Paul’s 1 st Epistle to the Californians. NO… wait… I mean the Corinthians…. Paul and the Corinthian Church. Paul Wrote Four Letters (maybe…) The “previous letter”: “When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin.” (1 Cor. 5:9)
Paul’s 1st Epistle to theCalifornians
NO… wait… I mean the Corinthians…
Dominating the landscape at Corinth is the Acrocorinth (the acropolis of ancient Corinth). Nothing is left of the fabled temple to Aphrodite, but remains of the heavy medieval fortifications, which were built on earlier foundations, may still be seen from the western side.
Most commentators agree that Corinth was an especially licentious city. One of the Greek verbs for fornicate was korinthiazomai, a word derived from the city's name. Strabo wrote of one thousand sacred prostitutes from the temple of Aphrodite plying their trade in the city (Geography, 7-23 A.D.).
Recent scholarship points out, however, that the charge may have been an Athenian slander against the original (pre-146 BC) city since sacred prostitution was a Middle East custom, not a Greek one.
But there seems to be ample evidence, both biblical (1 Cor. 5:1-2; 6:9-10) and extra-biblical, that Corinth was indeed a raucous, morally corrupt city.
Situated on the isthmus separating mainland Greece from the lower peninsula (Peloponnesus), a stopping point destination for anyone travelling between these locations by land, and also centered between two major sea ports, Lechaeum and Cenchrea, providing “entertainment” to thousands of seafaring visitors, Corinth became one of the most morally permissive, self-indulgent, and degenerate cities of the ancient world.
This main road ran from the city to the northern port of Lechaion, thus its name. The road was about 40 feet wide and included sidewalks and drainage channels. Steps along the road indicate that passage was not intended for wheeled vehicles.
On the Lechaion Road at the foot the steps leading to the proplyon, was discovered in 1898 what appears to be the lintel of the doorway into the synagogue at Corinth. The inscription on the lintel reads, "The Synagogue of the Hebrews," and possibly dates from the time of Paul's visits to Corinth. Since the lintel is quite heavy it is probable that the synagogue was situated in the vicinity in which it was discovered, which means that the synagogue was on or near the Lechaion Road not far from the agora. Titius Justus's house was somewhere nearby (Acts 18:7).
The lower city was the location of the Temple of Apollo while the Acrocorinth was dominated by the Temple of Aphrodite. The temple originally had 38 columns of the Doric order; 7 are standing today.
The bema served as the platform on which Roman officials stood when making public appearances. While in Corinth, Paul was dragged before the proconsul Gallio, and was accused of "persuading people to worship God in ways contrary to the law" (Acts 18:12-17). Gallio told them to take a hike.
Fountains, baths, and other public buildings
In in 1929, among the excavated ruins of ancient Corinth was discovered an inscription on a marble paving stone bearing the name of Erastus. The inscription translates as "Erastus, in return for his aedileship, laid this pavement at his own expense." The office of aedilis was the commissioner of public works and, for this reason, a high ranking public official belonging to the Roman ruling class in a city. Paul mentions an Erastus from Corinth in his Letter to the Romans (16:23) and identifies him as "the city treasurer" (oikonomos), which is not the Greek equivalent of the Latin aedilis; rather it is equivalent to the lesser office of arcarius. So if the Erastus of Rom 16:23 is to be identified with the man of the inscription, then he held the higher position of aedilis either before or after Paul wrote his letter. (See Bruce, Romans, 266.)
In 6th century B.C., Periander constructed the diolkos, a stone-paved access tract linking the ports of Cenchraea to Lechaion. Ships were put on sleds and rolled across the Isthmus.
The 2,495 Year Project
In 307 B.C., Demetrios Poliorketes determined to cut a naval passage through the Isthmus. He actually began excavations but was discouraged from continuing by Egyptian engineers, who predicted that the different sea levels between the Corinthian and the Saronic Gulfs would flood Aegina and nearby islands.In 67 A.D., Nero began work on the project. He deployed work gangs of war prisoners that included 6,000 young Jewish slaves recently captured by Vespasian in Galilee, where the Jewish war had begun. They dug out a ditch 3300 meters in length and 40 meters wide. But Nero was forced to rush back to Rome because of the Galva mutiny. Once there, he was arrested on charges of treason and sentenced to death in 68 A.D. The unfinished canal fell to oblivion and was overtaken by tales of superstition and supernatural lore.
After numerous false starts and unsuccessful attempts, the final construction project of the canal began on April 23, 1882 and was completed in 1893. Ironically, the engineering plans used in the final design were very nearly identical to the plans Nero himself used over two millennium in the past.
The completion of the Corinth Canal was either the vindication of a dream conceived 2,495 years previous and a great testament to the perseverance of the human race, or perhaps it is an indication of the productivity and work ethic of Grecian project teams… )
The Corinthian column was designed by an architect/sculptor named Callimachus.
The inspiration for his famous design came when he was in a graveyard and saw a basket left on the grave of a young girl. A few of her toys were in it as a memorial and a square tile had been placed over the basket, to keep the rain out. An acanthus plant had grown directly underneath the woven basket, and the leaves and flowers had grown up the sides, and curved in a graceful arc conforming to the shape of the basket and the covering tile.