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Acts 18:24-28

Apollos Begins His Ministry

18:24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, arrived in Ephesus. 1  He was an eloquent speaker, 2  well-versed 3  in the scriptures. 18:25 He had been instructed in 4  the way of the Lord, and with great enthusiasm 5  he spoke and taught accurately the facts 6  about Jesus, although he knew 7  only the baptism of John. 18:26 He began to speak out fearlessly 8  in the synagogue, 9  but when Priscilla and Aquila 10  heard him, they took him aside 11  and explained the way of God to him more accurately. 18:27 When Apollos 12  wanted to cross over to Achaia, 13  the brothers encouraged 14  him 15  and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he 16  assisted greatly those who had believed by grace, 18:28 for he refuted the Jews vigorously 17  in public debate, 18  demonstrating from the scriptures that the Christ 19  was Jesus. 20 

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

2 tn Or “was a learned man.” In this verse λόγιος (logios) can refer to someone who was an attractive and convincing speaker, a rhetorician (L&N 33.32), or it can refer to the person who has acquired a large part of the intellectual heritage of a given culture (“learned” or “cultured,” L&N 27.20, see also BDAG 598 s.v. λόγιος which lists both meanings as possible here). The description of Apollos’ fervent speaking in the following verses, as well as implications from 1 Cor 1-4, where Paul apparently compares his style and speaking ability with that of Apollos, suggests that eloquent speaking ability or formal rhetorical skill are in view here. This clause has been moved from its order in the Greek text (Grk “a certain Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus, who was powerful in the scriptures”) and paired with the last element (“powerful in the scriptures”) due to the demands of clarity and contemporary English style.

3 tn Grk “powerful.” BDAG 264 s.v. δυνατός 1.b has “in the Scriptures = well-versed 18:24.”

4 tn Or “had been taught.”

5 tn Grk “and boiling in spirit” (an idiom for great eagerness or enthusiasm; BDAG 426 s.v. ζέω).

6 tn Grk “the things.”

7 tn Grk “knowing”; the participle ἐπιστάμενος (epistameno") has been translated as a concessive adverbial participle.

8 tn Or “boldly.” This is a frequent term in Acts (9:27-28; 13:46; 14:3; 19:8; 26:26).

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

10 sn Priscilla and Aquila. This key couple, of which Priscilla was an important enough figure to be mentioned by name, instructed Apollos about the most recent work of God. See also the note on Aquila in 18:2.

11 tn BDAG 883 s.v. προσλαμβάνω 3 has “take aside, mid. τινά someone…So prob. also Ac 18:26: Priscilla and Aquila take Apollos aside to teach him undisturbed.”

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

13 sn To cross over to Achaia. Achaia was organized by the Romans as a separate province in 27 b.c. and was located across the Aegean Sea from Ephesus. The city of Corinth was in Achaia.

14 tn Grk “encouraging [him], the brothers wrote.” The participle προτρεψάμενοι (protreyamenoi) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. This was the typical letter of commendation from the Ephesians to the Achaeans.

15 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

16 tn Grk “who, when he arrived.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“who”) was replaced with the pronoun “he” and a new sentence begun in the translation.

17 tn Or “vehemently.” BDAG 414 s.v. εὐτόνως has “vigorously, vehementlyεὐ. διακατελέγχεσθαί τινι refute someone vigorously Ac 18:28.”

18 tn L&N 33.442 translates the phrase τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις διακατηλέγχετο δημοσίᾳ (toi" Ioudaioi" diakathlenceto dhmosia) as “he defeated the Jews in public debate.” On this use of the term δημόσιος (dhmosio") see BDAG 223 s.v. 2.

19 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.” Again the issue is identifying the Christ as Jesus (see 5:42; 8:5; 9:22; 18:5).

sn See the note on Christ in 2:31.

20 tn Although many English translations have here “that Jesus was the Christ,” in the case of two accusatives following a copulative infinitive, the first would normally be the subject and the second the predicate nominative. Additionally, the first accusative here (τὸν χριστόν, ton criston) has the article, a further indication that it should be regarded as subject of the infinitive.

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