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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians

Dunagan's Commentary on the BibleDunagan's Commentary

- 1 Corinthians

by Mark Dunagan


A. Geographical Location:

'A glance at the map of Greece will show that Corinth was made for greatness. The southern part of Greece is very nearly an island. On the west the Saronic Gulf deeply indents the land and on the east the Corinthian Gulf. All that is left to join the two parts of Greece together is a little isthmus only four miles across. On that narrow neck of land Corinth stands...It was necessary that all the north to south traffic of Greece should pass through Corinth; there was no other way for it to go. All traffic from Athens (56 miles distant) and from the north of Greece to Sparta and the Peloponnese had to be routed through Corinth...But it so happened that not only the north to south traffic of Greece passed through Corinth of necessity, but by far the greater part of the east to west traffic of the Mediterranean passed through her from choice. The extreme southern tip of Greece was known as Cape Malea...It was a dangerous cape, and to round Cape Malea had in ancient days much the same sound and implications as to round Cape Horn had in later times. The Greeks had two sayings which showed what they thought of the voyage round Malea--"Let him who sails round Malea forget his home," and, "Let him who sails round Malea first make his will". The consequence was that mariners followed one of two courses. They sailed up the Saronic Gulf, and, if their ships were small enough, they dragged them out of the water, and set them on rollers, and hauled them across the isthmus, and re-launched them on the other side. The isthmus was actually called the "Diokos", the place of dragging across..If that course was not possible because the ship was too large the cargo was disembarked, carried by porters across the isthmus, and re-embarked on another ship at the other side. This four mile journey across the isthmus, where the Corinth Canal now runs, saved a journey of two hundred and two miles..round Corinth were clustered three other towns, Lechaeum at the west end of the isthmus, Cenchrea at the east end and Schoenus, just a short distance away.' [Note: _ The Letters to the Corinthians. William Barclay pp. 1-2]

'It was situated on a plateau overlooking the Isthmus of Corinth about two miles from the Gulf. It lay at the foot of Acrocorinth, an acropolis which rises precipitously to 1,886 ft. and was so easily defended in ancient times that it was called one of the "fetters of Greece".' [Note: _ Zond. Pictorial Ency. 'Corinth' p. 960]

B. Historical Background:

'The city's history is essentially in two parts. As a Greek city-state it flourished both before and after the golden years of Athens (5th c. B.C.). But as leader of the Achaean League in the mid-second century B.C., it came into conflict with Rome and was destroyed by the Roman consul Lucius Mummius in 146 B.C. The site lay dormant for one hundred years, until it was refounded in 44 B.C. by Julius Caesar as a Roman colony.' [Note: _ The First Epistle to the Corinthians. NICNT. Gordon D. Fee p. 1]

'While it retained its own colonial administration, it was from 27 B.C. the seat of government of the Roman province of Achaia.' [Note: _ The New Century Bible Commentary I & II Corinthians. F.F. Bruce p. 18]

'She was a very ancient city. Thucydides, the Greek historian, claims that it was in Corinth that the first triremes, the Greek battleships, were built. Legend has it that it was in Corinth that the Argo was built, the ship in which Jason sailed the seas, searching for the golden fleece.' [Note: _ Barclay p. 3]

C. The Inhabitants of Corinth:

'"Corinth", says Farrar, "was the Vanity Fair of the Roman empire...It was into the midst of this mongrel and heterogeneous population of Greek adventurers and Roman bourgeois, with a tainting infusion of Phoenicians, this mass of Jews, ex-soldiers, philosophers, merchants, sailors, freedmen, slaves, tradespeople, hucksters, and agents of every form of vice"...It was a city, says Moffat, where "Greeks, Latins, Syrians, Asiatics, Egyptians and Jews bought and sold, labored and revelled, quarreled and hob-nobbed, in its cities and its ports, as nowhere else in Greece."' [Note: _ McGuiggan pp. 5-6]

'Men called her The Bridge of Greece. someone called her The Lounge of Greece..Corinth was the Piccadilly Circus of the Mediterranean world.' [Note: _ Barclay p. 2]

D. Its Fame and Fortune:

'As the description by Strabo some fifty years later (6 A.D.) makes abundantly clear, prosperity returned to the city almost immediately. Since money attracts people like dead meat attracts flies. Corinth quickly experienced a great influx of people from both West and East, along with the attendant gains and ills of such growth.' [Note: _ Fee p. 2]

Someone accurately called Corinth a "boom town".

