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Paul, Apologist to the Corinthians

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Chapter Summary

Paul uses the language of the apologist in each of his extant letters to the Corinthians. Why was this self-defence necessary? Broadly speaking, his apologias were necessary because he spent so little time with the congregations he founded. Most modern church planters would spend more time with nascent churches before handing them over to more permanent local pastoral leadership. First Corinthians was written near the end of Paul's first 'period of absence', an expanse of at least two and a half years. In both extant letters to the Corinthians, Paul employs the terminology of 'apology' or self-defence. Paul's second visit necessitated by a local crisis did little to reassure the Corinthians about his effectiveness and leadership. In short, Paul's apologetic against his various critics and opponents in Corinth is intrinsic to the theological argument of both letters. The two letters are inseparable.

Keywords: apologist; Corinthians; Paul

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