2 Corinthians 4 – An Honest and Tried Ministry & “The Secret,” by Rhonda Byrne

Jesus said:

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn 8:32). 

So what is the truth?  

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6).  

Only Jesus is the truth, NOT “The Secret.”

The Truth of God’s Word is free, openly available to anyone who desires it’s truths, and it won’t cost you a penny. 

“The Secret” won’t help you and if you follow the words Wattles, Byrne, Oprah, Mary Baker Eddie or anyone like them then you know you destination and it’s not a pretty one. 

Now if you believe in Jesus Christ but also follow the above people your destination is the still the same.

“Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of the table of devils” (1 Cor 10:21).

The above article points out that we live in a very greedy and selfish world and no one can deny that, and I have no doubt that it is going to get worse.

 Yet, Jesus Christ does not change.  So no matter what happens in this world we know that He will always be there to take care of us:

“Being confident of this very thing that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).

She is not alone, below are just a couple mentioned (due space) and tomorrow, talk about a sad joke, we’ll look at…

Corinthians 4
An Honest and Tried Ministry

1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

Beware of Oprah’s New Age “Luciferian” Religion.
Click here to listen to these powerful evil people have to say.

“We faint not” – when God through His mercy calls and commissions His servant, He also supplies the strength necessary for them to persevere in the face of hardships.

2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

“Have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty” – Paul is referring to the false teachers.

3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

“God of this world” – the devil, the unseen power behind all unbelief and ungodliness.  Those who follow him have in effect made him their god.

“Image of God” – Christ, who is both the incarnate Son and the Second Person of the Trinity, authentically displays God to us, for He is the very radiance of divine glory (Heb 1:3). 

He is the image of God in which man was originally created and into which redeemed mankind is being gloriously transformed (3:18), until at last, when Christ comes again at the end of this age, we who believe will be like Him (1 Jn 3:2).

5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

“We preach not ourselves” – as false teachers do, puffed up with self-importance.  Rick Warren is probably the best example of this today.

6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

“Commanded the light to shine out of the darkness” – God commanded this at the creation (Gen 1:2-4) and He says it again in the new creation or new birth (5:17; Jn 3:3, 7; 1 Pet 1:3) as the darkness of sin is dispelled by the light of the gospel.

Peter Popoff is a false prophet! He promotes his Miracle Water.
Sadly, many people have fallen victim to this blatant scam.

Popoff’s TV show uses lures of a better job, better health, and more money to sucker people into sending him a donation.

“The light of the knowledge of the glory of God” – the light that now shines in Paul’s heart (qualifying him to be a proclaimer of Christ) is the knowledge of the glory of God as it was displayed in the face of Christ – who has come, not just from an earthly tabernacle, but from the glorious presence of God in heaven itself.

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

“This treasure” – the Gospel.

8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

“We having the same spirit of faith” – the same spirit of faith that Jesus had, just not as great as His because our human heart is filled of sin and must battle against the Spirit at all times (Rom 7:15-25), while Jesus was without sin.  But as long as we are with Christ we will prevail (Rom 8:1).

14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

The religious world is filled with charlatans and con artists. Robert Tilton is a covetous, money-hungry, lying, false prophet who teaches damnable heresies.

He touts about prosperity, health, and wealth; but Tilton’s message is totally contradictory from the Word of God.

Tilton quotes 3rd John 1-2, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

“Things which are seen…things which are not seen” – the experiences and circumstances of this present life, often painful and perplexing, are visible to the Christian; but these are merely phenomena in the passing parade of our fallen age and are therefore temporary and fleeing.

To fix our eyes on these visible things would cause us to lose heart.  By contrast the unseen realities, which are no less real for being invisible (Heb 11:1, 7, 26-27), are eternal and imperishable. 

Accordingly, we look up and away from the impermanent appearances of this present world scene (see Phil 3:20; Heb 12:2).

“The Secret,” by Rhonda Byrne

This book is of the Devil, taking people away from Jesus.  It is available in audio book or DVD format.  Byrne’s “The Secret,” was recently featured on the Oprah Winfrey show…

Self-help books could ruin your life! They promise everything – and sell in their millions, but a leading psychologist remains unconvinced.

Visit the self-help section on Amazon or browse the shelves of your local bookshop and you will find hundreds of books that promise to improve your life in any number of ways.

You can read, among other things, about the secrets to daily joy and lasting fulfilment, how to find career success, five simple steps to emotional healing, and how to stop worry and anxiety from ruining your relationships.

It’s making headlines around the world—and buzz just keeps building. Some say it’s The Secret to creating the life you truly want—losing weight, making money, finding love. See why people everywhere are talking about The Secret.

Oprah is without a doubt the biggest promoter of New Age authors and philosophy than anyone else in the world today. 

The Secret is just another New Age deception, being marketed to the public as a miracle solution for all of one’s problems.

Here is what the official website for The Secret advertises…

Towards the end of 2004, and following a string of traumatic events in her personal and professional life, Rhonda Byrne discovered a great secret – The Secret laws and principles of the universe.

Rhonda’s daughter had given her a copy of The Science of Getting Rich, a book written in 1910 by Wallace D. Wattles. Of that moment, Rhonda says,

Something inside of me had me turn the pages one by one, and I can still remember my tears hitting the pages as I was reading it. It gave me a glimpse of The Secret and it was like a flame inside of my heart…

Rhonda Byrne states that she cried, and her tears fell upon the pages, as she read a 98-year old book titled, “The Science of Getting Rich.” 

The author of the book is Wallace D. Wattles.  As you will learn, Mr. Wattles was a heathen man, who taught damnable heresies, and was a contributing pioneer of today’s Satanic New Age Movement. 

Since Miss Byrne has based her entire work largely upon Wattles’ book, and claims that she discovered “The Secret” within its pages – It is critically important that we take a closer look at the book upon which she places so much emphasis. 

