Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Notes and Quotes on 1 Corinthians

I recently completed a bit of study on 1 Corinthians. Some observations:

Fee’s excellent quote (p. 3 of his commentary), that Corinth was like the NYC, LA and Las Vegas of the Roman Empire rolled into one, is appropriate. But as I was driving through Corinth, MS last week, it occurred to me that America as a whole fits the bill in the same way those three cities do. It’s too easy to point the finger at Ken Lay, Lower Manhattan, Casino Row, or Miami Beach and find a comparison with Corinth that won’t implicate me and my lifestyle and worldview. Call us the United States of Corinth. It’s as close as we get to a mirror in Scripture (apart from the ever-frequent comparisons with Imperial Rome), which would make the Puritans and religious Founders—who looked to Israel for a model--cry.

It’s worth reckoning with the fullest force of quotes like the following, particularly for the modern American (=Corinthian) problem :

“When Paul writes autobiographically, he writes paradigmatically,” says M. J. Gorman, Apostle of the Crucified Lord (Eerdmans, 2004), 258. And how many times in the Corinthian correspondence does Paul offer his "cruciformity C. V."?

“By grasping for material advantage now, the Corinthians are jeopardizing their far greater reward in the coming age.” Hays, First Corinthians, 96.

“His gospel may generate problems, not solve them, for the word of the cross poses a challenge to the comfortable assumptions of Paul’s readers.” Hays, 13.


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