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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord.—The article does not necessarily show that there was only one ruler—commonly, as at the Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:15), there were more—but that this Crispus was thus distinguished from others of the same name. The office was one which gave its holder an honourable position, and, as in inscriptions from the Jewish catacombs now in the Lateran Museum, was recorded on tombstones (Alfius Archisynagos) as a personal distinction of which the family of the deceased were proud. In favour of so conspicuous a convert, St. Paul deviated from his usual practice, and baptised Crispus with his own hands (1Corinthians 1:14).
Many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.—The tense of the two verbs implies a process going on daily for an undefined period. Among the converts we may note Gaius, or Caius, probably a man of higher social position than others, who made his house the meeting-place of the Church, and at St. Paul’s second visit received him as a guest (Romans 16:23), and the household of Stephanas, who, as “the first-fruits of Achaia,” must have been among the earliest converts (1Corinthians 16:15). These also St. Paul baptised himself (1Corinthians 1:14-15). Fortunatus and Achaicus, and Chloe, a prominent female convert (1Corinthians 1:11), with Quartus, and Erastus the chamberlain of the city (Romans 16:23), and Epænetus, also among the “first-fruits of Achaia” (Romans 16:5), may also be counted among the disciples made now or soon afterwards.1 Corinthians 1:14 as having been one of the few whom Paul baptized with his own hands. The conversion of such a man must have tended greatly to exasperate the other Jews, and to further the progress of the Christian faith among the Corinthians.
With all his house - With all his family, Acts 10:2.
And many of the Corinthians - Many even in this voluptuous and wicked city. Perhaps the power of the gospel was never more signal than in converting sinners in Corinth, and rearing a Christian church in a place so dissolute and abandoned. If it was adapted to such a place as Corinth; if a church, under the power of Christian truth, could be organized there, it is adapted to any city, and there is none so corrupt that the gospel cannot change and purify it.
many of the Corinthians … believed and were baptized—The beginning of the church gathered there.The chief ruler: there were several rulers in a synagogue, which we find frequent mention of, as Matthew 9:18 Mark 5:22. Their office and place was, to advise and give order about the affairs of the synagogue, that all things might be performed according to their prescribed rules.
Many of the Corinthians believed; amongst whom are reckoned Gaius, Sosthenes, 1 Corinthians 1:1, and Epenetus, Romans 16:5. 1 Corinthians 1:14
and many of the Corinthians hearing not "his faith", as the Arabic version adds; as if hearing of the faith of Crispus induced them to believe also; for the ruler of the Jewish synagogue had no such influence on the Gentile Corinthians, as these were: but these hearing the Gospel preached by the apostle, very likely in the house of Justus, to which they came,
believed; faith came by hearing; they believed the Gospel, and they believed in Christ, the sum and substance of it; and not with a bare historical faith, but with a spiritual and saving one, or such as is unto salvation, with their heart, and with their mouth made confession of it:
and were baptized; not by the apostle, for he baptized at Corinth none but Crispus and Gaius, and the household of Stephanas, but by some of his companions, as Silas, or Timothy, or both: this is a plain instance of believers' baptism; first they heard the word of God; then they believed, this word coming with power to them; and upon their believing, they are baptized. These laid the foundation of a famous church in this place, which continued for many ages after; Silas, who is reckoned among the seventy disciples, is said to be the first bishop or pastor of it; See Gill on Luke 10:1; in the "second" century Primus was bishop of this church, with whom Egesippus as he went to Rome stayed some days, and was much refreshed with the orthodox faith of him, and the Corinthians; in the same century Dionysius presided over this church, who was not only very useful to the church under his care, but to many others (l); in the same age, under Severus lived Bacchylus bishop of Corinth, who wrote a book concerning Easter in the name of all the bishops in Achaia (m); in the third century Tertullian (n) makes mention of a church at Corinth; in the fourth century Epictetus was bishop of the said church, and was contemporary and familiar with Athanasius, to whom a letter is extant in the works of Athanasius (o); in the "fifth" century there was a church at Corinth, and a bishop of it was in the synod at Chalcedon, and it was then a metropolitan church; in this age Peregrinus bishop of Corinth was in the first synod at Ephesus, held against Nestorius, and Erisistratus, a bishop also of the same church, was in another synod at the same place, and Peter bishop of Corinth was in the Chalcedon council; in the "sixth" century mention is made of a bishop of the Corinthians, in the fifth synod at Constantinople, and in the same century Gregory instructed John bishop of the Corinthians rightly to govern the Lord's flock, and exhorted all the Corinthian bishops to concord. In this age Adrianus also was bishop of Corinth, he flourished under Mauritius the emperor; as likewise did Anastasius archbishop of the Corinthians; and he being removed from his office, John succeeded him in it; in the "seventh" century there was a Corinthian bishop in the sixth council at Constantinople (p); thus far this ancient church is to be traced in history.
