Introduction to 1 Corinthians

Make love your aim

Words of wisdom for a church in turmoil

How to read 1 Corinthians

Fights. Rumors. Factions. It’s all here in 1 Corinthians. Few other passages of scripture reveal the weaknesses of Christians as vividly as this book does. Some other topics include: Dealing with a sex-crazed society. Divorce—when is it justified? When Christians can and cannot sue. Get ready! You’re about to encounter God’s perspective on some hot topics. And in the process you will see how to encourage believers to make a godly impact on today’s world.

Notice how Paul sees believers as ones who are holy and called—in spite of their sometimes unholy behavior. Watch how he skillfully strives to wake them up to the fact that they are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (1Co 3:16; 6:19). Look for the obvious emotions that filled Paul’s heart as he wrote this letter. You will observe a wide range of moods expressed here, from anger to shame to sorrow to tenderness. He longs for believers to adjust their behavior to reflect the righteousness of Jesus. Paul’s words correct jealousies and pride, steering people away from extremes that undermine Christian unity and love. This book deserves repeated readings. Your time will be well spent as you examine areas in your own life where you may need to make a change.

Who wrote this book and when?

The apostle Paul wrote it about AD 54 or 55.

To whom was it written?

Christians in Corinth, an important commercial city in Greece.

Why was it written?

Two or three years after leaving the church he’d started in Corinth, Paul heard disturbing reports: Strife and division were seriously threatening the young church. Some had become spiritually arrogant, leading to problems such as sexual misconduct, wrongdoing against other believers, abuse of spiritual gifts and misunderstandings of basic Christian teachings. Paul wrote to restore the church.

SourceView Insights

Paul’s letter to the Christians in Corinth contains only one side of his dialogue with them; therefore all the SourceView text is in black. This letter is displayed in a cursive script to give the original handwritten feel of such a personal document.

World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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