Michael Bird asks, “Was the problem at Corinth an over-realized eschatology or not enough eschatology?”, noting that Thiselton argued the former, Hays the latter.
The answer depends on whether the Corinthians understood their status achieved at baptism more in terms of a present resurrection of the body or an immortality of the soul. I Cor 15 seems to point in the latter direction. Paul tells the Corinthians: “If Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead?” (I Cor 15:12) While the Corinthians pay lip service to Jesus’ resurrection, they shun the idea otherwise, believing their baptism to have given them something like immortality of the soul.
But that the Corinthians viewed their baptism in more Hellenized terms may be partly Paul’s doing. Rom 6 seems to be even more strongly concerned that the message of eschatology isn’t lost on the reader. Thomas Tobin, in fact, argues that Romans was crafted to counter misleading perceptions arising from Paul’s earlier teachings in Galatia and Corinth. “Baptism [in Rom 6] should not be understood as allowing for the kind of ethical confusion and disarray found in the Corinthian community.” (Paul’s Rhetoric in its Contexts, p 206). Paul’s earlier use of baptismal imagery, in which believers baptize into the body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13) and indeed “clothe themselves with Christ” (Gal 3:27) calls to mind Greco-Roman mystery initiations (thus Tobin, p 200). That’s why in Rom 6 he emphasizes baptizing into Christ’s “death” more than into his “body”.
By the time he wrote Romans, Paul had evidently acquired an unsavory reputation. People thought he was anti-Torah, anti-Israel, and even anti-eschatology/resurrection. He had to jump through theological hoops left and right to make sure he wasn’t misunderstood. So to answer Michael’s question, I think Hays has the right of it. The Corinthians, in Paul’s view, “didn’t have enough” eschatology. But that was partly Paul’s own fault.