'Its wealth was derived from its commercial traffic by sea and by land, its pottery and brass industries, and its political importance as the capital of Achaia. At its height it probably had a population of 200,000 free men and 500,000 slaves.' [Note: _ Zond. Ency. p. 961]

'Corinth was the place where the Isthmian Games were held, and these games were second only to the Olympic Games in the ancient world. Corinth was a rich and populous city with one of the greatest commercial trades in the ancient world.' [Note: _ Barclay p. 2]

Hence the appropriate illustration in 1Co_9:24-27 .

E. Its Reputation:

'As often happens in such centers, vice and religion flourished side by side. Old Corinth had gained such a reputation for sexual vice that Aristophanes (ca. 450-385 B.C.) coined the verb "korinthiazo" (=to act like a Corinthian, i.e. to commit fornication.' [Note: _ Fee p. 2]

'In Roman times the city was notorious as a place of wealth and indulgence. "To live as a Corinthian" meant to live in luxury and immorality.' [Note: _ Zond. Ency. p. 961]

'Aelian, the late Greek writer, tells us that if ever a Corinthian was shown upon the stage in a Greek play he was shown drunk...Above the isthmus there towered the hill of the Acropolis, and on it there stood a great temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. To that temple there were attached one thousand priestesses who were sacred prostitutes, and at evening time they descended from the Acropolis and plied their trade upon the streets of Corinth, until it became a Greek proverb, "It is not every man who can afford a journey to Corinth."' [Note: _ Barclay p. 3]

'Corinth is remembered for venereal disease ("the Corinthian sickness")...Unger notes, "two vices plagued the town--greed for material gain and lust." Paul will speak again and again about thievery, covetousness and extortion. In a town of big business, where property and money would be changing hands, where contracts were being made--in a town like that, court cases couldn't be a surprise.' [Note: _ McGuiggan p. 7]

Hence the warnings against greed and immorality. ( 1Co_6:1-11 ; 1Co_6:13-20 ; 1Co_10:6 ; 1Co_10:8 ; 2Co_7:1 ; 2Co_12:20-21 )

F. Its Religious Atmosphere:

'And Corinth was a worshiping city. The most prominent, of course, was Aphrodite, but there were many others..the sea-god Poseidon was specially honored. Corinth paid respect, in Paul's words, to many "gods" and many "lords" ( 1Co_8:5 ). (Bruce) Archaeology was un-covered shrines to Apollo, Asclepius and other gods.' [Note: _ McGuiggan p. 7]

'The religious expression of Corinth was as diverse as its population. Pausanias describes at least 26 sacred places..devoted to the "gods many"..' [Note: _ Fee p. 3]

In summation, Fee notes, 'All of this evidence together suggests that Paul's Corinth was at once the New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas of the ancient world.' (p. 3)


A. Its Beginnings:

Paul's second preaching tour had started by strengthening established congregations in Syria and Cilicia ( Act_15:41 ). Timothy joined Paul and Silas in Lystra (16:1-3), Luke joined the group in Troas (16:8-9 'they, us'. He converted Lydia and her household in Philippi (16:14-15), and was also arrested and imprisoned for a short time. The gospel message found good response initially in Thessalonica (17:4), but Paul had to flee to Berea (17:10). Success was also found in Berea (17:11-12) and yet he had to flee again, this time to Athens. (17:13-14) In Athens the gospel message found only a few honest hearts (17:34). Such must have been somewhat discouraging to Paul, to preach in the intellectual capital of the Roman Empire and to be given only a lukewarm response by many. After Athens he comes to Corinth. While the philosophy of Athens was the "worship of philosophy" ( Act_17:21 ); Corinth's was the "worship of bodily pleasure". 'The ideal of the Corinthian was the reckless development of the individual...the man who recognized no superior and no law but his own desires.' [Note: _ McGuiggan p. 6]

Having come to Corinth, Paul meets a Jewish man named Aquila and his wife Priscilla, who had very recently come from Rome, due to a decree given by Claudius Caesar. (c. A.D. 49) Paul will stay in Corinth (18 months- Act_18:11 ) longer than in any other city, with the exception of Ephesus.

