Anthony C. Thiselton’s lengthy New International Greek Testament Commentary volume The First Epistle to the Corinthians has become a standard work on 1 Corinthians. In this “shorter” commentary, Thiselton draws on his excellent exegesis from that volume but combines it afresh with keen practical and pastoral application for readers at all levels.
Thiselton delves deeply into the context and text of Paul’s first Corinthian letter as he suggests, section by section, how the book applies to pastoral and practical issues. He draws vivid parallels between the growing church in Corinth and the twenty-first-century church, demonstrating that today’s church also faces a seductive culture of competition and consumerism. The church in Corinth preferred its self-centered theology to the Christ-centered gospel of the wider apostolic church. Paul’s response in 1 Corinthians, amplified by Thiselton’s commentary, becomes a living, practical, transforming word from God for Christians today.
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“Of these we may mention especially the problems and destructive tendencies set in motion by (a) a drive toward competitiveness, self-achievement, and self-promotion; (b) an attitude of self-sufficiency, self-congratulation, and autonomy and entitlement to indulge freedoms; and (c) the tendency to overvalue gifts of ‘knowledge,’ ‘wisdom,’ and ‘freedom’ over and above more basic gifts in everyday life such as love and respect for others.” (Page 9)
“She observes, ‘Paul’s main point is that men and women are both the glory of another and therefore both have an obligation not to cause shame to their ‘heads.’ … Since they are the glory of different persons … they must use different means to avoid shaming their ‘heads’ ’ (‘Gender and Creation in 1 Cor. 11:2–16,’ p. 157).” (Page 174)
“A key word in this passage is splits (v. 10; Greek schismata). We risk losing the point if we translate the Greek by a more formal word such as divisions, for these are not divisions of doctrine. Welborn observes that the problem is ‘a power struggle, not a theological controversy’” (Page 39)
“Sophistic rhetoricians were like the mass media of today: they did not describe, they promoted. Their concern was not truth content; they devised seductive, persuasive strategies of presentation.” (Page 16)
“The proclamation of the cross replaces an emphasis on achieving with an opposing emphasis on receiving (as noted above)” (Page 45)
Lucidly, accessibly, and engagingly, Thiselton brings alive the subject matter about which St. Paul writes. Thus, this commentary searchingly illuminates the nature of Christian lifestyle and spirituality today.
—Walter Moberly, professor of theology and religion, Durham University
This will immediately become the main text for my English Bible 1 Corinthians elective.
—Craig L. Blomberg, professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
This commentary provides a good model of exegetical and pastoral writing and is well worth having on the shelf of anyone working in ministry.
—Review of Biblical Literature