Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Acts 18

Verse 1

Paul. Texts read "he".

departed. See Acts 1:1, Acts 1:4.

to. Greek. eis. App-104. Probably in spring of A.D. 52. See App-180.

Corinth. At this time the political capital of Greece and seat of the Roman proconsul (Acts 18:12), as Athens was its literary centre. Its situation on an isthmus, with harbours on two seas, Lechaeum and Cenchreae, made it of great commercial importance, goods being transhipped and carried across the isthmus from one harbour to another, as was the case at Suez before the canal was made. Strabo says it was the chief emporium between Asia and Italy. The worship of Aphrodite (Latin Venus), the same as Ashtoreth (Judges 2:13), was carried on here, with all the Oriental licentiousness, probably introduced by the Phoenicians (1 Kings 11:33). Attached to the temple of Venus were one thousand courtesans. The word korinthiazomai, to act the Corinthian, was infamous in classical literature. These facts underlie and explain much in the Epistles to the Corinthians, e.g. 1 Corinthians 5:6. 1 Corinthians 7:9, 1 Corinthians 7:27; as also the fact that the renowned Isthmian games were held in the Stadium attached to the temple of Poseidon (Neptune), a short distance from the city. These games, as well as the temples of Athens, Corinth, and elsewhere, supplied Paul with many of the metaphors with which his writings abound.

Verse 2

found = having found.

certain. Greek. tis. App-123.

named = by name.

Aquila. See Romans 16:3. 1 Corinthians 16:19. 2 Timothy 4:19.

born, &c. = a Pontian by race.

lately. Greek. prosphatos. Only here. The adjective prosphatos, found in Hebrews 10:20, was common in medical writers.

with. Read "and".

Priscilla. Aquila is never mentioned apart from his wife. Both these are Latin names. Their Jewish names are not given,

because. Greek. dia. App-104. Acts 18:2.

Claudius. This edict was issued early in A.D. 52 in consequence either of disturbances in Rome, caused by Jews, or of Judaea itself being almost in a state of rebellion.

unto = to.

Verse 3

of the same craft. Greek. homotechnos. Only here. A word applied by physicians to one another. The medical profession was called the healing art (Greek. techne).

abode = was abiding. See Acts 16:15.

wrought = was working. Greek. ergazomai.

by their occupation = as to their craft. Greek. techne.

tentmakers. Greek. skenopoios. Only here. They wove the black cloth of goat"s or camel"s hair of which tents were made. Every Jewish boy was taught some handicraft. Compare 1 Corinthians 4:12. 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:11. 2 Thessalonians 3:8. The Rabbis said, "Whoever does not teach his son a trade is as if he brought him up to be a robber. "

Verse 4

reasoned. Greek. dialegomai. See Acts 17:2, Acts 17:17.

synagogue. App-120. In the museum at Corinth is a fragment of a stone with the inscription, (suna) goge hebr (aion) = synagogue of the Hebrews. The letters in brackets are missing. Its date is said to be between 100 B.C. and A.D. 200.

every sabbath = sabbath by sabbath. Compare Acts 15:21.

persuaded = was persuading, or sought to persuade. App-150.

the. Omit.

Greeks. Greek. Hellen. See Acts 14:1.

Verse 5

And = Now.

were come = came down.

was pressed, &c. Read, was engrossed with or by (Greek. en) the word, i.e. his testimony.

spirit. All thetexts read "word" (Greek. logos. App-121.10).

and testified = earnestly testifying. Greek. diamarturomai. See note on Acts 2:40.

Jesus. App-98.

was = is.

Christ = the Messiah. App-98. Compare 1 Corinthians 1:23. This was to the Jews a horrible "scandal".

Verse 6

oppossd themselves. Greek. antitassomai, to set in battle array. Elsewhere translated "resist". Romans 13:2. J as. Acts 4:6; Acts 5:6. 1 Peter 5:6.

shook. Greek. ektinasso. See note on Acts 13:51.

raiment = outer garments. Greek. himation. Compare Acts 12:8.

your own heads. Fig. Synecdoche. App-6. "Head" put for man himself.

clean = pure (Greek. katharos), i.e. free from responsibility. Compare Acts 20:26. Ezekiel 3:17-21.

henceforth = now.

