GALLIO, THE PROCONSUL (Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ)

We get to know about Gallio only from a few verses of chapter 18 of Acts. Emperor Claudius appointed Lucius Junius Gallio the Proconsul of Achaia in 50 AD. We know for certain about Gallios appointment, as biblical scholar Ronald Brownrigg says in Whos Who the New Testament, because Gallios appointment was included in an inscription discovered at Delphi in Greece in 1905" (p. 74).

The Acts says, When Gallio was made the Roman governor of Achaia, the Jews got together, seized Paul, and took him into court, This man, they said is trying to persuade people to worship God in a way that is against the law! (Acts 18, 12-13).

Paul was at Corinth for 18 months working with tent-making couple Priscilla and Aquilla and building up the young Christian community there in the non-Jewish city. Paul must have preached regularly in the synagogue there as he has done elsewhere. In the process Paul and the small Christian Church must have antagonized the orthodox Jews including the synagogue ruler Sosthenes. So when Gallio was appointed the Jewish people got together and took Paul to Gallio for his judgement.

But Gallio refused to adjudicate Pauls case as he did not find any grievous crime to condemn Paul. As Acts records, Gallio said to the Jews, If this were a matter of some evil crime or wrong that has been committed, it would be reasonable for me to be patient with you Jews. But since it is an argument about words and names and your own law, you yourselves must settle it. I will not be the judge of such things! And he drove them out of the court (Acts 18, 14-16).

Commending on Pauls acquitted by Gallio, the author of Whos Who the New Testament, Ronald Brownrigg says, Gallio had the philosophical temperament of his Stoic brother Seneca, and was far too good a lawyer to entertain such a charge. He simply acquitted Paul and cleared the court (p. 75).

Gallio might have been a good lawyer. But he was an insensitive ruler as the Roman governor of Achaia. When he simply dismissed the case without proper hearing, the people who brought the case to him were furious and they turned their anger on their leader Sosthenes, the ruler of their synagogue and beat him in front of their court. But Gallio did not care a hoot. The Acts says, They all seized Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the court. But that did not brother Gallio a bit (Acts 18, 17). (contact the author: यह ईमेल पता spambots से संरक्षित किया जा रहा है. आप जावास्क्रिप्ट यह देखने के सक्षम होना चाहिए. )

અમારો સંપર્ક કરો

ફાધર વર્ગીસ પોલ, એસ.જે.
(ડિરેક્ટર, સી.આઈ.એસ.એસ.)


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