The Church of Corinth

17 01 2011

The ancient city of Corinth was built in 10th century BCE (Pre-Julian Calendar standing for BEFORE THE COMMON ERA/ I prefer to see it as BEFORE CHRIST’S ERA)! It was approximately 5 times larger than Athens and was the capital of the province.
Lucius Mummias, the Roman Consul wiped out ancient Corinth which was only reestablished by Julius Caesar with conscripted Italian, Greek, Syrian, Egyptian and Judean freed slaves. Because of the perfect siting for commercial ventures the “New Corinth” was soon booming. It was to this burgeoning new city that Paul made his visit in 51 BCE (Approx 52-53 AD)

This mixed groups from various backgrounds lived in the fourth largest city. (Only Rome, Alexandria and Antioch were larger)
Paul wrote to the Corinthians from 200 miles away while he was in Ephesus across the Aegean sea. He was responding to a delegation who visited to discuss some serious problems and disorders occurring in the church. This was his second letter but unfortunately the first has been lost.
As was common there was no central “church” building and meetings happened in homes(buildings were erected only 200 years later when persecutions started). The leaders of the homes seemed to take authority on the teachings.
These small groups tended to see each other as rivals and started to compete with themselves as to who holds the “right” teaching.
The Greeks tended to be attracted to philosophical teachings and intellectual speculations. Paul was rather upset as Corinth was falling into the trap that Athens had fallen into and Corinth was close to Athens where arrogance and ego dominated the discourses. This spiritual infancy (ch 3;17) and pedantic show of learning resulted in nothing of permanent value (ch3;12-15)
Some of Paul’s own converts had become big-headed and haughty with a boastful attitude towards Paul. Further concerns were that of incest (5;5) lawsuits (6;1-8) immorality (6;9-20) and other problems.
Corinth was an old city which had just received a rejuvenation with people with all sorts of background from different areas of the world. It was a maritime city with ships leaving for all ports. Could it be that this was the ideal location for God to have chosen to have His word dispersed. unfortunately the age-old sin of Man was defiling His message through our arrogance and paul had to correct these errant messages.
Corinth is a good example of how we deviate from God the more we receive wealth and standing the more we believe ourselves to be immune. Look at the wealthy nations of the world… Why choose a God who expects humility when you have created your own wealth and future?
We tend to forget so easily it is not about this world , but about what is to come and to me that is the great tragedy. So many are lost because we cannot see what is to come!

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