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|nttru;itt0irat Critical Ccrmmcnlarj) 

on the l)o(n Scriptures of the (Dlo anb 
fleto Testaments 



Regius Professor of Hebrew, Oxford 


Late Master of University College, Durham 


Professor of Theological Encyclopedia and Symbolics 
Union Theological Seminary, New York 

The International Critical Commentary 












The Rights of Translation and of Reproduction are Reserved. 














Edinburgh : T. & T. CLARK, 38 George Street 

First Edition . 


. ign 

Second Edition 


■ 1914 

Latest Reprint . 


. igbi 

m 16 1964 


MORE than fourteen years ago I promised to Dr. Plummer, 
Editor of the " International Critical Commentary," an 
edition of this Epistle, of which I had the detailed 
knowledge gained by some years of teaching. Almost 
immediately, however, a change of work imposed upon me 
new duties in the course of which my predominant 
interests were claimed, in part by administrative work 
which curtailed opportunities for study or writing, in part 
by studies other than exegetical. 

I had hoped that in my present position this diversion 
of time and attention would prove less exacting ; but the 
very opposite has been the case. Accordingly my task in 
preparing for publication the work of past years upon the 
Epistle has suffered from sad lack of continuity, and has 
not, with the exception of a few sections, been carried 
beyond its earlier chapters. 

That the Commentary appears, when it does and as it 
does, is due to the extraordinary kindness of my old 
friend, tutor at Oxford, and colleague at Durham, Dr. 
Plummer. His generous patience as Editor is beyond any 
recognition I can express : he has, moreover, supplied my 
shortcomings by taking upon his shoulders the greater 
part of the work. Of the Introduction, also, he has written 
important sections; the Index is entirely his work. 

While, however, a reader versed in documentary 
criticism may be tempted to assign each nuance to its 
several source, we desire each to accept general responsi- 


bility as contributors, while to Dr. Plummer falls that of 

Editor and, I may add, the main share of whatever merit 

the volume may possess. 

It is hoped that amidst the exceptional number of 

excellent commentaries which the importance of the First 

Epistle to the Corinthians has called forth, the present 

volume may yet, with God's blessing, have a usefulness 

of its own to students of St Paul. 



Conversion of St Paul, 

191 1. 


§ I. Cprinth . 

§ II. Authenticity 


§ IV. 

Occasion and Plan 
Analysis of the Epistle 

Residence at 

Place and Date 
Aretas to the Apostolic Council 
Apostolic Council to the End of 

Ephesus . 
From Festus back to I Corinthians 
Resultant Scheme . 
Bearing of St Paul's Movements on the Question 

of Date . 
Table of Pauline Chronology 

V. Doctrine 

The Apostle's Relation to Christ 

The Resurrection 

The Person of Christ 

The Christian Life . 

The Collective Work of the Church 

The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit 




. xxv 

. xxvii 






xxx vi 





§ VI. Characteristics, Style, and Language . xlvi 

Words peculiar to I Corinthians in the N.T. . xlix 

Words peculiar to I Corinthians in the Pauline 

Epistles . . . . . . li 

Phrases peculiar to I Corinthians in the N.T. . lii 
Quotations from the O.T. . . . .Hi 




§ VII. Text .... 

* * i 

, liv 

General Features . . 

• . i 

. liv 

The Pauline Epistles 

. . 4 

, lv 

Authorities for this Epistle . 

. . 

. lvii 

Illustrative Readings 

1 . 


§ VIII. Commentaries 

I . 


Patristic and Scholastic 

■ . 

. lxvi 


1 . 1 



1 . 1 



General ... 

» • 1 


"Sreek Words . . 


Latin and English Words . ■ 

> • » 



§ I. Corinth. 

What we know from other sources respecting Corinth in St 
Paul's day harmonizes well with the impression which we receive 
from i Corinthians. The extinction of the totius Graeciae lumen, 
as Cicero {Pro lege Manil. 5) calls the old Greek city of Corinth, 
by the Roman consul L. Mummius Achaicus, 146 B.C., was only 
temporary. Exactly a century later Julius Caesar founded a 
new city on the old site as Colonia Julia Corinthus.* The re- 
building was a measure of military precaution, and little was 
done to show that there was any wish to revive the glories of 
Greece (Finlay, Greece under the Romans, p. 67). The inhabi- 
tants of the new city were not Greeks but Italians, Caesar's 
veterans and freedmen. The descendants of the inhabitants 
who had survived the destruction of the old city did not return 
to the home of their parents, and Greeks generally were for a 
time somewhat shy of taking up their abode in the new city. 
Plutarch, who was still a boy when St Paul was in Greece, seems 
hardly to have regarded the new Corinth as a Greek town. 
Festus says that the colonists were called Corinthienses, to dis- 
tinguish them from the old Corinthii. But such distinctions do 
not seem to have been maintained. By the time that St Paul 
visited the city there were plenty of Greeks among the inhabi- 
tants, the current language was in the main Greek, and the 
descendants of the first Italian colonists had become to a large 
extent Hellenized. 

The mercantile prosperity, which had won for the old city 
such epithets as d^vetos (Horn. 77. ii. 570 ; Pind. Fragg. 87, 244), 
evSaCfjiuv (Hdt. iii. 52), and oA./?ia (Pind. 01. xiii. 4; Thuc. i. 13), 
and which during the century of desolation had in some degree 
passed to Delos, was quickly recovered by the new city, because 
it was the result of an extraordinarily advantageous position, which 
remained unchanged. Corinth, both old and new, was situated 

* Other titles found on coins and in inscriptions are Laus Juli Corinthm 
and Colonia Julia Corinthus Augusta. 


on the ' bridge ' or causeway between two seas ; ttovtov ylfyvp 
aKayxavTO? (Pind. Nem. vi. 67), ytc^vpav 7rovTta8a irpo Kopiv6ov 
t«x € ' wv {Isth. iii. 35). Like Ephesus, it was both on the main com- 
mercial route between East and West and also at a point at which 
various side-routes met the main one. The merchandise which 
came to its markets, and which passed through it on its way to 
other places, was enormous ; and those who passed through it 
commonly stayed awhile for business or pleasure. "This 
bimaris Corinthus was a natural halting-place on the journey 
between Rome and the East, as we see in the case of S. Paul 
and his companions, and of Hegesippus (Eus. H.E. iv. 22). So 
also it is called the 7r€ptVaTos or 'lounge' of Greece" (Lightfoot, 
S. Clement of Rome, ii. pp. 9, 10). The rhetorician Aristeides 
calls it "a palace of Poseidon"; it was rather the market-place 
or the Vanity Fair of Greece, and even of the Empire. 

It added greatly to its importance, and doubtless to its 
prosperity, that Corinth was the metropolis of the Roman 
province of Achaia, and the seat of the Roman proconsul 
(Acts xviii. 12). In more than one particular it became the 
leading city in Greece. It was proud of its political priority, 
proud of its commercial supremacy, proud also of its mental 
activity and acuteness, although in this last particular it was 
surpassed, and perhaps greatly surpassed, by Athens. It may- 
have been for this very reason that Athens was one of the last 
Hellenic cities to be converted to Christianity. But just as the 
leaders of thought there saw nothing sublime or convincing in 
the doctrine which St Paul taught (Acts xvii. 18, 32), so the 
political ruler at Corinth failed to see that the question which 
he quite rightly refused to decide as a Roman magistrate, was 
the crucial question of the age (Acts xviii. 14-16). Neither 
Gallio nor any other political leader in Greece saw that the 
Apostle was the man of the future. They made the common 
mistake of men of the world, who are apt to think that the 
world which they know so well is the whole world (Renan, 
S. Paul, p. 225). 

In yet another particular Corinth was first in Hellas. The 
old city had been the most licentious city in Greece, and 
perhaps the most licentious city in the Empire. As numerous 
expressions and a variety of well-known passages testify, the 
name of Corinth had been a by-word for the grossest profligacy, 
especially in connexion with the worship of Aphrodite Pande- 
mos.* Aphrodite was worshipped elsewhere in Hellas, but 

* KopivduLfrvdai, Kopivdla icdprj, Kop. irah : ov iravrbs di-5pds e$ Kdpwdov 
fad' 6 tt\ovs, a proverb which Horace {Ep. I. xvii. 36) reproduces, non cuivis 
homini contingit adire Corinthum. Other references in Renan, p. 213, and 
Farrai, Si Paul, i. pp. 557 f. 


nowhere else do we find the UpoSovXoi. as a permanent element 
in the worship, and in old Corinth there had been a thousand 
of these. Such worship was not Greek but Oriental, an im- 
portation from the cult of the Phoenician Astarte; but it is 
not certain that this worship of Aphrodite had been revived 
in all its former monstrosity in the new city. Pausanias, who 
visited Corinth about a century later than St Paul, found it 
rich in temples and idols of various kinds, Greek and foreign ; 
but he calls the temple of Aphrodite a vcu'Siov (vm. vi. 21): 
see Bachmann, p. 5. It is therefore possible that we ought 
not to quote the thousand Up68ov\oi in the temple of Aphrodite 
on Acrocorinthus as evidence of the immorality of Corinth in 
St Paul's day. Nevertheless, even if that pestilent element had 
been reduced in the new city, there is enough evidence to show 
that Corinth still deserved a very evil reputation ; and the letters 
which St Paul wrote to the Church there, and from Corinth to 
other Churches, tell us a good deal. 

It may be doubted whether the notorious immorality of 
Corinth had anything to do with St Paul's selecting it as a 
sphere of missionary work. It was the fact of its being an 
imperial and cosmopolitan centre that attracted him. The 
march of the Empire must everywhere be followed by the 
march of the Gospel. The Empire had raised Corinth from 
the death which the ravages of its own legions had inflicted 
and had made it a centre of government and of trade. The 
Gospel must raise Corinth from the death of heathenism and 
make it a centre for the diffusion of discipline and truth. In 
few other places were the leading elements of the Empire so 
well represented as in Corinth : it was at once Roman, Oriental, 
and Greek. The Oriental element was seen, not only in its 
religion, but also in the number of Asiatics who settled in it or 
frequently visited it for purposes of commerce. Kenchreae is 
said to have been chiefly Oriental in population. Among these 
settlers from the East were many Jews,* who were always 
attracted to mercantile centres ; and the number of them must 
have been considerably increased when the edict of Claudius 
expelled the Jews from Rome (Acts xviii. 2; Suet. Claud. 25). 
In short, Corinth was the Empire in miniature; — the Empire 
reduced to a single State, but with some of the worst features 
of heathenism intensified, as Rom. i. 21-32, which was written 
in Corinth, plainly shows. Any one who could make his voice 
heard in Corinth was addressing a cosmopolitan and representa- 
tive audience, many of whom would be sure to go elsewhere, and 

* Philo, Leg. ad Gat. 36; cf. Justin, Try. I. It is unfortunate that 
neither the edict of Claudius nor the proconsulship of Gallio can be dated 
with accuracy. 



might carry with them what they had heard. We need not wondei 
that St Paul thought it worth while to go there, and (after receiv- 
ing encouragement from the Lord, Acts xviii. 9) to remain there 
a year and a half. Nor need we wonder that, having succeeded 
in finding the ' people ' (Aaos) whom the Lord had already marked 
as His own, like a new Israel (Acts xviii. 10), and having suc- 
ceeded in planting a Church there, he afterwards felt the keenest 
interest in its welfare and the deepest anxiety respecting it. 

It was from Athens that St Paul came to Corinth,,' and the 
transition has been compared to that of passing fronfresidence 
in Oxford to residence in London ; that ought to mean from 
the old unreformed Oxford, the home of lost causes and of 
expiring philosophies, to the London of our own age. The 
difference in miles between Oxford and London is greater than 
that between Athens and Corinth ; but, in St Paul's day, the 
difference in social and intellectual environment was perhaps 
greater than that which has distinguished the two English cities 
in any age. The Apostle's work in the two Greek cities was 
part of his great work of adapting Christianity to civilized 
Europe. In Athens he met with opposition and contempt 
(Acts xvii. 18, 32),* and he came on to Corinth in much 
depression and fear (1 Cor. ii. 3); and not until he had been 
encouraged by the heavenly vision and the experience of con- 
siderable success did he think that he would be justified in 
remaining at Corinth instead of returning to the more hopeful 
field in Macedonia. During the year and a half that he was 
there he probably made missionary excursions in the neigh- 
bourhood, and with success: 2 Corinthians is addressed 'unto 
the Church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints 
which are in the whole of Achaia.' 

So far as we know, he was the first Christian who ever 
entered that city ; he was certainly the first to preach the Gospel 
there. This he claims for himself with great earnestness 
(iii. 6, 10, iv. 15), and he could not have made such a claim, 
if those whom he was addressing knew that it was not true. 
Some think that Aquila and Priscilla were Christians before 
they reached Corinth. But if that was so, St Luke would pro- 
bably have known it, and would have mentioned the fact; for 
their being of the same belief would have been a stronger reason 
for the Apostle's taking up his abode with them than their being 
of the same trade, to o/Aore^vov (Acts xviii. 3).! On the other 

* This attitude continued long after the Apostle's departure. For a century 
or two Athens was perhaps the chief seat of opposition to the Gospel. 

t It is possible that this is one of the beloved physician's medical words. 
Doctors are said to have spoken of one another as 6/xfrrexvoi (Hobart, Med. 
Lang, of St Luke, p. 239). 


hand, if they were converted by St Paul in Corinth, would not 
either he or St Luke have mentioned so important a success, 
and would not they be among those whom he baptized himself? 
If they were already Christians, it may easily have been from 
them that he learnt so much about the individual Christians 
who are mentioned in Rom. xvi. The Apostle's most important 
Jewish convert that is known to us is Crispus, the ruler of the 
Corinthian synagogue (Acts xviii. 8 ; i Cor. i. 14). Titius or 
Titus Justus may have been his first success among the Roman 
proselytes (Acts xviii. 7 ; Ramsay, St Paul the Traveller, p. 256), 
or he may have been a Gentile holding allegiance to the syna- 
gogue, but not a circumcised proselyte (Zahn, Intr. to N.T., 
i. p. 266). Acts xviii. 7 means that the Apostle taught in his 
house, instead of in the synagogue ; not that he left the house 
of Aquila and Priscilla to live with Titus Justus.* About 
Stephanas (1 Cor. xvi. 15, i. 16) we are doubly in doubt, whether 
he was a Gentile or a Jew, and whether he was converted and 
baptized in Athens or in Corinth. He was probably a Gentile ; 
that he was a Corinthian convert is commonly assumed, but it 
is by no means certain. 

A newly created city, with a very mixed population of Italians, 
Greeks, Orientals, and adventurers from all parts, and without 
any aristocracy or old families, was likely to be democratic and 
impatient of control ; and conversion to Christianity would not 
at once, if at all, put an end to this independent spirit. Cer- 
tainly there was plenty of it when St Paul wrote. We find 
evidence of it in the claim of each convert to choose his own 
leader (i. 10-iv. 21), in the attempt of women to be as free 
as men in the congregation (xi. 5-15, xiv. 34, 35), and in the 
desire of those who had spiritual gifts to exhibit them in public 
without regard to other Christians (xii., xiv.). 

Of the evils which are common in a community whose chief 
aim is commercial success, and whose social distinctions are 
mainly those of wealth, we have traces in the litigation about 
property in heathen courts (vi. i-n), in the repeated mention 
of the ir\(.oviKTr}<: as a common kind of offender (v. 10, 11, 
vi. 10), and in the disgraceful conduct of the wealthy at the 
Lord's Supper (xi. 17-34). 

The conceited self-satisfaction of the Corinthians as to their 
intellectual superiority is indicated by ironical hints and serious 
warnings as to the possession of yvwcris (viii. 1, 7, 10, n, 

* Justus, as a surname for Jews or proselytes, meant (like SiVcuos in 
Luke i. 6) 'careful in the observance of the Law.' It was common in the 
case of Jews (Acts i. 23 ; Col. iv. 11). Josephus had a son so called, and he 
tells us of another Justus who wrote about the Jewish war (Vita, 1, 9, 65). 
It is said to be frequent in Jewish inscriptions. 



xiii. 2, 8) and cro<£ta (i. 17, iii. 19), by the long section which 
treats of the false and the true wisdom (i. 1 S — iii. 4), and by the 
repeated rebukes of their inflated self-complacency (iv. 6, 18, 19, 
v. 2, viii. 1 ; cf. xiii. 4). 

But the feature in the new city which has made the deepest 
mark on the Epistle is its abysmal immorality. There is not 
only the condemnation of the Corinthians' attitude towards the 
monstrous case of incest (v. 1-13) and the solemn warning 
against thinking lightly of sins of the flesh (vi. 12-20), but also 
the nature of the reply to the Corinthians' letter (vii. i-xi. 1). 
The whole treatment of their marriage-problems and of the right 
behaviour with regard to idol-meats is influenced by the thought 
of the manifold and ceaseless temptations to impurity with which 
the new converts to Christianity were surrounded, and which 
made such an expression as 'the Church of God which is at 
Corinth' (i. 2), as Bengel says, laetiim et ingens paradoxon. And 
the majority of the converts — probably the very large majority — 
had been heathen (xii. 2), and therefore had been accustomed 
to think lightly of abominations from which converts from 
Judaism had always been free. Anxiety about these Gentile 
Christians is conspicuous throughout the First Epistle ; but at 
the time when the Second was written, especially the last four 
chapters, it was Jewish Christians that were giving him most 
trouble. In short, Corinth, as we know it from other sources, 
is clearly reflected in the letter before us. 

That what we know about Corinth and the Apostle from 
Acts is reflected in the letter will be seen when it is examined 
in detail ; and it is clear that the writer of Acts does not derive 
his information from the letter, for he tells us much more than 
the letter does. As Schleiermacher pointed out long ago, the 
personal details at the beginning and end of 1 and 2 Corinthians 
supplement and illuminate what is told in Acts, and it is clear 
that each writer takes his own line independently of the other 
(Bachmann, p. 12). 

§ II. Authenticity. 

It is not necessary to spend much time upon the discussion 
of this question. Both the external and the internal evidence 
for the Pauline authorship are so strong that those who attempt 
to show that the Apostle was not the writer succeed chiefly in 
proving their own incompetence as critics. Subjective criticism 
of a highly speculative kind does not merit many detailed 
replies, when it is in opposition to abundant evidence of the 
most solid character. The captious objections which have been 


urged against one or other, or even against all four, of the great 
Epistles of St Paul, by Bruno Bauer (1850-1852), and more 
recently by Loman, Pierson, Naber, Edwin Johnson, Meyboom, 
van Manen, Rudolf Steck, and others, have been sufficiently 
answered by Kuenen, Scholten, Schmiedel, Zahn, Gloel, Wrede, 
and Lindemann ; and the English reader will find all that he 
needs on the subject in Knowling, The Witness of the Epistles, 
ch. hi., or in The Testimony of St Paul to Christ, lect. xxiv. and 
passim (see Index). But the student of 1 Corinthians can spend 
his time better than in perusing replies to utterly untenable 
objections. More than sixty years ago, F. C. Baur said of the 
four chief Epistles, that "they bear so incontestably the char- 
acter of Pauline originality, that there is no conceivable ground 
for the assertion of critical doubts in their case " (Paulus, Stuttg. 
1845, ii. Einleit., Eng. tr. i. p. 246). And with regard to the 
arguments which have been urged against these Epistles since 
Baur's day, we may adopt the verdict of Schmiedel, who, after 
examining a number of these objections, concludes thus : "Ina 
word, until better reasons are produced, one may really trust 
oneself to the conviction that one has before one writings ol 
Paul" (Hand-Commentar zum N.T, 11. i. p. 51). 

The external evidence in support of Pauline authorship in 
the fullest sense is abundant and unbroken from the first century 
down to our own day. It begins, at the latest, with a formal 
appeal to 1 Corinthians as "the letter of the blessed Paul, the 
Apostle" by Clement of Rome about a.d. 95 (Cor. 47), the 
earliest example in literature of a New Testament writer being 
quoted by name. And it is possible that we have still earlier 
evidence than that. In the Epistle of Barnabas iv. 1 1 we have 
words which seem to recall 1 Cor. iii. 1, 16, 18; and in the 
Didache x. 6 we have fxapav aOd, enforcing a warning, as in 
1 Cor. xvi. 22. But in neither case do the words / rove acquaint- 
ance with our Epistle ; and, moreover, the date of these two 
documents is uncertain : some would place both of them later 
than 95 a.d. It is quite certain that Ignatius and Polycarp 
knew 1 Corinthians, and it is highly probable that Hermas did. 
"Ignatius must have known this Epistle almost by heart. 
Although there are no quotations (in the strictest sense, with 
mention of the source), echoes of its language and thought 
pervade the whole of his writings in such a manner as to leave 
no doubt whatever that he was acquainted with the First Epistle 
to the Corinthians " (The N.T. in the Apostolic Fathers, 1905, 
p. 67). We find in the Epistles of Ignatius what seem to be 
echoes of 1 Cor. i. 7, 10, 18, 20, 24, 30, ii. 10, 14, iii. 1, 2, 10- 
15. l &> iv - h 4, v. 7, vi. 9, 10, 15, vii. 10, 22, 29, ix. 15, 27, x. 16, 
17, xii. 12, xv. 8-10, 45, 47, 58, xvi. 18 ; and a number of these, 


being quite beyond dispute, give increase of probability to the 
rest. In Polycarp there are seven such echoes, two of which (to 
i Cor. vi. 2, 9) are quite certain, and a third (to xiii. 13) highly 
probable. In the first of these (Pol. xi. 2), Paul is mentioned, 
but not this Epistle. The passage in Hermas (Mand. iv. 4) 
resembles 1 Cor. vii. 39, 40 so closely that reminiscence is more 
probable than mere coincidence. Justin Martyr, about a.d. 147, 
quotes from 1 Cor. xi. 19 {Try. 35), and Athenagoras, about 
a.d. 177, quotes part of xv. 55 as kcito rbv airoa-ToXov (De Res. 
Mort. 18). In Irenaeus there are more than 60 quotations; in 
Clement of Alexandria, more than 130 ; in Tertullian, more than 
400, counting verses separately. Basilides certainly knew it, and 
Marcion admitted it to his very select canon. This brief state- 
ment by no means exhausts all the evidence of the two centuries 
subsequent to the writing of the Epistle, but it is sufficient to 
show how substantial the external evidence is. 

The internal evidence is equally satisfactory. The document, 
in spite of its varied contents, is harmonious in character and 
language. It is evidently the product of a strong and original 
mind, and is altogether worthy of an Apostle. When tested by 
comparison with other writings of St Paul, or with Acts, or with 
other writings in the N.T., we find so many coincidences, most 
of which must be undesigned, that we feel confident that neither 
invention, nor mere chance, nor these two combined, would be 
a sufficient explanation. The only hypothesis that will explain 
these coincidences is that we are dealing with a genuine letter of 
the Apostle of the Gentiles. And it has already been pointed 
out how well the contents of the letter harmonize with what we 
know of Corinth during the lifetime of St Paul. 

The integrity of 1 Corinthians has been questioned with as 
much boldness as its authenticity, and with as little success. On 
quite insufficient, and (in some cases) trifling, or even absurd, 
grounds, some sections, verses, and parts of verses, have been 
suspected of being interpolations, e.g. xi. 16, 19 b, 23-28, xii. 2> 
13, parts of xiv. 5 and 10, and the whole of 13, xv. 23-28, 45. 
The reasons for suspecting smaller portions are commonly better 
than those for suspecting longer ones, but none are sufficient to 
warrant rejection. Here and there we are in doubt about a 
word, as Xpicn-ou (i. 8), 'I770-0O (iv. 17), ^wv (v. 4), and to. Zdvrj 
(x. 20), but there is probably no verse or whole clause that is an 
interpolation. Others again have conjectured that our Epistle is 
made up of portions of two, or even three, letters, laid together 
in strata ; and this conjecture is sometimes combined with the 
hypothesis that portions of the letter alluded to in v. 9 are 
imbedded in our 1 Corinthians. Thus, iii. 10-23, vn - I 7 _2 4> 
ix. i-x. 22, x. 25-30, xiv. 34-36, xv. 1-55, are supposed to be 


fragments of this first letter. An hypothesis of this kind 
naturally involves the supposition that there are a number of 
interpolations which have been made in order to cement the 
fragments of the different letters together. These wild con- 
jectures may safely be disregarded. There is no trace of them 
in any of the four great Uncial MSS. which contain the whole 
Epistle (NAB D), or in any Version. We have seen that 
Ignatius shows acquaintance with every chapter, with the possible 
exception of viii., xi., xiii., xiv. Irenaeus quotes from every 
chapter, excepting iv., xiv., and xvi. Tertullian goes through it 
to the end of xv. (Adv. Marc. v. 5-10), and he quotes from xvi. 
The Epistle reads quite intelligibly and smoothly as we have it ; 
and it does not follow that, because it would read still more 
smoothly if this or that passage were ejected, therefore the 
Epistle was not written as it has come down to us. As Jiilicher 
remarks, " what is convenient is not always right." * Till better 
reasons are produced for rearranging it, or for rejecting parts of 
it, we may be content to read it as being still in the form in 
which the Apostle dictated it. 

§ III. Occasion and Plan. 

The Occasion of 1 Corinthians is patent from the Epistle 
itself. Two things induced St Paul to write. (1) During his 
long stay at Ephesus the Corinthians had written to him, asking 
certain questions, and perhaps also mentioning certain things as 
grievances. (2) Information of a very disquieting kind respect- 
ing the condition of the Corinthian Church had reached the 
Apostle from various sources. Apparently, the latter was the 
stronger reason of the two ; but either of them, even without 
the other, would have caused him to write. 

Since his departure from Corinth, after spending eighteen 
months in founding a Church there, a great deal had happened 
in the young community."' The accomplished Alexandrian Jew 
Apollos, ' mighty in the Scriptures,' who had been well instructed 
in Christianity by Priscilla and Aquila (Acts xviii. 24, 26) at 
Ephesus, came and began to preach the Gospel, following (but, 
seemingly, with greater display of eloquence) in the footsteps of 
St Paul. Other teachers, less friendly to the Apostle, and with 
leanings towards Judaism, also began to work. In a short time 
the infant Church was split into parties, each party claiming this 
or that teacher as its leader, but, in each case, without the 
chosen leader giving any encouragement to this partizanship 

* Recent Introductions to the N.T. (Iloltzmann, Jiilicher, Gregory, Barth, 
Weiss, Zahn) treat the integrity of 1 Corinthians as certain. 


(i. 10, n). It is usual to attribute these dissensions to that 
love of faction which is so conspicuous in all Greek history, and 
which was the ruin of so many Greek states ; and no doubt there 
is truth in this suggestion. But we must remember that Corinth 
at this time was scarcely half Greek. The greater part of the 
population consisted of the children and grandchildren of Italian 
colonists, who were still only imperfectly Hellenized, supple- 
mented by numerous Orientals, who were perhaps scarcely 
Hellenized at all. The purely Greek element in the population 
was probably quite the smallest of the three. Nevertheless, it 
was the element which was moulding the other two, and there- 
fore Greek love of faction may well have had something to do 
with the parties which so quickly sprang up in the new Corinthian 
Church. But at any other prosperous city on the Mediterranean, 
either in Italy or in Gaul, we should probably have had the same 
result. In these cities, with their mobile, eager, and excitable 
populations, crazes of some kind are not only a common feature, 
but almost a social necessity. There must be something or 
somebody to rave about, and either to applaud or to denounce, 
in order to give zest to life. And this craving naturally generates 
cliques and parties, consisting of those who approve, and those 
who disapprove, of some new pursuits or persons. The pursuits 
or the persons may be of quite trifling importance. That matters 
little : what is wanted is something to dispute about and take 
sides about. As Renan says (St Paul, p. 374), let there be two 
preachers, or two doctors, in one of the small towns in Southern 
Europe, and at once the inhabitants take sides as to which is 
the better of the two. The two preachers, or the two doctors, 
may be on the best of terms : that in no way hinders their 
names from being made a party-cry and the signal for vehement 

After a stay of a year and six months, St Paul crossed from 
Corinth to Ephesus with Priscilla and Aquila, and went on with- 
out them to Jerusalem (Acts xviii. n, 18, 19, 21). Thence he 
went to Galatia, and returned in the autumn to Ephesus. The 
year in which this took place may be 50, or 52, or 54 a.d. 
Excepting the winter months, intercourse between Corinth and 
Ephesus was always frequent, and in favourable weather the 
crossing might be made in a week, or even less. It was natural, 
therefore, that the Apostle during his three years at Ephesus 
should receive frequent news of his converts in Corinth We 
know of only one definite source of information, namely, members 
of the household of a lady named Chloe (i. n), who brought news 
about the factions and possibly other troubles : but no doubt 
there were other persons who came with tidings from Corinth. 
Those who were entrusted with the letter from the Corinthians 


to the Apostle (see on xvi. 17) would tell him a great deal. 
Apollos, now at Ephesus (xvi. 12), would do the same. The 
condition of things which Chloe's people reported was of so 
disturbing a nature that the Apostle at once wrote to deal with 
the matter, and he at the same time answered the questions 
which the Corinthians had raised in their letter. As will be seen 
from the Plan given below, these two reasons for writing, namely, 
reports of serious evils at Corinth, and questions asked by the 
converts themselves, cover nearly all, if not quite all, of what we 
find in our Epistle. There may, however, be a few topics which 
were not prompted by either of them, but are the spontaneous 
outcome of the Apostle's anxious thoughts about the Corinthian 
Church. See Ency. Brit., nth ed., art. 'Bible,' p. 873; art. 
'Corinthians,' pp. 151 f. 

It is quite certain that our 1 Corinthians is not the first letter 
which the Apostle wrote to the Church of Corinth ; and it is 
probable that the earlier letter (v. 9) is wholly lost. Some critics, 
however, think that part of it survives in 2 Cor. vi. 14-vii. 1, an 
hypothesis which has not found very many supporters. The 
question of there being yet another letter, which was written 
between the writing of our two Epistles, and which probably 
survives, almost in its entirety, in 2 Cor. x. i-xiii. 10, is a 
question which belongs to the Introduction to that Epistle, and 
need not be discussed here. 

But there is another question, in which both Epistles are 
involved. Fortunately nothing that is of great importance in 
either Epistle depends upon the solution of it, for no solution 
finds anything approaching to general assent. It has only an 
indirect connexion with the occasion and plan of our Epistle ; 
but this will be a convenient place for discussing it. It relates 
to the hypothesis of a second visit of St Paul to Corinth, a visit 
which was very brief, painful, and unsatisfactory, and which 
(perhaps because of its distressing character) is not recorded in 
Acts. Did any such visit take place during the Apostle's three 
years at Ephesus ? If so, did it take place before or after the 
sending of 1 Corinthians? We have thus three possibilities with 
regard to this second visit of St Paul to Corinth, which was so 
unlike the first in being short, miserable, and without any good 
results. (1) It took place before 1 Corinthians was written. 
(2) It took place after that Epistle was written. (3) It never 
took place at all. Each one of these hypotheses involves one in 
difficulties, and yet one of them must be true. 

Let us take (3) first. If that could be shown to be correct, 
there would be no need to discuss either of the other two. 

As has already been pointed out, the silence of Acts is in no 
way surprising, especially when we remember how much of the 


life of St Paul (2 Cor. xi. 23-28) is left unrecorded by St Luke. 
If the silence of Acts is regarded as an objection, it is more 
than counter-balanced by the antecedent probability that, during 
his three years' stay in Ephesus, the Apostle would visit the 
Corinthians again. The voyage was a very easy one. It was 
St Paul's practice in missionary work to go over the ground a 
second time (Acts xv. 36, 41, xviii. 23) ; and the intense interest in 
the condition of the Corinthian Church which these two Epistles 
exhibit renders it somewhat unlikely that the writer of them 
would spend three years within a week's sail of Corinth, without 
paying the Church another visit. 

But these a priori considerations are accompanied by direct 
evidence of a substantial kind. The passages which are quoted 
in support of the hypothesis of a second visit are 1 Cor. xvi. 7 ; 
2 Cor. ii. 1, xii. 14, 21, xiii. 1, 2. We may at once set aside 

1 Cor. xvi. 7 (see note there) : the verse harmonizes well with the 
hypothesis of a second visit, but is not evidence that any such 
visit took place. 2 Cor. xii. 21 is stronger: it is intelligible, if 
no visit of a distressing character had previously been paid ; but 
it is still more intelligible, if such a visit had been paid; 'lest, 
when I come, my God should again humble me before you.' 

2 Cor. ii. 1 is at least as strong : ' For I determined for myself 
this, not again in sorrow to come to you.' 'Again in sorrow' 
comes first with emphasis, and the most natural explanation is 
that he has visited them iv kvirrj once, and that he decided that 
he would not make the experiment a second time. It is in- 
credible that he regarded his first visit, in which he founded the 
Church, as a visit paid Zv Xv-n-rj. Therefore the painful visit 
must have been a second one. Yet it is possible to avoid this 
conclusion by separating ' again ' from ' in sorrow,' which is next 
to it, and confining it to 'come,' which is remote from it. This 
construction, if possible, is not very probable. 

But it is the remaining texts, 2 Cor. xii. 14, xiii. 1, 2, which 
are so strong, especially xiii. 2 : ' Behold, this is the third time I 
am ready to come to you' — 'This is the third time I am coming 
to you. ... I have said before, and I do say before, as when I 
was present the second time, so now being absent, to those who 
were in sin before, and to all the rest,' etc. It is difficult to think 
that the Apostle is referring to intentions to come, or willingness 
to come, and not to an actual visit ; or again that he is counting 
a letter as a visit. That is possible, but it is not natural. Again, 
the preposition in tchs -rrpo-qfjiapT-qKoaiv is more naturally explained 
as meaning 'who were in sin before my second visit' than 
'before their conversion.' Wieseler (C/ironologie, p. 232) con- 
siders that these passages render the assumption of a second visit 
to Corinth indispensable {nothwendig). Conybeare and Howson 


(ch. xv. sub init) maintain that ' this visit is proved ' by these 
passages. Lightfoot (Biblical Essays, p. 274) says: "There are 
passages in the Epistles (e.g. 2 Cor. xii. 14, xiii. 1, 2) which seem 
inexplicable under any other hypothesis, except that of a second 
visit — the difficulty consisting not so much in the words them- 
selves, as in their relation to their context." Schmiedel (Hand.- 
Comm. ii. 1, p. 68) finds it hard to understand how any one can 
reject the hypothesis ; die Leugnung der Zwischenreise ist schwer 
verstdndlich ; and he goes carefully through the evidence. 
Sanday (Ency. Bibl. i. 903) says : " The supposition that the 
second visit was only contemplated, not paid, appears to be ex- 
cluded by 2 Cor. xiii. 2." Equally strong on the same side are 
Alford, J. H. Bernard (Expositor's Grk. Test.), Jiilicher (Introd. 
to N.T. p. 31), Massie (Century Bible), G. H. Kendall (Epp. to 
the Corr. p. 31), Waite (Speaker's Comm.); and with them agree 
Bleek,* Findlay, Osiander, D. Walker, and others to be men- 
tioned below. On the other hand, Baur, de Wette, Edwards, 
Heinrici, Hilgenfeld, Paley, Renan, Scholten, Stanley, Zahn, and 
others, follow Beza, Grotius, and Estius in questioning or denying 
this second visit of St Paul to Corinth. Ramsay (St Paul the 
Traveller, p. 275) thinks that, if it took place at all, it was from 
Philippi rather than Ephesus. Bachmann, the latest commentator 
on 2 Corinthians (Leipzig, 1909, p. 105), thinks that only an 
over-refined and artificial criticism can question it. We may 
perhaps regard the evidence for this visit as something short of 
proof; but it is manifest, both from the evidence itself, and also 
from the weighty names of those who regard it as conclusive, 
that we are not justified in treating the supposed visit as so 
improbable that there is no need to consider whether it took 
place before or after the writing of our Epistle. f 

Many modern writers place it between 1 and 2 Corinthians, 
and connect it with the letter written ' out of much affliction and 
anguish of heart with many tears ' (2 Cor. ii. 4). The visit was 
paid iv XvTrrj. The Apostle had to deal with serious evils, was 
perhaps crippled by illness, and failed to put a stop to them. 
After returning defeated to Ephesus, he wrote the sorrowful 
letter. This hypothesis is attractive, but it is very difficult to 
bring it into harmony with the Apostle's varying plans and the 
Corinthians' charges of fickleness (2 Cor. i. 15-24). But, in any 
case, if this second visit was paid after 1 Corinthians was written, 
the commentator on that Epistle need not do more than mention 
it. See Ency. Brit., nth ed., vii. p. 152. 

* Bleek is said to have been the first to show how many indications of a 
second visit are to be found {Stud. Krit. p. 625, 1830). 

t For the arguments against the supposed visit see the section on the Date 
of this Epistle. 


But the majority of modern writers, including Alford, J. H 
Bernard, Bleek, Billroth, Credner, Hausrath, Hofmann, Holsten, 
Klopper, Meyer, Neander, Olshausen, Otto, Reuss, Riickert, 
Sanday, Schenkel, Schmiedel, Waite, and B. Weiss follow 
Chrysostom in placing the second visit before i Corinthians. 
Some place it before the letter mentioned in i Cor. v. 9. This 
has decided advantages. The lost letter of v. 9 may have alluded 
to the painful visit and treated it in such a way as to render any 
further reference to it unnecessary. This might account for the 
silence of 1 Corinthians respecting the visit. Even if the visit 
be placed after the lost letter, its painful character would account 
for the silence about it in our Epistle. Some think that the 
Epistle is not silent, and that iv. 18 refers to this visit: 'As if, 
however, I were not coming to see you, some got puffed up.' 
But this cannot refer to a visit that is paid, as if it meant, ' You 
thought that I was not coming, and I did come.' It refers to a 
visit that is contemplated, as the next verse shows : 'Come, how- 
ever, I shall quickly to see you.' 

The following tentative scheme gives the events which led up 
to the writing of our Epistle : — 

(1) St Paul leaves Corinth with Aquila and Priscil'a and 
finally settles at Ephesus. 

(2) Apollos continues the work of the Apostle at Corinth. 

(3) Other teachers arrive, hostile to the Apostle, and Apollos 

(4) St Paul pays a short visit to Corinth to combat this 
hostility and other evils, and fails. 

(5) He writes the letter mentioned in 1 Cor. v. 9. 

(6) Bad news arrives from Corinth brought by members ot 
CWloc's familia, perhaps also by the bearers of the Corinthians' 
letter, and by Apollos. 

The Apostle at once writes 1 Corinthians. 

The Plan of the Epistle is very clear. One is seldom in 
doubt as to where a section begins and ends, or as to what the 
subject is. There are occasional digressions, or what seem to 
be such, as the statement of the great Principle of Forbearance 
(ix. 1-27), or the Hymn in praise of Love (xiii.), but their con- 
nexion with the main argument of the section in which they 
occur is easily seen. The question which cannot be answered 
with absolute certainty is not a very important one. We cannot 
be quite sure how much of the Epistle is a reply to questions 
asked by the Corinthians in their letter to the Apostle. Certainly 
the discussion of various problems about Marriage (vii. 1-40) is 
such, as is shown by the opening words, -rrtpl Be &v iypdipare : and 
almost certainly the question about partaking of Idol-meats 
(viii. i-xi. 1) was raised by the Corinthians, ncpl Bl twv eiSwAo- 


Ovroiv. The difficulty was a real one and of frequent occurrence ; 
and, as the Apostle does not refer to teaching already given to 
them on the subject, they would be likely to consult him, all the 
more so as there seem to have been widely divergent opinions 
among themselves about the question. It is not impossible that 
other sections which begin in a similar way are references to the 
Corinthian letter, Trepl Se twv 7rv€vp.aTtKwv (xii. i), 7repl 8c ti}s Aoyias 
rrj<; eis tovs dytovi (xvi. i), and -rrepl 8« 'AttoWu) tot) dScA^oS 

(xvi. 12). But most of the expressions which look like quotations 
from the Corinthian letter occur in the sections about Marriage 
and Idol-meats; e.g. kclXov avOpwTna ywcu/cos pr] a-meo-Oat (vii. 1), 
7tc£vt€s yvuxriv l^ofxev (viii. 1), Travra e^eo-riv (x. 23). The direc- 
tions about Spiritual Gifts and the Collection for the Saints may 
have been prompted by information which the Apostle received 
by word of mouth. What is said about Apollos (xvi. 12) must 
have come from Apollos himself; but the Corinthians may have 
asked for his return to them. 

According to the arrangement adopted, the Epistle has four 
main divisions, without counting either the Introduction or the 

Epistolary Introduction, i 1-9. 

A. The Apostolic Salutation, i. 1-3. 

B. Preamble of Thanksgiving and Hope, \. 4-9. 

I. Urgent Matters for Blame, i. 10- vi. 20. 

A. The Dissensions (SxioTAara), i. 10-iv. 21. 

The Facts, i. 10-17. 

The False Wisdom and the True, i. iS-iii. 4. 
The False Wisdom, i. 18-ii. 5. 
The True Wisdom, ii. 6-iii. 4. 

The True Wisdom described, ii. 6-13. 
The Spiritual and the animal Characters, 
ii. 14-iii. 4. 
The True Conception of the Christian Pastorate, 
iii. 5-iv. 21. 
General Definition, iii. 5-9. 
The Builders, iii. 10-15 
The Temple, iii. 16, 17. 
Warning against a mere 'human' Estimate 

of the Pastoral Office, iii. 18-iv. 5. 
Personal Application ; Conclusion of the sub- 
ject of the Dissensions, iv. 6-21. 

B. Absence of Moral Discipline ; the Case of Incest, 

v. 1-13. 


C. Litigation before Heathen Courts, vi. i-ii. 

The Evil and its Evil Occasion, vi. 1-8. 
Unrighteousness, a Survival of a bad Past 
which ought not to survive, vi. 9-1 1. 

D. Fornication, vi. 12-20. 

II. Reply to the Corinthian Letter, vii. 1-xi. 1. 

A. Marriage and its Problems, vii. 1-40. 

Celibacy is good, but Marriage is natural, 

vii. 1-7. 
Advice to Different Classes, vii. 8-40. 

B. Food offered to Idols, viii. r-xi. 1. 

General Principles, viii. 1-13. 

The Great Principle of Forbearance, ix. 1-27. 

These Principles applied, x. i-xi. 1. 

The Example of the Israelites, x. 1-13. 

The Danger of Idolatry, x. 14-22. 

Practical Rules about Idol-meats, x. 23-xi. 1. 

HI. Disorders in Connexion with Public "Worship, xi. 2- 
xiv. 40. 

A. The Veiling of Women in Public Worship, xi. 2-16. 

B. Disorders connected with the Lord's Supper, 

xi. 17-34. 

C. Spiritual Gifts, xii. i-xiv. 40. 

The Variety, Unity, and true Purpose of the 

Gifts, xii. 1— 11. 
Illustration from Man's Body of the Unity of 

the Church, xii. 12-31. 
A Hymn in Praise of Love, xiii. 1-13. 
Spiritual Gifts as regulated by Love, xiv. 1-40. 
Prophesying superior to Tongues, xiv. 1-25. 
Regulations respecting these two Gifts, xiv. 

Conclusion of the Subject, xiv. 37-40. 

IV. The Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead, xv. 1-58. 

A. The Resurrection of Christ an Essential Article, 
xv. 1-1 1. 

R, If Christ is risen, the Dead in Christ will rise, 
xv. 12-34. 
Consequences of denying the resurrection of 
the Dead, xv. 12-19. 


Consequences of accepting the Resurrection of 

Christ, xv. 20-28. 
Arguments from Experience, xv. 29-34. 

C. Answers to Objections: the Body of the Risen, 
xv. 35-58. 
The Answers of Nature and of Scripture, 

. xv - 35-49- 
Victory over Death, xv. 50-57. 

Practical Result, xv. 58. 

Practical and Personal ; the Conclusion, xvi. 1-24. 

The Collection for the Poor at Jerusalem, 

xvi. 1-4. 
The Apostle's Intended Visit to Corinth, 

xvi. 5-9. 
Timothy and Apollos commended, xvi. 10-12. 
Exhortation, xvi. 13, 14. 
Directions about Stephanas and others, xvi. 

Concluding Salutations, Warning, and Benediction, 

xvi. 19-24. 

No Epistle tells us so much about the life of a primitive 
local Church ; and 2 Corinthians, although it tells us a great 
deal about the Apostle himself, does not tell us much more 
about the organization of the Church of Corinth. Evidently, 
there is an immense amount, and that of the highest interest, 
which neither Epistle reveals. Each of them suggests questions 
which neither of them answers ; and it is very disappointing to 
turn to Acts, and to find that to the whole of this subject 
St Luke devotes less than twenty verses. But the instructive- 
ness of 1 Corinthians is independent of a knowledge of the 
historical facts which it does not reveal. 

§ IV. Place and Date. 

The place where the Epistle was written was clearly Ephesus 
(xvi. 8), where the Apostle was remaining until the following 
Pentecost. This is recognized by Euthal praef. oltto i<f>eaov rrj<; 
'Acrtas, also by B 3 P in their subscriptions. The subscriptions 
of D b K L d co " Euthal. cod. all agree in giving ' Philippi ' or 
'Philippi in Macedonia' as the place of writing, a careless infer- 
ence from xvi. 5, which occurs also in the Syrr. Copt. Goth. 
Versions, in later cursives, and in the Textus Receptus. 

St Paul is at Ephesus in Acts xviii. 19-21, but the data of this 


Epistle (xvi. 5-8) are quite irreconcilable with its having been 
written during this short visit. It must therefore belong to some 
part of St Paul's unbroken residence at Ephesus for three years 
(Acts XX. 18, Toy iravra xpoiov : 31, Tpieriav vvkto. xai 17/i.epai/), 
which falls within the middle or Aegean period of his ministry. 
The first, or Antiochean period extends from Acts xi. 25- 
xviii. 23, when Antioch finally ceases to be his headquarters. 
The Aegean period ends with his last journey to Jerusalem 
and arrest there (xxi. 15). This begins the third period, that of 
the Imprisonments, which carries us to the close of the Acts. 
Our Epistle accordingly falls within the limits of Acts xix. 21- 
xx. 1. We have to consider the probable date of the events there 
described, and the relation to them of the data of our Epistle. 

The present writer discussed these questions fully in Hastings, 
DB. art. ' Corinthians,' without the advantage of having seen the 
art. ' Chronology,' by Mr. C. H. Turner, in the same volume, 
or Harnack's Chrotiologie d. Altchristlichen Literatur, which 
appeared very shortly after. The artt. ' Felix,' ' Festus,' were 
written immediately upon the appearance of Harnack's volume, 
that on ' Aretas ' previously. This chapter does not aim at 
being a full dissertation on the chronology of the period. For 
this, reference must be made to all the above articles ; Mr. 
Turner's discussion is monumental, and placed the entire 
question on a new and possibly final basis. 

The general scheme of dates for St Paul's life as covered by 
the Acts lies between two points which can be approximately 
determined, namely, his escape from Damascus under Aretas 
(Acts ix. 25 ; 2 Cor. xi. 32, 33) not long (17/iepas tivos, Acts ix. 19) 
after his conversion, and the arrival of Festus as procurator of 
Judaea (Acts xxiv. 27) in succession to Felix. The latter date 
fixes the beginning of the Siena oX-q of Acts xxviii. 30 ; the close 
of the latter, again, gives the interval available, before the 
Apostle's martyrdom shortly after the fire of Rome (64 a.d.), 
for the events presupposed in the Epistles to Timothy and 

Aretas to the Apostolic Council. 

The importance of the Aretas date, which Harnack fails to 
deal with satisfactorily, is that Damascus is shown by its coins 
to have been under the Empire as late as 34 a.d., and that it 
is practically certain that it remained so till the death of Tiberius, 
March 37 a.d. This latter year, then, is the earliest possible 
date for St Paul's escape, and his conversion must be placed at 
earliest in 35 or 36. 

From this date we reckon that of the first visit of St Paul 


(as a Christian) to Jerusalem, three years after his conversion 
(Gal. i. 1 8), i.e. in 37-38, and of the Apostolic Council (Acts xv. ; 
Gal. ii. ; the evidence for the identity of reference in these two 
chapters is decisive), fourteen years from the conversion 
(Gal. ii. 1). (The possibility that the fourteen years are 
reckoned from the first visit must be recognized, but the 
probability is, as Turner shows, the other way ; and the 
addition of three years to our reckoning will involve insuper- 
able difficulty in the later chronology.) This carries us to 49, 
whether we add 14 to 35, or — as usual in antiquity, reckoning 
both years in — 13 to 36. This result — 49 a.d. for the Apostolic 
Council — agrees with the other data. The pause in the Acts 
(xii. 24, the imperfects summing up the character of the period), 
after the death of Agrippa 1., which took place in 44 (see Turner, 
p. 416 b), covers the return of Barnabas and Saul from their 
visit to Jerusalem to relieve the sufferers from the famine. This 
famine cannot be placed earlier than 46 a.d. (Turner) ; supposing 
this to have been the year of the visit of Barnabas and Saul 
to Jerusalem, their departure (Acts xiii. 3) on the missionary 
journey to Cyprus, etc., cannot have taken place till after the 
winter 46-47 ; the whole journey must have lasted quite eighteen 
months. We thus get the autumn of 48 for the return to 
Antioch (xiv. 26) ; and the ypovov ovk oXtyov (v. 28) spent there 
carries us over the winter, giving a date in the first half of 49, 
probably the feast of Pentecost (May 24), for the meeting with 
the assembled Apostles at Jerusalem. This date, therefore, 
appears to satisfy all the conditions. 

Apostolic Council to the end of Residence at Ephesus. 

Assuming its validity, the sequence of the narrative in the 
Acts permits us to place the departure of St Paul from Antioch 
over Mount Taurus 'after some days' (Acts xv. 36-41) in 
September 49, his arrival at Philippi in the summer, and at 
Corinth in the autumn, of 50. The eighteen months (xviii. 11) 
of his stay there would end about the Passover (April 2-9) of 
52. By Pentecost he is at Jerusalem, and by midsummer at 
Antioch. Here, then, closes the Antiochene period (44-52) of 
his ministry. Antioch is no longer a suitable headquarters, 
Corinth, Philippi, Ephesus claim him, and he transfers his field 
of work to the region of the Aegean. His final visit to Antioch 
appears to be not long (xviii. 23, xpovov nva.) : if he left it about 
August, his journey to Ephesus, unmarked by any recorded 
episode, would be over before midwinter, say by December 52. 
The Tpie-ia (bee above) of his residence there cannot, then. 


have ended before 55; the 'three months' of xix. 8 and the 
'two years' of v. 10 carry us to about March of that year: the 
remainder of the rpuria (which may not have been quite 
complete) is occupied by the episodes of the sons of Sceva, the 
mission of Timothy and Erastus (xix. 22), and the riot in the 
theatre. Whether this permits St Paul to leave Ephesus for 
Corinth soon after Pentecost 55 (1 Cor. xvi. 8), or compels us 
to allow till Pentecost 56, cannot be decided until we have 
considered the second main date, namely, that of the procurator- 
ship of Festus. 

From Festus back to I Corinthians. 

That Felix became procurator of Judaea in 52 a.d. may be 
taken as fairly established (Hastings, DB. artt. ' Felix,' and 'Chron- 
ology,' p. 418). The arrival of Festus is placed by Eusebius in 
his Chronicle in the year Sept. 56-Sept. 57 ; that of Albinus, his 
successor, in 61-62. The latter date is probably correct. But 
the crowded incidents set down by Josephus to the reign of 
Felix, coupled with the paucity of events ascribed by him to that 
of Festus, suggest that Felix's tenure of office was long compared 
with that of Festus (the iroXXa errj of Acts xxiv. 10 cannot be 
confidently pressed in confirmation of this). We cannot, more- 
over, be sure that Eusebius was guided by more than conjecture 
as to the date of Felix's recall. His brother Pallas, whose 
influence with Nero (according to Josephus) averted his con- 
demnation, was removed from office in 55, certainly before 
Felix's recall; but the circumstances of his retirement favour 
the supposition that he retained influence with the Emperor for 
some time afterwards. It is not improbable, therefore, that 
Felix was recalled in 57-58. St Paul's arrest, two years before 
the recall of Felix (Acts xxiv. 27), would then fall in the year 
Sept. 55-Sept. 56, i.e. at Pentecost (Acts xx. 16) 56 (for the details 
see Turner in Hastings, DB. art. 'Chronology,' pp. 418, 419). 

We have, then, for the events of Acts xix. 21-xxiv. 27, the 
interval from about March 55 to Pentecost (?) 58, or till Pente- 
cost 56 for the remainder of St Paul's stay at Ephesus, the 
journey from Ephesus to Corinth, the three months spent there, 
the journey to Philippi, the voyage thence to Troas, Tyre, and 
Caesarea, and arrival at Jerusalem. This absolutely precludes 
any extension of St Paul's stay at Ephesus until 56. The 
Pentecost of 1 Cor. xvi. 8 must be that of 55, unless indeed we 
can bring down the recall of Felix till 58-59, which though by 
no means impossible, has the balance of probability against it. 
Still more considerable is the balance of likelihood against 60 or 
even 61 as the date for Felix's recall, and 58 or 59 for St Paul's 


arrest. The former date, 5S, must be given up, and St. Paul's 
arrest dated at latest in 57, more probably in 56. 

Resultant Scheme. 

Accordingly from Aretas to Festus, that is from St Paul's 
escape from Damascus to the end of his imprisonment at 
Caesarea, we have at most 22 years (37-59), more probably 
only 21. It is evident that the time allowed above for the 
successive events of the Antiochene and Aegean periods of his 
ministry, which has throughout been taken at a reasonable 
minimum, completely fills the chronological framework supplied 
by the prior dates. The narrative of St Paul's ministry in the 
Acts, in other words, is continuously consecutive. While giving 
fuller detail to some parts of the story than to others, it leaves 
no space of time unaccounted for; the limits of date at either 
end forbid the supposition of any such unrecorded period. 
Unless we are — contrary to all the indications of this part of the 
book — to ignore the Acts as an untrustworthy source, we have in 
the Acts and Epistles combined a coherent and chronologically 
tenable scheme of the main events in St Paul's life for these 
vitally important 21 years. It must be added that the minor 
points of contact with the general chronology, — the proconsul- 
ships of Sergius Paulus and of Gallio, the expulsion of the Jews 
from Rome by Claudius, the marriage of Drusilla to Felix, — fit 
without difficulty into the scheme, and that no ascertainable date 
refuses to do so. For these points, omitted here in order to 
emphasize the fundamental data, the reader must consult Mr. 
Turner's article and the other authorities referred to below. 

We may therefore safely date our Epistle towards the close 
of St Paul's residence at Ephesus, and in the earlier months of 
the year 55. 

Bearing of St PauFs movements on the question of Date. 

The date of the previous letter referred to in v. 9 can only 
be matter of inference. Seeing that the Apostle corrects a 
possible mistake as to its meaning, it was probably of somewhat 
recent date. There is every antecedent likelihood that letters 
passed not infrequently between the Apostle at Ephesus and his 
converts across the Aegean (see Hastings, DB. artt. ' 1 Cor- 
inthians,' § 6, and ' 2 Corinthians,' § 4 g). But the language of 
our Epistle is difficult, or impossible, to reconcile with the 
supposition that the Apostle's Ephesian sojourn had been broken 
into by a visit to Corinth. " There is not a single trace " of it 


(Weizsacker, Apost. Zeitalter, pp. 277, 300). The case for such 
a visit is entirely based on supposed references to it in 2 Cor. ; 
these references at any rate show that this visit, if paid at any 
time, was of a painful character (Iv X-virr], 2 Cor. ii. 1). If, then, 
such a visit had been paid before 1 Corinthians was written, to 
what was this Xvttij due ? Not to the crxio'/xaTa, of which St Paul 
knew only from Chloe's people (i. 11). Not to the iropvua, nor to 
the disorders at the Lord's Supper, of which, he expressly tells us, 
he knew by report only (v. 1, xi. 18). Not to the litigiousness, nor 
to the denials of the Resurrection, of both of which he speaks 
with indignant surprise. If a distressing visit had preceded our 
Epistle, the painful occasion of it was dead and buried when St 
Paul wrote, and St Paul's references to it (clearly as a recent 
sore) in 2 Corinthians become inexplicable. Certainly when our 
Epistle was written a painful visit (iv pdfiSw, iv. 21) was before 
the Apostle's mind as a possible necessity. But there is no 
•n-a/W, no hint that there had already been a passage of the kind. 
On the contrary, some gainsayers were sceptical as to his coming 
at all ; there is, in fact, nothing to set against the clear inference 
from 1 Cor. ii. 1 sqq., that St Paul's first stay at Corinth had so 
far been his one visit there. So far, in fact, as our Epistle is 
concerned, the idea of a previous second visit is uncalled for, to 
say the very least. If 2 Corinthians necessitates the assumption 
of such a visit,* it must be inserted before that Epistle and after 
our present letter. But the question whether such, necessity 
exists depends on the possibility of reconciling the visit with the 
data as a whole. (On this aspect of the matter the present writer 
would refer to Hastings, DB. vol. i. pp. 492-5, $ 4, 5.) The 
most ingenious method of saving the 'painful' visit has a direct 
bearing on the date of our Epistle. Recognizing the conclusive 
force of the objections to placing the visit before our letter, 
Dr J. H. Kennedy (The Second and Third Epistles to the 
Corinthians, Methuen, 1900) places this Epistle before the 
Pentecost of the year previous to St Paul's departure from 
Ephesus, distinguishes Timothy's mission to Corinth (1 Cor. 
iv. 17, xvi. 10) from his (later) mission with Erastus 'to Mace- 
donia' (Acts xix. 22), makes our Epistle the prelude to the 
painful visit (xvi. 5), and breaks up the Second Epistle so as to 
obtain a scheme into which that visit will fit. 1 Corinthians would 
then be dated (in accordance with the chronology adopted above) 
before Pentecost 54. 

But, interesting and ingenious as is Dr. Kennedy's discussion, 
the close correspondence of ch. xvi. 3-6 with the facts of Acts 
xx. 1-3 — the journey through Macedonia to Corinth, the winter 
spent there, the start for Jerusalem with the brethren — makes 

* See the previous section, pp. xxi-xxiv. 



the divorce of the two passages very harsh and improbable. In 
our Epistle the plan actually followed is already planned ; its 
abandonment and resumption follow rapidly, as described in 
2 Corinthians, and it seems impossible to doubt that our Epistle 
was written with the immediate prospect (not of the painful visit 
but) of the visit actually recorded in Acts xx. 3 ; i.e. in the spring 

of 55- 

The following table gives the schemes adopted by Harnack 
in his Chronologie (supra), Turner {DB. as above) ; Ramsay, 
St Paul the Traveller and Expositor, 1896, p. 336, A fixed 
date, etc.; Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, pp. 216-233; Wieseler, 
Chronologie d. Apost. Zeitalters (Eng. tr.) ; Lewin, Fasti Sacri. 
See also Blass, Acta Apostolorum, 1895, pp. 21-24; Kennedy 
(as above). See also Ency. Brit., nth ed., in. pp. 891 f., vn. 
p. 151. 























The Crucifixion . 

29 or 30 





Conversion of St Paul . 


35 or 36 





First visit to Jerusalem 







Second visit to Jeru- 








First missionary 

journey . 



46 or 47 




Third visit to Jeru- 

salem ; the Apostolic 

Council . 







Second missionary 

journey . 







Corinth reached late in 

4 s 






Epistles to the Thessa- 

lonians . 



5 r ~53 




Fourth visit to Jeru- 








Return to Antioch 







Third missionary 

journey . 







In Ephesus ; I Corin- 








In Macedonia ; 2 Corin- 








In Corinth ; Epistle to 

Romans . 

53, 54 

55, 56 





Fifth visit to Jerusalem ; 









§ V. Doctrine. 

The First Epistle to the Corinthians is not, like that to the 
Romans, a doctrinal treatise ; nor is it, like Galatians, the docu- 
ment of a crisis involving far-reaching doctrinal consequences. It 
deals with the practical questions affecting the life of a Church 
founded by the writer : one great doctrinal issue, arising out of 
circumstances at Corinth (xv. 12), is directly treated ; but doctrine 
is, generally speaking, implied or referred to rather than enforced. 
Yet, none the less, the doctrinal importance and instructiveness 
of the letter can hardly be overrated. In its alternations of light 
and shadow it vividly reproduces the life of a typical Gentile- 
Christian community, seething with the interaction of the new 
life and the inherited character, with the beginnings of that age- 
long warfare of man's higher and lower self which forms the 
under-current of Christian history in all ages. 

The Apostle recalls to first principles every matter which 
engages his attention ; at every point his convictions, as one 
who had learned from Christ Himself, are brought to bear upon 
the question before him, though it may be one of minor detail. 
At the least touch the latent forces of fundamental Faith break 
out into action. 

First of all, we must take note of the Apostle's relation to 
Christ. He is 'a called Apostle of Jesus Christ' (i. 1), and 
asserts this claim in the face of those who call it in question 
(ix. 3). He rests it, firstly, on having ' seen Jesus our Lord ' (ix. i), 
clearly at his Conversion ; secondly, on the fruits of his Apostle- 
ship, which the Corinthians, whom he had begotten in the Lord 
(iii. 6 sqq., iv. 15, see notes on these passages), should be the 
last to question (ix. 2). This constituted his answer to critics 
(ix. 3). As far, then, as authority was concerned, he claimed to 
have it directly from Christ, without human source or channel 
(as in Gal. i. 1, 12). But this did not imply independence of 
the tradition common to the Apostles in regard to the facts of 
the Lord's life, death, and Resurrection. In regard to the Institu- 
tion of the Lord's Supper (see below), the words 7rap£\a(3ov a-n-b tov 
KvpLov have been taken as asserting the contrary. But they do 
not necessarily, nor in the view of the present writer probably, 
imply more than that the Lord was the source (a7ro) of the 
7rapaSoo-t?. The circumstantial details here, as in the case of the 
appearances after the Resurrection, would most naturally come 
through those who had witnessed them (xv. 1-10), in common 
with whom St Paul handed on what had been handed on to him. 
So again in dealing with marriage, he is careful to distinguish 
between the reported teaching of the Lord and what he gives as 


his own judgment, founded, it is true, upon fidelity to the Spirit 
of Christ (vii. 10, 12, 25, 40). 

The passages in question have an important bearing upon 
St Paul's knowledge in detail of the earthly life, ministry, and 
words of Christ. It is not uncommonly inferred from his nearly 
exclusive insistence upon the incarnation, passion, death and 
Resurrection of our Lord that he either knew or cared to know 
nothing of the historical Jesus (2 Cor. v. 16; 1 Cor. ii. 2).* But 
the appeal of ch. vii. io, 25 is a warning that the inference from 
silence is precarious here. The pre-existence of Christ is clearly 
taught in xv. 45-48.! That St Paul taught pre-existence only — 
as distinct from the Divinity of Christ (His pre-existence in the 
Unity of the Godhead), — was the view of Baur, followed in sub- 
stance by Pfleiderer (Paulinism, Eng. tr. i. 139 sqq.), Schmiedel, 
in loc, and many others. It is bound up with the old Tubingen 
theory which restricts the Pauline homologumena to 1 and 2 Cor- 
inthians, Romans, and Galatians. If we are allowed to combine 
the thoughts of Phil. ii. 5 sqq., and Col. i. 15-18, ii. 9, with 1 Cor. 
xv., it becomes impossible to do justice to the whole thought of 
St Paul by the conception of an avOpw-n-os i£ oipavov (xv. 47), pre- 
existent in the Divine Idea only. The fundamental position of 
Christ 'and that crucified' (ii. 2 ; cf. iii. 10, 11) in the Apostle's 
preaching is only intelligible in connexion with His cosmic 
function as Mediator (viii. 6, Si* ov ra irdvTa) which again stands 
closely related with the thought expanded in Col. i. 15 f. In a 
word, it is now admitted that, according to St Paul, Christ, as 
the Mediator between God and man, stood at the centre of the 
Gospel. Whether this equally applies to the teaching of Christ 
Himself, as recorded in the Gospels, or whether, on the contrary, 
the teaching of Christ is reducible to the two heads of the 
Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, without any 
proclamation of Himself as the Mediator of the former, as 
Harnack in Das Wesen des Christentums and other recent writers 
have contended, is a question worthy of most careful inquiry, 
but not in this place. J It belongs to the study of the history 
and doctrine of the Gospels. 

* That this is an erroneous inference is shown by Fletcher, The Conversion 
of St Paul, pp. 55-57 ; by Cohu, St Paul in the Light of Modern Research, 
pp. 110-116; by Jiilicher, Paulus u. Jesus, pp. 54-56. 

t See also what is implied in ' the rock was Christ' ; note on x. 4 : and 
Swete, The Ascended Christ, pp. 61, III, 157. 

X That there is no such essential difference between the teaching of Christ 
and the teaching of St Paul as Wrede (Paulus, 1905) has contended, is urged 
by Kolbing (Die geistige Eimvirkung der Person Jesu auf Paulus, 1906) and 
A. Meyer ( Wer hat das Chrislentum begriindet, Jesus oder Paulus, 1907), no 
less than by more conservative scholars. See A. E. Garvie, The Christian 
Certainty, pp. 399 f. 


The Epistle contains not only the clearly-cut doctrines of the 
death of Christ for our sins and of His Resurrection from the dead 
on the Third Day, but the equally clear assertion that these 
doctrines were not only the elements of St Paul's own teaching, 
but were taught by him in common with the older Apostles 
(xv. i-ii). The doctrine which is mainly in question here is 
that of the Resurrection of the dead, of which the fifteenth 
chapter of the Epistle is the classical exposition. St Paul is 
meeting the denial by some (nn's) of the Corinthians that there 
is a resurrection of the dead. The persons in question, who 
were most probably the representatives, not of Sadducaism, but 
of vague Greek opinion influenced perhaps by popular Epicurean 
ideas, did not deny the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Their 
assent to it must, however, have become otiose. To the Re- 
surrection of Christ, then, St Paul appeals in refutation of the 
opinion he has to combat. After reminding them that they had 
learned from him, as a fundamental truth, the fact of the 
Resurrection of Christ from the dead, attested by many appear- 
ances to the Apostles, and by the appearance to himself at his 
conversion, he proceeds to establish the link between this 
primary truth and that of the Resurrection of the dead in Christ. 
The relation between the two is that of antecedent and con- 
sequent, — of cause and effect. If the consequent is denied the 
antecedent is overthrown (vv. 12-19), and with it the whole 
foundation of the Christian hope of eternal life. But Christ has 
risen, and mankind has in Him a new source of life, as in Adam 
it had its source of death. The consummation of life in Christ 
is then traced out in bold, mysterious touches (vv. 23-28). First 
Christ Himself; then, at the Parousia, those that are Christ's; 
then the End. The End embraces the redelivery by Him of the 
Kingdom to His Father : the Kingdom is mediatorial and has for 
its purpose the subjugation of the enemies, death last of them all. 
All things, other than God, are to be subjected to the Son ; 
when this is accomplished, the redelivery, — the subjection of the 
Son Himself, — takes effect, ' that God may be all in all.' 

On this climax of the history of the Universe, it must suffice 
to point out that St Paul clearly does not mean that the personal 
being of the Son will have an end ; but that the Kingdom of 
Christ, so far as it can be distinguished from the Kingdom of 
God, will then be merged in the latter. St Paul here gathers up 
the threads of all previous eschatological thought ; the Messiah, 
the enemies, the warfare of Life and Death, the return of Christ 
to earth, and the final destiny of the saints. It is important to 
notice that he contemplates no earthly reign of the Christ after 
His Return. The quickening of the saints 'at His Coming' 
immediately ushers in 'the End,' the redelivery, the close of the 


Mediatorial Kingdom. This is in harmony with the earlier 
teaching of the Apostle in i and 2 Thessalonians, and there is 
nothing in any of his Epistles out of harmony with it. But the 
thought of the early Return of Christ (v. 51) is already less pro- 
minent. The 'time is short' (vii. 29), but instead of 'we that are 
alive,' it is now ' we shall not all sleep.' This is borne out by 
2 Cor. v. 3, where the possibility that the great change will find us 
in the body (ov yvfju>oi) is still contemplated, but only as a possi- 
bility. The remainder (vv. 35 sqq.) of the chapter brings out 
St Paul's characteristic doctrine of the Resurrection body. This 
is in direct contrast with the crude conceptions current among 
the Pharisees, according to which the bodies of the saints were 
thought of as passing underground from their graves to the place 
of resurrection, and there rising in the same condition in which 
death found them. 

St Paul, on the other hand, contrasts the mortal (<p6apr6v) or 
animal (i/o^ko'v) body with the risen or spiritual body. The 
former is i-m'yeiov, ^oiko'v, and ' cannot inherit the kingdom of 
God.' It will be the same individual body (^as, vi. 14; see 
Rom. viii. 12), but yet not the same; it will be quickened, 
changed (v. 51), will put on incorruption, immortality; it (the 
same body) is ' sown ' as an earthly body, but will be raised a 
spiritual body. 

This change is in virtue of our membership of Christ, and is 
the working-out of the same Divine power, first exerted in the 
raising of Christ Himself, and finally extended to all His 
members (cf. Phil. iii. 21 ; 1 Cor. vi. 14; Rom. viii. 19, 21, 23). 
It follows that the Apostle conceived of the risen Body of 
Christ Himself as 'a spiritual body'; not that He brought His 
human body from heaven, but that His heavenly personality 
(xv. 47) at last, through His Resurrection, the work of the 
Father's Power (Rom. vi. 4), constituted Him, as the 'last 
Adam,' ' quickening spirit ' (xv. 45), and the source of quickening 
to all His members. His body is now, therefore, a glorious 
body (Phil. iii. 21), and the incorruption which His members 
inherit is the direct effect of their union with the Body of Christ 
(xv. 48 sq.). 

The whole horizon of this passage is limited, therefore, to 
the resurrection of the just. It is the Kf.Koijxy]p,ivoi (a term ex- 
clusively reserved for the dead in Christ) that are in view through- 
out : the whole argument turns upon the quickening, in Christ 
(xv. 22, 23), of those who belong to Him. As to the resurrection 
of the wicked, which St Paul certainly believed (ix. 24, 27; 
Rom. xiv. 10, 12; cf. Acts xxiv. 15), deep silence reigns in the 
whole of ch. xv. 

The Resurrection of Christ, then, occupies the central place 


in St Paul's doctrine of the Christian Life, both here and here- 
after, just as the doctrine of His Death for our sins is the founda- 
tion of our whole rehtion to God as reconciled sinners. The 
Resurrection not only supplies the indispensable proof of the 
real significance of the Cross ; it is the source of our life as 
members of Christ, and the guarantee of our hope in Him. 

Of the Person of Christ, our Epistle implies much more than 
it expressly lays down. Christ was the whole of his Gospel 
(ii. 2); He is 'the Lord' (cf. Rom. x. 13), 'through whom are 
all things, and we through Him ' (viii. 6) ; He satisfies all the 
needs of man, mental, moral, and religious (i. 30), and union 
with Him is the sphere of the whole life and work (xv. 58) of 
the Christian, of his social relations (vii. 22, 39), and of the 
activities of the Christian Church (v. 4, xii. 5, 12) as a body. 

The doctrine of grace, so prominent in other Epistles of this 
group, is for the most part felt rather than expressly handled in 
our Epistle. The passing reference in xv. 56 (17 Sk Suva/us tt/s 
d/Aaprtas 6 vo^os) may be compared with that in ix. 20, 21, where 
he explains that the Christian, though not tiro vop.ov, is not 
avojaos ®eov but Zwop.o<; Xpiarov (for which see Rom. viii. 2). It 
may be noted that a passage in this Epistle (iv. 7, ri Se e^as 6 ovk 
eAaySe?) turned the entire course of Augustine's thought upon 
the efficacy of Divine grace, with momentous consequences to 
the Church (Aug. de div. quaest. ad Simplic. i. ; cf. Retract. 11. i. 1 ; 
de don. Persev. 52). 

On the Christian Life, our Epistle is an inexhaustible mine of 
suggestion.* With regard to personal life, it may be noted that 
the ascetic instinct which has ever tended to assert itself in the 
Christian Church finds its first utterance here (vii. 1, 25, 40, 
6i\w, vofil^w on kuXov, etc.), as representing the Apostle's own 
mind, but coupled with solemn and lofty insistence (ovk iyw 
akXa 6 Kvpios) on the obligations of married life. His 'ascetic' 
counsels rest on the simple ground of the higher expediency. 
This latter principle (to o-v^opov) is the keynote of the Ethics 
of our Epistle. The 'world' (vii. 31), — all, that is, which fills 
human life, its joys, sorrows, interests, ties, possessions, op- 
portunities, — is to the Christian but means to a supreme end, in 
which the highest good of the individual converges with the 
highest good of his neighbour and of all (x. 24). Free in his 
sole responsibility to God (iii. 21, ii. 15, x. 23), the Spiritual 
Man limits his own freedom (vi. 12, ix. 19), in order to the 
building up of others and the discipline of self (ix. 24-27). The 
supreme good, to which all else is subordinated, is 'partaking of 
the Gospel ' (ix. 23), i.e. of the benefit the Gospel declares, namely, 

* See A. B. D. Alexander, The Ethics of St Paul, esp. pp. 115-125, 231, 
237-256, 293-297 ; Stalker, The Ethic offesus, pp. 175, 351. 


the unspeakable blessedness which God has granted to them 
that love Him (ii. 9, 12), — begun in grace (i. 4) here, consum- 
mated in glory (ii. 7, xv. 43) hereafter. To analyse this 
conception further would carry us beyond the horizon of this 
Epistle (cf. Rom. iii. 23, viii. 18, etc. etc.) ; but it may be noted that 
there is a close correlation between the glory of God (x. 31) as 
the objective standard of action, and the glory of God in sharing 
which our chief happiness is finally to consist ; also that the 
summum bonum, thus conceived, is no object of merely self- 
regarding desire : to desire it is to desire that all for whom 
Christ died may be led to its attainment. This principle of the 
"higher expediency" determines the treatment of the ethical 
problems which occur in the Epistle : the treatment of the 
body, matrimony, the eating of elSwX66vra ; — and again, the use 
and abuse of spiritual gifts. But in its application to the latter, 
it is, as it were, transformed to its highest personal embodiment 
in the passion of Christian Love. The higher expediency lays 
down the duty of subordinating self to others, the lower self to 
the higher, things temporal to things eternal. Love is the inward 
state (correlative with Faith) in which this subordination has 
become an imperative instinct, raising the whole life to victory 
over the world. Such is the positive side of St Paul's Ethics, 
according to which an act may be ' lawful,' while yet the Christian 
will choose in preference what is 'expedient' (vi. 12, x. 23; cf. 
ix. 24-27), gaining, at the cost of forbearance, spiritual freedom 
for himself, and the good of others. Such are the Ethics of 
'grace' as distinct from ' law ' (Rom. vi. 14). But many Chris- 
tians are under law (iii. 1 sqq.) rather than under grace : they 
need stern warning against sin, and of such warnings the Epistle is 
full (vi. 9, 10, viii. 12, x. 12-14, xi. 27, xv. 34, xvi. 22). The charter 
of Christian liberty (ii. 15) is for the spiritual person : emancipa- 
tion from the law (xv. 56 ; cf. Rom. vii. 24— viii. 2) comes, not 
by indulgence (vi. 12), but by self-conquest (ix. 21, 26 sq.). 

Not less instructive is our Epistle as to the Collective Work of 
the Church. No other book of the N.T., in fact, reflects so 
richly the life of the Christian body as it then was, and the 
principles which guided it (see Weizsacker, Apost. Zeitalter, pp. 
575-605). We note especially the development of discipline, of 
organization, and of worship. 

As to Discipline, the classical passage is v. 1 sqq. ; here 
St Paul describes, not what had been done by the community, 
but what they ought to have done in dealing with a flagrant case 
of immorality. The congregation are met together ; the Apostle 
himself, in spirit, is in their midst ; the power of the Lord Jesus 
is present. In the name of the Lord Jesus they expel the 
offender, ' delivering him to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, 


that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.' Here we 
have the beginning of ecclesiastical censures, to be inflicted by the 
community as a whole. The physical suffering entailed (cf. ch. 
xi. 30 ; Acts v. 1 sqq.) is assumed to be terrible (oXeOpos), but 
is inherently temporal and remedial. The community would 
naturally have the power, upon repentance shown, to restore the 
culprit to fellowship (2 Cor. ii. 6, 10, although the case there in 
question is probably a different one). Such an assembly as St 
Paul here conceives would a fortiori be competent to dispose of 
any matters of personal rights or wrongs which might arise among 
members (vi. 1, 2, 5, v. 12), without recourse to heathen 
magistrates (aSiKoi, vi. 1); for St Paul, who regards submission 
to the magistrate in regard to the criminal law as a duty (Rom. 
xiii. 1 sqq.), dissuades Christians from invoking the heathen 
courts to settle quarrels, which are, moreover, wholly out of 
place among brethren. 

The Organization of the Corinthian Church is evidently still 
at an early stage. There is no mention of bishops, presbyters, 
or deacons : next after Apostles, prophets and teachers are 
named, in remarkable agreement with the reference in Acts xiii. 
1. Moreover, if we compare the list in 1 Cor. xii. 28 sqq. with 
those of Rom. xii. 6-8 and of Eph. iv. n, the coincidence is too 
close to be accidental. The following table gives the three lists 
in synoptic form : — 

1. u-nroaToXoi (Cor., Eph.). 

3. 7rpocf>~jTaL (Cor., Eph. ; 7rpo<£?;T€t'a, Rom.). 

[emyyeAio-rat (Eph.) 

Trot/ieVe? (Eph.). 

SuiKovta (Rom.).] 

3. StSao-KaA-oi (1 Cor., Eph.); SiSacncwv (Rom.). Then follow 

irapnKaXCjv (Rom.), Suvayueis, layuara, and di'Tt/\?y/xi^ei? (1 Cor.), 
pLeraSiSovs (Rom.); Kv/3epvr]crei.<; (1 Cor.), Trpoi(jrd.p.i.vo<i (Rom.), 
ZXewv (Rom.), yevrj yXwaawv (i Cor.). 

