the wife of Aquila (Acts 18:2), who is never mentioned without
her. Her name sometimes takes the precedence of his (Rom. 16:3;
2 Tim. 4:19). She took part with Aquila (q.v.) in insturcting
Apollos (Acts 18:26).
the ancient metropolis of Lower Egypt, so called from its
founder, Alexander the Great (about B.C. 333). It was for a long
period the greatest of existing cities, for both Nineveh and
Babylon had been destroyed, and Rome had not yet risen to
greatness. It was the residence of the kings of Egypt for 200
years. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament, and only
incidentally in the New. Apollos, eloquent and mighty in the
Scriptures, was a native of this city (Acts 18:24). Many Jews
from Alexandria were in Jerusalem, where they had a synagogue
(Acts 6:9), at the time of Stephen's martyrdom. At one time it
is said that as many as 10,000 Jews resided in this city. It
possessed a famous library of 700,000 volumes, which was burned
by the Saracens (A.D. 642). It was here that the Hebrew Bible
was translated into Greek. This is called the Septuagint
version, from the tradition that seventy learned men were
engaged in executing it. It was, however, not all translated at
one time. It was begun B.C. 280, and finished about B.C. 200 or
150. (See VERSION ¯T0003768.)
a Jew "born at Alexandria," a man well versed in the Scriptures
and eloquent (Acts 18:24; R.V., "learned"). He came to Ephesus
(about A.D. 49), where he spake "boldly" in the synagogue
(18:26), although he did not know as yet that Jesus of Nazareth
was the Messiah. Aquila and Priscilla instructed him more
perfectly in "the way of God", i.e., in the knowledge of Christ.
He then proceeded to Corinth, where he met Paul (Acts 18:27;
19:1). He was there very useful in watering the good seed Paul
had sown (1 Cor. 1:12), and in gaining many to Christ. His
disciples were much attached to him (1 Cor. 3:4-7, 22). He was
with Paul at Ephesus when he wrote the First Epistle to the
Corinthians; and Paul makes kindly reference to him in his
letter to Titus (3:13). Some have supposed, although without
sufficient ground, that he was the author of the Epistle to the
one who serves, as distinguished from the master. (1.) Heb.
meshereth, applied to an attendant on one of superior rank, as
to Joshua, the servant of Moses (Ex. 33:11), and to the servant
of Elisha (2 Kings 4:43). This name is also given to attendants
at court (2 Chr. 22:8), and to the priests and Levites (Jer.
33:21; Ezek. 44:11).
(2.) Heb. pelah (Ezra 7:24), a "minister" of religion. Here
used of that class of sanctuary servants called "Solomon's
servants" in Ezra 2:55-58 and Neh. 7:57-60.
(3.) Greek leitourgos, a subordinate public administrator, and
in this sense applied to magistrates (Rom. 13:6). It is applied
also to our Lord (Heb. 8:2), and to Paul in relation to Christ
(4.) Greek hyperetes (literally, "under-rower"), a personal
attendant on a superior, thus of the person who waited on the
officiating priest in the synagogue (Luke 4:20). It is applied
also to John Mark, the attendant on Paul and Barnabas (Acts
(5.) Greek diaconos, usually a subordinate officer or
assistant employed in relation to the ministry of the gospel, as
to Paul and Apollos (1 Cor. 3:5), Tychicus (Eph. 6:21), Epaphras
(Col. 1:7), Timothy (1 Thess. 3:2), and also to Christ (Rom.
a Grecian city, on the isthmus which joins the Peloponnesus to
the mainland of Greece. It is about 48 miles west of Athens. The
ancient city was destroyed by the Romans (B.C. 146), and that
mentioned in the New Testament was quite a new city, having been
rebuilt about a century afterwards and peopled by a colony of
freedmen from Rome. It became under the Romans the seat of
government for Southern Greece or Achaia (Acts 18:12-16). It was
noted for its wealth, and for the luxurious and immoral and
vicious habits of the people. It had a large mixed population of
Romans, Greeks, and Jews. When Paul first visited the city (A.D.
