2 Thessalonians 1:4

The Blood of the Saints

Paul begins his comments to the Thessalonians in his 2nd letter by giving thanks to God for their growing faith and their love for one another. One commentator says, “That Paul thanks God and not the readers for their faith, love, and endurance shows that they contributed nothing to achieving salvation but were the object of God’s unconditional, gracious action.”[1] God should be credited with their salvation, of course, but Paul goes on to explain how proud he is of them to other churches. He adds how their example has been an encouragement to the other churches that he has informed of their steadfast faith in the face of persecution. 2 Thessalonians 1:4 says, “Therefore, we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.” But the commentator goes on to add, “Consequently, boasting in the readers’ faithfulness is not meant to give them self-confidence apart from God but is merely Paul’s way of thanking God before other congregations. The way Paul uses ‘boasting’ in his other letters (thirty-five times) confirms that the true people of God can boast only in God about their Christian character and never in themselves (see, e.g., 1 Cor 1:29–31).”

The Greek verb for “enduring” is in the present tense and tells us that the hardships are going on at the time of Paul’s writings. It’s difficult to say what exactly those hardships were, but we can surmise that the adversaries that persecuted Paul when he was in Thessalonica haven’t slowed down. They have transferred their hatred from Paul, who got away, being let down in a basket from an upper window, to his followers, who became Christians at his preaching. Paul uses two different terms to identify their hardships. He calls them “Persecutions” and “Trials.” Persecutions  “indicate specifically the sufferings inflicted by others because of their opposition to one’s beliefs. ‘Trials’ can refer more broadly to any kind of suffering but is frequently used in the New Testament to refer specifically to persecution that comes because of one’s faith. The combination probably emphasizes the severity of the readers’ sufferings.”[2]

 Tertullian, about a hundred years after Paul, had the advantage of hindsight on all the persecutions of Christians in the first hundred years or so. The Jews persecuted the Christians because they made Jesus God. The Romans persecuted Christians because they wouldn’t offer sacrifices to the pagan gods. The persecution created many martyrs in the early history of the Church. Acts chapter 7 tells us about the first martyr, Stephen. The history to follow was full of others. Tertullian knew full well that the desired effect the Romans wanted to see from the Christian persecution was that making an example of Christians by executing them would dissuade others from becoming Christian. But it was the exact opposite. Tertullian informed the world that “The blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church.” Instead of stamping out Christianity, their number increased. Seeing others stand firm in the face of trials and persecution gives heart and inspires others. One writer said, “So we can truly say that the blood of those that died for Christ gave birth to even more Christians. For every person, the Romans killed, at least two would be converted. This is why Christianity was able to rise so steadily during the first four centuries A.D.”[3]

 [1] Beale, G. K. 2003. 1–2 Thessalonians. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[2] Weatherly, Jon A. 1996. 1 & 2 Thessalonians. The College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.

[3] https://media.ascensionpress.com/2018/09/17/blood-of-the-martyrs-is-still-seed-for-the-church/

1 Thessalonian 1:4-5, Various

The Certainty of Salvation

As Deuteronomy teaches us, there was nothing special about the Israelites that influenced God’s choice of them as his special people. Deuteronomy 7:6-8 says, “The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.  It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers.” When Paul addresses the Thessalonians, he wants them to know that God has chosen them also. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 says, For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”

You can’t help but notice that Paul is assuring them of their position. He says, “we know.” When John writes his first epistle, he explains that his purpose for writing was that they would “know” that through faith in Jesus Christ, they had eternal life. It seems that the writers of the epistles want their readers to have certainty regarding their salvation. Part of Christendom today, as well as throughout the history of the church, preaches that one cannot know for certain if one is going to heaven.  This enables religious leaders to control their parishioners. Keeping followers in doubt is supposed to serve as the motivation to make people try harder. It usually results in fear and anxiety rather than motivation. This verse argues that because of the Gospel message that was accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit brought eternal security, assurance of God’s love, and His choice of them as His special people. Even the final phrase in the verse, “with full conviction,” speaks of the certainty of salvation.

