Acts 18
Vincent's Word Studies
After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;

"A Jewish guild always keeps together, whether in street or synagogue. In Alexandria the different trades sat in the synagogue arranged into guilds; and St. Paul could have no difficulty in meeting, in the bazaar of his trade, with the like-minded Aquila and Priscilla" (Edersheim, "Jewish Social Life").

And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
Lately (προσφάτως)

Only here in New Testament, though the kindred adjective, rendered new, is found in Hebrews 10:20. It is derived from φένω, to slay, and the adjective means, originally, lately slain; thence, fresh, new, recent. It is quite common in medical writings in this sense.

And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
Of the same craft (ὁμότεχνον)

It was a Rabbinical principle that whoever does not teach his son a trade is as if he brought him up to be a robber. All the Rabbinical authorities in Christ's time, and later, were working at some trade. Hillel, Paul's teacher, was a wood-cutter, and his rival, Shammai, a carpenter. It is recorded of one of the celebrated Rabbis that he was in the habit of discoursing to his students from the top of a cask of his own making, which he carried every day to the academy.

Tent-makers (σκηνοποιοὶ)

Not weavers of the goat's-hair cloth of which tents were made, which could easily be procured at every large town in the Levant, but makers of tents used by shepherds and travellers. It was a trade lightly esteemed and poorly paid.

And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
Was pressed in the spirit (συνείχετο τῷ πνεύματι)

Instead of spirit the best texts read λόγῳ, by the word. On pressed or constrained, see note on taken, Luke 4:38. The meaning is, Paul was engrossed by the word. He was relieved of anxiety by the arrival of his friends, and stimulated to greater activity in the work of preaching the word.

And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
Opposed themselves (ἀντιτασσομένων)

Implying an organized or concerted resistance. See on resisteth, 1 Peter 5:5.

And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,

Brother of the philosopher Seneca (Nero's tutor), and uncle of the poet Lucan, the author of the "Pharsalia." Seneca speaks of him as amiable and greatly beloved.


See on Acts 13:7. The verb, to be deputy, occurs only here.


See on Acts 7:5.

Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.
And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you:
Lewdness (ῥᾳδιούργημα)

See on mischief, Acts 13:10. Rev., villany.

But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters.

The best texts read the plural, questions. See on Acts 15:2.


In the Greek the position of the word is emphatic, at the beginning of the sentence: "Judge of these matters I am not minded to be."

And he drave them from the judgment seat.
Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.
Cared for none of these things

Not said to indicate his indifference to religion, but simply that he did not choose to interfere in this ease.

And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.
Took his leave (ἀποταξάμενος)

See on Luke 9:61; and Mark 6:46.

Priscilla and Aquila

They are named in the same order, Romans 16:3; 2 Timothy 4:19.

Having shorn his head

Referring to Paul, and not to Aquila.

He had a vow

A private vow, such as was often assumed by the Jews in consequence of some mercy received or of some deliverance from danger. Not the Nazarite vow, though similar in its obligations; for, in the case of that vow, the cutting of the hair, which marked the close of the period of obligation, could take place only in Jerusalem.

And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;
But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.
I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem

The best texts omit.

And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.
And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.
And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Eloquent (λόγιος)

Only here in New Testament. The word is used in Greek literature in several senses. As λόγος means either reason or speech, so this derivative may signify either one who has thought much, and has much to say, or one who can say it well. Hence it is used: 1. Of one skilled in history. Herodotus, for example, says that the Heliopolitans are the most learned in history (λογιώτατοι) of all the Egyptians. 2. Of an eloquent person. An epithet of Hermes or Mercury, as the god of speech and eloquence. 3. Of a learned person generally. There seems hardly sufficient reason for changing the rendering of the A. V. (Rev., learned), especially as the scripture-learning of Apollos is specified in the words mighty in the scriptures, and his superior eloquence appears to have been the reason why some of the Corinthians preferred him to Paul. See 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 2 Corinthians 10:10.

This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

See on Luke 1:4.

Fervent (ζέων)

Fervent, which is formed from the participle of the Latin ferveo, to boil or ferment, is an exact translation of this word, which means to seethe or bubble, and is therefore used figuratively of mental states and emotions. See on leaven, Matthew 13:33.

Diligently (ἀκριβῶς)

Rather, accurately; so far as his knowledge went. The limitation is given by the words following: knowing only the baptism of John. See on Luke 1:3; and compare the kindred verb, inquired diligently, Matthew 2:7, where Rev. renders learned carefully.

And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
More perfectly (ἀκριβέστερον)

The comparative of the same word. More accurately.

And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:
Exhorting (προτρεψάμενοι)

Originally, to turn forward, as in flight. Hence, to impel or urge. The word may apply either to the disciples at Corinth, in which case we must render as A. V., or to Apollos himself, as Rev., encouraged him. I prefer the former. Hackett very sensibly remarks that Apollos did not need encouragement, as he was disposed to go.

Helped (συνεβάλετο)

The radical sense of the word is to throw together: hence, to contribute; to help; to be useful to. He threw himself into the work along with them. On different senses of the word, see notes on Luke 2:19; and see on Luke 14:31; and compare Acts 4:15; Acts 17:18; Acts 18:27; Acts 20:14.

Through grace

Grace has the article, the special grace of God imparted. Expositors differ as to the connection; some joining through grace with them which had believed, insisting on the Greek order of the words; and others with helped, referring to grace conferred on Apollos. I prefer the latter, principally for the reason urged by Meyer, that "the design of the text is to characterize Apollos and his work, and not those who believed."

For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
Mightily (εὐτόνως)

See on Luke 23:10.

Convinced (διακατηλέγχετο)

Only here in New Testament. See on tell him his fault, Matthew 18:15. The compound here is a very strong expression for thorough confutation. Confute (Rev.) is better than convince. Note the prepositions. He confuted them thoroughly (διά), against (κατά) all their arguments.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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