NTS 501 NEW TESTAMENT LITERATURE Class VIII: 1-2 Corinthians 1-2 Corinthians 1.1 Introduction to Corinthian Correspondence How have 1-2 Cor used to justify theological or practical decisions in the life of the church? Positive & negative examples 1 Corinthians theology in practice 2 Corinthians theology of comfort, suffering Some critical issues in 1 & 2 Cor Historical reconstruction (e.g. composition of 2 Cor) Spiritual gifts 1 Cor 12-14; Role of women in 1 Cor 11; 14
Pauls opponents in 2 Cor 10-13 1-2 Corinthians 1.2 The City of Corinth To Gods church in Corinth (1 Cor 1:1; 2 Cor 1:1) What kind of place was Corinth? Administrative center of Achaia since 27BC c. 200,000 inhabitants Strategic location Economy City of the new rich &
self promotion Isthmian games (1 Cor 9:24-28) Inhabited by former slaves 1-2 Corinthians The city of Corinth sex, booze, and religion Not for every man is the voyage to Corinth (Strabo, Geog. 8.6.20) Corinthianize* (Aristophanes); Corinthian girl (Plato) 1000 temple prostitutes in temple of Aphrodite (Strabo, Geog. 8.6.20)** The Corinthian hat [on a drunk]*** Acrocorinth temple of Aphrodite, goddess of love, lust, beauty Near the forum temple of Apollo & Athena Northern city wall sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of healing Western end of forum temple for Emperor worship
gods and cults (Dionysius, Ephesian Artemis, Fortuna, Poseidon) At least one synagogue 1-2 Corinthians 9 That was the time, too, when one could hear crowds of wretched sophists around Poseidon's temple shouting and reviling one another, and their disciples, as they were called, fighting with one another, many writers reading aloud their stupid works, many poets reciting their poems while others applauded them, many jugglers showing their tricks, many fortune-tellers interpreting fortunes, lawyers innumerable perverting judgment, and peddlers not a few peddling whatever they happened to have. (Dio Crysostom, Or. 8.9)*
1-2 Corinthians 1.3 Author, Date, Provenance 1 Corinthians Paul no disputes (1 Cl 47:1-3/1Cor 1:10-17; 1 Cl 49// 1 Cor 13) AD 53/54, Ephesus during the 3rd missionary journey 2 Corinthians Paul no disputes (e.g. Ign. to Eph 15:3 and 2 Cor 6:16) AD 54/55, Macedonia (Philippi?) during 3rd missionary journey 1-2 Corinthians 1.4 History of Corinthian correspondence At least three visits to Corinth Pauls visits and letters
1st visit: AD 50-52 Paul plants the church (Acts 18) Paul writes the previous letter 1 Cor 5:9, 11 [Cor A] Paul writes 1 Cor from Ephesus AD 53-54 (1 Cor 16:8; Cor B) 2nd visit: painful visit (2 Cor 2:1; 12:4; 13:1-2) Paul writes the severe letter (2 Cor 2:4; 7:8; Cor C) Paul writes 2 Cor from Macedonia AD 54/55 (2 Cor 7:5; 8:1; 9:2; Cor D) 3rd visit to Corinth (Acts 20:2) 1-2 Corinthians The Occasion & purpose of 1 Cor Paul founded the church (Acts 18; c. AD 50-52) Paul wrote the lost letter [Cor A] (1 Cor 5:9) avoid sexually immoral Christians (5:9)
Response: Chloes people (1:11); questions for further clarification (7:1, 25; 8:1, 4 ; 12:1; 16:1, 12; cf. 16:15-18) Paul in Ephesus AD 53-54 (writes 1 Cor) Return to unity & instruct on correct doctrine & behavior Paul addresses each question & concern systematically 1-2 Corinthians Problems within the Corinthian church Disunity within church (1:11-12) Sexual immorality (5:1-13; 6:18-20) Abstinence within marriage (7:1-7) Meet offered to idols (8-10)
Litigations (6:1-11) & idolatry (10:1-22) Disorder within church services (11-14) Lords supper Spiritual gifts The nature of resurrection (15:1-58) 1-2 Corinthians 2.1 Themes and Message of 1 Cor Unity & Schism within the church Factions (1:12-13; 3:5, 21-23) Foolishness of the cross & true wisdom of Spirit (1:18-2:16)* Christ the foundation, church as temple of HS (3:1-4:21) Litigations among believers (6:1-11) Civil: reputation, bribes, status
Behave as if and in light of who you truly are Lords supper one hungryanother drunk (11:17-34) Roman banquets & issues of socio-economic status Words of Jesus koinonia of the new covenant; self-examination; judgment of believers 1-2 Corinthians Spiritual gifts overemphasis on tongues (12-14) Edification & unity of the body not for show off Superiority of love; superiority of gifts that edifice the body Order in the worship service each in turn (14:39) Marriage and sexuality (1 Cor 5:1-13; 6:12-7:39)
Incestuous relationship boasting (5:1-13) Church discipline in order to save him; body of Christ is holy Visiting prostitutes (6:15-16) Unity of the body of Christ; body as temple of the HS; resurrection Marriage and singleness (7:1-39) Celibacy preferred present circumstances (7:6-8, 25-28, 32-34, 37-40) Marriage in the Lord (7:39; cf. 7:12-16) Divorce only infidelity or desertion by unbelieving spouse (7:10-13, 16) 1-2 Corinthians Idolatry and meat sacrificed to idols Idol worship in the Roman society pervasive Meet in the Roman market idol meet
