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Who Were The Saints At Corinth?

Corinth was a Greek (i.e. it was located in Greece) city located about 77 kilometers / 48 miles west of Athens. The city was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, but was rebuilt so that by the time of the New Testament record, Corinth was a modern (for that time - "modern" is a relative term) Roman city (keeping in mind that The Greek empire had been over-run by the Roman empire) with a mixed population of Greeks, Romans and Jews (a "Jew" can be so in either, or both, a national or religious sense).

The apostle Paul was a Jew (see also Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite?), but was sent by the LORD to be The Apostle To The Gentiles. Does that mean that Paul associated only with gentile Christians in Corinth? No, but Paul's experience there very well portrays how Christianity is open to anyone, Jew or gentile, who accepts the one and only Messiah, or closed to anyone, Jew or gentile, who rejects the one and only Messiah. Paul's later letters to the Church of God at Corinth (see the Fact Finder question below) were to the people of God, male or female, Jew or gentile.

"1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 1:1-3 KJV)

"1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: 1:2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 1:1-2 KJV)

Who Were The Saints At Corinth?

When Paul arrived in Corinth (see also Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey), he became friends with believing Jews - Aquila and his wife Priscilla.

Paul's Third Missionary Journey

"8:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; because that Claudius [see Emperor Claudius] had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome: and came unto them. 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." (Acts 18:1-4 KJV)

But other Jews in Corinth rejected the Gospel Truth.

"18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. 18:6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles." (Acts 18:5-6 KJV)

Paul then, having been rejected by some of the Jews, was accepted by "the chief ruler" of their synagogue, Crispus.

"18:7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue. 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized." (Acts 18:7-8 KJV)

The LORD thereafter spoke to Paul, assuring him that "I have much people in this city," believers, Jews or gentiles, because that's all that has ever mattered to the LORD (e.g. righteous Abraham, the key patriarch of the Jews, was himself a gentile - see Circumcision).

"18:9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: 18:10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. 18:11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them." (Acts 18:9-11 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did Paul say in his epistles (letters) to the Christians at Corinth?
See notes for 1 Corinthians 1, 1 Corinthians 2-4, 1 Corinthians 5-7, 1 Corinthians 8-12, 1 Corinthians 13-15, 1 Corinthians 16, 2 Corinthians 1-2, 2 Corinthians 3-5, 2 Corinthians 6-8, 2 Corinthians 9-11 and 2 Corinthians 12-13


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