There is clearly no systematic order throughout, nor can we 
take the lists as statistical. The variations are due to the un- 
studied spontaneity with which in each passage the enumeration 
is made. All the more significant is it, therefore, that ' prophets ' 
(after ' Apostles ' in our Epistle and Ephesians) take the highest 
rank in all three lists, while ' teachers,' who rank very high in 
all three lists, are the only other ter?n common to all. In our list 
(ch. xii.) the three ' orders ' of Apostles, prophets, teachers, are the 
only ones expressly ranked as ' first, second, third.' Whether 
'Apostles' include, as in Rom. xvi. 7 and perhaps Gal. i. 19, an 
indefinite number, or are confined to the Twelve and (ch. ix. 1) 
St Paul himself, our Epistle does not clearly indicate (not even 


in ch. xv. 7). The office of prophet is not strictly limited to a 
class, but potentially belongs to all (ch. xiv. 30-32). That 
presbyters, here as elsewhere (Phil. i. 1 ; Acts xiv. 23, xx. 17, 
etc.), had been appointed by the Apostle, would be antecedently 
likely, but there is no reference to any such permanent officers 
in this, nor in the second, Epistle, not even in places where (as 
in v. 1 sqq., vi. 1 sqq., xiv. 32 sq.) the context would suggest the 
mention of responsible officers. The low place in the list 
occupied by administrative gifts (/aj/3epv?7creis, cf. 7rooicrra/>(.evos 
in Rom.) seems to imply that administrative offices are still 
voluntarily undertaken ; so in xvi. 15 the household of Stephanas 
have a claim to deference (cf. 1 Thess. v. 12), but on the ground 
of their voluntary devotion to the hiaKovia (tra^av eavrovs). 
The work begun by St Paul at Corinth was carried on by 
successors (Apollos alone is named, iii. 6), who ' water ' where 
he had ' planted,' ' build upon ' the Stone which he had ' laid ' : 
they are •n-aiSaycoyoi, while he remains the one ' Father ' in 
Christ. The Epistle, however, refers to them only in passing, 
and in no way defines their status. Probably they are to be 
classed with the prophets and teachers of ch. xii. 28 (cf. Acts 
xiii. 1). Church organization, like public worship, was possibly 
reserved for further regulation (xi. 34). 

Public Worship is the subject of a long section of the Epistle, 
in which the veiling of women, the Eucharist, and the use and 
abuse of spiritual gifts are the topics in turn immediately dealt 
with (xi. 2-xiv.). The assembly for worship is the ZkkXtjo-io. 
(xi. 18), a term in which the O.T. idea of the 'congregation,' 
and the Greek democratic idea of the mass-meeting of the 
citizens, find a point of convergence. At some ck/cA^o-icu out- 
siders (iSiwrai, probably unbaptized persons, corresponding to 
the ' devout Greeks' at a synagogue) might be present (xiv. 16, 23), 
or even heathens pure and simple (a7rto-rot) ; yet this would be 
not at the KvpiaKov hdin'ov, but at a more mixed assembly (okrj, 
xiv. 23). That the assemblies eh to (payuv (xi. 33) were distinct 
and periodical was apparently the case in Pliny's time (see 
Weizsacker, Apost. Zeitalter, 568 f.). The 'Amen' was in use as 
the response to prayer or praise (xiv. 16). It would be hasty 
to conclude from xi. 2 sqq. that women might, without St Paul's 
disapproval, under certain conditions, pray or prophesy in 
public : they very likely had done so at Corinth, but St Paul, 
while for the present concentrating his censure upon their doing 
so with unveiled head, had in reserve the total prohibition 
which he later on lays down (xiv. 34). Otherwise, the liberty of 
prophesying belonged to all; the utterance was to be tested 
(xiv. 29), but the test was the character of the utterance itself 
(xii. 1 sq.) rather than the status of the speaker. Prayer and 


praise, h> yXwcra-r) (see Hastings, DB. art. 'Tongues'), was a 
marked feature of public worship at Corinth, but St Paul insists 
on its inferiority to prophecy. Sunday is mentioned as the 
day against which alms were to be set apart ; we may infer from 
this that it was the usual day for the principal e.KK\rjo-ia (see 
above). The purpose of this assembly was to break the bread, 
and drink the cup, of the Lord. 

In xi. 17-34 we have the locus classicus for the Eucharist of 
the Apostolic age. It has been argued that we have here 
a stage in the development of the sacred Rite anterior to, and 
differing materially from, what is described by Justin, Apol. i. § 56 ; 
the difference consisting in the previous consecration of the 
elements, in Justin's account, by the 7rpo£o-Tu>?, and reception by 
the communicants at his hands. At Corinth, on the other band, 
(w. 21, 33) an abuse existed in that 'each taketh before other 
his own supper,' so that the meal lost its character as ' a Lord's 
Supper.' If the 'consecration' (so it is argued) were already 
at this time an essential part of the service, the abuse in question 
could not have occurred ; or at any rate St Paul's remedy would 
have been ' wait for the consecration ' and not ' wait for one 
another' {v. 33). But, in the line of development, the Corinthian 
Eucharist comes between the original institution, as described 
by St Paul and by the Evangelists, and the Eucharist of Justin.* 
In all the N.T. accounts of the Institution, the acts and words 
of Christ, and His delivery of the bread and cup after consecra- 
tion to those present, are recorded, and form the central point. 
The argument under notice assumes that this central feature 
has disappeared at the second, or Corinthian, stage of develop- 
ment, to reappear in the third, namely Justin's. This assumption 
is incredible. In carrying out the command tovto -n-ouiTe, 'do 
this,' we cannot believe that at Corinth, or anywhere else, what 
Christ w r as recorded to have done was just the feature to be 

Quod in caena Christus gessit 
Faciendum hoc expressit 

is an accurate expression of the characteristic which from the first 
differentiated the Common Meal into the Christian cuxapioria. 
The words ' do this ' were certainly part of the ' tradition ' handed 
on by St Paul at Corinth (see below) ; and had it been left 
undone, the Apostle would not have failed to notice it. Further, 
the argument for the absence, at Corinth, of the acts of consecra- 
tion, assumes erroneously that 'the Lord's Supper' in v. 20 "can 
be no other than the bread and the cup of the Lord in v. 27 " 

* See A. W. F. Blunt, The Apologies of Justin Martyr, 191 1, pp. xxxix- 
xliv, 9S-101. 


(Beet, in loc). This assumption is a reaction from the ana- 
chronism of introducing the ' Agape ' of later times in explanation 
of this passage. (The name Agape, see Did. of Chr. Antiq. s.v., 
is occasionally used for the Eucharist, but more properly for the 
Common Meal from which the Eucharist had been wholly 
separated.) The Lord's Supper (so named only here in N.T.) 
is not the Eucharist proper, still less the Agape, but the entire 
re-enadtnent of the Last Supper, with the Eucharistic acts occurring 
in the course of it, as they do in the paschal meal recorded in 
the Synoptic Gospels.* In the early Church the name ' Lord's 
Supper' was not the earliest, nor the commonest, name for the 
Eucharist. It was primarily (though not quite exclusively) 
applied to the annual re-enactment of the Last Supper which 
survived after the Agape had first been separated from the 
Eucharist and then had gradually dropped out of use (Diet, of 
Chr. Antiq. art. ' Lord's Supper '). In any case ' the Lord's Supper ' 
at Corinth would be already in progress when the Eucharistic 
Bread and Cup were blessed. St Paul's censure (Ikcio-tos yap 
Trpo\aiJi(3dv€L, v. 21), and his remedy (eVSexco-fo, v. 33), relate to 
the supper which was over before (fiera to Benrvrjaai, v. 25) the 
blessing of the Cup, and was doubtless (see note on xi. 23, 27) 
well advanced when the Eucharistic Bread was broken : what 
he blames and what he enjoins are alike compatible with the 
supposition that the procedure of the Last Supper was closely 
adhered to at Corinth. Whose duty it was to ' preside ' (as did 
the head of the family at the Passover, our Lord at the Last 
Supper, and the 77-poeo-Ttus in Justin's time) we do not know, but 
it may be taken as certain that some one did so. In v. 34, Et 
tis 7r«va k.t.A., we notice the first step towards the segregation 
of the Eucharistic acts proper from the joint meal in which they 
were still, as it were, embedded. The Supper, if the direction of 
v. 34 was observed, would cease to have its original character of a 
meal to satisfy hunger (still traceable in Did. x. 1, /acto. to efxrrXrjcr- 
Orjvai) ; it dropped out of use in connexion with the Eucharist, 
except in so far as it left traces in the ritual. As a separate, 
non-Eucharistic sacred meal (Diet, of Chr. Antiq. art. 'Agape') it 
survived for a time. This separation of the Eucharist from the 
Supper, of which we here trace the origin only, was a step towards 
the shifting of the former, later than any N.T. evidence, to the 
" ante-lucan " hour which had become usual in Pliny's time. 

The question of St Paul's relation to the Eucharistic 
Institution, which only indirectly touches the doctrine of this 
Epistle, must be briefly noticed here. In their account of the 

* Dr. E. Baumgartner contends that in 1 Cor. we have a description of 
the Agape alone, without the Eucharist {Eucharistie und Agape im Urchris- 
tentum, 1909). But see Cohu, St Paul, pp. 303 f. 


Last Supper the two first Gospels stand by themselves ovei 
against St Luke and St Paul in mentioning no command to 
repeat our Lord's action. St Luke's account, again, in the 
Western text (which is more trustworthy in its omissions than 
in its other variations), records simply the blessing first of the 
Cup, then of the Bread, with no command to repeat the action : 
what follows (Luke xxii. 19, 20, to vTrep ifj.wv . . . Ik-^vvo^vov) is 
(if with WH. we adopt the Western Text) an importation from 
1 Cor. xi. 24, 25. St Paul then, as compared with the Gospel 
record, stands alone in recording our Saviour's command to ' do 
this in remembrance of Me.' Whence did he receive it? His 
answer is that he ' received ' (the whole account) 'from the 
Lord' (v. 23). This may mean 'by direct revelation,' or may 
(as certainly in xv. 3) mean 'received,' as he handed it on, 
orally, the Lord being here mentioned as the ultimate (otto) 
authority for the Rite. It has been argued, on the assumption 
that St Paul claims direct revelation to himself as the authority 
for the Christian Eucharist, that this claim is the sole source of 
any idea that the Last Supper (or rather the Eucharistic action) 
was ordered to be repeated, that St Paul first caused it to be so 
celebrated, and that the authority of the Institution hangs upon 
a vision or revelation claimed by St Paul. Further, it is sug- 
gested that the vision in question was largely coloured by the 
mysteries celebrated at Eleusis, near Athens and not far from 
Corinth (so P. Gardner, The Origin of the Lord's Supper, 

i9 3)- 

The narrative of the Institution in the two first Gospels, 

though they record no express command to repeat it, renders 
the last-named suggestion somewhat gratuitous. Our Lord was 
keeping an annual feast, and His disciples certainly at that time 
expected to keep it in future : in view of this fact, of the refer- 
ences in the Acts of the Apostles (ii. 42, xx. 7) to the repetition 
of the Supper, and of its thoroughly Hebraic and Palestinian 
antecedents (cf. Bickell, Messe und Pascha ; Anrich, Antike 
Mysterienwesen, p. 127), it is much more probable that St Paul 
is here the representative of a common tradition than the author 
of an institution traceable to himself alone. The whole tone of 
the passage, in which their 'coming together to eat' is not 
inculcated but taken for granted, supports this view against any 
hypothesis of a practice initiated by the Apostle himself. See 
also Andersen, D. Abendmahl in d. ersten 2 Jahrhund. 1 906). 

The doctrine of the Eucharist presupposed in our Epistle is 
simple, but, so far as it goes, very definite. The Bread and the 
Cup are a partaking (xoivwvia) of the Lord's Body and Blood 
(x. 16, xi. 27); and to eat 'or' (v. 27; 'and,' v. 29) drink 
unworthily, 'not discerning the Body' (v. 29), is to 'eat and 


drink judgment ' to oneself. The Body is clearly the body, not 
merely of the Church, but ' of the Lord ' ; the latter words, 
added in later copies, are a correct gloss. The interpretation of 
our Lord's words here implied takes us at any rate beyond any 
'Zwinglian' view of sacramental reception. The reception is, 
moreover, in commemoration (avd/xv-rjo-is) of the Lord, and is a 
proclaiming (KarayyeAAeiv) of the Lord's Death ' till He come.' 
We see in these words and in ch. x. 15-18 the relation of the 
Eucharist to sacrificial conceptions. To St Paul, the Death of 
Christ (ch. v. 7, erv6rj) is the Christian sacrifice. To it the 
Eucharist is primarily and directly related. In ch. x. St. Paul 
(in order to drive home his warning against joining in any 
ceremonial eating of eiScuAoflvra) insists, with appeal to Jewish and 
to Christian rites, that to partake of what is sacrificed is to 
become a party to the sacrificial act (and so to enter upon that 
fellowship of the worshipper with the deity which sacrifice aims 
at establishing or maintaining). It follows, then, that St Paul 
thinks of the Eucharist as the act by which Christians, collectively 
and individually, make (as it were) the Sacrifice of the Cross 
their own act, ' appropriate ' it, maintain and deepen their 
fellowship with God through Christ. The Christian Passover, 
once for all slain (v. 7), is eaten at every Eucharist. This is 
an essential agreement with the statements, closely identical in 
substance, by which Chrysostom {Horn, in Hebr. xvii.) and 
Augustine (c. Faust, xx. 18) independently justify the term 
' sacrifice ' as applied to the Eucharist. 

Baptism is frequently referred to in our Epistle (i. 13-16, x. 
2, xii. 13; cf. vi. n), but the doctrinal reference in each case 
is indirect. The airekovaao-Oe of vi. n ('ye washed them away 
from yourselves') must be compared with Acts ii. 38, xxii. 16, 
and Rom. vi. 3, 4. There can be little doubt that the reference 
of vi. 1 1 at least includes baptism ; comparing then the iv to) 
irvevfxari there with xii. 13, iv ivl xvcv/xaTi, we see how closely 
associated was baptism with the Holy Spirit as its sphere and its 
underlying power (Tit. iii. 5). It must not be forgotten that St 
Paul's readers had been baptized as adults. This fact, and the 
sharp contrast between the old heathen life and the new life 
entered upon at baptism, brought out very strongly the signific- 
ance of the Rite. 

The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, as regards the Personality of 
the Spirit, comes out in xii. 11, KaOm fiovXeTau ; while in ch. ii. 1 r, 
where the relation of the Spirit to God is seen to be not less 
intimate than that of man's spirit to man, we have the Divinity 
of the Spiwt unmistakably taught. The Spirit is " the self- 
conscious life" of God, — but not an impersonal function of God. 
The gift of the Spirit, accordingly, constitutes the man, in whom 


the Spirit dwells, a Temple of God (iii. 16). There is the 
indwelling of the Spirit, common to all members of Christ, the 
instrument of the sanctification which is to be attained by all ; 
and there is also the special energy of the Spirit, different in 
different persons, which equips them for some special service as 
members of the one body (xii.). So St Paul himself, " incident- 
ally and with great reserve," claims the guidance of the Spirit of 
God for Himself (vii. 40). The inspiration of the prophet is not 
such as to supersede self-control (xiv. 32), as it did in the super- 
ficially similar phenomena of heathen ecstasy (xii. 2, 3). (See 
on this subject Swete, The Holy Spirit in the New Testament, 
pp. 176-192.) 

§ VI. Characteristics, Style, and Language. 

The general characteristics of St Paul's style, especially in his 
letters of the Aegean period, are of course markedly present in 
this Epistle. But it lacks the systematic sequence of marshalled 
argument so conspicuous in the Epistle to the Romans ; it is 
more personal than that Epistle, while yet the feeling is not so 
high-wrought as it is in Galatians and in the Second Epistle. But 
warmth of affection, as well as warmth of remonstrance and 
censure, characterize the Epistle throughout. The two Epistles 
to the Corinthians and that to the Galatians stand, in respect ol 
direct personal appeal, in a class by themselves among St 
Paul's Epistles. Philippians is equally personal, but there 
everything speaks of mutual confidence and sympathy, unclouded 
by any reproach or suspicion. The three Epistles to the 
Corinthians and the Galatians are not less sympathetic, but the 
sympathy is combined with anxious solicitude, and alternates 
with indignant remonstrance. The earlier letters to the 
Thessalonians, again, presuppose an altogether simpler relation 
between the Apostle and his converts : his solicitude for them is 
directed to the inevitable and human perils — instability, over- 
wrought expectation of the last things, moral weakness — incident 
to sincere but very recent converts from heathenism. 

In our Epistle and its two companions the personal situation is 
more complicated and precarious : a definite disturbing cause is at 
work ; the Apostle himself is challenged and is on the defensive ; 
the personal question has far-reaching correlatives, which touch 
the foundations of the Gospel. 

In our Epistle these phenomena are less acutely present than 
in the other two. The doctrinal issue, which in Galatians stirs 
the Apostle to the depths, is felt rather than apparent (xv. 56, 
vii. 18, 19); the personal question is more prominent (iv. 3, ix. 


t, 3, etc.), but less so than in Galatians, far less so than in the 
Second Epistle. 

In our Epistle the Apostle, in asserting and defending his 
Apostolic status and mission, never for a moment vacates his 
position of unquestionable authority, nor betrays a doubt as to 
his readers' acceptance of it. 

One great general characteristic of our Epistle is the firmness 
of touch with which St Paul handles the varied matters that come 
before him, carrying back each question, as it comes up for 
treatment, to large first principles. The petty a-xto-fxara at 
Corinth are viewed in the light of the essential character of 
the Gospel and of the Gospel ministry, the moral disorders in the 
light of membership of Christ who has bought us all for Himself, 
the question of marriage, or meats offered to idols, or the 
exercise of spiritual gifts, from the point of view of " the higher 
expediency," that is to say, of the subordination of the temporal 
to the eternal. And where a commandment of the Lord is on 
record, whether in the sphere of morality (vii.) or of positive 
ordinance (xi.), its authority claims unquestioning obedience. 

In discussing spiritual gifts, the instinct of "the higher 
expediency " is sublimated into the principle, or rather passion, 
of Christian charity or love, and its exposition rises to a height 
of inspired eloquence which would alone suffice to give our 
Epistle a place of pre-eminence among the Epistles of the New 
Testament. Side by side with this marvellous passage we must 
place the rising tide of climax upon climax in ch. xv. The 
first climax is the emphatic close in v. 1 1 of the fundamental 
assertions which go before. Then, after the sombre earnestness 
of vv. 12-20, the Resurrection and its sequel are enforced in a 
passage of growing intensity culminating in the close of v. 28. 
Then a lull (vv. 29-34), and in v. 35 we begin the final ascent, 
which reaches its height in v. 55, the 'full close' of vv. 56-58 
forming a peroration of restful confidence. 

In these passages there is no sign of rhetorical artifice, but 
the glow of ardent conviction, gaining the very summit of effect, 
because effect is the last thing thought of. ' Sincerity ' of style, 
the note of Pauline utterance, is as conspicuous in these towering 
heights as in his simplest salutations, his most matter-of fact 
directions on practical subjects. For the rest, this Epistle 
exhibits all the characteristics of St Paul's style, especially as we 
have it in the four letters of the Aegean period of his ministry, 
his period of intensest controversy. Equipped with a language 
hardly adequate to the rich variety and subtlety of his thought 
or to the intensity of his feeling, he is ever struggling to express 
more than he actually says ; the logical sequence is broken by 
the intrusion of new ideas, feeling supersedes grammar and 


forbids the completion of a clause {e.g. ix. 15). The scope of 
the Epistle, practical direction rather than theological argument, 
explains the absence of the characteristic apa ovv so common in 
Romans j generally, in fact, the argument here is less abstruse, 
and is comparatively easy to follow (see below). But it is not 
always in the form that we should expect in a modern writer. 
In x. 30, for example, he asks, 'Why do I incur blame for that foi 
which I give thanks ? ' — meaning, ' Why give thanks for what 
involves me in blame?' — just as in Rom. vii. 16, where he means 
that ' if I hate what I do, I (by hating it) assent to the law,' he 
similarly inverts the ideas, saying, l \l I do what I hate,' etc. 
At times, again, he assumes a connexion of ideas obvious perhaps 
to his readers, but no longer so to the modern reader, as in xi. 10 
(81a tous dyyeXovs). The same consideration to some extent 
applies to his enigmatic reference (xv. 29) to the practice of 
' baptizing for the dead.' It may be added that the mention of 
such a practice with no word of blame does not, in view of St 
Paul's style, justify the inference that he sanctioned or approved 
it He is so engrossed in his immediate point — that the Resurrec- 
tion is presupposed by the whole life of the Christian community, 
that he does not turn aside to parry any wrong inference that 
might be drawn from his words. Similarly, in viii. 10 he insists on 
the bad example to the weak of taking part in a sacrificial feast, 
as if the action were in itself indifferent, whereas we learn later 
on (x. 14 and following) that the act is per se idolatrous. Or 
again, in xi. 5, from the prohibition against a woman prophesying 
unveiled, it has been inferred that she might do so if properly 
veiled, whereas in xiv. 34 we find this entirely disallowed. It is, 
in fact, St Paul's manner to hold a prohibition as it were in 
reserve, producing it when the occasion demands it. 

The language of this Epistle, as of St Paul generally, is the 
Greek of a Hellenist Jew ; not necessarily of one who thought 
in Hebrew but spoke in Greek, but rather of a Jew of the Dis- 
persion, accustomed to use the Greek of the Jewish community 
of his native city, and conversant with the Old Testament 
Scriptures in their Greek version. His studies under Gamaliel 
had doubtless been wholly Hebraic, and he could speak fluently 
in the Aramaic dialect of Palestine (Acts xxii.). But once only, 
in this Epistle at least, does he certainly go behind the LXX 
to the Hebrew (hi. 19). His language is not 'literary' Greek; 
he shows little sign of knowledge of Greek authors, except in 
current quotations [the language of Rom. ii. 14, 15 has close 
points of contact with Aristotle, gained perhaps indirectly 
through the Greek schools of Tarsus] ; even the quotation 
(xv. 33) from Menander's Thais is without the elision necessary 
to scansion. We miss the subtle play of mood, versatile com- 


mand of particles, and artistic structure of periods, that char- 
acterize classical Greek (see Weiss, Introd. to JV.T. § 16. 7). 

The extent to which St Paul's thought has been influenced 
by Greek thought has been sometimes exaggerated. But the 
influence of Hellenism in shaping the forms in which he ex- 
pressed his thought can be clearly traced in some cases. We 
can see that he becomes gradually familiar with certain philo- 
sophical terms. None of the following are found in the Epistles 
to the Thessalonians : yvwo-is, cro<£i'a, o-wecm, o-uvei'Srycri?, cr^/xa, 
all of which are found in 1 Corinthians and later Epistles. The 
following also are not found in the Epistles to the Thessalonians, 
but are found in one or more of the Epistles which are later 
than I Corinthians : ataOrjcns, Stdvoia, ®ei6rr)<;, /xop^rj, ope^is. 
Perhaps aKpaaia and iStcoT^s ought to be added to the first 
group, and d/cpa-r^s to the second. In his essay on "St Paul 
and Seneca," Lightfoot has shown what parallels there are 
between expressions in the Pauline Epistles and expressions 
which were in use among the Stoics. The meaning may be 
very different, but there is a similarity which is perhaps not 
wholly accidental in the wording (see notes on iii. 21, iv. 8, vi. 7, 
19, vii. 20, 31, 33, 35, viii. 4, ix. 25, xii. 14, xiii. 4). 

We may perhaps assign the argumentative form, into which 
so much of St Paul's language is thrown, to the influence of 
Hellenism. In this he is very different from other N.T. writers 
who did not come so decidedly under Greek influence. Every 
one who has tried knows how difficult it is to make an analysis 
of the Epistles of St James and of St John. Perhaps no one 
has succeeded in making an analysis of either which convinced 
other students that the supposed sequence of thought was 
really in the writer's mind. But there is little difference of 
opinion as to the analysis of St Paul's Epistles. And not only 
is the sequence of thought in most cases clear, but the separate 
arguments which constitute the sequence are clear also. They 
may not always seem to be convincing, but they can be put 
into logical shape, with premiss and conclusion. Such a 
method of teaching is much more Western than Oriental, much 
more Greek than Jewish. 

The following is a list of words peculiar to 1 Corinthians 

in JV.T4 

dya/xo?, vii. 8, II, 32, 34; * dyei/^s, i. 28; * dSa7ravo9, ix. 18 ; 
* dSvyAws, ix. 26; atviy/xa, Xlil. 12; d/<aTu/<dAi;7TT09, xi. 5, 1 3 ; 
aKwi/, ix. 17; * d/x€Ta/«v?7TOS, XV. 58; dvu£io9, vi. 2; dva£6us, 

•f An asterisk indicates that the word is not found in the LXX. 


xi. 27; avSpi^ofiai, xvi. 13; avTi\rj/xipi<; ) xii. 28; * d7reXev0epo<;, 
vii. 22; * a.7r€pio-7rao-Ta)9, vii. 35; a7roSei£i5, ii. 4; dpx lTeKTWl/ 5 
Hi. 10; do-rarew, iv. II ; dcr^poveco, vii. 36, xii i- 5; a.<j\n)p.iav, 
xii. 23 ; dro/xos, xv. 52 ; av\6% xiv. 7 ; * 'A^aixos, xvi. 17 ; ai^u^os, 
xiv. 7; (3p6)(os, vii. 35; ycojpytov, iii. 9; * yupviTeuw, iv. n ; 
Staipecri?, xii. 4, 5, 6; ? * 8tep/ji.r)v£VTrj<; i xiv. 28; SioVep, viii. 13, 
X. 14 J * SouXaywyew, ix. 27 ; Spdoro-ofiai, iii. 1 9 ; $v<T(f>r)p.£w, iv. 1 3 ; 
ey/cpaTfuo/xai, vii. 9, ix. 25; ctowXiov, viii. 10; €kv7?c/>(d, XV. 34; 
tKTpw/xa, xv. 8; * ivepyrjfjLa, xii. 6, 10 ; * Ivkotti), ix. 12; ivrpoTn), 
vi. 5, XV. 34; i$aipw, v. 13; eopTa£a>, V. 8; eVi#ai'drios, iv. 9; 
liridvp.rjnf]';, x. 6; iTncnrdo/xai, vii. 18; kpp.rjvia, xii. 10, xiv. 26 ; 
? * kpp.7)vivTrj<;, xiv. 28; eTepoyXcuo-cros, xiv. 21 ; * eiTrdpeSpo?, vii. 

35; CUCT7//XOS, Xiv. 9; €V(T)(r]p.O<TVVY), xii. 23 J ^009, XV. 33 J ^X €W ' 

xiii. 1; * 6r)piop,axtu, xv. 32; tapa, xii. 9, 28, 30; * i€po#uros, 
X. 28; KaXdp-r], iii. 12;, IX. 6, 7; KaTao~Tpu), 
X. 5; Karaxpdo/xai, vii. 31, ix. 18; ?*Kr)p.6<o, ix. 9; * /copda), xi. 
14, 15; Ko'p.77, xi. 15; Kvf3ipvy](Tts, xii. 28; Kv/xBaXov, xiii. 1; 

* Xoyia, xvi. 1, 2; AotSopos, V. II, vi. 10; XuVi9, vii. 27; * p.d«- 
eXXov, X. 25 ; p.£6vo-o<;, V. II, vi. 10; p^rtyc, vi. 3; fiwpta, i. 18, 
21, 23, ii. 14, iii. 19 ; vrj, xv. 31 ; * vq-md^ui, xiv. 20 ; * 6Xo6pevrrj<; i 
X. 10; opiXia, XV. 33; * ocrcpprjcns, xii. 17; 7rcu£a), x. 7; wapa- 
fiv8ia, xiv. 3; 7rape8pei)€tv (ix. 13); 7rdpoSo9, xvi. 7 ; * ttlOos, ii. 4; 
7repi/cd#app,a, iv. 1 3 ; 7repiij/r)p.a, iv. 13 ; * -n-epTrepevofiaL, xiii. 45 
imyvd, XV. 39 ; * 7rv/CT£i;a), ix. 27 ; pi7r»;, XV. 52 ; o"vp.cpopov, vii. 35, 
X. 33 ; crv/x(p<jn'o<;, vii. 5 ; o-vvyvdip.yi, vii. 6 ; * o-vv^rjTrjT-qs, i. 20 ; 
o-wp.epi'£opcu, ix. 13 ; Taypa, xv. 23 ; * tv7rku>9, X. 1 1 ; * VTripa.Kp.os, 
vii. 36; cpiXdvetKos, xi. 16; <£p^v, xiv. 20; \oIk6s, XV. 47, 48, 49; 

* X/ Dr ? crT€ ^°/ Aa '' xm * 4 > * 0)0-7T€pei, xv. 8. 

None of these words (nearly 100 in all) occur anywhere else 
in N.T. But a few of them are doubtful, owing to uncertainty 
of text ; and a few of them occur in quotations, and therefore 
are no evidence of St Paul's vocabulary, e.g. rjOos, 6p,iXia, 8pd<r-, c^at'pa). 

The number of words which are found in this Epistle and 
elsewhere in N.T., but not in any of the other Pauline Epistles, i 
is still larger ; and the extent of these two lists warns us to be 
cautious when we use vocabulary as an argument with regard 
to authorship. Statistics with regard to 1 Corinthians are all 
the more valuable, both because of the length of the Epistle, 
and also because the authorship is certain on quite other grounds. 
Putting the two lists together, we have nearly 220 words in 
1 Corinthians, which are not found in any other of the Pauline 
Epistles. A fact of that kind puts us on our guard against 
giving great weight to the argument that Ephesians, or Colossians, 

t It is assumed here that the Pastoral Epistles (but not the Epistle to the 
Hebrews) were written by St Paul. 


or the Pastoral Epistles, cannot have been written by the Apostle, 
because of the large number of words in each of them which do 
not occur in any other letter written by him. There are far 
more important tests, f 

Words peculiar to i Corinthians in the Pauline Epistles. 

dyvwaia, XV. 34 ; dyopd£a>, vi. 20, vii. 23, 30 ; dS?;Aos, xiv. 8 
a£vpos, V. 7, 8 ; aK/jaaia, vii. 5 ; d/\aA.d£to, xiii. I ; dpepipvos, Vll 
32; a/MTreXiLv, ix. 7; dvanpLvw, ten times; di>dp.vr)cris, xi. 24, 25 
dirocpepw, xvi. 3 ; dpyi'piov, iii. 12 ; dporpia'co, ix. 10; dpira£, V. IO 
II, vi. 10; d/3/)wiTTO?, xi. 30; aa-TTjp, XV. 41; dripo?, iv. IO 
xii. 23;, xiv. 7 ; avpiov, XV. 32 ; yap.i(,w, vii. 38; Sei7TV€to 
xi. 25; Sei7n'0i/, xi. 20, 21 j Siatpeto, xii. 12 ; SiSaKTO?, ii. 13 
8iepp.r]vevio, xii. 30, xiv. 5, 13, 27 ; 8w8eKa, xv. 5 ; edw, x. 1 3 
eiScoXd^uTos, viii. 1, 4, 7, 10, x. 19; ci'/cocrt, X. 8; e/</?ao-is, X. 13 
€K7reipd^w, X. 9; e'/Veeivd?, XV. 19; IWop.os, ix. 21 ; ti'O^o?, xi. 27 
e^ecTTii', vi. 12, xii. 4; e£oucrid£w, vi. 12, vii. 4; eVdvw, XV. 16 
eirifidXXw, vii. 35; iwiKeipLai, ix. 16; ecro7rrpoi', xiii. 12 ; euyei/^s 
i. 26 ; * evKaipeiD, xvi. 12 ; etxr^/xaiv, vii. 35, xii. 24 ; dd-n-TU), xv. 4 
Oearpov, iv. 9; #i'oj, v. 7, X. 20; lepdv, ix. 13; ix^ ws > xv - 39 
Kaio» xiii. 3; KOLTauaiw, iii. 15; KaTa/<eipai, viii. IOJ Karapiivw 
xvi. 6 ; KtOdpa, xiv. 7 ; Ki#api£w, xiv. 7 ; kivSwcuw, xv. 30 ; xXdw 
x. 16, xi. 24; kokko?, xv. 37; Kop£, iv. 8; ktt)vos, xv. 39 
Kupia/cds, xi. 20; paiVopai, xiv. 23; paAaKO?, VI. 9; punvvti), X. 28 
/xot^ds, vi. 9; /xoAuVw, viii. 7; pupios, iv. 15, xiv. 19; vikos 
xv. 54, 55, 57; ijvpdopLai, xi. 5, 6; oAa>s, v. 1, vi. 7, xv. 29 
ocrd/a?, xi. 25, 26; ouat, ix. 16; ovSewore, xiii. 8; ocpeXos, xv. 32 
7rapdyw, vii. 31 ; irapo£vi', Xlil. 5 ; 7rao"xa, V. 7 ; TrevraKOtrioi, 
XV. 6 ; ■7revT7]KoaTrj, xvi. 8; TrepifioXaiov, xi. 1 5 ; 7re pir 16 r]pu, xii. 23 
TrXetoros, xiv. 27 ; 7rveup.aTiKto9, ii. 13, 14; 7rotp.aiVu>, ix. 7 ; iroip.vr] 
ix. 7; 7rdA.ep.05, xiv. 8; 7rdp.a, x. 4; iropveva), vi. 18, X. 8; iropvr} 
vi. 15, 16; iroTrjpiov, eight times; irpoaKwiw, xiv. 25 ; irpo<pr]Tev(x. 
eleven times; -n-wXeoi, x. 25; pdySSo?, iv. 21; o-aA.7rt£a), xv. 52 
aeXrjvr], XV. 41 ; ardSiov, ix. 24; o~up./^uiVa), x. II ; (rwdya), V. 4 
crwcuW, iv. 4; (Tw(p\, seven times; o-wctos, i. 19; <rwrj6eia, 
viii. 7, xi. 16; a-vva-TeXXo), vii. 29; * cr^to-pa, i. 10, xi. 18, xii. 25 
(Tx°Xd£u), vii. 5; Tr/pryo-i?, vii. 19; rtpto?, iii. 12; rotvw, ix. 26 
VTrr]p€Trj<;, iv. I; * V7rto7rid£w, ix. 27; <pVT€v<D, iii. 6, 7, 8, ix. 7 
XaA.Ko'5, xiii. 1; ^dpros, iii. 12; t/'evSopap-rus, xv. 15; t/nr^i/cds, 
ii. 14, xv. 44, 46. 

There are a few words which are common to this Epistle 
and one or more of the Pastoral Epistles, but are found nowhere 

f As Schnriedel says about 1 Thessalonians : Begnugt man sich nicht mii 
mechatiischem /.allien, alphabetischem Aufreihen und dem fast werthlosen 
Achten auf die a7ra£ \ey6neva. 


else in N.T. These are, a.6avao-ia, xv. 53, 54 ; dXoaa), ix. 9, 10 
(in a quotation) ; iKKaOatpoi, v. 7 ; * avvfiao-LXevu), iv. 8 ; {m-epo^, 
ii. 1. There are a good many more which are common to this 
Epistle and one or more of the Pastoral Epistles, and which 
are found elsewhere in N.T, although not in other Epistles of 
St Paul. But these are of less importance, although all links 
between the Pastoral Epistles and the unquestionably genuine 
Epistles are of value. 

Phrases pecu 'liar to 1 Corinthians in N.T. 

■fj aocfita tov Koafxov, i. 20, iii. 18. 

01 ap^oi'Tes tov aitavos tovtov, ii. 6, 8. 

irpo twv alwvoiv, 11. J. 

TO 7TieVjJ.a TOV KOO~p.OV, 11. 12. 

®eov avvepyoL, iii. 9. 

tovto 8i 0);/i.t, vii. 29, xv. 50; cf. x. 15, 19. 
lrjcrovv tov Kvpiov rj/xwr eopufca, ix. I ; cf. John XX. 25- 
to TroTTjpiov Tr}<; euAoyias, X. 16. 

TTOTt'jpLOV KvpiOV, X. 2 1. 

KvpiaKov 8tlin'ov, xi. 20. 

eis t^v efirjv avdp,vrjo-Lv, xi. 24, 25 : ? Luke xxii. 19. 

TO 7TOT^pi01' TOV KVpiOV, X\. 2J. 

et tv\ol, xiv. 10, xv. 37 ; cf. tvxov, xvi. 6. 
to 7r/\€to-Toy, xiv. 27. 
iv aTopuo, iv pnry} 6cp6a\p.ov, XV. 5 2 - 
Mapav add, xvi. 2 2. 

Quotations from the O.T. 

The essay on the subject in Sanday and Headlam, Romans, 
pp. 302-307, should be consulted ; also Swete, Introduction to 
the O.T. in Greek, pp. 381-405. The number of quotations in 
1 Corinthians is about thirty, and none of the Epistles has so 
many, excepting Romans and Hebrews ; and none quotes from 
so many different books, excepting Romans. In 1 Corinthians, 
eleven different books are quoted; Isaiah about eight times, 
Psalms four or five times, Deuteronomy four times, Genesis four, 
Exodus two or three, Numbers once or twice, Zechariah once or 
twice ; Job, Jeremiah, Hosea, Malachi, once each. In several 
cases the quotation resembles more than one passage in the 
O.T., and we cannot be sure which passage the Apostle has in 
his mind. In other cases there is a conflation of two passages, 
both of which are clearly in his mind. Consequently, exact 
numbers cannot always be given. All the quotations are short, 
and it is probable that all of them were made from memory. 



There are no long citations, such as we have in Hebrews, which 
no doubt were in most cases copied. 

If, with Swete, we may count as direct quotations those 
which (though not announced by a formula, such as /ca#ws 
yeypairraL) appear from the context to be intended as quotations, 
or agree verbatim with some context in the O.T., then at least 
half the quotations in i Corinthians are direct.* They are — 

i. 19 = Isa. xxix. 14 

i. 31 = Jer. ix. 24 

(I Sam. ii. 10) 

ii. 9 = Isa. lxiv. 4(?) 
ii. 16 = Isa. xl. 13 
iii. 19 = Job v. 13 
iii. 20 = Ps. xciv. 11 
vi. 16 = Gen. ii. 24 

ix. 9 = Deut. xxv. 4 

x. 7 = Exod. xxxii. 6 
x. 26 = Ps. xxiv. 1 

xiv. 21 = Isa. xxviii. nf. 

xv. 27 = Ps. viii. 6, 7 

xv. 32 = Isa. xxii. 13 

xv. 45 = Gen. ii. 7 

xv. 54 = Isa. xxv. 8 

xv. 55 = IIos. xiii. 14 

Out of these thirty quotations from the O.T., about twenty- 
five are in exact or substantial agreement with the LXX, and this 
is in accordance with evidence derived from the other Epistles. 
Sometimes the variations from the LXX bring the citation closer 
to the Hebrew, as if the Apostle were consciously or uncon- 
sciously guided by the Hebrew in diverging from the LXX, e.g. 
in xv. 54 = Isa. xxv. 8. Sometimes he seems to make changes 
in order to produce a wording more suitable for his argument, 
e.g. in iii. 2o = Ps. xciv. 11, where he substitutes crocpwv for 
avOpiliTTuv, or in i. 19 = Isa. xxix. 14, where he substitutes 
aOerrjcru) for Kpvipo) (cf. Ps. xxxiii. 10). 

The quotations which are in agreement with the LXX are 
these — 

vi. 16 = Gen. ii. 24 
ix. 9 = Deut. xxv. 4 
x. 7 = Exod. xxxii. 6 
x. 20 = Deut. xxxii. 17 

x. 21 = Mai. i. 7, 12 
x. 26 = Ps. xxiv. 1 
xv. 32 = Isa. xxii. 13 
xv. 45 = Gen. ii. 7. 

In the following instances there is substantial agreement with 
the LXX, the difference in some cases being slight : — 

i. 19 = Isa. xxix. 14 
i. 31 = Jer. ix. 24 
ii. 16 = Isa. xl. 13 

iii. 20 = Ps. xciv. n 
v. 7 = Exod. xii. 21 
v. 13 = Deut. xvii. 7, xxi. 21, 

xxii. 24 
x. 5 = Num. xiv. 16 
x. 6 = Num. xi. 34, 4 

x. 22 = Deut. xxxii. 21 
xi. 7 = Gen. v. 1 

xi. 25 = Exod. xxiv. 8 : 
Zech. ix. 1 1 

xiii. 5 = Zech. viii. 17 

xv. 25 = Ps. ex. 1 

xv. 27 = Ps. viii. 6 

xv. 47 = Gen. ii. 7 
xv. 55 = IIos. xiii. 14 

* The large number of direct quotations shows that it is not correct to say 
that, in teaching at Corinth, the Apostle left the O.T. foundation of the 
Gospel more or less in the background : see esp. xv. 3, 4, v. 7. 


Perhaps under the same head should be placed — 

ii. 9 = Isa. Ixiv. 4, Ixv. 17 ; and xiv. 21 = Isa. xxviii. 11. 

But in both of these there is divergence from both the Hebrew 
and the LXX. 

In a few cases he seems to show a preference for the Hebrew, 
or possibly for some version not known to us. 

i. 20 = Isa. xix. 11 f., xxxiii. 18 xiv. 25 = Isa. xlv. 14 

Hi. 19 = Job v. 13 xv. 54 = Isa. xxv. 8 

In xv. 57, ™ oe ©ecu ;yapis tu> SiSoVti rjfuv to viko? resembles 
2 Mace. X. 38, evXoyovv tw Kvptw tu> to vikos airroLS SiSoVti, but this 
is probably an accidental coincidence. 

§ VII. The Text of the First Epistle to the 


The problem of textual criticism — the historical problem of 
establishing, as nearly as possible, the earliest ascertainable 
form of the text — exists for all N.T. books under very 
similar conditions. The great wealth of material, the early 
divergence of readings which can be more or less grouped into 
classes constituting types of text, and then the practical super- 
session of divergent types by an eclectic text which became 
dominant and which is represented in the greater number of 
later MSS., — these are the general phenomena. But the different 
collections of N.T. books — the Gospels, Acts, Catholic Epistles, 
Pauline Epistles, Apocalypse — have each of them special histories 
and their textual phenomena special features. Our Epistle shares 
the special phenomena of the Pauline collection, and in this 
collection it has some distinctive features of its own. 


During the first century or so after they were written, 
the books of the N.T. were copied with more freedom 
and less exactness than was afterwards the case. With the 
exception of some readings, probably editorial in character, 
distinctive of the ' Syrian ' text (practically the Tex/us Receptus), 
nearly all the various readings in the N.T. originated in this 
early period. In a very few cases, readings, which cannot have 
been original, are traceable to so early a date, antecedent to all 
ascertainable divergence of texts, that the original readings dis- 
placed by them have not survived. These are the cases of 
'primitive corruption," where conjecture is needed to restore 


the original text. These cases are rare in the entire N.T., and 
very rare in the Pauline Epistles. In our Epistle there is only 
one probable example, namely, xii. 2 ore, where ttotc, not 
preserved in any document, was very likely written by St. Paul 
(see note in loc). 


Apart from such rare cases, the early freedom of copying has 
bequeathed to us a congeries of readings amongst which we 
distinguish a large class which, while probably (and in many 
cases certainly) not original, yet remount to an antiquity higher 
than that of any extant version, and which are as a whole 
common to the Greek text embodied in many early MSS., and 
to the early versions, especially the Old Latin. To these 
readings the collective term ' Western ' is applied. It is probably 
a misnomer, but is too firmly rooted in current use to be con- 
veniently discarded. This class of readings, or type of text, is 
the centre of many interesting problems, especially as regards 
the Lucan books. 


There is also a body of readings not assignable to this type 
but nevertheless of very early origin ; these readings are of a 
kind apparently due to editorial revision rather than to tran- 
scriptional licence, while yet they are not, on transcriptional 
grounds, likely to belong to the original text. These readings, 
mainly preserved in texts of Egyptian provenance, have been 
referred by Westcott and Hort to the textual labours of the 
Alexandrians. This limited group, although its substantive 
existence has been questioned {e.g. by Salmon), is due probably 
to a true factor in the history of the text. 


(1) Syrian Readings. 

In the Pauline Epistles, the first task of criticism is to 
distinguish readings which, whether adopted or not in the 
'Syrian' or 'received' text, are in their origin pre-Syrian. Such 
readings will be preserved in one or more of the great uncials 
N A B C D G, of the important cursives 17, 67**, in the older 
witnesses for the Old Latin text, in one of the Egyptian Versions, 
or by certain * quotation in some Christian writer before 

* Quotations in patristic texts are liable, both in MS. transmission and in 


250 a.d. The chances of a genuine pre-Syrian reading, not 
preserved in any of the above sources, lingering in any later MSS. 
or authorities, is so slight as to be negligible. 


Having eliminated distinctively ' Syrian ' readings, we are 
still confronted with great diversity of text, and with the task of 
classifying the material. We have to identify readings distinc- 
tively ' Western,' and to segregate from the residue such readings 
as may prove assignable to Alexandrian recension ; the ultimate 
residuary readings, or ' neutral ' text, will, with very rare excep- 
tions, represent the earliest form of the text that can by any 
historical process be ascertained. This, the most important 
problem, is also the most difficult, as we are dealing with a 
period (before 250 a.d.) anterior to the date of any existing 
document. The question is, — In what extant authorities do we 
find a text approximately free from traces of the causes of varia- 
tion noted above : early liberties with the text in copying, and 
Alexandrian attempts at its restoration ? 

Briefly, we need in the Pauline Epistles, for readings inde- 
pendent of the ' Western' text, the support of X or B. Readings 
confined to D E F G, the Old Latin, or patristic quotations 
(apart from Alexandria), are probably ' Western.' The dis- 
tinctively Alexandrian readings will be attested by N A C P, some 
cursives, Alexandrian Fathers, and Egyptian Versions. But 
these authorities do not ipso facto prove the Alexandrian character 
of a reading, which is matter for delicate and discriminating 
determination. It must be added that the readings classed as 
Alexandrian are neither many nor, as a rule, important. The 
purely Alexandrian type of text is an entity small in bulk, as 
compared with the ' Western.' 

As a result of the above lines of inquiry, we find that in the 
Pauline Epistles, as elsewhere, B is the most constant single 
representative of the ' Neutral ' type of text ; but it has, in these 
Epistles only, an occasional tendency to incorporate ' Western ' 
readings, akin to those of G. X, on the other hand, which in the 
N.T. generally bears more traces than B of mixture of (pre- 
Syrian) texts, is freer from such traces in the Pauline Epistles 
than elsewhere. Of other MSS. of the Pauline Epistles, neutral 
readings are most abundant in ACP 17, and in the second 
hand of 67. See E. A. Hutton, An Atlas of Textual Criticism, 
pp. 43 f. 

print, to assimilation to the received text ; we must rely only on critically 
sdited patristic texts. 


Authorities for this ErisTLE. 

The First Epistle to the Corinthians is preserved in the 
following main documents : — 

Greek Uncial MSS. 

N (Fourth century.) The Sinaitic MS., now at St Petersburg, 
the only MS. containing the whole N.T. 

A (Fifth century.) The Codex Alexandrinus ; now at the 
British Museum. 

B (Fourth century.) The Vatican MS. 

C (Fifth century.) The Codex Ephraem, a Palimpsest ; now 
at Paris. Lacks vii. 18 iv aKpofSvcn m-ix. 6 tov fxt] 
ipyd^eaOan : xiii. 8 iravaovTai— XV. 40 dAAa erepa. 

D (Sixth century.) Codex Claromontanus ; now at Paris. A 
Graeco-Latin MS. xiv. 13 810 6 \a\wv— 22 a-rj^Zov la~riv 
is supplied by a later but ancient hand. Many subse- 
quent hands (sixth to ninth centuries) have corrected 
the MS. (see Gregory, Prolegomena, pp. 418-422). 

E (Ninth century.) At St Petersburg. A copy of D, and 

F (Late ninth century.) Codex Augiensis (from Reichenau), 
now at Trin. Coll. Cambr. Probably a copy of G; in 
any case, secondary to G, from which it very rarely 
varies (see Gregory, p. 429). 

F* (Seventh century.) Coisl. i. ; at Paris. A MS. of Gen.- 
Kings, containing N.T. passages added by the scribes as 
marginal notes, including 1 Cor. vii. 39, xi. 29. 

G (Late ninth century.) The Codex Bornerianus ; at Dresden. 
Interlined with the Latin (in minuscules). Lacks 1 Cor. 
iii. 8-16, vi. 7-14 (as F). 

H (Sixth century.) Coisl. 202. At Paris (the part containing 
x. 22-29, xi. 9-16). An important witness, but unhappily 
seldom available. The MS. is scattered in seven different 
libraries, having been employed for bindings. 

I 2 (Fifth century.) Codex Muralti vi. At St Petersburg. 
Contains xv. 53 tovto-xv'i. 9 dvew. 

K (Ninth century.) Codex S. Synod, xcviii. Lacks i. i-vi. 13 
TtLVTifV /cat : viii. 7 nvcs St— viii. 1 1 airiQavcv. 

L (Ninth century.) Codex Angelicus. At Rome. 

M (Ninth century.) Harl. 5913*; at the British Museum. 
Contains xv. 52 aaX-rria-ei. to the end of xvi. The MS. 
also contains fragments of 2 Corinthians and (in some 
leaves now at Hamburg) of Hebrews. 


P (Ninth century.) Porfirianus Chiovensis. A palimpsest 
acquired in the East by Porphyrius Bishop of Kiew. 
Lacks vii. 15 ifx-as 6 ©605-17 TrepLTrdret : xii. 23 tow 
o-w/AttTos-xiii. 5 ov Aoyi— : xiv. 23 rj a-rncrroi— 39 to AaAeiv /at;, 
A good type of text in St Paul's Epistles. 
<I» (Fifth century.) [Papyrus] Porfirianus Chiovensis. Contains 
i. 17 oyov Lva p.Tq—o~vvt;qTTyr (20) ; vi. 13 ri' o ©£05—15 /u.aT 
[a vfiwv fiekr]]X[pto-To\v, vi. 16-18 (fragmentary), vii. 3-14 
(fragmentary). The only papyrus uncial MS. of the N.T. 
* (Eighth or ninth century.) Codex Athous Laurae, 172 

(or B 52). 
S (Same date.) Codex Athous Laurae. Contains i. i-v. 8, 

xiii. 8 citc Se -rrpocp-xwi. 24. 
3 (Fifth century.) Vatic. Gr. 2061. Contains iv. 4-vi. 16, 
xii. 23-xiv. 2i, xv. 3-xvi. 1. A palimpsest, from Rossano, 
perhaps originally from Constantinople. Its readings are 
not yet available. 
It will be seen that SABL* contain the whole Epistle, 
CDFGKP nearly the whole, while PHPMQSa contain 
but small portions. The oldest MSS. are K B of the fourth century, 
A C I 2 Q 2 of the fifth, and D H of the sixth. Marks of punctua- 
tion are very few in X A B C D H ; they are more frequent in G. 
(On the punctuation see Scrivener (ed. 4), vol. i. p. 48 ; Gregory, 
vol. iii. pp. 111-115.) 

Cursive MSS. 

The Epistles of St Paul are to be found in some 480 cursives, 

of which we mention only one or two as of special interest. 

17. (Ev. 33, Act 13. Ninth century.) At Paris (Nat. Gr. 14). 
See Westcott and Hort, Introd. §§ 211, 212. 

37. (Ev. 69, Act 31, Apoc. 14. Fifteenth century.) The well- 
known Leicester codex. Contains a good text. 

47. Bodleian. Roe 16. (Eleventh century.) 

67. (Act 66, Apoc. 34. Eleventh century.) At Vienna. The 
marginal corrections (67**) embody very early readings, 
akin to those of M (supra). See Westcott and Hort, 
Introd. § 212. 


The Old Latin of this Epistle is transmitted in the Graeco- 
Latin uncials D E F G, the Latin of which is cited as defg. 
d has a text independent of D, but in places adapted to it ; 
e approximates more to the Vulgate ; g is a Vulgate text except 
in Romans and 1 Corinthians, where it is based on the Old Latin, 


f a Vulgate text with Old Latin admixture. The Greek text of 
each of these MSS. has to some extent influenced the Latin. 

The Epistle is also contained in 
x (Ninth century.) Bodleian ; Laud. Lat. 108, E. 67, a thrice- 
corrected text, having much in common with d. 
m (Ninth century.) At Rome; the Speculum pseudo-Augustin- 
r (Sixth century.) The Freisingen MS., now at Munich. 

The two last named contain fragments only. 

On the Vulgate, Egyptian (Bohairic or Coptic and Thebaic 
or Sahidic),* Syriac, Armenian, and Gothic, reference may be 
made to Sanday and Headlam, Romans, p. Ixvi sq. As to the 
Syriac, it should be noted that the later (or Harclean) Syriac 
has some more ancient readings (Westcott and Hort, Introd. 
p. 156 sq.); we have not, for St Paul's Epistles, any Syriac 
version older than the Peshito. Also, the high antiquity 
formerly claimed for the Peshito was founded mainly upon the 
quotations from it in St Ephraem ; but these now prove to be 
untrustworthy, being due to assimilation in the printed text 
of this Father. 

Illustrative Readings. 

We will now consider some readings (taken at hazard except 
as regards their generally interesting character), which will illus- 
trate the mutual relations of the documents for the text of this 
Epistle. We omit all reference to E and F, as being secondary 
(as mentioned above) to D and G respectively. 

It must be remembered that the documents, while furnishing 
merely the external credentials of a reading, have already been 
subjected to a classification on the basis of innumerable readings 
as to which no serious doubt exists ; the combination of external 
evidence as to antiquity with ' internal ' evidence (i.e. considera- 
tions of transcriptional probability, and of latent — as opposed to 
superficial — inferiority) has reached a result in which modern 
critical editors are as a rule agreed. Those MSS. or groups of 
MSS., which are most frequently ranged in support of the un- 
doubtedly right readings, are naturally deserving of special con- 
sideration where the reading is prima facie less certain.! 

Such a group is K B. These two fourth-century MSS., 
although in part written by one hand, are copied from quite 

* On the so-called Bashmuric version and its kindred, see Scrivener, 
Introd. (ed. 4), vol. ii. pp. 101-106, 140. 

t The readings discussed below are treated independently of the notes on 
the several passages ; in a few cases the view taken differs from that expressed 
in the notes. 


distinct originals. The text of N has clearly been affected by 
influences foreign to anything in the ancestry of B. The text 
of their common ancestor must have been of the very highest 
antiquity, and the test of many indisputable passages shows also 
that its antiquity must have been antiquity of type, not of date 
only. Apart from the small classes of 'primitive corruptions' 
and of ' Western non-interpolations,' the combinations N B can 
only be set aside on the most cogent grounds ; our Epistle 
contains few, if any, passages where such grounds can be 

Typical Syrian Readings. 

In such passages as (i) vi. 20, where C 3 D k K L P, Syrr., 
Chrys. add the words which follow vpG>v, we have a typical 
' Syrian ' reading, and the shorter text is supported by X B in 
common with the vast preponderance of MSS. and versions. 
A similar example is (2) the inversion of ©eos and Kvpios, in 
vii. 17, in K L, the later Syriac, and later Greek Fathers. This 
was probably due to the desire to place ®eo? first in order, over- 
looking the decisive fact that kckA^kcp calls for ©cos rather than 
6 Ki'pios (v. 15 and elsewhere). In (3) iii. 4 crapKiKoi, (4) viii. 2 
ctSe'vai for eyvw/ceVat, eyvw/ce for !yva>, the case is the same, — X B, 
with an ample host of allies, ranged against a text which gained 
later currency but which lacks early attestation. 

Typical Western Readings. 

The case is somewhat different in the next instances to be 
mentioned, where the reading unsupported by X B has some 
early currency, mainly ' Western ' in character. Such cases are 
(5) iii. r o-ap/aWs, nABCD* 17, 67**, Clem. Orig., where 
D c G L P, Clem. Orig. (in other places) read crap/a/cois. Here 
the latter reading may be classed as ' Western ' ; but P, which 
supports it, joins the great uncials in (6) v. 3 in support of 
aapKiKoi against D* and G, which have o-apidvoi. The latter 
reading is purely ' Western ' ; P elsewhere (see below) frequently 
represents a non-Western text. 

Affinities of P. 

An example of this is (7) viii. 7 where we have X A B P 17, 
67**, and the Egyptian and Aethiopic Versions supporting uvvt}- 
Oeia against the ' Western and Syrian ' o-ui/eiS^o-ei. The same 
holds good of (8) xii. 2 ore (see note there). Another passage 
where P joins x B (and 17) against a Western reading (adopted 


in the Syrian text) is (9) ix. 2 fxov t^s, where DGKL (and 
Latin MSS., apostolatus viei) have r^s iy-rjs (A omits this 

One more interesting example of this class of variants is the 
ternary variation in vii. 29, which it is worth while to set out in 

(10) vii. 29 ia-Ttv to Xolttov, N*ABD* b P 17 Copt. Syr. Arm., 
Eus. (in one place) Ephr. Bas. Euthal. (D omits 


to Aoittov iarCv, D c K L, Eus. (another place) Chrys. 
eoTiv Xolttov lariv, G 67** d e f g m Vulg., Orig. Tert. 
Hieron. Aug. 

The attestation of the first reading clearly outweighs that of 
either of the other two. The second is clearly a 'Syrian' 
reading, the third as clearly 'Western,' D here preserving 
the non-Western reading, and P once more siding, against the 
Western reading, with N B. This, however, is not always the 
case. In (11) xvi. 23 the omission of Xpiarov, X B 17, f, some 
MSS. of Vulg. Goth., Thdt., is probably right, though K c A C D 
G K L M P, e g, some MSS. of Vulg., the versions generally, and 
most patristic quotations, follow the tendency to insert it (so far 
more natural than its omission, if found). But the insertion (in 
view of the combination N c A C L P, Euthal.) may be ' Alex- 
andrian ' rather than ' Western.' 

Possible Alexandrian Readings. 

So far our instances (with the possible exception of the last) 
have been cases of the excellence of the text supported by the 
combination X B. 

We will next consider some few possible examples of ' Alex- 
andrian' editing. 

(12) iv. 6 (add after yeypaTTrai) <ppovzlv, XCD C LP Syrr. Copt. 

Arm. Goth., Greek Fathers, Euthal. 
om. KABD*G, Latin MSS. and Vulg., Orig. 
Latin Fathers. 

This is certainly an addition not 'Western,' but pre-Syrian. 
It corresponds with the character assigned by WH. to the 
Alexandrian touches. 

(13) ix. 9 /o7/Aajo-€i?, B* D* G, Chrys. Thdt. 

cptfjLwo-ev;, sAB 3 CD 2 and 3 K L P al. omn., Orig. 
Chrys. Euthal. 


This is the first example we have taken of B differing from f. 
and prima facie this might seem a clear case of the slight 
' Western ' element present in B, in St Paul's Epistles. But the 
Alexandrian witnesses are ranged on the side opposed to B, and 
we must remember that <pifjut>crei<; is in the LXX source of the 
quotation, and the assimilation of the text to its original would 
be more natural, as a correction, than the introduction of a 
variant. (The versions of course are neutral here.) 

(14) xv. s i ttovtcs fiiv, N A C 2 D c G K L P, f g Vulg. Copt. Syr." 05 

Ephr. (?) Greek Fathers, Euthal. 
(om. fUv) B C* D* d e Arm. Aeth. Syr. pri Greek MSS. 
known to Jerome. 

The (xlv, if (as probable) not genuine, illustrates once more 
the significance of the combination N A L P, Euthal. ; it has 
the character of an Alexandrian touch. But it seems to have 
been read by both Ephraem in the East and Tertullian in the 

( 1 5) x. 9 X/noTo'v, D G K L, Vulg. Syr. pri et post txt Copt., Marcion 

Iren. Chrys., etc. 
Kvptov, k B C P 17, etc., Syr.P^^Copt. 004 Arm. Aeth., 

Dam., etc. 
©£oV, A, Euthal. 

There is no question but that Xpia-rov is of inferior and 
Western attestation, ©eov looks like, and may possibly be, an 
Alexandrian correction (assimilation to Ps. lxxvii. 18, LXX). 

(16) ix. 15 ovSefc, K* B D* 17, de Sah. Basm., and early Latin 


OU#€iS fjirj, A. 

tis, G. 26. 

ha tis, N c CD bc KLP, f Vulg., many Greek and 
Latin Fathers. 

(All MSS. except K read Kevwo-ei here, the later cursives only 
reading Kevwarj with most late Greek Fathers.) 

The reading 'ra 1-19, adopted by the Syrian text, is apparently 
pre-Syrian in origin ; it lacks the full Alexandrian attestation, but 
on the other hand it bears every mark of an editorial touch. If 
pre-Syrian, it is Alexandrian rather than Western. 

( 1 7) xi. 24 kAw/acvov, N c C 3 D b c G K L P, d e g Syr., Euthal. Greek 

Fathers (Opim-TOfi. D*). 
om. n* A B C 17, 67**, Ath. Cyr. Fulg. (expressly). 
tradetur, f Vulg., Cypr. 


Here P sides with the Western witnesses in what is clearly a 
'Western' interpolation (cf. Gal. i. 18, ii. 14 Wi-pos). 

The two last cases are on opposite sides of the border line 
which distinguishes readings of the Alexandrian type from other 
inferior, but pre-Syrian, readings. 

Western Element in B. 

We will next give an example or two of the ' Western ' 
element in B (see above on ix. 9) — 

(18) ii. 1 fivo-rrjpiov, K* A C Copt. (Boh.), Arab. Aug. Ambrst., 

fiapTvpLov, K c B D G L P, Latin and other verss., Cyr.- 

This is a doubtful case, as the readings hang somewhat evenly 
in the balance, and the attestation of p.apr. is perhaps not ex- 
clusively Western. But if WH. are right in preferring p.var., 
B may here betray Western admixture. The reading is one of 
the least certain in this Epistle. 

(19) xi. 19 (post <W) kclI, B D 37 71, d e Vulg. Sah., Ambrst. 

(om. rat) KACD bc GKLP fg, Syr. Copt. Arm., 
Orig. Epiph. Euthal. Chrys., etc. 

Tertullian, Cyprian, and Jerome apparently are to be counted 
on the side of omission, as well as G. But the reading of B, 
which is of little intrinsic probability, is clearly ' Western ' in its 
other attestation. 

(20) xv. 14 (after Wris) vpav, KAD bc GKLP, defg Vulg. 

THtwv, B D* 17 67**, Sah. Basm. Goth. 

The bulk of the Western authorities are here against B ; the 
latter probably preserves a very ancient, but not original, reading, 
possibly an early itacism (see below on xv. 49). 

(21) In xiv. 38 the reading of B ayvourw, supported by the 

correctors of NAD, and by K L, Syr. Arm. Aeth., Orig. 
against N* A* 1)* G*, Basm. and the Latin Versions, with 
Orig. in one place, is no doubt correct, as also in xv. 51 
where ov has been transferred to stand after the second 
iravTes in N C G 1 7. B here has the support of P as well 
as K 1. and Greek MSS. known to Jerome. 

In (22) x. 20, omission of ra Wvr), B has Western support only; 
bui the case is probably one of ' Western non-interpolation.' 


Singular Readings of B. 

There remain to be noticed a few singular or sub-singular 
readings of B which may not impossibly be right in some cases. 

(23) xiii. 4 (after £17X01) 17 ayairrj, XACDGKL, degm Syr., 

Orig. Cyr. Cypr. 
om. B 17, etc., f Vulg. Copt. Arm. By no means 

(24) viii. 8 irepLcrcrevofxeOa, B, Orig. (all the rest — o/xcv). But for 

the quotation in Orig., which shows the reading te be 
very ancient, we might have set it down to the scribe 
of B. The same is true of 

(25) xiii. 5 to fxr] eavnjs B, Clem. paed . The rest, including 

Clem. 5 " ™, have to. eavr^s. The latter is probably right, 
but the reference in Clemfiaed. shows that the variant is 
of high antiquity. 

(26) xv. 49 (fiopeo-ofjLev, B 46, Arm. Aeth., Thdt. and a few Fathers. 

The weight of evidence, and transcriptional probability, is 
here wholly on the side of K and all other MSS. against B. 

The above examples (13, 14, 18-26) show that where S and 
B are ranged against one another it is necessary to deal with 
each case on its evidential merits, but that B is rarely to be set 
aside without hesitation. 

Combined Witness o/VlBin disputed Readings. 

We will lastly take some passages where X and B are again 
at one, and probably right, though they are less clear than those 
mentioned at the outset. 

(27) xiii. 3 Kai^o-cojicai, NAB 17, Boh., Ephr. Hieron. (and 

Greek MSS. known to him). 
KavOrjawfjiai, C K, defgm Vulg. verss., Orig. Ephr. 

Meth. Chrys., etc. 
KavB^a-ofjLaL, D G L, Bas. Euthal. Cyr. Max. 

The latter reading is Western in its attestation, while Kavx- 
has the important indirect (but quite clear) support of Clem.- 
Rom. 55, a witness of exceptional antiquity. Transcriptional 
probability is, moreover, on the side of KavxwwfiaL. 

(28) vii. 34 (before /xc/xe'pto-Tai) xai, S A B D* P 17, 67, f Vulg. 

Syr post c opt<) Euthal and Early Fathers. 
om. D C GKL, d e g m, Chrys. Thdt. Dam. Amb. 
Ambrst. Hieron. 


There can be no doubt that this omission is ' Western ' and 
' Syrian.' 

(29) vii. 34 (after fx.ep.ip.) /cat, SABD'GKLP, d eg Vulg., Meth. 

Eus., etc. 
om. D*, some copies of Vulg., Latin Fathers. 

The omission is here purely Western and of limited range. 

(30) vii. 34 (after yvvrj) r) dya/xos, K A B (C is lacking) P 17, Vulg. 

Copt., Euthal. Hieron. (and Gk. MSS. known to). 
om. DGKL, defgm fuld. Syr. Arm. Aeth., Meth. 

This omission again is clearly ' Western.' 

(31) vii. 34 (after irapOevos) rj ayauos, nADGKL, defg fuld. 

Syr. Arm. Aeth., Bas. Latin Fathers. 
om. B P, several mss. Vulg. Copt. Basm., Eus. 
Hieron. (with reasons). 

Previewing as a whole the evidence (28-31) bearing upon this 
verse, the /cat both before and after p-epepiarai must be admitted 
as thoroughly attested. The omission of rj dya/xos after r) yvvrj is 
inferior in attestation to its presence (additionally attested by X A) 
in both places. This latter reading, again, is clearly not original, 
but conflate ; its support by X A, Euthal. may point to an 
Alexandrian origin. Jerome, on the evidence before him, 
believed the reading r) y. r) dy. kcu t) irapO. to be what St Paul 
actually wrote — apostolica Veritas. Moreover, the apparent diffi- 
culty of this reading explains the early transference of 17 dya^os 
from after yvvrj to follow 7rap#eVos. [The ' unmarried woman ' is 
generic, including widows ; the virgin (under control) is the 
special case whose treatment is in question.] Mefxipiarai, both 
in number and in sense, fits ill with what follows it. The 
question of punctuation, as to which the MSS. give no help, 
must follow that of text. The crucial points, on which N B are 
agreed, are the /cat in both places and the genuineness of 7) ay. 
after 1) yvvrj. 

Our last example shall be the ap.rjv, xvi. 24. 

(32) xvi. 24 afirjv, vg clem verss., Chrys. Thdt. 

om. B M 17, fgr fuld. tol., Euthal. Ambrst. 

G has ytvtOrjTW yeveBrjrw (sic). 

The MSS. support dp.rjv conclusively at the end of Galatians, 
Rom xvi. 27, and at the end of Jude. Elsewhere, in view of the 
strong liturgical instinct to add it where possible, the witness of 
even a few MSS. is enough to displace it. The other leading 


uncials, in varying combinations, add it at the end of most of the 
Epistles, and some MSS. in every case. It is noteworthy that 
(except in Galatians, Romans, Jude) B, wherever it is available, 
is the one constant witness against this interpolation. The one 
exception to this in the whole N.T. is at the close of St Luke's 
Gospel, where the Afx^v must be a very early addition. 

Our Epistle, to judge by the external evidence, was in wide 
circulation long before the "Apostolus" was circulated as a 
collection of letters; certainly we have earlier and wider traces of 
its use than we have of that of the companion Epistle. It must 
accordingly have been copied many times before it was included 
in a comprehensive roll or codex. The wonder is that the text 
has suffered so little in transmission ; one possibility of primitive 
corruption (xii. 2) is, for an Epistle of this length, slight indeed. 

§ VIII. Commentaries. 

These are very numerous, and a long list will be found in 
Meyer. See also the Bibliography in the 2nd ed. of Smith's 
Dictionary of the Bible, i. pp. 656, 658 ; Hastings, DB. i. p. 491, 
iii. p. 731 ; Ency. Bibl. i. 907. In the selection given below, an 
asterisk indicates that the work is in some way important, a dagger, 
that valuable information respecting the commentator is to be 
found in Sanday and Headlam on Romans in this series, pp. 

Patristic and Scholastic : Greek. 

*t Origen (d. 253). Some fragments have come down to 
us in Cramer's Catena, vol. v. (Oxf. 1844), in the Philocalia 
(J. Arm. Robinson, Camb. 1893); additional fragments of great 
interest are given in the new and valuable recension by Claude 
Jenkins in the Journal of Theological Studies, January, April. 
July, and October 1908 ; and C. H. Turner comments on these, 
January 1909. 

*t Chrysostom (d. 407). The Homilies on 1 and 2 Corin- 
thians are considered the best examples of his teaching.^ They 
show admirable judgment, but sometimes two or more interpreta- 
tions are welded together in a rhetorical comment. He generally 
illuminates what he touches. 

*t Theodoret (d. 457). Migne, P.G. lxxxii. He follows 
Chrysostom closely, but is sometimes more definite and pointed. 

*t Theophylact (d. nfu r 1 1 r8). Migne, P.G. exxv. He follows 

X They have been translated in the Oxford Library of the Fathers. 


the Greek Fathers and is better than nearly all Latin com- 
mentators of that date. 

Oecumenius (Bp. of Tricca, end of tenth century). Migne, 
P.G. cxviii., cxix. The relation of his excerpts to those of Theo- 
phylact is greatly in need of further examination. 

Patristic and Scholastic : Latin. 

t Ambrosiaster or Pseudo-Ambrosius. He is the unknown 
author of the earliest commentary on all the Pauline Epistles 
that has come down to us. He is now commonly identified 
either with Decimius Hilarianus Hilarius, governor of Africa in 
377, praetorian prefect in Italy in 396, or with the Ursinian 
Isaac, a convert from Judaism (C. H. Turner, Journal of Theo- 
logical Studies, April 1906). His importance lies in the Latin 
text used by him, which " must be at least as old as 370 ... it 
is at least coeval with our oldest complete manuscripts of the 
Greek Bible, and thus presupposes a Greek text anterior to 
them." Ambrosiasters text of the Pauline Epistles is " equivalent 
to a complete fourth century pre- Vulgate Latin codex of these 
epistles'' (Souter, A Study of Ambrosiaster, p. 196). 

t Pelagius. Migne, P.L. xxx. Probably written before 410. 

Pseudo-Primasius. Migne, P.L. lxviii. A revision of 
Pelagius made by a pupil or pupils of Cassiodorus. 

Bede (d. 735). Mainly a catena from Augustine. 

* Atto Vercellensis. Migne, P.L. cxxxiv. Bishop of Vercelli 
in Piedmont in the tenth century. Depends on his predecessors, 
but thinks for himself. 

* Herveius Burgidolensis (d. 1149). Migne, P.L. clxxxi. A 
Benedictine of Bourg-Dieu or Bourg-Deols in Berry. One of 
the best of mediaeval commentators for strength and sobriety. 
He and Atto often agree, and neither seems to be much used by 
modern writers. 

Peter Lombard (d. 1160). 
t Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274). 

Modern Latin. 

Faber Stapulensis, Paris, 15 12. 

Cajetan, Venice, 1 53 1 . 

t Erasmus, Desiderius (d. 1536). 

*t Calvin, John. Quite the strongest of the Reformers as a 
commentator, clear-headed and scholarly, but too fond of finding 
arguments against Rome. His work on the Pauline Epistles 
ranges from 1539 to 155 1. 

t Beza, Theodore (d. 1605), Paris, 1594. 


Cornelius a Lapide, Antwerp, 1614. Roman (Jesuit). 

* Estius, Douay, 16 14. Roman (sober and valuable), 
t Grotius, Amsterdam, 1 644-1 646. 

*t Bengel, Tubingen, 1742; 3rd ed. London, 1862. Fore 
most in Scriptural insight and pithy expression. 

*t Wetstein, Amsterdam, 1751, 1752. Rich in illustration. 


t H. Hammond, London, 1653, "The father of English 
commentators." ' Historical.' 

t John Locke, London, 1 705-1 707. 'Historical.' 
Edward Burton, Oxford, 1831. 
T. W. Peile, Rivingtons, 1853. 

C. Hodge, New York, 1857. Calvinist. 

t C. Wordsworth, Rivingtons, 4th ed. 1866. 

* F. W. Robertson, Smith & Elder, 5th ed. 1867. 
*t H. Alford, Rivingtons, 6th ed. 1871. 

P. J. Gloag, Edinburgh, 1874. 

* A. P. Stanley, Murray, 4th ed. 1876. Picturesque and 
suggestive, but not so strong in scholarship. 

T. T. Shore in Ellicotts Commentary, n.d. 

J. J. Lias in the Cambridge Greek Testament, 1879. 

* T. S. Evans in the Speaker's Commentary, 1881. Rich in 
exact scholarship and original thought, but sometimes eccentric 
in results. 

D. Brown in Schaff's Commentary, 1882. 

F. W. Farrar in the Pulpit Commentary, 1883. 
*t J. A. Beet, Hodder, 2nd ed. 1884. Wesleyan. 

* T. C. Edwards, Hamilton Adams, 1885. Very helpful. 

* C. J. Ellicott, Longmans, 1887. Minute and strong in 
grammatical exegesis. Perhaps the best English Commentary on 
the Greek text (but misses Evans' best points). 

W. Kay (posthumous), 1887. Scholarly, but slight. 
Marcus Dods in the Expositor's Bible. 

* J. B. Lightfoot (posihumous), Notes on l.-vii. 1895. 

* G. G. Findlay in the Expositor's Greek Testament, Hodder, 
1900. Thorough grasp of Pauline thought. 

* J. Massie in the Century Bible, n.d. 

W. M. Ramsay, Historical Commentary in the Expositor, 6th 

New Translations into English. 
The Twentieth Century A'av Testament, Fart II., Marshall, 



R. F. Weymouth, The N.T. in Modern Speech, Clarke, 2nd 
ed. 1905. 

A. S. Way, The Letters of St Paul, Macmillan, 2nd ed. 1906. 

* W. G Rutherford (posthumous), Thessalonians and Cor- 
inthians^ Macmillan, 1908. 


Billroth, 1833 ; Eng. tr., Edinburgh, 1837. 

Riickert, Leipzig, 1836. 

Olshausen, 1840 ; Eng. tr., Edinburgh, 1855. 

J. E. Osiander, Stuttgart, 1849. 

*f De Wette, Leipzig, 3rd ed. 1855. 

G. H. A. Ewald, Gottingen, 1857. 

Neander, Berlin, 1859. 

* Heinrici, Das Erste Sendschreiben, etc., 1880. 

*t Meyer, 5th ed. 1870 ; Eng. tr., Edinburgh, 1877. Re- 
edited by B. Weiss, and again by * Heinrici, 1896 and 1900; 
again by J. Weiss, 19 10. 

Maier, Freiburg, 1857. Roman. 

Kling, in Lange's Bibelwerk, 1861 ; Eng. tr., Edinburgh, 

Schnedermann, in Strack and Zdckler, 1887. 

H. Lang, in Schmidt & Holzendorff ; Eng. tr., London, 1883. 

* Schmiedel, Freiburg, i. B., 1892. Condensed, exact, and 

* B. Weiss, Leipzig, 2nd ed. 1902. Brief, but helpful. Eng. 
tr., New York and London, 1906; less useful than the original. 
Also his * Textkritik d. paul. Briefe (xiv. 3 of Texte und Unter- 
suchungen), 1896. 

* P. Bachmann, in Zahn's Kommentar, Leipzig, 19 10. 

Also Schafer, 1903; Bousset, 1906; Lietzmann, 1907; 
Schlatter, 1908. 


E. Reuss, Paris, 1874-80. 

*t F. Godet, Paris, 1886 ; Eng. tr., Edinburgh, 1888. Strong 
in exegesis, but weak in criticism. 


The literature on the life and writings of St Paul is enormous, 
and is increasing rapidly. Some of the works which are helpftvl 
and are very accessible are mentioned here. 


Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St Pa*l. 

Farrar, Life and Work of St. Paul. 

Lewin, Life and Epistles of St Paul ; Fasti Sacri. 

R. J. Knowling, The Witness of the Epistles, 1892; The 
Testimony of St Paul to Christ, 1905. 

J. B. Lightfoot, Biblical Essays. 

Hort, Judaistic Christianity ; The Christian Ecclesia. 

H. St J. Thackeray, The Relation of St Paul to Contemporary 
Jewish Thought, 1900. 

Ramsay, St Paul the Traveller, 1902; Pauline and other 
Studies, 1906. 

Ropes, The Apostolic Age, 1906. 

Weinel, St Paul, the Man and his Work, Eng. tr. 1906. 

Pfleiderer, Paulinism, Eng. tr. 1877. 

Du Bose, The Gospel according to St Paul, 1907. 

W. E. Chadwick, The Pastoral Teaching of St Paul, 1907. 

A. T. Robertson, Epochs in the Life of St Paul, 1 909. 

Cohu, St Paul in the Light of Modern Research, 191 j. 

Baur, Paulus (ed. 2), 1866 (still worth consulting in spite of 
views now obsolete). 

Holsten, Das Evangelium des Paulus, 1880; Einleitung in 
die Korintherbriefe, 1901. 

Rabiger, Kristische Untersuchungen tiber 1 and 2 Kor., 1886. 

Weizsacker, Apost. Zeitalter, 1886. 

Holtzmann, Einleitung in das N.T., 1892. 

Jiilicher, Einleitung in das N.T., 1894; Eng. tr. 1904. 

Krenkel, Beitrdge z. Aufhellung d. Geschichte und d. Briefe d. 
Apostels Paulus, 1895. 

Zahn, Einleitung in das JV.T, Eng. tr. 1909. 

Hastings, DB., articles ,' Baptism ' ; ' Lord's Supper ' ; ' Paul 
the Apostle'; 'Resurrection'; 'Tongues, Gift of; 'Greek 
Patristic Commentaries on the Pauline Epistles' (vol. v.). 

Ency. Bibl., articles, ' Baptism ' ; Eucharist ' ; ' Spiritual Gifts.' 

Ency. Brit, (nth ed., Dec. 1910), articles, 'Apologetics' 
(p. 193), 'Apostle,' 'Atonement' (pp. 875 f.), 'Baptism' (pp. 
368 f.), 'Christianity' (pp. 284 f.), 'Church History' (pp. 334f.)» 
'Corinthians,' ' Eschatology ' (pp. 762 f.), 'Eucharist.' 

The apocryphal letters between St Paul and the Corinthians 
have been edited by Harnack in his Geschichte d. altchrist. 
Litteratur, 1897, and also in Lietzmann's excellent Materials for 
the use of Theological Lecturers and Students, 1905. See also 
Moffatt, Intr. to the Lit. of the N.T. (pp. 129 f.). 



Paul, a divinely chosen Apostle, and Sosthenes our 
brother, give Christian greeting to the Corinthian Church, 
itself also divinely called. 

x Paul, an Apostle called by divine summons equally with 
the Twelve, and Sosthenes whom ye know, 2 give greeting to 
the body of Corinthian Christians, who have been consecrated 
to God in Christ, called out of the mass of mankind into the 
inner society of the Church to which so many other Christian 
worshippers belong. 3 May the free and unmerited favour of 
God, and the peace which comes from reconciliation with Him, 
be yours ! May God Himself, our Heavenly Father, and the 
Lord Jesus Messiah, grant them to you ! 

