Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. iii-v

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Editor's Preface

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p. xi

Sacra Pagina is a multi-volume commentary on the books of the New Testament. The expression Sacra Pagina (“Sacred Page”) originally referred to the text of Scripture. In the Middle Ages it also described the study of Scripture to which the interpreter brought the tools of grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, and philosophy...

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Author's Preface

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pp. xiii-xv

First Corinthians is one of the longest of the apostle’s letters and has duly merited the attention paid to it by commentators from Chrysostom to the end of this twentieth century. In many ways 1 Corinthians is one of the most exciting of Paul’s letters. It introduces us to a number of people, Stephanas, Fortunatus, Achaicus, and Gaius among them, who belonged to the church at Corinth...

Note on References

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p. xvii

Abbreviations

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pp. xix-xxviii

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-40

Paul was well aware of what he was doing and why he was doing what he was doing when he wrote to the church of God at Corinth (1:2). On four occasions he refers to what he is doing as “writing” (4:14; 5:11; 9:15; 14:37). The first three times Paul speaks about writing he gives his reasons for writing. “I am writing these things,” he says in 1 Cor 4:14...

TRANSLATION, INTERPRETATION, NOTES

Introduction (1:1-9)

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A. Epistolary Opening (1:1-3)

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pp. 41-54

Although many scrolls containing the papyrus letters of the Hellenistic world had an external address, it was customary for Hellenistic letters to begin with a simple but formal address such as “Apollonius to Serapion, greetings” or “Claudius Lysias to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings” (Acts 23:26). Essentially the salutation of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is similar...

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B. Thanksgiving (1:4-9)

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pp. 55-67

The Epistolary Form and Function of the Thanksgiving Period. In Hellenistic letters it was customary for an expression of thanksgiving to the deity to follow after a health wish (cf. 3 John 2). For example, in the second century C.E. a young sailor wrote to his father, “Apion to his father and lord, Epimachos, very many greetings...

Body of the Letter (1:10—15:58)

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A. Theme and Occasion (1:10-17)

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pp. 67-86

In Hellenistic letters an expression of thanksgiving or a health wish, or both, typically provides the transition between the epistolary salutation and the body of the letter. Paul’s letter, addressed to a community, lacks a health wish. He begins the body of the letter with a direct appeal (parakalō de hymas) to the Corinthians...

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B. First Rhetorical Demonstration (1:18—4:21)

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pp. 86-203

In his treatise on rhetoric Aristotle compared the rhetorical statement of the case (prothesis) and the proof (pistis) to a problem and its demonstration (to men problēma to de apodeixis). He went on to say in regard to those who wanted to find a full and neatly articulated rhetorical order (taxis) in every exposition that “the division now generally made is absurd” (Art of Rhetoric 3.13.3)...

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C. Second Rhetorical Demonstration (5:1—7:40)

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pp. 203-304

To many commentators the lack of unity in this section of Paul’s letter is more apparent than its unity. The reference to the letter Paul had received from the Corinthians (7:1) seems to imply a new beginning. Indeed, Paul’s reference to the reception of the letter is one factor in the argument of those who dispute the unity of the letter (see Introduction)...

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D. Third Rhetorical Demonstration (8:1—11:1)

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pp. 304-391

Paul introduces a new topic in 8:1. The subject is food once offered to idols and now served at a meal: in one’s own home (10:25-26), when one is a guest (10:27-31), as a festive meal in a temple (8:10), or in the context of a cultic celebration (10:14-21). The formal introduction of the topic, “concerning” (peri de), suggests that the issue...

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E. Fourth Rhetorical Demonstration (11:2-34)

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pp. 392-441

Saying “I commend you” (11:2), Paul moves from his consideration of the complex issue of the Corinthians’ eating food offered to idols to a new topic. Ostensibly the issue is the traditions the Corinthians had received from Paul (11:2). The discussion, however, focuses on two issues...

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F. Fifth Rhetorical Demonstration (12:1—14:40)

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pp. 441-525

In this demonstration Paul takes up the topic of the “spiritual gifts” (pneumatika) with which the members of the Corinthian community had been abundantly enriched (1:5-7). The use of “concerning” (peri de) to identify the topic for discussion may indicate that spiritual gifts were one of the troubling issues...

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G. Sixth Rhetorical Demonstration (15:1-58)

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pp. 525-584

Thomas W. Gillespie (First Theologians 235) considers ch. 15 an “instance of prophetic utterance” with intertextual links to the discussion on prophecy in ch. 14. As an instance of prophetic utterance it consists of the interpretation of the apostolic kerygma (vv. 3b-8) in the light of a revelation (vv. 50-58)...

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Closing (16:1-24)

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pp. 585-618

In 16:1 Paul turns his attention to a new topic, identified as the collection for the holy ones. In his letter he has used the pronomial adjective “holy ones” (hoi hagioi) to describe the Christians of Corinth (1:2; 6:1-2). Of itself the adjective is a cultic term, one that the NT frequently associates with Jerusalem, particularly with the cult that was celebrated there (cf. 3:17)...

INDEXES

Index of Scripture References

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pp. 619-660

Index of Classical, Jewish, and Patristic Sources

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pp. 661-675

Index of Modern Authors

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pp. 676-685

Index of Topics

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pp. 686-695

Supplementary Bibliography

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pp. 697-703