1 Corinthians 12-14
The Good: forget it
The Bad: V 1-11: What the heck? This is just a bunch of woo. The ‘Spirit’ doles out various ‘gifts’, including prophesy, faith healing, and speaking in tongues. Pure, 100% bullshit.
And from v 12 to the end, Paul’s back to the unity issue again, trying to persuade his readers that they are all vital even though they differ. I don’t think he succeeded; Christians are still trying….. Reminds me of a song that was popular back in the 70’s
The Ugly: V 13 – I guess Paul’s fine with slavery.
Quotes: Believers are big on the spiritual gifts
The Good: Finally something truly positive. The whole chapter is actually good. Gotta love v 8, though. This chapter suggests that works (deeds) are more important than faith. Or at least it suggests that they are important, which is a start.
The Bad: I’m not gonna try too hard to look for something to criticize. This chapter’s a nice break.
Quotes: OMG – the whole chapter. This is the biggie! The ripest cherries in the whole bible. These verses are the most quoted ever by people who want to believe that god is good and the bible is a source of morality. They are posted and sung and used as girls’ names (Faith, Hope, and Charity) and stitched on samplers. And they are read at every Christian wedding – they were read at my wedding in 1981.
The Good: v 23: “if unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your church meeting and hear everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy.” Yep!
The Bad: Here we go with the speaking in tongues again! I had seriously never even heard of this until I was well into adulthood, and when I first learned of it I thought it was a joke! But I guess it’s a real thing. Paul’s defense of it is kind of weird, though – he qualifies its worth by telling people that they need to speak clearly in a language people can understand (v 9 and 19). Why not just do that in the first place, then? Leave out the middleman by skipping all the ‘tongues’ crap.
The Ugly: V 34-35, IF they really belong to this chapter and were written by Paul. In some manuscripts, they are found at the end of the chapter, leading some scholars to think that they were not written by Paul but originated from a misogynistic scribe’s marginal note. Let’s hope – but if that’s the case, then the all-powerful god should have figured out a way to advise his followers of the error.
Quotes: The Christian favorite is 33, but atheists frequently quote v 34-35.