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Sunday, June 19 2016

Acts 18: The Way To Corinth

"After these things Paul departed from Athens and came to Corinth ... These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the Way of salvation"

The city of Corinth is located about 80 kilometers / 50 miles west of Athens, on a narrow isthmus ("A relatively narrow strip of land, with water on both sides, connecting two larger land areas") that connects the southern section of Greece, known as the Peloponnesus, to the Greek mainland (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).

The original city of Corinth was destroyed by the Romans about 146 B.C., but Julius Caesar (see The Politics Of Rome) had it rebuilt and established as a strategically-placed Roman colony just over a hundred years later. Under Caesar Augustus (who is best known from his ordering the census that resulted in Jesus Christ being born in Bethlehem, see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars), it grew to become the capital of the province of Achaea.

Corinth based its early commercial success as a port to the fact that it was actually two ports - one to the Ionian and Adriatic Seas on the west side, and the other to the Aegean Sea on the east side, then separated only by the narrow isthmus.

The Isthmus of Corinth In their time, the ancient Corinthians attempted to cut a canal through the rock, but when that proved insurmountable for the "technology" of the day (i.e. crude picks and shovels), they instead constructed a slipway, called the diolkos, where boats and small ships were brought up out of the water on one side and hauled overland across to the other side.

By 67 AD, the psychotic-sociopath Emperor Nero (who would probably be very successful in some of the blustering, clown-show "democracies" of the present age) made another attempt to dig a canal through the rock, but the unfinished project was abandoned after his suicide. It was not until relatively modern times, in 1893, that a canal was finally opened, as shown in photograph.

It was during Paul's second missionary journey (see the map below), which was his first missionary journey to Greece (see Paul's First Mission To Greece), that Paul arrived at Corinth after departing from Athens (see Paul's Sermon On The War Rock).

"18:1 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

18:12 And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, 18:13 Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.

18:14 And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: 18:15 But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. 18:16 And he drave them from the judgment seat. 18:17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things." (Acts 18:1-17 KJV)

Paul's second missionary journey involved two continents - Europe (Greece) and Asia (Turkey, Syria and Israel). Much of that was accomplished by means voyages through the Aegean Sea (see The Aegean Connection).

Paul's Second Missionary Journey It was during that return voyage of Paul that three more famous Christians became active - Apollos (see Paul Or Apollos?), who was born in Alexandria in Egypt (adding Africa to the Europe and Asia coverage), and the married couple Priscilla and Aquila: "a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome". Although they had been living in Italy, Pontus is located in what is today Turkey.

"18:18 And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

18:19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. 18:20 When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not; 18:21 But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will.

And he sailed from Ephesus.

18:22 And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.

18:23 And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.

18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

18:27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 18:28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ." (Acts 18:18-28 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) What does "Way" mean in the Holy Bible? (b) What did the apostle Paul later write in his Biblical epistles to the believers in Corinth?
(a) See Who And What Is The Way To Salvation?
(b) See 1 Corinthians: That Rock Was Christ and 2 Corinthians: The Devil's Fight Along The Way


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This Day In History, June 19

325: The month-long Council of Nicea closed. Known as the first ecumenical council in the history of Emperor Constantine's Church of Rome (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad), it formulated the Nicene Creed and established the method for calculating their "Easter."

Constantine with Sol Invictus 1179: The Battle of Kalvskinnet, at Nidaros, Norway. Earl Erling Skakke (the father of Magnus V, who reigned as King of Norway from 1161 to 1184) was killed.

1269: King Louis IX of France ordered all Jews to wear a yellow badge in public (centuries later, the Nazis under Adolf Hitler issued the same order; see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1306: The forces of the Earl of Pembroke defeated the Scottish army of Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Methven.

1536: Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, was beheaded.

1566: James VI of Scotland was born. Upon the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, he ascended the English throne as James I. He is best remembered for authorizing the publication known today as the King James Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible (see also The Election Of Kings).

1610: French forces under Samuel de Champlain battled the Iroquois near the mouth of the Richelieu River in Quebec.

1793: The Upper Canada legislature passed an act prohibiting the importation of slaves into the colony, the first such law in the British Empire.

1816: The Battle of Seven Oaks was fought by the North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company, near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

1821: The Battle of Dragasani between the Ottomans and the Greeks (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire; see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1850: Princess Louise of the Netherlands married Crown Prince Karl of Sweden-Norway.

1867: Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, emperor of Mexico, was executed by firing squad.

1875: The Herzegovinian rebellion against the Ottoman Empire began.

1917: During the First World War, King George V ordered members of British royal family to dispense with German titles and surnames, and to assume the name Windsor (listen also to our Sermons The European World Wars and The Balfour Declaration).

1953: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in the electric chair at the "Sing Sing" Prison in New York after being convicted of transmitting atomic bomb secrets to Russia. Their execution had been originally scheduled for 11:00 pm on a Friday, however after an appeal by their lawyers saying that an execution during the Sabbath would offend their Jewish heritage, the Federal Government changed the execution time to 8:00 pm, about an hour before the Sabbath was to begin. According to official witnesses, while Julius Rosenberg died as expected, it was discovered that Ethel Rosenberg was still alive, so the unconscious woman was strapped back into the chair and electrocuted further until smoke from her head filled the execution chamber.

1961: Kuwait was granted independence from the United Kingdom.

1976: The Viking 1 space probe entered Martian orbit after a 10-month flight from Earth.

1991: The Soviet occupation of Hungary ended.


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