1 Corinthians

A letter dealing with factions in the church, immorality, speaking in tongues, and the resurrection.

Corinthian Columns

Roman temple at Corinth

1 Corinthians is one of a number of letters Paul sent to the Christians at Corinth. In this letter Paul takes up a series of issues confronting the congregation. Factions in the congregation exhibited arrogance and misplaced confidence, but Paul declares that the message of the cross makes foolish the wisdom of the world. He calls the cross a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, yet through it God's power is revealed. Some issues addressed have to do with sexual morality, marriage and divorce. Paul urges them to recall that their bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so that they should glorify God in their bodies (6:19-20). Some thought it was acceptable to eat meat offered to idols, whereas others were troubled by this practice (8-10). The Lord's Supper reflected divisions between the richer and poorer members of the community, and Paul urges the Corinthians to examine themselves before partaking (11). Spiritual gifts like speaking in tongues had a divisive effect on the community, but Paul describes the church as one body with many members. Because of confusion about the resurrection of the body, Paul reminds them that when Christ returns the dead will be raised and death itself will be destroyed (15).

1 Cor 1:18-31 - Message of the cross
1 Cor 7:1-16 - Marriage and divorce
1 Cor 11:23-34 - The Lord's Supper
1 Cor 13:1-13 - The greatness of love
1 Cor 15:12-58 - Hope of the resurrection


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