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