Wattles Taught that God Wants Everyone to Be Financially Wealthy

Throughout the book, Mr. Wattles perverts the Scriptures to teach that God intended for all of us to be filthy rich.  In chapter 5, Increasing Life, Wattles foolishly states:

This is the only book you need for wealth, health, success, relationships, or anything.

 It is the desire of God that you should get rich.  He wants you to get rich because he can express himself better through you if you have plenty of things to use in giving him expression. 

He can live more in you if you have unlimited command of the means of life… The universe desires you to have everything you want to have.

You want to get rich in order that you may eat, drink, and be merry when it is time to do these things; in order that you may surround yourself with beautiful things, see distant lands, feed your mind, and develop your intellect.

In sharp contrast, the Bible condemns the greedy desire to be rich.

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (1 Tim 6:8-11).

In fact, the Bible teaches that more poor people will enter into Heaven than rich people.

“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not GOd chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of teh kingdom which he hath promised to them tha tlove him?” (Jas 2:5).

Wattles fails to speak of the reality of hellfire in his book, and the fact that all Christ-rejecters will burn there forever (2 Thess 1:8-9; Rev 20:11-15). 

Jesus said:

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt 16:26)

In view of such overwhelming Biblical evidence, only a fool would dare claim that God wants everyone to be rich.  Riches are a road to Hellfire:

Rhonda Bryne, one of the Jezebels of the 21st century.

“And again i say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matt 19:24).

This does not mean that God despises those that are wealthy, but it is through Him and only through Him, not ourselves, that we become wealthy:

“But thou shalt remember the LORD Thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day” (Deut 8:18).

Wattles Taught Not to Sacrifice for Others

Wattles selfishly goes on to state:

Get rid of the idea that God wants you to sacrifice yourself for others, and that you can secure his favor by doing so; God requires nothing of the kind.

The Bibles says quite the opposite:

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1st Jn 3:16).

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal6:2).

We ought to “lay down our lives” for fellow Christians.  All but John was martyred for preaching the Gospel.  The Christian life is all about sacrificing for others.

Wattles’ Demonic New Age Philosophy

In the concluding chapter, titled, Summary of the “Science of Getting Rich,” Mr. Wattles again foolishly states:

There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe…A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the thought…Man can form things in his thought, and by impressing his thought upon formless substance can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.

The man who wishes to get rich must spend his leisure hours in contemplating his vision, and in earnest thanksgiving that the reality is being given to him…The created energy works through the established channels of natural growth, and of the industrial and social order.  All that is included in his mental image will surely be brought to the man who follows the instructions given above…

Mr. Wattles is a New Ager.  The idea of “thinking stuff from which all things are made” is 100% New Age doctrine.

Oprah Winfrey, another lost soul, is the biggest promoter of “The Secret”.
If “The Secret” is so good why is she still so fat?

In chapter 6, How Riches Come To You, Mr. Wattles evidences his New Age philosophies:

God, the One Substance, is trying to live and do and enjoy things through humanity…

God, the One Substance”?  What kind of weird idea is that?  God is not a substance!  God is a Person.  Jesus came to earth, in the flesh, as the manifestation of the Godhead:

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14).

“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col 2:9).

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Tim 3:16)

Wattles Taught that the World is Becoming Wonderful and is Not of the Devil

If that’s not bad enough, listen to what the fruitcake has to say in chapter 10, Further use Of The Will…

Do not read religious books which tell you that the world is soon coming to an end; and do not read the writing of muckrakers and pessimistic philosophers who tell you that it is going to the devil. 

The world is not going to the devil; it is going to God.  It is wonderful becoming.

In sharp contrast:

“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 Jn 5:19).

Second Timothy says:

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim 3:1, 13).

Oprah Winfrey, New Thought, “The Secret” and the “New Alchemy”

Though the demonism of the Middle Ages seems to have slowed a bit, there is abundant evidence that in many forms of modern thought – especially the so-called “prosperity” psychology, “willpower-building” metaphysics, and systems of “high-pressure” salesmanship – black magic has merely passed through a metamorphosis, and although its name be changed its nature remains the same.

The foregoing quote reads like an excerpt from a review of the movie, The Secret. This is not the case, however.

Manly P. Hall wrote those words in the late 1920s when New Thought metaphysics was in full swing, and the original self-help gurus combined the burgeoning science of applied psychology with that of Bernays-like manipulative advertising.

An eager public was caught unaware and would consume mass market “willpower-building” manuals, by the millions.

Each successive generation has had its own purveyors, and the Oprah-inspired phenomenon that is The Secret, as we shall see, stems from the same fount.

Self-Help Popular Religion and the New Thought Movement

“Pray! In other words, get an urgent, insistent desire. The first principle of success is Desire – knowing what you want.”  Desire is the planting of your seed.

There is no limit, you know, to Mind. Visualize this thing that you want. See it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue-print, and begin to build!

The creative power of thought is now receiving increasing acceptance in the West, which is in some cases taking over, and in others, discovering anew, for itself, what was thought by the ancients in India.

Because they have discovered it anew, they call it “New Thought”; but its fundamental principle is as old as the Upanishads which said, “what you think that you become”.

All recognize this principle in the limited form that a man who thinks good becomes good, and he who is ever harboring bad thought becomes bad. But the Indian and “New Thought” doctrine is more profound than this.

In Vedantic India, thought has been ever held creative. The world is a creation of the thought (Cit Shakti associated with Maya Shakti) of the Lord (Ishvara and Ishvari). Her and His thought is the aggregate, with almighty powers of all thought.

Robert Price does not believe Jesus was resurrected or that the Bible is reliable or trustworthy.
However, he seems like a nice guy and can’t so easily be dismissed as a writer or a debater. Price is wrong on quite a few points but at least he is consistently wrong.
So is the devil.

But each man is Shiva and can attain his powers to the degree of his ability to consciously realize himself as such.

