Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Step I - (Initial) Acquaintance
A. Comparison of English or other published translations
· Appeal (RSV, NIV, NRSV) vs. exhort (NASB) vs. plead (NKJV) vs. beg (WE) vs. "serious
concern to bring up" (Message) - beseech?
· Dissension (RSV) vs. division (NRSV, NIV)
· Can you have the former without the latter?
· Folly (RSV) vs. foolishness (NRSV, NIV) vs. "sheer silliness" (Message)
· Purpose (NRSV) vs. thought (NIV) vs. opinion (original gnome?)
B. Greek/Hebrew Textual Criticism
· v.13 - is this a statement or a question?
· "Christ is not divided." vs. "Has Christ been divided?"
· v. 14 - [to God] in brackets? Included to follow pattern of Romans 1:8, 1 Corinthians 1:4
· does it matter who you give thanks to? Is the implication enough?
C. One's Own Rough Translation
Step II - Disposition
A. Genre - How the text says what it says
- letter? - public communication of apostolic authority
- response to particular situation
- personal exhortation
- 3 rhetorical questions
B. Personal Interaction - Questions and observations
- who is Chloe? Why does she (or her slaves/members of her household) squeal on the
others? What was their reaction? Had she gone to the quarrelers first?
- Paul's sacramental theology vs. his theology of the cross - does he really not remember
who he baptized?
- Seems to be tells us just how much he thinks of baptism when he has this "Oh
yeah, I baptized those people at Stephanas' house. Beyond that, who knows - I
can't remember" moment.
- Paul not sent to baptize but to proclaim the gospel
- Priority of baptism vs. other activities
- Compare to Matthew 28:19 - disciples called to make disciples of all nations by
baptizing them…and teaching them
- Eloquent wisdom
- Paul seems to want to distance himself from it, yet can he?
- He himself uses it
- Brought up at the feet of Gamaliel
- More about pride, arrogance in ability to wax philosophical, which may get in the
way of the wisdom of the cross
- Can anything [we say] or do really get in the way of the cross?
C. Organization - Where the elements of "B" are located
- Hard to come by, especially in the church
- Nature of the disunity
- Ecclesiastical order - who baptized whom? Is this sort of a "chicken &
- Divisions - schisms - quarrels
Step III - Composition
A. Immediate Context - preceding/following pericope
- before - salutation of letter/apostolic message
- thanksgiving to God for providing all the spiritual gifts necessary
- after - more rhetorical questions
- signs and wisdom vs. Christ crucified
B. Organization of the Compositional Whole
- After the usual salutation/introductory comments, letter turns to doctrinal and ethical
- Marriage, status in society, pagan environments, communal life/worship,
C. Issues of Authorship
- Written from Ephesus
Step IV - Context
A. Primitive Christianity
- Paul well known to area churches? Relationship to Acts 19/Ephesus baptism issues and
some of the same characters like Apollos?
- Links to Romans, 2 Corinthians (obviously), 2 Thessalonians 2
- Wisdom vs. cross
B. Old Testament and Judaism
- Paul's Jewish background, training
- Resonates with Jewish community within Corinth
- Signs vs. cross
D. Hellenistic World
Step V - Distillation
A. Summary of Salient Features
- compare Ephesians 4
- contrast between human wisdom and wisdom of cross
B. Smooth Translation
B. Hermeneutical Bridge
- Significant events/changes/challenges in human experience make known the schismata
- Capital campaign/building project accentuated already existing divisions/schisms
- Crack in foundation
- Reality of churches, human endeavors
- Speak the same name (Jesus Christ, uttered in baptism) vs. other names
- Is that what we want to build on?
- Which are we most interested in - signs or wisdom?
- May be changing from wisdom to signs, especially with popularity of books like
Step VI - Contemporary Address
A. Description of Audience
- UM congregation in process of building
B. Intended Goals for the Address
- Acknowledge reality - there are some cracks in the body
- No controversy probably means no life
- Point not to focus on the cracks/keep track of "who baptized whom"
- What we know about the church and who is aligned with whom
- Unity in Christ crucified