The Way More Fully -- By: Virginia Gray

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 20:2 (Spring 2006)
Article: The Way More Fully
Author: Virginia Gray

The Way More Fully

Virginia Gray

Virginia Gray is pursuing both a Master of Divinity degree and the Doctor of Ministry degree in effective ministries to women at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts. She has been married for thirty-three years to her husband Brad, has two sons, and owns a Newfoundland dog. Virginia hopes someday to do ministry in a local church as part of a pastoral team.

One of the most intriguing passages in Scripture is found in Acts 18:24-27, in which Priscilla and Aquila, missionaries with Paul, hear a man named Apollos preach, and they discern that something is missing concerning his understanding of the “way of God.” Indeed, F. F. Bruce comments, “Apollos presents . . . one of the most interesting problems in New Testament history.”1

Apollos was an educated man (v. 24), and “being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching the things concerning Jesus accurately” (v. 25).2 Yet, there was a deficiency in Apollos’ message. Therefore, Priscilla and Aquila “having heard him, took him aside and explained to him the way more fully” (v. 26).3 Although this statement seems at first glance straightforward, exactly what it means in the case of Apollos and his relationship to the Christian faith has been the subject of some disagreement. The burden of this article will be to obtain a better understanding of what this historical account of a leading individual in the first generation church is conveying about what is included in a full understanding of the Christian way.

What does Luke mean when he says that Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos “the way more fully?” We will answer this question by studying the wider as well as the immediate historical context of the text, selecting the best text and explaining why it is the best text, analyzing the syntax (i.e., why Luke interrupts his narrative in chapters 18 and 19 about Paul’s missionary trips to relate the story of Apollos), and by doing a semantic analysis of important words (i.e., “the way” [ho hodos], “the baptism of John” [to baptisma ʿlōannou] and “more fully” [akribesteron]). We will conclude with an application of the passage for present-day Christians. From this study, we will ...

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