Thought now works in man’s small magic just as it first worked in the grand magical display of the World-Creator. Each man is in various degrees a creator. Thought is as real as any form of gross matter.

Wattles Sinfully Places His Book Over the Word of God

Wattles further states:

Read this book every day; keep it with you; commit it to memory, and do not think about other “systems” and theories.

Mr. Wattles elevates his own personal writings above the Scriptures. 

Proverbs says:

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Prov 3:5).

And Jesus commanded us to:

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (Jn 5:39). 

But, Wallace Wattles tells us instead to read, memorize, keep, and look only to his book —“The Science of Getting Rich.”  Mr. Wattles is of the devil, as are his demonic teachings, and we all know he’s going to hell because:

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev 22:18-19).

A born-again believer only needs one book and that is the Bible, God’s Word.

Wattle’s False Gospel

Wattles states in chapter 15, The Advancing Man:

In the field of religion, the world cried out for the clergyman who can teach his hearers the true science of abundant life.  He who masters the details of the science of getting rich, together will the allied sciences of being well, of being great, and of winning love, and who teaches these details from the pulpit, will never lack for a congregation. 

This is the gospel that the world needs; it will give increase of life, and men will hear it gladly, and will give it liberal support to the man who brings it to them. [emphasis added]

Second Timothy warns of false teachers like Wallace Wattles:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim 4:3-4).

Mr. Wallace teaches that preachers ought to water-down the truth — never speaking of a sinful world, or of the end of times, or of a hell that burns with fire and brimstone for all unbelievers. 

He also says that preachers ought to teach about getting rich, pursuing well-being, and exploiting others with influential love. 

Yeah, it’s called a Health, Wealth, and Prosperity gospel, and it’s taught all over the place today in apostate churches.

We are living in a selfish generation of religious-seeking heathens — who desire health, wealth, and prosperity; but refuse to accept the reality of the Word of God. 

These people reject the saving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:16; 2 Tim 3:5). 

Such apostate churchgoers have no problem with homosexuality, no anger over abortion, no qualms about false doctrines taught in the church, et cetera. 

The world is filled today with falsely professed Christians, who have never been born-again, and are woefully ignorant of the truth of God’s Word; yet, they write books, appear on the Oprah Winfrey show, and lead multitudes into hell. 

Mr. Wattles mentions the name of “Jesus” numerous times in his book; yet, he speaks of his god as “One Substance” and talks of men “creating energy” from within themselves to be channeled to achieve success. 

Wattle’s gospel is a financially abundant life achieved through increased self-awareness and meditation.  This is 100% New Age doctrine.

Apostasy Alert: T.D. Jakes Joins New Age Priestess Oprah Winfrey Lifeclass“
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves ” Matt 7:15.

Below you can hear Oprah deny Jesus herself.

Wattles and the New Thought Movement

Wattles was associated with the Chicago-based school of New Thought that centered around the teachings of Emma Curtis Hopkins.  According to Wikipedia:

The New Thought Movement or New Thought is a loosely allied group of organizations, authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of metaphysical beliefs concerning healing, life force, Creative Visualization, and personal power.

The New Thought Movement developed in the United States during the mid to late 19th century and continues to the present time.

It promotes the ideas that God is all powerful and ubiquitous, spirit is the totality of real things, true human self-hood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, most sickness originates in the mind, and ‘right thinking’ has a healing effect.

Interestingly, Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, was a disciple and patient of New Thought pioneer Phineas Quimby. 

Here’s a list of New Thought organizations

New Thought is demonic, because it denies Jesus Christ as the Savior. 

There’s not a dime’s difference between New Thought and New Age.  Like New Age, New Thought rejects any attempt to compel humanity to worship God in any particular or prescribed manner. 

Thus, the Biblical proclamation in Acts that there is no salvation apart from the name of Jesus Christ is totally rejected in New Thought and New Age teaching.  New Thought and New Age are of the Devil.

Click here to hear Oprah deny Jesus and even argue with the audience.

“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).

Conclusion

I took much time to expose the author, Wallace D. Wattles, because his book, “The Science of Getting Rich,” is the basis upon which Rhonda Byrne concocted “The Secret.”

I could not help but laugh at the idea of Rhonda Byrne crying over the content of Mr. Wattles’ book.  Certainly there is nothing to cry over, except that it is such a terrible piece of work. 

Wattles was a New Ager, who believed that true human selfhood is divine. 

Wattles adamantly rejected the Biblical teaching that salvation can only be obtained through faith in Jesus Christ.

The Secret is nothing more than New Age mumbo-jumbo, based upon New Thought, which teaches that a person can solve all their life’s troubles through New Age techniques. 

Click here to hear her explain The New Age.

Whereas the Bible teaches that we can be “complete” in Christ Jesus (Col 2:10); Wattles taught that only through his book could a person be helped.  Mr. Wattle’s is a liar and a fool.

Again, Oprah’s website states:

It’s making headlines around the world—and buzz just keeps building. Some say it’s The Secret to creating the life you truly want—losing weight, making money, finding love. See why people everywhere are talking about The Secret.

Money, money, money — There’s a sucker born every minute.  It seems that everyone is looking for an easy way out these days. 

It is sad that millions of people are buying garbage like, “The Secret,” that is produced by unsaved heathens who love not the Lord Jesus Christ, and only want your money.

…God Help Us – Marianne Williamson.

2 Corinthians 3 – A Ministry of Glory & Letter Writing in the Greco-Roman World

Well God, we truly need to to thank you for giving us the ability to read and write because the world wouldn’t be as advanced as it is if we weren’t able to do so.

It’s a lot easier to get to understand You and Jesus since it is written and we can read it.

Yet, it can cause many problems so tomorrow we’ll look at…

2 Corinthians
A Ministry of Glory

1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

“Do we begin again to commend ourselves?” – Paul is sensitive to the fact that virtually everything he wrote or said was liable to be twisted and used in a hostile manner by the false teachers in Corinth.

