Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Paul goes to Corinth (moving south from Macedonia to Beroea to Athens and now Corinth). Corinth was a prosperous and decadent city. Its prosperity came from the shipping industry (strategically located to benefit from all the key Mediterranean trade routes). Corinth was a cosmopolitan city with a diverse cultural heritage. Corinth’s reputation in the Roman Empire was as a debauched and decadent city. There is a word in Latin that translates “to corinthianize something.” To corinthianize something was to take something good and pure lead it into total debauchery and decadence.
Here we meet Aquila and his wife Priscilla, refugees from Rome and tent makers, like Paul. Here is an insight into Paul’s understanding of women in ministry. Remember that he uses Lydia in Macedonia. When we meet this tent making couple they are introduced in verse 2 as Aquila and his wife Priscilla but in 26 when they are working with Apollos Priscilla is mentioned first and then Aquila. In Greek writing the most important person is always listed first (note that on any list of the Apostles, Peter is always listed first and then there are variations on how the others are listed – except Judas Iscariot who is always listed last). Priscilla, not Aquila, is the more important person as far as the gospel is concerned.
Paul spends 18 months in Corinth, teach and preaching and building the church. He makes more than one visit to this church and sends at least two letters (most scholars believe there was a third Corinthian letter – or one of the letters is a combination of two letters). From Corinth, Paul moves back to Caesarea and up to Jerusalem and finally back to Antioch.