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A dictionary of the Bible; comprising its antiquities, biography, geography, and natural history online

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The plant called Coriandrum sativum is found in
Egypt, Pei"sia, and India (Plin. xx. 82), and has a
round tall stalk; it beai's umbelliferous white or
reddish flowers, from which arise globular, greyish,
spicy seed-corns, marked with fine striae. It is
much cultivated in the south of Europe, as its seeds
are used by confectioners and druggists. The Cai'-
thaginians called it yoiB = ^5 (Dioscorid. iii. 64).

The etymology is uncertain, though it is not impos-
sible that the striated appeai'ance of the seed-vessels
may have suggested a name derived from 1*15, to cut

(Ges.). It is mentioned twice in the Bible (Ex. xvi.
31 ; Num. xi, 7). In both passages the manna is
likened to coriander-seed as to' form, and in the
fonner passage as to colour also. [W. D.]

CORINTH {KSpLvOos). This city is alike
remarkable for its distinctive geographical position,
its eminence in Greek and Roman histoiy, and its
close connexion with the eaidy spread of Christianity.

Geographically its situation was so marked, that
the name of its Isthmus has been given to every
naiTow neck of land between two seas. Thus it
was " the bridge of the sea" (Pind. Nem, vi. 44)
and " the gate of the P&loponnesus," (Xen. Ages. 2).
No invaduig army could enter the Morea by land
except by this way, and, without forcing some of the
defences which have been raised from one sea to the
other at various intervals between the gi-eat Persian
war and the recent straggles of the Turks with the
modern Greeks, .or with the Venetians. But,
besides this, the site of Corinth is distinguished by


another conspicuous physical feature — viz. the
Aerocorinthns, a vast citade) of rock, which rises
abruptly to the height of 2000 feet above the level
of the sea, and the summit of which is so extensive
that it once contained a whole town. The view
from this eminence is one of the most celebrated in
the world. Besides the mountains of the Morea, it
embraces those on the northern shore of the Corin-
thian gulf, with the snowy heights of Parnassus con-
spicuous above the rest. To the east is the Sarqnic
gulf, with its islands, and the hills I'ound Athens,
the Acropolis itself being distinctly visible at a dis-
tance of 45 miles. Immediately below the Acro-
corinthus, to the north, was the city of Corinth, on
a table-land descending in ten-aces to the low plain,
which lies between Cenchreae, the harbour on the
Saronic, and Lechaeum, the harbour on the Corin-
thian gulf.

The situation of Corinth, and the possession of
these eastern and western harboui-s, are the secrets
of her history. The earliest passage in her progress
to eminence was probably Phoenician. But at the
most remote period of which we have any sure
record we tind the Gi'eeks established here in a
position of wealth (Hom. 11. ii. 570; Pind. 01.
xiii. 4), and military strength (Thucyd. i. 13).
Some of the earliest efforts of Greek ship-building
are connected with Corinth ; and her colonies to the
westward wei'e among thefii-st and most flourishing
sent out from Greece. So too in the latest pas-
sages of Greek history, in the stniggles with Mace-
donia and Rome, Corinth held a conspicuous place.
Afler the battle of Chaeronea (B.C. 338) the Mace-
donian kings placed a garrison in the Acrocoiinthus.
Afler the battle of Cynoscephalae (B.C. 197) it was
occupied by a Roman garrison. Corinth, however,
was constituted the head of the Achaean league.
Here the Roman ambassadoi's were maltreated; and
the consequence was the utter ruin and destruction
of the city.

It is not the true Greek Corinth with wliich we
have to do in the life of St. Paul, but the Corinth
which was rebuilt and established as a Roman
colony. The distinction between the two must be
carefully remembered. A period of a hundred
years intervened, during which the place was
almost utterly desolate. The merchants of the
Isthmus retired to Delos. The presidency of the
Isthmian games was given to the people of Sicyon.
Corinth seemed blotted from the map; till Julius
Caesar refounded the city, which thenceforth was
called Colonia-Julia Corinthus. The new city was
hardly less distinguished than the old, and it
acquired a fresh importance as the metropolis of the
Roman province of Achata. We find GalliO,
brother of the philosopher Seneca, exercising the
functions of proconsul here (Achaia was a senatorial
province) during St. Paul's first residence at
Corinth, in the reign of Claudius.

