BIB 308.01 I Corinthians (2 credit hours)

At Ohio Valley University, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community
that integrates higher learning, biblical faith, and service to God and humanity.

Class days/times: MW 1:00-1:50 pm
Location: East Annex, Room 05
Instructor: Bruce Terry
Office: Stotts, 123
Phone: (304) 865-6120 (office); (304) 295-6486 (home)
E-mail: bruce.terry@ovu.edu; Web site: http://bterry.com
Office hours:
M  12:30-1:00pm
T  12:30-4:30pm
W 12:30-1:00pm
Th by appointment only
F  by appointment only

I. Textbooks:

II. Course Description:

BIB 308 I Corinthians (2 credits) A general study of I Corinthians focused on practical applications, moral choices, and healthy church dynamics and relationships. A textual studies course. Offered spring. Students cannot take both BIB 308 and BIB 408.

This course will focus on the introduction, background, text, and discourse structure of the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. Emphasis will be on the conflict between Christ and the culture, especially as applied to Christo-pagan tendencies in missionary situations. Focus will be on the use of primary source material in understanding the Bible, especially the text of the Bible itself. As a sidelight, the use of the text of I Corinthians as it applies to current controversies will be considered.

III. Rationale:

This course addresses the following objectives of the School of Biblical Studies:

Faith and Learning Objectives

Course Objectives For Every Student

Course Objectives For Majors

Career Objectives

IV. Integrating Faith and Learning:

Romans 10:17 says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (ESV).  Consequently, this class will use biblical texts and references to texts to help the student grow in faith.  But simply hearing is not enough.  Jesus told those who believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32 ESV).  So it is necessary to keep doing what we learn.  In light of this, this course will also contain references to application of principles learned.  One of the objectives is a faith objective.  It will not be assessed for a grade, but life is such that it will be assessed, one way or another.  My prayer is that you will pass that test of life.

V. Course Objectives and National Standards:

  1. To provide the student with an in-depth study of the text of the book of I Corinthians.
  2. To develop an academic understanding of reading an ancient text such as the Bible, with a focus on the use of primary source material.
  3. To study introductory material to the book of I Corinthians.
  4. To help the student come face to face in the scripture with the early Christians' experiences in following Jesus, thus providing a faith building experience for the student.

There are no national standards for undergraduate study of the Bible.  At OVU, we emphasize the biblical text and its application in our lives.

VI. School of Biblical Studies Mission Statement:

At the School of Biblical Studies, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community by encouraging biblical faith to produce life-long truth-seekers who serve God in His kingdom throughout the world.

VII. Course Requirements and Evaluation:

Assessment of whether the objectives have been met will be based on the student's performance on homework and tests assigned by the teacher and on the student's ability to do relevant research on his or her own in papers described below. Academic abilities assessed include reading with understanding skills as evidenced by a book introduction, homework, and classroom discussion; writing skills as evidenced by two typed papers; literary research skills as evidence by an research paper; geographical skills as evidenced by a map; and memory organization and retention as evidenced by major exams.

Your grade for the class will be based on three major exams (including a comprehensive final exam), a typed two-page introduction to I Corinthians, a map of Paul's journeys between Asia and Corinth, a typed six to ten-page research paper with proper documentation, class participation, and pop quizzes over the reading, collected in-class work, and collected homework.

The extra credit papers may be either handwritten or typed; the introduction and researched paper should be typed. The number of pages listed for the typed papers refer to full pages, not counting the cover sheet and bibliography, both required. One page is defined as 27 double-spaced typewritten lines (counting the title, but not your name or page numbers) with 1" margins, or one handwritten page on narrow rule paper, or one and a quarter handwritten pages on wide rule paper (handwritten pages have no right margin, are complete to the bottom, and skip no lines). The typed papers should be written using the Turabian style guide. Non-Bible majors may petition to use MLA instead. The introduction and the researched paper should be typed.

The introduction must be at least two full pages, not counting the cover sheet (required) and bibliography (also required). A minimum of two sources is required. An introduction should include such items as information on the author, the audience, the date of composition, the background to the letter, relevant culture and geographical information, main ideas, and structure of the book.

