Who was Apollos in the New Testament?

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Apollos was a 1st century Alexandrian Jewish Christian. He ministered as an evangelist and helped in the early development of the churches of Ephesus and Corinth. He was mentioned several times in the New Testament and was a contemporary of Paul the Apostle.

Apollos was described as “being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John” (Acts 18:24-25). But he didn’t know the full truth about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. So, the Lord sent Priscilla and Aquila, a Jewish Christian couple who had come to Ephesus with the Apostle Paul and they instructed Apollos. The Bible tells us that “When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more adequately” (Acts 18:26).

The book of Acts records that Apollos came to Achaia with a letter of recommendation from the Ephesian Christians that “greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus (Acts 18:27-28).

Paul‘s First Epistle to the Corinthians (55 AD) says that Apollos played an important role at Corinth. Paul described Apollos’ role at Corinth: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth”(1 Corinthians 3:6). Paul’s Epistle mentions that there arose a division in the Corinthian church where some attached themselves to Paul and other to Apollos. Paul deals with this partisanship in 1 Corinthians 1:12-13. And he declared that Christ is not divided.

So, Paul urged Apollos to go to Corinth but Apollos refused, stating that he would come later when he had an opportunity. Jerome tells us that Apollos was so dissatisfied with the division at Corinth, that he retired to Crete with Zenas the lawyer. But after the division was healed through Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, Apollos returned to the city, and became one of its elders.

The last mention of Apollos 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). At this time, Paul regarded Apollos with high esteem as an evangelist and friend.

Apollos’ life and ministry is a testimony of a faithful minister to the Lord who possessed zeal and upright spirit which should serve as an example to all Christians that they may grow in grace and be filled with the Holy Spirit imparting to others the knowledge of truth with all boldness and courage.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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