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V. Authorship

It is only in recent years that any doubt has been cast upon Paul's authorship of the Corinthian epistles. All attacks, however, have failed, for the testimony to the genuineness of both epistles is really irrefutable. Especially for I Corinthians has the attestation of Paul's authorship been sure and widespread. Clement of Rome (90-100 a.d.) writing to the Corinthians near the close of the first century calls upon them to "take up the epistle of the blessed Paul the Apostle. Of a truth he enjoined you spiritually concerning himself and Cephas and Apollos because even then you had begun to show partialities" (i Epis. to Cor., ch. 47). Polycarp (140-155 A.D.) quotes I Cor. 6:2 as the words of Paul (Epis. to Phil., ch. 11). Irenseus (140-202 a.d.), the disciple of Polycarp, also quotes from Corinthians and attributes it to Paul (Bk. III. Against Heresies, ch. 11:9, 18:2). Clement of Alexandria (189-219 a.d.) and Tertul-lian (160-220 AJD.) of Northwest Africa do the same. These names are of men not only prominent in the church, but representative of widely sqparated parts of it. Other writers of this early time have many echoes of the thoughts and quotations of the words of i Corinthians, showing their familiarity with it but taking for granted Paul's authorship. The evidence is continuous and dear from within a comparatively short time of its origin to the beginning of the second century. From that time onward it is unquestioned. In addition to the witness of early Christian writers the fact is to be noted that the epistle is found in the early Syriac, Coptic and Latin versions. In several important ancient manuscripts the letter is found in its entirety.

This external evidence is seconded by the witness of the epistle itself. It not only fits into the account of Paul's work in Corinth given in the Acts, but also to the historical situation from which it is supposed to come. The enthusiasms, defects and aberrations of the Corinthians are justly accounted for by their training and environment. Who but Paul could have met the perplexed-ties of the time, with the spiritual insight, firmness and tenderness which the letter displays! It all thoroughly accords with his character as made known to us in the Acts and in his other epistles.

From I Epistle to the Corinthians by professor James S. Riggs, Auburn Theological Seminary. Published by the MacMillan Company in 1922. Lightly updated to the language of the 21st century by D. N. Pham. (c) 2013. This conversion is not completed.