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Studies in ACTS

"Acts 18:1-22 Paul Completes His Second Missionary Journey"

From: "Pastor Buddy Martin" <>
Date sent: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 15:07:53 -0600
Subject: [HF] Acts034 - Acts 18:1-22 Paul Completes His Second Missionary Journey


In this study we finish up Paul's second missionary journey. In line with
our new format, the study will include questions, however, there are
only three questions with this study. Feel free to address any part of
the study.

In some portions I will give a brief synopsis on the Scriptures under
consideration, without giving the Scriptures themselves. It would help
to follow in your Bible.

This is Acts034 - Acts 18:1-22 Paul Completes His Second Missionary 

Acts 18:1-4: "After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth.
And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently
come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had
commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, and
because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were
working, for by trade they were tent-makers. And he was reasoning in
the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and

... Paul arrives in 'sin city' of the east. The term 'Corinthianize' was
commonly used for the depths of immorality. Corinth was referred to
as 'corai entha,' or, 'here are girls (whores).' The temple of Aphrodite
(Venus) had 1000 temple prostitutes. This would be one of Paul's
greatest challenges. Knowing something about Corinth will help put a
backdrop on Paul's two letters to the Corinthian churches.

Note: It would be good to review the study HF011 - The Corinthian
Dilemma. Go to:

... It is here that Paul meets Aquila and Priscilla. The Jews had been
expelled from Rome, and the expulsion appears to have been the
result of an in-house struggle between Christian Jews and non-
Christian Jews. The Historian, Seutonius says that Claudius, "expelled
the Jews from Rome, who were continually making tumults, being
moved thereunto by one Chrestus." (Chrestus is thought to refer to

Q1: Who started the Church in Rome?

Whether Aquila and Priscilla were already Christians is not known, but
it is known that they became true disciples and were strong leaders in
the early church. A church was established in their home. Like Paul,
they were tent makers.

Paul does what is his custom, and reasons in the synagogues that
Jesus is Messiah, and that there is no salvation aside from Him. And
of course the pattern continues, as we will see.

Vss5-11: Synopsis - Silas and Timothy arrive and this frees Paul up to
devote himself more completely to the ministry of the word. The
resistance begins with certain of the Jews blaspheming the Lord. Paul
shakes out his garment against them, and says, "Your blood be on
your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."

... This did not mean that Paul would stop speaking in the synagogues.
It meant that the synagogue of Corinth had had plenty of opportunity to
respond to God's message. It was time to turn to the Gentiles. Shaking
the garment demonstrated that God was shaking the unbelieving Jews
out of any covenant relationship with Him. It was also a way of saying
that the rejecting Jews were now responsible for their own judgment
from God.

Q2: Is there anything in the Scriptures where Paul may be drawing
from when he shakes out his garment?

... Paul goes to the house of man named Titius Justus, which is right
next door to the synagogue. Titius was a worshiper of God. He can be
compared to Cornelius. It is interesting to note that the leader of the
synagogue, Crispus, along with his household, and many Corinthians
also become believers and are baptized. Thus we have the church of

... The Lord speaks to Paul in the night, saying, "Do not be afraid any
longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and
no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in
this city." (Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half.)

Notice the promise made to Paul; "No man will attack you in order to
harm you." We will see this in a moment.

Q3: What do you feel the Lord meant in saying that He had many
people in Corinth?

Vss12-17: Synopsis - At some point the Christ-rejecting Jews rise up
against Paul and bring him before the proconsul. They make their
accusations, and as Paul is about to respond, the proconsul simply
dismisses the case. His concluding remark is, "I am unwilling to be a
judge of these matters." Then he has them driven away from the
judgment seat.

The Greeks take note of the dismissal, and began to beat Sosthenes,
the synagogue leader. It appears the beating served a good purpose.
Sosthenes became a believer and joined himself to Paul. Isn't it
interesting how our enemy can actually become our best friend. (When
Jesus becomes the point of friendship.)

Vs18: "Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the
brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and
Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow."

... What sort of vow that Paul kept is not said. It may have been a
Nazarite vow. But that would be questionable, since the Nazite vow
was to be completed in Jerusalem. Of course Paul did not consider
himself to be under the law. It also could also have been a vow
thanking the Lord for his safe keeping in Corinth.

Vss19-21: "They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he
himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When
they asked him to stay for a longer time, he did not consent, but taking
leave of them and saying, 'I will return to you again if God wills,' he
set sail from Ephesus."

... Notice how Paul always heads for the synagogue first. The apostle
is loyal to the charge of, "To the Jew first." Either Aquila and Priscilla
are the ones asking him to stay, or possibly the synagogue people, but for
some reason Paul is pressed in his spirit to continue on. We do know
that a strong work is in place in Ephesus.

Vss22,23: Paul takes ship to Caesarea and greets the church there.
He then goes to Antioch. This completes the apostle's second
missionary journey.

The study is open.


Lawrence E. (Buddy) Martin, HF Host

"See to it that no one comes short of the grace
of God; that no root of bitterness springing up
causes trouble, and by it many be defiled." (Heb12:15)

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