1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Apollos

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APOLLOS (Άπολλώς; contracted from Apollonius), an Alexandrine Jew who after Paul’s first visit to Corinth worked there in a similar way (1 Cor. iii. 6). He was with Paul at a later date in Ephesus (1 Cor. xvi. 12). In 1 Cor. i. 10-12 we read of four parties in the Corinthian church, of which two attached themselves to Paul and Apollos respectively, using their names, though the “division” can hardly have been due to conflicting doctrines. (See Paul.) From Acts xviii. 24-28 we learn that he spoke and taught with power and success. He may have captivated his hearers by teaching “wisdom,” as P. W. Schmiedel suggests, in the allegorical style of Philo, and he was evidently a man of unusual magnetic force. There seems to be some contradiction between Acts xviii. 25 a b and Acts xviii. 25 c, 26 b c; and it has been suggested that these latter passages are subsequent accretions. Since Apollos was a Christian and “taught exactly,” he could hardly have been acquainted only with John’s baptism or have required to be taught Christianity more thoroughly by Aquila and Priscilla. Martin Luther regarded Apollos as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and many scholars since have shared his view.

Jerome says that Apollos was so dissatisfied with the division at Corinth, that he retired into 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.

See the articles in the Encyclopaedia Biblica; Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie; The Jewish Encyclopaedia; Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible; and cf. Weizsäcker, Das apostolische Zeitalter; A. C. McGiffert, History of Christianity in the Apostolic Age.