King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Acts 18

Paul at Corinth, with Aquila and Priscilla. (1-6) He continues to preach at Corinth. (7-11) Paul before Gallio. (12-17) He visits Jerusalem. (18-23) Apollos teaches at Ephesus and in Achaia. (24-28)

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Paul at Corinth, with Aquila and Priscilla

1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;

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.

3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

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.

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.

He continues to preach at Corinth

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.

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.

9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:

10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.

11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Paul before Gallio

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,

13 Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.

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:

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.

16 And he drave them from the judgment seat.

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.

He visits Jerusalem

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.

19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.

20 When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;

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.

22 And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.

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.

Apollos teaches at Ephesus and in Achaia

24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

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.

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.

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:

28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 3. Critics are divided in their opinions about the nature of S. Paul’s employment: but it is generally supposed to be making tents of skins, such as were formerly used by travellers and soldiers. Tirinus. — Hence the expression, esse sub pellibus. The apostle submitted to this labour, that he might be no burden to those to whom he preached the gospel. S. Aug. tract. in Joan. — The Jews, with their characteristic good sense, in matters of this kind, made it the first duty of parents, to teach their children some trade, by which they might gain their livelihood. To neglect this was supposed to be equivalent to teaching them to steal. Hence their learned men were likewise practitioners in some laborious trade. They were ignorant of the distinction between low, and honourable professions, which refinement and vanity have introduced among us. Every employment was honourable, which was conducive to the good of their neighbour, and compatible with virtue and modesty; and the more so, in proportion as the wants of mankind made it more necessary. See Fleury’s Manners of the Israelites. Passim.

Ver. 4. Introducing the name of the Lord Jesus. These words are found in few Greek copies, and so are omitted in the Protestant translation. Wi.

Ver. 5. No further mention is made of Silas in these Acts. Some martyrologists think he died in Macedonia by martyrdom. He is honoured in the Church as a saint, and sometimes, as well as S. Barnabas, obtains the title of apostle. Calmet. See annotations, c. xvi. v. 37.

Ver. 6. Shaking his garments. See Matt. x. 14. Your blood be upon your own heads: that is, you are guilty of your own perdition: we have discharged our duty by preaching to you. Wi.

Ver. 12. This Gallio was brother to the great Seneca, Nero’s preceptor, as that author himself assures us. Præf. lib. v. Quæs. Natur. He was called Annæus Novatus, but took the name of Gallio by adoption, and was made proconsul by his brother’s interest, whose honours and disgraces he equally participated. Being condemned to death by Nero, he laid violent hands upon himself. It is probable S. Paul became acquainted with Seneca. S. Jerom and S. Augustin say, many letters passed between them, which are not now extant. Tirinus. See also Eusebius. An. Christi 66.

Ver 17. Beat him. It is uncertain whether the Jews themselves beat Sosthenes, being vexed at him, for not managing well the cause; or whether he was struck by the attendants of the proconsul, to force him away, when he would not desist, nor retire. See the Analysis, dissert. xxxv. Wi.

Ver. 18. Shorn, &c. It was customary among the Jews to make vows of abstaining from all inebriating liquor, not to cut their hair for a limited time, &c. This was the vow of the Nazarites, mentioned Num. vi. 18. Acts xxii. 24. S. Paul had probably taken upon himself some obligation of this kind; perhaps in condescension to the Jews, who were yet weak in faith. The time being now expired, he cut his hair as before. It was lawful for converts to observe these legal ceremonies, till the gospel was perfectly established, provided they did not place their hopes of salvation in them, or believe that the faith and grace of Christ were ineffectual without them. D. Carthus. — For he had a vow, that is, Paul, not Aquila. This seems to have been such a vow, as those called Nazarenes, used to make, of abstaining from wine for a time, of not cutting their hair, and of making some offerings in the temple at Jerusalem. Wi.

Ver. 22. He went up. To Jerusalem is most probably understood, that being the chief object of S. Paul’s journey. It seems rather extraordinary that S. Luke should have omitted the express mention of the city. But having told us his object was to be at Jerusalem, he perhaps thought it was enough to say, he went up. Calmet. — In Palestine, the expression, to go up, was sometimes taken for going up to Jerusalem. John vii. 8. 10. xii. 20. Acts xxiv. 11. And reciprocally in c. xxiv. 1. to go down, is taken for going down from Jerusalem to Cæsarea. V. — Ibid. In the Scripture, when Antioch and Cæsarea are simply mentioned, Antioch, in Syria, and Cæsarea, in Palestine, are uniformly designated. — To Cæsarea, not in Cappadocia, but in Palestine, from whence he went up to Jerusalem, and then down to Antioch, in Syria. Wi.

Ver. 24. Apollo . . . one mighty in the Scriptures. Lit. powerful in the Scriptures, yet knew no baptism, but that of John. Wi. — When we consider the great harvest, and few labourers, and the small time that the apostles could give to any one place for instructions, we shall not be so much surprised, that this zealous convert should not yet be perfectly instructed in every doctrine of Christianity. This happened about twenty years after our Lord’s ascension. He is the same person as is mentioned 1 Cor. iii. 7. A.