October 28, 2010 // Uncategorized

St. Paul reckons with Roman governor

Where is the city of Corinth where St. Paul appeared before the Roman governor?
Corinth, in the time of St. Paul, was a major city in Greece. When you travel to Greece, the guide may say Greece is divided into three parts: 1) mainland Greece, 2) the Peloponnesian peninsula, and 3) the hundreds of Greek islands. The two main land masses of Greece come together in a narrow strip of land. Here lies the city of Corinth.

It has two harbors: one facing the east towards Asia and one facing west towards Rome. 0. Meinardus says Corinth was the capital of the Roman province of Achaia. Corinth had direct communication with Rome. There was also a large Jewish community in Corinth. Many Jews had left Rome during the reign of the Emperor Claudius. At Corinth, the Greeks, Jews and Orientals mixed with the Roman military colonists.

The Acts of the Apostles mentions that at Corinth St. Paul met a Jewish couple, Aquila and Priscilla, who recently arrived from Italy. This couple had the same trade as Paul, namely tentmaking. Paul stayed at their house, which became a Christian meeting place.

Every Sabbath, in the synagogue, Paul would speak to the Jews and Greeks. Next to the synagogue was the house of a Gentile Titus Justus who believed in God. A leading man of the synagogue, Crispus, believed in Jesus, along with his whole household. Paul preached the Gospel in Corinth for a year and a half from A.D. 51-52. At the ancient site of Corinth, Baedeker says you can see the large Agora or marketplace that was the hub of Corinth’s political and economic life, and the Bema from which speakers addressed the people. It was here in A.D. 52. that Paul appeared before the Roman governor Gallo. Paul was summoned before the governor, because the Jews complained that Paul was inducing the people to worship a God contrary to the Jewish religion. But Gallo dismissed the case, because it dealt only with religion. Later a Christian church may have been built here.

Corinth had many temples to Venus, Poseidon and Hercules. The most beautiful is probably the Temple of Apollo. Seven columns still survive, along with part of the entablature and part of the foundations.

Corinth also has a theater and a museum. On the large hill outside Corinth lies Acrocorinth. Here once stood the famous Temple of Aphrodite, a place of immorality. Corinth was visited by many sailors who were weary of being out at sea and wanted to have fun in Corinth. Corinth could be a wild town, and that is why St. Paul speaks of purity in his two letters to the Corinthians in the New Testament.

Another site to see is the canal that cuts across the Isthmus of Corinth, constructed by the British between 1882 and 1893 A.D.

* * *

The best news. Delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list today.