Paul traveled by boat from Asia Minor to Greece arriving first at Neapolis. He then set off on foot to Philippi, then to Thessalonica and Berea, and finally to Athens. He experienced opposition in every city. . . beaten and imprisoned in Philippi. . .ejected from Thessalonica because of the turmoil that the gospel caused in the city. . . escorted out of Berea due to an agitated crowd. . .scorned and ridiculed in Athens. He stayed a short time in each city, but then broke that pattern when he traveled to Corinth where he stayed for a year and a half.
In 1 Corinthians 2:3 Paul writes that he went there “in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.” Although he was directed by God to share the gospel in Greece (Acts 16:9-10), his journey had not at all gone as he had expected. I imagine that he must have been dejected as he traveled from Athens to Corinth. Was he wondering what more could happen? Was he questioning why God had allowed matters to progress so poorly? On top of it, he was extremely concerned over the difficulties that the new Thessalonian converts were experiencing (1Thessalonians 2:17-3:5).
As he neared Corinth, he would see the acropolis which provided an almost impregnable fortress for the city, on a mountain 1,886 feet high.
The city was the seaport leading out to the Aegean Sea from the Adriatic Sea and therefore, had become prosperous because of its strategic land and sea location. It was a large city.
Corinth was known not only for its wealth, but also for its immorality. The verb “to corinthianize” meant to be sexually immoral. It was the center for worship of the goddess, Aphrodite. Her temple at 1 time boasted that it had over a 1000 sacred prostitutes. As Paul entered Corinth, he entered into a depraved society.
Acropolis (fortification on the mountain) – 1 Corinthians 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (NIV)
Temple of Apollo
Panorama of part of Corinth
Bema Seat (flat platform) – 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Women’s Mirror found at Corinth – 1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Pottery found at Corinth- 2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.