People - Ancient Greece: Apollos
An important 1st century Alexandrian Jewish
Christian from Corinth.
Apollos in Wikipedia
Saint Apollos (Απολλως; contracted from Apollonius) was a 1st century Alexandrian Jewish Christian mentioned several times in the New Testament. After the Christian couple Priscilla and Aquila corrected his incomplete Christian doctrine, his special gifts in preaching Jesus persuasively made him an important person in the congregation at Corinth, Greece after Paul's first visit there.[1 Cor. 3:6] He was with Paul at a later date in Ephesus.[16:12]
Helper to Paul of Tarsus
Paul considered Apollos to be a valuable helper in carrying on his work in the important Corinthian congregation.[1 Cor 3:6] [4:6] [16:12] In harmony with Paul's notices are the statements in Acts that Apollos was a highly educated Alexandrian Jew, who "spoke and taught accurately enough about Jesus, even though he knew only the baptism of John." [Acts 18:24-28] He came to Ephesus (probably in the year 54). After Christians in Ephesus first wrote to their counterparts recommending Apollos to them, he went to Achaia.
It is difficult to get a correct idea of his religious standpoint, although it probably was that of the disciples of John the Baptist that Paul encountered in Ephesus.[Ac. 19:1-7] These twelve had never heard of the Holy Spirit[Ac. 19:2] which had been poured out on the believers in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.[Ac. 2:4] This was the baptism of the Holy Spirit that Jesus said would follow the water baptism of John.[Ac. 1:5] Priscilla and Aquila, who accompanied Paul to Ephesus, correctively instructed the eloquent and brilliant Apollos. He knew and preached boldly to the crowds only the baptism of John and nothing of salvation through Christ. "When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately."[Acts 18:26]
Possible preaching style
Apollos may have captivated his hearers by teaching "wisdom" in the allegorical style of Philo. He was evidently a man of unusual magnetic force. This suggestion has been recently repeated by Jerome Murphy-O'Connor: "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."
Divisions in Corinthian church
In 1 Cor. 1:10-12 are references to four parties in the Corinthian church, of which two attached themselves to Paul and Apollos respectively, using their names (the third and fourth were Peter, identified as Cephas, and Jesus himself). There is no indication that Apollos favored or approved an overestimation of his person. Since Paul, in the Epistle to the Romans, indicated he preferred to be the first to evangelize to a group, it is likely that Paul's preachings were somewhat less intricate compared to those of Apollos, especially given what was mentioned of Apollos's style.
Retirement and bishop status
Jerome states that Apollos was so dissatisfied with the division at Corinth, that he retired to Crete with Zenas, a doctor of the law; and that the schism having been healed by Paul's letter to the Corinthians, Apollos returned to the city, and became its bishop. Less probable traditions assign to him the bishopric of Duras, or of Iconium in Phrygia, or of Caesarea. In the Epistle to Titus, [3:13] Apollos is mentioned with Zenas as bearer of the letter to Crete.
Martin Luther and some modern scholars have proposed Apollos as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, rather than Barnabas, another contender. Both were Hebrew Christians with sufficient intellectual authority. Other than this, there are no known surviving texts attributed to Apollos. There is little evidence for the suggestion that he might have written the Gospel of Matthew while in Ephesus or Achaea to stimulate Jewish conversion. If Apollos did write it, it could have been influenced by the Gospel of Mark and written in the 60s or 70s AD.
Apollos is regarded as a saint by several Christian churches, including the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, which hold a commemoration for him, Aquila and Priscilla on February 13.
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