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First Corinthians (Paideia: Commentaries on the New Testament)

ISBN: 9781441255624
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In this volume, respected scholar Pheme Perkins examines cultural context and theological meaning in First Corinthians. Students, pastors, and other readers will appreciate the insights that Perkins derives from interrogating the text through multiple perspectives, providing historical, literary, and theological insight offered in this practical commentary. This commentary, like each in the Paideia series, approaches each text in its final, canonical form, proceeding by sense units rather than word-by-word or verse-by-verse. Each sense unit is explored in three sections: (1) introductory matters, (2) tracing the train of thought, (3) key hermeneutical and theological questions.

  • Examines cultural context and theological meaning
  • Discusses key hermeneutical and theological questions
  • Provides notes, outlines, images, and tables
  • 1 Corinthians 1:1–9 The Letter Opening
  • 1 Corinthians 1:10–2:16 Against Divisions: God’s Wisdom
  • 1 Corinthians 3:1–4:21 Against Divisions: Paul and Apollos as Exempla
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1–6:20 Reports about Unholy Conduct among Believers
  • 1 Corinthians 7:1–11:1 Questions in a Letter from Corinth
  • 1 Corinthians 11:2–14:40 Problems in the Community Assembled for Worship
  • 1 Corinthians 15:1–58 Reports That Some Deny the Resurrection
  • 1 Corinthians 16:1–24 The Letter Closing

Top Highlights

“One should not, however, imagine that these first believers belonged to a comfortable middle class, assured of sufficient food, some leisure, and future well-being.” (Pages 4–5)

“The Jewish refusal to do likewise struck non-Jews as an irrational lack of civility.” (Page 29)

“served as the capital of the Roman province of Achaia” (Page 6)

Professor Perkins has produced a commentary on 1 Corinthians that has the merit of being both learned and concise. She provides readers with a wealth of information about the cultural and historical background of the text without neglecting its theological meaning and significance. This is an ideal commentary for students and pastors seeking a reliable guide to one of Paul’s most important letters.

Frank J. Matera, Andrews-Kelly-Ryan Professor of Biblical Studies, Catholic University of America

This relatively concise and accessible commentary helpfully situates Paul’s letter in its first-century context through its valuable discussions of key background issues and its generous use of sidebars with quotations of relevant material from ancient sources. Pastors and students will benefit from the contextual focus as well as from Perkins’ informed approach to theological interpretation, even if they reach some different conclusions along the way.

Roy Ciampa, professor of New Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Pheme Perkins is renowned for her independence of mind and the focus and precision of her thinking. Here she combines these rare qualities in an account of 1 Corinthians that is thoroughly up to date on the best scholarship and elegantly brings its intended readership into the central questions of the letter—cultural, literary, and theological.

Troels Engberg-Pedersen, professor of New Testament, Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen

This relatively new series is aimed squarely at students of the New Testament (e.g., seminarians, theology majors, graduate students). The goal is for the reader to understand the context and content of the particular New Testament book under consideration. Rather than present a verse-by-verse exposition, the commentators consider each cohesive segment of the biblical book. All these goals are well accomplished by Pheme Perkins. . . . In her introduction to the letter and in the body of the commentary she provides a thorough exposition of Paul’s theology and its relationship to the wider context of Judaism and the Greco-Roman world. . . . [Provides] the reader with ample quotations from ancient authors and observations about the social, political, and religious context of Paul’s world; these are accompanied by various outlines, maps, and apt black and white photos of pertinent sites. All of this makes this commentary on 1 Corinthians a valuable resource for the intended audience.

The Bible Today

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Pheme Perkins is professor of theology at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She is the author of numerous books, including Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels, Reading the New Testament, Peter: Apostle for the Whole Church, Gnosticism and the New Testament, and several commentaries.

Paideia: Commentaries on the New Testament approaches each text in its final, canonical form, proceeding by sense units (pericopes) rather than word-by-word or verse-by-verse. Thus, each commentary follows the original train of thought as indicated by the author instead of modern artificial distinctions. Using this approach, one is able to grasp not only the exegetical-historical information of a passage, but also follow a coherent theological expression throughout. Additionally, this series is enormously helpful and practical through its usage of small visual presentations of historical, exegetical, and theological information. Highly user friendly, this is a great resource for college students, pastors, or those who want to take their Bible study to another level.

The Paideia series explores how New Testament texts inform Christian readers by:

  • Attending to the ancient narrative and rhetorical strategies the text employs
  • Showing how the text shapes theological convictions and moral habits
  • Commenting on the final, canonical form of each New Testament book
  • Focusing on the cultural, literary, and theological settings of the text
  • Making judicious use of maps, photos, and sidebars in a reader-friendly format


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Print list price: $30.00
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