I’ve been reading 1 Corinthians a lot in preparation for preaching through it the rest of the year. If 1 Timothy lays the foundation for the church, 1 Corinthians builds a distinct community on top of that foundation, and it does so amidst a pluralistic culture swirling with the idolatries of knowledge, power, status, sex, and wealth.
1 Corinthians is practical theology par excellence. Every ethical exhortation is rooted in rich gospel thought. Ethical issues are treated with backwards Christology (cross) and forward Christology (new creation). The letter is retrieves old testament theology and, to use Richard Hays’ phrase, converts the imagination to think out the story of God in a way that resocializes them to live distinctly in their culture. Everything is here: biblical theology, practical issues, cultural engagement, pastoral wisdom, and Christ crucified and risen. Here are a few books I’m reading to help me understand and preach this letter well:
This is a great version of the GNT with words that occur less than 30 times defined in the footnotes.
Victor Furnish does a nice job with the theology arguing that the gospel drives everything in this letter. I also have three others in this series including Green’s Luke and Bauckham’s on Revelation and have loved them both.
Richard Hays, one of my favorite NT authors, does biblical theology that inspires you.
Ben Witherington, especially good on Greco-Roman backgrounds.
A heavy weight scholar with masterful exegetical skills and great detail. Eye-crossing at times.