Did the Apostle Paul attend the Isthmian Games?

Within the past two weeks the Olympic torch was lighted at Olympia, Greece, amid political disruption. Important games were held by the Greeks at Olympia, Delphi, Nemea, and Isthmia. Isthmia is located just a few miles from ancient Corinth, near the modern Corinth Canal.

The Isthmian Games, conducted biennially in honor of Poseidon, were second in importance to the Olympics. Discoveries at Isthmia have included starting gates for the races. Professor Oscar Broneer, who excavated at Corinth, indicates that Greek athletics had become corrupt and degraded during Paul’s lifetime [like professional sports in too many places, perhaps?]. Broneer suggested that Paul was present during one of these athletic festivals (Biblical Archaeologist, Feb., 1962; Acts 18). Here is a photo from Isthmia.

Isthmia, near ancient Corinth, was the site of athletic games in honor of Poseidon. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Paul made many references to athletic contests, especially in the letter to the church at Corinth. There are references to the races, and to boxing in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. The victor’s crown at the Isthmian Games was made of wilted celery! This makes Paul’s reference to a “corruptible crown” come to life, doesn’t it (1 Corinthians 9:25)?

Note of Explanation. You may wonder how I could upload photos of Isthmia but not of those taken in the past few days. This post was already uploaded from home a couple of weeks back. Since I am still limited here I wanted to share this with you. And, the next tour is Steps of Paul and John.

4 responses to “Did the Apostle Paul attend the Isthmian Games?

  1. Pingback: Paul, Kanye and Steph – Pilgrims Rest Stop

  2. Pingback: Corinth, where Paul stood before Gallio « Ferrell’s Travel Blog

  3. professormak

    The connection to Paul and the games from biblical times is interesting

  4. Hi Ferrell. Thanks so much for your posts. Sorry for the photo uploading trouble. That must be frustrating. Still, you/we have come a long way in “trip reporting”! Blogs are ideal for this purpose. As I have read yours and Jane’s & Barbara Jo’s blogs, I have thought a lot about our 99 trip. What a wonderful memory. Thanks. Take care.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.