One of the apostle Paul's longest surviving letters, 1 Corinthians represents a prolonged argument for unity addressed to a church fraught-already-with internal struggles and sharp dissension just a few months after it was established.
Across the sixteen chapters of the letter, Paul addresses a range of troubling issues: obsession with worldly status, sexual immorality, Christian lawsuits, questionable dietary habits, immodest behavior during worship services, denial of the resurrection of the dead, and more.
In Reading 1 Corinthians, Timothy Brookins leads the reader through 1 Corinthians section by section, explaining the often perplexing intricacies of Paul's arguments in the light of the wider context of the letter, Paul's theology as a whole, and the church's first-century urban setting. Building on his earlier work, Brookins argues that socio-economic factors and contemporary philosophical perspectives intersected to create a dire rift in the Corinthian church, leaving it divided especially along the line between the "spiritual" Christians and the "unspiritual" ones. Paul advocates a more corporate perspective as the solution for the divisions. All are one in Christ, united with him and with each other. All things should be done, not for building up oneself, but for building up of the church. This is love. And in love there is unity.
Timothy A. Brookins is Associate Professor of Classics and Biblical Languages at Houston Baptist University. His research focuses on early Christianity within its ancient context. He is also the author of Corinthians Wisdom, Stoic Philosophy, and the Ancient Economy and the co-author of 1 Corinthians: A Handbook on the Greek Text (2 volumes).
Edited by Todd D. Still, Charles J. and Elanor McLerran DeLancey Dean & William M. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures at Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary, the Reading the New Testament commentary series presents cutting-edge biblical research in accessible language.
Praise for Reading 1 Corinthians
"Quite a few of the recent commentaries on 1 Corinthians provide too much recycled information from older commentaries on this letter. It is with much delight, then, that I am able to commend Dr. Brookins's commentary as an important exception to the rule. His focus on stoic and ancient philosophical aspects of the letter is a much-needed addition to the Corinthians studies, not only for a fresh reading of the correspondence but also because the philosophical ideas addressed in this work are indeed important elements influencing this congregation. This is an impressive commentary that will engage students, ministers, and scholars alike." -B.J. Oropeza, Professor Biblical Studies and Religious Studies, Azusa Pacific University
"Timothy Brookins is among the most qualified people currently writing in English on 1 Corinthians for his familiarity with the Greek text of the letter, understanding of philosophies and social mores in the milieu of first-century-CE Corinth, and sense for how we Christians can apply this letter to our lives. In academic settings, this commentary will prove to be accessible and valuable for undergraduates through graduate students, as well as for their professors. In church settings, it will be a very useful resource for lay people, seminarians, and pastors who desire to engage at a deeper level with 1 Corinthians." -Mark Reasoner, Marian University