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Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Paul at Corinth

Acts xviii: 1 to 22

P AUL went from Athens to Corinth, another city in the land of Greece. He was alone, for his fellow-workers, Silas and Timothy, had not yet come from Thessalonica. But in Corinth, Paul met people who soon became his dear friends. They were a man named Aquila and his wife Priscilla, who had lately come from Rome to Corinth. Every Jew in those times was taught some trade, and Paul's trade was the weaving of a rough cloth used for making tents. It happened that Aquila and Priscilla were tent-makers also, and so Paul went to live in their house, and they worked together at making tents.

On the Sabbath-days Paul went into the synagogue, and there preached the gospel and talked about Christ with the Jews and also with the Greeks who worshipped God in the synagogue. Some believed Paul's words, and some refused to believe, but opposed Paul, and spoke against him. After a time Silas and Timothy came from Thessalonica to meet Paul. They brought to him word about the church at Thessalonica, and some questions that were troubling the believers there. To answer these questions, Paul wrote from Corinth two letters, which you can read in the New Testament. They are called "The First Epistle to the Thessalonians," and "The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians." These two letters are the earliest of Paul's writings that have been kept. We do not know that Paul wrote any letters to churches earlier than these; but if he did write any, the letters have been lost.



Now that Silas and Timothy, as well as Aquila and Priscilla, were with Paul, he was no more alone, and he began to preach even more earnestly than before, telling the Jews that Jesus was the Christ of God. When he found that the Jews would not listen, but spoke evil words against him and against Christ, Paul shook out his garment, as though he were shaking dust from it, and he said to the Jews, "Your blood shall be upon your own heads, not on me; I am free from sin, for I have given you the gospel, and you will not hear it. From this time I will cease speaking to you and will go to the Gentiles."

And Paul went out of the synagogue, and with him went those who believed in Jesus. He found a house near to the synagogue belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a Gentile who worshipped God, and in that house Paul preached the gospel to all who came, both Jews and Gentiles. Many who heard believed in Christ, and were baptized; and among them was a Jew named Crispus, who had been the chief ruler of the synagogue. But most of those who joined the Church of Christ in Corinth were not Jews, but Gentiles, men and women who turned to God from idols. One night the Lord came to Paul in a vision, and said to him, "Paul, do not be afraid; but speak and do not hold thy peace. I am with thee, and no one shall come against thee to do thee harm; for I have many people in this city."

And Paul stayed in Corinth a year and six months, teaching the word of God. After a time the Jews in a great crowd rushed upon Paul, and seized him, and brought him into the court before the Roman governor, "This man is persuading people to worship God in a way forbidden by the law."

Paul was just opening his mouth to speak in answer to this charge when Gallio, the governor, spoke to the Jews, "O ye Jews, if this were a matter of wrongdoing or of wickedness, I would listen to you. But if these are questions about words, and names, and your law, look after it yourselves, for I will not be a judge of such things." And Gallio drove all the Jews out of his court. Then some of the Greeks seized Sosthenes, who was the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judge's seat in the court-room. But Gallio did not care for any of these things; for he thought it was a quarrel over small matters.

After staying many days Paul took leave of the brethren in the church at Corinth, and sailed away in a ship across the Ægean Sea to Ephesus, which was a great city in Asia Minor. With Paul were his friends Aquila and Priscilla. At Ephesus, Paul went into the synagogue of the Jews and talked with them about the gospel and about Christ. He could stay only for a little while, although they asked him to remain longer; but he said, "I must go away now; but if it be the will of God, I will come again to you."

And he set sail from Ephesus, but left Aquila and Priscilla there until he should return. Paul sailed over the Great Sea to Caesarea, in the land of Judea. At that place he landed, and from thence went up to Jerusalem, and visited the mother-church. Then he journeyed back to Antioch, the city from which he had set forth.

And this was the end of Paul's second journey among the Gentiles preaching the gospel.