(KJV) 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) 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.

In the above texts one time the ruler of the synagogue is said to be Crispus & a few verses down is said to be Sosthenes.

Could this be referring to the same synagogue?


In Acts 18:5, Paul was devoting his time to testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. In verse 6, when they resisted, he stopped his efforts to the Jews and focused on the Gentiles.

Based on these two verses, it seems likely that when Crispus believed, he was terminated from his position as the leader of the synagogue.

This would be further supported by verse 12 which says that the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul. If Crispus had still been leader of the local synagogue after believing, the Jews would not have been in one accord.

A possible scenario fitting the whole passage would be that Crispus was forced to resign upon believing in the Lord with his whole household. Then, at a later date, when Sosthenes was leader of the synagogue, Paul was brought before Gallio.


These incidents occurred in the city of Corinth. Acts 18:11 states that Paul remained in that location for a year and six months. One way to harmonize the apparent contradiction would be to say that, during the extended period of time, the synagogue had a change in rulers.

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