'On July 1, A.D. 51, Lucius Junius Gallio ( Act_18:12 ) arrived in Corinth as proconsul of Achaia. (From a rescript of Claudius to the Dephians)' [Note: _ F.F. Bruce p. 19]

'Gallio was famous for his charm and his gentleness. The Jews tired to take advantage of Gallio's newness and good nature and brought Paul to trial before him..' [Note: _ Barclay p. 5] ( Act_18:12-17 )

Paul would later sail away from Corinth (18:18) in the Spring of 52 or 53 A.D.

B. The Composition of This Congregation:

The congregation here consisted of converts from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds ( Act_18:1-8 ).

'The scattered pieces of evidence from Acts, 1 Corinthians, and Romans suggest that the church was in many ways a mirror of the city. In 1Co_12:13 Paul interrupts his argument to emphasize the diversity of those who have all become one body--Jew, Greek, slave, free. This mix is substantiated in other ways as well. Of the people who are named, at least three are Jews (Aquila, Priscilla (?), Crispus), even though they bear Latin names. Three (or four) others who also have Latin names are probably Romans (Fortunatus, Quartus, Gaius, Titius Justus), at least one (or two) of whom (Gauis, Titius Justus-some suggest this is the same man) were among the wealthier members. The others bear Greek names (Stephanas, Achaicus, Erastus), and of these at least Stephanas and Erastus were probably well-to-do. According to 1:26, however, not many of them came from the upper socioeconomic strata..' [Note: _ Fee p. 3]

When the composition of the congregation is considered, some of the problems addressed in the letter are more understandable.

'It isn't difficult to see how this ethnic division would enter into the question of "who my preacher is" ( 1Co_1:11-12 ) The Jews might well be expected to line up with Peter, the Jew and one of the Lord's original apostles. The Gentiles would be likely to go for the orator, Apollos. Some would go for...Paul who will act as a Gentile (as far as it accords with the Gospel) on the one hand and as a Jew on the other.....The Corinthian saints, Jew or Gentile, brought their backgrounds and cultures (more or less) into the church with them. That would mean that with some Gentiles there'd be a low view of the body or a strong feeling for the temple harlots ( 1Co_6:13-20 ).' [Note: _ McGuiggan p. 10]

Other chapters to consider: In an environment like Corinth, being deceived into thinking that such sins as fornication and adultery were acceptable would be a temptation. ( 1Co_6:9 ) The lax environment toward immorality that surrounded them seems to have temporarily rubbed off on them ( 1Co_5:1-13 ). In face of such immorality, some may have proposed mandatory celibacy as the only solution. ( 1Co_7:1-40 ) Gentiles coming out of a idolatrous background would need some warnings against returning to old practices. ( 1Co_10:14 ; 1Co_10:20-22 ) And then, could they still purchase meat in the market-place, that had been previously sacrificed to idols? ( 1Co_8:1-13 ; 1Co_10:1-33 ) And the abuse of the Lord's Supper may have also involved some friction between the "have's" and the "have nots" ( 1Co_11:22 ).


'Leaving Corinth at the end of eighteen months, probably early in the summer of A.D. 53, Paul returned to Caesarea and Antioch ( Act_18:22 ). The duration of his visit is indeterminate. Luke says only that "he spent some time there" (18:23). Since he traveled from Antioch northward overland, he may have left in the summer or early fall and have traveled westward on the road which crossed the Taurus Mountains through the Cilician Gates. Having traversed again the Galatian region and the Phrygian mountain plateau, Paul finally reached Ephesus where he spent the longest amount of consecutive time that he ever devoted to ministry in one place.' [Note: _ New Testament Times. Merrill C. Tenney p. 277]

After Paul had left Corinth, Apollos followed ( Act_18:27-28 ), and yet Apollos was gone when Paul wrote this letter. ( 1Co_16:12 )

It was while Paul was in Ephesus ( Act_19:1-41 ; 1Co_16:8-9 ), that this letter was written.

