Paul’s Footsteps #153

Footsteps #153

In 57.AD Paul received a letter from Corinth and which caused the writing of 1Corinthians. This was written before his departure from Ephesus on his third missionary journey. He had centred his work in Ephesus for 2-3 years. Consider for a moment the contemporary political turmoil of the Empire. In 54AD Emperor Claudius had been poisoned by his wife, Julia Agrippina. Julia was the daughter of General Germanicus, who had been at one time the heir apparent to the Empire under Tiberius. She was also the granddaughter of Emperor Augustus and the paternal niece of Claudius. Julia Agrippina is described as ruthless, ambitious, violent, and domineering. Physically she was a beautiful and reputable woman. She was the mother of Nero and she had been manoeuvring him into position to succeed Claudius. She convinced Cladius to adopt him, making him the heir apparent.  He was 17 when he came to the throne. Agrippina exerted a commanding influence in the early years of Nero’s reign, but in 59.AD he had her assassinated. 1st & 2nd Corinthians were both written with this historical backdrop.  

The first five years of Nero’s reign were good, but after he assassinated his mother his reign was characterised by tyranny, brutality, extravagance, and depravity. He was famous for persecuting Christians. He was known to force Christians into gladiator matches, where they would be eaten by lions, then used as torches for his garden parties. Nero had both Peter and Paul executed. Peter in October 64 after the fire of Rome which was blamed on Christians and Paul was executed by Nero in late 67AD. In 68AD, after a turbulent 13-year reign, the Roman senate ran out of patience and declared Nero a public enemy. Nero then fled, and on June 9, 68.AD, at the age of 30, in fear of capture, he committed suicide. 


Remember, Paul preached at Corinth for 18 months from 53.AD (Acts.18:11). There was a second visit between 54–57AD, not mentioned specifically in Acts but implied in 1Cor.16:7 & 2Cor.12:14, On his 3rd visit he spent three winter months in Corinth (57&58AD), during which he wrote the Epistle to the Romans.  

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