By | July 26, 2010

Bible and magnifying glassIn our last entry, Paul pulled out a number of tricks from his “How to Keep Followers” bag. Paul tried buttering up the Corinthians, then guilting them about one of their members who had started sinning. He even plays the “my religion is better than your religion” card, stating that Jesus has more glory than Moses, so the Corinthians should abandon their Judaic ways. Will any of those tactic works?

I don’t know, actually. I reckon we’ll learn more about the results of this letter indirectly in Galatians or one of the future letters. For now, all we know is that Paul still has the floor.

Chapter 4
Paul is trying to re-assure everyone in the church that Paul’s church is the real church, and that Paul’s group doesn’t try and pervert God’s words. Which means that someone was accusing them of doing just that. Who made the accusations? It is not for us to know.Paul (and presumably the other Christians) are being legitimately persecuted at this time, and he is trying to keep everyone’s spirits up. He basically tells the Christians that their tribulations and deaths further glorify the lord. And enduring this suffering and torture, even perhaps death, is worth it to gain an eternity’s worth of grace from God.

Chapter 5
To tell you the truth, I kinda fell asleep half-way into this chapter. Paul has this annoying habit of saying something, then saying it again in slightly different words, then saying it again in slightly different sentences. Once through is enough for me. Reading the same idea three times within a 21-verse chapter?

Anyway, people have a tent here and a heavenly home in god’s kingdom. We want to shed our tent (die) and move off to heaven, but to do that we have to suffer and try and spread god’s word.

Chapter 6
Now, unless I am reading this chapter wrong, Paul is basically saying that the church in Corinth  should not be as welcoming of newcomers as it is (“Stop becoming unevenly yoked with unbelievers”) and should fall into step with what Paul and his follower’s say! (“We have not cut you off, but you have cut off your own feelings toward us.”)

Apparently there is something rotten in the state of Corinth…

Up next: ????Paul’s massive ego trip

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4 thoughts on “

  1. Josh

    This is very skewed.

    “…even perhaps death, is worth it to gain an eternity’s worth of grace from God.”
    God’s grace is not earned, it is given. Paul writes from the perspective that God has given us all these gifts; what is the proper response? If the Corinthians do NOT respond correctly, God will not take away those gifts.

    “Paul is basically saying that the church in Corinth should not be as welcoming of newcomers as it is”
    Absolutely false. It’s talking about serious romantic relationships here. From a purely pragmatic perspective it can (sometimes) be a bad idea to be in an intimate relationship with someone who doesn’t share values that you hold deeply.
    It’s not talking about being cold towards unbelievers. That’s absurd.

  2. Biffster Post author

    Hi Josh! Thanks for the comment. 🙂 I can hear what you are saying, and I can see your interpretation. But that isn’t what Paul actually wrote in the letter. It may very well be what was meant. But his words are “stop being unevenly yoked with unbelievers… What agreement can a temple of God make with idols?” Paul then goes on with, “‘separate yourselves from them.'”

    In other words, I don’t see anything in chapter 6 that sounds like a romantic relationship. It still reads to me like Paul is saying to steer clear of the unbelievers. It reminds me of the “for you are in the world but not of the world” line.

    Unless, I guess, you are saying that the verse is directed towards individuals and not the church itself, and that “yoked” means “romantically involved.” That seems out of context with the rest of the chapter, which is talking with the Corinthians as a sum, not as individuals.

    I guess I can sorta see that. Though I don’t know if saying “hey, don’t fall in love with that person if she is not a believer” is all that much better.

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