A. Distressing News Had Reached Paul:

1. News came to Paul from those of the household of Chloe (1:11), that the Church was being torn by a growth in party-spirit.

2. Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus had come from Corinth to Ephesus with assistance for Paul. (16:17) Obviously they also informed him of the problems that existed within the congregation. Someone had told Paul about the incestuous man in Chapter 5, 'It is actually reported' (5:1).

3. The congregation in Corinth had written a letter to Paul concerning various questions that they had. ( 1Co_7:1 'Now concerning the things about which you wrote..'; 8:1 'Now concerning things sacrificed to idols'; 12:1 'Now concerning spiritual gifts'; 16:1 'Now concerning the collection for the saints'.

'Just how many letters passed between them, no one knows although 1Co_5:9 "I wrote you in my letter.." appears to refer to a letter written by Paul prior to 1 Corinthians.' [Note: _ A Commentary on Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. Mike Willis p. v]

Fee takes the view, that their letter mentioned in 7:1, was combative in nature. That it was a response to the letter mentioned in 5:9...'it seems highly likely that in their letter they have taken considerable exception to several of his (Paul's) positions and/or prohibitions.' (p. 7)

B. The Situation was Serious:

Paul was so concerned about the situation, that he had sent Timothy (16:10, 4:17). Prior to the writing of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians we find that Titus had also come to Corinth, possibly with the First Epistle or after it. ( 2Co_7:5-16 )

C. A Third Visit:

Prior to the writing of the First Epistle, we have only one recorded visit by Paul to Corinth in the book of Acts ( Act_18:1-28 ). In the First letter Paul is intending to come to Corinth again. (4:18-19; 16:3-7). And yet according to the second letter, Paul said he was coming to them a third time ( 2Co_12:14 ; 2Co_13:1-2 ). We only have two recorded visits of Paul to Corinth ( Act_18:1-28 /20). This makes some think that Paul visited Corinth after the first letter, a visit that didn't seem to help the situation at that time. ( 2Co_1:23-24 ; 2Co_2:1 "I would not come to you in sorrow again") 'Corinth was only two or three days sailing from Ephesus and Paul must have paid a flying visit to Corinth.' [Note: _ Barclay p. 7]

D. A Letter Written Out of Much Pain: 2Co_2:4 ; 2Co_2:9

'Stalker has said that the letters of Paul take the roof off the early Churches and let us see what went on inside. Of none of them is that truer than the letters to Corinth. Here we see what "the care of all the Churches" must have meant to Paul. Here we see the problems and the heart-breaks, the sorrows and the joys.' [Note: _ Barclay p. 8]

E. A Possible Order of Events:

1. The Previous Letter ( 1Co_5:9 ).

2. The arrival of Chloe's people, of Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus, and of the letter to Paul from the Corinthian Church.

3. 1 Corinthians is written in reply and is despatched with Timothy (?).

4. The situation grows worse and Paul pays a personal visit to Corinth, which is so complete a failure (apparently) that is almost breaks his heart ( 2Co_1:23-24 ; 2Co_2:1-3 ; 1Co_4:21 )

5. Unable to wait for an answer, Paul sets out to meet Titus. He meets him in Macedonia, learns that all is well, and, probably from Philippi, writes 2 Corinthians. ( 2Co_2:12-13 ; 2Co_7:5-8 )

F. Apparently an Anti-Paul Group Existed in Corinth:

Various passages in both letters suggest that among the things that Paul had to deal with in the Corinthian congregation, there existed a group that denied his Apostolic authority. ( 1Co_1:12 ; 1Co_4:3 ; 1Co_4:18-19 ; 1Co_9:3 ; 1Co_10:29-30 ; 1Co_14:37 ; 1Co_15:12 ; 2Co_10:1-18 ; 2Co_11:1-33 ; 2Co_12:1-21 ; 2Co_13:1-14 )


It was completed some time before Pentecost (16:8), and it appears that Paul is in his last year of stay at Ephesus (16:8,5). Most place the writing of this letter in the year 55 or 56 A.D.


