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Ciampa, Roy and Brian Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians. Eerdmans, 2010.

I. Letter Opening, 1:1-9

Ciampa and Rosner are excellent exegetes, possessing the ability to address the questions that pop into readers minds as they make their way through Pauls sometimes difficult language. Their discussion of 1:1-9 makes this abundantly clear. Most critical for understanding 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 is its study in comparison to Pauls other introductory thanksgivings, which appear in all of his letters directed to Churches except Galatians Its purpose is fourfold didactic paranetic pastoral and epistolary (p. 61). Surely this is a correct assessment. One learns a great deal about Pauls thinking by comparing Paul to Paul. The fact that he offers no thanks for the Galatians, for example, almost allows one to see the scowl on his face as one reads the letter. And the fact that Paul says what he says in the opening of 1 Corinthians really opens a window on the letter as a whole. C. and R. are wise to recognize this fact. They continue it is striking that Paul thanks God for the very things that are causing the church problems (p. 62). Striking indeed. A point which our authors make a little further on as well, cleverly observing It is no accident that in a letter in which Paul insists that he preaches only Jesus Christ to the Corinthians (2:2), he opens with ten references to Christ in nine verses (p. 68). Indeed it is not an accident at all. These are precisely the sorts of things which technical commentaries ought to note. And each thing noted is copiously supported with reams of evidence and the footnotes are stocked with even more technical matters. Though their treatment of this short passage is itself short, it is remarkably packed. The next segment is considerably longer, covering 1:10- 4:17 (pp. 68- 188). To which we next turn.

Jim West Quartz Hill School of Theology