The church in Corinth was dear to Paul’s heart, and he had a considerable correspondence with it. The twenty-nine chapters of I and II Corinthians are the most extensive collection of letters in the Bible, and are recognized by scholars to contain fragments of far more than just two letters. But they are only half the correspondence, and Paul often refers to information and remarks from the Corinthians which we no longer possess. What was the Corinthian church like? Who were these Christians, and what did they think and feel? What were their problems, their hopes, their longings? Hans Frör does not just leave us guessing. In an imaginative tour de force, and with a substantial cast of characters, he has recreated the church in Corinth, providing a series of letters which dovetail brilliantly with Paul’s, so much so that Paul himself takes on new life.
“I remember this book getting rave reviews in the 1990s – it has been on my to-read list for years. I bought it second hand and read it recently as I have a preaching series on 1 & 2 Corinthians. This book really makes 1 & 2 Corinthians (& 3 & 4…!) come to life. Froer has done some fascinating detective work to tease out up to 10 letters from Paul – and he imaginatively recreates the missing letters back. Suddenly we get a church full of thoroughly believable people with real issues and questions that bring Paul’s to life. So (in my view) two rather rambling books become a dramatic dialogue. Paul came to life for me. I can also see issues in our churches today reflected back vividly. The missing letters are of course imaginative, but they sit side-by-side with the actual text of the epistles, albeit with a few changes in the order in 2 Corinthians. A book to read and enjoy for its own sake, but especially if your desire is to bring Paul’s letters to life in your study and preaching. ” Tim Lee