This residence continued for a year and six
months, and the circumstances, which occun'ed
during the course of it, are related at some length
(Acts xvili. 1-18). St. Paul had recently passed
through Macedonia. He came to Corinth from
Athens ; shortly after his anival Silas and Timo-
theus came from Macedonia and rejoined him ; and
about this time the two epistles to the Thessa^
lonians were ritten (probably a.d. 62 or 53). It
was at Corinth that the apostle .first became ac-
quainted with Aquila and Priscilla, — and shortly
after his departure Apollos came to this city from
Ephesus (Acts xviii. 27).



Corinth was a place of great mental activity, as
well as of commercial and manufactuiingentei-prise.
Its wealth was so celebrated as to be proverbial ;
so were the vice and profligacy of its inhabitants.
The worship of Venus here was attended with
shameful licentiousness. All these points are in-
directly illustrated by passages in the two epistles,
to the Corinthians, which were written (probably
A.d. 57) the first from Ephesus, the second from
Macedonia, shortly before the second visit to ■
Corinth, which is briefly stated (Acts xx. 3) to have
lasted three months. During this visit (probably
A.D, 58) the epistle to the Romans was written.
From the three epistles last mentioned, compai'ed
with Acts xxiv. 17, we gather that St. Paul was
much occupied at this time with a collection for the
poor Christians at Jerusalem.

There are good reasons for believing that when
St. Paul was at Ephesus (a.d. 57) he wrote to the
Corinthians an epistle which has not been preseiT^ed
(see below, p. 355, 6) ; and it is almost certain that
about the same time a short visit was paid to Corinth,
of which no account is given in the Acts.

It has been well observed that the gi'eat number
of Latin names of persons mentioned in the epistle
to the Romans is in hannony with what we knew
of the colonial origin of a large part of the popula-
tion of Coiinth. From Acts xviii. we may conclude
that there were many Jewish converts in the
Corinthian church, though it would appear (1 Cor.
xii. 2) that the Gentiles predominated. On the
other hand it is evident from the whole tenor of
botn epistles that the Judaising element was very
strong at Corinth. Paiiy-spirit also was cxtiemely
prevalent, the names of Paul, Peter, and Apollos
being used as the watchwords of restless Actions
Among the eminent Christians who lived at Corinth
were Stephanas (1 Cor. i. 16, xvi. 15, 17), Crispus
(Acts xviii. 8; 1 Cor. i. 14), Caius (Rom. xvi.
23; 1 Cor. i. 14), and Erastus (Kom. xvi. 23; 2
Tim. iv, 20). The epistles of Clement to the
.Corinthians are among the most interesting of the
post-apostolic writings. Corinth is still an episcopal
see. The cathedral church of St. Nicolas, " a veiy
mean place for such an ecclesiastical dignity," used
in Turkish times to be in the Acrocorinthus. The
city has now shrunk to a wretched village, on the
old site, and bearing the old name, which, however,
is often coiTupted into Gortho.

Pausanias,in describing the antiquities of Corinth
as they existed in his day, distinguishes cleaily
between those which belonged to the old Greek
city, and those which were of Roman origin. Two
i-elics of Roman work are still to be seen, one a
heap of brick-work which may have been part of
the baths erected by Hadrian, the other the remains
of an amphitheatre with subterranean arrangements
for gladiatoi-s. Far more interesting are the ruins
of the ancient Greek temple, — the '* old columns,
which have looked down on the rise, the prosperity
and the desolation of two [in fact, three] successive
Corinths." At the time of Wheler's visit in 1676
twelve columns were standing: before 1795 they
were reduced to five ; and further injury has very
recently been inflicted by an earthquake. It is
believed that this temple is the oldest of which any
remains are left in Greece. The fountain of
Peirene, *' full of sweet and clear water," as it is
described by Strabo, is still to be seen in the Acro-
corinthus, as well as the fountains in the lower
city, of which it was supposed by him and Pausanias
to be the source. The walls on the Acrocorinthus

