1st and 2nd Corinthians: The Letters to the Church in Corinth
We continue our journey through the rest of the New Testament by taking up Paul’s letters to the Church in Corinth. We normally think of these as 1st and 2nd Corinthians, but most theologians believe there were at least 5 letters written by Paul to the Corinthians. If you look at 1 Cor. 5:9 you will see an earlier letter mentioned which we just don’t have. Either way, Paul is writing to a fledgling group of Christians who are coming together to form a church and facing many struggles. Corinth was a wealthy and diverse shipping and commerce hub which brought together people from many different backgrounds, with many different beliefs, and from many different social classes. As people from each of these groups came together, friction was inevitable, and Paul wrote to address many of these situations. It is important to keep in mind that this was one of Paul’s earlier writings, and he is being very contextual in what he is saying. In this, what he is saying to bring peace to the Corinthian Church, he may not have said to the Thessalonian Church. It is not until Romans that Paul lays out his overarching beliefs, and this we should read these other letters by Paul in that light.