Acts of Apostles 18:1-28

18  After this he departed from Athens and came to Corinth.  And he found a Jew named Aqʹui·la,+ a native of Ponʹtus who had recently come from Italy with Pris·cilʹla his wife, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. So he went to them,  and because he had the same trade, he stayed at their home and worked with them,+ for they were tentmakers by trade.  He would give a talk in the synagogue+ every sabbath+ and would persuade Jews and Greeks.  When, now, both Silas+ and Timothy+ came down from Mac·e·doʹni·a, Paul began to be intensely occupied with the word, witnessing to the Jews to prove that Jesus is the Christ.+  But after they kept on opposing him and speaking abusively, he shook out his garments+ and said to them: “Let your blood be on your own heads.+ I am clean.+ From now on I will go to people of the nations.”+  So he transferred from there and went into the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshipper of God, whose house adjoined the synagogue.  But Crisʹpus,+ the presiding officer of the synagogue, became a believer in the Lord, along with all his household. And many of the Corinthians who heard began to believe and be baptized.  Moreover, the Lord said to Paul in a vision by night: “Do not be afraid, but keep on speaking and do not keep silent, 10  for I am with you+ and no man will assault you to harm you; for I have many people in this city.” 11  So he stayed there for a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. 12  While Galʹli·o was proconsul of A·chaʹia, the Jews made a concerted attack against Paul and led him to the judgment seat, 13  saying: “This man is persuading people to worship God in a way contrary to the law.”+ 14  But as Paul was about to speak, Galʹli·o said to the Jews: “If, indeed, it were some wrong or a serious crime, O Jews, it would be reasonable for me to hear you out patiently. 15  But if it is controversies over speech and names and your own law,+ you yourselves must see to it. I do not wish to be a judge of these things.” 16  With that he drove them away from the judgment seat. 17  So they all seized Sosʹthe·nes,+ the presiding officer of the synagogue, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Galʹli·o would not get involved at all with these things. 18  However, after staying quite a few days longer, Paul said good-bye to the brothers and sailed away for Syria, accompanied by Pris·cilʹla and Aqʹui·la. He had his hair clipped short in Cenʹchre·ae,+ for he had made a vow. 19  So they arrived at Ephʹe·sus, and he left them there; but he entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.+ 20  Although they kept requesting him to stay longer, he would not consent 21  but said good-bye and told them: “I will return to you again, if Jehovah is willing.” And he put out to sea from Ephʹe·sus 22  and came down to Caes·a·reʹa.+ And he went up and greeted the congregation and then went down to Antioch.+ 23  After spending some time there, he departed and went from place to place through the country of Ga·laʹti·a and Phrygʹi·a,+ strengthening all the disciples.+ 24  Now a Jew named A·polʹlos,+ a native of Alexandria, arrived in Ephʹe·sus; he was an eloquent man who was well-versed in the Scriptures. 25  This man had been instructed in the way of Jehovah, and aglow with the spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things about Jesus, but he was acquainted only with the baptism of John.+ 26  He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, and when Pris·cilʹla and Aqʹui·la+ heard him, they took him into their company and explained the way of God more accurately to him. 27  Further, because he wanted to go across to A·chaʹia, the brothers wrote to the disciples, urging them to receive him kindly. So when he got there, he greatly helped those who through God’s undeserved kindness had become believers; 28  for publicly and with great intensity he thoroughly proved the Jews to be wrong, showing them from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.+

Footnotes

Study Notes

Achaia: In the Christian Greek Scriptures, Achaia refers to the Roman province of southern Greece with its capital at Corinth. In 27 B.C.E., when Caesar Augustus reorganized the two provinces of Greece, Macedonia and Achaia, the name Achaia applied to all of Peloponnese and to part of continental Greece. The province of Achaia was under the administration of the Roman Senate and was ruled through a proconsul from its capital, Corinth. (2Co 1:1) Other cities of the province of Achaia mentioned in the Christian Greek Scriptures were Athens and Cenchreae. (Ac 18:1, 18; Ro 16:1) Achaia and Macedonia, its neighboring province to the N, were often mentioned together.​—Ac 19:21; Ro 15:26; 1Th 1:7, 8; see App. B13.

