Acts 18:1
After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XVIII.

(1) And came to Corinth.—The journey may have been either by land along the Isthmus of Corinth, or by sea from the Piræus to Cenchreæ. The position of Corinth on the Isthmus, with a harbour on either shore, Cenchreæ on the east, Lechæum on the west, had naturally made it a place of commercial importance at a very early stage of Greek history. With commerce had come luxury and vice, and the verb Corinthiazein= to live as the Corinthians, had become proverbial, as early as the time of Aristophanes (Frag. 133), for a course of profligacy. The harlot priestesses of the Temple of Aphrodite gave a kind of consecration to the deep dyed impurity of Greek social life, of which we find traces in 1Corinthians 5:1; 1Corinthians 6:9-19. The Isthmian games, which were celebrated every fourth year, drew crowds of competitors and spectators from all parts of Greece, and obviously furnished the Apostle with the agonistic imagery of 1Corinthians 9:24-27. Less distinguished for higher culture than Athens, it was yet able (standing to Athens in much the same relation as Venice did to Florence from the 13th to the 16th century) to boast of its artists in stone and metal (Corinthian bronze was proverbial for its excellence), of its rhetoricians and philosophers. On its conquest by the Roman general Mummius (B.C. 146), many of its buildings had been destroyed, and its finest statues had been carried off to Rome; and it was a Roman jest that the general had bound the captains of the ships that carried them, to replace them in case of loss. A century later, Julius Cæsar determined to restore it to its former splendour, and thousands of freed-men were employed in the work of reconstruction. Such was the scene of the Apostle’s new labours, less promising, at first sight, than Athens, but, ultimately, far more fruitful in results.

(1) There can be no doubt that the “vow” was that of the temporary Nazarite, as described in Numbers 6:1-21. It implied a separation from the world and common life (this was the meaning of the word “Nazarite”), and while under the vow the man who had taken it was to drink no wine or strong drink, and to let no razor pass over his head or face. When the term was completed, he was to shave his head at the door of the Tabernacle, and burn the hair in the fire of the altar. It will be noted that the Nazarites in Acts 21:24, who are completing their vow, shave their heads. Here a different word (“shorn”) is used, which is contrasted with “shaving” in 1Corinthians 11:6. It was lawful for a man to have his hair cut or cropped during the continuance of the vow, and this apparently was what St. Paul now did. But in this case also the hair so cut off was to be taken to the Temple and burnt there, and this explains the Apostle’s eagerness “by all means” (Acts 18:21) to keep the coming feast at Jerusalem.

Acts

PAUL AT CORINTH

Acts 18:1 - Acts 18:11
.

Solitude is a hard trial for sensitive natures, and tends to weaken their power of work. Paul was entirely alone in Athens, and appears to have cut his stay there short, since his two companions, who were to have joined him in that city, did not do so till after he had been some time in Corinth. His long stay there has several well-marked stages, which yield valuable lessons.

I. First, we note the solitary Apostle, seeking friends, toiling for bread, and withal preaching Christ.

Corinth was a centre of commerce, of wealth, and of moral corruption. The celebrated local worship of Aphrodite fed the corruption as well as the wealth. The Apostle met there with a new phase of Greek life, no less formidable in antagonism to the Gospel than the culture of Athens. He tells us that he entered on his work in Corinth ‘in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling,’ but also that he did not try to attract by adaptation of his words to the prevailing tastes either of Greek or Jew, but preached ‘Jesus Christ, and Him crucified,’ knowing that, while that appeared to go right in the teeth of the demands of both, it really met their wants. This ministry was begun, in his usual fashion, very unobtrusively and quietly. His first care was to find a home; his second, to provide his daily bread; and then he was free to take the Sabbath for Christian work in the synagogue.

We cannot tell whether he had had any previous acquaintance with Aquila and his wife, nor indeed is it certain that they had previously been Christians. Paul’s reason for living with them was simply the convenience of getting work at his trade, and it seems probable that, if they had been disciples, that fact would have been named as part of his reason. Pontus lay to the north of Cilicia, and though widely separated from it, was near enough to make a kind of bond as of fellow-countrymen, which would be the stronger because they had the same craft at their finger-ends.

