4. Gospel Expansion into Greece, 15:36-20:38

vi] The mission to Corinth


Paul moves from Athens to Corinth, the capital of Achaia, where he is later joined by Timothy and Silas. It is here that he meets Priscilla and Aquila, a couple who become long-term friends and supports of Paul. Aquila is in the same trade as Paul, a tent maker, and Paul ends up staying with him and his family for over a year. Paul, as usual, begins attending the local synagogue, arguing the case that Jesus is the Christ. Some members believe, even Crispus, the synagogue leader. Again, trouble ensues, with Paul inevitably leaving the synagogue and setting up next door in the house of Titius Justus. The conservative Jews seek to bring charges against Paul before Gallio, the proconsul of Achaia, but he dismisses the case as nothing more than a religious argument. Paul continues his ministry in Corinth for over a year before heading off to Ephesus with Priscilla and Aquila.


A lesson for God's people: the gospel bears its fruit; believers are community; darkness cannot prevail over light.


i] Context: See 15:36-41.


ii] Background:


iii] Structure: The mission to Corinth:

Setting, v1-4;

Rejection and acceptance, v5-8;

An encouraging vision, v9-11;

Unsuccessful opposition, v12-17.


iv] Interpretation:

Paul now shifts his mission to Corinth, the capital of Achaia. This city, once destroyed by the Romans, is by now a prosperous centre of commerce, outwardly worldly in more ways than one. It served as the seat of government for the Roman province of Achaia, and at this time it was under the authority of the proconsul Gallio, AD 51-53.

As usual, Paul seeks out the local Jewish community, probably via the local synagogue, and links up with a local tent-maker, Aquila, where he finds lodging, and probably employment - Paul was a tent-maker by trade.

It is unclear whether Aquila, and his wife Priscilla, are believers at this point in time. Luke tells us that they were originally residents of Rome, but were caught up in the crackdown on the Jewish population by the emperor Claudius (AD 41-54). Due to the troubles, Claudius finally expelled the Jews from Rome, probably around AD 49. The historian Suetonius says that the troubles were caused by a man called Christus. It is often argued that this refers to Jesus and that the troubles were caused by conservative Jews going head-to-head with believing Jews, but the trouble is that the name Christus is a common Roman name. Given Paul's letter to the Romans, a fellowship of believers is obviously present in Rome, but whether Aquila was a member, or was still an unconverted Jew, remains unclear. What is clear is that Luke fills us in on Priscilla and Aquila, and this because they become integral supporters of Paul's mission - Rom.16:3-5, 1Cor.16:19, 2Tim.4.19.

As usual, Paul attends the local synagogue and dielegeto, "dialogues, debates, reasons", with those present, epeiqen, "trying to persuade", them that the messiah was Jesus. These two words are used of scholarly disputation, and again as usual, Paul is debating with the IoudaiouV, "Jews", and the EllhnaV, "Greeks", the God-fearers, proselytes and other associate Gentile members.

Luke provides us with a limited overview of the movements of Silas and Timothy: Paul leaves them both in Beroea; Timothy joins him in Athens, and then Paul sends him off to check out how things are in Thessalonica (not recorded in Acts); both then rejoin Paul in Corinth. When they arrive, they find Paul wholly focused on evangelising the Jewish community in Corinth.

As usual, conservative Jews begin to oppose Paul's messianic message. Luke now summarises a pattern which will become standard practice for the Gentile mission. First, with local synagogue attenders, the gospel is proclaimed / reasoned / argued. Then, with rejection of the gospel, the mission moves its focus onto the Gentile community, establishing a new hub for worship and evangelisation. Luke takes a moment to describe how Paul theologically handles the rejection of the gospel, v6, and the consequent practical establishment of a new centre of worship.

Luke tells us that this new fellowship centre / church / place of worship is in the home of Titius Justus. Luke again uses the general term "a worshipper of God", probably indicating that he was a Gentile God-fearer / proselyte. Even so, with the "Greeks", there are fully fledged Jewish converts, even one of the synagogue elders. We read that Crispus believes and expresses his repentance outwardly in baptism, along with "the whole house of him" - another example of how the blessings of the covenant are family orientated, cf., 10:44-48.