Corinth: One of the oldest and most prominent cities of ancient Greece, located about 5 km (3 mi) SW of the modern-day city. The importance and great wealth of Corinth resulted largely from its strategic location at the isthmus, or narrow neck of land, connecting central Greece with the southern peninsula, the Peloponnese. Not only did Corinth control the flow of goods between northern and southern Greece but it also controlled maritime traffic between E and W on the Mediterranean Sea, since traveling the sea/land route via the isthmus was safer than making the trip around Greece. Achaia, as the Romans called Greece apart from Macedonia, became a Roman senatorial province during the reign of Caesar Augustus, and Corinth was made its capital. (See study note on Ac 18:12.) A large number of Jews had settled in Corinth and had established a synagogue, drawing some Greek adherents. (Ac 18:4) The presence of Jews in ancient Corinth is attested to by first-century writer Philo and by an ancient Greek inscription on a marble lintel found near the gate toward the harbor of Lechaeum. The inscription reads “[Sy·na·]go·geʹ He·br[aiʹon],” meaning “Synagogue of the Hebrews.” Some suggest that the lintel is from the time of Paul, but most favor a later date.​—See App. B13.

Aquila: This faithful Christian husband and his loyal wife, Priscilla (also called Prisca), are described as being “fellow workers” with Paul. (Ro 16:3) They are referred to a total of six times in the Christian Greek Scriptures (Ac 18:18, 26; 1Co 16:19; 2Ti 4:19), and on each occasion they are mentioned together. The name Priscilla is the diminutive form of the name Prisca. The shorter form of the name is found in Paul’s writings, the longer form in Luke’s. Such a variation was common in Roman names. Banished from Rome by Emperor Claudius’ decree against the Jews sometime in the year 49 or early 50 C.E., Aquila and Priscilla took up residence in Corinth. When Paul arrived there in the autumn of 50 C.E., he worked with this couple at their common trade of tentmaking. Aquila and Priscilla doubtless aided Paul in building up the new congregation there. Aquila was a native of Pontus, a region of northern Asia Minor along the Black Sea.​—See App. B13.

tentmakers: Here the Greek term ske·no·poi·osʹ is used to describe the trade of Paul, Aquila, and Priscilla. Various opinions have been offered as to the exact type of craftsman indicated by this word (whether tentmaker, tapestry weaver, or ropemaker); however, a number of scholars hold that “tentmaker” is the probable meaning. Paul was from Tarsus in Cilicia, an area famous for its goat-hair cloth named cilicium, from which tents were made. (Ac 21:39) Among the Jews of the first century C.E., it was considered honorable for a young man to learn a trade even if he was also to receive a higher education. It is possible, then, that Paul learned to make tents while he was still a youth. The work was not easy, for it is reported that the cilicium was usually stiff and rough and, consequently, difficult to cut and sew.

give a talk: Or “reason with people.” The Greek verb di·a·leʹgo·mai has been defined “to discuss; to converse.” It can describe the delivering of an instructional discourse as well as an interaction with people that includes an exchange of opinions. This same Greek word is also used at Ac 17:2, 17; 18:19; 19:8, 9; 20:7, 9.

intensely occupied with the word: Or “fully absorbed in preaching the word.” This expression indicates that Paul at this point began to devote all his time to preaching.

they shook the dust off their feet against them: Paul and Barnabas here applied Jesus’ instruction recorded at Mt 10:14; Mr 6:11; Lu 9:5. Pious Jews who had traveled through Gentile country would shake what they perceived to be unclean dust off their sandals before reentering Jewish territory. However, Jesus apparently had a different meaning in mind when giving these instructions to his disciples. This gesture signified that the disciples disclaimed responsibility for the consequences that would come from God. When Paul did something similar in Corinth by shaking out his garments, he added the explanatory words: “Let your blood be on your own heads. I am clean.”​—See study note on Ac 18:6.

shake the dust off your feet: Pious Jews who had traveled through Gentile country would shake what was perceived to be unclean dust off their sandals before reentering Jewish territory. However, Jesus evidently had a different meaning in mind when giving these instructions to his disciples. This gesture would signify that the disciples disclaimed responsibility for the consequences that would come from God. A similar expression occurs at Mt 10:14 and Mr 6:11. Mark adds the expression “for a witness to them,” whereas Luke adds for a witness against them. Paul and Barnabas applied this instruction in Pisidian Antioch. (Ac 13:51) When Paul did something similar in Corinth by shaking out his garments, he added the explanatory words: “Let your blood be on your own heads. I am clean.”​—Ac 18:6.

