1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Corinthians, Epistles to the
CORINTHIANS, EPISTLES TO THE, two books of the Bible (New Testament). The two letters addressed to the Christian church at Corinth are, with Romans, the longest of the Pauline epistles. They possess a singular interest and value, due to the apostle’s close acquaintance with the members of the church addressed and their circumstances. In consequence of this intimate character the First Epistle to the Corinthians presents a picture, unrivalled in fulness and colour, of the life of a Pauline church, while the Second Epistle, written out of strong feeling, gives a revelation of the innermost feelings and characteristic temperament of Paul himself, such as is not elsewhere to be found. Dealing, as both epistles do, with concrete problems of morals and with such tendencies of thought and life as find their parallel in all times, they are full of instruction to the modern Church; and this instruction increases in effectiveness the better we come to understand ancient modes of thought in their diversity from our own.
Lofty and vivid expression of the apostle’s thought on the highest themes is also to be found here—witness the “Hymn to Love” (1 Cor. xiii.), the declaration of the resurrection (1 Cor. xv. 51-57), or the list of signatures of the true servant of God (2 Cor. vi. 3-10). In important historical statements, also, these epistles stand second to none, not even to Galatians—as may be indicated by a reference to the words about the institution of the Lord’s supper (1 Cor. xi. 23-26) and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. xv. 1-8); or to the autobiographical utterances in which Paul explains that he was once a persecutor of Christians (1 Cor. xv. 9), mentions his escape from Damascus (2 Cor. xi. 32 f.), describes his coming to Corinth (1 Cor. ii. 1 ff.), enumerates his sufferings for the Gospel (2 Cor. xi. 16-31), tells of his visions (2 Cor. xii. 1-9). In the Corinthian epistles we come in contact, as nowhere else, with the man Paul and his daily life.
The history of Paul’s relations with Corinth can be made out from the Acts and the Epistles with considerable clearness. The chronology of Paul’s life is not at any point surely determinable within a range of less than five years, but it must have been in the autumn of one of the years A.D. 49–53 (the usual chronology has fixed on A.D. 52) that the arrival of Paul in Corinth took place as described in Acts xviii. 1. In his so-called second missionary journey Paul had been driven by irresistible inner impulses to push on into Greece the missionary work already begun in Asia Minor. First he preached in the province of Macedonia, where the work opened auspiciously at Philippi, Thessalonica and Beroea; then, apparently driven out by the violent opposition of the Jews, he moved on to Achaea, and after rather unsuccessful attempts to secure converts among the philosophers of Athens came to Corinth.
This ancient city, taken and destroyed by the Romans in 146 B.C., had been refounded by Julius Caesar as a Roman colony in 46 B.C., settled with Italian colonists, and made a residence of the Roman governor. Its situation on the isthmus of Corinth made it a stage on the greatest of the trade routes between Rome and the East, and it was at this time the commercial capital of Greece. The traditions of licentiousness and sensuality associated with the worship of Aphrodite, which had given rise to the sinister word corinthianize, increased the natural tendencies of a great city to wickedness and wanton luxury. Here, as in all great centres of trade and industry, there was a body of Jews, with a synagogue. The conditions of life in Corinth—the heathen surroundings, the temptations to vice, the competition and disputes of trading life, the controversial arguments of Jews, the alertness of mind of a lively city people, the haughty temper of the inhabitants of the capital—all these are to be seen reflected in the earnest paragraphs of Paul’s two epistles.
The founding of the church in Corinth (cf. 1 Cor. iv. 15) and nearly everything important that we know of Paul’s first visit there will be found, well told, in Acts xviii. 1-18, a passage for which, evidently, the writer of the history had excellent sources of information. Of the somewhat chastened spirit with which Paul came he himself tells in 1 Cor. ii. 1-5. His success was prompt and large, and in the year and six months of his stay a vigorous church was gathered, including Aquila and Priscilla, as well as Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, of whom we hear again in 1 Cor. i. 14; whether Sosthenes, who seems to have succeeded Crispus in his office (Acts xviii. 17), was afterwards converted and became the Christian brother mentioned in 1 Cor. i. 1 cannot be known. The church evidently consisted mainly of Gentile converts, but with some Jews (1 Cor. x. 14, “flee from idolatry”; xii. 2, “when ye were Gentiles “; vii. 18, “was any man called being circumcised?”).
