Examining each of the major sections of 1 Corinthians, Horsley probes the disagreement Paul had with those claiming special spiritual status. The conflicts over what constitute wisdom, knowledge, and spirituality cut to the core of what Paul was trying to accomplish in his communities. Horsley moves the debate from the history of religions background to the Hellenistic Jewish religiosity of the Wisdom of Solomon and Philo of Alexandria. ""In these landmark essays, gathered together here for the first time, Richard Horsley combines a close reading of the language against which Paul argued in 1 Corinthians with a careful study of the way similar language was used in Philo and the Wisdom of Solomon. For new converts in the Corinthian mission situation, a Hellenistic Jewish gnosis had become the criterion for spiritual status and a rationale for valuing individual freedom above all; against it, Paul contends for an apocalyptic faith that emphasizes the good of the community. These essays offer important insights for everyone engaged in current discussions of gender, power, and patronage in Corinth."" --Neil Elliott, Metropolitan State University; author of Liberating Paul (1994) and The Arrogance of Nations (2008) ""Those who work with 1 Corinthians have long valued the sequence of essays by Richard Horsley on the conflicts and disagreements of which the letter gives plenty of evidence. However, the essays, written in the late '70s, have too often been overlooked as discussion of 1 Corinthians has become dominated by sociological and rhetorical perspectives. So it is very good news to know that the essays have been gathered together in this volume, which I warmly recommend to present-day students of 1 Corinthians."" --James D. G. Dunn, Durham University, Emeritus Richard A. Horsley is Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author and coauthor of numerous books, including Jesus and Empire, The Message and the Kingdom, Jesus and the Spiral of Violence, Galilee, and Whoever Hears You Hears Me.