Saturday, October 29, 2016

Requesting a 1 Corinthians Reading List

Erastus Inscription, Corinth
The lot fell to me to design a new upper level biblical studies elective this year, and I (probably foolishly) decided on Paul's first letter to the church in Corinth. I reasoned that the letter would be closer to my current teaching and research interests than the book of Revelation (my other main option). 1 Corinthians also follows the Gospels, Acts, and Romans--all courses that have formed part of my regular teaching assignment. Why not work sequentially through the New Testament?

I taught 1 Corinthians once before, twenty years ago at a Bible school in Kenya, fresh out of college, with the first edition of Gordon Fee's NICNT commentary as a lifeline. In seminary I took a course on the Corinthian Correspondence from Murray J. Harris, who assigned C.K. Barrett's BNTC commentaries as textbooks. That is, more or less, my last serious academic engagement with the book.

Needless to say, I have some catching up to do. One of the reasons for the blog silence this semester is that I have been trying to read ahead for next semester. I am not as far along as I'd like, however, and a textbook deadline looms. I could use some help:

Primary Textbook: For courses like this, I typically look for an excellent, relatively short, and readable commentary, as a primary textbook. For 1 Corinthians, I haven't found anything better than Richard Hays's 1999 contribution to the Interpretation series.

Secondary Textbook/Articles: To fill in the secondary readings, I'm casting about for one or more of the following:
  • A shorter, accessible book that introduces the text from a more practical or theological level (though Hays does both exceptionally well), or an introduction to the historical context.
  • *A set of paired articles introducing diverse perspectives on major issues in 1 Corinthians.
Any reading recommendations, particularly of seminal essays on 1 Corinthians, will be appreciated!