Acts 18

Paul at Corinth

1 After these things he left 1Athens and went to 2Corinth.
2 And he found a Jew named 3Aquila, a native of 4Pontus, having recently come from 5Italy with his wife 6Priscilla, because 7Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them,
3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and 8they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers.
4 And he was reasoning 9in the synagogue every 10Sabbath and trying to persuade 11Jews and Greeks.
5 But when 12Silas and Timothy 13came down from 14Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly 15testifying to the Jews that 16Jesus was the Christ.
6 But when they resisted and blasphemed, he 17shook out his garments and said to them, "Your 18blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go 19to the Gentiles."
7 Then he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, 20a worshiper of God, whose house was next to the synagogue.
8 21Crispus, 22the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord 23with all his household, and many of the 24Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized.
9 And the Lord said to Paul in the night by 25a vision, "Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent;
10 for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city."
11 And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
12 But while Gallio was 26proconsul of 27Achaia, 28the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before 29the judgment seat,
13 saying, "This man persuades men to worship God contrary to 30the law."
14 But when Paul was about to 31open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If it were a matter of wrong or of vicious crime, O Jews, it would be reasonable for me to put up with you;
15 but if there are 32questions about words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves; I am unwilling * to be a judge of these matters."
16 And he drove them away from 33the judgment seat.
17 And they all took hold of 34Sosthenes, 35the leader of the synagogue, and began beating him in front of 36the judgment seat. But Gallio was not concerned about any of these things.
18 Paul, having remained many days longer, 37took leave of 38the brethren and put out to sea for 39Syria, and with him were 40Priscilla and 41Aquila. In 42Cenchrea he 43had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow.
19 They came to 44Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered 45the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
20 When they asked him to stay for a longer time, he did not consent,
21 but 46taking leave of them and saying, "I will return to you again 47if God wills," he set sail from 48Ephesus.
22 When he had landed at 49Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and went down to 50Antioch.

Third Missionary Journey

23 And having spent some time there, he left and passed successively through the 51Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
24 Now a Jew named 52Apollos, an 53Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to 54Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures.
25 This man had been instructed in 55the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with 56the baptism of John;
26 and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when 57Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him 58the way of God more accurately.
27 And when he wanted to go across to 59Achaia, 60the brethren encouraged him and wrote to 61the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace,
28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating 62by the Scriptures that 63Jesus was the Christ.

Images for Acts 18

Acts 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

Paul at Corinth, with Aquila and Priscilla. (1-6) He continues to preach at Corinth. (7-11) Paul before Gallio. (12-17) He visits Jerusalem. (18-23) Apollos teaches at Ephesus and in Achaia. (24-28)

Verses 1-6 Though Paul was entitled to support from the churches he planted, and from the people to whom he preached, yet he worked at his calling. An honest trade, by which a man may get his bread, is not to be looked upon with contempt by any. It was the custom of the Jews to bring up their children to some trade, though they gave them learning or estates. Paul was careful to prevent prejudices, even the most unreasonable. The love of Christ is the best bond of the saints; and the communings of the saints with each other, sweeten labour, contempt, and even persecution. Most of the Jews persisted in contradicting the gospel of Christ, and blasphemed. They would not believe themselves, and did all they could to keep others from believing. Paul hereupon left them. He did not give over his work; for though Israel be not gathered, Christ and his gospel shall be glorious. The Jews could not complain, for they had the first offer. When some oppose the gospel, we must turn to others. Grief that many persist in unbelief should not prevent gratitude for the conversion of some to Christ.

Verses 7-11 The Lord knows those that are his, yea, and those that shall be his; for it is by his work upon them that they become his. Let us not despair concerning any place, when even in wicked Corinth Christ had much people. He will gather in his chosen flock from the places where they are scattered Thus encouraged, the apostle continued at Corinth, and a numerous and flourishing church grew up.

Verses 12-17 Paul was about to show that he did not teach men to worship God contrary to law; but the judge would not allow the Jews to complain to him of what was not within his office. It was right in Gallio that he left the Jews to themselves in matters relating to their religion, but yet would not let them, under pretence of that, persecute another. But it was wrong to speak slightly of a law and religion which he might have known to be of God, and which he ought to have acquainted himself with. In what way God is to be worshipped, whether Jesus be the Messiah, and whether the gospel be a Divine revelation, are not questions of words and names, they are questions of vast importance. Gallio spoke as if he boasted of his ignorance of the Scriptures, as if the law of God was beneath his notice. Gallio cared for none of these things. If he cared not for the affronts of bad men, it was commendable; but if he concerned not himself for the abuses done to good men, his indifference was carried too far. And those who see and hear of the sufferings of God's people, and have no feeling with them, or care for them, who do not pity and pray for them, are of the same spirit as Gallio, who cared for none of these things.

Verses 18-23 While Paul found he laboured not in vain, he continued labouring. Our times are in God's hand; we purpose, but he disposes; therefore we must make all promises with submission to the will of God; not only if providence permits, but if God does not otherwise direct our motions. A very good refreshment it is to a faithful minister, to have for awhile the society of his brethren. Disciples are compassed about with infirmity; ministers must do what they can to strengthen them, by directing them to Christ, who is their Strength. Let us earnestly seek, in our several places, to promote the cause of Christ, forming plans that appear to us most proper, but relying on the Lord to bring them to pass if he sees good.

