God's Word for
God's Word for
December 17, 2011
18 Paul in Corinth,
Ephesus, and Antioch
I have made the trip from Athens to Corinth by bus, on the trip to Greece and
Rome with Talbot Seminary. By bus it took about an hour. Paul probably
walked it. It would take a long time to walk that distance although it would be
a beautiful walk. I enjoyed the scenery more since I was riding than I would
have if I had been walking. The city of Corinth was probably the most
wicked city of that day. It is a seaport city and known for prostitution.
There were also Olympic games there and a busy commerce center. In the
Greek-Roman world where Paul taught, victory was highly valued. So when he
shared Christian truth, he used words his audience could understand. In his
letters, and probably in his spoken words too, he described Christ as the One
who leads us in victory and compared the Christian life to someone training for
the ancient Olympic games.
Paul meets tentmakers in Corinth verses 1-3
This is the first time we find out that Paul is a tentmaker. We had
been a well educated man and very religious before becoming a Christian.
Now he is on his second major trip as one the first missionaries, preaching and
teaching as he goes. But where did the money come from for him to live?
Some churches, at least the church in Philippi gave him some support but he also
worked so as to not be a burden to those he was teaching and preaching to.
He had a business making tents. He meets a couple in Corinth that have the
same kind of business. Many pastors and missionaries since then have had
to work in some job to help support themselves because the church or mission
field does not or cannot support them fully, in English we call this being a
tentmaker. Paul later wrote at least two letters to the church he
started in Corinth.
At the beginning of the ministry in Corinth, Paul labored together with Aqulla
and Priscilla. Claudius the Roman emperor at the time, commanded all Jews
to leave Rome. Among those who got out of Rome was a very wonderful couple,
Aquila and Priscilla. It could be as the lived and worked together, Paul
led them to the Lord, but they were probably already Christians when Paul met
them. It seems there was already a church in Rome. At some point this
couple ended up back in Rome.
Long before going back to Rome, they had a church in their house in Ephesus, and
it was from there that Paul wrote his first follow up letter to the Corinthian
The ministry in Corinth verses 4-18
Paul spent a year and a half in Corinth, going first, as usual to the Jewish
synagogue. He was soon joined by his fellow missionaries Silas and
Timothy. For more see