Acts 18: Spreading the Message

What might have prompted Paul to leave for Corinth?

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Acts 18:1 Next, Paul left Athens for Corinth.
King James
Acts 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth.

How would you describe the circumstances when Paul met Aquila and Priscilla?

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Acts 18:1 Next, Paul left Athens for Corinth,
18:2 where he met Aquila, born in Pontus and a recent Jewish immigrant from Rome, and his wife, Priscilla. They had left Italy when Claudius Caesar ordered all Jews to leave.
18:3 Paul stayed and worked with them because they also were tentmakers.
King James
Acts 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
18:2 And 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.
18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

What do you think Paul did to earn the confidence of both Jews and non-Jews?

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Acts 18:4 Every Sabbath, Paul went to the synagogue, where he earned the confidence of both Jews and foreigners.
King James
Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

When do you think Silas and Timothy joined Paul?

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Acts 18:5 After Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, the Holy Spirit urged Paul to forcefully declare that Jesus was the Anointed Messiah.
King James
Acts 18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

While in Berea, Timothy and Silas knew to meet Paul in Athens. How would they find out where to meet him in Corinth?

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Acts 17:15 Men escorted Paul as far as Athens, then returned home with instructions to tell Silas and Timothy to meet him there as soon as possible.
18:5 After Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, the Holy Spirit urged Paul to forcefully declare that Jesus was the Anointed Messiah.
King James
Acts 17:15 And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.
18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

Why might the presence of Timothy and Silas have been a factor when the Holy Spirit urged Paul to speak more forcefully)?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 18:5 After Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, the Holy Spirit urged Paul to forcefully declare that Jesus was the Anointed Messiah.
King James
Acts 18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

What would have turned the hearts of Jews against Paul after he had already earned their respect?

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Acts 18:4 Every Sabbath, Paul went to the synagogue, where he earned the confidence of both Jews and foreigners.
18:6 When the Jews refused to listen and spoke abusively against Paul and the revelation of God in Christ, he shook his robe at them and said, “Your choice for death is your problem, not mine. I’m blameless because you’ve heard the truth. From now on, I will go to the foreigners.”
King James
Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
18:6 And 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.

Why do you think Paul reacted so strongly against the Jews?

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Acts 18:6 When the Jews refused to listen and spoke abusively against Paul and the revelation of God in Christ, he shook his robe at them and said, “Your choice for death is your problem, not mine. I’m blameless because you’ve heard the truth. From now on, I will go to the foreigners.”
King James
Acts 18:6 And 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.

How might the Jews have felt when Paul left for the house of a non-Jew next door?

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Acts 18:7 So he walked out and entered the house of Justus, a follower of Christ, who lived next door.
King James
Acts 18:7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.

How would unbelieving Jews have been affected by the chief ruler of the synagogue becoming a follower of Jesus?

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Acts 18:8 Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue and many of the Corinthians heeded Paul’s message, became followers of Jesus, and were baptized.
King James
Acts 18:8 And 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.

Why might we think the new followers of Jesus were baptized with the Holy Spirit?

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Acts 2:38 “Repent,” Peter said, “and be baptized. By the authority of Jesus Christ, your sins will be forgiven and you will receive this gift of the Holy Spirit.
18:8 Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue and many of the Corinthians heeded Paul’s message, became followers of Jesus, and were baptized.
King James
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
18:8 And 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.

How would you describe the change that God wanted in Paul’s speaking to the people in Corinth?

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Acts 18:9 One night, God spoke to Paul in a vision, saying, “Don’t be afraid to speak boldly concerning me. Now is not the time to be silent,
18:10 because I am with you, protecting you from harm. Many people in this city will belong to me.”
King James
Acts 18:9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
18:10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.

What might have hindered Paul in his not speaking more boldly?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 18:9 One night, God spoke to Paul in a vision, saying, “Don’t be afraid to speak boldly concerning me. Now is not the time to be silent,
18:10 because I am with you, protecting you from harm. Many people in this city will belong to me.”
King James
Acts 18:9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
18:10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.

Why might Paul have returned to the synagogue, even though he had once been rejected there?

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Acts 18:6 When the Jews refused to listen and spoke abusively against Paul and the revelation of God in Christ, he shook his robe at them and said, “Your choice for death is your problem, not mine. I’m blameless because you’ve heard the truth. From now on, I will go to the foreigners.”
18:8 Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue and many of the Corinthians heeded Paul’s message, became followers of Jesus, and were baptized.
18:11 For eighteen months, Paul remained there, teaching God’s word.
King James
Acts 18:6 And 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.
18:8 And 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.
18:11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

What criminal activity did the unbelieving Jews say Paul was guilty of?

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Acts 18:12 When Gallio was governor of Achaia, the Jews came together against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat,
18:13 saying, “This man persuades people to worship God in ways that violate the Law.”
King James
Acts 18:12 And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,
18:13 saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.