The Salutation is in the usual three parts : the sender (v. i), 
the addressees {v. 2), and the greeting {v. 3). 

1. kXtjtos- Elsewhere only Rom. i. r. As all are called to 
be ayiot, so Paul is called to be an Apostle : see on v. 2, and note 
the same parallelism, Rom. i. 1, 6. In O.T. the idea of kA^o-ic 
is often connected with prophets.* 

Sid. SeXrjfiaTos ©coo. As in 2 Cor., Eph., Col., 2 Tim. ; ex- 
panded, with emphasis on his divine call to the exclusion of any 
human source or channel, in Gal. i. 1. Sua ipsius voluntate 
nunquam P. f actus esset apostolus (Beng.). Per quod tangit 
eliam il/os, quos neque Christus miserat, neque per voluntatem Dei 

* Cf. Isa. vi. 8, 9 ; Jer. i. 4, 5. See W. E. Chadwick, The Pastoral 
Teaching of St Paul, p. 76. 



praedicabatit (Herveius Burgidolensis), viz., the self-constituted 
teachers, the false apostles. 

laxrGeVifjs. He was not necessarily the amanuensis, for Tertius 
(Rom. xvi. 22) does not appear in the Salutation. In Gal. i. 1, 
a number of unnamed persons are associated with the Apostle. 
Nor need this Sosthenes be the Corinthian Jew (Acts xviii. 17) 
who was the chief of the synagogue (superseding Crispus the 
convert?) and perhaps leader of the complaint before Gallic* 
If the two are identical, S. himself had (1) subsequently become 
a Christian, (2) migrated from Corinth to Ephesus. 

6 aSeXcfxfc. A Christian : xvi. 1252 Cor. i. 1 ; Col. i- 1 ; 
Philem. 1 ; Rom. xvi. 23 ; Heb. xiii. 23. The article implies 
that he was well known to some Corinthians. Deissmann {Bible 
Studies, pp. 87, 142) has shown that dSeX<£oi was used of 
members of religious bodies long before Christians adopted it 
in this sense. It is remarkable that Apollos is not named as 
joining in sending the letter (xvi. 12). 

A D E omit kXtjtSs. Xpi&rov 'Irjaov (B D E F G 17, Am.) is to be pre- 
ferred to 'ItjctoO Xp. (N A L P, Syrr. Copt. Arm. Aeth.) : see note on Rom. 
i. 1. Contrast vv. I, 2, 4 with 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, where Kvpios is added. 

2. rfj eKicX-ncria tou ©coG. The genitive is possessive: x. 32, 
xi. 16, 22, xv. 9 ; 2 Cor. i. 1 ; Gal. i. 13 ; etc. Cf. Deut. xviii. 16, 
xxiii. 1 ; etc. As Chrysostom remarks, the expression is at once 
a protest against party-spirit ; ' the Church of God,' not of any 
one individual. 

rfj ouo-n. See Acts xiii. 1. 

^ytaafxeVots iv Xp. 'I. The plural in apposition to the col- 
lective singular throws a passing emphasis upon the individual 
responsibility of those who had been consecrated in baptism 
(vi. n) as members of Christ. The perfect participle indicates 
a fixed state. 

k\t]tois dyiots. Called by God (Gal. i. 6 ; Rom. viii. 30, 
ix. 24; etc.) to the Christian society through the preaching of 
the Gospel (Rom. x. 14; 2 Thess. ii. 14). See note on Rom 
i. 7 and separate note on ayioi ; also Chadwick, Pastoral 
Teaching, pp. 96, 98. The active KaXeiv is never used of the 
human instrument, but only of God or Christ. Admonet Cor- 
inthios majestatis ipsorum (Beng.). 

<tuv Tracri. This is generally connected simply with rfj 
eKKkijo-La, as if St Paul were addressing the Corinthian Church 
along with all other Christians. But this little suits the in- 

* Chrysostom identifies Sosthenes with Crispus, and assumes that he was 
beaten for having become a Christian. Both conjectures are very improbable. 
That he headed the deputation to Gallio is very probable, and that he is the 
Corinthian Jew is also very probable. 


dividual character of this Epistle, which (much more than 
Romans, for example) deals with the special circumstances of 
one particular Church. It is therefore better, with Heinrici, 
to connect the words with kA^tois dyi'019 (contrast 2 Cor. i. 1). 
Euthymius Zigabenus takes it so. St Paul is not making his 
Epistle 'Catholic,' nor is he "greeting the whole Church in 
Spirit," but he is commending to the Corinthians the fact that 
their call is not for themselves alone, but into the unity of the 
Christian brotherhood, a thought specially necessary for them. 
See xiv. 36. Throughout the Epistle it is the Corinthians alone 
that are addressed, not all Christendom. 

toIs emicaXoufukois. This goes back to Joel ii. 32, and 
involves the thought of faith, the common bond of all. See 
Rom. x. 12, 13. Here, as there, St Paul significantly brings in 
the worship of Christ under the O.T. formula for worship ad- 
dressed to the Lord God of Israel. To be a believer is to 
worship Christ. 

iv ttcut! tottu. Cf. 2 Cor. i. ib; but it is hardly possible to 
read into the present expression the limitation to Achaia. This 
consideration confirms the view taken above of the force of crvv 
xao-t k.t.X., in spite of the parallels given by Lightfoot of Clem. 
ad Cor. 65, and the Ep. of the Church of Smyrna on the death 

of Polycarp, koX ■7rdcrat<; Tats Kara iravTa tottov Trjs dyicus /cat Ka6o- 
A.IK77S €K/<X^<rtas TrapoLKtais. Cf. 2 Cor. 11. 14; I Thess. 1. 8. 

auiw Kal Tjp.wi'. Connected either with toVo) or with 
Kvptov. The latter (AV., RV.) would be by way of epanor- 
thosis ; ■ our Lord ' — rather ' theirs and ours.' In itself rjfiuv is 
general enough to need no such epanorthosis : but the thought 
of the claim (v. 13) of some, to possess Christ for themselves 
alone, might explain this addition. The connexion with toVw 
(Vulg. in omni loco ipsorum et nostrd) is somewhat pointless, in 
spite of the various attempts to supply a point by referring it 
either to Achaia and Corinth, or to Ephesus and Corinth, or to 
Corinth and the whole world, or to the Petrine and the Pauline 
Churches, etc. etc. He may mean that the home of his con- 
verts is his home; cf. Rom. xvi. 13. 

BD*EFG place rrj otio-y iv KopivOifi after Tjyiao-/j.ti>ois iv Xp. 'Irjvov. 
K A D 2 L P, Vulg. Syrr. Copt. Arm. Aeth. place it before. A omits 
Xptcrrov. N 8 A* D 3 E L P, Arm. Aeth. insert re after adrwu, probably for 
the sake of smoothness. Such insertions are frequent both in MSS. and 

3. x^P 1 ? "f"*' Kai ^pA yr )- This is St Paul's usual greeting, 
the Greek x a ^P eLV combined with the Hebrew Shalom, and both 
with a deepened meaning. In 1 and 2 Tim., and in 2 John 3, 
eAcos is added after x^P ts> St James has the laconic and 
secular x a ^P tLV ( c ^- ^ cts xv - 2 3)- St Jude has eAcos ifiv teat 


clpyjvr) kol aydin). In i and 2 Pet. we have x a P L< > vfi v Kai 
tlprjvr), as here. The fact that ' grace and peace ' or ' grace, 
mercy, and peace ' is found in St Paul, St Peter, and St John, 
is some evidence " that we have here the earliest Christian 
password or symbolum. Grace is the source, peace the con- 
summation " (Edwards). The favour of God leads naturally to 
peace of mind. Enmity to God has ceased, and reconciliation has 
followed. Quae gratia a non offenso ? Quae pax a non rebellato ? 
asks Tertullian (Adv. Marc. v. 5). See on Rom. i. 5 and 7. 
In Dan. iii. 31 [98] we have as a salutation, dprjvr) vp.1v Trk-qdvv- 
$u-q. See J. A. Robinson, Ephesians, pp. 221-226. In 2 Mace. 
i. 1 we have \aipuv . . . tiprjvqv ayaOrjv, and in the Apoc. of 
Baruch lxxviii. 2, " mercy and peace." Such greetings are not 
primarily Christian. 


I thank God continually for your present spiritual con- 
dition. Christ will strengthen you to the end according to 
Divine assurance. 

4 1 never cease thanking God, because of the favours which 
He bestowed upon you through your union with Christ Jesus, 
6 whereby as immanent in Him ye received riches of every kind, 
in every form of inspired utterance and every form of spiritual 
illumination, for the giving and receiving of instruction. 6 These 
gifts ye received in exact proportion to the completeness with 
which our testimony to the Messiah was brought home to your 
hearts and firmly established there ; 7 so that (as we may hope 
from this guarantee) there is not a single gift of grace in which 
you find yourselves to be behind other Churches, while you are 
loyally and patiently waiting for the hour when our Lord Jesus 
Christ shall be revealed. 8 And this hour you need not dread, 
for our Lord Himself, who has done so much for you hitherto, 
will also unto the very end keep you secure against such accusa- 
tions as would be fatal in the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
9 This is a sure and certain hope: for it was God, who cannot 
prove false, who Himself called you into fellowship with His Son 
and in His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord ; and God will assuredly 
do His part to make this calling effective. 

This Thanksgiving is a conciliatory prelude to the whole 
Epistle, not directed to a section only {v. 12), nor ironical (!), 


nor studiously indefinite (Hofm.), but a measured and earnest 
encomium of their general state of grace (Acts xviii. io), with 
special stress on their intellectual gifts, and preparing the way for 
candid dealing with their inconsistencies. 

4. euxapiorw. Sosthenes seems to be at once forgotten ; this 
important letter is the Apostle's own, and his alone : contrast 
ev^apiarov/xev, I Thess. i. 2 ; wcnrep ovv -rrar^p inl vIols eu^apicrret 
ot av vyiaivbxrw, tov avrov rpoirov or av fiXiirrj SiSao-KaAos tovs 
d/cooa-ras irXovTOvvTas Adyw o-o<£ias, ev^aptaret Travrore 7rept avrwv 
(Orig.). With this Thanksgiving compare that in 2 Mace. ix. 20 
(A V.). See also Deissmann, Light from the Anc. East, p. 168. 
St Paul's £u^a/Ko-7a> is uttered in full earnest : there is no irony, as 
some think. In the sense of thanksgiving, the verb belongs to 
Hellenistic rather than to class. Grk. (Lightfoot on 1 Thess. i. 2): 
iravTore as in 1 Thess. i. 2 ; 2 Thess. i. 3. 

rrj x^P lTt T ' e - T - &o0€i<tt]. Special gifts of grace are viewed as 
incidental to, or presupposing, a state of grace, i.e., the state of 
one living under the influence of, and governed by, the redemp- 
tion and reconciliation of man effected by Jesus Christ ; more 
briefly, ' the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ ' (2 Cor. viii. 9 ; cf. 
virb x° L P iV > R° m - y i- m)- The aorists (8o8etcrr) . . . lirXovricrOrfTt. 
. . . efie(3ai(Ldr]) sum up their history as a Christian community 
from their baptism to the time of his writing. 

tv Gey fiov (S 1 A C D E F G L P, Latt. Syr. Copt. Arm.) ; N* B, Aeth. 
omit fiov. A* and some other authorities omit rod Qeov after x&P<- Tl - 

5. on Iv TrafTi. Cf. 2 Cor. viii. 7, wenrep iv iravrX TrepuraeveTi 
Trio-Tit. kcu Xoyw Kol yvoiuei. The two passages, though doubtless 
addressed to different situations, bring out strikingly by their 
common points the stronger side of Corinthian Christianity, 
Aoyos and yvoJcrt?, both true gifts of the Spirit (xii. 8), although 
each has its abuse or caricature (i. 17-iv. 20 and viii. if.).* 
Adyos is the gift of speech, not chiefly, nor specially, as manifested 
in the Tongues (which are quite distinct in xii. 8 f.), but closely 
related to the teacher's work. It was the gift of Apollos 
(Acts xviii. 24). The Adyos o-o<£ias is the gift of the Spirit, while 
crocpLa. Xoyov — cultivating expression at the expense of matter 
{v. 17) — is the gift of the mere rhetorician, courting the applause 
(vanum et inane o-o<£a>s !) of the ordinary Greek audience. St 
Paul, according to his chief opponent at Corinth, was wanting 
in this gift (2 Cor. x. 10, 6 Adyos t£ov6evqpivo<;) : his oratorical 
power was founded in deep conviction {v. 18, ii. 4, iv. 20). 

* St Paul does not hesitate to treat yvwats as a divine gift (xii. 8, xiii. 2, 
xiv. 6), and this use is very rare in N.T., except in his Epistles and in 2 Pet. 
When St John wrote, the word had worse associations. This is the earliest 
use of it in N.T. In the Sapiential Books of O.T. it is very frequent. 


St Paul " loses sight for a moment of the irregularities which 
had disfigured the Church at Corinth, while he remembers the 
spiritual blessings which they had enjoyed. After all deductions 
made for these irregularities, the Christian community at Corinth 
must have presented as a whole a marvellous contrast to their 
heathen fellow-citizens, — a contrast which might fairly be re- 
presented as one of light and darkness " (Lightfoot). This 
Epistle contains no indication of the disloyalty to the Apostle 
which we trace in 2 Cor., especially in x.-xiii. 

TTdo-T] yvucrei. See 2 Cor. xi. 6, where St Paul claims for 
himself eminence in the true yvoio-is, and also 1 Cor. viii. 1 f. 

6. icaflcJs. It introduces, not a mere parallel or illustration, 
but rather an explanation of what precedes : ' inasmuch as ' ; v. 7 ; 
John xiii. 34, xvii. 2. But 1 Thess. i. 5 (quoted by Lightfoot) 
is less strong. 

to fiapTupioK tou Xp. ' The witness borne [by our preaching] 
to Christ'; genitivus objecti. Cf. xv. 15. Origen takes it of the 
witness borne by the Scriptures to Christ, and also of the witness 
borne by Christ, who is the apx^aprvs through His death. 

e0€J3aiw9r]. Either (1) was established durably (fiefiaiwcrei. 
v. 8) in or among you (Meyer) ; or (2) was verified and estab- 
lished by its influence on your character (2 Cor. iii. 2); or 
(3) was brought home to your deepest conviction as true by the 
witness of the Spirit (ii. 4).* This last is the best sense. 

B* F G, Arm. have rod GeoC for tou Xpurrov. 

7. wore u/xas p.T) uorepelcrSai. With the in fin., wore points to 
a contemplated result ; with the indie, to the result as a fact 
(2 Cor. v. 16; Gal. ii. 13). What follows, then, is a statement 
of what was to be looked for in the Corinthians as the effect of 
the grace {v. 4) of God given to them in Christ ; and there was 
evidently much in their spiritual condition which corresponded 
to this (xi. 2 ; Acts xviii. 10). 

6o-TEpeIcr0<u. ' Feel yourselves inferior ' ; middle, as in xii. 24. 
The active or passive is more suitable for expressing the bare 
fact (2 Cor. xi. 5), or physical want (2 Cor. xi. 9 ; Phil. iv. 12); 
while the middle, more passive than the active and more active 
than the passive, is applicable to persons rather than things, 
and to feelings rather than to external facts. The prodigal 
began to realize his state of want (varepfia-Oai, Luke xv. 14), while 
the young questioner appealed to an external standard (ri In. 
vo-TtpC) ; Matt. xix. 20). 

xapicrp-an. Cf. Rom. i. n, where it is in context with 
<TT7jpix0rjvai, as here with j3e(3ai()i9rjvai. Philo uses the word 

* Deissmann {Bible Studies, p. 104 f.) thinks that the meaning of " a legal 
guarantee," which /SejSatacm has in papyri, lies at the basis of the expression. 


of divine gifts (De alleg. leg. iii. 24), and in N.T., excepting 
1 Pet. iv. 10, it is peculiar to Paul. It is used by him (1) of 
God's gift of salvation through Christ, Rom. v. 15, vi. 23 ; 

(2) of any special grace or mercy, vii. 7 ; 2 Cor. i. n ; and 

(3) of special equipments or miraculous gifts, as that of healing, 
xii. 9 ; cf. xii. 4 ; Rom. xii. 6. Here it is by no means to be 
restricted to (3), but includes (2), for the immediate context, 
especially v. 8, dwells on gifts flowing from a state of grace. 

direicSexofjieVous. As in Rom. viii. 19. For the sense cf. 
Col. iii. 3 f . ; 1 Pet. i. 7 ; 1 John iii. 2, 3 ; and see Mapdv S.0d, 
xvi. 22. In this reference, of waiting for the Advent, the word 
is always used of faithful Christians (Gal. v. 5 ; Phil. iii. 20 ; 
Heb. ix. 28).* Character Christiani veri ve I falsi revelationem 
Christi vel expectare vel horrere (Beng.). 

diTOKdXu^iy. See Rom. viii. 19 ; 1 Pet. i. 13. Quite need- 
lessly, Michelsen suspects the verse of being a gloss. 

8. 6s koI PePcuwo-eu Origen asks, tis f3e(3cuoi; and answers, 
Xpicrros 'I^o-oiis. The os refers to tov Kvpiov rjfi. 'I. Xp. ; cer- 
tainly not, as Beng. and others, to ©eo's in v. 4. This remote 
reference is not made probable by the words ev rfj rjjAtpa t. K. 
>7/i,. 'I. Xp. instead of simply eV rfj rip., avrov. We have Christ's 
name ten times in the first ten verses, and the solemn repetition 
of the sacred name, instead of the simple pronoun, is quite in 
St Paul's manner ; v. 3, 4; 2 Cor. i. 5 ; 2 Tim. i. 18. Cf. Gen. 
xix. 24, which is sometimes wrongly interpreted as implying a 
distinction of Persons. The /ecu points to correspondence ' on 
His part,' answering to e(3ef3aiu)6rj, dxeKSexo/AeVous, J n ^ 6, 7. 

|3ef3cuwo-€i. Cf. 2 Cor. i. 21, and, for the thought, Rom. 
xvi. 25 ; 1 Thess. iii. 13, v. 24. If they fail, it will not be His 

Iws tcXous. The sense is intenser than in 2 Cor. i. 13 ; 
cf. ets (.Kuvrjv tt/v r\p.ipa.v (2 Tim. i. 1 2). Mortis dies est uni- 
cuique dies adventus Domini (Herv.).f 

dyeyicXriTous. ' Unimpeachable,' for none will have the right 
to impeach (Rom. viii. 33; Col. i. 22, 28). The word implies, 
not actual freedom from sins, but yet a state of spiritual renewal 
(ii. i2f. ; Phil. i. 10; 2 Cor. v. 17 ; Rom. viii. 1). This pro- 
leptic construction of the accusative is found in 1 Thess. iii. 13, 
v. 23 ; Phil. iii. 21. Connect ev rfj yp-epa with aveyi<\TJTOvs. 

* " As though that were the highest gift of all ; as if that attitude of ex- 
pectation were the highest posture that can be attained here by the Christian " 
(F. W. Robertson). 

t The doctrine of the approach of the end is constantly in the Apostle's 
thoughts : iii. 13, iv. 5, vi. 2, 3, vii. 29, xi. 26, xv. 51, xvi. 22. We have ?u>5 
reXovs in 2 Cor. i. 13 with the same meaning as here, and in I Thess. ii. 16 
the more common eh tAos with a different meaning. See Abbott, Johannint 
Grammar, 2322. 


£v tj; rmtpq. (X A B C L P, Syrr. Copt. Arm. Aeth.) rather than iv rjj 
Trapovalq. (DEFG, Ambrst.). B omits Xpi<rroG. 

9. The confident hope expressed in v. 8 rests upon the faith- 
fulness of God (x. 13 ; 1 Thess. v. 24; Rom. viii. 30; Phil. i. 6) 
who had been the agent, as well as the source, of their call. 
With $1 ov cf. Heb. ii. 10, and also e£ avTov ko.1 oV avrov ko.\ ets 
avrbv ra. irdvTa, Rom. xi. 36. Aid with genitive can be applied 
either to Christ or to the Father,* but i£ ov would not be applied 
by St Paul to Christ. " Wherever God the Father and Christ 
are mentioned together, origination is ascribed to the Father 
and mediation to Christ" (Lightfoot, who refers especially to 
viii. 6). By St Paul, as by St John (vi. 44), the calling is specific- 
ally ascribed to the Father. 

cis Koivovlav. This fellowship (Rom. viii. 17; Phil. iii. 10 f.) 
exists now and extends to eternity : it is effected by and in the 
Spirit (Rom. viii. of.); hence koivwvlcl (tov) irvev/xaTos (2 Cor. 
xiii. 13; Phil. ii. 1). Vocatiestis in societatem non modo apostolorum 
vd angelorum, sed etiain Fiiii ejus J. C. Domini nostri (Herv.). 
The genitive tov vlov is objective, and " the noivwia tov vlov 
avrov is co-extensive with the /focriAeia tov ®eov " (Lightfoot). 

D* F G (not d f g) have i><p' oO instead of 5t' off. 

After this preamble, in which the true keynote of St Paul's 
feeling towards his Corinthian readers is once for all struck, 
he goes on at once to the main matters of censure, arising, not 
from their letter to him (vii. 1), but from what he has heard 
from other sources. In the preamble we have to notice the 
solemn impression which is made by the frequent repetition 
of ' Christ Jesus' or ' our Lord Jesus Christ.' Only once (v. 5) 
have we auTos instead of the Name. And in the beginning of 
the next section the Apostle repeats the full title once more, as 
if he could not repeat it too often (Bachmann). 

I. 10-IV. 21. THE DISSENSIONS (ixtcrfiaTCi). 

10-17. Do be united. I have been informed that there 
are contentions among you productive of party spirit. It 
was against this very thing that I so rarely baptized. 

10 But I entreat you, Brothers, by the dear name of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, into fellowship with whom vou were called by 
* See Basil, De Spiritu, ▼. IO. 


God Himself, do be unanimous in professing your beliefs, and 
do not be split up into parties. Let complete unity be restored 
both in your ways of thinking and in your ultimate convictions, 
so that all have one creed. n I do not say this without good 
reason : for it is quite clear to me, from what I was told by 
members of Chloe's household, that there are contentions and 
wranglings among you. 12 What I mean is this ; that there is 
hardly one among you who has not got some party-cry of his 
own; such as, "I for my part stand by Paul," "And I for my 
part stand by Kephas," "And I stand by Apollos," "And I stand 
by Christ." 13 Do you really think chat Christ has been given to 
any party as its separate share ? Was it Paul who was crucified 
for you ? Or was it to allegiance to Paul that you pledged 
yourselves when you were baptized ? 14 Seeing that you thus 
misuse my name, I thank God that not one of you was baptized 
by me, excepting Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, and my 
personal friend Gaius. 16 So that God has prevented anyone 
from saying that it was to allegiance to me that you were pledged 
in baptism. 16 Yes, I did baptize the household of Stephanas, 
my first converts in Achaia. Besides these, to the best of my 
knowledge, I baptized no one. 17 For Christ did not make me 
His Apostle to baptize, but to proclaim His Glad-tidings : — and 
I did this with no studied rhetoric, so that the Cross of Christ 
might prevail by its own inherent power. 

In these verses (10-17) we nave the facts of the case. The 
Apostle begins with an exhortation to avoid dissensions (v. 10), 
then proceeds to describe (n, 12) and to show the impropriety 
of (13-17) their actual dissensions. Quorum prius salutem narra- 
verat, postmodum vulnera patefecit (Herv.). 

10. irapaicaXw 8e. ' But (in contrast to what I wish to think, 
and do think, of you) I earnestly beg.' rTapaKaXetv, like 
irapaiTeofiai (Acts xxv. n), suggests an aim at changing the mind, 
whether from sorrow to joy (consolation), or severity to mercy 
(entreaty), or wrong desire to right (admonition or exhortation). 
The last is the sense here. The word is used more than a 
hundred times in N.T. 

dSeX^oi. Used in affectionate earnestness, especially when 
something painful has to be said (vii. 29, x. 1, xiv. 20, etc.). It 
probably implies personal acquaintance with many of those who 
are thus addressed: hence its absence from Ephesians and 


81A toG o^ojxaTos. We should have expected the accusative, 
' for the sake of the Name.' The genitive makes the Name the 
instrument of the appeal (Rom. xii. i, xv. 30; 2 Cor. x. 1): 
cf. ev ovofxan, 2 Thes. iii. 6. It is not an adjuration, but is 
similar to 8ta t. KvpLov 'Irjcrov (1 Thess. iv. 2). This appeal to the 
one Name is an indirect condemnation of the various party- 

Xva. This defines the purport rather than the purpose of 
the command or request, as in Matt. iv. 3, ci7rov Iva 01 \idoi ovtol 

aproi yevcovrai. 

to au-ro \£yr]Te. The expression is taken from Greek political 
life, meaning ' be at peace ' or (as here) ' make up differences.' 
So Arist. Pol. III. iii. 3, Boiwtoi Se koI Meyapi/s to airo Ae'yorTes 
y]o-vx a £ ov i an d other examples given by Lightfoot ad loc. Cf. to 
avrh <f>poveiv (Rom. xv. 15 ; Phil. ii. 2), and see Deissmann, Bible 
Studies, p. 256. The 7ravTes comes last with emphasis. St Paul 
is urging, not unison, but harmony. For his knowledge of Greek 
writers see xv. 34 ; Rom. ii. 14; Acts xvii. 28. 

jit) tj. ' That there may not be,' as there actually are •. he 
does not say yivqrau 

oxtcr/iaTa. Not ' schisms,' but 'dissensions' (John vii. 43, 
ix. 16), 'clefts,' 'splits'; the opposite of to avro Xiyrjre TravTe?. 

KaTTjpTio-fiei/oi. The word is suggestive of fitting together 
what is broken or rent (Matt. iv. 21). It is used in surgery for 
setting a joint (Galen), and in Greek politics for composing 
factions (Hdt. v. 28). See reff. in Lightfoot on 1 Thess. iii. 10. 
Cf. 2 Cor. xiii. 1 1 ; Gal. vi. 1 ; Heb. xiii. 2 1 : apte et congruenter 
inter se compingere (Calv.). 

voi . . . yv6\Lr\. Nous is 'temper' or 'frame of mind,' 
which is changed in fxerdvoLa and is kindly in cwota, while yvco/juj 
is 'judgment' on this or that point. He is urging them to give 
up, not erroneous beliefs, but party-spirit. 

11. c8t]Xw0t]. Not ' was reported,' but ' was made (only too) 
evident.' The verb implies that he was unable to doubt the 
unwelcome statement. In papyri it is used of official evidence. 
For d8eA<£ot see on v. 10. 

utto t£)v X\6tjs. This probably means 'by slaves belonging 
to Chloe's household.' She may have been an Ephesian lady 
with some Christian slaves who had visited Corinth. Had they 
belonged to Corinth, to mention them as St Paul's informants 
might have made mischief (Heinrici). The name Chloe was 
an epithet of Demeter, and probably (like Phoebe, Hermes, 
Nereus, Rom. xvi. 1, 14, 15) she was of the freedman class 
(see Lightfoot, ad loc). She is mentioned as a person known 
to the Corinthians. There is no reason to suppose that she 


was herself a Christian, or that the persons named in xvi. 17 
were members of her household. Evidence is wanting. 

epiSes. More unseemly than 0-^tcryu.aTa, although not neces- 
sarily so serious. Nevertheless, not or^oy-iaTa, unless crystallized 
into ai/3£<T€i5, but IptSc?, are named as 'works of the flesh' 
in Gal. v. 19, 20, or in the catalogues of vices, Rom. i. 29-31 ; 
2 Cor. xii. 20 ; 1 Tim. vi. 4. The divisions became noisy. 

12. Xeyw 8e touto. 'Now I mean this': but perhaps the 
force of the Be is best given by having no conjunction in 
English ; ' I mean this.' The tovto refers to what follows, as 
in vii. 29, xv. 50, whereas in vii. 35 it refers to what precedes, 
like avrrj in ix. 3. 

lKa<rros. This must not be pressed, any more than in 
xiv. 26, to mean that there were no exceptions. No doubt 
there were Corinthians who joined none of the four parties. 
It is to be remembered that all these party watchwords are on 
one level, and all are in the same category of blame. Cham- 
pionship for any one leader against another leader was wrong. 
St Paul has no partiality for those who claim himself, nor any 
respect for those who claim Christ, as their special leader. 
Indeed, he seems to condemn these two classes with special 
severity. The former exalt Paul too highly, the latter bring 
Christ too low : but all four are alike wrong. That, if such 
a spirit showed itself in Corinth at all, Paul, the planter, builder, 
and father of the community, would have a following, would 
be inevitable. And Apollos had watered (Acts xviii. 27, 28), 
and had tutored Paul's children in Christ. His brilliancy and 
Alexandrian modes of thought and expression readily lent 
themselves to any tendency to form a party, who would exalt 
these gifts at the expense of Paul's studied plainness. "The 
difference between Apollos and St Paul seems to be not so 
much a difference of views as in the mode of stating those 
views: the eloquence of St Paul was rough and burning; that 
of Apollos was more refined and polished" (F. W. Robertson).* 

Krj<f>a. Excepting Gal. ii. 7, 8, St Paul always speaks of 
Krjcjias, never of neVpos. He was unquestionably friendly to 
St Paul (Gal. ii. 7-9; and w. n-14 reveal no difference of 
doctrine between them). But among the Jewish or ' devout 
Greek' converts at Corinth there might well be some who 
would willingly defer to any who professed, with however little 
authority (Acts xv. 24), to speak in the name of the leader of 
the Twelve. " His conduct at Antioch had given them all 
the handle that they needed to pit Peter against Paul" (A. T. 

* It is a skilful stroke that the offender's own words are quoted, and each 
appears as bearing witness against himself. What each glories in becomes 
his own condemnation ; 4k too <tt6/xo.t6s aov. 


Robertson, Epochs in the Life of Paul, p. 187). There is no 
evidence, not even in ix. 5, that Peter had ever visited Corinth. 
It is remarkable that, even among Jewish Christians, the Greek 
' Peter' seems to have driven the original ' Kephas' (John i. 43) 
out of use. 

Xpurrou. The ■ Christ ' party may be explained in the light 
of 2 Cor. x. 7, 10, 11, and possibly xi. 4, 23 (compare xi. 4 with 
Gal. i. 6), where there seems to be a reference to a prominent 
opponent of St Paul, whose activity belongs to the situation 
which is distinctive of 2 Cor. From these passages we gather 
that, when 2 Cor. was written, there was a section at Corinth, 
following a leader who was, at least for a time, in actual 
rebellion against St Paul. This section claimed, in contrast 
to him, to belong to Christ, which was virtually a claim that 
Christ belonged to them and not to him ; and this claim seems 
to have been connected with a criterion of genuine Apostleship, 
namely, to have known Christ in the flesh, i.e. during His life 
on earth. Doubtless the situation in 2 Cor. goes beyond that 
which is presupposed in this Epistle. But iyoj 81 Xpurrov here 
must not be divorced from the clearer indications there. Those 
who used the watchword 'of Christ' were probably more 
advanced Judaizers than those who used the name of Kephas, 
to whom they stood related, as did the anti-Pauline Palestinian 
party (Acts xxi. 20, 21) to Kephas himself. The 'parties' at 
Corinth, therefore, are the local results of streams of influence 
which show themselves at work elsewhere in the N.T. We 
may distinguish them respectively as St Paul and his Gospel, 
Hellenistic intellectualism (Apollos), conciliatory conservatism, 
or 'the Gospel of the circumcision' (Kephas), and 'zealots for 
the Law,' hostile to the Apostleship of St Paul. These last 
were the exclusive party.* See Deissmann, Light from the 
Anc. East, p. 382. 

We need not, therefore, consider seriously such considera- 
tions as that iyoi 8e X/ho-tou was the cry of all three parties 
(Rabiger, misinterpreting fiffiipio-Tai) ; or that St Paul approves 
this cry (Chrysostom, appealing to iii. 22, 23); or that it is 
St Paul's own reply to the others ; or that it represents a 
'James' party (in which case, why is James not mentioned?); 
or that it marks those who carried protest against party so far 
as to form a party on that basis. In iii. 23 St Paul says v/xeis 
Se Xpurrov most truly and from his heart; that is true of all: 

* The conjecture that the original reading was ^yw St Kplo-irov is not very 
intelligent. Could Crispus have been made the rival of Paul, Apollos, and 
Peter ? Could Clement of Rome have failed to mention the Crispus party, 
if there had been one? He mentions the other three. And see w. 13 
and 14. 


what he censures here is its exclusive appropriation by some. 
To say, with special emphasis, '/am of Christ,' is virtually 
to say that Christ is mine and not yours. 

In Acts xviii. 24 and xix. 1, X, Copt, have ' Apelles,' while D in 
xviii. 24 has ' Apollonius.' The reading 'Apelles' seems to be Egyptian, 
and goes back to Origen, who asks whether Apollos can be the same as 
the Apelles of Rom. xvi. 10. 

For a history of the controversies about the four parties, see Bachmann, 
pp. 58-63. 

13. fieuipiCTTcu. The clauses are all interrogative, and are 
meant for the refutation of all. ' Does Christ belong to a 
section? Is Paul your saviour? Was it in his name that you 
were admitted into the Church?' The probable meaning of 
(A€yu.€pto-rat is 'has been apportioned,' i.e. given to some one 
as his separate share (vii. 17 ; Rom. xii. 3; Heb. vii. 2). This 
suggestion has been brilliantly supported by Evans. To say, 
'Is Christ divided?' implying a negative answer, gives very 
little point. Lightfoot suggests that an affirmative answer is 
implied ; ' Christ has been and is divided only too truly. 1 But 
this impairs the spring and homogeneity of the three questions, 
giving the first an affirmative, and the other two a negative 
answer. It amounts to making the first clause a plain state- 
ment ; ' In that case the Body of Christ has been divided.' 
Dividitur corpus, cum membra dissentiunt (Primasius). Si mem- 
bra divisa sunt, et totum corpus (Atto Vercellensis). This mean- 
ing is hardly so good as the other. 

fit] riauXos e<TTaupw0T] k.t.X. To say iyu> ElavAov would imply 
this. To be a slave is aXXov e'vcu, another person's property 
(Arist. Pol. I.). A Christian belongs to Christ (iii. 23), and he 
therefore may call himself 8ovXos 'Irjcrov Xpcarov, as St Paul 
often does (Rom. i. 1, etc.) : but he may not be the SoCAos of 
any human leader (vii. 23; cf. iii. 21 ; 2 Cor. xi. 20). St Paul 
shows his characteristic tact in taking himself, rather than 
Apollos or Kephas, to illustrate the Corinthian error. Cf. 
ix. 8, 9, xii. 29, 30. 

cts to oVofici. He takes the strongest of the three expressions : 
the €15 (Matt, xxviii. 19; Acts viii. 16, xix. 5) is stronger than 
eVt (Acts ii. 38, v.l.) or lv (Acts x. 48). k Into the name' 
implies entrance into fellowship and allegiance, such as exists 
between the Redeemer and the redeemed. Cf. the figure in 
x. 2, and see note there. St Paul deeply resents modes of 
expression which seem to make him the rival of Christ. A'on 
vult a sponsa amari pro spo nso (Herv.). At the Crucifixion we 
were bought by Christ ; in baptism we accepted Him as Lord 
and Master : crux et baptismus nos Christo asserit (Beng.). 
"The guilt of these partizans did not lie in holding views 


differing from each other: it was not so much in saying 'this 
is the truth,' as it was in saying 'this is not the truth.' The 
guilt of schism is when each party, instead of expressing fully 
his own truth, attacks others, and denies that others are in 
the Truth at all" (F. W. Robertson). See Deissmann, Bible 
Studies, pp. 146, 196; Light from the Anc. East, p. 123. 

It is difficult to decide between virkp i/idv (K A C D 2 E F G L P, pro 
vobis Vulg. ) and irepl vpLwv (B D*). The former would be more likely to 
be substituted for the latter, as most usual, than vice versa. But irepl is 
quite in place, in view of its sacrificial associations. See note on Rom. 
viii. 3. 

14. coxapioTui. A quasi-ironical turn ; ' What difficulties I 
have unconsciously escaped.' 

Kpionroe. One of the first converts (Acts xviii. 8).* Ruler 
of the synagogue. 

Taiof. Probably the host of St Paul ' and of the whole 
Church' at Corinth (Rom. xvi. 23), but probably not the 
hospitable Gaius of 3 John 5, 6. This common Roman prae- 
notnen belongs probably to five distinct persons in the N.T. 
The Greek preserves the correct Latin form, which is sometimes 
written Cains, because the same character originally stood in 
Latin for both G and C. Crispus, 'curly,' is a cognomen. 

After evxo.picrw, N'ACDEFGLP, Vulg. add rip Bey, while A 17, 
Syrr. Copt. Arm. add rtp Qecp fxov — a very natural gloss. M* B 67, 
Chrys. omit. 

15. tra juiirj tis €ittt). The Iva points to the tendency of 
such an action on the Apostle's part among those who had 
proved themselves capable of such low views : compare iva 
in Rom. xi. n ; John ix. 2. Their making such a statement 
was "a result viewed as possible by St Paul" (Evans, who calls 
this use of Iva " subjectively ecbatic "). Thus the sense comes 
very near to that of ware with the infinitive (v. 7). In N.T., 
Iva never introduces a result as an objective fact, but its strictly 
final or telic force shows signs of giving way (v. 10), — a first 
step towards its vague use in mod. Grk. as a mere sign of 
the infinitive. Those who strive to preserve its strictly telic 
sense in passages like this (as Winer, Meyer, and others) have 
recourse to the so-called Hebraic teleological instinct of refer- 
ring everything, however mechanically, to over-ruling Providence. 
In vii. 29, if 'the time is cut short,' this was done with the 

* "Most of the names of Corinthian Christians indicate either a Roman 
or a servile origin (e.g. Gaius, Crispus, Forhinatus, Achaicus, xvi. 17 ; 
Tertius, Rom. xvi. 22 ; Quartus, Rom. xvi. 23 ; Justus, Acts xviii. 7) " (Ency. 
Bibl 898). It was because of the importance of such converts that the 
Apostle baptized Crispus and Gains himself. We do not know whether Gaius 
was Jew or Gentile ; but the opposition of the Jews in Corinth to St Paul 
was so bitter that probably most of his first converts were heathen. 


providential intention ' that those who have wives should be 
as those who have none ' : and in John ix. 2 the sense would 
be that ' if this man sinned or his parents,' the reason was that 
Providence purposed that he should be born blind. While 
refusing to follow such artificial paradoxes of exegesis, we 
may fully admit that Providentia Dei regnat saepe in rebus 
quarum ratio postea cognoscitur. 

ipaTrTl(T6i)Te (K A B C*, Vulg. Copt. Arm. ) rather than ip&vrura 
(C 8 D E F G L P). RV. corrects AV. 

16. epMimo-a 8e kcu. A correction which came into his 
mind as he dictated : — on reflexion, he can remember no other 
case. Possibly his amanuensis reminded him of Stephanas. 

iTe^afa. The name is a syncopated form, like Apollos, 
Demas, Lucas, Hermas, etc. It would seem that Stephanas 
was an earlier convert even than Crispus (xvi. 15). 'Achaia' 
technically included Athens, and Stephanas may himself have 
been converted there with the Iteooi of Acts xvii. 34; but his 
household clearly belongs to Corinth, and they, not the head 
only, are the 'first-fruits of Achaia,' which may therefore be 
used in a narrower sense. 

XonroV. The neut. sing. ace. (of respect) used adverbially; 
quod superest (Vulg. caeterum) : to Xonrov is slightly stronger. 
See Lightfoot on Phil. iii. 1 and on 1 Thess. iv. 1. Cf. iv. 2 ; 
2 Cor. xiii. 11. St Paul forestalls possible objection. 

17. ou yap a-triareikiv pc. This verse marks the transition to 
the discussion of principle which lies at the root of these (t^lo-- 
fx.ara, viz. the false idea of o-o<pia entertained by the Corinthians. 
The Apostle did not as a rule baptize by his own hand, but by 
virriplrai. Perhaps other Apostles did the same (Acts x. 48). 
See John iv. 1, 2 for our Lord's practice. Baptizing required no 
special, personal gifts, as preaching did. Baptism is not dis- 
paraged by this ; but baptism presupposes that the great charge, 
to preach the Gospel,* has been fulfilled; Matt, xxviii. 19; 
Luke xxiv. 47 ; [Mark] xvi. 15 : and, with special reference to St 
Paul, ix. 16, 17; Acts ix. 15, 20, xxii. 15, 21, xxvi. 16. 'Attc'o-- 
T€iA£v='sent as His airoo-ToXos.' 

ouk iv o-ocjna Xoyou. See note on v. 5. Preaching was St 
Paul's great work, but his aim was not that of the professional 
rhetorician. Here he rejects the standard by which an age of 
rhetoric judged a speaker. The Corinthians were judging by 

* The translation of evayyeXl^ecrffai varies even in RV. ; here, ' preach 
the gospel'; Acts xiii. 32, xiv. 15, 'bring good tidings'; Acts xv. 35, Gal. 
i. 16. 23, 'preach' ; I Pet. i. 25, 'preach good tidings.' 

The old explanation, that missionary preaching requires a special gift, 
whereas baptizing can be performed by any one, is probably right. 


externals. The fault would conspicuously apply, no doubt, to 
those who 'ran after' Apollos. But the indictment is not 
limited to that party. All alike were externalists, lacking a 
sense for depth in simplicity, and thus easily falling a prey to 
superficialities both in the matter and in the manner of teaching. 
Levangile ri est pas une sagesse, <?est un sahd (Godet). 

Ivo. p) K6KW0TJ. To clothe the Gospel in aocfria. \6yov was to 
impair its substance: kcvovv, cf. ix. 15; Rom. iv. 14; 2 Cor. >x. 
3, and els K€v6v, Gal. ii. 2 ; Phil. ii. 16. In this he glances at the 
Apollos party. 

(i) I. 18-11. 5. The False Wisdom. 

18-31. The message of the Cross is foolishness to the 
wonder-seeking Jew and to the wisdom-seeking Greek : but 
to us, who have tried it, it is God's pozver and God's wisdom. 
Consider your own case, how God has chosen the simple and 
weak in preference to the wise and strong, that all glorying 
might be in Him alone. 

18 To those who are on the broad way that leadeth to destruc- 
tion, the message of the Cross of course is foolishness ; but to 
those who are in the way of salvation, as we feel that we are, it 
manifests the power of God. 19 For it stands written in Scripture, 
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of 
the discerning I will set at nought. 20 What, in God's sight, is 
the Greek philosopher? What, in God's sight, is the Jewish 
Rabbi ? What, be he Jew or Gentile, is the skilful disputer of 
this evil age ? Did not God make foolish and futile the profane 
wisdom of the non-Christian world ? 21 For when, in the provi- 
dence of God, the world, in spite of all its boasted intellect and 
philosophy, failed to attain to a real knowledge of God, it was 
God's good pleasure, by means of the proclaimed Glad-tidings, 
which the world regarded as foolishness, to save those who have 
faith in Him. 22 The truth of this is evident. Jews have no 
real knowledge of the God whom they worship, for they are 
always asking for miracles ; nor Greeks either, for they ask for a 
philosophy of religion : 23 but we proclaim a Messiah who has 
been crucified, to Jews a revolting idea, and to Greeks an absurd 
one. ,4 But to those who really accept God's call, both Jews 


and Greeks, this crucified Messiah is the supreme manifestation 
of God's power and God's wisdom. 25 For what the Greek 
regards as the unwisdom of God is wiser than mankind, and 
what the Jew regards as the impotency of God is stronger than 

26 For consider, Brothers, the circumstances of your own call. 
Very few of you were wise, as men count wisdom, very few were 
of great influence, very few were of high birth. 27 Quite the 
contrary. It was the unwisdom of the world which God specially 
selected, in order to put the wise people to shame by succeeding 
where they had failed ; and it was the uninfluential agencies of 
the world which God specially selected, in order to put its 
strength to shame, by triumphing where that strength had been 
vanquished ; 28 and it was the low-born and despised agencies 
which God specially selected, yes, actual nonentities, in order to 
bring to nought things that are real enough. 29 He thus secured 
that no human being should have anything to boast of before 
God. 30 But as regards you, on the other hand, it is by His will 
and bounty that ye have your being by adoption in Christ Jgsus, 
who became for us wisdom manifested from God, — wisdom which 
stands for both righteousness and sanctification, yes, and redemp- 
tion as well. 81 God did all this, in order that each might take 
as his guiding principle what stands written in Scripture, He that 
glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 

The Gospel in its essence makes no appeal to appreciation 
based on mere externalism. Divine Wisdom is not to be gauged 
by human cleverness (18-25). The history and composition of 
the Corinthian Church is a refutation of human pretensions by 
Divine Power (26-29), which, in the Person of Christ, satisfies 
the deeper needs and capacities of man (30, 31). 

18. 6 \6yos. In contrast, not to Aoyo? o-o^t'as (v. 5, ii. 6), 
but to o-o<£ia Xoyov (v. 17); the preaching of a crucified 

The AV. spoils the contrast by rendering 'the wisdom of 
words' and 'the preaching of the Cross.' The use of ao(j>La in 
these two chapters should be compared with the ayiov 
irvevfx.a in the Book of Wisdom (i. 5, ix. 17), Trveu/xo. o-o^i'as 
Cvii. 7), etc. St Paul had possibly read the book. We have in 
Wisdom the opposition between the <rS)fia and the irvev[xa 01 
i^Xn ° r o-o^t'a (i. 4, ii. 3, ix. 15). 

tou CTTaupou. "This expression shows clearly the stress 


which St Paul laid on the death of Christ, not merely as a great 
moral spectacle, and so the crowning point of a life of self- 
renunciation, but as in itself the ordained instrument of salvation" 
(Lightfoot). Cf. Ign. Eph. 18. 

toIs fA€f diroWujxeVois. ' B'or them who are perishing ' (dativus 
commodi), not ' In the opinion of those who are perishing ' 
(Chrys.). Compare carefully 2 Cor. ii. 16, iv. 3 ; 2 Thess. ii. 10. 
The verb (John iii. 16) is St Paul's standing expression for the 
destiny of the wicked (xv. 18). The force of the present tense 
is ' axiomatic,' of that which is certain, whether past, present, or 
future : airo tov t£\ovs to.s Karrjyopias Ti#ei'? (Theodoret). The 
idea of predestination to destruction is quite remote from this 
context : St Paul simply assigns those who reject and those who 
receive ' the Word of the Cross ' to the two classes corresponding 
to the issues of faith and unbelief; and he does not define 
1 perishing.' It is rash to say that he means annihilation ; still 
more rash to say that he means endless torment. Eternal loss 
or exclusion may be meant. 

jjuupia. See on v. 21 and 2 Cor. iv. 3. 

toTs 8e <rw£o|AeVois. It is not quite adequate to render this 
'to those who are in course of being saved.' Salvation vs the 
certain result (xv. 2) of a certain relation to God, which relation 
is a thing of the present. This relation had a beginning (Rom, 
viii. 24), is a fact now (Eph. ii. 5, 8), and characterizes our 
present state (Acts ii. 47); but its inalienable confirmation 
belongs to the final adoption or diro\vTpwcn<; (Rom. viii. 23 ; cf. 
Eph. iv. 30). Meanwhile there is great need for watchful 
steadfastness, lest, by falling away, we lose our filial relation to 
God. Consider x. 12, ix. 27; Gal. v. 4; Matt. xxiv. 13. 

TJjuui\ 'As we have good cause to know.' The addition of 
the pronoun throws a touch of personal warmth into this side 
of the statement : ' you and I can witness to that.' * 

SuWfns 0eoO co-tic See Rom. i. 16. Not merely 'a demon- 
stration of God's power,' nor ' a power of God,' but ' God's 
power.' The contrast between Swoons (not <so$la) ©eov and 
fxoypia belongs to the very core of St Paul's teaching (ii. 4 ; cf. iv. 
20). Wisdom can carry conviction, but to save, — to give illumina- 
tion, penitence, sanctilication, love, peace, and hope to a human 
soul, — needs power, and divine power. 

19. yiypairrai Y^P- Proof of what is stated in v. 18, i.e. as 

regards the failure of worldly cleverness in dealing with the things 
of God. By yiypawTai, used absolutely, St Paul always means 

* Both Irenaeus (I. iii. 5) and Marcion (Tert. Marc. v. 5) omit the ■f)fiiv, 
and Marcion seems to have read dvvapLis Kal cro<pla Qeou earlv. To omit the 
ijfuv is to omit a characteristic touch ; and to insert Kal aoQla rather spoils 
the point. 


the O.T. Scriptures; v. 31, ii. 9, iii. 19, x. 7, xv. 45; Roro. u 
17, ii. 24, iii. 4, 10, etc. 

dTroXw -ri)v trotyiav. From Isa. xxix. 14 (LXX), substituting 
adeTrjcru> for Kpvif/w, in accordance with St Paul's usual freedom 
of citation.* The Prophet, referring to the failure of worldly 
statesmanship in Judah in face of the judgment of the Assyrian 
invasion, states a principle which the Apostle seizes and applies. 
Possibly aOerrjao) comes from Ps. xxxiii. 10. 

avvtaiv. Worldly common sense (Matt. xi. 25). It has its 
place in the mind that is informed by the Spirit of God (Col. i. 9), 
and the absence of it is a calamity (Rom. i. 21, 31). On owto-is 
and ao(f>ia see Arist. Eth. Nic. VI. vii. 10. 

d0€TT)cru. The verb is post-classical, frequent in Polybius 
and LXX. Its etymological sense is not ' destroy,' but ' set 
aside' or 'set at nought,' and this meaning satisfies the present 
passage and the use in N.T. generally. 

20. iroO cto<J>os ; A very free citation from the general sense 
of Isa. xxxiii. 18 (cf. xix. 12): St Paul adapts the wording to his 
immediate purpose. The original passage refers to the time 
following on the disappearance of the Assyrian conqueror, with 
his staff of clerks, accountants, and takers of inventories, who 
registered the details of the spoil of a captured city. On the 
tablet of Shalmaneser in the Assyrian Gallery of the British 
Museum there is a surprisingly exact picture of the scene described 
by Isaiah. The marvellous disappearance of the invading host 
was to Isaiah a signal vindication of Jehovah's power and care, 
and also a refutation, not so much of the conqueror's 'scribes,' 
as of the worldly counsellors at Jerusalem, who had first thought 
to meet the invader by an alliance with Egypt, or other 
methods of statecraft, and had then relapsed into demoralized 
despair. St Paul's use of the passage, therefore, although very 
free, is not alien to its historical setting. See further on ii. 9 
respecting examples of free quotation. For ttov; see xv. 55; 
Rom. iii. 27. The question is asked in a triumphant tone.f 

The 'wise' is a category more suitable to the Gentile {v. 22), 
the 'scribe' to the Jew, while the 'disputer' no doubt suits 
Greeks, but suits Jews equally well (Acts vi. 9, ix. 29, xxviii. 29). 
This allotment of the terms is adopted by Clement of Alexandria 
and by Theodoret, and is more probable than that of Meyer and 

* He quotes from Isa. xxix. in Col. ii. 22 and Rom. ix. 20. Our Lord 
quotes from it Matt. xi. 5, xv. 8 f. 

t He may have in his mind Isa. xix. 12, wov elaiv vvv ol <ro<pol <rov ; and 
Isa. xxxiii. 18, irov eiaiv ol ypafj.ixari.Kol ; ttov elaiv ol o~vfj./3oi>\fuoi>Tes ; No- 
where else in N.T., outside Gospels and Acts, does ypa/x/xaTevs occur. 
Bachmann shows that there is a parallel between the situation in Isaiah and 
the situation here ; but rod aiwvos tovtov goes beyond the former. 


Ellicott, which makes o-o<po*s generic, while ypa/xfiaTevs is applied 
to the Jew, and owfr/'ny'n?? to the Greek. But it is unlikely 
that St Paul is here making an exact classification, or means any 
one of the terms to be applied to Jew or Gentile exclusively. 

au^TT]TT)s. A aira$ Xeyofxcvov, excepting Ign. Eph. 18, from 
this passage. 

tou alw^os tou'tou. This is certainly applicable to Jews (see on 
ii. 8), but not to them exclusively (Gal. i. 4 ; Rom. xii. 2). The 
phrase is rabbinical, denoting the time before the Messianic age 
or 'age to come' (Luke xviii. 30, xx. 35). This alwv, the state of 
things now present, including the ethical and social conditions 
which are as yet unchanged by the coming of Christ, is fleeting 
(vii. 31), and is saturated with low motives and irreligion (ii. 6 ; 
2 Cor. iv. 4 ; Eph. ii. 2). As cuwv, " by metonymy of the 
container for the contained," denotes the things existing in time, 
in short the world, 6 cu<W oCtos may be rendered 'this world'; 
hujus saeculi quod totum est extra sphaeram verbi cruris (Beng.). 
See Grimm-Thayer s.v. aluv, and the references at the end of the 
article ; also Trench, Syn. § lix. The genitive belongs to all 
three nouns. 

ovyl i\ul>pavev ; Nonne stultam fecit (Vulg.), infatuavit (Tertull. 
and Beza). Cf. Rom. i. 22, 23, and Isa. xix. n, xliv. 25, 33. 
The passage in Romans is an expansion of the thought here. 
God not only showed the futility of the world's wisdom, but 
frustrated it by leaving it to work out its own results, and still 
more by the power of the Cross, effecting what human wisdom 
could not do, — not even under the Law (Rom. viii. 3). 

tou Koajjiou. Practically synonymous with tov aiwvos tovtov 
(ii. 12, Hi. 18, 19): but we do not find 6 koct/xos 6 /xeAAwv, for 
koV^os is simply the existing universe, and is not always referred 
to with censure (v. 10; John iii. 16).* 

After Kdfffiov, N 3 C 3 D 3 E F G L, Vulg. Syrr. Copt, add ro&rov. 
K* A B C* D* P 17, Orig. omit. It is doubtless an insertion from the 
previous clause. 

21. eireiSrj yap. Introduces, as the main thought, God's 
refutation of the world's wisdom by means of what the world 
holds to be folly, viz. the word of the Cross, thus explaining 
(yap) what was stated in vv. 19, 20. But this main thought 
presupposes (eYeiS?/) the self-stultification of the world's wisdom 
in the providence of God. 

iv tt] o-o<}>ia tou 0eoO. This is taken by Chrysostom and 
others (e.g. Edwards, Ellicott) as God's wisdom displayed in His 

* St Paul uses /c<5<r/ios nearly fifty times, and very often in 1 and 2 Cor. 
With him the use of the word in an ethical sense, of what in the main is evil, 
is not rare (ii. 12, iii. 19, v. 10, xi. 32). See Hobhouse, Bampton Lectures, 
pp. 352 f. 


works (Rom. i. 20 ; Acts xiv. 17), by which (iv quasi-instrumental) 
the world ought to have attained to a knowledge of Him. But 
this sense of <ro<pia would be harsh and abrupt ; and the order of 
the words is against this interpretation, as is also the context 
(lfj.u)pav€v, evSoK-rjo-ev 6 ©eos). 'The wisdom of God' is here 
God's wise dealing with mankind in the history of religion, 
especially in permitting them to be ignorant (Acts xvii. 30; 
Rom. xi. 32 ; cf. Acts xiv. 16 ; Rom. i. 24). So Alford, Findlay, 
Evans, Lightfoot. 

ouk eyvoi. This applies to Jew as well as to Greek, although 
not in the same manner and degree. "The Pharisee, no less 
than the Greek philosopher, had a o-o^t'a of his own, which stood 
between his heart and the knowledge of God" (Lightfoot). See 
Rom. x. 2. The world's wisdom failed, the Divine ' foolishness ' 

€u86kt]o-6I'. Connects directly with ydp. The word belongs 
to late Greek : Rom. xv. 26 ; Gal. i. 15 ; Col. i. 19. 

81a rrjs pjpias tou KY]puYfJ-aTos. Cf. Isa. xxviii. 9-13. K^pvy/xa 
(Matt. xii. 41) differs from K??pv£is as the aorist does from the 
present or imperfect : it denotes the action, not in process, but 
completed, or viewed as a whole. It denotes, not 'the thing 
preached' (RV. marg.), but 'the proclamation' itself (ii. 4; 
2 Tim. iv. 17); and here it stands practically for 'the word of 
the Cross' (v. 18), or the Gospel, but with a slight emphasis 
upon the presentation. Krjpvtrcrtiv, which in earlier Greek meant 
' to herald,' passes into its N.T. and Christian use by the fact 
that the 'Good-tidings' proclaimed by Christ and His Apostles 
was the germ of all Christian teaching (Matt. iii. 1, iv. 17). 
'The foolishness of preaching' is a bold oxymoron (cf. v. 25), 
presupposing and interpreting v. 18. In N.T., p-wpia is peculiar 
to 1 Cor. (18, 23, ii. 14, iii. 19). 

tous iriareuoi'Tas. With emphasis at the end of the sentence, 
solving the paradox of God's will to work salvation for man 
through 'foolishness.' The habit of faith (pres. part.), and not 
cleverness, is the power by which salvation is appropriated (Rom. 
i. 17, iii. 25). He does not say rows 7ricrm'o-a.vTas, which might 
mean that to have once believed was enough. 

22. cttciSt). This looks forward to v. 23, to which v. 22 is a 
kind of protasis : 'Since — while Jews and Gentiles alike demand 
something which suits their unsympathetic limitations — we, on 
the other hand, preach,' etc. The two verses explain, with refer- 
ence to the psychology of the religious world at that time, what 
has been said generally in vv. 18, 21. The repeated kcu brackets 
(Rom. iii. 9) the typical Greek with the typical Jew, as the lead- 
ing examples, in the world in which St Paul's readers lived, oi 


the a.7ro\Xvfxevoi, the xocr/ios and its wisdom. In a similar way 
the opposed sects of Epicureans and Stoics are bracketed by St 
Luke (Acts xvii.) as belonging, for his purpose, to one category. 
By the absence of the article (not ' the Jews,' ' the Greeks,' as 
in AV.) the terms connote characteristic attributes rather than 
denote the individuals. There were many exceptions, as the 
N.T. shows. 

oTjixeia aiTouaiv. Matt. xii. 38, xvi. 4 ; John iv. 48. The 
Jewish mind was matter-of-fact and crudely concrete. " Hebrew 
idiom makes everything as concrete as possible " (R. H. Kennett). 
There were certain wonders specified as to be worked by the 
Messiah when He came, and these they 'asked for' importun- 
ately and precisely. The Greek restlessly felt after something 
which could dazzle his ingenious speculative turn, and he passed 
by anything which failed to satisfy intellectual curiosity (Acts 
xvii. 18, 21, 32).* Lightfoot points to the difference between 
the arguments used by Justin in his Apologies addressed to 
Gentiles, and those used by him in his controversy with Trypho 
the Jew. "j" See Deissmann, Light from the Anc. East, p. 393. 

The AV. has ' require a sign.' L, Arm. have (rrjfieiov. Beyond question 
<rrjfieia (X A B C D, etc.) must be read : • ask for signs ' is right. B. Weiss 
prefers ffrj/xeiov.X 

23. Xpioroi' eoraupufieVoi/. ' A crucified Messiah ' (ii. 2 \ 
Gal. iii. 1). 'We preach a Christ crucified' (RV. marg.), the 
very point at which the argument with a Jew encountered a wall 
of prejudice (Acts xxvi. 23, el TraOrjro? 6 Xpto-ro'?. Cf. Gal. ii. 21, 
v. 11). The Jews demanded a victorious Christ, heralded by 
o-rjixtia, who would restore the glories of the kingdom of David 
and Solomon. To the Jew the Cross was the sufficient and 
decisive refutation (Matt, xxvii. 42; cf. Luke xxiv. 21) of the 
claim that Jesus was the Christ. To the first preachers of Christ, 
the Cross was the atonement for sin (xv. 3, n). On this subject 
the Jew had to unlearn before he could learn ; and so also, in 
a different way, had the Greek. Both had to learn the divine 
character of humility. Christ was not preached as a conqueror 
to please the one, nor as a philosopher to please the other : He 
was preached as the crucified Nazarene. 

eQi-eo-n' 8e pwpiaf. The heathen, prepared to weigh the 'pros 
and cons' of a new system, lacked the presuppositions which 
might have prepared the Jew for simple faith in the Christ. To 
him, the Gospel presented no prima facie case ; it was unmean- 

* Graios, qui vera requirunt (Lucr. i. 641). 

f See also Biblical Essays, pp. 150 f., and Edwards ad loc. 

% Vet he interprets it in a plural sense. Eichhorn more consistently inter- 
prets it of a worldly Messiah, Mosheim of a miraculous deliverance of Jesus 
from crucifixion. 


ing, not even plausible : he was not, like the Jew, bent on 
righteousness (Rom. ix. 30-x. 3). Compare Cicero's horror of 
crucifixion {Pro Rabir. 5), Lucian's reference to our Saviour 
(De mort. Peregr. 13) as rbv avecrKoXoTricr/xivov ckcivov crocpicrTijV; 
and the well-known caricature, found on the Palatine, of a slave 
bowing down to a crucified figure with an ass's head, inscribed 
AA.€(fa/x.€i'os 6eov (rc/3eTat. 

A few authorities (C s D s , Clem- Alex.) have "EWrjori instead of (Oveaw. 
Orig. seems to have both readings. 

24. aurois corresponds to rj/juv in v. 18, as -rots kXtjtoTs to tois 
o-w^o/xeVots : ' to the actual believers ' in contrast to other Jews 
and Gentiles. The pronoun is an appeal to personal experience, 
as against objections ab extra. 

XpioroV. This implies the repetition of io-TavpuLiivov. It is 
in the Cross that God's power (Rom i. 16) and wisdom (v. 30, 
below) come into operation for the salvation of man. God's 
power and wisdom show themselves in a way which is not in 
accordance with men's a priori standards : they altogether tran- 
scend such standards. 

Whether St Paul is here touching directly the line of thought 
which is expressed in the prologue to the Fourth Gospel is very 
doubtful. He may be said to do so indirectly, in so far as the 
doctrine of the work of Christ involves that of His Person (Col. 
i. 17-20, ii. 9).* 

25. to fiwpoi' toO 0€oC. Either, 'a foolish thing on God's 
part ' (such as a crucified Messiah), or, better, ' the foolishness of 
God' (AV.), in a somewhat rhetorical sense, not to be pressed. 
God's wisdom, at its lowest, is wiser than men, and God's power, 
at its weakest, is stronger than men. It is quite possible to 
treat the construction as a condensed comparison ; ' than men's 
wisdom,' 'than men's power' (Matt. v. 20; John v. 36). So 
Lightfoot, Conybeare and Howson, etc. Infirmitas Christi 
magna victoria est (Primasius). Victus vicit mortem, quam nullus 
gigas evasit (Herv.). Mortem, quam reges, gigantes, et principes 
superare non poterant, ipse moriendo vicit (Atto). 

Throughout the above passage (17-25) we may note the 
close sequence of explanatory conjunctions, yap (18, 19, 21), 
i-rreihrj (22), on (25). Without pretending to seize every nuance 

* "This means that Christ stands for God's wisdom upon earth, and exer- 
cises God's power among men. Such a view implies a very close relation 
with the Godhead. But it should also be noted that this is stdl connected in 
St Paul's mind with the Mission that has been laid upon Jesus, rather than 
regarded as the outcome of His essential nature" (Durell, The Self- Revelation 
of our Lord, p. 150). On the order of the words Bengel remarks that we 
recognize God's power before we recognize His wisdom. 


of transition, or to call the Apostle to stringent account for every 
conjunction that he uses, the connexion of the successive clauses 
may be made fairly plain by following it in the order of thought. 
The ydp and on, going from effect to cause, present the sequence 
in reverse order. In following the order of thought, however, we 
must not forget that proof is sometimes from broad principles, 
sometimes from particular facts. The order works out somewhat 
as follows : — 

The Divine Power and Wisdom, at their seeming lowest, are 
far above man's highest (25) ; for this reason (22-24) our Gospel 
— a poor thing in the eyes of men, is, to those who know it, the 
Power and Wisdom of God. This exemplifies (21) the truth 
underlying the history of the world, that man's wisdom is con- 
victed of failure by the simplicity of the truth as declared by 
God. This is how God, now as of old, turns to folly the wisdom 
of the wise (19, 20), a principle which explains the opposite look 
which the ' word of the Cross ' has to the airoWv/jievoi and the 
aw^ofxevoi (18) : and that is why (17) my mission is to preach 
ovk iv (Tocfua Xoyov. 

As a chain of explanatory statements, the argument might 
have gone straight from v. 18 to v. 22 ; but St Paul would not 
omit a twofold appeal, most characteristic of his mind, to Scrip- 
ture (19, 20), and to the religious history of mankind (21), the 
latter being exhibited as a verification of the other. 

Texts vary considerably as to the position of iarlv in the first clause of 
v. 25, and also in the second clause. In the second, N* B 17 omit iariv t 
and it is probably an interpolation from the first. 

26. pXc'ireTc yelp. An unanswerable argumentum ad hominem, 
clinching the result of the above passage, especially the compre- 
hensive principle of v. 25. The verb is imperative (RV.), not 
indicative (AV.), and governs tyjv kXtjo-lv directly. It is needless 
subtlety to make t. kX. an accusative of respect, ' Behold — with 
reference to your call — how that not many,' etc. 

tt\v Kkr\a\.v up.wt'. ' Summon before your mind's eye what took 
place then ; note the ranks from which one by one you were 
summoned into the society of God's people ; very few come from 
the educated, influential, or well-connected class.' With kXtjvls 
compare kXtjtoC, vv. 2, 24: it refers, not so much to the external 
call, or even to the internal call of God, as to the conversion 
which presupposes the latter : -n-dvTwv avOpw-n-uiv K€KXrj/j.ivwv ol 
VTraKOVcrai /3ovXr]6£vT€'i kXtjtoi dyvoixdaOrjU-av (Clem. Alex. Strom. I. 
p. 314). See on vii. 20, and Westcott on Eph. i. 18. 


dSeXcjxn. As in v. 10, the affectionate address softens what 
might give pain. 

on ou ttoXXou A substantival clause, in apposition to KXijaif 
as the part to the whole: they are to 'behold their calling, 1 
specially noting these facts which characterized it. From 'not 
many ' we may assume that in each case there were some : but 
x. 5 warns us against interpreting oi ttoXXoi as meaning more 
than ' very few.' 

Kara cmpKa. This applies to Bvvaroi and cvyevets as well as to 
o-o^ot. Each of the three terms is capable of a higher sense, 
as euyevcts in Acts xvii. n ; each may be taken either (i) as a 
predicate, 'not many of the called were wise,' etc.; or (2) as 
belonging to the subject, the predicate being understood, ' not 
many wise had part therein ' ; or (3) like (2), but with a different 
predicate, 'not many wise were called' (AV., RV.). The last is 

Some of the converts were persons of culture and position ; 
Dionysius at Athens (Acts xvii. 34), Erastus at Corinth (Rom. 
xvi. 23), the ladies at Thessalonica and Beroea (Acts xvii. 4, 12). 
But the names known to us (xvi. 17; Rom. xvi.) are mostly 
suggestive of slaves or freedmen. Lightfoot refers to Just. Apol. 
ii. g; Orig. Cels. ii. 79.* 

27. t<j pupa. Cf. Matt. xi. 25. The gender lends force to the 
paradox: tous o-o^ovs leads us to expect rovs Ij-x v P°vs, k.t.X., but 
the contrast of genders is not kept up in the other cases. 

i£e\e£a.To. The verb is the correlative of kAtjo-is (26), but 
here, as in many other places, it brings in the idea of choice for 
a particular end. Thus, of the choosing of Matthias, of Stephen, 
of St Paul as a otkcuos cVAoy^s, of St Peter to admit the first 
Gentiles (Acts xv. 7). The emphatic threefold iieXegaro 6 ©eos 
prepares the way for v. 31. See iv. 7 and Eph. ii. 8. The 
Church, like the Apostle (2 Cor. xii. 10), was strong in weak- 

28. e£ou6ei/Y]|AeVa. See On vi. 4; also 2 Cor. X. IO. 'Ayei'ifc 
here only. 

kch tci |j.t] orra. ' Yea things that are not.' The omission of 
the Kot (K* A C* D* F G 17) gives force to the (then) " studi- 

* A century later it was a common reproach that Christianity was a 
religion of the vulgar, and Apologists were content to imitate St Paul and 
glory in the fact, rather than deny it. But the charge became steadily less 
and less true. In Pliny's famous letter to Trajan, he speaks of multi omnis 
ordinis being Christians. See Harnack, Mission and Expansion of Christi- 
anity, bk. iv. ch. 2 ; Lightfoot, Clement, I. p. 30. Celsus, who urges this 
reproach, would not have written a serious treatise against the faith, if people 
of culture and position were not beginning to adopt it. See Glover, Conflict 
of Religions in the Roman Empire, ch. 9. 


ously unconnected" and hyperbolical -ra fx.r) orTa : but the kcu 
(X 8 B C 3 D 3 E L P, Vulg. Syrr. Copt. Arm. Aeth.) is quite in St 
Paul's style. The fxrj does not mean ' supposed not to exist,' but 
'non-existent,' /u.17 with participles being much more common 
than ov. 

KaTapyTJcTT]. The verb means ' to reduce a person or thing to 
ineffectiveness,' 'to render workless or inoperative,' and so 'to 
bring to nought.' It is thus a stronger word than Karaitrxvyrj, 
and is substituted for it to match the antithesis between ovTa 
and fir] ovTa. It is very frequent in this group of the Pauline 
Epistles. Elsewhere it is rare (2 Thess. ii. 8 ; 2 Tim. i. 10 ; 
Luke xiii. 7 ; Heb. ii. 14) ; only four times in LXX, and very rare 
in Greek authors. Cf. KevoyBy, v. 17, and kcvwo-ci, ix. 15. 

Instead of t& ayevrj tov k6<t^ov, Marcion (Tert. Marc. v. 5, Indonesia et 
minima) seems to have read ra. ayevij ko.1 rd. Adxurra. 

29. ottws jjly] Kaux^ffTjTau irdcra adp|. For the construction see 
Rom. iii. 20 ; Acts x. 14. The negative coheres with the verb, 
not with 7rucra : in xv. 39 (ov irdo-a crdp£) the negative coheres 
with 7rao-a. Ilao-a. crdp£ is a well-known Hebraism (Acts ii. 17), 
meaning here the human race apart from the Spirit ; ' that all 
mankind should abstain from glorying before God.' * 

ivuiTiov tou 0eou. Another Hebraic phrase. Non coram Mo 
s*d in illo gloriari possumus (Beng.). 

'In His presence ' (AV. ) comes from the false reading ivuirtov airrou 
(C, Vulg. Syrr.). The true reading (K A B C 8 D E F G L P, Copt. Aeth ) 
is a forcible contrast to iracra. <rdp£. 

30. ii auToG 8e ufj.619 lore. ' But ye (in emphatic contrast) are 
His children' (another contrast). This is their true dignity, and 
the 8e shows how different their case is from that of those just 
mentioned. The wise, the strong, the well-born, etc. may boast 
of what seems to distinguish them from others, but it is the 
Christian who really has solid ground for glorying. Some would 
translate ' But it proceeds from Him that ye are in Christ Jesus,' 
i.e. 'your being Christians is His doing.' But in that case v/iets 
i<TTe (note the accentuation) is hard to explain : the pronoun is 
superfluous : we should expect simply iv Xpio-rw 'I^o-ov core. 
Moreover, the sense given to i£ avrov is hard to justify. It is 
far more probable that we ought to read u/i.ets lo~r£ (WH., Light- 
foot, Ellicott) and not v/xels io-re (T.R.). The meaning will then 
be, ' But from Him ye have your being in Christ Jesus.' The 

* Renan (S. Paul, p. 233) gives Kavxdo/nat as an instance of the way in 
which a word gets a hold on the Apostle's mind so that he keeps on repeating 
it : un mot FobsMe ; il le ramine dans tine page a tout propos ; not for want 
of vocabulary but because he cares so much more about his meaning than his 
style \v. 17). (Sf. v. 31, iii. 21, iv. 7, v. 6, ix. 15, 16, xv. 31. 


addition of iv Xp. 'I. shows that more is meant than being His 
offspring in the sense of Acts xvii. 28. 'By adoption in Christ 
you are among things that really exist, although you may be 
counted as nonentities : in this there is room for glorying' (iv. 7; 
Eph. ii. 8 f.). This is the interpretation of the Greek Fathers, 
probably from a sense of the idiom, and not from bias of any 

os eye^On]. This shows what the previous words involve. 
Not 'who is made' (AV.), nor 'who was made' (RV.), but 'who 
became ' by His coming into the world and by what He accom- 
plished for us. He showed the highest that God could show to 
man (v. 18, ii. 7), and opened the way to the knowledge of God 
through reconciliation with Him. 

o-oefua wlv. This is the central idea, in contrast with the 
false aocpla in the context, and it is expanded in the terms which 
follow. For the dative see vv. 18, 24. 

d-iro Oeou. The words justify e£ avrov and qualify iyevrjOr] . . . 

fj/juv, not crocpia only. The airo points to the source of ultimate 
derivation. See Lightfoot on 1 Thess. ii. 6. 

SucaioowT] T6 Kai . . . diroXuTpwffts. The terms, linked into 
one group by the conjunctions, are in apposition to o-oc/>id and 
define if (RV. marg.): the four terms are not co-ordinate (AV., 
RV.).t Lightfoot suggests, on not very convincing grounds, 
that t« Kai serve to connect specially SiKaioavvr] and ayiatr/Ltov, 
leaving airoXvTpoiais " rather by itself." The close connexion 
between Sik. and dy. is, of course, evident (Rom. vi. 19), Sue. 
being used by St Paul of the moral state founded upon and flow- 
ing from, faith in Christ (Rom. x. 4, 10, vi. 13 ; Gal. v. 5 ; Phil, 
iii. 9), and dy. being used of the same state viewed as progress 
towards perfect holiness (v. 2 ; 1 Thess. iv. 3-7). By ' righteous- 
ness' he does not mean 'justification' : that is presupposed and 
included. ' Righteousness ' is the character of the justified man 
in its practical working. This good life of the pardoned sinner 
is to be distinguished from (a) God's righteousness (Rom. iii. 26, 
by which we explain Rom. i. 17), and from (IS) Righteousness in 
the abstract sense of a right relation between persons (Acts x. 35, 
xxiv. 25). 

kqI diroXuTpucris. Placed last for emphasis, as being the 
foundation of all else that we have in Christ (Rom. v. 9, 10, 
viii. 32 ; cf. iii. 24). Others explain the order by reference to 
the thought oi final ox completed redemption (Luke xxi. 28 ; Eph. 

* See Deissmann, Die neutcslamentliche Formel "in Christo Jesu.' 
Chrysostom remarks how St Paul keeps "nailing them to the Name ol 

t It was probably in order to co-ordinate all four that L, Vulg. Syrr. Copt. 
Inn. have i;)u» before <ro<t>la.. 


i. 14, iv. 30). Redemptio primum Christi donum est quod inchoatur 
in nobis, et ultimum perficitur (Calv.). The former is better, but 
it does not exclude the latter. 

31. !m KaGws yeypaTrrai. Cf. ii. 9. We have here a case 
either of broken construction, a direct being substituted for a 
dependent clause (ix. 15), or of ellipse, a verb like yevrprai being 
understood (iv. 6, xi. 24; 2 Thess. ii. 3; Gal. i. 20, etc.). 

6 KauxoifAeyos- A free quotation, combining the LXX of Jer. 
ix. 23, 24 with 1 Sam. ii. 10, which resembles it. Jer. ix. 23, 24 

runs, fxr] Kavxd<T0u> 6 aocpbs iv Tjj ao<pia auTOU koX fir] Kav^daOo) 6 
icrYvpos iv rfj to~vi5i aurou Kai firj Kav^aauoi o 7rAouo~ios iv tuj ttAovtw 
avrov, aW r] iv tovtw k av x&cr 6 at 6 k av^<i> fxev o 5, avvitiv kcli 
yivwcTKeiv on iyu> el/xi Kvptos 6 ttolwv cAcos. In 1 Sam. ii. 10 we 
have SuvaTos and 8wdfj.€i for icr^upos and laxit with the ending, 
yivwcTKeiv tov Kvptov Kal 7roietv KpLfxa kcli 8LKaio<rvvr)v iv fii(Tu> rrjs 
yrjs. The occurrence of 'the wise' and 'the strong' and 'the 
rich ' (as in v. 26 here) makes the quotation very apt. 

Clement of Rome (Cor. 13) quotes the same passage, but 
ends thus ; dX\' 17 6 /cau;(w/xevos iv Kupuu Kav^dcrOw tou iK^relv 
avrov Kal irouw Kpifia kcu SiKaiocrvvrjv, thus approximating to 
St Paul's quotation. Probably he quotes the LXX and un- 
consciously assimilates his quotation to St Paul's. Lightfoot 
suggests that both the Apostle and Clement may have had a 
Greek version of 1 Sam. which differed from the LXX. For a 
false 'glorying in God' see Rom. ii. 17, and for a true glorying, 
Ecclus. xxxix. 8, 1. 20. 

Bachmann remarks that this is one of the remarkable quota- 
tions in which, by a free development of O.T. ideas and expres- 
sions, Christ takes the place of Jehovah ; and he quotes as other 
instances in Paul, ii. 16, x. 22 ; 2 Cor. x. 17 ; Phil. ii. n ; Rom. 
x. 13. Hort's remarks on 1 Pet. ii. 3, where 6 Krptos in Ps. xxxiv. 
8 is transferred by the Apostle to Christ, will fit this and other 
passages. " It would be rash, however, to conclude that he meant 
to identify Jehovah with Christ. No such identification can be 
clearly made out in the N.T. St Peter is not here making a 
formal quotation, but merely borrowing O.T. language, and 
applying it in his own mariner. His use, though different from 
that of the Psalm, is not at variance with it, for it is through the 
Xprjo-TOTrjs of the Son that the xPV a " r ^ T V' ; °^ the Father is clearly 
made known to Christians." The Father is glorified in the Son 
(John xiv. 13), and therefore language about glorifying the Father 
may, without irreverence, be transferred to the Son ; but the 
transfer to Christ would have been irreverent if St Paul had not 
believed that Jesus was what He claimed to be. 

Deissmann {New Light on the JV.T., p. 7) remarks that the 


testimony of St Paul at the close of this chapter, "as to the 
origin of his congregations in the lower class of the great towns, 
is one of the most important historical witnesses to Primitive 
Christianity." See also, Light from the Anc. East, pp. 7, 14, 
60, 142. 

