During my message Sunday, I briefly mentioned the connection in the people’s mind that the slave girl in Acts 16:16 had with the Greek-god Apollos.
Acts 16:16-18 (NIV – 1984) 16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!”
Most of the commentaries give a statement similiar to this one:
“Luke’s description of the slave girl in Greek indicates that she had a “spirit of Python.” The python was a mythical serpent killed by Apollo, who took both the serpent’s gift of predictions and sometimes its form. Apollo became known as Pythian Apollo. When it was said that one had a “spirit of Python,” it meant that the person was controlled by an evil force. Apparently those who knew the girl did not regard her as insane or fraudulent. Rather they viewed her ability to foretell events as genuine. People paid the girl for her divination services, earning her masters a lot of money.“
Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1997). The Nelson study Bible : New King James Version. Includes index. (Ac 16:16).Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.