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1 Corinthians - Introduction


In 1 Corinthians 5:9 fornicators," it is implied that Paul had written a previous letter to the Corinthians (now lost). Probably in it he had also enjoined them to make a contribution for the poor saints at Jerusalem, whereupon they seem to have asked directions as to the mode of doing so, to which he now replies ( 1 Corinthians 16:2 visiting them on way to Macedonia, and again on his return from Macedonia ( 2 Corinthians 1:15 2 Corinthians 1:16 unfavorable report from Chloe's household ( 1 Corinthians 16:5-7 was charged with ( 2 Corinthians 1:17 subject of fornication is alluded to only in a way, as if he were rather replying to an excuse set up after rebuke in the matter, than introducing for the first time [ALFORD]. Preceding this former letter, he seems to have paid a second visit to Corinth. For in 2 Corinthians 12:4 2 Corinthians 13:1 implying he had already twice visited them. three years' sojourn at Ephesus he would have failed to revisit his Corinthian converts, which he could so readily do by sea, there being constant maritime intercourse between the two cities. This second visit was probably a short one (compare 1 Corinthians 16:7 pain and humiliation ( 2 Corinthians 2:1 ; 12:21 conduct of so many of his own converts. His milder censures having then failed to produce reformation, he wrote briefly directing them "not to company with fornicators." On their misapprehending this injunction, he explained it more fully in the Epistle, the first of the two extant ( 1 Corinthians 5:9 1 Corinthians 5:12 objection to its having really taken place, as that book is fragmentary and omits other leading incidents in Paul's life; for example, his visit to Arabia, Syria, and Cilicia ( Galatians 1:17-21

The PLACE OF WRITING is fixed to be Ephesus ( 1 Corinthians 16:8 subscription in English Version, "From Philippi," has no authority whatever, and probably arose from a mistaken translation of 1 Corinthians 16:5 "For I am passing through Macedonia." At the time of writing Paul implies ( 1 Corinthians 16:8 of that year. He really did leave it about Pentecost (A.D. 57). Compare Acts 19:20 Christian Passover, Easter ( 1 Corinthians 5:7 was about Easter. Thus the date of the Epistle is fixed with tolerable accuracy, about Easter, certainly before Pentecost, in the third year of his residence at Ephesus, A.D. 57. For other arguments, see CONYBEARE and HOWSON'S Life and Epistles of St. Paul.

The Epistle is written in the name of Sosthenes "[our] brother." BIRKS supposes he is the same as the Sosthenes, Acts 18:17 thinks, was converted subsequently to that occurrence. He bears no part in the Epistle itself, the apostle in the very next verses ( 1 Corinthians 1:4 &c.) using the first person: so Timothy is introduced, 2 Corinthians 1:1 bearers of the Epistle were probably Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus (see the subscription, 1 Corinthians 16:24 ( 1 Corinthians 16:17 1 Corinthians 16:18 return back to Corinth; and therefore he commends them to the regard of the Corinthians.

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