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Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Acts 18

Verse 1

Acts 18:1 . Χωρισθεὶς , having departed ) as if unwilling, speedily [lit. having been separated or constrained to depart from ]. The same verb occurs in the following ver. Paul did not stay long at Athens. Men endowed with intelligence readily hear as much as is sufficient [for informing them of the way of salvation], if they wish to accept it. Ἀθηνῶν , from Athens : Κόρινθον , to Corinth ) In the former city, literature and philosophy; in the latter, commerce, most chiefly flourished. Thence the bearing of the one city in relation to the Gospel may be beautifully compared with that of the other. Paul had much greater fruit at Corinth than at Athens.

Verse 2

Acts 18:2 . Προσφάτως ) So the LXX., Deuteronomy 24:5 . ἐληλυθότα , who had come ) They afterwards returned to Rome, Romans 16:3 , after various travels. τοὺς Ἰουδαίους , the Jews ) The Romans, in their proud contempt of both, did not care to distinguish between Jews and Christians. He expelled all who were Jews by nation.

Verse 3

Acts 18:3 . Εἰργάζετο , he worked ) in a city so splendid. σκηνοποιοὶ , tentmakers . The Jews were wont to join to doctrinal (learned) studies manual labours.

Verse 5

Acts 18:5 . Συνείχετο τῷ λόγῳ , was constrained by the word ) The power of the word within urged Paul: comp. Jeremiah 20:9 ; Jeremiah 23:9 , wherein there is added the parallelism, ἐγενήθην ὡς ἄνθρωπος συνεχόμενος ἀπὸ οἴνου , I became as a man constrained or PRESSED by wine . Instead of λόγῳ , some have written πνεύματι , from Acts 18:25 , or else from ch. Acts 17:16 . [ λόγῳ , a striking reading . Not. Crit. [109] ] Each one ought to observe even in his own soul such a ΣΥΝΟΧῊ , or constraining force, and, when he feels it what is right, to follow it. To do so causes the greatest joy; but to neglect doing so, the greatest sorrow. The tidings which Silas and Timothy had announced, stimulated Paul.

[109] ABDE de Vulg. support λόγῳ : Rec. Text, without any very old authority, πνεύματι . E. and T.

Verse 6

Acts 18:6 . Ἐκτιναξάμενος , having shaken ) The meaning of this gesture (significant act) is understood from the words with which he accompanied it. αἷμα , your blood ) souls. “Life” and death are put in antithesis: also, “life” and soul on the one hand, and death and the shedding of the blood on the other: comp. 1 Samuel 22:22 , εἰμι αἴτιος τῶν ψυχῶν , “I am the occasion of the lives ” (being taken). ἐπὶ ) The Hebrew על , upon. This denotes guilt resting or falling upon. καθαρὸς ἐγὼ , I am clean) No one can say so, who has not previously fulfilled (the duty of giving) his testimony. πορεύσομαι , I will go) So Paul changed his lodging: and yet he did not entirely withdraw himself from the better class of Jews, whom he made by this very act the more earnestly attentive.

Verse 7

Acts 18:7 . [ Ἐκεῖθεν , thence ) So also ch. Acts 19:9 . V. g.] Ἰούστου , of Justus ) a Gentile. συνομοροῦσα , adjoining to ) So that those who frequented the synagogue might further [besides] hear the doctrine concerning Jesus Christ.

Verse 8

Acts 18:8 . Ἐπίστευσε τῷ Κυρίῳ , believed on the Lord ) The Lord Jesus Himself testified through Paul: ch. Acts 14:3 , “They speaking boldly in the Lord, who gave testimony unto the word of His grace.” ἀκούοντες , hearing ) of the conversion of Crispus, and hearing the word spoken by Paul.

Verse 9

Acts 18:9 . Μὴ φοβοῦ , be not afraid ) To this refer the first διότι , because, for , in Acts 18:10 . λάλει , speak ) To this refer the second διότι , because, for, Acts 18:10 .

