Corinth (according to Richard Hays in Interpretation: 1 Corinthians)
Prosperous commercial cross roads city.
Hosted Isthmian Games, an athletics festival that rivaled the Olympics.
Destroyed by Rome, and rebuilt
A growing, upwardly mobile city re-colonized by Rome within a couple generations of Paul’s visit.
Laws of Corinth were particularly favorable to upward mobility (e.g. Freedmen could have important roles in government)
Housed a large Temple to Athena (goddess of wisdom)
Paul (according to Richard Hays in Interpretation: 1 Corinthians)
Left city in 51 CE.
Established church in Gentile community, included slaves, freedmen and some rich merchants.
Letter probably written 53-55 CE.
Received a report from “Chloe’s people” about divisions (1:11).
Received a letter from the Corinthians seeking guidance (7:1f).
Paul “sees the members of the Corinthian church as standing… at a moment of crisis and testing. Will they heed Paul’s words and recover… Or will their community disintegrate” (p 6)
For more background and overview on 1 Corinthians see Enter the Bible