Acts + Letters Lesson 17 Day 5

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Acts 18:1-22

Questions for Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 17

12. Paul in Corinth (map link)

From Athens, Paul traveled 45 miles west-southwest to Corinth, around A.D. 52 (The date of Claudius Caesar’s order mentioned in Acts 18:2 is historically documented) and stayed about 18 months making tents* with a Jewish couple, Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:11) AWLC.

*In Judaism it was not considered proper for a scribe or a rabbi to receive payment for his teaching, so many of them practised a trade in addition to their study and teaching of the law. (Bruce)

Paul called them his fellow workers who had risked their own necks for my life (Romans 16:3-4). In half the mentions of this New Testament married couple, Priscilla’s name is written first – which is said to be unusual. (David Guzik)

Corinth

  • A major city in the Roman Empire.
  • An important crossroads of trade and travel.
  • Similar to Athens in its culture and worship of many gods.
  • Temple of Apollo
  • Temple of Aphrodite (the same as Ashtaroth of Judges 2:13 and Roman Venus) the goddess of love. 1000 pagan priestess-prostitutes served at this temple.
  • Corinth was a city with a remarkable reputation for loose living and especially sexual immorality. In classical Greek, to act like a Corinthian meant to practice fornication, and a Corinthian companion meant a prostitute. (Williams)
  • Because sexual immorality was rampant in the city and that many in the converts there had taken part in that lifestyle and were still being influenced by it, the Apostle Paul took more time dealing with them on the subject (1 Corinthians 5-7). (AWLC)

Paul’s first visit to Corinth — 1 Corinthians 2:1-4

This could have been Paul’s method and state of mind from the beginning. It’s also possible the opposition and attacks he faced along the way left him exhausted and completely lacking in self-confidence.

Paul didn’t come as a philosopher or a salesman; he came as a witness (declaring to [them] the testimony of God).

In taking this approach, Paul understood he didn’t cater to what his audience wanted. “Corinth put a premium on the veneer of false rhetoric and thin thinking” (Barclay). He already knew the Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:22), but he does not seem to care. He will preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (David Guzik)

  • “I determined not to know anything among you . . .” (1 Corinthians 2:2) A mentor of mine took this phrase to mean Paul chose not to know anything about the people’s preferences, personal histories, or expectations.
    Several commentaries say “the gospel with its crucified Messiah, as his singular focus and passion while he was among them.” (Fee)
  • Paul focused on the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
  • He was with them “in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.” (v. 3)
  • Paul worked at his trade and “reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath.” (Acts 18:4)
  • His language and message “were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them]” (1 Corinthians 2:4 AMPC)
  • Despite his timid start, by the time Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was spending all his time preaching, compelled by the Spirit, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.” (Acts 18:5)

13. God encouraged Paul.

Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, listened to Paul and believed that Jesus was the Messiah with his whole household. (v. 8) Even though none of the other Jews did, this likely meant a lot to him.

Paul shaved his head as part of a vow. (v. 18)

This vow is difficult to identify. A Nazarite vow could not be undertaken outside of Judea, so this was probably some private vow of thanksgiving for the fulfillment of God’s promise to him in vs. 9-10 and his protection in Corinth.”(SFLB footnote

14. Importance of community

Encourgement

Fellowship

Prayer and emotional support

Getting equipped

My Community

A small, devout online group intentional about developing our God-given gifts and callings.

We, in a sense, mentor each other as a Holy Spirit master mind group. This has been my heart’s desire for years after laboring in solitude for so long.

This summer we are moving to be among a larger community of Christian writers, artists, musicians, and others.


Join the discussion on our FACEBOOK PAGE or leave a comment below.

Resources


Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.
My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 17 Day 5