Why did the judge refuse to hear the case against Paul? To what extent might the judge’s decision have been influenced by Paul’s popularity among non-Jews in Corinth?

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Acts 18:14 Before Paul could say anything, Gallio said to the Jews, “If this case involved some injury or serious crime, I would have reason to hear your arguments,
18:15 but if this issue concerns some word or authority in your customs, you must judge such matters. I will not.”
18:16 He dismissed them without hearing the case.
King James
Acts 18:14 And 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:
18:15 But 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.
18:16 And he drave them from the judgment seat.

Why do you think Sosthenes had replaced Crispus as chief ruler of the synagogue?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 18:8 Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue and many of the Corinthians heeded Paul’s message, became followers of Jesus, and were baptized.
18:17 While still before the judgment seat, the Greeks seized Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him. Yet Gallio didn’t care to intervene.
King James
Acts 18:8 And 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.
18:17 Then 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.

What could have happened to change Sosthenes’s role as chief prosecutor in the case to being Paul’s good friend and companion in ministry?

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Acts 18:17 While still before the judgment seat, the Greeks seized Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him. Yet Gallio didn’t care to intervene.
1 Corinthians 1:1 From Paul, called to be a messenger of the Lord Jesus Christ by the will of God, writing to you with the help of my friend Sosthenes.
King James
Acts 18:17 Then 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.
1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother.

Under Roman rule, officials had a responsibility to quell a public uprising of any sort. What would have motivated Gallio not to intervene?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 18:17 While still before the judgment seat, the Greeks seized Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him. Yet Gallio didn’t care to intervene.
King James
Acts 18:17 Then 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.

What kind of vow might Paul have made that would call for shaving his head?

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Acts 18:18 So Paul remained there for a long time, until finally he said goodbye to his fellow believers and left for Syria with Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchreae, he made a promise to God and shaved his head.
King James
Acts 18:18 And 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.

Why did Priscilla and Aquila accompany Paul when he left Corinth?

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Acts 18:19 At Ephesus, he left Priscilla and Aquila to their tent making and entered the synagogue to reason with the Jews,
18:20 who wanted him to stay longer. But Paul said, “No,
18:21 I must keep the feast in Jerusalem. I will return, God willing.” So he said goodbye and sailed from Ephesus.
King James
Acts 18:19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
18:20 When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;
18:21 But 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.

What would have motivated people in Ephesus to beg Paul to stay longer?

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Acts 18:19 At Ephesus, he left Priscilla and Aquila to their tent making and entered the synagogue to reason with the Jews,
18:20 who wanted him to stay longer. But Paul said, “No,
18:21 I must keep the feast in Jerusalem. I will return, God willing.” So he said goodbye and sailed from Ephesus.
King James
Acts 18:19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
18:20 When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;
18:21 But 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.

Why might Paul have been so eager to get to Jerusalem for this particular feast (18:18, 21)?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 18:18 So Paul remained there for a long time, until finally he said goodbye to his fellow believers and left for Syria with Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchreae, he made a promise to God and shaved his head.
18:21 I must keep the feast in Jerusalem. I will return, God willing.” So he said goodbye and sailed from Ephesus.
King James
Acts 18:18 And 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.
18:21 But 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.

How much time do you think Paul spent with believers at various towns on his way to Jerusalem?

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Acts 18:22 After landing at Caesarea, he greeted the church in Jerusalem, then left for Antioch,
18:23 where he spent time with believers before traveling through Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the followers of Christ.
King James
Acts 18:22 And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.
18:23 And 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.

Why might his Alexandria homeland affect Apollos’s speaking ability and knowledge of Scripture?

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Acts 18:24 Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos arrived at Ephesus. Born in Alexandria, he was an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well.
King James
Acts 18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

What circumstances do you think would have led to Apollos receiving knowledge of Jesus’ teaching and John’s baptism?

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Acts 18:25 He had been instructed in the ways of the Lord Jesus and passionately spoke concerning him, being a diligent teacher even though he knew only the baptism of John.
King James
Acts 18:25 This 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.

What might have been lacking in Apollos’s understanding of Jesus?

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Acts 18:26 After Priscilla and Aquila heard that he had been speaking boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the message of Jesus Christ more fully.
King James
Acts 18:26 And 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.

Do you think Priscilla and Aquila told Apollos where he was wrong or just explained the truth he had missed? Which approach is likely to be more effective? Why?

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Acts 18:26 After Priscilla and Aquila heard that he had been speaking boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the message of Jesus Christ more fully.
King James
Acts 18:26 And 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.

How did Apollos respond to the help that Priscilla and Aquila offered?

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Acts 18:27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, his brothers in the Lord wrote letters of recommendation to believers there. So he was graciously received and helped many who believed.
King James
Acts 18:27 And 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.

How do you think the message presented by Apollos compared with what Paul was saying?

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Acts 18:28 For he gave convincing arguments, publicly refuting Jewish prejudice, showing by Scripture that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
King James
Acts 18:28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.