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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Apollos

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APOLLOS (a pet name, abbreviated from Apollonius , which appears in D [Note: Deuteronomist.] text of Acts 18:24 ). Apart from a doubtful reference in Titus 3:13 , we derive our knowledge of Apollos from 1 Cor. and Acts 18:24-28 . In Acts he is described as an Alexandrian Jew, an eloquent man, with an effective knowledge of the OT. He came to Ephesus before St. Paul sojourned there, and, having been instructed in the way of the Lord, he zealously proclaimed his views in the synagogue, where Priscilla and Aquila heard him. What exactly his views were, it is not easy to decide. Acts 18:25 suggests that he was a Christian in some sense, that he knew the story of Jesus, believed in Him as Messiah, but did not know of the coming of the Holy Ghost. The disciples mentioned in Acts 19:1 ff., who are clearly in a parallel position, do not seem to know even so much as this; and ‘instructed in the way of the Lord’ need not mean Christianity, while even the phrase ‘the things concerning Jesus’ may refer simply to the Messianic prophecies (cf. Luke 24:27 , and see art. ‘Apollos’ by J. H. A. Hart in JThS , Oct. 1905). In Ephesus, Apollos may have preached only John’s baptism of repentance. But Priscilla and Aquila made him a full Christian.

Later on Apollos worked in Corinth, with great success. His eloquence and Philonic culture won him a name for wisdom, and made his preaching attractive, so that many declared themselves his special followers (1 Corinthians 1:12 ). Apollos’ teaching in Corinth may have been marked by allegorical interpretation, insistence on Divine knowledge, and on the need of living according to nature (see St. Paul’s sarcastic reference to ‘nature’ in 1 Corinthians 11:14 ). But the party-strife at Corinth was not of his intending. Apollos and Paul were agreed in their gospel ( 1 Corinthians 3:8 ) a fact the Corinthians overlooked. Apollos refused the request of the Corinthians for a speedy second visit ( 1 Corinthians 16:12 ). St. Paul apparently speaks of Apollos as an Apostle ( 1 Corinthians 4:9 ). We have no certain records of Apollos’ teaching, but it has been suggested that he wrote the Wisdom of Solomon before, and the letter to the Hebrews after, his conversion.

H. G. Wood.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Apollos'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdb/a/apollos.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 11th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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