The research paper must be at least six full pages, not counting the cover sheet (required) and bibliography (also required with at least seven entries from print sources; any internet sources should be from academic sites or pages that have previously appeared in print). The topic should be one of the following: (1) Unity and division within a congregation; (2) Congregational discipline; (3) Marriage, divorce, and remarriage; (4) A Christian's relationship to pagan ceremonies in the mission field; (5) The role of women in the congregation; (6) The Lord's Supper; (7) Spiritual gifts; or (8) The resurrection of the body.

Exam questions can come from the lectures or assigned readings from either the textbook or the Bible. The final exam will cover material from the whole course.

Class may be dismissed if there are classroom conflicts during Lectureship week April 8-11. In such a case, students will be expected to attend at least a one hour class or lecture for each hour missed and turn in a one-page report or notes on the class or lecture attended. The notes will count as attendance grades.

Ten points will be given for class participation. One-third point will be deducted for each class in which the student fails to bring his or her Bible to class. One point will be deducted for each class missed, including those missed for illness. The only exception to this will be those who miss on official school business and have an official notice to this effect; up to five such absences will not count against the student's grade if the student has no unexcused absences. Two grace days will be given to all students to allow for absences due to illness and excused absences for official school business. Note well: Grace days will be applied first to excused absences.

Class handouts and homework can be found on the Internet at: "http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/1cor/". Homework may be printed out, done early, and turned in up to a week before the due date if the student knows of an absence that is coming up. Late homework is accepted for only half credit.

Additional readings/quizzes/essays/maps may be assigned.

All work is expected to be turned in on time. If for some reason you cannot make the due date, please ask my permission to turn the work in late. Late reading reports will be accepted for only half credit, since the readings will be discussed in class. Reports which are both late and short will be accepted only for quarter credit. Reading reports that are more than three weeks late will only be accepted for quarter credit. Reading reports that are more than six weeks late will only be accepted for one-tenth credit. The typed introductions and lesson turned in late will dock the paper grade by one-half letter (5%) per class period late.

No graded paper will be accepted that is more than two weeks late. A paper that is more than one week late may not be rewritten, except in unusual circumstances. A paper must be at least 75% of assigned length in order to be rewritten. The grade on a paper which is rewritten may be increased on content, length, and mechanical errors. Any rewrite should be turned in within two or three weeks of receiving the original graded paper back. All rewrites should be turned in with the original graded paper. No grade will be given to a paper which contains enough mechanical errors to dock the score by a letter grade (i.e., 40 mechanical errors). It will be turned back without a score and the rewrite counted as late. Be sure to proofread and spell check!

Students who are absent on exam days with good reason may schedule a make-up exam within the next week. You must ask to take a make-up exam. If a student misses an exam without good reason and is allowed to take the make-up exam, the grade on that exam will be docked by one letter grade (10 points). There is no guarantee that such a student will be allowed to make up any exam.

Students who score less than a 70 on a major exam may petition to retake the exam within a week after grades are returned on it. The highest grade on any retake exam will be 70. Once again, you must ask to retake an exam. There will be no retakes on the final exam. Study hard for it.

Bible Map

Draw or trace a map or maps of the second and third missionary journeys of Paul in Asia and Greece and Paul's painful visit to Corinth from Ephesus, showing at least the following: the major bodies of water, all the cities mentioned in the Bible as being visited by Paul, the Roman provinces in which he preached the gospel. The journeys may be presented on one or two maps. Please limit your map size and substance to 8½" x 11" paper. Extra credit may be given for neatness, detail, and good use of color.

N.B. In lieu of drawing or tracing, it is acceptable to photocopy an outline map of the region and fill it in with the above; however, it is not acceptable to photocopy a map which has any of the above marked on it. You must fill it in. An outline map is available at: http://bterry.com/maps/romaneml.gif

Definition of a Credit Hour

In 2011, the US Department of Education and OVU's accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, established requirements regarding how much time is required to be spent on a course for each credit hour earned. As a result, all colleges and universities have been required to establish policies that adhere to this definition. In keeping with this requirement, OVU expects you to spend a minimum of two hours outside of class doing course work (reading, doing homework, writing papers, reviewing for tests, etc.) for each hour you spend in the classroom. Because this is a 2-credit hour course, you should expect to spend a minimum of 4 hours each week outside the classroom doing work for it.

