Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Divinity (B.Div)


Exegetical Theology

First Advisor

Robert Conrad

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

1 Corinthians 12:31; 1 Corinthians 13:10; 1 Corinthians 13:13; 1 Corinthians 13:2; 1 Corinthians 14:1; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Peter 1:3-22; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Acts 22:4; Acts 9:2; Colossians 1:4f.; Colossians 2:7; Colossians 3:14; Ephesians 3:7; Phillippians 2:5-11; Romans 13:14; Romans 8:16; Thessalonians 1:2f.;


The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians happens to be one of those documents of the early Christian community which was to become a subject of debate, sooner or later, for the form critical school of exegesis. Evidence for this issues from the fact that it was in 1910 when Johannes Weiss wrote what still remains as the classical form-critical analysis of First Corinthians. Then in1912 Adolf Harnack presented the second great contribution of scholarship concerning this chapter of agape, with his article "The Apostle Paul's Hymn of Love and Its Religious-Historical Significance." From this time on it almost became a matter of whether one agreed with these two men or not. Neither, of course, had solved all the exegetical and isagogical problems of the chapter. In the process of dealing with First Corinthians 13, scholarship has variously labeled the chapter as a hymn, rhetoric, or a Gnostic Redemption Myth. An example of the evident abundance of scholarly debate on such issues are presented in the article by Jack Sanders, "First Corinthians 13: Its Interpretation Since the First World War." In view of this abundant scholarly material, the writer of this paper purposes to investigate the scholarly critiques of First Corinthians 13 with a view to the ultimate meaning of the content (Sachkritik). No critique of the chapter is complete without a discussion of the authenticity and integrity of the text. It is merely standard procedure to deal with this issue as one handles this particular text.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.