Apostle Paul of Tarsus has been described as a one who "gave his heart and strength as he ministered to each flock" (Moore 115). This description is definitely applicable to Paul?s ministry in Corinth.? Though Paul?s ministry began with a visit to Corinth that is chronicled in Acts 18:1-18, the majority of knowledge about the nature of his relationship with the Corinthians comes from the letters that he wrote to them after his departure.? By examining the account of his initial visit and the letters, it is possible to determine a few of Paul?s main themes.? These include the proclamation of Jesus as Christ, clarification of theological disputes in I Corinthians, and Paul?s own authenticity as an apostle in II Corinthians.
?Ancient Corinth ?was an exciting place?genuinely pluralistic with a penchant for syncretism; fortunes and fame were made and lost in Corinth? (Soards 1163).? This is understandable when looking at the geographical location of the city.? Corinth is located on the isthmus that bridged mainland Greece and the peninsula of Peloponnesus and was set up by Roman authorities for economic and military purposes.? This prime location put Corinth ?at the crossroads of trade and travel? (Gloer 1191).? As traders and merchants relocated to Corinth seeking new opportunities, the city developed into a socially diverse cosmopolitan center (1163).? As Paul brought his message of salvation through Christ, he likely ministered to a broad spectrum of people, representative of the culture in Corinth.? The majority of his Corinthian congregation were likely Gentiles, though a few must have been Jewish (Furnish 232-3).? As W. Hulitt Gloer points out, ?the membership seems to have been reflective of a ...
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...oing so, he encouraged the believers to begin to explore their own ability to discern truth.? While remaining supportive and present, he does not want the Corinthian church to be dependent upon him.? Throughout his ministry, Paul puts the emphasis not on himself but on Christ.
Furnish, Paul Victor. ?Paul and the Corinthians:? The Letters, the Challenges of Ministry, the Gospel.? Interpretation 52 (July 1998): 229‑245.
Gloer, W. Hulitt. "Second Corinthians." Mercer Commentary on the Bible. Ed. Watson E. Mills and Richard F. Wilson. Macon: Mercer University Press, 1995. 1191-1206.
Moore, Beth. To Live Is Christ:? The Life and Ministry of Paul. Nashville: LifeWay Press, 1997.
Soards, Marion L. "First Corinthians." Mercer Commentary on the Bible. Ed. Watson E. Mills and Richard F. Wilson. Macon: Mercer University Press, 1995. 1163-1189.
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