Verse 10

Acts 18:10 . Ἐγὼ , I ) The foundation of confidence. οὐδεὶς , no man ) This is fulfilled in Acts 18:14-44.18.15 . ἐπιθήσεται ) will set on, will direct himself against . Neuter, as frequently in the LXX. [ λαὸς πολὺς , people much ) Since so few at Athens had received the faith, the comfort now administered was of the greatest advantage to him; and accordingly he subsequently exhibited extraordinary patience in bearing with the Corinthians, with the hope that their nation might be won over to the faith, of whom he might otherwise have become easily wearied: 2 Corinthians 10:6 , “Having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” V. g.]

Verse 11

Acts 18:11 . Ἐκάθισε , he sat, i.e. continued settled ) This apostolic chair (cathedra) of Paul at Corinth is better attested than that of Peter at Rome. ἐνιαυτὸν καὶ μῆνας ἓξ , a year and six months ) A long time: but in the present day how little the gain (how few are the souls converted) in the same space of time! The teachers and the hearers are in fault (are to blame for this).

Verse 12

Acts 18:12 . Γαλλίωνος ) This Gallio was brother of Seneca, and was commended by Seneca and others for his yielding disposition and sweet temper. The action of Gallio in this passage is in accordance with such a character. ἀνθυπατεύοντος ) Achaia was then strictly a proconsular province [ ἀνθυπαος = proconsul ]. ’ Αχαΐας , of Achaia ) of which Corinth was the metropolis.

Verse 13

Acts 18:13 . Ἀναπείθει ) by persuasions excites . They declare repeatedly that all was tranquil previously.

Verse 14

Acts 18:14 . Εἶπεν , said ) Either because he was favourable to Paul, or because he despised the Jews. ἀδίκημα , a matter of wrong ) demanding a civil action. ῥᾳδιούργημα , wanton wickedness ) worthy of a criminal action. ἠνεσχόμην , I would bear with you) Certainly ἀνοχὴ , forbearance , is becoming in a judge, if he is rightly to discharge the duties of his office. Gallio implies that the Jews were troublesome (an annoyance ) to him.

Verse 15

Acts 18:15 . Εἰ , if ) Gallio speaks slightingly (contemptuously): as presently, in the word τούτων , of such matters. ζήτημα ) Such men do not like questions : ch. Acts 23:29 , CI. Lysias of Paul, “Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but nothing,” etc.; Acts 25:19-44.25.20 , Festus of Paul, “They had certain questions against him of their own superstition.” περὶ λόγου ) concerning doctrine [Engl. Vers., words ]. ὀνομάτων , names ) But the question concerning the name Jesus is one of great moment. The names of the Gentiles were fables and shadows. The Christian religion has in it something peculiar; and therefore human reason, most curious as it is in respect to all other things, has an aversion from becoming acquainted with it.

Verse 17

Acts 18:17 . Ἐπιλαβόμενοι , having laid hold of ) in compliment to Gallio. Σωσθένην , Sosthenes ) the successor of Crispus [who was converted], Acts 18:8 : with this comp. ch. Acts 13:15 , note. This Sosthenes headed the accusation against Paul: he was afterwards converted: 1 Corinthians 1:1 , “Paul and Sosthenes our brother to the church in Corinth,” etc. οὐδὲν , none ) although an act of wrong arose out of the question . τῷ Γαλλίωνι , to Gallio ) who connived at the act of the Greeks against the Jews.

Verse 18

Acts 18:18 . Ἱκανὰς , several days) until their minds became composed, and that he should not seem to have fled away. ἀποταξάμενος , having taken his leave of ) by word of mouth, at a public meeting. Συρίαν , Syria ) Act 18:22 at the end ( Antioch was in Syria). σὺν αὐτῷ , with him ) A happy (blessed) retinue, as far as to Ephesus. Πρίσκιλλα , Priscilla ) The wife, as being the more approved, is put before the husband. κειράμενος , having shorn [shaven]) As was customary in the case of a vow: ch. Acts 21:24 ; Numbers 6:18 . ἐν Κεγχρεαῖς , in Cenchrea ) After having left Corinth, he adopted a Jewish custom as to the head (shaving off the hair), when setting out to Jews. Paul devoted this journey to the Jews rather (than to the Gentiles): Acts 18:19 . εὐχὴν ) This vow , whatever was its object, was not properly that of a Nazarite, but one akin to it. And Paul seems to have taken it up for this reason, in order that he might impose on himself the necessity of speedily accomplishing this journey to Jerusalem. See following verses.

