2 Corinthians 3 – A Ministry of Glory & Letter Writing in the Greco-Roman World

Well God, we truly need to to thank you for giving us the ability to read and write because the world wouldn’t be as advanced as it is if we weren’t able to do so.

It’s a lot easier to get to understand You and Jesus since it is written and we can read it.

Yet, it can cause many problems so tomorrow we’ll look at…

2 Corinthians
A Ministry of Glory

1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

“Do we begin again to commend ourselves?” – Paul is sensitive to the fact that virtually everything he wrote or said was liable to be twisted and used in a hostile manner by the false teachers in Corinth.

“Letters of commendation” – the appearance of vagrant impostors, who claimed to be teachers of apostolic truth, led to the need for the letters of recommendation. 

Ancient Egyptian literature was written in the Egyptian language from Ancient Egypt’s pharaonic period until the end of Roman domination.
It represents the oldest corpus of Egyptian literature. Along with Sumerian literature, it is considered the world’s earliest literature.

Writing in Ancient Egypt—both hieroglyphic and hieratic—first appeared in the late 4th millennium B.C. during the late phase of predynastic Egypt.

By the Old Kingdom (26th century B.C. to 22nd century BC), literary works included funerary texts, epistles and letters, hymns and poems, and commemorative autobiographical texts recounting the careers of prominent administrative officials. It was not until the early Middle Kingdom (21st century B.C. to 17th century B.C.) that a narrative Egyptian literature was created.

Paul needed no such confirmation; but others, including the Corinthian intruders, did need authentication and being themselves false, often resorted to unscrupulous methods for obtaining or forging letters of recommendation.

Which still happens today, for example, the Catholic and Mormon Bibles.

2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

“Not in tables of stone” – like the ten commandments.

“In fleshy tables of the heart” – Paul explains the significance of this contrast between the old and the new covenants in vv. 7-18.

4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

“Our sufficiency is of God” – Answers the question in 2:16, “Who is sufficient for these things?”

6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

“The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” – does not mean that the external, literal sense of Scripture is deadly or unprofitable while the inner, spiritual (mystical or mythical) sense is vital.

“The letter” is synonymous with the law as an external standard before which all people, because they are lawbreakers, stand guilty and condemned to death. 

Format Features in Early Papyri

Therefore it is described as the “ministration of death” and the “ministration of condemnation” (vv. 7, 9).

On the other hand, the Spirit who gives life is the “Spirit of the living God” who, in fulfillment of the promise of the new covenant, writes that same law inwardly “in fleshly tables of the heart” (v. 3).

He thus provides the believer with love for God’s law, which previously he had hated, and with power to keep it, which previously he had not possessed.

Image of papyrus plant.
An Ancient Description of the Process
Paper is made from the papyrus plant by separating it with a needle point into very thin strips as broad as possible.

The choice quality comes from the center, and thence in the order of slicing. The (choice) quality in former times called ‘hieratic’ because it was devoted only to religious books has, out of flattery, taken on the name of Augustus, and the next quality that of Livia, after his wife, so that the ‘hieratic’ has dropped to third rank.

The next had been named ‘amphitheatric’ from its place of manufacture. At Rome Fannius’ clever workshop took it up and refined it by careful processing, thus making a first-class paper out of a common one and renaming it after him; the paper not so reworked remained in its original grade as ‘amphitheatic’.

Next is the ‘Saitic’, so called after the town where it is most abundant, made from inferior scraps, and from still nearer the rind the ‘Taeneotic’, named after a nearby place (this is sold, in fact, by weight not by quality).

The ’emporitic’, being useless for writing, provides envelopes for papers and wrappings for merchants. After this there is (only) the papyrus stalk, and its outermost husk is similar to a rush and useless even for rope except in moisture.

Paper of whatever grade is fabricated on a board moistened with water from the Nile: the muddy liquid serves as the bonding force.

First there is spread flat on the board a layer consisting of strips of papyrus running vertically, as long as possible, with their ends squared off.

