Apollos

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Saint Apollos
Epafrodit, Sosfen, Apollos, Kifa i Kesar'.jpg
Epaphroditus, Sosthenes, Apollos, Cephas and Caesar
Born1st century
Alexandria, Egypt
Died1st century
Venerated in Anglican Communion
Coptic Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodox Churches
Roman Catholic Church

Apollos (Greek : Ἀπολλώς) was a 1st-century Alexandrian Jewish Christian mentioned several times in the New Testament. A contemporary and colleague of Paul the Apostle, he played an important role in the early development of the churches of Ephesus and Corinth.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Christianity in the 1st century Christianity-related events during the 1st century

Christianity in the 1st century covers the formative history of Christianity, from the start of the ministry of Jesus, surpassing his death, and up to the death of the last of his Twelve Apostles. The latter period, subsequent to Jesus's death, resurrection and Great Commission, is, according to Christian tradition, distinguished as the Apostolic Age. During this period of time, the Apostles spread the message of the Gospel around the classical world and founded apostolic sees around the Early centers of Christianity.

Alexandria Metropolis in Egypt

Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km (20 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.

Contents

Biblical account

Acts of the Apostles

Apollos is first mentioned as a Christian preacher who had come to Ephesus (probably in AD 52 or 53), where he is described as "being fervent in spirit: he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John". [1] Priscilla and Aquila, a Jewish Christian couple who had come to Ephesus with the Apostle Paul, instructed Apollos:

Jesus The central figure of Christianity

Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament.

John the Baptist 1st-century Jewish preacher and later Christian saint

John the Baptist was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early first century AD. Other titles for John include John the Forerunner in Eastern Christianity, John the Immerser in some Baptist traditions and "the prophet John (Yaḥyā)" in Islam. He is sometimes alternatively called John the Baptizer.

Priscilla and Aquila Christian missionary married couple

Priscilla and Aquila were a first century Christian missionary married couple described in the New Testament. Aquila is traditionally listed among the Seventy Disciples. They lived, worked, and traveled with the Apostle Paul, who described them as his "fellow workers in Christ Jesus".

"When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more adequately." [2]

The differences between the two understandings probably related to the Christian baptism, since Apollos "knew only the baptism of John". Later, during Apollos' absence, the writer of the Acts of the Apostles recounts an encounter between Paul and some disciples at Ephesus:

Acts of the Apostles Book of the New Testament

The Acts of the Apostles, often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian church and the spread of its message to the Roman Empire.

And he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" They said, "Into John's baptism." And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. [3]

Before Paul's arrival, Apollos had moved from Ephesus to Achaia [4] [5] and was living in Corinth, the provincial capital of Achaia. [6] Acts reports that Apollos arrived in Achaia with a letter of recommendation from the Ephesian Christians and "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. [7]

Corinth Place in Greece

Corinth is an ancient city and former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, which is located in south-central Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Corinth, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It is the capital of Corinthia.

The Epistle to Corinth was a letter written by the 'brethren' of the early Christian Church in Ephesus to the church in Corinth in Achaia, referred to in the Acts of the Apostles, commending the Corinthian church to welcome the preacher Apollos:

Old Testament First part of Christian Bibles based on the Hebrew Bible

The Old Testament is the first part of Christian Bibles, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God. The second part of the Christian Bible is the New Testament.