The apostle’s next long stay was at Ephesus, whither he seems to have gone in the course of the same year in which he left Corinth (A.D. 51–55) and where he stayed three years. Before he arrived at Ephesus Aquila and Priscilla, who had settled there, made the acquaintance of Apollos, a Jew from Alexandria, well-educated and zealous, who with imperfect Christian knowledge was preaching the gospel of Jesus to his fellow-countrymen in the synagogue. He presently went to Corinth and carried on Christian work there with success (Acts xviii. 24-28), “I planted,” says Paul (1 Cor. iii. 6), “Apollos watered.” From this point on our information comes from the epistles, of which the first was written from Ephesus before Pentecost of the year in which Paul left that city, i.e. A.D. 54–58 (1 Cor. xvi. 8).
It appears that the church grew in numbers, for Paul refers in 2 Cor. i. 1 to “saints who are in all Achaea.” Its membership was mostly of humble people (1 Cor. i. 26-29), but probably not exclusively so, for Crispus and Stephanas (who with his household was able to render services that may well have been costly, 1 Cor. xvi. 15), Gaius and Erastus (Rom. xvi. 23), would appear to have been persons of substance. The references to law-suits perhaps imply fairly prosperous traders, the tone of the letters suggests considerable education and a reasonable degree of property on the part of many (though not all) of the readers.
The first need of the church for help from Paul seems to have grown out of the dangers from surrounding heathenism. In 1 Cor. v. 9 we read of a letter in which Paul had directed the Christians “not to have company with fornicators.” This letter, so far as we know, opened the correspondence which was maintained during the three years of Paul’s stay in Ephesus, whence there was easy and frequent communication with Corinth. He refers to it in order to explain the injunction which had been (perhaps wilfully) misunderstood and exaggerated.
While at Ephesus Paul was visited by persons of the household of Chloe (1 Cor. i. 11), and by Stephanas with Fortunatus and Achaicus (probably his slaves, xvi. 17). From them and from a letter (vii. 1), which was brought perhaps by Stephanas, he was able to gain the intimate knowledge which the epistles everywhere reveal. The letter from Corinth must have contained inquiries as to practical conduct with regard to marriage (vii. 1), meat offered to idols (viii. 1), and the “spiritual gifts” (xii. 1), and may well have related to other matters, such as the collection of money for Jerusalem (xvi. 1), the visit of Apollos (xvi. 12), the position of women (xi. 2). Paul’s reply includes many other topics. When it was sent, his trusted helper Timothy had also started on his way (probably through Macedonia) to Corinth, to contribute there to the edification of the Christians (iv. 17, xvi. 10). The letter itself was doubtless sent by the hand of returning Corinthians, possibly by the unnamed brethren referred to in xvi. 11, and was expected to arrive before Timothy.
First Epistle.—The first epistle (in many respects the most systematic of all Paul’s letters) is a pastoral letter, dealing both with positive evils that need correction, and with difficult questions of practice and of thought upon which advice may be valued. Through it all there is a genial undercurrent of confidence in the personal loyalty of the Corinthian church to Paul, its founder and father. We shall be aided to understand its contents by a brief summary of the tendencies and conditions at Corinth which it reflects.
First of all there was a lack of supreme devotion to the Cause itself, which led the Corinthians to forget that they were first, last and always Christians, and so to form factions and parties. Of these there were distinguished at least three, attached to the names respectively of the founder Paul, of the learned Apollos, and of the great pillar-apostle at Jerusalem, Peter, besides, as many hold, a fourth, which arrogantly claimed to be the party of Christ (i. 12). What were the precise motives and principles of these parties cannot be determined. They do not in any case seem to represent recognizable definite points of view with regard to the controverted matters that are taken up in the epistle. Yet some conjectures are possible. Paul and Apollos were personally on friendly terms (xvi. 12, cf. iii. 5-9, iv. 6), and were understood to be in fundamental agreement. But doubtless the more elaborate discourses of Apollos were admired, and Paul’s teaching seemed in contrast bare, plain and crude (cf. 2 Cor. x. 10). The contrast between the Hellenic and Jewish types of thought may well have played a part also. Paul seems to be replying to such criticisms brought against him when he declares that he deliberately chose to bring to Corinth not the “wisdom of men” but the “power of God” (i. 17, ii. 1-5), and informs them that he has a store of wisdom for those who are ready for it (ii. 6). On the other hand the party of Cephas must have had Jewish-Christian leanings. A little later, in the second epistle, such a tendency is seen breaking out into violent opposition to Paul. The “Christ-party,” if, as is probable, it existed, must also have been a party with a Judaizing turn (cf. 2 Cor. x. 7, xi. 22 f.), perhaps of a more extreme character. The danger of shattering the solid front of the Christian church against surrounding heathenism was keenly felt by Paul, as nearly every one of his epistles testifies. How serious it was at Corinth is shown by the long passage (chaps, i.-iv.) in which he points out that sectarianism is a mark not of superior but of inferior maturity and devotion.
