Acts 18:13
Saying, This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.—It is obvious that in this appeal to the proconsul the Jews must have meant, not the law of Moses, but that of Rome. Their contention was that though Jews had been banished from Rome as a measure of policy, Judaism as such was still a relligio licita, tolerated and recognised by the State. Their charge against the Apostle was that he was preaching a new religion, which was not so recognised. The words “this fellow,” though the substantive is an interpolation, fairly expresses the contempt implied in the use of the Greek pronoun.

18:12-17 Paul was about to show that he did not teach men to worship God contrary to law; but the judge would not allow the Jews to complain to him of what was not within his office. It was right in Gallio that he left the Jews to themselves in matters relating to their religion, but yet would not let them, under pretence of that, persecute another. But it was wrong to speak slightly of a law and religion which he might have known to be of God, and which he ought to have acquainted himself with. In what way God is to be worshipped, whether Jesus be the Messiah, and whether the gospel be a Divine revelation, are not questions of words and names, they are questions of vast importance. Gallio spoke as if he boasted of his ignorance of the Scriptures, as if the law of God was beneath his notice. Gallio cared for none of these things. If he cared not for the affronts of bad men, it was commendable; but if he concerned not himself for the abuses done to good men, his indifference was carried too far. And those who see and hear of the sufferings of God's people, and have no feeling with them, or care for them, who do not pity and pray for them, are of the same spirit as Gallio, who cared for none of these things.Contrary to the law - Evidently intending contrary to all law - the laws of the Romans and of the Jews. It was permitted to the Jews to worship God according to their own views in Greece; but they could easily pretend that Paul had departed from that mode of worshipping God. It was easy for them to maintain that he taught contrary to the laws of the Romans and their acknowledged religion; and their design seems to have been to accuse him of teaching people to worship God in an unlawful and irregular way, a way unknown to any of the laws of the empire. 13. contrary to the—Jewish

law—probably in not requiring the Gentiles to be circumcised.

Contrary to the law, of the Romans, who, to avoid tumults and confusions, did forbid any to set up any new worship without leave; and the Jews in these parts having here no power to punish St. Paul as they had at Jerusalem, maliciously incite the governor against him. Or by the law here may be meant the law of Moses, which they accuse Paul to have broken, and so not to be comprehended in that licence which they had to exercise their religion. Saying, this fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law. Meaning either to the law of the Romans, which forbad the bringing in of any new gods, without the leave of the senate; See Gill on Acts 16:21; or rather to the law of Moses: the Arabic version reads, "our law"; though this was false, for Moses in his law wrote of Christ, and ordered the children of Israel to hearken to him. Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 18:13. λέγοντες: in the set accusation which follows there is probably an indication that the Jews could not stir up the crowd against Paul as at Philippi and Thessalonica, for already he had gained too good an influence over the common people (Weiss).—ἀναπείθει: only here in N.T., “persuadendo excitare, sollicitare,” it is used of evil persuasion in LXX, Jeremiah 36(39):8 and in 1Ma 1:11.—παρὰ τὸν νόμον: “contrary to the law”: what law? Roman or Jewish? in a certain sense the expression might include both, for as a religio licita the Jewish law was under the protection of the Roman law, and Josephus tells us how leave had been granted to the Jews to worship according to their own law, Ant., xiv., 10, 2 ff. But Paul’s teaching was to these Jews the introduction of something illegal, contrary to the religion which they were allowed to practise, and so they sought to bring his teaching under the cognnisance of the proconsul (see Zahn, Einleitung, i., p. 190). They may therefore have designedly used a phrase which had a double meaning. But whatever their design, Gallio saw through it, and drew a hard and fast distinction between a charge of illegality against the state and of illegality against Jewish, νόμου τοῦ καθʼ ὑμᾶς, not Roman law. In this reply Gallio showed that he knew more about the matter than the Jews supposed, and he may have had some intelligence of the Jewish disturbances at Rome about “Chrestus”. Both ἀνθρώπους and σέβ. τὸν Θεόν point to the general nature of the charge, as including Paul’s efforts to convert not only Jews but proselytes. At least the Jews would try to give their accusation a colour of illegality against the Roman law, for they would themselves have dealt with it if it had been simply connected with their own religious observances, see “Corinth,” Hastings B.D., i., 481.13. contrary to the law] i.e. the Jewish law. Their religion was one of those allowed throughout the Roman Empire, and their hope is to induce the proconsul to protect the Jewish law by Roman law. But the majesty of Roman power was far too august to be invoked for settling a quarrel between the members of a merely “tolerated” religion. He would not meddle in their matters.Acts 18:13. Ἀναπείθει) by persuasions excites. They declare repeatedly that all was tranquil previously.Verse 13. - Man for fellow, A.V. The A.V. was intended to express the contemptuous feeling often implied in οϋτος (Luke 23:2; Matthew 12:24; Acts 5:28, etc.). Contrary to the Law; meaning, as it naturally would in the mouth of a Jew, the Law of Moses. Hence Gallio's answer in ver. 15, "If it be a question... of your Law, look ye to it." The very phrase, to "worship God," had a technical sense (see above, ver. 7). Paul, they said, professed to make proselytes, and encouraged them to break the Law.
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