VIII. Grading System:

The final grade will be based on your work in the following way:

            Introduction and Map            5%
            Six-page Research Paper        10%
            Class Participation            10%
            Pop Quizzes/Homework           10%
            Major Tests                    40%
            Final Exam                     25%

Only in the area of the Map will any extra credit be allowed to exceed these percentages. Your final grade will be A, B, C, D, or F. An A will be given for an average of 100-90, a B for 89-80, a C for 79-70, a D for 69-60, and an F for any average below 60.

IX. Academic Integrity Policy:

Because Ohio Valley University expects students to follow the highest standards of honorable conduct in all areas of life, it is essential that students maintain high standards of academic integrity. Cheating, plagiarizing (whether intentionally misrepresenting another's work as one's own or failing to follow appropriate requirements of documentation), and helping others cheat or plagiarize are all violations of these standards, as is falsifying records such as those kept for field experiences, practica, internships, etc. Students who engage in these behaviors in a course in which they are enrolled will face appropriate consequences, which could include failing the assignment in question, failing the course, being placed on restricted status (i.e., the student will not be allowed to participate in on-campus activities, including intramurals, and may not represent Ohio Valley University in public events, including athletic competitions, performances, and presentations), or being suspended or dismissed from Ohio Valley University.

Students who engage in these behaviors when they are unrelated to a course in which they are enrolled will also face appropriate consequences, which could include being placed on restricted status or being suspended or dismissed from Ohio Valley University. If a student believes he or she has been falsely accused of academic dishonesty, or if the student believes the consequences of an incident of academic dishonesty are unjust, the student may ask that the situation be reviewed. To ask for a review, the student should give to the Provost written notice of the appeal and the reasons for it within three business days of being informed of the consequences of the alleged incident; detailed instructions about the appeal procedure are available in the catalog or from the Provost.


Plagiarism is the presentation of another person's work as your own, whether you mean to or not. Copying or paraphrasing passages from another writer's work without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Translating passages from another writer's work in another language without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Copying another writer's work without putting the material in quotation marks is plagiarism, even if credit is given. Allowing another writer to write any part of your essay is plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a serious crime. The maximum penalty at OVU is expulsion from the University.

Plagiarism is easy to avoid. Simply acknowledge the source of any words, phrases, or ideas that you use. If you're not sure how to quote or paraphrase a source or if you need help with the format of endnotes or bibliographies, check with me. While you can (and in fact should) seek the help and advice of friends, classmates, and tutors, be sure that your written work is completely your own.

Professional Dress

Students should dress modestly regardless of the type of clothes that they choose, and be aware that first impressions count and are often dictated by clothing choices. Specifically, members of the University community should avoid clothing that is revealing and/or features offensive slogans, language, or advertisements. Examples of revealing clothing include but are not limited to: midriffs or halters, mesh or netted shirts, tube tops, low cut blouses, short skirts and shorts exposing the upper thigh. Very tight clothing should be avoided. Examples of offensive slogans, language or advertisements include but are not limited to: curse words, sexually suggestive language or gestures, and references to alcohol or drugs.

Electronic Devices

Please turn cell phones OFF or ON SILENT before entering class. You may place your cell phone on your desk as a clock; otherwise, keep it put away. The use of cell phones, computers, and tablets for texting, calling, emailing, googling, checking the internet, tweeting, using facebook, and/or playing games is not permitted; such is distracting both to the students doing such and the students around them. Please put these electronic devices away. Do not use your device out of sight under the desk. If you should use your device in class without the teacher's permission, you will be asked to put it in the teacher's basket for the duration of the class period. I reserve the right to count you absent wholly or partially should you disregard this. Cell phone, smartwatch, or tablet use for voice, text, or data during a test will result in failure of that test!

X. Policy for Attendance and Tardies:

OVU Catalog:

Regular class attendance is most important. There is the potential for learning during each class session, and these opportunities are irreplaceable. By attending class, students have a deeper and richer learning experience, and they are often exposed to others' viewpoints. Instructors are responsible for recording attendance in each of their classes.

