I learned more about Sosthenes - Acts 18

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Sep 5, 2014
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#1
In reading Acts 18, yesterday (about Paul's preaching in a synagogue), I wondered why Sostenes (the one in charge of that synagogue) was persecuted worse than Paul was, in this event of persecution that happened. I couldn't figure out why Galio made effort to spare Paul from persecution, but somehow had a different mindset, as regards to Sosthenes. I looked it up some online to see what others said about this. I finally saw that the reason Sosthenes was persecuted the worst, was probably because he was the ruler of the synagogue, and as such - was seen as a greater threat to Judaism, since it was a public place of worship and many attended it.
The online commentary I read, said that Sosthenes was a believer. And now, this AM, after I looked up the name, "Sosthenes" - in my Bible verse search software I have on my computer - I see the I Corinthians passage mentioning his name. And in that passage, he was definitely called "our brother" - which shows he was a believer.
I also thought of how Galio, though uncaring about the truths of God - resembled Pilate, in how even a cruel man like him felt uncomfortable sometimes about those they persecuted. Pilate - you remember - wanted to spare Jesus from the cross. But didn't care enough to take the risk of sparing Him from it. Probably because he didn't want to lose his position as a ruler.
Acts 18:17
17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.
KJV
1 Cor 1:1-2
1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
KJV
 

Runningman

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2020
492
435
63
#2
In reading Acts 18, yesterday (about Paul's preaching in a synagogue), I wondered why Sostenes (the one in charge of that synagogue) was persecuted worse than Paul was, in this event of persecution that happened. I couldn't figure out why Galio made effort to spare Paul from persecution, but somehow had a different mindset, as regards to Sosthenes. I looked it up some online to see what others said about this. I finally saw that the reason Sosthenes was persecuted the worst, was probably because he was the ruler of the synagogue, and as such - was seen as a greater threat to Judaism, since it was a public place of worship and many attended it.
The online commentary I read, said that Sosthenes was a believer. And now, this AM, after I looked up the name, "Sosthenes" - in my Bible verse search software I have on my computer - I see the I Corinthians passage mentioning his name. And in that passage, he was definitely called "our brother" - which shows he was a believer.
I also thought of how Galio, though uncaring about the truths of God - resembled Pilate, in how even a cruel man like him felt uncomfortable sometimes about those they persecuted. Pilate - you remember - wanted to spare Jesus from the cross. But didn't care enough to take the risk of sparing Him from it. Probably because he didn't want to lose his position as a ruler.
Acts 18:17
17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.
KJV
1 Cor 1:1-2
1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
KJV
The way it reads to me is that they (presumably a mob) had initially seized Paul and brought him before the tribunal for breaking their Jewish laws.

The proconsul of Achaia at that time was someone named Gallio who was at the tribunal and essentially refused to prosecute or Paul according to Jewish law.

Gallio had the mob driven out from the tribunal where Paul was. They no longer had access to Paul or they would have probably beat him.

I think Sosthenes was just a convenient scapegoat who happened to be there.

The verses preceding Acts 18:17 give us a play by play as to how this unfolded.

Does my rendering of these verses make sense?
 

garee

Senior Member
Mar 28, 2016
15,828
1,506
113
#3
The way it reads to me is that they (presumably a mob) had initially seized Paul and brought him before the tribunal for breaking their Jewish laws.

The proconsul of Achaia at that time was someone named Gallio who was at the tribunal and essentially refused to prosecute or Paul according to Jewish law.

Gallio had the mob driven out from the tribunal where Paul was. They no longer had access to Paul or they would have probably beat him.

I think Sosthenes was just a convenient scapegoat who happened to be there.

The verses preceding Acts 18:17 give us a play by play as to how this unfolded.

Does my rendering of these verses make sense?
I think so. perfect. It seemed like the argument some make. The state is separate from the church and the state punishes those believers like Sosthenes, who appose making the law of God the lesser . The bleeding heart liberals. No such thing a separation of the church and the state .The state is the church the enforcer of laws it creates.
 
Aug 4, 2020
1,998
474
83
#4
In reading Acts 18, yesterday (about Paul's preaching in a synagogue), I wondered why Sostenes (the one in charge of that synagogue) was persecuted worse than Paul was, in this event of persecution that happened. I couldn't figure out why Galio made effort to spare Paul from persecution, but somehow had a different mindset, as regards to Sosthenes. I looked it up some online to see what others said about this. I finally saw that the reason Sosthenes was persecuted the worst, was probably because he was the ruler of the synagogue, and as such - was seen as a greater threat to Judaism, since it was a public place of worship and many attended it.
The online commentary I read, said that Sosthenes was a believer. And now, this AM, after I looked up the name, "Sosthenes" - in my Bible verse search software I have on my computer - I see the I Corinthians passage mentioning his name. And in that passage, he was definitely called "our brother" - which shows he was a believer.
I also thought of how Galio, though uncaring about the truths of God - resembled Pilate, in how even a cruel man like him felt uncomfortable sometimes about those they persecuted. Pilate - you remember - wanted to spare Jesus from the cross. But didn't care enough to take the risk of sparing Him from it. Probably because he didn't want to lose his position as a ruler.
Acts 18:17
17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.
KJV
1 Cor 1:1-2
1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
KJV
Yeah we came across this afresh in our small bible study.
 
Sep 5, 2014
451
150
43
#5
The way it reads to me is that they (presumably a mob) had initially seized Paul and brought him before the tribunal for breaking their Jewish laws.

The proconsul of Achaia at that time was someone named Gallio who was at the tribunal and essentially refused to prosecute or Paul according to Jewish law.