Let his blood come upon us and upon our children: That is, “We and our descendants take responsibility for his death.”

I am clean from the blood of all men: Paul was free of bloodguilt before God because he had not failed to preach the good news of the Kingdom. He had not withheld the lifesaving information that this message contains. (Ac 18:6; compare Eze 33:6-8) Paul conveyed “all the counsel of God” to the disciples in Ephesus because he did not want anyone to lose his life in God’s day of judgment. (Ac 20:27) Other ways in which a Christian can become bloodguilty before God are by committing murder or bloodshed, which can include actively or tacitly supporting the activities of a bloodguilty organization, such as “Babylon the Great” (Re 17:6; 18:2, 4), or other organizations that have shed innocent blood (Re 16:5, 6; compare Isa 26:20, 21). Also, eating or drinking blood in any way would incur bloodguilt.​—Ac 15:20.

he shook out his garments: This gesture by Paul indicated that he was free of responsibility for the Jews in Corinth who refused to accept the lifesaving message about the Christ. Paul had fulfilled his obligation and was no longer accountable for their lives. (See study note on Let your blood be on your own heads in this verse.) This type of gesture had a precedent in the Scriptures. When Nehemiah spoke to the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem, he shook out the folds of his garment to signify that a person who did not fulfill a certain promise would be cast off by God. (Ne 5:13) Paul performed a similar gesture in Pisidian Antioch when he “shook the dust off [his] feet” against those who opposed him in that city.​—See study notes on Ac 13:51; Lu 9:5.

Let your blood be on your own heads: Paul uses this expression to show that he is not accountable for the consequences that would come upon the Jews who refused to accept the message about Jesus, the Messiah. Similar statements found in the Hebrew Scriptures convey the idea that a person who pursues a course of action worthy of death is responsible for the loss of his own life. (Jos 2:19; 2Sa 1:16; 1Ki 2:37; Eze 33:2-4; see study note on Mt 27:25.) Paul adds the declaration: I am clean, that is, “I am innocent [“guiltless; clear of responsibility”].”​—See study note on Ac 20:26.

who worshipped God: The Greek word seʹbo·mai, here rendered “who worshipped God,” means “to worship; to revere; to venerate.” It could also be rendered “God-fearing; devout.” (See study note on Ac 13:50.) The Syriac Peshitta renders it “who feared God.” One translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures into Hebrew (referred to as J18 in App. C4) uses the divine name here and the whole expression can be rendered “who feared Jehovah.”

Jehovah opened her heart wide: Lydia is identified as a worshipper of God, an expression that indicates that she was a Jewish proselyte. (Ac 13:43) On the Sabbath, she had gathered with other women at a place of prayer at a river outside Philippi. (Ac 16:13) It may be that there were few Jews and no synagogue in Philippi. Lydia may have become acquainted with the worship of Jehovah in her home city, Thyatira, which had a large Jewish population and a Jewish meeting place. Jehovah, the God whom she worshipped, noticed that she was listening attentively.​—See App. C3 introduction; Ac 16:14.

transferred from there: That is, from the synagogue to the house of Titius Justus, where Paul continued preaching. The home of Aquila and Priscilla remained Paul’s residence while he was in Corinth, but the house of Justus apparently became the center from which the apostle carried out his preaching activity.​—Ac 18:3.

Titius Justus: A Corinthian believer identified as a worshipper of God, an expression that indicates that he was a Jewish proselyte.​—See study notes on Ac 13:43; 16:14.

proconsul: The title of the governor of a province administered by the Roman Senate. Some Roman provinces, such as Judea, were imperial provinces under the direct rule of the emperor, who appointed a governor. Because Cyprus became a senatorial province in 22 B.C.E., it was governed by a proconsul. A coin from Cyprus has been found with the head and title of Roman Emperor Claudius (in Latin) on one side and “Under Cominius Proclus, Proconsul of the Cyprians” (in Greek) on the other side.​—See Glossary.

proconsul: A provincial governor for the Roman Senate. Here Gallio is mentioned as being proconsul of the province of Achaia. Luke is accurate in using the term “proconsul” in this case, for Achaia was a senatorial province from 27 B.C.E. to 15 C.E. and again after 44 C.E. (See study note on Ac 13:7.) An inscription from Delphi that refers to proconsul Gallio not only supports the accuracy of Luke’s account but also helps in dating Gallio’s term of office.

