First-century Corinth and its challenges were not so different from our own. Upwardly mobile Christians facing radically diverse ethnic, religious, economic and social conditions. The church divided over issues of leadership and authority, sexual morality, gender and worship, marriage and divorce. Sound familiar?
Yet as Alan Johnson highlights in this excellent commentary, in the midst of this detailed, practical letter to a church in crisis Paul has penned one of the greatest paeans to love ever written. And, of course, love is just what is needed to address complex human issues--whether in the first century or the twenty-first.
Johnson's deft analysis of 1 Corinthians features an introduction that explores the social, cultural and historical background of the city and its people. Rounding out the introduction, Johnson discusses the letter's occasion and date, authorship and purpose, and major theologicall themes. His passage-by-passage commentary follows, seeking to explain what the letter of 1 Corinthians means for the church today as well as what it meant for its original hearers.
Use this resources in your own studies of 1 Corinthians, and you may be surprised how relevant it is to the issues you face today as well.