Other difficulties arose from various causes. The influences of the heathen world, from which most of the Corinthian Christians had come and to which their friends and neighbours belonged, were always with them, and the problems created by these relations were very numerous. Christianity had brought over and had even intensified the moral code of Judaism, and, especially in the relations of the sexes, this brought a strain upon the naturalistic impulses and lower standards of converts trained in a different system.
Again, there were law-suits in the ordinary courts, a natural result of the frictions and strains of an oriental trading community. To Paul this was abhorrent, and here too he urges a complete break with their past. With regard to the social customs of meals at which meat that had been offered in heathen sacrifices was a part, and of feasts actually at heathen temples, doubtful questions arose. Was it a denial of the faith to eat such food or not? Mixed marriages, too, had their problems; ought the believing wife to separate herself? Ought the believing husband to insist that his heathen wife stay with him against her will? And, further, in the case of slaves, does the consciousness of Christian manhood give a new motive for trying to gain worldly freedom? In all these matters Paul gives sensible advice. There were clearly two groups of Christians, the “weak,” or scrupulous, whose principle was to abstain, and the “strong,” or free, who maintained that the morally insignificant must not usurp a place to which it has no right. Paul sides with neither, but follows two principles, one that the church and its members must be kept pure, the other that the moral welfare not only of the individual but of his neighbour must be the controlling motive.
Not due so much to heathen influences as to the natural tendencies of imperfect and passionate human nature were other conditions. The most striking incident here, and one which gave Paul much concern, was the case of a man who after his father’s death had married his own stepmother (“the case of incest”). That this was rare in the ancient world and generally abominated both by Jews and Greeks made it seem to Paul the more imperative that this stain on the Christian church should be removed. His language shows his indignation and grief that the Corinthians themselves have not already taken the matter in hand.
Besides these troubles from heathenism there were questions of asceticism; the Greek reaction against naturalism held that nature was vile and marriage wrong. Paul had a qualified tendency to asceticism, but he shows excellent good sense in his discussion of these delicate matters.
A different set of difficulties arose from the freedom into which Christianity had introduced persons from all classes of life. What degree of freedom was permissible to a Christian woman? How far must a woman of the lower classes who became a Christian subject herself to the restrictions of a higher class of society? Might a woman, as a free child of God, take part in the Christian public meeting?
Also in matters pertaining to the common religious life of the new society the new situation raised new problems. How should reasonable order be maintained in the wholly democratic forms of the church devotional meeting? What value should be assigned to the different religious functions or “spiritual gifts”? Did any of them confer the right to a consciousness of God’s special favour? Again, the celebration of the Lord’s supper, which was associated with a proper meal, was marred by exhibitions of selfishness and irreverence that needed correction.
The great variety of practical problems present to the anxious minds of the Corinthians themselves and of germinant abuses revealed to the paternal scrutiny of the apostle, opens to us some notion of the exciting times in which the Corinthian Christians stood, and explains the intensity and detailed concern of the apostle. From every side and at every moment new and often difficult questions were arising; to every one of them belonged remoter relations that made it profoundly important. It is by no accident that Paul is in the habit of treating the simplest moral issues by reference to the highest principles of his theology. From the situation at Corinth we gain an idea of what was taking place in many cities, but in the seething life of so great a capital with more rapid and varied development.
Of strictly intellectual and theological problems or errors only one is treated systematically, although at many other points in the practical discussions we can detect the theoretical basis cf the errors combated and the theological foundations of Paul’s own judgments. Questions about the resurrection, however, had appeared, of a rationalistic nature and evincing an Hellenic failure to understand the Jewish view. In his reply Paul shows that he too recognizes the significance of the Greek’s difficulties and he presents a conception which, fortunately for the later Church, does some measure of justice to the superior scientific insight of their attitude.