“Letters of commendation” – the appearance of vagrant impostors, who claimed to be teachers of apostolic truth, led to the need for the letters of recommendation. 

Ancient Egyptian literature was written in the Egyptian language from Ancient Egypt’s pharaonic period until the end of Roman domination.
It represents the oldest corpus of Egyptian literature. Along with Sumerian literature, it is considered the world’s earliest literature.

Writing in Ancient Egypt—both hieroglyphic and hieratic—first appeared in the late 4th millennium B.C. during the late phase of predynastic Egypt.

By the Old Kingdom (26th century B.C. to 22nd century BC), literary works included funerary texts, epistles and letters, hymns and poems, and commemorative autobiographical texts recounting the careers of prominent administrative officials. It was not until the early Middle Kingdom (21st century B.C. to 17th century B.C.) that a narrative Egyptian literature was created.

Paul needed no such confirmation; but others, including the Corinthian intruders, did need authentication and being themselves false, often resorted to unscrupulous methods for obtaining or forging letters of recommendation.

Which still happens today, for example, the Catholic and Mormon Bibles.

2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

“Not in tables of stone” – like the ten commandments.

“In fleshy tables of the heart” – Paul explains the significance of this contrast between the old and the new covenants in vv. 7-18.

4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

“Our sufficiency is of God” – Answers the question in 2:16, “Who is sufficient for these things?”

6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

“The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” – does not mean that the external, literal sense of Scripture is deadly or unprofitable while the inner, spiritual (mystical or mythical) sense is vital.

“The letter” is synonymous with the law as an external standard before which all people, because they are lawbreakers, stand guilty and condemned to death. 

Format Features in Early Papyri

Therefore it is described as the “ministration of death” and the “ministration of condemnation” (vv. 7, 9).

On the other hand, the Spirit who gives life is the “Spirit of the living God” who, in fulfillment of the promise of the new covenant, writes that same law inwardly “in fleshly tables of the heart” (v. 3).

He thus provides the believer with love for God’s law, which previously he had hated, and with power to keep it, which previously he had not possessed.

Image of papyrus plant.
An Ancient Description of the Process
Paper is made from the papyrus plant by separating it with a needle point into very thin strips as broad as possible.

The choice quality comes from the center, and thence in the order of slicing. The (choice) quality in former times called ‘hieratic’ because it was devoted only to religious books has, out of flattery, taken on the name of Augustus, and the next quality that of Livia, after his wife, so that the ‘hieratic’ has dropped to third rank.

The next had been named ‘amphitheatric’ from its place of manufacture. At Rome Fannius’ clever workshop took it up and refined it by careful processing, thus making a first-class paper out of a common one and renaming it after him; the paper not so reworked remained in its original grade as ‘amphitheatic’.

Next is the ‘Saitic’, so called after the town where it is most abundant, made from inferior scraps, and from still nearer the rind the ‘Taeneotic’, named after a nearby place (this is sold, in fact, by weight not by quality).

The ’emporitic’, being useless for writing, provides envelopes for papers and wrappings for merchants. After this there is (only) the papyrus stalk, and its outermost husk is similar to a rush and useless even for rope except in moisture.

Paper of whatever grade is fabricated on a board moistened with water from the Nile: the muddy liquid serves as the bonding force.

First there is spread flat on the board a layer consisting of strips of papyrus running vertically, as long as possible, with their ends squared off.

After that a cross layer completes the construction. Then it is pressed in presses, and the sheets thus formed are dried in the sun and joined one to another, (working) in declining order of excellence down to the poorest.

There are never more than twenty sheets in a roll.

There is great variation in their breadth, the best thirteen digits, the ‘hieratic’ two less, the ‘Fannian’ measures ten, the ‘amphitheatic’ one less, the ‘Saitic’ a few less–indeed not wide enough for the use of a mallet–and the narrow ’emporitic’ does not exceed six digits.

Beyond that, the qualities esteemed in paper are fineness, firmness, whiteness, and smoothness.

The Emperor Claudius changed the order of preference. The excess fineness of the ‘Augustan’ paper was insufficient to withstand the pressure of the pen; in addition, as it let the ink through there was always the fear of a blot from the back, and in other respects it was unattractive in appearance because excessively translucid.

Consequently the vertical (under) layer was made of second-grade material and the horizontal layer of first-grade. He also increased its width to measure a foot.

There was also the ‘macrocolum’, a cubit wide, but experience revealed the defect that when one strip tears off it damages several columns of writing.

For these reasons the ‘Claudian’ paper is preferred to all others; the ‘Augustan’ retains its importance for correspondence, and the ‘Livian’, which never had any first-grade elements but was all second-grade, retains its same place.

Rough spots are rubbed smooth with ivory or shell, but then the writing is apt to become scaly: the polished paper is shinier and less absorptive.

Writing is also impeded if (in manufacture) the liquid was negligently applied in the first place; this fault is detected with the mallet, or even by odour if the application was too careless.

Spots, too, are easily detected by the eye, but a strip inserted between two others, though bibulous from the sponginess of (such) papyrus, can scarcely be detected except when the writing runs–there is so much trickery in the business!

The result is the additional labor of reprocessing.

Common paste made from finest flour is dissolved in boiling water with the merest sprinkle of vinegar, for carpenter’s glue and gum are too brittle. A more painstaking process percolates boiling water through the crumb of leavened bread; by this method the substance of the intervening paste is so minimal that even the suppleness of linen is surpassed.

Whatever paste is used ought to be no more or less than a day old. Afterwards it is flattened with the mallet and lightly washed with paste, and the resulting wrinkles are again removed and smoothed out with the mallet.

Preparation for Writing
After the papyrus had been processed and made into sheets (and usually sheets into rolls), it could then be used as a writing material.

