After Paul Left Corinth gathers for the first time all the relevant extant material from literary, nonliterary, and archaeological sources on what life was like in the first-century Roman colony of Corinth. Using this evidence, Bruce Winter not only opens a fascinating vista on day-to-day living in the Graeco-Roman world but, more importantly, helps us understand what happened to the Christian community after Paul left Corinth. As Winter shows, the origin of many of the problems Paul dealt with in 1 Corinthians can be traced to culturally determined responses to aspects of life in Corinth. The significance of the role that culture played in the life of the Corinthian Christians has either been ignored or underestimated in explaining the reasons for their difficulties after Paul left. Winter first examines the extent to which Paul communicated alternative ways of behaving while he was in Corinth. Winter then explores the social changes that occurred in Corinth after Paul left. Severe grain shortages, the relocation of the Isthmian Games, the introduction of a new federal imperial cult, the withdrawal of kosher meat from the official market-all of these cultural events had a substantial impact on the life of the emerging Christian community. Accentuated with photos of relevant archaeological artifacts, this volume provides a significant new perspective from which to read Paul's Corinthian correspondence.
I have never read a book that so clearly and precisely explains 1 Corinthians.
Winter describes his goal as follows: ‘to bring to life something of the first-century social and religious context of Corinth and help illuminate the text of 1 Corinthians for the reader’ (p.xii). He meets his goal; pastors and students will find this immensely illuminating.
—Currents in Theology & Mission
A challenging survey of some links between 1 Corinthians and the Roman colony at Corinth. Winter's study will be widely debated because of its fresh and frequently surprising insights. After Paul Left Corinth will appeal to students as well as specialists.
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Bruce W. Winter is the former warden of Tyndale House, Cambridge, and a respected authority on the historical background to the New Testament.