As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
Acts 16:16-18, ESV

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Oracle of Delphi

Delphi was famous for the oracle of Apollo, called Pythia, which people would seek out for her wisdom and prophecies. The ancient Greeks believed that Apollo communicated directly to Pythia. The slave girl who had a "spirit of divination" in Acts 16:16, carries the connotation of being associated to Pythia.

Gallio Inscription

The Gallio Inscription found in Delphi offers one of the few historical artifacts that help scholars accurately date the events recorded in the book of Acts. The inscription was sent from the Roman Emperor Claudius to the citizens of Delphi and mentioned Gallio, the proconsul of Achaia (Acts 18:12). Based on this inscription, Gallio probably arrived in Corinth in the spring of AD 51 and held his position till the following spring. Paul would have appeared before him sometime during this time, likely in the fall of AD 51.  


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A Greek city and sanctuary famous throughout the Graeco-Roman period for its temple of Apollo, which housed the oracle of Apollo and a stone representing the navel/center of the world. The Pythian Games, which began in the sixth century BC, also attracted many Greeks to Delphi. By the fifth century BC, these games had become second in importance only to the Olympic games.