It was the wholesome practice for every Rabbi to learn some trade. If all graduates had to do the same now there would be fewer educated idlers, who are dangerous to society and burdens to themselves and their friends. What a curl of contempt would have lifted the lips of the rich men of Corinth if they had been told that the greatest man in their city was that little Jew tent-maker, and that in this unostentatious fashion he had begun to preach truths which would be like a charge of dynamite to all their social and religious order! True zeal can be patiently silent.

Sewing rough goat’s-hair cloth into tents may be as truly serving Christ as preaching His name. All manner of work that contributes to the same end is the same in worth and in recompense. Perhaps the wholesomest form of Christian ministry is that after the Apostolic pattern, when the teacher can say, as Paul did to the people of Corinth, ‘When I was present with you and was in want, I was not a burden on any man.’ If not in letter, at any rate in spirit, his example must be followed. If the preacher would win souls he must be free from any taint of suspicion as to money.

II. The second stage in Paul’s Corinthian residence is the increased activity when his friends, Silas and Timothy, came from Beroea.

We learn from Php 4:15, and 2 Corinthians 11:9, that they brought gifts from the Church at Philippi; and from 1 Thessalonians 3:6, that they brought something still more gladdening namely, good accounts of the steadfastness of the Thessalonian converts. The money would make it less necessary to spend most of the week in manual labour; the glad tidings of the Thessalonians’ ‘faith and love’ did bring fresh life, and the presence of his helpers would cheer him. So a period of enlarged activity followed their coming.

The reading of Acts 18:5, ‘Paul was constrained by the word,’ brings out strikingly the Christian impulse which makes speech of the Gospel a necessity. The force of that impulse may vary, as it did with Paul; but if we have any deep possession of the grace of God for ourselves, we shall, like him, feel it pressing us for utterance, as soon as the need of providing daily bread becomes less stringent and our hearts are gladdened by Christian communion. It augurs ill for a man’s hold of the word if the word does not hold him. He who never felt that he was weary of forbearing, and that the word was like a fire, if it was ‘shut up in his bones,’ has need to ask himself if he has any belief in the Gospel. The craving to impart ever accompanies real possession.

The Apostle’s solemn symbolism, announcing his cessation of efforts among the Jews, has of course reference only to Corinth, for we find him in his subsequent ministry adhering to his method, ‘to the Jew first.’ It is a great part of Christian wisdom in evangelical work to recognise the right time to give up efforts which have been fruitless. Much strength is wasted, and many hearts depressed, by obstinate continuance in such methods or on such fields as have cost much effort and yielded no fruit. We often call it faith, when it is only pride, which prevents the acknowledgment of failure. Better to learn the lessons taught by Providence, and to try a new ‘claim,’ than to keep on digging and washing when we only find sand and mud. God teaches us by failures as well as by successes. Let us not be too conceited to learn the lesson or to confess defeat, and shift our ground accordingly.

It is a solemn thing to say ‘I am clean.’ We need to have been very diligent, very loving, very prayerful to God, and very persuasive in pleading with men, before we dare to roll all the blame of their condemnation on themselves. But we have no right to say, ‘Henceforth I go to’ others, until we can say that we have done all that man-or, at any rate, that we-can do to avert the doom.

Paul did not go so far away but that any whose hearts God had touched could easily find him. It was with a lingering eye to his countrymen that he took up his abode in the house of ‘one that feared God,’ that is, a proselyte; and that he settled down next door to the synagogue. What a glimpse of yearning love which cannot bear to give Israel up as hopeless, that simple detail gives us! And may we not say that the yearning of the servant is caught from the example of the Master? ‘How shall I give thee up, Ephraim?’ Does not Christ, in His long-suffering love, linger in like manner round each closed heart? and if He withdraws a little way, does He not do so rather to stimulate search after Him, and tarry near enough to be found by every seeking heart?

Paul’s purpose in his solemn warning to the Jews of Corinth was partly accomplished. The ruler of the synagogue ‘believed in the Lord with all his house.’ Thus men are sometimes brought to decision for Christ by the apparently impending possibility of His Gospel leaving them to themselves. ‘Blessings brighten as they take their flight.’ Severity sometimes effects what forbearance fails to achieve. If the train is on the point of starting, the hesitating passenger will swiftly make up his mind and rush for a seat. It is permissible to press for immediate decision on the ground that the time is short, and that soon these things ‘will be hid from the eyes.’

