Acts 18

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Acts 18
Acts 18:27-19:6 on recto side in Papyrus 38, written about AD 250.
BookActs of the Apostles
CategoryChurch history
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part5

Acts 18 is the eighteenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the final part of the second missionary journey of Paul, together with Silas and Timothy, and the beginning of the third missionary journey. The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke.[1]


The original text is written in Koine Greek and is divided into 28 verses. Some most ancient manuscripts containing this chapter are:

Places mentioned[edit]

This chapter mentions the following places (in order of appearance):


This part of the second missionary journey of Paul took place in c. AD 50-52, based on the time when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia.[2]

Verse 1[edit]

Paul travelled from Athens to Corinth, a distance of about 82 km on modern roads.

Verse 5[edit]

When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.[3]

Verse 12[edit]

When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat,[4]

Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus or Gallio was a Roman senator and brother of famous writer Seneca. He was the proconsul of Achaia. According to this chapter, he dismissed the charge brought by the Jews against the Apostle Paul. (Acts 18:12-17) His behaviour on this occasion ("but Gallio cared for none of these things", v. 17) showed his disregard for Jewish sensitivities, and also the impartial attitude of Roman officials towards Christianity in its early days. Gallio's tenure can be fairly accurately dated to between 51-52 AD.[5] The reference to proconsul Gallio in the Delphi Inscription, or Gallio Inscription (IG, VII, 1676; SIG, II, 801d; AD 52)[6] provides an important marker for developing a chronology of the life of Apostle Paul by relating it to the trial of Paul in Achaea mentioned in this chapter.[7][8] Therefore, the events of Acts 18 can be dated to this period. This is significant because it is the most accurately known date in the life of Paul.[9]

Matthew Henry claims that the crowd that beat up Sosthenes was enraged at Paul and Gallio. They demonstrated that if Gallio would not judge that they would. Gallio's indifference to the case against Paul could be commendable for its impartiality. However Gallio's indifference to the beating up of an innocent man, Sosthenes, carried indifference too far, not only showing a contempt for the case, but also for the people presenting the case.[10]

Verse 18[edit]

So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow.[11]

Matthew Henry claimed that the original text is ambiguous as to who had their hair cut off, it could have been Aquila or Paul. The vow was likely a Nazarite vow with the hair cut signifying completion of the vow period.[10]

Cenchrea on the east side of the isthmus was one of two ports for Corinth. It was used for sea journeys to the east.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. 2012.
  2. ^ John Arthur Thomas Robinson (1919-1983), "Redating the New Testament", Westminster Press, 1976. 369 pages. ISBN 978-1-57910-527-3
  3. ^ Acts 18:5
  4. ^ Acts 18:12
  5. ^ John Drane,"An Introduction to the Bible",Lion, 1990, p.634-635
  6. ^ The Gallio Inscription at
  7. ^ A. Köstenberger, The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament, 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 400
  8. ^ The Cambridge Companion to St Paul by James D. G. Dunn (Nov 10, 2003) Cambridge Univ Press ISBN 0521786940 page 20
  9. ^ Pauline Chronology: His Life and Missionary Work, from Catholic Resources by Felix Just, S.J.
  10. ^ a b Winter, edited by David (1975). Matthew Henry's commentary : Acts to Revelation (Abridged [ed.] ed.). London: Hodder and Stoughton. pp. 102–106. ISBN 0340191384.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Acts 18:18

External links[edit]