After that a cross layer completes the construction. Then it is pressed in presses, and the sheets thus formed are dried in the sun and joined one to another, (working) in declining order of excellence down to the poorest.

There are never more than twenty sheets in a roll.

There is great variation in their breadth, the best thirteen digits, the ‘hieratic’ two less, the ‘Fannian’ measures ten, the ‘amphitheatic’ one less, the ‘Saitic’ a few less–indeed not wide enough for the use of a mallet–and the narrow ’emporitic’ does not exceed six digits.

Beyond that, the qualities esteemed in paper are fineness, firmness, whiteness, and smoothness.

The Emperor Claudius changed the order of preference. The excess fineness of the ‘Augustan’ paper was insufficient to withstand the pressure of the pen; in addition, as it let the ink through there was always the fear of a blot from the back, and in other respects it was unattractive in appearance because excessively translucid.

Consequently the vertical (under) layer was made of second-grade material and the horizontal layer of first-grade. He also increased its width to measure a foot.

There was also the ‘macrocolum’, a cubit wide, but experience revealed the defect that when one strip tears off it damages several columns of writing.

For these reasons the ‘Claudian’ paper is preferred to all others; the ‘Augustan’ retains its importance for correspondence, and the ‘Livian’, which never had any first-grade elements but was all second-grade, retains its same place.

Rough spots are rubbed smooth with ivory or shell, but then the writing is apt to become scaly: the polished paper is shinier and less absorptive.

Writing is also impeded if (in manufacture) the liquid was negligently applied in the first place; this fault is detected with the mallet, or even by odour if the application was too careless.

Spots, too, are easily detected by the eye, but a strip inserted between two others, though bibulous from the sponginess of (such) papyrus, can scarcely be detected except when the writing runs–there is so much trickery in the business!

The result is the additional labor of reprocessing.

Common paste made from finest flour is dissolved in boiling water with the merest sprinkle of vinegar, for carpenter’s glue and gum are too brittle. A more painstaking process percolates boiling water through the crumb of leavened bread; by this method the substance of the intervening paste is so minimal that even the suppleness of linen is surpassed.

Whatever paste is used ought to be no more or less than a day old. Afterwards it is flattened with the mallet and lightly washed with paste, and the resulting wrinkles are again removed and smoothed out with the mallet.

Preparation for Writing
After the papyrus had been processed and made into sheets (and usually sheets into rolls), it could then be used as a writing material.

Sometimes a scribe wrote on just one sheet and then rolled it up or folded it. Longer documents were written, at first, on a roll of papyrus in narrow columns. Since this could be cumbersome with a long document, papyrus came to be used in the form of the codex (ancestor to our modern book).

7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

3:7-18 – Paul is defending his “ministry” of the new covenant in Christ and here compares the experiences of Moses, who mediated the old covenant of Sinai and his own as a minister of the new covenant.

But he now applies the word “ministry’ to the law that was “written…in tables of stone” and to the Spirit, who writes “in fleshly tables of the heart” (v. 3).

The point of comparison is the fading glory that shone on Moses’ face and the ever-increasing glory reflected in the faces of those who minister the new covenant. 

This contrast in regard serves to highlight the temporary and inadequate character of the old covenant and the permanent and effective character of the new covenant.

“Was glorious” – the law of the old covenant given at Sinai was in no way bad or evil; on the contrary, Paul describes it elsewhere as holy righteousness, good and spiritual (Rom 7:12, 14).

8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

3:8-9 – “Ministration of the spirit…ministration of righteousness” – the ministry of the Spirit gives life instead of death.  “Righteousness” is here both objective (justification) and personal (sanctification).

9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

“Moses, who put a veil over his face” – the purpose of the veil was to prevent the Israel’s from seeing the fading of the glory.

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.

15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.

16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

“Are changed into the same image from glory to glory” – Christ Himself is the glory of God in the fulness of its radiance (Heb 1:3); His is the eternal and unfading glory, which He had with the Father before the world began (Jn 17:5).

We who believe rare made partakers of this glory by being gradually transformed into the likeness of Christ.  The reference here is to the process of Christian sanctification.