We learn from 1 Corinthians 1:14, that Paul deviated from his usual practice, and himself baptized Crispus. We may be very sure that his doing so arose from no unworthy subserviency to an important convert, but indicated how deeply grateful he was to the Lord for giving him, as a seal to a ministry which had seemed barren, so encouraging a token. The opposition and blasphemy of many are outweighed, to a true evangelist, by the conversion of one; and while all souls are in one aspect equally valuable, they are unequal in the influence which they may exert on others. So it was with Crispus, for ‘many of the Corinthians hearing’ of such a signal fact as the conversion of the chief of the synagogue, likewise ‘believed.’ We may distinguish in our estimate of the value of converts, without being untrue to the great principle that all men are equally precious in Christ’s eyes.

III. The next stage is the vision to Paul and his consequent protracted residence in Corinth.

God does not waste visions, nor bid men put away fears which are not haunting them. This vision enables us to conceive Paul’s state of mind when it came to him. He was for some reason cast down. He had not been so when things looked much more hopeless. But though now he had his friends and many converts, some mood of sadness crept over him. Men like him are often swayed by impulses rising within, and quite apart from outward circumstances. Possibly he had reason to apprehend that his very success had sharpened hostility, and to anticipate danger to life. The contents of the vision make this not improbable.

But the mere calming of fear, worthy object as it is, is by no means the main part of the message of the vision. ‘Speak, and hold not thy peace,’ is its central word. Fear which makes a Christian dumb is always cowardly, and always exaggerated. Speech which comes from trembling lips may be very powerful, and there is no better remedy for terror than work for Christ. If we screw ourselves up to do what we fear to do, the dread vanishes, as a bather recovers himself as soon as his head has once been under water.

Why was Paul not to be afraid? It is easy to say, ‘Fear not,’ but unless the exhortation is accompanied with some good reason shown, it is wasted breath. Paul got a truth put into his heart which ends all fear-’For I am with thee.’ Surely that is enough to exorcise all demons of cowardice or despondency, and it is the assurance that all Christ’s servants may lay up in their hearts, for use at all moments and in all moods. His presence, in no metaphor, but in deepest inmost reality, is theirs, and whether their fears come from without or within, His presence is more than enough to make them brave and strong.

Paul needed a vision, for Paul had never seen Christ ‘after the flesh,’ nor heard His parting promise. We do not need it, for we have the unalterable word, which He left with all His disciples when He ascended, and which remains true to the ends of the world and till the world ends.

The consequence of Christ’s presence is not exemption from attacks, but preservation in them. Men may ‘set on’ Paul, but they cannot ‘hurt’ him. The promise was literally fulfilled when the would-be accusers were contemptuously sent away by Gallio, the embodiment of Roman even-handedness and despising of the deepest things. It is fulfilled no less truly to-day; for no hurt can come to us if Christ is with us, and whatever does come is not hurt.

‘I have much people in this city.’ Jesus saw what Paul did not, the souls yet to be won for Him. That loving Eye gladly beholds His own sheep, though they may be yet in danger of the wolves, and far from the Shepherd. ‘Them also He must bring’; and His servants are wise if, in all their labours, they cherish the courage that comes from the consciousness of His presence, and the unquenchable hope, which sees in the most degraded and alienated those whom the Good Shepherd will yet find in the wilderness and bear back to the fold. Such a hope will quicken them for all service, and such a vision will embolden them in all peril.Acts 18:1. And after these things Paul departed, &c. — After having so unsuccessfully preached to the philosophers and others in Athens, the apostle judged it needless any longer to attempt the conversion of men so frivolous, easy, indolent, and wise in their own eyes. He therefore left them as incorrigible, and proceeded forward to Corinth, now become more considerable for the number, learning, and wealth of its inhabitants, than even Athens itself. Corinth was situated on an isthmus, or narrow neck of land, which joined Peloponnesus to Greece. On the east side of the isthmus were the ports of Cenchrea and Schænus, which received the merchandise of Asia, by the Saronic gulf; and on the west side, the port of Lechæum received the merchandise of Italy, Gaul, and Spain, by the Crissæan gulf. Corinth, being thus conveniently situated for commerce, soon became extremely rich and populous; and being seated on the isthmus which joined Peloponnesus to Greece, it commanded both countries. In the course of the Achæan war, the Roman consul, Mummius, burned it to the ground; but Julius Cesar rebuilt it after it had long lain in ashes. When Achaia was made a Roman province, Corinth, becoming the seat of government, soon regained its ancient celebrity, in respect of commerce and riches, but especially in respect of the number and quality of its inhabitants. For, at the time the apostle arrived, it was full of learned men, some of whom taught philosophy, rhetoric, poetry, and painting; others studied these sciences and arts; insomuch that there was no city in Greece where philosophy, and the fine arts, and learning were carried to greater perfection than at Corinth; no city in which there were more men of a cultivated understanding.18:1-6 Though Paul was entitled to support from the churches he planted, and from the people to whom he preached, yet he worked at his calling. An honest trade, by which a man may get his bread, is not to be looked upon with contempt by any. It was the custom of the Jews to bring up their children to some trade, though they gave them learning or estates. Paul was careful to prevent prejudices, even the most unreasonable. The love of Christ is the best bond of the saints; and the communings of the saints with each other, sweeten labour, contempt, and even persecution. Most of the Jews persisted in contradicting the gospel of Christ, and blasphemed. They would not believe themselves, and did all they could to keep others from believing. Paul hereupon left them. He did not give over his work; for though Israel be not gathered, Christ and his gospel shall be glorious. The Jews could not complain, for they had the first offer. When some oppose the gospel, we must turn to others. Grief that many persist in unbelief should not prevent gratitude for the conversion of some to Christ.After these things - After what occurred at Athens, as recorded in the previous chapter.

