This award-winning commentary on 1 Corinthians by Gordon D. Fee has been lauded as the best study now available on Paul’s exciting and theologically rich first letter to the Corinthians.
Fee offers a readable exposition of 1 Corinthians that clearly describes the meaning of Paul’s ideas and their larger theological relevance. The more scholarly dimension of the work, including Fee’s considerable interaction with other commentators, is found in the footnotes.
Several features make this commentary unique. First, Fee takes great care to establish the all-important historical/literary context of this letter by including numerous sectional introductions that reconstruct the historical background and trace the flow of Paul’s argument. Fee is also concerned to exegete the whole book from a consistent perspective as to the historical situation. Second, Fee’s expertise in textual criticism has led him to discuss every exegetically significant variant, some at considerable length. Third, Fee concludes almost every paragraph with some observations about application—illustrating his deep concern that the Word of God be a living word for today.
The revised edition of this volume is also available.
“The presence of the Spirit in power and gifts makes it easy for God’s people to think of the power and gifts as the real evidence of the Spirit’s presence. Not so for Paul. The ultimate criterion of the Spirit’s activity is the exaltation of Jesus as Lord. Whatever takes away from that, even if they be legitimate expressions of the Spirit, begins to move away from Christ to a more pagan fascination with spiritual activity as an end in itself.” (Page 582)
“Truly Christian conduct is not predicated on whether I have the right to do something, but whether my conduct is helpful to those about me.” (Page 252)
“Thus, the picture that emerges is one of a predominantly Gentile community, the majority of whom were at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder, although there were two or three wealthy families. As former pagans they brought to the Christian faith a Hellenistic worldview and attitude toward ethical behavior. Although they were the Christian church in Corinth, an inordinate amount of Corinth was yet in them, emerging in a number of attitudes and behaviors that required radical surgery without killing the patient. This is what 1 Corinthians attempts to do.” (Page 4)
“In short, they have a spirituality that has religious trappings (asceticism, knowledge, tongues) but has abandoned rather totally genuinely Christian ethics, with its supremacy of love.” (Page 627)
“Before they participate in the meal, they should examine themselves in terms of their attitudes toward the body, how they are treating others, since the meal itself is a place of proclaiming the gospel.” (Page 562)
This is an excellent commentary. Writing in the best tradition of evangelical scholarship, Fee has produced the most thorough interpretation of 1 Corinthians to have appeared in English in this generation.
—Journal of Biblical Literature
A masterpiece. The finest and most comprehensive scholarly effort on 1 Corinthians in print today.
—Criswell Theological Review
This commentary is a full and thorough reading of the text, reliable in its discussions of the scholarly debates, cautious in its exegetical judgments, sensitive in its handling of Paul, and constructive in its theological content. It offers more substance than any other available commentary.
—Studies in Religion
This is an excellent commentary! If the reviewer could own only one commentary on 1 Corinthians, this would be it.
—Southwestern Journal of Theology
Gordon D. Fee (1934–2022) was a leading expert in pneumatology and textual criticism of the New Testament. He was an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God and served as professor emeritus of New Testament studies at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Fee earned degrees from Seattle Pacific University and University of Southern California. He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Northwest University. Before teaching at Regent College, Fee taught at Wheaton College, Vanguard University of Southern California, and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Fee was a member of the Committee on Bible Translation that translated the New International Version and its revision, the Today’s New International Version.
In addition to Fee’s many highly respected commentaries in series like the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: New Testament and The New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT), he is also the author of How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study, and To What End Exegesis?