Corinth @ a Grecian city, on the isthmus which joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece. It is about 48 miles west of Athens. The ancient city was destroyed by the Romans (B.C. 146), and that mentioned in the New Testament was quite a new city, having been rebuilt about a century afterwards and peopled by a colony of freedmen from Rome. It became under the Romans the seat of government for Southern Greece or Achaia Acts:18:12-16). It was noted for its wealth, and for the luxurious and immoral and vicious habits of the people. It had a large mixed population of Romans, Greeks, and Jews. When Paul first visited the city (A.D. 51 or 52), Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul. Here Paul resided for eighteen months (18:1-18). Here he first became aquainted with Aquila and Priscilla, and soon after his departure Apollos came to it from Ephesus. After an interval he visited it a second time, and remained for three months (20:3). During this second visit his Epistle to the Romans was written (probably A.D. 55). Although there were many Jewish converts at Corinth, yet the Gentile element prevailed in the church there. Some have argued from 2Corinthians:12:142Corinthians:13:1, that Paul visited Corinth a third time (i.e., that on some unrecorded occasion he visited the city between what are usually called the first and second visits). But the passages referred to only indicate Paul's intention to visit Corinth (comp. 1Corinthians:16:5, where the Greek present tense denotes an intention), an intention which was in some way frustrated. We can hardly suppose that such a visit could have been made by the apostle without more distinct reference to it.
Corinthians, First Epistle to the @ was written from Ephesus ( 1Corinthians:16:8) about the time of the Passover in the third year of the apostle's sojourn there Acts:19:10Acts:20:31), and when he had formed the purpose to visit Macedonia, and then return to Corinth (probably A.D. 57). The news which had reached him, however, from Corinth frustrated his plan. He had heard of the abuses and contentions that had arisen among them, first from Apollos Acts:19:1), and then from a letter they had written him on the subject, and also from some of the "household of Chloe," and from Stephanas and his two friends who had visited him ( 1Corinthians:1:111Corinthians:16:17). Paul thereupon wrote this letter, for the purpose of checking the factious spirit and correcting the erroneous opinions that had sprung up among them, and remedying the many abuses and disorderly practices that prevailed. Titus and a brother whose name is not given were probably the bearers of the letter ( 2Corinthians:2:132Corinthians:8:62Corinthians:8:16-18). The epistle may be divided into four parts: (1.) The apostle deals with the subject of the lamentable divisions and party strifes that had arisen among them ( 1Corinthians:1-4). (2.) He next treats of certain cases of immorality that had become notorious among them. They had apparently set at nought the very first principles of morality (5; 6). (3.) In the third part he discusses various questions of doctrine and of Christian ethics in reply to certain communications they had made to him. He especially rectifies certain flagrant abuses regarding the celebration of the Lord's supper (7-14). (4.) The concluding part (15; 16) contains an elaborate defense of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which had been called in question by some among them, followed by some general instructions, intimations, and greetings. This epistle "shows the powerful self-control of the apostle in spite of his physical weakness, his distressed circumstances, his incessant troubles, and his emotional nature. It was written, he tells us, in bitter anguish, 'out of much affliction and pressure of heart...and with streaming eyes' ( 2Corinthians:2:4); yet he restrained the expression of his feelings, and wrote with a dignity and holy calm which he thought most calculated to win back his erring children. It gives a vivid picture of the early church...It entirely dissipates the dream that the apostolic church was in an exceptional condition of holiness of life or purity of doctrine." The apostle in this epistle unfolds and applies great principles fitted to guide the church of all ages in dealing with the same and kindred evils in whatever form they may appear. This is one of the epistles the authenticity of which has never been called in question by critics of any school, so many and so conclusive are the evidences of its Pauline origin. The subscription to this epistle states erroneously in the Authorized Version that it was written at Philippi. This error arose from a mistranslation of 1Corinthians:16:5, "For I do pass through Macedonia," which was interpreted as meaning, "I am passing through Macedonia." In 16:8 he declares his intention of remaining some time longer in Ephesus. After that, his purpose is to "pass through Macedonia."
Corinthians, Second Epistle to the @ Shortly after writing his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul left Ephesus, where intense excitement had been aroused against him, the evidence of his great success, and proceeded to Macedonia. Pursuing the usual route, he reached Troas, the port of departure for Europe. Here he expected to meet with Titus, whom he had sent from Ephesus to Corinth, with tidings of the effects produced on the church there by the first epistle; but was disappointed ( 1Corinthians:16:9; 2Corinthians:1:82Corinthians:2:12-13). He then left Troas and proceeded to Macedonia; and at Philippi, where he tarried, he was soon joined by Titus ( 2Corinthians:7:6-7), who brought him good news from Corinth, and also by Timothy. Under the influence of the feelings awakened in his mind by the favourable report which Titus brought back from Corinth, this second epistle was written. It was probably written at Philippi, or, as some think, Thessalonica, early in the year A.D. 58, and was sent to Corinth by Titus. This letter he addresses not only to the church in Corinth, but also to the saints in all Achaia, i.e., in Athens, Cenchrea, and other cities in Greece. The contents of this epistle may be thus arranged: (1.) Paul speaks of his spiritual labours and course of life, and expresses his warm affection toward the Corinthians ( 2Corinthians:1-7). (2.) He gives specific directions regarding the collection that was to be made for their poor brethren in Judea (8; 9). (3.) He defends his own apostolic claim (10-13), and justifies himself from the charges and insinuations of the false teacher and his adherents. This epistle, it has been well said, shows the individuallity of the apostle more than any other. "Human weakness, spiritual strength, the deepest tenderness of affection, wounded feeling, sternness, irony, rebuke, impassioned self-vindication, humility, a just self-respect, zeal for the welfare of the weak and suffering, as well as for the progress of the church of Christ and for the spiritual advancement of its members, are all displayed in turn in the course of his appeal."--Lias, Second Corinthians. Of the effects produced on the Corinthian church by this epistle we have no definite information. We know that Paul visited Corinth after he had written it Acts:20:2-3), and that on that occasion he tarried there for three months. In his letter to Rome, written at this time, he sent salutations from some of the principal members of the church to the Romans.