Came to Corinth - Corinth was the capital of Achaia, called anciently Ephyra, and was seated on the isthmus which divides the Peloponnesus from Attica. The city itself stood on a little island; it had two ports, Lecheeum on the west, and Cenchrea on the east. It was one of the most populous and wealthy cities of Greece, and at the same time one of the most luxurious, effeminate, ostentatious, and dissolute. Lasciviousness here was not only practiced and allowed, but was consecrated by the worship of Venus; and no small part of the wealth and splendor of the city arose from the offerings made by licentious passion in the very temples of this goddess. No city of ancient times was more profligate. It was the Paris of antiquity; the seat of splendor, and show, and corruption. Yet even here, notwithstanding all the disadvantages of splendor, gaiety, and dissoluteness, Paul entered on the work of rearing a church; and here he was eminently successful. The two epistles which he afterward wrote to this church show the extent of his success; and the well-known character and propensities of the people will account for the general drift of the admonitions and arguments in those epistles. Corinth was destroyed by the Romans 146 years before Christ; and during the conflagration several metals in a fused state, running together, produced the composition known as Corinthian brass. It was afterward restored by Julius Caesar, who planted in it a Roman colony. It soon regained its ancient splendor, and relapsed into its former dissipation and licentiousness. Paul arrived there in 52 or 53 ad.

CHAPTER 18

Ac 18:1-22. Paul's Arrival and Labors at Corinth, Where He Is Rejoined by Silas and Timothy, and, under Divine Encouragement, Makes a Long Stay—At Length, Retracing His Steps, by Ephesus, Cæsarea, and Jerusalem, He Returns for the Last Time to Antioch, Thus Completing His Second Missionary Journey.

1-4. came to Corinth—rebuilt by Julius Cæsar on the isthmus between the Ægean and Ionian Seas; the capital of the Roman province of Achaia, and the residence of the proconsul; a large and populous mercantile city, and the center of commerce alike for East and West; having a considerable Jewish population, larger, probably, at this time than usual, owing to the banishment of the Jews from Rome by Claudius Cæsar (Ac 18:2). Such a city was a noble field for the Gospel, which, once established there, would naturally diffuse itself far and wide.Acts 18:1-8 Paul worketh for his subsistence, and preacheth Christ

at Corinth, first to the Jews, and, upon their opposing

and blaspheming, to the Gentiles with more success.

Acts 18:9-11 He is encouraged by the Lord in a vision, and abideth

there a long time.

Acts 18:12-17 The Jews accuse him before Gallio the deputy, who

will have nothing to do with them.

Acts 18:18-23 Paul passeth from city to city, confirming the disciples.

Acts 18:24-28 Apollos, instructed more perfectly in the Christian

doctrine by Aquila and Priscilla, preacheth it at

Ephesus, and afterward in Achaia, with great efficacy.

The metropolis of Achaia, being a rich sea town, and situate in the very isthmus which joins Peloponnesus unto Achaia; made a Roman colony, and now flourishing with learned men. Here St. Paul gathered a famous church, unto which he wrote two of his Epistles.

