Treasures from Paul 1st Corinthians
About Treasures from Paul Corinthians
The chief pride of Corinth was the great hilltop temple of Aphrodite, with its 1000 temple courtesans. The licentious worship of Aphrodite (along with numerous other deities from many nations), mixed with the varied cultures of many ethnic groups, led to a moral laxity that was scandalous even to the decadent Romans. The expression “to live like a Corinthian” entered the Greek language as an epithet for drunken or debauched behaviour.
Paul’s work at Corinth was mostly among the lower classes, with only a handful of disciples from the upper echelons of society (1 Co 1:26-31). His converts would have been mostly working-class people, both slaves and freedmen, artisans, clerks, shopkeepers, dock hands, sailors, housewives, school teachers, and the like.
The church in Corinth had its roots in the arrival of Priscilla and Aquila (Ac 18:2, c. 49 A.D.). Paul arrived about a year later, on his second missionary journey, and remained there 18 months (Ac 18:1-11, 18a). Our letter was written from Ephesus some 2½ years later. In between, Paul wrote another letter, but no trace of it remains (1 Co 5:9).
The occasion of the letter we are examining here was probably the arrival in Ephesus of visitors from the Corinthian church, who brought Paul both a report (1:11; 16:7) of conditions there and a letter (7:1) that contained a series of questions (1 Co 1:10-11; 16:15-17). Paul’s reply, therefore, did not take the form of a doctrinal treatise (as in Romans or Ephesians) but is built around a set of practical and ethical instructions, and a response to the queries raised by the Corinthian delegates.
It has often been remarked that Paul provides in this letter a more personal testimony of his relationship with Christ than occurs in any of his other writings –
In no other letter does Paul give so full a picture of what Christ meant to him. It is clear that Jesus was a person who lived in history, for he had brothers (9:5), was a teacher (7:10; 9:14), suffered betrayal (11:23), died on the cross (1:18; 15:3), and was buried. Yet he was not simply an earthly figure. All things had come into existence through him (8:6); he had been the Rock from which the Israelites drank in the wilderness (10:4). We might assume that a pre-existent being would necessarily be eternal, but Paul does not take that for granted. God raised him from the dead (15:4), confirming him as Christ and Lord ... This Christ will soon come (1:7; 4:5), to complete the conquest of the God-opposing powers, for through him the new age of redemption has come.
I hope that in this study Treasures from Paul Corinthians I, I have maintained the spirit of Paul’s relationship with Christ in the pages that follow.
In the meantime, Part One explains Paul’s responses to the “report” he had received; and Part Two deals with the “letter”.
But first, Paul has some nice things to say about the Christians in Corinth, and he begins by calling them (and us) “saints”.
This book is available as an E-book from Smashwords Treasures from Paul Corinthians
All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work. (2Ti 3:16-17)