Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 1

About Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians

1 Corinthians 1:1

“Corinthians” means inhabitants of Corinth. Corinth is an important city in southern Greece.

In Acts 18:1-8, you can read how Paul started the first Christian church in Corinth. Paul stayed there for 18 months (Acts 18:11). Afterwards, Paul went to Ephesus where he worked for 2 years. At about the same time, another Christian leader called Apollos went from Ephesus to Corinth (Acts 18:24 to Acts 19:1).

When Apollos left Corinth, Paul was still at Ephesus. The church in Corinth now had many members. Some local men became the leaders of the church, but they had some difficulties. The members of the church did not respect them as they had respected Paul and Apollos.

Perhaps for that reason, one of those leaders called Stephanas went to Ephesus to visit Paul (16:15-18). It seems that he brought a letter from the church leaders to Paul (7:1). That letter explained their problems. But both Paul and Apollos were unwilling to go back to Corinth at that time (16:7-9; 16:12).

So Paul sent the Book of 1 Corinthians as a letter to the church in Corinth. Its purpose was to give advice on the matters that the church leaders had asked about.

Paul was extremely busy in Ephesus. He did not just teach the people about God; he also worked to earn money for himself and his companions (Acts 20:34). Paul’s job was to make tents (Acts 18:3). So one of the local Christians called Sosthenes offered to help Paul as he wrote this letter. It seems that Sosthenes wrote down Paul’s words for him. Otherwise, Paul could not have written such a long letter.

Next part: The nature of God's church (1 Corinthians 1:2-3)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.