After these things,.... The Arabic version renders it, "after these words, or discourses"; after the apostle's disputation with the philosophers, and his sermon in the Areopagus, the effects of which are before related:

Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; the metropolis of Achaia, or Peloponnesus. The city was formerly called Ephyra, from Ephyra (p), the daughter of Oceanus, and had its name of Corinth from Corinthus, the son of Maratho, who repaired it when destroyed; or, as others say, from Corinthus the son of Pelops, others of Orestes, and others of Jupiter: though more probably it was so called from the multitudes of whores in this place, as if it was , "corai entha, here are girls, or whores"; for in the temple of Venus there were no less than a thousand whores provided, to be prostituted to all comers thither; See Gill on 2 Corinthians 12:21. It was situated between two great seas, the Aegean and Ionean; hence (q) Horace calls it Bimaris: it had a very strong tower, built on a high mount, called Acrocorinthus, from whence these two seas might be seen, and where was the fountain Pirene, sacred to the Muses: the city was about sixty furlongs, or seven miles and a half, from the shore (r): it was a city that abounded in riches and luxury. Florus (s) calls it the head of Achaia, and the glory of Greece; and Cicero (t), the light of all Greece: it was in time so much enlarged, and became so famous, that it was little inferior to Rome itself, on which account it grew proud and haughty; and using the Roman ambassadors with some degree of insolence, who were sent into Greece, on some certain occasion, first Metellus, and then Mummius, were sent against it, which latter took it, and burnt it; and the city then abounding with images and statues of gold, silver, and brass, were melted down together in the fire, and made what was afterwards called the Corinthian brass, which became so famous, and is often spoken of in history (u): but Julius Caesar, moved with the commodious situation of the place, rebuilt it (w), and it became a colony of the Romans, as Pliny (x) and Mela (y) both call it: and so it was at this time when the apostle was there. After this it came into the hands of the Venetians, from whom it was taken by Mahomet, the second son of Amurath, in the year 1458 (z); but is now again in the hands of the Venetians; and that and the country about it are called the Morea. And as the Gospel was to be preached to the worst of sinners, among whom God's chosen ones lay, the apostle was directed to come hither; and it appears by the sequel, that God had much people here, even more than at Athens, among the wise and learned.

(p) Vellei Patercull Hist. Rom. l. 1. Pausanias, Corinthiaca, sive l. 2. p. 85. (q) Carmin. l. 1. Ode 7. (r) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 4. (s) Hist. Rom. l. 2. c. 16. (t) Pro Lege Manilia Orat. 13. p. 636. (u) Florus, ib. (w) Pausauias, Corinthiaca, sive l. 2. p. 85, 89. (x) Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 4. (y) De Situ Orbis, l. 2. c. 10. (z) Petav. Rationar. Temp. par. 1. p. 476.

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

(1) The true ministers are so far from seeking their own profit, that they willingly depart from what is rightfully theirs, rather than hindering the course of the Gospel in the slightest way.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 18:1-2. In Corinth, at which Paul had arrived after his parting from Athens (χωρισθ., comp. Acts 1:4), he met with the Jew Ἀκύλας (Greek form of the Latin Aquila, which is to be considered as a Roman name adopted after the manner of the times instead of the Jewish name; see Eust. ad Dion. Per. 381), a native of the Asiatic province of Pontus, but who had hitherto resided at Rome, and afterwards dwelt there also (Romans 16:3), and so probably had his dwelling-place in that city—an inference which is rendered the more probable, as his temporary removal to a distance from Rome had its compulsory occasion in the imperial edict. We make this remark in opposition to the view of Neander, who thinks that Aquila had not his permanent abode at Rome, but settled, on account of his trade, now in one and then in another great city forming a centre of commerce, such as Corinth and Ephesus. The conjecture that he was a freedman of a Pontius Aquila (Cic. ad Famil. x. 33. 4; Suet. Caes. 78), so that the statement Ποντικὸν τῷ γένει is an error (Reiche on Romans 16:3, de Wette), is entirely arbitrary. Whether Πρίσκιλλα (identical with Prisca, Romans 16:3, for, as is well known, many Roman names were also used in diminutive forms; see Grotius on Rom. l.c.) was a Roman by birth, or a Jewess, remains undecided. But the opinion—which has of late become common and is defended by Kuinoel, Olshausen, Lange, and Ewald—that Aquila and his wife were already Christians (having been so possibly at starting from Rome) when Paul met with them at Corinth, because there is no account of their conversion, is very forced. Luke, in fact, calls Aquila simply Ἰουδαῖον (he does not say, τινα μαθητὴν Ἰουδ.), whereas elsewhere he always definitely makes known the Jewish Christians; and accordingly, by the subsequent πάντας τοὺς Ἰουδαίους, he places Aquila (without any distinction) among the general body of the expelled Jews. He also very particularly indicates as the reason of the apostle’s lodging with him, not their common Christian faith, but their common handicraft, Acts 18:3. It is therefore to be assumed that Aquila and Priscilla were still Jews when Paul met with them at Corinth, but through their connection with him they became Christians.[72] This Luke, keeping in view the apostolic labours of Paul as a whole (comp. Baumgarten, p. 578), leaves the reader to infer, inasmuch as he soon afterwards speaks of the Christian working of the two (Acts 18:26). We may add that the reply to the question, whether and how far Christianity existed at all in Rome before the decree of Claudius (see on Rom., Introd. § 2), can here be of no consequence, seeing that, although there was no Christian church at Rome, individual Christians might still at any rate be found, and certainly were found, among the resident Jews there.

