In Paul’s time, Corinth was an important city in ancient Greece and it played a major role in his missionary work. Corinth was partially destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, but in 44 BC it was rebuilt as a Roman city under Julius Caesar. The city prospered more than ever before and may have had as many as 800,000 inhabitants by the time of Paul. It was devoted to business and pleasure, and was mostly populated by freedmen and Jews.
Corinth had developed into a major government and commerce center of that region. Corinth was a commercial city, and derived its principal importance, its wealth, and its characteristics, from trade. At its peak, the city was known not only for its riches but also for its paintings and unique architecture. Building columns created in the Corinthian style were some of the most ornate in the ancient world.
Act like a Corinthian
Corinth was also known for its vices. Immorality and sexual sins were rampant, due in part to the pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Venus (i.e. it was dedicated to lust). The temple’s illicit services employed more than a thousand temple prostitutes by day, and as street prostitutes by night.
There was so much sexual immorality in Corinth that the city literally became synonymous with sexual immorality: the Greek verb korinthiazomai. Literally translated “to act the Corinthian”, which meant to commit sexual immorality.
Church Troubles in Corinth
It appears from reading I Corinthians that the church there was negatively affect by the environment. Immorality and immodesty found their way into the church. The members were taking their grievances to courts, rather than working them out with one another. There were a host of other problems, such as issues around marriage, meats scarified to idols, women praying and prophesying with heads uncovered, the use of spiritual gifts, resurrection from the dead, and monies collected for the church in Jerusalem.
Paul had his work cut out for him! He committed his efforts to working with the Corinthians by speaking at synagogue weekly. He needed a place to live and a means of supporting his stay.
And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.
Explore Paul’s Corinth
Spend time studying the 18 month period Paul spent in Corinth as part of our Footsteps of Paul Cruises. At that time, the Jews were able to convince the then pro-consul, Gallio, to charge him with various crimes that they deemed to be criminal. The place of the important Bema exists today. We will have an opportunity to meet and study at the site together. This site is a platform where Paul was made to stand and where the charges were brought against him. Praise God that Gallio saw through the charges and found that it was a dispute the Jews had of Jewish law and were not of a criminal nature. The ruler of the synagogue at that time was Sosthenes who was later beaten. Sosthenes in 1 Corinthians 1:1 is also called Paul’s friend.
2017 Christian Cruises
Our Christ-centered Christian cruises include in-depth Bible study and inspiring Christian fellowship. As you cruise the Mediterranean and visit Biblical sites and cities, your faith will be strengthen by seeing first-hand what the scriptures describe. You’ll enjoy a relaxing, personal setting as well as many on-board accommodations in a luxury cruise ship. Because these ships are much smaller than your average cruise ship, Living Passages can offer more Biblical ports and experiences on these Mediterranean cruises. In addition, you’ll join highly qualified Bible teachers as they give insightful Christian teaching in Biblical locations along the way. All Christian tours and Mediterranean cruises with Living Passages are uniquely created to accommodate families, couples and singles.