Chapter Eighteen — Part One: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 06/26/2022Foundation Scriptures:
a. Acts 18:1 KJV — After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
b. Athens was the center of learning in Greece.
c. Corinth was 46 miles away—the chief city of Achaia, the capital of Greece, and the seat of the Roman proconsul.
d. It was a rich and splendid city that worshipped the goddess Aphrodite (also called Venus in Latin).
e. They also carried on the immoral worship of the Ashtaroth here.
f. Judges 2:13 AMPC — And they forsook the Lord and served Baal [the god worshiped by the Canaanites] and the Ashtaroth [female deities such as Ashtoreth and Asherah].
g. 1 Kings 11:33 AMPC — Because they have forsaken Me and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in My ways, to do what is right in My sight, keeping My statutes and My ordinances as did David his father.
2. Aquila and Pricilla.
a. Acts 18:2 AMPC — There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently arrived from Italy with Priscilla his wife, due to the fact that Claudius had issued an edict that all the Jews were to leave Rome. And [Paul] went to see them,
b. Aquila was a Jew, originally from Pontus.
c. Aquila and Priscilla are always mentioned together, and sometimes her name is mentioned before his (Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19).
d. Claudius commanded all Jews to leave Rome in A.D. 52.
e. Acts 18:3 AMPC — And because he was of the same occupation, he stayed with them; and they worked [together], for they were tentmakers by trade.
f. Aquila and Pricilla were tentmakers, which happened to be the same occupation as Paul.
g. Tents were woven of goat’s or camel’s hair or made of leather.
h. The word “craft” (Greek homotechnos) is only mentioned in this one place in the Scriptures.
i. It was a word used by physicians and meant occupation or trade.
j. All Jewish boys were required to learn a trade and be self-supporting.
k. It was considered an asset to have a profitable skill and a shame not to.
l. The Rabbis had a few sayings:
- “Whosoever does not teach his son a trade is as if he brought him up to be a thief.”
- “He that has a trade in his hand is as a vineyard that is fenced.”
m. Even though Paul was one of the Pharisees and an accomplished scholar, taught by Gamaliel, he was also taught to make tents for a living.
n. For certain reasons, in certain places, Paul either chose to, or was compelled by necessity, to make tents to support himself (Acts 20:34; 1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8; 2 Corinthians 11:9-12).
o. Paul, the apostle, was not too proud to work with his hands when needed.
p. Romans 12:16 AMPC — Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits.
q. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 KJV — For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
3. Preaching in the Synagogue.
a. Acts 18:4 AMPC — But he discoursed and argued in the synagogue every Sabbath and won over [both] Jews and Greeks.
b. Every Sabbath, he went to reason with the Jews, hoping to able to persuade them, and was successful in winning over both Jews and Gentiles.
c. Acts 18:5 AMPC — By the time Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was completely engrossed with preaching, earnestly arguing and testifying to the Jews that Jesus [is] the Christ.
d. Paul was faithful to discharge his ministry and preach tirelessly, especially to the Jews.
e. However, to the Jews, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was a scandal, and they resisted and opposed Paul and blasphemed the Gospel.
f. Acts 18:6a AMPC — But since they kept opposing and abusing and reviling him, he shook out his clothing [against them] and said to them, Your blood be upon your [own] heads! I am innocent [of it].
g. The act of shaking out your clothing, or shaking the dust off your shoes, symbolized no longer having anything to do with someone or something (Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5; 10:11; Acts 13:51).
h. He was clean—free from responsibility and innocent of their blood—since they refused the saving message of the Gospel (Acts 20:26; Ezekiel 3:17-21, 33:1-6).
i. Acts 18:6b AMPC — From now on I will go to the Gentiles (the heathen).
j. Acts 18:7 AMPC — He then left there and went to the house of a man named Titus Justus, who worshiped God and whose house was next door to the synagogue.
k. He moved over to the house next door to the synagogue—which belonged to Titus Justus, a worshipper of God—to continue his ministry in the area.
a. Acts 18:8 AMPC — But Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed [that Jesus is the Messiah and acknowledged Him with joyful trust as Savior and Lord], together with his entire household; and many of the Corinthians who listened [to Paul also] believed and were baptized.
b. Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and his whole house believed and received Jesus as Lord and Savior, which must have been exasperating to the unbelieving Jews.
c. The chief ruler had the following authority, responsibilities, and duties:
- He presided over all their assemblies.
- He interpreted the Law and decided what was lawful or unlawful.
- He punished and executed the rebellious.
- He solemnized marriages and issued divorces.
d. When Crispus was converted, he was succeeded by Sosthenes (Acts 18:17), who evidently also became a Christian himself (1 Corinthians 1:1).