Letter Writing in the Greco-Roman World

In the Greco-Roman world letters allowed people to maintain contact with others across great distances.

The history of writing instruments by which humans have recorded and conveyed thoughts, feelings and grocery lists, is the history of civilization itself.
This is how we know the story of us, by the drawings, signs and words we have recorded.

The cave man’s first inventions were the hunting club (not the auto security device) and the handy sharpened-stone, the all-purpose skinning and killing tool.

The latter was adapted into the first writing instrument. The cave man scratched pictures with the sharpened-stone tool onto the walls of his cave dwelling.

The cave drawings represented events in daily life such as the planting of crops or hunting victories.

Various letter types have been identified, including family letters and letters of friendship, praise or blame, exhortation, and recommendation.

The Greco-Roman letter typically consisted of several parts, beginning with an introduction identifying the writer and recipients and expressing greetings.

A short statement of thanksgiving often followed the introduction, after which the author would present the main body of the letter.

The writer would conclude with wishes for good health and a statement of farewell.

Students in Greek schools were instructed in the conventions of letter writing, and scribes trained in the art of writing were available to help others compose letters.

The traditional letter form is visible in Paul’s letters, although he adapted it in several ways:

* He transformed the Greek greeting into an invocation of grace and peace.

* He often extended the thanksgiving section by including prayers to God.

* He employed a benediction in place of the traditional farewell.

In the use of this style, we see that God chose to communicate the New Testament message in a form familiar to its first recipients.

…“The Secret,” by Rhonda Byrne.

2 Corinthians 2 – Forgiveness of an Offender & Paul’s Visits and Letter to Corinth

Prior to Paul meeting Jesus his goal was to imprison all Christians, but once he had his encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus for that purpose (Acts 9) he spent the rest of his life spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Even in prison he wrote letters and preached.

Nothing could stop him and nothing should stop us from letting the world know how much God loves the world.  And there is nothing than can stop God from loving You, except you.

“What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31).

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. 

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).

Father, I know that nobody and nothing is more worthwhile than Your Son and there is nothing that can interfere once we are with You, not the government, the Jews, the Muslims, the Catholics, nothing!

Tomorrow we will look at…

2 Corinthians 2
Forgiveness of an Offender

1 But I determined this with myself that I would not come again to you in heaviness.

2 For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?

3 And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.

4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.

5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.

2:5-11 – speaks of a particular person who has been the cause of serious offense in Corinth and upon whom church discipline has been imposed. 

Paul admonishes the Corinthians that because the offender has shown genuine sorrow and repentance for his sin the punishment should be discontinued and he should be lovingly restored to their fellowship.

The Second Epistle of Peter, often referred to as Second Peter and written 2 Peter or in Roman numerals II Peter (especially in older references), is a book of the New Testament of the Bible, written in the name of Saint Peter, although the vast majority of modern scholars regard it as pseudepigraphical.

It is the first New Testament book to treat other New Testament writings as scripture, 2 Peter was one of the last letters included in the New Testament canon and is part of the Antilegomena; it quotes from and adapts Jude extensively, identifies Jesus with God, and addresses a threatening heresy which had arisen because the anticipated Second Coming of Christ had not yet occurred.

Church discipline, important as it is, should not be allowed to develop into a form of graceless rigor in which there is no room for pardon and restoration. 

Here the Catholic church disagrees with Paul, for example, if you divorce the Catholic church will kick you out, they are not real Christians.

6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

10 To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,

“When I came to Troas” – Paul had traveled up from Ephesus to Troas, a city on the Aegean cost, hoping to find Titus there and to receive news from him about the Corinthian church.

The Third Epistle to the Corinthians is a pseudepigraphical text under the name of Paul the Apostle.
It is also found in the Acts of Paul, and was framed as Paul’s response to the Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul.

The earliest extant copy is Bodmer Papyrus X.

In the West it was not considered canonical in the 4th century A.D., becoming part of the New Testament apocrypha.

In the East, in the Syriac Orthodox Church, Aphrahat (c. 340) treated it as canonical and Ephrem the Syrian (d. 373) apparently accepted it as canonical, for he wrote a commentary on it.

