Who was the author? The apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul, wrote this book by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
What is the book? The book is a letter, which what "epistle" means, to the congregations at Corinth, at the time the largest city in Greece and one significant for its commerce, culture, pagan religions, and immorality.
Where was it written? The letter known as 1 Corinthians was likely written from Ephesus, although we do not know for sure.
When was it written? St. Paul is commonly thought to have written 1 Corinthians while on his so-called third missionary journey, dated 52/53-56/57.
Why? As the letter itself indicates, Paul had received disturbing news of the conditions of the Corinthian congregations, and the letter was written to address the factions that were developing there, the people's moral irregularities, and questions that people in Corinth were asking.
How? At the Spirit's leading, Paul systematically addresses each of the issues that prompted the writing of the letter, instructing the people in and inspiring them to the way they should go. On account of the resulting content, the book continues to be highly relevant for us today, in part evidenced by its chapters being some of the most familiar and dearly-loved of the Bible.
For further reading on the book of 1 Corinthians:
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The New Testament, Volume II, The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Catholic Epistles, the Book of Revelation. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1922. (You can find this volume with its 85 pages on 1 Corinthians in our Grace library. While I didn't use blogging on the book, I think you would find it somewhat helpful and generally accessible. The format runs the text in bold with the comments immediately following the relevant text, so you can in effect read the whole text and his conveniently-placed comments, if you like that format.)
- Lenski, R. C. H. The Interpretation of St. Paul's First and Second Epistle to the Corinthians. Columbus, Ohio: Wartburg Press, 1946. (I have the 1957 printing, but this commentary, with its 790 pages on 1 Corinthians, was first published in 1937 and so is out of date as scholarship goes. But, his interpretations are generally reliable and quite accessible to most readers.)