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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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was a Jew of Alexandria, who came to Ephesus in the year of our Lord 54, during the absence of St. Paul, who had gone to Jerusalem, Acts 18:24 . He was an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures; but he knew only the baptism of John, and was not fully informed of the higher branches of Gospel doctrine. However, he acknowledged that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, and declared himself openly as his disciple. At Ephesus, therefore, he began to speak boldly in the synagogue, and demonstrated by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. Aquila and Priscilla, having heard him there, took him with them, and instructed him more fully in the ways of God. Some time after, he was inclined to go into Achaia, and the brethren wrote to the disciples there, desiring them to receive him. He was very useful at Corinth, where he watered what St. Paul had planted, 1 Corinthians 3:6 . It has been supposed, that the great admiration of his disciples for him tended to produce a schism. Some said, "I am of Paul;" some, "I am of Apollos;" and others, "I am of Cephas." But this division, which St. Paul mentions and reproves in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, did not prevent Paul and Apollos, personally, from being closely united in the bonds of Christian charity and affection. Apollos, hearing that the Apostle was at Ephesus, went to meet him, and was there when St. Paul wrote the first Epistle to the Corinthians; in which he observes, that he had earnestly entreated Apollos to return to Corinth: but though he had not prevailed with him, Apollos gave him room to hope that he would visit that city at a favourable opportunity. Some have supposed, that the Apostle names Apollos and Cephas, not as the real persons in whose name parties had been formed in Corinth, but that, in order to avoid provoking a temper which he wished to subside, he transfers "by a figure" to Apollos and himself what was really meant of other parties, whom from prudence he declines to mention. However this might be, the reluctance of Apollos to return to Corinth seems to countenance the general opinion. St. Jerom says that Apollos was so dissatisfied with the division which had happened on his account at Corinth, that he retired into Crete with Zeno, a doctor of the law; but that the evil having been corrected by the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, Apollos returned to that city, of which he afterward became bishop. The Greeks say that he was bishop of Duras; some, that he was bishop of Iconium, in Phrygia; and others of Caesarea.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Apollos'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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Saturday, November 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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