Achaia: In the Christian Greek Scriptures, Achaia refers to the Roman province of southern Greece with its capital at Corinth. In 27 B.C.E., when Caesar Augustus reorganized the two provinces of Greece, Macedonia and Achaia, the name Achaia applied to all of Peloponnese and to part of continental Greece. The province of Achaia was under the administration of the Roman Senate and was ruled through a proconsul from its capital, Corinth. (2Co 1:1) Other cities of the province of Achaia mentioned in the Christian Greek Scriptures were Athens and Cenchreae. (Ac 18:1, 18; Ro 16:1) Achaia and Macedonia, its neighboring province to the N, were often mentioned together.​—Ac 19:21; Ro 15:26; 1Th 1:7, 8; see App. B13.

Cenchreae: One of Corinth’s seaports, Cenchreae lay on the Saronic Gulf side of a narrow isthmus about 11 km (7 mi) E of Corinth. Cenchreae was Corinth’s port for points E of Greece, while Lechaeum, on the opposite side of the isthmus, served as Corinth’s port for Italy and other points W of Greece. Ruins in the area today include buildings and breakwaters near the present village of Kehries (Kechriais). According to Ro 16:1, there was a Christian congregation in Cenchreae.​—See App. B13.

the will of Jehovah: The Greek term for “will” (theʹle·ma), as used in the Christian Greek Scriptures, is most often connected with God’s will. (Mt 7:21; 12:50; Mr 3:35; Ro 12:2; 1Co 1:1; Heb 10:36; 1Pe 2:15; 4:2; 1Jo 2:17) In the Septuagint, the Greek term theʹle·ma is often used to translate Hebrew expressions for God’s will, or delight, and can be found in passages where the divine name occurs. (Ps 40:8, 9 [39:9, 10, LXX]; 103:21 [102:21, LXX]; 143:9-11 [142:9-11, LXX]; Isa 44:24, 28; Jer 9:24 [9:23, LXX]; Mal 1:10) Jesus expressed a similar thought when he, according to Mt 26:42, prayed to his Father: “Let your will take place.”​—See App. C3 introduction; Ac 21:14.

if Jehovah wills: An expression that emphasizes the need to take God’s will into account when doing or planning to do anything. The apostle Paul kept this principle in mind. (Ac 18:21; 1Co 16:7; Heb 6:3) In addition, the disciple James encouraged his readers to say: “If Jehovah wills, we will live and do this or that.” (Jas 4:15) James did not mean that Christians must always say it audibly; nor should they use the expression superstitiously or as an empty phrase. Instead, they would try to learn God’s will and to act in harmony with it.

if Jehovah is willing: An expression that emphasizes the need to take God’s will into account when doing or planning to do anything. The apostle Paul kept this principle closely in mind. (1Co 4:19; 16:7; Heb 6:3) The disciple James also encouraged his readers to say: “If Jehovah wills, we will live and do this or that.” (Jas 4:15) Such expressions should not be empty phrases; anyone who sincerely says “if Jehovah is willing” must try to act in harmony with Jehovah’s will. The expression does not always need to be made audibly but is often made only in the heart.​—See study notes on Ac 21:14; 1Co 4:19; Jas 4:15 and App. C3 introduction; Ac 18:21.

he went up: Although Jerusalem is not specifically mentioned in the Greek text, Paul was apparently heading to that city. Jerusalem is about 750 m (2,500 ft) above sea level, and the Scriptures often speak of worshippers as “going up to Jerusalem.” In fact, the Greek verb a·na·baiʹno (“to go up”) is many times used when Jerusalem is specifically mentioned as the destination. (Mt 20:17; Mr 10:32; Lu 18:31; 19:28; Joh 2:13; 5:1; 11:55; Ac 11:2; 21:12, 15; 24:11; 25:1, 9; Ga 2:1) In addition, a verb meaning “to go down” (ka·ta·baiʹno) also appears in this verse, and this verb is sometimes used when referring to going away from Jerusalem.​—Mr 3:22; Lu 10:30, 31; Ac 24:1, 22; 25:7.