Second Epistle.—After the despatch of First Corinthians there took place, it would appear, the riot in the theatre at Ephesus (Acts xix. 23 ff.), to which 2 Cor. i. 8 seems to refer. On leaving Ephesus Paul went to Troas (2 Cor. ii. 12), then to Macedonia, and from Macedonia (2 Cor. vii. 5, viii. 1, ix. 2) he wrote Second Corinthians. This must have been in the autumn of one of the years A.D. 54–58, nearly or quite a year after First Corinthians was written (cf, “a year ago,” 2 Cor. viii. 10, ix. 2 and 1 Cor. xvi. 1-4). In the meantime there had been exciting developments in Paul’s relations with Corinth, the course of which we can partly trace by the aid of the second epistle. These events explain the great difference in tone between the second epistle and the first.
Several allusions in Second Corinthians show that Paul had already twice visited Corinth (2 Cor. ii. 1, xii. 14, xii. 21, xiii. 2). The second of these visits is not mentioned in Acts; it is referred to by Paul as having a painful character. The most natural hypothesis is that, in consequence of a growing spirit of insubordination on the part of the Corinthians, Paul found it necessary to go to Corinth from Ephesus (probably by sea direct) at some time after First Corinthians was written. Of what happened on this visit, which the writer of Acts has naturally enough thought it unnecessary to mention, we seem to learn further from certain passages in the letter (2 Cor. ii. 5-11, vii. 9) which refer to some sort of an insult to Paul for which there has now been repentance and which the apostle heartily forgives. For the offender he entreats also the pardon of the church. It may well be that the sad affair had to do with the gross offender of the “case of incest” (1 Cor. v. 1-8), who with the support of his fellow Christians may have refused to conform to Paul’s imperative commands. We may suppose an angry scene, possibly an attack of Paul’s bodily ailment (especially if the “thorn in the flesh” be understood to be epilepsy), the immediate triumph of the adversaries, Paul’s speedy departure in grief. If, as other scholars hold, the offender was not the same as in the first epistle, the general picture of the visit will not have to be much changed.
Besides making this visit it is probable that Paul also wrote to Corinth a letter, now lost, intended to secure the result of which the unfortunate visit had failed (ii. 3, 4, 9, vii. 8, 12). It, is, however, possible that the allusions merely refer to 1 Cor. v., in which case it is not necessary to assume this intermediate letter. The letter, if there was one, may have been sent by Titus, whom Paul in any case commissioned to go to Corinth and try to mend matters. Paul describes his anxiety over this last resource in touching language (ii. 12, 13). Disappointed that Titus did not meet him at Troas, he moved on to Macedonia, and there (vii. 5-9) was rejoiced by the coming of the envoy with good news of the complete return of the Corinthians to integrity and loyalty.
Second Corinthians was Paul’s response to this friendly attitude reported by Titus. It went by the hand of Titus, who was promptly sent back to complete the work he had so well begun (viii. 6, 16-24). In company with him (viii. 18) was sent a brother (unnamed) who had already been appointed as the representative of the churches to accompany Paul in carrying to Jerusalem the great collection of money now nearly completed. The greater part of the epistle consists of the outpouring of Paul’s thankful and loving heart (chaps, i.-vii.), together with directions and exhortations relating to the collection.