2 A



were in part erected by the Venetians, who held
Corinth for twenty-five years in the 17th century.
This city and its' neighbourhood have been de-
cribed by many travellers, but we iftast especially
refer to Leake's Morea, iii. 229-304 (London,
1830), and his Peloponnesiaca, p. 392 (London,
184G), Curtius, Peloponnesos, ii. p. 514 (Gotha,
1831-1852); Clark, Peloponnesus, ^^. 42-Ql (Lon-
don, 1858). There are four Gei-man monographs
on the subject, Wilckens, Rerwn Corinthiacarum
specimen ad iUiistrationem utriusque Epistolae
PauUnae, Bremen, 1747 ; Walch, Antiquitates
CorintHiacae, Jena, 1761 ; Wagner, Eerum Co-
rinthiacarum specimen, Darmstadt, 1824 ; Barth,
"Corinthiorum Commercii et Mercaturae Historiae
^ariicw^ct, Berlin, 1844.

This article would be incomplete without some
notice of the Posidonium, or sanctuary of Neptune,
the scene of the Isthmian games, from which St.
Paul borrows some of his most striking imageiy in
1 Cor. and other epistles. This sanctuary was a
■short distance to the N.E. of Corinth, at the nar-
nowest part of the Isthmus, near the harbour of
Schoenus (now Kalamdki) . on the Saronic gulf.
The wall of the inclosure can still be traced. It is
of an irregular shape, determined by the fonn of a
natural platform at the edge of a ravine. The
fortifications of the Isthmus followed this ravine
and abutted at the east upon the inclosure of the
sanctuary, which thus served a military as well as
a rehgious pm-pose. The exact site of the temple
is doubtful, and none of the objects of interest
remain, which Pausanias describes as seen by him
within the inclosure: but to the south are the
remains of the stadium, where the foot-races were
run (1 Cor. ix. 24) : to the east are those of the
theatre, which was probably the scene of the
pugilistic contests (ib. 26) : and abundant on the
shore are the small green pine-trees {irevKat) which
gave the fading wreath (ib. 25) to the victors in
the games. An inscription found here in 1676
(now removed to Verona) affords a valuable illus-.
tration of the interest taken in these games in
Roman times (Boeckh, No. 1104). The French
map of the Morea does not include the Isthmus ;
so that, till recently, Col. Leake's sketch (repro-
duced by Curtius) has been the only tx-ustworthy
representation of the scene of the Isthmian games.
But the ground has been more minutely examined
by Mr. Clark, who gives us a more exact plan. In
the immediate neighbourhood of this sanctuary are
the traces of the canal, which was begun and dis-
continued by Nero about the time of St. Paul's
first visit to Corinth. [J. S. H.]

Didmchm of Corinth (Atlio talpntl. Obv., Hcod of Minerva, to
right. Rov., Pcgoaus, to nj^ht; below, ij),

THE, was written by the Apostle St. Paul toward
the close of his nearly three-year stay at Ephesus
(Acts six. 10, XX. 31 ; see the Subscription in B
and in Copt. Vers.), which we learn from 1 Cor.
xvi. 8, probably tenninated with the Pentecost of
A.D, 57 or 58. Some supposed allusions to the


passover in ch. v. 7, 8, have led recent critics (see
Meyer in he), not without a show of probability,
to fix upon Easter as the exact time of composition.
The bearers were probably (according to the common
subscription) Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus,
who had been recently sent to the Apostle, and
who, -in the conclusion of this epistle (ch. xvi. 17),
are especially commended to the honoui'able regai-d
of the church of Corinth.

