have done the same thing? Is it likely that 1 Peter, a letter so penetrated with the Pauline spirit, so much influenced by at least two Pauline Epistles, composed in such close relations with two of Paul’s coadjutors, Silas and Mark, should class the Pauline Churches after a method that Paul would not employ?” (Ramsay, Expositor, January, 1899.) The Churches which in this view are thus included in the province Galatia, viz., Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, would be fitly addressed as Galatians by a Roman citizen writing to provincials proud of Roman names and titles (although Wendt (1899) urges this mode of address, Galatians 3:1, as one of two decisive points against the South Galatian theory). For we must not forget that two of the four Churches in South Galatia were Roman coloniæ, Antioch and Lystra, whilst the two others mentioned in Acts 14 bore an emperor s name, Claudio-Iconium, Claudio-Derbe. That the title “Galatians” might be so applied to the people of Roman “Galatia” has been sufficiently illustrated by Zahn, Einleitung, i., p. 130, and Ramsay, Expositor, August, 1898, cf. Tac., Ann., xiii., 35, xv., 6; Hist., ii., 9; and it is very noteworthy that in Philippians 4:15 St. Paul in addressing the inhabitants of a Roman colonia addresses them by a Latin and not a Greek form of their name, φιλιππήσιοι = Latin, Philippenses, so that in addressing the four Churches of South Galatia, so closely connected with Rome as we have seen, St. Paul would naturally address them by the one title common to them all as belonging to a Roman province, Galatæ, Galatians; Ramsay, Expositor, August, 1898; McGiffert, Apostolic Age, pp. 177–179.

St. Paul then uses the term Galatia as a Roman citizen would use it, while St. Luke employs the phraseology common in the Ægean land amongst his contemporaries; he does not speak of Galatia, by which term he would as a Greek mean North Galatia, but of the “Galatic territory” or of the region or regions with which he was concerned; see on this Expositor, August, 1898, pp. 126, 127, and Hastings’ B.D., “Galatia”. In Acts 16:6 he writes of a missionary tour (see on διῆλθον, note, l. c.) through the Phrygo-Galatic region; in Acts 18:23 he speaks of a missionary tour through the Galatic region (Derbe and Lystra) and the Phrygian (Iconium and Antioch). It is, moreover, important to note that whether we take φρυγία, Acts 18:23, as an adjective, χώρα being understood, or as a noun, the same sense prevails, for we have evidence from inscriptions of Antioch that Galatic Phrygia was often designated by the noun, “and St. Luke may be allowed to speak as the people of Antioch wrote,” Ramsay, Hastings’ B.D., ii., p. 90, 1899. See further the same writer’s reference to the testimony of Asterius, Bishop of Amasia in Pontus Galaticus, A.D. 400, in favour of the above view, who paraphrases Acts 18:23, τὴν λυκαονίαν καὶ τὰς τῆς φρυγίας πόλεις, and places the journey through Lycaonia and Phrygia immediately before the visit to Asia, Acts 19:1; see especially Ramsay, Studia Biblica, iv., p. 16 ff. and p. 90; Hastings’ B.D., u. s., as against Zahn, Einleitung, i., p. 136.

But further: if the Phrygo-Galatic district thus lay on the road to Ephesus, it is difficult to see how St. Paul could be conceived of as going to a distance of some 300 miles out of his route to Galatia in the narrower ethnical sense of the word; and this is one of the many points which influences Mr. Turner to regard the South Galatia view as almost demonstrably true, Chron. of the N.T.; Hastings’ B.D., i., 422 (see also to the same effect, Renan, Saint Paul, p. 52; and Rendall, Acts, p. 275; Salmon, Introd., p. 377). McGiffert (so too Renan, Hausrath) maintains that if the North Galatian theory is correct, and St. Paul is not addressing the Churches founded on his first missionary journey, but only those founded, as we must suppose, during a period of missionary labour in North Galatia, a period inserted without a hint from St. Luke in Acts 16:6, it seems incomprehensible why Barnabas should be mentioned in the Galatian Epistle. The Churches in North Galatia could scarcely have known anything about him, especially as ex hypothesi they had been evangelised after the rupture between Paul and Barnabas, Acts 15:36 ff. If, however, the Churches of the Epistle = the Churches founded in Acts 13, 14, then we can at once understand the mention of Barnabas. But Mr. Askwith has lately pointed out with much force (Epistle to the Galatians, p. 77, 1899) that this argument must not be pressed too far. The introduction of Barnabas in the Galatian Epistle does not prove that he was known personally to the Galatians (although it may reasonably warrant the inference that he was known by name) any more than the allusion to him, 1 Corinthians 9:6, proves that he was personally known to the Corinthians, cf. also Lightfoot, Colossians, p. 28.