But the epistle contains evidence of another and a disagreeable side to the affairs of the Corinthian church. Especially the last four chapters, but also references in the earlier chapters, show that virulent personal opponents of Paul and his work had been exercising an evil activity. It is not easy to discover the precise relation of these persons to the parties at Corinth or to the series of events which have just been sketched, but we can well understand that their presence and efforts played a large part in the history. We learn that Jewish Christians (xi. 22) had come to Corinth, doubtless from Jerusalem, with letters of recommendation (iii. 1). They urged their own claims as apostles (though not of the twelve), and set themselves up as superior to Paul (xi. 5, xii. 11, v. 12, xi. 18). Paul calls them “false apostles” (xi. 13-15), and declares that they preach “another Jesus, another Spirit, another Gospel” (xi. 4). That in Paul’s judgment his influence with the Corinthian church depended on overthrowing the power of these disturbers of the peace is plain, and this accounts for the strenuous, and occasionally violent, tone of his polemic in chapters x.-xiii. As we compare them with the Judaizers of Galatia it seems that their polemic was less on the ground of principles and doctrines, and more a personal attack. Paul does not much argue, as he does in Galatians, against the inclination of Gentile Christians to subject themselves to the Law (yet note the contrast of the old veiled covenant and the new open revelation, iii. 4-18, esp. iii. 6); he is engaged in personal defence against charges of carnal motives (x. 2), perhaps even of embezzlement (xii. 16-18), and also of fickleness (i. 12-ii. 4). When he ironically calls himself a “fool” (xi. 1, 16, 17, 19, 21, xii. 6-11), he is doubtless taking up their term of abuse, and in many of the hard passages of this most difficult of all Paul’s epistles we may suspect that half-quoted flings of the enemy glimmer through his retort. From 2 Cor. x. 7, xi. 22 it may be inferred that these Jewish Christians had something to do with the “Christ-party” of which we seem to hear in the first epistle.
To the tact and firmness of Titus must be ascribed much of the successful issue of these dealings with the Corinthians. Paul spent the following winter at Corinth (Acts xx. 2, 3); while there he wrote the Epistle to the Romans, which in its milder tone gives clear indication that the day of violent controversy with Judaizing emissaries like those who came to Galatia had passed. There was indeed, as might have been expected, trouble from enemies among the Jews, but Paul escaped the danger, and with the money for the mother church, the collection of which had so long lain near his heart, he was able to start for Jerusalem in the spring of one of the years 55–59 (See Paul).
In later time (circ. A.D. 95) we hear from the epistle of Clement of Rome that the Corinthian church paid full honour to Paul’s memory; and circ. A.D. 139, the excellent Catholic (though Hebrew) Christian Hegesippus found himself deeply refreshed by the honest life and the fidelity to Christian truth of the descendants and successors of the Christians over whom Paul had laboured with such faithful oversight and so many anxious tears.
Critical Questions.—The manuscript evidence for the Corinthian epistles is the same as for the other epistles of Paul (see Bible: New Testament). Of early attestation the amount is rather greater for First Corinthians than for other epistles. Not only were both epistles included without question in the Pauline canon of Marcion (circ. A.D. 150) and in the Muratorian list (end of 2nd century), and known to various Gnostic sects of the 2nd century, but Clement of Rome (circ. A.D. 95) makes a specific reference (xlvii. 1) to the fact that the Corinthians “received the Epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul,” and proceeds with an unmistakable quotation from 1 Cor. i. 11-13. Other quotations from First Corinthians are found in Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, while use of the epistle can probably be detected in Hermas. Second Corinthians was, and still remains, less quotable, but it is probably used by Polycarp, perhaps by Ignatius, and by the presbyters known to Irenaeus, and it was freely used by Theophilus, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian.
The only serious doubt of the genuineness of First and Second Corinthians has been that of the so-called Dutch school of critics, in the latter part of the 19th century, and forms a part of their attempt (the first since that of Baur) entirely to reconstruct the history of early Christianity. Their view that the Corinthian epistles are the product of a body of progressive Christians in the 2nd century, who ascribed to a legendary Paul the advanced views they had themselves developed, has not commended itself to critics, and seems to be burdened by nearly all possible difficulties. The genuineness of both epistles is, in fact, amply attested not only by early writers, but by the surer proof of complicated and consistent concreteness, with perfect adaptation to all we know of Paul and of the passing circumstances of the earliest days of Christianity in Greece. For a writer a century later to have composed the Corinthian epistles and then successfully passed them off as the work of Paul could be explained only by an hypothesis of inspiration! It would have been as difficult as to forge a daily newspaper. It is to be observed that the two epistles are so intimately connected by their contents with Romans and Galatians that the four together support one another’s genuineness.
