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Who was Chloe in the Bible?

Chloe in the Bible
Question: "Who was Chloe in the Bible?"

There is little known about Chloe in the Bible. Only one verse mentions her name—1 Corinthians 1:11, which says, “My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.” What we know from the verse is that Chloe was a Christian woman living in Corinth and that she was an acquaintance of the apostle Paul. Because Paul simply refers to her by her first name, Chloe, it is likely she was well known to the believers of that area, possibly a householder.

Paul addresses quarreling within the Corinthian church, and it was “Chloe’s people” who had reported those quarrels to the apostle. These reports were not idle gossip—they were an attempt to get Paul’s assistance in resolving a problem within the church. In the next verses, the source of the quarrel is revealed: the people were divided over whom they should follow for spiritual leadership. Some were saying “I follow Paul,” others were saying “I follow Peter (or Cephas),” and still others were saying “I follow Apollos” or “I follow Christ.” Thus the Corinthian Christians were segmenting themselves unnecessarily. Paul responds by reminding them that Christ is not divided and that Jesus’ is the name under which all believers are saved and baptized (1 Corinthians 1:12–16). He finishes by saying that Christ had appointed him, Paul, to preach the gospel, but “not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (verse 17).

In response to the concerns of Chloe’s household, Paul points out that Christ is the one who saves and that the power of the gospel is His power (Romans 1:16). Paul, Peter, and Apollos were all preaching Christ’s message. Believers should always follow Christ as the Shepherd, rather than getting caught up in following men, whose “eloquent words” often create competition one with another. There should be no quarreling or quibbling over who baptized whom or what preacher is more gifted. The eloquence or wisdom of a man is not the point of the gospel—Christ’s work on the cross is what saves and redeems us. It is Christ’s name that we are baptized in, and it is Christ who is “the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (1 Corinthians 1:24–25).

Chloe and those of her household were insightful enough to perceive that divisions were occurring. The tendency of the Corinthian church to elevate men above God needed to be addressed, and so they wrote to Paul asking for his help. In seeking the assistance of the proper authority in the church (in their case, an apostle), Chloe and her household were peacemakers (see Matthew 5:9).

Recommended Resource: The Great Lives from God’s Word Series by Chuck Swindoll

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Who was Chloe in the Bible?

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