The Books of the New Testament
The Book of 1 Corinthians
Brief Summary. Paul exhorts the church at
Corinth regarding disorders, problems, abuses, and heresies.
Latin: Corinthios I
a, First (letter) to the Corinthians
Author: Paul (Saul)
Date: 54, during
Paul's Third missionary journey
Christians in Corinth
Church Disorders. This letter deals with factions and corrections due to
immorality, lawsuits, and abuse of the Lordís Supper. Also mentions idols,
marriage, and the resurrection.
Dictionary: First Corinthians
Dictionary: First Corinthians
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Summary of the Book of 1 Corinthians
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1 Corinthians. "It is manifest from this state of things that there was
much that deserved reprehension, and needed correction, in this church. And the
apostle, under the direction and influence of the Holy Spirit, sets himself to
do both with all wisdom and faithfulness, and with a due mixture of tenderness
and authority, as became one in so elevated and important a station in the
church. After a short introduction at the beginning of the epistle, he first
blames them for their discord and factions, enters into the origin and source of
them, shows them how much pride and vanity, and the affectation of science, and
learning, and eloquence, flattered by false teachers, contributed to the
scandalous schism; and prescribes humility, and submission to divine
instruction, the teaching of God by his Spirit, both by external revelation and
internal illumination, as a remedy for the evils that abounded amongst them. He
shows them the vanity of their pretended science and eloquence on many accounts.
This he does through the 1 Corinthians 1:1-4:21. In the 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 he
treats of the case of the incestuous person, and orders him to be put out from
among them. Nor is what the ancients say improbable, that this incestuous person
was a man in great esteem, and head of one party at least among them. The
apostle seems to tax them with being puffed up on his account, 1 Corinthians
5:2. In the 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 he blames them for their law-suits, carried on
before heathen judges, when their disputes about property should have been
amicably determined amongst themselves, and in the 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 warns
them against the sin of fornication, and urges his caution with a variety of
arguments. In the 1 Corinthians 7:1-40 he gives advice upon a case of
conscience, which some of that church had proposed to him in an epistle, about
marriage, and shows it to be appointed of God as a remedy against fornication,
that the ties of it were not dissolved, though a husband or wife continued a
heathen, when the other became a Christian; and, in short, that Christianity
made no change in men's civil states and relations. He gives also some
directions here about virgins, in answer, as is probable, to the Corinthians'
enquiries. In the 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 he directs them about meats offered to
idols, and cautions them against abusing their Christian liberty. From this he
also takes occasion, in the 1 Corinthians 9:1-27, to expatiate a little on his
own conduct upon this head of liberty. For, though he might have insisted on a
maintenance from the churches where he ministered, he waived this demand, that
he might make the gospel of Christ without charge, and did in other things
comply with and suit himself to the tempers and circumstances of those among
whom he laboured, for their good. In the 1 Corinthians 10:1-33 he dissuades
them, from the example of the Jews, against having communion with idolaters, by
eating of their sacrifices, inasmuch as they could not be at once partakers of
the Lord's table and the table of devils, though they were not bound to enquire
concerning meat sold in the shambles, or set before them at a feast made by
unbelievers, whether it were a part of the idol-sacrifices or no, but were at
liberty to eat without asking questions. In the 1 Corinthians 11:1-34 he gives
direction about their habit in public worship, blames them for their gross
irregularities and scandalous disorders in receiving the Lord's supper, and
solemnly warns them against the abuse of so sacred an institution. In the 1
Corinthians 12:1-31 he enters on the consideration of spiritual gifts, which
were poured forth in great abundance on this church, upon which they were not a
little elated. He tells them, in this chapter, that all came from the same
original, and were all directed to the same end. They issued from one Spirit,
and were intended for the good of the church, and must be abused when they were
not made to minister to this purpose. Towards the close he informs them that
they were indeed valuable gifts, but he could recommend to them something far
more excellent, upon which he breaks out, in the 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, into the
commendation and characteristics of charity. And them, in the 1 Corinthians
14:1-40, he directs them how to keep up decency and order in the churches in the
use of their spiritual gifts, in which they seem to have been exceedingly
irregular, through pride of their gifts and a vanity of showing them. The 1
Corinthians 15:1-58 is taken up in confirming and explaining the great doctrine
of the resurrection. The 1 Corinthians 16:1-24 consists of some particular
advices and salutations; and thus the epistle closes." - Matthew Henry (Read
Outline of the Book of 1 Corinthians (Scriptures and Topics Covered)
Unity Versus Division - Chapters 1-3
Order Versus Disorder - Chapters 4-11
Church Gifts, Love, and Doctrines - Chapters 12-16
Questions for further study.
Why did Paul feel the need to write First Corinthians?
Who founded the church in Corinth?
Who delivered this letter to the church in Corinth?
Who was the author of the book of First Corinthians?
When was the book of First Corinthians written?
Where was the book of First Corinthians written?
What language was the book of First Corinthians written in?
With what theme was the book of First Corinthians written?
What was the purpose of planting churches?
What disrupted the gospel at the church in Corinth?
What were the main problems addressed in Paul's epistle?
1 Corinthians Resources
Map of New Testament Israel
the Roman Empire
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Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey
Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey
Map of New Testament Cities
Map of the 7 Churches of Revelation (Asia Minor)
Map of the Roman Empire In the Time of Jesus
of Asia in Roman Times
Map of New Testament Greece