Although Luke doesn't supply us with the details, it seems that at this time Paul suffers an existential crisis - a common experience for all who seek to live their life according to an unseen reality. The Lord breaks into his humdrum existence and reminds him that there is no need for him to be debilitated by fear. The powers of darkness arranged against him cannot overwhelm him; "I am with you." Seekers abound in Corinth so "go on speaking and let no one silence you", Phillips.

Again, Luke takes a moment to remind his readers of the value of Roman justice, and that when it comes to troublemakers, conservative Jews are the problem, not believers. Judaism, under Roman law, is a religio licita, "a protected religion", and Christianity falls under the protection of this law as a sect of Judaism. It is possible that conservative Jews have come up with a plan to label the Christian sect as areligio ilicata, "an illegal religion", a foreign religion harming civic order - they are converting people to a religion para ton nomon, "against the law (Biblical law rather than Roman law???)", ie., Christianity does not comply with the laws of Moses; it is not properly Jewish. Of course, this argument implies that a gang intent on trouble has carefully thought through their plan of action.

Grabbing Paul, the conservative Jews drag him to the market-place where the proconsul of Achaia, Gallio (AD 51-52), holds court. Gallio was the brother of Seneca, and like his brother, was a sophisticated Roman of noble birth, and by the way, probably antisemitic. Luke makes sure that the reader knows that Gallio is indifferent to this religious squabble - Christianity is not religio ilicate. He sends the litigants packing, and the crowd, with a bit of pent up antisemitism, sets upon Sosthenes, the synagogue leader.


v] Homiletics: A crisis point in ministry

Many years ago, a mate of mine took his life. He was a brilliant Baptist minister. I would often watch him perform in front of young people; he would hold them in the palm of his hand. He was just so brilliant; he outshone me. Yet, he came to that point in life when dreams begin to drift, like sand running through the fingers; that point when we realise we just don't have the energy, or the time, to reach our life-goals. I've been there twice, and I don't know how I survived the second time.

It's obvious, isn't it, that in Corinth, Paul has one of these critical moments. Luke tells us virtually nothing about it, other than what Paul does about it and what the Lord does about it.

Luke implies that Paul responds to this crisis-point in two ways. First, Paul stays in Corinth for a year and a half. It's as if he is taking stock, stepping back, taking a rest even, recuperating, before rushing on to the next town to further the Gentile mission. Luke also tells us that Paul takes a Nazarite vow, a culturally Jewish act of piety. The general rule was that the hair is cut off at the end of the vow, in this case, when Paul makes his move to Ephesus. It's very likely that the vow is associated with Paul's vision.

As for what the Lord does in the face of Paul's crisis point, I want to suggest that the Lord's word to Paul in verses 9 and 10 can be ours. Now, I'm not suggesting that the specifics apply - trust Jesus and no one will harm you. Many a missionary will sadly testify that this does not apply. A promise made to a specific person in the Bible is a promise to that person, not a promise to everyone. But, the general principle does apply.

When life starts to fall apart for us, Jesus doesn't step apart from us; What does he say! "I am with you." The worst thing we can do when darkness sets in, is to assume that we are alone in it. What does Jesus say! "I am with you." And as for unfulfilled dreams, I remember hearing the story of a missionary who worked his who life and never saw anyone make a commitment to the Lord. He had obviously planted the seed, because the next person who took over the mission station, saw fruit in abundance.

God's eternal plan is not hindered by circumstance, it is not hindered by the limitations and troubles of this world. There are many people in the secular city who are his, so "Don't be afraid, keep on preaching."

When the black dog strikes and the walls close in, when fear turns to despair, it's then when we have to pull away from the whirlpool of ministry - the meetings, programmes, responsibilities, plans, ...... That's the time to take a sabbatical and reconnect with the Lord. Life in the parish will go on without us as it always has, but more importantly, we will be able to go on preaching rather than end up hitting the burnout brick wall.

