Authority and Date

Christians under Construction (a study of I Cor) and The Life that Counts
(a study of II Cor)

– Presented on 2 Mar 03 by Adult I Class (Teachers: Dr Tan CE and Janice Tan)


Purpose of SS Presentation

  • Provide Background information: Political, social, cultural, geographical
  • Better understanding of the books when studied in context of circumstances
  • Give broad principles towards understanding some difficult passages

What is NOT the purpose of SS presentation

  • To cover in details the lessons
  • To discuss every single difficult passage
  • Take the place of the Sunday School lesson

Authorship & Date

First and Second Corinthians bear unmistakable marks of Paul’s authorship (1 Cor 1:1; 2 Cor 2:1).

The two letters of the apostle Paul addressed to the church in Corinth. First Corinthians is unique among the Paul’s letters because of the variety of its practical concerns. Second Corinthians is one of Paul’s most personal letters, containing a wealth of insights into the heart of Paul the pastor.

Paul wrote a total of 4 letters to the Corinthian church, but we only have 1st & 2nd Corinthians, as the other 2 letters were lost.

Paul founded the church of Corinth in AD 50.

Some time after Paul left Corinth, he wrote a letter to the Corinthian church, but this letter was perished. (1 Cor 4:18)

Later, Paul received reports on the Corinthian church while he was in Ephesus from the household of Chloe. He also received a personal letter from the Corinthian church, probably brought by Stephanas, Fortunatus and Archaicus.

Paul then wrote the first epistle (that is, 1st Corinthians) from Ephesus (1 Cor 16:8) during his third missionary journey in the latter half of his three-year ministry in that city (Acts 20:31; 1 Cor 19:8-22), most probably in A.D. 55.

Paul’s second visit to Corinth was a painful one, owing to the misconduct of many of his converts. After that visit, Paul wrote another letter from Ephesus, but this letter was also lost.

2nd Corinthians followed some 12-15 months after 1st Corinthuians from Macedonia, likely from Philippi, where Paul met Titus and received news of the church’s repentance (2 Cor 2:12-17).

– Summary in Points –

Introduction to I and II Corinthians:

  • Familiar book but misunderstood by many
  • A book for Gentile church with many pimples and pock marks
  • A practical book answering questions the Corinthian Christians faced
  • An illustrative book: Balanced between God’s explicit commands and cultural context

    Authorship and Date:

  • Written by Paul (1 Cor 1:1, 2 Cor 2:1)
  • 1 Corinthians – practical concerns
  • 2 Corinthians – personal note to the church
  • Total of 4 letters
  • Paul founded church in AD 50 (wrote first letter)
  • Paul received personal letter from Corinthian church – (wrote second letter) – 1st Corinthians from Ephesus in AD 55
  • Paul visited Corinth (wrote third letter)
  • Paul received good news from Titus (wrote forth letter) – 2nd Corinthians from Philippi about 12-15 months later