Apollos [Ăpŏl'los]—a destroyer or youthful god of music. An eloquent and learned Jew born at Alexandria and deeply versed in Old Testament Scriptures (Acts 18:24; 19:1; 1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4-6, 22; 4:6; 16:12; Titus 3:13).
This educated, cultured Alexandrian Jew was an orator and an efficient worker in the Church who knew only the baptism of John (Acts 18:24, 25). The influence of Apollos was ample and varied and, under Aquila and Priscilla, was heightened and enriched.
I. His was the influence of eloquence (Acts 18:24). Apollos wielded an ever powerful instrument of blessing—a consecrated eloquence.
II. His was the influence of exposition. Apollos was mighty in the Scriptures (Acts 18:26). What a tribute it is to be mighty in the mightiest of books!
III. His was the influence of spiritual knowledge. Apollos taught by word of mouth the things of the Lord.
IV. His was the influence of fervency. Apollos was also “fervent in spirit” (Acts 18:25). “A lively, affectionate preacher,” as Matthew Henry calls him.
V. His was the influence of accuracy. Apollos taught “carefully” or “accurately” the truth of Christ (Acts 18:25 RV). Incorrectness in teaching is detrimental to all concerned.
VI. His was the influence of courage. Apollos spoke “boldly.” He had no hesitation in his tone. Courage flashed in his eyes (Acts 18:26).
Yet with all his excellent gifts and goodly influence, Apollos had a distinct limitation. He knew that Christ was coming, but his was only a partial Christianity. Yet what he knew and taught profoundly impressed many in the synagogue. Under the tuition of Aquila and Priscilla, two deeply taught believers, Apollos was led into a deeper understanding of the truth. Instructed in the way of the Lord, Apollos went out to expound the truth more fully and accurately and thereafter became an unashamed herald of the Christian faith especially among the Jews (Acts 18:28).
Later on, Apollos became an apostle and one of Paul’s trusted friends and companions, and remained active in his ministry during Paul’s life (1 Cor. 16:12; Titus 3:13). So effective a preacher did he become that some of the Corinthians put him before both Peter and Paul. Martin Luther hazarded the guess that Apollos was the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews.