Historical Cultural Context On The City Of Corinth

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INTRODUCTION 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, in many ways offers a measuring stick for what true wisdom and power is, according to Scripture. While the believers in Corinth are looking for, and claiming to have, true wisdom and power, Paul addresses the issue and makes it clear that true wisdom and power are found in Christ and in the message of the cross. In no uncertain terms, Paul states that the wisdom of the world is lacking and is unable to save “those who are perishing.” But, the so-called foolishness of God has the power to save those who believe, and is found only in the cross of Jesus Christ. While Jews and Greeks alike are searching for that which saves, Paul makes it clear that salvation is not found in the wisdom and power of…show more content…
Because of its beneficial geographical location, Corinth was extremely prosperous, and that financial prosperity led to ever increasing moral corruption. While most Greco-Roman cities were marked with immorality, Corinth seemed to rise above the rest in this particular area. “Even by the pagan standards of its own culture, Corinth became so morally corrupt that its very name became synonymous with debauchery and moral depravity.” LITERARY CONTEXT The first letter to the Corinthians as a whole alternates between responses to reports and answers to questions from the church, and 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 is found in the beginning of Paul’s first response to reports dealing with factions and divisions within the body of believers. The previous section of the letter is the introduction and Paul’s note of thanks for the Corinthian believers. There is a distinct note of commendation and love in the first section before Paul begins to condemn and exhort the Corinthians for their poor behavior. Much of this behavior is linked to their boasting about their wisdom, or the wisdom of those whom they choose to follow. Therefore, much of Paul’s teaching is in relation to true wisdom, as opposed to worldly wisdom. Paul continues to address the issue of factions in the church by further concentrating on the issue of wisdom, before he begins approaching other issues from the report in chapters 5 and 6. Following this, Paul begins to address the questions posed by the
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