Sometimes a scribe wrote on just one sheet and then rolled it up or folded it. Longer documents were written, at first, on a roll of papyrus in narrow columns. Since this could be cumbersome with a long document, papyrus came to be used in the form of the codex (ancestor to our modern book).

7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

3:7-18 – Paul is defending his “ministry” of the new covenant in Christ and here compares the experiences of Moses, who mediated the old covenant of Sinai and his own as a minister of the new covenant.

But he now applies the word “ministry’ to the law that was “written…in tables of stone” and to the Spirit, who writes “in fleshly tables of the heart” (v. 3).

The point of comparison is the fading glory that shone on Moses’ face and the ever-increasing glory reflected in the faces of those who minister the new covenant. 

This contrast in regard serves to highlight the temporary and inadequate character of the old covenant and the permanent and effective character of the new covenant.

“Was glorious” – the law of the old covenant given at Sinai was in no way bad or evil; on the contrary, Paul describes it elsewhere as holy righteousness, good and spiritual (Rom 7:12, 14).

8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

3:8-9 – “Ministration of the spirit…ministration of righteousness” – the ministry of the Spirit gives life instead of death.  “Righteousness” is here both objective (justification) and personal (sanctification).

9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

“Moses, who put a veil over his face” – the purpose of the veil was to prevent the Israel’s from seeing the fading of the glory.

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.

15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.

16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

“Are changed into the same image from glory to glory” – Christ Himself is the glory of God in the fulness of its radiance (Heb 1:3); His is the eternal and unfading glory, which He had with the Father before the world began (Jn 17:5).

We who believe rare made partakers of this glory by being gradually transformed into the likeness of Christ.  The reference here is to the process of Christian sanctification.

Letter Writing in the Greco-Roman World

In the Greco-Roman world letters allowed people to maintain contact with others across great distances.

The history of writing instruments by which humans have recorded and conveyed thoughts, feelings and grocery lists, is the history of civilization itself.
This is how we know the story of us, by the drawings, signs and words we have recorded.

The cave man’s first inventions were the hunting club (not the auto security device) and the handy sharpened-stone, the all-purpose skinning and killing tool.

The latter was adapted into the first writing instrument. The cave man scratched pictures with the sharpened-stone tool onto the walls of his cave dwelling.

The cave drawings represented events in daily life such as the planting of crops or hunting victories.

Various letter types have been identified, including family letters and letters of friendship, praise or blame, exhortation, and recommendation.

The Greco-Roman letter typically consisted of several parts, beginning with an introduction identifying the writer and recipients and expressing greetings.

A short statement of thanksgiving often followed the introduction, after which the author would present the main body of the letter.

The writer would conclude with wishes for good health and a statement of farewell.

Students in Greek schools were instructed in the conventions of letter writing, and scribes trained in the art of writing were available to help others compose letters.

The traditional letter form is visible in Paul’s letters, although he adapted it in several ways:

* He transformed the Greek greeting into an invocation of grace and peace.

* He often extended the thanksgiving section by including prayers to God.

* He employed a benediction in place of the traditional farewell.

In the use of this style, we see that God chose to communicate the New Testament message in a form familiar to its first recipients.

…“The Secret,” by Rhonda Byrne.

2 Corinthians 2 – Forgiveness of an Offender & Paul’s Visits and Letter to Corinth

Prior to Paul meeting Jesus his goal was to imprison all Christians, but once he had his encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus for that purpose (Acts 9) he spent the rest of his life spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Even in prison he wrote letters and preached.

Nothing could stop him and nothing should stop us from letting the world know how much God loves the world.  And there is nothing than can stop God from loving You, except you.

“What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31).

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. 

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).

Father, I know that nobody and nothing is more worthwhile than Your Son and there is nothing that can interfere once we are with You, not the government, the Jews, the Muslims, the Catholics, nothing!

Tomorrow we will look at…

2 Corinthians 2
Forgiveness of an Offender

1 But I determined this with myself that I would not come again to you in heaviness.

2 For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?

3 And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.

4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.

5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.

2:5-11 – speaks of a particular person who has been the cause of serious offense in Corinth and upon whom church discipline has been imposed. 

Paul admonishes the Corinthians that because the offender has shown genuine sorrow and repentance for his sin the punishment should be discontinued and he should be lovingly restored to their fellowship.

The Second Epistle of Peter, often referred to as Second Peter and written 2 Peter or in Roman numerals II Peter (especially in older references), is a book of the New Testament of the Bible, written in the name of Saint Peter, although the vast majority of modern scholars regard it as pseudepigraphical.

It is the first New Testament book to treat other New Testament writings as scripture, 2 Peter was one of the last letters included in the New Testament canon and is part of the Antilegomena; it quotes from and adapts Jude extensively, identifies Jesus with God, and addresses a threatening heresy which had arisen because the anticipated Second Coming of Christ had not yet occurred.

Church discipline, important as it is, should not be allowed to develop into a form of graceless rigor in which there is no room for pardon and restoration. 

Here the Catholic church disagrees with Paul, for example, if you divorce the Catholic church will kick you out, they are not real Christians.

6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

10 To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,

“When I came to Troas” – Paul had traveled up from Ephesus to Troas, a city on the Aegean cost, hoping to find Titus there and to receive news from him about the Corinthian church.

The Third Epistle to the Corinthians is a pseudepigraphical text under the name of Paul the Apostle.
It is also found in the Acts of Paul, and was framed as Paul’s response to the Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul.

The earliest extant copy is Bodmer Papyrus X.

In the West it was not considered canonical in the 4th century A.D., becoming part of the New Testament apocrypha.

In the East, in the Syriac Orthodox Church, Aphrahat (c. 340) treated it as canonical and Ephrem the Syrian (d. 373) apparently accepted it as canonical, for he wrote a commentary on it.

13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.

14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.

15 For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

16 To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

“Savor of death…savor of life” – as the gospel aroma is released in the world through Christian testimony, it is always sweet-smelling, even though it may be differently received.  The two ultimate categories of mankind are “them that are saved and…them that perish” (v. 15).