I can just hear you say, "Yes, I know, but." Really! There is no BUT. I'm an old bloke; I've seen it all before; I've even been there, and I can tell you, there is no BUT. Take a sabbatical, reconnect with the Lord, or else!

Text - 18:1

The mission to Corinth, v1-17: i] Setting, v1-4. Arriving in Corinth, Paul sets up with Priscilla and Aquila while attending the local synagogue. Corinth will become the first headquarters of Paul's Gentile mission, staying some year and a half.

meta + acc. "after [this]" - after [these things]. Transitional construction formed by the temporal use of the preposition meta.

cwrisqeiV (cwrizw) aor. pas. part. "Paul left" - having left [from athens, he came into corinth]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to come."


Luke introduces us to Priscilla and Aquila, a couple Paul later describes in his letter to the Romans as "fellow workers." Given there is no mention of their conversion, it is usually assumed that they are already believers when Paul meets them, although, an argument from silence is never a sure-bet.

euJrwn (euJriskw) aor. part. "there he met" - [and] having found [certain jews .................. he came to them]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to come to"; "he found a Jew named Aquilla ........... and went to see him", ESV.

onamati (a atoV) dat. "named" - in name [aquila]. The dative is adverbial, reference / respect, "with respect to his name"; "a Jew called Aquila", Barclay.

tw/ genei (oV) "a native [of Pontus]" - in = by race, birth [of pontus]. The dative is probably adverbial, reference / respect, "with respect to his race, he is of Pontus", as NIV.

elhluqonta (ercomai) perf. part. "who had [recently] come" - [recently] having come [from italy, and priscilla wife of him]. The participle is usually treated as adjectival, attributive, limiting "a Jew", as NIV.

dia to + inf. "because" - because of the [claudius to have commanded]. This construction, dia + the articular infinitive, introduces a causal clause explaining why Priscilla and Aquila have recently come from Italy. "Claudius" serves as the accusative subject of the infinitive.

cwrizesqai (cwrizw) pres. mid. inf. "to leave" - [all the jews] to leave. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Claudius commanded; "Claudius had commanded that all Jews leave Rome." The accusative subject of the infinitive is "all the Jews."

apo + gen. "-" - from [rome]. Expressing separation, "away from."


Association by trade is a normal feature of Hellenistic society, with most trades bound by guilds. The trade of skhnopoioV covered the crafting of leather and woven materials for commercial use; this would include tent-making.

dia to + inf. "because [he was]" - [and] because the [to be same trade, he was staying beside = with them and he was working with them]. Again, this construction serves to introduce a causal clause explaining why Paul stayed and worked with Priscilla and Aquila, namely, "because he was of the same trade." The presence of kai indicates that the causal clause is not providing the reason why he "went to see them."

gar "-" - for [by trade they were tent-makers]. More reason than cause, specifying "the same trade", "namely ....."; "and because he was of the same trade - that of tent-maker - he lodged with them and worked with them", Weymouth. The dative tecnh/, "trade", is probably adverbial, reference / respect, "they were tent-makers by reason of / with respect to their trade."


As Bruce Gk. notes, the Western text adds the explanation that Paul was expounding from the Scriptures "inserting the name of the Lord Jesus" where appropriate. It seems very likely that he did just that, asserting that Jesus is the long-promised messiah, God's anointed one.

kata + acc. "[every Sabbath]" - [but/and] according to [every sabbath]. Distributive use of the preposition, as NIV, although the unnecessary addition of pan, "all / every", possibly serves an emphatic function, so Culy; "every Sabbath without fail."

te .... kai "and" - [he was persuading] both [jews] and [greeks]. Coordinating construction.


ii] Rejection and acceptance, v5-8. The sense of this verse is that when Silas and Timothy arrive, they find Paul fully focused on evangelising the Jewish community - this is the best way to read the aorist "they came down" in relation to the durative imperfect "was occupied with", so Barrett. A popular reading of the verse is that with the arrival of Silas and Timothy, Paul is freed up to devote his time to evangelise the Jewish community, ie., Silas and Timothy bring with them financial support for the mission such that Paul doesn't have to spend his time earning a living (an example of reading present practice back into Scripture???).

