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Whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely human?(A)

The Role of God’s Ministers.[a]

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Footnotes

  1. 3:5–4:5 The Corinthians tend to evaluate their leaders by the criteria of human wisdom and to exaggerate their importance. Paul views the role of the apostles in the light of his theology of spiritual gifts (cf. 1 Cor 12–14, where the charism of the apostle heads the lists). The essential aspects of all spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:4–6 presents them as gifts of grace, as services, and as modes of activity) are exemplified by the apostolate, which is a gift of grace (1 Cor 3:10) through which God works (1 Cor 3:9) and a form of service (1 Cor 3:5) for the common good (elsewhere expressed by the verb “build up,” suggested here by the image of the building, 1 Cor 3:9). The apostles serve the church, but their accountability is to God and to Christ (1 Cor 4:1–5).

22 Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future: all belong to you,

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12 Now in regard to our brother Apollos, I urged him strongly to go to you with the brothers, but it was not at all his will that he go now. He will go when he has an opportunity.(A)

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Apollos. 24 A Jew named Apollos,(A) a native of Alexandria, an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus. He was an authority on the scriptures.[a] 25 He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord and, with ardent spirit, spoke and taught accurately about Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the Way [of God][b] more accurately. 27 And when he wanted to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. After his arrival he gave great assistance to those who had come to believe through grace. 28 He vigorously refuted the Jews in public, establishing from the scriptures that the Messiah is Jesus.

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Footnotes

  1. 18:24–25 Apollos appears as a preacher who knows the teaching of Jesus in the context of John’s baptism of repentance. Aquila and Priscilla instruct him more fully. He is referred to in 1 Cor 1:12; 3:5–6, 22.
  2. 18:26 The Way [of God]: for the Way, see note on Acts 9:2. Other manuscripts here read “the Way of the Lord,” “the word of the Lord,” or simply “the Way.”

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