17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

“We are not as many, which corrupt the word of God” – Paul is referring to false teachers who had infiltrated the Corinthian church. 

Such persons – themselves insincere, self-sufficient and boastful – artfully presented themselves in a persuasive manner, and their chief interest was to take money from gullible church members.

Paul is not talking about just those that preach false religions, like Christian Science, Scientology, Islam, etc.  He is also talking about pastors that don’t tell the full truth, they candy coat the words of God.

This also includes large organizations like the Catholic church or individuals like Rick Warren.

Paul’s Visits and Letter to Corinth

The chronology of Paul’s visits and letters to Corinth is difficult to track and somewhat disputed, but the following sequence is a reasonable interpretation of the Biblical record:

First Visit (50-52 A.D.): Paul visited Corinth during his second missionary journey, staying on for almost two years with Aquila and Priscilla, who were refugees from Italy because of Emperor Claudius’s decree in 49 A.D. expelling the Jews from Rome.  

One of Paul’s oldest known New Testament manuscripts.
The papyrus codex (book) of which this leaf was once a part is thought to have contained 104 leaves originally and to have been discovered in the ruins of an early Christian church or monastery.

Eighty-six leaves have survived, with thirty here at the University of Michigan and fifty-six in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland.

Well known as P46, this manuscript is an almost complete copy of the Letters of Paul to the Early Churches.

Though not dated, the characteristics of its writing have led scholars to assign it to 150–250 C.E., which is about a century earlier than the oldest previously known copies, the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaitus, both from the 4th century.

The literature on this manuscript is extensive, beginning with an article in the London Times of November 19, 1931, which announced its discovery.

Paul was summoned before the proconsul Lucius Junius Gallio in the summer of 51 A.D.

* In 52 A.D. Paul, in the company of Priscilla and Aquila, left Corinth, moving his center of ministry to Ephesus, where he labored for about three years.  During his absence Apollos visited Corinth on Paul’s behalf.

* Paul wrote his first letter (now lost) to Corinth; it included a warning against associating with immoral people.  

According to this article the 1st and 3rd letters are lost, but I have found pictures of both, so something is amiss.

* Paul dispatched Timothy and Erastus to Corinth and received from Chloe’s household news about quarreling within the church, as well as questions from the congregation, delivered by Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus.

* From Ephesus (c.55/56 A.D.) Paul sent a second letter to the church there, including instructions on collecting money for needy Christians in Jerusalem. Aquila and Priscilla remained in Ephesus, and Titus and Timothy returned to Paul from Corinth.

Second Visit (56 A.D.): Paul experienced a “painful” visit to Corinth.

* Shortly after this visit he wrote a third letter (also lost), sending it via Titus as a letter of “many tears,” pleading with the Corinthians to change their behavior. Some scholars believe that this letter of “tears” was either 1 Cor or 2 Cor 10-13.  

The First Epistle to the Corinthians, often referred to as First Corinthians (and written as 1 Corinthians), is the seventh book of the New Testament of the Bible.
Paul the Apostle and “Sosthenes our brother” wrote this epistle to “the church of God which is at Corinth”, in Greece.

This epistle contains some well-known phrases, including (depending on the translation) “all things to all men” (9:22), “without love, I am nothing” (13:2), “through a glass, darkly” (13:12), and “when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child” (13:11).

There is near consensus among historians and Christian theologians that Paul is the author of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, typically classifying its authorship as “undisputed” (see Authorship of the Pauline epistles).

The letter is quoted or mentioned by the earliest of sources, and is included in every ancient canon, including that of Marcion.

However, two passages may have been inserted at a later stage. The first passage is 1 Cor 11:2–16 dealing with praying and prophesying with head covering.

The second passage is 1 Cor 14:34–35 which has been hotly debated. Part of the reason for doubt is that in some manuscripts, the verses come at the end of the chapter instead of at its present location.

Furthermore, Paul is here appealing to the law which is uncharacteristic of him. Lastly, the verses come into conflict with 11:5 where women are described as praying and prophesying.

* Paul proceeded to the seaport of Troas in Asia, where he expected to meet Titus, who failed to arrive. Paul later found him in Macedonia. Titus reported some success with the Corinthians: The congregation had dealt with their offender, but their submission to Paul’s leadership had declined.

* Paul dispatched a fourth letter (probably 2 Cor) to Corinth via Titus, who oversaw the collection for Jerusalem and prepared for Paul’s visit. This letter was written approximately one year after 1 Corinthians. The churches throughout Macedonia donated generously for the needy in Jerusalem.

Third Visit: Paul stayed in Corinth for three months to finalize the collection and reconcile with the church. Priscilla and Aquila returned to Rome, while Timothy remained with Paul. The Achaean churches contributed for the poor in Jerusalem.

* Around 57-61 A.D. Paul delivered the relief gift in Jerusalem, after which he found himself imprisoned in Caesarea and Rome. In approximately 61 A.D. Paul was released from prison and set out once again to preach.

I have said many times that the Catholics are not true Christians.
Jesus is not the most important person to the Catholics, they have turned all of Jesus’ disciples into saints, His mother, as well as other people.

The above are Paul’s friends, Aquila and Priscilla, which the Catholics have turned into saints.

The Bible says not to worship anyone but God – https://biblereasons.com/praying-to-saints/

No wonder God hid Moses’ body, imagine what the Catholics would have done with that?

By the way, the primary Pope is and and always has been Satan.

…letter writing in the Greco-Roman World.

2 Corinthians 1 – The God of all Comfort & Corinth

I’m not a religious fanatic, I just research and report what I find.
The above picture makes it clear that President Obama is in opposition of the United States.

And when we get to the Book of Galatians I will show you why I stated that Washington D.C. is one of Satan’s home-away-from-homes.

