New Testament

Paul’s Letters

How did being a Christian affect the daily lives of people living in Greece and Rome?

The nature of Christianity made it impossible for faithful followers to continue their lifestyles that glorified Greco-Roman influence. Participating in many areas of public life was incompatible with Christian beliefs. For instance, early Christians could not sanction theatrical presentations or athletic events because both were prefaced with sacrifices to gods. One such athletic event was addressed by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. Corinth was known for being the location of the Isthmian Games, something akin to the Olympic Games. Wishing to explain a faithful life using an analogy to which the Corinthian believers would relate, Paul wrote: “Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” (NLT, I Corinthians 9:24–25)


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