Jesus meets John.

In less than a month I will be presenting a paper on Acts19.1-7 where I argue that this story in included in the narrative as a polemic against the remnant of John the Baptist’s disciples. One matter I haven’t settled–and I don’t think it is necessary for the argument of my paper–in whether Apollos in Acts 18.24-28 and the “disciples” in 19.1-7 were still considered followers of John with limited knowledge of Jesus or followers of Jesus with limited knowledge.

At this stage I tend to see Apollos as someone who could be considered a part of the Jesus movement, but who has not heard much about what happened since Jesus received John’s endorsement. For a while I thought the disciples of 19.1-7 were those of John. When he asks if they “received the Holy Spirit when they believed” it would seem that (like Apollos) they believed John’s word about Jesus but they had not been updated. That they responded as having been baptized by John made me think they were John’s disciples and that they had believed his message (however vague that might be), but the fact that Apollos had the same limited knowledge has caused me to retract that.

So what are we to make of these disciples? Are they disciples of John who know a bit about Jesus? Are they disciples of Jesus who have yet to integrate fully into the Jesus movement? Who is Apollos and these others?