51 or 52), Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul. Here
Paul resided for eighteen months (18:1-18). Here he first became
aquainted with Aquila and Priscilla, and soon after his
departure Apollos came to it from Ephesus. After an interval he
visited it a second time, and remained for three months (20:3).
During this second visit his Epistle to the Romans was written
(probably A.D. 55). Although there were many Jewish converts at
Corinth, yet the Gentile element prevailed in the church there.
Some have argued from 2 Cor. 12:14; 13:1, that Paul visited
Corinth a third time (i.e., that on some unrecorded occasion he
visited the city between what are usually called the first and
second visits). But the passages referred to only indicate
Paul's intention to visit Corinth (comp. 1 Cor. 16:5, where the
Greek present tense denotes an intention), an intention which
was in some way frustrated. We can hardly suppose that such a
visit could have been made by the apostle without more distinct
reference to it.
Hebrews, Epistle to
(1.) Its canonicity. All the results of critical and historical
research to which this epistle has been specially subjected
abundantly vindicate its right to a place in the New Testament
canon among the other inspired books.
(2.) Its authorship. A considerable variety of opinions on
this subject has at different times been advanced. Some have
maintained that its author was Silas, Paul's companion. Others
have attributed it to Clement of Rome, or Luke, or Barnabas, or
some unknown Alexandrian Christian, or Apollos; but the
conclusion which we think is best supported, both from internal
and external evidence, is that Paul was its author. There are,
no doubt, many difficulties in the way of accepting it as
Paul's; but we may at least argue with Calvin that there can be
no difficulty in the way of "embracing it without controversy as
one of the apostolical epistles."
(3.) Date and place of writing. It was in all probability
written at Rome, near the close of Paul's two years'
imprisonment (Heb. 13:19,24). It was certainly written before
the destruction of Jerusalem (13:10).
(4.) To whom addressed. Plainly it was intended for Jewish
converts to the faith of the gospel, probably for the church at
Jerusalem. The subscription of this epistle is, of course,
without authority. In this case it is incorrect, for obviously
Timothy could not be the bearer of it (13:23).
(5.) Its design was to show the true end and meaning of the
Mosaic system, and its symbolical and transient character. It
proves that the Levitical priesthood was a "shadow" of that of
Christ, and that the legal sacrifices prefigured the great and
all-perfect sacrifice he offered for us. It explains that the
gospel was designed, not to modify the law of Moses, but to
supersede and abolish it. Its teaching was fitted, as it was
designed, to check that tendency to apostatize from Christianity
and to return to Judaism which now showed itself among certain
Jewish Christians. The supreme authority and the transcendent
glory of the gospel are clearly set forth, and in such a way as
to strengthen and confirm their allegiance to Christ.
(6.) It consists of two parts: (a) doctrinal (1-10:18), (b)
and practical (10:19-ch. 13). There are found in it many
references to portions of the Old Testament. It may be regarded
as a treatise supplementary to the Epistles to the Romans and
Galatians, and as an inspired commentary on the book of
Corinthians, First Epistle to the
was written from Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:8) about the time of the
Passover in the third year of the apostle's sojourn there (Acts
19:10; 20:31), and when he had formed the purpose to visit
Macedonia, and then return to Corinth (probably A.D. 57).
The news which had reached him, however, from Corinth
frustrated his plan. He had heard of the abuses and contentions
that had arisen among them, first from Apollos (Acts 19:1), and
then from a letter they had written him on the subject, and also
from some of the "household of Chloe," and from Stephanas and
his two friends who had visited him (1 Cor. 1:11; 16:17). Paul
thereupon wrote this letter, for the purpose of checking the
factious spirit and correcting the erroneous opinions that had
sprung up among them, and remedying the many abuses and
disorderly practices that prevailed. Titus and a brother whose
name is not given were probably the bearers of the letter (2
Cor. 2:13; 8:6, 16-18).