Students are responsible for knowing the attendance policy for each course and clearing excused absences with the instructor. Although students involved in Ohio Valley University activities may need to be excused from a class session, it is the student's responsibility to request the absence from the instructor and to discuss with the instructor how the absence may affect the student's ability to meet course requirements. While instructors should make reasonable accommodations for students who miss class because of Ohio Valley University-sponsored activities (e.g., academic competitions, performances, and athletic competitions) or other sound reasons (e.g., illness or family emergencies), students should recognize that not every course can accommodate absences and that neither the absence nor the notification of the absence will relieve the student from meeting course requirements.

A student who stops attending class sessions (or participating in an online course) for three consecutive weeks without a justifiable reason will be dropped from the course and given a grade of W (Withdrawal) if dropped before the 12th week of the semester; if the student is dropped after the 12th week of the semester, the grade will be F-IW (Failure-Improper Withdrawal). If the course in question is a course from which a student may not withdraw, the grade will be F-IW regardless of when in the semester the student is dropped.

Bible Class attendance policy

A student who is dropped from a required Bible course for violating the university's Class Attendance Policy will receive a grade of F-IW. If this is the first time a student has received a final grade of F-IW in a required Bible course, the student will be placed on Bible Course Probation for the next full semester. While on Bible Course Probation, a student will not be allowed to participate in university-sponsored activities, including student organizations and intramurals, and may not hold an elective campus office. In addition, a student on Bible Course Probation will not be allowed to represent Ohio Valley University at various events, including performances (except those required as part of a course), intercollegiate athletics, and other competitions. If this is the second time a student has received a grade of F-IW in a required Bible course, the student will be suspended from the university for one semester. See the catalog section "Bible Class Attendance Policy" for additional details.

Course Policy:

Attendance in class is mandatory; it will be part of the basis for the grade given. If you cannot attend for good reason, either notify me beforehand or as soon as possible afterward. This applies even if you have an excused absence. You will be expected to do all work of any classes missed, except for pop quizzes. If you do not intend to attend regularly, kindly withdraw from the class now.

Do NOT miss class simply because you do not have an assignment finished. Do NOT miss class if you can possibly come; save any absences for sickness or death in the family. If you have an extended illness, please contact me to let me know.

Kindly try to be a class on time. If you are consistently tardy for no good reason, I reserve the right to count three tardies as an absence. I do count half and other fractional absences.

If you have to leave early, please inform me before class. Do not schedule extra work, doctor's appointments, etc. during class time if at all possible. If you are too frequent in leaving early, I reserve the right to count early departures as a partial absence, adversely affecting your grade.

Absences may be excused if you bring me documentation that you were hospitalized, ill with a contagious disease, involved in an accident, on school business (up to five hours), or there was a death in the immediate family. More than five hours of absences which include three hours of unexcused absence will result in your being dropped from the course with either a W or an F at my discretion. You may pay a fine and petition to be reinstated. Additional unexcused absences will result in your being dropped without future reinstatement. No credit will be given for a course in which absences, both excused and unexcused, total more than 30% of the hours of the course (i.e., as many as 10 class hours, counting each class as 1 hour). Should you approach this limit, you will be asked to withdraw from the course (if possible). I reserve the right to drop you from the course as a warning at any time once you have at least 5 total absences or 3 unexcused absences. If you are dropped for any reason, reinstatement is not guaranteed and will be granted only if a plan for success is presented. Note well: Absences may adversely affect your grade, as outlined above under the topic Course Requirements. A drop from your only Bible course may affect your ability to enroll in the next semester.


If (and only if) you are unable to complete assigned work for the class because of an extraordinary life-event, you may request a grade of Incomplete. The request must be made through the registrar's office seven calendar days prior to the last day of class, and the Provost reviews these requests. The procedure is defined in the OVU catalog.

XI. Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

If you have a diagnosed disability and need special accommodations, please notify the Office of the Provost before or immediately after your first scheduled class meeting. After your disability has been verified, inform your instructor and your instructor will work with you and the Office of the Provost to insure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the course.

XII. Bibliography:

Fee, Gordon D. 1987. The first epistle to the Corinthians. The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F. F. Bruce. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Murphy-O'Connor, Jerome. 1990. St. Paul's Corinth: Texts and archaeology. Reissue edition, Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press.

Terry, Ralph Bruce. 1995. A discourse analysis of First Corinthians. Dallas: SIL/UTA.