I’m well aware that many Christians believe that our salvation is one of our self-determination.  It’s especially true in our western culture, where autonomy and individuality are central to our thinking. We have thoroughly bought into the message “if it’s to be, it’s up to me.” That there is no such thing as a free lunch might be true in the world in which we live, But God does not deal with us that way. Paul makes it clear in several epistles that we are not saved by our deeds but by grace. If it’s by our good works, we would never know for certain. Did I give enough to charity? Did I serve in the church enough? Was I kind enough to others? There is always one more thing we could have done. There is always one temptation we could have resisted a little longer. There is no assurance, no security when the basis of our relationship with God is how good we’ve been. There is only doubt, stress, and anxiety. Even the Old Testament teaches us that all our good deeds are worthless and are like filthy rags. Yet, we want to think we bring something to the table, and it’s not out of God’s undeserved love and mercy that we are saved, but out of some quality in us or some sacrifice of service or behavior that earns salvation. Paul rebukes the Corinthians who have fallen into this mindset. He wants them to realize that it’s all of Grace, and they have nothing to give to God that he needs. In 1 Corinthians 4:7, he says, “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” Paul wanted his readers to look to God as the actor in their salvation and not to their own good works. As Weatherly says, Paul is giving all believers “The assurance that they were receiving the full advantage of all of God’s saving activity in history. They are at the climax of what God had done; they are the beneficiaries of the plan of God from before creation. Whatever difficulties they may face in this age, they have the assurance of their standing with God in his eternal plan.”[1]

[1] Weatherly, Jon A. 1996. 1 & 2 Thessalonians. The College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.

Colossians 1:3-5, Various

Paul’s Triumvirate

In 1 Corinthians 13, the famous Love passage, Paul says there are only three things that abide with eternal significance, and those three things are faith, hope, and love. In Colossians 1, verses 3 thru 5, Paul puts those three crucial ingredients together in his prayers of thanksgiving for the saints. He writes, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.” We see faith, hope, and love linked together often in Paul’s writings.  Paul presents them as the supreme marks by which a church is measured and, by implication, by which a Christian is measured. It’s not one’s spiritual gifts, one’s abilities, one’s personality, or one’s passions that God measures believers by. It’s faith, hope & love. Look at these other verses written by the Apostle Paul. 1 Thessalonians 1:3 says, “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 5:5–6: “We eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus … the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Ephesians 1:15–18: “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.… I also pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you …”

This verse begins with Paul explaining how he is always “thankful” for the believers in Colossae. Thankfulness is such an important motive for prayer. God often instructs us to be thankful. It’s good for us. James tells us that every good gift comes from the “Father of Lights.” Like any wise father, God wants us to learn to be thankful for all the gifts He has given us. It is in our best interest to be reminded that everything we have is a gift from Him. Without gratitude, we become arrogant and self-centered. We begin to believe that we have achieved everything on our own. Thankfulness keeps our hearts in the right relationship with the Giver of all good gifts. One blogger says, “Giving thanks also reminds us of how much we do have. Human beings are prone to covetousness. We tend to focus on what we don’t have. By giving thanks continually, we are reminded of how much we do have. When we focus on blessings rather than wants, we are happier. When we start thanking God for the things we usually take for granted, our perspective changes. We realize that we could not even exist without the merciful blessings of God.”[1]

Paul clarifies these three things he is thankful for regarding the believers in Colossae. When he talks about faith, it’s “Faith in Jesus Christ.” Some commentators disagree, but it seems to me that it’s not just “faith” in general. Jesus is the object of that faith. He prays for them because they are fellow believers. Paul is thankful that there are brothers and sisters in the city for him to fellowship with. He talks about the love they have for each other and the importance of that while sharing the joys and trials of this life with others. The mention of their concern for other believers might be connected with the love they showed in sacrificial giving for the Jerusalem believers undergoing persecution and real hardship. Their faith in Jesus, who is God’s demonstrated love for them, motivates their love for other believers. They share a common faith, and they also share a common hope. They will one day share in the life which will be theirs forever in heaven. What would the Christian life be like without hope? Jenkins says, “The farmer plants in hope. The worker toils in hope. Parents bring up children in hope. Without hope, the Christian’s life would be bleak indeed. But the Christian’s life is not bleak; it is filled with hope.”[2] Longfellow wrote, “Life is real! Life is earnest!   And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul.”

[1] https://www.gotquestions.org/giving-thanks-to-God.html

[2] Jenkins, Ferrell. 1987. “Thanks, I Needed That!: The Hope of Heaven.” Edited by Brent Lewis. Christianity Magazine, 1987.

Philippians 1:1

No Title Necessary

Paul was a visionary leader who led visionary followers to become visionary leaders. Every biography and encyclopedia article about Paul will celebrate his remarkable leadership abilities. What was his secret? He followed the master’s example. In the opening address to his letter to the Philippians, Paul identifies himself and Timothy in Philippians 1:1 as “servants of Christ Jesus.” Many preachers and commentators fly past these words suggesting that they are just the formal way Paul used in the “from” line of his letters. I think they are worth a little thought. He didn’t identify himself as an elder, deacon, pastor, evangelist, or as an apostle, but he was truly all of these things. He preferred the title “servant.”

