We first met the Corinthians in Acts 18, where we read about Paul planting the church. As usual, he began by preaching in the Jewish synagogue, but found this to be a very hostile environment. However, amongst the opposition, a local church was formed, including Crispus, the synagogue leader.
After spending a year and a half in Corinth, Paul moved on to Ephesus, while Apollos continued the work there. A correspondence then began between Paul and the church. We know that Paul wrote at least one letter prior to 1 Corinthians, which seems to have been misunderstood by the church (1 Corinthians 5:9). Their replies to him, reporting quarrels and complex pastoral issues, prompt him to write 1 Corinthians. Reading between the lines, the Corinthians are not in great shape, but Paul is still able to give thanks for them and his confidence that God will keep them “firm to the end” (1 Corinthians 1:8) has not been shaken.
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