II. 1-5. The False Wisdom {continued*). 

So I came to you andpreaclied, not a beautiful philosophy, 
but a crucified Christ. I zvas a feeble, timid speaker ; and 
it was not my eloquence, but the power of God, that converted 

1 And (in accordance with this principle of glory only in the 
Lord) when I first came to Corinth, Brothers, it was as quite an 
ordinary person (so far as any pre-eminence in speech or wisdom 
is concerned) that I proclaimed to you the testimony of God's 
love for you. 2 For I did not care to know, still less to preach, 
anything whatever beyond Jesus Christ ; and what I preached 
about Him was that He was crucified. 3 And, as I say, it was 
in weakness and timidity and painful nervousness that I paid my 
visit to you : 4 and my speech to you and my message to you 
were not conveyed in the persuasive words which earthly 
wisdom adopts. No, their cogency came from God's Spirit and 
God's power ; 6 for God intended that your faith should rest on 
His power, and not on the wisdom of man. 

1. KdyoS. 'And I, accordingly.' The ko.1 emphasizes the 
Apostle's consistency with the principles and facts laid down in 
i. 18-31, especially in 27-31. His first preaching at Corinth 
eschewed the false <ro<£ia, and conformed to the essential character 
of the Gospel. The negative side comes first {vv. 1, 2). 

i\QJ>v. At the time of his first visit (Acts xviii. if.). We 
have an analogous reference, 1 Thess. i. 5, ii. 1. 

&8e\({>oi. The rebuke latent in this reminder, and the affec- 
tionate memories of his first ministry to souls at Corinth (iv. 15), 
combine to explain this address (i. 10, 26). 

tjXGoi'. The repetition, iXQw 7iy>os v/xas . . . rj\6ov, instead of 
rfXOov 7rpos v/x.5?, is not a case of broken construction, still less 
a Hebraism. It gives solemn clearness and directness to St 
Paul's appeal to their beginnings as a Christian body. 

Ka0' u-nrepox'rji'. Most commentators connect the words with 
KarayyeAAwv rather than y\6ov. Compare Kara Kpa-ros (Acts xix. 
20), Kaff iirepj3oX^v (i Cor. xii. 31). Elsewhere in N.T. vwepoxn 


occurs only i Tim. ii. 2 ; cf. virepixuv, Rom. xiii. 1, etc. 'Pre- 
eminence' is an exact equivalent. 

\6you rj o-offuas. See on i. 5, 17. 

KaTayyeXXwi/. The tense marks, not the purpose of the visit, 
for which the future would be suitable, but the way in which the 
visit was occupied. The aorists sum it up as a whole. Lightfoot 
suggests that dyyeAAeiv after verbs of mission or arrival (Acts xv. 
27) is commonly in the present participle, as meaning 'to bear, 
rather than to deliver, tidings.' But this does not always suit 
Karayye'AAciv in N.T. ; see xi. 26; Acts iv. 2; Rom. i. 8; Phil. i. 17; 
and dyye'AAciv, uncompounded, occurs only John xx. 18, with 
ct7rayy. as V.l. 

fiap-rupioK. ' He spoke in plain and simple language, as be- 
came a witness ' (Lightfoot). Testimonium simpliciter dicendum 
est : nee eloquentia nee subtilitate ingenii opus est, quae testem sus- 
pectum potius reddit (Wetstein). Cf. xv. 15; 2 Thess. i. 10; 
1 Tim. ii. 6 ; 2 Tim. i. 8. The first reference is decisive as to 
the meaning here. 

tou 0eoG. genitivus objecti as in i. 6. The testimony is the 
message of God's love to mankind declared in the saving work 
of Christ (Rom. v. 8; John iii. 16); it is therefore a ix.aprvpt.oi 
t. ®eov as well as a p.apr. r. Xpto-Tov. There is, of course, a 
witness from God (1 John v. 9), but the present connexion is 
with the Apostolic message about God and His Christ. 

luxpripiov (S'BDEFGLP, Vulg. Sah. Aeth. Arm. AV. RV. marg.) 
is probably to be preferred to /xvarrjpiov (N*AC, Copt. RV.). WH. 
prefer the latter ; but it may owe its origin to v. 7. On the other hand, 
fiapr. may come from i. 6. 

2. ou yap eKpira ti elSeVai. ' Not only did I not speak of, 
but I had no thought for, anything else.' Cf. Acts xviii. 5, erwet- 
X^to t<3 Aoyo), ' he became engrossed in the word.' For KpLvziv 
of a personal resolve see vii. 37; Rom. xiv. 13; 2 Cor. ii. 1. 
Does the oi connect directly with e/cpiva or with n eiSeVai, as 
in AV., RV. ? The latter is attractive on account of its incisive- 
ness ; ' I deliberately refused to know anything.' But it assumes 
that ovk tKpiva = cKpiva oi, on the familiar analogy of oi <pr}p,L 
Apparently there is no authority for this use of ovk iKpiva: ovk cw, 
as Lightfoot points out, is not strictly analogous. Accordingly, 
we must preserve the connexion suitable to the order of the 
words ; ' I did not think fit to know anything.' He did not 
regard it as his business to know more. Ellicott remarks that 
" the meaning is practically the same " : but we must not give to 
a satisfactory meaning the support of unsatisfactory grammar. 

ti elSeWi. Not quite in the sense of cyvwKeVcu rt (viii. 2), 
'to know something,' as Evans here. In that case d ixtj would 
mean ' but only.' But rt simply means 'anything' whatever. 


'Irjow Xpio-roV. As in i. 1 ; contrast i. 23. In the Epistles 
of this date, X/ho-tos still designates primarily the Office; 'Jesus, 
the Anointed One, and that (not as King in His glory, but) — 

Kal ToG-roy caTaupcofxtVoK. The force of kcu tovtov is definitely 
to specify the point on which, in preaching Jesus Christ, stress 
was laid (6 Aoyos t. aravpov, i. 18), the effect being that of a 
climax. The Apostle regards the Person and Work of Jesus 
the Messiah as comprising in essence the whole Gospel, and 
the Crucifixion, which with him involves the Resurrection, as 
the turning-point of any preaching of his work. This most vital 
point must not be forgotten when considering vv. 6 f. below. 

ti elSivat (B C P 17) is to be preferred to eld bat ti (KAD S FGL). 
D 2 L ins. rov before eldivai rt. 

3. KayoS. He now gives the positive side — in what fashion he 
did come (3-5). As in v. 1, the e'y<o is emphatic ; but here the 
emphasis is one of contrast. 'Although I was the vehicle of 
God's power (i. 18, ii. 4, 5), I not only eschewed all affectation 
of cleverness or grandiloquence, but I went to the opposite 
extreme of diffidence and nervous self-effacement. Others in my 
place might have been bolder, but I personally was as I say.' 
Or else we may take v. 3 as beginning again at the same point 
as v. 1 ; as if the Apostle had been interrupted after dictating 
v. 2, and had then begun afresh. Lightfoot regards /cdyw as 
simply an emphatic repetition, citing Juvenal i. 15, 16, Et nos 
ergo manum ferulae subduximus, et nos Consilium dedimus 

iv daQeve'ia. Cf. 2 Cor. xi. 29, xii. 10. The sense is general, 
but may include his unimpressive presence (2 Cor. x. 10) and 
shyness in venturing unaccompanied into strange surroundings 
(cf. Acts xvii. 15, xviii. 5), coupled with anxiety as to the tidings 
which Timothy and Silvanus might bring (cf. 2 Cor. ii. 13). 
There was also the thought of the appalling wickedness of 
Corinth, of his poor success at Athens, and of the deadly hostility 
of the Jews to the infant Church of Thessalonica (Acts xvii. 5, 
13). Possibly the malady which had led to his first preaching 
in Galatia (Gal. iv. 13) was upon him once more. If this was 
epilepsy, or malarial fever (Ramsay), it might well be the recurrent 
trouble which he calls a 'thorn for the flesh' (2 Cor. xii. 7). 

iv <J>6po> Kal iv Tp6p.a> iroXXw. We have <£o/3osand Tpo/xo? com- 
bined in 2 Cor. vii. 15 ; Phil. ii. 12 ; Eph. vi. 5. The physical 
manifestation of distress is a climax. St Paul rarely broke new 
ground without companions, and to face new hearers required 
an effort for which he had to brace himself. But it was not the 
Gospel which he had to preach that made him tremble : he was 


1 not ashamed ' of that (Rom. i. 16). Nor was it fear of personal 
danger. It was rather " a trembling anxiety to perform a duty." 
In Eph. vi. 5, slaves are told to obey their masters /xci-a (f>6/3ov k. 
rpofjiov, which means with that conscientious anxiety that is 
opposed to 6<j>6a\fjLo8ov\La (Conybeare and Howson).* ^ No 
other N.T. writer has this combination of <£o'/3os and Tp6p.o<;. 
Some MSS. omit the second iv. 

£yev6it.i]v -irpos ujxas. These words are probably to be taken 
together, exactly as in xvi. io; 'I was with you.' The sense of 
becoming in the verb, and of movement in the preposition, is 
attenuated. ' My visit to you was in weakness,' preserves both 
the shade of meaning and the force of the tense. Cf. 2 John 12 ; 
1 Thess. ii. 7, 10. 

4. lea! 6 \6yos fxou. See on i. 5, 17. Various explanations 
have been given of the difference between Aoyos and Kr)pvyp.a, 
and it is clear that to make the former 'private conversation,' 
and the latter ' public preaching,' is not satisfactory. Nor is the 
one the delivery of the message and the other the substance of 
it: see on i. 21. More probably, 6 A.dyos looks back to i. 18, 
and means the Gospel which the Apostle preached, while 
Krjpvyfia is the act of proclamation, viewed, not as a process 
(K?7pi>£is), but as a whole. Cf. 2 Tim. iv. 17. 

ouk iv mGois o-cxjuas Xoyois. The singular word ttiOos or 
w€i0os, which is found nowhere else, is the equivalent of the 
classical m6av6s, which Josephus (Ant. vill. ix. louses of the 
plausible words of the lying prophet of 1 Kings xiii. The only 
exact parallel to ttl66<; or ttclOos from -weiOu is $1809 or $eiSds from 
KpeiSotJLai, and in both cases the spelling with a diphthong seems 
to be incorrect (WH. App. p. 153). The rarity of the word has 
produced confusion in the text. Some cursives and Latin 
witnesses support a reading which is found in Origen and in 
Eus. Praep. Evang. i. 3., iv iruOol \avOpwirivr)<i\ <ro<£tas A-dytov, in 
persuasione sapientiae [kumanae] verbi, or sermones for sermonis ; 
where Trci^ot is the dat. of tt«0w. From this, iv ttuOoI aortas 
has been conjectured as the original reading ; but the evidence 
of N A B C D E L P for eV iriOoU or *r«0ow is decisive ; t and while 
o-o^ta? Xdyot? almost certainly is genuine, avOpwirLvr)* almost 
certainly is not, except as interpretation. 

The meaning is that the false o-o^ta, the cleverness of the 
rhetorician, which the Apostle is disclaiming and combating 

* Three times in Acts (xviii. 9, xxiii. II, xxvii. 24) St Paul receives en- 
couragement from the Lord. There was something in his temperament which 
needed this. In Corinth the vision assured him that his work was approved 
and would succeed. He not only might work, he must do so (ix. 16). _ 

t It is remarkable that the word has not been adopted by ecclesiastical 


throughout this passage, was specially directed to the art of 
persuasion : cf. indavoXoyia (Col. ii. 4). 

diTo8ci$ci. Not elsewhere in N.T. It has two very different 
meanings: (1) 'display' or 'showing off' (cf. iv. 9 and Luke 
i. 80), and (2) 'demonstration' in the sense of 'stringent proof.' 
The latter is the meaning here. Aristotle distinguishes it from 
o-uXAoyto-^os. The latter proves that a certain conclusion follows 
from given premises, which may or may not be true. In a-n-o- 
Seifis the premises are known to be true, and therefore the 
conclusion is not only logical, but certainly true. In Eth. Nic. 
1. iii. 4 we are told that to demand rigid demonstrations (0.71-0- 
8ei£ets) from a rhetorician is as unreasonable as to allow a 
mathematician to deal in mere plausibilities. Cf. Plato Phaed. 
7?C- Theaet. 162 E.* St Paul is not dealing with scientific 
certainty : but he claims that the certitude of religious truth 
to the believer in the Gospel is as complete and as ' objective ' 
— equal in degree, though different in kind — as the certitude of 
scientific truth to the scientific mind. Mere human o-o</>ia may 
dazzle and overwhelm and seem to be unanswerable, but assensum 
constringit non res ; it does not penetrate to those depths of the 
soul which are the seat of the decisions of a lifetime. The 
Stoics used cbrdSei^is in this sense. 

TTkeu'fiaTos Kal Sum/xews. See on i. 18. The demonstration 
is that which is wrought by God's power, especially His power 
to save man and give a new direction to his life. As it is all 
from God, why make a party-hero of the human instrument? 
Some Greek Fathers suppose that miracle-working power is 
meant, which is an idea remote from the context. Origen 
refers 7rveu7 taTOS to the O.T. prophecies, and Swa'pews to the 
N.T. miracles, thus approximating to the merely philosophic 
sense of d7ro8ei£is. And if oVa^eus means God's power, 7rv€v- 
ua-ros will mean His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The article is 
omitted as in v. 13 (cf. Gal. v. 16 and Phil. ii. 1 with 2 Cor. 
xiii. 13). See Ellicott ad loc. The genitives are either sub- 
jective, 'demonstration proceeding from and wrought by the 
Spirit and power of God,' or qualifying, 'demonstration con- 
sisting in the spirit and power of God,' as distinct from per- 
suasion produced by mere cleverness. The sense of Trvev/xaTos 
is well given by Theophylact : apprjTu tivi TpoVo) iria-riv IvtiroUi 
tois aKovovartv. For the general sense see 1 Thess. i. 5 and 
ii. 13; 'our Gospel came not in word only, but also in power 
and in the Holy Spirit ' ; and ' ye accepted it not as the word 
of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also 

* In papyri, dir68ei^is is used of official evidence or proof. Bachmann 
quotes; diroOf^iv 5ot)s rod itriaTaaOat. UpariKa, ypa.fjLfj.ara (Tebt. Pap. ii. 291, 



worketh in you that believe.' St Paul's appeal is to the strong 
conviction and deep practical power of the Gospel. Not that 
strong conviction is incompatible with error : there is such 
a thing as ivipyeia TrXdvrjs, causing men to believe what is false 
(2 Thess. ii. 11); but the false o-ocpia engenders no depth of 
conviction. Lightfoot quotes Longinus, who describes St Paul 
as "vpwrov . . . irpo'i(TTafJi€vov Soy/xaros av(nroBeLKTOv — meaning 
philosophic proof, whereas St Paul is asserting a proof different 
in kind. "It was moral, not verbal [nor scientific] demonstra- 
tion at which he aimed." This epistle is proof of that. 

ivOpuwlvris (K°ACLP, Copt. AV.) before crocplas is rejected by all 

5. Iva. This expresses, either the purpose of God, in so 
ordering the Apostle's preaching (Theodoret), or that of the 
Apostle himself. The latter suits the tKpiva of v. 2 ; but the 
former best matches the thought of v. 4, and may be preferred 
(Meyer, Ellicott). The verse is co-ordinate with i. 3T, but 
rises to a higher plane, for 7rto-rt? is more intimately Christian 
than the kcu^o-is of the O.T. quotation. 

jit) r] ec (xo<$>ia df0pajTrui>. The preposition marks the medium 
or sphere in which faith has its root : cf. ev tovtco Tn.o-Tevop.ev 
(John xvi. 30). We often express the same idea by 'depend 
on ' rather than by ' rooted in ' ; ' that your faith may not 
depend upon wisdom of men, but upon power of God.' What 
depends upon a clever argument is at the mercy of a cleverer 
argument. Faith, which is at its root personal trust, springs 
from the vital contact of human personality with divine. Its 
affirmations are no mere abstract statements, but comprise the 
experience of personal deliverance ; oloa yap w TTi.-n-iaTe.vKa (2 Tim. 
i. 12). Here the negative statement is emphasized. 

(ii.) II. 6-III. 4. The True Wisdom. 

II. 6-13. The True Wisdom described. 

To mature Christians we Apostles preach the Divine 
Wisdom, which God has revealed to us by His Spirit. 

6 Not that as preachers of the Gospel we ignore wisdom : 
when we are among those whose faith is ripe, we impart it. 
But it is not a wisdom that is possessed by this age; no, 
nor yet by the leaders of this age, whose influence is destined 
soon to decline. 7 On the contrary, what we impart is the 
Wisdom of God, a mystery hitherto kept secret, which God 
ordained from before all time for our eternal salvation. 8 Of 


this wisdom no one of the leaders of this age has ever acquired 
knowledge, for if any had done so, they would never have 
crucified the Lord whose essential attribute is glory. 9 But, 
so far from any of them knowing this wisdom, what stands 
written in Scripture is exactly true about them, Things 
which eye saw not, and ear heard not, and which entered 
not into the heart of man, — whatsoever things God prepared 
for them that love Him. 10 But to us, who are preachers of 
His Gospel, God has unveiled these mysteries through the 
operation of His Spirit ; for His Spirit can explore all things, 
even the deep mysteries of the Divine Nature and Will. u We 
can understand this a little from our own experience. What 
human being knows the inmost thoughts of a man, except 
the man's own spirit within him ? Just so no one has attained 
to knowledge of the inmost thoughts of God, except God's own 
Spirit. 12 Yet what we received was not the spirit which 
animates and guides the non-Christian world, but its opposite, 
the Spirit which proceeds from God, given to us that we may 
appreciate the benefits lavished upon us by God. 13 And what 
He has revealed to us we teach, not in choice words taught 
by the rhetoric of the schools, but in words taught by the 
Spirit, matching spiritual truth with spiritual language. 

6. Zodiac Se XaXoGfief. The germ of the following passage is 
in i. 24, 30 : Christ crucified is to the k\t]tul the wisdom of 
God. This is the guiding thought to be borne in mind in 
discussing St Paul's conception of the true wisdom.* There 
are two points respecting kaXovfxev. Firstly, St Paul includes 
others with himself, not only his immediate fellow-workers, 
but the Apostolic body as a whole (xv. n). Secondly, the 
verb means simply 'utter': it must not be pressed to denote 
a kind of utterance distinct from Ao'yos and Krjpvyfxa (v. 4), 
such as private conversation. 

iv toIs TeXeiois- It is just possible that there is here an 
allusion to the technical language of mystical initiation ; but, 
if so, it is quite subordinate. By TeAetot St Paul means the 
mature or full-grown Christians, as contrasted with vrjinoL (iii. i).f 
The word is used again xiv. 20; Phil. iii. 15; Eph. iv. 13. 
Those who had attained to the fulness of Christian experience 

* See ch. x. in Chad wick, Pastoral Teaching, pp. 356 f. , and note the 
emphatic position of ao^iav. 

t This sense is frequent in papyri and elsewhere. ' Initiated ' would be 


would know that his teaching was really philosophy of the 
highest kind. The lv means, not merely 'in the opinion of,' 
but literally 'among,' in consessu; 'in such a circle' the Apostle 
utters true wisdom. 

It is quite clear that St Paul distinguishes two classes of 
hearers, and that both of them are distinct from the airoWv/xwoi 
of i. 1 8, or the Jews and Greeks of i. 22, 23. On the one 
hand, there are the Te'A.6101, whom he calls lower down irve.vp.a- 
tikol {v. 1 3 — iii. 1); on the other hand, there is the anomalous 
class of crapKLvoi, who are babes in Christ. Ideally, all Chris- 
tians, as such, are irvtvixa.TiK.oL (xii. 31 ; Gal. iii. 2, 5 ; Rom. 
viii. 9, 15, 26). But practically, many Christians need to be 
treated as (cos, iii. 1), and to all intents are, o-apxivoi, v-qirioi, 
i(/vx<-koi (v. 14), even crapKiKoi (iii. 3). The work of the Apostle 
has as its aim the raising of all such imperfect Christians to 
the normal and ideal standard ; Iva irapao-Ttjo-u>p.ev iravTtx dvOpm- 
irov Tc'Aeiov iv XpitTTtu (Col. i. 28, where see Lightfoot). St Paul's 
thought, therefore, seems to be radically different from that 
which is ascribed to Pythagoras, who is said to have divided 
his disciples into Te'Aeioi and v^ttloi. It is certainly different 
from that of the Gnostics, who erected a strong barrier between 
the initiated (reAeioi) and the average Christians (xj/vxlkoi). 
There are clear traces of this Gnostic distinction between 
esoteric and exoteric Christians in the school of Alexandria 
(Eus. H.E. v. xi.), and a residual distinction survives in the 
ecclesiastical instinct of later times (Ritschl, Fides Jmplicita). 
The vital difference is this : St Paul, with all true teachers, 
recognizes the principle of gradations. He does not expect 
the beginner at once to equal the Christian of ripe experience ; 
nor does he expect the Gospel to level all the innumerable 
diversities of mental and moral capacity (viii. 7, xii. 12-27; 
Rom. xiv.). But, although gradations of classes among Christians 
must be allowed, there must be no differences of caste. The 
' wisdom ' is open to all ; and all, in their several ways, are 
capable of it, and are to be trained to receive it. So far as 
the Church, in any region or in any age, is content to leave 
any class in permanent nonage, reserving spiritual understanding 
for any caste, learned, or official, or other, — so tar the Apostolic 
charge has been left unfulfilled and the Apostolic ideal has 
been abandoned. 

The U is explanatory and corrective; 'Now by wisdom I 
mean, not,' etc. 

toO alamos toutou. See on 1. 20. 

ouSt tw dpxoviw. It is quite evident from v. 8 that the 
apX 0, ' T€S are those who took part in the Crucifixion of the Lord 
of Glory. They, therefore, primarily include the rulers of the 


Jews. Peter says, kcu vvv, aSeXcpoi, oTSa on Kara ayvoiav €7rpa£ar€, 

wo-7T£/j K(il ol apxovrcs v/xwv (Acts iii. 1 7) ; and if St Luke is 
responsible for the form in which this speech is reported, the 
words may be regarded as the earliest commentary on our 
passage. But Pilate also was a party to the crime : and ' the 
rulers of this dispensation' includes all, as well ecclesiastical 
as civil. 

Some Fathers and early writers, from Marcion (Tert. Marc. 
v. 6) downwards, understand the ap\ovTe<; tov aiaivos tovtov to 
mean demons : cf. Koo-p.oi<pa.Topa<i tov ckotovs tov atwvos tovtov 
(Eph. vi. 12). Perhaps this idea exists already in Ignatius; 
c\a6ev tov apxoi'ra [t. aitovos] tovtov ... 6 ^avaros toD KvpLov. 
See Thackeray, The Relation of St Paul to Conte?nporary Jeivish 
Thought, pp. 156 f., 230 n. But this interpretation is wholly 
incompatible with v. 8, as also is the very perverse suggestion 
of Schmiedel that St Paul refers to A?igels, whose rule over 
certain departments in God's government of the world belongs 
only to this dispensation, and ceases with it (Ka.Tapyovp.ivwv), 
and who are unable to see into the mysteries of redemption 
(Gal. iii. 19 ; 1 Pet. i. 12). See Abbott, The Son of Man, p. 5. 

tcji' KaTapyoujj.eVwi'. See on i. 28. The force of the present 
tense is 'axiomatic' These rulers and their function belong to 
the sphere of -rrpoo-Kaipa (vii. 31 ; 2 Cor. iv. 18), and are destined 
to vanish in the dawn of the Kingdom of God. So far as the 
Kingdom is come, they are gone. Yet they have their place 
and function in relation to the world in which we have our 
present station and duties (vii. 20, 24, 31), until all 'pass away into 

7. dXXa XaXoCfi.ei'. The verb is repeated for emphasis with 
the fully adversative 6Xkd (Rom. viii. 15; Phil. iv. 17); 'But 
what we do utter is,' etc. 

06oO cro<J>iae. The ®eov is very emphatic, as the context 
demands, and nearly every uncial has the words in this order. 
To read o-ocbiav ®eov (L) mars the sense. 

Iv fiuo-TTjpiu. We may connect this with \a\ovjxev, to charac- 
terize the manner of communication, as we say, ' to speak in a 
whisper,' or to characterize its effect — ' while declaring a mystery.' 
Or we may connect with ao<piav. and this is better, in spite of 
the absence of Tijv before iv /auo-t^/h'o) (see Lightfoot on 1 Thess. 
i. 1). The 'wisdom' is iv p.vo-Tr]pL<i), because it has been for 
so long a secret, although now made known to all who can 
receive it, the dywi (Col. i. 26) and kXtjtoL 

Assuming that p-ap-rvpiov is the right reading in v. 1, we 
have here almost the earliest use of p-vaT-qpiov in N.T. (2 Thess. 
ii. 7 is the earliest). See J. A. Robinson, Ephesians, pp. 234-240, 


for a full discussion of the use of the word in N.T., also Westcott, 
Ephesia?is, pp. 180-182. 

rr\v diroKeKpufifieVrji'. For the sense see Eph. iii. 5 ; Col. i. 26 ; 
Rom. xvi. 25. The words are explanatory of Iv /jLvo-T-qpLu. The 
wisdom of God had been hidden even from prophets and 
saints (Luke x. 24), until the fulness of time: now it is made 
manifest. 13 ut it remains hidden from those who are not pre- 
pared to receive it; e.g. from Jews (2 Cor. iii. 14) and the 
airoWv/xevoi. generally (2 Cor. iv. 3-6). This contrast is followed 
up in vv. 8-16. 

fji> Trpowpio-ci' 6 0e6s; To be taken directly with the words 
that follow, without supplying aTroKaXvipai or any similar link. 
The 'wisdom' is 'Christ crucified' (i. 18-24), fore-ordained by 
God (Acts iv. 28; Eph. iii. 11) for the salvation of men. It was 
no afterthought or change of plan, as Theodoret remarks, but was 
fore-ordained avwOev nai i$ ap^s. 

els &6£av Tjp.wi\ Our eternal glory, or complete salvation 
(2 Cor. iv. 17; Rom. viii. 18, 21, etc.). From meaning 'opinion,' 
and hence ' public repute,' ' praise,' or ' honour,' S6$a acquires in 
many passages the peculiarly Biblical sense of 'splendour,' 
' brightness,' 'glory.' This ' glory ' is used sometimes of physical 
splendour, sometimes of special ' excellence ' and ' pre-eminency ' ; 
or again of 'majesty,' denoting the unique glory of God, the 
sum-total either of His incommunicable attributes, or of those 
which belong to Christ. In reference to Christ, the glory may 
be either that of His pre-incarnate existence in the Godhead, 
or of His exaltation through Death and Resurrection, at God's 
right hand. 

It is on this sense of the word that is based its eschatological 
sense, denoting the final state of the redeemed. Excepting 
Heb. ii. 10 and 1 Pet. v. 1, this eschatological sense is almost 
peculiar to St Paul and is characteristic of him (xv. 43 ; 1 Thess. 
ii. 12; 2 Thess. ii. 14; Rom. v. 2; Phil. iii. 21, etc.). This 
state of the redeemed, closely corresponding to ' the Kingdom 
of God,' is called ' the glory of God,' because as God's adopted 
sons they share in the glory of the exalted Christ, which consists 
in fellowship with God. This 'glory' may be said to be enjoyed 
in this life in so far as we are partakers of the Spirit who is the 
'earnest' (appafiwv) of our full inheritance (2 Cor. i. 22, v. 5; 
Eph. i. 14; cf. Rom. viii. 23). But the eschatological sense is 
primary and determinant in the class of passages to which the 
present text belongs, and this fact is of importance. 

What is the wisdom of which the Apostle is speaking ? Does 
he mean a special and esoteric doctrine reserved for a select 
body of the initiated (tcA.£ioi) ? Or does he mean the Gospel, 
' the word of the Cross,' as it is apprehended, not by babes in 


Christ, but by Christians of full growth? Some weighty con- 
siderations suggest the former view, which is adopted by Clement, 
Origen, Meyer, and others ; especially the clear distinction made 
in iii. 1, 2 between the yaAa and the /?pa>pa, coupled with the 
right meaning of lv in v. 6. On the other hand, the frequent 
assertions (i. 18, 24, 30) that Christ crucified is the Power and 
Wisdom of God, coupled with the fact that this Wisdom was 
•fore-ordained for our salvation' (see also owai in i. 21), seem 
to demand the equation of the wisdom uttered by the Apostle 
with the fj.<j)pia tov /c^pvyuaTos, and the equation of ®eov o-o<f>iav 
in ii. 7 with ®eov aocpiav in i. 24 (cf. i. 30). These considera- 
tions seem to be decisive. With Heinrici, Edwards, and others, 
we conclude that St Paul's 'wisdom' is the Gospel, simply. 
With this Chrysostom agrees ; o-oepiW Aeyci to Krjpvyp.a koX toi> 
toottov t^s (ToiTrjpias, to Sta tov oravpov o-uiOrjvac TeAeious Se tous 

But the yaAa and the /?pwpa of iii. 2, and the distinction 
between Te'Aetoi and vrjinoL iv Xpiorw, must be satisfied. The 
reXuoi are able to follow the ' unsearchable riches of Christ ' and 
'manifold wisdom of God' (Eph. iii. 8, 10) into regions of 
spiritual insight, and into questions of practical import, to which 
vrjmoi. cannot at present rise. But they may rise, and with 
proper nurture and experience will rise. There is no bar to 
their progress. 

The 'wisdom of God,' therefore, comprises primarily Christ 
and Him crucified ; the preparation for Christ as regards Jew and 
Gentile ; the great mystery of the call of the Gentiles and the ap- 
parent rejection of the Jews; the justification of man and the 
principles of the Christian life ; and (the thought dominant in the 
immediate context) the consummation of Christ's work in the So'£a 
rjfiuv. The Epistle to the Romans, which is an unfolding of the 
thought of 1 Cor. i. 24-31, is St Paul's completest utterance of this 
wisdom. It is f3pwp.a, while our Epistle is occupied with things 
answering to yaAa, although we see how the latter naturally leads 
on into the range of deeper problems (xiii., xv.). But there is 
no thought here, or in Romans, or anywhere in St Paul's writings, 
of a disciplina arcani or body of esoteric doctrine. The /?pwp.a 
is meant for all, and all are expected to grow into fitness for it 
(see Lightfoot on Col. i. 26 f.) ; and the form of the Gospel (ii. 2) 
contains the whole of it in germ. 

8. r\v ouSels . . . eyywicei'. The r\v must refer to o-o<piav, ' which 
wisdom none of the rulers of this world hath discerned.' 

el ydp. Parenthetical confirmation of the previous statement. 
1 Had they discerned, as they did not, they would not have cruci- 
fied, as they did.' It is manifest from this that the ap^ovTes are 


neither demons nor angels, but the rulers who took part in 
crucifying the Christ. 

tov Ku'pioe ttjs 8o£tjs- Cf. Jas. ii. i ; Eph. i. 1 7 ; Acts vii. 2 ; 
also Ps. xxiv. 7 ; Heb. ix. 5. The genitive is qualifying, but the 
attributive force is strongly emphatic, bringing out the contrast 
between the indignity of the Cross (Heb. xii. 2) and the majesty 
of the Victim (Luke xxii. 69, xxiii. 43).* 

9. a\\&. ' On the contrary (so far from any, even among the 
great ones of this world, knowing this wisdom, the event was) 
just as it stands written.' There is no difficulty in understanding 
ycyovev, or some such word, with *a0a>s yiypairrat. But the con- 
struction can be explained otherwise, and perhaps better. See 
below, and on i. 19. 

d 64>0a\p.6s ook elSey. The relative is co-ordinate with rjv in 
v. 8, refers to o-o<f>ia, and therefore is indirectly governed by 
XaXovfiev in v. 7 (so Heinrici, Meyer, Schmiedel). It might (so 
Evans) be governed by aireKd\vif/ev, if we read rj/juv Se and take 
v. 10 as an apodosis. But this is awkward, especially as a does 
not precede ko.6u>s ytypairrai. The only grammatical irreguarity 
which it is necessary to acknowledge is that a serves first as an 
accusative governed by eiSev and r/Kovcrev, then as nominative to 
avefir], and once more in apposition to ocra (or a) in the accus- 
ative. Such an anacoluthon is not at all violent. 

cm KapSiac . . . ouk &vefir\. Cf. Acts vii. 23; Isa. lxv. 17; 
Jer. Hi. 16, etc. 'Heart' in the Bible includes the mind, as 
here, Rom. i. 21, x. 6, etc. 

So-a. In richness and scale they exceed sense and thought 
(John xiv. 2). 

T)Toi/xao-€i'. Here only does St Paul use the verb of God. 
When it is so used, it refers to the blessings of final glory, with 
(Luke ii. 31) or without (Matt. xx. 23, xxv. 34 ; Mark x. 40 ; Heb. 
xi. 16) including present grace; or else to the miseries of final 
punishment (Matt. xxv. 41). See note on 86£a, v. 7. The ana- 
logy of N.T. language, and the dominant thought of the context 
here, compel us to find the primary reference in the consumma- 
tion of final blessedness. See Aug. De catech. rud. 27; Const. 
Apost. VII. xxxii. 2 ; with Irenaeus, Cyprian, Clement of Alex- 
andria and Origen. This does not exclude, but rather carries 
with it, the thought of 'present insight into Divine things' 
(Edwards). See on v. 10, and last note on v. 7. 

* Crux servorum siipplia'um. Eo Dominum gloriae affccerunt (Beng.). 
" The levity of philosophers in rejecting the cross was only surpassed by 
ihe stupidity of politicians in inflicting it " (Findlay). The placing of r. k. t. 
56£?;s between ovk &v and the verb throws emphasis on the words ; ' they would 
never have crucified ike Lord of Glory'' : cf. Heb. iv. 8, viii. 7 (Abbot, Johan- 
nine Gr., 2566). 



tois dyaTraJan' auToV. See Rom. viii. 28-30. Clement of 
Rome {Cor. 34), in quoting this passage, restores tois vito^kvovcnv 
from Isa. lxiv. 4 in place of tois dyaTiwiv. This seems to show 
that he regards the *a0<Ls yeypaTrrai as introducing a quotation 
from Isaiah. 

We ought possibly to read 8<ra ^rol/xaaev with ABC, Clem-Rom. 
But a f]ToL/j.a<Tev is strongly supported (NDEFGLP, Clem-Alex. Orig. 
Polyc-Mart.). Vulg. has quae with d e f g r. 

The much debated question of the source of St Paul's quota- 
tion must be solved within the limits imposed by his use of Ka&bs 
yeypaTTTat. See on i. 1 9 and 31. The Apostle unquestionably 
intends to quote Canonical Scripture. Either, then, he actually 
does so, or he unintentionally (Meyer) slips into a citation from 
some other source. The only passages of the O.T. which come 
into consideration are three from Isaiah. (1) lxiv. 4, a-n-b toS 
atwvos ovk r} Kovaa [xev owSe ol 6 <f> 6 a A. pi rj^v 6 T 8 o v ®ebv 
ir\r]v crov kci.1 to. epya o-ov, a TroLrjcreis rots virofj.€vov<Tiv cAcov (Heb. 
' From eternity they have not heard, they have not hearkened, 
neither hath eye seen, a God save Thee, who shall do gloriously 
for him that awaiteth Him'). (2) lxv. 17, kcu ov /at? iireXOy 
ovtoiv €7rl ttjv KapStav (observe the context). Also (3) Hi. 15, 
as quoted Rom. xv. 21, a passage very slightly to the purpose. 
The first of these three passages is the one that is nearest to the 
present quotation. Its general sense is, ' The only living God, 
who, from the beginning of the world, has proved Himself to be 
such by helping all who trust in His mercy, is Jehovah ' ; and it 
must be admitted that, although germane, it is not very close to 
St Paul's meaning here. But we must remember that St Paul 
quotes with great freedom, often compounding different passages 
and altering words to suit his purpose. Consider the quotations 
in i. 19, 20, 31, and in Rom. ix. 27, 29, and especially in Rom. 
ix, 33, x. 6, 8, 15. Freedom of quotation is a vera causa; and 
if there are degrees of freedom, an extreme point will be found 
somewhere. With the possible exception of the doubtful case 
in Eph. v. 14, it is probable that we reach an extreme point here. 
This view is confirmed by the fact that Clement of Rome, in the 
earliest extant quotation from our present passage, goes back to 
the LXX of Isa. lxiv. 4, which is evidence that he regarded that 
to be the source of St Paul's quotation. At the very least, it 
proves that Clement felt that there was resemblance between 
1 Cor. ii. 9 and Isa. lxiv. 4. 

Of other solutions, the most popular has been that of Origen 
(in Matt, xxvii. 9) ; in nullo regulari libro hoc positum invenitur, 
nisi in Secretis Eliae Prophetae. Origen was followed by others, 
but was warmly contradicted by Jerome (in Esai. lxiv. 4 : see also 
Prol. in Gen. ix. and Ep. lvii. [ci.] 7), who nevertheless allows 


that the passage occurs not only in the Apocalypse of Elias, but 
also in the Ascension of Esaias. This, however, by no means 
proves that the Apostle quotes from either book ; for the writers 
of those books may both of them be quoting from him. Indeed, 
it is fairly certain that this is true of the Apocalypse of Elias ; 
unless we reject the testimony of Epiphanius {Haer. xlii.), who 
says that this Apocalypse also contains the passage in Eph. v. 14, 
which (if St Paul quotes it without adaptation) is certainly from 
a Christian source. And there is no good reason for doubting 
the statement of Epiphanius. The Apocalypse of Elias, if it 
existed at all before St Paul's time, would be sure to be edited 
by Christian copyists, who, as in the case of many other apoca- 
lyptic writings, inserted quotations from N.T. books, especially 
from passages like the present one. The Ascension of Esaias, 
as quoted by Epiphanius (lxvii. 3), was certainly Christianized, 
for it contained allusions to the Holy Trinity. It is probably 
identical with the Ascension and Vision of Isaiah, published by 
Laurence in an Ethiopic, and by Gieseler in a Latin, version. 
The latter (xi. 34) contains our passage, and was doubtless the 
one known to Jerome ; the Ethiopic, though Christian, does not 
contain it. See Tisserant, Ascension d'fsaie, p. 211. 

On the whole, therefore, we have decisive ground for regard 
ing our passage as the source whence these Christian or Chris- 
tianized apocrypha derived their quotation, and not vice versa. 
Still more strongly does this hold good of the paradox of " over- 
sanguine liturgiologists " (Lightfoot), who would see in our 
passage a quotation from the Liturgy of St James, a document 
of the Gentile Church of Aelia far later than Hadrian, and full 
of quotations from the N.T.* 

Resch, also over-sanguine, claims the passage for his col- 
lection of Agrapha, or lost Sayings of our Lord, but on no 
grounds which call for discussion here. 

Without, therefore, denying that St Paul, like other N.T. 
writers, might quote a non-canonical book, we conclude with 
Clement of Rome and Jerome, that he meant to quote, and 
actually does quote — very freely and with reminiscence of lxv. 17 
— from Isa. lxiv. 4. He may, as Origen saw, be quoting from 
a lost Greek version which was textually nearer to our passage 
than the Septuagint is, but such an hypothesis is at best only a 
guess, and, in view of St Paul's habitual freedom, it is not a very 
helpful guess. 

The above view, which is substantially that of the majority of 
modern commentators, including Ellicott, Edwards, and Lightfoot 

* Lightfoot, S. Clement of Rome, 1. pp. 389 f. , II. pp. 106 f. ; Hammond, 
Liturgies Eastern and Western, p. x. Neither Origen nor Jerome know of 
any liturgical source. 


(to whose note this discussion has special obligations) is rejected 
by Meyer-Heinr., Schmiedel, and some others, who think that St 
Paul, perhaps per incuriam, quotes one of the apocryphal writings 
referred to above. It has been shown already that this hypo- 
thesis is untenable. For further discussion, see Lightfoot, 
S. Clement of Rome, I. p. 390, and on Clem. Rom. Cor. 34 ; 
Resch, Agrapha, pp. 102, 154, 281; Thackeray, St Paul and 
Contemporary Jewish Thought, pp. 240 f. On the seemingly 
hostile reference of Hegesippus to this verse, see Lightfoot's 
last note in loc. 

These two verses (9, 10) give a far higher idea of the future 
revelation than is found in Jewish apocalyptic writings, which 
deal rather with marvels than with the unveiling of spiritual 
truth. See Hastings, DB. iv. pp. 186, 187; Schiirer, J. P., 11. 
iii. pp. 129-132; Ency. Bib. i. 210. 

10. ripe ydp. Reason why we can utter things hidden from 
eye, ear, and mind of man : ' Because to us God, through the 
Spirit, unveiled them,' or, ' For to us they were revealed by God 
through the Spirit.' The rjpuv follows hard upon and interprets 
rots aycnrwcnv avrov, just as rjpuv on rots crw^o/xcvois (i. 1 8) : cf. 
rjfuv in i. 30 and rjfiwv in ii. 7. The fj/uv is in emphatic contrast 
to 'the rulers of this world' who do not know (v. 8). God 
reveals His glory, through His Spirit, to those for whom it is 
prepared. See note on v. 7 ; also Eph. i. 14, 17 ; 2 Cor. i. 22. 

If 8e be read instead of ydp, we must either adopt the awkward 
construction of a o<£0aA./i.os k.t.A. advocated by Evans and rejected 
above, or else, with Ellicott, make 8e introduce a second and 
supplementary contrast (co-ordinate with, but more general than, 
that introduced by dXXa in v. 9) to the ignorance of the 
apx 0VTe 5 in v. 8. On the whole, the " latent inferiority " of the 
reading Se is fairly clear. 

direKdXuvJ/ei'. The aorist points to a definite time when the 
revelation took place, viz. to the entry of the Gospel into the 
world.* Compare the aorists in Col. i. 26 ; Eph. iii. 5. 

to ydp Treeufia. Explanatory of Sid rov irvev pharos. The o-u>£d- 
uevoi and the dyairwvTe? tw ©eoV possess the Spirit, who has, and 
gives access to, the secrets of God. 

ipawa. The Alexandrian form of epewa (T.R.). The word 
does not here mean ' searcheth in order to know,' any more than 
it means this when it is said that God searches the heart of man 
(Rom. viii. 27; Rev. ii. 23; Ps. cxxxix. 1). It expresses "the 

* Is it true that "revelation is distinguished from ordinary spiritual in- 
fluences by its suddenness " ? May there not be a gradual unveiling ? Revela- 
tion implies that, without special aid from God, the truth in question would 
not have been discovered. Human ability and research would not have 


activity of divine knowledge " (Edwards) ; or rather, it expresses 
the activity of the Spirit in throwing His light upon the deep 
things of God, for those in whom He dwells. Scrutator omnia, 
non quia nescit, ut inveniat, sed quia nihil relinquit quod nescial 
(Atto). For the form see Gregory, Prolegomena to Tisch., 
p. Si. 

to. |3d0T|. Cf. 'fi (3d0o<s irXovrov kgu cro<f)ia<; kolI yvcoo-ems ©eov 
(Rom. xi. 33), and contrast to. ftaOia tov Sarava, ws Aeyovcriv (Rev. 
ii. 24).* 

riixlv yap (Band several cursives, Sah. Copt., Clem-Alex. Bas.) seems to 
be preferable to i}fuv 5<* (NACDEFGLP, Vulg. Syrr. Arm. Aeth., 
Orig.), but the external evidence for the latter is very strong. Certainly 
dneKaXv^eu 6 Beds (NABCDEFGP, Vulg. Copt. Arm. Aeth.) is 
preferable to 6 Qebs air. (L, Sah. Orig.). After irvevfiaros, K 3 D E F G L, 
Vulg. Syrr. Sah. Arm. Aeth. AV. add avrov. K*ABC, Copt. RV. omit. 

11. tis y^P °^ £K a^pwuw. This verse, taken as a whole, 
confirms the second clause of v. 10, and thereby further explains 

the words Sid tov 7rvevp.a.TO<;. The words avOpwiruiv and avdpuirov, 

repeated, are emphatic, the argument being a mitiori ad majus. 
Even a human being has within him secrets of his own, which 
no human being whatever can penetrate, but only his own spirit. 
How much more is this true of God ! The language here 
recalls Prov. XX. 27, <£u>s Kvpiov ttvoi] avOpuTriDV, os ipavi'S. rap-eia 
KoiXias. Cf. Jer. xvii. 9, 10. The question does not mean that 
nothing about God can be known ; it means that what is known 
is known through His Spirit (v. 10). 

Ta toG avQpdirou. The personal memories, reflexions, motives, 
etc., of any individual human being; all the thoughts of which 
he is conscious (iv. 4). 

to iri/euixa tou dr0p. t6 iv auTw. The word irvev/jLa is here used, 
as in v. 5, vii. 34 ; 2 Cor. vii. 1 ; 1 Thess. v. 23, in the purely 
psychological sense, to denote an element in the natural con- 
stitution of every human being. This sense, if we carefully 
separate all passages where it may stand for the spirit of man as 
touched by the Spirit of God, is not very frequent in Paul. See 
below on v. 14 for the relation of 7rv€i)/i.a to i/ar^- 

outus kch k.t.X. It is here that the whole weight of the state- 
ment lies. 

eyi'ojKei'. This seems to be purposely substituted for the 
weaker and more general oldev. For the contrast between the 
two see 2 Cor. v. 16; 1 John ii. 29. "The eyvwKev seems to 
place Ta tov ®€ov a degree more out of reach than olSev does ra 
rov avOpwwov " (Lightfoot, whose note, with its illustrations from 
\ John, should be consulted). This passage is a locus classicus 

* Clem. Rom. {Cor. 40) has Trpo5rj\o>i> olv i]puv 6vtuv tovtuv, kcu tyiceKU- 
4>6res eh t& jSd<?77 t?}s delas yvuxrewt. 


for the Divinity, as Rom. viii. 26, 27 is for the Personality, of the 
Holy Spirit. 

ci fjirj. 'But only,' as in Gal. i. 7, and (probably) i. 19; 
cf. ii. 16. 

to iTfeuixa toG 0eoG. St Paul does not add to iv avTw, which 
would have suggested a closer analogy between the relation of 
man's spirit to man and that of God's Spirit to God than the 
argument requires, and than the Apostle would hold to exist. 

A 17, Ath. Cyr-Alex. omit avdpwTrwv. F G omit the second rod ap0ptl>- 
irov. F G have Zyvu, while L has oldev, for HyvwKev (NABCDEP, 
Vulg. cognovit). 

12. TJfiels 8e. See on rjp.1v in v. 10: 'we Christians.' 
ou t6 7TkeGfia toG koctjaou . . . dXXd. An interjected negative 
clause, added to give more force to the positive statement that 
follows, as in Rom. viii. 15. What does St Paul mean by 'the 
spirit of the world ' ? 

(1) Meyer, Evans, Edwards, and others understand it of 
Satan, or the spirit of Satan, the koct/xos being "a system of 
organized evil, with its own principles and its own laws " (Evans) : 
see Eph. ii. 2, vi. 11; John xii. 31; 1 John iv. 3, v. 19; and 
possibly 2 Cor. iv. 4. But this goes beyond the requirements of 
the passage : indeed, it seems to go beyond the analogy of N.T. 
language, in which /co'oyxos has not per se a bad sense. Nor is 
' the wisdom of the world ' Satanical. It is human, not divine ; 
but it is evil only in so far as ' the flesh ' is sinful : i.e. it is not 
inherently evil, but only when ruled by sin, instead of being 
subjected to the Spirit. See Gifford's discussion of the subject 
in his Comm. on Romans, viii. 15. 

(2) Heinrici, Lightfoot, and others understand of the temper 
of the world, "the spirit of human wisdom, of the world as 
alienated from God" : non sumus instituti sapientia mundi (Est.). 
On this view it is practically identical with the avOpw-n-ivr/ ao<pia 
of v. 13, and homogeneous with the <pp6vrjp.a ttjs aapKos of Rom. 
viii. 6, 7 : indeed, it may be said to be identical with it in 
substance, though not in aspect. In both places in this verse, 
therefore, Trvev^a would be impersonal, and almost attributive, as 
in Rom. viii. 15; but there the absence of the article makes a 
difference. Compare the Trvevp.a erepov o ovk e'AdySeTe in 2 Cor. 
xi. 4. On the whole, this second explanation of ' the spirit of 
the world ' seems to be the better. 

eXdpofo.ei'. Like aireKa.\v\jjev (v. 10), this aorist refers to a 
definite time when the gift was received. " St Paul regards the 
gift as ideally summed up when he and they were ideally included 
in the Christian Church, though it is true that the Spirit is 
received constantly" (Lightfoot). Cf. xii. 13. 


to ir^eufia t6 ck tou 0eoG. The gift rather than the Person of 
the Spirit, although here, as not infrequently in Paul, the dis- 
tinction between the Personal Spirit of God (v. n), dwelling in 
man (Rom. viii. n), and the spirit (in the sense of the higher 
element of man's nature), inhabited and quickened by the Holy 
Spirit, is subtle and difficult to fix with accuracy. The Person is 
in the gift, and the activity of the recipient is the work of the 
Divine Indweller. 

Xva el8u(ji€^ This is the result to which w. 10-12 lead up. 
The words reproduce, under a different aspect, the thought in 
17/uv a-n-eKaXvipev 6 ©eos, and give the foundation for v. 13, a /cat 

Tot . . . xapicrOeWa r\iuv. The same blessings appear suc- 
cessively as So£av -rjfxwv (v. 7), ocra r)TOtfj.acrev k.t.X. (v. 9), and Ta 
Xapio-Oii'Ta (v. 12). The last perhaps includes " a little more of 
present reference " (Ellicott). The connexion of thought in the 
passage may be shown by treating vv. 11 and 12 as expanding 
the thought of v. 10 into a kind of syllogism ; — major premiss, 
None knows the things of God, but only the Spirit of God; 
minor premiss, We received the Spirit which is of God; con- 
clusion, So that we know what is given us by God. The 
possession of the gift of the Spirit of God is a sort of middle 
term which enables the Apostle to claim the power to know, and 
to utter, the deep things of God. 

After toO k6it/j.ov, D E F G, Vulg. Copt. Arm. add tovtov. H A B C L P, 
Syrr. Aeth. omit. 

13. a Kal XaXoGfiev. This is the dominant verb of the whole 
passage (vv. 6, 7 : see notes on %v, v. 8, a and ocra, v. 9). The 
/cat emphasizes the justification, furnished by the preceding 
verses, for the claim made ; * Which are the very things that we 
do utter.' The present passage is the personal application of 
the foregoing, as vv. 1-5 are of i. 18-31. 

SiSaicTois d^pejiTiv^s <ro4>ias. 'Taught by man's wisdom.' 
We have similar genitives in John vi. 45, SiSa/croi ®eov, and in 
Matt. xxv. 34, eiXoyrifxevoi tot) 7raTpo's. In class. Grk. the con- 
struction is found only in poets ; /ceiVqs SiSa/cTa (Soph. Elect. 343), 
StSa/cTats avOpuiiruv dpeTats (Pind. 01. ix. 152). Cf. i. 17. 

StSaKTots iri'euV aTO s- See on v. 4, where, as here and 1 Thess. 
i. 5, Trvevfxa has no article. The Apostle is not claiming verbal 
inspiration ; but verba rem sequuntur (Wetstein). Cf. Luke xxi. 
15 ; Jer. i. 9. Sapientia est scaturigo sertnonum (Beng.). Bentley, 
Kuenen, etc. conjecture ev dSiSd/crots 7rver^.aTos. 

■nreuuaTiKots -nreufjiaTiKa auncpteoi'Tes. Two questions arise 
here, on the answer to which the interpretation of the words 
depends, — the gender of wc^/tan/cots, and the meaning of <rvv 


Kptveiv. The latter is used by St Paul only here and 2 Cor. x. 12, 
where it means ' to compare.' This is a late use, frequent from 
Aristotle onwards, but out of place here, although adopted in 
both AV. and RV. text. Its classical meaning is ' to join 
fitly,' 'compound,' 'combine' (RV. marg.). In the LXX it has 
the meaning 'to interpret,' but only in the case of dreams 
(Gen. xl. 8, 16, 22, xli. 12, 15; Judg. vii. 15; Dan. v. 12, 
vii. 15, 16). We have, therefore, the following possibilities to 
consider : — 

(1) Taking Trvev/xaTtKot? as neuter; — either, 

(a) Combining spiritual things (the words) with spiritual 

things (the subject matter) ; or, 
(/?) Interpreting (explaining) spiritual things by spiritual 
This (/3) may be understood in a variety of ways ; — 
Interpreting O.T. types by N.T. doctrines. 
Interpreting spiritual truths by spiritual language. 
Interpreting spiritual truths by spiritual faculties. 
Of these three, the first is very improbable; the third is 
substantially the explanation adopted by Luther; und richten 
geistliche Sachen geistlich. 

(2) Taking Trveu/xaTt/cot? as masculine ; — either, 

(y) Suiting (matching) spiritual matter to spiritual 
hearers ; or, 

(S) Interpreting spiritual truths to spiritual hearers. 
In favour of taking Trvev/j.aTiKoi<; as neuter may be urged the 
superior epigrammatic point of keeping the same gender for both 
terms, and the naturalness of ttvcv par lkols being brought into 
close relation with the avv- in crw/cpiVovres. These considera- 
tions are of weight, and the resultant sense is good and relevant, 
whether we adopt (a) or the third form of (/3). As Theodore 
of Mopsuestia puts it, 81a twv tov 7rvev/naTos aTro8(i$€OJV t?/j/ tow 
7rv£V/xaTOS SiSacTKaXiav TTMTTOVfxeOa. 

On the other hand, in favour of taking Trecu/taTiKois as mascu- 
line, there is its markedly emphatic position, as if to prepare the 
way for the contrast with i/o^ikos which immediately follows, and 
which now becomes the Apostle's main thought. This considera- 
tion perhaps turns the scale in favour of taking Trv^v^ariKols as 
' spiritual persons.'' Of the two explanations under this head, one 
would unhesitatingly prefer (8), were not the use of o-vvKpCveiv in 
the sense of ' interpret ' confined elsewhere to the case of dreams. 
This objection is not fatal, but it is enough to leave us in doubt 
whether St Paul had this meaning in his mind. The other 
alternative (y) has the advantage of being a little less remote 
from the Apostle's only other use of the word. In either case, 
taking ttv. as masculine, we have the Apostle coming back "full 


circle " to the thought of v. 6, cv tois rcXeiots, which now receives 
its necessary justification. 

Before concluding the discussion of the true wisdom, the 
Apostle glances at those who are, and those who are not, fitted 
to receive it. 

After TTitevnaros, D 3 E L P, Aeth. AV. add aylov. N A B C D* F G 17, 
Vulg. RV. omit. 



Only the spiritual man can receive the true wisdom. 
You Corinthians cannot receive it, for your dissensions show 
that you are not spiritual. 

14 Now the man whose interests are purely material has no 
mind to receive what the Spirit of God has to impart to him : it 
is all foolishness to him, and he is incapable of understanding it, 
because it requires a spiritual eye to see its true value. 15 But 
the spiritual man sees the true value of everything, yet his own 
true value is seen by no one who is not spiritual like himself. 
16 For what human being ever knew the thoughts of the Lord 
God, so as to be able to instruct and guide Him ? But those of 
us who are spiritual do share the thoughts of Christ. 

iii. x And I, Brothers, acting on this principle, have not been 
able to treat you as spiritual persons, but as mere creatures of 
flesh and blood, as still only babes in the Christian course. 
2 I gave you quite elementary teaching, and not the more solid 
truths of the Gospel, for these ye were not yet strong enough 
to digest. 3 So far from being so then, not even now are ye 
strong enough, for ye are still mere beginners. For so long as 
jealousy and contention prevail among you, are you not mere 
tyros, behaving no better than the mass of mankind ? 4 For 
when one cries, I for my part stand by Paul, and another, I by 
Apollos, are you anything better than men who are still 
uninfluenced by the Spirit of God? 

14. \J/uxi.kos &e a^punras. This is in sharpest contrast to 
irvf.vixa.TiK.oh {v. 13), for tfru^LKos means 'animal' {animalis homo, 
Vulg.) in the etymological sense, and nearly so in the ordinary 
sense: see xv. 44, 46; Jas. iii. 15; Jude 19 {\\iv\iko\ Trvevjxa ovk 


IxovTts).* The term is not necessarily based upon a supposed 
' trichotomous ' psychology, as inferred by Apollinaris and others 
from to TTvevfia Kal 17 ^vxv KC " T0 °"w/i.a in Thess. v. 23 (see 
Lightfoot's note). It is based rather upon the conception of 
^fvxq as the mere correlative of organic life. Aristotle defines it 

as irpwrr) ei/reAc'^eia trw/xaTO? cjivaiKOv opyaviKOV. In man, this 
comprises irvevfia in the merely psychological sense (note on 
v. 11), but not necessarily in the sense referred to above (note 
on v. 12). See, however, v. 5; Phil. i. 27 ; Eph. vi. 17 ; Col. 
iii. 23 ; 1 Pet. iv. 6. In Luke i. 46, ^xv ar >d irvtv/Aa seem to be 
synonymous. The ifrux'q ranges with vous (Rom. vii. 23, 35 ; 
Col. ii. 18), in one sense contrasted with cra'pf, but like crdp£ in 
its inability to rise to practical godliness, unless aided by the 
irvev/xa. We may say that if/vx'q is the ' energy ' or correlative 
of adp£. 

Although, therefore, xj/vxv is not used in N.T. in a bad sense, 
to distinguish the animal from the spiritual principle in the 
human soul, yet vj/vxikos is used of a man whose motives do not 
rise above the level of mere;v human needs and aspirations. 
The i/a;x<.Kos is the 'unrenewed' man, the 'natural' man 
(AV., RV.), as distinct from the man who is actuated by the 
Spirit. The word is thus practically another name for the 
aapKiKos (iii. 1, 3). See J. A. F. Gregg on Wisd. ix. 15. 

ou Se'xeTdi. Not 'is incapable of receiving,' but 'does not 
accept,' i.e. he rejects, refuses. Ae'xeo-#ai = ' to accept,' 'to take 
willingly' (2 Cor. viii. 17 ; 1 Thess. i. 6, etc.). 

on Tri'cup.aTiKws araKpiVeTcu. The nature of the process is 
beyond him ; it requires characteristics which he does not 
possess. The verb is used frequently by St Paul in this 
Epistle, but not elsewhere. It is one of the 103 N.T. words 
which are found only in Paul and Luke (Hawkins, Hor. Syn. 
p 190). Here it means 'judge of,' 'sift,' as in Acts xvii. 11 of 
the liberal-minded Beroeans, who sifted the Scriptures, to get at 
the truth : Dan. Sus. 13, 48, 51. 

15. 6 Se irreufxaTiKos- The man in whom irvivp.a has its 
rightful predominance, which it gains by being informed by, and 
united with, the Spirit of God, and in no other way. Man as 
man is a spiritual being, but only some men are actually 
spiritual ; just as man is a rational being, but only some men are 
actually rational. Natural capacity and actual realization are 
not the same thing. 

dpcucpieei ^Xv TTdfTci. ' He judges of everything,' ' sifts every- 

* Cf. Juvenal (xv. 147 f.), Mundi Principio indulsit communis conditor 
Wis Tanlum animas, nobis animum quoque. See Chadwick, Pastoral l^eath 

*'«/» P- 153- 



thing,' i Thess. v. 21 ; Phil. i. 10; contrast Rom. ii. 18. The 
whole Epistle exemplifies this principle in St Paul's person (vii. 25, 
viii. 1, x. 14, xi. 1, etc.). Aristotle, in defining virtue, comes back 
to the judgment formed by the mature character : ws av 6 <ppoVi/*os 
6/nWev (Eth. Nic. 11. vi. 15). 'Judgeth' (AV., RV.) does not 
^uite give the meaning of what is expressed here : ' examines ' is 
nearer to it. 

outos 8e utt 1 oiSeros dvaicpikeTai. This perhaps means ' by no 
non-spiritual person' (cf. 1 John iv. 1). It does not mean that 
the spiritual man is above criticism (iv. 3, 4, xiv. 32 ; Rom. 
xiv. 4). St Paul is not asserting the principle of Protagoras, 
that the individual judgment is for each man the criterion of 
truth ; TrdvTUiv fx-irpov avOpwTros, Ttov iiev ovtwv ojs ecrrt twv Be fir) 
ovT(ov d>s ovk ia-Tu He is asserting, with Bishop Butler, the 
supremacy of conscience, and the right and duty of personal 
judgment. But it is the spiritual man who has this vantage- 
ground. The text has been perverted in more than one 
direction ; on the one hand, as an excuse for the licence of 
persons whose conduct has stamped them as unspiritual, e.g. the 
Anabaptists of Miinster; on the other, as a ground for the 
irresponsibility of ecclesiastical despotism in the mediaeval 
Papacy, e.g. by Boniface viii. in the Bull Unam sattctam, and by 
Cornelius a Lapide on this passage. The principle laid down bv 
St Paul gives no support to either anarchy or tyranny ; it is the 
very basis of lawful authority, both civil and religious; all the 
more so, because it supplies the principle of authority with the 
necessary corrective. 

dvaKpiyeTcu. ' Is judged of,' ' subjected to examination.' 
See on iv. 3, 4, 5, ix. 3, x. 25, 27 ; also on Luke xxiii. 14. 'Ava- 
Kpto-is (Acts xxv. 26) was a legal term at Athens lor a preliminary 
investigation, preparatory to the actual Kpum, which for St 
Paul would have its analogue in ' the day ' (iv. 5). Lightfoot 
gives examples of the way in which the Apostle delights to 
accumulate compounds of k/hW (iv. 3, vi. 1-6, xi. 29-32 ; 2 Cor. 
x. 12 ; Rom. ii. 1). By playing on words he sometimes 
illuminates great truths or important personal experiences. 

N* omits the whole of this verse. A C D* F G omit iiAv after ivaKpivei. 
irdvTa (K 1 B D 2 E F GX) is to be preferred to to. tt&vto. (A C D* P). 

16. ti's ydp eycu. Proof of what has just been claimed for 
the 7rvev/AaTiKo's : he has direct converse with a source of light 
which is not to be superseded by any merely external norm. 
The quotation (ti's . . . avrov) is from the LXX of Isa. xl. 13, 
adapted by the omission of the middle clause, /ecu ti's avrov 
o-uV/iJovAos iyivero ; This clause is retained in Rom. xi. 34, while 
os o-vvfii(3do-e<. avrov is omitted. The aorist (eyvw) belongs to 


the quotation, and must not be pressed as having any special 
force here; 'hath known ' (AV., RV.). On the other hand, the 
immediate transition from vovv Kvpiov to vovv Xpicrrov as equivalent 
is full of deep significance. Cf. Wisd. ix. 13; Ecclus. i. 6; 
Job xxxvi. 22, 23, 26 ; and see on Rom. x. 12, 13. 

vovv Kupiou. The vovv (LXX) corresponds to the Hebrew 
for Trve.v/xa in the original. In God, voC? and ^rvcv/xa are identical 
(see, as to man, on v. 14), but not in aspect, voSs being suitable 
to denote the Divine knowledge or counsel, 7rv€u/xa the Divine 
action, either in creation or in grace. 

os au^|3if3do-ei ciut6V. The relative refers to o~vv(3ov\o<; in Isa. 
xl. 13. As St Paul omits the clause containing avv fiovXos, the 
os is left without any proper construction. But it finds a kind 
of antecedent in tis; 'Who hath known . . . that he should 
instruct' (RV.). Sui'/?i/3a£eiv occurs several times in N.T. in its 
classical meanings of 'join together,' 'conclude,' 'prove'; but in 
Biblical Greek, though not in classical, it has also the meaning 
of 'instruct.' Thus in Acts xix. 33, where the true reading 
(N A B E) seems to be o-vvef3ifiao-av ' ' AXztjav&pov, Alexander is 
' primed ' with a defence of the Jews, for which he cannot get a 
hearing. This meaning of 'instruct' is frequent in LXX. In 
class. Grk. we should have iv/3i(3d^€iv. 

T)fi€is 8e vouv XptffTou 'iypu-iv. We have this by the agency of 
the Spirit of God ; and the mind of the Spirit of God is known 
to the Searcher of hearts (Rom. viii. 27). The mind of Christ 
is the correlative of His Spirit, which is the Spirit of God (Rom. 
viii. 9 ; Gal. iv. 6), and this mind belongs to those who are His by 
virtue of their vital union with Him (Gal. ii. 20, 21, iii. 27 ; Phil, 
i. 8; Rom. xiii. 14). The thought is that of v. 12 in another 
form : see also vii. 40 ; and 2 Cor. xiii. 3, rov iv ifxol AaAow-ros 
Xpio-rov. The emphatic ^eis (see on i. 18, 23, 30, ii. 10, 12) 
serves to associate all 7rveu/xariKoi with the Apostle, and also all 
his readers, so far as they are, as they ought to be, among ol 

O~w£,6[.MV0l (i. 18). 

We ought probably to prefer Xpiarov (KACD'ELP, Vulg. Syrr. Copt. 
Arm., Orig.) to Kvpiov (B D* F G, Aug. Ambrst.). Xpiarov would be 
likely to be altered to conform with the previous Kvpiov. 

III. 1-4. In following to its application his contrast between 
the spiritual and the animal character, the Apostle is led back to 
his main subject, the c^icr/aiTa. These dissensions show which 
type of character predominates among his readers. The passage 
corresponds to ii. 13 (see note there), and forms its negative 
counterpart, prepared for by the contrast (ii. 13-16) between the 
spiritual and the animal man. 


Kdyw, dSeXejxn. See on i. io and ii. i. 

<I>s ■nveujxcu-i.KoI?. Ideally, all Christians are TrvevfxaTiKoi (xii. 3, 
13 ; Gal. iv. 3-7) : but by no means all the Corinthians were such 
in fact.* Along with the heathen, they are in the category of 
ifn>xi-KOL or aapKiKoi, but they are not on a level with the heathen. 
They are babes in character, but 'babes in Christ' ; and, apart 
from the special matters for blame, there are many healthy 
features in their condition (i. 4-9, xi. 2). 

&\\' ws aapKiVois. The word is chosen deliberately, and it 
expresses a shade of meaning different from o-apKiKos, placing the 
state of the Corinthians under a distinct aspect. The termination 
-ivos denotes a material relation, while -ucos denotes an ethical or 
dynamic relation, to the idea involved in the root. In 2 Cor. 
iii. 3 the tables are made of stone, the hearts are made of flesh 
(see note on a.vQpwinvo% iv. 3). Accordingly, o-ap/aVos means • of 
flesh and blood,' what a man cannot help being, but a state to 
be subordinated to the higher law of the Spirit, and enriched and 
elevated by it. We are all o-ap/aW (£w iv aapKi, Gal. ii. 20), but 
we are not to live Kara. o-rfpKa (xv. 50; Rom. viii. 12; 2 Cor. 
x. 2, 3). The state of the v^Vtos is not culpable in itself, but it 
becomes culpable if unduly prolonged (xiii. 11, xiv. 20). 

There are two other views respecting o-ap/aVos which may be 
mentioned, but seem to be alien to the sense. Meyer holds that 
the word means 'wholly of flesh,' without any influence of the 
spirit (John iii. 6). In the o-apxiKos, although the flesh still has 
the upper hand, yet there is some counteracting influence of the 
spirit. This view makes the state of the o-ap/a>cds an advance 
upon that of the o-ap/aVos, and is really an inversion of the true 
sense. Evans regards o-ap/aVos as a term free from any reproach. 
It is " the first moral state after conversion, in a figure borrowed 
from an infant, which to outward view is little more than a living 
lump of dimpled flesh, with few signs of intelligence." This is 
an exaggeration of the true sense. Cf. Arist. Eth. Nic. 111. ix. 2. 

ffapKivois (NABC*D* 17) is the original reading, of which (rapiciKoii 
(D 8 E F G L P) is obviously a correction. 

2. yd\a up,as eiroTiora, ou f3puip,a. Cf. Heb. V. 1 2, where (TTepea 
Tpo<pi] takes the place of (3pwfxa. The verb governs both sub- 
stantives by a very natural zeugma : it takes a double accusative, 
and the passive has the accusative of the thing (xii. 13). The yaXa 
is described ii. 2, the /?ptop.a, ii. 6-13, and the distinction corre- 
sponds to the method necessarily adopted by every skilful teacher. 
The wise teacher proves himself to be such by his ability to 
impart, in the most elementary grade, what is really fundamental 

* Cf. yevd}/j.e0a Trvev/xariKol, yevib/xeda pads riXeios r<£ Gey (Ep. of Barn, 
iv. Ii), a possible reminiscence of this and v. 16. 


and educative — what is simple, and yet gives insight into the full 
instruction that is to follow. The ' milk,' or 6 -7-775 ap^s tov 
XpicrToO Ao'yos (Heb. vi. 1), would be more practical than doctrinal 
(as ii. 2), and would tell of 'temperance and righteousness and 
judgment to come' before communicating the foundation-truths 
as to the person and work of Christ. Christ Himself begins in 
this way; 'Thou knowest the commandments'; 'Repent ye, for 
the kingdom of God is at hand.' The metaphor was current 
among the Rabbis, and occurs in Philo (see Lightfoot's note). 
The aorist eVoncra refers to a definite period, evidently that 
which began with the tjXQov of ii. 1, viz. the eighteen months of 
Acts xviii. 1 1. 

ou-rra) yap €&uVaa0e. ' For ye had not yet the power.' The 
verb is used absolutely, as in x. 13.* This use is not rare in 
LXX, and is found in Plato, Xenophon, etc. The tense indi- 
cates a process. This process was one of growth, but the growth 
was too slow. 

DEFGL, Arm. Aeth. AV. insert ical before ov Ppw/m. NABCP, 
Vulg. Copt. RV. omit. 

3. &W ouoe en vuv SuVaaOe. The new verse (but hardly a 
new paragraph) should begin here (WH.). B omits en, but the 
omission may be accidental. It adds force to the rebuke, but 
for that reason might have been inserted. The external evidence 
justifies its retention. The dAAa has its strongest 'ascensive' 
force ; ' Nay, but not yet even now have ye the power ' (vi. 8 ; 
2 Cor. i. 9 ; Gal. ii. 3). The impression made by this passage, 
especially when combined with vv. 6, 10, ii. 1, and a.Kovna.1 in 
v. 1, is that St Paul had as yet paid only one visit to Corinth. 
The apTL in xvi. 7 does not necessarily suggest a hasty visit 
already paid. The second visit of a painful character, which 
seems to be implied in 2 Cor. xiii., may have been paid after this 
letter was written. Those who think it was paid before this letter, 
explain the silence about it throughout this letter by supposing 
that it was not only painful, but very short. 

ottou yap iv ujilv. The adverb of place acquires the force of 
a conditional particle in classical authors as here : cf. Clem. 
Rom. Cor. 43. In Tudor English, ' where ' is sometimes used for 
'whereas.' But here the notion of place, corresponding to iv 
vfxlv, is not quite lost ; ' seeing that envy and strife find place 
among; you.' Cf. Zvi in Gal. iii. 28. 

£tj\os Kal epis. Strife is the outward result of envious feeling : 
Gal. v. 20; Clem. Rom. Cor. 3. There is place in Christian 
ethics for honourable emulation (Gal. iv. 18), but £77X05 without 

* Irenaeus (iv. xxxviii. 2) has ov5& i)5vva.tr6e /Jaardfai' (from John 
xvi. 12), and his translator has nondum enim poteratis escam percipere. 


qualification, though ranked high by Aristotle* (Rhet. ii. n), 
is placed by the Apostle among ' works of the flesh.' Lightfoot 
gives other instances of differences in estimation between heathen 
and Christian ethics. 

oox^i aapKiKoi core ; See above on crapKivoi, and cf. ix. 1 1 ; 
Rom. xv. 27. Here, as in 2 Cor. i. 12, a-apKixoi means 'con- 
formable to and governed by the flesh,' actuated by low motives, 
above which they ought by this time to have risen. 

kcit& acOpwiToc TrepnraTei-re. ' Walk on a merely human level ' 
(xv. 32; Gal. .i. 11, iii. 15; Rom. iii. 5): contrast Kara ©eo'v 
(2 Cor. vii. 9-1 1 ; Rom. viii. 27). This level cannot be dis- 
tinguished from that of the i/^u^ikos avdpwiros (ii. 14). riept7raTetv, 
of manner of life, is frequent in Paul and 2 and 3 John, while 
other writers more often have avaarpecpeLv and avaarpocprj : cf. 
opOoSoirovv (Gal. ii. 14), it optveaO at (Luke i. 6, viii. 14) and see 
vii. 17. Cf. Jn. xii. 35. 

D* F G have aapKlvoi for ffapKiicol. D E F G L, Syrr. AV. add *cai 
dixoffraaiai after Ipis. N A B C P, Vulg. Copt. Arm. Aeth. RV. omit. 
See Iren. IV. xxxviii. 2. 

4. oTaf yap Xeyr) tis. ' For whenever one saith ' : each such 
utterance is one more verification (yap) of the indictment.t Cf. 
the construction in xv. 27. 

eyu) fxtV . . . crepos Se. The fx.iv and the Si correspond logi- 
cally, although not grammatically. St Paul mentions only himself 
and Apollos by name (cf. iv. 6), because he can less invidiously 
use these names as the point of departure for the coming analysis 
of the conception of the Christian Pastorate (iii. 5-iv. 5). 

ouk acOpwiroi eVre ; ' Are ye not mere human creatures ? ' 
They did not rise above a purely human level. The expression 
is the negative equivalent of o-ap/aKoi in the parallel clause, — 
negative, because implying the lack, not only of spirituality, but 
even of manliness. The lack of spirituality is implied in the 
whole context, the lack of manliness in the word itself, which 
classical writers contrast with avrjp. In xvi. 13 this contrast is 
implied in dvSpt^eo-fo. See Ps. xlix. 2 and Isa. ii. 9 for a similar 
contrast in Hebrew. The Corinthians were avOpunroi in failing to 
rise to the higher range of motives ; and they were aapKiKo! in 

* He contrasts it with envy, which is always bad and springs from a mean 
character ; whereas the man who is moved by emulation is conscious of being 
capable of higher things. Wetstein distinguishes thus ; £r)\os cogitatione, 
£pts verbis, BixovracrLai opere. 

t Abbott renders, ' In the very moment of saying' ; by uttering a party- 
cry he stamps himself as carnal ; so also in xiv. 26 (Johan. Gr. 2534). There 
is here nothing inconsistent with i. 5-7. There he thanks God for the gifts 
with which He had enriched the Corinthians. Here he blames them for the 
poor results. 


allowing themselves to be swayed by the lower range, a range 
which they ought (en yap) to have left behind as a relic of 
heathenism (vi. n, xii. 2). 

" In all periods of great social activity, when society becomes 
observant of its own progress, there is a tendency to exalt the 
persons and means by which it progresses. Hence, in turn, 
kings, statesmen, parliaments, and then education, science, 
machinery and the press, have had their hero-worship. Here, 
at Corinth, was a new phase, 'minister-worship.' No marvel, 
in an age when the mere political progress of the Race was felt 
to be inferior to the spiritual salvation of the Individual, and to 
the purification of the Society, that ministers, the particular 
organs by which this was carried on, should assume in men's 
eyes peculiar importance, and the special gifts of Paul or Apollos 
be extravagantly honoured. No marvel either, that round the 
more prominent of these, partizans should gather" (F. W. 
Robertson). Origen says that, if the partizans of Paul or 
Apollos are mere avOpwiroi, then, if you are a partizan of some 
vastly inferior person, Srjkov on ovkIti oiSk avOpwiros el, a\\a kcu 
X^pov r\ avOp<DTro<;. You may perhaps be addressed as yewTQ/xara 
e'xtSvon', if you have such base preferences. Bachmann remarks 
that, although the present generation has centuries of Christian 
experience behind it, it can often be as capricious, one-sided, 
wrong-headed, and petty as any Corinthians in its judgments on 
its spiritual teachers and their utterances. 

We should read ovk (K* ABC 17) rather than the more emphatic, and 
in this Epistle specially common oi>xl (D E F G L P), which is genuine in 
v. 3, i. 20, v. 12, vi. 7, etc. And we should read 6.v6 'pw-rroi (N'ABCDEFG 
17, Vulg. Copt. Aeth. RV.) rather than napKiKot (K 3 LP, Syrr. AV.). 
avdpuwivoi (iv. 3, x. 13) is pure conjecture. 

We now reach another main section of this sub-division 
(i. 10-iv. 21) of the First Part (i. 10-vi. 20) of the Epistle. 
St Paul has hitherto (i. 1 7-iii. 4) been dealing with the false and 
the true conception of aocpia, in relation to Christian Teaching. 
He now passes to the Teacher. 


(i.) General Definition (iii. 5-9). 
(ii.) The Builders (iii. 10-15). 
(iii.) The Temple (iii. 16, 17). 

(iv.) Warning against a ' mere human ' estimate of the Pastora' 
Office (iii. i8-i>. 5). 


Personal Application of the foregoing, and Conclusion of the 
subject of the Dissensions (iv. 6-21). 

III. 5-9. General Definition of the Christian Pastorate. 

Teachers are mere instruments in the hands of God, who 
alone produces the good results. 

5 What is there really in either Apollos or me ? We are not 
heads of parties, and we are not the authors or the objects of 
your faith. We are just servants, through whose instrumentality 
you received the faith, according to the grace which the Lord 
gave to each of you. 6 It was my work to plant the faith in you, 
Apollos nourished it ; but it was God who, all the time, was 
causing it to grow. 7 So then, neither the planter counts for 
anything at all, nor the nourisher, but only He who caused it to 
grow, viz. God. 8 Now the planter and the nourisher are in one 
class, equals in aim and spirit ; and yet each will receive his own 
special wage according to his own special responsibility and toil. 
9 God is the other class ; for it is God who allows us a share in 
His work ; it is God's field (as we have seen) that ye are ; it is 
God's building (as we shall now see) that ye are. 

The Apostle has shown that the dissensions are rooted, first)v, 
in a misconception of the Gospel message, akin, in most cases, 
to that of the Greeks, who seek wisdom in the low sense of clever- 
ness, and akin, in other cases, to that of the Jews, who are 
ever seeking for a sign. He goes on to trace the dissensions 
to a second cause, viz. a perverted view of the office and function 
of the Christian ministry. First, however, he lays down the true 
character of that ministry. 

5. ti ouk €oriV; A question, Socratic in form, leading up 
naturally to a definition, and thus checking shallow conceit 
{v. 18, iv. 6) by probing the idea underlying its glib use of words. 
' What is Apollos ? i.e. What is his essential office and function ? 
How is he to be 'accounted of? (iv. 1). The two names are 
mentioned three times, and each time the order is changed, 
perhaps intentionally, to lead up to ev elaiv (v. 8). The ovv 
follows naturally upon the mention of Apollos in v. 4, but 
marks also a transition to a question raised by the whole matter 
under discussion, — a new question, and a question of the first 

SidKo^oi. The word is used here in its primary and general 


sense of 'servant.'* It connotes active service (see note on 
vT7yjpeTi]<; in iv. 1) and is probably from a root akin to Siwkw (cf. 
' pursuivant '). See Hort, Christian Ecclesia, pp. 202 f. 