Thiselton, Anthony C. 2000. The First Epistle to the Corinthians. The New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Witherington, Ben, III. 1995. Conflict and community in Corinth: A socio-rhetorical commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

XIII. Course Calendar:

MAJOR EXAM DATES: Exam 1 -- Wednesday, February 12, 2020
                  Exam 2 -- Wednesday, April 1, 2020
                  Final Exam -- Monday, May 4, 2020
                                1:00 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Course Plan

For each week a text is discussed, read the text and the comments by Barrett on the related text before class. Turn in chapter homework at the beginning of each chapter covered.

WEEK ONE: Introduction and Background
 1/13/20 -- Introduction to the Course
             homework: read Barrett's introduction
 1/15/20 -- Introduction to the Book of I Corinthians

             homework: read Barrett's and Guthrie's introductions
                       read the text below and related commentary
                       write a two-page introduction to I Corinthians
 1/20/20 -- I Corinthians 1
 1/22/20 -- I Corinthians 1 (cont)

WEEK THREE: Unity and Wisdom
             homework: map(s) of Paul's journeys is due
                       read the text below and related commentary
 1/27/20 -- I Corinthians 2
 1/29/20 -- I Corinthians 3

             homework: read the text below and related commentary
 2/ 3/20 -- I Corinthians 4:1-17
 2/ 5/20 -- I Corinthians 4:18-5:13

WEEK FIVE: Fornication and Church Discipline
             homework: read the text below and related commentary
 2/10/20 -- I Corinthians 4:18-5:13 (cont)
             homework: study for the test
 2/12/20 -- Major Test

WEEK SIX: Lawsuits and Fornication
             homework: read the text below and related commentary
 2/17/20 -- I Corinthians 6
 2/19/20 -- I Corinthians 7

WEEK SEVEN: Marriage and Divorce
             homework: read the text below and related commentary
 2/24/20 -- I Corinthians 7 (cont)
 2/26/20 -- I Corinthians 7 (cont)

WEEK EIGHT: Food offered to Idols
             homework: read the text below and related commentary
 3/ 2/20 -- I Corinthians 7 (cont)
 3/ 4/20 -- I Corinthians 8


WEEK NINE: Food offered to Idols; Missionary Rights
             homework: read the text below and related commentary
 3/16/20 -- I Corinthians 9
 3/18/20 -- I Corinthians 10:1-11:1

WEEK TEN: Head coverings and Women's role
             homework: read the text below and related commentary
 3/23/20 -- I Corinthians 11:2-16
 3/25/20 -- I Corinthians 11:2-16 (cont)

WEEK ELEVEN: The Lord's Supper
             homework: read the text below and related commentary
 3/30/20 -- I Corinthians 11:17-34
             homework: study for the test
 4/ 1/20 -- Major Test
WEEK TWELVE: Spiritual Gifts; Love
             homework: read the text below and related commentary
 4/ 6/20 -- I Corinthians 12
 4/ 8/20 -- I Corinthians 12-13
Last Week to Drop a Class with a "W"--Stick with it to the end!

WEEK THIRTEEN: Spiritual Gifts
             homework: read the text below and related commentary
 4/13/20 -- I Corinthians 13-14 or Lectureship
 4/15/20 -- I Corinthians 13-14 (cont)

WEEK FOURTEEN: The Resurrection of the Body
             homework: read the text below and related commentary
                       research paper is due
 4/20/20 -- I Corinthians 14
 4/22/20 -- I Corinthians 15

WEEK FIFTEEN: Contribution and Conclusion
             homework: read the text below and related commentary
 4/27/20 -- I Corinthians 15 (cont)
 4/29/20 -- I Corinthians 16
 5/ 1/20 -- Dead Paper Day (last day to turn in any rewrites or late papers)

WEEK SIXTEEN: Final Exam Week
             homework: study for final exam
 5/ 4/20 -- Final Exam (1:00-2:50pm)

N. B.: Homework is listed before the class for which it is due!


This syllabus is on-line at http://bterry.com.

Bruce Terry's Home Page
Bruce Terry's Home Page   Class Index Page
http://www.bterry.com/sylbi308.htm hosted at http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/sylbi308.htm
Last updated on January 10, 2020
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