Acts 19:9

9 When some stubbornly refused to believe and spoke evil of the Way before the congregation, he left them, taking the disciples with him, and argued daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

Acts 19:9 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 19:9

But when divers were hardened and believed not
For though some were affected with and convinced by the arguments the apostle used, others were but the more hardened and remained incredulous: for the Gospel, while it is the savour of life unto life to some, it is the savour of death unto death, to others; as the sun melts the wax, and hardens the clay:

but spake evil of the way before the multitude;
the Syriac version and Beza's ancient copy read, "before the multitude of the Gentiles": the unbelieving Jews not only contradicted the Gospel preached by the apostle, but blasphemed it, and said all the evil things of it they could, and loaded it with reproaches, and charged it with all the bad consequences they could think of; and that publicly, before all the people, in order to prejudice them against it; for by "the way", is meant the doctrine of the Gospel, which the Vulgate Latin here reads, "the way of the Lord"; and so some copies; and two of Stephens's copies read, "the way of God", as does also the Syriac version; and the Arabic version, "the way of faith"; and the Ethiopic version, "the doctrine"; the doctrine, which shows the way of God's salvation by Jesus Christ:

he departed from them;
the hardened, unbelieving, and blaspheming Jews, as being unworthy of the means of grace; he went out of their synagogue, and no more entered there: and separated the disciples; from them, the twelve disciples he had laid his hands on, and others who in this space of time, the space of three months, had been converted under his ministry; these he formed into a separate Gospel church state, as well as engaged them to quit the company and conversation of these blasphemers, and no more attend with them in their synagogue, that so they might not be infected and corrupted by them; a separation from such who contradict and blaspheme the truths and ordinances of the Gospel, is justifiable:

disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus:
which was either built by him, and so went by his name, or which one of this name possessed, and made use of; for it seems to be the proper name of a man, and so the Syriac version renders it, "whose name was Tyrannus"; though by others it is taken to be an appellative, and to design some great person, who patronised the apostle, and in whose house he taught; the word "tyrant", being formerly used for a king, a prince, or nobleman; and so the Arabic version renders it, "in the dwelling house of one of the great men"; the chief of Asia, that were his friends, ( Acts 19:31 ) and so the Ethiopic version, "and he taught daily before the court and the governors": some copies read "Tyrannius"; mention is made of a philosopher whose name was "Tyrannion", who was so called, because he vexed and disturbed those that were brought up in the same school with him F6; this man it seems was a schoolmaster; there was one of his name a bishop of Tyre, a martyr under Dioclesian; and another whose name was Tyrannus, bishop of Antioch F7; Beza's ancient copy, and one of Stephens's, add, "from the fifth hour to the tenth"; as if he spent five hours in public teaching every day, and rest in his trade and devotion.


F6 Hesychius de Philosophis, p. 64.
F7 Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 7. c. 32. & l. 8. c. 13.

Acts 19:9 In-Context

7 altogether there were about twelve of them.
8 He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God.
9 When some stubbornly refused to believe and spoke evil of the Way before the congregation, he left them, taking the disciples with him, and argued daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.
11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul,

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Other ancient authorities read [of a certain Tyrannus, from eleven o'clock in the morning to four in the afternoon]
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.