This varied and highly characteristic letter was
addressed not to any party, but to the whole body
of the large (Acts xviii. 8, 10) J udaeo-G entile
(Acts xviii. 4) church of Corinth, and appears to
have been called forth, 1st, by the information the
Apostle' had received from members of the house-
hold of Chloe (ch. i. 1 1), of the divisions that were
existing among them, which were of so grave a
nature as to have already induced the Apostle to
desire Timothy to visit Corinth (ch. iv. 17) after
his journey to Macedonia (Acts x'lx. 22) ; 2ndly,
by the information he had received of a grievous
case of incest (ch, v. 1), and of the defective state
of the Corinthian converts, not only in regard of
general habits (ch. vi. 1, sq.) and church discipline
(ch. xi. 20, sq.), but, as it would also seem, of doc-
trine (ch. XV.); 3rdly, by the inquiiies that had
been specially addressed to St. Paul by the church
of Corinth on several matters relating to Chi-istian

The contents of this epistle ai'e thus extremely
varied, and in the present article almost preclude a
more specific analysis than we here subjoin. The
Apostle opens with his usual salutation and with an
expression of thankfulness for their general state of
Christian progress (ch. i. 1-9). He then at once
passes on to the lamentable divisions there were
among them, and incidentally justifies his own con-
duct and mode of preaching (ch. i. 10, iv. 16), con-
cluding with a notice of the mission of Timothy,
and of an intended authoritative visit on his own
part (ch. iv. 17-21). The Apostle next deals with
the case of incest that had taken place among them,
and had provoked no censure (ch. v. 1-8), noticing,
as he passes, some previous remarks he had made
upon not keeping company with fonucatoi-s (ch. v.
9-13). He then comments on their evil practice of
litigation before heathen tribunals (ch. vi. 1-8), and
again reverts to the plague-spot in Corinthian life,
fornication and uncleanness (ch. vi. 9-20). Tiie
last subject naturally paves the way for his answere
to their inquiries about mai'riage (ch. vii. 1-24),
and about the celibacy of virgins and widows (ch.
vii. 25-40). The Apostle next makes a ti-ansition
to the subject of the lawfulness of eating things
sacrificed to idols, and Christian fi-eedom generally
(ch. viii.), which leads, not unnaturally, to a di-
gression on the manner in which he waved his
Apostolic privileges, and performed his Apostolic
duties (ch. ix.). He then reverts to and concludes
the subject of the use of things offered to idols (ch.
x.-xi. 1), and passes onward to reprove his converts
for their behaviour in the assemblies of tlie church,
both in respect to women prophesying and praying
with uncovered heads (ch, xi. 2-16), and also their
great irregularities in the celebration of the Lord's
Supper (ch. xi. 17-34), Then follow full and
minute instructions on the exercise of spiritual gifts
(ch. xii.-xiv.), in which is included the noble pane-
gyric of charity (ch. xiii.), and further a defence of
the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, about
which doubts and difficulties appeal' to have ai'isen
in this unhappily divided church (ch. xv.). The


epistle closes with some directions concerning the
contributions for the saints at Jerusalem (ch. xvi.
1-4), biief notices of his own intended movements
(ch. xvi. 5-9), commendation to them of Timotliy
and others (ch. xvi. 10-18), greetings from the
churches (ch. xvi. 19, 20), and an autogi'aph saluta-
tion and benediction (ch. xvi. 21-24).

With regai-d to the genuineness and authentic it y
of this epistle no doubt has ever been entertained.
The external evidences (Clem. Rom. ad Cor. ch. 47,
49; Polycarp, ad Fhil. ch. 11 ; Ignat. ad Epli. ch.
2 ; Irenaeus, Haer. iii. 11. 9, iv. 27. 3 ; Athenag.
de Mesurr, p. 61, ed. Col. ; Clem. Alex. Faedag.
i. 33; Tei-tuU. de Praescr. ch. 33) are extremely
distinct, and the character of the composition such,
that if any critic should hereatter be hold enough
to question the con-ectness of the ascription, he must
he prepaied to extend it to all the epistles that bear
the name of the great Apostle. The baseless as-
sumption of Bolten and Beitholdt that this epistle
is a translation of an Aramaic original requires no
confutation. See fuither testimonies in Lardner,
Credibility, ii. 36, sq. 8vo, and Davidson, Intro-
duction, ii. 253, sq.

