Corinthian Epilogue

We have finished with our journey through 1 Corinthians.  The final chapter of the letter represents a denouement: Paul encourages the community to put aside money for the church in Jerusalem, announces that he an Timothy are planning to visit Corinth, and lets the Corinthians know that Apollos won’t be able to visit anytime soon.  Paul concludes with final greetings from the churches in Asia and the house church of Prisca and Aquila.  The final greetings include some of the themes that Paul has stressed throughout the letter: he encourages the Corinthians to let all that they do “be done in love” and ends by proclaiming “marana tha,” an Aramaic turn of phrase that means “Our Lord, come!”  Throughout the letter, Paul has emphasized the centrality of love within the new creation that is being brought into being by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; his encouragement of love and his prayer for the coming of the Lord in the final verses of the letter highlight the importance of these themes to life in the Christian community.

Though many of my reflections on this letter come from my work in seminary, I am indebted to Richard Hays’ excellent commentary on 1 Corinthians, a book that got us through some of the thorniest questions that arose in the text.  I recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading more about this letter.  If you’d like a book that is slightly more accessible, I’d recommend N.T. Wright’s commentary from his “New Testament for Everyone” series.  Thank you for your interest in Paul’s theology.  Stay tuned for posts about the final three days of Holy Week.

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