The interpretation of what lies behind the factionalism that Paul addresses here in this opening section of 1 Corinthians is many and varied, one of the less plausible ones in my opinion is that of the Kephas group being aligned with the “Super-Apostles” of 2 Corinthians, that this group saw itself being positioned behind an elite apostle in opposition to Paul. But the nature of the “Super-Apostle” controversy in 2 Corinthians is typified rather by a love of Rhetoric and Triumphalism, that is the “Super-Apostles” are “Super” because their speech adheres to the trends and currents in Greek/Hellenistic persuasive speech, and that the signs of an apostle are to be found in victory. While the Apollos group is likely to find itself alongside the “Super-Apostle” group in their love for Hellenistic Rhetoric (Acts 18:24 introduces Apollos as eloquent which is thought to be gifted in the Rhetoric of the day) there is little evidence to suggest that Apollos, (or his group) would find themselves comfortable in the triumphalism of the “Super-Apostles” The lack of such a mention of the “Super-Apostle” group in 1 Corinthians would lead us to believe that between when Chloe’s people reported on the schism at Corinth and when Paul probably visited this group arose.

Paul’s main point as seen in this passage, however is not to dwell on the nature of the factions, factions are wrong, and divide Christ. The most common modern question that comes up in relation to this text is that of how do we understand denominationalism in light of this text? We separate ourselves on practice, and some other points of doctrine, and Paul later in this same letter says that some of these disagreements can be tolerated within the church. These days often theologians separate issues into three teirs; Those of primary, secondary, and tertiary importance, of primary importance is clearly the doctrines of the nature of God, and of how he has saved us, in second place come issues of practice; do we baptise infants, or believers, and then there are things which we can totally differ on such as “how often should we take communion” The words of Rupertus Meldenius seem rather poignant in connection with this;

“In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity”

Paul called an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother.
To the church of God, beloved in Christ Jesus, that is in Corinth, called saints, with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both their Lord and ours.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to God always concerning the grace of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you have been enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge. Just as the witness of Christ was established in you, so that you might be not be lacking in any gift, as we eagerly wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also establish you to the end, with view that you might be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful, through whom you have been called in fellowship with his son; Jesus Christ our Lord.

I call upon you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, as you all say; that there should be no schisms among you, but you should be complete in his mind, and in his judgement. But it has been revealed to me about you, by Chloe, my brothers, that there is strife among you. It is said to me that each of you says;
“I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Kephas,” or “I am of Christ.”
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified on your behalf? Or, were you baptised into Paul’s name?
I thank God that I baptised none of you apart from Krispus and Gaius, In order that no one may say that they were baptised in my name. (I baptised also the house of Stephanas, I know not whether I baptised anyone else!)
For I was not sent by Christ to Baptise, but to evangelise, not in wise words, in order the Cross of Christ not be emptied.

Though a Calvinist I may be
I cannot boast in my election
The Cross stands as my all
Far be it from me to boast but there
United in His wounds
And raised in hope to His perfection

I cannot see another’s heart
And so I preach promiscuously
The ground of equality is this;
Apart from Christ all need salvation
Even me, nothing in me makes me better
Nothing in you makes you worse

I make Christ Jesus my own on the basis that he has made me His own.
Not the other way around
God has knitted me into the death and resurrection life of Christ
And has charged me with being one of the means by which others might be the same.
It is not of my concern whether the other is elected or not
I have my standing on the basis of my death in Christ’s death
I have my mission on the basis of His life in mine.
I’m not charged to delve into the hidden things of God’s election
But to announce the Kingdom of God in which;
Good news is given to the poor,
Broken hearts are bound up,
And liberty to the captives.

God will what God will
And I must what God calls me to.