The New Testament character Apollos was a well-educated man from the city of Alexandria in Egypt. He was well acquainted with the Old Testament scriptures and was familiar with John the Baptist’s teachings. About A.D. 56 he came to Ephesus where he began to teach in the synagogue the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
Aquila and his wife Priscilla were at the church in Ephesus and heard Apollos speaking. They took him aside and provided him with doctrinal teaching to bring him up to date about Christ, the cross, the resurrection, etc. After this, Apollos went to preach in Achaia, especially at Corinth, having been highly recommended by the Ephesian Christians. He was very effective in representing the claims of Christ to the Jews.
Acts 18:24-28 , “Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he helped greatly those who had believed through grace; for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.”
Acts 19:1, “And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples,”
In Corinth, Apollos was also very useful in watering the spiritual seed which Paul had planted. He was obviously a skilled teacher of Bible truth and much appreciated by the believers there. Unfortunately, many of the Corinthian believers became so attached to him that they produced a schism in the church, with some taking Apollos’ part, some Paul’s, and some staying out of the conflict. But it is obvious that Apollos did not encourage this party feeling, seen in the approving way Paul speaks of him and in the fact that Apollos did not want to return to Corinth when he was with Paul at Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:12).
1 Cor. 1:12, “Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying,”I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”
1 Cor. 3:4-6, “For when one says,”I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.”
1 Cor. 3:22, “whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you,”
1 Cor. 4:6, “Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.”
1 Cor. 16:12, “But concerning Apollos our brother, I encouraged him greatly to come to you with the brethren; and it was not at all his desire to come now, but he will come when he has opportunity.”
Paul mentions Apollos again in Titus 3:13 and recommends him and Zenas the lawyer to Titus, knowing that they intended to visit Crete.
Titus 3:13, “Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way so that nothing is lacking for them.”