Lectionary Year A
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 20, 2002
1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) Acts 18:17 refers to Sosthenes as being teamed with Paul and as being beaten by the tribunal of Achaia's proconsul, Gallio. However, according to Price, Sosthenes might be Paul's secretary. Surely the enriching gifts and the future revelations of Christ would be making real impacts as the epistle gets read and heard in Corinth. So, "the theological 'center of gravity' in this text" is the Faithful God mentioned in the last verse of this lection. Other major issues include the will of God that calls the Apostle, the Church at Corinth, Jesus Christ in whom the recipients of the epistle are enriched, and whose revelation is yet incomplete. The two mentions of "strengthening", in verses 6 and 8, might be minor concerns as are the testimony of Christ, the gifts of knowledge and speech and the Corinthians' "blamelessness in the day of Christ".

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 1 Paul called an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and also Sosthenese a fellow believer, 2 to the church of God those being in Corinth, having been consecrated in Christ Jesus, called saintly/holy, together with all the ones calling upon the name of the Lord of ours Jesus Christ in every place. He is the Lord of theirs and of ours. We send 3 grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank God always for you because of the grace of God. It was given to you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in all things you are enriched in Him, in every word and in all knowledge, 6 as the testimony of the Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you are never to lack in any gifts (as expressions of divine grace). So. wait expectantly for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ; 8 who also will confirm you to the end without fault in the day of our Lord Jesus [Christ]. 9 Faithful is the God through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) Paul might have been doing in the Corinthian correspondences at least some of what Elizabeth Hardwick (b. 1916), U. S. author, critic, wrote in A View of My Own, "Anderson, Millay and Crane in Their Letters", (1962; first published 1953), "Letters are above all a useful means of expressing the ideal self; and no other method of communication is quite so good for this purpose . . . In letters we can reform without practice, beg without humiliation, snip and shape embarrassing experiences to the measure of our own desires . . ."

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