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When Paul says "let us therefore celebrate the festival" does he refer to:

  • the feast of unleavened bread?
  • the feast of unleavened bread and the Passover?
  • the Passover?
  • the christian faith but with the purity presaged in the Jewish feast of unleavened bread?

1Co 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 1Co 5:7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 1Co 5:8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

And is he writing to Jewish believers or all of the saints?

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First Corinthians was undoubtedly written to the Christian community that Paul had established in Corinth, and the universal assumption is that the community was largely comprised of Gentile converts. Similarly, we must not read back into this epistle, because we may now find it applies to all of us,that this was his original intention. When Paul wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians, he was writing to, and for the benefit of, the Corinthians.

We find that the Corinthians had become boastful (1 Corinthians 5:2,6) and Paul wishes them to be more humble in their faith. He reminds them that only a little yeast is needed to leaven the bread, so a little pride is all they should have. Jews took out all leavened bread before the Passover so, having said that Christ was the Christian Passover sacrifice, Paul uses the Jewish Passover as an analogy, telling them to take out the leavened (their excessive pride) and partake of the feast of Christianity with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth:

1 Corinthians 5:7-8: Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Paul is not speaking of a real feast, but simply using an analogy to make his point.

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It appears his wording would indicate that the Feast of unleavened bread, often with passover being the associated name for the whole festival, should be celebrated and that those celebrations have been ongoing. The verbiage seems to say that "when you are doing what you usually do, be sure to also do this".

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