Much of the Leadership literature today speaks about “Servant Leadership.” In the 1980s, the term began to show up pretty regularly in a lot of secular literature on the subject of leadership as well. But it has proven to be an extremely difficult concept to bring into the corporate world. It’s even more difficult in the church. Religious organizations apply titles of honor to their leaders, such as Father, Priest, Pastor, Minister, Doctor, and Reverend, to name those that immediately come to mind. We often dress them in special garments that set them apart from others. But Paul would have none of that. Paul’s normal address of himself was simply “Paul.” He often added “a servant of Christ Jesus.” Paul once had all the titles and honors of a Religious leader who could trace his lineage back to Benjamin. But once he encountered the living Christ, he counted all his titles as “rubbish.” He hung all his credentials and accomplishment on that rack as well. In Philippians 3, he listed all his credentials and then said in verse 8, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish….” Instead of titles and honors, at every possible point, Paul pointed away from himself toward Jesus Christ. That is the essence of servant leadership.

Jesus is the supreme example, and until one becomes a follower and servant of Jesus, one will never be able to follow the example that is displayed in such a humble act as foot-washing. Liefeld argues, “First, one must come to the cross of Jesus where his love, forgiveness, and servanthood were supremely displayed. It is the cross of Christ and the subsequent bestowal of the Holy Spirit that are going to reveal to the disciples the secret of servant leadership. The pre-requisite for understanding and practicing servant-leadership is the acknowledgment of Jesus’ death and resurrection.” After He washed his disciples’ feet, he called them, and He calls us to do the same thing, i.e., serve each other with humility. Jesus calls us all to follow Him. He calls us all to be a servant leaders. No degree is required! No office is necessary!


Ephesians 1:4, Various

God’s Sovereign Choice

Paul was an Old Testament scholar. When we read his letters, we must remember that and always look for allusions to them. This is important when we read the passages that deal with God’s choice of His people Israel. The basis of God’s sovereign choice of Israel had nothing to do with the “quality” or “quantity” of the nation itself but was based solely on God’s love. God explains his choice in Deuteronomy 7:6-8. He says, “The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.  It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers.” Having this in mind, Paul then writes to Ephesians and in Ephesians 1:4 says, “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”

I don’t understand the ideas of God’s foreknowledge and election of the people of Israel over the other nations of the world or his chosen individual believers over others in the world. The history of Christianity is full of discussions, arguments, and wars over the understanding of this issue. I don’t mind the discussions, and I’ve had my share of arguments, but I really don’t like the wars! Yet, we can’t overlook the phrase that explains God’s choice was made “before the foundation of the world.” The Handbook for Translators explains, “The temporal clause ‘before the foundation of the world’ indicates that God’s decision was made in eternity, before time and creation. The word ‘foundation’ depicts the creation of the world in terms of a building. The meaning of the temporal clause is expressed simply by before the world was made or ‘before God created the world.’” [1] There were several things that are said to have taken place before the foundation of the world.  In John 17:24, The father Loved the Son before the world was created. The Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world, according to Revelation 13:8. 1 Peter 1:20 says that Christ the Lamb was foreknown before the foundation of the world. John 17:5 speaks of the Glory that Jesus had with the Father before the foundation of the world. God’s action of “choosing” took place before time began. Titus 1:2 tells us that our hope of eternal life as Christians rests upon a promise God made before the world began. Our names have been recorded in the book of life before the foundation of the world as well.

“The choosing was wholly of God, an act of the Divine mind. The ‘elect’ are such because of the grace of God. If one gives great amounts to feed the poor or to ransom hostages, he has the undoubted right of selecting his own beneficiaries as he determines best. Alfred Nobel (1833–96), a Swedish chemist and inventor, was the inventor of dynamite. Concerned about the potential uses of the explosives he had invented, he established a fund to provide awards, called Nobel prizes, in five fields. He specified the fields (peace, chemistry, physics, physiology or medicine, literature) and the judges in each category. An athlete, for example, is not even in the competition for a prize. Nobel made his choices, and it is not our prerogative to criticize or object.  In like fashion, God, out of His infinitely greater resources, arranged in His own eternal purpose for the salvation of man. He chose the realm in which and the means by which this is to be accomplished. God’s choice of Israel provides a basis for understanding His election of those in Christ today. His election of Israel was not because they were great or righteous, but because of His love (Deuteronomy 7:7; 9:5; 14:2). One may object that God should have chosen the Egyptians, or the Moabites, or the Edomites, but such is not within our prerogative.”[2]

[1] Bratcher, Robert G., and Eugene Albert Nida. 1993. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. UBS Handbook Series. New York: United Bible Societies.

