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Volume 30 - Page 5 of 179 Index | Zoom | |
The Acts of the Apostles.
#37. The Second Missionary Journey (16: 6 - 19: 20).
Paul at Corinth. The Second Vision (18: 1 - 17).
pp. 31 - 36
We now come to the Apostle's visit to Corinth, which immediately follows his
witness at Athens. The two cities were widely different in character and associations.
The great concern of the men of Athens was "to speak or to hear some new thing".
Corinth, on the other hand, was regarded as the "Vanity Fair" of the Empire, and its
reputation for evil was such that its very name became a term to express the foulest
immorality. Korinthiazesthai became a synonym for licentiousness, and the meaning of
"Corinthian" is still given in the English Dictionary as "a licentious man about town".
The famous temple of Aphrodite Pandemos, that crowned the Acrocorinthus, was
served by a thousand heirodouloi, "consecrated slaves", whose lives were devoted to
immorality in the name of religion. It was from Corinth that Paul wrote the terrible
indictment of Gentile depravity that forms the second half of Rom. 1:
"Corinthian" appeared on the stage at this time, he was usually represented as drunk.
Corinth was a seaport and a centre of commerce. It therefore attracted merchants from all
quarters, and the mixed character of its population influenced the whole for evil.
Upon arrival at Corinth, Paul finds a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus and
lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla. This man and his wife had been obliged to
depart from Rome because Claudius had commanded that all Jews should leave the city.
Finding that he was of the same craft--the craft of tent-making--the Apostle took up
his abode with this worthy couple, to whom the whole company of Gentile believers are
particularly indebted (Rom. 16: 3, 4). Paul had entered Athens "alone", but here in
Corinth his loneliness would have been intensified. Who would think twice about this
weary Jew? He knew only too well how cruel the money-loving merchants could be, and
would not have looked to them for help or sympathy. He therefore turns his footsteps to
the Jewish quarter and there by the grace of God he comes upon Aquila.
The decree issued by Cæsar Augustus that all the world should be taxed was
instrumental, under God, in bringing about the birth of the Saviour at Bethlehem. The
decree of Claudius was equally overruled here to bring about this happy fellowship
between Aquila, Priscilla and the Apostle. Suetonius says of Claudius that "he banished
from Rome all Jews, who were continually making disturbances at the instigation of one
There is every reason to believe that Paul had been brought up in comfortable, if not in
affluent, circumstances. He had been taught a trade, not because his parents had ever
intended that he would be obliged to work at it for a living, but because this procedure
was in accordance with the teaching of the Rabbis. Rabbi Judah, for instance, writes: