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Fr. Matt
Site Owner
Posts: 382

Did the Corinthians ever write back?

October 2, 2014 at 10:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Fr. Matt
Site Owner
Posts: 382

          What a great question! I love it! And I have no idea what the answer to this one is …

          Well, actually, I can make some educated guesses – but I am not aware of any letters from the Corinthians to Paul that are in existence now. We do know that Paul wrote at least 3 letters to the Corinthians. The first and the last of these are in your Bible right now. The middle one is lost to history, although Paul mentions it a few times in his third letter (which we now refer to as the 2nd Letter to the Corinthians). Why do we have these two and not the other one? It would seem from what St. Paul says about it that it was addressing the situation of a particular individual rather than the whole community. But that’s only speculation at this point.

          So, back to your fine question … Did the Corinthians write back to St. Paul? The best answer I can offer is that I think they probably did. St. Paul, in 2 Corinthians (Chapter 7, for example), indicates that he has received some type of communications from the Corinthians – specifically, through his emissary, St. Titus. Paul had sent Titus to the Corinthians (likely with one of his letters to them), and then Titus had returned to Paul with encouraging news from the Corinthians. Now this news could have been given to Paul merely by spoken word, or it could have been a combination of written letters and an oral message. That is what we cannot know for sure – but I would be mildly surprised if some of that message was not in the form of a written letter.

          Another close friend and coworker with Paul was St. Timothy, and in 2 Timothy, St. Paul (while imprisoned in Rome) asks him to bring “the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all, the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13). Now, those parchments could be simply blank writing material, or letters that Paul had received from others (such as the Corinthians), or an early form of one or more of the written Gospels (or some combination of the above). Again, we can only speculate at this point, but again, I would not be greatly surprised if Paul had received such written communications from the Corinthians and others.

          So, about the best I can do for this one is to give an uncommitted: “Yeah, probably, I think so.” And that makes for a fun question! Thanks for asking, and as always, if you have other insights or further questions, please share them with us in the Forums section at www.stanthonyniagara.org. May God bless you and your loved ones!

 

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Fr. Matt

October 2, 2014 at 10:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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