Two special points deseiTe sepai-ate consideration :
1. The state of parties at Corinth at the time
of the Apostle's wnting. On this much has been
written, and, it does not seem too much to say,
more ingenuity displayed than sound and sober
ci-jticism. The tew facts supplied to us by the
Acts of the Apostles, and the notices in the epistle,
appear to be as follows : — The Corinthian church
was planted by the Apostle himself (1 Cor. iii. 6),
in his second missionary journey, after his departui'e
from Athens (Acts xviil. 1, sq.). He abode in the
city a year and a half (ch, xviii. 11), at first in the
house of Aquila and Priscilla (ch. xviii. 3), and
afterwards, apparently to mark emphatically the
factious nature of the conduct of the Jews, in the
house of the proselyte Justus. A shoi-t time after
the Apostle had left the city the eloquent Jew of
Alexandria, Apollos, after having received, when at
Ephesus, more exact instraction in the Gospel from
Aquila and Priscilla, went to Corinth (Acts xix. 1),
where he preached, as we may perhaps infer from
St. Paul's comments on his own mode of preaching,
in a manner marked by unusual eloquence and
pei-suasiveness (comp. ch. ii. 1, 4). There is, how-
ever, no reason for concluding that the substance of
the teaching was in any respect different from that
of St. Paul; for see ch. 'i. 18, xvi. 12. This cir-
cumstance of the visit of Apollos, owing to the
sensuous and carnal spirit wliich marked the. church
of Corinth, appears to have formed the commence-
ment of a gradual division into two pai*ties, the
followers of St. Paul, and the followers of Apollos
(comp. ch. iv. 6). These divisions, however, were
to be multiplied ; for, as it would seem, shoiily
after the depai-ture of Apollos,. Judaizing teachers,
supplied probably with letters of commendation
(2 Cor. iii. 1) irom the church of Jerusalem, appear
to have come to Coi'inth and to have preached the
Gospel in a spirit of direct antagonism to St. Paul
personally, in every way seeking to depress his
claims to be considered an AjDostle (1 Cor. xi. 2),
and to exalt those of the Twelve, and perhaps
especially of St. Peter (ch. i. 3 2). To this third
party, which appears to liave been chai'acterized by
a spirit of excessive bitterness and faction, we may
perhaps add a foui-th that, under the name of " the
followers of Christ" (ch. i. 12), sought :it first to
separate themselves from the factious adherence to



particular teachers, but eventually were driven by
imtagonism into positions equally sectarian and
inimical to the unity of the church. At this mo-
mentous period, before parties had become con-
solidated, and had distinctly withdrawn from com-
munion with one another, the Apostle writes; and
in the outset of the epistle (ch. i.-iv, 21) we have
his noble and impassioned piotest against this four-
fold rending of the robe of Christ, This spirit of
divisiofl appears, by the good providence of God,
to have eventually yielded to His Apostle's rebuke,
as it is noticeable that Clement of Kome, in his
epistle to this church (ch. 47), alludes to these
evils as long past, and as but slight compai-ed to
those which existed in his own time. For further
infbimation, beside tliat contained in the writings
of Keander, Davidson, Conybeare and Howson, and
others, the student may be refened to the special
treiitises of Schenkel, de Eccl. Cor. (Basel, 1838),
Kuiewel, Eccl. Cor. Dissensiones (Gedan. 1841),
Becker, Partlieiungen in die Geineinde z. Kor.
(Altona, 1841), l^biger, Ent. Untersuch. (Bresl,
1847); but he cannot be too emphatically warned
against that tendency to construct a definite history
out of the fewest possible facts, that marks most ot
these discussions.

