Corinth, was an ancient city of Greece, and in many ways, the most prominent Greek metropolis of Paul’s time. Similar to many of today’s prosperous cities, Corinth was intellectually arrogant, materially affluent, and morally corrupt. Sin of every kind flourished in this sensual city.
Paul first visited the city in 49 or 50 AD. In conjunction with Priscilla and Aquila (16:19) and his own apostolic team (Acts 18:5), Paul founded the Corinthian church during his 18 month ministry at Corinth during his second missionary journey (Acts 18:1-17). The church was composed of Jews, but mostly of ex-pagen Gentiles. In AD 51/52, Gallio presided over the trial of the Apostle Paul in Corinth. Paul spent 18 months in the city before the Jews of the city charged him with breaking the law and brought him before Gallio at the city’s place of judgment (bema). Paul was not charged as Gallio said he was breaking Jewish law and his actions were not criminal. After Paul left Corinth, an array of problems came about in the young church, requiring Paul apostolic authority and teaching by written correspondence and personal visits.
The first letter to the Corinthians was written during his 3 year ministry at Ephesus (Acts 20:31) on his third missionary journey (Acts 18:23-21:16). News reached Paul at Ephesus about the problems at Corinth ( (1 Cor 1:11); afterwards a delegation from the Corinthian congregation (16:17) delivered a letter to Paul, requesting his instruction on a variety of issues. In response to the reports and the letter from Corinth, Paul wrote this letter.
Corinth was a large and important city of Greece, with a population of 90,000 in 400 BC. The Romans demolished Corinth in 146 BC, built a new city in its place in 44 BC, and later made it the provincial capital of Greece.
Why was establishing a church in Corinth important? As mentioned Corinth was considered one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire. This means people were coming in and out of this city and then going out to other various places in the empire. The word of God would then spread throughout the Empire and later throughout the world.
So many times, we don’t think that what we think are random events, mean anything. When really God is working to spread His Word.