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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians

F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' CommentaryMeyer's Commentary

- 1 Corinthians

by Frederick Brotherton Meyer

Outline of the First Epistle to the Corinthians

The Gospel the Power of God and the Wisdom of God

Salutation, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

I. True and False Wisdom, I Corinthians 1-6

1. Thanksgiving for the Grace Given to the Corinthians , 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

2. The Cause of and Remedy for Divisions in the Church , 1 Corinthians 1:10-31

3. The Basis of Paul’s Ministry , 1 Corinthians 2:1-16

4. The Function of the Apostles , 1 Corinthians 3:1-23

5. The Labors of the Apostles , 1 Corinthians 4:1-13

6. Conditions Which Require Paul’s Presence at Corinth , 1 Corinthians 4:14-21 ; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13

7. Heathen and Christian Life in Contrast , 1 Corinthians 6:1-20

II. Reply to Inquiries from the Corinthians, I Corinthians 7-10

1. Concerning Marriage , 1 Corinthians 7:1-40

2. Concerning Things Sacrificed to Idols , 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 ; 1 Corinthians 10:1-33

(Apostolic Liberty), 1 Corinthians 9:1-27

III. “A More Excellent Way”, I Corinthians 11-16

1. The Deportment of Women in the Church , 1 Corinthians 11:1-16

2. The Observance of the Lord’s Supper , 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

3. Concerning Spiritual Gifts , 1 Corinthians 12:1-31

4. The Greatest Gift , 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

5. Speaking with Tongues , 1 Corinthians 14:1-40

6. The Resurrection , 1 Corinthians 15:1-58

7. The Offering for the Saints , 1 Corinthians 16:1-8

8. Personal Matters , 1 Corinthians 16:9-18

Conclusion, 1 Corinthians 16:19-24


Corinth was an important and wealthy city. Having ports on two seas, it was a great trading center. Christianity was first introduced there by Paul on his second missionary journey. His continued labors were successful in building up a vigorous church. But on his leaving for other fields of labor, serious evils broke out among the members; some countenanced immorality, idol feasts, lawsuits in heathen courts, and immodesty among women. As tidings of these evils were brought to Paul at Ephesus, he addressed this letter to the Corinthian church “with many tears,” 2 Corinthians 2:4 . The letter was written about 57 A.D. Several features of special interest characterize this Epistle-notably the gospel as the wisdom of God, the supremacy of love, and the doctrine of the resurrection.

e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of 1 Corinthians in the printed edition

Review Questions on the First Epistle to the Corinthians


( a ) How does this Epistle show that the gospel is the power of God?

( b ) How does the writer show more than human wisdom in handling difficult problems?


(c) Why was Corinth an important city?

( d ) How was Christianity first introduced there?

( e ) What was the occasion of this letter? By what special features is it characterized? When was it written?

I Corinthians 1-16

Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments.

1. What unfavorable news had Paul heard concerning the church at Corinth?

2. How did the Jews object to the gospel? The Greeks? To whom is it the power of God?

3. What is Christ Jesus made unto us?

4. Why does the natural man not receive the things of the Spirit of God?

5. Under what figure does Paul describe his own work and that of Apollos?

6. What is the one foundation upon which all must build? What is the meaning of the saying, “All things are yours”?

7. When shall each man have his praise from God? How did Paul’s condition differ from that of the Corinthian church?

8. Why had Paul sent Timothy to the Corinthians?

9. With what bread should we keep the new passover?

10. How should differences between Christians be settled?

11. Why should we glorify God in our bodies?

12. What is Paul’s counsel to the Corinthians concerning marriage?

13. What bearing does the Christian life have upon one’s station or calling?

14. Why did Paul apparently discourage marriage among the Corinthians?

15. What regard must we have for those of weak conscience?

16. On what grounds could Paul claim his maintenance from the churches? Why did he decline to do so?

17. What was Paul’s one aim? What dread haunted him?

18. What purpose is served by the study of Bible history?

19. Why is it never necessary to succumb to temptation?

20. What should be the end of our daily living?

21. Why should the man’s head be uncovered, and the woman’s covered in the sanctuary?

22. What abuses prevailed in the church in connection with the Lord’s Supper?

23. What is the purpose of the Lord’s Supper?

24. What different gifts are bestowed by the Spirit?

25. How does the physical body illustrate the life of the Church?

26. What various functions are necessary to the life of the Church?

27. What is the source of the inspiration of 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ? How may the gift of love be ours?

28. What directions did the Apostle give concerning speaking with tongues?

29. To whom are tongues a sign?

30. Why did Paul forbid women to speak in public?

31. What different appearances of the risen Christ are cited in 1 Corinthians 15:1-58 ?

32. Why is the resurrection of Christ fundamental to the Christian faith?

33. How does Paul answer objections to the resurrection?

34. How is the resurrected life contrasted with this life?

35. What is the right system of Christian beneficence?

36. With what exhortations does the Epistle close?

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