CRISPUS SYNAGOGUE RULER (Fr. Varghese Paul, S.J.)

There are only two references to Crispus, the leader or ruler of Synagogue at Corinth in the New Testament.

The first reference is in The Acts of the Apostles, which says, Crispus, who was the leader of the Synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with all his family and many other people in Corinth heard the message, believed, and were baptized (Acts 18, 8).

The second reference to Crispus is in the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. The letter says, I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. No one can say, then that you were baptized as my disciples (1 Cor. 1, 14-15).

On his arrival in Corinth Paul started preaching in the Synagogue there and holding discussions with the Jewish people and testifying to them that Jesus is the Messiah. But Paul faced much opposition among the Jews to his message. So Paul left the Jews and started staying in the house of a Gentile named Titius Justus, who worshipped God (Acts 18, 7).

In the face of Pauls discouragement God intervened. First, Crispus and his whole family as well as many others people in Corinth heard the message, believed and were baptized (Acts 18, 8). Second, God gave Paul a vision one night and said to him Do not be afraid but keep on speaking and do not give up, for I am with you. (Acts 18, 9).

Paul stayed 18 months in Corinth during the years 51 and 52 AD.

It is referring to this period and mission in his first letter to Corinthians Paul made the statement that he did not baptize any one at Corinth except Crispus and Gaius.

We do not know anything about Crispus except the two references made in the New Testament. We can safely conclude that after his conversion Crispus who was a leader in the Synagogue at Corinth must have continued to be a leader of the new Christian community at Corinth. He must have played a leading role in the Church at Corinth that Paul remembered him specially and greeted him in his first letter to the Corinthians.

According to Ronald Brownrigg, Tradition records that he (Crispus) became bishop of Aegina (Whos Who the New Testament, p.48). (contact the author: यह ईमेल पता spambots से संरक्षित किया जा रहा है. आप जावास्क्रिप्ट यह देखने के सक्षम होना चाहिए. )

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