Fools of Corinth!
Biblical Humor

Jesus Laughs!    -    A Pain in the Rear
God Mocks Sinners    -    Fools of Corinth
Laughter's Son    -    Funny Quotes, more!
This article discusses how the Apostle Paul uses irony in his attempt to correct the foolishness of Christians in Corinth who feel they are far wiser than they are. He uses clever irony in an attempt to chip away at the church's entrenched attitude, based on the notion that they possessed exceptional wisdom, that they were superior to others including their teachers (1Corinthians 4:7 - 9).

The apostle first reveals to the church that their spiritual immaturity and foolish behavior caused him to teach them only the rudimentary principles of Christianity

And, I, brethren, was not able to speak to you as to those who are spiritual, but as to those who are carnal - even as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, and not meat; for you were not yet able to receive spiritual meat; and neither are you able now (1Corinthians 3:1 - 2, HBFV throughout).

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Who are false Christs?
Fools in the book of Proverbs

Paul then later states, "We (those who preach the gospel) are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ . . ." (1Corinthians 4:10).

Irony is the use of words to convey a meaning that is usually completely opposite to its literal meaning. The Apostle Paul, no doubt with a twinge of humor, labels himself a fool (which he clearly was not) and the church as wise (their carnal actions showing they were not) to point out they needed to reassess their standing before God.


Cheerful Democritus
Cheerful Democritus
Charles-Antoine Coypel, 1746

Paul, roughly eight months after writing the Corinthians, feels compelled to address, yet again, the church's persistent difficulties and foolish superior attitude. He ironically writes, "You think you are so wise - yet you listen gladly to those fools (false teachers); you don't mind at all when they make you their slaves and take everything you have, and take advantage of you, and put on airs, and slap you in the face" (2Corinthians 11:19 - 20, TLB).

The false wisdom of the Corinthians led them to overlook, and even knowingly allow, a variety of sinful behaviors. False apostles (2Corinthians 11:13 - 15), whom the church failed to challenge, not only spread lies but also deceitfully defrauded the brethren of their money (not unlike the Pharisees with their use of Corban). The church also allowed the kind of sexual perversion among its members that even the pagans rejected (1Corinthians 5).

Paul ends his correction by humorously and ironically stating he was too "weak and timid" to allow such destructive behavior among fools!

Additional Study Materials
How do fools get themselves in trouble?
What is the armor of God?
Were Paul and Timothy close friends?
Did cavemen or Jesus come first?

Biblical Humor
Jesus Laughs!   -   A Pain in the Rear
Paul's Cutting Correction!   -   Laughter's Son
Elijah Mocks Prophets!   -   The Big Lie
Fools of Corinth   -   God Mocks Sinners
Paul's Funny Word Play

Humorous Quotes!
Atheists    -    Children    -    Death
Dogs & Cats    -    God and Man
Growing Old    -    Life's Lessons
Marriage    -    Money    -    Relationships
Stupidity    -    Success & Fame
Best of the Rest!


References
Adam Clarke's Commentary
Bible Reader's Companion
Life and Epistles of Apostle Paul
(Conybeare and Howson)


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