81' uv cTna-Teuo-cu-e. Per quos, non in quos (Beng.). The aorist 
points back to the time of their conversion (cf. xv. 2 ; Rom. xiii. 
n), but it sums up their whole career as Christians. 

Kcii eKdcrrw is 6 Kupios c'SwKey. As in vii. 17 ; Rom. xii. 3. 
The construction is condensed for c^acr-ros is o K. loWev airo- 
It may be understood either of the measure of faith given by the 
Lord to each believer, or of the measure of success granted by Him 
to each Sia*oeo?. Rom. xii. 3 favours the former, but perhaps 
6 ©eos -qviavev favours the latter. We have cKacrros five times in 
vv. 5-13. God deals separately with each individual soul: cf. 
iv. 5, vii. 17, 20, 24, xii. 7, 11. And whatever success there is 
to receive a reward (v. 8) is really His ; Dens coronat dona sua, 
non merita nostra (Augustine). It is clear from the frequent 
mention of ©eo's in what follows that 6 Ki'pios means God, and it 
seems to be in marked antithesis to Blolkovol. 

We should read tl in both places (K* A B 17, Vulg. d e f g Aeth. RV.), 
rather than Ws(CDEFG L P, Syrr. Copt. Arm. AV.). D- L, Syrr. Arm. 
Aeth. place IlaDXos first and 'AiroWds second, an obvious correction, to 
agree with vv. 4 and 6. D E F G L, Vulg. Arm. Copt, omit iariv after 
t. Si. D 2 L P, Syrr. AV. insert d\\' 1} before Si&kovoi. KABCD'EFG, 
Vulg. Copt. Arm. RV. omit. 

8. eyo> €cf>uTeucra k.t.X. St Paul expands the previous state- 
ment. Paith, whether initial or progressive, is the work of God 
alone, although He uses men as His instruments. Note 
the significant change from aorists to imperfect. The aorists 
sum up, as wholes, the initial work of Paul (Acts xviii. 1-18) and 
the fostering ministry of Apollos (Acts xviii. 24-xix. 1): the 
imperfect indicates what was going on throughout ; God was all 
along causing the increase (Acts xiv. 27, xvi. 14).! Sine hoc 
incremento granum a primo sationis momento esset ins tar lapilli : 
ex incremento statim fides germinat (Beng.). See Chadwick, 
Pastoral Teaching, p. 183. 

7. eVrii' ti. ' Is something,' est aliquid, Vulg. (cf. Acts v. 36 ; 
Gal. ii. 6, vi. 3) ; so Evans ; quiddam, atque adeo, quia solus, omnia 
(Beng.). Or, iariv ti, 'is anything' (AV., RV). 

JVbs mercenarii sumus, alienis ferramentis operamur, nihil 
debetur nobis, nisi merces laboris nostri, quia de accepto talento 
operamur (Primasius). 

* " There is no evidence that at this time dianovla or Siaicovetv had an 
exclusively official sense" (Westcott on Eph. iv. 12) ; cf. Ileb. vi. 10. 

t Latin and English Versions ignore the change of tense ; and the difference 
between human activities, which come and go. and divine action, which goes 
on for ever, is lost. 


a\V 6 au|aVa>r 0e6s. The strongly adversative dXXa implies 
the opposite of what has just been stated ; ' but God who giveth 
the increase is everything.' See on vii. 19, and cf. Gal. vi. 15. 
To refer eVdncrev and 6 ttoti&hv to Baptism, as some of the 
Fathers do, is to exhibit a strange misappreciation of the con- 
text. See Lightfoot's note. ®eos is placed last with emphasis ; 
' but the giver of the increase — God.' 

eV elcriy. Are in one category, as fellow-workers ; conse- 
quently it is monstrous to set them against one another as rivals. 
As contrasted with God, they are all of one value, just nothing. 
But that does not mean that each, when compared with the other, 
is exactly equal in His sight. The other side of the truth is 
introduced with hL 

eKaoTos 8e. c Yet each has his own responsibility and work, 
and each shall receive his proper reward.' The repeated lSlov 
marks the separate responsibility, correcting a possible misappre- 
hension of the meaning of ev : congruens iteratio, antitheton ad 
^unum' (Beng.). The latter point is drawn out more fully in 
w. 1 o f. 

0. 0€oG yap. The yap refers to the first half, not the second, 
of v. 8. The workers are in one category, because they are ®eov 
a-vvepyoi The verse contains the dominant thought of the whole 
passage, gathering up the gist of vv. 5-7. Hence the emphatic 
threefold ®eov. The Gospel is the power of God (i. 18), and 
those who are entrusted with it are to be thought of, not as rival 
members of a rhetorical profession, but as bearers of a divine 
message charged with divine power. 

0eoG awepyoi. This remarkable expression occurs nowhere else: 
the nearest to it is 2 Cor. vi. 1 ; the true text of 1 Thess. iii. 2 
is probably Skxkovov, not o-uvepyov* It is not quite clear what 
it means. Either, 'fellow-workers with one another in God's 
service ' ; or, ' fellow-workers with God.' Evans decides for the 
former, because " the logic of the sentence loudly demands it." 
So also Heinrici and Others. But although God does all, yet 
human instrumentality in a sense co-operates (ocra £77-01770-0/ 6 ©eos 
fxer clvtuv, Acts xiv. 27), and St Paul admits this aspect of the 
matter in rj x^P 1 * T( ™ ®eov a-vv i/xoi, xv. 10, and in o-wepyoCvTcs, 
2 Cor. vi. 1. This seems to turn the scale in favour of the more 
simple and natural translation, ' fellow-workers with God.' f 
Compare Toijs o-wepyoijs p.ov eV Xpio~ru> 'I?7o-oij (Rom. xvi. 3), which 

* In LXX ffvvepyds is very rare ; 2 Mac. viii. 7, xiv. 5, of favourable 

t Dei enim sumus adjutores (Vulg. ); Etenim Dei sumus administH {Beza); 
Denn wir sind Gottes Alitarbeiter (Luth.). In such constructions, avvwy- 
h6X<i)t6s /j-ov, <rvi>8ov\oi avTov, (xw^Kdrifios t;/xwv, the aw- commonly refers to the 
person in the genitive : but see ix. 23. 


appears to show how St Paul would have expressed the former 
meaning, had he meant it 

Geoo Y«wpY l0, '> 0eo " tHKoSofirj. The one metaphor has been 

employed in vv. 6-8, the other is to be developed in vv. iof. 

St Paul uses three metaphors to express the respective relations 

of himself and of other teachers to the Corinthian Church. He 

is planter (6), founder (10), and father (iv. 15). Apollos and the 

rest are waterers, after-builders, and tutors. The metaphor of 

building is a favourite one with the Apostle. On the different 

meanings of olKoSofirj, which correspond fairly closely to the 

different meanings of 'building,' see J. A. Robinson, Ephesians, 

pp. 70, 164 : it occurs often in the Pauline Epistles, especially in 

the sense of ' edification,' a sense which Lightfoot traces to the 

Apostle's metaphor of the building of the Church. Here it is 

fairly certain that yewpyiov does not mean the ' tilled land ' (RV. 

marg.), but the 'husbandry' (AV., RV.) or 'tillage' (AV. marg.) 

that results in tilled land, and that therefore 01K0S0/J.77 does not 

mean the edifice, but the building-process which results in an 

edifice. The word ycwpyiov is rather frequent in Proverbs ; 

elsewhere in LXX it is rare, and it is found nowhere else in N.T. 

In the Greek addition to what is said about the ant (Prov. vi. 7) 

we are told that it is without its knowing anything of tillage 

(eVeiVo) yeoypytov /irj virdpxovTo?) that it provides its food in 

summer. Again, in the Greek addition to the aphorisms on a 

foolish man (Prov. ix. 12), we are told that he wanders from the 

tracks of his own husbandry (tous a£oras toO I&lov yewpyiov imvXd- 

vrjTai). In Ecclus. xxvii. 6 it is said that the ' cultivation of a 

tree' (yewpyiov £,v\ov) is shown by its fruit. The meaning here, 

therefore, is that the Corinthians exhibit God's operations in 

spiritual husbandry and spiritual architecture ; Dei agricultura 

estis, Dei aedificatio estis (Vulg.).* It is chiefly in 1 and 2 Cor., 

Rom., and Eph. that the metaphor of building is found. See 

also Acts ix. 31, xx. 32; Jude 20; 1 Pet. ii. 5, with Hort's note 

on the last passage. In Jer. xviii. 9, xxiv. 6, and Ezek. xxxvi. 9, 

10 we have the metaphors of building and planting combined. 

III. 10-15. The Builders. 

/ have laid the only possible foundation. Let those who 
build on it remember that their work will be severely tested 
at the Last Day. 

10 As to the grace which God gave me to found Churches, I 
have, with the aims of an expert master-builder, laid a foundation 
* Augustine (De cat. ruJ. 21) rightly omits the first estis. 


for the edifice ; it is for some one else to build upon it. But, 
whoever he may be, let him be careful as to the materials with 
which he builds thereon. u For, as regards the foundation, there 
is no room for question : no one can lay any other beside the 
one which is already laid, which of course is Jesus Christ. 
12 But those who build upon this foundation may use either 
good or bad material ; they may use gold, silver, and sumptuous 
stones, or they may use wood, hay, and straw. But each 
builder's good or bad work is certain to be made manifest in the 
end. For the Day of Judgment will disclose it, because that 
Day is revealed in fire ; and the fire is the thing that will as- 
suredly test each builder's work and will show of what character 
it is. 14 If any man's work — the superstructure which he has 
erected — shall stand the ordeal, he will receive a reward. 15 If 
any man's work shall be burnt to the ground, he will lose it, 
though he himself shall be saved from destruction, but like one 
who has passed through fire. 

St Paul follows up the building-metaphor, first {v. 10) dis- 
tinguishing his part from that of others, and then (11-15) dwell- 
ing on the responsibility of those who build after him. 

10. Kcn-a -rr\v xapi" k.t.X. The necessary prelude to a refer- 
ence to his own distinctive work (cf. vii. 25). The 'grace' is 
not that of Apostleship in general, but that specially granted to 
St Paul, which led him to the particular work of founding new 
Churches, and not building on another man's foundation (Rom. 
xv. 19, 20). 

cos Cronos dpxiTeKTcoe. The same expression is found in LXX 
of Isa. iii. 3, and cro'c/>os is frequent of the skilled workmen who 
erected and adorned the Tabernacle (Exod. xxxv. 10, 25, xxxvi. 
1, 4, 8). It means peritus. Aristotle (Eth. Nic. vi. vii. 1) says 
that the first notion of aocpta is, that, when applied to each 
particular art, it is skill ; Phidias is a skilled sculptor.* See 
Lightfoot ad loc. 'Apxn-eKTwv occurs nowhere else in N.T. 

GefAeXtoy €0T]Ka. The aorist, like icfavTevo-a (v. 6), refers to the 
time of his visit (yjXdov, ii. 1) : O(fi€\iov is an adjective (sc. \180v), 
but becomes a neuter substantive in late Greek. In the plural 

* This use of <ro(p6s is more common in poets than in prose writers. 
When cro(p6s became usual of philosophical wisdom, Setvds took its place in 
the sense of skilful. Herodotus (V. xxiii. 3) uses both words of the clever 
and shrewd Histiaeus. Plato (Polilicus 259) defines the o.p\ltIktwv, as 
distinct from an ipyacriKSs, as one who contributes knowledge, but not 
manual labour. Tertullian (Adv. Marc. v. 6) interprets it here as depalator 
diuiplinae divinae, one who stakes out the boundaries. 

in. 10, 11] THE BUILDERS 6 1 

we may have either gender ; 01 OefxiXioi (Heb. xi. 10, Rev. xxi. 
14, 19), or to 6ifi.i\ia (Acts xvi. 26 and often in LXX). No 
architect can build without some foundation, and no expert will 
build without a sure foundation. Cf. Eph. ii. 20. 

a\\os 8c. The reference is not specially to Apollos: 'The 
superstructure I leave to others.' But they all must build, 
according to the rule that follows, thoughtfully, not according to 
individual caprice. 

irws eVoiKoSofieu Refers specially, although not exclusively, 
to the choice of materials (w. 12, 13). The edifice, throughout, 
is the Church, not the fabric of doctrine ; but eVoiKoSo/xetv refers 
to the teaching — both form and substance — which forms the 
Church, or rather forms the character of its members (Gal. iv. 19). 

tdriKO. (K*ABC* 17) is to be preferred to rideiKa (K ! C 3 DE) or 
red-qKo. (L P). D omits the second 5^. There is no need to conjecture 
£iroLKo5bfj.ri for the second iiroiKodo/j.e'i (all MSS). In vii. 32 the balance 
of evidence is strongly in favour of wws dpia-rj. 

11. Qepikiov yap. A cautionary premiss to v. 12, which con- 
tinues the thought of the previous clause : ' Let each man look 
to it how he builds upon this foundation, because, although (I 
grant, nay, I insist) none can lay any foundation -n-apa tov Keipevov, 
yet the superstructure is a matter of separate and grave responsi- 
bility.' ©eixeXiov stands first for emphasis. There can be but 
one fundamental Gospel (Gal. i. 6, 7), the foundation lies there, 
and the site is already occupied. By whom is the foundation 
laid? Obviously (v. 10), by St Paul, when he preached Christ 
at Corinth (ii. 2). This is the historical reference of the words ; 
but behind the laying of the stone at Corinth, or wherever else 
the Church may be founded, there is the eternal laying of the 
foundation-stone by God, (he ' only wise ' architect of the Church. 
See Evans. 

Compare the use of Keifiiv-q of the city that is already there, and ndiaaiv 
of the lamp which has to be placed (Matt. v. 14, 15). 

os wTif Miaous Xpio-Tos. Both name and title are in place, 
and neither of them alone would have seemed quite satisfying . 
see on ii. 2. He is the foundation of all Christian life, faith, 
and hope.* In Eph. ii. 20 He is the chief corner-stone, 
d/cpoycuvtatos, the basis of unity: cf. Acts iv. n. It is only by 
admitting some inconsistency of language that the truth can be 
at all adequately expressed. There is inconsistency even if we 
leave Eph. ii. 20 out of account. He has just said that he laid 
the foundation in a skilful way. Now he says that it was lying 
there ready for him, and that no other foundation is possible. 
Eacn statement, in its own proper sense, is true ; and we need 
* See Lock, St Paul, the Master-Builder, pp. 69 f. 


both in order to get near to the truth. As in Gal. i. 8, -n-apd 
means ' besides,' not ' contrary to,' ' at variance with.' 

'IrjvoDs Xpiards (N A B L P Sah. Copt. Arm. Aeth.) rather than Xpivrds 
'Itjjovs (C 3 D E, Vulg.). Several cursives have 'Irjaovs 6 Xp. 

12. el 8e tis k.t.X. The various kinds of superstructure 
represent various degrees of inferiority in the ministry of the 
'after-builders,' i.e. according as they make, or fail to make, a 
lasting contribution to the structure. With regard to the whole 
passage, three things are to be noted : 

(i) The metaphor is not to be pressed too rigidly by seeking 
to identify each term with some detail in the building. This 
Grotius does in the following way : proponit ergo nobis do mum 
cujus parietes sunt ex marmore, columnae partim ex auro partim 
ex argento, trabes ex ligno, fastigium vero ex stramine et ail mo ; 
all which is very frigid.* The materials are enumerated with 
a rapid and vivid asyndeton, which drives each point sharply 
and firmly home. 

(2) The 'wood, hay, stubble' do not represent teaching that 
is intentionally disloyal or false (auros 8e awOija-erai), but such 
as is merely inferior. 

(3) The imagery alternates between the suggestion of teaching 
as moulding persons, and the suggestion of persons as moulded 
by teaching (Evans), so that it is irrelevant to ask whether the 
materials enumerated are to be understood of the fruits of 
doctrine, such as different moral qualities (Theodoret), or of 
worthy and unworthy Christians. The two meanings run into 
one another, for the qualities must be exhibited in the lives of 
persons. We have a similar combination of two lines of thought 
in the interpretation of the parable of the Sower. There the 
seed is said to be sown, and the soil is said to be sown, and in 
the interpretation these two meanings are mingled. Yet the 
interpretation is clear enough. 

Xpuaioc, dpyupioy. As distinct from xpuo-os and apyvpos, 
which indicate the metals in any condition, these diminutives 
are commonly used of gold and silver made into something, such 
as money or utensils; as when by 'gold' we mean gold coins, 
or by 'silver' mean silver coins or plate (Acts iii. 6, xx. 2,5). 
But this is not a fixed rule. See Matt, xxiii. 16 and Gen. ii. n. 

\i'0ous Tijn'ous. Either ' costly stones,' such as marble or 
granite, suitable for building, or 'precious stones,' suitable for 
ornamentation. Isa. liv. 11, 12 and Rev. xxi. 18, 19, combined 

* It is perhaps worse than frigid. Obviously, it would be unskilful to 
use both sets of material in the same building ; Origen regards £ v\a as worse 
than xfy""os, and x<fy"" os than KaXdfirj, which can hardly be right. See Chase, 
Chrysostom, pp. J.S6, 187. 

IH. 12, 13] THE BUILDERS 63 

with the immediate context ('gold and silver'), point to the 
latter meaning. It is internal decoration that is indicated. 

Xoproy, KaXdpiv. Either of these might mean straw or dried 
grass for mixing with clay, as in Exod. v. 12, Kakd/x^v ets dxypa, 
' stubble instead of straw ' ; and either might mean material for 
thatching. Bomuleoque recens horrebat regia culmo (Virg. Aen. 
viii. 654). Luther's contemptuous expression respecting the 
Epistle of St James as a 'right strawy epistle' was made in 
allusion to this passage. Nowhere else in N.T. does KaXd/xrj 

After iirl r. Oe^iov, K S C 3 DELP, Vulg. AV. add toOtov. N*AB C*, 
Sah. Aeth. RV. omit. We ought probably to read xpw' 01 ' (** B) and 
dpyvpiov (X B C) rather than XP V(T ^ V anc ^ S-pyvpov (A D E L P). B, Aeth. 
insert xai after xP va *- 0V - 

13. €KdoTou t6 epyoc. These words sum up the alternatives, 
standing in apposition to the substantival clause, d 8e txs . . . 
KaXd/xr/v. Individual responsibility is again insisted upon : we 
have tKao-Tos four times in vv. 8-13. 

tj yap Tjp.ep a SrjXuaei. ' The Day ' (as in 1 Thess. v. 4 ; 
Rom. xiii. 12; Heb. x. 25), without the addition of Kvpiov 
(1 Thess. v. 2) or of Kpio-ews (Matt. xii. 36) or of iKeLvrj (2 Thess. 
i. 10; 2 Tim. i. 12, 18, iv. 8), means the Day of Judgment. 
This is clear from iv. 3, 5, ubi ex interval lo, ut solet, darius 
loquitur (Beng.). The expression ' Day of the Lord ' comes from 
the O.T. (Isa. ii. 12 ; Jer. xlvi. 10 ; Ezek. vii. 10, etc.), and perhaps 
its original meaning was simply a definite period of time. But 
with this was often associated the idea of day as opposed to 
night : ' the Day ' would be a time of light, when what had 
hitherto been hidden or unknown would be revealed. So here. 
And here the fire which illuminates is also a fire which burns, 
and thus tests the solidity of that which it touches. What is 
sound survives, what is worthless is consumed. 

iv iropl dTroKaXuVreTai. The nominative is neither to epyov 
nor 6 Kupio?, but 17 rj/xepa. 'The Day' is (to be) revealed in 
fire (2 Thess. i. 7, 8, ii. 8; Dan. vii. 9T. ; Mai. iv, 1). This is 
a common use of the present tense, to indicate that a coming 
event is so certain that it may be spoken of as already here. 
The predicted revelation is sure to take place. See on <x7roKa- 
AuVtctcu in Luke xvii. 30, Lightfoot on 1 Thess. v. 2, and Hort 
on 1 Pet. i. 7, 13. 

St Paul is not intending to describe the details of Christ's 
Second Coming, but is figuratively stating, what he states without 
figure in iv. 5, that at that crisis the real worth of each man's 
work will be searchingly tested. This test he figures as the 
fire of the Second Advent, wrapping the whole building round, 
and reducing all its worthless material to ashes. The fire, 


therefore, is regarded more as a testing than as an illuminating 
agent, as tentatio tribulationis (August. Enchir. 68), which hy its 
destructive power makes manifest the enduring power of all 
•■hat it touches. There is no thought in the passage of a penal, 
or disciplinary, or purgative purpose; nor again is there the 
remotest reference to the state of the soul between death and 
judgment. Hie locus ignem purgatorium non modo non fovet 
sed plane extinguit, nam in novissimo demum die ignis probabit. 
. . . Ergo ignis purgatorius non praecedit (Beng.). The eV sug- 
gests that fire is the element in which the revelation takes place. 
At the Parousia Christ is to appear ev irvpl <£Xoyos (2 Thess. i. 8) 
or ev cfiXoyl 7rupo's (Is. lxvi. 15). In the Apocalypse of Baruch 
(xlviii. 39) we have, "A fire will consume their thoughts, and 
in flame will the meditations of their reins be tried; for the 
Judge will come and will not tarry." But elsewhere in that 
book (xliv. 15, lix. 2, etc.) the fire is to consume the wicked, 
a thought of which there is no trace here. There are no wicked, 
but only unskilful builders ; all build, although some build 
unwisely, upon Christ. 

k<u eicd'orou. Still under the otu It is better to regard to 
epyov as the ace. governed by 8oKip.dcrei, with avro as pleonastic, 
than as the nom. to 1<ttlv. A pleonastic pronoun is found with 
good authority in Matt. ix. 27; Luke xvii. 7; and elsewhere: 
but the readings are sometimes uncertain. To take out© with 
■n-vp, ' the fire itself,' has not much point. In all three verses 
(13, 14, 15), to epyov refers, not tr a man's personal character, 
good or bad, but simply to his work as a builder (12). 

N D E L, Vulg. Sah. Copt. Arm. Aeth. omit avrb, but we ought 
probably to read it with ABCP 17 and other cursives. 

14. fxet'ei. It is doubtful, and not very important, whether 
we should accent this word as a future, to agree with Kara/ca^o-eTai 
and other verbs which are future, or p.ivei, as a present, which 
harmonizes better with the idea of permanence : cf. fiivei in 
xiii. 13. 

fno-0oV. Compare v. 8 and Matt. xx. 8 : in ix. 17, 18 the 
reference is quite different. The nature of the reward is not 
stated, but it is certainly not eternal salvation, which may be 
won by those whose work perishes (v. 15). Something corre- 
sponding to the 'ten cities' and 'five cities' in the parable may 
be meant ; opportunities of higher service. 

15. KaTaKarjo-ETdi. This later form is found as a v. I. (AL) in 
2 Pet. iii. 10, where it is probably a collection of the puzzling 
clpeOrjo-eTai (n B K P). In Rev. xviii. 8 the more classical kclto.- 
KavOrjaeTOLt. is found. The burning of Corinth by Mummius may 
have suggested this metaphor. 


^T]fAiw0T]creTai. It does not much matter whether we regard 
this as indefinite, ' He shall suffer loss' (AV., RV.), detrimentum 
patietur (Vulg.), damnum faciei (Beza), or understand rbv fuaOov 
from v. 14, 'He shall be mulcted of the expected reward.' In 
Exod. xxi. 2 2 we have eVi^rJ/xiov CrjfjuwOrjaeTai. The avrds is in 
favour of the latter. 

au-rfcs 8e ffwOrjcreTat. The avros is in contrast to the fiicr66<i : 
the reward will be lost, but the worker himself will be saved. 
If t,7]fj.Lw6-)'jcreTai is regarded as indefinite, then avros may be in 
contrast to the tpyov : the man's bad work will perish, but that 
does not involve his perdition. The arwOr'/aeTai can hardly refer 
to anything else than eternal salvation, which he has not for- 
feited by his bad workmanship : he has built on the true 
foundation. Salvation is not the /no-#os, and so it may be 
gained when all 1x10-66% is lost. But it may also be lost as 
well as the fjuo86s. The Apostle does not mean that every 
teacher who takes Christ as the basis of his teaching will neces- 
sarily be saved : his meaning is that a very faulty teacher may 
be saved, and 'will be saved, if at all, so as through fire.' See 
Augustine, De Civ. Dei, xxi. 21, 26. 

ouTws 8e u»s 81a -irupos. ' But only as one passing through fire 
is saved ' : a quasi-proverbial expression, indicative of a narrow 
escape from a great peril, as ' a firebrand pluckt out of the fire ' 
(Amos iv. 11; Zech. iii. 2). It is used here with special reference 
to the fire which tests the whole work (v. 13). The 8id is local 
rather than instrumental. The fire is so rapid in its effects 
that the workman has to rush through it to reach safety : cf. oY 
vSaTOS (i Pet. iii. 20), and oirj\0o[xtv Slot. 7rvpos kcu {JSaTOS (Ps. 
lxvi. 12). To explain awOrjaeTai Sia 7rupos as meaning 'shall be 
kept alive in the midst of hell-fire ' is untenable translation and 
monstrous exegesis. Such a sense is quite inadmissible for 
<jm6rja erai. and incompatible with ovrws ws. Moreover, the fire 
in v. 13 is the fire alluded to, and that fire cannot be Gehenna. 
Atto of Vercelli thinks that this passage is one of the 'things 
hard to be understood' alluded to in 2 Pet. iii. 16. Augustine 
(Enchir. 68) says that the Christian who 'cares for the things of 
the Lord' (vii. 32) is the man who builds with 'gold, silver, and 
precious stones,' while he who 'cares for the things of the world, 
how he may please his wife ' (vii. 33), builds with ' wood, hay, 

III. 16-17. The Temple. 

St Paul now passes away from the builders to the Temple. 
The section is linked with vv. 10-15 both by the opening words, 
which imply some connexion, and by the word vaos, which is 


doubtless suggested by the ' building ' of w. 9 f. (cf. Eph. 
ii. 20-22). On the other hand, it is quite certain that there is 
a change of subject : avros o-wO-qa-erai (v. 15) and cpOepel tovtov b 
0eos are contradictory propositions, and they cannot be made 
to apply to the same person, for cf>6e(pciv cannot be attenuated 
to an equivalent for t^p-iovv {v. 15). 

The subject of the cr^icr/mTa still occupies the Apostle's mind, 
and he seems to be thinking of their ultimate tendency. By 
giving rein to the flesh (v. 3) they tend to banish the Holy 
Spirit, and so to destroy the Temple constituted by His presence. 

16. Oux oiScn-e; Frequent in this Epistle, and twice in 
Romans; also Jas. iv. 4. As in v. 6, vi. 16, 19, the question 
implies a rebuke. The Corinthians are so carnal that they 
have never grasped, or have failed to retain, so fundamental a 
doctrine as that of the indwelling of the Spirit.* 

faos Geou lore. Not • a temple of God,' but ' God's Temple.' 
There is but one Temple, embodied equally truly in the whole 
Church, in the local Church, and in the individual Christian ; 
the local Church is meant here. As a metaphor for the Divine 
indwelling, the vao's, which contained the Holy of Holies, is more 
suitable than Upov, which included the whole of the sacred en- 
closure (vi. 19; 2 Cor. vi. 16; Eph. ii. 21). To converts from 
heathenism the vaos might suggest the cella in which the image 
of the god was placed. It is one of the paradoxes of the Christian 
Church that there is only one vaos ®eov and yet each Christian 
is a vaos : simul otnnts uniim templum et singula templa sumus, 
quia non est Deus in omnibus quam in singulis major (Herv.). 
Naos is from vaieiv, ■ to dwell.' 

Kal to weO/ia. The ko.1 is epexegetic. Both Gentile and Jew 
might speak of their vaos ®eov, but, while the pagan temple was 
/nhabited by an image of a god, and the Jewish by a symbol of 
the Divine Presence (Shekinah), the Christian temple is inhabited 
by the Spirit of God Himself. 

iv ufue oikci. 'In you hath His dwelling-place.' In Luke 
xi. 51 we have oTkos, where, in the parallel passage in Matt. 
xxiii. 35, we have vaos. Totc ovv fiaXLara iaofieOa vaos ®£ov, €av 
^wp^TiKOvs iavrovs KaTacrKevao-ca/xev tou IIve^uaTOS tov ®eov (Orig.). 

* On the very insufficient ground that Kephas is not mentioned in vv. 5 
and 6, but is mentioned in v. 22, Zahn regards vv. 16-20 as directed against 
the Kephas party. He says that St Paul knows more than he writes about 
this faction, and fears more than he knows {Introd. to N. T. i. pp. 288 f.). 

See on v. 1 for the resemblance to Ep. of Barn. iv. II. Ignatius (EpK 
15) has irdfTa ovv -woiQi^ev, (lis aiirov 4t> ^/aV KaroiKovvros, tua Z/xev avrov vaol 
Kal airrbs iv riiiiv Qe6t. 

m. 16, 17] THE TEMPLE 67 

It is not easy to decide between iv vfj.1v oUei (B P 17) and olicei iv vixlv 
(H A C D E F G L, Vulg.). The former is more forcible, placing the 
' permanent dwelling ' last, with emphasis. 

17. €i tis . . . <}>06ipei . . . <J>0epeI. The AV. greatly mars the 
effect by translating the verb first 'defile' and then 'destroy.' 
The same verb is purposely used to show the just working of the 
lex talionis in this case : one destruction is requited by another 
destruction. The destroyers of the Temple are those who banish 
the Spirit, an issue to which the dissensions were at least tending. 
Here the reference is to unchristian faction, which destroyed, by 
dividing, the unity of the Church : a building shattered into 
separate parts is a ruin. In vi. 19 the thought is of uncleanness 
in the strict sense. But all sin is a defiling of the Temple and is 
destructive of its consecrated state.* We have a similar play on 
words to express a similar resemblance between sin and its 
punishment in Rom. i. 28; Ka$w<s ovk tov ®€ov ex €tv 
iv iiriyvuxrei, 7rape'SwK€v o.vtov<; 6 ©£os eis aSoKifxov vovv. And there 
is a still closer parallel in Rev. xi. 18 ; Sia^delpai tovs ^ta^Odpov- 
Tas r»)v yyjv. Neither <p8elpetv nor Siacfjdeipeiv are commonly used 
of God's judgments, for which the more usual verb is olttoWwiv 
or airoWvvai : but both here and in Rev. xi. 18 <j>9etpeiv or Sia- 
<]>0tipeiv is preferred, because of its double meaning, 'corrupt' 
and 'destroy.' The sinner destroys by corrupting what is holy 
and good, and for this God destroys him. We have cpOeipttv in 
the sense of corrupt, xv. 33 ; 2 Cor. xi. 3 ; Rev. xix. 2. 

4>0epel roOrov 6 0eo$. The Vulgate, like the AV., ignores the 
telling repetition of the same verb : si quis autem Umplum Dei 
violaverit, disperdet ilium Deus. Tertullian {Adv. Marc. v. 6) 
preserves it : si templum Dei quis vitiaverit, vitiabitur, utique a 
Deo templi ; and more literally (De Pudic. 16, 18) vitiabit ilium 
Deus. But neither (f>6epel here, nor 6\e6po<s in 1 Thess. v. 3, nor 
5\e6pov aluiVLov in 2 Thess. i. 9, must be pressed to mean anni- 
hilation (see on v. 5). Nor, on the other hand, must it be 
watered down to mean mere physical punishment (cf. xi. 30). 
The exact meaning is nowhere revealed in Scripture.; but terrible 
ruin and eternal loss of some kind seems to be meant. See 
Beet's careful examination of these and kindred words, The Last 
Things, pp. 122 f. 

ayios eo-Tic. It is ' holy,' and therefore not to be tampered 
with without grave danger. Both the Tabernacle and the 
Temple are frequently called ayios, and in the instinct of archaic 
religion in the O.T. the idea of danger was included in that of 

* This is a third case, quite different from the two cases in w. 14, 15. 
A good superstructure wins a reward for the builder. A bad superstructure 
perishes but the builder is rescued. But he who, instead of adding to the 
edifice, ruins what has been built, will himself meet with ruin. 


'holiness.' See Gray on Num. iv. 5, 15, 19, 20, and Kirk 
patrick on 1 Sam. vi. 20 and 2 Sam. vi. 7 ; and cf. Lev. x. 6, 
xvi. 2, 13. 

olnvh core ufxels. It has been doubted whether vaos or aytos 
is the antecedent of ou-ives, but the former is probably right : 
'which temple ye are ' (AV., RV.).* The relative is attracted 
into the plural of i/teis. Edwards quotes, rbv ovpavov, ov? 877 
ttoAous KaXovaiv (Plato, Crat. 405). The meaning seems to be, 
' The temple of God is holy ; ye are the temple of God ; therefore 
ye must guard against what violates your consecration.' As 
distinct from the simple relative, oinves commonly carries with 
it the idea of category, of belonging to a class ; ' and this is what 
ye are,' 'and such are ye' : cf. Gal. v. 19, where the construction 
is parallel. 

Qdepet (N* A B C, d e f g Vulg.) rather than <pdelpet (DEFGLP, Am.) 
where the difference between Greek and Latin in bilingual MSS. is remark- 
able : see on iv. 2. tovtov (X B C L P) rather than avrdv (A D E F G). 

III. 18-IV. 5. Warning against a mere ' Human » Estimate 
of the Pastoral Office. 

Let no one profane Gods Temple by taking on himself 
to set up party teachers in it. Regard us teachers as simply 
Christ's stewards. 

18 1 am not raising baseless alarms ; the danger of a false 

estimate of oneself is grave. It may easily happen that a man 

imagines that he is wise in his intercourse with you, with the 

wisdom of the non-Christian world. Let him become simple 

enough to accept Christ crucified, which is the way to become 

really wise. 19 For this world's wisdom is foolishness in God's 

sight, as it stands written in Scripture, Who taketh the wise in 

their own craftiness; 20 and in another passage, The Lord 

knoweth the thoughts of the wise that they are vain. 21 If this 

is so, it is quite wrong for any one to plume himself on the men 

whom he sets up as leaders. For yours is no party-heritage ; 

it is universal. 22 Paul, Apollos, Kephas, the world, life, death, 

whatever is, and whatever is to be, all of it belongs to you ; 

23 but you — you belong to no human leader ; you belong to 

Christ, and Christ to God. Between you and God there is no 

human leader. 

* We find the same thought, on a lower level, even in such a writer as 
Ovid [Epp. ex 1'onto, II. i. 34) ; quae tempium pectore semper habet. 


IV. x The right way of regarding Apollos, myself, and other 
teachers, is that we are officers under Christ, commissioned to 
dispense the truths which His Father has revealed to us in Him, 
just as stewards dispense their masters' goods. 2 Here, further- 
more, you must notice that all stewards are required to prove 
their fidelity. 3 But, as regards myself, it is a matter of small 
moment that my fidelity should be scrutinized and judged by you 
or by any human court. Yet that does not mean that I constitute 
myself as my own judge. 4 My judgments on myself would be 
inconclusive. For it may be the case that I have no conscious- 
ness of wrong-doing, and yet that this does not prove that I am 
guiltless. My conscience may be at fault. The only competent 
judge of my fidelity is the Lord Christ. 5 That being so, cease 
to anticipate His decision with your own premature judgments. 
Wait for the Coming of the Judge. It is He who will both 
illumine the facts that are now hidden in darkness, and also 
make manifest the real motives of human conduct : and then 
whatever praise is due will come to each faithful steward direct 
from God. That will be absolutely final. 

The Apostle sums up his ' case ' against the cry/o^iaTa, com- 
bining the results of his exposure of the false 'wisdom,' with its 
correlative conceit, and of his exposition of the Pastoral Office 
(18-23). He concludes by a warning against their readiness to 
form judgments, from a mundane standpoint, upon those whose 
function makes them amenable only to the judgment of the Day 
of the Lord. 

18. Mitels iavrbv e|airaT(£TCi>. A solemn rebuke, similar to 
that of fxr) 7rAavacr0e in vi. 9, xv. 33, and Gal. vi. 7, and even 
more emphatic than that which is implied in ovk otSare (v. 16). 
He intimates that the danger of sacrilege and of its heavy penalty 
(vv. 16, 17) is not so remote as some of the Corinthians may 
think. Shallow conceit may lead to disloyal tampering with the 
people of Christ. That there is a sacrilegious tendency in faction 
is illustrated by Gal. v. 7-12, vi. 12, 13; 2 Cor, xi. 3, 4, 13-15, 
20 ; and the situation alluded to in Galatians may have been in 
the Apostle's mind when he wrote the words that are before us 
— words which have a double connexion, viz. with vv. 16, 17, 
and with the following section. St Paul is fond of compounds 
with Ik: v. 7, 13, vi. 14, xv. 34. 

ct tis Sokci <to(|>6s cu-ai. Not, 'seemeth to be wise' (AV.), 
videtur sapiens esse (Vulg.) ; but, ' thinketh that he is wise ' (RV.), 


sifii videtur esse sapiens (Beza). He considers himself an acute 
man of the world, quite able to decide for himself whether Paul, 
or Apollos, or Kephas is the right person to follow in matters of 
religion. We have the same use of Sokci in viii. 2, x. 12, xiv. 37. 
Excepting Jas. i. 26, ei ns Soxet is peculiar to Paul; and there 
the AV. makes the same mistake as here, in translating 'seem' 
instead of ' think.' Here c^aTTon-aTco, and there dirarcov, may be 
regarded as decisive. It is the man's self-deceit that is criticized 
in both cases : his estimate is all wrong. See J. B. Mayor on 
Jas. 1. 26. It is perhaps not accidental that the Apostle says €t 
ns . . . iv v/xtv, and not el ns v/xwv. The warning suggests that 
the self-styled o-o<pos is among them, but not that he is one of 
themselves : the wrong-headed teacher has come from elsewhere. 
iv ufiiv iv tw alwKi tovtw. We might put a comma after Iv 
ifilv, for the two expressions are in contrast; 'in your circle,' 
which has the heavenly wisdom and ought to be quite different 
from what is 'in this world' and has only mundane wisdom. 
The latter is out of place in a Christian society (i. 20, 22, ii. 6, 8). 
Epictetus (Enchir. 18) warns us against thinking ourselves wise 
when others think us to be such ; fx-qhev fiovkov SokcIv eirio-Tao-Qai- 
Kav 86£t)<; tutlv eii/cu ti?, airitrTti. aeavrw. 

Cyprian ( Test. iii. 69, De bono patient. 2) takes iv t£ alwvi toi't^ with 
fiuipbs yeviaOw : mundo huic stidtus fiat. So also does Origen (Cels. i. 13 ; 
Philoc. 18); and also Luther: der werde ein Narr in dieser Welt. This 
makes good sense ; ' If any man thinks himself wise in relation to you 
Christians, let him become a fool in relation to this world ' : but it is not 
the right sense. It is ao<p6s, not /xup6s, that is qualified by iv t<£ alQvi r. : 
' If any man thinks himself wise in your circle — I mean, of course, with this 
world's wisdom.' From iv v/uuv, * in a Christian Church,' it might have 
been supposed that he meant the true wisdom, and he adds iv r. aX. r. to 
avoid misunderstanding. 

jxupos yefea0a>. ' Let him drop his false wisdom,' the conceit 
that he has about himself: i. 18-20, 23, ii. 14. 

tya yeVTjTCH ao4>6s. So as to be brought ' unto all riches of 
the full assurance of understanding, unto full knowledge of the 
mystery of God, even Christ ' (Col. ii. 3).* 

19. He explains the paradox of the last verse by stating the 
principle already established, i. 21, ii. 6. 

irapa tw 0cw. 'Before God' as judge; Rom. ii. 13, xii. 16; 
Acts xxvi. 8. Although /«opos is common in N.T. and LXX, 
/awpta occurs, in N.T., only in these three chapters; and, in 
LXX, only in Ecclus. xx. 31, xli. 15. 

6 8p aa do p.€^os k.t.X. From Job v. 13 ; a quotation inde- 
pendent of the LXX, and perhaps somewhat nearer to the 

* Cf. Ofial ol avverol iavroh koX ivtxnriov iavrwv iirtaT^pi.ovti : Barnabas 
(iv. 11) quotes these words as ypa<p-?i. 


original Hebrew. Job is quoted rarely in N.T., and chiefly 
by St Paul; and both here and in Rom. xi. 35, and in no other 
quotation, he varies considerably from the LXX. Like 6 77-oiwv 
in Hub. i. 7, 6 8pa.cro-6p.evos here is left without any verb. It 
expresses the strong grasp or 'grip' which God has upon the 
slippery cleverness of the wicked : cf. Ecclus. xxvi. 7, where it is 
said of an evil wife, 6 Kparwv avTrjs ws o opaoo-6p.evo<; (TKopTTtov : 
and Ecclus. xxxiv. (xxxi.) 2, the man who has his mind upon 
dreams is u>s 8pa.o-o-6p.evos ctkiSs. The words in Ps. ii. 12 which 
are mistranslated ' Kiss the Son ' are rendered in the LXX, 
&pd£acr6e iraiSaa.?, ' Lay hold on instruction.' The verb occurs 
nowhere else in N.T., and in the LXX of Job v. 13 we have 6 

Trcu'oupYia. ' Versatile cleverness,' ' readiness for anything ' in 
order to gain one's own ends. ' Craftiness,' like astutia (Vulg.), 
emphasizes the cunning which izavovpyla often implies. The 
LXX has €v cppovrjo-ei, a word which commonly has a good 
meaning, while iravovpyia. almost always has a bad one, although 
not always in the LXX, e.g. Prov. i. 4, viii. 5. The adjective 
iravovpyos is more often used in a better sense, and in the LXX 
is used with <ppoViju,og to translate the same Hebrew word. 
Perhaps 'cleverness' would be better here than 'craftiness' 
(A V., B.V.). See notes on Luke xx. 23 ; Eph. iv. 14. 

20. Ku'pios yifwaxei. From Ps. xciv. 11, and another instance 
(i. 20) of St Paul's freedom in quoting : the LXX, following the 
Hebrew, has avBpioTrwv, where he (to make the citation more in 
point) has <ro<pa>i\ But the Psalm contrasts the designs of men 
with the designs of God, and therefore the idea of <ro<po's is in the 

SiaXoyio-fAou's. In the LXX the word is used of the thoughts 
of God (Ps. xl. 6, xcii. 5). When used of men, the word often, 
but not always, has a bad sense, as here, especially of questioning 
or opposing the ways of God (Ps. lvi. 5 ; Luke v. 22, vi. 8 ; Rom. 
i. 2 1 ; Jas. ii. 4). 

21. wore |ii]8els Kaux^Oo*. Conclusion from vv. 18-20. The 
connexion presupposes an affinity between conceit in one's own 
wisdom and a readiness to make over much of a human leader. 
The latter implies much confidence in one's own estimate of the 
leader. Consequently, the spirit of party has in it a subtle 
element of shallow arrogance. We have wore, 'so then,' with 
an imperative, iv. 5, x. 12, xi. 33, xiv. 39, xv. 58. Outside this 
argumentative and practical Epistle the combination is not very 
common ; very rare, except in Paul. It seems to involve an 
abrupt change from the oratio obliqua to the oratio recta. It 
marks the transition from explanation to exhortation. 


^ &vOpuiroi<i. To ' glory in men ' is the opposite of ' glorying 
in the Lord' (i. 31). The Apostle is referring to their wrong- 
headed estimation of himself, Apollos, and others (as in iv. 6), 
not to party-leaders boasting of their large following. Leaders 
might glory in the patience and faith of their disciples (2 Thess. 
i. 4), but not in that as any credit to the leaders themselves. 
All partizan laudation is wrong. 

irdrra ykp ojiui' io-riv. ' You say, I belong to Paul, or, I 
belong to Apollos. So far from that being true, it is Paul and 
Apollos who belong to you, for all things belong to you.' 
Instead of contenting himself with saying ' We are yours,' he 
asserts that and a very great deal more ; not merely 7ravT«s, ' all 
servants of God,' but -n-dva, ' all God's creatures,' belong to them. 
Yet his aim is, not merely to proclaim how wide their heritage is, 
but to show them that they have got the facts by the wrong end. 
They want to make him a chieftain ; he is really their servant. 
The Church is not the property of Apostles ; Apostles are 
ministers of the Church. Quia omnia vestra sunt, nolite in 
singulis gloriari ; nolite speciaks vobis magistros defendere, 
quoniam omnibus utimini (Atto). Omnia propter sanctos creata 
sunt, tanquam nihil habentes et omnia possidentes (Primasius). 

The thought is profound and far-reaching. The believer in 
God through Christ is a member of Christ and shares in His 
universal lordship, all things being subservient to the Kingdom 
of God, and therefore to his eternal welfare (vii. 31 ; Rom. viii. 
28 ; John xvi. 33 ; 1 John v. 4, 5), as means to an end. The 
Christian loses this birthright by treating the world or its 
interests as ends in themselves, i.e. by becoming enslaved to 
persons (vii. 23; 2 Cor. xi. 20) or things (vi. 12; Phil. iii. 19). 
Without God, we should be the sport of circumstances, and ' the 
world ' would crush us, if not in ' life,' at least in ' death.' As it 
is, all these things alike ' are ours.' We meet them as members 
of Christ, rooted in God's love (Rom. viii. 37). The Corinthians, 
by boasting in men, were forgetting, and thereby imperilling, 
their prerogative in Christ. There is perhaps a touch of Stoic 
language in these verses ; see on iv. 8. Origen points out that 
the Greeks had a saying, HavTa tov o~ocj>ov IcttLv, but St Paul was 
the first to say, Havra tov ayiov iariv. 

22. eiTe . . . citc . . . eirc. The enumeration, rising in a 
climax, is characteristic of St Paul (Rom. viii. 38) : the iravra is 
fkst expanded and then repeated. We might have expected a 
third triplet, past, present, and future ; but the past is not ours 
in the sense in which the present and future are. We had no 
part in shaping it, and cannot change it. In the first triplet, he 
places himself first, i.e. at the bottom of the climax. 


6*T€ Koo-fios. The transition from Kephas to the koV/aos is, as 
Bengel remarks, rather repentinus saltus, and made, he thinks, 
with a touch of impatience, lest the enumeration should become 
too extended. But perhaps alliteration has something to do 
with it. This Bengel spoils, by substituting ' Peter ' for ' Kephas.' 
The ' world ' is here used in a neutral sense, without ethical 
significance, the world we live in, the physical universe. 

eiTt £wt] eiT€ 6dca-ro$. If Koa-fxo'i is the physical universe, it is 
probable that £0177 and Odvaros mean physical life and death. They 
sum up all that man instinctively clings to or instinctively dreads. 
From life and death in this general sense we pass easily to ivea- 
rwra. It is by life in the world that eternal life can be won, and 
death is the portal to eternal life. In Rom. viii. 38 death is 
mentioned before life, and eVeo-iwa and /xeXXovra do not close 
the series. 

eiT€ eVeorwTa citc peKkovra. These also ought probably to be 
confined in meaning to the things of this life. They include the 
whole of existing circumstances and all that lies before us to the 
moment of death. All these things 'are yours,' i.e. work together 
for your good. It is possible that fieXXovra includes the life 
beyond the grave ; but the series, as a whole, reads more con- 
sistently, if each member of it is regarded as referring to human 
experience in this world. 

For v/xwv, v/ctets, B and one or two cursives read tj/j-wv, ij/ieTs. Aftei 
ifiui/y D 2 E L, fgVulg. Syrr. Copt. Arm. add ifxrh. 

23. ufiets 8e XpiaToC. These words complete the rebuke of 
those who said that they belonged to Paul, etc. They belonged 
to no one but Christ, and they all alike belonged to Him. 
While all things were theirs, they were not their own (vi. 20, 
vii. 23), and none of them had any greater share in Christ than 
the rest (i. 13). Christians, with all their immense privileges, are 
not the ultimate owners of anything. There is only one real 
Owner, God. On the analogy between XpicrroG here and 
Kat'o-upos =" belonging to the Emperor" in papyri see Deissmann, 
Light from the Anc. East, p. 382. Cf. xv. 23 ; Gal. iii. 29, 
v. 24. 

XpiCTTos 8e 0eoO. Not quite the same in meaning as Luke 
ix. 20, xxiii. 35 ; Acts iii. 18; Rev. xii. 10. In all those passages 
we have 6 Xpio-ros tov ®eov or ai-rov. Here Xpiord? is more of a 
proper name. The thought of the Christian's lordship over the 
world has all its meaning in that of his being a son of God 
through Christ (Rom. viii. 16, 17). This passage is one of the 
few in which St Paul expresses his conception of the relation of 
Christ to God (see on ii. 16). Christ, although iv fiop^?; fc)eo5 
virdpxwv (Phil. ii. 6, where see Lightfoot and Vincent), is so 


derivatively (Col. i. 15, where see Lightfoot and Abbott): His 
glory in His risen and exalted state is given by God (Phil. ii. 9 ; 
cf. Rom. vi. 10), and in the end is to be merged in God (see on 
xv. 28). Theodoret says here, ov^ w? KTio-fxa ®eov, dAA* <I>s vlos 
tov ®eov. There is no need to suppose, with some of the 
Fathers and later writers, that St Paul is here speaking of our 
Lord's human nature exclusively ; there is no thought of separat- 
ing the two natures ; he is speaking of ' Christ,' the Divine 
Mediator in His relation to His Father and to His ' many 
brethren.' See many admirable remarks in Sanday, Ancient and 
Modern Christologies, on the doctrine of Two Natures in Christ, 
pp. 37, 50, 52, 90, 165, and especially p. 173 ; see also Edwards' 
and Stanley's notes ad loc. 

IV. 1. Outws %as Xoyi.tecr()w. The thought of iii. 5 is resumed, 
and the reproof of the tendency to 'glory in men' is completed 
by a positive direction as to the right attitude towards the pastors 
of the Church. The Corinthians must regard them ut ministros 
Christi, non ut aequales Christo (Primasius). The oirrcos probably 
refers to what follows, as in iii. 15, ix. 26. The 17/ certainly 
refers to all who are charged with the ministry of the New 
Testament or Covenant (2 Cor. iii. 6). But we get good sense 
if we make oirrws refer to what precedes : ' Remembering that 
we and everything else are yours, as you are Christ's, let a man 
take account of us as men who are ministers of Christ.' This 
throws a certain amount of emphasis on ^//.Ss, the emphasis being 
removed from ovtws : but ^/ may receive emphasis, for it is 
the attitude of the Corinthians towards the Apostle and other 
teachers that is in question. 

avGpwiTos. Almost equivalent to tis (xi. 28), but a gravior 
dicendi formula. This use is rare in class. Grk. 

u-TTTjpfTas. Substituted for Zkikovoi in iii. 5. The word origin- 
ally denoted those who row (cpeWeiv) in the lower tier of a 
trireme, and then came to mean those who do anything under 
another, and hence simply 'underlings.'* In the Church, St 
Luke (i.2) applies it to any service of the word ; later it was used 
almost technically of sub-deacons. See on Luke iv. 20, and 
Suicer, s.v. St Paul uses the word nowhere else. 

oiKocofious. The ot/coi'o/Aos (ol/cos and ve/x.€o/) was the respons- 
ible head of the establishment, assigning to each slave his duties 
and entrusted with the administration of the stores. He was a 
slave in relation to his master (Luke xii. 42), but the IttCtpottos or 
overseer (Matt. xx. 8) in relation to the workmen (see on Luke 

* St Paul is probably not thinking of the derivation ; 'Christ is the pilot ; 
we are rowers under Him.' By Xpuxrov he may mean 'not of any earthly 


xii. 42 and xvi. 1 ; in the latter place, the oikovo/jlos seems to be a 
freeman). God is the Master (iii. 23) of the Christian household 
(1 Tim. iii. 15), and the stores entrusted to His stewards are the 
' mysteries of God.' These mysteries are the truths which the 
stewards are commissioned to teach (see on ii. 7). Between the 
Master and the stewards stands the Son (xv. 25 : Heb. iii. 6), 
whose underlings the stewards are. See on oIkovoixlov in Eph. 
i. 10 and Col. i. 25. 

2. u>8e. ' Here,' i.e. ' on earth and in human life,' or perhaps 
'in these circumstances.' See on i. 16 for Xolttov. 

£t)T£ltcu k.t.X. The AV. cannot be improved upon ; ' It is 
required in stewards that a man be found faithful.' See on i. 10 
for this use of fva : the attempts to maintain its full ' telic ' force 
here are too clumsy to deserve discussion : see further on v. 2, 
and compare evpeOfj in 1 Pet. i. 7. 

mcn-ds. Cf. Luke xii. 42, xvi. 10; Num. xii. 7; 1 Sam. xxii. 
14: the meaning is 'trustworthy.' To be an oIkovo/jlo? is not 

&8e (N A B C D* F G P 17, e Vulg.) rather than 8 84 (D s E L). In 
Luke xvi. 25 there is a similar corruption in some texts, ^reirat (B L, 
d e f g Vulg. Copt. Syrr.) rather than ^reire (N A C D P and F G -rfie). 
Here, as in <f>6epei (iii. 17), d e f g support the better reading against D EFG. 
'.,achmann takes Code at the end of v. 1, — an improbable arrangement. 

3. c/xol Be. The Se implies contrast to something understood, 
such as ' I do not claim to be irresponsible; inquiry will have to 
be made as to whether I am faithful ; but (Se) the authority to 
which I bow is not yours, nor that of any human tribunal, but 

els eXdxioroV ecmv. ' It amounts to very little,' ' it counts for 
a very small matter.' Cf. eis ovllv \oyta-6rjvai (Acts xix. 27). 
He does not say that it counts for nothing. "I have often 
wondered how it is that every man sets less value on his own 
opinion of himself than on the opinion of others. So much 
more respect have we to what our neighbours think of us than to 
what we think of ourselves" (M. Aurelius, xii. 4). 

Iva d^aKpiGw. 'To be judged of,' or 'to be put on my trial,' 
or 'to pass your tribunal' (see on ii. 14, 15). The verb is 
neutral, and suggests neither a favourable nor an unfavourable 
verdict. The dominant thought here, as in ii. 14, 15, is the 
competency of the tribunal. The clause is almost equivalent to 
a simple infinitive, the Iva defining the purport of a possible 
volition, whether of, for, or against what is named. He does 

* Chadwick, The Pastoral Teaching of St Paul, p. 164 f. He does not 
say ' be judged trustworthy,' but ' be found actually to be so.' In 1 Pet. iv. 10 
every Christian is a steward. 


not mean that the Corinthians had thought of formally trying 
him, but that he cares little for what public opinion may decide 
about him. 

r\ utto de0pwTri»T]s rjjxe'pas. The phrase is in contrast to -f) 
rj/xepa (iii. 13), which means the Day of the Lord, the Lord's 
Judgment-Day. That is the tribunal which the Apostle recog- 
nizes ; a human tribunal he does not care to satisfy. He may 
have had in his mind the use of a word equivalent to ' day ' in 
the sense of a ' court,' which is found in Hebrew and in other 
languages.* 'Daysman' in Job ix. 33 means 'arbitrator' or 
' umpire ' : compare diem dicere alicui. From dies comes dieta = 
'diet'; and hence, in German, Tag =' diet,' as in Reichstag, 
Landtag. ' Man's judgment ' (AV., RV.) gives the sense suffi- 
ciently. Jerome is probably wrong in suggesting that the 
expression is a ' Cilicism,' one of St Paul's provincialisms. 
Humanus dies dicitur in quo judicant homines, quia erit et dies 
Domini, in quo judicabit et Dominus (Herv.). Atto says much 
the same. 

d\V ou8e ep.auToi' a^aicpiVu. 'Nay, even my own verdict 
upon my conduct, with the knowledge which I have of its 
motives, is but a human judgment, incompetent definitely to 
condemn (1 John iii. 20), and still more incompetent to acquit.'! 
"We cannot fail to mark the contrast between this avowal of 
inability to judge oneself and the claim made in ch. ii. on 
behalf of the spiritual man, who judges all things. Self-know- 
ledge is more difficult than revealed truth " (Edwards) : Ps. 
xix. 12. 

4. ouScy yap end"-™ au^oiSa. ' For (supposing that) I know 
nothing against myself,' 'Suppose that I am not conscious of 
any wrong-doing on my part' The Apostle is not stating a fact, 
but an hypothesis ; he was conscious of many faults ; yet, even 
if he were not aware of any, that would not acquit him. No- 
where else in N.T. is the verb used in this sense (see Acts v. 2, 
xii. 1 2, xiv. 6) : it means to ' share knowledge,' and here to 
'know about oneself what is unknown to others. It expresses 
conscience in the recording sense. As conscience can condemn 
more surely than it can acquit, the word, when used absolutely, 
has more frequently a bad sense, and hence comes to mean to 
' be conscious of guilt ' : nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa 

* Aesch. in Ctes. p. 587 ; Ws rpla p-ipy biaipetrai ij y/itpa, Srav elal-g 
7pa0?j irapavbfxosv els rb diKaffTTjpiov, where 17 yfiipa means the time of the 

f We might have expected d\Y ov8e airrbs inavrbv ai>a.Kphu>, but the 
meaning is clear. He does not base his refusal to pass judgment on himself 
on the difficulty of being impartial. Such a judgment, however impartial and 
just, could not be final, and therefore would be futile. 


(Hor. Ep. i. i. 61) illustrates the same kind of meaning in the 
Latin equivalent. See on t) km, Rom. ii. 15. The archaic 'I 
know nothing by myself (AV.) has caused the words to be 
seriously misunderstood. In sixteenth-century English 'by' 
might mean 'against,' and means 'against' here. Latimer says, 
" Sometimes I say more by him than I am able to prove ; this is 
slandering" (1. 518). Jonson, in the Silent Woman, "An 
intelligent woman, if she know by herself the least defect, will 
be most curious to hide it" (iv. 1), which is close to the use 
here. T. L. O. Davies {Bible Words, p. 81) gives these and 
other examples.* 

dXV ouk iv tou'tu. ' Nevertheless, not hereby,' ' But yet not 
in this fact,' ' not therefore.' This iv tovtw is frequent in St John, 
especially in the First Epistle and in connexion with yivoWeiv 
(John xiii. 35 ; 1 John ii. 3, 5, iii. 16, 1.9, 24, iv. 2, 13, v. 2), but 
also with other verbs (John xv. 8, xvi. 30). The ovk is placed 
away from its verb with special emphasis ; sed non in hoc (Vulg.), 
non per hoc (Beza). Without difference of meaning, Ignatius 
{Rom. 5) has dAA' ou Trap a tovto ScSiKCuatytcu. ' Am I acquitted.' The word is used in a 
general sense, not in its technical theological sense. To intro- 
duce the latter here (Meyer, Beet, etc.) is to miss the drift of the 
passage, which deals, not with the question as to how man 
is justified in God's sight, but with the question as to who is 
competent to sit in judgment on a man's work or life. St Paul is 
not dealing with the question of his own personal 'justification 
by faith,' as though he said ' I am justified not by this, but in 
some other way ' : he is saying in the first person, what would 
apply equally to any one else, that an unaccusing conscience does 
not per se mean absence of guilt. 

6 8e deaKpiewy p.e Ku'pios Ivtiv. ' But he that judgeth me is 
the Lord,' i.e. Christ, as the next verse shows. The Se goes back 
to ovSk i/xa-vrov avanplvw, what intervenes being a parenthesis ; 
' not I myself, but our Lord, is the judge.' 

5. wore. With the imperative (see on iii. 21), 'So then.' 
p.rj ti Kpivere. ' Cease to pass any judgment,' or ' Make a 
practice of passing no judgment' (pres. imper.). The ti is a 
cognate accusative, such as we have in John vii. 24. 'As far as 
I am concerned, you may judge as you please, it is indifferent 
to me ; but, as Christians, you should beware of passing any 
judgment on any one, until the Judge of all has made all things 
clear. All anticipation is vain.' 

Trpo Kaipou. ' Before the fitting time,' or ' the appointed 

* The use is perhaps not yet extinct in Yorkshire. " I know nothing by 
him" might still be heard for " I know nothing against him." 


time,' when o! ayioi toi/ koct/xov Kpivovaiv (vi. 2). Kcupos has 
no exact equivalent in English, French, or German. Cf. Matt, 
viii. 29. 

lus ae eX0r]. The addition or omission of av after !a>s in the 
N.T. is somewhat irregular, and this fact precludes any sure 
generalization as to particular shades of meaning. In later 
Greek the force of av is weakened, and therefore the difference 
between its presence and absence is lessened. Here, not the 
coming, but the time of it, is doubtful ; ' till the Advent, when- 
ever that may be.' See Milligan on 2 Thess. ii. 7, where there 
is no av, and Edwards here. In Rev. ii. 25, axpt ov av t/£g>, it is 
doubtful whether r/£a> is fut. indie, or aor. subj. At the Day of 
Judgment they will take part in judging (vi. 2, 3), with all the 
facts before them. 

8s Kal 4>am'aei. 'Who shall both throw light upon,' 'shall 
illumine,' lucem inferet in (Beng.). But the difference between 
'bringing light to' and 'bringing to light' is not great. The /cat 
is probably ' both,' not ' also ' ; but if ' also,' the meaning is, ' will 
come to judge and also will illumine,' which is less probable. 
<J>om£<tf points to the source of the revelation. 

Td Kpuirrd tou o-kotous. Abscondita tenebrarum (Vulg.); occulta 
tenebrarum = res tenebris occultatas (Beza). The genitive may be 
possessive or characterizing, ' the hidden things which darkness 
holds,' or 'the hidden things whose nature is dark.' The point 
is, not that what will be revealed is morally bad, although that 
may be suggested, but that hitherto they have been quite secret, 
hidden, it may be, from the person's own conscience. 

Kal 4>ayepwo-ei. Two things are necessary for an unerring 
judgment of human actions, — a complete knowledge of the facts, 
and full insight into the motives. These the Lord will apply 
when He comes; and to attempt to judge men without these 
indispensable qualifications is futile arrogance. <J?avep6<a points 
to the result of the revelation. 

Kal totc 6 e-n-aiyog. ' And then, and not till then, the measure of 
praise that is due will come to each from God.' ' He will have 
his praise' (RV.), what rightly belongs to him, which may be 
little or none, and will be very different from the praise of 
partizans here. We have the same thought in 2 Cor. x. 18; 
Rom. ii. 29 ; and Clem. Rom. reproduces it, Cor. 30. Compare 
luo-dos, iii. 14, and 6 fiiaOos, Rom. iv. 4, and see Hort on 1 Pet. 

i- 7. P- 43- 

diro tou 0eou. At the end, with emphasis ; the award is final, 

as airo intimates ; there is no further court of appeal : and it is 

from God that Christ has authority to judge the world (John 

v. 27). Cf. 2 Esdr. xvi. 62-65. With e/cao-Tw compare the fivefold 

cKao-To? in iii. 5-13. 


D E F G, Aug. omit the 8s before Kal. D omits the rod before &eov. 
The conjecture of vir6 for dir6 before tou GeoD has no probability of being 
right. Christ is the wpicr/j-tvos virb tov Qeov Kpirris (Acts x. 42) : cf. jtAAei 
Kplveiv ttjv olKovixivrjv iv avopl y ibptuev (Acts xvii. 31): so that the judg- 
ments pronounced by Christ are dirb rod BcoO. 

IV. 6-21. Personal Application of the foregoing Passage 
(III. 5-IV. 5), and Close of the Subject of the Dis- 

My aim in all this is to correct party-spirit and conceit. 
Do compare your self-glorification with the humiliations of 
your teachers. This admonition comes from a father whom 
you ought to imitate. I really am coming to you. Is it to 
be in severity or in gentleness ? 

6 These comments I have modified in form, so as to apply to 
myself and Apollos, without including others, for you certainly 
have made party-leaders of him and me. And I have done this 
for your sakes, not ours, in order that by us as examples you 
may learn the meaning of the words, Go not beyond what 's 
written ; in short, to keep any one of you from speaking boast- 
fully in favour of the one teacher to the disparagement of the 
other. 7 For, my friend, who gives you the right to prefer one 
man to another and proclaim Paul and Apollos as leaders? 
And what ability do you possess that was not given to you by 
God? You must allow that you had it as a gift from Him. 
Then why do you boast as if you had the credit of acquiring it ? 
8 No doubt you Corinthians are already in perfect felicity ; already 
you are quite rich ; without waiting for us poor teachers, you 
have come to your kingdom ! And I would to God that you 
had come to the Kingdom, that we also might be there with you ! 
But we are far from that happy condition. For it seems to me 
that God has exhibited us His Apostles last of all, as men 
doomed to death are the last spectacle in a triumphal procession : 
for a spectacle we are become to the universe, to the whole 
amphitheatre of angels and men. 10 We poor simpletons go on 
with the foolishness of preaching Christ, while you in your 
relation to Him are men of sagacity. We feel our weakness ; 
you are so strong as to stand alone. You have the glory, and 
we the contempt. u Up to this very moment we go hungry, 
thirsty, and scantily clothed ; we get plenty of hard blows and 


have no proper home; 12 and we have to work hard with our 
hands to earn our daily bread. Men revile us, and we bless 
them ; they persecute us, and we are patient ; they slander us, 
and we merely deprecate. 13 We have been treated as the scum 
of the earth, the refuse of society, and are treated so still. 

14 1 am not writing in this tone to put you to shame : you are 
my dearly loved children, and I am showing you where you are 
wrong. 15 For you may have any number of instructors in Christ, 
yet you have not more than one father : for in Christ Jesus it was 
I, and no one else, who begat you through the Glad-tidings 
which I brought you. 16 I have, therefore, the right to beseech 
you to follow my steps. 17 And because I wish you to follow my 
example, I have sent Timothy to you; for he also is a child of 
mine, dearly loved as you are, loyal and trusty in the Lord, and 
he will bring back to your remembrance the simple and lowly 
ways which I have as a Christian teacher, not only at Corinth, 
but everywhere and in every Church. 18 Some of you boastfully 
declared that my sending Timothy meant that I did not dare to 
come myself; so they would do as they pleased. 19 But I do 
mean to come, and that soon, to you, if the Lord pleases ; and 
I will then take cognizance, not of what these inflated boasters 
say, but of what they can do. Have they any spiritual power ? 
20 For the Kingdom of God is not a thing of words, but of 
spiritual power. 21 Which is it to be then ? Am I to come to 
you rod in hand, or in love and a spirit of gentleness ? 

After a brief, plain statement of his purpose (6, 7) in the 
preceding exposition of the Pastoral Office, the Apostle severely 
rebukes the inflated glorying of his readers (8-13), and then, in 
a more tender strain (14-16), but still not without sternness 
(17-21), explains the mission of Timothy, the precursor of his 
own intended visit. 

6. TauTa 8c. ' Now these things,' viz. the whole of the 
remarks from iii. 5 onwards, the Se introducing the conclusion 
and application of the whole. 

d8e\<j>oi. As in i. 10, iii. 1. 

fi€TeaxrifAdTiara. ' I put differently,' ' transferred by a figure ' ; 
lit. 'altered the arrangement' (axw a )- T ne Apostle means 
that he used the names of Apollos and himself to illustrate a 
principle which might, but for reasons of tact, have been more 
obviously illustrated by other names. In LXX the verb is 
found once (4 Mac. ix. 22), in N.T. in Paul only; of false 


apostles fashioning themselves into Apostles of Christ, like 
Satan fashioning himself into an angel of light (2 Cor. xi. 13-15) ; 
and of the glorious change of our body of humiliation (Phil, 
iii. 21). The meaning here is different from both these, and the 
difference of meaning in the three passages turns upon the 
implied sense of (rxw a m eacn case. See Lightfoot ad loc. and 
also on Phil. ii. 7 and iii. 21 ; Trench, Syn. % lxx. ; Hastings, 
DB. 11. p. 7. In the present passage there seems to be a 
reference to the rhetorical sense of o-^jxa (=figura) to denote a 
veiled allusion. The meaning here will be, ' I have transferred 
these warnings to myself and Apollos for the purpose of a 
covert allusion, and that for your sakes, that in our persons you 
may get instruction.' The /xerao-;^/, r> 107/.0S, therefore, consists 
in putting forward the names of those not really responsible for 
the a-rao-eis instead of the names of others who were more to 

iv Tjfny /xdOriTe. ' May learn in us as an object-lesson,' ' in our 
case may learn.' They could read between the lines. 

to (XTj uTrep a yeypaTTTai. The article, as often, has almost the 
effect of inverted commas; 'the principle' or 'the lesson' — 
" Never go beyond," etc. The maxim is given in an elliptical 
form without any verb, as in ne sutor ultra crepidam : cf. v. 1, 
xi. 24; 2 Pet. ii. 22. Here, as elsewhere, some texts insert a 
verb in order to smooth the ellipse. By a yiypaTvrai the Apostle 
means passages of Scripture such as those which he has quoted, 
i. 19, 31, iii. 19, 20. It is possible that there was a maxim of 
this kind current among the Jews, like /xr/Stv ayav among the 
Greeks. It is strange that any one should suppose that 
a yzypaTTTaL can refer to what St Paul himself has written or 
intends to write, or to the commands of our Lord.f It was 
perhaps a Rabbinical maxim. 

Iva |xr| k.t.X. This second Iva introduces the consequence 
expected from tiaflr/re, and so the ultimate purpose of aictc- 
0-X*?jU.aTicra, viz. to avoid all sectarian divisions. The proposal to 
take Iva in the local sense of 'where,' 'in which case,' i wobei,' 
may be safely dismissed. Even in class. Grk. this sense of Iva 
is chiefly poetical, and it is quite out of keeping with N.T. 
usage and with the context here. It is less easy to be certain 
whether cpvcnovo-Oe is the present indicative, which would be very 
irregular after Iva, or an irregularly contracted subjunctive. 
Gal. iv. 17 is the only certain instance in N.T. of Iva with the 

* That there was no jealousy or rivalry between St Paul and Apollos is 
clear from iii. 6, 8-IO, xvi. 12. It is possible that it was the factious conduct 
of his partizans that drove Apollos from Corinth (Renan, S. Paul, p. 375). 

t Rudolf Steele would refer this to Rom. xii. 3 ; an extraordinary con- 



present indicative ; but some of the best editors admit it in 
John xvii. 3 ; Tit. ii. 4 ; 1 John v. 20. The double iva is Pauline ; 
Gal. iii. 14, iv. 5. 

The sense is an expansion of 'glorying in men' (iii. 21): 
party-spirit, essentially egoist, cries up one leader at the expense 
of another leader. Some take kv6<; and erepov, not as leaders, but 
as members, of the respective parties. This is not the probable 
meaning. To cry up a favourite leader of your own choosing is 
to betray an inflated self-conceit. See on v. 18. With e!s vrrlp 
tou «'os maybe contrasted oikoSo/xcu-c et? t6v Iva (1 Thess. v. 11), 
where the opposite cause and effect are indicated, the union, 
which results from mutual edification. Here forep means ' on 
behalf of ' or ' in favour of.' We have a similar use of Wp and 
icaTa in Rom. viii. 31. See Blass, § 45. 2. 

For iv i)pit>, D 17, Copt, read iv ifitv. virip 8. (X A B C P 17) is to be 
preferred to inrip 8 (D E F G L). After yiypairrai, K 3 D 3 L P, Syrr. 
Copt. Arm. AV. insert <ppovetv to avoid the ellipse: N*ABD*EFG, 
Vulg. RV. omit. Some editors propose to omit t6 /U7? vxtp & yiypairrat as 
a marginal gloss. The sentence is intelligible without these words, but a 
gloss would have taken some other form. The <ppovetv may come from 
Rom. xii. 3. 

7. ti's ydp ere Suucpim ; The yap introduces a reason why 
such conceit is out of place ; ' For who sees anything special in 
you ? ' The verb has a variety of meanings (see Acts xv. 9 and 
on (rwKpLveiv in ii. 13), and these meanings are linked by the 
idea of ' separate ' in one sense or another : here it means to 
distinguish favourably from others. ' Who gives you the right to 
exalt one and depress another ? No one has given you such a 
right : then do you claim it is an inherent right ? ' Tu, qui 
amplius te accepisse gloriaris, quis te ab eo qui minus accepit 
separavit, nisi is qui tibi dedit quod alteri non dedit ? (Atto). 

ti Se Ixeis o ouk e\a(3es. The 8e adds another home-thrust, 
another searching question. ' Let us grant that you have some 
superiority. Is it inherent ? You know that you have nothing 
but what you have received. Your good things were all of them 
given to you.' Origen suggests that the question may mean, 
1 Why do you pretend to have a gift which you have not received 
from God?' But he prefers the usual interpretation. The 
question is a favourite one with Cyril of Alexandria, who quotes 
it nine times in his commentary on St John. 

el Se koI IXajks. ' But if thou didst receive it.' The km. 
throws an emphasis on lAa/3es, and el km, represents the insist- 
ence on what is fact (2 Cor. iv. 3, v. 16, xii. 11), while koX ci 
represents an assumed possibility ; but it is not certain that this 
distinction always holds good in Paul. 

It has been urged that the usual interpretation of ?\a/?6s as 


' received from God, the Giver of all good gifts ' is not suitable 
to the context ; and that the Apostle means that such Christian 
wisdom as the Corinthians possessed was not their own making, 
but came to them through ministry of their teachers. But, after 
iii. 5-7, 21 (cf. xii. 6, xv. 10), St Paul would not be likely to make 
any such claim. The main point is, 'whatever superiority you 
may have is not your own product, it was a gift ' ; and St Paul 
was much more likely to mean that it was God's gift, than any- 
thing derived from himself and Apollos. 

The question which he asks strikes deeper than the immediate 
purpose of this passage. It is memorable in the history of 
theology for the revolution which it brought about in the 
doctrine of Grace. In a.d. 396, in the first work which he 
wrote as a bishop, Augustine tells us : " To solve this question 
we laboured hard in the cause of the freedom of man's will, but 
the Grace of God won the day," and he adds that this text was 
decisive [Retract. 11. i. 1 ; see also De divers, quaest. ad Simplici- 
anum, i.). Ten years before the challenge of Pelagius, the study 
of St Paul's writings, and especially of this verse and of Rom. 
ix. 16, had crystallized in his mind the distinctively Augustinian 
doctrines of man's total depravity, of irresistible grace, and of 
absolute predestination. 

The fundamental thought here is that the teachers, about 
whom the Corinthians ' gloried,' were but ministers of what was 
the gift of God. The boasting temper implied forgetfulness of 
this fact. It treated the teachers as exhibitors of rhetorical skill, 
and as ministering to the taste of a critical audience, which was 
entitled to class the teachers according to the preferences of this 
or that hearer. "EAa/Je? here coincides with c7rto-TciicraT« in iii. 5. 

8. The Apostle now directly attacks the self-esteem of his 
readers in a tone of grave irony. ' You may well sit in judgment 
upon us, from your position of advanced perfection, whence you 
can watch us struggling painfully to the heights which you have 
already scaled.' Haec verba per ironiam dicta sunt : non enim 
sunt affirmantis, sed indignantis, et commoti animi. Illos quippe 
regnare, saturates et divites factos, in quibus superius diversa vitia 
et plures errores redarguit (Atto). It spoils the irony of the 
assumed concession to take the three clauses which follow as 
questions (WH.). That the three argumentative questions 
should be followed by three satirical affirmations is full of point. 
Six consecutive questions would be wearisome and somewhat 

r\%t\ KCKopeajxeVoi ivri, t/8t] eirXourrjaaTe, x w P l S ^pUf e'PaaiXeuo-aTe. 
The RV. might have given each of the three clauses a note 
of exclamation. Some give one to the last, and it covers the 


other two. It is evident that the three verbs form a climax, and 
the last gives the key to the allusion. These highly blessed 
Corinthians are already in the Kingdom of God, enjoying its 
banquets, its treasures, and its thrones. The verbs stand for 
the satisfaction of all desires in the Messianic Kingdom 
(Luke xxii. 29, 30; 1 Thess. ii. 12; 2 Tim. ii. 12). Theattitude 
of the Tr€<j>va-LWfj.ivoi amounted to a claim to be already in 
possession of all that this Kingdom was to bring. They have 
got a private millennium of their own. Like the 77877 in the two 
first clauses, x^P^ W^ v is emphatic. 'Without us, who taught 
you all that you know of the Gospel, and who are still labouring 
to enter the Kingdom, you are as Kings in the Kingdom.' 
1 Without us ' does not mean ' without our aid,' but ' without our 
company.' The contrast is between the fancied beatitude of the 
Corinthians and the actual condition of the Apostles. The 
Corinthians pose as perfected saints ; their teachers are still very 
far indeed from perfection.* 

In ttXovtciv and (3ao-i\eveiv we have a coincidence with the 
language of the Stoics, as in iii. 21. There iravra v/iuv eo-riv has 
parallels in Zeno and Seneca; emittere hanc dei vocem, Haec 
omnia mea sunt (De Benef. vn. ii. 3). But, whether or no 
St Paul is consciously using Stoic expressions, there is no 
resemblance in meaning. The thought of victory over the 
world by incorporation into Christ is far removed from that of 
independence of the world through personal avrapKeta. Here 
again we have the difference between the true and the false 


tea! ctyeXoV ye ePao-iXeoVaTe. In this late Greek this un- 
augmented second aorist has become a mere particle, an 
exclamation to express a wish as to what might have happened, 
but has not, or what might happen, but is not expected. Hence 
it is followed by the indicative without av. In LXX it is often 
followed by the aorist, as here, especially in the phrase ofakov 
aire6a.vofj.ev. In 2 Cor. xi. i and Gal. v. 12, as here, the wish 
has a touch of irony. The ye emphasizes the wish; ' As far as 
my feelings are concerned, would that your imaginary royalty 
were real, for then our hard lot would be at an end.' 

iKo . . . tTuv^ao-ikeu(iu)>. In ironical contrast to x^P* 1 * 
fj/jLwv. ' You seem to have arrived at the goal far in front of us 

* Chrysostom points out that "piety is insatiable." A Christian can 
never be satisfied with his condition ; and for those who were as yet scarcely 
beginners to suppose that they had reached the end, was childish. 
Bachmann quotes the well-known Logion preserved by Clement of 
Alexandria (704 ed. Potter, and found in a somewhat different form in 
Oxyrhynchus papyri ; ov iravaerai 6 £i)twv £ws tv evprj, evpwv 8£ da^T)<reTa.i, 
BapBTjdelt 5e paaiXefoct, /Sao-iXewras 5i iiravavaveTai.. See Deissmann, Light, 
p. xiii. 


poor teachers : indeed I wish that it were so, so that we might hope 
to follow and share your triumph.' The only other place in 
N.T. in which o-wftaaiXevtiv occurs is 2 Tim. ii. 12, where it is 
used of reigning with Christ. 

