Paul's corinthian mission: an historical reconstruction of Paul's relations with the Christians of Corinth
Pherigo, Lindsey Price
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Paul introduces Christianity to the Corinthians during the visit described in Acts 18, from the fall of AD 50 to the spring of 52. Returning to the general are in the winter of 52-53, began a residence in Ephesus which extended until after Pentecost, 55. Toward the end of this period, and probably in the late summer or fall of 54, he wrote a letter to Corinth that is no longer extant, advising them in their treatment of back-sliding members, and announcing the financial collection he was raising for the poor Jerusalem. About the same time, he sent Timothy on a mission to Corinth and Macedonia, and it is quite possible that he was the bearer of the lost letter. The news came, early in the spring of 55, of a serious factional quarrel dividing the Corinthians and undermining his authority. About the same time as this oral report, a letter came from Corinth inquiring about several matters. In response to both, Paul wrote our canonical 1 Corinthians, just before Passover, 55. A report of the failure of this letter to heal the factions led to a brief visit intended to restore his authority, but it too failed. Angry and hurt, Paul sent a severe letter by Titus, which is no longer extant, and left Ephesus for Troas and Macedonia. In Macedonia Titus reported that the severe letter had accomplished its purpose, and wrote Paul a letter of reconciliation that is almost entirely preserved in our canonical 2 Corinthians 1-9. He sent Titus back to Corinth with this letter, charged with the responsibility of collecting the Corinthian contribution. With Titus he sent two others, one of whom was a representative of the churches to insure the integrity of Paul and Titus in the administration of the collection. After this, the movements of Paul cannot be traced until he appears in Philippi for Passover, 56, and is on the point of departure for Jerusalem to deliver the fund to the Judean saints. At least it can be said that he was not in Corinth during this interval. In Judes, and probably while in Caesarean praetorium as a prisoner of Felix, Paul heard that his failure to carry out his promise of a third visit, after Titus had gotten their money, had seriously damaged his reputation in Corinth. Many now were confirmed in their suspicions of him, and to meet this new crisis, Paul wrote 2 Corinthians 10-13. In an outburst of indignation, he answered their charges. Expecting release, he threatened a personal visit was postponed, at least, by the forced trip to Rome to make his appeal before the Imperial Court. Here our knowledge of the Corinthian mission breaks off sharply; the effect of 2 Corinthians 10-13 is not known. The likelihood that the Christians of Corinth remained divided, quarrelsome, and rebellious is suggested by the occasion of the letter of Clement of Rome, and the failure of the church there to take a position of prominence as the great churches of early Christianity arose at Antioch, Alexandria, Caesarea, Ephesus, and Rome.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University, 1951