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Apollos was a Christian Jew from Alexandria, Egypt. He is said to have been a great teacher and preacher. His history is found in Acts 18:24–19:1, where his ministry is seen to have begun in Ephesus and moved to Corinth. In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians it is found that a faction had arisen around the popular preacher.

Apparently having been baptized by John the Baptist, Apollos had left Judea before Pentecost some 30 years earlier. However, he was an avid student of the Old Testament. After half a lifetime preaching the message of God's kingdom,[1] he had come to Ephesus, where Paul's traveling companions Aquila and Priscilla explained to him the Gospel of Christ.[2] Knowing the full truth about Jesus as the Messiah, Apollos was then able to expound the doctrine of Christ's work effectively from the Old Testament alone.

He moved from Ephesus to Corinth, where he had an effective ministry.[3] His time at Corinth, though, had left an impression, for Paul would write from Ephesus, where he had worked beside Apollos for some time, concerning factions that had arisen. One of these were "followers" of Apollos![4] In Corinth the factions seemed sharply divided between followers of Paul, Peter and Apollos. To be on a par with the greatest preachers of the early church was a great honor that probably humbled him.[5] At the end of Paul's letter to his former church, he could not persuade Apollos to return to that troubled congregation.[6]

Apollos is also mentioned in Paul's letter to Titus where he asks Titus to help "Apollos and Zenas the lawyer on their way",[7] but the circumstances are unknown. Further details of the life of Apollos are unknown, although there are one or two references to him in post-Biblical literature.


  1. Acts 18:24-25 (Link)
  2. Acts 18:26 (Link)
  3. Acts 18:27-28 (Link)
  4. 1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4 (Link)
  5. I Cor. 4:6 (Link)
  6. 1 Cor. 16:12 (Link)
  7. Titus 3:13 (Link)