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1 Corinthians 15:1-11

You can read the text here.

Paul now tackles the core theological problem the Corinthians are facing head on. They need reminding (precisely why will have to wait for a later post) on the core gospel truth that Paul taught them and forms the basis for their Christian walk, the story of Jesus victory in his resurrection. That is of course, if they've taken this whole thing seriously.[1]

The single most important truths they had been taught were that Jesus died for their sins, he was buried (i.e., he really did die), and rose from the dead on the third day. None of this was a surprise to God, but it was all part of his plan (or at least retrospectively it is to those who have eyes to see). And it was publicly witnessed, by Peter, the rest of the apostles, by a large group, by James, and even last and least by Paul himself. Paul is the least because of his status as former persecutor of the church. But God does not care about status, he gives grace freely without regard of prior status or behavior. He continues to give it freely without regard to current status, and that grace propels Paul on. Thus the witness of Paul, Peter, and anyone else who the Corinthians may have heard was all grounded on grace and on Christ's victory in his resurrection.

This paragraph is all about Jesus.[2] He is the one driving the action, and that is true in the case of the Corinthians. The message they heard was the same regardless of the speaker, and it was a message made possible by the activity of the Son of God.

[1] Rather than 'in vain' Thiselton prefers something along the lines of "without due consideration."

[2] A point driven home by Ciapma and Rosner.


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