13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.

14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.

15 For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

16 To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

“Savor of death…savor of life” – as the gospel aroma is released in the world through Christian testimony, it is always sweet-smelling, even though it may be differently received.  The two ultimate categories of mankind are “them that are saved and…them that perish” (v. 15).

17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

“We are not as many, which corrupt the word of God” – Paul is referring to false teachers who had infiltrated the Corinthian church. 

Such persons – themselves insincere, self-sufficient and boastful – artfully presented themselves in a persuasive manner, and their chief interest was to take money from gullible church members.

Paul is not talking about just those that preach false religions, like Christian Science, Scientology, Islam, etc.  He is also talking about pastors that don’t tell the full truth, they candy coat the words of God.

This also includes large organizations like the Catholic church or individuals like Rick Warren.

Paul’s Visits and Letter to Corinth

The chronology of Paul’s visits and letters to Corinth is difficult to track and somewhat disputed, but the following sequence is a reasonable interpretation of the Biblical record:

First Visit (50-52 A.D.): Paul visited Corinth during his second missionary journey, staying on for almost two years with Aquila and Priscilla, who were refugees from Italy because of Emperor Claudius’s decree in 49 A.D. expelling the Jews from Rome.  

One of Paul’s oldest known New Testament manuscripts.
The papyrus codex (book) of which this leaf was once a part is thought to have contained 104 leaves originally and to have been discovered in the ruins of an early Christian church or monastery.

Eighty-six leaves have survived, with thirty here at the University of Michigan and fifty-six in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland.

Well known as P46, this manuscript is an almost complete copy of the Letters of Paul to the Early Churches.

Though not dated, the characteristics of its writing have led scholars to assign it to 150–250 C.E., which is about a century earlier than the oldest previously known copies, the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaitus, both from the 4th century.

The literature on this manuscript is extensive, beginning with an article in the London Times of November 19, 1931, which announced its discovery.

Paul was summoned before the proconsul Lucius Junius Gallio in the summer of 51 A.D.

* In 52 A.D. Paul, in the company of Priscilla and Aquila, left Corinth, moving his center of ministry to Ephesus, where he labored for about three years.  During his absence Apollos visited Corinth on Paul’s behalf.

* Paul wrote his first letter (now lost) to Corinth; it included a warning against associating with immoral people.  

According to this article the 1st and 3rd letters are lost, but I have found pictures of both, so something is amiss.

* Paul dispatched Timothy and Erastus to Corinth and received from Chloe’s household news about quarreling within the church, as well as questions from the congregation, delivered by Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus.

* From Ephesus (c.55/56 A.D.) Paul sent a second letter to the church there, including instructions on collecting money for needy Christians in Jerusalem. Aquila and Priscilla remained in Ephesus, and Titus and Timothy returned to Paul from Corinth.

Second Visit (56 A.D.): Paul experienced a “painful” visit to Corinth.

* Shortly after this visit he wrote a third letter (also lost), sending it via Titus as a letter of “many tears,” pleading with the Corinthians to change their behavior. Some scholars believe that this letter of “tears” was either 1 Cor or 2 Cor 10-13.  

The First Epistle to the Corinthians, often referred to as First Corinthians (and written as 1 Corinthians), is the seventh book of the New Testament of the Bible.
Paul the Apostle and “Sosthenes our brother” wrote this epistle to “the church of God which is at Corinth”, in Greece.

This epistle contains some well-known phrases, including (depending on the translation) “all things to all men” (9:22), “without love, I am nothing” (13:2), “through a glass, darkly” (13:12), and “when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child” (13:11).

There is near consensus among historians and Christian theologians that Paul is the author of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, typically classifying its authorship as “undisputed” (see Authorship of the Pauline epistles).

The letter is quoted or mentioned by the earliest of sources, and is included in every ancient canon, including that of Marcion.

However, two passages may have been inserted at a later stage. The first passage is 1 Cor 11:2–16 dealing with praying and prophesying with head covering.

