Acts 18:27 MEANING

Acts 18:27
(27) And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia.--In the absence of the name of any city in the province, Corinth naturally suggests itself as the place to which he went. Acts 19:1, and the mention of Apollos in 1 Corinthians 1:12, turns this into a certainty. He felt, we may believe, that his training in the philosophical thought of Alexandria qualified him to carry on there the work which St. Paul had begun both there and at Athens. One who had written, or even read, the noble utterances of Wisdom 1, 2, was well qualified to carry an aggressive warfare into the camp of the Epicureans, while thoughts like those of Wisdom 7, 8, especially Wisdom Of Solomon 8:7, with its recognition of the four cardinal virtues of Greek ethics, "temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude," would attract the sympathy of the nobler followers of Zeno.

The brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him.--This is the first instance of what were afterwards known technically as "letters of commendation" (see Note on 2 Corinthians 3:1), written by one church to another in favour of the bearer. The fact that they were given by the Christian community at Ephesus shows now favourable an impression Apollos had made there. It is probable that St. Paul alludes indirectly to these letters in the passage just referred to. The partisans of Apollos had referred to them as one of the points in which he excelled St. Paul. He had come with letters of commendation. He had received them when he left Corinth. The Apostle answers the disparaging taunt in the language of a noble indignation. He needed no such epistle. The church which he had planted was itself an epistle, "known and read of all men" (2 Corinthians 3:3).

Helped them much which had believed through grace.--The two last words admit, in the Greek as in the English, of being taken either with "helped" or "believed." The former construction seems preferable. It was through the grace of God, co-operating with the gift of wisdom, that Apollos was able to lead men to a higher stage of thought. It will be noted that this exactly corresponds with the account which St. Paul gives of his relation to the teacher whom some set up against him as a rival: "I have planted; Apollos watered," "I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon" (1 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 3:10).

Verse 27. - Minded for disposed, A.V.; pass over for pass, A.V.; encouraged him, and wrote to for wrote exhorting, A.V.; and... he helped for who... helped, A.V. To pass over into Achaia. Nothing can be more natural than the course of events here described. In his intimate intercourse with Priscilla and Aquila, Apollos had necessarily heard much of the great work at Corinth, and the flourishing Church there; and so he longed to see for himself and to exercise his powers in watering what St. Paul had so well planted (1 Corinthians 3:6). Priscilla and Aquila having heard his eloquent sermons at Ephesus, and being interested in the Corinthian Church, seem to have encouraged him, and to have joined with the other disciples at Ephesus in giving him commendatory letters to the Church of Corinth. Encouraged him; προτρεψάμενοι, a word found nowhere else in the New Testament, but used in classical Greek and in the Apocrypha, in the sense of "exhorting," "urging." Προτρεπτικοὶ λόγοι are hortatory words. In medical writers a "stimulant" is προτρεπτικόν. There is a difference of opinion among commentators whether the exhortation was addressed to Apollos, as the R.V. takes it, or to the brethren at Corinth, as the A.V. understands it. It seems rather more consonant to the structure of the sentence and to the probability of the case that the exhortation was addressed to the Corinthian Church, and not to Apollos, who needed no such encouragement, Προτρεψάμενοι ἔγραψαν is equivalent to "wrote and exhorted."

18:24-28 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.And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, &c. The chief city of which was Corinth, and whither Apollos went, as appears from Acts 19:1. What disposed him to go thither, after he had received a greater degree of light and knowledge, was no doubt that he might communicate it, to the good of others, to which he was moved by the Holy Ghost, who had work for him to do there: according to Beza's most ancient copy, there were Corinthians sojourning in Ephesus, who when they had heard him (Apollos), besought him that he would go with them into their country; to which he agreeing, the Ephesians wrote to the disciples at Corinth to receive him, as follows:

the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; that is, the brethren at Ephesus, among whom Aquila was a principal one, wrote letters of recommendation to the brethren of the churches in Achaia, particularly at Corinth, not only that they would receive him into their houses, and hospitably entertain him as a Christian man, but admit him, and behave towards him as a preacher of the Gospel:

who when he was come; into Achaia, and to Corinth:

helped them much which had believed through grace; the phrase "through grace", is omitted in the Vulgate Latin version, but is in all the Greek copies, and may be connected either with the word "helped"; as the Syriac version, "he helped through grace"; and then the sense is, that Apollos, through the gifts of grace bestowed on him, or by the assistance of the grace of God, or both, greatly helped and contributed much to the advantage of the believers in those parts; as to the encouragement of their faith, and the increase of the joy of it; for the quickening, and comforting, and establishing them in the truths and doctrines of the Gospel, by his affectionate, fervent, and nervous way of preaching: or it may be connected with the word "believed", as it is in the Arabic version and in ours; and the meaning is, that he greatly assisted such who were already believers; and who became so, not of themselves, but through the grace of God; for faith is not of nature, nor the produce of man's free will, but is the gift of God's grace; it is a fruit of electing grace, an instance of distinguishing grace, it is owing to efficacious grace, and comes along with effectual calling grace, through the word preached, the means of grace; and is supported and maintained by the grace of God; the Ethiopic version renders it, "he preached much to them, who believed in the grace of God"; that is, in the Gospel, the doctrine of the grace of God, which they had received and professed; or in the love and favour of God, they were rooted and grounded in, and persuaded of.

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