The epistle may be divided into four parts:
(1.) The apostle deals with the subject of the lamentable
divisions and party strifes that had arisen among them (1 Cor.
(2.) He next treats of certain cases of immorality that had
become notorious among them. They had apparently set at nought
the very first principles of morality (5; 6).
(3.) In the third part he discusses various questions of
doctrine and of Christian ethics in reply to certain
communications they had made to him. He especially rectifies
certain flagrant abuses regarding the celebration of the Lord's
(4.) The concluding part (15; 16) contains an elaborate
defense of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which
had been called in question by some among them, followed by some
general instructions, intimations, and greetings.
This epistle "shows the powerful self-control of the apostle
in spite of his physical weakness, his distressed circumstances,
his incessant troubles, and his emotional nature. It was
written, he tells us, in bitter anguish, 'out of much affliction
and pressure of heart...and with streaming eyes' (2 Cor. 2:4);
yet he restrained the expression of his feelings, and wrote with
a dignity and holy calm which he thought most calculated to win
back his erring children. It gives a vivid picture of the early
church...It entirely dissipates the dream that the apostolic
church was in an exceptional condition of holiness of life or
purity of doctrine." The apostle in this epistle unfolds and
applies great principles fitted to guide the church of all ages
in dealing with the same and kindred evils in whatever form they
This is one of the epistles the authenticity of which has
never been called in question by critics of any school, so many
and so conclusive are the evidences of its Pauline origin.
The subscription to this epistle states erroneously in the
Authorized Version that it was written at Philippi. This error
arose from a mistranslation of 1 Cor. 16:5, "For I do pass
through Macedonia," which was interpreted as meaning, "I am
passing through Macedonia." In 16:8 he declares his intention of
remaining some time longer in Ephesus. After that, his purpose
is to "pass through Macedonia."
Ephesians, Epistle to
was written by Paul at Rome about the same time as that to the
Colossians, which in many points it resembles.
Contents of. The Epistle to the Colossians is mainly
polemical, designed to refute certain theosophic errors that had
crept into the church there. That to the Ephesians does not seem
to have originated in any special circumstances, but is simply a
letter springing from Paul's love to the church there, and
indicative of his earnest desire that they should be fully
instructed in the profound doctrines of the gospel. It contains
(1) the salutation (1:1, 2); (2) a general description of the
blessings the gospel reveals, as to their source, means by which
they are attained, purpose for which they are bestowed, and
their final result, with a fervent prayer for the further
spiritual enrichment of the Ephesians (1:3-2:10); (3) "a record
of that marked change in spiritual position which the Gentile
believers now possessed, ending with an account of the writer's
selection to and qualification for the apostolate of heathendom,
a fact so considered as to keep them from being dispirited, and
to lead him to pray for enlarged spiritual benefactions on his
absent sympathizers" (2:12-3:21); (4) a chapter on unity as
undisturbed by diversity of gifts (4:1-16); (5) special
injunctions bearing on ordinary life (4:17-6:10); (6) the
imagery of a spiritual warfare, mission of Tychicus, and
valedictory blessing (6:11-24).
Planting of the church at Ephesus. Paul's first and hurried
visit for the space of three months to Ephesus is recorded in
Acts 18:19-21. The work he began on this occasion was carried
forward by Apollos (24-26) and Aquila and Priscilla. On his
second visit, early in the following year, he remained at
Ephesus "three years," for he found it was the key to the
western provinces of Asia Minor. Here "a great door and
effectual" was opened to him (1 Cor. 16:9), and the church was
established and strengthened by his assiduous labours there
(Acts 20:20, 31). From Ephesus as a centre the gospel spread
abroad "almost throughout all Asia" (19:26). The word "mightily
grew and prevailed" despite all the opposition and persecution
On his last journey to Jerusalem the apostle landed at
Miletus, and summoning together the elders of the church from
Ephesus, delivered to them his remarkable farewell charge (Acts
20:18-35), expecting to see them no more.
