Apollo, the Olympian god, is one of the most beloved and revered ancient Greek and Roman deities. He epitomized kalokagathia–a union of physical beauty with profound moral worth–which inspired ancient Greek and Roman artists to create art in his image.
He was the son of Zeus (Roman Jupiter) and Leto. He was a hero and bringer of life, yet also possessive and vindictive in nature.
He was a commercial traveler
Apollos was a commercial traveler and religious teacher. He belonged to the Pauline circle, accompanying Aquila and Priscilla on their ministry trips to Ephesus (AD 52) and Corinth (AD 53).
One factor that may have contributed to his success was his deep understanding of Scripture. Acts 18:24 states he was “eloquent in speaking and mighty in understanding Scriptures.” His command over Scripture provided him with many advantages, such as being able to accurately speak about Jesus accurately and teaching others about him.
His biblical education enabled him to defend historic/orthodox Christianity both from a Jewish perspective and within the Corinthian church. For instance, he was well-versed on Isaiah and Micah’s prophecies regarding Christ’s virgin birth, birthplace, and death for sinful acts.
As an added benefit, his study of Scripture enabled him to explain why Christians are more likely to experience joyous reunions in heaven than non-Christians. That’s truly a wonderful perk!
He could make this statement due to his home base of Alexandria, Egypt which boasted the largest library in ancient times. This repository held an incredibly extensive selection of Jewish literature which would have been accessible to him.
He was eloquent
Apollos was an eloquent preacher and teacher of the truth (Acts 18:24-25). He had a deep knowledge of Scripture, along with a fiery passion for Christ. As a believer in Christ, people eagerly listened to what he had to say about the Lord.
He was an apologist and church leader, as well as a close friend of Paul. However, his understanding was incomplete; further instruction and understanding would have been beneficial to him.
Apollos was a Jew from Alexandria, the second-largest city of the Roman Empire. As an Hellenized Jewish Christian who came from an area where people were used to studying the Bible, he stood as an inspirational figure for Christians everywhere.
It is likely that he was an excellent speaker with a masterful rhetorical style, highly developed in the Alexandrian schools. His words were clear and precise – traits which were highly valued by his listeners.
His confident speaking style had the unique ability to capture and maintain the attention of an audience, something many speakers lack. Mastering this skill requires a great deal of practice and dedication in order to speak clearly and concisely.
Priscilla and Aquila heard him speak in the synagogue and were deeply moved by his knowledge of Scriptures, passion for learning, and infectious enthusiasm. They took him home with them and continued to educate him on God’s ways in the world; not criticizing but rather seeking ways to deepen his comprehension of the Bible through prayerful study.
Their words had the power to open his mind to truths that he hadn’t considered before. They revealed to him the mystery of Christ’s risen state and its new outcalling for the Church – His Body – comprised of sinners saved by grace and made one with Him. With greater boldness and passion than ever before, he preached these new teachings.
He was an ascetic who took pride in his abilities, yet never denied the value of constructive criticism. While he wanted to improve his grammar and pronunciation, he remained humble and appreciative of all the help his teachers had provided him.
He was mighty in the Scriptures
Apollos, a Jew from Alexandria, was an eloquent speaker with much to commend him (Acts 18:24). His knowledge of Scriptures, instruction in the way of Christ, and devotion to righteousness earned him much praise from Priscilla and Aquila when they took him aside to clarify things for him.
He had been a devout follower of Jesus for some time and was passionate about the coming Messiah. He preached with great conviction about its imminence, reminding people to repent. With an extensive knowledge of Scripture and knowledge of John the Baptizer’s message that salvation was near, his understanding of truth set him free from slavery to sin and death.
He may have believed the Savior would atone for his sins, but he didn’t realize He had already accomplished this on the cross and was now sitting at God’s right hand (Philippians 3:9).
Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that Apollos had a “remarkable ministry,” likely due to his teaching abilities and powerful refuting of Jews publicly. Additionally, Apollos had letters of reference from Ephesus’ church and it is likely that Paul sent him there after visiting Crete.
Apollos was an excellent man with much to teach others, yet he hadn’t fully accepted Christ’s salvation offer. He lacked spiritual understanding and discernment that are necessary for effective evangelism, as well as the power that Christ promised those who put their trust in Him and accepted Him as Savior.
These two dear souls, Aquila and Priscilla, noticed a gap in Apollos’ teaching and were determined to fill it. They went to him with prayerful intent to impart Truth into his life; doing this with humility and Christ-like humility – ultimately blessing both of them as they worked together for God’s glory.
He was mentored
Apollos was an influential evangelist who had a lasting effect on the early church. Additionally, he served as an inspiring mentor to many who felt called into ministry.
He was a man of faith who learned to put aside his intellectual pride and learn from those less educated than himself. These lessons from these humble servants of God were crucial in shaping him into both an ardent Christian and powerful preacher of the Gospel.
His mentoring began while Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:1-2) lived and worked in Corinth with a Christian Jewish couple, Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:2). These humble servants of the Lord were tent makers who came from Rome after Claudius had expelled all Jews from that city.
They admired Apollos’ style of teaching in the synagogue, but they could tell there were gaps in his comprehension of the Gospel. So they sought out ways to help him grow as a Christ-follower by inviting him into their home, sharing their lives with him privately, and imparting more knowledge of Christianity.
Through mentorship, Apollos was able to deepen his spiritual understanding and his ministry to the early church was greatly strengthened. Such guidance is essential in any Christian’s journey.
Apollos’ example of mentorship and dedication to the Gospel serves as a model for Christians today to emulate. Additionally, it serves as a powerful reminder that God uses women in many different ways to further His cause.
As women, mothers, teachers or leaders in any area of the church, believers should be willing to mentor those called into ministry. This is one of the best ways a believer can grow in their faith and develop as an effective witness for Jesus Christ.
As a result of his mentorship from Aquila and Priscilla, Apollos rose to become an influential preacher of the Gospel in Ephesus. He was an effective apologist for Christianity, refuting Jewish objections and demonstrating that Jesus was indeed Messiah. Through this influence, Apollos contributed significantly towards building up both the early churches in Ephesus as well as Achaia.