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Conflicts That Nearly Killed a Church

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Conflicts That Nearly Killed a Church

The ancient Greco-Roman city of Corinth was like none other in both wealth and wickedness, but that didn’t stop the apostle Paul from starting a church there.  In his response to their letter, Paul uses semitic rhetoric (back and forth discourse) to tactfully remind the church of their call to Christ which should impact the way they treat each other and the way they live.  The book of 1 Corinthians is a reminder that though we have plenty of cultural differences, we can unite as we seek to understand what the original authors intended the original audience to understand about Christ, sin, and the resurrection.

Throughout the centuries some scholars have criticized Paul’s first known letter to Corinth for being erratic and without logical structure, however more recent scholars have brought to light Paul’s use of semitic (Jewish) motifs (repetitious themes),  chiastic structure (parallel bookends), all of which bring order and climax to the core doctrine of the resurrection of Christ in chapter 15.

Essay 1: The Cross & Christian Unity (1 Cor. 1:10-4:14)

Essay 2: Sex: Men & Women in Human Family (1 Cor. 4:1707:40

Essay 3: Christian & Pagan: Freedom & Responsibility (1 Cor. 8:1-11:1)

Essay 4: Men & Women in Worship (1 Cor. 11:1-14:40

Essay 5: Resurrection: Faith, Christ, and Victory (1 Cor. 15)

Adapted From: Kenneth E. Bailey, Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians; 2011