1 Corinthians

Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians (AD 55) mentions Apollos as an important figure at Corinth. Paul describes Apollos' role at Corinth:

First Epistle to the Corinthians book of the Bible (Letter)

The First Epistle to the Corinthians, usually referred to as First Corinthians or 1 Corinthians is a Pauline epistle of the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The epistle is attributed to Paul the Apostle and a co-author named Sosthenes, and is addressed to the Christian church in Corinth. Scholars believe that Sosthenes was the amanuensis who wrote down the text of the letter at Paul's direction. Called "a masterpiece of pastoral theology", it addresses various issues that had arisen in the Christian community at Corinth.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. [8]

Paul's Epistle refers to a schism between four parties in the Corinthian church, of which two attached themselves to Paul and Apollos respectively, using their names [9] (the third and fourth were Peter, identified as Cephas, and Jesus Christ himself). [10] It is possible, though, that, as Msgr. Ronald Knox suggests, the parties were actually two, one claiming to follow Paul, the other claiming to follow Apollos. "It is surely probable that the adherents of St. Paul [...] alleged in defence of his orthodoxy the fact that he was in full agreement with, and in some sense commissioned by, the Apostolic College. Hence 'I am for Cephas'. [...] What reply was the faction of Apollos to make? It devised an expedient which has been imitated by sectaries more than once in later times; appealed behind the Apostolic College itself to him from whom the Apostolic College derived its dignity; 'I am for Christ'." [11] Paul states that the schism arose because of the Corinthians' immaturity in faith. [12]

Apollos was a devout Jew born in Alexandria. Pope Benedict XVI says that the name "Apollos" was probably short for Apollonius or Apollodorus. [13] Apollos' origin in Alexandria has led to speculations that he would have preached in the allegorical style of Philo. Theologian Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, for example, commented: "It is difficult to imagine that an Alexandrian Jew ... could have escaped the influence of Philo, the great intellectual leader ... particularly since the latter seems to have been especially concerned with education and preaching." [14] Pope Benedict suggest there were those in Corinth "...fascinated by his way of speaking...." [13]

There is no indication that Apollos favored or approved an overestimation of his person. Paul urged him to go to Corinth at the time, but Apollos refused, stating that he would come later when he had an opportunity. [15]

Epistle to Titus

Apollos is mentioned one more time in the New Testament. In the Epistle to Titus, the recipient is exhorted to "speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way". [16]

Extrabiblical information

Jerome states that Apollos was so dissatisfied with the division at Corinth that he retired to Crete with Zenas; and that once the schism had been healed by Paul's letters to the Corinthians, Apollos returned to the city and became one of its elders. [17] Less probable traditions assign to him the bishopric of Duras, or of Iconium in Phrygia, or of Caesarea. [9]

Significance

Martin Luther and some modern scholars have proposed Apollos as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, rather than Paul or Barnabas. [9] Both Apollos and Barnabas were Jewish Christians with sufficient intellectual authority. [18] The Pulpit Commentary treats Apollos' authorship of Hebrews as "generally believed". [19] Other than this, there are no known surviving texts attributed to Apollos.

Apollos is regarded as a saint by several Christian churches, including the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, which hold a commemoration for him, together with saints Aquila and Priscilla, on 13 February.

Notes

  1. Acts 18:24-25
  2. [Acts 18:26]
  3. Acts 19:2-6
  4. [Acts 18:27]
  5. So the Alexandrian recension; the text in 38 and Codex Bezae indicate that Apollos went to Corinth. Joseph Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles (New York: Doubleday, 1998), p. 639.
  6. [Acts 19:1]
  7. Acts 18:27-28
  8. 1 Cor 3:6
  9. 1 2 3 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Apollos". Encyclopædia Britannica . 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 189.
  10. [1 Cor 1:10-13]
  11. Knox, R. Enthusiasm, p. 13.
  12. 1 Cor 3:1-4
  13. 1 2 Pope Benedict XVI. "Barnabas, Silas, and Apollos", L'Osservatore Romano, February 7, 2007, p. 11
  14. J Murphy-O'Connor. Paul: A critical life. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996, p. 275
  15. [1 Cor 16:12]
  16. [Titus 3:13]
  17. Jerome, Commentary on the Epistle to Titus 3:13
  18. The NIV study bible, new international version; English (UK) edition; London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1987; p.1817.
  19. Pulpit Commentary on I Corinthians 3, accessed 19 March 2017

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References