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Part 1: The Divisions in the Community, 1 :10-4:21 This part of the letter is not a unity, neither in style nor in content. But a compact piece of theology does emerge from behind the manifold individual topics. The correspondence begins with 1:10. Now ofcourse the whole letter is concerned with topical subjects which had arisen in Corinth or been put to Paul in the form of inquiries. Compared to these, however, this first part again forms an exception, because Paul must first of all make the Corinthians aware of pertinent questions that are posed by their party system. A preliminary survey is provided by the section 1:10-17. Here the tone is set by the opening word 1rapaKaXw, "I beseech," with its contrast to the thanksgiving. Afterwards Paul goes far beyond the concrete occasion (from v 18 onward ): he interprets the nature of the community in fundamental expositions of the content and form of the gospel. This is presented as the wisdom of God, which in the world appears as a paradox, in the form ofwhat (according to worldly standards) is foolishness. With 2:6 the exposition passes over into the mystery style. From 3:1 onward Paul again addresses himselfdirectly to the community. Again, even from the stylistic standpoint, high points are attained which go far beyond the occasion of the moment: 3:21-23; 4:8-13. In the end Paul returns to the paraenetic style, and thus rounds off this part of the epistle (4:14-21). 30 ...


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