The United States has a lot of Corinths, but I don’t know of any Pauls.  Such as Los Angeles (especially Hollywood), New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Seattle, Boston, etc.  And look at Corinth now. 

As they say, “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I would say their  destruction will come too.

I didn’t mention Washington D.C. and that’s because it’s not a Corinth, it’s one of the devil’s home-away-from-home.

Tomorrow we’ll look at…

2 Corinthians 1
The God of all Comfort

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

“Achaia” – Greece, as distinct from Macedonia in the north.

The Isthmus of Corinth has played a very important role in the history of Greece.
It is the only land bridge between the country’s north (Attica) and south (Peloponnese).

It separates the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Sea.

Populations, armies and commodities have got to move through it.

In the 6th century B.C., the Greeks built the Diolkos, to pull ships across the Isthmus on wooden cylinders and wheeled vehicles.

In 1882, a canal was started and completed 11 years later.

This ASTER image covers an area of 25.3 x 37.7 km, was acquired on May 9, 2005, and is centered near 37.9 degrees north latitude, 23 degrees east longitude.

2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

“Asia” – The Roman province of that name in western Asia Minor, now Turkish territory.  The precise location where Paul’s hardships occurred is not given, nor is the nature of affliction.

9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

Paul’s hardships were so life-threatening that he regarded his survival and recovery as tantamount to being raised from the dead.

“Trust…in God” – a key principle of this letter.  God’s grace is all-sufficient and our weakness is precisely the opportunity for His power to be displayed.

10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

The Isthmus of Corinth is the narrow land bridge which connects the Peloponnese peninsula with the rest of the mainland of Greece, near the city of Corinth.

The Isthmus was known in the ancient world as the landmark separating Peloponnese from mainland of Greece.

11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

13 For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end;

14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.

15 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;

16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea.

17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness?  Or he things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?

18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.

19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.

20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;

22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.

24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Corinth

Corinth is a city and former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Corinth, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It is the capital of Corinthia.

It was founded as Nea Korinthos or New Corinth in 1858 after an earthquake destroyed the existing settlement of Corinth, which had developed in and around the site of ancient Corinth.

The ancient city of Corinth lay on an isthmus between the Greek mainland and the Peloponnese, the southwestern corner of Greece.

The Isthmus was about 6,000 miles wide at its narrowest point, which led many to consider digging a canal there (a dream not realized until modern times).

Two harbors were nearby: Lechaeum to the north on the Gulf of Corinth, and Cenchrea to the south, on the Saronic Gulf.

Corinth’s location made the city a site of great strategic and economic importance.

Ships often preferred to sail into Corinth and transport their goods overland across the isthmus on the portage road rather than risk the wild seas around the Peloponnese.

This brought lively trade to the city—along with the vices often associated with bustling commercial centers. It is not surprising; therefore, that ancient Corinth became a byword for sexual immorality.

Corinth’s history may be divided into two distinct periods: its long duration as one of the major cities of classical Greek civilization and its subsequent years after the Roman conquest as a cosmopolitan crossroads.

The classical city was at one time a major player in the politics of Greece and was particularly important in the long history of competition between Athens and Sparta (Corinth was usually on the side of Sparta).

The Peloponnese is a large peninsula on the southernmost part of mainland Greece.
Its history dates back to the Bronze Age. Buses and rental cars provide the best options for seeing the region’s sites, such as Mycenae’s ancient theater, Sparta’s Archaeological Museum and the ancient ruins of Mystras, Olympia, Mycenae,

Corinth and Artemis Orthia. Held by the Turks and the Venetians until Greek independence in 1821, this center of ancient Greece is also justly famous for traditional Greek dancing.

Later, as head of the Achaean League (a coalition of Greek cities), it led resistance to Roman aggression.

Its role as host of the Isthmian games (second only to the Olympic Games in prestige) greatly enhanced Corinth’s ancient status.

This city, however, was destroyed in 146 B.C. by the Roman general Lucius Mummius. While some inhabitants stayed in the vicinity of Corinth, the city did not rise to prominence again until 44 B.C., when Julius Caesar refounded it as a Roman colony.

The new city was Roman in its administration and architecture, with the majority of its settlers being freedmen. The natural advantages of the site, coupled with the entrepreneurial vigor of the freedmen, soon led to renewed prosperity.

The Corinth of the New Testament era was reputed to be one of the most beautiful cities of the Greco-Roman world. Its importance in trade and its status as a Roman administrative center made Corinth a significant city in Paul’s day.

Corinth had a mixed, cosmopolitan populace, as reflected in its many religious shrines:

* Visitors to Corinth can still find archaeological evidence of votive offerings made to Asdepius, the god of medicine, in gratitude for healings. These offerings were clay models of body parts (often arms, legs or sexual organs) the god had supposedly healed, hung around the temple as tributes to Asclepius.

* Corinth was home to a famous temple to Aphrodite that supposedly employed 1,000 temple-prostitutes. While this number may be an exaggeration, scholars can hardly doubt that this port city supported a thriving prostitution industry, probably centered on such a shrine.

Peloponnese is the most popular region of the Greek mainland in terms of tourism.
The close distance to Athens, the beautiful resorts and the interesting sightseeing attract many visitors to Peloponnese Greece all year round.

Historically, it has been the main field of action for Greece since the prehistoric times. In fact, it hosts the most important archaeological sites of Greece, including Olympia, Epidaurus and Mycenae.

Surrounded by sea from all sides, the region provides amazing beaches. The most famous areas include Nafplion, Gythio, Monemvasia and Pylos.

This Peloponnese travel guide will give you all the necessary information to organize your holiday.

* There were also temples to other Greek gods, such as to Poseidon, god of the sea (appropriate for a port city), and to Demeter and Kore, goddesses of an ancient Greek fertility cult.

* The cosmopolitan nature of Corinth is reflected in the fact that it also had numerousslaces of worship for foreign deities, such as a shrine to the Egyptian goddess Isis—as well as a Jewish synagogue.

