How It All Goes Down
The First Letter: 1 Corinthians
Paul is psyched to be writing to his friends in Corinth again. See, he founded the church there, so he's kind of like their main apostle. Even though there have been some rumblings about his credentials, Paul assures everyone that's he's ironclad. He and God are so on the same page. He may not be the fanciest apostle out there, but he's devoted his life to Jesus and that should be good enough for everyone. Take that, naysayers.
Paul's just a tiny bit concerned about some of the rumors he's been hearing. The Corinthians just are not getting along. He answers some of their specific questions. Yes, it's fine to get married, though it's way better to stay single. But by all means, if you can't keep it in your pants, then take a walk down that aisle. Should you be eating meat that's been sacrificed to Roman gods? No, probably not. Sorry, meat lovers.
He also offers them some unsolicited advice (in true Paul fashion). Ladies, keep your heads covered in church. Huh? Everyone, you are not doing communion right. Let's review the proper procedures here and stop being selfish. Guys, there are all kinds of different spiritual gifts that people can have, but let's not overwhelm each other with all kinds of showing off. The greatest gift, after all, is love. Oh, we're saving that one for our wedding.
Paul closes with some harsh words for those who don't believe in the resurrection of the body and hints that the Corinthians really should think about putting money together for the fund he's starting for the church in Jerusalem. Okay, LYLAS! TTYL!
The Second Letter: 2 Corinthians: Chapters 1-9
Hey, Paul again. Okay, it seems some stuff has gone down in between letters. See, Paul visited Corinth and it did not go well at all. But the good news is everything's been all patched up.
But even though things are good, there are still some naysayers in Corinth. These false prophets have been spreading rumors about Paul. Not cool. None of what they say is even close to being true. These guys just brag about themselves all day, but Paul doesn't roll like that. He's not gonna sit here and tell you all the amazing things he's done. He knows that real apostles aren't super fancy and powerful; they're weak and they suffer for the gospel. Sounds like a tough gig.
But seriously though, since everything has been patched up, how about getting together that collection money for the folks in Jerusalem? Okay, guys? When you give, you get—know what Paul's saying? Catch you later!
The Third Letter: 2 Corinthians: Chapters 10-13
All right, so things are kind of bad and Paul is pretty ticked off right now. It seems the false apostles are more active than ever. They're constantly criticizing Paul, saying that he writes a good letter, but in person, he's hugely disappointing. So, what does Paul do? He writes a letter!
Now a real apostle never brags, but Paul is going to have to do it. He's being forced to defend himself. Do you know what he's suffered for the gospel? He's been arrested, beaten, tortured, starved, and near death tons of times. These false apostles see visions? Paul's seen visions, too! One time, he saw Paradise, but does he go on and on about this all day? No!
Paul goes on to tell the Corinthians that he won't take money from them (even though he's entitled to support from them since he's their apostle). He's also pretty adamant that he's not stealing money from the Jerusalem collection. Paul closes the whole letter by urging the Corinthians to make things right with him. He'll be visiting the city for a third time pretty soon and he will not suffer fools when he gets there. Now, just imagine Paul dropping an imaginary microphone and we're done.