The name of a person at Ephesus, in whose school Paul publicly proposed and defended the doctrines of the gospel, Ac 19:9. By some he is thought to have been a Greek sophist, a teacher of rhetoric or philosophy, converted to Christianity; while others suppose him to have been a Jewish doctor or rabbi, who had a public school.
prince, a Greek rhetorician, in whose "school" at Ephesus Paul disputed daily for the space of two years with those who came to him (Ac 19:9). Some have supposed that he was a Jew, and that his "school" was a private synagogue.
Ac 19:9. In whose school at Ephesus Paul discussed (dielegeto, "reasoned"; same Greek, Ac 17:2) gospel truths with disciples and inquirers (having withdrawn from cavilers) daily for two years. A private synagogue (called beet midrash by the Jews), or rather the hall of a Gentile sophist or lecturer on rhetoric and philosophy; his name is Greek, and the "one" prefixed implies that there was no definite leaning to Christianity in him. He probably hired out his school when not using it himself. Paul in leaving the synagogue would be likely to take a Gentile's hall to gain access to the Gentiles.
This man is mentioned only in Ac 19:9. St. Paul in Ephesus preached before the Jews and proselytes in the synagogue for three months. Finding them determinedly hostile, he resorted to the 'school of Tyrannus,' where he reasoned every day. The expression is somewhat enigmatical to us, as we have no other reference to this institution by which to illustrate it. The Greek word may be translated either 'school' or 'lecture room,' and Tyrannus may have been either a schoolmaster or what we call a professor. There is the further difficulty that Tyrannus may have been dead at the time, and that the building may have been merely known as 'Tyrannus's school,' in memory of a once famous teacher who taught there. All the probabilities are in favour of this having been the name of a noted public building in Ephesus. Permission to use this building was given to Paul; perhaps it was hired by him or his friends. All this may be inferred from what is the generally accepted text of the passage in the present day. The Western and other texts have touched up this simpler text, and changed the situation considerably. They have inserted the word 'a certain' before 'Tyrannus,' and this at once converts the public building into a private one. The person Tyrannus would then be unknown to the readers, and would be one not unfavourable to St. Paul, who lent him his own building with or without fee. The most notable MS of the Western text adds the words: 'from the fifth hour till the tenth.' This addition is all of a piece with the idea that Tyrannus was a schoolmaster or professor, whose work, according to the ancient custom, would be over early in the day, thus leaving the building free for the rest of the day. Juvenal describes to us how the boys read their lessons to the master even before dawn. Augustine, himself a professor, tells us that his lecturing work was over early in the day. The experience of moderns in southern countries confirms this: the early morning is the time for brain work in the South, as the young Julius Charles Hare and his brother found when resident as boys in Italy. The hall was free to Paul at the hottest period of the day, when it must have been hard for people to listen, and yet harder for him to preach. All this is conveyed by the reading of the chief representative of the Western text, but the present writer has no doubt that here, as elsewhere, the reviser has been endeavouring to remove obscurity from the narrative. Almost all the Western variants can be explained by a greater or less effort to smooth difficulties of various sorts. The shorter reading discussed in the earlier paragraph is the genuine one.
One at Ephesus in whose school Paul reasoned daily for the space of two years, so that all that dwelt in Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord. Ac 19:9-10. The name is Greek, and nothing is said of Tyrannus being a disciple, so that the Christians may have hired the 'school,' as halls are rented in the present day.
(sovereign), the name of a man in whose school or place of audience Paul taught the gospel for two years, during his sojourn at Ephesus. See
(A.D. 52,53.) The presumption is that Tyrannus himself was a Greek, and a public teacher of philosophy or rhetoric.
TYRANNUS. It is said in Ac 19:9, that St. Paul being at Ephesus, and seeing that the Jews to whom he preached, instead of being converted, were rather more hardened and obstinate, he withdrew from their society, nor went to preach in their synagogue, but taught every day in the school of one Tyrannus. It is inquired, Who was this Tyrannus? Some think him to have been a prince or great lord, who accommodated the Apostle with his house, in which to receive and instruct his disciples. But the generality conclude, that Tyrannus was a converted Gentile, a friend of St. Paul, to whom he withdrew.