With its cultural diversity, wealth, paganism and infamous debauchery, Corinth was perhaps not the place onlookers would have expected the church to flourish.

Yet it was precisely here that Paul enjoyed one of his most successful ministries—and also here that he experienced some of his greatest challenges with early converts to Christianity.

…Paul’s visits and letter to Corinth.

1 Corinthians 16 – The Collection for the Poor & Collection for the Poor Saints

We live in a very selfish and greedy world.  Throughout the world, and certainly in the United States which I have seen, the poor will give more to the poor than the rich will.

In the end the rich will be very sorry for their greed, as Jesus clearly pointed out more than once:

“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mk 12:41-44). 

“And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matt 19:24).

This is the last chapter here so tomorrow we’ll start with…

1 Corinthians 16
The Collection for the Poor

1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

“Churches of Galatia” – the fact that the Galatian and Macedonian churches are involved, along with the Corinthians, indicate4s that the collection of this offering was quite widespread. 

The Jerusalem saints may have become poverty-stricken because of the famine recorded in Acts 11:28 (c. 44 or 46 A.D.) or because of the persecution of Jerusalem Christians.

2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Amphitheater in Philipi

“Upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by him in store” – every Sunday each person was to bring what he had set aside for the Lord’s work – an amount proportionate to his income.  Since it was to be brought on Sunday, the new day for worship (cf. Acts 20:2; Rev 1:10).

Probably it was collected at the worship service, not at home.  Justin Martyr indicated (in his Apology, 1.67-68) that in his time (c. 150 A.D.) offerings were brought to the church on Sundays.

3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

For proper financial accountability and responsibility thee approved men would act as auditors and guardians of the funds the Corinthians gave.

Philippian Jail
This traditional place of Paul and Silas’s imprisonment is of dubious authenticity, but it remembers the attack on these men and their subsequent flogging and imprisonment.

In the course of the night, a violent earthquake shook the prison and the jailer feared that all might have escaped. After learning that none had fled, the Philippian jailer put his faith in Christ and was baptized with his family.

4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

5 Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.

“When I shall pass through Macedonia” – after leaving Ephesus where he was when he wrote 1 Corinthians, Paul planned to go up to Macedonia, no doubt to visit the Philippians and others in northern Greece, and then to Corinth.

He had originally planned to go to Corinth first and then to Macedonia but thought it best to change his plans (see 2 Cor 1:12-24).

6 And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.

“Winter with you” – probably the three-month stay in Greece mentioned in Acts 20:3.

7 For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.

8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.

9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

“Many adversaries” – probably a reference to the pagan craftsmen who made the silver shrines of Artemis and to the general populace whom they had stirred up.

10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.

View of Ancient Philippi

11 Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.

12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.

13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

14 Let all your things be done with charity.

15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

Thessalonica was the principle city and primary port of Macedonia in what today is Greece.

It was founded in 316 B.C. during the reign of Alexander the Great. It became an important city under Roman rule as well in 146 B.C.

It was located at the junction of the main land route from Italy to the East and the main route from the Danube down to the Aegean Sea.

“House of Stephanas” – evidently the Corinthians had little respect for this household that Paul had baptized (1:16).  They were among the first converts in Achaia (Greece), along with the few individuals in Athens who had believed a short time earlier.

16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to everyone that helpeth with us, and laboureth.

17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.

18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.

19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

“Aquila and Priscilla” – they had helped Paul found the church at Corinth (Acts 18:1-4).

20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with a holy kiss.

“A holy kiss” – the kiss of mutual respect and love in the Lord was evidently the public practice of early Christians – from a practice that was customary in the ancient East.

21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.

22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

“Maran-atha” – an expression meaning “O Lord come!”, used by the early church as a cry that the second coming of Christ may soon take place.

23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Collection for the Poor Saints

Near the end of Paul’s ministry he took up a collection for the poor of the Jerusalem church. Why the Jerusalem church had so much poverty is not clear.

The ruins of a Roman fountain in ancient Corinth.

The Jews in Jerusalem may have isolated Christian Jews from the economic system. Paul and Barnabas promised to help (Gal 2:1-10 ). This money was collected by Paul from the Gentile churches which he administered.

These included churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, and Galatia. He mentioned this offering on three occasions in his letters.

In 1 Cor 16:1-4, Paul indicated that he wanted the church to put something aside on the first day of each week.

In 2 Cor 8-9, Paul wrote that the churches of Macedonia had given liberally and Titus would oversee the completion of the offering in Corinth.

Finally, in Rom 15:25, Paul stated that at the present time he was going to Jerusalem to deliver the gift. A sense of spiritual indebtedness to the founding church in Jerusalem prompted the offering.

Egnatian Way
The Via Egnatia was built beginning in 145 BC and at its greatest extent connected Byzantium with the Adriatic ports.

This route was Rome’s primary artery to the east and Philippi was an important outpost along the road.

The Egnatian Way made it easier for Rome to move troops throughout the empire and it was the route that Paul traveled on from Neapolis to Philippi, Amphipolis, Apollonia and Thessalonica.

Luke never mentioned the offering specifically in Acts. There is a list of men in Acts 20:4 who accompanied Paul to Jerusalem. (This trip corresponds to the plans of Rom 15:25.)

The importance of this offering for Paul was twofold. First, the offering met an economic need in Jerusalem. Political instability and general economic depression were problems in Palestine.

There were dependent widows (Acts 6:1), and the sharing of property offered only temporary relief (Acts 4:32-37). For this reason Paul was anxious to “remember the poor” (Gal 2:10).

Second, the offering had a theological importance for Paul. The fact that the Gentiles were willing to aid the Jews in this manner validated Paul’s Gentile mission.

The offering was evidence that in the Christian family there was neither “Jew nor Greek” (Gal 3:28).

…the Book of 2 Corinthians.