Acts 19:1

While Apollos was at Corinth (en twi ton Apollw einai en Korinqwi). Favourite idiom with Luke, en with the locative of the articular infinitive and the accusative of general reference ( Luke 1:8 ; Luke 2:27 , etc.). Having passed through the upper country (dielqonta ta anwterika merh). Second aorist active participle of diercomai, accusative case agreeing with Paulon, accusative of general reference with the infinitive elqein, idiomatic construction with egeneto. The word for "upper" (anwterika) is a late form for anwtera ( Luke 14:10 ) and occurs in Hippocrates and Galen. It refers to the highlands (cf. Xenophon's Anabasis) and means that Paul did not travel the usual Roman road west by Colossae and Laodicea in the Lycus Valley, cities that he did not visit ( Colossians 2:1 ). Instead he took the more direct road through the Cayster Valley to Ephesus. Codex Bezae says here that Paul wanted to go back to Jerusalem, but that the Holy Spirit bade him to go into Asia where he had been forbidden to go in the second tour ( Colossians 16:6 ). Whether the upper "parts" (merh) here points to North Galatia is still a point of dispute among scholars. So he came again to Ephesus as he had promised to do ( Colossians 18:21 ). The province of Asia included the western part of Asia Minor. The Romans took this country B.C. 130. Finally the name was extended to the whole continent. It was a jewel in the Roman empire along with Africa and was a senatorial province. It was full of great cities like Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea (the seven churches of Revelation 2;3 ), Colossae, Hierapolis, Apamea, to go no further. Hellenism had full sway here. Ephesus was the capital and chief city and was a richer and larger city than Corinth. It was located at the entrance to the valley of the Maeander to the east. Here was the power of Rome and the splendour of Greek culture and the full tide of oriental superstition and magic. The Temple of Artemis was one of the seven wonders of the world. While in Ephesus some hold that Paul at this time wrote the Epistle to the Galatians after his recent visit there, some that he did it before his recent visit to Jerusalem. But it is still possible that he wrote it from Corinth just before writing to Rome, a point to discuss later. Certain disciples (tina maqhta). Who were they? Apollos had already gone to Corinth. They show no connection with Priscilla and Aquila. Luke calls them "disciples" or "learners" (maqhta) because they were evidently sincere though crude and ignorant. There is no reason at all for connecting these uninformed disciples of the Baptist with Apollos. They were floating followers of the Baptist who drifted into Ephesus and whom Paul found. Some of John's disciples clung to him till his death ( John 3:22-25 ; Luke 7:19 ; Matthew 14:12 ). Some of them left Palestine without the further knowledge of Jesus that came after his death and some did not even know that, as turned out to be the case with the group in Ephesus.