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We are commanded to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Today, be prepared to love God with your mind.

Bible passage Acts 18:18–28 PDF Print E-mail
Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos
 18Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21But as he left, he promised, "I will come back if it is God's will." Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.

 23After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

 24Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

 27When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

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Gospel teaching
There were no Christian theological colleges in the first century AD. Jewish Christians could hear the Scriptures at the synagogue but they would receive no teaching there to help them see how it pointed to Jesus. But God was building his church and he was doing it person by person.

Paul spent 18 months living and working alongside Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth (18:1–3). In essence, they’d received an intensive, immersive and top quality theological education. They were equipped and ready to be leaders by the time Paul left them in Ephesus.

Passing it on
Here they meet Apollos – a bit of a loose cannon. He has knowledge and passion, but only part of the message (vs 24,25). This is where we see the beauty of God’s provision for his church. Priscilla and Aquila, equipped by Paul, are able to ‘[explain] to him the way of God more adequately’ (v 26).

Right understanding of the things of God is absolutely vital. We can’t all take three years to study theology, but we can all learn from those who have. We can all read, discuss, and seek out godly teachers. And then we can pass on what we’ve learned. This is how God builds his church.

Respond PDF Print E-mail

What opportunities are open to you to invest intellectually in your faith? And how are you nurturing and feeding younger Christians with the knowledge you have gained thus far?

Jo Swinney

Deeper Bible study PDF Print E-mail

‘And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.’ (2 Timothy 2:2)

In this episode we meet Apollos, a Jew from Alexandria. It is notable how he is described: ‘a learned [or eloquent] man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervour and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John’ (vs 24,25). Scholars have long debated Apollos’ identity, with theories ranging from his being a disciple of John, to a Jewish missionary, to a charismatic Christian1. It is most likely that he is a Christian who has received some Christian education, but his training has been inadequate, particularly in relation to baptism.

An older couple in the faith, named Priscilla and Aquila, invite Apollos into their home and ‘explained to him the way of God more adequately’ (v 26). This is significant for a few reasons, one of which is that Priscilla is a woman clearly instructing a young leader in the early church. She seems to have taken a lead role, for her name is nearly always mentioned before that of Aquila. Their thoughtful mentoring of Apollos is certainly effective, for the text says that Apollos went on to be a great help to the believers in Achaia, by debating with the Jews and proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ (vs 27,28).

Priscilla and Aquila are a model of the power of mentoring in a believer’s life. They remind us of the value of giving away what we have learned to others in focused and deliberate ways. By committing to a lifestyle of purposeful discipleship, we can all invest in the next generation of believers and help them to grow up into all that God has for them.

Daniel McGinnis


1 Witherington, Acts, p564–565

Bible background: Aquila and Priscilla PDF Print E-mail

• Aquila and Priscilla were a Jewish couple; Aquila came from Pontus, an area along the Black Sea coast of what is now Turkey (Acts 18:1–3). We do not know when they became Christians

• They were expelled from Rome by the Emperor Claudius in AD 49, possibly as result of disputes in the Jewish community over Christianity.

• Like Paul they were leather workers and apparently fairly prosperous. He stayed with them in Corinth.

• At some point, possibly in Corinth, they risked their lives for Paul (Romans 16:3).

• When Paul returned to Syria, they travelled with him. After a brief stop in Ephesus Paul moved on but left Priscilla and Aquila there (Acts 18:18–22).

• While in Ephesus they met with Apollos, a learned Jew from Alexandria, who had come to faith in Christ. He was an able speaker but had an imperfect understanding of Christian truth. Priscilla and Aquila instructed him further (Acts 18:24–28).

• When Paul returned to Ephesus and wrote 1 Corinthians they were still in Ephesus with the church meeting in their house (1 Corinthians 16:19).

• Later they moved back to Rome (Paul greets them in Romans 16:3) and then returned to Ephesus; Paul writing to Timothy in Ephesus sends greetings (2 Timothy 4:19).

• Some English versions follow the Greek and have the name Prisca in Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19. Probably Paul is using her proper name (Prisca), Luke in Acts a more familiar form (Priscilla).

• The fact that Priscilla is sometimes mentioned before Aquila and was involved in teaching Apollos may indicate that she had higher status.

• They were clearly widely travelled and much loved within the early church with a good understanding of Christian faith.

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Prepare (From: 20 Jun 2017) PDF Print E-mail

‘Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint’ (Isaiah 40:31).

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