1 Corinthians 15:3 - 4
ESV - 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures. 4 That he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
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If the citation in the question was meant to be 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (rather than 1 Corinthians 3:4), I would say that Paul was indicating that Jesus' death and resurrection took place in order to fulfill prophetic Scriptures (contained in what we today call the Old Testament) that had been recorded hundreds of years earlier, and that foreshadowed or predicted events that later took place in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. (Such prophecies would have specifically included passages such as Psalm 16:10; Psalm 22:1, 7-8, 16, 18; and Isaiah 53. In addition, Jesus Himself indicated in Matthew 12:40 that the amount of time He would remain in the grave between His death and resurrection was prophetically foreshadowed by the experience of Jonah as noted in Jonah 1:17 and Jonah 2:10.)
I believe what Paul may be referring to as the Scriptures, could in fact, be the gospel accounts of Jesus' life, death and resurrection. It is quite possible that the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke were already in general circulation among the Christian churches, when Paul was writing his first letter to the Corinthian church. Paul had also met with the leaders of the church in Jerusalem and spent time with the apostles. Paul would have received the testimony of Peter, John, James and the other eyewitnesses. His statements in verses 3-7 have a clear ring of personal conversation with the people he is referring to. I don’t think Paul was referring to the Old Testament scriptures in the quoted verse, because the Gentile members of the church wouldn’t know these teachings or understand what he meant. However, for the Jewish believers, they would understand that all this eyewitness testimony is completely in agreement with all the prophecies about Jesus' life, suffering, death and resurrection contained in the scriptures of the Old Testament.
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