Apollos: A Jewish Christian who had apparently been raised in the city of Alexandria, the capital of the Roman province of Egypt. Alexandria was a center of higher learning, renowned for its great library. It was the largest city in the Roman Empire after Rome and had a large Jewish population. It was one of the most important centers of culture and learning for both Jews and Greeks. The Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures known as the Septuagint was produced there. This background may help explain why Apollos is described as being well-versed [lit., “powerful”] in the Scriptures, that is, the inspired Hebrew Scriptures.

The Way: A designation used in the book of Acts to refer to the Christian way of life and the early Christian congregation. It may have roots in Jesus’ statement at Joh 14:6: “I am the way.” Those who became followers of Jesus were spoken of as belonging to “The Way,” that is, they kept a way of life following Jesus’ example. (Ac 19:9) His life centered on worship of the only true God, Jehovah. For Christians, this manner of life also focused on faith in Jesus Christ. Sometime after 44 C.E., in Syrian Antioch, disciples of Jesus “were by divine providence called Christians.” (Ac 11:26) However, even after that designation was applied, Luke refers to the congregation as “The Way” or “this Way.”​—Ac 19:23; 22:4; 24:22; see study notes on Ac 18:25; 19:23.

Jehovah: In this quote from Isa 40:3, the divine name, represented by four Hebrew consonants (transliterated YHWH), occurs in the original Hebrew text. (See App. C.) Matthew applies this prophecy to what John the Baptist did in preparing the way for Jesus. In John’s Gospel, John the Baptist applies this prophecy to himself.​—Joh 1:23.

Jehovah: In this quote from Isa 40:3, the divine name, represented by four Hebrew consonants (transliterated YHWH), occurs in the original Hebrew text. (See App. C.) Mark applies this prophecy to what “John the Baptizer” (Mr 1:4) did in preparing the way for Jesus.​—See study notes on Mt 3:3; Joh 1:23.

Jehovah: At Isa 40:3, quoted here, the divine name, represented by four Hebrew consonants (transliterated YHWH), occurs in the original Hebrew text. (See App. C.) Luke applies this prophecy to John the Baptist. John would prepare the way of Jehovah in that he would be the forerunner of Jesus, who would represent his Father and come in his Father’s name. (Joh 5:43; 8:29) In the apostle John’s Gospel, John the Baptist applies this prophecy to himself.​—Joh 1:23.

Jehovah: At Isa 40:3, quoted here, the divine name, represented by four Hebrew consonants (transliterated YHWH), occurs in the original Hebrew text. (See App. A5 and C.) The Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, and Luke apply this prophecy to John the Baptist, and here in John’s Gospel, John the Baptist applies this prophecy to himself. John would make the way of Jehovah straight in the sense that he would be the forerunner of Jesus, who would represent his Father and come in his Father’s name.​—Joh 5:43; 8:29.

The Way: As shown in the study note on Ac 9:2, the expression “The Way” was used with reference to the early Christian congregation. True Christianity is not a matter of outward appearance or mere formal worship. It is a way of life permeated by the worship of God and guided by his spirit. (Joh 4:23, 24) The Syriac Peshitta reads: “the way of God”; the Latin Vulgate according to the Clementine recension reads: “the way of the Lord”; and some translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures into Hebrew (referred to as J17, 18 in App. C4) use the divine name here and read: “Jehovah’s way.”

the spirit impelled him to go: Or “the active force moved him to go.” The Greek word pneuʹma here refers to God’s spirit, which can act as a driving force, moving and impelling a person to do things in accord with God’s will.​—Lu 4:1; see Glossary, “Spirit.”

instructed: The Greek verb ka·te·kheʹo literally means “to sound down,” and it may include the idea of oral instruction. When the truths of God’s Word are repeatedly sounded down into the mind and heart of a learner, he becomes qualified to teach others.​—Compare Ga 6:6, where the same Greek word is used twice.

the way of Jehovah: In the following verse, the synonymous expression “the way of God” is used. The Christian way of life is centered on worship of the only true God, Jehovah, and on faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. The book of Acts refers to this course of life simply as “The Way” or “this Way.” (Ac 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:22; see study note on Ac 9:2.) Also, the expression “the way of Jehovah” appears four times in the Gospel accounts, where it is part of a quote from Isa 40:3. (See study notes on Mt 3:3; Mr 1:3; Lu 3:4; Joh 1:23.) At Isa 40:3, the original Hebrew text uses the Tetragrammaton. The expression “the way of Jehovah” (or, “Jehovah’s way”) also occurs at Jg 2:22; Jer 5:4, 5.​—See study note on Ac 19:23 and App. C3 introduction; Ac 18:25.