2, 2'he number of epistles written by St, Paul to
the Corinthian church. This will probably lemaiu
a subject of controvei-sy to the end oP time. On
the one side we have the a priori objections thut an
epistle of St. Paul should have ever been lost to
the church of Christ ; on the other we have certain
expressions which seem inexplicable on any other
hypothesis. As it seems our duty here to express
an opinion, we may briefly say that the well known
words, e-ypai^a vyuv iv ry iirt(rro\-^, fi^ (ruvava-
fiiyvvaOai irSpvots (ch. v, 9)i do certainly seem to
point to some fomier epistolary communication to
the church of Corinth — not from Imguistic, but from
simple exegetical considerations: for it does seem
impossible either to refer the definite fir} cvvavafxiyv .
K. T. A., to what has preceded in ver. 2 or ver. 6, or
to conceive that the words refer to the command
which the Apostle is now giving for the first time.
The whole context seems in favour of a former
command given to the Coi-inthians, but interpreted
by them so literally as here to require further ex-
planation. It is not right to suppress the fact that
the Gieek commentators ai-e of the contrary opinion,
nor must we overlook the objection that no notice
has been taken of the lost epistle by any writers of
antiquity. Against this last objection it may pei-
haps be urged that the letter might have been so
short, and so distinctly occupied with specific di-
rections to this particular church, as never to have
gained circulation beyond it. Our present epistles,
it should be remembered, are not addiessed exclu-
sively to the Christians at Corinth (see 1 Cor, i. 2 ;
2 Cor. i. 1). A special treatise on this subject (in
opposition, however, to the view here taken), and
the number of St. Paul's journeys to Corinth, has
been written by Miiller, de Tribus Pauli Itin., 4'c.
(Basil, 1831).

The apocryphal letter of the church of Corinth
to St. Paul, and St. Paul's answer, existing in
Armenian, are worthless productions that deserA^e
no consideration, but may be alluded to only as
perhaps atlbrding some slight evidence of an early
belief that the Apostle had written to his converts
more than twice. The original Annenian, with a
translation, will be found in Aucher, Arm. Gram-
mar, p. 143-161.

2 A 2



The editions of these epistles have been some-
what numerous. Among the best are those of
Billroth (Leipz. 1833), Riickert (Leipz. 1836),
Olshausen (Konigsb. 1840), De Wette (Leipz.
1845), Osiander(Stuttg. 1847), Meyer (1845), and
in our own country, Peile (Lend. 1848), Alford
(Load. 1856),and Stanley (Lend. 1858). [C.J.E.]

THE, was written a few months subsequently to
the first, in the same year, — and thus, if the dates
assigned to the former epistle be correct, about the
autumn of A.D. 57 or 58, a short time previous to
the Apostle's thi'ee months' stay in Achaia (Acts
XX. 3). The place whence it was written was
clearly not Ephesus (see ch. i. 8), but Macedonia
(ch. vii. 5, viii. 1, ix. 2), whither the Apostle went
by way of Troas (ch. ii. 12), after waiting a short
time in the latter place for the return of Titus
(ch. ii. 13). The Vatican MS., the bulk of later
MSS., and the old Syr. version, assign Philippi as
the exact place whence it was written ; but for this
asseHion we have no certain grounds to rely on :
that the bearers, however, were Titus and his
associates (Luke?) is apparently substantiated by
■ ch. viii. 23, ix. 3, 5.

The epistle was occasioned by the information
which the Apostle had received from Titus, and
also, as it .would certainly seem probable, from
Timothy^ of the reception of the first epistle. It
has indeed recently been doubted by Neander,
Be Wette, and others, whether Timothy, who had
been definitely sent to Corinth (1 Cor. iv. 17) by
way of Macedonia (Acts xix. 22), really reached his
destination (comp. 1 Cor. xvi. 10) ; and it has been
urged that the mission of Timothy would hardly
have been left unnoticed in 2 Cor. xii. 17, 18 (see
Riickert, Comm. p. 409). To this, however, it
has been replied, apparently convincingly, that as
Timothy is an associate in writing the epistle, any
notice of his own mission in the third pei"son would

Online LibraryWilliam SmithA dictionary of the Bible; comprising its antiquities, biography, geography, and natural history → online text (page 93 of 316)