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

  1. letter? - public communication of apostolic authority
  2. response to particular situation
  3. personal exhortation
  4. teaching
  5. 3 rhetorical questions
  6. sarcasm?

B. Personal Interaction - Questions and observations

  1. 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?
  2. Paul's sacramental theology vs. his theology of the cross - does he really not remember who he baptized?
  3. 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.
  4. Paul not sent to baptize but to proclaim the gospel
  5. Priority of baptism vs. other activities
  6. Compare to Matthew 28:19 - disciples called to make disciples of all nations by baptizing them…and teaching them
  7. Eloquent wisdom
  8. Paul seems to want to distance himself from it, yet can he?
  9. He himself uses it
  10. Brought up at the feet of Gamaliel
  11. More about pride, arrogance in ability to wax philosophical, which may get in the way of the wisdom of the cross
  12. Can anything [we say] or do really get in the way of the cross?

C. Organization - Where the elements of "B" are located

  1. Unity
  2. Hard to come by, especially in the church
  3. Nature of the disunity
  4. Ecclesiastical order - who baptized whom? Is this sort of a "chicken & egg" question?
  5. Divisions - schisms - quarrels

Step III - Composition
A. Immediate Context - preceding/following pericope

  1. before - salutation of letter/apostolic message
  2. thanksgiving to God for providing all the spiritual gifts necessary
  3. after - more rhetorical questions
  4. signs and wisdom vs. Christ crucified

B. Organization of the Compositional Whole

  1. After the usual salutation/introductory comments, letter turns to doctrinal and ethical issues
  2. Marriage, status in society, pagan environments, communal life/worship, resurrection

C. Issues of Authorship

  1. Written from Ephesus
  2. Personal

Step IV - Context
A. Primitive Christianity

  1. Paul well known to area churches? Relationship to Acts 19/Ephesus baptism issues and some of the same characters like Apollos?
  2. Links to Romans, 2 Corinthians (obviously), 2 Thessalonians 2
  3. Wisdom vs. cross

B. Old Testament and Judaism

  1. Paul's Jewish background, training
  2. Resonates with Jewish community within Corinth
  3. Signs vs. cross

D. Hellenistic World

Step V - Distillation
A. Summary of Salient Features

  1. unity
  2. compare Ephesians 4
  3. contrast between human wisdom and wisdom of cross

B. Smooth Translation

B. Hermeneutical Bridge

  1. Significant events/changes/challenges in human experience make known the schismata
  2. Capital campaign/building project accentuated already existing divisions/schisms
  3. Crack in foundation
  4. Reality of churches, human endeavors
  5. Speak the same name (Jesus Christ, uttered in baptism) vs. other names
  6. Is that what we want to build on?
  7. Which are we most interested in - signs or wisdom?
  8. May be changing from wisdom to signs, especially with popularity of books like Lahaie's?

Step VI - Contemporary Address
A. Description of Audience

  1. UM congregation in process of building

B. Intended Goals for the Address

  1. Acknowledge reality - there are some cracks in the body
  2. No controversy probably means no life
  3. Point not to focus on the cracks/keep track of "who baptized whom"
  4. What we know about the church and who is aligned with whom
  5. Unity in Christ crucified

F. Address