aglow with the spirit: Lit., “boiling to the spirit.” The Greek word rendered “aglow” literally means “to boil,” but here it is used metaphorically to convey the idea of overflowing with or radiating zeal and enthusiasm. In this expression, the Greek word for “spirit” (pneuʹma) apparently refers to God’s holy spirit, which can act as a driving force, moving and energizing a person to do things in accord with Jehovah’s will. (See study note on Mr 1:12.) However, the term “spirit” may also refer to the impelling force that issues from a person’s figurative heart and causes him to say and do things in a certain way. So this verse may express a combined idea of a person showing zeal and enthusiasm for what is right as he is guided by God’s spirit. However, some feel that in this context, this expression is simply an idiom for great eagerness and enthusiasm. If so, this may explain how Apollos could be “aglow with the spirit” even though he was unacquainted with baptism in the name of Jesus. In either case, Apollos’ spirit needed to be guided by God’s spirit in order for him to show enthusiasm for the right things and to be willing to accept teachings that were more accurate.​—See Glossary, “Spirit.”

the baptism of John: This baptism was a public demonstration of the individual’s repentance over his sins against the Law that Jehovah gave to Moses, a Law that the Jews had agreed to follow. (Ex 24:7, 8) Undergoing the baptism of John, however, was not valid after Pentecost 33 C.E. when the Law covenant ended. (Ro 10:4; Ga 3:13; Eph 2:13-15; Col 2:13, 14) From that time on, the only baptism approved by Jehovah was the one that Jesus instructed his disciples to carry out. (Mt 28:19, 20) The events involving Apollos, described here, happened about the year 52 C.E.

God’s: Lit., “the.” Although the Greek text does not have the word for “God’s” here, many scholars agree that it is understood. In the book of Acts, the expression “undeserved kindness” is most often connected with “God.”​—Ac 11:23; 13:43; 14:26; 20:24, 32.

Media

Synagogue in the City of Ostia
Synagogue in the City of Ostia

Shown here is a photograph of the remains of a synagogue in Ostia, the port city of Rome. Though the building underwent renovation and alteration, the original structure is thought to have been built as a synagogue in the latter half of the first century C.E. The presence of the synagogue indicates that Jews lived in the vicinity of Rome for a long time. Although the Jews were expelled from the city of Rome by Emperor Claudius about the year 49 or 50 C.E., it is possible that Jewish communities remained in the area. (Ac 18:1, 2) After the death of Claudius in 54 C.E., many Jews returned to the city of Rome. When Paul wrote his letter to the Christians in Rome, about the year 56 C.E., the congregation was composed of Jews as well as Gentiles. This explains why Paul addressed matters related to both groups, helping them to see how they could live together in unity.—Ro 1:15, 16.

1. Rome

2. Ostia

Emperor Claudius
Emperor Claudius

The book of Acts twice refers to Roman Emperor Claudius by name. (Ac 11:28; 18:2) He succeeded his nephew Caligula (who ruled from 37 to 41 C.E. and who is not mentioned in the Scriptures) to become the fourth emperor of Rome, ruling from 41 to 54 C.E. About the year 49 or 50 C.E., Claudius ordered all Jews to leave Rome. As a result, Priscilla and Aquila moved to Corinth, where they met the apostle Paul. Claudius’ fourth wife reportedly poisoned him in 54 C.E., and he was succeeded by Emperor Nero.

Gallio Inscription
Gallio Inscription

This inscription found in Delphi, Greece, dating to about the middle of the first century C.E., refers to the proconsul Gallio. (His name is highlighted.) Ac 18:12 correctly states that “Gallio was proconsul of Achaia” at the time that the Jews in Corinth led the apostle Paul to him to be judged.

Judgment Seat in Corinth
Judgment Seat in Corinth

The photograph shows the remains of “the judgment seat,” or bema, in Corinth. It was a large, raised platform used for public speaking. Corinth’s judgment seat was located near the center of the city’s agora, a large public area. A magistrate would use the platform to announce the judgments he rendered. The judgment seat was made of white and blue marble and was richly decorated. People who were to approach the magistrate waited in rooms that had mosaic floors and benches and were attached to the platform. Shown here is an artist’s conception of what the Corinthian judgment seat may have looked like in the first century C.E. It is believed to be the place where the Jews brought Paul before the proconsul Gallio.

