This thorough commentary presents a coherent reading of 1 Corinthians, taking full account of its Old Testament and Jewish roots and demonstrating Paul’s primary concern for the unity and purity of the church and the glory of God. Roy Ciampa and Brian Rosner’s well-informed, careful exegesis touches on an astonishingly wide swath of important yet sensitive issues, reinforcing the letter’s ongoing theological and pastoral significance.
“Despite its obscurities, Paul’s teaching in this passage clearly affirms three things: a balance between (1) respect for a creation mandate to maintain and even celebrate the gender distinctions with which we have been created; (2) a respect for culturally specific approaches to guarding moral and sexual purity; and (3) a commitment to fully integrating women and their gifts into the experience of the worshiping community.” (Page 503)
“It would be a grave error to think that Paul is somehow relating salvation to the adoption of an ascetic lifestyle, as though harsh treatment of the body were the key to salvation. Rather, Paul’s language about self-restraint rather than self-indulgence probably has more to do with the motifs of fleeing sexual immorality and idolatry, in this case, idolatry associated with food.” (Page 442)
“The chapter is primarily about living in Christian community in a way that glorifies God, and that is by learning to treat other members of Christ’s body the way God has treated us—with self-sacrificing, other-oriented love.” (Page 619)
“Roman Corinth was prosperous, cosmopolitan, and religiously pluralistic, accustomed to visits by impressive, traveling public speakers and obsessed with status, self-promotion, and personal rights. From a Jewish or Christian viewpoint, as with any pagan city, its inhabitants were marked by the worship of idols, sexual immorality, and greed.” (Page 3)
“To examine oneself means to examine one’s compliance with the covenant as reflected in their ways of relating to other members of the community and to discern the body of Christ must include recognizing that those other members of the community represent Christ himself (since they have also been united with him) and must be treated as people for whom Christ chose to give up his life and to shed his blood.” (Page 555)
The Pillar New Testament Commentary series is quickly establishing itself as the premier mid-level commentary series on the English text of Scripture but written with full awareness of the Greek and all the key exegetical debates that busy pastors and teachers need to know about. Volumes such as James Edwards on Mark, D. A. Carson on John, David Peterson on Acts, Peter O'Brien on Ephesians, Douglas Moo on Colossians and Philemon and also on James, Gene Green on Thessalonians, Peter Davids on 2 Peter and Jude and Colin Kruse on the Letters of John are as fine as any “competitors” of the same scope in print. And more of the same quality are continuing to appear.
—Craig Blomberg, Denver Seminary
Up to date, replete with many fresh readings, and rooted in the complex historical context that was first century Corinth, this commentary is in touch with those issues that make 1 Corinthians so relevant for the church. Both useful and edifying, Ciampa and Rosner's work is a partner to keep close at hand as one probes this ethically relevant epistle.
—Darrell L. Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary
Two experts on 1 Corinthians provide detailed yet lucid exegesis of one of Paul's more difficult letters. I particularly appreciate the very full introduction, which covers many more topics than the usual introductions to a Pauline letter.
—Richard Bauckham, University of St. Andrews
Here 1 Corinthians emerges as a unified and comprehensive exercise in radical theological and ethical reorientation, whereas past interpretations all too often defined its purposes merely in terms of addressing a list of various concerns. This clarification of Paul's agenda creates a compelling context for thinking about the shape of Christian faith today.
—Philip H. Towner, Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship
For the past generation research into and commentaries on 1 Corinthians have focused on clarifying the social and literary contexts of the letter. Now Rosner and Ciampa remind us that the primary background for Paul's theology and ethics was his biblical and Jewish heritage. And in demonstrating how much fresh light can be shed on the letter by taking account of that heritage, they also show that 1 Corinthians still has much to contribute to the discussion of present-day issues.
—James D. G. Dunn, University of Durham
Written in an impressively clear manner and assuming a varied audience of students, pastors, and scholars, this new commentary represents a major contribution to recent discussion of this much-controverted Pauline letter.
—James Carleton Paget, Cambridge University
Roy E. Ciampa is director of the Th.M. program in biblical studies, associate professor of New Testament, and chair of the division of biblical studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
Brian S. Rosner is senior lecturer in New Testament and ethics at Moore Theological College and Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Ancient History at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including Understanding Paul's Ethics and New Dictionary of Biblical Theology.