9/25 Reading (Joshua 19-21; 1 Corinthians 1 & 2)

Joshua 19: We learn about the land given to Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and finally Dan. This chapter ends by sharing that the people gave Joshua the city Timnath-serah in the highlands of Ephraim as was commanded by God.

Joshua 20: Chapter shares how they set up the refuge cities described earlier in Num 35.9-34 and Deut 19.1-13.

Joshua 21: Chapter describes the cities given to the Levites throughout all of the land. This chapter ends with a brief summary of the conquest of the promised lands.

Introduction to 1 Corinthians: I always enjoy reading the introduction to each book. The introduction typically gives some background and sets the context for the book. The introduction to 1 Corinthians reminds us that Corinth is where Paul left the Jews and started to preach to the Gentiles because the Jews weren’t listening to him. I also learned that Corinth was more Roman than Greek when this book was most likely written (roughly 50s CE). This is important because in Roman society “only people with a degree of wealth and social standing could take others to court” (CEB Study Bible, p. 304 NT). There’s some examples in the text referring to court. Finally, as can be expected, we learn that this book “represents Paul’s attempt to resolve questions and serious problems in the life of the church at Corinth” (CEB Study Bible, p. 304 NT).

1 Corinthians 1: Starts with the general intro that his other letters started with. Then on to a thanksgiving for the Corinthians. Then Paul jumps right into some issues that are currently plaguing the community. The first is how rival groups have formed within the Christian community. He uses this chance to remind everyone that we all belong to Christ and no one else.

So…the second part of this chapter really confused me. I emailed Deacon Gene for help. I’m just going to put his comment here:

There is great division in the early church and in these verses Paul seeks to unify all those who are saved, because there are only the saved and those who will perish….in the overwhelming unity of the cross of Christ.  In a way, it is as if the cross was a building far away…….that gets bigger and bigger the closer we get to it, until it’s size is awesome……….also the way when we stand beneath the cross of Christ.  To paraphrase Paul’s words, the idea of a crucified messiah was ridiculous to the Greek and repugnant to the Jews.  But Paul uses the “foolishness” of the Cross to show how God can reveal his wisdom and power in an act that is ridiculed by many.  Because from the Cross God beats all darkness and all things evil.  And those that follow, though appearing foolish, are the wise, the saved.” (Deacon Gene email correspondence)

1 Corinthians 2: Paul continues with the discussion of wisdom. Basically, wisdom comes from God, not from humans. According to Fee and Stuart (2002), “one role of the Spirit is to reveal the cross as God’s wisdom.”

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