'1 Corinthians is the most varied in its content and in its style of all the epistles of Paul. The topics discussed range from schisms to finance and from church decorum to the resurrection. Every literary device known to writing is employed in its pages: logic, sarcasm, entreaty, scolding, poetry, narration, exposition--in short, it is written in the same style as Paul would have carried on a conversation with the elders of Corinth (?) had he been present with them. It is thoroughly informal in its approach..there is, however, a central theme. Findlay has called it "the doctrine of the cross in its social application." It reflects the conflict which took place when Christian experience and Christian ideals of conduct came into conflict with the concepts and practices of the pagan world. The problems discussed in it are by no means outdated, for they are still to be found wherever Christians come into contact with a pagan civilization. ' [Note: _ New Testament Survey. Merril C. Tenney p. 296]

A. Wrong is Wrong Even in the Most Immoral Places:

The letter reveals that "culture" doesn't determine right and wrong. The Church in Corinth was situated in one of the most immoral cities of all time, and fornication, adultery, homosexuality, theft, drunkenness, etc.. were still sins against God, even in that culture! The prevailing culture didn't give the Church the right to modify it's position on such subjects. ( 1Co_6:9-11 ; 1Co_5:1-13 )

B. Human Wisdom Can't Solve Our Problems: 1:18-2:16

'Paul readily admits the seeming foolishness of the message (1:18-25)..So the centre-point is the Cross, which to human pride (Greek) and prejudice (Jew) is "foolishness" . The truths of this Gospel still seem foolishness to the warped minds of the worldly-wise. They are foolishness because of their simplicity; because they are equally free to the unlearned as to the highly sophisticated..and the shameful cross is such a sign of helpless weakness that it seems impossible for it to be the organ of Divine saving-power.' [Note: _ Explore the Book. J. Sidlow Baxter p. 106]

C. The True Solution:

'Each problem was met by applying a spiritual principle rather than by recommending a psychological expedient. For schism, the remedy is spiritual maturity (3:1-9); for fornication, church discipline until the offender repents and is restored (5:1-5); for litigation there should be arbitration within the Christian community (6:1-6). In the case of marriage between a believer and an unbeliever, the concern of the believer is to save the unbeliever, not to alienate him or her (7:16).' [Note: _ N.T. Survey. Tenney p. 297]

D. The Presumptuousness in Following Men: (1:12-13; 3:1-4; 18-23)

E. Verbal Inspiration of the Scriptures: (2:9-13)

F. The True Position of Preachers: (3:1-9; 4:1-2,6)

G. An Appeal to Humility: (4:6-21)

H. Church Discipline: (5:1-13)

I. Lawsuits: (6:1-8)

J. Godly Sexual Relations: (7:1-6)

'The Christian attitude to sex and marriage is expressed in this letter by a man who, though himself a celibate, showed a remarkable understanding of the practicalities of the marital relation and "a psychological insight into human sexuality which is altogether exceptional by first century standards." (D.S. Bailey, Sexual Relation in Christian Thought [1959], p. 10)' [Note: _ Zond. Ency. p. 972]

K. Questions Concerning Various Marital Situations: (Chapter 7)

L. Meats, Liberties, Stumbling-Blocks, Weaker Brethren: (Chapter 8:1-9:23; 10:23-33)

'The Jews had known this meat problem long before it cropped up for Gentile Christians. Wherever the Jews lived they had to have their own butchers, trained in all the regulations which decided between the clean and unclean flesh...but now the Gentile Christians had a kindred problem. Much of the meat in their markets was the residue (i.e. after the priests had taken their share) of animals killed as sacrifices. So much was this so that it was generally impracticable to distinguish with certainty between offered and non-offered meats...Besides the problem in buying for one's own family, what about social meals with friends or relatives who were not Christians and who served meats with had perhaps been first offered to idols? What about Christians who were poor, to whom the public feasts associated with the gods were perhaps the only chance of eating meats at all?' [Note: _ Baxter p. 112]

