Monday, January 12, 2009

Bible Study: 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20
Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit
Glorificate ergo Deum in corpore vestro.
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Corinth is a city in Rome west of Athens. It was a bustling commercial center for trade in the Mediterranean, the capital of Southern Greece, and located between two major seaports. It also had a reputation for shameless immorality, which was a problem for the early Christian community there (as Paul's letter makes clear).

Paul first went to Corinth during the same trip that took him through Macedonia with Silvanus and Timothy. Paul arrived in Corinth around AD 51 and stayed there for more than a year and a half. (Acts 18:1-18)

Paul wrote this letter from Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:8), in what is now Turkey; it was probably written around AD 56 (more than four years after his stay), during the second part of his third missionary journey. Paul had learned through the associates of a woman named Chloe. (1:11) Corinth had many problems: internal divisions (1:12-15), a case of incest (5:1-5), frivolous lawsuits (6:1-8), sexual immorality (6:12-20), and even the denial of the resurrection (15:12)! They were not celebrating the Eucharist properly (11:17-34) and they were exercising their charismatic gifts in a manner that was more disruptive than edifying (14:1-40).

Paul addresses these issues, as well as others that were put forth in a letter from the Church to him, concerning marriage, celibacy, food offered to idols, and tithing (7:1, 8:1, 12:1, 16:1). The excerpt we will read is about sexual purity as it relates to worship of God.

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