Paul's first letter to the Corinthians was addressed originally to a fledgling mission church in Corinth. Paul's absence from the church had allowed serious problems to arise within the Corinthian community, but the problems that he addresses in this letter do not always seem based in explicitly theological ideas. The brilliance of Paul, though, is that he frames the issues theological terms and reflects on them in the light of the gospel.
Hays identifies and discusses the major theological themes of the letter, as well as issues such as community formation and the rethinking of inherited socio-cultural norms and practices, and he offers Paul as a model for ministry.
“Paul expects the return of the Lord and the judgment of the world within the very near future” (Page 127)
“No, for Paul, being ‘of the flesh’ means living in rivalry and disunity within the church.” (Pages 48–49)
“Throughout this passage we must bear in mind that the term ‘wisdom’ in the Corinthian setting can refer both to the possession of exalted knowledge and to the ability to express that knowledge in a powerful and rhetorically polished way.” (Page 27)
“‘what they found objectionable about Paul’s teaching was not the future aspect of the resurrection but that it was to be a bodily resurrection.’” (Page 253)
“The gospel is not an esoteric body of religious knowledge, not a slickly packaged philosophy, not a scheme for living a better life; instead, it is an announcement about God’s apocalyptic intervention in the world, for the sake of the world.” (Pages 27–28)
The Interpretation series from Westminster John Knox Press is clearly established as a rich source for teaching and preaching. They have tapped the talents of a varied and esteemed group of contributors, resulting in what is clearly the essential comprehensive commentary series on the Bible.
—W. Eugene March, A.B. Rhodes Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
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—Brian K. Blount, President and Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary