Gallio the Proconsul

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Acts 18:7-11 Justus and Crispus

Acts 18:12-17 Gallio

Acts 18:18-23 Aquila and Priscilla
Acts 18:24-28 Commentary: Apollos
ACTS 18:12-13  12 When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, 13 saying, “This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.”

Who is "Gallio" (Acts 18:12)?
Gallio was the older brother of Seneca, the Roman stoic philosopher who first tutored and later counseled Nero, the future Roman Emperor. In 52 AD, the Roman Senate appointed Gallio the governor or "proconsul" of the Roman Senatorial province (see Proconsul) of "Achaia" (Acts 18:12), whose capital was Corinth.

Why did the Jews bring Paul "to the judgment seat" (Acts 18:12)?
As the newly appointed proconsul, Gallio in theory should have been amenable to a request from those he needed to govern. If Gallio had ruled against Paul from the judgment seat and ordered him punished, he would have cleared the path for the Jews to haul in more Christians.

ACTS 18:14-17  14 And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O Jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you. 15 But if it is a question of words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; for I do not want to be a judge of such matters.” 16 And he drove them from the judgment seat. 17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. But Gallio took no notice of these things.

Who defended Paul?
The Lord, who was "with" (Acts 18:10) Paul as He had promised, through Gallio. Paul didn't even have to "open his mouth" (Acts 18:14).

Who was "Sosthenes" (Acts 18:16)?
The "ruler of the synagogue" (Acts 18:17) who had succeeded "Crispus" (Acts 18:8) and probably the ringleader of the Jews who "with one accord rose up against Paul" (Acts 18:12).

What was the impact of "all the Greeks" (Acts 18:17) beating Sosthenes before the judgment seat?
Instead of Paul and Christians being punished, the persecutor of Paul and Christians was punished. Even when Paul and Silas were beaten and jailed unjustly, as in Philippi, the Lord used that persecution to grant them a fruitful prison ministry and to invalidate the persecution against them (see Acts 16). As hard as he may try, Satan's plots keep backfiring. God always wins in the end, as He did in Corinth, in Philippi, and on the cross.

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