M. The Necessity of a Clean Break with Sin: (5:1-13; 6:9-11; 19-20; 9:24-27; 10:1-22)

'It is only fair to remember that those Corinthian converts had been born and bred in surroundings which were about as vile and vicious as could be imagined..in all the Bible there is not a more awful description of human sin and degradation than the first chapter of Paul's epistle to the Romans-- and it was written from Corinth! ...We say, then, that it is only fair to remember the upbringing and environment of those first Corinthian converts. They had been truly won for Christ, and formed into a local church..but they could not break free in ten minutes...Yet those converts must learn right away that the Gospel will not tolerate compromise. There must be a clean break. This is the thrust of 1Co_5:1-13 ; 1Co_6:1-20 .' [Note: _ Baxter p. 109]

We should find much comfort and hope in this letter. For we too, like the Corinthians are surrounded with immorality and temptation. We too live in a time when adultery, fornication and homosexuality are accepted by society. And yet people raised in such a background then were able to BREAK FREE FROM IT (6:11). A message comes crying out from this letter, you can make a clean break from very addictive and sinful lifestyles! You can overcome your upbringing! You can prevail against your environment! You can glorify God in your body, even though that same body might have been abused by self or others!

'A final word needs to be said about the considerable importance of this letter to today's church. The cosmopolitan character of the city and church;, the strident individualism that emerges in so many of their behavioral aberrations, the arrogance that attends their understanding of spirituality, the accommodation of the gospel to the surrounding culture in so many ways--these and many other features of the Corinthian church are but mirrors held up before the church of today.' [Note: _ Fee pp. 19-20]

N. Male Headship: (11:1-16; 14:34-35)

O. The Lord's Supper: (10:16-21; 11:17-34)

P. Spiritual Gifts: Description, Duration and Regulation: (12-14)

Q. Proper Motive is Essential: (13:1-4; 16:14; 11:27-28)

R. The Proper Definition of Love: (13:4-8)

S. Will it Result in the Edification of the Church? (6:12; 8:13; 10:31-33; 14:3-5,12,26)

T. The Resurrection: Essential Part of the Gospel (15:1-4); the Eye-Witnesses (15:5-11); If Christ be not raised (15:12-19); It's necessity (15:20-28); How are the Dead raised? (15:35-58)

U. The Collection for the Saints: (16:1-3)

V. Other Observations:

1. The Possession of Spiritual gifts didn't necessarily bring spiritual growth (3:1; 14:1)

2. Every member in the body fills a valuable role. (12:13-27)

3. Spirituality is measured by a person's acceptance or rejection to the writings of the Apostles (14:37).

4. The Kingdom of God will be delivered up at the resurrection, not set up. (15:24)

5. Beware of Evil Influences (15:33).

6. There is no wasted effort in serving Christ. (15:58)

7. God never puts us in a no-win situation. (10:13)

8. The relevance of God's word isn't affected by the passing of time. (10:1-12)

9. Absolutes do exist. Certain behaviour and acts are absolutely contradictory to the character of God. (6:9-10)

10. God takes a dim view of dividing the body of Christ: (3:16-17; 1:10)

'So sacred to God is his temple that those who would destroy it--as they are doing by their quarrels and worldly wisdom--will themselves be destroyed by God. (3:17)' [Note: _ Fee p. 19]



A. SALUTATION: (1:1-3)




1. The Problem-Division over Leaders in the Name of Wisdom (1:10-17)

2. The Gospel-A Contradiction to Wisdom (1:18-2:5)

a. God's folly-a crucified Messiah (1:18-25)

b. God's folly-the Corinthian believers (1:26-31)

c. God's folly-Paul's preaching (2:1-5)

3. God's Wisdom-Revealed by the Spirit (2:6-16)

4. On Being Spiritual and Divided (3:1-4)

5. Correcting a False View of Church and Ministry (3:5-17)

a. Leaders are merely servants (3:5-9)

b. The church must be built with care (3:10-15)

c. Warning to those who would destroy the church, God's temple in Corinth (3:16-17)

