Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians was written to deal with problems of Christian life and faith that had arisen in the church which Paul had established at Corinth. At that time Corinth was a great cosmopolitan Greek city, the capital of the Roman province of Achaia. It was noted for its thriving commerce, proud culture, widespread immorality, and variety of religions.
The apostle's chief concerns are with problems such as divisions and immorality in the church, and with questions about sex and marriage, matters of conscience, church order, gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the resurrection. With deep insight he shows how the Good News speaks to these questions.
Chapter 13, which presents love as the best of God's gifts to his people, is probably the most widely known passage in the book.
Outline of Contents
Factions in the church 1.10—4.21
Sexual morality and family life 5.1—7.40
Christians and pagans 8.1—11.1
Church life and worship 11.2—14.40
The resurrection of Christ and of believers 15.1–58
The offering for the Christians in Judea 16.1–4
Personal matters and conclusion 16.5–24