Laurence Welborn posits that political competition over power and influence within the community best describes the Corinthian factions.
were essentially divided along a single fault line, . Based on social strata, some believers, he argues, were allowed inside while others had to remain outside.
This new perspective stands in tension with older scholarship which emphasised the role of patronage in the structure and dynamics of the house churches that made up the of Christ-believers at Corinth.
This essay draws upon new research into the political sociology of Greek cities in the early Empire, which highlights evidence of the continuing vitality of democratic assemblies () in the first and second centuries, despite the limitations imposed upon local autonomy by Roman rule.
Special attention is devoted to the epigraphic evidence of first-century Corinth, whose political institutions and social relations were those of a Roman colony.
The essay seeks to ascertain whether the politics of the Christ groups mimicked those of the city in which they were located or represented an alternative.
1 Tim 2.9–15); (4) the paragraph exhibits non-Pauline sentiments – e.g., ‘as the law also says’ (14.34b); (5) manuscript evidence indicates that 1 Cor 14.34–5 was a later addition to the text of 1 Corinthians; see esp. For Chloe as a Christian householder at Corinth, see to blur the distinction between ἡ κατ᾽ οἶκον ἐκκλησία and ἡ ὅλη ἐκλησία fails to convince: first, because he minimises the evidence that the former was a fixed expression in Paul's usage, whose import was known to his Corinthian readers (1 Cor 16.19); and second, because his interpretation of the latter depends upon the problematic argument that its function in both 1 Cor 14.23 and Rom 16.23 is rhetorical, rather than referential..
Corinth's provincial charter has not survived, but an idea of its political institutions may be formed from inscriptions and coins, and by comparison with colonial and municipal charters from first-century Roman Spain; see Bitner, , 18.
Together these four essays provide a composite picture of the social stratification at this ancient urban center and of the concrete organizational and ethical problems that that stratification engendered for the Christians' common life.
A fifth essay helps to focus the critical questions of methodology that arise whenever one approaches ancient religious texts for information on issues which to the texts themselves are of peripheral concern.