It became apparent to me very quickly into my degree that I had a particular interest (aka borderline obsession) with Paul the Apostle – pictured here sporting a most likely stress related reseeding hairline and an impressive beard that only someone with superior spirituality would wear. Aside from holding the number one spot for New Testament authorship (or attributed authorship), Paul the Apostle is undoubtedly an intriguing character.
His writings and those attributed to him including Acts has had a profound impact on the development of Christianity. Some of this literature has been used and arguably abused and merged into a confusing theology which has bought rising attention to the Apostle’s mission. However, were Paul’s intentions to have his mission and letters turned into a political-religious doctrine based on the person of Jesus Christ to be applied to every self proclaimed ‘Christian’ throughout the ages up until now?
This question has many different answers. Nevertheless, a truer answer can surely be found when we examine these letters and recipients in their cultures and contexts. I believe only then can we understand Paul, his mission and his letters. I begin at Corinth, not because this reflects the canonical ordering of our modern Bibles, but because of it’s politics, it’s geography and most importantly, the unique nature of the Churches and those people that belonged to them in and around this city.