[2] Jenkins, Ferrell. 1987. “Election.” Edited by Brent Lewis. Christianity Magazine, 1987.

Galatians 1:3, 2 Peter 1:1-2

Gracious Living

In Galatians 1:3, Paul begins his address to the Galatians who have wandered away from the truth by saying, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Putting it first makes it the emphatic subject: “Grace.” He’s commending God’s grace and Jesus’ grace to his readers who are being beguiled by legalists who are commending law to them. Imagine them greeting the Galatians from their gospel (which is not a gospel at all). It would say “Law to you.” It argues that God and Jesus send us law to live by through which we can win God’s favor and acceptance. The phrase might be “Law to you, and strife, or stress, or anxiety, from God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ.” Relating to God on the basis of law is a relationship that is unsettling, uncertain, and unloving. I’ve known married couples that relate to each other on the basis of law rather than love. It feeds a miserable life. Nothing is more unsettling in life than having to deal with others on the basis of law. That is the call of the government, of course. But for us to deal with all of our relationships on the basis of having to have everything fair and equitable is to live our lives with a continual balancing routine. It’s a life that always puts ourselves first in our relationships and goes against Jesus’ instructions to love others.

Paul wants the Galatians from the very beginning of his letter to them to consider the difference between what is being offered by the legalists and what he has preached to them about what is being offered from God through Jesus Christ. With Grace comes peace from God. Peter begins his second letter with an even stronger greeting regarding grace and peace. It took Peter some time to comprehend the extent of God’s grace with which He would deal with sinners. But once he got it, grace and peace became the central theme of Peter’s life as well. He writes in 2 Peter 1:1-2, “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” His opening greeting acknowledges that our righteousness is that of “our God and of Jesus our Lord.” It’s not a righteousness earned through obedience to a law. He calls for it to be multiplied! The more we get to know Christ, grace increases exponentially.

People don’t need law. People need God’s grace and peace. Most people are well aware of their failures and shortcomings, even if they are unwilling to admit it. They know they need help. I’ve heard people say they don’t want grace. They want justice. If God gave us justice, as we deserve, we would need “to go shopping for a flame retardant suit.” What we want and need from God is grace and mercy. God extends his gracious hand to the whole world from the cross of Calvary. God is so rich in mercy that he saves us by His grace. God loves everyone. He extends a gracious, merciful hand to everyone. He wants no one to perish or none to be fearful of perishing. Through Christ Jesus, we find God’s grace, and it gives us peace with God. Law brings stress and anxiety. Grace brings eternal life, an abundant life. Gracious living means treating people better than they deserve to be treated.  We do this because that is how God deals with us. One can never live graciously with others unless they recognize their own sinfulness. Receiving God’s grace enables us to extend that grace to others. It’s like love. The Bible teaches us that we can only love God when we recognize and accept His love for us. You can’t give others something you do not have. In Christ, we have God’s demonstrated love while we were sinners. God’s love is moved by His grace. You can’t give love if you don’t have it. You can’t be gracious if you have not received God’s grace. They go hand in hand.



2 Corinthians 1:3, Various

Father of Mercy & Mother of Comfort

There have been attempts to understand God the Father as being quite different from God the Son. The God of the Old Testament is a vengeful God. Jesus is the loving and forgiving God. But Paul and the other New Testament writers don’t see it that way at all. After his usual greeting to the Corinthians in his second letter to them, Paul adds his understanding of the God of the Old Testament. 2 Corinthian 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”

In Psalm 86:5, the writer says he is “Abounding in mercy.” Paul is not telling the Corinthians anything new but is reminding them that the Father-God of the Old Testament is the same Father-God of Jesus Christ. God explains his mercy to his people in the Old Testament in several places. It is seen in his actions towards his creation and his people throughout Genesis. In Exodus, this truth is proclaimed. In Exodus 34:6-7 we read, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” But, as Pink says, “the title “Father of Mercies” conveys more than the idea that He is our most merciful Father. It also connotes that these mercies issue from His very nature and that they are, therefore, both His offspring and His delights.” Just as Satan is the “Father of lies,” God is the “Father of Mercies.” It has its origin in Him. Pink goes on to suggest that there are three reasons Paul calls Him the “Father of mercies.” First, He sent Jesus to take the penalty for our sins. Second, as Micah 7:18 tells us, mercy is one of the things he “delights” in as a father delights in a son. Third, Paul wants the sinful Corinthians to realize that God has not and will not abandon them even in their sin.[1]

