First Corinthians

By Mary Jane Chaignot

Categories: Paul, Paul


Is it possible to summarize succinctly First Corinthians?


I Corinthians According to Acts 18:1-10, Paul spent 18 months in Corinth (ca 50-51), working alongside Aquila and Priscilla as a tentmaker. But every Sabbath he taught the word of God in the synagogues. When he was thrown out of the synagogues, he moved next door to the home of Crispus, and continued to teach.

When Paul left to continue his missionary journey, he left behind a thriving small House church, which possibly met in the home of Gaius (Rom 16:23). He kept in touch with this congregation by writing them several letters. During his next journey, Paul spent three years in Ephesus. It is from there that he wrote I Corinthians. I Corinthians was not the first letter Paul wrote, but it's the first one we have.

The letter addresses specific issues having to do with his little church. No doubt things were going along quite well when he left, but as the years passed, problems arose. He heard about the problems through Chloe's people, who complained about the "divisions in the Church." Many scholars have attributed these divisions to the influence of other teachers, namely Apollos, who showed up after Paul left. But there is also reason to think that many of the divisions were socially based.

Scholars believe the house church was small -- perhaps only 30-50 people. Included in this number were representatives from all walks of society, both men and women. There were people like Gaius, who had a house big enough to accommodate such a large gathering. There were also people who had no social standing at all, like the slaves. We know approximately 16 of the people by name. It's not hard to imagine tensions arising between those who were well-educated and prosperous and those who had nothing.

If you want more information, go to Bible Study - Books of the Bible for a complete chapter and verse breakdown on I Corinthians.

If you have any questions related to the Bible, please feel free to email us.