Many find Paul’s definition of his gospel in 1 Cor 15:3, and the verse’s prepositional phrase, ἐν πρώτοις, to be central for his definition—so much so that it is always rendered as a superlative in prominence, “as of first importance” or its equivalent in modern translations and commentaries. This article surveys the idiom ἐν πρώτοις throughout a 1,100-plus year history to determine whether it supports this translation. Though Paul alone among NT authors uses the phrase and only in 1 Cor 15:3, he would have been aware of its use in the LXX, Pseudepigrapha, and other Hellenistic and Classical Greek. A survey of translations of these texts challenges the consensus that the phrase means “as of first importance.” Other translations are considered and have varying degrees of probability: “among first important matters,” “among initial matters,” and “initially.”

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