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The First Epistle

The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Ancient Greek: Α΄ Επιστολή προς Κορινθίους), often referred to as First Corinthians (and written as 1 Corinthians), is the seventh book of the New Testament of the Bible. Paul the Apostle and "Sosthenes our brother" wrote this epistle to "the church of God which is at Corinth", in Greece.

The First Epistle to the Corinthians, often referred to as First Corinthians, is the seventh book of the New Testament of the Bible. The Apostle Paul and "Sosthenes our brother" wrote this epistle to "the church of God which is at Corinth", in Greece.1 Corinthians 1:1-2

Notable phrases

This epistle contains some of the best-known phrases in the New Testament, including (depending on the translation) "all things to all men" (1 Corinthians 9:22), "without love, I am nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:2), "through a glass, darkly" (1 Corinthians 13:12), and "when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child" (1 Corinthians 13:11).

There is a near consensus among historians and Christian theologians that Paul is the "undisputed" author of Corinthians. The letter is quoted or mentioned by the earliest of sources and is included in every ancient canon, including that of Marcion.

Marcion was an important leader in early Christianity. His theology rejected the deity described in the Hebrew Scriptures and in distinction affirmed the Father of Christ to be the true God. He was denounced by the Church Fathers and he chose to separate himself from the proto-orthodox church. He is often considered to have been a catalyst in the development of the New Testament canon.

Possible insertions

However, two passages may have been inserted at a later stage. The first passage is 1 Corinthians 11:2–16 dealing with praying and prophesying with head covering.

“The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church are ancient and generally influential Christian theologians, some of whom were eminent teachers and great bishops. The term is used of writers or teachers of the Church not necessarily ordained[1] and not necessarily "saints"—Origen Adamantius and Tertullian are often considered Church Fathers but are not saints owing to their views later deemed heretical —although most are honored as saints in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran churches, and other churches and groups.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Fathers

They were “deemed heretical” by whom?

139 ~αἵρεσις~ hairesis \@hah’-ee-res-is\@ from 138; n f AV-sect 5, heresy 4; 9

1) act of taking, capture: e.g. storming a city
2) choosing, choice
3) that which is chosen
4) a body of men following their own tenets (sect or party)
4a) of the Sadducees
4b) of the Pharisees
4c) of the Christians
5) dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims For Synonyms see entry 5916

2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Acts 24:5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect <hairesis> of the Nazarenes:
Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy <hairesis>, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
Acts 26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect <hairesis> of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Acts 28:22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect <hairesis>, we know that every where it is spoken against.
1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies <hairesis> among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
Galatians 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies <hairesis>,

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies <hairesis>, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Is Religion about what you think???

Fathers of who??

The second believed inserted passage is 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 which has been hotly debated. Part of the reason for doubt is that in some manuscripts, the verses come at the end of the chapter instead of at its present location.

Furthermore, Paul is here appealing to the law which is uncharacteristic of him. Lastly, the verses come into conflict with 11:5 where women are described as praying and prophesying.

The epistle was written from Ephesus (16:8) on the west coast of Turkey, about 180 miles by sea from Corinth. Paul founded the church in Corinth (Acts 18:1–17), then spent approximately three years in Ephesus (Acts 19:8, 19:10, Acts 20:31). The letter was written during this time in Ephesus, which is usually dated as being in the range of 53 to 57 AD.

The traditional subscription to the epistle, translated in the King James Bible, states that this epistle was written at Philippi, perhaps arising from a misinterpretation of 16:5, "For I do pass through Macedonia", as meaning, "I am passing through Macedonia". In 16:8 Paul declares his intention of staying in Ephesus until Pentecost.

This statement, in turn, is clearly reminiscent of Paul's Second Missionary Journey, when Paul traveled from Corinth to Ephesus, before going to Jerusalem for Pentecost (cf. Acts 18:22). Thus, it is possible that I Corinthians was written during Paul's first (brief) stay in Ephesus, at the end of his Second Journey, usually dated to early 54 AD. However, it is more likely that it was written during his extended stay in Ephesus, where he refers to sending Timothy to them (Acts 19:22, 1 Corinthians 4:17). Also, his references to Apollos (1:12, 3:4, etc.) show that Apollos was known to Paul and the church at the time of writing, which would preclude the first recorded visit to Ephesus (See Acts 18:24-28).

Paul addresses the conflicts

Paul wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians (written from Ephesus) and the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (written from Macedonia). The first Epistle occasionally reflects the conflict between the thriving Christian church and the surrounding community.

