2 Corinthians

2 Corinthians constitutes the first preserved “sequel” in Paul’s letters.  In fact, Paul wrote three or possibly four letters to Corinth. Some scholars speculate 2 Corinthians is actually an edited copy of two letters smushed together, based on differing tone and structure. (There’s a break in 2:14 that picks back up in 7:5). In fact, the whole thing is a bit confused. This is one of those letters that emphasizes the fact that we get only one side of the conversation, and have have to muddle through in trying to piece it together. We know Paul’s travel plans to revisit Corinth had changed, that something or things significant had happened since the last time he had written. Let’s look at a few things about the entirety of the letter, then some specifics. Continue reading “2 Corinthians”

1 Corinthians 11-16

The latter half of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians has a definite flow and organization to it. While our tendency is to zoom in on a single verse or even sentence, sometimes we miss the forest for the trees. So, let’s start with an overview and then zoom in a little.

We pick up Paul in chapter 11, where he regulates some issues about how the community should function, both relating to gender and the Lord’s Supper, which we call “the sacrament.” Then he moves on to a potentially more destructive issue, namely, the Corinthian saints are highly competitive and trying to one-up each other, but with spiritual gifts. Who is the most blessed? Who is the most spiritually in-tune? This is not terribly unusual. The Apostles themselves had argued about which of them “was the greatest” and even asked Jesus to settle the matter- Luke 9:46, 22:24, Matt 18:1 Continue reading “1 Corinthians 11-16”

1 Corinthians 1-10

This week, we’re all in one place, 1 Corinthians, which is a smorgasbord of interesting topics, conflict, and controversy. There is a lot to say, and as long as this is, I’ve left out plenty.

First, I’ve uploaded a copy of the rough text (link now fixed) from my presentation at the BYU Conference on the New Testament a few weeks ago, “Christian Accommodation at Corinth.” It’s adapted from one of the groundwork chapters in my Genesis book.

Second, some background from Jim Faulconer’s New Testament Made Harder

Continue reading “1 Corinthians 1-10”