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Epaphroditus, Sosthenes, Apollos, Cephas and Caesar

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

Apollos in the New Testament[edit]

Apollos was a Jew from Alexandria. This led to speculations that Apollos preached in the allegorical style of Philo. Theologian Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, for example, recently 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."[1]

Apollos is first mentioned as a Christian preacher who had come to Ephesus (probably in the year 52-3), 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." [Acts 18:24-25] Priscilla and Aquila, a Jewish Christian couple who had come to Ephesus with the Apostle Paul, instructed Apollos. "When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more adequately."[Acts 18:26] The differences between the two and Apollos probably included baptism and the Holy Spirit, for Acts says that Apollos "knew only the baptism of John" [Acts 18:25] and later, during Apollos' absence, recounts an encounter between Paul and some disciples at Ephesus:

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.[Acts 19:2-6]

Before Paul's arrival, Apollos had moved from Ephesus to Achaia[Acts 18:27][2] and is located at Corinth, the provincial capital of Achaia.[Acts 19:1] Acts reports that Apollos arrived in Achaia with letters of recommendation from 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.[Acts 18:27-28]

Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians (55 AD) mentions Apollos as an important figure at Corinth. Paul described Apollos' role at Corinth: "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth."[1co 3:6] 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 (the third and fourth were Peter, identified as Cephas, and Jesus Christ himself).[1co 1:10-13] 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.[1co 16:12]

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".[Titus 3:13]

Extrabiblical information[edit]

Jerome states that Apollos was so dissatisfied with the division at Corinth, that he retired to Crete with Zenas the lawyer; and that the schism having been healed by Paul's letters to the Corinthians, Apollos returned to the city, and became its bishop.[3] Less probable traditions assign to him the bishopric of Duras, or of Iconium in Phrygia, or of Caesarea.

Martin Luther and some modern scholars have proposed Apollos as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, rather than Paul or Barnabas. Both Apollos or Barnabas were Jewish Christians with sufficient intellectual authority.[4] 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, Aquila and Priscilla on February 13.


  1. ^ J Murphy-O'Connor. Paul: A critical life. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996, p. 275
  2. ^ So the Alexandrian recension; the text in \mathfrak{P}38 and Codex Bezae indicate that Apollos went to Corinth. Joseph Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles (New York: Doubleday, 1998), p. 639.
  3. ^ Jerome, Commentary on the Epistle to Titus 3:13
  4. ^ The NIV study bible, new international version; English (UK) edition; London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1987; p.1817.


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The Oregonian
Fri, 04 Apr 2014 23:17:01 -0700

The Apollos see all the attention being paid to Jesuit and Westview and, well, not to them. But they're OK with it. Indeed, they relish their position as underdog and the chance it allows them to upset one higher-seeded opponent after another, just ...
The Oregonian
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 22:51:49 -0700

In the aftermath of a bench-clearing incident that forced the Crusaders to bring up a majority of their junior varsity roster for its April 14 Metro League opener, Jesuit gamely hung with Sunset for nine innings before the Apollos pulled out a 2-1 win ...
The Oregonian
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:41:15 -0700

The Crusaders, hosting Sunset in a match-up of Metro League leaders, won 14 of 17 events against the Apollos and ran away to a huge 107-38 victory at Jesuit High School. “It's been great,” said Jesuit sophomore Tanner Tropio, winner of the 100 and 200 ...
Soccer America
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:09:48 -0700

An ownership change prompted a name change to Apollos, which eventually folded, as did NPSL, A-League and WPS franchises. The soccer competition at the 1996 Olympic Games hosted by Atlanta drew great crowds, though no games were played in the ...
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:45:00 -0700

Sales of high-end players are definitely decreasing, but I am amazed at the number of Rega Apollos ($1,095) we continue to sell. CE Pro: What are Sound Organisation and its brands doing to address the surging wireless and audio/whole-house audio ...
Stumptown Footy
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:31:23 -0700

When the Chiefs returned in 1979 (having folded after the 1973 season, and after changing names to the Apollos), former Timbers midfielder Pat McMahon and future Timbers forward Carl Strong were on the roster. Strong spent the 1982 season with Portland ...
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Thu, 10 Apr 2014 23:22:30 -0700

Timing is everything, and the Sunset softball team couldn't have picked a better time for a win. The Apollos, hosting Sherwood in their non-league finale on Thursday, April 10, pushed across three runs in the first inning, tacked on two more in the ...
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 23:08:22 -0700

P.K. Mohamed, chief adviser of research and development of Apollo Tyres Ltd., gives the keynote address March 24th during the Rubber Division's technical meeting in Louisville, Ky. Mohamed told the group sustainability starts with change. Choices we ...

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