The second passage is 1 Cor 14:34–35 which has been hotly debated. Part of the reason for doubt is that in some manuscripts, the verses come at the end of the chapter instead of at its present location.

Furthermore, Paul is here appealing to the law which is uncharacteristic of him. Lastly, the verses come into conflict with 11:5 where women are described as praying and prophesying.

* Paul proceeded to the seaport of Troas in Asia, where he expected to meet Titus, who failed to arrive. Paul later found him in Macedonia. Titus reported some success with the Corinthians: The congregation had dealt with their offender, but their submission to Paul’s leadership had declined.

* Paul dispatched a fourth letter (probably 2 Cor) to Corinth via Titus, who oversaw the collection for Jerusalem and prepared for Paul’s visit. This letter was written approximately one year after 1 Corinthians. The churches throughout Macedonia donated generously for the needy in Jerusalem.

Third Visit: Paul stayed in Corinth for three months to finalize the collection and reconcile with the church. Priscilla and Aquila returned to Rome, while Timothy remained with Paul. The Achaean churches contributed for the poor in Jerusalem.

* Around 57-61 A.D. Paul delivered the relief gift in Jerusalem, after which he found himself imprisoned in Caesarea and Rome. In approximately 61 A.D. Paul was released from prison and set out once again to preach.

I have said many times that the Catholics are not true Christians.
Jesus is not the most important person to the Catholics, they have turned all of Jesus’ disciples into saints, His mother, as well as other people.

The above are Paul’s friends, Aquila and Priscilla, which the Catholics have turned into saints.

The Bible says not to worship anyone but God – https://biblereasons.com/praying-to-saints/

No wonder God hid Moses’ body, imagine what the Catholics would have done with that?

By the way, the primary Pope is and and always has been Satan.

…letter writing in the Greco-Roman World.

2 Corinthians 1 – The God of all Comfort & Corinth

I’m not a religious fanatic, I just research and report what I find.
The above picture makes it clear that President Obama is in opposition of the United States.

And when we get to the Book of Galatians I will show you why I stated that Washington D.C. is one of Satan’s home-away-from-homes.

The United States has a lot of Corinths, but I don’t know of any Pauls.  Such as Los Angeles (especially Hollywood), New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Seattle, Boston, etc.  And look at Corinth now. 

As they say, “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I would say their  destruction will come too.

I didn’t mention Washington D.C. and that’s because it’s not a Corinth, it’s one of the devil’s home-away-from-home.

Tomorrow we’ll look at…

2 Corinthians 1
The God of all Comfort

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:

“Achaia” – Greece, as distinct from Macedonia in the north.

The Isthmus of Corinth has played a very important role in the history of Greece.
It is the only land bridge between the country’s north (Attica) and south (Peloponnese).

It separates the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Sea.

Populations, armies and commodities have got to move through it.

In the 6th century B.C., the Greeks built the Diolkos, to pull ships across the Isthmus on wooden cylinders and wheeled vehicles.

In 1882, a canal was started and completed 11 years later.

This ASTER image covers an area of 25.3 x 37.7 km, was acquired on May 9, 2005, and is centered near 37.9 degrees north latitude, 23 degrees east longitude.

2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

“Asia” – The Roman province of that name in western Asia Minor, now Turkish territory.  The precise location where Paul’s hardships occurred is not given, nor is the nature of affliction.

9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

Paul’s hardships were so life-threatening that he regarded his survival and recovery as tantamount to being raised from the dead.

“Trust…in God” – a key principle of this letter.  God’s grace is all-sufficient and our weakness is precisely the opportunity for His power to be displayed.

10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

The Isthmus of Corinth is the narrow land bridge which connects the Peloponnese peninsula with the rest of the mainland of Greece, near the city of Corinth.

The Isthmus was known in the ancient world as the landmark separating Peloponnese from mainland of Greece.

11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

13 For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end;

14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.

15 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;

16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea.

17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness?  Or he things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?

18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.

19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.

20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;

22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.

24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Corinth

Corinth is a city and former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Corinth, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It is the capital of Corinthia.

