Probably the third surviving text from the unfolding life of the early Christian communities, I Corinthians is a much longer, and therefore richer, source of St Paul’s thought, then the two earlier epistles.
Unity & Love
The Christian community in Corinth is suffering from divisions. It’s clearly very mixed in its membership (1:26-28). Richer members are not waiting to share food with the less well-off ones at the Lord’s Supper (11:21-22). Members appeal to different Christian leaders as the source of their authority (3:1-9) and Paul seems to have written this letter to settle some disputed issues indicated in a letter received from Corinth; he also intends to visit in person at some later date.
Famously, chapter 13 is Paul’s great text in praise of love – always patient, always kind and bearing no record of wrongs. In a letter elsewhere confrontational, here he challenges the Christians of Corinth to…
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