Lectionary Year A
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 3, 2002
1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) This pericope seems to be an argument for the opposites of what the ordinary believer in the first century might suppose to be the case, re: the message of the cross. As expected, Paul takes off on tangents differing between wisdom and the lack thereof. He gives a few examples to make his case. Then, he returns to the original subject, the message of the cross, by declaring it has benefits as well as confusions to some. Next, he briefly refers to the topics of weakness and strengths. Then, he returns to the original theme by contrasting the ordinariness of the believers to whom he writes. He has them focus on their call and God's role in it. As the chapter begins to end he marks the right way of boasting. There-in-between the last three verses, he does some theologizing, by mentioning righteousness, holiness and deliverance.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) Does the quote from the Old Testament change the subject or elucidate the opening verse states? Does Paul correctly presume the Corinthians are uninformed, insignificant, lesser-lights, etc? Is he assuming that if they understood the miraculous-ness of God's choosing them, they would shape up their misbehavior? Are the Corinthians likely to take exception to his less than complimentary references to their ordinariness? Perhaps my questions come from my concern for the self-esteem of the recipients of this letter. Paul never heard the idiom, "You catch more with honey than with vinegar"?

C. Organization

(JFC) The opening verse is number 18 and the second one in this passage is 19. Such verses as 19-21 and 26-28 seem to be derogatory towards the Corinthians.

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