Apostle Paul's Missionary Journeys

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Corinth Temple Ruins
Corinthian pagan temple ruins

The Grecian city of Corinth, located on a narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece, is about 48 miles west of Athens. Its history goes back at least as far as 900 B.C. Myth states that the city was founded by Corinthos, a descendant of the Sun god Helios.

Starting in the 5th century B.C., the advantageous location of Corinth on an Isthmus soon made it a very wealthy city. Its three excellent harbors made it ideal to handle commercial traffic on both the western and eastern seas. Its riches eventually rivaled those of Athens. After fighting a few wars over the years the city-state was controlled by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. The city was destroyed by the Romans in the battle of Corinth in 146 B.C. and was rebuilt about a century later. Under the Romans it became the seat of government for Southern Greece or Achaia.

At its peak, the city was known not only for its riches but also for its painters and its unique architecture. Building columns created in the Corinthian style were some of the most ornate in the ancient world. Sadly, the area was also known for its vices. Immorality and sexual sins were rampant, in part, due to a pagan temple within the city limits that was dedicated to the pagan goddess Venus (i.e. it was dedicated to lust). The temple's illicit services employed more than 1,000+ women as prostitutes, who the templed called "priestesses."

During his second missionary journey, in the summer of 50 A.D., the apostle Paul leaves the city of Athens and travels to Corinth. In the city he meets a couple named Priscilla and Aquila. When they discover Paul is a tent maker like themselves they let him stay in their home. Paul's friends and fellow evangelists Silas and Timothy join him in Corinth. He preaches the gospel every Sabbath until he leaves the city around Autumn of 52 A.D. Paul revisits the city in 58 A.D. during his third missionary journey. He writes at least two letters to the Corinthian church, the first in the late winter of 56 A.D. and the second in late Summer of 57.

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