Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter. . .1 Corinthians 7:1
It couldn’t be clearer that Paul has changed topic. He has been dealing with what the informants have told him. Now he moves on to deal with the matters the Corinthians themselves wrote to Paul about. Remember again the contact pattern between them. At the risk of being pedantic let me remind you again.
- Paul visits Corinth for the first time, spending about 18 months there (Acts 18:11).
- He then leaves Corinth and spends about 3 years in Ephesus (AD 53 to 57).
There was regular contact between Paul and the people from Corinth:
- Chloe’s homegroup,
- Timothy and Apollos visited the Corinthians.
- Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus came to Paul among others.
- Paul writes the “warning letter”, probably from Ephesus. The Corinthians send a letter to Paul. (1Co 7:1
- Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter.) Paul writes 1 Corinthians from Ephesus.
- Paul makes a “painful visit” to the Corinthian church as he indicated he would in 1 Corinthians 16:6.
This is probably still during his 3 years based in Ephesus.
- Paul writes the “letter of tears”.
- Paul writes 2 Corinthians, indicating his desire to visit the Corinthian church a third time (2 Cor 12:14, 2 Cor 13:1).
The letter doesn’t indicate where he is writing from, but it is usually dated by the scholars after Paul left Ephesus for Macedonia (Acts 20), from either Philippi or Thessalonica in Macedonia.
- Paul presumably made the third visit after writing 2 Corinthians, because Acts 20:2-3 indicates he spent 3 months in Greece.
- In his letter to Rome, written at this time, he sent salutations from some of the key members of the church to the Romans.
While we don’t have the warning letter Paul wrote neither do we have the Corinthians response, we can determine the topics they wanted to talk about. See if you can work out for yourself what was in the Corinthians letter to Paul. What were the questions the Corinthians asked Paul. Note: We can’t reconstruct the actual questions but we can determine each topic that arose from their questions. It is easier than you think it may be. Give it a go, starting at 1 Cor 7:1 and paying careful attention to the structure and the big picture.
Never give up. Remember: A big shot is just a little shot who kept shooting!Tommy Tenney
Only fools think they know all they need to know. The wiser we become the more aware we are of how very little we know.Rick Warren