Food sacrificed to idols knowledge vs. consideration eat what ever is sold (Ps 24:1) but consider the weak flee idol worship whatever you doglorify God Participation in the idols & Lords supper not possible (10:20) All things are lawful seek the advantage of others 1-2 Corinthians The Nature of Resurrection (1 Cor 15:1-58) first importance the gospel that saves you (15:1-9) how can you sayno resurrection (15:12) How are the dead raisedwhat kind of body? (15:35) Platonic vs. Jewish idea of human body Pauls arguments
No resurrection no hope; why would Paul risk his life? Christs resurrection the first fruits (15:23) Resurrection body spiritual body (Gk. sarkikos vs. pneumatikos) Seed and plant; perishable imperishable Dishonor glory; weakness power Victory over death Excel in the Lords work (15:58) & collection for the saints (16:1-4) 1-2 Corinthians 3.1 Introduction to 2 Cor What aspects of 2 Cor are relevant to churches of today? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiyN1uyXsLs
1-2 Corinthians 3.2 Integrity and unity of 2 Corinthians One letter or composite of four/five letter (fragments)? Composite letter based on abrupt transitions & inconsistencies Composite theory arguments pro and con Pauls travel narration breaks off at 2:13 resumes 7:5 [Titus] Tone of 1:1-2:13+7:5-16 is conciliatory but 2:14-7:4 argumentative Different subject matter & situation* Two different letters merged into one by editor Unity of sections evidenced by 1st section (1:1-2:13) also argumentative (e.g. 1:15-20)
Rough transitions remain w/ composite theory (I to we in 2:13/7:5) 2 Cor 1:1-7:16 response to moderately hostile setting 1-2 Corinthians Chs. 8-9 as a unit also abrupt transition b/w chapters 8 and 9 Unity and connection with the previous section Formula concerning to give explanation to the preceding section Letters could include various topics (cf. 1 Cor) Thematic connections to earlier parts of the letter (5:20; 6:11-13; 8:7) 2 Cor 1-9 & 10-13 change in tone: reconciliation vs. criticism Paul thanks for obedience (9:10-15) & ready to punish disobedience (10:1-6) 1-9 treats conflict delicately but 10-13 open war against opponents
Is 10-13 the tearful letter sent earlier (cf. 2 Cor 2:4; 7:8)? 1-2 Corinthians Some pointers toward unity between 1-9 & 10-13 1-9 to congregation at large, 10-13 to opponents Focus on comparing Paul to opponents in 10-13 (synkrisis) Pauses in dictation/writing? New information? Abrupt shift of tone in Hellenistic letters Demosthenes 2nd Epistle Additional considerations Whats the purpose/occasion for the possible composite document? No manuscript evidence for composite document Why did editor(s) leave such abrupt transitions after such careful
editorial work of several letter fragments? Alerts readers of differences in tone and transitions in 2 Cor 1-2 Corinthians 3.3 Occasion and purpose After writing 1 Cor from Ephesus (1 Cor 16:5-7) Change in plans painful confrontation (2 Cor 2:5; 7:12; 13:2) Paul unreliable? (1:15-23) Avoid second confrontation & pain (1:23; 2:1-3) Arrival of super-apostles (11:5; 12:11) & contest for authority tearful letter (cf. 1 Cor 5:9; 2 Cor 2:3-4, 9; 7:12) ultimatum to the church to discipline (2 Cor 2:9; 7:12; regret 7:8) Trials in Asia deadly peril (1:8-9)
Paul to Troas (2:12-13); message from Titus about repentance (7:9-11) Pauls confidence restored (7:16) Writing of 2 Cor as a response Purpose of 2 Cor Defend his integrity, apostolic authority & counter false teachers 1-2 Corinthians 3.4 Themes and Message of 2 Cor Integrity and apostolic authority of Paul Pauls integrity and apostolic authority questioned Sincerity and suffering (1:12; 2:17; 4:16; 6:4-10; 11:21-33) Personal relationship w/ Corinthians (2:1-4; 6:12; 11:11) Ministry of HS & New Covenant from God (3:1-18; 5:17)
Apostolic authority of Paul (1 Cor 5:3-5; 14:37-38; 11:1) super apostles challenge (11:12-14, 22-23) Who is a true apostle? Qualifications? (cf. Rom 16:7) Sings and wonders (12:12) seen the Lord (9:1; cf. 15:3-8) Founder of the church & authority to discipline (6:13; 12:14; 10:2-6) Spokesperson for authoritative tradition (15:3; 11:2, 23) 1-2 Corinthians Offering to the poor 2 Cor 8-9; (cf. Gal 2:10; Acts 11:29-30; 24:17)
Unfulfilled promises (cf. 1 Cor 16:1-3; 2 Cor 8:10-11) Gods economy neither excess or want (8:12-15) Theological and practical factors Gods grace work in Macedonia out of extreme poverty (8:1-4) Voluntary; privilege; first to the Lord Theological reasons Christs self-giving sacrifice (8:9) Gods promised provision & blessing (9:6-12) Glory of God and confession of the gospel (9:13-14) Integrity in the Lord and before people (8:20-22) sharing with them and all others (9:13)
1-2 Corinthians Suffering, weakness, comfort, and power Paul despaired of life Gods comfort (1:3-11) Paul accused of timidity, unimpressive appearance (10:1, 10) He is weak but God shows power in weakness Triumphal procession (2:14-17) Treasure in earthen vessels (4:7) Pauls apostolic suffering brings salvation to others (6:6-8) Gods power becomes evident in suffering (4:7; 12:9-10) Focus on eternal things (4:7-12; 5:1-10) Boasting about suffering - expose opponents foolishness (11:16-12:10) Human weakness and suffering is the soil on which Gods grace and power
becomes a reality but only to those who have faith to see Gods eternal purpose in it
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