One more significant and weighty fact deserves mention. In St. Paul’s collection for the poor Saints (on the importance of which see Acts 24:17) there is every reason to believe that all the Pauline Churches shared; in 1 Corinthians 16:1 appeal is made to the Churches of Galatia and Achaia, and the Churches of Macedonia and Asia subsequently contributed to the fund. If by Galatia we understand Galatia proper, and not the Roman province, then the four South Galatian Churches are not included in the list of subscribers, and they are not even asked to contribute. This appears inconceivable; whereas, if we look at the list of delegates, Acts 20:4, whilst Macedonia and Asia are represented, and Gaius and Timothy represent the Churches of South Galatia, no delegate is mentioned from any North Galatian community (see Rendall: “Pauline collection for the Saints,” Expositor, Nov., 1898, and “The Galatians of St. Paul,” Expositor, April, 1894; also Weizsäcker, Apostolic Age, i., 272, E.T., and McGiffert, Apostolic Age, p. 180, Askwith, Epistle to the Galatians, p. 88 ff. (1899)). For the literature of the question see Ramsay, “Galatia,” Hastings’ B.D., ii., p. 89, 1899; Zahn, Einleitung, i., pp. 129, 130; Wendt (1899), p. 276, and “Galatians, Epistle to the,” Marcus Dods, Hastings’ B.D., ii., 94. To the list given in the last reference may be added the names of Wendt, O. Holtzmann, Clemen.V. Weber (Würsburg), Page, Rendall, McGiffert, in favour of the South Galatian view, and most recently Askwith, Epistle to the Galatians (1899); whilst to the other side may be added Volkmar, Schürer, Holsten, who has examined the whole subject closely in his Das Evangelium des Paulus, p. 35 ff. (chiefly in reply to Hausrath’s strong support of the opposing view), Zöckler, Jülicher, Hilgenfeld, Zeitschrift für wissenschaft. Theol., p. 186 ff. and p. 353, 1896, Schmiedel, and amongst English writers, Findlay, Epistles of St. Paul, p. 288 ff., and very fully Dr. Chase, Expositor, 1893, 1894.

We can only make a passing allusion to the date or possible date of the Galatian Epistle. Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 189 ff., places it at the close of the Apostle’s second missionary journey during his stay at Antioch, Acts 18:22 (A.D. 55), whilst McGiffert also places it at Antioch, but before the Apostle started on this same journey, not at its close, Apostolic Age, p. 226. Rendall, Expositor, April, 1894, has assigned it an earlier date, 51, 52, and places it amongst the earliest of St. Paul’s Epistles, and more recently Zahn has dated it almost equally early in the beginning of 53, and upon somewhat similar grounds, Einleitung, i., p. 139 (the three oldest Epistles of St. Paul according to him being the group of Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, all written in the same year). But on the other hand, Lightfoot, Galatians, p. 43 ff., and Salmon, Introd., p. 376, not only place the Epistle later than any of the dates suggested above, but assign it a place between 2 Corinthians and Romans, arguing from the similarity of subject and style between the three Epistles. Most of the continental critics would place it in the same group, but as the earliest of the four great Epistles written in the earlier period of the Apostle’s long residence at Ephesus, Acts 19:1.

Lightfoot places it apparently on the journey between Macedonia and Achaia, Acts 20:2, 2 Corinthians having been previously written during the Apostle’s residence in Macedonia (so Zahn), Romans being dated a little later whilst St. Paul stayed in Corinth, Acts 20:2-3 (Galatians, pp. 39, 55). Dr. Clemen has since defended at great length his view, first put forward in Chronol. der Paul. Briefe, p. 199 ff., that Romans preceded Galatians, in Studien und Kritiken, 1897, 2, pp. 219–270; but see as against Clemen, Zahn, Einleitung, i., p. 142; Zöckler, Die Briefe an die Thess. und Galater, p. 71; Sanday and Headlam, Romans, p. xxxviii. Mr. Askwith has recently discussed the points at issue between Ramsay and Lightfoot as to the date of Galatians, and in accepting the latter’s position as his own, he has shown that this is not incompatible with a firm recognition of the South Galatian theory, Epistle to the Galatians, p. 98 ff. Harnack, Chronol., p. 239, declines to commit himself to any definite date for Galatians, and perhaps this conclusion is not surprising in relation to an Epistle of which it may be truly said that it has been placed by different critics in the beginning, in the close, and in every intermediate stage of St. Paul’s epistolary activity, cf. Dr. Marcus Dods, “Galatians,” Hastings’ B.D.

 


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Bibliography Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Acts 18:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/acts-18.html. 1897-1910.

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