R4E130913 – Apollos (New Testament Character Study) by Douglas Jacoby
- The name derives from the name of the sun-god of the ancient Greeks (and Romans), Apollo.
- He was an Egyptian, and more specifically an Alexandrian.
- Alexandria was the intellectual capital of Egypt, Africa, and perhaps the entire Mediterranean world at the time. Founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, it became the capital of Egypt for a millennium, until the Muslims took over in the 7th century.
- Like the majority of leaders in the first generation of Christianity, Apollos was a Jew.
- After he linked up with Priscilla and Aquila, he became a ministry associate of the apostle Paul.
- Acts 18:24-19:1
- 1 Corinthians 1:12, 3:4-6,22, 4:6, 16:12
- Titus 3:13
- Q1: Who had taught Apollos?
- Q2: As he was “fervent in spirit/Spirit,” did he possess the Holy Spirit when Priscilla and Aquila first reached out to him?
- Q3: Who taught him the second time, and what (if anything) does this say about women teaching?
- Q4: Was Apollos baptized again?
- Q5: What is the connection between Apollos and other followers of John the Baptist (Acts 19)? It appears he had been taught correctly, yet they had not.
- Q6: What scriptures did he use to prove Jesus was the Christ?
- Q7: Are we willing to be corrected where our doctrine is incomplete?
- Q8: Do we appreciate the value of evidences, not only for those who lack faith, but also for those who already believe? With respect to why young people overwhelmingly reject the faith they grew up with, read the results of the important Barna poll.
- Q9: In expressing my preferences for leaders / leadership styles, am I more a unifying force in the local church, or a dividing influence?
- Q10: Do I lead in such a way that others rally behind me and withdraw support from others to whom they owe allegiance and respect? Or am I a team player?
- Q11: Do I feel at liberty to make my own decisions?
- Q12: If I am a leader, do I allow others the liberty of making their own decisions? Or am I so forceful that they feel they cannot say no?
- We need more Apolloses!
- Apollos should be an upward call. Yet if we only say, “He was an exception,” we let ourselves off the hook for our own responsibility to (1) know the scriptures, (2) engage with others, and ultimately (3) allow the Lord to use us as he sees fit.
- Tradition: Lutherans and others consider him to be a saint.
- Jerome (Hieronymus) of Bethlehem, c.400 AD, said that Apollos was so dissatisfied with the division at Corinth that he retired to Crete with Zenas, a doctor of the law; and once the schism was eliminated by the influence of 1 Corinthians, Apollos returned there and became its bishop. But such a perspective reflects the church polity of the subapostolic age (2nd century onward), not the apostolic age, when “bishops” did not exist in the singular; a body of overseers [episkopoi, bishops] led the local churches.
- Martin Luther and various modern scholars propose that Apollos is the (anonymous) author of the epistle to the Hebrews.