In Second Corinthians two important questions of integrity have been much discussed. (1) 2 Cor. vi. 14–vii. 1 is a passage somewhat distinct from its context, and introduced by a seemingly abrupt break in the sequence of thought. It is, therefore, held by some (including G. Heinrici) to be an interpolation by another writer, by others (as A. Hilgenfeld) to be a part of the letter referred to in 1 Cor. v. 9. But the arguments against Pauline authorship are not convincing; there is after all a certain real connexion to be traced between the section and vi. I; and the resemblance to the substance of 1 Cor. v. 9 is natural in any case. (2) More important is the question as to 2 Cor. x.-xiii. Since J. S. Semler (1776) it has been held by careful scholars that these chapters are written in a tone of excited irritation which is out of accord with the genial tone of gratified affection and confidence that pervades chaps, i.-ix. Hence such scholars as A. Hausrath, R. A. Lipsius, O. Pfleiderer, P. W. Schmiedel, A. C. M‘Giffert have adopted the view that these four chapters were not written as part of Second Corinthians, but, while unquestionably from Paul’s hand, were from a separate letter (the “Vier-kapitel-Brief”), probably the same as that supposed to be referred to in 2 Cor. ii. 3-9, vii. 8-12. This theory is, however, probably not correct, for while, on the one hand, it is based on an exaggeration of the differences and a neglect of certain lines of connexion between the chaps, x.-xiii. and chaps, i.-ix., on the other hand the identification supposed is made difficult by several facts. Thus these chapters contain no mention whatever of the offender of 2 Cor. ii. 5-11, of whose case the intervening letter must have mainly treated; again, x. 1, 9, 10, 11 imply a previous sharp rebuke already administered, such as is hardly accounted for merely by First Corinthians; and finally, xii. 18 implies that these four chapters were not written until after Titus’s visit, that is, that they were written at just the same time as Second Corinthians.
An apocryphal correspondence of Paul and the church at Corinth, consisting of the church’s letter and Paul’s reply, had canonical authority in the Syrian church in the 4th century (Aphraates, Ephraem). It is preserved in Armenian and Latin manuscripts, and is now known to have been a part of the Acts of Paul, written in the 2nd century. The letters relate to the condemnation of certain Gnostic views. For a translation see Stanley’s Epistles of St Paul to the Corinthians (4th ed., 1876), PP. 593–598. See Harnack, Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, i. pp. 37-39, ii. 1, pp. 506-508; Bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchlichen Literatur, i. pp. 463–467; Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, pp. 362–364, 378-380.
Bibliography.—On the Corinthian Epistles consult the Introduction to the New Testament of H. Holtzmann (1885, 3rd ed. 1892); B. Weiss (1886, 3rd ed. 1897, Eng. trans. 1887); G. Salmon (1887); A. Jülicher (1894, 5th and 6th ed. 1906, Eng. trans. 1904); T. Zahn (1897–1899, 2nd ed. 1900); and the articles in the Bible dictionaries, especially those by A. Robertson in Hastings’s Dictionary. See also Lives of Paul; and the general works on the Apostolic Age of C. von Weizsäcker (1886, 2nd ed. 1892); O. Pfleiderer, Das Urchristentum (1887, 2nd ed. 1902, Eng. trans. 1906); and A. C. M’Giffert (1897). Especially valuable for 1 and 2 Corinthians is E. von Dobschütz, Christian Life in the Primitive Church (1902, Eng. trans. 1904).
In English, Dean Stanley’s work (1855, 4th ed. 1876) is now out of date. On First Corinthians reference may be made to the works of T. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary (1881); T. C. Edwards (1885); C. J. Ellicott (1887); Fr. Godet (1886–1887, Eng. trans. 1887); on both epistles to those of H. A. W. Meyer (5th ed. 1870, Eng. trans. 1877–1879) and J. J. Lias, in Cambridge Greek Testament (1886–1892). F. W. Robertson’s classic Sermons on St Paul’s Epistles to the Corinthians (1859) should not be neglected. In German there are commentaries of much value by G. Heinrici (1880—1887) and in Heinrici’s revision of Meyer’s Kommentar (8th ed., 1896–1900), and by P. W. Schmiedel in Hand-Commentar (1891, 2nd ed. 1892). For further literature see Robertson’s art, “Corinthians, First Epistle to the,” in Hastings’s Dictionary of the Bible. On early attestation see A. H. Charteris, Canonicity (1880), and the Oxford Committee’s New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers (1905). (J. H. Rs.)
- Hilgenfeld, Bacon and others hold that this letter is partly preserved in 2 Cor. vi. 14–vii. 1, but the evidence for removing those verses from their present position is insufficient.