Hello friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are feeling inspired after worship yesterday. Today begins are journey through the book of 2 Corinthians. This letter was written about two years after the first. While there is little doubt among scholars that Paul is the author, there is discussion over whether the Epistle was originally one letter or composed from two or more of Paul's letters. Although the New Testament contains only two letters to the Corinthian church, the evidence from the letters themselves is that he wrote at least four and the church replied at least once:
1 Corinthians 5:9 ("I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators", KJV) refers to an early letter, sometimes called the "warning letter" or the "previous letter."
The Severe Letter: Paul refers to an earlier "letter of tears" in 2 Corinthians 2:3–4 and 7:8. 1 Corinthians does not match that description, so this "letter of tears" may have been written between 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians.
I share this not just as a fun fact but to try to soften any harsh feelings you might have when reading as Paul can come across somewhat aggressive or judgmental in this letter. The missing documents might prove helpful to explain further what struggles the church was going through. (Most likely prostitution knowing what we know about Corinth.) For now, let's read!
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about Paul?
Paul opens the letter defending himself as an apostle, implying that others claim he is not one. What do you think makes someone an apostle? What invalidates them from being one?
In conflict management assessments there are five different "styles" of conflict that our personality can gravitate towards. Competiting (Forcing), Compromising (Sharing), Accommodating (Smoothing), Avoiding (Withdrawal), and Collaborating (Problem Solving). Which of these do you believe you are? Which do you believe Paul is? What are the positives and negatives of yours and Pauls?
Instead of a commentary by me or some scholar we'll start off by watching the overview video from the Bible Project to make sense of what we just read as well as get an idea of what's to come. Enjoy!
Praying the Hymns
Our hymn for today is "The Day of Resurrection" which is sung to one of the most popular hymn tunes. I invite you to listen to the hymn as you center yourself for the rest of the day or meditate on how God has been good to you at the end of this day, depending on when you're reading this. If you feel so moved sing along or pray the words aloud.
1. The day of resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad;
the passover of gladness,
the passover of God.
From death to life eternal,
from earth unto the sky,
our Christ hath brought us over,
with hymns of victory.
2. Our hearts be pure from evil,
that we may see aright
the Lord in rays eternal
of resurrection light;
and listening to his accents,
may hear, so calm and plain,
his own "All hail!" and, hearing,
may raise the victor strain.
3. Now let the heavens be joyful!
Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph,
and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen
their notes in gladness blend,
for Christ the Lord hath risen,
our joy that hath no end.