Written by Jose Kevo on 27 Aug, 2001
Of Paul's scattered ministries over three journies, no where did he spend more time than in Ancient Korinthos...nor did he write longer letters than to the Corinthians which would become a couple of chapters in the New Testament portion of the Bible. Yeh, he…Read More
Of Paul's scattered ministries over three journies, no where did he spend more time than in Ancient Korinthos...nor did he write longer letters than to the Corinthians which would become a couple of chapters in the New Testament portion of the Bible. Yeh, he obviously greatly loved these people and this place...but they also troubled him very much based on what their daily lives were centered around.
Ancient & Acro Corinth had long held reputation, power and wealth from even back in the Spartan days. When the Romans conquered "Greece" in 146 B.C., it was Korinthos, not Athens, they attacked to secure the victory acquisition. When Paul arrived in 52 A.D., the area had only recently been reconstructed to be the Roman headquarters and capital for "Achaia". EYEWITNESS Travel Guide says there was believed to be 750,000 living in this small but prosperous area now flourishing under both heavy Greek and Roman influence. The actual summation of Paul's time in Korinthos is briefly detailed in the Bible's Acts, chapter 18, but obviously the many issues he was confronted with are revealed in the books of I & II Corinthians. The people of the area were living life large...in direct disobedience to the new Christian teachings that Paul had brought. Sex was one, if not the largest of the issues.
You'll see the remains of the Temple of Apollo within the city. Apollo was the God of several things including manhood and verility. Part of the practice of worshipping Apollo was to display manhood and verility by having sex with young males and females who tended the temple. However, it wasn't the only action in town. Atop the Acro Corinth mountain, which can be seen from anywhere within the city, was the temple of Aphrodite; the Goddess of Love. Yeh, you got it...they also worshipped here having sex with "Sacred Prostitutes".
A special side commentary book that I used on the Apostle Paul discussed how his biblical writings display signs of what we'd today call fanaticisms, compassionate yet somewhat passive/agressive behaviors leaning more towards the "dog with a bone" type. How troubling and fretful all this must have been for him; someone who was on a mission to change the world and didn't stop at enduring beatings, ridicule, imprisonment...and, eventually being run out of town everywhere he went based on his questionable actions.
I all but had to chuckle...invisioning the modern-day street preachers trying to change the world in NYC's old 42nd St/8th Ave. District. I also found more ironic humor later when - even with taking a cab up to the base of the mountain, by the time I reached the Acro Korinthos temple of Aphrodite all I felt like was a shower and a nap! I couldn't imagine walking ALL the way up here from the village just to have sex. Apparently Paul couldn't either from a physical or spiritual standpoint.
Especially throughout the book of I Corinthians, Paul is vehement in making his points about sexual immorality, marriage, and other questionable behaviors...before doing a 180 to write one of the best, most famous parts of the Bible. First Corinthians 13 is the "LOVE" chapter describing the truest, deepest meanings of love...that had nothing to do with Aprhodite or sex. Whether you're a modern day believer or not, I'll all but guarantee a lot of your current definitons of "love" come from these writings. You'll hear these words in weddings and scripts and, unfortunately, all but lost and not taught often enough in current denominational relgions.
'...faith, hope, and love - but the greatest of these is love'.
My time spent in both Ancient and Acro Korinthos was meaningful if for nothing else to try and put myself in the place of Paul 2000 years ago. Why did he choose or did God allow him to stay here longer than anywhere else during his ministries aside from his time in Rome before being beheaded? While walking around the areas, I found myself glimpsing his obvious nemesis...from the remains of Apollo's Temple in the city to the mountain of Acro Corinth...back and forth in trying to wonder what went thru Paul's mind. I didn't have to think about it too hard. I worked with "at-risk" street kids in New York City.