Lesson 3 of 5
In Progress

Background of 1 Corinthians

Sometime in the 40s, Paul founded a church, or more likely several smaller house churches, in the port city of Corinth. The city itself was a diversely populated urban center, and that diversity may have been mirrored in the community of Gentile believers Paul drew together.

After living in Corinth for some time, Paul went on to other work. Then, in response to a letter from the Corinthians and a report from “Chloe’s people” (1 Corinthians 1:11) that the church was experiencing division, Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians. He was living in Ephesus at the time (see 1 Corinthians 16:8-9), and he anticipated visiting Corinth soon after the letter arrived.

The report and letter Paul received led him to conclude that the Corinthians were disagreeing with each other about the quality of leadership Paul and other apostles had offered, about the implications of their new spiritual existence for decidedly physical activities like eating and being involved in sexual relationships, about whether their experience of being in Christ made them at all responsible to other brothers and sisters in Christ, and similar issues.