Verse 20

Acts 18:20 . Ἐρωτώντων , when they desired him) It is not always that there is a Divine call present under the plausible invitation of men.

Verse 21

Acts 18:21 . Εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα , in Jerusalem [110] ) To this is to be referred Acts 18:22 . The particular feast is not expressed in this passage: several years after (from Miletus) he hastened thither to keep Pentecost : ch. Acts 20:16 . ἀνακάμψω ), I will return ) He did so: ch. Acts 19:1 . In the interim their longings for him increased.

[110] The larger Ed. had preferred the shorter reading in this place; but Exodus 2:0 and Germ. Vers. agree with the Gnomon. E. B.

ABE e Vulg. Memph. Theb. omit from δεῖ με to εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα . D d , with the Rec. Text, support the words. E. and T.

Verse 22

Acts 18:22 . Ἀναβὰς , having gone up ) to Jerusalem: Acts 18:21 . τὴν ἐκκλησίαν , the church ) The primary church, from which the others were propagated.

Verse 23

Acts 18:23 . Διερχόμενος , going through ) A new visitation of the churches.

Verse 24

Acts 18:24 . Ἀλεξανδρεὺς , an Alexandrian ) That city was the seat of all branches of learning. λόγιος ) learned, eloquent . All accomplishments may be made useful in the kingdom of GOD, if pride do not accompany them: but especially there ought to be with them power in the Scriptures , and fervour of the Spirit, whereby even ordinary attainments are strengthened. And yet the fruit springs from grace , not from human attainments or accomplishments:Acts 18:27; Acts 18:27 .

Verse 25

Acts 18:25 . Τῷ Πνεύματι ) He had the Spirit , not in that special way which is treated of in ch. Acts 19:6 , but in an ordinary way. ἐλάλει , he spake ) in private. ἐδίδασκεν , taught ) in public. ἀκριβῶς , diligently ) suffering no opportunity to pass. There follows in Acts 18:26 , more diligently , ἀκριβέστερον . μόνον , only ) There is not excluded all knowledge of Christ whatever: but Apollos had not yet heard concerning the death and resurrection of Christ, and concerning the Paraclete: ch. Acts 19:2-44.19.3 .

Verse 26

Acts 18:26 . Ἤρξατο , he began ) To him who hath it shall be given. ἀκούσαντες , having heard ) They thus distinguished what was wanting in him. ἐξέθεντο , expounded ) by private instruction. He who knows Jesus Christ, can teach those powerful in the Scripture; and the latter are readily taught by the former.

Verse 27

Acts 18:27 . Βουλομένου , when he was wishing ) The good wishes of good men ought to be furthered. διελθεῖν , to pass through ) He had without doubt heard what Paul had done in those localities, especially at Corinth. προτρεψάμενοι ) having exhorted him [but Engl. Vers., “ exhorting the disciples to receive him”], thus inciting forward One who was already running. ἔγραψαν , the brethren wrote ) The subjects of their recommendation may be gathered from Acts 18:24-44.18.25 . τοῖς μαθηταῖς , the disciples ) who were at Corinth, or even on the way leading to it. συνεβάλετο ) contributed much help , by the command which he had of useful words. Join with this verb the διὰ , through grace [but Engl. Vers., those who had believed through grace ]. To him who believes, through the grace wherein he is strong, every power of all is rendered a means of profit . τοῖς πεπιστευκόσι , to those who had been brought to the faith ) Apollos watered , he did not plant [ 1Co 3:6 ]; and was better able to convince (confute) the Jews, than to convert the Gentiles.

Verse 28

Acts 18:28 . Τὸν ) The article is emphatic in the predicate: for the subject is sufficiently determined by the proper name itself; “that Jesus is the Christ.”

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Acts 18". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jab/acts-18.html. 1897.