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The Epistles to the Corinthians Essay Example

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The Epistles to the Corinthians

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The Epistles to the Corinthians. “Both 1 and 2 Corinthians were undoubtedly written by the Apostle Paul. He established the church in Corinth, and was the self-proclaimed ‘father’ of the Corinthian believers. Intrinsically, Paul designates himself as being the author in both epistles” (“The Epistles”, 2003). There is also evidence of Paul’s presence in Corinth in the book of Acts (18: 1-17). Finally, the early church kept these epistles in high esteem, attributing them to Paul while lingual experts have established that the letters are consistent with other documents known to have been written by Paul. According to Hillyer, both 1 and 2 Corinthians are “unmistakably Pauline in the tone and character of their teaching and in their vocabulary and style” (1970: 1051).

Having established who wrote the book through the historical record and through linguistic and philosophic comparison, it is then possible to link the author’s motivations and life to the motivations and intended purposes of the book he undoubtedly wrote.Although Paul is considered to have been one of the most accessible of early church figures, he has nevertheless proven difficult to identify in terms of who he was as a man. Attempting to define Paul, author Victor Paul Furnish (1994) identifies two Pauls, one identified in his relation within the church and one identified in his historical context. Within the church, he is determined to be the apostle for the Gentiles as Colossians highlights his function as a missionary to them and as Ephesians grants them equal status with the Jews as beneficiaries of the promises of Christ (Beker, 1991: Chs. 3 & 4). Historically, there is evidence that Paul was a Pharisee prior to embarking upon his missionary work, but this provides less information than one might otherwise assume (Saldarini, 1988). “Precisely as a Jew, and subsequently as a Jewish Christian, he [Paul] was also very much a man of the Hellenistic age: apparently trained in the subjects that constituted the lower and middle levels of Hellenistic education, clearly at home among the socially elite of urban society, both willing and able to engage the religious and intellectual concerns of the non-Jewish world” (Furnish, 1994: 11). Combining these two viewpoints, Furnish indicates that Paul was a man of tremendous but practical conviction. He had a firm grasp on his faith and beliefs, but was. The Epistles to the Corinthians.

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Works Cited

Beker, Christiaan. Heirs of Paul: Paul’s Legacy in the New Testament and in the Church Today. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1991.

Burton, Ernest D. “The Correspondence of the Apostle Paul with the Church in Corinth.” The Biblical World. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1895, pp. 278-288.

“The Epistles to the Corinthians.” New Testament Introductions. The Blue Letter Bible. (October 3, 2003). July 18, 2007.


Furnish, Victor Paul. “On Putting Paul in His Place.” Journal of Biblical Literature. Atlanta, GA: The Society of Biblical Literature, 1994.

Hillyer, Norman. “1 and 2 Corinthians.” The New Bible Commentary. 3d ed. (ed. D. Guthrie and J. A. Motyer). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970.

Life Application Bible. New International Version. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1991.

Saldarini, Anthony J. Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees in Palestinian Society: A Sociological Approach. Wilmington, DE: Glazier, 1988.

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