9. 8okw yap, 6 ©eos • • • dire'Sti^ei'. ' For it seems to me, 
God has set forth us, the Apostles, as last.' There is a great 
pageant in which the Apostles form the ignominious finale, con- 
sisting of doomed men, who will have to fight in the arena till 
they are killed. St Paul is thinking chiefly of himself; but, to 
avoid the appearance of egoism, he associates himself with other 
Apostles. Perhaps airi^t^v is used in a technical sense; 'placed 
upon the scene,' 'made a show of,' 'exhibited'; or, possibly, 
' nominated,' ' proclaimed,' as if being doomed men was an 

office Or distinction : cf. eSeovro airo^Ci^ai riva avrwv fSaaiXea 

(Joseph. Ant. vi. iii. 3). This latter meaning increases the 
irony of the passage. In 2 Thess. ii. 4, a-n-oSeiKvuVra seems to 
be used in this sense. 

ws emGavcmous. The adjective occurs nowhere else in N.T. ; 
but in LXX of Bel and the Dragon 31 it is used of the con- 
demned conspirators who were thrown to the lions, two at a time, 
daily; rm> eVi^ava-riW crw/Aara 8vo. Dionysius of Halicarnassus 
(A.I?, vii. 35), about B.C. 8, uses it of those who were thrown 
from the Tarpeian rock. Tertullian (De Pudic. 14) translates it 
here, veluti bestiarios, which is giving it too limited a meaning. 
Cf. i8qpi0fjid)(r]cra, xv. 32. Spectandos proposuit, ut morti addictos 

on Gea/rpoe iyevr\Qrux€v. ' Seeing that we are become a 
spectacle ' ; explaining ' exhibited (or ' nominated ') us as doomed 
men.' Here Oiarpov = 6ea[xa : the place of seeing easily comes 
to be substituted for what is seen there, and also for ol Oearai, as 
we say ' the house ' for the audience or spectators. Cf. 6ea.Tpi£6- 
fj.evoi, spectacuhim facti (Vulg. both there and here), Heb. x. 33. 

tw Koo-pw. ' The intelligent universe,' which is immediately 
specified by the two anarthrous substantives which follow: 
angels and men make up the koct/aos to which the Apostles are 
a spectacle. See on xiii. 1. It is perhaps true to say that, 
wherever angels are mentioned in N.T., good angels are always 
meant, unless something is added in the context to intimate the 
contrary, as in Matt. xxv. 4152 Cor. xii. 7 ; Rev. xii. 7, 9, etc. 
Ciodet remarks here that of course les mauvais ne sont pas exclus, 
and this is also the opinion of Augustine and Herveius. 

* The Epistle contains a number of illustrations taken from heathen life ; 
here and vii. 31, the theatre; the idol-feasts, viii. io, x. 20; racing and 
boxing in the games, with a crown as a prize, ix. 24-27 ; the syssitia, x. 27 ; 
the fighting with wild beasts, xv. 32. 


Strangely enough, Atto supposes that St Paul means evil angels 
only. The Apostle thinks of the ayye/W as wondering spectators 
of the vicissitudes of the Church militant here on earth (cf. 
Eph. iii. 19; i Pet. i. 12). Origen thinks of them as drawn to 
the strange sight of a man still clothed in flesh wrestling with 
principalities and powers, etc. 

After Soku ydp, N'B'DELP add 8n : N* A B* C D» F G omit. 

10. ^(Jiels fiwpol . . . ufiets 8e 4>p6Vipvoi. Est increpaho cum 
ironia (Herv.). The three antitheses refer respectively to teaching, 
demeanour, and worldly position. The Apostles were ' fools on 
account of Christ' (2 Cor. iv. 11; Phil. iii. 7), because it was 
owing to their preaching Christ that the world regarded them as 
crazy (i. 23 ; Acts xxvi. 24). The Corinthians were ' wise in 
Christ,' because they maintained that as Christians they had 
great powers of discernment and possessed the true wisdom ; Sta 
in servos, cv in consortes convenit (Beng.): rawo Acywv eipwviKws 

7r/30€Tp€7T£V O.VTOVS y61'€CT#CU (ppOVtflOV^ Iv XpKTTW (OHg. ). Cf. X. 1 5. 

ujjieis eyoo£oi, r)p.eis 8e aTijxoi. The order is here inverted, not 
merely to avoid monotony, but in order to append to ^eis 
an/iot the clauses which expand it. Chiasmus is common in 
these Epistles (iii. 17, viii. 13, xiii. 2 ; 2 Cor. iv. 3, vi. 8, ix. 6, 
x. 12, etc.). "EvSo£os is one of the 103 words which are found 
only in Paul and Luke in N.T. (Hawkins, Hor. Syn. p. 191). 

11. axpi tt}s ap-ri <Spa$. Their artfita is without respite, and 
is unbroken, up to the moment of writing. This is emphatically 
restated at the end of v. 13: privation, humiliation, and uttt: 
contempt is their continual lot. 

yufju'iTcuop-ec. ' We are scantily clothed ' ; iv i/^ei kcu yvfivo- 
tyjti (2 Cor. xi. 27). The word generally means ' to go light-armed' 
(Plut, Dio. Cass.) ; it occurs nowhere else in N.T. or LXX, 
Cf. Jas. ii. 15, where yv/xvo's means 'scantily clad.' 

Ko\a<f>i£6|j.e0a. ' We are buffeted,' 'are struck with the fist' 
The verb is late, and probably colloquial (1 Pet. ii. 20; Mark 
xiv. 65 ; Matt. xxvi. 67). The substantive KdAa<^os is said to be 
Doric = Attic koVSiAos. The verb is possibly chosen rather than 
Se'petv (ix. 26 ; 2 Cor. xi. 20), or tvtttuv (Acts xxiii. 2), or virai-md- 
luv (ix. 26, 27), or Kov&v\i£eiv (Amos ii. 7 ; Mai. iii. 5), to mark 
the treatment of a slave : velut servi ; adeo non regnamus (Beng.). 
Seneca, in the last section of the Apocolocyntosis, says that 
Caesar successfully claimed a man as his slave after producing 
witnesses who had seen the man beaten by Caesar JIagris, feru/is, 
colaphis. In 2 Cor. xii. 7 the verb is used of the ayy«\os ^araia, 
' buffeting ' the Apostle. 

daTaToup.ei'. ' Are homeless,' ' have not where to lay oui 


head' (Matt. viii. 20; Luke ix. 58). The verb occurs nowhere 
else in N.T. or LXX, but is used by Aquila for do-rcyos in Isa. 
lviii. 7. It certainly does not mean instabiles sumus (Vulg.), but 
nusquam habemus sedem (Primasius). The Apostles fugabantut 
ab infidelibus de loco in locum (Atto) ; iX.aw6p.e6a yap (Chrys.). 
Their life had no repose ; they were vagrants, and were stigmatized 
as such. 

yvfiviTevo/j.ev is accepted by all editors, L alone reading yvixvrjTeiioiitv. 
Gregory, Prolegomena to Tisch., p. 81. 

12. tpy. t. ISiais y^poiv. Again and again he 
mentions this (ix. 6 ; 2 Cor. xi. 7 ; 1 Thess. ii. 9 ; 2 Thess. iii. 8 ; 
cf. Acts xviii. 3, xx. 34). See Knowling on Acts xviii. 3, Deiss- 
mann, Light, p. 317, and Ramsay, St Paul, pp. 34-36. He had 
worked for his own living when he was at Corinth, and he was 
doing this at Ephesus at the time of writing. He must maintain 
his independence. Graviter peccat, et libertatem arguendi amittit, 
qui ab eo aliquid accipit, qui propterea tribuit ne redarguat (Atto). 
The plural may be rhetorical, but it probably includes other 
teachers who did the like. Greeks despised manual labour ; 
St Paul glories in it. 

XoiSopou'peeoi euXoyoup.ei', SicoKopeeoi aeexopeQa. He is perhaps 
not definitely alluding to the Lord's commands (Matt. v. 44 ; 
Luke vi. 27), but he is under their influence. Here again, Greek 
prejudice would be against him. In the preliminary induction 
which Aristotle {Anal. Post. 11. xii. 21) makes for the definition 
of p.zya\o\\ivyia, he asks what it is that such p.eya\6ipv)(ot as 
Achilles, Ajax, and Alcibiades have in common, and answers, to 
fir) dve'xeo-#ai ifSpt^ofxevot. In his full description {Eth. Nic. iv. 
iii. 17, 30), of the high-minded man, he says that he irapurav 
6X.iywprj(reL the contempt of others, and that he is not p,vqcriKaKo<s; 
but this is because he is conscious that he never deserves ill, and 
because he does not care to bear anything, good or ill (and least 
of all ill), long in mind. Just as the Greek would think that the 
Apostle's working with his own hands stamped him as f3dvav<ro<s, 
so he would regard his manner of receiving abuse and injury as 
fatal to his being accounted fxeya\6ij/vxos ; he must be an abject 

13. SuCT^np.oufjiei'oi. In 1 Mac. vii. 41 the verb is used of the 
insults of Rabshakeh as the envoy of Sennacherib, but it is not 
found elsewhere in N.T. 

TTapaKaXoGpev. 'We deprecate,' obsecramus (Vulg.). The 
verb is very frequent in N.T., with many shades of meaning, 
radiating from the idea of 'calling to one's side' in order to 
speak privately, to gain support. Hence such meanings as 
1 exhort,' ' entreat,' ' instruct,' ' comfort.' ' Exhort ' is certainly 


not the meaning here, as if insulting language was requited with 
a sermon ; yet Origen and Basil seem to take it so. To give the 
soft answer that turns away wrath (Prov. xv. i) may be right, but 
it is not a common meaning of irapaKaXelv. Tyndale and other 
early versions have ' we pray,' which again is not the meaning, if 
'pray' means 'pray to God.'* 

rf>s TrepiKaGdpjAaTa. The uncompounded Kd8app,a is more 
common in both the senses which the two forms of the word 
have in common. These are (i) 'sweepings,' rubbish, and, (2) 
as in Prov. xxi. 18, 'scapegoats,' i.e. victims, piacula, lustramina, 
used as expiationis pretium, to avert the wrath of the gods. At 
Athens, in times of plague or similar visitations, certain outcasts 
were flung into the sea with the formula, ireptyripa fjpwv yei>ov 
(Suidas), to expiate the pollution of the community. These were 
worthless persons, and hence the close connexion between the 
two meanings. Demosthenes, in the De Corona, addresses 
Aeschines, w, as a term of the deepest insult. It is not 
quite certain which of the two meanings is right here 5 nor does 
the coupling with irepi^/rjfia settle the matter, for that word also 
is used in two similar senses. Godet distinguishes the two words 
by saying that TrepiKaOdpfxara are the dust that is swept up from 
a floor and iripLxpyjpa the dirt that is rubbed or scraped off an 
object. Neither word occurs elsewhere in N.T. On the whole, 
it is probable that neither word has here the meaning of ' scape- 
goat 'or 'ransom' (d7roA.uTpwo-is) : and in Tobit v. 18 -n-epiKJ/rjpa 
is probably 'refuse' (AV., RV.). See Lightfoot on irepl^pa 
(Ign. Eph. 8), and Heinichen on Eus. H.E. vn. xxii. 7, Melet. 
xv. p. 710, who shows that in the third century ■Ktpty-qp.d. o-ov 
had become a term of formal compliment, 'your humble and 
devoted servant.' See Ep. Barn. 4, 6. 

toG Koo-fiou . . . irdfTwe. Whatever the meaning of the two 
words, these genitives give them the widest sweep, and -n-avrtnv is 
neuter (AV., RV.), unless the meaning of 'scapegoat' is given 
to Trepiiprjp.a.'f 

5vcr<t>7ifjLoufj.evoi. (S'ACP 17) rather than p^Kaa^^ov/xtvoi (X B D E F 
G L). The internal evidence turns the scale. It is more probable that 
the unusual 5va<j>. would be changed to the common /3\a<r0. than vice 

14. Ouk ecrpeTTwc upas. The severity of tone ends as abruptly 
as it began (v. 8). Aspera blandis mitigat, ut salutaris medicus. 

* Plato (Crito 49) puts into the mouth of Socrates; "We ought not to 
retaliate or render evil for evil to any one, whatever evil we may have suffered 
from him. . . . Warding off evil by evil is never right." But returning good 
for evil goes far beyond that. 

t Tertullian and the Vulgate transliterate, feripsema ; Beza has sordes, 
Luther Fegopfer (Auswurp), 


These sudden changes of tone are much more common in Paui 
than in other N.T. writers. The section that follows (14-21), 
with its mingled tenderness and sternness — both alike truly 
paternal, forms a worthy colophon to the whole discussion of the 
cr^i'o-^ara. The root-meaning of ivrpenciv is perhaps 'to turn in,' 
and so to make a person ' hang his head,' as a sign, either of 
reverence (Matt. xxi. 37; Luke xviii. 2, 4; Heb. xii. 9) or of 
shame, as here (cf. ivrpo-n-rj, vi. 5, xv. 34). In these senses it is 
frequent in late writers, in LXX, and in Paul. The participle 
expresses the spirit in which the Apostle writes ; 'not as shaming 
you,' 'not as making you abashed.' What he had written might 
well ' make them hang their heads,' but to effect that was not his 
purpose in writing ; he wrote to bring home to their hearts a 
solemn fatherly warning. 

vouQtTwv. The duty of a parent, as appears from Eph. vi. 4.* 
Excepting in a speech of St Paul (Acts xx. 31), vovBztzlv and 
vov6eaia do not occur in N.T. outside the Epistles of St Paul, 
and they cover all four groups. Nov^trai/, 'to put in mind,' has 
always a touch of sternness, if not of blame ; ' to admonish,' or 
'warn.' We have vovOtrelv rous kolkw<; TrpacraovTas (Aesch. Pr. 
264), and vovB(.rCiv KorSu/Ws (Aristoph. Vesp. 254). Plato 
{Gorg. 479a) combines it with KoXd&tv. See Abbott on Eph. 
vi. 4 and Col. i. 28. 

vovderwv (NACP 17, RV.) rather than vovOerQ (BDEFGL, Vulg. 
AV. ) ; but the evidence is not decisive. Lachm. and Treg. prefer 

15. ia\> yap. The reason for his taking on himself this duty ; 
' If, as time goes on, ye should have in turn an indefinite number 
of tutors in Christ, yet ye will never have had but one father.' 
The conditional clause, with a pres. subjunct. and av, in the 
protasis implies futurity as regards the apodosis. As there is but 
one planting and one laying of the foundation-stone (iii. 6, 10), 
so the child can have but one father. 

TratSaywyous . • . iv Xpiorw. The words are closely con- 
nected. Without iv X/ho-tw to qualify it, 7rcuSayaryovs would have 
been too abrupt, if not too disparaging. There is no hint that 
they have already had too many. The 7raiSaywyds (Gal. iii. 24) 
was not a teacher, but the trusty slave who acted as tutor or 
guardian and escorted them to and from school, and in general 
took care of those whom the father had begotten.^ He might be 

* Cf. tovtovs u>s warrjp vovOeTwv ddoKi/j.a<xa$ (Wisd. xi. 10), and vovderrjcrei 
SUaiov wi vibv ayairrjaews (Pss. Sol. xiii. 8). Excepting Timothy (v. 17 ; 
2 Tim. i. 2), St Paul nowhere else calls any one t£kvov aya-n-qrou. Spiritualis 
paternitas singularem necessitudi)itm et ajfectionem conjunctam habet, prat 
omni alia propinquitate (Beng. ). 

t See Ramsay, Ga/a/ians, p. 383 ; Smith, Diet, op Ant. ii. p. 307. The 
same usage is found in papyri. 


more capable, and even more affectionate, than the father, but 
he could never become father. The frequent iv Xpiorw gives 
" the ideal sphere of action " (Ellicott).* 

6.W ou iroXXous iraTepas. ' Still (viii. 7) not many fathers.' 
The verb to be understood must be future, for the possibility of 
fivpioL ■n-aiSaywyoi is future : ' however many these may be, yet ye 
will not have (or, have had) many fathers.' 

iv y<*P Xptorw "I. The whole process, first and last, is iv 
Xpiorw.t That was the sphere, while the Gospel was the means 
(81a tov cvayy.). The two pronouns, iyu> ifxas, are in emphatic 
proximity; 'whoever may have been the parent of other Churches, 
it was I who in Christ begat you.' The thought is that of iyu> 
icfivreva-a (iii. 6) and of OefxiXtov ZOtjko. (iii. 10), while the 7rcuSay<oyoi 
are those who water the plant, or build the superstructure. 

16. TTapaKaXw oue. ' Therefore, as having the right to do so, 
I call upon my children to take after their father.' Si filii estis, 
debitum honorem debetis impendere patri, et imitatores existere 
(Atto). Cf. 1 Thess. i. 6, 7, ii. 7, 11. 

fup.T)Tcu p,ou yiveaQe. ' Show yourselves imitators of me ' ; 'by 
your conduct prove your parentage.' Here and xi. 1 (see note 
there), 'imitators' rather than 'followers' (AV.). The context 
shows the special points of assimilation, viz. humility and self- 
sacrifice (vv. 10-13). In Phil. iii. 17 we have ovviufirjTys. The 
charge is not given in a spirit of self-confidence. He has received 
the charge to lead them, and he is bound to set an example for 
them to follow, but he takes no credit for the pattern (xi. 1). 

17. Aia toGto. ' Because I desire you to prove imitators of 
me, I sent Timothy, a real son of mine in the Lord, to allay the 
contrary spirit among you.' Timothy had probably already left 
Ephesus (Acts xix. 22), but was at work in Macedonia, and 
would arrive at Corinth later than this letter (Hastings, DB. 1. 
p. 483). It is not stated in Acts that Corinth was Timothy's 
ultimate destination, but we are told that the Corinthian Erastus 
(Rom. xvi. 23) was his companion on the mission. It is not 
clear whether Zirefixf/a is the ordinary aorist, ' I sent ' or ' have 
sent,' or the epistolary aorist, ' I send.' Deissmann, Light, p. 157. 

tckpok. 'Child' in the same sense as iyiw-qo-a (v. 15). St 
Paul had converted him (Acts xvi. 1), on his visit to Lystra 
(Acts xiv. 7 ; cf. 1 Tim. i. 2, 18; 2 Tim. i. 2). This ayairrfTov 
Kai ttlo-tov TtVvov was fittingly sent to remind children who were 
equally beloved, but were not equally faithful, of their duties 
towards the Apostle who was the parent of both. The first 

* Findlay quotes Sanhedrin, f. xix 2; "Whoever teaches the son of his 
friend the Law, it is as if he had begotten him." 

t See Deissmann, Die neutcstamentliche Formel "in Christo Jesu. n 


os gives the relation of Timothy to the Apostle, the second his 
relation to the Corinthians; 6 dSeX^o's (2 Cor. i. 1) gives his 
relation to all Christians. His sparing this beloved child was 
proof of his love for them ; 1 Thess. iii. 1, 2. 

dva(xn^(7€i. \ij8i]v Se avrwv 6 Xdyos Karrjyopel (Orig.). They 
had forgotten much of what St Paul had taught them in person • 
€i Kare'^ere (xv. 2). 

tcis 68ou's p>u. The real Apostle had been superseded in 
their imagination by an imaginary Paul, the leader of a party. 
His 'ways' are indicated :. 17, ii. 1-5, iv. n-13, ix. 15, 22, 27. 

Kafirs irarraxou iv irao-fl Ik. ' Exactly as everywhere in every 
Church.' There is a general consistency in the Apostle's 
teaching, and Timothy will not impose any special demands 
upon the Corinthians, but will only bring them into line with 
what St Paul teaches everywhere. This is one of several passages 
which remind the Corinthians that they are only members of a 
much greater whole (see on i. 2). They are not the whole 
Church, and they are not the most perfect members. On the 
other hand, no more is required of them than is required of 
other Christians. 

After 81a tovto, K A P 17 add ai>r6 : K*BCDEFGL omit, fiov rticvov 
(X A B C P 17) rather than riicvov fiov (D E F G L). After iv Xpurri^, 
D* F G add 'I^oO : A B D 3 E L P omit. 

18. c £2s /jlti epxofieVou 8c fiou. Some of them boastfully gave 
out ; ' Timothy is coming in his place ; Paul himself will not 
come.' The Se marks the contrast between this false report and 
the true purpose of Timothy's mission. 

£4>uo-i<o0Y]crde nves. Vitium Corinthiis frequens, inflatio (Beng.); 
v. 6, 19, v. 2, viii. 1.* The tense is the natural one to use, for 
St Paul is speaking of definite facts that had been reported to 
him. He cannot use the present tense, for he is ignorant of the 
state of things at the time of writing. But by using the aorist he 
does not imply that the evil is a thing of the past, and therefore 
' are puffed up' (AV., RV.), inflati sunt (Vulg.), may be justified. 
There is nothing to show whether he knew who the tivcs were 
(cf. xv. 12; Gal. i. 7). Origen suggests that 6 #€o-7reo-ios IlavXos 
does not mention any one, because he foresaw that the offenders 
would repent, and there was therefore no need to expose 
them. They are probably connected with the more definite 
and acrimonious opponents of 2 Cor. x. 1, 7, 10, xi. 4, where 
a leader, who is not in view in this Epistle, has come on the 

18. e\euCTO| 8e Taxe'ws. He intends remaining at Ephesus 

* The verb is peculiar to Paul in N.T., and (excepting Col. ii. 18) \% 
peculiar to this Epistle. 


till Pentecost (xvi. 8). His plans, and changes of plan, and the 
charges made against him about his proposed visit, are discussed 
in 2 Cor. i. 15, 16, 23. 

iav 6 Ku'pios OeX^cTTj. A solemn touch ; cf. xvi. 7 ; Jas. iv. 15. 
It is impossible, and not very important, to decide whether c 
Ku'pios means our Lord or the Father. Our Lord has just been 
mentioned ; on the other hand, in connexion with OiXuv or 
8iXr]fia, God is commonly meant. We have a similar doubt 
1 Thess. iii. 12. 

Y^waojjiai ou t. \6yov . . . d\\a t. Suyajjuv. ' Their words I 
shall ignore ; they proceed from persons whose heads are turned 
with conceit ; but their power I shall put to the proof.' This, 
as Godet remarks, is the language of a judge who is about to 
conduct a trial. ' The power ' certainly does not mean that of 
working miracles (Chrys.) ; but rather that of winning men over 
to a Christian life. In ii. 4, 5 we had the antithesis between 
Aoyos and o\W/ns in a different form. 

For tQv Tre<pv(riw/j.<li>o)v, L has rbv ire<f>vcn6p.evov : some cursives and 
Origen support the reading, but no editors adopt it. Before these words 
F inserts olutQv. 

20. r\ (WiXei'a t. 0eoG. This expression has three meanings 
in the Pauline Epistles: (1) the future Kingdom of God, when 
God is 'all in all' (xv. 28); akin to this (2) the mediatorial 
reign of Christ, which is the Kingdom of God in process of 
development; and so, as here (and see Rom. xiv. 17), we have 
(3) the inward reality which underlies the external life, activities, 
and institutions of the Church, in and through which the 
Kingdom of Christ is realizing itself. In the externals of Church 
life, 'word' counts for something, but 'power' alone is of 
account in the sight of God.* By 'power' is meant spiritual 
power: see on ii. 5. 

21. iv pdpSw. Exactly as in 1 Sam. xvii. 43, <rv epx?7 ** ty* 

iv pd/iSw /<at Ai#ois ; and 2 Sam. vii. 14, eXey^w avTOv iv paj38u) 

kcu iv d^ats: where the iv means 'accompanied by' or 'pro- 
vided with.' Cf. Heb. ix. 25, iv a'pn dAAorpiw. 'To lift up 
his hand with a sling-stone,' iirapat x € W a * v Xt#o> o-^evSoV^s 
(Ecclus. xlvii. 5). Abbott (Johan. Gr. 2332) gives examples 
from papyri. The idea of environment easily passes into that 
of equipment. Cf. Stat. Theb. iv. 221, Gravi metnendus in hasta ; 
and Ennius, levesque sequuntur in hasta. The rod is that of 
spiritual rebuke and discipline; cf. ou ( (2 Cor. xiii. 3). 
It is strange that any one should contend, even for controversial 
purposes, such as defence of the temporal power, that a literal 

* See Regnttm Dei, the Bampton Lectures for 1901, pp. 47-61, in wmcn 
St Paul's views of the Kingdom are examined in detail. 


rod is meant. But cf. Tarquini, Juris eccles. inst. p. 41, 19th ed. 
An allusion to the lictor's rod is not likely.* 

IXGw. Deliberative subjunctive; 'Am I to come?' It is 
possible to make the verb dependent upon OiXere, but it is more 
forcible to keep it independent (AV., RV.). Cf. eVi/xeVw/Atv rfj 
afxapria; (Rom. vi. 1). 

iv aydirr). The preposition here is inevitably iv, and it was 
probably the antithesis with iv ayairrj that led to the expression 
iv pd(38u> here, just as the bear-skin led to Virgil's Horridus in 
faculis, the rest of the line being et pelk Libystidis ursae (Aen. 

v> 37)' 

•jreeufjiaTi tc irpaiJTTjTos. Either 'the Spirit of meekness.' i.e. 

the Holy Spirit, manifested in one of His special gifts or fruits 
(Gal. v. 23), or 'a spirit of meekness,' i.e. a disposition of that 
character (cf. 2 Cor. iv. 13). The latter would be inspired by 
the Holy Spirit (Rom. viii. 5). The absence of the article is 
in favour of the latter here. Contrast to wyeS/m rf}<; aXt}6(.ia% 
(John xiv. 17, xvi. 13) with TrveO/m o-o^i'as (Eph. i. 17), and see 
J. A. Robinson, Ephesians, pp. 38, 39, and the note on irvcv/jia 
ayiwo-vvr)<; (Rom. i. 4). Had the Apostle meant the Holy Spirit, 
he would probably have written iv tw irv. t^s irp. By irpavrr/s is 
meant the opposite of ' harshness ' or ' rudeness.' Trench, Syn. 
§§ xlii., xliii., xcii. ; Westcott on Eph. iv. 2. 

irpavTriTos (ABC 17) rather than TrpaorrjTos (X D E F G P). In Gal. 
v. 23, X joins A B C in favour of vpavTrji. In Eph. iv. 2, NBC 17 sup- 
port TpavT-qs, in 2 Cor. x. 1, X B F G P 17 do so, in Col. iii. 12, X A B C P 
17. Lachmann, following Oecumenius and Calvin, makes iv. 21 the 
beginning of a new paragraph : it is a sharp, decisive dismissal of the 
subject of the crx^o>aTa. 


There is a case of gross immorality among you, and 
your attitude towards it is distressing. Have no fellow- 
ship with such offenders. 

1 It is actually notorious among you that there is a case of 
unchastity of a revolting character, a character so revolting as 
not to occur even among the heathen, that a man should have 
his step-mother as his concubine. 2 And you, with this monstrous 
crime among you, have gone on in your inflated self-complacency, 
when you ought rather to have been overwhelmed with grief, 

* This has been suggested by Dr. E. Hicks, Roman Law in the N.T. 
p. 182. But the rod as a metaphor for correction is common enough (Job 
ix. 34, xxi. 9; Ps. lxxxix. 32 ; Isa. x. 5, etc.). 


that it should have become necessary that the person who was 
guilty of this dreadful offence should be removed from your 
midst. 8 As for my view of it, there must be no uncertainty. 
Although absent in body yet present in spirit, I have already 
pronounced the sentence, which I should have pronounced had 
I been present, on the man who has perpetrated this enormity. 
4 In the Name of our Lord Jesus, when you are all assembled 
in solemn congregation and my spirit is with you armed with 
the effectual power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have given sentence 
that such an offender is to be handed over to Satan for the 
destruction by suffering of the flesh in which he has sinned, so 
that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord. 6 Your 
glorying is not at all to your credit. Do you really not know 
that a very little leaven affects the whole lump of dough ? 7 You 
must entirely cleanse away the old leaven, if you are to be (as, 
of course, as Christians you are) as free from leaven as a new 
lump of dough. You are bound to make this new start for 
many reasons ; and above all, because Christ, our spotless 
Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed, and therefore everything 
which corrupts must be put away. 8 Consequently we should 
keep our feast, not with leaven from our old lives, nor yet 
with leaven of vice and wickedness, but with bread free from 
all leaven, the bread of unsullied innocence and truth. 

9 1 said to you in my letter that you were not to keep 
company with fornicators. 10 I did not exactly mean that you 
were to shun all the fornicators of the non- Christian world, any 
more than all the cheats, or extortioners, or idolaters. That 
would mean that you would have to go out of the world 
altogether. u What I meant was, that you were not to keep 
company with any one who bears the sacred name of Christian 
and yet is given to fornication, or cheating, or idolatry, or 
abusive language, or hard drinking, or extortion; — with such a 
man you must not even share a meal. 12 Of course I did not 
refer to those who are not Christians ; for what right have I to 
sit in judgment on them? I confine my judgments to those 
who are in the Church. 13 Do not you do the same ? Those 
who are outside it we leave to God's judgment. Only one 
practical conclusion is possible. Remove the wicked person 
from among you. 

The Apostle now comes to the second count of his indict 


merit. It is not merely that a particularly flagrant case of 
immorality has occurred. That this should happen at all is 
bad enough. But what makes it far worse is the way in which 
it is taken by the community. Their morbid and frivolous 
self-conceit is untroubled. They have shown no sign of proper 
feeling : still less have they dealt with the case, as they ought 
to have done, by prompt expulsion {vv. 1-5). In view of the 
infectiousness of such evil, they ought to eliminate it, as leaven 
from a Jewish house at the Passover (6, 7) ; for the life of the 
Christian community is a spiritual Passover (8). His previous 
warning has been misunderstood. It means that for grave and 
scandalous sins a Christian must be made to suffer by isolation ; 
and this, in the case in question, must be drastically enforced 


The passage is linked to the section dealing with the a-xto-para 

by the spiritual disorder (to cj)vcri<D$rjvai) which, according to 
St Paul's diagnosis, lies at the root of both evils. Inordinate 
attention to external differences, and indifference to vital 
questions of morality, are both of them the outcome of self- 
satisfied frivolity. But the passage is more obviously linked 
with ch. vi., and especially with the subject of iropveia which 
occupies its last portion (vi. 12-20). 

This indictment, following upon iv. 21 without any con- 
necting particle, bursts upon the readers like a thunder-clap. 

1. *0\us. Not 'commonly' (AV.), but 'actually' (RV.). 
The word means 'altogether,' 'most assuredly,' ' incontrovert- 
ibly'; or, with a negative, 'at all.' Such a thing ought not to 
be heard of at all (exactly as in vi. 7 ; cf. xv. 29), and it is 
matter of common talk : oAcos nulla debebat in vobis audiri scor- 
tatio ; at auditur oXcos (Beng.). 

dKoueTcu iv ujitk. The iv vfj.iv grammatically localizes the 
report, but in effect it localizes the offence : it was among them 
that the rumour was circulating, because in their midst the sin 
was found : ' unchastity is reported [as existing] among you.' 
The report may have reached the Apostle through the same 
channel as that which brought information about the factions 
(i. n), or through Stephanas (xvi. 17). The weight of the 
Apostle's censure falls, not upon the talk about the crime 
within the community, but upon its occurrence, and the failure 
to deal with it. 

Tropica. Illicit sexual intercourse in general. In Rev. xix %, 
as in class. Grk., it means prostitution: in Matt. v. 32, xix. 9 


it is equivalent to /toixe'o, from which it is distinguished Matt. 
xv. 19 and Mark vii. 21 : cf. Hos. iii. 3; Ecclus. xxiii. 23, where 
we have £v iropvua i/jioi^€v6r). 

tea! ToiauTTj. 'And of so monstrous a character as does not 
exist even among the heathen.' The oi8e intensifies iv reus 
Zdi'eo-iv, and aKoverai is not to be understood: 'is not so much 
as named among the Gentiles' (AV.) is wrong, based on a 
wrong reading. Cf. novum crimen et ante hunc diem inauditum 
(Cic. Pro Lig. i. 1) ; and scelus incredibile et praeter hanc unam in 
hac vita inauditum {In Cluent. 6), of Sassia's marriage with her 
son-in-law, Melinus.* 

wore yuvciiKd Tiea too iraTpos ^X eiV ' The placing of nva 
between yvraiVca and 7rarpos throws emphasis on to these two 
words (Blass, Gr. § 80, 2). Chrysostom suggests that St Paul 
uses yvvaiKa tov Trarpos rather than pvrjTpvLav in order to emphasize 
the enormity. More probably, he chooses the language of 
Lev. xviii. 8. The Talmud prescribes stoning for this crime. 
Cf. Amos ii. 7 ; Lev. xviii. 8. The woman was clearly not the 
mother of the offender, and probably (although the use of 
iropveia rather than /xoix^a does not prove this) she was not, at 
the time, the wife of the offender's father. She may have been 
divorced, for divorce was very common, or her husband may 
have been dead. There is little doubt that 2 Cor. vii. 12 
refers to a different matter, and that 6 a&iK->]8zi<> there is net the 
offender's father, but Timothy or the Apostle himself. As 
St Paul here censures the male offender only, the woman was 
probably a heathen, upon whom he pronounces no judgment 
(v. 12). The !x«v implies a permanent union of some kind, 
but perhaps not a formal marriage: cf. John iv. 18. Origen 
speaks of it as a marriage (yd/xos), and lx w ls use d of marriage in 
vii. 2 ; Matt. xiv. 4, etc. In the lowest classes of Roman society 
the legal line between marriage and concubinage was not sharply 

After tOvevw, X s L P, . Syrr. AV. add dvo/tdferai : K'ABCDEFG 
17, Vulg. Copt. Arm. Aeth. omit. 

2. teal uueis. The pronoun is emphatic ; ' you, among whom 
this enormity has taken place and is notorious, you are puffed 
up.' He does not mean that they were puffed up because of this 
outrage, as if it were a fine assertion of Christian freedom, but 
in spite of it. It ought to have humbled them to the dust, and 
yet they still retained their self-satisfied complacency. WE, 
Tisch., Treg. and RV. marg. make this verse interrogative ; ' Are 
ye puffed up ? Did ye not rather mourn ? ' But the words are 

* There is also the case of Callias, who married his wife's mother. 
Andocides (b.c. 400), in his speech on the mysteries, asks whether among 
vhe Greeks such a thing had ever been done before. 


more impressive as the statement of an amazing and shocking 
fact: oi>xi is not always interrogative (x. 29; Luke xii. 51, xiii. 
3, 5, xvi. 30; John ix. 9, xiii. 10, 11). Their morbid self- 
importance, which made them so intolerant of petty wrongs 
(vi. 7), made them very tolerant of deep disgrace. 

eire^craTe. ' Mourned,' as if for one who was dead. 

ivo apflfj. The tva indicates, not the purpose of the mourning, 
but the result of it, contemplated as its normal effect (see on i. 15). 
A proper Christian instinct would have led them to have expelled 
the guilty person in irrepressible horror at his conduct. 

6 to epyoc touto iTpd|as. Qui hoc /acinus patravit (Beza). 
The language is purposely vague, but the context suggests a bad 
meaning : 7rpd£as (not Troiycras) indicates a moral point of view. 
The attitude of the Corinthian Christians towards such conduct 
is probably to be accounted for by traditional Corinthian laxity.* 
It is said that the Rabbis evaded the Mosaic prohibitions of 
such unions (Lev. xx. 11; Deut. xxii. 30) in the case of prose- 
lytes. A proselyte made an entirely new start in life and cut 
off all his former relationships ; therefore incest, in his case, was 
impossible, for he had no relations, near or distant. It is not 
likely that this evasion of the Mosaic Law, if already in exist- 
ence, was known to the Corinthians and had influenced them. 

L has ^a P 9y for & P 6y (XABCDEFGP); andBDEFGLP have 
Troiijcras for ?rpd£as (SAC 17, and other cursives). It is not easy to decide 
in this latter case, and editors are divided. Compare 2 Cor. xii. 21 ; Rom. 
i. 32, ii. 1-3. 

S. e'yw fiev yap. ' For /,' with much emphasis on the pronoun, 
which is in contrast to the preceding v/xets : ' my feelings about 
it are very different from yours.' The y<lp introduces the justifi- 
cation of <W dpOfj, showing what expulsion involves. St Paul 
does not mean that, as the Corinthians have not excommunicated 
the offender, he must inflict a graver penalty : this would be 
punishing the offender for what was the fault of his fellows. He 
is explaining what he has just said about their failing to remove 
the man. No Se follows the /xev : the contrast which fj.ev marks is 
with what goes before (v. 2), not with anything that is to follow. 
The correlation of . . . Se is much less common in N.T. 
than in class. Grk. In some books fxiv does not occur, and in 
several cases it has no Se as here : 1 Thess. ii. 18 ; Rom. vii. 12, 
x. 1, etc. See Blass, Gr. § 77. 12. 

d-Trwi/ tw 0-wp.a-ri. 'Although absent in the body.' Again a 
contrast : ' you, who are on the spot, do nothing ; I, who am far 
away, and might excuse myself on that account, take very serious 
action.' Origen compares Elisha (2 Kings v. 26). 

* What Augustine says of Carthage was still more true of Corinth ; 
circumstrepebat me undique sartago Jlagitiosorum amorum (Con/, iii. 1). 



tw -nvcufAaTi. ' His own spirit,' as in v. 4 : cf. v. 5 and ii. 11. 
In Col. ii. 5 we have a similar utterance, but there <xap£ takes 
the place of o-aj/za. It is the highest constituent element in 
man's nature, and his point of contact with the Spirit of God. 

t]8t] KeVpiKa u>s ■n-apwi' Toy k.t.X. Either, ' have already, as if 
I were present, judged the man ' ; or, ' have already, as if I were 
present, decided with regard to the man'; or, 'have already 
come to a decision, as if I were present : with regard to the 
man,' etc. In the last case, which is perhaps the best, tov . . . 
KaTepyacrd/xevov is governed by 7rapa8ovvau and is repeated in tov 


Before &w4v, D 3 E F G L, AV. insert ws : NABCD'Pl/, Vulg. 
Copt. Aeth. RV. omit. 

4. eV tw o^ofiaTt k.t.X. Here we have choice of four con- 
structions. Either, take lv t<3 dvo/xan with o-waxOivTwv and avv 
ttj with irapahowai, or both with (ruva^SivTwv, or both 
with TrapaSovvai, or ev t<3 ovo/jl. with irapaSovvat. and crvv ry 8vv. 
with o-wa^^eVrajv. If the order of the words is regarded as 
decisive, the first of these will seem to be most natural, and 
it yields good sense. Lightfoot adopts it. The Greek com- 
mentators mostly prefer the second construction, but neither it 
nor the third is as probable as the first and the fourth. It is 
not likely that either crwaxOevrcav or -n-apaSovvai is meant to have 
both qualifications, while the other has none. The fourth con- 
struction is the best of the four. The solemn opening, ev t<3 
ovo/aciti tov KvpLov 'ir/crov, placed first with emphasis, belongs to 
the main verb, the verb which introduces the sentence that is 
pronounced upon the offender, while avv rrj Swd/xei t. K. ^/xwv 'I. 
supplies a coefficient that is essential to the competency of the 
tribunal. The opening words prepare us for a sentence of grave 
import, but we are kept in suspense as to what the sentence will 
be, until the conditions which are to give it validity are described. 
Graviter suspensa manet et vibrat oratio (Beng.). We translate, 
therefore ; ' With regard to the man who has thus perpetrated 
the deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ — you being 
assembled and my spirit with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ 
— to deliver such an one to Satan.' The tov tolovtov is not 
rendered superfluous by the preceding tov . . . KaTepyao-ajxtvov : 
it intimates that the Apostle is prepared to deal in a similar way 
with any similar offender. 

* Evans thinks that Cos wapdsv does not mean 'as if\ were present in the 
body,' but 'as being really present in the spirit.' His spirit had at times 
exceptional power of insight into the state of a church at a distance : ovk ws 
&.tc6<jto\os d\\' u>5 vpo(prjT-qs elwev (Orig. ). 


After 6v6ixaTi t. Kvpiov, B D E F G L P have ijfiQv, and it is probably 
genuine, but X A and other witnesses omit, and it might easily be inserted 
from the next clause. P and some other witnesses omit the second ijfiCLv. 
After first 'I7?<ro0, X D 8 E F G L P, Vulg. Syrr. add Xpurrov : A B D*, Am. 
omit. After second 'Irjcrov, D 3 F L add X/xo-roD : X A B D* P, Vulg. omit, 
AV. inserts ' Christ' in both places ; RV. omits in both. 

5. irapaoouecu t. t. tw laTam. This means solemn expulsion 
from the Church and relegation of the culprit to the region 
outside the commonwealth and covenant (Eph. ii. 11, 12), 
where Satan holds sway. We have the same expression 1 Tim. 
i. 20. It describes a severer aspect of the punishment which 
is termed cupeiv in /te'crou (v. 2) and i£aipeiv i$ v/xujv (v. 13). 
Satan is the apywv tov k6<t/iov tovtov (John xii. 31, xvi. 11), and 
the offender is sent back to his domain ; ut qui auctor fuerat ad 
vitium nequitiae, ipse flagdlum fieret disciplinae (Herv.). St Paul 
calls Satan ' the god of this age ' (2 Cor. iv. 4), an expression 
which occurs nowhere else ; and a Christian, who through his own 
wickedness forfeits the security of being a member of Christ in 
His Church, becomes, like the heathen, exposed to the malignity 
of Satan (1 John v. 19) to an extent that Christians cannot be. 

eis oXeGpok rrjs onpKos. There is no need to choose between 
the two interpretations which have been put upon this expres- 
sion, for they are not mutually exclusive and both are true. 
The sinner was handed over to Satan for the ' mortification of 
the flesh,' i.e. to destroy his sinful lusts ; to <ppovrjpa t?}? o-apKo's 
is Origen's interpretation. This meaning is right, for the punish- 
ment was inflicted with a remedial purpose, both in this case 
and in that of 1 Tim. i. 20 : and the interpretation is in harmony 
with the frequent Pauline sense of adp£ (Rom. viii. 13 and Col. 
iii. 5), as distinct from o-w/jm. But so strong a word as oXeOpos 
implies more than this. ' Unto destruction of the flesh ' includes 
physical suffering, such as follows spiritual judgment on sin 
(xi. 30; Acts v. if., xiii. 11).* The Apostle calls his own 
1 thorn for the flesh' an ayyeAos Saraia (2 Cor. xii. 7 ; cf. Luke 
xiii. r6). We have the same idea in Job, where Jehovah says to 
Satan, 'iSou TrapaScSwpi cot avrov (ii. 6). And in the book of 
Jubilees (x. 2) demons first lead astray, and then blind and kill, 
the grandchildren of Noah. Afterwards Noah is taught by 
angels how to rescue his offspring from the demons. See 
Thackeray, St Paul and Contemporary Jewish Thought, p. 171. 
Here the punishment is for the good, not only of the community, 
but also of the offender, upon whom the suffering inflicted by 
Satan would have a healing effect. 

Iva t6 Trveujjia. The purpose of the suffering is not mere 

* Renan, Godet, and Goudge regard the expression as meaning sentence 
of death by a wasting sickness. Expulsion is not mentioned here ; hence the 
(harp command in v. 13. 


destruction ; it is remedial, ha ao)6fj. Cf. avi-os a-wd^o-erat 
(iii. 15). Here to 77-j/evyua, as the seat of personality, is suggested 
by the context instead of uutos.* As in 2 Cor. vii. 1, to 7nedfjLa 
is used in contrast to 17 <rap£, and as the chief and distinctive 
factor in the constitution of man, but as not per se distinctive of 
a state of grace. Strong measures may be needed in order to 
secure its salvation. See Abbott, The Son of Man, pp. 482, 791. 

iv rfj irjfAepa t. Kupiou. i. 8 ; 2 Cor. i. 14 ; 1 Thess. v. 2, etc. 

It is sometimes assumed that, while the Corinthian Church 
was competent, by itself, to expel an offender (v. 2), it was by 
virtue of the extraordinary power given to St Paul as an Apostle 
that the delivery to Satan was inflicted. There is nothing in the 
passage to prove this ; and the yap in v. 3 rather points the other 
way. Why should St Paul inflict a more severe punishment 
than that which the Corinthian Church ought to have inflicted ? f 

It is still more often assumed that the sequel of this case is 
referred to in 2 Cor. ii. 5-1 1, vii. 12. It is inferred from these 
passages that the Corinthian Church held a meeting such as 
the Apostle prescribes in this chapter, and by a majority (2 Cor. 
ii. 6) passed the sentence of expulsion, whereupon the offender 
was led to repentance ; and that the Corinthians then awaited 
the Apostle's permission to remit the sentence, which permission 
he gives (2 Cor. ii. 10). This view, however, is founded on two 
assumptions, one of which is open to serious question, and the 
other to question which is so serious as to be almost fatal. The 
view assumes that 2 Cor. i.-ix. was written soon after 1 Cor., 
which is very doubtful. It also assumes that 2 Cor. ii. 5-1 1 
and vii. 12 refer to this case of incest, which is very difficult to 
believe. 2 Cor. vii. 12 certainly refers to the same case as 
2 Cor. ii. 5— 11, and the language in vii. 12 is so utterly unsuit- 
able to the case of incest that it is scarcely credible that it can 
refer to it. See Hastings, DB. 1. p. 493, in. p. 711, and iv. 
p. 768; G. H. Rendall, The Epistles to the Corinthians, pp. 63, 
71 ; Goudge, p. 41 ; Plummer on 2 Cor. vii. 12. 

F has avrbv for rbv tqlovtov. After rod Kvplov, X L add 'Irjaou, D adds 
'Irjaov Xpiarou, AFM add ijy.wv '1t]<tov 'KpiffroC : B has simply rod Kvplov, 
which may be the original reading, but rod Kvplov'lrjaov is not improbable ; 
so AV., RV., WH. marg. 

* curb rod KpeLrrovos ovoixauas 8Xov rod avOpwirov o-wqpiav (Orig. ). There 
was no need to add the ipvxv and the o-Qfxa. The penalty is for the good of 
the community as well as of the offender. A shepherd, says Origen, must 
drive out a tainted sheep that would infect the flock. 

t The resemblance of this passage to various forms of magic spells and 
curses is sometimes pointed out. The fundamental difference is this, that all 
such spells and curses aim at serious evil to the persons against whom they 
a;e directed. The Apostle aims at the rescue of the offender from perdition 
Moreover, he desires to rescue the Corinthian Church from grave peril. 


6. Oo KaXoy to Kau'xTjfia ufiuW. ' Not seemly is your boast ' : 
it is ill-timed, and it is discreditable to all who share in it.* 
Where a revolting crime is bringing disgrace and peril to the 
community, there can be no place for boasting. St Paul does 
not mean that the subject of their glorying, the thing they glory 
in {e.g. their enlightenment, or their liberty) is not good ; but 
that in such distressing circumstances overt glorying is very 
unsuitable. As Evans elaborately points out, Kcu'x>y/m is not 
materies gloriandi, but gloriatio (Beza, Beng.), or (more accur- 
ately) gloriatio facta, boasting uttered. f So also in 2 Cor. 
v. 12. 

/juKpa £upj. The fUKpd comes first with emphasis, and hence 
implies an argument a fortiori: if even a little leaven is so 
powerful, if even one unsatisfactory feature may have a septic 
influence in a community, how much more must a scandal of 
this magnitude infect the whole life of the Church. The simile 
of leaven is frequent in the N.T. See Gal. v. 9. Here the 
stress of the argument lies less in the evil example of the offender 
than in the fact that toleration of this conduct implies con- 
currence (Rom. i. 32) and debases the standard of moral 
judgment and instinct. To be indifferent to grave misbehaviour 
is to become partly responsible for it. A subtle atmosphere, 
in which evil readily springs up and is diffused, is the result 
The leaven that was infecting the Corinthian Church was a 
vitiated public opinion. Cf. 2 Thess. iii. 6 ; also the charge of 
Germanicus to his soldiers as to their treatment of insubordinate 
comrades : discedite a contactu, ac dividite turbidos (Tac. Ann. 
i- 43)- 

Both here and in Gal. v. 9 we find the reading doXoi for fvfi6i in D 
with corrumpit in Vulg. and other Latin texts. 

7. 6KKa0dpaTe rr\v it. ^ufATje. A sharp, summary appeal: 'Rid 
yourselves of these infected and infectious remains of your 
unconverted past,' even as a Jewish household, in preparation 
for the Passover, purges the house of all leaven (Exod. xii. 15 f., 
xiii. 7). This was understood as a symbol of moral purification, 
and the search for leaven as symbolizing infectious evil was 
scrupulously minute, e.g. with candles to look into corners and 
mouse-holes for crumbs of leavened bread. Zeph. i. 12 was 
supposed to imply this. The penalty for eating leavened bread 

* Some Latin texts omit the negative, making the statement sarcastic 
(Lucif. Ambrst. and MSS. known to Augustine). The ov may easily have 
been lost owing to the preceding Kvpiov or Xpicrrov. 

t If he had meant materies gloriandi, he would probably have said that 
they had none, qvk lx £Te Kai'XV/ xa - Like ovk iiraivd (xi. 17, 22), oi> Ka\6v 
is a reproachful litotes. 


during the feast was scourging. On compounds with c* see on 
iii. 1 8, and cf. 2 Tim. ii. 21. 

ttji' ■n-aXaiai' luprjv. It was their acquiescing in the scandal 
which revealed the presence of a remnant of heathen corrup- 
tion. The summons to thoroughly purge away all sinful taints 
cuts deep into the corporate and individual conscience. Each 
knows the plague-spot in himself. The verb occurs again 
2 Tim. ii. 21, and nowhere else in N.T. ; also Deut. xxvi. 13. 
With 7raAaiav here cf. ttoAcuos avtfpwTros, Rom. vi. 6 ; Eph. iv. 22 ; 
Col. iii. 9. Ignatius {Magn. 10) says, vTrepdecrOe ovv rrjv kolktjv 
^vfjLTjv tt)v 7ra\aiw0eurav koX €vo£io-a<rav. By the evil leaven which 
has become stale and sour he means Judaism. Note the ovv. 

Iva TJTe viov 4>u'pa(ia. 'That you may be a new lump of 
dough,' i.e. may make a new start in sanctification free from 
old and evil influence.* Cf. olvov viov (Matt. ix. 17), and see 
Trench, Syn. § 60. There is only one ^vpa^a, only one body 
of Christians, just as there is only one loaf (x. 17). See on 
Luke xii. 1 for the evil associations connected with leaven: 
ye'yovcv «k c£#opas airrj ko\ cpOeipu to (fivpafia (Plutarch). See 
Hastings, DB. in. p. 90. 

naGois core a^ujjioi. This is the proper, the ideal condition 
of all Christians. ' Ye are unleavened, having been baptized 
and made a Kaivrj /cruris in Christ (2 Cor. v. 17; Eph. iv. 24; 
Col. iii. 10), and are becoming in fact what you are in principle 
and by profession' (vi. n). St Paul habitually idealizes, 
speaking to Christians as if they were Christians in the fullest 
sense, thus exemplifying Kant's maxim that you should treat a 
man as if he were what you would wish him to be. 

It is utterly wrong to take a^v/xoi literally ; ' ye are without 
leaven,' because (it is assumed) they were at that moment 
keeping the Passover. (1) In the literal sense, <i£v/ios is used 
of things, not of persons. (2) The Corinthian Church consisted 
almost entirely of Gentile Christians. (3) The remark would 
have no point in this context. But the imagery in this passage 
suggests, though it does not prove, that St Paul was writing 
at or near the Passover season (cf. xvi. 8). See Deissmann, 
Light, p. 333. 

Kal yap t6 ircurxa Tjjxwk ctuGtj. Directly, this is the reason 
for the preceding statement ; ' You are a^v/xot, purified from the 
leaven of your old self, by virtue of the death of your Saviour.' 
Indirectly and more broadly, this is a reason for the practical 
summons at the beginning of the verse : 'It is high time for 

* The Vulgate has the curious rendering, ut sitis nova conspersio. This 
rare substantive is found, with the same unexpected meaning, twice in 
Tertullian {Marcion. iv. 24, Vaknt. 31), in the sense of a lump of dough, 
and once in Irenaeus (v. xiv. 2), probably as a translation of <pvpa/xa. 


you to purge out the old leaven ; for the Lamb is already slain 
and your house is not yet fully cleansed : you are late ! ' See 
Deut. xvi. 6; Mark xiv. 12 ; Luke xxii. 7.* The rj/xS)v serves to 
link the Christian antitype to the Jewish type. 

Xpioros. ' Even Christ ' ; last for emphasis, like 6 Kptvwv 
(Rom. ii. 1) and 6 iraTpiapy^s (Heb. vii. 4). The force of the 
Apostle's appeal is in any case obvious, but it gains somewhat 
in point if we suppose him to have in mind the tradition which 
is embodied in the Fourth Gospel, that Christ was crucified on 
the 14th Nisan, the day appointed for the slaying of the paschal 
lamb. We may say that the Pauline tradition, like the Johannine, 
makes the Death of Christ, rather than the Last Supper, the 
antitype of the Passover, but we can hardly claim St Paul as 
a definite witness for the 14th Nisan. t On this difficult subject 
see Sanday, Outlines of the Life of Christ, p. 146 ; Hastings, DB. 
I. p. 411, DCG. 11. 5 ; and the literature there quoted. 

Nor, again, can this passage be claimed as evidence for the 
Christian observance of Easter, although such observance would 
probably be coeval with that of the Lord's Day. As in Mark 
xiv. 12 ; Luke xxii. 7, 11 ; John xviii. 28, 7rao"xa is here used of 
the paschal lamb, not, as commonly, of the paschal supper or 
of the paschal octave. 

iKKaddpare without connecting particle (K* A B D E F G, Vulg. Copt. 
RV.) rather than iKKaddpare otv (S 3 CLP, Aeth. AV.). On still stronger 
evidence, virep vfidv must be omitted after rb irduxo- v/xQv. Cursives have 
iBvdrj for erudri. Did Ignatius (see above) have o!/v in his text ? 

6. wore. With cohortative subjunctive as with imperative, 
see on iii. 21. 

iopTdl^ev. "Our passover-feast is not for a week, but for 
a life-time " (Godet), on 7ras 6 ^poVos eoprijs eori /ccupos tois 
Xpio-navots (Chrys.). The verb occurs nowhere else in N.T., but 
is frequent in LXX. 'lr]<rov<; 6 Xpicrro's eoriv 17 via £vp.r] (Orig.). 

iv JufiTj. See on iv. 2 1 for this use of Iv. 

icaiuag ica! iroiT)pias. Trench, Syn. §11, makes nania the 
vicious principle, Trov-qpia its outward exercise. It is doubtful 
whether this is correct. In LXX both words are used indiffer- 
ently to translate the same Hebrew words, which shows that to 
Hellenists they conveyed ideas not widely distinct. In the 
Vulgate both malitia and nequitia are used to translate both 
words, malitia being used most often for KdKia, and nequitia for 
■n-ovTjpia, for which iniquitas also is used. ' Malice ' may trans- 

* In Mark xiv. 12 the AV. has ' kill the Passover,' with 'sacrifice' in 
the margin ; in Luke xxii. 7, 'kill,' without any alternative ; here 'sacrifice,' 
with 'slay* in the margin : the R.V. has 'sacrifice' in all three places. 

t On the general relation between the two traditions see J. Kaftan, 
Jesus u. Paulus, pp. 59-69. 


late KaKia in most places in the N.T., but not in Matt. vi. 34, 
where Vulg. has malitia (!), nor in Acts viii. 22, where it has 
nequitia. It is noteworthy that pravitas is not used for either 
word. Luke xi. 39 shows that -rroviqpia may mean thoughts or 
purposes of wickedness; cf. Mark vii. 22. The genitives are 
genitives of apposition. 

d£ufiois. Perhaps 'unleavened bread' (AV., RV.) is right, 
with reference to the unleavened cakes eaten at the Passover ; 
kirra rjfxipa<; a£iyza ecW#e (Exod. xii. 15). But a£i>/za is very 
indefinite; 'unleavened elements.' Origen refers this to i. 2. 

eiXiKpictas. The word is a crux as regards etymology, but 
it seems to mean 'transparency,' 'limpid purity,' and hence 

d\T]0eias. In its wider sense, 'rectitude,' 'integrity'; cf. 
xiii. 6; Eph. v. 9; John iii. 21.* 

iopr&fa/xev (SBCFGL, de Vulg.) rather than ioprd^o/Mty (A D E P). 
For TrovTjplas F has iropvelas. 

9. ^EypaiJ/a vfitv Iv tyj einaToXfj. Pursuing the main purpore 
of the passage, viz. to rebuke their indifference respecting moral 
scandal, the Apostle corrects a possible misapprehension of his 
former directions ; or at any rate he shows how what he said 
before would apply in cases more likely to occur than the one 
which has just been discussed. 'I wrote to you in my letter,' 
in the letter which was well known to the Corinthians, a letter 
earlier than our 1 Corinthians and now lost. It is true that 
typaxpa might be an ' epistolary aorist ' (Gal. vi. n ; 1 John ii. 14) 
referring to the letter then being written. But iv rr) cViotoA.^ 
(cf. 2 Cor. vii. 8) must refer to another letter. Rom. xvi. 22; 
Col. iv. 16; 1 Thess. v. 27 are all retrospective, being parts of 
a postscript. In this letter he has not given any direction 
about not keeping company with fornicators ; for a summons 
to expel a member who has contracted an incestuous union 
cannot be regarded as a charge not to associate with fornicators. 
It is evident that here, as in 2 Cor. x. 9f., he is making reference 
to an earlier letter which has not been preserved. So also Atto ; 
non in hac epistola sed altera : and Herveius ; in alia jam epistola. 
Some think that 2 Cor. vi. 14— vii. 1 may be part of the letter 
in question. See notes there and Introduction to 2 Corinthians 
in the Cambridge Greek Testament. Stanley gives two spurious 

* It is possible that these two words are meant to prepare for what 
follows. Perhaps the Apostle saw that there had been some shuffling and 
evasion about the injunction in the former letter. They said that they did 
not understand it, and made that an excuse for ignoring it. How St Paul 
heard of the misinterpretation of his earlier letter we are not told. Zahn 
suggests the Corinthians' letter, of which he finds traces even before vii. 1 
{Introd. to N.T. p. 261). 


letters, one from, the other to, St Paul, which are not of much 
interest, but which have imposed upon the Armenian Church 
(Appendix, p. 591 f.).* 

fxrj (Twava^iyvuaQai. Lit. ' not to mix yourselves up together 
with': ne cemmisceami?ii (Vulg.). This expressive combination 
of two prepositions with the verb occurs again in a similar con- 
nexion 2 Thess. iii. 14; also in the A text of Hos. vii. 8. Cf. 
2 Thess. iii. 6. 

10. ou ■n-ai'Tws. 'Not altogether,' 'not absolutely,' 'not in 
all circumstances.' It limits the prohibition of intercourse with 
fornicators, which does not apply in the case of fornicators who 
are outside the Christian community. The Apostle is not 
repeating the prohibition in another form, which would have 
required /xr/, as before. The ov = ' not, I mean,' or 'I do not 
mean.' The meaning is quite clear. 

tou Koo-fAou tou'tou. ' Of the non-Christian world.' 

?] tois TrXeoyeKTais. ' Or ' here is equivalent to our ' any 
more than.' 

tois irXco^eKTais icat apTra|iv. These form a single class, 
coupled by the single article and the /cat, and separated from 
each of the other classes by 17. This class is that of the 
absolutely selfish, who covet and sometimes seize more than 
their just share of things. They exhibit that amor sui which is 
the note of 'this world,' and which usurps the place of amor 
Dei, until Tr\eove£ia becomes a form of idolatry (Eph. v. 5). 

€i8w\o\dTpcus. In the literal sense; x. 14; 1 John v. 21. 
This is the first appearance of the word (Rev. xxi. 8, xxii. 15), 
which may have been coined by St Paul. In Eph. v. 5 it is used 
in a figurative sense of a worshipper of Mammon. The triplet 
of vices here consists of those which characterize non-Christian 
civilization ; lax morality, greed, and superstition. The last, in 
some form or other, is the inevitable substitute for spiritual 

eire! oKJ>eiXeTe Spa. ' Since in that case you would have to ' ; 
cf. vii. 14. 'Ett£l implies a protasis, which is suppressed by an 
easy ellipse; 'since, were it not so, then,' etc. "Apa introduces 
a subjective sequence, while ovv introduces an objective one. 
Q<£eiA.cTe is in an apodosis, where the idiomatic imperfect marks 

* There is little doubt that a number of the Apostle's letters have perished, 
especially those which he wrote in the early part of his career, when his 
authority was less clearly established, and the value of his words less under- 
stood ; 2 Thess. ii. 2, iii. 17. See Renan, S. Paul, p. 234. 

Ramsay points out the resemblance between this passage (9-13) and 
2 Thessalonians, which guards against misconception of his teaching that 
nad arisen owing to the strong emphasis which he had laid on the coming of 
the Kingdom {Pauline Studies, p. 36). 


the consequence of a state of things that is supposed not to exist ; 
and the aV which is usual in such an apodosis is commonly 
omitted with such verbs as oxpci'AeTc, ISei, xakov rjv, etc. 

€K tou koctjxou eleXOeik. This for most people is impossible ; 
but at Corinth in St Paul's day it was well for Christians to see 
as little of the heathen world as was possible. In x. 27 he does 
not forbid the presence of Christians at private entertainments 
given by heathen, but he implies that they ought not to wish to 
go to them. 

oi> T&vrm (N* A B C D* E F G 17, Vulg.) rather than ical oi5 vivrw 
X s D 3 L P, Arm. Aeth.). The 'yet' in AV. seems to represent kclL ko.1 
&pwa$iv (X* A B C D* F G P 17, Aeth) rather than fj ipva^iv (N 3 D 3 E L, 
Vulg. Syrr. Copt. Arm.), an alteration to conform to 1} on each side. AV. 
has ' or/ RV. ' and.' dxpelkere (K A B* C D E F G L 17, Latt.) rather than 
6<pel\ere (B 3 P, Chrys. Thdrt.), another mistaken correction, the force of 
the imperfect not being seen. 

11. vvv 8c !ypcu|m. 'But, as it is, I wrote' (RV. marg.), not 
' But now I write ' (RV.). The latter is grammatically possible 
and makes good sense, but it is unlikely that Zypaipa. is in v. 9 
historical, of an earlier letter, and here epistolary, of the present 
letter. The vvv is logical, not temporal, ' now you see,' ' now 
you understand ' that the earlier letter meant something different. 
Had the Apostle meant the vvv to be temporal and the verb te 
refer to the present letter, he would have written ypatfuo, as in 
iv. 14. He has stated what the earlier letter did not mean (ov 
7rarT<Ds), and he now very naturally states what it did mean.* 

lav . . . tj. The form of protasis covers all cases that may 
come to light: see on iv. 15. Almost all editors prefer $ to ^ 
before iropvos. 

oeofia^ofieeos. ' Any who bears the name of a brother,' 
though he has forfeited the right to it. He is called a brother, 
but he really is a iro'pvos or, etc. Some early interpreters take 
6vofia(o/ji€vo<; with what follows; 'if any brother be called a 
whoremonger,' or 'be a notorious whoremonger.' The latter 
would require ovo/xao-Tos, and we should have a8e\<po<; tis rather 
than tis d8eA<pos. Evidently dSeX^o? and oVo/xa^o'/zevos are to be 
taken together. He is called a Christian, and he really is a 
disgrace to the name ; that is a reason for shunning him. But if 
he is a Christian and is called some bad name, that is not a 
reason for shunning him : the bad name may be a slander. 

ir\eoy€K-n]s. There is no good ground for supposing that, 
either here, or in v. 10, or anywhere else, irXcove'/cr^s means 
'sensual' (see on Eph. iv. 19). The desire which it implies is 
the desire for possessions, greed, grasping after what does not 
belong to one. 

* Abbott, Johan. Gr. 2691, gives other examples. 


ci8(o\o\(£Tpr]s. Stanley would give this word also the meaning 
of ' sensual.' But there is no improbability in Corinthian converts 
being tainted with idolatry. Origen says that in his time the 
plea that idolatry was a matter of indifference was common 
among Christians serving in the army. Modern experience 
teaches that it is very difficult to extinguish idolatrous practices 
among converts, and Chrysostom may be right in suggesting 
that the Apostle inserts ' idolater ' in his list as a preparation for 
what he is about to say on the subject (viii. 10, x. 7, 14 f.). The 
Corinthians were evidently very lax. 

XoiSopog. Origen notes with what very evil people the A01S0- 
pos is classed : 17X1*015 KaKots tov Aoi'Sopov <rvvqpL6p.r](T€v. The 
word occurs vi. 10, and in LXX in Proverbs and Ecclus., but 
nowhere else. Chrysostom (on vi. 10) says that many in his day 
blamed the Apostle for putting Aot'Sopoi and fxiOvaoi into such 
company. Matt. v. 21, 22; 1 Pet. iii. 9. 

/ie0uo-os. Rom. xiii. 13. In Attic writers applied to women, 
men being called p.e$vaTiKoi, TrapoivtKoi, or irapoivioi. Cf. opryrj 
p.eydXrj ywrj jxiOvao^ (Ecclus. xxvi. 8) ; but elsewhere in LXX it is 
used of men (Ecclus. xix. 1; Prov. xxiii. 21, xxvi. 9). It some- 
times means 'intoxicated' rather than 'given to drink.' The 
p-tdvo-os and the AoiSopos are additions to the first list. 

frrjSe auvtaOUiv. An emphatic intimation of what he means 
by p.r] a-vvavapLiyvvaOai. Cf. Luke xv. 2 ; Gal. ii. 1 2. The 
Apostle is not thinking of Holy Communion, in which case the 
p.7)84 would be quite out of place : he is thinking of social meals ; 
' Do not invite him to your house or accept his invitations.' But, 
as Theodoret points out, a prohibition of this kind would lead to 
the exclusion of the offender from the Lord's Table. Great 
caution is required in applying the Apostle's prohibition to 
modern circumstances, which are commonly not parallel. The 
object here, as in 2 John 10, is twofold : to prevent the spread of 
evil, and to bring offenders to see the error of their ways. In 
any case, what St Paul adds in giving a similar injunction must 
not be forgotten ; kou p.rj u>s l^6p^ v yy&o'Oe, a\\a vovOertLTe ws 
a$e\(f>6v (2 Thess. iii. 15). Clement of Rome (Cor. 14) says of 
the ringleaders of the schism, xP 7 ]°" Teva ' < > ) l Jt - € @ a avTois koto, r-qv 
eixTTrXayxyLav kou yX.vxvTr)Ta tou 77-01770-avTos <7/*Ss, perhaps '.n 
reference to Matt. v. 45, 48. 

vvv (K 8 A B D 3 E F G L P) rather than vwl (N* C D* D 2 ) : the more 

emphatic form might seem to be more suitable. Vulg. Syrr. Copt. Aeth. 
Goth, support -q against i) before w6pvos. For i*T)te, A has fii) and F has 

12. ti y<*P H- 01 T0 "5 «^ w Kpi^eir ; ' For what business of mine 
is it to judge those that are outside? ' Quid enim mihi (Vulg.) ; 
Ad quid mihi (Tert.) ; Quid mea interest (Beza). Gives the 


reason why they ought never to have supposed that he ordered 
them to shun the company of heathen who were fornicators : the 
meaning given in v. 1 1 is the only possible meaning. The phrase 
rovs Qto (i Thess. iv. 12; Col. iv. 5) is of Jewish origin. Jews 
applied it to Gentiles ; our Lord applies it to Jews who are not 
His disciples (Mark iv. n); St Paul applies it to non-Christians, 
whether Jews or Gentiles. In 1 Tim. iii. 7, where he speaks of 
non-Christians judging Christians, he uses ol i^wdtv. The 
expression states a fact, without any insinuation of censure. 
How could they suppose that he claimed jurisdiction over heathen 
and placed a stigma upon them for heathen behaviour ? Epictetus 
(Enchir. 47) tells those who are continent not to be severe upon 
those who are not, or to claim any superiority. 

ouxl tous eo-o) ufxeis Kpi^Te ; tovs ecrw and v/ieU are in emphatic 
juxtaposition : ' Is it not those that are within that you judge ? 
They are your sphere of jurisdiction.' The present tense is 
'axiomatic,' stating what is normal. The proposal to put a 
colon at ovyi and make KpiWe an imperative ('No; judge ye 
those who are within ') is unintelligent. Ovyi is not an answer to 
Ti'; and the sentence is much less telling as a command than as 
a question. Oixt is one of the words which are far more common 
in Paul and Luke than elsewhere in N.T. 

13. 6 0e6s KpiVei. The verb is certainly to be accented as a 
present : it states the normal attribute of God. And the sentence 
is probably categorical ; ' But them that are without God judgeth.' 
This is more forcible than to bring it under the interrogative 
ovyL ; ' Is it not the case that you judge those who are within, 
while God judges those who are without ? ' But WH. and 
Bachmann adopt the latter. 

c|dpaTe tow iro^poc. A quotation from Deut. xvii. 7, bringing 
to a sharp practical conclusion the discussion about the treat- 
ment of 7ropveia, and at the same time giving a final rebuke to 
them for their indifference about the case of incest. The offender 
must be at once expelled. Origen adds that we must not be 
content with expelling the evil man from our society : we must 
take care to expel the evil one (tov irovrjpov) from our hearts. Note 
the double e£: the riddance must be complete. See on iii. 18. 

Vulg. Arm. Copt. Aeth. take Kpivei as a future, ^dpare (X A B C D* 
F G P, Vulg.) rather than kclI efrpdre (D 3 E L), or kcu f^dpare (17). The 
verb occurs nowhere else in N.T., but is very frequent in LXX. 


The Apostle passes on to a third matter for censure, and in 
discussing it he first treats of the evil and its evil occasion (1-8) 


and then, in preparation for what is to follow, points out that 
all unrighteousness is a survival from a bad past which the 
Corinthians ought to have left behind them (9-1 1). 

1-8. The Evil and its Evil Occasion. 

How can you dare to go to law with one another in 
heathen caurts ? If there must be suits, let Christian judge 

1 The subject of judging brings me to another matter. Is it 
possible that, when one of you has a dispute with a fellow- 
Christian, he takes upon himself to bring the dispute before a 
heathen tribunal, instead of bringing it before believers. 2 Or is 
it that you do not know that, at the Last Day, believers will sit 
with Christ to judge the world ? And if the world is to be judged 
hereafter at your bar, are you incompetent to serve in the pettiest 
tribunals? 3 Do not you know that we are to sit in judgment 
on angels? After that, one need hardly mention things of daily 
life. 4 If, then, you have questions of daily life to be decided, 
do you really take heathens, who are of no account to those who 
are in the Church, and set them to judge you ? 6 It is to move 
you to shame that I am speaking like this. Have things come 
to such a pass that, among the whole of you, there is not a single 
person who is competent to arbitrate between one Christian and 
another, but that, on the contrary, Christian goes to law with 
Christian, and that too before unbelievers? 7 Nay, at the very 
outset, there is a terrible defect in your Christianity that you 
have lawsuits at all with one another. Why not rather accept 
injury? Why not rather submit to being deprived? But, so 
far from enduring wrong, what you do is this ; you wrong and 
deprive other people, and those people your fellow-Christians. 

The subject of going to law before heathen tribunals is linked 
to the subject discussed in the previous chapter by the reference 
to the question of judgment (v. 12, 13).* The moral sense of a 
Christian community, which ought to make itself felt in judging 
offenders within its own circle, ought still more to suffice for 

* There may be another link. In v. 10, 11 St Paul twice brackets the 
rdpvos with the irXeoi^Knjs, and he now passes from the one to the other. It 
was desire to have more than one had a right to (ir\eoi>f.£La) which led to this 
litigation in heathen courts. See on Eph. iv. 19. 


settling disputes among its members, without recourse to heathen 
courts, whose judges stand presumably on a lower ethical level 
than Christians. But there is no real argumentative connexion 
with the preceding section. The Apostle has finished two points 
in his indictment, and he now passes on to another. 

The Apostle's principles with regard to secular and heathen 
magistrates are perfectly consistent. In Rom. xiii. he inculcates 
the attitude of a good citizen, which is not only obedience to law, 
but the recognition of the magistrate as God's minister. This 
carries with it submission to the law as administered by the 
courts, and acceptance of the authority of the courts in criminal 
cases. St Paul had had experience of the protection of Roman 
Justice (Acts xviii. 12 f., xxv. 16), and he himself appealed to 
Caesar. But to invoke the courts to decide disputes between 
Christians was quite another matter ; and he lays it down here 
that to do so is a confession of the failure of that justice which 
ought to reign in the Christian Society. ' Obey the criminal 
courts, but do not go out of your way to invoke the civil courts,' 
is a fair, if rough, summary of his teaching. 

1. ToXpa tis ufAwi/. We know nothing of the facts, but it is 
clear from v. 8 that the Apostle has no merely isolated case in 
view : toAjj.<£ grandi verbo notatur laesa majestas Christianorum 
(Beng.); Rom. xv. 18. The word is an argument in itself; 
' How can you dare, endure, bring yourself to ? ' 

irpayfAa. In the forensic sense ; ' a cause for trial,' ' a case,' 
Joseph. Ant. xiv. x. 7. -— 

tok ircpOK. Not 'another' (AV.), but 'his neighbour' (RV.), 
'his fellow' (x. 24, xiv. 17 ; Rom. ii. 1 ; Gal. vi. 4). 

KpLvevQai. Middle ; ' go to law,' ' seek for judgment ' Cf. 
Kptdrjvat (Matt. v. 40 ; Eccles. vi. 10). The question comes 
with increased force after v. 12, 13. ' It is no business of ours 
to judge the heathen : and are we to ask them to judge us?' 

em tw dSiicwe. ' Before the unrighteous.' * The term is 
not meant to imply that there was small chance of getting justice 
in a heathen court ; St Paul's own experience had taught him 
otherwise. The term reflects, not on Roman tribunals, but on 
the pagan world to which they belonged. He perhaps chose the 
word rather than airlo-Tuv, in order to suggest the paradox of 
seeking justice among the unjust. The Rabbis taught that Jews 
must not carry their cases before Gentiles, and we may be sure 

* Augustine {De doct. Christ, iv. 18) seems to have read virb t. dS. He 
has, judicari ab iniqtiis et non apud sanctos. Vulg. has apud with both 
words, as also has Augustine, Enchir. ad Laurent. 78. 


that it was in the Greek majority at Corinth, and not in the 
Jewish minority, that this evil prevailed.* Greeks were fond 01 
litigation, c/uAoSikoi (Arist. Rhet. II. xxiii. 23), and as there were 
no Christian courts they must enter heathen tribunals if they 
wanted to go to law. See Edwards. For «ri see 2 Cor. vii. 14 ; 
Mark xiii. 9 ; Acts xxv. 9. 

Kal ouxl eirl roc dyia^. He does not mean that Christian 
courts ought to be instituted, but that Christian disputants should 
submit to Christian arbitration. 

2. r\ ouk oiScrre. Such conduct was incompatible with prin- 
ciples which ought to be familiar to them. He first asks, 'How 
can you be so presumptuous?' Then, on the supposition 
that this is not the cause of their error, he asks, ' How can 
you be so ignorant ? ' The rj introduces an alternative explana- 
tion. The formula ovk oioWe occurs five times in this chapter 
(2, 3, 9, 16, 19 ; cf. 2 Cor. xiii. 5, etc.). 

01 ayioiToy Koafxoc Kpikouo-ic. Here, no doubt, the verb should 
be accented as a future; contrast v. 13. It is in the Messianic 
Kingdom that the saints will share in Christ's reign over the 
created universe. 'Judge' does not here mean 'condemn,' and 
Hhe world ' does not mean 'the evil world.' It is only from the 
context, as in Acts xiii. 27, that KpiVetv sometimes becomes 
equivalent to KaraKptveiv, and 6 koo-wos frequently is used without 
any idea of moral, i.e. immoral quality; cf. iii. 22. Indeed, it is 
not clear that Kpivovaiv here means ' will pronounce judgment 
upon'; it is perhaps used in the Hebraic sense of 'ruling.' So 
also in Matt. xix. 28. This sense is frequent in Judges (iii. 10, 
x. 2, 3, xii. 9, 11, 13, 14, etc.). Wisd. iii. 8 is parallel ; 'They 
shall judge the nations and have dominion over the peoples ' ; 
also Ecclus. iv. 15. St Paul may have known the Book of 
Wisdom. Cf. the Book of Enoch (cviii. 12), "I will bring forth 
clad in shining light those who have loved My holy Name, and 

1 will seat each on the throne of his honour." The saints are to 
share in the final perfection of the Messianic reign of Christ. 
They themselves are to appear before the Judge (Rom. xiv. 10 ; 

2 Tim. iv. 1) and are then to share His glory (iv. 8 ; Rom. viii. 17 ; 
Dan. vii. 22; Rev. ii. 26, 27, iii. 21, xx. 4). The Apostle's 
eschatology (xv. 21-24) supplies him with the thought of these 
verses. He is certainly not thinking of the time when earthly 
tribunals will be filled with Christian judges.f 

Kal «i iv op.!*' KpiceTai 6 k. The /cat adds a further question, 

* To bring a lawsuit before a court of idolaters was regarded as blas- 
phemy against the Law. 

t Polycarp quotes the question, ' Know we not that the saints shall judge 
the world ? ' as the doctrine of Paul {Phil. 11). 


and presses home the bearing of the preceding question. The 
lv is less easy to explain; 'among you,' 'in your court,' 'in 
your jurisdiction,' may be the meaning. Or we may fall back 
on the instrumental use of cV. Like KpiWe in v. 12, Kpiverai 
expresses what is normal. ' The heathen are to be judged by 
you ; they are in your jurisdiction. How incongruous that you 
should ask to be judged by them ! ' 

dcd£ioi core KpiTTjpiW eXaxiaTwe. ' Are ye unworthy of the 
smallest tribunals ? ' So in RV. marg. Cf. Jas. ii. 6 ; Judg. 
v. 10; Dan. vii. 10, 26; Susann. 49: also p.y epxz<r6u) iirl 
KpiTijpiov kOviKov (Apost. Const, ii. 45). In papyri, 01 «Vi twv 
Kpirrjpiiov means those who preside in tribunals. The meaning 
'case 'or 'cause 'is insufficiently supported. 'Ayd&os is found 
nowhere else in N.T. 

D s E L, AV. omit ij before ovk otSaTt. 

