Reading the New Testament, Second Series
In Reading 1 Corinthians, Timothy Brookins leads the reader through 1 Corinthians section by section, explaining the often perplexing intricacies of Paul’s arguments in the light of the wider context of the letter, Paul’s theology as a whole, and the church’s first-century urban setting. Building on his earlier work, Brookins argues that socio-economic factors and contemporary philosophical perspectives intersected to create a dire rift in the Corinthian church, leaving it divided especially along the line between the “spiritual” Christians and the “unspiritual” ones. Paul advocates a more corporate perspective as the solution for the divisions. All are one in Christ, united with him and with each other. All things should be done, not for building up oneself, but for building up of the church. This is love. And in love there is unity.
In a crowded field, Brookins cuts a clear and sensible path to understanding Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. This is more than a sure-footed guide, for Reading 1 Corinthians is a brilliant treatment that time and time again generously rewards the reader for their effort. Especially significant is Brookins’s extensive knowledge of the Greco-Roman world and his mastery of the secondary literature. This is truly a treasure trove of learning... Students need the best. So the next time I teach 1 Corinthians, this will be required reading.
Professor of New Testament Studies
Dallas Theological Seminary
Timothy Brookins is among the most qualified people currently writing in English on 1 Corinthians for his familiarity with the Greek text of the letter, understanding of philosophies and social mores in the milieu of first-century-CE Corinth, and sense for how we Christians can apply this letter to our lives. In academic settings, this commentary will prove to be accessible and valuable for undergraduates through graduate students, as well as for their professors. In church settings, it will be a very useful resource for lay people, seminarians, and pastors who desire to engage at a deeper level with 1 Corinthians.
The brevity of this commentary may obscure the erudition of its contents and the scope of the information it contains. It is an excellent work and will be of great value in teaching this much studied Pauline letter.
Abilene Christian University
Review in Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology