Acts 18:1-5
Acts 18:1 (KJB)
After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
After Paul’s encounter with the Council on Mars Hill, he then left Athens for Corinth. It is not known if Timothy and Silas caught up with him before he left but it is a sure thing that he left word for them with the new believers in Athens that he would be going to Corinth. It was approximately 40 miles (64 km) from Athens to Corinth, so there would have not been too much problem for them to find Paul. Corinth was a big seaport town with many people from many different nations. It was a great place to start a church and spread the Gospel. Corinth was one of the most wicked cities in ancient times. In the first century it was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire and by the second century it was one of the most richest cities in the known world. It was a center of paganism and the chief religion was the worship of Aphrodite and her temple stood on a hill called Acrocorinth and housed 1,000 prostitutes. It was also a major port where merchants and sailors from many nations and languages would come to sell and ship their goods.
Acts 18:2 (KJB)
And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
Paul did not know anyone in Corinth at this time. It was also at the same time that Emperor Tiberius Claudius, who ruled from 41-54 AD, had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. This happened approximately 49-50 A.D. There was a Jewish couple named Priscilla and Aquila who were among those who came from Rome. They would become two of the most faithful friends that the Apostle Paul would have. This couple was of the upper class. It is believed that Aquila was a servant in the house of Priscilla’s family and married her. This meant that he was freed upon the moment of marriage. Paul had found them, no doubt, by the guidance of God. Paul had gone to their home and they did not exude any bitterness having to leave their home in Rome.
Acts 18:3 (KJB)
And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
In Corinth, Priscilla and Aquila had set themselves up a family business and that was tent making. When Paul came to lodge with them, he was also a tent maker and maybe that was the initial familiarity he had with them, and maybe he offered his services to them. In the area of Cilicia where Paul was born, it was known for its goats hair cloth which was used in the craft of tent making, so Paul would have been familiar with this trade. There is nothing to indicate that they were Christians before Paul met them. They no doubt had the Old Testament understanding of the Scriptures which would be that they are still waiting for the Messiah. They no doubt were connected with a synagogue.
Acts 18:4 (KJB)
And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
As was Paul’s custom, he would seek out a synagogue and would debate the Scriptures with them concerning the Lord Jesus Christ being the Messiah. This was probably the synagogue which Priscilla and Aquila belonged to and from the discourse they heard, it was probably not very long before they became Christians. According to this Scripture, Paul had persuaded the Jews and Greeks concerning the true Gospel. The word “persuaded” in the Greek carries with it the idea of “convinced.” So there were many among both Jews and Gentiles who believed the true Gospel. Paul didn’t go just once, he continued to come back each Sabbath day and teach the truth.
Acts 18:5 (KJB)
And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
Silas and Timothy had finally caught up with Paul in Corinth. Paul was pressed in the spirit concerning his teaching that Jesus was the Christ. The word “pressed” in the Greek carries with it the idea of “constrain or compel.” Paul was compelled to bring them the truth concerning Jesus. It is a feeling that all Christians should have, which is to feel the urgency to spread the true Gospel and to never give up no matter what circumstance we run into. We must always remember our calling to send forth the Gospel is a non-revocable calling and we must be engaged in it until the Lord calls us home.