The following parallels between this epistle and the Milesian
charge may be traced:
(1.) Acts 20:19 = Eph. 4:2. The phrase "lowliness of mind"
occurs nowhere else.
(2.) Acts 20:27 = Eph. 1:11. The word "counsel," as denoting
the divine plan, occurs only here and Heb. 6:17.
(3.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 3:20. The divine ability.
(4.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 2:20. The building upon the foundation.
(5.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 1:14, 18. "The inheritance of the
Place and date of the writing of the letter. It was evidently
written from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment (3:1; 4:1;
6:20), and probably soon after his arrival there, about the year
62, four years after he had parted with the Ephesian elders at
Miletus. The subscription of this epistle is correct.
There seems to have been no special occasion for the writing
of this letter, as already noted. Paul's object was plainly not
polemical. No errors had sprung up in the church which he sought
to point out and refute. The object of the apostle is "to set
forth the ground, the cause, and the aim and end of the church
of the faithful in Christ. He speaks to the Ephesians as a type
or sample of the church universal." The church's foundations,
its course, and its end, are his theme. "Everywhere the
foundation of the church is the will of the Father; the course
of the church is by the satisfaction of the Son; the end of the
church is the life in the Holy Spirit." In the Epistle to the
Romans, Paul writes from the point of view of justification by
the imputed righteousness of Christ; here he writes from the
point of view specially of union to the Redeemer, and hence of
the oneness of the true church of Christ. "This is perhaps the
profoundest book in existence." It is a book "which sounds the
lowest depths of Christian doctrine, and scales the loftiest
heights of Christian experience;" and the fact that the apostle
evidently expected the Ephesians to understand it is an evidence
of the "proficiency which Paul's converts had attained under his
preaching at Ephesus."
Relation between this epistle and that to the Colossians
(q.v.). "The letters of the apostle are the fervent outburst of
pastoral zeal and attachment, written without reserve and in
unaffected simplicity; sentiments come warm from the heart,
without the shaping out, pruning, and punctilious arrangement of
a formal discourse. There is such a fresh and familiar
transcription of feeling, so frequent an introduction of
coloquial idiom, and so much of conversational frankness and
vivacity, that the reader associates the image of the writer
with every paragraph, and the ear seems to catch and recognize
the very tones of living address." "Is it then any matter of
amazement that one letter should resemble another, or that two
written about the same time should have so much in common and so
much that is peculiar? The close relation as to style and
subject between the epistles to Colosse and Ephesus must strike
every reader. Their precise relation to each other has given
rise to much discussion. The great probability is that the
epistle to Colosse was first written; the parallel passages in
Ephesians, which amount to about forty-two in number, having the
appearance of being expansions from the epistle to Colosse.
Eph 1:7; Col 1:14
Eph 1:10; Col 1:20
Eph 3:2; Col 1:25
Eph 5:19; Col 3:16
Eph 6:22; Col 4:8
Eph 1:19-2:5; Col 2:12,13
Eph 4:2-4; Col 3:12-15
Eph 4:16; Col 2:19
Eph 4:32; Col 3:13
Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9,10
Eph 5:6-8; Col 3:6-8
Eph 5:15,16; Col 4:5
Eph 6:19,20; Col 4:3,4
Eph 5:22-6:9; Col 3:18-4:1
"The style of this epistle is exceedingly animated, and
corresponds with the state of the apostle's mind at the time of
writing. Overjoyed with the account which their messenger had
brought him of their faith and holiness (Eph. 1:15), and
transported with the consideration of the unsearchable wisdom of
God displayed in the work of man's redemption, and of his
astonishing love towards the Gentiles in making them partakers
through faith of all the benefits of Christ's death, he soars
high in his sentiments on those grand subjects, and gives his
thoughts utterance in sublime and copious expression."