A Glimpse of Greco-Roman Practice of Collegia Sodalicia in 1 Corinthians 8 and of Collegia Tenuiorum in 1 Corinthians 15

In 1 Corinthians 8 and 15 Paul appears to argue against some of the Corinthian Christians who would have regarded their Christian community as analogous to a sort of voluntary collegia in the first century Greco-Roman world, within which patronage played a vital role in interconnecting between patrons and clients of various social levels. Some characteristics of the collegia are exhibited in these chapters. Especially chapter 8 contains the characteristics of collegia sodalicia, while chapter 15 comprises those of collegia tenuiorum. This finding provides an alternative to the current scholarly interpretation of the Pauline description of the Corinthians’ eating food sacrificed to idols (1 Cor 8) and of their engagement in baptism for (or on behalf of) the dead (1 Cor 15).