1 Corinthians 3

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1 Corinthians 3
Page 79 of Papyrus 46 (ca. AD 200) showing 1 Corinthians 2:11–3:5. P. Mich Inv. 6238. University of Michigan.
BookFirst Epistle to the Corinthians
CategoryPauline epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part7

1 Corinthians 3 is the third chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle and Sosthenes in Ephesus, composed between 52–55 CE.[1] In this chapter, Paul begins to deal with the issue of factionalism in the Corinthian church which is one of his main reasons for writing the letter.


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 23 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Old Testament references[edit]

New Testament references[edit]

Paul's purpose[edit]

Paul's intention in this chapter is to address the spiritual immaturity of the Corinthian church, which is displayed through its intense factionalism.

New King James Version

I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; [4]

A similar image is used by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews.[5] The Corinthian church appears to be divided into factions supporting or allied with Paul, Apollos and Cephas (1 Corinthians 3:4 and 3:22). "Allegiance to people was obliterating the Gospel for them. Instead of being wise, they were becoming worldly fools".[6]

Verse 16[edit]

New King James Version

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?[7]

Also stated in 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16

  • "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God" (KJV): Illustration of the believers as "God's temple" puts Paul as a master builder, with Christ as "the only foundation", in allusion to Solomon's temple, which is seen as "the mystical body of Christ". This correlates to the saying of Jewish sages of the Israelites (F14 R. Alshech in Hag. ii. 5.),היכל יהוה אתס, "the temple of the Lord are ye."[8]
  • "the Spirit of God dwelleth in you" (KJV): This is mentioned as an evidence of the believers being the temple of God, since a temple is "sacred to deity", and therefore the Spirit should dwell here as God, a distinct divine person.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barton & Muddiman 2007, p. 1108-1109.
  2. ^ a b c Footnote in 1 Corinthians in RSV Second Catholic Edition 2006
  3. ^ Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Book IV and V: Psalms XC-CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. p. 839. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  4. ^ 1 Corinthians 3:2
  5. ^ Hebrews 5:12–14
  6. ^ Buls, H. H., Buls' Notes on 1 Corinthians 3:10–11, 16–23, accessed 20 March 2017
  7. ^ 1 Corinthians 3:16
  8. ^ a b John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, – 1 Corinthians 3:16


External links[edit]