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After Paul Left Corinth: The Influence of Secular Ethics and Social Change Paperback – January 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802848982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802848987
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Ron Clark on August 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I found Winter's book fresh and insightful. He relies upon archaeology and Roman classical writings to seek meaning throughout the book of 1 Corinthians. He focuses on Corinth as a new Roman colony and seems to reject much of the older studies, which place AD Corinth in a Greek context for the early church. He attempts to understand the book in its first-century social and religious settings (xiii). He suggested that Paul may have provided no apostolic tradition for the problems raised in 1 Corinthians while he was there, except for those in 11:17-34 and 15:3-4.
Winter divided the book into two sections. The first, "The Influence of Secular Ethics," discusses the ethics of the Roman elite. Winter pointed out that first-century AD discipleship, among the upper class, required disciples to be loyal to their teachers but critical of others. He applied this model to 1 Cor. 1-4. The Christians battled for loyalty among their teachers and rejected others. Paul reminded the Christians that God uses leaders in different ways, yet they are all important together.
Winter then discussed Roman law and its condemnation of incest (1 Cor. 5), its corrupt judges, and argumentative lawyers (1 Cor. 6). In both texts Paul tried to avoid shaming the church as well as another Christian. Winter finally discussed the permissiveness and excesses of the Roman elite. These ethics led to immorality (1 Cor. 6:12-20), homosexuality (6:9-12), feasting and excessive eating (10:23), and drunkenness. Paul was concerned about the elite Christians' acceptance of this type of permissiveness due to a belief in the dichotomy of body and spirit. These elite Christians may also have been invoking Jesus as a curse (12:3) and removing toga hoods (veils) as a sign of their new freedom.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Murphey on March 3, 2012
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"After Paul Left Corinth" is great book when read with a level of skepticism appropriate for material at the leading edge of scholarship.

I appreciate Winter's writing style which includes a summary of the chapter at the beginning which helps frame the discussion beforehand.

Unfortunately, the book has some mistakes that I'm surprised made it to production. Many are simple formatting mistakes like missing section numbers/letters (for example, page 199 has sub-section "b." but there is no sub-section titled "a."). There are other mistakes that are a bit more substantive though none affect the analysis or conclusions. Here are some that I found:

* Page 205: oikodokeo ("house thinking"?, not listed in BDAG or Liddell and Scott) ought to be oikodomeo (mu instead of a kappa)
* Page 211: when discussing the difference between oikia and oikos, he cites 1 Timothy 5:3-6 as using both terms. However, oikia does not show up until verse 13 so the correct reference is 1 Timothy 5:3-13 (which does support the distinction between the terms that Winter was illustrating)
* Page 258: kairos and kronos are mixed up (should be season and time respectively)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John K. Joachim on May 12, 2008
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Dr. Winter's arguments are, dare I say it, *too* convincing, and seldom gives leverage for other opinions (despite the fact that throughout, his tone suggests that he wants his own opinions not to be the final word). He gives cites compelling evidence (by that word I mean "data," not "truth" or "facts") as to which excerpts of Paul's letter are subject to changes in cultural milieu, and which are not; although even here, I had expected his notion that Paul's letter as a snapshot (i.e., events occurred beforehand leading up to what is reported in the letter, other events occurred afterward but obliquely anticipated by Paul). Granted, producing a text that would have satisfied my expectations would had certainly doubled the length of this book. I also appreciated how he didn't get bogged down on interpreting the theology of the culture, thus producing potential filler to his evidence (although peculiarly, I would have imagined Dr. Winter is certainly equipped to posit such opinions). But Winter's text is a very good first step, as it introduces evidence otherwise neglected. And the presentation reflects half a life's labor of research. I could never discourage this book, but neither could I ever propose it to be the final word, either (as I'm sure Dr. Winter would concur).
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Winter's research concerning Roman Corinth in the first century is outstanding. Not only does he convey Paul's world as it was, but he also exegeted the Biblical Scriptures accordingly. This work is a necessity for any attempting to study Paul's letters to the churches at Corinth. In order to get a true understanding of what Paul was dealing with, I highly recommend this book as one of the main research points.
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The New Testament wasn't written in a vaccuum. First century Corinth was a Roman colony, governed by Roman laws and ethics. This book does a great job to document the impact of the culture on the emerging church, and explains many difficult passages in the apostle Paul's letters to the Corinthians.
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This book answer's a lot of question in the APOSTLE PAUL'S WRITING. If we know about the history of the country's that PAUL was teaching at, then we can understand him better.
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