Gentiles. Greek. ethnos. i.e. in Corinth. See next verse. He still continued to go first to, the synagogues in other places. See Acts 19:8 and App-181.

Verse 7

Justus. Some texts read Titus, or Titius, Justus.

worshipped. Greek. sebomai. App-137.

God. App-98.

joined hard. Greek. sunomoreo. Only here.

Verse 8

Crispus. See 1 Corinthians 1:14.

chief, &c. Greek. archisunagogos. Here and Acts 18:17 translated chief ruler, &c. In all other places, ruler, &c. See note on Acts 13:15.

believed on. App-150.

believed. App-150.

baptized. App-115and App-185.

Verse 9

vision. Greek. horama. See note on Acts 7:31.

speak. Greek. laleo. App-121.

hold . . . thy peace = be. . . silent. Greek. siopao. Only here in Acts, ten times in the Gospels. This is the Figure of speech Pleonasm. App-6.

Verse 10

no man = no one.

set on thee = lay (hands) on thee.

hurt thee = do thee evil. Greek. kakoo. See note on Acts 7:6.

people. Greek. laos. Here nsed generally.

Verse 11

continued. Literally "sat". Figure of speech Synecdoche (of species). "Sit" used of a permanent condition.

a year and six months. In A.D. 52-53. During this period Paul wrote 1 Thess. (A.D. 52) and 2 Thess. (A.D. 53), and probably Hebrews. See introductory notes to these epistles and App-180.

word. Greek. logos. App-121.

Verse 12

when, &c. Literally Gallio being proconsul. Another instance of. Luke"s accuracy. Achaia was a senatorial province under Augustus, imperial under Tiberius, but after A.D. 44 restored by Claudius to the senate and therefore governed by a proconsul.

Gallio. Brother of Seneca, who was Nero"s tutor. Said to be an amiable and gracious man.

was the deputy. Greek. anthupateuo. Literally holding the office of proconsul (anthupatos). Only here. Some of the texts read anthupatou ontos, being proconsul. Compare Acts 13:7; Acts 19:38.

made insurrection . . . against = rose up against. Greek. katephistemi. Only here. The verb ephistemi occurs Acts 17:5, "assault".

with one accord. Greek. homothumadon. See note on Acts 1:14.

judgment seat. Greek. bema. See note on John 19:13. In the Athenian courts there were two other platforms, for the accuser and the accused.

Verse 13

This fellow = This one. persuadeth. Greek. anapeitho. Strong form of peitho (App-150.) Only here.

men. Greek. anthropos. App-123.

contrary to = against. Greek. para. App-104.

Verse 14

now. Omit.

open his mouth. Figure of speech Idioma. App-6. A Hebraism.

If = If indeed. Greek. ei. App-118.

a matter of wrong = an injustice. Greek. adikema. App-128.

wicked. Greek. poneros. App-128.

lewdness = recklessness. Greek. radiourgema. Only here. Compare Acts 13:10.

reason would = according to (Greek. kata. App-104.) reason (Greek. logos. App-121.)

that I should = I would.

Verse 15

a question. Greek. zetema. See note on Acts 15:2. The texts read "questions".

words = a word. Greek. logos. App-121.

your law = the law (that is) with (Greek. kata. App-104.) you.

look, &c. = look ye yourselves to it. Greek. opsomai. App-133.

for. Omit. will be no judge = will (Greek. boulomai. App-102.) not (Greek. ou. App-105.) be a judge (Greek. krites. Compare App-122and App-, 7, 8).

such = these.

Verse 16

drave. Greek. apelauno. Only here. They probably persisted in their charges and so the liotors were ordered to clear the court.

Verse 17

all the Greeks. The texts read, "they all".

Sosthenes. He had apparently succeeded Crispus (Acts 18:8). Compare 1 Corinthians 1:1.

bsat. The crowd, to whom the Jews were obnoxious, would be glad to second the work of the lictors.

Gallio, &c. Literally none (ouden) of these things was a concern to Gallio. He refused to interfere in behalf of such troublesome litigants.

