New Testament Stuff I Need to Know: Session 5

FEBRUARY 2, 2017

Dear Saint James’ Learners,

I have attached two documents for our New Testament course. One is an updated version of the syllabus. The other is a worksheet which includes an outline for Chapter 7: Paul and His Letters, discussion questions, and the assigned Scripture passage with guidelines for praying the passage. I hope you will be able to read the entire chapter and pray the Scripture passage once a day for three days.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me. Also if you know of other parishioners or friends that might want to join us, please invite them or let me know and I will call them.



(scroll down to read the outline for chapter 7)

Learning More about the New Testament

Chapter 7: Paul and His Letters   Session Five: 2/5-2/11

Reading Assignment Outline

  • “Apostle to the Gentiles”
  • rhetoric rather than personality in letters, 7 authentic letters, 6 “Pauline school”
  • moral dualism: difference between selfishness and altruism
  • reconciliation

Paul’s Life

  • first-century Mediterranean culture
  • Roman citizen, Jewish family, Hellenistic culture, Pharisee
  • Damascus Road experience of the risen Christ
  • not a systematic theologian but a congregational pastor
  • martyred 64-68 CE

1 Corinthians (c.54 CE)

  • information about earliest Christianity
  • Corinthian church founded by Paul
  • “the saints,” primarily Gentiles
  • conflict arising from disagreement and competition, “strong” vs. “weak”
  • purpose of empowerment was collaboration in a shared enterprise
  • conflicts about sex and food
  • Hymn to Love, Body of Christ, spiritual gifts, moral transformation, “mind of Christ”

Romans (57 CE)

  • mission to Spain, Phoebe, arrested in Jerusalem, apostleship, Hellenistic diatribe
  • “Sin is a distorted use of freedom that rejects God’s order and therefore distorts all human relations.”
  • “Jesus is a new Adam, who displays and exact opposite way of being human.”
  • empowerment through the Holy Spirit
  • membership in Israel by promise or election
  • religious enthusiast, theologian, pastor, writer, moral teacher

Discussion Questions

Paul’s Life

  • What is your most important learning about Paul?

1 Corinthians

  • What is your most important learning about the early church, using Corinth as an example?


  • What is an example of the connection between what you believe and what Paul preached?

Scripture Passage and Prayer

1 Corinthians 12:12-26

  • Settle into a comfortable sitting position. Be still and quiet.
  • With eyes closed, slowly say, “I see and receive the love and joy with which God gazes at me as I gaze at God.”
  • Remain still and quiet with eyes closed for awhile.
  • Open eyes and slowly read the Scripture passage, pausing after every verse.
  • Notice what words or phrases capture your curiosity.
  • Notice what words or phrases touch your heart.
  • Notice what words or phrases cause you to consider a specific act of faith.
  • Close with a sentence of gratitude.