The Run Down
I. Extra Biblical Historical Data is very helpful.
Textual Criticism: comparing all documents, manuscripts, copies, quotes from Church fathers, to try and determine the original text.
Historical Criticism: investigate the origins of the text to determine the ‘world behind the text’. Its original meaning in its original context. Reconstruct the historical situation of the author and his recipients.
Picture of a conservative Iowa community person representing a church community.
Picture of Las Vegas family… representing a church community.
Look at Acts 17, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, to Corinth.
III. Read Acts 18.
Map of Corinth.
Corinth and the Acropolis. Acro-High Polis-City. AcroCorinth.
The Acrocorinth, water supply from natural springs.
The Temple of Aphrodite.
Temple of Apollo.
The Isthmus, “neck”. Narrow land bridge connecting to large land masses with water front on either side. Isthmus of Corinth, 4.5 miles wide.
Peloponnese – large peninsula.
Modern Canal thru Isthmus.
IV. City Description:
Roman Hellenized colony.
Capital of Achaia Province.
Important port city.
Controlled flow of goods across land… from Asia (Saronic Gulf to the East) and Italy (the Corinthian Gulf to the West).
Ships dragged across rollers the 4.5 miles.
Cult worship. 26 sacred temples of mixed religions and mystery cults.
Military naval presence.
Populated by mostly Roman Freedmen. Just above slave… able to make socioeconomic advancement.
Merchants, international trade.
Sex trade. Temple prostitutes.
Like a Modern Day New York/Las Vegas/Los Angeles.
Ancient historian coined the phrase of the city to act:
“korinthiazo” = to act like a Corinthian, to commit fornication. In present day museum, they have clay genitalia that were offered to the gods for healing of rampant venereal diseases.
Thousands of temple prostitutes at the Temple of Aphrodite on the Acrocorinth.
A double seaport, with commerce, wealth, a mixture of many peoples, connection between 2 continents, men, women, idolatry.
Isthmian games, celebrating the god Poseidon, 2nd only to Olympics.
Artisans and slaves made up bulk of the population.
2 Theaters, one able to house 18,000 people.
V. Diverse Church
Diverse mixture within the Church, no surprise since in a heterogeneous society. 1 Cor. 12:13, Jews, Greeks, slave, free.
Jewish Names: Aquila, Priscilla, Crispus (ruler of synagogue Acts 18:8).
Roman Latin Names: Fortunatus, Quartus, Gaius, Titius Justus (the last 2 being wealthy).
Greek Names: Stephanas, Achaicus, Erastus (2 of them wealthy).
On a paved street at the largest theater, was found a block with the inscriptions “Erastus, the aedile (commissioner of public works) bore the expense of this pavement.” May have been Paul’s fellow worker Acts 19:22 / Romans 16:23 one of those of 1 Cor. 1:26.
Acts 18:17 Sosthenes, ruler of the synagogue sometime later, beaten, co-writer with Paul from Ephesus to Corinth.
1:26 yet not many of them are of the upper social strata.
Predominantly Gentile Church.
VI. Paul’s Interactions:
He planted the church, Acts 18:1-4.
Time there: Sometime between 50-51AD, Acts. 18:11, 1 year 6mths.
We know nothing of it’s size, worship time and place, nor nature of leadership.
Time been away when he writes this: 3 years.
Multiple Correspondences with Corinth.
Letter to them. 1-2 years after leaving 1 Cor. 5:9-11. At least dealt with sexual sins and not associating with this person.
This letter is Paul’s 3rd interaction.
Delegation party from Chloe’s household. 1 Cor. 1:11
Things have gone awry.
Paul left Corinth in 50-51AD, ending 2nd mission, went through Ephesus back to Jerusalem.
Wrote back in 3 years Time while on beginnings of 3rd mission as he came through Ephesus there about 3 years: 53-55AD. One of most certain dates in NT. Based off Gallio (the proconsul, governor, of the region) inscription and the ref. in Acts 18:12, placing Paul and Gallio in Corinth sometime between 50-52AD. 9 fragments of a letter from Emperor Claudius in 52AD mentions Proconsul Gallio.
No surprise, but a people from the Corinthian culture still had the residuals of their sin in their Local Church of Corinth.
A major conflict between the entire Church and its founder.
About His authority. I Cor. 14:37-38.
How to be Spiritual. Pneumatikos.
IX. Reports: 1:11, 5:1, 11:18.
Their letter: 7:1.
Probably brought the Corinth letter from Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus: 16:15-17.
Seems they probably have disregarded Paul’s first letter since he takes such a confrontational and clarifying approach here on the subjects probably already breached. Sexuality and idolatry and his authority.
He will have difficulty as he asserts his authority but within the servant style leadership framework. 3:5-9, 4:1-5.
Think of this varying but similar argument as he had with Judaizers in Galatia.
He has to assert his authority… over loose living… bad theology… and remain a servant.
They have 11 concerns, 10 behavioral.
Division in the church: 1:10-12, 3:4-5, 11:18-19.
2 Cor. 2:1-4 Unexpected visit, ‘again’. 1 Cor. 4:18-19. I will come to you soon.
1 Cor. 15:12 Some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead. This is internal bad teachers…. Not outsiders like in Galatia.
2 Cor. 2:4, 7:8, many tears and sorrowful letter.
1 Cor. 3:1-9 You are not spiritual… you needed milk. You still need milk. Referencing Apollos’ ministry there.
1 Cor. 9:3 This is my defense to those who would examine me. Defends his rights… 9:15 then refuses them as a servant and not to be controlled as a patron of theirs.
He will correct them on their overemphasis on their own spirituality of speaking in tongues… Chpt. 12-14.
“If anyone thinks that he is spiritual…” 3:18, 8:2, 14:37.
“Puffed up” 4:6, 18; 5:2 and “arrogant” 5:6 while gross sexual immorality is in their midst.
1. He will speak to Eschatology. The Spirit’s arrival and the beginning of the end.
2. The Gospel and the Ethical Life.
3. The Church
What would Chloe’s reps report about TMCC?