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Constitution and Covenant in 1 Corinthians 1–4

Dr. Bradley J. Bitner, associate professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary California, speaks about constitution and covenant in ancient Corinth and how these inform Paul’s argument to the Corinthians. Dr. Bitner has written a thorough study of the subject titled, Paul’s Political Strategy in 1 Corinthians 1–4: Constitution and Covenant (Cambridge University Press).

In 1 Corinthians 1:1–4:6, we witness a collision of constitutions. This clash is the result of Paul contending for a specifically ecclesial politeia with reference to the larger colonial politeia. Birthed from Caesar’s unsystematic and privately composed memoranda, the lex coloniae provides an indispensable frame of reference for understanding life in early Roman Corinth, the colony named in his honor. For this reason, it is also crucial for the interpretation of the Pauline epistle known as 1 Corinthians.

Dr. Bitner served as a pastor for three years before pursuing doctoral studies. He completed his Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christianity in 2013 at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He has two other book projects in progress on the biblical theology of Geerhardus Vos and Paul’s paradigm for building up the church in 1 Corinthians.

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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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