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, 18:22 and when he arrived 22 at Caesarea, 23 he went up and greeted 24 the church at Jerusalem 25 and then went down to Antioch. 26
1 tn The participle προσμείνας (prosmeina") is taken temporally.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
24 tn Grk “going up and greeting.” The participles ἀναβάς (anabas) and ἀσπασάμενος (aspasameno") are translated as finite verbs due to requirements of contemporary English style.
25 tn The words “at Jerusalem” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by the participle ἀναβάς (anabas). The expression “go up” refers almost exclusively to the direction of Jerusalem, while the corresponding “go down” (κατέβη, katebh) refers to directions away from Jerusalem. Both expressions are based on a Hebrew idiom. Assuming Jerusalem is meant, this is another indication of keeping that key church informed. If Jerusalem is not referred to here, then Caesarea is in view. Paul was trying to honor a vow, which also implies a visit to Jerusalem.
26 sn Went down to Antioch. The city of Antioch in Syria lies due north of Jerusalem. In Western languages it is common to speak of north as “up” and south as “down,” but the NT maintains the Hebrew idiom which speaks of any direction away from Jerusalem as down (since Mount Zion was thought of in terms of altitude). This marks the end of the second missionary journey which began in Acts 15:36. From Caesarea to Antioch is a journey of 280 mi (450 km).