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Who wrote the book of 1 Corinthians? Who was the author of 1 Corinthians?

author of 1 Corinthians

The apostle Paul wrote the book of 1 Corinthians. Written to the church in the bustling city of Corinth, the book of 1 Corinthians is notable for its frankness and resolution of real issues Christians faced in the first century. The parallels between their challenges and ours serve as a reminder that “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:6). The issues addressed include sexual immorality, eating food sacrificed to idols, relational divisions, and arguments regarding the resurrection. Often likened to Las Vegas, Corinth was steeped in a sinful lifestyle that had influenced the church, making this letter a call back to faithfulness in Christ.

Paul is widely recognized as the author of 1 Corinthians, written a few decades after Jesus’ death and resurrection. The opening greeting identifies Paul as the author (1 Corinthians 1:1), and there is a strong traditional support for Paul’s authorship. A man named Sosthenes is also mentioned in the salutation. Whether Sosthenes helped craft the letter, aided Paul as a scribe, or was simply Paul’s companion at the time of the writing, we cannot be sure. It could be that this Sosthenes is the same man who opposed Paul in Corinth in Acts 18; if so, he would be a wonderful example of the transforming power of the gospel.

Internal evidence points to another letter the Corinthian church had received before this one (1 Corinthians 5:9), and Paul received information from them as well (1 Corinthians 1:11). Paul had a personal relationship with the church of Corinth, being their spiritual father (4:15–16), and he answered their questions and addressed their issues with a direct, often blunt tone, akin to how a father corrects his children. The church’s division, chaotic worship services, and all-around messiness grieved Paul, prompting him to write the letter.

In Christian apologetics, the book of 1 Corinthians is notable for including an early creed close to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Found in 1 Corinthians 15:3–7, the creed begins with a summarized gospel announcement: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (verses 3–6). Paul included this creed to explain the significance of the resurrection. He also emphasized the trustworthiness of the early eyewitnesses by acknowledging Christianity’s falsifiability (1 Corinthians 15:13–19).

Although Paul wrote the book of 1 Corinthians to Christians in Corinth, the impact of this letter extended far beyond that city, becoming authoritative in other churches. By the end of the first century, Paul’s epistles were already considered as Scripture (2 Peter 3:15–16). In AD 95, when Clement wrote a letter to the Corinthians, he relied on the authority of Paul’s letter. Today, 1 Corinthians remains a key passage in Christian teaching and living.

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Who wrote the book of 1 Corinthians? Who was the author of 1 Corinthians?
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This page last updated: March 14, 2024