προσφάτως] nuper (Polyb. iii 37. 11, iii. 48. 6; Alciphr. i. 39; Jdt 4:3; Jdt 4:5; 2Ma 14:36), from πρόσφατος, which properly signifies fresh (= just slaughtered or killed), then generally new, of quite recent occurrence; see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 374 f.; Klausen, ad Aesch. Choeph. 756.

διὰ τὸ διατεταχ. Κλ. κ.τ.λ.] “Judaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit,” Sueton. Claud. 25. As Chrestus was actually a current Greek and Roman name (Philostr. v. Soph. ii. 11; Inscr. 194; Cic. ad Fam. xi. 8), it is altogether arbitrary to interpret impulsore Chresto otherwise than we should interpret it, if another name stood instead of Chresto. Chrestus was the name of a Jewish agitator at Rome, whose doings produced constant tumults, and led at length to the edict of expulsion.[73] See also Wieseler, p. 122, and earlier, Ernesti, in Suet., l.c. This we remark in opposition to the hypothesis upheld, after older interpreters in Wolf, by most modern expositors, that Suetonius had made a mistake in the name and written Chresto instead of Christo—a view, in connection with which it is either thought that the disturbances arose out of Christianity having made its way among the Jewish population at Rome and simply affected the Jews themselves, who were thrown into a ferment by it, so that the portion of them which had come to believe was at strife with that which remained unbelieving (Wassenbergh, ad Valcken. p. 554; Kuinoel, Hug, Credner, Baur, Gieseler, Reuss, Thiersch, Ewald; also Lehmann, Stud. zur Gesch. d. apost. Zeitalt., Greifsw. 1856, p. 6 ff.; Sepp, Mangold, Beyschlag in the Stud. u. Krit. 1867, p. 652 f.; Laurent, neutest. Stud. p. 88, and others); or it is assumed (Paulus, Reiche, Neander, Lange, and others) that enthusiastic Messianic hopes excited the insurrection among the Jews, and that the Romans had manufactured out of the ideal person of the Messiah a rebel of the same name. While, however, the alleged error of the name has against it generally the fact that the names Christus and Christiani were well known to the Roman writers (Tacitus, Pliny, and Suetonius himself, Ner. 16), it may be specially urged against the former view, that at the time of the edict (probably in the year 52, see Anger, de temp. rat. p. 118; Wieseler, p. 125 ff.) the existence of an influential number of Christians at Rome, putting the Jewish population into a tumultuous ferment, is quite improbable; and against the latter view, that the Messianic hopes of the Jews were well enough known to the Romans in general (Tacit. Hist. v. 13) and to Suetonius in particular (Suet. Vesp. 4). Hence the change (attested by Tertull. Apol. 3, ad nat. i. 3, and by Lactant. Inst. div. iv. 7. 5) of Christus into Chrestos (Χρηστός) and of Christianus into Chrestianus (which pronunciation Tertullian rejects by perperam) may not be imputed to the compiler of a history resting on documentary authority, but to the misuse of the Roman colloquial language. Indeed, according to Tacit. Ann. xv. 44: “Nero … poenis affecit, quos … vulgus Christianos appellabat; auctor nominis ejus Christus,” etc., it must be assumed that that interchange of names only became usual at a later period; in Justin. Apol. I. 4, τὸ Χρηστόν is only an allusion to Χριστιανοί. The detailed discussion of the point does not belong to us here, except in so far as the narrative of Dio Cass. lx. 6 appears to be at variance with this passage and with Suet. l.c.: τούς τε Ἰουδαίους πλεονάσαντας αὖθις, ὥστε χαλεπῶς ἂν ἄνευ ταραχῆς ὑπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου σφῶν τῆς πόλεως εἰρχθῆναι, οὐκ ἐξήλασε μὲν, τῷ δὲ δὴ πατρίῳ νόμῳ βίῳ χρωμένους ἐκέλευσε μὴ συναθροίζεσθαι.[74] This apparent contradiction is solved by our regarding what Dio Cassius relates as something which happened before the edict of banishment (Wieseler, p. 123, and Lehmann, p. 5, view it otherwise), and excited the Jews to the complete outbreak of insurrection.[75] The words ὥστεεἰρχθῆναι, which represent the ordinance as a precautionary measure against the outbreak of a revolt, warrant this view. From Acts 28:15 ff., Romans 16:3, it follows that the edict of Claudius, which referred not only to those making the tumult (Credner, Einl. p. 380), but, according to the express testimony of this passage, to all the Jews, must soon either tacitly or officially have passed into abeyance, as, indeed, it was incapable of being permanently carried into effect in all its severity. Therefore the opinion of Hug, Eichhorn, Schrader, and Hemsen, that the Jews returned to Rome only at the mild commencement of Nero’s reign, is to be rejected.

