Summary: The Study Of First and Second Corinthians

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The Study Of First and Second Corinthians

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

First Corinthians

The church in Corinth was begun by Paul on his second missionary journey (Acts 18:1-18). When he came to Corinth, Paul met a Jew named Aquila. Aquila and his wife, Priscilla had recently come to Corinth from Rome. They earned their living by making tents. Because Paul also knew this trade, he lived with them and worked to support himself while preaching the Gospel.

As his custom was, Paul first preached in the Jewish synagogue. Silas and Timothy soon joined him in the work. When the Jews refused to hear the Gospel, Paul left the synagogue and began preaching to the Gentiles. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, became a believer. Many of the Corinthians heard the Gospel, believed it and were baptized (Acts 18:8).

Paul remained in Corinth for a year and six months (Acts 18:11). When the Roman proconsul, Gallio, came to Corinth, the Jews brought charges against Paul. Gallio knew their charges had to do with matters of the Jewish religion so he refused to hear them. Paul continued his work in Corinth for some time after this (Acts 18:18).

From earliest times, Christian writers have all agreed that Paul wrote First Corinthians. The book claims Paul as its author (1 Corinthians 1:1). Clement of Rome, a Christian, wrote a letter to the church at Corinth about 95 A.D. In his letter, he refers to Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. He called it "the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul." First Corinthians was written sometime between 55 and 57 A.D.

Corinth was an ancient city when Paul came there. It was in existence one thousand years before the time of Christ. Philip, father of Alexander the Great, conquered Corinth in 338 B.C. In 196 B.C. Corinth became an independent city state. Fifty years after this, it was conquered by the Romans who killed all the men, sold the women and children into slavery and completely destroyed the city. About one hundred years later, Julius Caesar rebuilt Corinth as a Roman city. In Paul’s day, Corinth had a population of 600,000 made up of Jews, Greeks, Romans, and many other nationalities.

Corinth was a very wealthy city. It was a center of art, athletics, business and religion. The temple of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, sex, and fertility was located there. One thousand priestesses, who were prostitutes, carried on their immoral trade. Corinth had such a bad reputation as an evil, immoral city that it had become an insult to refer to someone as a Corinthian.

Paul had learned of division in the church at Corinth from the household of Chloe (1 Corinthians 1:10-17). Three members of the church at Corinth had visited Paul (1 Corinthians 16:17,18). Paul had also received a letter from the church at Corinth asking a number of questions (1 Corinthians 7:1; 8:1; 12:1). He had written an earlier letter to the church (1 Corinthians 5:9). He also sent Timothy to help them with their problems (1 Corinthians 4:17; 16:10).

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