(k) T. Hieros. Yebamot, fol. 2. 3. & 12. 2. & 18. 1. & passim. (l) Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 5. c. 22. & 23. (m) Hicronymi Catalog. Script. Ecclcs. sect. 54. fol. 96. D. (n) De Praescript. Heret. c. 36. (o) Tom. 1. p. 453. Ed. Commelin. (p) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. & c. 7. p. 418. & c. 10. p. 665. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 6. & c. 10. p. 349. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 5.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 18:8. This decided proceeding made a remarkable impression, so that even Crispus, the president of the synagogue, whom the apostle himself baptized (1 Corinthians 1:14), with all his family, believed on the Lord (Acts 16:15; Acts 16:34), and that generally many Corinthians (Jews and Gentiles; for the house of the proselyte was accessible to both) heard him and received faith and baptism.Acts 18:8. Κρίσπος, cf. 1 Corinthians 1:14, coincidence with, admitted by McGiffert, p. 269 (so too by Holtzmann), “no reason to doubt that he is the man whose conversion Luke reports,” according to tradition he became Bishop of Ægina, Const. Apost., vii., 46. Though a Jew he bore a Latin name, cf. for a parallel case J. Lightfoot, Hor. Heb., in loco.—ὁ ἀρχισ., if we cf. Acts 18:17 it looks as if in the Corinthian synagogue there was only one person bearing this title, and that Sosthenes succeeded Crispus when the latter became a Christian, see “Corinth” (Ramsay), Hastings’ B.D., i., p. 482, and see also Ramsay, Expositor, April, 1895, and above on Acts 13:15 : on the reason of St. Paul’s baptism of Crispus, Gaius, Stephanas, see B.D.2, and Hastings’ B.D., u. s. There is certainly no ground for supposing that St. Paul depreciated baptism although he baptised so few in Corinth with his own hands, Speaker’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:17. It is evident from this notice that St. Paul’s preaching had not been without its effect on the Jewish residents, and probably one reason why the feeling against the Apostle was so strong, Acts 20:3, was because this influence extended to persons of importance in Corinth; the next words show good results among the Gentile population of the city.—σὺν ὅλῳ τῷ οἴκῳ, cf. Acts 16:15, 1 Corinthians 1:16.—τῶν Κ., not Ἰουδαῖοι, who are always so called, but Ελληνες, Acts 18:4, including for the most part “proselytes of the gate”.—ἀκού. ἐπίστευον καὶ ἐβαπτ.: “used to hear, and believe, and receive baptism,” imperfects; the spread of the new faith was gradual but continuous, ἀκού. is taken by some to refer to the hearing of the fact that Paul had separated himself from the synagogue (so Wendt, Weiss); see critical note.8. And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue] It is better to omit “chief” otherwise this part of the word is twice translated. (So R. V.) This Crispus is alluded to, 1 Corinthians 1:14, as one of the few whom St Paul himself baptized. His previous distinguished position among the Jews, and the conversion of his whole family, would make him noticeable among the Christian converts. There may have been more than one synagogue in Corinth. In Acts 18:17 we read of Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue. But it is quite possible that this man may have been appointed immediately after the conversion of Crispus, and may have been desirous to shew his zeal against the Christian teachers by laying an immediate information against Paul before the proconsul.
and many of the Corinthians … were baptized] St Paul mentions that he himself only baptized (in addition to Crispus) Gaius and the household of Stephanas. But Silas and Timothy were now by his side and would care for the admission of the new converts to baptism.Acts 18:8. Ἐπίστευσε τῷ Κυρίῳ, believed on the Lord) The Lord Jesus Himself testified through Paul: ch. Acts 14:3, “They speaking boldly in the Lord, who gave testimony unto the word of His grace.”—ἀκούοντες, hearing) of the conversion of Crispus, and hearing the word spoken by Paul.Verse 8. - Ruler for chief ruler, A.V. (ἀρχισυνάγωγος, as in Acts 13:15); in for on, A.V. Crispus (a common Roman name) was one of the very few whom St. Paul himself baptized, probably on account of his important position as ruler of the synagogue, as we learn from 1 Corinthians 1:14. With all his house (comp. Acts 16:33, 34). Many of the Corinthians; i.e. of the Greeks and Romans, who composed the population of the city. It is seldom that we have the names of so many converts preserved as we have of this Achaian mission. Besides Crispus and Gaius, we know of Epaenetus and Stephanas, who would seem to have been converted together (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15); and probably also Fortunatus and Achaicus (1 Corinthians 16:17). Gains, from his name (Caius) and his salutation to the Church at Rome, was probably a Roman. Fortunatus and Achaicus also be-belonged, perhaps, to the Roman colony. Here too were many heathen converts (1 Corinthians 12:2), though mostly of the lower rank (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
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