πάντας τοὺς Ἰουδαίους] with the exception of the proselytes, Beyschlag thinks, so that only the national Jews were concerned. But the proselytes of righteousness at least cannot, without arbitrariness, be excluded from the comprehensive designation.

[72] See also Herzog in his Encykl. I. p. 456.

[73] Herzog, in the Jahrb. f. D. Theol. 1867, p. 541, rightly defends this explanation (against Pressensé). The objection is entirely unimportant, which Mangold also (Römerbr. 1866) has taken, that short work would have been made with an insurgent Chrestus at Rome. He might have made a timely escape. Or may he not have been actually seized and short work made of him, without thereby quenching the fire?

[74] Ewald, p. 346, wishes to insert οὐ before χρωμένους, so that the words would apply to the Jewish-Christians.

[75] To place the prohibition mentioned by Dio Cassius as early as the first year of Claudius, A.D. 41 (Laurent, neutest. Stud. p. 89 f.), does not suit the peculiar mildness and favour which the emperor on his accession showed to the Jews, according to Joseph. Antt. xix. 5. 2 f. The subsequent severity supposes a longer experience of need for it. Laurent, after Oros. vi. 7, places the edict of expulsion as early as the ninth year of Claudius, A.D. 49; but he is in consequence driven to the artificial explanation that Aquila indeed left Rome in A.D. 49, but remained for some time in Italy, from which (ver. 2 : ἀπὸ τῆς ʼΙταλίας) he only departed in A.D. 53. Thus he would not, in fact, have come to Corinth at all as an immediate consequence of that edict, which yet Luke, particularly by the addition of προσφάτως, evidently intends to say.Acts 18:1. μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα: in continuation of the narrative, cf. Luke 10:1.—χωρισθεὶς: in Acts 1:4 with ἀπό, and so usually—only here with ἐκ, departure from Athens emphasised, because events had compelled the Apostle to alter his intended plan (Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 240, and Blass, in loco), cf. 1 Chronicles 12:8 (A al.); 2Ma 5:21; 2Ma 12:12, with an accusative of place.—Κόρινθον: Corinth from its position as the capital of the Roman province Achaia was the centre of government and commerce, while Athens was still the great educational centre of Greece. St. Paul, with his keen eye for the most important and prominent stations of Roman government and the meeting points of East and West, might be expected to choose a place from whence the influence of the Gospel could spread over the whole province. Like Ephesus, Corinth lay on the great highway between East and West; like Ephesus it was, as Professor Ramsay terms it, one of the knots on the line of communication, the point of convergence for many subordinate roads. But Corinth, with all its external beauty, its wealth and fame, had become a byword for vice and infamy, cf. Κορινθιάζεσθαι, Κορινθιάζειν, Wetstein, 1 Corinthians 1:2, and references in Farrar, St. Paul, i., 557 ff., and it has not been unfairly termed the Vanity Fair of the Roman empire: at once the London and the Paris of the first century after Christ (Farrar, u. s., p. 556). To this infamous notoriety not only the cosmopolitanism of the city contributed, but the open consecration of shameless impurity in its temple service of Venus, see Ramsay, “Corinth,” Hastings’ B.D.; C. and H., small edition, p. 324 ff.; McGiffert, Apostolic Age, p. 262, and notes below.Acts 18:1-11. Paul goes from Athens to Corinth, labours there with his own hands for his maintenance. He is Encouraged in his preaching by a Vision of the Lord

