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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

The First Letter Of Paul To The Corinthians - Introduction

In 1 Corinthians Paul combines instruction with exhortation. * The church at Corinth had been started by Paul only a few years earlier, and much of the letter deals with questions that arose within the congregation as it sought to live out the demands of the gospel within an urban setting. But the letter does more than provide additional information from their founding apostle. * It also encourages the church to be more unified in its internal dealings and to put its leaders in proper perspective. They are asked to recognize Paul's unique authority and his right to instruct them about their faith, but also to see him and other figures, such as Apollos and Peter, as co-workers in a larger enterprise, in which God is the main player. First Corinthians may be seen as a pastoral letter addressing very practical questions of congregational life.

First Corinthians was written in the early 50s during Paul's extended period of mission and ministry in the Aegean region. Paul probably wrote the letter from Ephesus, a major city across the Aegean from Corinth. The letter in its present form may consist of shorter letters or notes sent on different occasions. Prior to the writing of the letter, Paul has received reports of friction among the members ( 1.11–12 ). He also knows of incidents that require his attention ( 5.1–2 ). He has received at least one written communication from the Corinthians asking for instruction and clarification about a number of points ( 7.1 ), and he has already written them at least once ( 5.9 ). Thus when we read 1 Corinthians we are joining a conversation that has been going on for some time.

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