Bruce, F.F. The Book of Acts Revised. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988. Kindle Electronic Edition. “V. Paul Leaves Antioch and Moves to the Aegean World (15:36-19:20).” “D. Corinth (18:1-17)” pp. 345-354.
After Paul’s time in Athens he continued to Corinth. Bruce provides a brief description of Corinth (Bruce 1988, 345). It is located on an isthmus and control a port at each side of the land form. After being leveled in 146 B.C., the city was rebuilt in 44 B.C., becoming an administrative headquarters in 27 B.C. By the time of Paul it had again become an important city. In Corinth, Paul formed a relationship with Aquila and Priscilla, who were tent makers, as was Paul by training (Bruce 1988, 346). Shortly beforehand, Jews had been expelled from Rome. Bruce calls upon Suetonius’ account and concludes the unrest in Rome was related to Christianity (Bruce 1988, 347).
Paul’s companions caught up with him in Corinth. After this time, Paul was free to concentrate on preaching rather than making tents (Bruce 1988, 349). As was typical, after some time dissetn arose among the Jews and Paul stopped preaching in the synagogue. He used space in a house next to the synagogue, apparently owned by a Roman citizen. Paul does mention a Gaius and a Crispus in 1 Corinthians 1:14. Luke names Crispus as the ruler of the synagogue, a man who believed, along with his family (Bruce 1988, 350). Paul additionally received a vision in which God encouraged him to work on without fear. Paul stayed in Corinth for 18 months. Bruce dates this from 50-52. He also notes that Paul spent the next five years mostly in Corinth and Ephesus (Bruce 1988, 351).
Eventually there was an attack on Paul, in 18:2. Charges were brought to the Roman governor, Gallio. Bruce observes that the decision of the governor would be binding. He also note that Gallio was the “son of the elder Seneca, the rhetorician . . . and brother of the younger Seneca, the Stoic philosopher” (Bruce 1988, 351). The younger Seneca, who was an advisor to Nero, considered Gallio an extremely pleasant man (Bruce 1988, 352). The charge against Paul was that he was propagating a new religion which was not allowed in Rome. Gallio didn’t allow Paul to defend himself but rather judged that Christianity was a sect of Judaism so was perfectly legal (Bruce 1988, 353). Bruce sees this as a very important ruling for the health and safety of Christians. Until the imperial policies changed Christianity was considered legal in the various provinces (Bruce 1988, 354). Some have suggested that knowledge of GAllio’s identity and the identity of his brother motivated Paul’s appeal to Caesar for judgment.