What does 1 Corinthians 1:1 mean?Paul begins this letter to the church in Corinth in a way echoing most of his writing. He states right from the beginning that he is writing as a representative of Jesus Christ. He writes from his official office of apostle. That word, in the general sense, means one who is sent by another to fulfill a specific task or, especially, to deliver a specific message, on their behalf. In the New Testament, the word "apostle" most often refers to the specific role filled by the 12 disciples of Jesus and Paul, all sent by Jesus to carry the message of Christ's good news to the world. Paul did not choose this role for himself. He was chosen by the will of God (Acts 9:15).
Paul often mentions who is with him when he is writing. In this case, it is a fellow believer in Jesus named Sosthenes. It is possible, though not certain, this could be the same Sosthenes described in Acts 18:17. That Sosthenes was the ruler of the synagogue in Corinth who helped lead an effort to try to shut down Paul's preaching of the gospel by dragging him before the Roman leader in the city. Instead of arresting Paul, however, the Roman proconsul Gallio decided the dispute was none of Rome's business. In a shocking twist, Sosthenes was beaten by a mob in response.
If this is the same Sosthenes, Paul's readers in Corinth would know of his seemingly unlikely conversion from Judaism to Christianity, from someone who wanted to shut Paul down to someone who was now working together with Paul in his mission to spread the gospel of Jesus.
Scholars also suggest that this Sosthenes, whomever he may be, is also mentioned here because he was serving as Paul's stenographer for this letter, a position known as an amanuensis.