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Acts of the Apostles
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Acts Chapter 18
CONTINUING PAUL'S SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY
I Posted a a shockwave flash Map Animation with an overlay of today's map, the map of the Jewish diaspora 100 AD, and Paul's Journeys to show how completely he covered the Jewish region north with the gospel.
In this chapter we are introduced to some key figures in early Christianity and they are mentioned later in Paul's epistles. Aquila and his wife Priscilla (Rom 16:3, 1Cor 16:19, 2Tim 4:19), Titus Justus (2 Cor , Gal 2:1-3, 2Tim 4:10 and the epistle to Titus), Apollos from Alexandria (1Cor 3,4 and 16, Titus 3:13)
1After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
2And 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.
3And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
According to Roman historian Seutonius, the Jews were expelled from Rome for tumults regarding their leader Chrestus. Being that it was decree from the emperor and not from the Senate it was only good for the life of the emperor or until Claudius died in 54 AD. After that Rome again abounded in Jews. I figured the council in Jerusalem was between 50 and 53 AD which would be a short time before Paul's ministry here at Corinth and coincide with the expulsion of the Jews from Rome, Claudius's death, and the return of the Jews.
They were working as tent makers. Some commentaries tried to push the idea that these were ceremonial head-dresses and not regular tents. I strongly disagree and Luke would have made it clear as his writing style as a physician is quite pointed. I also cannot see Paul supporting the Jewish religion in that way.
4And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
5And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
6And 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.
Verse 6 " when they opposed themselves", does not make any sense. Even in the newer translations do not rightly translate the Greek word; antitassomai = αντιτασσομαι
If we break it down into its parts:
anti = opposite, oppose, against
tasso = to appoint, to ordain, mutually agree, to appoint responsibility or authority
mai = own, be, one's own
I tried putting this together several ways to make sense of it. Let us reason this out.
"When they opposed their own responsibility and blasphemed"
"When they were together in mutual agreement against Paul and blasphemed"
Ok let us look at the next words because they have to add a context and define this word. "Your blood be on your own heads." So they opposed, not Paul, but something that would condemn them to death.
"When they mutually were against the message and blasphemed"
"When they themselves mutually rejected or opposed the message and blasphemed"
I like this next one best, because then could you say, "Your blood be on your own heads."
"When they mutually opposed the message of Jesus is Christ 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.
14And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
15Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
By shaking the dust off your feet or shaking the raiment, you are absolving yourself of their judgment as a witness against them and symbolizes the shaking off the filth of their pollution, equal to that of heathens. Paul also shows he is no more required to preach the gospel to the Jews here in Corinth and goes now only to the Gentiles.
7And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus (who is Titus), one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
8And 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.
Baptism should not be over emphasized here for in 1Cor 1:14-17 Paul speaks of this event.
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
9Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
10For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
11And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
12And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,
13Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.
14And 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:
15But 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.
16And he drave them from the judgment seat.
17Then 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.
The Jews stirred up trouble against Paul, but the Lord Jesus's word in the vision was faithful and true and protected Paul from harm.
18And 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.
19And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
20When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;
21But 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.
22And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.
PAUL BEGINS HIS THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY
23And 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.
24And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
25This 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.
Apollos - eloquent, a Jew, mighty in the scriptures. New Testament scriptures? NO! Old Testament! The new is not written yet. Born in Alexandria, Egypt. Knew the Lord Jesus and only the baptism of John. Traveling Evangelist.
26And 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.
27And 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:
28For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
Now you have to assume Aquila and Priscilla spent many an hour tent making and talking of the scriptures and the knowledge which God had revealed to Paul. They didn't just sit around cutting and stitching material in silence, how absurd! Priscilla and Aquila also traveled with Paul and listened to him preach and teach the Jews in the synagogues and then in the house of Titus for a year and a half at least in Corinth and however long in Ephesus. They were very knowledgeable in scripture and the gospel of Jesus Christ! They expounded "the way of God more perfectly" to Apollos. Now Christendom had another powerful preacher / evangelist in Apollos who traveled and "mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ"!
And so we have this truth, that through faith in Jesus Christ, who is resurrected from the dead and ascended into to heaven at the right hand of God and sent His own spirit, as a seal for a promise, the all we who believe will also be raised from the dead and have everlasting life!