He’s not only the God of mercies but also the God of all comfort. As God gives Isaiah instructions regarding his prophecy, he tells him, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.” That the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the God of all comfort was a radical statement, and it still is in some ways. As Pink points out, “None of the false gods of heathendom have such a quality ascribed to them; rather, they are represented as being cruel and ferocious. Consequently, they are regarded, even by their worshipers, as objects of dread. But how different is the Lord God.” If God is a Father with respect to His mercy, he is a mother with respect to His comfort. Isaiah 66:13 tells us, “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

One website explains, “Of course, the fullest expression of the mercy of God is found in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the compassion of God incarnate. But the New Testament does not represent a departure from the Old Testament at this point, but rather the arrival of its fullest expectation.”[2] I know someone who likes to say, “God loves us because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.” I tried to correct him, but he keeps saying it that way. Jesus’ death for us on the cross is not the cause of God’s love for us but the result of God’s love. Romans 5:8 tells us that “God demonstrated his love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

[1] Pink, Arthur Walkington. 2005. Gleanings from Paul Studies in the Prayers of the Apostle. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/old-testament-god-compassion-and-mercy

1 Corinthians 1:3

Grace and Peace

Paul addresses the “saints” who are residing in Corinth. He begins his letter by informing them that they were called by God and set apart for the Gospel. The next verse, 1 Corinthians 1:3, tells his readers what comes from being God’s special people, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The Handbook for Translators suggests that this verse might better be presented as a prayer that Paul prays for his readers. It might go something like this, “May God be kind and generous toward you, May God show his goodness, or May God give you what you need.” Grace in Greek is related to the word for “greeting” that was commonly used at the beginning of Greek letters. Peace was similarly used in Jewish letters.

In the Christian context, however, both words have more significance. The Handbook goes on and says, “In the language of the early Christians, to pray that someone might receive grace was more than an ordinary greeting. Grace, depending on the context, can have any one of three meanings: (a) God’s generosity in giving his love to people who do not deserve it, (b) the total sum of God’s gifts considered as a whole, or (c) individual gifts. In this verse, meaning (b) is the most likely.” In western civilization, the word “grace” has lost much of its meaning in both the believing and non-believing population. Repeated sayings degenerate into the sheer convention and don’t carry the intended weight. Thus, the English “Good-bye” originates from the early form “God be wy you,” “God buy’ye” as a contraction of “God be with ye.” Paul doesn’t want the Greek greeting or the Hebrew greeting to be familiar to the readers of his epistles. Hence, he expands these two greetings by adding, “from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” “And peace for Christians, as in the Old Testament, was more than the absence of war or a peaceful feeling that an individual might have inside himself. Christians understood these terms as related to the nature of God. Grace and peace, therefore, overlap in meaning, both with one another and also with ‘righteousness,’ which Today’s English Version often translates as ‘being right with God.’ Peace in the New Testament refers to a total state of well-being or good spiritual health that God gives to a person.”[1]

The Pillar commentary explains “Grace and Peace” this way, “The two words sum up beautifully Paul’s gospel, drawing attention to God’s beneficence and bounty, grace, the cause of salvation, and the well-being and welfare of those who are saved, peace, the outcome of salvation. As Fee observes, ‘the one flows out of the other.’ When one Christian wishes grace and peace to another, he prays that he may apprehend more fully the grace of God in which he already stands and the peace he already enjoys. Grace and peace are Paul’s shorthand for the eschatological benefits we have received in Christ.”[2] Another commentator puts it this way, “Grace signifies the free favor, mercy, and compassion of God, by which he freely pardons sins without our contribution of good works, accepts us ungrateful sinners, and proclaims us righteous and heirs of eternal life. Peace signifies spiritual and physical blessings; certainly, it includes the gift of the Holy Spirit, peace of conscience, renewed righteousness and life, gladness in God, and the inheritance of eternal life. Further, it includes protection, sustenance, guidance, consolation, and every good thing that we need, both in this present life and in the life to come.”[3]

[1] Ellingworth, Paul, Howard Hatton, and Paul Ellingworth. 1995. A Handbook on Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. UBS Handbook Series. New York: United Bible Societies.

[2] Ciampa, Roy E., and Brian S. Rosner. 2010. The First Letter to the Corinthians. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[3] Manetsch, Scott M., Timothy George, and David W. McNutt, eds. 2017. 1 Corinthians: New Testament. Vol. IXa. Reformation Commentary on Scripture. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

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