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After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
Note 1 at Ac 18:1: Corinth was the capital city of all Achaia (see note 11 at Ac 18:12). It is located 45 miles west-southwest of Athens (see note 1 at Ac 17:15) and 350 miles southwest of present-day Istanbul. It was a major commercial city, located on the isthmus connecting Peloponnesus and Attica, with ports on both the Ionian and Aegean Seas.
Corinth, along with all of Greece, was declared independent by the Romans in 196 B.C., but as a result of their rebellion in 146 B.C., the Roman consul Lucius Mummius burned the city to the ground. Julius Caesar rebuilt the city in 44 B.C., and by the time Paul visited it, it was estimated that 250,000 free persons and 400,000 slaves lived in Corinth.
Corinth was similar to Athens in its culture and worship of many gods. The famous temple of Apollo was there, dating from the sixth century B.C., and a temple dedicated to Aphrodite (the same as the Ashtaroth of Judges 2:13 and the Roman Venus), the goddess of love. The worshipers of Aphrodite practiced religious prostitution, with 1,000 pagan priestess-prostitutes who served at the temple.
The city of Corinth was so given to immorality that the word “Corinthianize” came to mean “to practice immorality.” Because of the rampant sexual immorality in the city and the fact that many in the Corinthian church had participated in that lifestyle and were still being influenced by it, the Apostle Paul took quite a bit of time dealing with them on the subject (1Co 5-7).
It is fairly certain that Paul arrived in Corinth around A.D. 52 because of the mention of Claudius Caesar’s order for all Jews to depart from Rome (Ac 18:2). Paul remained in Corinth for eighteen months (Ac 18:11), staying with a Jewish couple, Aquila and Priscilla (see note 2 at Ac 18:2), working with them in the craft of tent making (Ac 18:3).
Quite a number of Corinthians believed in Jesus, and Paul was able to establish a church there. He wrote three epistles to the Corinthians, of which we have the second and third in our Bible (1Co 5:9). Paul suffered such opposition in the Jewish synagogue in Corinth that he departed from there and entered into Justus’ house (see note 6 at Acts 18:7), next door to the synagogue.
The Lord visited Paul in a night vision and told him not to be afraid but to speak boldly, and the Lord gave him the promise that he would not be hurt (Ac 18:9-10). At the end of eighteen months, Paul was brought before Gallio, the deputy of Achaia, but he was acquitted. After this Paul left Corinth with Aquila and Priscilla, sailed to Syria (see note 1 at Acts 15:23), and preached at Ephesus (Ac 18:18-19). Paul visited Corinth again for three months during his third missionary journey (Ac 20:2-3).
Corinth still exists today by the name of Gortho, located three miles northeast of the ancient site, and has a population of over 36,000.
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