When the apostle Paul first visited the city (AD 51 or 52), Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul. Paul resided here for eighteen months (see Acts 18:1–18). Here he met Priscilla and Aquila with whom he worked.

Some scholars believe that Paul visited Corinth for an intermediate "painful visit" (see 2 Corinthians 2:1), between the first and second epistles. After writing the second epistle he stayed in Corinth for about three months(Acts 20:3) in the late winter, and there wrote his Epistle to the Romans.

Based on clues within the Corinthian epistles themselves some scholars have concluded that Paul wrote possibly as many as four epistles to the church at Corinth. Only two of them, the First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians, are contained within the Canon of Holy Scripture. The other two letters (probably the very first letter that Paul wrote to the Corinthians and the third one) are lost (and so the First and Second Letters of the canon are in fact the second and the fourth).

Many scholars think the third one (known as the "letter of the tears", see 2 Corinthians 2:4) is included inside the canonical Second Epistle to the Corinthians (it would be chapters 10–13); this letter is not to be confused with the so-called "Third Epistle to the Corinthians", which is a pseudoepigraphic letter written many years after the death of Paul.


Some epistle divide 1 Corinthians into seven parts:

1. Salutation (1 Corinthians 1:1–3)

  1. Paul addresses the issue regarding challenges to his apostleship and defends the issue by claiming that it was given to him through a revelation from Christ. The salutation (the first section of the letter) reinforces the legitimacy of Paul's apostolic claim.

2. Thanksgiving (1 Corinthians 1:4–9)

  1. The thanksgiving part of the letter is typical of Hellenistic letter writing. In a thanksgiving recitation the writer thanks God for health, a safe journey, deliverance from danger, or good fortune.
  2. In this letter, the thanksgiving "introduces charismata and gnosis, topics to which Paul will return and that he will discuss at greater length later in the letter" (Roetzel, 1999).

3. Division in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:10–1 Corinthians 4:21)

  1. Facts of division
  2. Causes of division
  3. Cure for division

4. Immorality in Corinth (1 Corinthians 5:1–1 Corinthians 6:20)

  1. Discipline an immoral Brother
  2. Resolving personal disputes
  3. Sexual purity

5. Difficulties in Corinth (1 Corinthians 7:1–1 Corinthians 14:40)

  1. Marriage
  2. Christian liberty
  3. Worship

6. Doctrine of Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1–58) 7. Closing (1 Corinthians 16:1–24)

Paul's closing remarks contain his intentions and efforts to improve the community. He would first conclude with his paraenesis and wish them peace by including a prayer request, greet them with his name and his friends with a holy kiss, and offer final grace and benediction:

Now concerning the contribution for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia… Let all your things be done with charity. Greet one another with a holy kiss... I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.(1 Corinthians 16:1–24).

Corinth was the center of international shipping trade between Asia and western Europe passing through its harbors. Paul's first visit lasted nearly two years and his converts were mainly Greeks.

Paul wrote to correct what he saw as erroneous views. Several sources informed Paul of conflicts: Apollos (Acts 19:1), a letter from the "household of Chloe", and finally Stephanas and his two friends who had visited Paul (1 Corinthians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 16:17).

Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians urging uniformity expounding Christian doctrine. Titus and a brother whose name is not given were probably the bearers of the letter to the church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 8:6).

Regarding marriage, Paul does not state that it is better for Christians to remain unmarried, but that if they are unmarried that is okay. When he says if you lacked self-control he uses a word egkrateuomai[1] that had to do with personal discipline often in the sense of training for athletic competition. Those of the ministry, If they were not married might want to stay unmarried because they could devote more time to their studies and service to others. But if they have a strong to desire to get married or married again that is okay too. I specifically states that he is not making any rule on the subject in 1 Corinthians 7:6 [2]

The Epistle clearly include marriage as a ministerial practice in 1 Corinthians 9:5, [3] This concurs with Matthew 8:14, which mentions Peter having a mother-in-law.
  1. 1467 ἐγκρατεύομαι egkrateuomai \@eng-krat-yoo’-om-ahee\@ middle voice from 1468; v AV-can contain 1, be temperate 1; 2 1) to be self-controlled, continent
    1a) to exhibit self-government, conduct, one’s self temperately
    1b) in a figure drawn from athletes, who in preparing themselves for the games abstained from unwholesome food, wine, and sexual indulgence
  2. But I speak this by permission, [and] not of commandment.
  3. 1 Corinthians 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and [as] the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?