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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Apollos

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(Apollonius or Apollodorus). An Alexandrine Jew, "eloquent (or learned) and mighty in the Scriptures" (which had been translated into the famous Greek version, the Septuagint, at his birthplace) (Acts 18:24-25). "Instructed in the way of the Lord,"so far as John the Baptist could instruct hint; for this had been the main subject of John's ministry, "prepare ye the way of the Lord" (Matthew 3:3). Apollos was "fervent in spirit;" and so when he came to Ephesus, "he spoke and taught diligently the things of Jesus" (so the three oldest manuscripts read), as John had pointed to Jesus as the Messiah. But Apollos knew only the water baptism of John; he did not yet know that what John had foretold ("I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He Messiah shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire") had actually come to pass, in the church's baptism with the Spirit on Pentecost, and that graces and gifts were now being bestowed on the several living stones composing "the temple of the Holy Spirit." (Compare Acts 19:1-6.)

But Aquila and Priscilla, on hearing him, "took him unto them and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly." Thus having received new light he went forth to Achaia, watering the seed there that Paul had already planted (1 Corinthians 3:4-6), and "helped them much which had believed through grace." His deep knowledge of the Old Testament gave him especial power with the Jews, "for he mightily convinced them publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ." Some at Corinth abused his name. into a party watchword, saying, "I am of Apollos," so popular was he. But Paul, while condemning their party spirit, commends Apollos, and writes that he had "greatly desired our brother Apollos to come" unto the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:12). But Apollos was disinclined to come at that time; probably to give no handle for party zeal, until the danger of it should have passed away.

Those who made his name their party cry were attracted by his rhetorical style acquired in Alexandria, as contrasted with the absence of "excellency of speech and enticing words of man's wisdom" (1 Corinthians 2:1-4), and even in their estimation "the contemptible speech" (2 Corinthians 10:10), of Paul. The last Bible notice of him is in Titus 3:13, where Paul charges Titus, then in Crete, "bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way diligently, that nothing may be wanting to them." Jerome states that Apollos remained at Crete until he heard that the divisions at Corinth had been healed by Paul's epistle; then he went and became bishop there.

Apollos's main excellency was as builder up,' rather than founder, of churches. His humility and teachableness in submitting, with all his learning, to the teaching of Aquila and even of Priscilla (a woman), his fervency and his power in Scripture, and his determinably staying away from where his well deserved popularity might be made a handle for party zeal, are all lovely traits in his Christian character.


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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Apollos'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/a/apollos.html. 1949.

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Sunday, December 8th, 2019
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