wJV "when" - [but/and] when [both silas and timothy came down away from macedonia]. Temporal use of the conjunction serving to introduce a temporal clause, as NIV.

tw/ logw/ (oV) dat. "[devoted himself exclusively] to preaching" - [paul was constrained by = fully occupied with] the word. Dative of direct object after the verb "to be constrained by."

diamarturoenoV (diamarturw) "testifying" - witnessing solemnly. The participle is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of Paul's preoccupation with the word; he was out-and-about testifying to the Jews.

toiV IoudaioiV (oV) dat. "to the Jews" - to the jews. Dative of indirect object.

einai (eimi) pres. inf. "that [Jesus] was" - [the christ] to be [jesus]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul testified. "Jesus" is the accusative subject of the infinitive, while "the Christ" is the predicate accusative, Zerwick. "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", Phillips.


At Pisidian Antioch, Luke provides us with a model of the gospel Paul preached to Jewish congregations, and there, just like here, conservative Jews oppose the claim that Jesus is the Christ. As opposition firms (antitassw, "to mount a resistance"), Paul announces that he will take the message to the Gentiles. On this occasion, Paul uses some cultural theatrics to make the point that he dissociates himself from the guilt due their actions, cf., 2Sam.1:16.

antitassomenwn (antassw) "when they opposed [Paul and became abusive]" - [but/and those] mounting a resistance [and opposing]. The genitive participle, along with the genitive "opposing", and its genitive subject "them", forms a genitive absolute construction, temporal, so introducing a temporal clause, as NIV. The object is unstated, presumably "Paul", as NIV, although Jesus may be intended, in which case the participle blasfhmountwn would be translated "blaspheming", rather than" opposing".

ektinaxamenoV (ektinassw) aor. mid. part. "he shook out" - having shaken [the garments he said toward them]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to say."

epi + acc. "on [your own heads]" - [the blood of you is] upon [the head of you, i am innocent]. Spatial, "on, upon, down upon."

apo + gen. "from [now on]" - from [now, into = to the gentiles i will go]. Temporal use of the preposition. The use of preposition eiV here expresses direction of the action, rather than arrival at.


The name Titius Justus is Roman; this aligns with the term "worshiper of God", ie., he is an associate member of the synagogue, possibly a Gentile God-fearer. It is often suggested that he may be Gaius, the Gaius referred to in Romans 16:23, 1Corinthians 1:14. Barclay is of the view that the move is not a change in venue for gospel ministry, but a change in residence, ie., "Gaius my host", Rom.16:23. If this is the case, what is the status of Priscilla and Aquila? Are they still unbelieving Jews at this stage?

metabaV (metabainw) aor. part. "Paul left" - [and] having departed [from there]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to enter into." The coordinating kai is sometimes treated here as transitional, "and then", or serving to introduce a logical connection, "and so."

eiV "-" - [he entered into] into [house of (belonging to) a certain man]. Idiomatic repetition of the prepositional prefix of the preceding verb.

sebomenou (sebw) pres. mid. part. "a worshiper" - worshiping [the god]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting the substantive pronoun "a certain man", "who was a worshiper of God"; "Then he removed to the house of a devout proselyte", Moffatt.

onomati (a atoV) dat. "-" - by name [titius justus]. The dative is adverbial, reference / respect, "with respect to his name."

th/ sunagwgh/ (h) dat. "-" - [the house of whom was bordering on] the synagogue. Dative of direct object after the sun prefix verb "to border on."


