12 “But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, 13 saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” (Acts 18:12–13)
Paul could rest in the promise from Jesus that no one would physically attack or harm him while he ministered in Corinth (Acts 18:11). However, Jesus did not say that Paul would not face opposition in preaching and proclaiming the Gospel.
As today’s text highlights, the unconverted Corinthian Jews conspired a united attack and rose up against Paul. They falsely accused Paul of persuading the Corinthians citizens to worship God contrary to the law.
In fact, they brought him before the Roman Tribunal and the new proconsul of Achaia, Gallio. Under Roman law, proconsuls served one year terms in any given location. It seem apparent that the Jews hope to persuade Gallio that the law they accused Paul of subverted in worship was Roman law and not Jewish law.
Gallio was Marcus Annaeus Seneca’s son, and brother of the philosopher Seneca, who lived from 3 bc to ad 65. Born in Cordoba, Spain, Gallio came to Rome during Tiberius’s reign. His given name was Marcus Annaeus Novatus, but he assumed the name Gallio after his adoption by the rhetorician Lucius Junius Gallio. The wealthy Lucius trained him for his career in administration and government.
Gallio served as Roman proconsul of Achaia sometime between ad 51 and 53.
Forced to leave Achaia because of illness, Gallio returned to Rome as consul suffectus under Nero. His involvement in a conspiracy against Nero resulted in temporary pardon but eventual obligatory suicide.
A dated Greek inscription found in Delphi, Greece, mentions Gallio as proconsul, and establishing the time of Paul’s initial visit to Corinth between 51-53 A.D.
The Jews plan was an astute one but they did not carry it out very well. Gallio would prove to be more than clever enough to undermine their plans, as we shall see.
Matthew 5:11-12 says, “11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
More to come. Have a blessed day as you meditate upon God’s promise from Matthew 5 and the life of the Apostle Paul.
Soli deo Gloria!