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Comparison between 1 Corinthians 12-13 and Romans 12 (Essay Sample)


Comparison between 1 Corinthians 12-13 and Romans 12


Comparison between 1 Corinthians 12-13 and Romans 12
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Comparison between 1 Corinthians 12-13 and Romans 12
There were divisions among the Corinthians based on preferences towards particular leaders, how they perceive ethical behavior and social status. The divisions were also influenced by spiritual gifts such as performing miracles, speaking in tongues and prophecy. Paul used the metaphor involving one body made up of different members to support his argument about everybody being indispensable to the whole regardless of their spiritual gifts. Both Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 use this body and different analogy to describe the church's unity though there were some contextual differences between the two accounts.
In the first and second Corinthians, Paul described the church unity in the body of Christ by mainly criticizing the Jews' behaviors such as sensualism, gnosticism, wisdom and human glamorization and spiritual gifts. On the other hand, the book of Romans was meant to comfort the Jewish people (Tong, n.d.). Status and rank seemed to be an important consideration among the Corinthians in many aspects of their lives. They boasted of their links to certain leaders associated with spiritual gifts and knowledge. Paul recognizes all the different gifts and affirms that they draw inspiration from a common spirit. Also, Paul insists that these gifts are for everyone’s common good (1 Corinthians 12:7). This theme concerning the common goodwill is highlighted up to chapter fourteen, where Paul states how orderly worship should take place for the moral improvement among all through the gifts possessed by their fellow church members. The one body comprising of many members is the central metaphor that guides the discussion. The church's unity is represented by the unity of the real human body which, just like the church, it is made up of different members. The offices' ranking seen in 1 Corinthians 12; 27 might have been only based on chronology. Some apostles had previously followed Jesus when he ministered on earth together with the one who was called by the resurrected Christ. When these apostles preached, prophets and teachers got inspired, and the cycle continued. Another possible explanation for this ranking could be based on a hierarchy which inscribed more importance to the apostle's role compared to other roles (Tong, n.d.). Regardless, Paul concluded the section by highlighting an approach that does not overemphasize the comparison with others but instead focuses on the importance of for others. Paul argued that speaking in tongues without love was equivalent to a clanging cymbal. He also talked about how having a prophecy gift enabling one to understand everything and mysteries and having the highest level of faith was useless without love.

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