Verses 24-28 Apollos taught in the gospel of Christ, as far as John's ministry would carry him, and no further. We cannot but think he had heard of Christ's death and resurrection, but he was not informed as to the mystery of them. Though he had not the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, as the apostles, he made use of the gifts he had. The dispensation of the Spirit, whatever the measure of it may be, is given to every man to profit withal. He was a lively, affectionate preacher; fervent in spirit. He was full of zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of precious souls. Here was a complete man of God, thoroughly furnished for his work. Aquila and Priscilla encouraged his ministry, by attendance upon it. They did not despise Apollos themselves, or undervalue him to others; but considered the disadvantages he had laboured under. And having themselves got knowledge in the truths of the gospel by their long intercourse with Paul, they told what they knew to him. Young scholars may gain a great deal by converse with old Christians. Those who do believe through grace, yet still need help. As long as they are in this world, there are remainders of unbelief, and something lacking in their faith to be perfected, and the work of faith to be fulfilled. If the Jews were convinced that Jesus is Christ, even their own law would teach them to hear him. The business of ministers is to preach Christ. Not only to preach the truth, but to prove and defend it, with meekness, yet with power.

Cross References 63

  • 1. Acts 17:15
  • 2. Acts 18:8; Acts 19:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1, 23; 2 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Timothy 4:20
  • 3. Acts 18:18, 26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19
  • 4. Acts 2:9
  • 5. Acts 27:1, 6; Hebrews 13:24
  • 6. Acts 18:18, 26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19
  • 7. Acts 11:28
  • 8. Acts 20:34; 1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 9:14; 2 Corinthians 11:7; 2 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:8
  • 9. Acts 9:20; Acts 18:19
  • 10. Acts 13:14
  • 11. Acts 14:1
  • 12. Acts 15:22; Acts 16:1; Acts 17:14
  • 13. Acts 17:15
  • 14. Acts 16:9
  • 15. Luke 16:28; Acts 20:21
  • 16. Acts 17:3; Acts 18:28
  • 17. Nehemiah 5:13; Acts 13:51
  • 18. 2 Samuel 1:16; 1 Kings 2:33; Ezekiel 18:13; Ezekiel 33:4, 6, 8; Matthew 27:25; Acts 20:26
  • 19. Acts 13:46
  • 20. Acts 13:43; Acts 16:14
  • 21. 1 Corinthians 1:14
  • 22. Mark 5:22
  • 23. Acts 11:14
  • 24. Acts 18:1; Acts 19:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1, 23; 2 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Timothy 4:20
  • 25. Acts 9:10
  • 26. Acts 13:7
  • 27. Acts 18:27; 2 Corinthians 9:21">12 Corinthians 9:21; Romans 15:26; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 11:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:7
  • 28. 1 Thessalonians 2:14f
  • 29. Matthew 27:19
  • 30. John 19:7; Acts 18:15
  • 31. Matthew 5:2
  • 32. Acts 23:29; Acts 25:19
  • 33. Matthew 27:19
  • 34. 1 Corinthians 1:1
  • 35. Acts 18:8
  • 36. Matthew 27:19
  • 37. Mark 6:46
  • 38. Acts 1:15; Acts 18:27
  • 39. Matthew 4:24
  • 40. Acts 18:2, 26
  • 41. Acts 18:2, 26
  • 42. Romans 16:1
  • 43. Num 6:2, 5, 9, 18; Acts 21:24
  • 44. Acts 18:21, 24; Acts 19:1, 17, 26, 28, 34; Acts 20:16; Acts 21:29; 1 Corinthians 15:32; 1 Corinthians 16:8; Ephesians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 4:12; Revelation 1:11; Revelation 2:1
  • 45. Acts 18:4
  • 46. Mark 6:46
  • 47. Romans 1:10; Romans 15:32; 1 Corinthians 4:19; 1 Corinthians 16:7; Hebrews 6:3; James 4:15; 1 Peter 3:17
  • 48. Acts 18:19, 24; Acts 19:1, 17, 26, 28, 34; Acts 20:16; Acts 21:29; 1 Corinthians 15:32; 1 Corinthians 16:8; Ephesians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 4:12; Revelation 1:11; Revelation 2:1
  • 49. Acts 8:40
  • 50. Acts 11:19
  • 51. Acts 16:6
  • 52. Acts 19:1; 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:5, 6, 22; 1 Corinthians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 16:12; Titus 3:13
  • 53. Acts 6:9
  • 54. Acts 18:19
  • 55. Acts 9:2; Acts 18:26
  • 56. Luke 7:29; Acts 19:3
  • 57. Acts 18:2, 18
  • 58. Acts 18:25
  • 59. Acts 18:12; Acts 19:1
  • 60. Acts 18:18
  • 61. Acts 11:26
  • 62. Acts 8:35
  • 63. Acts 18:5

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. I.e. Messiah
  • [b]. One early ms reads "Titus;" two other early mss omit the name
  • [c]. Lit "having his hair cut"
  • [d]. Or "a learned man"
  • [e]. Lit "this man"
  • [f]. Or "helped greatly through grace those who had believed"
  • [g]. I.e. Messiah

Acts 18 Commentaries

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