Table of Contents
Apollos in the Book of Acts
Apollos is introduced in the Book of Acts, where he is described as a Jew from Alexandria. Let’s explore his character and contributions in the context of the New Testament.
- Introduction and Background (Acts 18:24-25): Apollos is first mentioned in Acts 18:24-25 (NKJV):”Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.”This passage introduces Apollos as an eloquent and knowledgeable speaker who had received instruction in the ways of the Lord.
- His Ministry in Ephesus (Acts 18:26): Acts 18:26 (NKJV) continues: “So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”Apollos initially preached in the synagogue, and Aquila and Priscilla, fellow believers, recognized the need for further instruction. They took him aside to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the Gospel.
- His Impact in Corinth (Acts 18:27-28): Acts 18:27-28 (NKJV) records his journey to Corinth:”And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.” He continued his ministry, contributing significantly to the believers in Corinth. His powerful teaching and defense of the Gospel strengthened the faith of many.
Apollos in Paul’s Letters
He is also mentioned in the First Corinthians, shedding light on his relationship with the early Christian community and his role in spreading the message.
- Unity in the Church (1 Corinthians 1:12): 1 Corinthians 1:12 (NKJV) mentions him in the context of divisions in the Corinthian church: “Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas,’ or ‘I am of Christ.'”This suggests that Apollos, along with other prominent figures like Paul and Cephas (Peter), had followers or people identifying with his teachings.
- Fellow Workers for God (1 Corinthians 3:5-9): In 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 (NKJV), Paul speaks about the collaborative effort in spreading the Gospel: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”Here, Paul emphasizes the shared mission of individuals like himself and Apollos, with each having a specific role in the divine plan.
- The last mention of him in the New Testament is found in Paul’s letter to Titus: “Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need” (Titus 3:13, NKJV).
Apollos was a significant figure in the early Christian community, particularly in Ephesus and Corinth. Described as eloquent, knowledgeable in the Scriptures, and fervent in spirit, he played a crucial role in preaching and defending the Gospel. While he faced some challenges in terms of understanding the complete message, he benefited from the guidance of fellow believers like Aquila and Priscilla. His ministry, as depicted in the Book of Acts and Paul’s letters, highlights the collaborative effort involved in spreading the Christian message and the importance of unity within the early church.
In His service,