A Summary of Corinthians, the Seventh Book of New Testament
- Pages: 3
- Word count: 559
- Category: New Testament
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I Corinthians, the seventh book of the New Testament, was written by Paul to get across that Jesus is alive (15:3-18) and that we will be resurrected (15:35-38), among other things. Today there is no dispute that Paul is the author of I Corinthians. “Both external and the internal evidence for the Pauline authorship are so strong that those who attempt to show the apostle was not the writer succeed chiefly in proving their own incompetence as critics.”1 As internal evidence, Paul identifies himself as the author in 1 Corinthians 1:1 and 16:21. External evidence of Paul writing this letter is supported by people such as Clement of Rome (c. 95-97) and Augustine (c. 400).
The letter was written to the people of Corinth. Corinth was a strategically located Roman city on the main land route between East and West and was the crossroads for several sea routes. Corinth was famous for its intellectual and material prosperity and was honored with being the capitol of Ancaia. It also became famous for its corruption. Paul began his ministry there on his second missionary journey. He converted many influential people in Corinth, thus he stayed for a year and a half. Most likely, Paul left Corinth in the fall of AD 51. Paul returned to Corinth on his third trip to Asia, c. fall, AD 52. Paul then wrote this letter from Ephesus while on his third trip to Asia.
Paul wrote the letter several years after his initial departure from Corinth in the fall of AD 51-52. The letter was written before the beginning of the summer since Paul intended to leave Ephesus after Pentecost. It was also written before winter since Paul wanted to come to them and spend the winter. Paul wrote the letter four or five years after his initial departure from Corinth.
Paul had many points that he wanted to get across in I Corinthians. For instance, the purpose of the letter was to address problems in the local churches of Corinth. Also, to counter worldly wisdom with Spiritual wisdom, and to answer questions that Corinthians had brought to Paul. (7:1,25 8:1) Furthermore, he wanted to deal with the several moral problems and the divisions that had formed as people had divided into fan-clubs and were proclaiming themselves followers of Paul, Apollo, Peter or Christ.
During this time the Corinthian church had many problems. Most of these problems were the result of pride and placing so much emphasis on social status. In Corinth there was a lack of church discipline and an abuse of the Christian liberty. Paul dealt with these problems one by one, but the pinnacle of Paul’s argument is in chapter 13 where he emphasizes the importance of love. Love of others is incompatible with pride and is to be the fundamental principle that guides all actions.
I Corinthians points out to me what I should do, and not do to become a good Christian. For instance, Paul lists many things that you should not be in 6:9-11. Paul also pointed out that Jesus in fact did rise again, as he said he would, in 15:3-8. He states that Jesus came to him, and this gives us evidence that Jesus stayed true to the Scriptures. Furthermore, Paul tells us in 15:35-38 that we will be resurrected.