Verse 18

tarried = stayed on. Greek. prosmeno. See note on Acts 11:23.

a good while = many days.

took his leave = having taken leave. Greek. apotasso, to set apart. Mid. withdraw. In N.T. always in Mid. Voice. Here, Acts 18:21. Mark 6:46. Luke 9:61; Luke 14:33. 2 Corinthians 2:13.

and sailed = sailed away. See note on Acts 15:39.

shorn. Greek. keiro. Occurs elsewhere, Acts 8:32, and 1 Corinthians 11:6. In the latter passage keiro, which means to "shear", and xurao, which means to "shave", both occur. Compare Acts 21:24.

Cenchrea. This was the port east of Corinth whence he would set sail.

vow. Greek. euche. App-134. Only here, Acts 21:23, and James 5:15. It has been questioned whether these words refer to Paul or to Aquila. The facts point to Paul, for whichever it was, the ceremonies connected with the vow could only be completed at Jerusalem, and while Paul was hastening his journey thither (Acts 18:21), Aquila appears to have remained at Ephesus (Acts 18:26).

Verse 19

he. The texts read "they".

came. Greek. katantao. See note on Acts 16:1.

Verse 20

desired = asked. Greek. erotao. App-134.

tarry. Greek. meno. See p. 1511.

longer time = for (Greek. epi. App-104.) more time.

consented. Greek. epineuo, to nod towards. Only here. Used in medical

Verse 21

bade them farewell. Greek. apotasso, as in Acts 18:18, "took his leave. "

I must . . . Jerusalem. The texts omit this clause, but not the Syriac.

return. Greek. anakampto, bend back (my steps). Only here, Matthew 2:12. . Luke 10:6. Hebrews 11:15.

if God will = God being willing (Greek. thelo. App-102.)

sailed. Greek. anago. See note on Acts 13:13.

Verse 22

when he had landed = having come down.

at = to. Greek. eis. App-104.

gone up, i.e. to Jerusalem. Figure of speech Ellipsis. App-6.

church. App-186.

Verse 23

after, &c. Literally having made. See Acts 15:33.

some time. Probably three months. It was from Antioch he had gone forth on his first missionary journey; it had happier associations for him than Jerusalem, where they were "all zealous of the law" (Acts 21:20).

country of Galatia. Not the province, but the district.

in order. Greek. kathexes. See note on Acts 3:24.

strengthening. Greek. episterizo. The texts read sterizo. See note on Acts 14:22.

Verse 24

Apollos. Shortened form of Apollonius.

eloquent. Greek. logios. Only here. The word may mean either "eloquent", or "learned". The latter idea is expressed in the next phrase.

man. Greek. anir. App-123.

mighty. Greek. dunatos. Said of Moses (Acts 7:22).

Verse 25

This man = This one.

instructed. Greek. katecheo. See notes on Acts 21:21, Acts 21:24. Luke 1:4. Romans 2:18. Compare Engl, "catechise".

in = as to.

the way. See note on Acts 9:2.

fervent. Greek. zeo, to boil. Only here and Romans 12:11. His was burning zeal. Figure of speech Idioma. App-6.

spirit. App-101. Fervent in spirit means spiritually fervent, or exceedingly zealous.

diligently = accurately. Greek. akribos. Here Matthew 2:8. Luke 1:3. Ephesians 5:15. 1 Thessalonians 5:2. The verb akriboo only in Matthew 2:7, Matthew 2:16.

of = concerning (Greek. peri. App-104.)

the Lord. The texts read "Jesus".

knowing. Greek. epistamai. App-132.

baptism. Greek. baptisma. App-115.

Verse 26

he = this one.

speak boldly. Greek. parrhesiazomai. See note on Acts 9:27.

expounded. Greek. ektithemi. Set out before him. See note on Acts 7:21.

more perfectly = more accurately. Comp. of akribos, Acts 18:25.

Verse 27

"was disposed = wished. Greek. boulomai. App-102.

exhorting. Greek. protrepomai. Only here. According to the order in the Greek this refers to Apollos, and it should read, "the brethren, having encouraged him, wrote".

receive. Greek. apodechomai. See note on Acts 2:41.

helped. Greek. sumballo. See note on Acts 4:15.

through. Greek. dia. App-104. Acts 18:1.

grace. App-184.

Verse 28

mightily. Greek. eutonos. Only here and Luke 23:10. A medical word.

convinced = confuted. Greek. diakatelenchomai. Only here.

publickly. Greek. demosia. See note on Acts 5:18.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Acts 18". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.