3. The thought of v. 2 is repeated and expanded. To say 
that Christians will judge angels restates 'will judge the world' 
in an extreme form, for the sake of sharpening the contrast. 
"AyyeXot are the highest order of beings under God, yet they are 
creatures and are part of the ko'o>ios. But the members of 
Christ are to be crowned with glory and honour (Ps. viii. 6), and 
are to share in His regal exaltation, which exceeds any angelic 
dignity. He 'judges,' i.e. rules over, angels, and the saints 
share in that rule. The words may mean that the saints are to 
be His assessors in the Day of Judgment, that angels will then 
be judged, and that the saints will take part in sentencing them. 
If so, this must refer to fallen angels, for it is difficult to believe 
that St Paul held that all angels, good and bad, will be judged 
hereafter. But he gives no epithet to angels here, because it is 
not needed for his argument ; indeed, to have said ' fallen angels,' 
or 'evil angels,' would rather have marred his argument. As 
Evans rightly insists, it is the exalted nature of angels that is the 
Apostle's point. ' You are to judge the world. Nay, you are to 
judge, not only men, but angels. Are you unable to settle petty 
disputes among yourselves? ' St Paul's purpose is to emphasize 
the augustness of the 'judging' to which members of Christ are 
called.* To press the statement in such a way as to raise the 
question of the exact nature, scope, or details, of the judgment 
of angels, is to go altogether beyond the Apostle's purpose. 
Thackeray (St Paul and Contemporary Jewish Thought, pp. 152 f.) 
has shown from Jude 6, Wisd. iii. 8, and Enoch xiii.-xvi. that 

* Godet remarks that Paul ne vent pas designer lets ou tels anges ; it veut 
revet tier dans fe'glise le sentiment de sa competence et de sa digniti, en lui 
rappelant que des It res dune nature aussi e'leve'e seront un jour soumis a sa 
jurisdiction. See also Milligan on I Thess. iii. 13, and Findlay here. 


there is nothing in this unique statement to which a Jew of that 
day would not have subscribed. See Abbott, The Son of Man, 
p. 213. 

fiTJ-nye pica-rutd. The yc strengthens the force of the firjri, 
which is that of a condensed question ; ' need I so much as 
mention ? ' Nedum quae ad hujus vitae ustim pertinent (Beza) : 
quanto magis saecularia. The clause may be regarded as part 
of the preceding question (WH.), or as a separate question 
(A V., RV.), or as an appended remark, ' to say nothing at all of 
things of this life ' (Ellicott). The adjective occurs Luke xxi. 34, 
but is not found in LXX, nor earlier than Aristotle. Following 
the well-known difference in N.T. between /3t'os and (wrj (see on 
Luke viii. 43), /Siam/v-d means questions relating to our life on 
earth on its merely human side, or to the resources of life, such 
as food, clothing, property, etc. Philo (Fit. Mos. iii. 18), 71730s 
Tas yStan-tKas xpaas vTT7]peTelv. See Trench, Syn. § xxvii. ; Cremer, 
Lex. p. 272 ; Lightfoot on Ign. Rom. vii. 3. 

MrjTtye is written by different editors as one word, or as two (fJ.Jfri ye), 
or as three. Tregelles is perhaps alone in writing / ti ye. 

4. PiomKo. Kpi-rrjpia. ' Tribunals dealing with worldly 
matters.' The adj. is repeated with emphasis, which is increased 
by its being placed first. That is the surprising thing, that 
Christians should have /Sioan/cd that require litigation. 

p.€f oue. ' Nay but,' or ' Nay rather.' The force of the 
words is either to emphasize the cumulative scandal of having 
such cases at all and of bringing them «ri twv dStWwv, or (if 
KaOi^Tt. is imperative) to advise an alternative course to that 
described in v. 2. 

I6.v exT]T€. This form of protasis (cf. iv. 15) requires a future 
or its equivalent in the apodosis. Here we have an equivalent, 
whether we take KaOL^n as imperative or interrogative. • If you 
must have such things as courts to deal with these petty matters, 
then set,' etc. ; or ' do you set ? ' — ' Is that your way of dealing 
with the matter ? ' It is intolerably forced to put a comma after 
KpiT-qpia, make it an accus. pendens, and take iav tx 7 ? 7 " 6 w ^h T0 ^s 

tous €£ou0ei>T]p,eVou9 £v tt] 6Kic\T)aia. If Ka#i£ere is imperative, 
then these words mean ' those in the Church who are held of no 
account,' i.e. the least esteemed of the Christians. The Apostle 
sarcastically tells them that, so far from there being any excuse 
for resorting to heathen tribunals, any selection of the simplest 
among themselves would be competent to settle their disputes 
about trifles. Let the insignificant decide what is insignificant. 

If »<a0i£€T€ is indicative and the sentence interrogative, then 
these words mean, 'those who, in the Church, are held of no 


account,' viz. the aSi/coi of v . 1. The meaning is the same if the 
sentence is categorical. 

Both constructions are possible, and both make good sense. 
Alford, Edwards, Ellicott, Evans, and Lightfoot give strong 
reasons for preferring the imperative, as AV. In this they 
follow a strong body of authorities ; the Vulgate, Peshito, Coptic, 
and Armenian, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Augustine, Beza, Calvin, 
Estius, Bengel, and Wetstein. To mention only one of the 
arguments used ; — it does seem improbable that St Paul would 
call heathen magistrates ' those who, in the Church, are held ot 
no account.' He has, it is true, spoken of the heathen in 
general (not the magistrates in particular) as BZlkol : but here he 
is speaking of those who preside in the heathen tribunals. And 
if he wanted to speak disparagingly of them, is ' those whom 
Christians despise ' a likely phrase for him to use ? The Vulgate 
renders, contemptibiles qui sunt in ecclesia, illos constituite ad 
judicandum ; but the Greek means contemptos rather than 
contemptibiles. Augustine also has contemptibiles, but he renders 
tovtovs Ka0L^T€, hos collocate* 

Nevertheless, Tischendorf, WH. and the Revisers support a 
considerable number of commentators, from Luther to Schmiedel, 
in punctuating the sentence as a question. It is urged that the 
Apostle, after the reminder of vv. 2, 3, returns to the question of 
v. 1 ; ' Will they, by going outside their own body for justice, 
confess themselves, the appointed judges of angels, to be unfit 
to decide the pettiest arbitrations ? ' f 

We must be content to leave the question open. The 
general sense is clear. The Corinthians were doing a shameful 
thing in going to heathen civil courts to settle disputes between 

irpos evTpoTTTjf ufuv \4y<a. ' I say this to move you to shame ' ; 
see on iv. 14. As in xv. 34, the words refer to what precedes, 
and they suit either of the interpretations given above, either the 
sarcastic command or the reproachful question; but they suit 
the latter somewhat better. Only here, and xv. 34 does 
Ivrpoirrj occur in N.T., but it is not rare in the Psalms. 

5. outus ouk Ivi k.t.X. ' Is there such a total lack among you 
of any wise person ' that you are thus obliged to go outside ? 

* It is evident that Kadlfcre is a word which is more suitable for constitut- 
ing simple Christians as arbitrators than for adopting heathen magistrates, 
already appointed, as judges of Christians. 

t There is yet another way, suggested by J. C. K. Hofmann and 
accepted by Findlay ; ' Well then, as for secular tribunals — if you have men 
that are made of no account in the Church, set these on the bench !' The 
punctuation does not seem to be very probable. 

With the use of ro&rovs here we may compare to6tovs in xvi. 3 and 
tqvtov in 2 Thess. iii. 14. 


Or, ' So is there not found among you one wise person ? ' The 
outojs refers to the condition of things in the Corinthian Church : 
Chrys., Tocravrr} cnrdvL'i dvBpwv crvveTwv Trap' v ; it is now 
commonly admitted that Zvi " is not a contraction from Zveo-Ti, but 
the preposition lv or evt, strengthened by a vigorous accent, like 
€7ri, -rrdpa, and used with an ellipse of the substantive verb " 
(Lightfoot on Gal. iii. 28; J. B. Mayor on Jas. i. 17): translate, 
therefore, 'is not found.' 

SiaKpivai dya jieo-oe tou d8eX<J>oG cujtoG. A highly condensed 
sentence ; ' to decide between his fellow-Christian ' meaning ' to 
act as arbitrator between one fellow-Christian and another.' We 

want dvd /xc'crov dSekfpov koi tov 6.8. avrov, like dvd p.eaov lp.ov koX 

a-ov (Gen. xxiii. 15). J. H. Moulton {Gr. p. 99) suspects a 
corruption in the text, but dictation may account for the ab- 
breviation : tuv a.8e\<f)wv avrov is the simplest conjecture. The 
compound preposition dvd p.(aov is frequent in papyri. As the 
Lord had directed (Matt, xviii. 17), the aggrieved brother ought 
to 'tell it to the Church.'* 

Both here and in xv. 34 there is difference of reading between \ty<o and 
XaXw. Here \eyw (NDEFGLP)istobe preferred to XaXcD (B, with C 
doubtful). tin (XBCLP) rather than ecnv (D E F G). ovdeis <ro<pbs 
(K B C 17, Copt.) rather than ov8e eh ao<p6s (F G P) or <ro4>6s o68e eh (D 3 L) 
or <ro<p6s without oi'Se eh or ov5eh (D* E, Aeth. ). For rov ade\<pov some 
editors conjecture twc &5e\<pui>. 

6. dXXd d8e\<J>os k.t.X. We have the same doubt as that 
respecting /x^nye /Suon/cd {v. 3). This verse may be a con- 
tinuation of the preceding question (WH., RV.), or a separate 
question (AV.), or an appended statement (Ellicott). In the 
last case, dAAd is ' Nay,' ' On the contrary.' 

kcu touto. This is the climax. That there should be dis- 
putes about (3ia>TiKa is bad ; that Christian should go to law 
with Christian is worse ; that Christians should do this before 
unbelievers is worst of all. It is a scandal before the heathen 
world. Cf. Kail tovto (Rom. xiii. iij 3 John 5) and the more 
classical /cat ravra (Heb. xi. 12), of which Wetstein gives 
numerous examples. 

7. fiSr) |iei> ouc ' Nay, verily there is at once,' ' there is to 
begin with, without going any further': pikv ovv, separate, as in 
v. 4, and with no Se to answer to the fxev. 

0X019. ' Altogether,' i.e. no matter what the tribunal may be : 
or 'generally,' 'under any circumstances,' i.e. no matter what 
the result may be. 

firrrifAa. 'A falling short' of spiritual attainment, or of 

* Cicero {Ad Fam. ix. 25) writes to Papirius Paetus, Noli pati litigare 
fratres, et judiciis turpibus conflictari. 


Christian blessings, 'a defect' (RV.), or possibly 'a defeat' 
They have been worsted in the spiritual fight. Origen here 
contrasts rjTTacrOai with vikuv* Cf. Isa. xxxi. 8, ol Se vtavto-KOi 
ecrovrai eU ^tt^/aou In Rom. xi. 12 the meaning seems to be 
1 defeat ' (see note there), and these are the only passages in the 
Bible in which the word occurs. See Field, Otium Norvic. 
iii. 97. 

KpifxciTa. Elsewhere in N.T. the word means 'decrees or 
'judgments,' but here it is almost equivalent to Kpirrjpta (v. 4): 
' matters for judgment,' 'lawsuits.' 

fi£0' cauiw. Literally, 'with your own selves.' It is pos- 
sible that this use of jxtff lavrw for fier a\hq\.uv is deliberate, 
in order to show that in bringing a suit against a fellow-Christian 
they were bringing a suit against themselves, so close was the 
relationship. The solidarity of the Church made such conduct 
suicidal. But the substitution occurs where no such idea can be 
understood (Mark xvi. 3). 

There are passages in M. Aurelius which are very much in 
harmony with these verses. He argues that men are kinsmen, 
and that all wrong-doing is the result of ignorance. Those who 
know better must be patient with those who know not what 
they do in being insolent and malicious. "But I, who have 
seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad 
that it is base (alaxpov), and the nature of him that does the 
wrong, that it is akin to me, not so much by community of 
blood and seed as by community of intelligence and divine 
endowment, — I can neither be injured by any of them, for no 
one can fix on me what is base ; nor can I be angry with one 
who is my kinsman, nor feel hatred against him" (ii. 1). "On 
every occasion a man should say, This comes from God : this 
is from one of the same tribe and family and society, but from 
one who does not know what befits his nature. But I know ; 
therefore I treat him according to the natural law of fellowship 
with kindness and justice" (iii. 11). "With what are you so 
displeased? with the badness of men? Consider the decision, 
that rational beings exist for one another, and that to be patient 
is a part of righteousness, and that men do wrong against their 
will " (iv. 3). 

d8iK6io-0£, airoorepeto-Ge. 'Endure wrong,' 'endure depriva- 
tion.' The verbs are middle, not passive. 

* He says that the man who accepts injury without retaliating vevlKrjicev, 
while the man who brings an action against a fellow-Christian 7]TTarai. He 
is worsted, has lost his cause, by the very fact of entering a law-court. Simil- 
arly, Clem. Alex. Strom, vii. 14, which is a commentary on this section ; 
"To say then that the wronged man goes to law before the wrongdoers is 
nothing else than to say that he desires to retaliate and wishes to do wrong 
to the second in return, which is likewise to do wrong also himself." 


■fjSr) fitv otv (N'ABCD'ELP, Aeth.) ; omit olv (K» D # 17, Vulg. 
Copt. Arm. ). The olv is probably genuine. A omits SXws. The eV before 
ifiiv has very little authority ; est in vobis (Vulg.). 

8. dXXot u/xeis. 'Whereas you, on the contrary.' The em- 
phatic pronoun contrasts their conduct with what is fitting. 
' Not content with refusing to endure wrong (and as Christians 
you ought to be ready to endure it), you yourselves inflict it, 
and that on fellow-Christians ' ; — a climax of unchristian con- 
duct. Matt. v. 39-41 teaches far otherwise; and the substance 
of the Sermon on the Mount would be known to them. The 
sentence is not part of the preceding question.* 

D transposes dSt/eetre and diroo-Tepdre. For tovto, L, Arm., Chrys., 
Thdrt. have ravra, perhaps to cover the two verbs. 

9-11. Unrighteousness in all its forms is a survival from 
a bad past, which the Corinthians ought to have left 
behind them. 

Evil-doers, such as some of you were, cannot enter the 

9 Is this wilfulness on your part, or is it that you do not 
know that wrong-doers will have no share in the Kingdom? 
Do not be led astray by false teachers. No fornicator, idolater, 
adulterer, sensualist, sodomite, 10 thief, cheat, drunkard, reviler, 
or extortioner will have any share in God's Kingdom. n And 
of such vile sort some of you once were. But you washed your 
pollutions away, you were made holy, you were made righteous, 
by sharing in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the 
gift of the Spirit of God. 

These three verses conclude the subject of w. 1-8 by an 
appeal to wider principles, and thus prepare the way for the 
fourth matter of censure (12-20). The connexion with vv. 1-8 
is definite, although not close. The Corinthians have shown 
themselves aSi/cot, in the narrower sense of 'unjust,' by their 
conduct to one another (doWcre, v. 8). They need, however, 
to be reminded that d8i/aa in any sense (see note below) excludes 
a man from the heritage of God's Kingdom. The Apostle goes 
on to specify several forms of dSi/aa which they ought to have 
abandoned, and finally returns to the subject of vopviia. 

* It is remarkable that in six verses we have four cases in which there is 
doubt whether the sentence is interrogative or not ; w. 3, 4, 6, 8. In this 
last case the interrogative is very improbable. See also on v. 13. 


0. tj ouk o"8aT6. See w. 2 and 19. There is an alternative 
implied. ' [Is it from a reckless determination to do as they 
please regardless of the consequences,] or is it from real ignor- 
ance of the consequences ? ' In either case their error is disas- 

aSixoi. The word is suggested by the previous oZikiZtc, and 
this should be marked in translation ; 'ye do wrong' . . . 'wrong- 
doers shall not inherit.' No English version preserves the 
connexion ; nor does the Vulgate, injuriam facitis . . . iniqui : 
but Beza does so, injuriam facitis . . . injustos. Now the word 
takes a wider meaning ; it is wrongdoing of any kind, and not 
the special kind of being unjust in matters of personal rights, 
that is meant ; and here the Apostle passes to a more compre- 
hensive survey of the spiritual state of his readers, and also to 
a Sterner tone : €is Lirtik^v KaraKXeiei ttjv Trapalvtaiv (Chrys.). 
The evil that he has now to deal with is the danger of Gentile 

0€ou pao-iXetaf. When St Paul uses the shorter form, ' God's 
Kingdom' {v. 10, xv. 50; Gal. v. 21), instead of the more usual 
f) jSas. tov ®. (iv. 20 ; Rom. xiv. 1752 Thess. i. 5 ; cf. Eph. v. 5), 
he elsewhere writes /?a?. ©eov. Here ©eov is placed first, in order 
to bring aSi/coi and ®eou into emphatic contrast by juxtaposition : 
' wrong-doers ' are manifestly out of place in 'God's Kingdom.' 
Cf. irpoa-imrov ©cos avOpw-rrov ov \ap./3dvu (Gal. ii. 6). ' To inherit 
the Kingdom of God' is a Jewish thought, in allusion to the 
promise given to Abraham ; but St Paul, in accordance with his 
doctrine of grace, enlarges and spiritualizes the idea of inherit- 
ance. He reminds the Corinthians that, although all Christians 
are heirs, yet heirs may be disinherited. They may disqualify 
themselves. In iv. 20, the Kingdom is regarded as present. 
Here and xv. 50 it is regarded as future. It is both : see 
J. Kaftan, Jesus u. Paulus, p. 24; Dalman, Words, p. 125; 
Abbott, The Son of Man, p. 576. 

Mtj TrXamaGe. See on Luke xxi. 8. The verb is passive, 
' Do not be led astray,' and implies fundamental error.* The 
revisers sometimes correct the 'deceived' of AV. to 'led astray,' 
but here and xv. 33 they retain 'deceived.' The charge is a 
sharper repetition of 7) ouk otSare. Some Jews held that the 
belief in one God sufficed without holiness of life. Judaizers 
may have been teaching in Corinth that faith sufficed.! 

* Origen illustrates thus; "Let no one lead you astray with persuasive 
words, saying that God is merciful, kind, and loving, and ready to forgive 

t Duchesne thinks that there is nothing in 1 or 2 Corinthians " to lead to 
the conclusion that the Apostle's rivals had introduced Judaizing tendencies 
in Corinth" (Early Hist of the Chr. Church, p. 23). That can hardly be 
maintained respecting 2 Corinthians, and is very disputable about this Epistle. 


The order of the ten kinds of offenders is unstudied. He 
enumerates sins which were prevalent at Corinth just as they 
occur to him. Of the first five, three (and perhaps four) deal 
with sinners against purity, while the fifth, 'idolaters,' were 
frequently sinners of the same kind. Of the last five, three are 
sinners against personal property or rights, such as are censured 
in v. 8. All of them are in apposition to dSi/coi, an apposition 
which would seem quite natural to Greeks, who were accustomed 
to regard hiKaioavvt] as the sum-total of virtues (Arist. Eth. JSIic. 
v. i. 15), and therefore doWa as the sum-total of vices {ibid. § 19 : 
see on Luke xiii. 27). Several of these forms of evil are dealt 
with in this Epistle (vv. 13-18, v. 1, 11, viii. 10, x. 14, etc.): 
cf. Rom. i. 27 and iii. 13; Gal. v. 19, 20; 1 Tim. i. 10.* 

For Qeov pao-iXeLav, L, d e f Vulg. have the more usual /9a<r. Geou. D* 
has oi/54 throughout vv. 9, 10. ov /jJdvaoi (NACP 17) rather than ovrt 
fjitd. (B D 3 E L). L P insert 01) before KX-^pofo/j-rjaoviriv at the end of 
v. 10. 

11. kcu TauTa TU'es tjtc. ' And such dreadful things as these 
some of you were.' While the neuter indicates a horror of what 
has been mentioned, the tivcs and the tense lighten the sad 
statement. Not all of them, not even many, but only some, 
*re said to have been guilty ; and it is all a thing of the past 
£f. rjre in Rom. vi. 1 7. 

d\\d. The threefold ' But ' emphasizes strongly the contrast 
between their present state and their past, and the consequent 
demand which their changed moral condition makes upon them. 

dTreXouo-aaGe. Neither 'ye are washed' (AV.), nor 'ye were 
washed' (RV.), nor 'ye washed yourselves' (RV. marg.), but 
' ye washed them away from you,' ' ye washed away your sins ' ; 
exactly as in Acts xxii. 16, the only other place in N.T. in which 

the compound verb OCCUrs ; di/ao-rds fiairT iaai koX airoXovaai Tas 

d/«i/>Ttas trov. Their seeking baptism was their own act, and 
they entered the water as voluntary agents, just as St Paul 
did. Cf. 2 Tim. ii. 21. 

T)Yida9r)T€, e8(,Kcu(o9r|T€. The repetitions of the aorist show 
that these verbs refer to the same event as direXova-aa-Oe. The 

* There is a manifest reproduction of w. 9, 10 in Ign. Eph. 16 ; also in 
Ep. of Polycarp, 5. On the general sense of the two verses see Sanday on 
St Paul's Equivalent for the Kingdom of Heaven, JTS. July 1900, pp. 481 f. 

Aristot. {Eth. Nic. vil. iv. 4) says that people are called fiaXaKot in 
reference to the same things as they are called d«-6Xa<rrot, viz. irepl ras 
criofiariKas dvoXavaeis : Plato [Rep. viii. 556 B) irpbs ijdouds re /cai Xi/irav. 
Origen here gives the word a darker meaning. See Deissmann, Light, p. 150. 
He gives a striking illustration of the list of vices here and elsewhere, derived 
from counters in an ancient game. Each counter had the name of a vice or a 
virtue on it ; and in the specimens in museums the vices greatly preponderate 
(pp. 320 f.). 


crisis, of which their baptism was the concrete embodiment, 
had marked their transition from the rule of self to the service 
of God (consecration), and from the condition of guilty sinners 
to that of pardoned children of God (justification). Neither of 
the verbs here is to be taken in the technical theological sense 
which each of them sometimes bears : cf. dyioi (i. 2) and rj-yiaa-rai 
(vii. 14). Here iSiKaiwOrjTe forms a kind of climax, completing 
the contrast with dSi/coi (v. 9). The new life is viewed here as 
implicit in the first decisive turn to Christ, which again was 
inseparably connected with their baptism. Cf. Rom. vi. 7. 

iv tw o^opiTi t. k. 'I. Xp. As in Acts ii. 38, x. 48 j cf. cts to 
ov., Acts viii. 16, xix. 5. Matt, xxviii. 19 is the only passage in 
which the Trinitarian form is found. See Hastings, DB. 1. 
p. 241 f. This passage is remarkable as being an approach 
to the Trinitarian form, for iv tw nVei'/Aa-ri is coupled with ' in 
the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ,' and rov ®eov is added ; so 
that God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit are all 
mentioned. But it is doubtful whether this verse can be taken 
as evidence of a baptismal formula. Godet certainly goes too 
far in claiming it as implying the use of the threefold Name (see 
on Matt, xxviii. 19). But it is right to take kv tw oVd/Aa™ k.t.A.. 
with all three verbs. Cf. "saved in His Name" (Enoch, xlviii. 7). 

BCP17, Vulg. Copt. Arm. Aeth. insert ij/uav after rod Kvplov: 
S* A D E L omit. It is not easy to decide. NBCD'EP, Vulg. Copt. 
Arm. Aeth. insert JLpiarov after 'Ir/croO : A D 3 L omit. The word is pro- 
bably genuine. In both cases the evidence of C is not clear : there is 
space for the word, but it is not legible. 


Christian freedom is not licentiousness. Our bodies were 
not made for uncliastity. The body is a temple of the 

12 Perhaps I may have said to you at some time ; In all things 
I can do as I like. Very possibly. But not all things that I 
may do do me good. In all things I can do as I like, but I 
shall never allow anything to do as it likes with me. 13 1 am 
not going to let myself be the slave of appetite. It is true that 
the stomach and food were made for one another. Yet the) 
were not made to last for ever : the God who made them will 
put an end to both. But it is not true that the body was made 
for fornication. The body is there to serve the Lord, and the 


Lord is there to have the body for His service : 14 and as God 
raised Him from the dead, so will He also raise us up by His own 
power. 15 Is it that you do not know that your bodies are members 
of Christ? Shall I then take away from Christ members which 
are His and make them members of a harlot ? Away with so 
dreadful a thought ! 16 Or is it that you do not know that the 
union of a man with his harlot makes the two to be one body ? 
I am not exaggerating ; for the Scripture says, The two shall 
become one flesh. 17 But the union of a man with the Lord 
makes the two to be one spirit. 18 Do not stop to parley with 
fornication : turn and fly. In the case of no other sin is such 
grievous injury done to the body as in this case : the fornicator 
sins against his own body. 19 Does that statement surprise you ? 
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, 
who makes His home in you, being sent for that very purpose 
from God ? And, what is more, you are not your own property, 
but God's. He paid a high price for you. Surely you are 
bound to use to His glory the body which He has bought. 

12-20. St Paul now passes to a fourth matter for censure. 
He has already taken occasion, in connexion with a specially 
flagrant case of iropvzia, to blame the lack of moral discipline 
in the community. He now takes up the subject of iropvda 
generally, dealing with it in the light of first principles. The 
sin was prevalent at Corinth {v. g, vii. 2; 2 Cor. xii. 21), and 
was virtually condoned by public opinion in Greece and in 
Rome. Moreover, the Apostle's own teaching as to Christian 
liberty (Rom. v. 20, vi. 14) had been perverted and caricatured, 
not only by opponents (Rom. iii. 8), but also by some 'emanci- 
pated ' Christians at Corinth itself. The latter had made it an 
excuse for licence. He proceeds now to show the real meaning 
and scope of Christian liberty, and in so doing sets forth the 
Christian doctrine of the body as destined for eternal union 
with Christ. 

12. irdi'Ta fxoi lleoTif. These are St Paul's own words (see 
on x. 23). They may have been current among the Corinthians 
as a trite maxim. If so, the Apostle here adopts them as his 
own, adding the considerations which limit their scope. More 
probably they were words he had used, which were well known 
as his, and which had been misused by persons whom he now 
proceeds to warn. Of course, iravra. is not absolute in extent : 


no sane person would maintain that it was meant to cover such 
things as iropvzia and justify 7ravovpytu. It covers, however, a very 
great deal, viz. the whole of that wide range of things which are 
not wrong per se. But within this wide range of things which 
are indifferent, and therefore permissible, there are many things 
which become wrong, and therefore not permissible, in view of 
principles which are now to be explained. 

jioi e£e<rnv. Saepe Paulas prima persona singulari eloquttur, 
quae vim habent gnomes ; in hac praesertim epistola, v. 15, vii. 7, 
viii. 13, x. 23, 29, 30, xiv. n (Beng.). The saying applies to 
all Christians. On its import see J. Kaftan, Jesus u. Paulus, 

pp. 5 1 . 5 2 - 

d\V ou TrrffTa <ru|j.<|>/pei. Liberty is limited by the law of the 

higher expediency, i.e. by reference to the moral or religious life 

of all those who are concerned, viz. the agent and those whom 

his conduct may influence. In this first point the Apostle is 

possibly thinking chiefly of the people influenced.* We have no 

longer any right to do what in itself is innocent, when our doing 

it will have a bad effect on others. Our liberty is abused when 

our use of it causes grave scandal. 

ouk eyw €£oucnao-8r)<Toji.cH uiro tikos. This is the second point ; 
really included in the higher law of expediency, but requiring to 
be stated separately, in order to show that the agent, quite apart 
from those whom his conduct may influence, has to be con- 
sidered. What effect will his action have upon himself? We 
have no longer any right to do what in itself is innocent, when 
experience has proved that our doing it has a bad effect on our- 
selves. Our liberty is abused when our use of it weakens our 
character and lessens our power of self-control. St Paul says 
that, for his part, he ' will not be brought under the power of 
anything.' The ovk is emphatic, and the cyw slightly so, but 
very slightly: the eyu> is rendered almost necessary by the pre- 
ceding [mol. We must beware of using liberty in such a way as 
to lose it, e.g. in becoming slaves to a habit respecting things 
which in themselves are lawful. The rtvos is neuter, being one 
of the izavra. 

The verb (£ov<na£eiv is chosen because of its close connexion 
with e^ea-n through e£owia : it is frequent in LXX, especially in 
Ecclesiastes ; in N.T., vii. 4 and Luke xxii. 25.! This play on 
words cannot be reproduced exactly in English ; perhaps ' I can 
make free with all things, but I shall not let anything make free 

* In x. 23 f., where St Paul again twice quotes his own ir&vra fiot i^ecmv, 
he is certainly thinking chiefly of the people influenced. 

t Nowhere else does the passive occur. But in late Greek the rule that 
only verhs which have an accusative can be used in the passive is not observed. 
See Lightfoot on 5oy/x.a.Tl£ecrO€ (Col. ii. 20). 



with me ' may serve to show the kind of thought : mihi res non 
me rebus subriiittere conor. 

These two verses (12, 13) are a kind of preface to the subject 
of 17-o/jveia, to show that it is not one of those things which may 
or may not be lawful according to circumstances. It is in all 
circumstances wholly outside the scope of Christian liberty, how- 
ever that liberty may be defined. 'While many things are lawful, 
and become wrong only if indulged (like the appetite for food) 
to an extent that is harmful to ourselves or to others, fornication 
is not a legitimate use of the body, but a gross abuse of it, being 
destructive of the purpose for which the body really exists.' 

13. Ta PpwjxaTa . . . toTs ppwp.cKTii'. It is quite possible that 
some of the Corinthians confused what the Apostle here so 
clearly distinguishes, the appetite for food and the craving for 
sensual indulgence. "We have traces of this gross moral con- 
fusion in the Apostolic Letter (Acts xv. 23-29), where things 
wholly diverse are combined, as directions about meats to be 
avoided and a prohibition of fornication " (Lightfoot). The 
Apostles, who framed these regulations, did not regard them as 
on the same plane, but the heathen, for whom they were framed, 
did. St Paul makes the distinction luminously clear. Not only 
are meats made for the belly, but the belly, which is essential to 
physical existence, is made for meats, and cannot exist without 
them. There is absolute correlation between the two, as long as 
earthly life lasts : but no longer, for both of them will eventually 
be done away. When the crw/m ceases to be \\ivyiKov and becomes 
nvevfjiaTiKov (xv. 44), neither the (Spio^ara nor the KoiAia will have 
any further function, and therefore ' God will bring to nought ' 
both of them. 

rb he o-cofjia ou ttj Tropyeia. No such relation exists between 
the o-w/ia and iropveia as between the Koikia and fipwp.a.Ta. The 
supposed parallel breaks down in two essential particulars. 
(1) The crw/xa was not made for iropveia, but for the Lord, in 
order to be a member of Christ, who lived and died to redeem 
it. (2) The crw/na is not, like the KoiAia, to be brought to nought, 
but to be transformed and glorified (Phil. iii. 21). 'The 'bodv' 
is contrasted with 'flesh and blood' (xv. 37, 50), and the KoiXia 
belongs to the latter, and has only a temporal purpose, whereas 
the ' body ' has an eternal purpose. So far, therefore, from 
■n-opvda standing to the body in the same relation as meats to the 
belly, it fatally conflicts with the body's essential destiny, which 
is membership with Christ. 

It is possible that in selecting the relation between appetite 
and food as a contrast to Tropveia St Paul is indirectly discourag- 
ing Judaistic distinctions of meats, or ascetic prohibitions of flesh 


and wine. No kind of food is forbidden to the Christian. But 
even if there had been no Judaizers at work in Corinth, and no 
tendency towards asceticism, he would probably have selected 
the relation between /3pwp.ara and /coiAta for his purpose. The 
argument is still used, " If I may gratify one bodily appetite, 
why may I not gratify another? Naturalia non sunt turpia. 
Omnia munda mundis." 

koI 6 Ku'pios tw arajfj.aTi. A startling assertion of perfect corre- 
lation : quanta dignatio t (Beng.). The Son of God, 'sent in the 
likeness of sinful flesh,' has His purpose and destiny, viz. to 
dwell in and glorify the body (Rom. viii. 23) which is united 
with Him through the Spirit {v. 17); and it is lawful to say that 
He is for it as well as it for Him. 

14. 6 8e 0e6s. This is parallel to 6 Se ®eos in v. 13, and puts 
the contrast between the two cases in a very marked way. In 
the case of the KoCkLa., and the fipw/jLara to which it is related, 
God will reduce both of them to nothingness. In the case of 
the aw/la, and the Ku'pios to which it is related, God has raised 
the Kuptos, and will raise up the <rwfj.a of every one who is a 
member of Him. The contrast between the two cases is com- 
plete. On the other hand, the close relationship between the 
Lord and all true Christians is shown by the doubled conjunc- 
tion ; Koi tov Kvpiov . . . kou 17/Aas. See Sanday (The Life of 
Christ in Recent Research, p. 132) on the view that it was St Paul 
who deified Christ. 

The change from the simple (r/yeipev) to the compound verb 
(l&yepei) has perhaps little meaning. In late Greek, compounds 
do not always have any additional force, and the difference is 
not greater than that between 'raise' and 'raise up.' The com- 
pound may be used to mark the future raising as not less sure 
than the one which is past, and it is well to mark the difference, 
as RV. does. AV., with ' raise up ' for both, ignores the change, 
as does Vulg., suscitavit . . . suscitabit, and Iren. int. (v. vi. 2). 
The compound occurs only here and Rom. ix. 17 in N.T. ; in 
LXX it is very frequent. See on l^aTraTaroi, iii. 18. 

8td rrjs Su^djAecus auTou. This may qualify both verbs, but is 
more appropriate to e|eye/j«. There was need to remind the 
Corinthians of God's power, in order to confirm their belief in 
their own future resurrection (xv. 12); but no one who believed 
that Christ had been raised needed to be reminded of that : cf. 
Matt. xxii. 29. It is worth observing that St Paul does not take 
any account of 'the quick' who will not need to be raised. 
Contrast xv. 51 ; 1 Thess. iv. 15 f. ; Rom. viii. 11. 

e£eyepe? (X C D 8 E K L, Vulg. Syrr. Copt. Aeth. ) is probably to be pre- 
ferred to e£eyelpei (A D* Q, d e suscitat), or to e^rjyeipev (B, Am. suscitavit). 
ei-eyeipti (P) may be regarded as supporting either of the first two, of which 


t^eyeipei may be safely set aside. It is possible that B has preserved the 
original reading, for no intelligent copyist would alter e^eyepel into ettfyeipev, 
but an unintelligent one might assimilate the second verb to the first. If 
i^-fjyeipev is regarded as original it may be explained as referring to spiritual 
resurrection to newness of life, or possibly as referring to our resurrection as 
comprised potentially in that of Christ : ' God both raised the Lord and (by so 
doing) raised up us.' But it is unlikely that the Apostle would have obscured 
the certainty of the future resurrection of the body by using language which 
would have encouraged Hymenseus and Philetus (2 Tim. ii. 17, 18). Qui 
dotninum suscitavit, et nos suscitabit (Tert. Marc. v. 7). 

15. ouk otBcrre k.t.X. He presses home the principle that ' the 
body is for the Lord.' By virtue of that principle every Christian, 
and every one of his members, is a member of Christ. The 
higher heathen view was that man's body is in common with the 
brutes, to o-w/xa. koivov irpos ra £aia, and only his reason and 
intelligence in common with the gods (Epict. Dissert. 1. iii. 1) ; 
but the Christian view is to crwfia fik\o% tov Xpia-rov* Epictetus 
speaks of both God and gods, and in popular language calls God 
'Zeus.' In this chapter he speaks of" God as the father of men 
and gods ; but, at the best, he falls far short of Christian Theism. 
The Christian view, which first appears here, is developed in 
another connexion in xii. and in Rom. xii. See also Eph. iv. 15, 
16, v. 30. 

apas ouV. The AV. misses a point in translating, 'Shall I 
then take the members of Christ ? ' The RV. has, ' Shall I then 
take away the members of Christ?' Atpeiv is not simply, 'to 
take,' which is Xafifidveiv, but either ' to take up,' ' raise ' (Acts 
xxvii. 17), or 'to take away' (v. 2 ; Eph. iv. 31 ; Col. ii. 14; and 
nowhere else in Paul). The verb is very common in Gospels 
and Acts ; elsewhere rare in N.T. The Apostle assumes that 
union with a harlot, unlike union with a lawful wife, robs Christ 
of members which belong to Him. Union with Christ attaches 
to our body through the spirit (v. 17), and sin is apostasy from 
the spiritual union with Christ. This is true of all sin, but 
7ropv€ia is a peculiarly direct blow at the principle to <rG>fia tw 
Kupto). Quantum fiagitium est, corpus nostrum a sacra ilia con- 
junction abreptum ad res Christo indignas transferri (Calv.). As 
Augustine remarks {De Civ. Dei xxi. 25), "they cannot be at 
once the members of Christ and the members of a harlot." 

■n-oirjo-w. It is impossible and unimportant to decide whether 
■Koirjo-io is deliberative subjunctive ('Am I to take away . . . and 
make?') or future indicative ('Shall I take away?' etc.). The two 
aorists would mark two aspects, simultaneous in effect, of one and 
the same act. But the future harmonizes better with fir) yevoiTo. 
AV., RV., Alford, Edwards, Ellicott, B. Weiss prefer the future. 

* Origen says, fifKr) r6re ylverau. Xpiarov, Sre travTa Kara rbv avrou \6yov 



fif] y^oito. Like ovk olSare, this expression of strong dissent 
is frequent in this group of the Pauline Epistles (Romans, ten 
times ; Galatians, twice ; and here). Elsewhere in N.T., Luke 
xx. 1 6. It is rare in LXX, and never stands as an independent 
sentence: Gen. xliv. 7, 17; Josh. xxii. 29, xxiv. 16; 1 Kings xx. 
[xxi.] 3. It is one of several translations of the same Hebrew, 
another of which is iXews (1 Chron. xi. 19 ; 2 Sam. xx. 20 ; Matt, 
xvi. 22). Neither /xrj yeWro nor tXews is confined to Jewish and 
Christian writings : the former is frequent in Arrian, the latter is 
found in inscriptions. In Horn. Od. vii. 316 we have p.r\ tovto 
<f>i\ov Att irarpl ye'voiro, of detaining Ulysses against his wish. 
Cf. Di meliora. Here it expresses horror. 

After t& fftitfiara there is the common confusion between v/uu>v (X s BCD 
E F G K L P, Latt. ) and iuuuv (N* A). Spa (P and a few cursives) or 1) 
(F G) cannot be regarded as more probable than dpas (NABCDE, etc.) ; 
yet Baljon adopts it : &pas has much force, not only in marking the grievous 
wrong done to Christ, but also in showing the voluntary, and even deliberate, 
character of the act. 

16. t] ouk oiSciTe. Again (v. 2) we have this reproachful 
question. The Apostle proceeds to corroborate the ttoltJo-w 
Tropvrjs fx.i\r) of v. 15. 

6 fcoMwfiei'os. The word may come from irpoo-KoWaa-Oai in 
Gen. ii. 24, as in Eph. v. 31, or possibly from Ecclus. xix. 2, 6 
KoXXw/xevo? 7r6pj/cus ToXfiTjporepo'i earTai. Both the simple and the 
compound verb are frequent in LXX ; in N.T. the compound is 
very rare. In both, only the passive, with reflective sense, is 
found. In N.T. the usual construction is the simple dat., as 
here. In LXX the constr. varies greatly, and there (2 Kings 
xviii. 6 ; cf. Ecclus. ii. 3) we have KoWaaOai r<Z Kvpi<a, as here, to 
express loyal and permanent adherence, resulting in complete 
spiritual union. This is placed in marked contrast to the 
temporary physical union which is so monstrous. The verb is 
frequent in Ep. Barnabas (ix. 9, x. n, xix. 2, 6, xx. 2). 

eo-orrai ydp, ^naif, 01 8uo eis a- (a. The subject to be under- 
stood with <pr)criv must always depend upon the context. The 
word may introduce the objection of an opponent (2 Cor. x. 10). 
In Heb. viii. 5 we must understand ' God.' Here we may do 
the same, or (what amounts to the same) supply rj ypacprj. The 
€1777; in xv. 27, and the Xe'yct in 2 Cor. vi. 2, and Gal. iii. 16, and 
Eph. iv. 8, are similar. In each case there is divine authority 
for the statement. The quotation is direct from the LXX, 
which has 01 8vo, as in Matt. xix. 5 ; Mark x. 8; Eph. v. 31, 
although it is not in the original. For etvat cts = yiV€o-0ai there 
is perhaps no exact parallel in N.T., although the expression is 
frequent; xiv. 22 ; 2 Cor. vi. 18 : Eph. i. 12; Heb. i. 5, viii. 10; 
etc. In most of these cases tls may mean 'to serve as.' It is 


manifest that here no distinction is to be drawn between aHfia 
and crdp$. 

18. 4>eu'Y6T€ rr]v iroprciW ' Do not stop to dispute about it : 
make a practice (pres. imperat.) of flying at once.' So also of 
idolatry, which was so closely allied with impurity, x. 14. The 
asyndeton marks the urgency. Cf. 1 Thess. iv. 3. 

irav dfjidpTTjfjia k.t.X. The difficulty of this passage lies in the 
distinction drawn between cVros t. aw/xaros, the predicate of 
'every sin that a man doeth,' and «ts r- iStov <rw/xa, as marking the 
distinctive sin of the fornicator. Commentators differ greatly 
as to the explanation of eVros t. aw/xaros, which is the specially 
difficult expression. But the general meaning of vv. 13b-] 8 is 
plain. The body has an eternal destiny, to awfia tw Kvpiw. 
Fornication takes the body away from the Lord and robs it of its 
glorious future, of which the presence of the Spirit is the present 
guarantee (cf. Rom. viii. 9-1 1). In v. 18 we have the sharply 
cut practical issue, ' Flee fornication.' Clearly the words that 
follow are meant to strengthen the severitas cum fastidio of the 
abrupt imperative : they are not an anti-climax. Any exegesis 
which fails to satisfy this elementary requirement may be set 
aside ; and for this reason the explanations of Evans, Meyer, 
and Heinrici may be passed over. 

It is obvious that €kto's and €ts are related as opposites. The 
meaning of either will help to determine the meaning of the 
other; and the meaning of eis r. iSiov o-ai/m a/jLapTavti is fairly 
certain. For apaprdveiv €is, by the common usage of secular and 
Biblical Greek, means ' to sin against.' It cannot mean ' sin in, 
or ' sin by means of,' or ' involve in sin.' What then does ' to 
sin against one's own body' mean? The axiom, to <rw/.ia t<2 
Kuptw, kgu 6 Kvpto<s t<3 o-<i>p.a.Ti, answers this question. To sin 
against one's own body is to defraud it of its part in Christ, to cut 
it off from its eternal destiny. This is what fornication does in a 
unique degree.* While fornication is €is to iSiov cr., other sins 
are cktos tov <r. The one phrase is the opposite of the other. 
What St Paul asserts of fornication he denies of every other 

In what sense does he deny of all other sins that they are sins 
against a man's own body? If pressed and made absolute, the 
denial becomes a paradox. He has just told us (vv. 9, 10) that 

* Alford puts a similar view somewhat differently. The Apostle's 
assertion " is strictly true. Drunkenness and gluttony are sins done in and by 
the body, and are sins by abuse of the body, but they are introduced from with- 
out, sinful in their effect, which effect it is each man's duty to foresee and avoid. 
But fornication is the alienating that body which is the Lord's, and making 
it a harlot's body ; it is not an effect on their body from participation of things 
without, but a contradiction of the truth of the body, wrought within itself." 


there are many sins which exclude their doer from the Kingdom, 
and which therefore deprive the body of its future life in Christ. 
Obviously, he is here speaking relatively, and by way of com- 
parison. All other sins are eVros rov o\, in the sense that they 
do not, as directly as fornication does, alienate the body from 
Christ, its Life and its Goal. 

This explanation gains in clearness if we compare the words 
of our Lord (Matt. xii. 31), rraa-a a/xapTia. kcu j3\aa(p7]p.ia dc^etf//- 
o"€tcu tois avOpwTTOis' 7] 8e tov Hvev/jLaTos /3\a(r<pr)iXLa ovk dc^e^o-erai, 
k.t.A. There too the language may be comparative. We know 
abundantly from Scripture that there is forgiveness for every 
sin, if rightly sought. In the first clause the Saviour does not 
proclaim an absolute indiscriminate amnesty for every other sin : 
any sin, unrepented and unabsolved, is an alwviov a/xapTrj/jua 
(Mark iii. 29). Neither clause is to be pressed beyond its purpose 
to an absolute sense. But sin against the Spirit is so incom- 
parably less pardonable than any other, that, by comparison with 
it, they may be regarded as venial. He who sins against the 
Spirit is erecting a barrier, insuperable to a unique degree, against 
his own forgiveness. In like manner, the words cktos tov <t. 
ia-Ti are not absolutely nor unconditionally predicated of ' every 
sin which a man doeth ' : * they merely assert that other sins 
" stop short of the baleful import of sensual sin " with its direct 
onslaught on the dominant principle, to crw/xa tu Kvpiw. Cf. 
Hos. vi. 6, ' I will have mercy, and not sacrifice,' which does not 
mean that sacrifice is forbidden, but that mercy is greatly 
superior. Luke x. 20, xiv. 12, 13, xxiii. 28 are similar. Cf. ix. 
10, x. 24, 33. 

19. f\ ouk o!8aT6. • Or, if you cannot see that unchastity is a 
sin against your own body, are you ignorant that the body of 
each of you is a sanctuary (John ii. 21) of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 
viii. 1 1 ; 2 Cor. vi. 16 ; 2 Tim. i. 14) ? ' What in iii. 16 he stated 
of the Christian community as a whole, he here states of every 
member of it. In each case he appeals to facts which ought to 
be well known, as in vv. 2, 3, 9, 15, 16, v. 6, ix. 13, 24; Rom. 
vi. 19, xi. 2. Excepting Jas. iv. 4, the expression is peculiar to 
these Epistles. Note the emphatic position of dytov : ' it is a Spirit 
that is holy that is in you.' In the temple of Aphrodite at 
Corinth, Tropvda. was regarded as cojisecration : the Corinthians 
are here told that it is a monstrous desecration (Findlay). 
Epictetus (Dis. ii. 8) says, " Wretch, you are carrying God with 
you, and you know it not. Do you think I mean some god of 
silver or gold ? You carry Him within yourself, and perceive not 
that you are polluting Him by impure thoughts and dirty deeds." 

* On e&v in relative sentences see Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 201 f. 


ou €X6T6 &tt6 0. The relative is attracted out of its own case, 
as often. Not content with emphasizing ' holy,' he gives further 
emphasis to the preceding plea by pointing out that the in- 
dwelling Spirit is a gift direct from God Himself. Such a Spirit 
cannot dwell in a polluted sanctuary. Ep. of Barnabas iv. n, 
vi. 15. 

For t6 ffu>/j.a, A 2 L 17, Copt. Arm. have to. adifiaTa, and Vulg. has 

kou ouk ecn-e eauTwc ' I spoke of your body ; but in truth the 
Oody is not your own to do as you please with it, any more than 
the Spirit is your own. You have no right of property in either 
case. Indeed, your whole personality is not your own property, 
for God bought you with the life-blood of His Son.' Acts xx. 28 ; 
Rom. xiv. 8. Epictetus again has a remarkable parallel; "If 
you were a statue of Phidias, you would think both of yourself 
and of the artist, and you would try to do nothing unworthy of 
him who made you, or of yourself. But now, because Zeus has 
made you, for this reason you do not care how you shall appear. 
And yet, is the artist in the one case like the artist in the other? 
or the work in the one case like the other?" See Long's 
translation and notes, i. pp. 156, 157, 288. 

20. T|Yopaa0T]Tc yap i\.^\%. This ' buying with a price,' which 
causes a change of ownership, is a different metaphor from 
' paying a ransom ' (Xvrpov, di'Ti'Atrrpoi' : Airrpwo"is, d7roAu'rp(oo-is), 
which causes freedom. There is no need to state the price; 
ovk dpyupi'o) 17 xpvaiw, dXAu rifxcu) al/xaTL (1 Pet. i. 19, where see 
Hort). The Vulgate has pretio only in vii. 23, but here has 
pretio magno, and the epithet weakens the effect. And there is 
no person from whom we are ' bought ' (Abbott, The Son of 
Man, p. 702). 

So£d<jaT€ 8tj t. 0. iv t. cwfjiaTi up.. As in v. 18, we have a 
sharp practical injunction which carries us a great deal further, 
and this same injunction is given in still more comprehensive 
terms to close the question about partaking of idol-meats (x. 31). 
Habitually to keep the body free from unchastity is imperative; 
but we must do more than that. Seeing that we belong, not to 
ourselves, but to God, we must use the body, in which He has 
placed His Spirit, to His glory. This verse goes far beyond the 
negative injunction in v. 18, and hence the 8rj enforcing the 
imperative, as in Acts xiii. 2; Luke ii. 15; Judith xiii. 11, 
*Avoi£aT€, avoi^are St/ tt)i' irv\yfv: Horn. Od. xx. 18, TeVAu^i S77, 
KpaoYr/. The 'Therefore' of AV. and RV. is not quite right ; 
'therefore' would be ow, as in x. 31 : 'Be sure to glorify,' '/ 
urge you to glorify ' is the force of the particle used here. 



N*, d e Copt, omit 5?}. Vulg., Tert. Cypr. Lucif. Ambrst. have 
glorificate (or clarificate) el portate (or tollite) deum (or dominum) in corpore 
vestro. Lightfoot suggests that portate (or tollite) may have arisen from a 
reading dpaye (Matt. vii. 20, xvii. 26 ; Acts xvii. 27 ?) which was confused 
with dpare. Marcion read So^daart &pare rbv Qebv, which may be mere 
dittography, or from &pa 8t = &pa 8$ (Nestle, p. 307). Methodius read &pd 
ye So^daare, omitting 5^. Chrys. seems to have read So^dtrare 8tj &pa rbv 

The addition ko.1 iv r<£ irvei^ari vfiQv Unvd evriv rod Qeov (C s D 2 D s 
K L P, Syrr. AV.) is rejected by all editors. The words are wanting in 
all the best witnesses and are not required for the argument. The Apostle 
is concerned with the sanctity of the body : the spirit is beside the mark. 
Lightfoot thinks that this may possibly be a liturgical insertion, like that 
of the doxology to the Lord's Prayer (Matt. vi. 13) and the baptismal 
formula (Acts viii. 37). But the words do not occur in any liturgy that is 
known to us, and the addition may be due to a wish to make the conclusion 
less abrupt and more complete. 


We here begin the second main division of the Epistle, if the 
Introduction (i. 1-9) is not counted. The Apostle, in a pre- 
amble (1-7), points out that marriage is a contract, and the 
normal relations must be maintained, unless both parties agree 
co suspend them. Ideally, celibacy may be better, but that is not 
for every one. Then (8-40) he gives advice to different classes. 
Superius (v., vi.) locutus fuerat deillicitis ; nunc vero (vii.) loquitur 
de Ileitis (Atto). 

VII. 1-7. Celibacy is Good, but Marriage is Natural. 

As yon ask vie, I prefer my own unmarried condition ; 
but for most of you it is safer to marry, and let husband and 
wife observe conjugal duty to one another. 

1 But now, as to the questions raised in your letter to me. 
Continence, as you suggest, is doubtless an excellent thing. 
2 But this ideal state is not for every one, and, as temptation is 
inevitable, and abounds at Corinth, the right remedy is that 
each man should have a wife of his own, and each woman a 
husband of her own. 8 And the marriage should be complete, 
each side always rendering to the other what is due. 4 A married 
woman cannot do as she likes respecting her own person ; it is 
her husband's. And in the same manner his rights are limited 
by hers. 6 Abandon the attempt to combine celibacy with 


matrimony. When both agree to it, continence for a limited 
time may be a good thing, if you have the intention of devoting 
yourselves the better to prayer, and then coming together again. 
If the time is not limited, you will be giving Satan a permanent 
opportunity of using your incontinence to your ruin. a But I 
give this advice rather by way of permission and indulgence 
than of injunction and command. 7 Still, my own personal 
preference would be that all men should remain unmarried, as I 
do myself. But people differ, and God's gifts differ, and each 
must act as God's gift directs him. 

It is clear from the words with which this section opens that 
the discussion of the questions which were raised in the letter 
sent by the Corinthians begins here. In the remaining chapters 
(vii.-xvi.) we cannot always be sure whether he is referring to 
their letter or writing independently of it : but in the first six 
chapters there are no answers to questions asked by them. 
With regard to the questions discussed here, it is likely enough 
that every one of them had been asked in the letter. The 
Apostle does not write a tract on marriage ; it would, no doubt, 
have been different if he had done so. He takes, without much 
logical arrangement, and perhaps just in the order in which they 
had been put to him, certain points which, as we can see, might 
easily have caused practical difficulty in such a Church as that 
of Corinth.* In so licentious a city some may easily have 
urged that the only safe thing to do was to abstain from the 
company of women altogether, ywcuKos pr] airrea-Qai, like those 
condemned in 1 Tim. iv. 3. Or they may have maintained that 
at any rate second marriages were wrong, and that separation 
from a heathen partner was necessary. Our Lord's words 
(Matt. xix. n, 12), if they were known to the Corinthians, might 
easily give rise to the belief that marriage was to be discouraged. 
Quite certainly, some forms of heathen philosophy taught this, 
and asceticism was in the air before the Gospel was preached. 
In any case, it is unlikely that disparagement of marriage was a 
special tenet of any one of the four parties at Corinth. No one 
has conjectured this of the Apollos party : but for different 
and very unconvincing reasons different commentators have 
attributed this tenet to one or other of the three parties. Still, 

* On Nietzsche's attack on St Paul, as a man of vicious life, see Weinel, 
St Paul, pp. 85-93. 


some persons at Corinth had raised the question, " Is marriage 
to be allowed?" They had not raised the question, "Is 
marriage to be obligatory?" See Journ. of Th. St., July 1901, 
PP- 5 2 7-538- 

1. riepl Se &v iypd\\iaT£. An elliptical expression (such as is 
common enough) for 7T£pl tovtcdv, a, or -n-epl tovtwv, irepl wv : 
cf. Luke ix. 36; John vii. 31. Bachmann quotes from papyri, 
irepl u>v eypaif/as, /j.e\r)crci fioi. Note that there is no /xot after 
eypai/^a?, and there is probably no fioi here : KB C 17, Am. RV. 
omit. The 6V is perhaps merely transitional ; but it may 
intimate that the subject now to be discussed is in opposition 
to the one which has just been dismissed. He is passing from 
what is always wrong to what is generally lawful. It is putting 
too much meaning into the plural verb to say that we may infer 
from it that the letter was written in the name of the whole 
Church. It is probable that it was so written ; but even if it 
came from only a few of the members, the Apostle would have 
to use the plural. There is nothing to show that the words 
which follow are a quotation from the letter, but they express 
what seems to have been the tone of it. Having in the two 
previous chapters warned the Corinthians against the danger of 
Gentile licentiousness, he here makes a stand against a spirit of 
Gentile asceticism. 

KaXof dv9pwira» yuycuxos fit] SirrecrSai.. ' For a man,' he does 
not say ' for a husband ' (dvSpi). A single life is not wrong ; on 
the contrary, it is laudable, koXov. This he repeats vv. 8 and 
26; cf. v. 6, ix. 15; Gal. iv. 18. He is not dissuading from 
marriage or full married life ; he is contending that celibacy may 
be good.* For those who can bear it, it may be a bracing 
discipline (ix. 24, 27); but not all can bear it. For aVTeo-tfcu see 
Gen. xx. 6 ; Prov. vi. 29 ; and cf. virgo intacta. 

2. SidSeTdsiropcei'as. The plural (Matt. xv. 19 ; Mark vii. 21) 
refers to the notoriously frequent cases at Corinth. Atto 
paraphrases ' Neque enim ita volo prohibere licita, ut per illicita 
errent,' and adds, Not a quia non dicitur, propter propaginem 
filiorum, sed propter fortiicationem. To Christians who believed 
that the end of the world was very near, the necessity of pre- 

* Orthodox Jews were opposed to celibacy, regarding marriage as a duty ; 
but there were some who agreed with St Paul. "Why should I marry?" 
asked Rabbi ben Azai : " I am in love with the law. Let others see to the 
prolongation of the human race" (Renan, p. 397). The second half of 
Ps. cxx. 7 gives the common view. 


servinc: the human race from extinction would not have seemed 
a very strong argument. 

This passage is sometimes criticized as a very low view of 
marriage. But the Apostle is not discussing the characteristics 
of the ideal married life ; he is answering questions put to him 
by Christians who had to live in such a city as Corinth. In a 
society so full of temptations, he advises marriage, not as the 
lesser of two evils, but as a necessary safeguard against evil. So 
far from marriage being wrong, as some Corinthians were 
thinking, it was for very many people a duty. The man who wrote 
Eph. v. 22, 23, 32, 33 had no low view of marriage. 

ficao-Tos • • . £kci(ttt]. This forbids polygamy, which was 
advocated by some Jewish teachers. 

Tip eauTOu yuratica . . . Toy Toiov aeopa. The Apostle seems 
always to use lavrov, ecunw, or avrov (Eph. v. 28, 31, 33) of a 
man's relation to his wife, but iSios (xiv. 35; Eph. v. 22; Tit. 
ii. 5) of a woman's to her husband (1 Thess. iv. 4 is doubtful). 
Does this show that he regarded the husband as the owner and 
the wife as being owned? Rom. xiv. 4 somewhat encourages 
this. But the difference between lavrov and ?Sto? was becoming 
blurred: see J. H. Moulton, Gr. 1. pp. 87 f. ; Deissmann, Bible 
Studies, pp. 122 f. A few texts omit kol Ik6.o-t7} k.t.X. 

t'xcTw. ' Have,' not ' keep,' as is clear from the use of 
avOpuirui and not dvSpi in v. 1, where we should have had r^s 
ywaiKos and not ywcu/co?, if married people were under con- 
sideration. In vv. 12, 13, ex €L cannot mean 'keeps,' and c^eVo) 
does not mean that married people are to continue to live 
together, but that unmarried people are to marry. The im- 
perative is hortatory, not merely permissive. 

3. tj} yukchk! 6 &vr\p. Here he is speaking of married 
persons, and therefore ywaua has the article, and we have dvrjp 
and not avdpwiros. 

tt)v o^eiX^. Not found in LXX, but frequent in papyri in 
the common sense of debt (Matt, xviii. 32 ; Rom. xiii. 7). See 
Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 221. 

aVn-oSiSoTw. Present imperative : the mutual recognition of 
conjugal rights is the normal condition, and it is not the con- 
ferring of a favour (Sio6Va>), but the payment of a debt (a-n- 08186™). 
Cf. the change from Sovvai (the questioners' view) to a-n-oSore 
(Christ's correction) in Matt. xxii. 17, 31. 

tV 6<t>eCK-f,v (KABCDEFGPQ17, Vulg. Copt. Arm. Aeth.) is to 
be preferred to tt)v 6<pei\rifjJvr]v etivoiav (KL, Syrr.), or r. 6<p. Ti/i-qv (Chrys.), 
or t. 6<p. ti/j.7]i> Kal eiivoiav (40), which may have been euphemisms adopted 
in public reading. Or they may be ascetic periphrases to obscure the plain 
meaning of t. 6<p€i\-r)v. Cf. Rom. xiii. 7. 

A, Copt. Arm. omit 5^ before ko.1. 


4. ^ y un 1- ^ 1S probably not in order to mark the equality 
of the sexes that the order is changed : the wife is here men- 
tioned first because she has just been mentioned in the previous 
verse. Equality between the sexes is indicated by using the 
same expression respecting both, thus correcting Jewish and 
Gentile ideas about women. 

toG iSi'ou crojfxaTos ouk fc|ouaid£ei. The words involve, as 
Bengel points out, elegans paradoxon. How can it be one's 
own if one cannot do as one likes with it? See on vi. 12. 
But in wedlock separate ownership of the person ceases. Neither 
party can say to the other, ' Is it not lawful for me (e^ecmV fxoi) 
to do what I will with mine own?' (Matt. xx. 15). By pointing 
out that the aim is to be, not self-gratification, but the fulfilment 
of a duty which each owes to the other, St Paul partly anti- 
cipates the criticism mentioned above. He raises the matter 
from the physical level to the moral. 

5. ja$] diroarepciTe. After what has been stated it is evident 
that refusal amounts to fraud, a withholding what is owed. The 
pres. imperat. may mean that some of the Corinthians, in mis- 
taken zeal, had been doing this; 'cease to defraud.' Three 
conditions are required for lawful abstention : it must be by 
mutual consent, for a good object, and temporary. It is 
analogous to fasting. Even so, the advice is given very tentat- 
ively, el /xrjri av. Temporary abstention for a spiritual purpose 
is advised in O.T. ; Eccles. iii. 5 ; Joel ii. 16 ; Zech. xii. 12-14 : * 
but it is an exception for certain circumstances, not a rule for 
all circumstances : illud sane sciendum quia mundae et sanctae 
sunt nuptiae, quoniam Dei jussu celebrantur (Atto). For «ri to 
auro cf. xi. 20, xiv. 23; Luke xvii. 35; Acts i. 15, ii. 1, 44, 47, 
iv. 26 ; for aKpaaia, Matt, xxiii. 25. Here Sia t^v a.Kp. is probably 
to be taken as co-ordinate with the clause Iva pr] 7r«p., and as 
giving a second aspect of the reason for limiting the time of 
abstention. Aristotle made d/cpaona. a frequent term in Greek 
philosophy ; in the Bible it is very rare. Calvin uses this 
verse as an argument against monasticism : temere faciunt 
qui in perpetuutn renuntiant. To vow perpetual celibacy, 
without certainty of having received the necessary x°-P l(T t ia j is 
to court disaster. Forcing it on the clergy prevents good 
men from taking Orders and causes weak men to break their 

* <rxo\&fciv is very rare in LXX (Ps. xlv. 10), and is nowhere used in 
this sense ; but in class. Grk. it is frequent in the sense of being ' disengaged 
for,' or 'devoted to,' a pursuit or a person. We find a similar idea Exod. 
xix. 15 ; I Sam. xxi. 5 ; 2 Sam. xi. 4. Cf. Tibullus 1. iii. 25. See also 
1 Pet. iii. 7, iv. 7. Sifyti/iwj'os occurs nowhere else in N.T. 


The &v after h fi-qri (or el /xi) tl) is omitted in B and bracketed by \VH. 
Before h? wpoaevxi, KL, Syrr. Goth. Thdrt. insert 7-77 vrjarelq. ko.1 : a 
manifest interpolation similar to Kal vrjardq. in Mark ix. 29, and vqo-Tetiwv 
ical in Acts x. 30. In all three places ascetic ideas seem to have influenced 
copyists, but the evidence differs in the three cases. In Mark ix. 29 the 
words in question are omitted in X B K, a very strong combination. In 
Acts x. 30 the words are wanting in KABC, Vulg. Copt. Arm. Aeth., a 
much stronger combination. Here the evidence against rij v. Kal is over- 
whelming ; N A B C* D* E F G 17, Latt. Copt. Aeth. The case of Matt. 
xvii. 21 is not parallel to these three. The whole verse is an interpolation 
from Mark ix. 29 after that passage had already been corrupted by the 
addition of Kal vrjarda. The practice of fasting has sufficient sanction in 
the N.T. (Matt. iv. 2, vi. 16-18, ix. 15 ; Mark ii. 20 ; Luke v. 35 ; Acts 
xiii. 2, 3, xiv. 23), without introducing it into places where it was not 
mentioned by the original writers, who, moreover, would not have placed 
it on the same level with prayer. Fasting is an occasional discipline, 
prayer an abiding necessity, in the spiritual life. Stanley attributes the 
readings o-xoXd^rrre (KL) for <rxo\day]Te (X A B C D, etc.), and ffwipxeo-Be 
or owtpx-oade (KLP) for 777-e (NABCD, etc.) to ascetic influence : crxoXd- 
fTrre would refer to general habit, ordinary and not extraordinary prayer, 
and T)re refers to what is usual, not exceptional. In commenting on these 
words, Origen makes a remark which is of no small liturgical interest. He 
quotes the case of Ahimelech, who was willing to let David have some of 
the shew-bread, el TncpvXayfie'va ra naiddpid iariv airb yvvaiKos (LXX of 
I Sam. xxi. 4). He assumes ovk olov 8k dirb dXKorptas yvvaiKbs d\X drrb 
ya/J.errjs, and continues, eira Iva fxiv dprovs irpodiaeus \dj3y tis, KaOapbs elvat 
6<pei\ei dirb yvpaixbs' Xva 8e tous fielfovas ttjs irpodiaeus \dj3ri dprovs, i (f> 
Ibv iir iKi KXrjrai rb 6vofxa tov Qeov Kal rod Xpiffrov Kal rod 
'Aylov live 6 par os, ov 7roXX<j5 irKiov 6<peiKei tis elvai Kadapwrepos, iVa 
aXyduis els awrrjplav \dfirj tovs dprovs Kal /xt) els Kpl/xa. From this it is 
evident that "invocation of the name of God and of Christ and of the Holy 
Spirit" over the elements was regarded by Origen as the essential part 
of their consecration. 

This passage is one of the few in N.T. which touch on the private 
devotions of Christians in the Apostolic age. See Bigg on 1 Pet. hi. 7, 
iv. 7. 

6. touto Se Xeyw. It is not clear how much the tovto covers ; 
probably the whole of vv. 1-5. The least probable suggestion 
is that it refers solely to the resumption of married life, koX 

7raA.1v K.T.A.. 

<j\ivyvu>\y.r\v. 'Concession,' or 'indulgence,' or 'allowance.'* 
The word occurs nowhere else in N.T. and is very rare in 

ou kcit' eiuTaYTJv. 'Not by way of command' (2 Cor. 
viii. 8). 

* 'By permission' (AV.) is ambiguous ; it might mean, 'I am permitted 
by God to say as much as this.' It was translated venia in some Old Latin 
texts, and this rendering, understood (by Augustine) as meaning 'pardon,' 
led to far-reaching error. It means ' By way of concession ' : he is telling 
people that they may marry, not that they must do so : ex concessiont non ex 
imperio (Beza). There is similar uncertainty as to the scope of the tovto in 
xi. 17, and the aih-q in ix. 3. In 1 Tim. i. I, /cot' iiriTay-qv is used in a 
different sense : 'in obedience to the command.' 


7. 0e\w 8e irdi'Tas. This is in harmony with the Ka\6v dvflpwro) 
from which he started. Surroundings so licentious as the 
Apostle had at Ephesus and Corinth might well inspire him 
with a longing for universal celibacy. For a similar wish about 
his own condition being that of others see Acts xxvi. 29 (o7roios 
»cai eyw el/jii) : in both places we have the comparative use of 
kcu, as again in v. 8 and x. 6. 

dXXd. He admits that his own personal feeling is not 
decisive; indeed, is not in accordance with conditions of society 
which have their source in God. Here x° L P i<T H- a ( see on *• 7) * s 
used in the sense of a special gift of God, a special grace to an 
individual. Origen points out that if celibacy is a x°-P L<T l Jia i s0 
also is marriage, and those who forbid marriage forbid what has 
been given by God. 

6 fjtev outws. ' One in this direction and one in that.' The 
recognition that opposite courses may each of them be right 
for different individuals is more fully drawn out Rom. xiv. 1-12 : 
and see Rom. xii. 6; 1 Pet. iv. 10. We have ovrws . . . ovtws, 
Judg. xviii. 4 ; 2 Sam. xi. 25, xvii. 15 : it is not classical. 

We perhaps understand the Apostle's wish better if we assume 
that it refers, not so much to the fact of remaining unmarried, 
as to the possession of the gift of continence, without which 
it was disastrous to remain unmarried. God had given him 
this gift, and he wishes that all men had it : but it does not 
follow that every man who has this gift is bound to a life of 
celibacy. In the Apostle's day {v. 26) the x«pto-/Aa of continency 
was specially valuable. Cf. Matt. xix. 11. 

We must read 0Aw d4 (X* A C D* F G 17, Am. Copt., Orig.) rather 
than ei\w yap (BD'KL P, Syrr. Arm. Aeth.). The 5<? marks a slight 
opposition to the concession just mentioned. That concession is not his 
own ideal ; ' I rather wish that all men were as I myself also am.' Failure 
to see this has caused the substitution of yap for Si. 

K L, Arm. have xdpur/m before ?x el '• %X ei X°-P ia M a is doub.less right : 
so also 6 fiiw . . . 6W(N*ABCDFP) rather than 8s fitr . . . 5s 5t 
(N 3 K L). 

VII. 8-40. Advice to Different Classes. 

To the unmarried or widowed, to the married where 
both parties are Christians, to the married where one of tJie 
two is a heathen, I would advise, as a rule, that you should 
remain as you are, or as you were when you became Chris- 
tians. The same principle would apply to circumcision, and 
also to slavery ; but an opportunity for emancipation may 
be accepted. 


8 To the unmarried and to widows I affirm it to be an 
excellent thing for them, if they should continue to remain 
single, as I also remain. 9 If, however, they have not the 
special gift of self-control, let them marry ; for it is better to 
marry than to be on fire. 10 But to those who have married as 
Christians I give a charge — and it is really not my charge, but 
Christ's — that a wife is not to seek divorce from her husband. 
11 But if unhappily she does do this, she must remain single, or 
else be reconciled to her husband. In like manner a man is not 
to divorce his wife. 

12 To those whose cases are not covered by these directions 
I have this to say; and I say it as my own advice, not as 
Christ's command : if any member of the Church has a wife 
who is not a believer, and she consents to live with him, let 
him not divorce her ; 13 and if a wife has a husband who is not 
a believer, and he consents to live with her, let her not divorce 
her husband. 14 And for this reason : the consecration of the 
believing partner is not cancelled by union with an unbeliever. 
On the contrary, the unbelieving partner is sanctified through 
union with a believer. If this were not so, the children would 
be left in heathen uncleanness ; whereas in fact, as the offspring 
of a Christian parent, they are holy. 15 But if, on the other 
hand, the unbelieving partner insists on a separation, separation 
let there be. No servile bondage to a heathen yoke deprives 
a Christian man or woman of freedom in such cases. There 
need be no scruples, no prolonged conflict with the unbeliever 
who demands separation : it is in peace of mind that we have 
been placed by our calling as Christians. 16 For how can you 
tell, O wife, whether, by keeping your heathen husband against 
his wish, you will be able to convert him ? Or how can you 
tell, O husband, whether you will be able to convert your 
reluctant wife ? 

17 Still, the general principle is this : In each case let people 
be content with the lot which God assigned them, and with 
the condition in which God's call has come to them, and let 
them continue in that course so far as may be. This is the 
rule that I am laying down in all the Churches. 

18 This principle holds good with regard to circumcision. 
Were you already circumcised at the time of your call? Do 
not attempt to efface the circumcision. Or have you been 


called in uncircumcision? Do not seek to be circumcised. 
19 Neither the one nor the other is of any consequence. What 
really matters is keeping God's commandments, and that is 
vital. 20 Each one of you, I say, should be content to remain 
in the condition in which God called him. 21 And this applies 
to slavery also. Were you a slave when you were called ? Do 
not be distressed at it ; yet, if you can become free, make use 
of the opportunity. 

22 1 say that you need not be distressed at being a slave 
when you became a Christian : every such slave is the Lord's 
freed man. And the converse is true : he who was free when 
he was called is Christ's slave. 23 You were bought with the 
price of His blood, and to Him, whether you are bond or free, 
you belong. Cease to regard yourselves as belonging to men 
in the sense in which you belong to Him. 24 I repeat, Brothers, 
the general rule. In that state in which each man was called, 
let him be content to remain, remembering God's presence and 
His protecting care. 

8. tois dydfxois kch tcus x^P 01 *- This includes bachelors, 
widowers, and widows, but not unmarried girls, whose case is 
discussed later (25-38), and who would not have much voice 
in deciding the point in question. The conjecture of tois XVP 01 * 
for Tats xVP aL<! is worth considering. A word not found else- 
where in N.T. might be changed to one that is common. ■ Even 
as I ' is more in place, if men only are addressed. *Aya/*os 
occurs w. n, 32, 34, and nowhere else in N.T. 

KaXoV. As in v. 1, this introduces the Apostle's own ideal, 
as illustrated by his own life. As tois dya^iois covers both single 
men and widowers, this passage does not tell us whether St Paul 
had ever been married. The very early interpretation of yvrja-it 
<rvv£,vye (Phil. iv. 3) as meaning the Apostle's wife (Clem. Alex. 
Strom, in. vi. p. 535, ed. Potter) may safely be set aside, for 
this passage shows that, if he ever had been married, his wife 
died before he wrote to the Philippians. And if he had been 
married then, would he not have written yvrja-ta in addressing 
his wife. The argument that, as a member of the Sanhedrin 
(Acts xxvi. 10), he must have been a married man and a father, 
is not strong. This rule {Sank. fo. 36 b), as a security for 
clemency, may be of later date, and KdTrjveyKa «/oy$ov may be a 
figurative expression for approving of the sentence. The proba- 
bility is that St Paul was never married (Tertull. De Monogam. 
8; Ad Uxor. ii. 1). In all his writings, as also in Acts, there 


is no trace of wife or child.* The nai in <I>s /cdyw, as in J>s *ai 
c/xavrov (z>. 7), is the comparative use of kcu. He compares his 
own case with that of those whom he desires to keep unmarried, 
and emphasizes it. The aorist (//.eiVwo-iv) suggests a life-long and 
final decision. 

9. el 8e ouk eyKpaTcuoi'Tai. ' But if they have not power over 
themselves ' (midd.). It is doubtful whether the negative coalesces 
with the verb so as to express only one idea. In N.T. we more 
often have el oi for ' if not ' than el /xrj, which means ' unless.' 
" Where a fact has sharply to be brought out and sharply to be 
negatived, there el oi seems to be not only permissible, but 
logically correct" (Ellicott). See Burton, Moods and Tenses, 
§§ 242, 261, 469; and compare Rom. viii. 9; 2 Thess. iii. 10, 
14, etc. 

What is meant by this failure to have power over themselves 
is partly explained by TrvpovcrOai (present tense in both verbs). 
A prolonged and painful struggle seems to be intended, a con- 
dition quite fatal to spiritual peace and growth : cf. ix. 25 ; Gen. 
xliii. 30; 1 Sam. xiii. 12. Elsewhere we have irvpovadai of burn- 
ing with grief and indignation (2 Cor. xi. 29).! The advice 
given here is similar to that given in v. 5, Sia ttjv d/cpatrtav v/iwv, 
and to the younger widows in 1 Tim. v. 11-15. 

KpeiTTOv (N B D E) is here the better reading, Kpelcrcrov in xi. 17, where 
see note. It is not easy to decide between yafidv (N* A C* 17) and 
yafirjcrai (X 8 B C 2 D E F, etc.). Editors are divided. Perhaps ya/irjcrai was 
changed to ya/xelv to conform to irvpovcrdou. But the change of tense is 
intelligible ;■ ' better to marry once for all than to go on being on fire.' In 
this Epistle, as elsewhere in N.T., the later form of the aor. (iydfirjffa) is 
more common (w. 33, 34) than the earlier (ty-qfia) ; in v. 28 both forms 

10. tois Sc yeYafj.^Kocrii' Trapayy^XXw. He passes from those 
to whom it is still open to marry or not to marry. ' But to those 
who have already married (since they became Christians) I give 
command.' To render, ' I pass on the order' from Christ to you, 
is giving too much force to the preposition. Christ does not 
' pass on ' the order. The meaning is, ' I give the order ; no, 

* See Max Krenkel, Btitrage zur Aufhellung der Geschichte und der 
Brieft des Apostcls Paidus, pp. 26-46, a careful examination of the question, 
War Paulus jemals verheiratet? Baring Gould thinks that St Paul may have 
married Lydia (Acts xvi. 14, 40), and that it was she who supplied him with 
money (Acts xxiv. 26, xxviii. 30). This is not probable. 

t Eph. vi. 16, it is used of the flaming darts of the evil one ; Rev. i. 15, 
iii. 18, of what has been refined by fire. It is frequent in the latter sense in 
LXX, and in 2 Mace, with toZs Ov/j.ois added, of anger. Some understand 
it here as meaning ' unsatisfied affection ' rather than &Kpa<rla. In ix. 25 we 
have iyKpartvecrdai again, but nowhere else in N.T. See IIos. vii. 4 and 
Cheyne's note. 


not I, Christ gives it.' In class. Grk. irapayyiXXw is used of the 
military word of command: see xi. 17 ; 1 Thess. iv. 11 • often 
in 2 Thess., 1 Tim., Luke, and Acts. When the Apostle gives 
directions on his own authority (v. 12), he says 'speak,' not 

ouk tyw, dXXa 6 Ku'pios. Christ Himself had decided against 
divorce (Mark x. 9 ; Luke xvi. 18), and His Apostle repeats His 
teaching: see also Mai. ii. 16. St Paul is distinguishing between 
his own inspired utterances (v. 40) and the express commands 
of Christ, not between his own private views and his inspired 
utterances. And there is no need to assume (as perhaps in 
1 Thess. iv. 15) that he had received a direct revelation on the 
subject. Christ's decision was well known. See Dobschiitz, 
Probleme des Ap. Zeitalters, Leipzig, 1904, p. 109; Fletcher, 
The Conversion of St Paul, Bell, 19 10, p. 57. 

yuvaiKa diro dcSpos. The fact that he begins with the unusual 
case of a wife divorcing her husband indicates that such a thing 
had actually occurred or was mentioned in their letter as likely 
to occur. Women may have raised the question. 

XupurOrjva-i- (SBCKLP) is certainly to be preferred to xwp^e<r0ai 
(ADEFG): patristic evidence is divided. 

11. iav 8e Kal x<opia0fj. 'But if (in spite of Christ's com- 
mand) she even goes so far as to separate herself,' she is not to 
marry any other man. The divorce is her act, not her husband's. 
"Christianity had powerfully stirred the feminine mind at Corinth 
(xi. 5, xiv. 34). In some cases ascetic aversion caused the wish 
to separate" (Findlay). With the kcll compare et Se ku in iv. 7. 
Christ had forbidden marriage with a divorced wife (Luke xvi. 
18), and His Apostle here takes the same ground. If the wife 
who has separated from her husband finds that, after all, she 
cannot live a single life, the only course open to her is to be 
reconciled to the husband whom she has injured. For the con- 
struction («aTaXA. c. dat.) see Rom. v. 10. Like el 8e 6 dVioTos 
(v. 15) and dXA.' ei Kal SuVao-ai (v. 2l), this eav Se Kal k.t.A. is a 
parenthesis to provide for an exceptional case. He then con- 
tinues the Lord's command, that 'a husband is not to put away 
(d</>ievai = KaraXvuv) his wife.' * St Paul, like our Lord, forbids 
divorce absolutely : iropvela in the wife is not mentioned here as 
creating an exception ; and it is possible that this exception 

* The change from x u P lff ^V vai °f the wife to Acpuvai of the husband is 
intelligible. The home is his : she can leave it, but he sends her away from 
it. In LXX, x u P ia 9v v c" is frequent of separation in place. In papyri it is 
used of divorce ; eav dt x w P^ WVTCLl """' o-WiiXui' : so also x^P'OT^s. Polybius 
(XXXII. xii. 6) has /cexwpicr/^vT? d7rd rod dvdpds. See Deissmann, Bible Studies, 
p. 247. In v. 13, &<pUvai is used of the wife, perhaps in order to make an 
exact parallel with v. 12. 


(Matt. v. 32, xix. 9 ; see Allen and Plummer ad loc.) was unknown 
to the Apostle, because it had not been made by Christ. 

12. toTs 8e Xounns. Having spoken of those converts who 
were still unmarried, and of those who had married since their 
conversion, he now treats of those who belonged to neither class. 
There were some who had married before their conversion and 
now had a heathen wife or a heathen husband. Were they to 
continue to live with their heathen partners ? Yes, if the heathen 
partner consents to the arrangement. St Paul elsewhere uses ol 
A.oi7roi of a remainder which is wholly or largely heathen (Eph. 
ii. 3 ; 1 Thess. iv. 13, v. 6). 

