For two years St. Paul settled in Corinth, which was the most wicked city in the ancient world. As you know, the Peloponnesus, which was the bottom third of the Grecian peninsula, was joined to the two-thirds of the country to the north by a narrow strip, a three-miles-wide isthmus. It, wasn’t until 1881 that a three-mile-long canal was blasted through the solid rock of the isthmus, opening a route between the Aegean to the east and the Adriatic Sea to the west.
So, in Paul’s time, Corinth was a port to the east, and another to the west. That doubled the loose living that goes on in sailors’ towns. It had exotic cargos from the Orient unloaded at the astern port on the Aegean, then carted three miles through town to the western port on the Adriatic, from where they were shipped off to Venice. Over the years the officials had all but given up on preventing the pilfering of goods carted from one port to the other.
The superstitious sailors felt that their safe voyages could only be secured by their making offerings to their gods. For combining that belief with satisfying their baser needs, Corinth provided the sailors with thousands of temple prostitutes. On all shores of the Mediterranean prostitutes were known as Corinthian girls.
One might think of Corinth as the most unlikely place for Paul to settle, and yet the Lord came to him in a dream, saying, “Do not fear, I have many people in this place.”
There is a lesson for us in that. Our newspapers and news broadcasts by their specializing in reporting crimes and disasters, lead us to imagine our streets to be unsafe. The newspapers and television aren’t lying to us. Bad things really do happen, but evil is not endemic in our streets.
I am eighty-five, and I have never been accosted or molested. I have a friend who holds classes in our jail where she is edified by those people who long for lives where they can teach good manners to their children.