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Barnett on Paul’s Corinthian Years

What was the time span of Paul’s ‘Corinthian’ years?

According to the surviving letters there were three visits, although the Acts mentions only two.  Interspersed between the three visits were four letters (assuming Second Corinthians was a single letter – about which I will say more shortly).

Visit 1 Acts 18:1-18

Letter 1 (‘previous’) 1 Cor. 5:9

Letter 2 (First Corinthians)

Visit 2 (‘painful’) 2 Cor. 2:1

Letter 3 (‘tearful’) 2 Cor. 2:3-4; 7:8, 12; 10:8-11

Letter 4 (Second Corinthians)

Visit 3 Acts 20:2-3

The following information from Acts helps us work out the sequence and chronology:

Acts                                                                                    AD

18:11                  1.5 plus years in Corinth                  50-52

19:10; 20:31    2-3    years in Ephesus                      53-55

20:2-3               3   months in Corinth (‘Greece’)      56/57


Read the full article from Dr Paul Barnett’s Macquarie University Society for the Study of Early Christianity presentation (given 9 August 2011) here.

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