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on 15 July 2014
This commentary identifies the background of the church in Corinth that Paul is writing to. They were an unloving church, skilled in the verbal arts of sarcasm. Rather than strengthening others through the gift of self in love, they would skin people alive with criticism. In effect, they were spiritually dead, and this is the context that Paul is writing into. This is why he instructs them about the appropriate conduct at Holy Communion where the poor were excluded. The well off would have their dinner parties before the poor came along and would not share their wealth with them. This unsharing behaviour caused divisions in the Corinthian church, and that unsharing behaviour still continues today. You can go to church and share the same space as other Christians, but there is no exchange of love or sense of belonging. Instead, their energy.is selectively placed in the hands of their friends. The way to remedy this is the gift of self in love.

The commentary also identifies Paul as a single man writing about the issue of sex and marriage. Was Paul like Jeremiah who was told not to take a wife or have children? Or did Paul fail to find someone to replace his first love when he became a Christian? Being a single Christian wandering from church to church in search of a spiritual home can be a lonely business. Paul knew what this felt like which is why some of his letters can be a real comfort. It is this unloving attitude towards the unloved that Paul is addressing in his letter to the Corinthians.
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