Macquarie University
01whole.pdf (2.4 MB)

Where is the wise man?: Graeco-Roman education as a background to the divisions in 1 Corinthians 1-4

Download (2.4 MB)
posted on 2022-03-28, 16:24 authored by Adam Graham White
This thesis investigates the divisions in the Corinthian church that Paul names in 1 Corinthians 1:12: “Each of you says, 'I follow Paul,' or 'I follow Apollos,' or 'I follow Cephas,' or 'I follow Christ.'” The investigation seeks to locate them in the milieu of first century Graeco-Roman education. By consulting relevant literary and epigraphic evidence, I will develop a picture of ancient education both throughout the Empire generally and in Roman Corinth specifically. This will serve as a backdrop to the situation in the Christian community, wherein some of the elite, educated members have preferred Apollos to Paul as a teacher since Apollos more closely resembles other teachers of higher studies. As we will see in the literature review, there have been numerous studies that have pursued this line of argument, each attempting to locate the problems in a specific school or branch of study. However, this thesis will argue that it is against the values inculcated through “higher education” in general that the teachers are being compared. By starting with this broader category, one that much better reflects the very eclectic nature of Graeco-Roman education, a sustained reading of the entire section of 1 Corinthians 1-4 is made possible.


Table of Contents

Ch. 1. Introduction -- -- Part 1. Setting the scene. -- Ch. 2. Literature review -- Ch. 3. ΠΑΙΔΕΙΑ and enculturation -- Ch. 4. Preliminary issues. -- -- Part 2. Paul's defence of his style. -- Ch. 5. Christ and the wise man -- Ch. 6. Paul and the orators -- Ch. 7. God's wisdom and true maturity. -- -- Part 3. Paul's role as an apostle and teacher. -- Ch. 8. The Corinthians' immaturity -- Ch. 9. Paul's role as a teacher -- Ch. 10. Paul and the intellectual clients -- Ch. 11. Paul the father -- Ch. 12. Conclusion.


"This thesis is presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Macquarie University, Department of Ancient History, 25th April 2013". Bibliography: pages 251-285

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Chris Forbes

Additional Supervisor 1

Larry Welborn

Additional Supervisor 2

Bruce Winter


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Adam Graham White 2014.






1 online resource (xviii, 285 pages)

Former Identifiers

mq:33464 2135468

Usage metrics

    Macquarie University Theses


    Ref. manager