6. Conclusion of the Matter-All Are Christ's (3:18-23)

7. The Corinthians and Their Apostle (4:1-21)

a. On being a servant and being judged (4:1-5)

b. The marks of true apostleship (4:6-13)

c. Appeal and exhortation (4:14-21)


1. The Case of the Incestuous Man (5:1-13)

a. Paul's judgement-he must be expelled (5:1-5)

b. Argument by analogy-the passover (5:6-8)

c. Correcting a "misunderstanding" (5:9-13)

2. The Case of Litigation (6:1-11)

a. Shame on the Church (6:1-6)

b. Shame on the plaintiff and warning against the wrongdoer (6:7-11)

3. On Going to the Prostitutes (6:12-20)



1. To the Married (or Formerly Married)-Stay as You Are (7:1-16)

a. No abstinence within Marriage (7:1-7)

b. Either singleness or marriage for the "unmarried" and widows (7:8-9)

c. No divorce for Christian partners (7:10-11)

d. No divorce for mixed marriages (7:12-16)

2. The Guiding Principle-Stay as One Was When Called (7:17-24)

3. About the "Virgins" (7:25-40)

a. Singleness is Preferable but not required (7:25-28)

b. Paul's reasons for singleness (7:29-35)

c. But marriage is no sin (7:36-40)


1. The Basis of Christian Conduct--Love, not Knowledge (8:1-13)

a. The way of love and the way of knowledge (8:1-3)

b. The content of the way of knowledge (8:4-6)

c. The criterion-care for a brother (8:7-13)

2. Paul's Apostolic Defense (9:1-27)

a. In defense of his apostleship (9:1-2)

b. Paul's apostolic rights (9:3-14)

c. Paul's apostolic restraint (9:15-18)

d. Paul's apostolic freedom (9:19-23)

e. Exhortation and example (9:24-27)

3. Conclusion-No Going to the Temples (10:1-22)

a. The example of Israel (10:1-5)

b. Application of the example-warning against idolatry (10:6-13)

c. Prohibition and its basis (10:14-22)

4. On the Eating of Marketplace Food (10:23-11:1)


1. An Argument from Culture and Shame (11:2-6)

2. An Argument from Creation (11:7-12)

3. An Argument from Propriety (11:13-16)


1. The Problem-Abuse of the Poor (11:17-22)

2. The Problem-Abuse of the Lord (11:23-26)

3. The Answer-Discern the Body (11:27-32)

4. The Answer-Wait for One Another (11:33-34)


1. The Criterion-Jesus is Lord (12:1-3)

2. The Need for Diversity (12:4-31)

a. Diversity in the Godhead and the gifts (12:4-11)

b. The body-diversity in unity (12:12-14)

c. A twofold application of the metaphor (12:15-26)

d. Once more-the fact of diversity (12:27-31)

3. The More Excellent Way (13:1-13)

a. The necessity of Love (13:1-3)

b. The character of Love (13:4-7)

c. The permanence of Love (13:8-13)

4. The Need for Intelligibility in the Assembly (14:1-25)

a. The "greater gift"-prophecy (14:1-5)

b. Analogies that argue for intelligibility (14:6-12)

c. Application to the believing community (14:13-19)

d. Application for the sake of unbelievers (14:20-25)

5. The Ordering of Gifts (14:26-40)

a. The ordering of tongues and prophecy (14:26-33)

b. The ordering of women (14:34-35)

c. Conclusion-confrontation and summary (14:36-40)


1. The Basis-The Resurrection of Christ (15:1-11)

2. The Certainty of Resurrection (15:12-24)

a. If Christ is NOT raised (15:12-19)

b. But Christ IS raised (15:20-28)

c. Ad hominem arguments for resurrection (15:29-34)

3. The Resurrected Body (15:35-49)

a. Analogies of seeds and "bodies" (15:35-44)

b. Application of the analogies (15:45-49)

4. The Assurance of Triumph (15:50-58)


1. Arrangements for the Collection (16:1-4)

2. Travel Plans-Paul's and Timothy's (16:5-11)




B. FINAL GREETINGS (16:19-24) [Note: _ Fee pp. 21-23]

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