Paul’s Footsteps #86

Footsteps #86

After Athens, Paul decided never again to argue with oratory and logic, or to appeal to philosophy, but only to preach Christ and Him crucified. In Paul’s day, the cross was regarded with feelings of repulsion and horror. To uphold as the saviour of mankind one who had met death on a cross, would naturally call forth ridicule and opposition.     

As was his custom, “Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue, trying to convince the Jews and Greeks alike.” Acts.18:4NLT (That’s 78 Sabbaths.) It was here that Paul, upon Jewish rejection said that he would then turn to the Gentiles (18:6). I am slightly amused at the fact that he moved next door to the synagogue, into the house of a Gentile, Titus Justus. I’m sure they could still hear his preaching. “Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and everyone in his household believed in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also heard Paul, became believers, and were baptized.” V8. This success again made the Jews jealous. They seized him and dragged him before the proconsul, Gallio, but he pronounced their charge against Paul as frivolous. An unexpected thing happened at this decision – the mob turned on the Jewish leaders and beat them! I find a contrast with the response in Athens. The “intellectuals” who were moral and sophisticated could not see what the immoral and common Greeks could – that Paul was offering eternal life as a Gift. 

Why the long stay? Corinth had been destroyed by the Romans in 146BC but was rebuilt by Julius Caesar. In the time of Paul, it was a busy Roman Trading City on the narrow strip of land between the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea. It had 2 harbours and made huge profits by taxing cargoes that were transported overland between the two ports to avoid the dangerous waters around the Peloponnese. The first abandoned attempt to build a canal across the isthmus at Corinth was started by Nero in 66AD. The present-day canal was completed in 1893. As a cosmopolitan port city, Paul saw this as an important hub from which the Gospel could be dispersed.

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