Paul mentions in his letter to the Corinthians that Crispus is the only person he baptised in Corinth. Interestingly, he also mentions that his first convert in Corinth was Stephen, although Luke doesn't mention him. Crispus is oJ arcisunagwgoV , "the ruler of the synagogue", although probably not the one and only, but one of a number of leaders.

sun + dat. "with [his entire household]" - [but/and crispus] with [entire house of him]. Expressing association / accompaniment. Again, another example of how the orientation of divine grace is family centric; see Salvation by households, 10:44-48

tw/ kuriw/ (oV) dat. "in the Lord" - [believed] in the lord. Dative of direct object after the verb "to believe in", "he put his trust in Jesus and his entire family believed along with him"; "Crispus, the president of the synagogue, became a believer in the Lord with his whole household", Barclay.

twn Koribnqiwn (oV) gen. "[many] of the Corinthians" - [and many] of the corinthians. The genitive is adjectival, partitive.

akouonteV (akouw) "who heard Paul" - hearing [were believing and were being baptised]. The NIV takes the participle as adjectival, attributive, limiting "the Corinthians." Given that it is anarthrous (without an article) it may well be intended as adverbial, possibly temporal; "the Corinthians, when they heard Paul / what had happened, believed and were baptised," The object of what they heard is unstated, either Paul's preaching, or the conversion of Crispus. The two verbs "to believe" and "to be baptised", are imperfect; Kellum suggests that they may be inceptive. "A large number of Corinthians, on hearing Paul, embraced the faith and submitted themselves to Baptism", Cassirer.


iii] An encouraging vision, v9-11. Luke doesn't tell us why it was necessary for the Lord to reassure Paul at this point in time, but Paul himself confirms that when he visited Corinth, his confidence was at a low ebb; "As a matter of act, in myself I was feeling far from strong; I was nervous and rather shaky", Phillips, 1Cor.2:3. Given that it is night, the vision is probably a dream, so Barrett, although this is not clear, so Dunn.

en + dat. "[one night]" - [but/and] in [the night through / by means of a vision]. Temporal use of the preposition; "during the night."

Paulw/ (oV) dat. "[spoke] to Paul" - [the lord said] to paul. Dative of indirect object. Presumably "the Lord Jesus."

mh siwphshV (siwpaw) aor. subj. "do not be silent" - [do not fear but speak and] do not be silent. The construction serves as a prohibitive subjunctive expressing a negative command. The present imperative "do not fear" may serve to express a command to cease an action already underway, although the context remains the prime determinate. Probably, "Stop fearing, rather, speak out and don't be silent."


The sense of the statement that the Lord has many laoV, "people", in Corinth is usually determined by one's theological perspective. Those of a Calvinist bent will frame the statement in the terms of the divine initiative to predestine individuals for salvation, while those of an Arminian bent will frame the statement in the terms of a divine foreknowledge of those who choose to be seekers after the truth. Either way (and of course, both perspectives may be true!!!), the truth of the gospel will set them free. We are also faced with a specific promise to a specific person at a specific point of time - one which is too often generalised at the expense of Jesus' own words on the troubles facing those involved in gospel ministry, Matt.10:16-42 . There is no need for Paul to be afraid, diote, "because", the Lord is standing with him in the Corinthian mission, kai, "and as a result" (with a consecutive sense), no one is going to be able to hurt him. This plays out when Paul is dragged before the Proconsul. All Paul needs to do is communicate the gospel and gather in the elect / seekers in Corinth.

dioti "for" - because. Causal conjunction introducing a causal clause, explaining why Paul should obey Jesus' commands to not be afraid but keep on witnessing, (a) because Jesus will not allow persecution to hinder the mission, and (b) because Jesus has many souls in the city ready and waiting for the gospel.

meta + gen. "with [you]" - [i am] with [you]. Expressing association / accompaniment. The use of the personal pronoun egw with the verb to-be is emphatic.

soi dat. pro. "-" - [and no one will lay on = attack] you. Dative of direct object after the epi prefix verb "to lay on."

tou kakwsai (kakow) aor. inf. "and harm" - the to harm [you]. This construction, the genitive articular infinitive, serves to introduce a final clause expressing purpose, "in order that no one will harm you", or a consecutive clause expressing result, "with the result that no one will harm you." Kellum's take on the sense of the promise is "Paul will not be hindered by successful persecution."

moi dat. pro. "I have" - [because it is] to me = belonging to me [many people in this city]. Dative of possession; "I have many in this city who are my people", ESV.


