"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Death Swallowed in Life
1 Corinthians 15:1-26, 51-57 Commentary
by Shively Smith
First Corinthians 15 is a great way to open discussions about the historical shape of early Christian confession and faith.1
This Pauline letter is one of earliest writings in the New Testament, alongside his Thessalonian correspondence. It predates the writing of the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation by decades. Moreover, it is one of the earliest writings to follow on the heels of the Christ event (e.g., life, ministry, death, resurrection) some twenty to twenty-five years later.
The passage is an interesting window into the theological imagination and confessional life of the early Church as well as Paul. It is striking how Paul refers to the authority of a tradition that predates him in a letter where he is busy asserting his own authority and perspective in the present moment. Repeatedly, Paul makes statements such as, “I laid the foundation, and someone else builds” (1 Cor 3:10), or “To the rest I say -- I and not the Lord…” (1 Cor 7:12), or “Now in the following instructions I do not commend you” (1 Cor 11:17). In each instance, Paul stands flat-footed on his ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 413: Death Swallowed in Life
May 24, 2020
Podcast on the Narrative Lectionary readings for May 24, 2020, (Death Swallowed in Life) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded on May 1, 2020, via Zoom for Working Preacher.