Paul’s words concerning the return of the Lord were a comfort to the grieving Thessalonians, but they have caused protracted strife among theologians. Perhaps the solution lies in his use of Covenant-literary structure.
While we must avoid extracting verses from Paul’s epistles as if they were theological fortune cookies, an analysis of his systematic reasoning without reference to Covenant-literary structure is still prone to missing much of the meaning, beauty and wit.
The book of Galatians, like all Scripture, is composed in “Covenant cycles.” Identifying the placement of words and phrases in relation to each other is often the only means of perceiving their full meaning. The location of Paul’s mention of “no male and female” in Galatians 3:28 is a perfect example.
A face value reading of 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 provides us with practical advice for dealing with disputes, but Paul employs systematic typology to anchor the mundane in the universal.