A typical Lukan summary which serves to remind us that Paul spent more time as a resident teacher, than as a travelling missionary.

didaskwn (didaskw) pres. part. "teaching [them]" - [but/and he sat a year and six months] teaching [in = among them the word of = from god]. The participle is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of Paul's sitting. Unlike our teaching faculties, a teacher in the first century sat and the students stood.


iv] Unsuccessful opposition, v12-17. Luke's historical note is important in that the appointment of Gallio can not only be confirmed, but it can be dated to between late AD 51, early 52. Ill health shortened his appointment as Proconsul of Achaia. Luke tells us that a gang of conservative Jews drag Paul up to to bhma, "platform, judgment seat". This is a typical Roman structure placed in the town square / market place. It consisted of a raised dais, often with corner colonnades and a cover for shading, and was used for public announcements.

ontoV (eimi) gen. pres. part. "while" - [but/and gallio, proconsul] being. The genitive participle and its genitive subject "Gallio", forms a genitive absolute construction, temporal. The genitive "proconsul" stands in apposition to "Gallio."

thV AcaiaV (a) "of Achaia" - of achaia. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / subordination; "over Achaia."

tw/ Paulw/ (oV) dat. "[made a united attack] on Paul" - [the jews rose up against unanimously] paul [and they brought him upon = up to the platform]. Dative of direct object after the kata prefix verb "to rise up against" (a hapax legomenon - once only use in the NT). "A gang of conservative Jews grabbed Paul and hauled him into court."


It is unclear what "law" Paul is supposed to be breaking. If Roman law, then Paul is introducing people to a foreign religion, a religio ilicita, "an unauthorised religion" under Roman law - "This man is promoting a religion which does not have legal status under Roman law." If the law of Moses is in mind, then the charge may be that Paul and his followers are not properly Jews and so do not fall under the protection of Roman law; they are not members of a religio licita, an "authorised religion." Of course, this assumes that the gang has a sophisticated plan of action, so the charge may just be as Gallio describes it, "questions about words, names and the law which is in force among you", Cassirer. So, the incident serves to remind the reader that squabbles between conservative Jews and the followers of Jesus, fall well outside the judicial concerns of Rome. "This man is trying to make our people worship God in a way this is against our Law!", CEV.

legonteV (legw) "they charged" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to bring"; "they brought him before the tribunal and said."

oJti "-" - that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of direct speech expressing what the "Jews" said.

sebesqai (sebw) pres. inf. "to worship [God]" - [this one incites men] to worship [god]. The infinitive is probably best classified as complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to incite", so Culy and Kellum, but we could also classify it as introducing an object clause / dependent statement of cause, expressing what Paul incites, inflames, agitates, provokes, namely "that men worship God", so Rogers Gk. "Men" would then serve as the accusative subject of the infinitive rather than the object of the verb.

para + acc. "contrary to" - against [the law]. Here used to express opposition, "contrary to, against."


"Gallio does not let Paul speak but instead renders a verdict. In his judgment, there is no wrongdoing, or vicious, fraudulent crime. This is just a dispute about words, names and Jewish law", Bock.

mellontoV (mellw) gen. pres. part. "just as [Paul] was about [to speak]" - [but/and paul] being about [to open the mouth]. The genitive participle and its genitive subject "Paul" forms a genitive absolute construction, temporal. The infinitive "to open", and its object "the mouth", is complementary, completing the sense of the participle, "being about."

men ..... de ".... but ......" - An adversative comparative construction, serving to coordinate the two conditional clause in v14 and 15; "if, on the one hand ......., but if on the other hand ........"

ei .... an + ind. "if" - [gallio spoke toward the jews] if, as is not the case [it was certain unrighteous deed, or evil, o jews] then. Introducing a second class conditional clause, contrary to fact, where the proposed condition is assumed to be not true.

kata + acc. "it would be reasonable for me" - according to [word = reason, i may bear with, be patient with, put up with you (consider your complaint)]. Probably an adverbial use of the preposition such that with logon we get the sense "reasonably"; "I might reasonably be expected to put up with you", Phillips. Bruce Gk. argues that it is a legal term for "to accept a case."

uJmwn gen. pro. "you" - you. Genitive of direct object after the ana prefix verb "to put up with."


