In the time of Paul, Corinth was a very diverse place. There were a large amount of people drawn to Corinth with the hope of creating better lives for themselves. The Corinthian marketplace was constantly growing because of the people who were migrating to the city. This influx of people caused the town to grow to 100,000 inhabitants in less than 100 years. When Paul wrote Corinthians, the church was a gathering of only a few believers and was only a few years old. By keeping this in mind, we can relate the information written by Paul for when issues arrive in today’s church as what was written then is still pertinent to us today.
“Love cannot be limited to a feeling, emotion, or even attitude or motivation. Rather, love must be lived out in real life in relationship to real people who may well be hard to get along with in the church. For love to be love, it must be shown in relationship to others within the life of the church.” (Pages 191–192)
“The sin, then, is not about eating idol meat; it is about Christians not loving their brothers and sisters, and thus not loving Christ either.” (Page 124)
“Men honoring God with their lives, bodies, and clothing in a way that respects the difference between themselves and women is the barometer for them. For married women it is the same with respect to their husbands.” (Page 163)
“The divine message of the cross is reduced to just another human philosophy if it is identified as originating with any of its messengers.” (Page 37)
“Paul addressed this letter to a small band of novice believers who met together in the homes of their wealthier colleagues, no more than 30 per home (Murphy-O’Connor 2002:178–284; 1984:157), perhaps in 8 to 10 homes. Despite the fact that the earliest converts were Jewish (according to Acts 18:4–8), none of the issues Paul addresses in the letter appear to stem from Jewish-Christian controversies. Rather, all the issues derive from the Corinthian culture and society in which they lived.” (Page 9)
An enormously helpful series for the layperson and pastor alike because it centers on the theological message of each book and ties it directly to the text. This approach has been needed for some time and will be an invaluable supplement to other commentary series.
A treasure house of insight into the biblical text. Written by some of the best scholars working today, it is an essential tool for pastors, students, church leaders, and lay people who want to understand the text and how it relates to our lives today. Like the NLT text it uses as its base, this commentary series is extremely readable.
—Tremper Longman III
William R. Baker, Ph. D. is Professor of New Testament at Cincinnati Bible Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the general editor of Stone-Campbell Journal and the author and editor of several books and articles, including Evangelicalism and the Stone-Campbell Movement and Sticks and Stones: The Biblical Ethics of Talk. He has also written a commentary on 2 Corinthians for the College Press NIV Commentary Series.
Ralph P. Martin, Ph. D. is is in his fifth decade as a teacher, scholar, and mentor. He is Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Fuller Theological Seminary, at the Graduate School of Theology of Azusa Pacific University, and at Logos Evangelical Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is the author of numerous studies and commentaries on the New Testament, including Worship in the Early Church, Philippians in The Tyndale New Testament Commentary series, and James in the Word Biblical Commentary for which he also serves as New Testament editor. He also co-edited the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters and the Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments. Ordained to the Baptist ministry in 1949, Dr. Martin has pastored churches in Dunstable, Southport, and Gloucester, England.
Carl N. Toney, Ph. D. is Adjunct Assistant Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He edited and contributed to the revised edition of 2 Corinthians in the Word Biblical Commentary series and is the author of Paul's Inclusive Ethic: Resolving Community Conflicts and Promoting Mission in Romans 14-15. A licensed minister in the American Baptist Convention, Dr. Toney is also a member of the Society of Biblical Literature.