Harbor of Ancient Cenchreae
Harbor of Ancient Cenchreae

Shown here are the ruins of the harbor of ancient Cenchreae. On his second missionary tour, Paul apparently boarded a boat here and sailed to Ephesus. (Ac 18:18) Cenchreae lay about 11 km (7 mi) east of Corinth on the side of a narrow isthmus facing the Saronic Gulf. It was linked to Corinth by a chain of military fortifications. In the first century C.E., Cenchreae was Corinth’s port for points east of Greece, while Lechaeum, on the opposite side of the isthmus, served as Corinth’s port for Italy and other places west of Greece.

Caesarea
Caesarea

1. Roman theater

2. Palace

3. Hippodrome

4. Pagan temple

5. Harbor

This video of the ruins of Caesarea includes 3-D reconstructions, showing what some of the main buildings may have looked like. The city of Caesarea and its harbor were built by Herod the Great toward the end of the first century B.C.E. Herod named the city after Caesar Augustus. Located about 87 km (54 mi) northwest of Jerusalem on the Mediterranean Coast, Caesarea became an important maritime hub. The city included a Roman theater (1), a palace that extended into the sea (2), a hippodrome, or stadium for horse racing, that could hold an estimated 30,000 spectators (3), and a pagan temple (4). The man-made harbor (5) was an engineering marvel. An aqueduct supplied Caesarea with fresh water, and the city had its own sewer system. The apostle Paul and other Christians traveled to and from Caesarea by boat. (Ac 9:30; 18:21, 22; 21:7, 8, 16) Paul was imprisoned there for about two years. (Ac 24:27) Philip the evangelizer traveled to Caesarea at the end of a preaching tour and possibly settled there. (Ac 8:40; 21:8) Cornelius, the first uncircumcised Gentile to become a Christian, lived in that city. (Ac 10:1, 24, 34, 35, 45-48) It was probably in Caesarea that Luke wrote his Gospel.

Acts of Apostles—Paul’s Third Missionary Tour (Ac 18:23–21:17) c. 52-56 C.E.
Acts of Apostles—Paul’s Third Missionary Tour (Ac 18:23–21:17) c. 52-56 C.E.

Events are listed in chronological order

1. Paul departs from Antioch of Syria for Galatia and Phrygia and strengthens the disciples in the congregations (Ac 18:23)

2. Paul goes through the inland regions and comes to Ephesus, where some are rebaptized and receive holy spirit (Ac 19:1, 5-7)

3. Paul preaches in the synagogue in Ephesus, but some Jews refuse to believe; Paul moves to the school auditorium of Tyrannus and gives talks daily (Ac 19:8, 9)

4. Paul’s ministry in Ephesus is fruitful (Ac 19:18-20)

5. A riot breaks out in the theater in Ephesus (Ac 19:29-34)

6. Paul travels from Ephesus to Macedonia and then to Greece (Ac 20:1, 2)

7. After staying in Greece for three months, Paul goes back through Macedonia (Ac 20:3)

8. From Philippi, Paul travels to Troas; resurrects Eutychus there (Ac 20:5-11)

9. Paul’s companions arrive in Assos by boat while Paul travels overland and joins them there (Ac 20:13, 14)

10. Paul and his companions arrive in Miletus by boat, where Paul meets with the elders from Ephesus and admonishes them with many words (Ac 20:14-20)

11. Paul prays with the elders and tells them that they will not see his face anymore; the elders escort him to the ship (Ac 20:36-38)

12. From Miletus, Paul and his companions sail to Cos and then to Rhodes and Patara, where they board a ship to Syria; the ship passes the SW end of the island of Cyprus and lands at Tyre (Ac 21:1-3)

13. The disciples in Tyre, through the spirit, repeatedly warn Paul not to set foot in Jerusalem (Ac 21:4, 5)

14. Paul arrives in Caesarea; the prophet Agabus tells him that tribulation awaits him in Jerusalem (Ac 21:8-11)

15. Paul arrives in Jerusalem despite the danger there (Ac 21:12-15, 17)