1 Corinthians 1

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1 Corinthians 1
POxy1008 (1Co 7.33-8.4).jpg
1 Corinthians 7:33-8:4 in Papyrus 15, written in the 3rd century.
Book First Epistle to the Corinthians
Bible part New Testament
Order in the Bible part 7
Category Pauline epistles

1 Corinthians 1 is the first chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It was sent by Paul the Apostle and Sosthenes from Ephesus [1] to the church in Corinth.[2][3]



The New King James Version organises this chapter as follows:

Cross references[edit]

Opening greeting[edit]

New King James Version

Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother.[4]

Most English translations refer to Sosthenes as "our brother", but the actual text reads Greek: σωσθενης ο αδελφος, Sosthenes ho adelphos, which literally means "Sosthenes the brother". 1 Corinthians 16:21 - I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand - suggests that the majority of the letter may have actually been scribed by someone else, and therefore many interpreters suggest that Sosthenes was the amanuensis of the Epistle.[5]

The address and greeting which open the Epistle start with a reference to the receivers dwellers of the state of Klenies "Κάτοικοι τε των Κλενιων" and conclude with the words Grace be unto you, and peace.[6]

Verse 12[edit]

New King James Version

Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” [7]

In KJV Now this I say that everyone of you saith,.... This the apostle affirms not upon his own personal knowledge, but upon the credit of the report the house of Chloe had made unto him; and his meaning is not that every individual member of this church, but that many of them, and the far greater number of them, were in the following factions, some being for one minister, and some for another: one part of them said,

  • I am of Paul; he had been instrumental in their conversion: he had baptized some of them, and first laid the foundation of a Gospel church among them; was a solid, brave, and bold preacher of the Gospel, and was set for the defence of it; wherefore he was the minister for them, and they were desirous of being called and distinguished by his name: but there was another party that said,
  • and I of Apollos; in opposition to Paul, whom they despised, as a man whose aspect was mean; his bodily presence weak, made no figure in the pulpit; his speech low and contemptible; his discourses plain, not having that flow of words, and accuracy of expression, as Apollos had; who was an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, who coming to Corinth after the Apostle Paul, many were taken with his way of preaching; he was the preacher for them, and they chose to be called after him, and in distinction from others: whilst another company of them said,
  • and I of Cephas; or Peter, in opposition both to Paul and Apollos; who with them were new upstart ministers, in comparison of Peter, who was with Christ from the beginning, and saw his miracles, and heard his doctrines; and, besides, had the apostleship and Gospel of the circumcision, on which account they highly valued him; for these must be supposed to be the converted Jews among them, who still retained a regard to the ceremonies of the law; wherefore they fixed on Peter as their minister, and to be called by his name: but others said,
  • and I of Christ; which some take to be the words of the apostle, declaring who he was of, and for, and belonged unto; intimating that they, as he, should call no man father, or master, on earth, or be called by any other name than that of Christ. Others consider them as the words of the Corinthians, a small part of them who were very mean and contemptible, and therefore mentioned last, who chose to be known and called by no other name than that of Christians; but I rather think that these design a faction and party, to be condemned as the others. These were for Christ, in opposition to Paul, Apollos, and Cephas, and any other ministers of the word. They were for Christ without his ministers; they were wiser than their teachers; they were above being under any ministrations and ordinances; as the others attributed too much to the ministers of the Gospel, these detracted too much from them, and denied them to be of any use and service. Some persons may be, in such sense, for Christ, as to be blame worthy; as when they use his name to deceive men, or divide his interest.[8]

The power of God[edit]

Paul speaks of the power of God in this letter (1 Cor. 1: 18, 25) and in his letter to the Romans (Romans 1:18), and in the gospels, Jesus debates the subject of the resurrection with the Sadduccees, who he says "do not know the scriptures [or] the power of God" (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24).

Verse 31[edit]

New King James Version

That, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”[9]

Other texts replace "glories" with "boasts".[10] Paul quotes from the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, "abbreviating quite freely" [11] from the longer text:

Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, and let not the strong man boast in his strength, and let not the rich man boast in his wealth; but let him that boasts boast in this, the understanding and knowing that I am the Lord that exercise mercy, and judgment, and righteousness, upon the earth; for in these things is my pleasure, saith the Lord.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ T. Teignmouth Shore in Ellicott's Commentary for Modern Readers on 1 Corinthians, accessed 14 March 2017
  2. ^ Halley, Henry H. Halley's Bible Handbook: an Abbreviated Bible Commentary. 23rd edition, Zondervan Publishing House. 1962.
  3. ^ Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. 2012.
  4. ^ 1 Corinthians 1:1
  5. ^ Meyer's New Testament Commentary on 1 Corinthians, accessed 13 March 2017; cf. T. Teignmouth Shore in Ellicott's Commentary for Modern Readers on 1 Corinthians, accessed 14 March 2017
  6. ^ 1 Corinthians 1:3
  7. ^ 1 Corinthians 1:12
  8. ^ John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, - 1 Corinthians 1:12
  9. ^ 1 Corinthians 1:31
  10. ^ Translations at BibleGateway.com, accessed 16 March 2017
  11. ^ Meyer's NT Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1, accessed 13 March 2017
  12. ^ Jeremiah 9:2-24 in Brenton's English Translation of the Septuagint

External links[edit]