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Summary: When Paul left the synagogue (see 18:4, 6), he moved his place of witness to the house of a Gentile God-fearer named “Titus Justice,” who probably was one of those mentioned in 18:4 as being present in the Corinthian synagogue. The name Titus Justice...

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April 15, 2015

By: Tom Lowe

Lesson: Paul's Work at the House of Crispus & Justus (18:7-11)

Acts 18:7-11 (KJV)

7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.

8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:

10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.

11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Introduction

The work in Corinth met with early success. There were a number of converts, including Titus Justus, possibly a Roman citizen and a colonus, a worshipper of God (v. 7) and Crispus [a Jew despite his Latin name] “the synagogue ruler” (v. 8). It would appear from the use of the definite article, “the ruler,” that at Corinth only one person at a time held that office and that Sosthenes, who is mentioned later in verse 17, succeeded Crispus upon the latter’s conversion. The order of the verses implies that Crispus did not become a Christian until after Paul’s break with the synagogue, but some expositors may be right in supposing that he and his family came to faith while Paul was still in good standing with the Jewish community. Among the others were Gaius, whom Paul mentions with Crispus in 1 Corinthians 1:14, and “the household of Stephanas,” who were “the first converts in Achaia” (i.e., Corinth; 1 Corinthians 16:15).

Commentary

7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.

And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus.

When Paul left the synagogue (see 18:4, 6), he moved his place of witness to the house of a Gentile God-fearer named “Titus Justice,” who probably was one of those mentioned in 18:4[1] as being present in the Corinthian synagogue. The name Titus Justice suggests that he was a Roman citizen, though Luke does not indicate that he was a convert.

Some hold to the view that “Titus (or “Titius”) Justice” is the Gaius who is also mentioned as having been baptized by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:14[2]. Their reasoning is that Titus and Justice would constitute the last two of the customary three Roman names and that Gaius could well have been his first name. This same Gaius is mentioned as Paul’s Corinthian host in Romans 16:23[3]. Some interpreters believe verse 18:7 refers to Paul’s changing his place of lodging from Aquila and Priscilla’s to Titus’s. This view is appealing but unfortunately too speculative.

One that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.

When Paul left the synagogue, “he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles” (Acts 18:6), and then he walked to Titus Justus’s House, which was next door to the synagogue or across the street from it. This might appear as somewhat spiteful to the Jews, but it could also indicate that he had not completely given up on them. It was essential for the apostle to remain identified with the synagogue for reasons which we have given previously. This was certainly a wise decision on Paul’s part, because it gave him continued contact with the Jews and Gentile proselytes; and as a result, many of them came to believe in Jesus Christ.


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