1. After these things Paul departed] The best authorities omit the name of the Apostle, merely reading “he departed.” So R. V.

came to Corinth] As Athens was the seat of culture, so Corinth was the seat of commerce in the south of Greece. The city, at this time the political capital of Greece and the residence of the Roman pro-consul, stood on the isthmus which united the Peloponnesus to the mainland, and through it all land traffic between the peninsula and the rest of Greece must pass, while its two harbours, one on each side of the neck of land on which Corinth stood, made it the resort of seafaring traders both from east and west. Of Lechæum, the western port, on the Corinthian gulf, we have no mention in the New Testament, but Cenchreæ, the harbour on the Saronic gulf, by which communication with the East was kept up, is mentioned in Acts 18:18. The city was also made famous for its connexion with the Isthmian games, from which St Paul in his Epistles draws frequent illustrations when writing to the Corinthian Church. (See 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, &c.) For further particulars of the history of Corinth see Dict. of Bible, s. v.Acts 18:1. Χωρισθεὶς, having departed) as if unwilling, speedily [lit. having been separated or constrained to depart from]. The same verb occurs in the following ver. Paul did not stay long at Athens. Men endowed with intelligence readily hear as much as is sufficient [for informing them of the way of salvation], if they wish to accept it.—Ἀθηνῶν, from Athens: Κόρινθον, to Corinth) In the former city, literature and philosophy; in the latter, commerce, most chiefly flourished. Thence the bearing of the one city in relation to the Gospel may be beautifully compared with that of the other. Paul had much greater fruit at Corinth than at Athens.Verse 1. - He for Paul, A.V. and T.R. After these things, etc. No hint is given by St. Luke as to the length of Paul's sojourn at Athens. But as the double journey of the Beroeans, who accompanied him to Athens, back to Beraea, and of Timothy from Beraea to Athens, amounted to above five hundred miles (Lewin, p. 268), we cannot suppose it to have been less than a month; and it may have been a good deal more. His reasonings in the synagogue with the Jews and devout Greeks, apparently on successive sabbaths, his daily disputations in the Agora, apparently not begun till after he had "waited" some time for Silas and Timothy, the knowledge he had acquired of the numerous temples and altars at Athens, and the phrase with which this chapter begins, all indicate a stay of some length. Came to Corinth. If by land, a forty miles' or two days' journey, through Eleusis and Megara; if by sea, a day's sail. Lewin thinks he came by sea, and that it was in winter, and that possibly one of the shipwrecks mentioned in 2 Corinthians 11:25 may have occurred at this time. Corinth, at this time a Roman colony, the capital of the province of Achaia, and the residence of the proconsul. It was a great commercial city, the center of the trade of the Levant, and consequently a great resort of the Jews. It had a very large Greek population. Ancient Corinth had been destroyed by Mummins, surnamed Achaicus, R.C. 146, and remained waste (ἐρήμη) many years. Julius Caesar founded a Roman colony on the old site (Howson), "consisting principally of freedmen, among whom were great numbers of the Jewish race." Corinth, as a Roman colony, had its duumviri, as appears by coins of the reign of Claudius (Lewin, p. 270. Found

"A Jewish guild always keeps together, whether in street or synagogue. In Alexandria the different trades sat in the synagogue arranged into guilds; and St. Paul could have no difficulty in meeting, in the bazaar of his trade, with the like-minded Aquila and Priscilla" (Edersheim, "Jewish Social Life").

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