Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Introduction to the New Testament (Session 9 - Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians)

You may listen to a podcast of this session at PodBean.

During this session, we considered Paul letters to the Corinthians.

Considering Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians 

Between A.D. 54 and 56, Paul wrote at least five letters to a church he planted in Corinth.

  • Corinth was a city on the isthmus linking the Peloponnese to the rest of Greece.
  • Paul established the Corinthian church around A.D. 50. 
  • 1 Corinthians isn’t the first letter Paul wrote to the church. (1 Corinthians 5:9-12: I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral persons—not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge?)
  • Between writing 1 and 2 Corinthians, Paul visited Corinth, but the visit didn’t go well. 
  • After his painful visit, Paul may have written a letter that’s lost, one that was frank and blunt. (2 Corinthians 1:23: But I call on God as witness against me: it was to spare you that I did not come again to Corinth.
  • This third letter may been successful, as reflected in the a fourth letter (2 Corinthians 1–9). 
  • Between the fourth letter and the fifth letter (2 Corinthians 10–13), things seem to have unraveled. They questioned him about his handling of money and his authority.

The different letters might be ordered as follows:

  • First Letter (Lost)
  • Second Letter (1 Corinthians)
  • Third Letter (Lost)
  • Fourth Letter (2 Corinthians 1-9 - fragments)
  • Fifth Letter (2 Corinthians 10-13 - fragments)

The Corinthian Church faced divisions.

  • Rich vs. Poor 
  • Greek vs. Latin vs. Jew
  • Followers of Paul vs. the followers of Apollos 
  • Charismatics vs. Non-charismatics
  • Platonists vs. Non-Platonists 

Structurally, 1 Corinthians would appear to be one letter, divided into two parts:

  • Theology (“what”) – 1:10–4:21
  • Ethic (“so what”) 
    • Sexual immorality
    • Taking Christians to court
    • Questions related to sociosexual groups
    • Eating meat offered to idols
    • Worship practices
    • Resurrection

Structurally, 2 Corinthians would appear to be a collection of fragments.

  • 2 Corinthians 1–9
  • 2 Corinthians 10–13

In responding to the Corinthians, Paul will define some concepts important in his theology. They include the following:

  • The application of the law
  • Responsible Christian behavior
  • The nature of the church and the role of the Holy Spirit
  • The resurrection

1 comment:

  1. Subject: PRAYER NEEDED
    Date: 2014-08-13 08:09
    To: undisclosed recipients: ;


    Archbishop Coakley Calls for Prayer to St Michael to Stop Black Mass

    Despite Requests to City, September Event Still Scheduled

    By Staff
    WASHINGTON, D.C., August 06, 2014 ( - Here is the text of an open letter released by Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, regarding a black mass planned for September in the city.
    * * *
    August 4, 2014
    The Memorial of St. John Vianney
    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
    By now you are probably aware that a Satanic group has scheduled a so-called Black Mass for Sunday, September 21 at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City.
    Even though tickets are being sold for this event as if it were merely some sort of dark entertainment, this Satanic ritual is deadly serious. It is a blasphemous and obscene inversion of the Catholic Mass. Using a consecrated Host obtained illicitly from a Catholic church and desecrating it in the vilest ways imaginable, the practitioners offer it in sacrifice to Satan. This terrible sacrilege is a deliberate attack on the Catholic Mass as well as the foundational beliefs of all Christians. It mocks Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we Catholics believe is truly present under the form of bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist when it has been consecrated by a validly ordained priest.
    In spite of repeated requests, there has been no indication that the City intends to prevent this event from taking place. I have raised my concerns with city officials and pointed out how deeply offensive this proposed sacrilegious act is to Christians and especially to the more than 250,000 Catholics who live in Oklahoma. I am certainly concerned about the misuse of a publicly supported facility for an event which has no other purpose than mocking the Catholic faith. I am especially concerned about the dark powers that this Satanic worship invites into our community and the spiritual danger that this poses to all who are involved in it, directly or indirectly. Since it seems this event will not be cancelled, I am calling on all Catholics of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to counteract this challenge to faith and decency through prayer and penance.
    Specifically, I am asking that the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel be included at the conclusion of every Mass, beginning on the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6) and continuing through the Feast of the Archangels (September 29). I invite all Catholics to pray daily for divine protection through the intercession of this heavenly patron who once defeated Lucifer in his rebellion against the Almighty and who stands ready to assist us in this hour of need.
    Secondly, I am asking that each parish conduct a Eucharistic Holy Hour with Benediction to honor Christ's Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, between the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15) and September 21, to avert this proposed sacrilege.
    Finally, I invite all Catholics, Christians and people of good will to join me in prayer for a Holy Hour, outdoor Eucharistic Procession and Benediction at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Oklahoma City at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 21, the day of the proposed sacrilege. We will pray to avert this sacrilege and publicly manifest our faith in the Lord and our loving gratitude for the gift of the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives.
    A printable version of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese on the archdiocesan website ( If you have not yet done so, I urge you to contact the Office of the Mayor, the Honorable Mick Cornett, to express your outrage over this offensive and blasphemous sacrilege and this misuse of a tax-supported public space.
    Commending our efforts to the Lord through the loving intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, I am
    Sincerely yours in Christ,
    Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley
    Archbishop of Oklahoma City