What does Acts 18:6 mean?
ESV: And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
NIV: But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, 'Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.'
NASB: But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, 'Your blood is on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.'
CSB: When they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his clothes and told them, "Your blood is on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
NLT: But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, 'Your blood is upon your own heads — I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.'
KJV: And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
NKJV: But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
Verse Commentary:
Whenever Paul enters a new town to share Jesus' offer of forgiveness, he first goes to Jews and Gentile God-fearers. If there is a synagogue, he goes there and shows how Jesus of Nazareth fulfills the prophecies about the Messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures: our Old Testament. Invariably, some Jews and a great number of Gentiles—in and out of the synagogue—believe. But Judaism is a community religion, and if the whole synagogue leadership doesn't choose to follow Jesus, Paul must leave.

This time, in Corinth, the synagogue ruler believes (Acts 18:8), but not enough of the rest of the leadership. Paul responds with a cultural act of dismissal and a reference to a prophet.

After the Jews returned from exile in Babylon, Nehemiah traveled to Jerusalem to encourage them to rebuild the wall around the city. While there, he discovered that the rich were abusing their power and using such unfair business practices that the poor had to sell their children into slavery. Nehemiah confronted the rich, and they agreed to stop charging interest on loans and to return the land and homes they'd taken (Nehemiah 5:1–12). Nehemiah writes, "I also shook out the fold of my garment and said, 'So may God shake out every man from his house and from his labor who does not keep this promise. So may he be shaken out and emptied.' And all the assembly said 'Amen' and praised the LORD. And the people did as they had promised" (Nehemiah 5:13). This parallels Jesus' command to the disciples that if a town refused to believe His message, they should "shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them" (Mark 6:11) as if even the dust they walked on was unworthy of Jesus' offer of salvation.

The line that their blood would be on their own heads has to do with who is responsible for whatever curse or hardship would fall upon them. Ezekiel the prophet served God in Babylon. God gave him very difficult messages to tell the exiles there, including that they would not return to Jerusalem anytime soon and that the temple would be destroyed. In Ezekiel 33:1–9, God explains that He chooses prophets to be watchmen for the people to listen to. If the people refuse to listen to the prophets, they will be responsible when God's judgment brings their death. If the prophet refuses to share the message God has given him, the prophet is responsible.

In the case of the Corinthian synagogue, Paul has shared the message Jesus commissioned him to; he fulfilled his responsibility. He is absolved of any liability for those who refuse to believe him.
Verse Context:
Acts 18:5–11 describes Paul in Corinth, making tents with Priscilla and Aquila. He is waiting for Silas and Timothy to arrive from Macedonia (Acts 18:1–3). Once they come, Paul can spend more time teaching about Jesus. As usual, the synagogue eventually rejects him, and he moves to the home of a Gentile God-fearer to continue his work. Despite the harassment of the unbelieving Jews, Jesus gives Paul a message that he is to stay in Corinth, which he does for eighteen months. Even when the Jews bring him to court, the proconsul will reject their charges as irrelevant religious squabbles (Acts 18:12–17).
Chapter Summary:
Acts 18 recounts the end of Paul's second missionary journey. He leaves Athens for Corinth, in southern Greece, and works with Priscilla and Aquila as a tentmaker until Silas and Timothy rejoin him. The team stays eighteen months with no significant pressure. Eventually, Paul, Priscilla, and Aquila sail east to Ephesus. Paul leaves a short time later for Judea and Syrian Antioch before returning to Galatia for his third missionary journey. Meanwhile, Priscilla and Aquilla host the church in Ephesus and train a talented speaker named Apollos to be a minister of Christ.
Chapter Context:
Acts 18 covers the last half of Paul's second missionary journey and the first part of the third. He and his team have traveled down the east coast of Macedonia and Greece to Corinth (Acts 17) where they will spend eighteen months. Paul will stop briefly in Ephesus on their way back to Judea before visiting Jerusalem and Syrian Antioch. From there, Paul will return to Galatia in modern-day Asia Minor before returning to Ephesus for an extended stay (Acts 19). He will revisit the churches in Macedonia and Greece before facing arrest in Jerusalem (Acts 21).
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
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