Paul in Asia

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Jax
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Paul in Asia

Post by Jax » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:06 am

“For we don't desire to have you ignorant, brothers, concerning our affliction which came our way in
Asia, that we were placed under excessive pressure, beyond our power, of such a kind that we even
despaired of living. But we held the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in
ourselves, but God who raises the dead, who delivered us out of so great a death, and does deliver; on
whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us; and you cooperating by your prayer on our
behalf; that, for the gift bestowed on us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on
your behalf.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-11.
Many have assumed that Paul is writing here about the Roman province of Asia in Asia Minor, however there was another Asia, east of Syria, ruled by the Parthians that he could be referring to. Further, in the 1st century BCE there were two disastrous attempts by the Romans to invade Parthia, the first in 53 BCE at Carrhae by the general Marcus Licinius Crassus and the second by Mark Antony at Phraaspa in 37 BCE. Both attempts were complete failures that resulted in heavy casualties to the Roman and allied forces.
If indeed one of these failed invasions into Parthia is what Paul is talking about I personally feel that the one in 37 BCE under Mark Antony to be the more probable, if anything because Paul is writing to the Corinthians which didn’t become a veteran settlement colony until 44 BCE nine years after Carrhae but seven years before Phraaspa.
Anthony lost thousands of Romans and auxiliaries to cold and starvation, up to a quarter of his forces, during the long retreat march.

If anyone sees flaws in this or would like to discuss it further I would love to hear from you.

Lane

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Jax
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Re: Paul in Asia

Post by Jax » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:37 am

Another passage of Paul that might have a 1st century BCE military engagement origin is...
“For you yourselves know, brothers, our visit to you hasn't been found vain, but having suffered before and insulted, as you know, at Philippi, we grew bold in our God to tell you the Announcement of God amid a considerable struggle.” 1 Thessalonians 2:2
At the battle of Philippi in 42 BCE, Cassius had been defeated and Brutus was waiting out the forces of Antony and Octavian in his fortified camp, because low supplies and the approach of winter on the part of Antony and Octavian was working in Brutus' favor.
To force Brutus to fight before they ran out of supplies, the troops of Antony and Octavian taunted and shouted insults at the troops of Brutus, to goad them.

As Appian puts it.
As they could not rest under so great an impending danger, and as their other artifices were of no avail, they ceased offering battle in the plain and advanced with shouts to the enemy's fortifications, and challenged Brutus to fight, reviling and scoffing at him, intending not so much to besiege him as by a mad assault to force him to an engagement. Appian The Civil Wars [§122]
I think it's worth noting again that all of the places that Paul mentions in the authentic letters, Corinth, Thessalonica, Troas, Athens, Ephesus, Philippi, Antioch, and Rome; three of them, Corinth, Troas, and Philippi were Roman military veteran settlement colonies created during the civil wars in Greece and Macedonia by Julius Caesar and Octavian. Of the rest, Thessalonica, Athens, Ephesus, and Antioch were the main military centers of the Romans in the east in the 1st century BCE with Rome being the main base.

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