It was founded as Nea Korinthos or New Corinth in 1858 after an earthquake destroyed the existing settlement of Corinth, which had developed in and around the site of ancient Corinth.

The ancient city of Corinth lay on an isthmus between the Greek mainland and the Peloponnese, the southwestern corner of Greece.

The Isthmus was about 6,000 miles wide at its narrowest point, which led many to consider digging a canal there (a dream not realized until modern times).

Two harbors were nearby: Lechaeum to the north on the Gulf of Corinth, and Cenchrea to the south, on the Saronic Gulf.

Corinth’s location made the city a site of great strategic and economic importance.

Ships often preferred to sail into Corinth and transport their goods overland across the isthmus on the portage road rather than risk the wild seas around the Peloponnese.

This brought lively trade to the city—along with the vices often associated with bustling commercial centers. It is not surprising; therefore, that ancient Corinth became a byword for sexual immorality.

Corinth’s history may be divided into two distinct periods: its long duration as one of the major cities of classical Greek civilization and its subsequent years after the Roman conquest as a cosmopolitan crossroads.

The classical city was at one time a major player in the politics of Greece and was particularly important in the long history of competition between Athens and Sparta (Corinth was usually on the side of Sparta).

The Peloponnese is a large peninsula on the southernmost part of mainland Greece.
Its history dates back to the Bronze Age. Buses and rental cars provide the best options for seeing the region’s sites, such as Mycenae’s ancient theater, Sparta’s Archaeological Museum and the ancient ruins of Mystras, Olympia, Mycenae,

Corinth and Artemis Orthia. Held by the Turks and the Venetians until Greek independence in 1821, this center of ancient Greece is also justly famous for traditional Greek dancing.

Later, as head of the Achaean League (a coalition of Greek cities), it led resistance to Roman aggression.

Its role as host of the Isthmian games (second only to the Olympic Games in prestige) greatly enhanced Corinth’s ancient status.

This city, however, was destroyed in 146 B.C. by the Roman general Lucius Mummius. While some inhabitants stayed in the vicinity of Corinth, the city did not rise to prominence again until 44 B.C., when Julius Caesar refounded it as a Roman colony.

The new city was Roman in its administration and architecture, with the majority of its settlers being freedmen. The natural advantages of the site, coupled with the entrepreneurial vigor of the freedmen, soon led to renewed prosperity.

The Corinth of the New Testament era was reputed to be one of the most beautiful cities of the Greco-Roman world. Its importance in trade and its status as a Roman administrative center made Corinth a significant city in Paul’s day.

Corinth had a mixed, cosmopolitan populace, as reflected in its many religious shrines:

* Visitors to Corinth can still find archaeological evidence of votive offerings made to Asdepius, the god of medicine, in gratitude for healings. These offerings were clay models of body parts (often arms, legs or sexual organs) the god had supposedly healed, hung around the temple as tributes to Asclepius.

* Corinth was home to a famous temple to Aphrodite that supposedly employed 1,000 temple-prostitutes. While this number may be an exaggeration, scholars can hardly doubt that this port city supported a thriving prostitution industry, probably centered on such a shrine.

Peloponnese is the most popular region of the Greek mainland in terms of tourism.
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Historically, it has been the main field of action for Greece since the prehistoric times. In fact, it hosts the most important archaeological sites of Greece, including Olympia, Epidaurus and Mycenae.

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* There were also temples to other Greek gods, such as to Poseidon, god of the sea (appropriate for a port city), and to Demeter and Kore, goddesses of an ancient Greek fertility cult.

* The cosmopolitan nature of Corinth is reflected in the fact that it also had numerousslaces of worship for foreign deities, such as a shrine to the Egyptian goddess Isis—as well as a Jewish synagogue.

With its cultural diversity, wealth, paganism and infamous debauchery, Corinth was perhaps not the place onlookers would have expected the church to flourish.

Yet it was precisely here that Paul enjoyed one of his most successful ministries—and also here that he experienced some of his greatest challenges with early converts to Christianity.

…Paul’s visits and letter to Corinth.