Gallio had the mob driven out from the tribunal where Paul was. They no longer had access to Paul or they would have probably beat him.

I think Sosthenes was just a convenient scapegoat who happened to be there.

The verses preceding Acts 18:17 give us a play by play as to how this unfolded.

Does my rendering of these verses make sense?
Sure - Galio, as Roman proconsul - somehow chose to protect Paul from those who intended to harm him. He saw Paul as not being guilty of anything wicked. Yes, that's right, the start of all this uproar starts in Acts 18. Knowing how crazy Roman officlals often were - it's true he might have had a swing of mood by the time Sosthenes was being beaten up by the mob, and lazily just stood by and put up with it. But it seems more likely that there may have been a reason why he was less tolerant of Sosthenes as compared to Paul. But like you, I'm only guessing, as the Bible doesn't explain about this.
 

garee

Senior Member
Mar 28, 2016
15,828
1,506
113
#6
Sure - Galio, as Roman proconsul - somehow chose to protect Paul from those who intended to harm him. He saw Paul as not being guilty of anything wicked. Yes, that's right, the start of all this uproar starts in Acts 18. Knowing how crazy Roman officlals often were - it's true he might have had a swing of mood by the time Sosthenes was being beaten up by the mob, and lazily just stood by and put up with it. But it seems more likely that there may have been a reason why he was less tolerant of Sosthenes as compared to Paul. But like you, I'm only guessing, as the Bible doesn't explain about this.
I do not think comparing the sufferings of Christ . . greater or lesser has much value . Satan is not respecter of persons .He would murder all who name the name of Christ, the Christian's one source of unseen faith.

He is not subject to salvation . He has no theology. He went after the Son of man, Jesus the apostle just like any person living in a earthen body.

When approaching God not seen he looks for fault in men ( What about Job) and when approaching man he looks for fault in God. Did God say? Satan has no faith or understanding coming from God. . . . he hates all flesh. . . Kill them all.

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
 

Runningman

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2020
492
435
63
#7
Sure - Galio, as Roman proconsul - somehow chose to protect Paul from those who intended to harm him. He saw Paul as not being guilty of anything wicked. Yes, that's right, the start of all this uproar starts in Acts 18. Knowing how crazy Roman officlals often were - it's true he might have had a swing of mood by the time Sosthenes was being beaten up by the mob, and lazily just stood by and put up with it. But it seems more likely that there may have been a reason why he was less tolerant of Sosthenes as compared to Paul. But like you, I'm only guessing, as the Bible doesn't explain about this.
Verse 10, chapter 18 of Acts, are the words of Jesus in a vision to Paul saying that he will not be harmed because Jesus has people in the city. Could it be that Paul was divinely protected? Could this be suggesting that the one who protected Paul from harm be one of Jesus' people? A follower of Jesus?

It is possible to conclude Gallio, though a Roman official, was also a Christian and was sympathetic to Paul being a missionary of Christ and used his positional authority to protect him.

God is all powerful, but subtle, performing miracles in the most seemingly natural and inconspicuous of ways.

The case the Jews brought to the proconsul was actually a non-case, at least as far as the Romans were concerned, because it was about Jewish law. They dismissed it without even taking any action. They didn't get justice from the governing authorities so they used street justice. That's how it reads to me.
 
Sep 5, 2014
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#8
To me, it doesn't look like Galio, the Roman official in this event - was a Christian, since it it says he didn't care that Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, was beaten by the mob. There's evidence that Sosthenes was a Christian, in this other passage that mentions him as being a Christian:

1 Cor 1:1-2
1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
KJV
This start to the book of I Corinthians, shows that the book starts with Paul and Sosthenes greeting the church of Corinth. And Sosthenes is called "a brother' in this passage, too, which to me, indicates that he was a Christian.

I'm sure God protected Paul that time, as other times, Paul did suffer harsh persecution at the hands of cruel persecutors. I think the following passage means that God was telling Paul that there were other Christians in the city. And that meant he wouldn't be in so much danger as if he'd just been there alone:

Acts 18:9-10
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.
KJV

I just now noticed in reading the chapter again, that the chief ruler of the synagogue, was Crispus, and it says he became a Christian in this event, too:

Acts 18:8
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.
KJV
One Bible commentary I looked at, said that it might be that Crispus was the original chief ruler of the synagogue - and that Sosthenes was the new one:

Acts 18:17

17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.
KJV
I don't know for sure that he was yet a Christian in this event, as it doesn't say so. But at least he had become a Christian by the time he was mentioned in the beginning greeting seen in I Corinthians chapter 1. And it looks like he was at least tolerant of Paul's preaching in this event, since it looks like he was blamed by the mob for having allowed it to go on.
 
Mar 21, 2009
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New York
#9
It was Sosthenes turn to glorify God by being beaten for the testimony of Jesus. Paul had plenty of opportunities to glorify God with beatings also. Our turn. Let's go to Pakistan!!! :D:D:D
 
Sep 5, 2014
451
150
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#10
It was Sosthenes turn to glorify God by being beaten for the testimony of Jesus. Paul had plenty of opportunities to glorify God with beatings also. Our turn. Let's go to Pakistan!!! :D:D:D
Right! We never know when our turn might come up for that! But should be prepared in our minds to be ready and willing, if God should call us to endure such. Yes, Pakistan is a dangerous place for Christians! But God needs Christians there too, just as elsewhere in the world. At least, we can pray for the Christians there, and go to such "dangerous" places, if the Lord ever calls us to such places!