Acts 18J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
At Corinth Paul is yet again rejected by the Jews
18 1-6 Before long Paul left Athens and went on to Corinth where he found a Jew called Aquila, a native of Pontus. This man had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had issued a decree that all Jews should leave Rome. He went to see them in their house and because they practised the same trade as himself he stayed with them. They all worked together, for their trade was tent-making. Every Sabbath Paul used to speak in the synagogue trying to persuade both Jews and Greeks. By the time Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia Paul was completely absorbed in preaching the message, showing the Jews as clearly as he could that Jesus is Christ. However, when they turned against him and abused him he shook his garments at them, and said, “Your blood be on your heads! From now on I go with a perfectly clear conscience to the Gentiles.”
7-8 Then he left them and went to the house of a man called Titius Justus, a man who reverenced God and whose house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, became a believer in the Lord, with all his household, and many of the Corinthians who heard the message believed and were baptised. Then one night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision.
9-10 “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and let no one silence you, for I myself am with you and no man shall lift a finger to harm you. There are many in this city who belong to me.”
11 So Paul settled down there for eighteen months and taught them God’s message.
Paul’s enemies fail to impress the governor
12-13 Then, while Gallio was governor of Achaia the Jews banded together to attack Paul, and took him to court, saying, “This man is perverting men’s minds to make them worship God in a way that is contrary to the Law.”
14-15 Paul was all ready to speak, but before he could utter a word Gallio said to the Jews, “Listen, Jews! If this were a matter of some crime or wrong-doing I might reasonably be expected to put up with you. But since it is a question which concerns a word and names and your own Law, you must attend to it yourselves. I flatly refuse to be judge in these matters.”
16-17 And he had them ejected from the court. Then they got hold of Sosthenes, the synagogue-leader, and beat him in front of the court-house. But Gallio remained completely unmoved.
Paul returns, reports to Jerusalem and Antioch
18a-23 Paul stayed for some time after this incident and then took leave of the brothers and sailed for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him. At Cenchrea he had his hair cut short, for he had taken a solemn vow. They all arrived at Ephesus and there Paul left Aquila and Priscilla, but he himself went into the synagogue and debated with the Jews. When they asked him to stay longer he refused, bidding them farewell with the words, “If it is God’s will I will come back to you again”. Then he set sail from Ephesus and went down to Caesarea. Here he disembarked and after paying his respects to the Church in Jerusalem, he went down to Antioch. He spent some time there before he left and proceeded to visit systematically throughout Galatia and Phyrgia, putting new heart into all the disciples as he went.
Apollos speaks powerfully at Ephesus and Corinth
24-28 Now a Jew called Apollos, a native of Alexandria and a gifted speaker, well-versed in the scriptures, arrived at Ephesus. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with burning zeal, teaching the facts about Jesus faithfully, even though he only knew the baptism of John. This man began to speak with great boldness in the synagogue. but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately. Then as he wanted to cross into Achaia, the brothers gave him every encouragement and wrote a letter to the disciples there, asking them to make him welcome. On his arrival he proved a source of great strength to those who believed through grace, for by his powerful arguments he publicly refuted the Jews, quoting from the scriptures to prove that Jesus is Christ.