Who was Chloe in the New Testament?

The name Chloe is mentioned once in the New Testament where Paul is writing to the church in Corinth saying, “For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you” (1 Corinthians 1:11). The name was common among freedmen, a fact that suggests that Chloe may have been a freed woman.

Chloe’s family most likely lived in Corinth where they brought Paul firsthand information concerning the dissensions in the Corinthian church. This spirit of division had seemingly affected all. The various members of the church registered their support for one party or another. Paul mentions first the party that claimed to be followers of him. The second party refers to Apollos (in Alexandrian Jew), a follower of the teachings of John the Baptist, a man “eloquent” and “mighty in the scriptures” (Acts 18:24, 25). The third party talked of Cephas. That is, Peter who had been intimately associated with Jesus and had been one of the leaders of the twelve apostles. This fact, they believed, ranked him above either Paul or Apollos. And the fourth party claimed to belong to Christ and not to belong to any human leader.

In response to the reports of Chloe’s household, Paul rebuked the church in Corinthians saying, “ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (Vs. 13). Paul pointed them to the cross. And added that the “preaching of the cross” is the message of salvation through faith in the crucified Lord.  And he added that “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (v. 19). The gospel is much more than a statement of doctrine or an account of what Jesus did for mankind when He died on the cross; it is the application of the mighty power of God to the heart and life of the repentant, believing sinner making of him a new creation (Rom. 1:16; 2 Cor. 5:17).

Chloe and her family had the wisdom to see error and division within God’s children and sought the apostle Paul’s assistance to correct it. Chloe appears to be a prominent woman in the church and have a respectable reputation for Paul to refer to her in such a way. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). “Peace-makers” are the “sons of God” because they devoted to the cause of leading their fellow men to be at peace with Him. Although we don’t know much else about Chloe, we can learn the lesson from her brief mention that we should seek to bring peace and harmony within our homes and churches. Also, we can learn to ask God for wisdom for when to speak up and call attention to issues so that they can be addressed in a Christ-like way.

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In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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