1 Corinthians (Abingdon New Testament Commentaries) by Richard A. Horsley

By Richard A. Horsley

This observation highlights either the socio-political context of one Corinthians and the conflict of considerably diversified spiritual viewpoints represented by means of Paul and the congregation he had based in Corinth. specifically, Richard Horsley exhibits that this letter offers a window in which one could view the stress among the Corinthians' curiosity in cultivating person spirituality and the apostle's challenge for build up a social-religious group dedicated to the typical virtue, for the flourishing either one of own dignity and a humanizing solidarity.

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That Gaius is later the "host" of Paul and "the whole assembly" (Rom 16:23) suggests that he has a house large enough to accommodate at least a small group of people. The "household" of Stephanas (v. 16) could have included some slaves or freedpeople along with his wife and children, perhaps including Fortunatas and Achaicus, the two men with slavelike names mentioned along with Stephanas in 16:17-18. As heads of households that joined the assembly or owners of houses large enough to host "the whole assembly" or both, Stephanas and Gaius were relatively well-off in comparison with ordinary artisans and freedpersons.

Discernment/examination/judgment" (anakrinein), a spiritualized judicial term distinctive to 1 Corinthians among Pauline letters, was a multifaceted matter of contention between Paul and some of the Corinthians. It is evident from Paul's defensive statements in both 4:3-4 and 9:3 that some people in Corinth have been examining and judging Paul's apostleship. Anticipating the explicit reversal of his argument in 3:1, there is a subtle change in tone in 2:16. After seeming to share the Corinthians' excitement about receiving enlightenment by means of the Spirit, Paul suddenly calls such a spiritual quest into question by posing a rhetorical question drawn from Isa 40:13.

Apollos and some of the Corinthians, on the other hand, more in tune with the general hellenistic culture, believed that the divine was concerned primarily with the inner, spiritual essence of the individual, with any ethical or social implications following from that spiritual essence. Paul, convinced that God had now begun implementing his plan to terminate the imperial order, was energetically establishing communities among the various peoples of the world in anticipation of an imminent new age of righteousness.

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