"But it sounds to me like one more Jewish squabble, another of your endless hair-splitting quarrels over religion. Take care of it on your own time. I can't be bothered with this nonsense", Peterson.

ei + ind. "[but] since" - [but on the other hand] if, as is the case [it is questions = disputes about a word = speech and names / titles = persons and your law] then. Introducing a 1st. class conditional clause where the proposed condition is assumed to be true. The noun "word" may mean something like "speech, message, teaching", but "names / titles" is somewhat of a mystery. Kellum's "persons" is as good as any, but the suggestions are many and varied, eg., a particular interpretation over the person of the promised messiah, Longenecker; "Since this is an argument about words, personalities and matters of you law ......"

tou gen. art. "[your own law]" - [law] the [according to you]. The article serves as an adjectivizer turning the prepositional phrase "according to you" into an attributive modifier of "law"; "law which is according to you", namely, "your law."

autoi pro. "yourselves" - [you will see to it] they = yourselves. The use of the personal pronoun here with the imperatival future verb "to see" is intensive, giving the sense "you yourselves"; "see to it yourselves."

egw pro. "I" - i. Emphatic by position and use; "I flatly refuse to be judge in these matters", Phillips.

einai "-" - [i do not wish = intend] to be. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to will, wish." Although not normally classified as such, technically, the infinitive here serves to introduce an object clause / dependent statement of perception, expressing what Gallio intends; "I do wish that I be a judge of these things." With the infinitive having served its purpose, the subject and the predicate of the verb to-be go on to take the nominative case, as usual. We may have expected the predicate "judge" to take the accusative case, given that the subject of an infinitive is accusative, but this is not normally the case with a construction involving a verb of perception with an infinitive.

toutwn gen. pro. "of such things" - [a judge] of these things. The genitive is probably adverbial, reference / respect, functioning to limit the noun "judge"; "I refuse to be a judge with respect to these matters."


The verb apelaunw will often take the sense of a forceful expulsion. Given that the crowd sets upon Sosthenes, he and his compatriots are obviously "forcibly ejected", Barclay, rather than politely escorted away.

apo + gen. "-" - [and he drove away them] from [the platform, tribunal, judgment seat]. The preposition expresses separation, "away from."


A variant reading has panteV oiJ EllhneV, "all the Greeks." It was probably added to specify who actually turned on Sosthenes. Without "the Greeks", panteV, taken as the substantive "everyone", could refer to his Jewish compatriots; they set upon him for messing up the case against Paul. In fact, "everyone" may refer to a crowd made up of Jews, non-Jews ("Greeks"), and even Christians!! "Everyone" is probably best viewed as a hyperbole referring to layabouts in the market place who are always ready for some sport. After their expulsion from Rome, Jews are not in favour with the authorities and therefore are an easy target for mob violence. Obviously, this is in terms of a roughing-up rather than a riot, otherwise the legionaries on duty would have got involved.

epilabomenoi (epilambanomai) aor. part. "[the crowd] turned on [Sosthenes]" - [but/and all = everyone] having taken hold of, seized [they were beating sosthenes, the synagogue leader, before the platform]. Culy suggests that the participle is temporal, but it is usually treated as attendant circumstance expressing action accompanying the verb "to beat"; "they all seized and beat Sosthenes." As Barrett notes, the epi prefix verb "to take hold of" usually takes a genitive of direct object, but here "Sosthenes" takes the accusative as the direct object of the finite verb "to beat." "The synagogue leader" stands in apposition to "Sosthenes". "The crowd cornered Sosthenes, the synagogue leader, and roughed him up."

toutwn gen. pro. "-" - [and nothing] of these things. The genitive is adjectival, partitive.

tw/ galliwni (wn wnoV) dat. "Gallio" - [was a concern to] gallio. The impersonal verb melei takes a dative of persons, "it is a care / concern to", so dative of direct object.


Acts Introduction

Exegetical Commentaries


[Pumpkin Cottage]