Paul’s letters to the Corinthian assembly confront challenges faced by the Jesus movement as it expanded into a Gentile milieu. In this unit, students will examine 1 and 2 Corinthians from a sociological and rhetorical perspective, focusing on issues of class, status, sex, idolatry, slavery, economics, gender, liturgy, eschatology, and conflict. Students will gain in-depth familiarity with both primary and secondary sources, knowledge of important features of historical background, and develop skills in biblical exegesis and applying critical methodologies.

Unit code: BN9050Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Wollaston Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate knowledge of 1 and 2 Corinthians and its major themes


Critically evaluate theoretical and methodological approaches in Pauline exegesis


Display critical interpretive and close-reading skills for the analysis of biblical texts


Demonstrate effective independent research and analytic skills in the area of New Testament studies


Discuss major interpretive and scholarly trends in the study of 1 and 2 Corinthians

Unit sequence

24 points of foundational New Testament studies


Lectures, seminars, tutorials, exegetical activities

Indicative Bibliography

  • Vernon K. Robbins, Exploring the Texture of Texts: A Guide to Socio-rhetorical Interpretation (London: Continuum, 1996). [textbook]
  • Joseph A. Fitzmyer, First Corinthians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008). [textbook]
  • Antoinette Clark Wire, 2 Corinthians (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2019).
  • Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000).
  • David G. Horrell, An Introduction to the Study of Paul, 3rd edition (London: Bloomsbury, 2015).
  • Jennifer A. Glancy, Slavery in Early Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2006).
  • Antoinette Clark Wire, The Corinthian Women Prophets: A Reconstruction through Paul’s Rhetoric (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990).
  • Wayne A. Meeks, The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul (London: Yale University Press, 1983).
  • Thomas R. Blanton and Raymond Pickett (eds), Paul and Economics: A Handbook (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2017).
  • Yung-Suk Kim, Christ’s Body in Corinth: The Politics of a Metaphor (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014).


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Exegesis 1000 10.0
Essay 2500 40.0
Oral Presentation 1000 10.0
Exegetical Essay 2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 18 Nov, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-11-18 10:40:58 +1100