I have been discussing how Paul established the church in Corinth; this is important information for anyone interested in knowing what kinds of problems arose in the church — some of them rather amazing, for a group Paul calls “the saints”! Here is how I discuss Paul’s message in my textbook on the New Testament:
During their stay in Corinth, Paul and his companions appear to have converted a sizable number (dozens?) of pagans to the faith. The book of Acts indicates that they spent a year and a half there. Paul himself makes no clear statement concerning the length of his stay, but there are indications throughout his letter that the Christians in Corinth, or at least some of them, had an unusually sophisticated understanding of the faith. Indeed, some of the Corinthians had so much knowledge of their faith that they took Paul’s gospel simply as a starting point and developed their views in vastly different directions.
What can we say about the message that Paul originally preached to these people? As elsewhere (see 1 Thess. 1:9-10), he evidently instructed them in the need to worship the one true God and to await his Son from heaven. As we will see, however, the second part of this message (“to await his Son”) made significantly less impact on the converts in Corinth than in other Pauline churches.
It is difficult to know exactly what else he taught these people. It does appear, however, that Paul devoted little if any effort to narrating tales about what Jesus said and did during his public ministry, as was probably true for his other churches as well. He does
If Paul didn’t talk about Jesus’ life, teachings, and miracles — what *did* he say to convert people? Join the blog and you’ll get access to my answer, and to five posts on topics related to early Christianity each and every week! Click here for membership options