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Acts 18:18-21

Context
Paul Returns to Antioch in Syria

18:18 Paul, after staying 1  many more days in Corinth, 2  said farewell to 3  the brothers and sailed away to Syria accompanied by 4  Priscilla and Aquila. 5  He 6  had his hair cut off 7  at Cenchrea 8  because he had made a vow. 9  18:19 When they reached Ephesus, 10  Paul 11  left Priscilla and Aquila 12  behind there, but he himself went 13  into the synagogue 14  and addressed 15  the Jews. 18:20 When they asked him to stay longer, he would not consent, 16  18:21 but said farewell to 17  them and added, 18  “I will come back 19  to you again if God wills.” 20  Then 21  he set sail from Ephesus,

1 tn The participle προσμείνας (prosmeina") is taken temporally.

2 map For location see JP1 C2; JP2 C2; JP3 C2; JP4 C2.

3 tn Or “Corinth, took leave of.” Grk “saying farewell to”; the participle ἀποταξάμενος (apotaxameno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

4 tn Grk “Syria, and with him.”

5 sn See the note on Aquila in 18:2.

6 tn Or “Aquila, who.” The relationship of the participle κειράμενος (keirameno") is difficult to determine. Traditionally it is taken to refer to Paul, meaning that Paul had his hair cut off because of the vow. However, due to the proximity of the noun ᾿Ακύλας (Akula") and the reversal of the normal order (Aquila and Priscilla, Acts 17:34), the participle is taken as adjectival referring to Aquila by H. Greeven, TDNT 2:777, n. 11. The later references to Paul in Jerusalem (Acts 21:23) do not resolve the problem, because the cutting of Paul’s own hair, while it may be implied, is not specifically mentioned in connection with the completion of the vows made by the other four.

7 tn The word “off” is supplied in the translation to indicate that this was not a normal haircut, but the shaving of the head connected with taking the vow (see Acts 21:24).

8 tn That is, “before he sailed from Cenchrea.”

sn Cenchrea was one of the seaports for the city of Corinth, on the eastern side of the Isthmus of Corinth, on the Aegean Sea. It was 7 mi (11 km) east of Corinth.

9 sn He had made a vow. It is debated whether this vow is a private vow of thanksgiving or the Nazirite vow, because it is not clear whether the Nazirite vow could be taken outside Jerusalem. Some have cited the Mishnah (m. Nazir 3:6, 5:4) to argue that the shaving of the hair can occur outside Jerusalem, and Josephus, J. W. 2.15.1 (2.313) is sometimes suggested as a parallel, but these references are not clear. H. Greeven, TDNT 2:777, is certain that this refers to the Nazirite vow. Regardless, it is clear that Paul reflected his pious dependence on God.

10 sn Ephesus was an influential city in Asia Minor. It was the location of the famous temple of Artemis. In 334 b.c. control of the city had passed to Alexander the Great, who contributed a large sum to the building of a new and more elaborate temple of Artemis, which became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and lasted until destroyed by the Goths in a.d. 263. This major port city would be reached from Corinth by ship. It was 250 mi (400 km) east of Corinth by sea.

map For location see JP1 D2; JP2 D2; JP3 D2; JP4 D2.

11 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Grk “left them”; the referents (Priscilla and Aquila) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

13 tn Grk “going”; the participle εἰσελθών (eiselqwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

14 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:9.

15 tn Although the word διελέξατο (dielexato; from διαλέγομαι, dialegomai) is frequently translated “reasoned,” “disputed,” or “argued,” this sense comes from its classical meaning where it was used of philosophical disputation, including the Socratic method of questions and answers. However, there does not seem to be contextual evidence for this kind of debate in Acts 18:19. As G. Schrenk (TDNT 2:94-95) points out, “What is at issue is the address which any qualified member of a synagogue might give.” Other examples of this may be found in the NT in Matt 4:23 and Mark 1:21.

16 sn He would not consent. Paul probably refused because he wanted to reach Jerusalem for the festival season before the seas became impassable during the winter.

17 tn Or “but took leave of.”

18 tn Grk “and saying”; the participle εἰπών (eipwn) has been translated as “added” rather than “said” to avoid redundancy with the previous “said farewell.” The participle εἰπών has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

19 tn Or “will return.”

20 tn The participle θέλοντος (qelontos), a genitive absolute construction, has been translated as a conditional adverbial participle. Again Paul acts in dependence on God.

21 tn A new sentence was begun here in the translation due to the length of the sentence in Greek and the requirements of contemporary English style, which generally uses shorter sentences.



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