Xe'yw cyci, ofy 6 Ko'pios. This is the right order (n A B C P 
17), not eycb Ae'yw (D E F G). He means that he is not now 
repeating the teaching of Christ, who is not likely to have said 
anything on the subject. He does not mean that he is speaking 
now, not with Apostolic authority, but as a private individual. 
All his directions are given with the inspiration and power of an 
Apostle, and he speaks with confidence and sureness. He applies 
Christ's ruling as far as it will reach in the case of a mixed union. 
The Christian party must certainly not dissolve the marriage, if 
the heathen party does not desire to do so. 

yuvaiKa e'xei ama-roy. Here ex et must mean ' has,' not ' keeps,' 
'retains,' and this shows the meaning of ex* ra) m v - 2 - It is the 
case of a Christian with a heathen wife whom he married when 
he himself was an unbeliever. 

oweuSoKet. 'Agrees in being content.' The compound verb 
(Rom. i. 32) indicates mutual consent, implying that more than 
one person is satisfied (Acts xxii. 20) ; often with a dative of the 
thing in which agreement is found (Luke xi. 48 ; Acts viii. 1 ; 
2 Mac. xi. 24). 

pi dcfue'TO) auTrji'. AV. has 'let him not put her away' here, 
and 'let her not leave him' in v. 13 : RV. has 'leave' in both 
places. Perhaps 'put away' would be better in both, as St Paul 
is speaking of divorce. As in v. n, d<£ieVai = airoXvuv, which in 
class. Grk. would be d7ro7r€/x7retv. Vulg. has dimittat throughout. 

13. kcu 0UT05. The pronoun shows that avrrj, and not airy, 
is the right accentuation in v. 12. Here some inferior texts read 
avros instead of ovto?, and avrov instead of tov avSpa. The latter 
term has point, because it was a strong measure for a wife to try 
to divorce her husband. But the Apostle puts both sexes on 
a level by using d<£ier<o, which is more commonly used of the 
husband, of both. 

14. T)yiacrTCH. This refers to the baptismal consecration (i. 2, 
vi. 11), in which the unbelieving husband shares through union 


with a Christian wife. The purity of the believing partner over- 
powers (viKa) the impurity of the unbelieving one (Chrys.), so 
that the union is pure and lawful; there is no profanation of 
matrimony. The principle cis crap/co. fiiav holds good in mixed 
marriages (vi. 16), but not to the detriment of the believing 
partner ; as an unlawful union desecrates, so a lawful union con- 
secrates: pluris enim est pietas unius ad conjugium sanctificandum, 
quam alterius ad inquinandum (Calv.). But he goes beyond 
what is written when he adds, interea nihil prodest haec sancti- 
ficatio conjugi infideli* Note the ev in both cases ; the Christian 
partner is the sphere in which the sanctification takes place, and 
the heathen partner may be influenced by that sphere. There 
is no such intolerable difference of sphere as to necessitate dis- 
solution of the marriage. 

eirel Spa. ' Since it would then follow,' i.e. if it was the im- 
purity of the heathen partner which prevailed on the analogy of 
Hag. ii. n-13; there it is uncleanness that is communicated, 
while consecration is not communicated. The Apostle argues 
back from the children to the parents. The child of a parent 
who is ayios must ipso facto be ay«>s : that he assumes as axio- 
matic. He is not assuming that the child of a Christian parent 
would be baptized ; that would spoil rather than help his argu- 
ment, for it would imply that the child was not ayios till it was 
baptized. The verse throws no light on the question of infant 
baptism. He argues from the fact that the Corinthians must 
admit that a Christian's child is 'holy.' Consequently, it was 
born in wedlock that is 'holy.' Consequently, such wedlock 
need not be dissolved. But he is not approving such wedlock. 
Marriages with heathen are wrong (2 Cor. vi. 14). But, where 
they have come into existence through the conversion of one 
partner in a heathen marriage, the Christian partner is not to 
seek divorce. 

D E F, Latt. add rjj via-rQ after ywaiicl, 8ABCKLP omit. a5e\<j>y 
(K*ABCD*EFGP 17, Copt. RV.) is to be preferred to dvdpl (N s D s 
K L, Vulg. Syrr. Arm. Aeth. AV. ), an unintelligent gloss by one who di 
not see the point of dde\<ptp and wanted to make the usual balance to the 
preceding yvvaLicl. Vulg., Iren. Tert. add t<$ Tianp to dvdpl, making it 
equivalent to d5eX#£. For vuv 84, D E F G have vvvl, which at the begin- 
ning of a clause is always in N.T. followed by 5^. 

With the argumentative use of e7re/, 'since, if that were so,' cf. xv. 29 
and see note on Rom. iii. 6. In v. 10, ri we have a similar e7re/ followed 
by vvv, as here. See Burton, Moods and Tenses, §§ 229, 230. 

* As Evans says, "He stands upon the sacred threshold of the Church : 
his surroundings are hallowed. United to a saintly consort, he is in daily 
contact with saintly conduct : holy association may become holy assimilation, 
and the sanctity which ever environs may at last penetrate. But the man's 
conversion is not a condition necessary to the sanctity of the subsisting con- 
jugal union." Origen compares such a union to a mixture of wine and water. 


15. el 8e 6 amcn-os x u P^ £ Tai. ' But if it is the unbeliever 
that is for separating.' The emphasis is on 6 an-io-Tos, and the 
present tense indicates the heathen partner's state of mind. 
What follows shows that 6 cnno-ros covers both sexes, and in such 
cases the Apostle has no injunction to give to the unbeliever. 
* For what have I to do with judging them that are without ' ? 
(v. 12); so the responsibility rests with them, and they may do 
as they please, x o) P L ^ cr ^ 0) ' If> therefore, the heathen partner 
seeks divorce, the Christian partner may consent. The Christian 
partner is under no slavish obligation to refuse to be set free. 
Just to this extent the law against divorce has its limits. 
Marriages between Jews ought not to be dissolved, and 
marriages between Christians ought not to be dissolved ; but 
heathen marriages stand on a different basis. These ought to 
be respected as long as possible, even when one of the parties 
becomes a Christian. But if the one who remains a heathen 
demands divorce, the Christian is not bound to oppose divorce. 
In such matters the Christian ov SeSovAon-ai, has not lost all 
freedom of action ; independence still survives. 

We cannot safely argue with Luther that ov SeSovAumu implies 
that the Christian partner, when divorced by the heathen partner, 
may marry again. And Luther would have it that this implies that 
the Christian partner, when divorced by "a false Christian," may 
marry again. Who is to decide whether the Christian is " false " 
or not ? And the principle, which is far older than Luther, that 
" reverence for the marriage-tie is not due to one who has no 
reverence for the Author of the marriage-tie " will carry one to 
disastrous conclusions. Basil (letter to Amphilochius, Canonica 
Prima, Ep. clxxxviii. 9) does not write with precision. All that 
ov Se8ov\u>Tai clearly means is that he or she need not feel so 
bound by Christ's prohibition of divorce as to be afraid to depart 
when the heathen partner insists on separation. 

eV 8e elprjfT] ke'kXtjkei' ujjlSs. 'It is in an atmosphere of peace 
that God has called you.' This is ambiguous. To what is the 
' peace ' opposed ? If to bondage, which seems natural, then the 
meaning will be that to feel bound to remain with a heathen 
partner, who objects to your remaining, would violate the peace 
in which you were called to be a Christian. If ' peace ' is op- 
posed to separation, then the meaning will be that you ought to 
do your utmost to avoid divorce. The former is probably right : 
cf. Col. iii. 15. Heathen animus against Christianity would 
greatly increase the difficulty of insisting upon living with a 
heathen who was anxious for a divorce. In such a state of 
things Christian peace would be impossible. With lv dprjvr] 
compare eV ayiao-/x<3, 1 Thess. iv. 7. The Si supplies the positive 
complement to the negative ov StSovAajTcu. 


Editors are much divided as to whether v/xas (X'ACK, Copt.) oi 
rifias (X 3 B D E F, Latt. Syrr. AV. RV. ) is the better reading. 

16. ti y<*P <hScis, yuVat. As in v. 15, the case of the heathen 
husband desiring to divorce his Christian wife is uppermost, 
although the other case is also considered. And this verse is 
as ambiguous as the concluding part of v. 15. Either, 'Do not 
contend against divorce on the ground that, if you remain, you 
may convert your heathen partner ; for how do you know that 
you will do that?' Or (going back to ^ d^teVw in 13, 14, and 
treating 15 as a rare exception to the almost universal rule), 
'Avoid divorce, for it is possible — you never know — that you 
will convert your heathen partner.' This latter interpretation 
involves the rendering, ' How knowest thou whether thou wilt 
not save ? ' See the LXX of Esth. iv. 14 ; Joel ii. 14 ; Jon. iii. 9 ; 
2 Sam. xii. 22. On the ground that these four passages express 
a hope rather than a doubt, Lightfoot prefers the interpretation 
that the chance of saving the unbelieving partner is " worth any 
temporal inconvenience." So also Findlay. But the other 
interpretation is probably right. The sequence of thought is 
then quite clear. ' If the unbeliever demands divorce, grant 
it : you are not bound to refuse. If you refuse, you will have 
no peace. The chance of converting your heathen spouse is too 
small a compensation for a strained and disturbed life, in which 
Christian serenity will be impossible.' To call the latter 
"temporal inconvenience" is a serious understatement. See 
Stanley. For o-w^eti/ see Rom. xi. 14; 1 Tim. iv. 16; and for 
the history of the idea, Hastings, DB. iv. pp. 360 f . ; DCG. 11. 
p. 556. The et pr} (v. 17) is almost decisive for this view. 

17. This verse may be taken either as a summing up of 
what has just been stated, or as a fresh starting-point for what 
is to follow (18-24). It states the general principle which de- 
termines these questions about marriage, and this is afterwards 
illustrated by the cases. of circumcision and slavery. Conversion 
to Christianity must make a radical change in the moral and 
spiritual life, but it need not make any radical change in our 
external life, and it is best to abide in the condition in which 
the call came to us. Therefore the Christian partner must not 
do anything to bring about a dissolution of marriage, any more 
than the Christian slave must claim emancipation. But if the 
heathen party insists on dissolution, or grants emancipation, then 
the Christian may accept freedom from such galling ties.* 

* There is no good reason for suspecting with Baljon that w. 17-22 are 
an interpolation, or with Clemen that they come from some other Pauline 
Epistle. Beza proposed to place them after v. 40. Equally needlessly, 
Holsten suspects that v. 14 is an interpolation. 


Ei |±T) €KdcrTO) ws p.ep.e'piicei' 6 Ku'pios, eKaoroy k.t.X. ' Only as 
our Lord has appointed to each, as God has called each, so 
let him walk.' In both clauses 'each' is emphatic; and while 
the assignment of circumstances to each individual is attributed 
to Christ, the call to become a believer comes from the Father, 
as in Rom. viii. 28. The ei jx-q (introducing an exception or 
correction) defines and limits the somewhat vague ' is not under 
bondage in such cases.' There remains some obligation, viz. 
not to seek a rupture. One is not in all cases free to depart, 
simply because one cannot be compelled to stay. But nothing 
is here said against the improvement of one's circumstances after 
embracing Christianity. What is laid down is that, unless one's 
external condition of life is a sinful one, no violent change in it 
should be made, simply because one has become a Christian. 
One should continue in the same course (7repi7raTeiYaj), glorifying 
God by a good use of one's opportunities ; status, in quo vocatio 
quemque offendit, instar vocationis est (Beng.). This general 
principle seems to the Apostle so important that he states that 
he has established it in all the Churches under his care, and then 
goes on to illustrate it by two frequent examples of its application. 
On 7r«pt7rarerv and<npk<b<.iv of daily conduct, see Hort on 
1 Pet. i. 15 and Lukyn Williams on Gal. i. 13. See on iii. 3. 

The verse reads better as a fresh starting-point (WH., Way, 
Weymouth, B. Weiss) than as a summary of what precedes 
(Alford, Ellicott). But even if the latter arrangement be 
adopted, there is no close connexion between vv. 16 and 17. 
Some join ei fjuj with ei ttjv ywatKa trwcreis, ' whether thou shalt 
save thy wife, whether not.' But that would require y ov, as in 
Matt. xxii. 17. Others understand x w P% €TaL a ft er £ i M, 'If he 
does not depart'; others again understand o-wcrets, 'If thou 
shalt not save her.' This makes very bad sense, and would 
almost certainly require ei Be fxrj. Theodoret runs the two 
verses into one sentence, ' How knowest thou . . . except in 
so far as our Lord has apportioned to each ? ' This is very 
awkward, and gives no good sense. ' Only ' or ' Save only ' is 
the best translation of ei fjaq. It introduces a caution with regard 
to what precedes, and this forms a preface to what follows. St 
Paul is opposing the restless spirit and desire for further change 
which the Gospel had excited in some converts. 

tea! outws • • • Sia,Tdcraop.<u. As in xi. 34 ; Tit. i. 5 ; Acts 
xxiv. 23, we have the middle; in ix. 14, xvi. 1 he uses the active. 
This is evidently spoken with Apostolic authority, and it indi- 
cates that the restlessness and craving for change, against which 
he here contends, was common among Christians. He lets the 
Corinthians know that they receive no exceptional treatment, 
either in tne way of regulations or privileges. This checks 


rebelliousness on the one hand and conceit on the other. 
Odiosum fuisset Corinthiis arctiore vinculo quam alios constringi 
(Calv.). Cf. iv. 17. 

Ought we to read fie/xipiKev (S* B) or ifiipiffev (N* A C D, etc.)? Aor. 
might be changed to perf. to harmonize with K^KXrjKev, and perf. (being less 
common) might be changed to aor. The perf. is preferable. Certainly 
6 Kvpios ... 6 ©«6s (NABCDEF) is to be preferred to 6 Qe6s ... 6 
K\)pios (KL). Elsewhere it is God who calls (1 Thess. iv. 7; Rom. 
iv. 17, viii. 30; 2 Tim. i. 9), while the Lord distributes the gifts (xii. 5 ; 
Eph. iv. 11). D* F, Latt. substitute 8i5d<rKw for diarda-cofiai. 

18. riepiTeTfrniieVos Ti s €kX^0t|. The sentence is probably 
interrogative (AV., RV.), not hypothetical (Tyndale). The sense 
is much the same. A man who was circumcised before con- 
version is not to efface the signs of his Judaism. Jews did this 
sometimes to avoid being known as Jews in gymnastic exercises 
in the palaestra (1 Mace. i. 15; Joseph. Ant. xn. v. 1).* And 
an uncircumcised Gentile is not to seek circumcision ; Gal. 
v. 2, 3 ; Acts xv. 1, 5, 19, 24, 28. St Paul, while proclaiming 
Gentile liberty, acts as a Jew to Jews (ix. 20). See Dobschiitz, 
Probleme, p. 84. 

KiKkr)TaL tis (NABP), tis KticXyrai (D F G), r« (f/cXijflij (E K L). 
k^kX^tcu tis is doubtless right ; the perf. may indicate that these cases 
were generally earlier, Jews converted before Gentiles. 

19. f\ ircptTojjiY) ovZiv eone, icai r\ dxpofiuoTia ouSeV eemv. The 
Apostle repeats this in two somewhat different forms in Gal. v. 6 
and vi. 15; iv yap XptcrTw 'Ir]crov ovtc TrcpiTOfxr] ti 10-^uei ovre 
a.KpofSv(rTLa y dXXa. 7rto"rts 01 ayd-jrr]<s ivepyovp-ivr], and ovtc yap 
-rrepiTOfjirf ti cctti'v ovtc aKpofivaTta, aXXa Kaivr] kticls. Having 
previously proclaimed the folly of adopting circumcision, when 
the freedom of the Gospel was open to them, as he has just 
done here in simpler terms (/rr) TrcpiTe/Aveadoj), he points out that 
the difference between circumcision and uncircumcision is a 
matter of small moment. Those who have it need not be 
ashamed of it, and those who have it not certainly need not 
seek it. " The peculiar excellence of the maxim is its declara- 
tion that those who maintain the absolute necessity of rejecting 
forms are as much opposed to the freedom of the Gospel as 
those who maintain the absolute necessity of retaining them " 

Photius, G. Syncellus, and others say that the maxim is a 
quotation from an Apocalypse of Moses. It is extremely un- 
likely that such a principle would be contained in any Jewish 
book earlier than St Paul. Such a book, however, might after- 

* St Paul's prohibition must be understood in a wider sense. A Jew, 
when he becomes a Christian, is not ostentatiously to drop all Jewish customs 
and modes of life. The verb occurs nowhere else in N.T. 


wards be interpolated by a Christian with these words of the 
Apostle. See Lightfoot on Gal. vi. 15; Weinel, St Paid, p. 56; 
and consider the Apostle's action in circumcising Timothy and 
not circumcising Titus. 

dXXd TrjpT]ais k.t.X. ' But keeping of the commandments of 
God is everything? As in iii. 7 and x. 24, the strongly advers- 
ative dXAd implies that the opposite of the previous negative is 
understood. In Gal. v. 6 and vi. 15 the aAAd introduces two 
different things (see above), both of them different from this. 
Of all three of them we may say, in his stat totus Christianismus 
(Beng).* Tt]pr]o-i<; ivroXwv occurs Ecclus. xxxii. 23, 777/3. vo/xwv, 
Wisd. vi. 18: rqpelv tols evToAds, Matt. xix. 17; 1 Tim. vi. 14; 
1 John ii. 3, where see Westcott. On err. ©coS see Deissmann, 
Light, p. 381. 

20. Repetition of the principle laid down ; ' In the secular 
surroundings of the calling in which he is called, in these let him 
abide ' ; and iv ravrr} emphasizes the charge to make no change 
of condition.! In N.T., kAtjo-is is almost exclusively Pauline, and 
it means either the act of calling (Phil. iii. 14) or the circum- 
stances in which the calling took place ( i. 26 and here) : it does 
not mean ' vocation.' Lightfoot quotes Epictetus (i. 29 § 46), 
ixdpTVi vtto tov ©eou kckA?;jU.€vo?, and (§ 49) raijTa. /xe'AAeis fiaprv- 
pelv /cat KaTaL<x\vv€LV rrjv kXtjctiv r\v kckAtikcv [6 ©eos]. 

21. SoGAos €K\r)0T]s; 'Wast thou a slave when thou wast 
called ? Do not mind that.' A slave can be a good Christian 
(Eph. vi. 5; Col. iii. 22; Tit. ii. 9). Thackeray quotes the 
iambic line in Philo, Quod omn. prob. liber 7, SouA.09 ■nifyvKax; oi 
p.eT€o-TL (tol Adyov. Here again, the clause might be either inter- 
rogative or hypothetical. 

dXA' ei kcu . . . jxaXXoi' xp^ai- ' But still, if thou canst also 
become free, rather make use of it than not.' The ko.i affects 
Bvvacrai, not el: 'if thou art also able to become free as well as 
to remain a slave ' ; if the one course is as possible as the other ; 
then what ? It is remarkable that the Apostle's advice is inter- 
preted in opposite ways. He says, ' Rather make use of it.' 
Make use of what ? Surely, tw 8vvaa6ai cXevOepos yevicrOai, the 
possibility of becoming free. This was the last thing mentioned ; 
and 'make use of suits a new condition better than the old 
condition of slavery. Still more decidedly does the aorist (xprjo-at, 

* Stanley has an interesting, but rather fanciful note, connecting this 
passage with the Father, Gal. v. 6 with the Son, and Gal. vi. 15 with the 
Holy Spirit. 

f Manufacturers of idols who became Christians claimed this principle as 
justifying their continuing to earn a living in this way. "Can't you starve?" 
says Tertullian ; fides famem non timet (De Idol. 5, 12). 


not xpw) imply a new condition. The advice, thus interpreted, 
is thoroughly in keeping with the Apostle's tenderness of heart 
and robustness of judgment. ' Do not be miserable because you 
are a slave ; yet, if you can just as easily be set free, take advan- 
tage of it rather than not.' He regarded marriage as a hindrance 
to the perfection of the Christian life (vv. 32-35). Was not 
slavery, with its hideous temptations, a far greater hindrance ? * 

Nevertheless, various commentators, ancient and modern, 
insist on going back to SovXos for the dat. to be supplied with 
Xprjo-at and understand 777 SovXeta. Utere servitute quasi re bona 
et utili : servitus enim valet ad humilitatem servandam et ad 
patientiam exerccnda?n (Herv.) It is urged that in this way 
the Apostle remains consistent with his rule, ' Abide in the 
calling in which thou wast called.' But dkX' el ko.1 . . . xPW al 
is a parenthetic mitigation given in passing; like lav Se. ko.1 . . . 
KaraWay-qro) in v. ii, it mentions a possible exception. The 
meaning will then be, ' Slavery is not intolerable for a Christian, 
but an opportunity for emancipation need not be refused.' 
The Christian slave is not to rebel against a heathen master, 
any more than a Christian wife against a heathen husband ; but 
if the heathen is ready to grant freedom, the Christian slave, 
like the Christian wife, may take it without scruple. For this 
view, which is that of Luther, Erasmus, Calvin, and Beza, see 
Evans, Lightfoot, and Goudge ; for the other, which is that of 
Bengel, Meyer, De Wette, and Edwards, see Alford, Ellicott 
and Schmiedel; but Schmiedel admits that xpw aL > if T V SovXeiy 
is to be understood, hat allerdifigs etwas Seltsames. 

22. 6 yap * v Kupiw kXtjOcis SoGXos. ' For he who, while in 
slavery, was called to be in the Lord is the Lord's freedman.' f 
Or we may take 6 with SovAos, ' For the slave who was called in 
the Lord ' ; but the next clause is against this. A slave ' called 
in the Lord ' is in relation to Christ a freedman : direXevdepos, 
like libertus, is a relative term, used c. gen. of the emancipator. 
Although in his secular condition he remains a slave, in his 
spiritual condition he has been set free : he is kAijtos ayios (i. 1), 
and is free from the bondage of sin (Rom. vi. 6). There is no 
hint here that his master, if he were a Christian, would be sure 
to set him free ; and even Philem. 21 does not imply that. See 
Harnack, Mission and Expansion, I. pp. 167^; Deissmann, 
Light, pp. 323, 326-333, 382, 392. 

* Bachmann admits that the Apostle's recommending people to disregard 
an opportunity of being freed from slavery zweifellos etwas Uberraschendes hat. 

f In ordinary language, aireXevdepos Kvptov would mean that he had been 
the Lord's slave and that the Lord had manumitted him. He had been in 
slavery and the Lord had freed him from it, and this justifies the expression. 
The Lord was his irpo<TT&TT]s. 


' In like manner, he that was called being free is Christ's 
slave ' ; or, ' the free man by being called is Christ's slave,' 
he can no longer do as he likes to his own hurt ; he is 
bound to obey his new spiritual Master and Lord. Such a 
bondservant of Christ was the Apostle himself, and he gloried 
in the fact (Rom. i. 1 ; Phil. i. 1 ; Tit. i. 1). Nowhere else in 
the Bible is a.7r£A.ev#£pos found. 

K L, Copt. Aeth. Arm. add ko.1 after 6/j.olus : D E F G add 5e ko.1 : 
XABP 17, Vulg. omit, ko.1 or 5e ko.1 is usual after d/xoiws, and hence the 
insertion ; but here neither is required. 

23. Tipjs r|yopda0r|Te. This recalls vi. 20 and applies it to 
both classes. The social slave, who has been set free by Christ, 
and the social freeman, who has become enslaved to Christ, have 
alike been bought by God, and are now His property. In one 
sense Christ's death was an act of emanicipation, it set free 
from the thraldom of sin ; in another sense it was a change of 
ownership.* It is a mistake to suppose that the words are 
addressed only to those who are socially free, charging them not 
to lose their freedom. Such a charge would be superfluous. 
Moreover, the change from the singular to the plural intimates 
that both classes are now exhorted. See below. 

In commenting on this verse, Origen lets us know that he 
was not the first to comment on this Epistle. He speaks of 
what 01 XolttoI cpfxrjvtvTui say on the subject. See on ix. 20. 

jjir) yiveaBe 80GX01 avOpujiruv. ' Do not become, do not show 
yourselves to be, bondservants of men.' The words are obscure. 
It is very improbable that the prohibition is addressed to those 
who are free, and that it forbids them to sell themselves into 
slavery. Such a prohibition could not be needed. Moreover, 
the change from the 2nd pers. sing, to the 2nd pers. plur. shows 
that he is now addressing all his converts. Origen strangely 
interprets the slavery as meaning marriage, in which neither 
partner rot) ISiov 0-w/u.a.Tos e£oucn.a£«, and from which both partners 
should seek freedom ck av/xcpwvov. The bondage must mean 
'some condition of life which is likely to violate God's rights of 
ownership' (Lev. xxv. 42, 55). The interpretation, 'Do not 
become enslaved to any party-lea der,' is remote from the context. 
More probably, ' Do not let social relations or public opinion or 
evil advisers interfere with the absolute service which is due to 
Him who bought you with His Son's blood.' 

* " In the time of St Taul, ' Lord ' was throughout the whole Eastern world 
a universally understood religious conception. The Apostle's confession of 
his Master as 'our Lord Jesus Christ,' with the complementary idea that 
Christians were dearly bought 'slaves,' was at once intelligible in all the 
fulness of its meaning to every one in the Greek Orient " (Deis^mann, New 
Light on the N. T., p. 79). See Lietzmann, Greek Papyri, p. 4. 


24. The general principle is stated once more with the 
addition of 7ra/Da ©ea>. This may mean ' in the presence of God,' 
or ' in God's household,' or ' on God's side.' The last agrees 
well with jlicvc'tw, and makes a good antithesis to avOpwirwv : ' let 
your attachments be heavenwards, not earthwards.' With that 
proviso, all secular conditions, whether of family life, or caste, or 
service, are capable of being made the expression of a Christian 
character. Deissmann, Light, p. 330. 

VII. 25-40. Respecting unmarried women, the transitory 
and trying character of the present world is against a change 
of condition. The unmarried state leaves people more free 
for God's service. 

25 With regard to unmarried daughters, I have no charge 
from the Lord to pass on to you ; but I offer my opinion as that 
of a man who through the Lord's mercy is not unworthy of your 
confidence, and who perhaps knows Christ's mind, although he 
cannot quote any words of His. 26 Well then, I think that 
owing to the distressful times that are upon us, it is an excellent 
thing for people to remain as they are. 27 Are you united to a 
wife? Do not seek to be freed from the tie. Are you at 
present free from this tie ? Do not seek to be bound by it. 
But if you do marry, you have committed no sin ; w and if a 
maiden marries, she has committed no sin. Yet people who 
make these ties are sure to have increased affliction in the affairs 
of this life. But I, as your adviser, would spare you this, if I 
could. ^This, however, I do affirm, Brothers. The time 
allowed before the Advent is now very narrow. This means that 
henceforth those who have wives should serve as strictly as those 
who have none, 30 that those who weep should live as though no 
sorrow disturbed them, those who are enjoying life as not 
absorbed in their enjoyment, those who buy as not taking full 
possession, 81 and those who use this world as not eager to use 
it to the full : for transitory indeed is the outward fashion of 
this world. 82 Yet I want you to be free from the anxieties 
which the world produces. When a man is unmarried, he is 
anxious about our Lord's interests, studying how he may please 
our Lord ; 33 but when once he is married, he is anxious about 
worldly interests, studying how he may please his wife. 34 Parted 
also by a similar division of interests are the married and the 


unmarried woman (?). For the unmarried woman is anxious 
about our Lord's interests, striving hard to be holy both in body 
and in spirit ; but when once she is married, she is anxious about 
worldly interests, studying how she may please her husband. 

86 Now I am saying all this simply for your own spiritual profit. 
I have no wish to throw a halter over you and check Christian 
liberty. On the contrary, I want you to choose what is seemly, 
and, like Mary, to wait upon our Lord without Martha's 

86 That is my opinion ; but there are limitations. If a father 
think that the way in which he is acting towards his unmarried 
daughter is not seemly, because she has long since reached a 
marriageable age and ought now to marry without delay, seeing 
that her nature seems to require it, — he must do as he thinks 
best. There is nothing sinful in it ; let the marriage take place. 

87 But when a father has settled convictions that a single life is 
best for his daughter, and has no need to surrender these, but 
has full right to carry out his own wishes, and has decided in his 
own mind to do so, — he will act rightly if he keeps his daughter 
free. M It comes to this, therefore, that both of them act rightly. 
The father who gives his child in marriage does well, and he who 
does not do so will be found to have done still better. 

39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives ; but if he is 
dead, she is free to marry any one she pleases, provided it be in 
holy matrimony with a Christian. 40 But a widow is a happier 
woman if she abides as she is to the end, according to my 
judgment. And I believe that I, no less than others, can claim 
to have the guidance of God's Spirit. 

25. ricpl 8c t5>v -napQivuv. It is clear from the use of 
irapOevos in vv. 28, 34, 36, 37, 38, that the word here applies to 
women only; contrast Rev. xiv. 4. On this subject no tradi- 
tional teaching of Christ had reached the Apostle (v. 10); he 
could not frame a judgment partly based upon His teaching 
(v. 12); nor did he feel justified in giving an independent 
Apostolic decision (v. 17), for the responsibility of deciding must 
rest with the father. He is willing, however, to state his own 
opinion ; and he intimates that his wonderful conversion and 
call are strong evidence that the opinion of one who has been so 
divinely favoured is worthy of trust. As in 1 Pet. ii. 10 ^see 
Hort), ^Xer//x€vos is used " in reference to the signal mercy of the 
gift of the Gospel "; and this in his case included the call to be 


an Apostle. We have a similar use of rj\(r)6r)p.€v in 2 Cor. iv. 1, 
and of r)\erj8riv in 1 Tim. i. 13, 16. Here ttio-tos, 'trustworthy,' 
is used as in iv. 2 and 1 Tim. i. 12 ; cf. 17 p-aprvpia Kvpiov maTt) 
(Ps. xix. 8); not as in 2 Cor. vi. 15 and 1 Tim. iv. 10. 

We have the same contrast between l-n-LTayrj and yvw/x.77 in 
2 Cor. viii. 8, 10. Here the Vulgate has praeceptum and con- 
silium to distinguish the words, which led to the later distinction 
between ' precepts ' and ' counsels of perfection ' (Stanley). 

26. yofu£ci) ouc. ' I think therefore.' He does not mean that 
he is not sure : what is stated in v. 25 shows that ovv introduces 
a decided conviction ; and perhaps the use of wap^eiv rather 
than ctvai shows that the conviction is of long standing. He holds 
that this is a sound axiom to start from ; it is good in principle. 

81a tt)»' eyearukraK ava.y(K-(\v. These words are an important 
qualification. The Apostle's opinion is determined by ' the 
present necessity,' ' the straitness now upon us ' (Heb. ix. 9), 
owing to the disturbances and dangers which he saw ; and also 
by the Advent which he believed to be very near (xvi. 22), 
although not yet present (2 Thess. ii. 2). We cannot assume 
that his opinion would have been the same in a more peaceful 
period, and after experience had proved that the Advent might 
be long delayed. For avdyK-r) of external distress see Luke xxi. 23, 
where the meaning is very similar to the meaning here ; 2 Cor. 
vi. 4, xii. 10; 1 Thess. iii. 7 ; Ps. Sol. v. 8 ; Testament of Joseph 
ii. 4. Thackeray (St Paul and Jeivish Thought, pp. 105 f.) 
thinks that this passage may reflect Jewish beliefs in the " Woes 
of the Messiah," the birth-pangs which were to precede His 
Advent (2 Esdr. v. 1-12, vi. 18-24, lx - I- 9 > Jubilees xxiii. 11-25 ; 
Assump. of Moses x. 3-6; Apoc. of Baruch xxvii. 1 f., where see 
Charles, xlviii. 31-39, lxx. 3-10). Lightfoot (on Gal. i. 4) 
contends that eVecnwav means ' present ' rather than 'imminent,' 
but the difference is not great. A trouble which is believed to 
be near and certain is already a present distress. 

on KaXoy d^Gpoiira) to outws etcai. ' That it is good, I say, for 
a person so to be.' The construction of the verse is not regular, 
but quite intelligible: on is 'that,' not 'because,' and the 
second ko\6v picks up and continues the first. But doubt 
arises as to the meaning of to ovtws thai. ' To be thus ' is vague, 
and ' thus ' may have three meanings : (1) 'as he is,' i.e. he is to 
remain without change of condition ; (2) ' as I am,' or as at 
TrapOivoi are, i.e. unmarried ; (3) ' as I now tell you,' referring to 
what follows. The first is probably right ; it is a repetition of 
the principle already given in v. 24, of which principle v. 27 is an 
illustration. The ovtws in v. 40 and Rom. ix. 20 is similar. 
There is not much difference in effect between (1) and (3) 


Origen prefers (2), and points out that this is the fourth time 
(vv. 1, 8, 26 bis) that the Apostle has used koXov of celibacy, 
whereas all that he says of marriage is that it is not sin. 

27. oe'Secmi yuraiKi; Like vv. 18 and 21, this may be either 
interrogative or hypothetical. The perfect indicates the settled 
condition of the marriage-tie, and ywaua means ' wife,' not 
1 woman ' : betrothal to an unmarried woman is not included. 
There could be no doubt about this case. The Lord had 
prohibited divorce ; therefore /at/ £r/T€i Xvvlu, 'never at any time 
(pres. imperat.) seek freedom.' The advice is permanent. No- 
where else in N.T. does Avo-is occur. In LXX it is used only 
of the solving of hard sayings (Eccles. viii. 1 ; Dan. xii. 8 ; 
Wisd. viii. 8). See Milligan, Greek Papyri, p. 106. 

XcXuctcu duo y. Here again the perfect means, ' Art thou in 
a state of freedom from matrimonial ties ? ' It does not mean 
' Hast thou been freed from a wife by death or divorce ? ' The 
verb is chosen because of the preceding Aijo-iv, and bachelors as 
well as widowers are addressed. Here it cannot be assumed 
that such men are not to marry, because they were unmarried 
when they were called to be Christians. The Lord had not 
said this. But in the existing circumstances His Apostle advise* 
this. In neither clause need we translate fir] £t/t« ' Cease to 
seek.' We do not know that any Corinthian Christians had 
been trying to be divorced from their wives, though probably 
some were trying to be married. 

28. iav oi tea! yap-TJo-Yis. He at once hastens to assure those 
who have already done what he now advises them not to do, that 
they have done nothing wrong: 'But if it be that thou do 
marry.' The /cat, as in v. 11, intensifies the verb; if it has 
already gone as far as that. See Evans on this aorist. 

The 'and' in ' but and if (AV., RV.) is not a translation of the xa.1, 
but an archaic reduplication of the 'if.' Perhaps 'and if' is a corruption 
of 'an if,' for 'an' = ' if,' as in the saying ' If i/s and ans were pots and 

In this verse we have both the later (7^770-77?) and the classical (777/xr;) 
form of the aorist. But some texts (KL, Chrys.) have altered ya/j.ri<rri$ to 
717/irys, while D E F G have Xd/3r7s 7wo(/ta, Vulg. acccperis uxorcm. In 
ix. 21, 22 we have both KepSavui and Kepdrjcrui. 

oux T|fi.apTe9. The thought goes on to the marriage as a fact ; 
'there was no sin in that.' This sounds incongruous in English, 
and we must say ' thou hast not sinned.' Origen remarks that 

Paul does not say e'dv yafxr]arj<;, kolXov. 

Tj irapGeVos. If the article is genuine, it is generic : a reference 
to some particular case at Corinth is not likely. 

6XivJ/ic 8t tt) cmpKt e^ouCTic 01 t. ' But affliction for the flesh 


will be the lot of those who act thus.' Quum diceret, habituros 
tribulationem carnis, vel in came, significat, sollicitudines et 
angustias, quibus conjuges implicantur, ex negotiis terrenis pro- 
venire. Caro igitur hie pro nomine externo capitur (Calv.). This 
would be specially true in the persecutions which were to 
precede the Advent. As Bacon says, " He that hath wife and 
children hath given hostages to fortune " ; and "children sweeten 
labours, but they make misfortunes more bitter." Origen makes 
QXtyvi refer specially to the wife, quoting Gen. iii. 16. The 
dative may be locative ; ' in the flesh ' (AV., RV.) ; tribulationem 
carnis (Vulg.) ; pressuram carnis (Tert.) ; afflictionem in came 
(Beza). Cf. (tk6\o\\i rfj crapaC, 'thorn for the flesh ' (2 Cor. xii. 7). 
iyu 8e ufioif <J>6t8oficu. ' But I for my part spare you ' : this 
is his aim as their spiritual adviser. The emphatic «yto makes 
' I won't pain you by saying more ' an improbable interpretation. 
In what way does he spare them ? Nolo vos illam tribulationem 
sentire (Herv.). Ideo quia, secundum indulgentiam conjugia non 
omnino prohibeo (Primasius). Atto admits both reasons, but the 
former is probably right, and it almost excludes the latter. He 
aims at keeping them from affliction by persuading them not to 
marry. Cf. 2 Cor i. 23, xii. 6, xiii. 2. 

yaftri<rris (S B P [yafi^a-g A] 17) rather than yf)HT)s (K L, Orig. Chrys.) to 
agree with the following jr/ny, or Xd/Sgs ywaiKa (D F, Latt. acceperis 
uxorem), Tert. duxeris uxorem. It is less easy to decide whether 17 before 
rapdtros should be inserted (SADEKLP)or omitted (B F G). D* F 
insert iv before t-q <rapicl. 

29. ToGto 8e (Jnjfu. ' But this I do declare.' The change from 
\iyw (v. 6, i. 1 2, vi. 5) to <f>rjfii should be marked in translation, 
whether the change has significance or not ; but even the RV. 
fails to do this. The change probably gives special seriousness 
to the assertion. ' But, though I counsel none to change their 
state, I do counsel all to change their attitude towards all 
earthly things.' We have the same expression, introducing a 
solemn warning, xv. 50; cf. x. 15, 19 : nowhere else in N.T. or 
LXX does the 1st pers. sing, occur. The tovto does not refer to 
what precedes ; he is not repeating what he has just said. He is 
reminding them of a grave fact, which has to be considered in 
connexion with marriage, and indeed with the whole of life. He 
has been insisting on the avayxr] already present : he now insists 
on the (supposed) shortness of the interval before the Advent. 
Both facts confirm the advice which he gives. 

6 Kaipos o-u^CTTaXfi^os eorif. ' The allotted time has become 
short,' lit. ' has been drawn together so as to be small in 
amount.' As in Rom. xiii. n, 6 Kaipo's is used almost as a 
technical term for the period before the Advent (Westcott on 
Heb. ix. 9). Hort (on 1 Pet. i. 11) thinks that it was owing 


probably to its use in Daniel (ix. 27, etc.) that in our Lord's time 
it was specially used with reference to national religious expecta- 
tions. But St Paul by no means always uses it in this special 
eschatological sense, although he commonly uses it of 'a fixed 
and limited time' or 'a fitting period,' while xpoVos is time 
generally, and is unlimited. That he still believed that the Second 
Coming was near is evident from x. n, xv. 51* but a little later 
his view seems to be changing (Sanday and Headlam, Romans, 
P- 379 > Sanday, Life of Christ in Recent Research, p. 113). 
Calvin and others explain the words here of the shortness of 
human life; 'you are sure to die before long.' This makes good 
sense, but probably not the right sense. 

Some texts (D E F G) ins. 8n before 6 icaipbs : the best omit. A more 
important point is the punctuation of what follows. Should a stop, 
comma, or colon be placed after icrrlv, and rb Xoiirbv be taken with Xva, 
k.t.X. ? Or should it be placed after rb Xoiirbv, and rb Xoiirbv be taken with 
what precedes ? Editors are divided ; but the former is better for two 
reasons. In the Pauline Epp. rb Xoiirbv commonly leads (Phil. iii. 1, iv. 8 ; 
2 Thess. iii. 1), as also does Xoiirbv (2 Cor. xiii. n ; 1 Thess. iv. 1 ; 2 Tim. 
iv. 8). And rb Xoiirbv is weak after crwecrr. iariv, ' is straitened as to its 

to Xoittok Xva. ical ol ex. y. ' So that, henceforward those also 
who have wives may be as though they had none.' St Paul 
rather frequently puts words in front of Iva for emphasis ; 2 Cor. 
ii. 4; Gal. ii. 10; Rom. vii. 13; Col. iv. 16. It is quite clear 
that, if the conditions of the time are such that those who have 
wives ought to be as if they had none, then it is foolish to 
marry ; for as soon as one had taken a wife one would have to 
behave as if one had not got one, i.e. one would undertake a 
great responsibility, and then have the responsibility of trying to 
be free from it. Far better, in such circumstances, never to under- 
take it. In 2 Esdr. xvi. 40-48 there is a good deal that resembles 
this passage ; but 2 Esdr. xv., xvi. are an addition made by a 
Christian about a.d. 265, and the writer very likely had this 
passage in his mind when he wrote. 

The force of the ko.1 is not quite certain. He has been 
saying that in such times the unmarried state is best, and then 
goes on to say that not only the married, but also all bound in 
any earthly circumstances, should practise 'detachment'; then 
the ko.1 would mean ' both ' (AV., RV.). Even when three or 
four things are strung together in Greek, the first may have ko.1 as 
well as the rest. In Acta Pauli et Theclae (p. 42, ed. Tisch.) 
we have \jl<x.kq.oioi 01 t^ovres ywaiKas <I>s /jltj fyovTes, on avrol 
ayycAoi ®€ov yevqaovrai. 

The meaning of the illustrations is fairly clear. Married men 
are apt to become absorbed in domestic cares, mourners in their 
sorrow, buyers in the preservation of what they have bought. A 


Christian, with dangers all round him and the Advent close at 
hand, ought not to be engrossed in any of his surroundings, 
knowing how temporary they are. He should learn how to sit 
loose to all earthly ties. 

30. <I>s p) KaTe'xovTes. ' As not entering upon full ownership,' 
or ' keeping fast hold upon' (xi. 2, xv. 2 ; 2 Cor. vi. 10; 1 Thess. 
v. 21, where see Milligan, p. 155). Earthly goods are a trust, 
not a possession. 

31. ws firj KaTaxpoj/xewoi. ' As not using it to the utmost ' ; 
lit. 'using it down to the ground,' and so, 'using it completely 
up.' We are not to try to get all we can out of externals. The 
rendering 'abusing' or 'misusing' is not the right idea.* Here 
and in ix. 18 only: in Ep. Jer. 28 of the idolatrous priests 'using 
up for their own profit ' the sacrificial offerings. The man who 
remembers that he is only a sojourner in the world is likely to 
remember also that worldly possessions are not everything, and 
that worldly surroundings cannot be made permanent. Lightfoot 
quotes from Seneca (Ep. Mor. lxxiv. 18), "Let us use them, let 
us not boast of them : and let us use them sparingly, as a loan 
deposited with us, which will soon depart." 

impdyei yap to o^p-a T - K - T - ' For transitory is the fashion of 
this world.' There is no need to take the yap back to 6 Ka.ip6% 
(Tvv€a-TaXfx£vo<; early. Indeed, this does not make very good 
sense. The yap explains the reason for the preceding counsels, 
especially the last one. To o-yf//xa t. k. is not a mere periphrasis 
for 6 ko'o-^o? : the phrase expresses ' the outward appearance,' 
all that can be apprehended by the senses. This may change, 
and does change, season by season, although the world itself 
abides. Praeterit figura mundi, non natura, ut in aliam speciem 
mundus vertatur (Herv.).f Cf. 2 Esdr. iv. 26; and see Deiss- 
mann, Light, p. 281 ; Resch, Agrapha, p. 274. 

Because xp°- a ^ ai commonly has the dative (2 Cor. i. 17, iii. 12) some 
texts have corrected rbv k6<t)j.ov (the reading of N*ABD* FG 17) to t<^ 
k6ijix(jj. Even in class. Grk., KaraxpaaOat often has the accusative: in ix. 
18 ii has the dative. 

32. dp.cpi'p.i'ous. ' Free from anxieties,' such as ' choke the 
word' (Mark iv. 19) and distract from the thought of 'that Day' 
(Luke xxi. 34). ' Without carefulness ' (AV.) is not the meaning : 
cf. Matt, xxviii. 14; Wisd. vi. 15, vii. 23. 'Carefulness' formerly 

* The Vulgate has tanquam non utantur, which seems to imply different 
Greek : Beza, ut non abtttenles, which is right, for abuti often means ' to use 
up.' 'Misusing' would be wapaxp^fJ-evoi. In Philo {De Josepho xxiv. ) we 
have xpu M'? ira.pcLXP^f J - evoi - 

t Excepting Phil. ii. 8, crxv/^o- occurs nowhere else in N.T., and, excepting 
Isa. iii. 17, nowhere in LXX. The destruction of the material universe i« 
not a Pauline idea. 


meant 'anxiety' (Ps. cxxvii. 3). Bacon couples it with 'trouble 
of mind,' and Latimer calls it 'wicked' (Wright, Bible Word- 
Book, p. 111). In papyri the wish that a person d/Aepi/xvos yivrj is 
common. The Apostle goes on to give examples, and to show by 
his wording that there is a right kind of fxlpiixva as well as a wrong, 
■irws apeVr] tw Kupi'w. The thought of pleasing Christ and 
God is frequent in the Pauline Epp. (Rom. viii. 8 ; 1 Thess. ii. 
15, iv. 1 ; Col. i. 10; 2 Cor. v. 9). See on x. 33. Through- 
out vv. 32-34 dpe'077 (NABDEFG) is certainly the right 
reading, not dpecret KL P). See Matt. vi. 24 and 2 Tim. ii. 4. 

33. 6 8e yapicras. The aorist points to the time when the 
change of interest took place: 'once a man is married.' 
Epictetus (Etichir. 18) holds that the care of external things (to. 
Iktos) is fatal to devotion to one's higher nature : a man is sure 
(7rao-a avdyKrf) to neglect the one in caring for the other. 

After Tp yvvaiKl there is much doubt as to punctuation and reading. 
Does Kat fiefiipiarai belong to v. 33 or v. 34 ? The Vulg. takes it with 
v. 33, et divisus est, 'and he is a divided man,' 'he is no longer single- 
hearted.' This spoils the balance of ttCjs dp. t.k. and ir<2>s dp. r% y. More- 
over, it is a weak addition to the latter. The arrangement in AV. and 
RV. seems better. Some texts (D 3 E F G K L) omit the Kai before fie/jJ- 
puTTai, and with that omission fiefiipio-rai must belong to what follows : but 
this Kai is probably genuine (NABD*P 17, Vulg. Syrr. Arm. Aeth.). So 
also the Kai after fiep.. (K A B D 3 F G K L P, Vulg. Aeth.). The position 
of i) dyafios is uncertain. Should it be inserted after 77 yvvf) only (B P 
Vulg.), or after 77 irapBivos only (DEFGK L Syrr. Arm ), or in both 
places (K A F 2 17, Aeth.)? This third reading cannot be right, and the 
evidence for t; dyafios after 77 yvvf) is thereby weakened. If, however, 77 
dyafios be read after r) yvvr\ only, then Kai fiefiipiarai must be taken with 
v. 33. The alternative readings therefore are : ttJ ywaiKi Kai fieiiipio-rai, 
Kai 77 yvvr) 77 dya/xos Kai 7? irapdtvos fj.eptfj.fqL r. t. k. (Lach. Treg. WH.) and : 
rrj yvvaiKl, Kai fie fxl p«n at Kai 77 yvvrf Kai 77 irapdlvos, 77 dyafios fiepifivq. t.t.k. 
(Tisch. Alf. Rev. Ell.). Lightfoot (writing before the appearance of WH.) 
says: "I venture to prefer this latter reading, though supported chiefly 
by Western authorities, from internal evidence ; for the sentences then 
become exactly parallel. There is just the same distinction between the 
married woman and the virgin as between the married and the unmarried 
man. The other view throws sense and parallelism into confusion, for 
Kai fxefitpuTTat. is not wanted with v. 33, which is complete in itself. It also 
necessitates the awkward phrase 77 7W7J Kai 77 irapdi'vos fj.epitj.vqi. The 
reading 77 yvvi) 77 &ya/j.os Kai ij TrapOivos 77 dyafios illustrates the habitual 
practice of scribes to insert as much as possible, and may be neglected." 
Heinrici proposed a second nefxipio-rai : rrj ywaiKi Kai fxep.e'picrTai, fJ.efj.i- 
pio-rai Kai 77 yvvrf. 77 dyafios Kai 77 ■napdtvos fiepifivq., k.t.\. This is pure con- 
jecture ; but it restores the balance of clauses and accounts for the double 
Kai. Findlay thinks it " tempting." Bachmann tabulates the confusing 
evidence. See Resch, Agrapha, pp. 8, 183. 

On the other hand, see Introd. § "Text." The question of reading 
must precede and determine that of punctuation. The MS. evidence for 
Kai before fiep-ipiarai is overwhelming ; that for 77 dyafios immediately after 
yvvr) scarcely less so. The sense given to /xefiipiaraL in AV. is " ill attested 
and improbable" (WH.) and would require a plural verb. 


34. !va t] dyi'a. Bengel remarks that dyia here means more 
than it does in v. 14: what is set apart from the world for God 
ought to conform to the purity of God and not to the defilements 
of the world : Trench, Syn. § 88 ; Cremer, pp. 598 f. See 1 Tim. 
v. 5, and the art Heiligung in Herzog (Hauck). Stanley quotes 
Queen Elizabeth, who said that England was her husband. 

35. irpos to upv auiw o-ufi^opoc. His aim is not to glorify 
his ministry as Apostle of the Gentiles (Rom. xi. 13), but to keep 
them free from cares (v. 32). Cf. x. 33, the only other place in 
N.T. in which o-v/x<j>opos occurs. The reading o-v/Afpepov is pro- 
bably wrong, as in x. 33. 

Ppoxok upy €m{3d\w. 'Cast a snare upon you' (AV., RV.) 
gives a wrong idea : /3po'xos is a halter or lasso, not a trap (here 
only, in N.T.). He has no wish to curtail their freedom, as one 
throws a rope over an animal that is loose, or a person that is to 
be arrested : accesserat lictor injiciebatque laqueum (Livy i. 26). 
Cf. Philem. 14; Prov. vi. 5. Laqueo trahuntur inviti (Beng.). 

d\Xd irpos t6 k.t.X. ' On the contrary, with a view to ' : what 
follows is an expansion of ap.epifj.vov; : cf. Rom. xiii. 13. 

euirdpeSpoy. Cf. TrapeSpevovTes in ix. 13, and ' Give me wisdom, 
that sitteth by Thy throne,' t^v twv o-wv dpoviav vapeSpov (Wisd. 
ix. 4). The word occurs nowhere else in N.T. or LXX. Com- 
bined with dTrepio-irdoTws it suggests the contrast between Mary 
sitting at the Lord's feet and Martha distracted by much serving, 
7rept€(T7raro Trepl ttoXXtjv SiaxovLav (Luke X. 40). Cf. Xva airepL<r- 
irao-Tot yevwvTdi ttJs 0-775 €uepyeo-id<>, ' that they might never be 
distracted from Thy goodness' (Wisd. xvi. n); and see Ecclus. 
xl. 1, 2. The reading evirpoo-eSpov has hardly any authority.* 

36. The verse indicates that the Corinthians had asked him 
about the duty of a father with a daughter of age to marry. The 
question is what he ought to do, not what she ought to do : his 
wishes, not hers, are paramount. This is in accordance with the 
ideas of that age, and the Apostle does not condemn them. 

There is no need to place a comma after vo/n£« : her being 
of full age is what suggested to the father (who may have been 
warned also by friends) that he is not behaving becomingly 
towards his child in not furthering her marriage. Apparently 
po/u'£«, like,u) in v. 26, is used, not of a hesitating opinion 
but of a settled conviction ; and verbally ao~xqvov€iv looks back 

* See the remarkable parallel in Epictetus (Dis. Hi. 22 ; Long's transla- 
tion, Bell, 1903, 11. p. 87) : " But in the present state of things, which is like 
that of an army placed in battle order, is it not fit that the philosopher should 
without any distraction (&TrepLcnra<rTov) be employed only on the ministration 
(StaKovlif.) of God, not tied down to the common duties of mankird, not 
entangled in the ordinary relations of life ? " 


to €vo"x^/i.ov in v. 35 ; but perhaps only verbally, because the 
spheres are so very different. ' Past the flower of her age ' is 
perhaps too strong for vTrepa.Kp.o-; (Vulg. superadultd) : Luther is 
right ; weil sie eben wohl mannbar ist, and in Corinth there was 
danger that a girl, who was old enough to marry and anxious to 
marry, might go disastrously astray if marriage was refused. In 
Ecclus. xlii. 9 the father is anxious ev veoV^Ti ai-r^s fir) irore 
7rapa.Kp.d0-r}. PlatO (Rep. 460 E) speaks of /ieVpios XP° V0S «**/*9S 
as being 20 for a woman and 30 for a man. 'Ao-^/xoverv 
occurs here and xiii. 5 in N.T., and vTr£pa.Kp.o<; nowhere else in 
the Bible. 

outws 6<f>ei\ei yirccrOcu. That he had better let her marry, 
not simply propter voluntatem puellae (Primasius), but because of 
the possible consequences of refusing. ' Let him do what he 
will' does not mean that it is a matter of indifference whether 
he allows the marriage or not, and that he can please himself; it 
means that he is free to do what his conviction (vo/ui£ei) has led 
him to wish. It is wholly improbable that ns, airov and os (v. 37) 
refer to the suitor, the prospective bridegroom. The Corinthians 
would not have asked about him. It is the father's or guardian's 
duty that is the question. Still more improbable is the conjecture 
that the Apostle is referring to a kind of spiritual betrothal 
between unmarried persons. It is supposed that Christian 
spinsters with ascetic tendencies, in order to avoid ordinary 
marriage, each placed themselves formally under the protection 
of a man, who was in some sense responsible for the woman. 
She might or might not share the same house, but she was 
pledged to share his spiritual life. And the meaning of v. 36 
would then be that the man who has formed a connexion of this 
kind may, without sin, turn it into an ordinary marriage. In this 
way the plural yap-eiTwo-av is free from all difficulty. But, quite 
independently of the improbability that St. Paul would sanction 
so perilous an arrangement, there is the obstacle of ya/xt^wv in 
v. 38, which everywhere in N.T. (Matt. xxii. 30, xxiv. 38 ; Mark 
xii. 25 ; Luke xvii. 27, xx. 35) means * give in marriage' (in LXX 
it does not occur). In spite of this, some make it mean 'marry ' ; 
while others accept the absurdity that the man who has formed a 
special union with a woman may give her in marriage to another 
man. The yap.t^wv is decisive : the Apostle is speaking of a 
father or guardian disposing of an unmarried daughter or ward. 

Yafien-wcray. The plural is elliptic, but quite intelligible ; 
'Let the daughter and her suitor marry.' Cf. p.uvwo-iv, 1 Tim. 
ii. 15. 

To avoid the awkwardness, D* F G, Arm., Aug. read ya/xeiru, white 
def Vulg., Ambrst. have non peccat si nubat, 'he sinneth not if sue 


37. 09 Se eaTT)Kei> . . . eSpcuos. It is assumed that a father 
would originally be of the Apostle's opinion, that Sia ttjv eVccrrai- 
trav dvdyKTjv, it is better for a daughter to remain single ; and the 
case is now stated of a father who is able to abide by that con- 
viction, because his daughter's circumstances do not compel him 
to change it. There is in her condition no 6<peC\ei yiveo-dat, no 
dvdyKr) to determine the father to act against his general principle. 
In N.T., eSpaios is peculiar to Paul (xv. 58 ; Col. i. 23) ; in LXX 
it does not occur, but is frequent in Symm. Cf. 1 Tim. iii. 15. 

i£ou<rlav 8e ?xei -ircpi tou ISiou 6. ' He can do as he likes 
about his personal wishes' (e^co-riv, vi. 12, x. 23), cum virgo non 
adversaretur sed assentiretur huic pater?iae voluntati (Herv.). 
The repetition of 1810s respecting his will and heart, and the 
change to eauTov respecting his daughter, seem to mark the 
predominance of the father in the matter. Similarly, in v. 2 we 
have Trjv kavrov yvvaxKa, and in V. 4 tov iSiov crw/mTOs. With 
KeKpLKtv compare kck/diko. in v. 3, and with the emphatic tovto 
preparing for what is to follow, compare 1 Thess. iv. 3. 

Tt]ptlv. 'To keep her as she is,' 'guard her in a state of 
singleness,' not ' to keep her for himself.' On irovqo-u see v. 38. 

edpa'ios comes last in its clause with emphasis (NABDE P), not im- 
mediately after ZaryKev (KL): Aeth. Arm. omit eSpalos. KL 
omit ai/Tov before iSpalos. After KiKpticev, iv r. iSlq. k. (X A B P) is to be 
preferred to iv r. k. afrrou (D E F G K L). tov before rrjpetv (D E F G K L) 
should be omitted (X A B P 17, ed). 

38. Kal 6 Yafii^ojc . . . ica! o pj. This probably means ' Both 
he who does and he who does not ' : they both act well. Or, 
1 It is equally true that A. acts well, and that B. will act better.' 
By a dexterous turn, which perhaps is also humorous, the Apostle 
gives the preference to the one who does not give his daughter 
in marriage. The change from ttouZ to 71-01^0-ei is also effective : 
the one ' does well,' the other ' will be found to do better,' for 
experience will confirm his decision. This koAws and Kpela-o-ov 
may be said to sum up the results of the whole chapter. 

yafiifav (XABDE 17) rather than iicyafxLfav (K L P). ttjv iaxnov 
vapdivov (X A P) is perhaps preferable to r. ir. eavrov (B D E, Vulg. 
virginem suam) : K L, AV. omit the words. kclXQs iroie? (XADEKLP, 
Vulg.) rather than k. iroiricrei (B) ; and Kpetuaov iroi-qffei (X A B 17, Copt.) 
rather than Kp. iroiel (D E F G K L P, Vulg.). Copyists thought that both 
verbs must be in the same tense ; some changed 7rotei to irorfaei, and others 
Troujcret to 7roiet, as in AV. 

39. A few words are added about the remarriage of widows. 
As their case is covered by w. 8 and 34 we may suppose that 
the Corinthians had asked about the matter. In Rom. vii. 1-6 
•ne principle stated here is used again metaphorically to illustrate 

transition from law to grace : e<f> ocrov xpovov appears in both 


passages. Romans was written soon after i Corinthians. There 
we have cav Se airoOdvrj 6 dvrjp : for KOip.r]6fj see on xi. 30.* 

fio^ov iv Kupi'w. 'Only as a member of Christ,' which implies 
that she marries a Christian.! To marry a heathen, especially in 
Corinth, would make loyalty to Christ very difficult : cf. v. 1 2, 
ix. 1, 2, xi. 11, xv. 58, xvi. 19. For the ellipse of the verb after 
ixovov see Lightfoot on Gal. ii. 10 and v. 13. 

Rom. vii. 2 has influenced the text here. K 3 D 2 E F G L P ins. vbuy 
after 5i5erai, but X* A B D* 17, Am. Copt. Aeth. Arm. omit. For Koiwdrj, 
A, Orig. Bas. have atrodav-Q. 

40. fAaxapioWpa. In the same sense as (xaKapiov fxaXXov, 
Acts xx. 35. She will have more real happiness if she does not 
marry again. There is no inconsistency between this and 1 Tim. 
v. 14. The 'younger widows' come under the rule given in 
v. 9. 

outws. In statu quo, as in 2 Pet. iii. 4, tto.vto. outws Sia/ieVei. 
Here the word refers to the condition which she entered when 
her husband died. This confirms the interpretation of outws in 
v. 26. In both cases the person had better make no change. 

Ka-ra tV epic yvw^v. The €fj.r]v is emphatic, and implies 
that there are other opinions. 

80KW Be Kdyw. Non dubietatem significat (Primasius) any more 
than vo/xi£w (v. 26). ' And I also think,' not ' I think that I also ' 
(RV.). Other people may believe that their views are inspired, 
but the Apostle ventures also to believe that he is guided in his 
judgment by God's Spirit. It seems to be clear from this that 
some of those who differed from him appealed to their spiritual 
illumination. See Goudge, p. 68 ; Stanley, pp. 117 f. ; Dobschiitz, 
p. 64. 

On the authority of B 17, Aeth. and some other witnesses, WH. read 
yap in preference to 5^ (X A D E F G K L P, Latt. Copt.), placing S<? in 
the margin. A few texts have no conjunction. 

F G and some Latin texts {habeo or habeam) have ?x w f° r *X«". 

Alford remarks on ch. vii., " In hardly any portion of the Epistles has 
the hand of correctors and interpolators of the text been busier than here. 
The absence of all ascetic tendency from the Apostle's advice, on the point 
where asceticism was busiest and most mischievous, was too strong a testi- 
mony against it to be left in its original clearness." 

Saepe apostoli in epistolis de conjugio agunt : unus Paulus, 
semel, nee sua sponte, sed interrogates, coelibatum suadet, idque 
lenissime (Beng.). These words are an excellent summary of the 

* Hermas seems to have w. 39, 40, and 28 in his mind in Mand. iv. iv. 1. 

f Harnack disputes this (Mission and Expansion, i. p. 81). Tertullian 
(Ad Uxoiem, ii. I, 2) implies that marriages between Christians and heathen 
did take place. See Cyprian (Test. iii. 62); matrimonium cum gentilibus 
non jungendum . 



teaching in this chapter as to the comparative value of marriage 
and celibacy : the preference given to celibacy is tentative and 
exceptional, to meet exceptional conditions. " No condemnation 
of marriage, no exclusion of the married from the highest bless- 
ings of the Christian life, finds a place in the N.T." (Swete on 
Rev. xiv. 4, which he says " must be taken metaphorically, as the 
symbolical character of the Book suggests.") See also Goudge, 
pp. 63-65. 

VIII. 1-3. General Principles. 

An idol represents nothing wliich really exists. Conse- 
quently, eating what is offered to such a nonentity is a matter 
of indifference : yet, in tenderness to the scruples of the weak, 
we ought to abstain from eating. 

1 Now, as to the subject of food that has been offered in 
sacrifice to idols, we are quite aware (as you say) that we all have 
knowledge ; we all are acquainted with the facts and understand 
them. But do not let us forget that knowledge may breed conceit, 
while it is love that builds up character. 2 If any one imagines 
that he has acquired knowledge, he may be sure that he has 
not yet attained to the knowledge to which he ought to have 
attained. 8 But if any one has acquired love of God, this is 
the man who is known by God, and God's recognition of him 
will not breed conceit. 4 Let us return then from these thoughts 
to the subject of eating the flesh of animals that have been sacri- 
ficed to idols. About that we are quite aware that there is no 
such thing in the world as the being that an idol stands for, and 
that there is no God but one. 6 For even if so-called gods do 
really exist, — if you like, in heaven, or, if you like, on earth ; 
and, in fact, there are many such gods and many such lords, — 
6 nevertheless, for us there is but one God, who is the Source of 
all things and our Final End, and but one Lord, Jesus Christ, 
through whom the whole universe was made and through whom 
we were made anew. 7 Still, as I have intimated, we do not find 
in all men the knowledge to which you appeal. On the contrary, 
some of you, through being accustomed all their lives to look 
upon an idol as real, partake of sacrificed meat as if it were a 
real sacrifice to a god, and their conscience, being too weak to 


guide them aright, is defiled with the consciousness of having 
done something which they feel to be wrong. 8 But surely it is 
not food that will affect our relation to God : if we do not eat, 
we are none the worse in His sight, and if we do eat, we are 
none the better. 9 Always take care, however, that this freedom 
of yours to do as you like about eating or not eating does not 
become an obstacle to the well-being of the weak. 10 For if any 
such person sees you, who have the necessary knowledge, not 
only eating this meat, but sitting and eating it in the court of the 
idol, will not the very fact of his weakness cause his conscience 
to be hardened — hardened into letting him eat what he still 
believes to be a sacrifice to an idol? u This must be wrong; 
for it means bringing ruin to the weak man through your know- 
ledge — ruin to the brother for whom Christ died. 12 But in thus 
sinning against your brethren, and in fact giving their conscience 
a blow which it is too weak to stand, ye are sinning against 
Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat puts a stumbling-block in my 
brother's way, I will never eat meat again, so long as the world 
lasts, rather than put a stumbling-block in my brother's way. 

1. riepl Be -rail/ elSwXoQuTwc St Paul is probably following the 
order of the Corinthians' questions, but the connexion between 
this subject and the advisability of marriage (vii. 2-5, 9, 36) is 
close. Impurity and the worship of idols were closely allied 
(Rev. ii. 14, 20), especially at Corinth, and either evil might lead 
to the other (see Gray on Num. xxv. 1, 2). By ra d8wX66vra is 
meant the flesh that was left over from heathen sacrifices. This 
was either eaten sacrificially, or taken home for private meals, 
or sold in the markets (4 Mace. v. 2 ; Acts xv. 29, xxi. 25 ; Rev. 
ii. 14, 20). In x. 28 we have UpoOvTov, which, like 6e66vrov, gives 
the heathen point of view.* 

otSafiec. See Rom. ii. 2, iii. 19, and Evans on 1 Cor. viii. 1, 
additional note, p. 299. The expression is frequent in Paul. 

irdin-es yvCxnv e'x o f xei '* Perhaps a quotation, made with gentle 
irony, from the Corinthians' letter. See Moffatt, Lit. of N.T., 
p. 112. They had claimed enlightenment — so dear to Greeks — 
on this subject of the true nature of idol-worship. They knew 
now that there were no gods ; the worship of them was a nullity. 
The Apostle does not dispute that, but enlightenment is not 
everything : and in the gift which is better than enlightenment 
the Corinthians are lacking. Some commentators take -n-avTVi 
to mean all Christians, which has point. It can hardly mean 

* In Aristoph. Aves 1265, mortals are forbidden to send iepbdvrov Kairv&p 
to the gods through the air which belongs to the birds. 


the Apostle and all who are similarly illuminated : he is urging 
that knowledge is not the prerogative of a privileged few. 

T| y^wo-19 4>u(noi. Enlightenment is not merely insufficient for 
solving these questions ; unless it is accompanied by love, it is 
likely to generate pride. While love builds up, mere knowledge 
puffs up. Thus in Col. ii. 18 (the only place outside 1 Cor. in 
which the verb occurs) we have, et/07 <pvo-iovfxevos biro tov voos 
ttJs o-ap/cos. The Apostle once more glances at the inflated 
self-complacency which was so common at Corinth (iv. 6, 18, 
19, v. 2). 'Puffed up' is just what ayairq is not (xiii. 4). Cf. 
rvfyoofxai, 1 Tim. iii. 6, vi. 4 ; 2 Tim. iii. 4. Est genus scientiae, quo 
homines tumescunt ; quae quia charitate non est condita, ideo inflat. 
Ille qui pu tat se scire, propterea quia intelligit omnia licita, et non 
inquinare quod in nos intrat (Matt. xv. 1 1, 20), dum ad scandalum 
fratris licita sumit, nondum cognovit quemadmodum oporteat eum 
scire (Atto). Loving consideration for the weakness of others 
buttresses them, and strengthens the whole edifice of the 
Church (Rom. xiv. 15). Ramsay, Pictures of the Apostolic Church, 

P- 2 57- 

tj &€ dydTTT) oiKoSojiei. For the first time in this letter St Paul 

uses this verb : but oiKoSop.?/ occurs iii. 9 and i-n-otKoSofxelv iii. 10. 

The earliest use of it in his writings is 1 Thess. v. n, where he 

charges the Thessalonians to 'build up each the other,' and it 

becomes one of his favourite metaphors, especially in this Epistle 

(v. 10, x. 23, xiv. 4, 17), with oiKoSofxi] still more frequent. It is 

possible that our Lord's use of the metaphor of building up His 

Church (Matt. xvi. 18) may have suggested it to the Apostle ; but 

it is a natural metaphor for apy one to use. We find it in Acts 

ix. 31, xx. 32; 1 Pet. ii. 5 ; Jude 20; cf. Acts iv. 11. It is used 

of building up individuals, building up a society, and building 

up individuals to form a society (Hort on 1 Pet. ii. 5).* The 

metaphor is elaborately worked out Eph. ii. 20, 21; cf. 1 Cor. 

iii. 10-14. Jeremiah was set apart from his birth' 

kol Ka.Ta.(f)VT€vuv (Jer. i. 10; cf. xviii. 9, xxiv. 6; Ecclus. xlix. 7). 

In the hymn in praise of aydV?/ (xiii.) this characteristic is not 

mentioned. Cf. Aristotle (Eth. Nic. 1. iii. 6), to tI\o% \.o-t\v ov 

yvwcris dAAa 7rpd£is : (ii. ii. i) 17 irapovaa 7rpayp.aTeia ov Ectopias 
lveK<L io-TLv . . . dAA iv dya#oi yevw/xeOa : also X. ix. I. See 

Butler's "Thirdly" in the Sermon on the Ignorance of Man. 
On ayairr] see Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 198 f . ; Light, 
p. 18. 

* In Spencer and other contemporary and earlier writers, 'edify' and 
' edification ' are used in their original sense of constructing buildings. See 
Kitchin on Faery Queent, 1. i. 34, and Wright, Bible Word-Book, p. 219. 
It is found as late as 1670, " the re-edifying Layton Church " (Izaac Walton. 
Life of G. Herbert, sub fin. ). 


The punctuation of Griesbach, Bengel, etc., otSa/nev' Sn, 'Now about 
things offered we know ; because we all have knowledge,' is intolerably 
harsh. It would be almost impossible in t>. 4, and o'iSa/xev 8ti in the two 
places are evidently parallel. Lachmann conjectured that the original 
reading was oi'5a,uej' 6Vt ov irdires k.t.X. See Alford. 

St Bernard (In Cantica, xxxvi. 3) quotes Persius (i. 27), Scire tuum 
nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter, in commenting on this passage, and re- 
marks : Sunt qui scire volunt, ut scianfur ipsi ; et turpis vanitas est. Et 
sunt qui scire volunt, ut scientiam suam vendant ; et turpis quaestus est. 
Sed sunt quoque qui scire volunt ut aedificent ; et charitas est. 

2. et tis ookci. ' If any one fancies (existimat, Vulg. ; sibi 
videtur, Beza) that he knows anything.' The Corinthians fancied 
that they knew ; eyvw^eVat (perf.) that they had acquired know- 
ledge, and that the knowledge was complete. If they had had 
more real knowledge they would have been less confident. It 
is the man of superficial knowledge that is ready to solve all 
questions ; and this readiness is evidence of want of real know- 
ledge, for it shows that he does not know how ignorant he is. 
Cf. iii. 18, xi. 16; 1 Tim. i. 7. In ovtt<h there is no reference 
to a future life. 

3. ei 8e ns dya-Tra. This is the sure test, love ; and love of 
the highest of all objects, which is the highest form of love, — 
the love of Love Itself. This is a very different thing from 
thinking that one knows something. 

outo5 eyyojoTai utt' ciutou. The sentence is ambiguous in 
grammar, for either pronoun may refer to the man, and either 
to God ; but there is no reasonable doubt that ovtos is the man, 
who is recognized and acknowledged by God as His. In a 
special sense, ' The Lord knoweth them that are His ' (2 Tim. 
ii. 19 ; Ps. i. 6 ; Nahum i. 7 ; Jer. i. 5 ; Isa. xlix. 1). To Moses 
He said, ' I know thee by name,' OlSd o-e irapa. 71-avTas (Exod. 
xxxiii. 12, 17). It is in this sense that the man who loves God 
is known by God. We might have expected the Apostle to say, 
either, ' He who knows God is known by Him ' (Gal. iv. 9), or 
'He who loves God is loved by Him' (1 John iv. 19): but the 
combination of the two verbs is more telling, and more to his 
purpose. One who in this special sense is known by God may 
safely be assumed to possess what may rightly be called yiwis 
and not something which merely generates pride. He has the 
highest recognition of all in being known by God, and is not 
eager to show off in order to gain the recognition of men. Ilk 
veram habet scientiam qui Deum diligit ; et qui diligit Deum, 
fratris, ut suam, diligit salvatio?iem (Atto). Consequently, the 
man who loves God is the one who can rightly solve the question 
about food offered to idols. What effect will his partaking of 
it have on his fellow-Christian's progress in holiness ? 


4. riepl tt]s Ppwcrews ovv. After these preliminary considera- 
tions (vv. 1-3), which indicate the direction in which a solution 
of the question is likely to be found, he returns with a resump- 
tive ovv (Gal. iii. 5) to the question mentioned in v. 1, and states 
it more definitely. We now learn that it was respecting the 
lawfulness of eating what had been offered to idols that the 
Corinthians wanted to have his decision. It was a question of 
very frequent occurrence. In private sacrifices certain portions 
of the animal were the perquisite of the priests, but nearly all 
the rest might be taken away by the offerer, to be eaten at home 
or sold. In public sacrifices made by the state the skins and 
carcases, which at Athens sometimes amounted to hundreds, 
were an important source of revenue and patronage, the skins 
I eing sold for the state (to Sep/xarLKov), and the flesh being 
distributed to magistrates and others, who would sell what they 
did not need for home consumption. Smith, Diet, of Grk. and 
Rom. Ant. 11. p. 585. In the markets and in private houses 
ttSwAdtfirra were constantly to be found. 

oiSajiee. Here again he seems to be quoting from the 
Corinthian letter; 'What you say about the nullity of idols is 
quite true, but it does not settle the matter.' Cf. 1 Tim. i. 8. 

on ouSe^ eiSwXof . . . on ouScls 0e6s. These two clauses 
are parallel, and they should be translated in a similar way ; 
and, as oiSei's cannot be the predicate, ovhev is not the predicate, 
although most versions take it so (quia nihil est idolum in mundo, 
Vulg. ; dass em Gbtze nichts in der Welt sei, Luth.). Either, 
'that there is no idol in the world, and that there is no God 
but one,' or ' that nothing in the world is an idol, and that no 
being is God except one,' is probably right, and the former is 
far better: cf. Mark x. 18; Luke xviii. 19. An idol professes 
to be an image of a god, not of the only God, and such a thing 
does not, and cannot, exist, for you cannot represent what has 
no existence. If there is no Zeus, an etSwAov of Zeus is an 
impossibility. It represents 'a no-god' (see Driver on Deut. 
xxxii. 17, 21), and the maker of it orAao-ev avro ^wvev/xa, <pav- 
racrtav if/evSv (Hab. ii. 1 8). This is what is meant by 'they ate 
the sacrifices of the dead' (Ps. cvi. 2S ; cf. cxv. 4-8, exxxv. 
15-18), deaf and dumb idols (xii. 2) in contrast to the living 
God. They are called veKpoi, Wisd. xiii. 10, xv. 17. Jews 
regarded them as ' nothing ' (aven), mere ' lies ' (elilim). 

With cv k6<t/jlu> here compare Rom. v. 13. In the ordered 
universe there can be only one God, viz., the God who 
made it. 

D 8 E 17, Vulg. read wepl 8t rrjs /Spwaews without odv. D* has wept Si 
7-775 yvwaeus, and P 121, irepl ttjs yvwertus otv. After ovSeh Qe6s, M 3 K L, 
Syrr. add irepos, as in AV. None of these readings is likely to be right. 


5. tea! yap etircp k.t.X. ' For even granted that there are so- 
called gods, whether in heaven or upon earth, just as there are 
gods many and lords many.' Here ei7rep eicriv and wenrep elo-iv 
are correlative, and eiViV must be taken in the same sense in 
both clauses. If both refer to what really exists, the meaning 
will be, ' If you like to say that, because there are super- 
natural beings in abundance, as we all believe, therefore the 
so-called gods of the heathen really exist, nevertheless for us 
Christians there is only one God.' * If both refer to heathen 
superstition, the meaning will be, ' Granted that there are so- 
called gods, as there are — plenty of them ; still for us,' etc. He 
seems to mean that to the worshippers the idol is an object 
of adoration ; so that, while actually they worship a nonentity, 
ethically they are worshippers of Saip,6via (x. 20). Jehovah is 
God of gods and Lord of lords (Deut. x. 17; Ps. exxxvi. 2, 3), 
and therefore the second eiVtV probably refers to actual existence. 
Moreover, St Paul, while denying that the heathen gods existed 
(see Lightfoot on Gal. iv. 8), yet held that heathen sacrifices 
were offered to beings that do exist (x. 19-21); there were 
supernatural powers behind the idols, although not the gods 
which the idols represented. It is perhaps too much to say 
that £i7rcp, which in N.T. is peculiar to St Paul (2 Thess. i. 6; 
Rom. iii. 30, viii. 9, 17), is used of what the writer holds to 
be true or probable, yet it certainly does not imply that the 
hypothesis is improbable: 'granted that' is the meaning. See 
Sanday and Headlam, p. 96 ; Thackeray, p. 144. ' Whether in 
heaven or on earth ' gives the two main divisions of the K007/.0S 
in v . 4. Dicuntur dii in caelo, ut sol, luna et varia sidera ; in 
terra, imago Jovis, Mercurii atque Herculis (Atto). More pro- 
bably the latter are the heavenly, while the earthly are the 
nymphs, fauns, etc. See Stanley's notes on this verse. 

6. &W Tjp.ii/ els ©cos 6 iron-rip. 'Nevertheless (whatever may 
be the truth about these), for us believers (emphatically) there is 
one God, the Father, from whom come all things, while we tend 
towards Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all 
things, we also through Him.f There are two parallel triplets, 

#€Ol 7ToAAoi, €tS ®€OS, TO. TTO.VTO. '. KVpiOl 7roXXot, CIS K^piOS, TCt 

■n-avra. The one God is compared on the one side with many 
gods, on the other with the sum total of the universe : so also 
the one Lord. The comparison results in opposition in the one 
case, in harmony in the other. The ttoXXol are intolerable rivals 

* Quocunque te Jlexeris, ibi ilium videbis occurrentem tibi ; nihil ab illo 
vacat, opus suum ipse implet (Seneca, De Benef. iv. 8 ; compare M. Aurelius, 
xii. 28 ; Xen. Mem. iv. iii. 13). There is a close parallel in 1 Tim. ii. 5. 

f With eiVep . . . dXXd here compare 4av . . . d\\d in iv. 15. The context 
implies ' only one God.' See Deissmann, New Light on the N.T. p. 81. 


to the cTs ®eo's and cts Kvpios : ra iravra are welcome creatures. 
The T7/i€is, like the previous rj/uv, means ' we Christians.' Bruta 
animalia et inf deles homines in terram curvantur et terrena quae- 
runt ;* nos vero per fidem et desiderium tendimus in eum a quo 
descendimus (Herv.). God is the central Fount and the central 
Goal : all beings proceed from the former ; only believers 
consciously work towards the latter. See Resch, Agrapha, 
p. 129. 

In the case of Jesus Christ we have the same preposition 
(Sta c. gen.) with both ra iravra and ^/zeis.f But cY ov does 
not refer to the same fact as 81 clvtov. The former points to 
the Son's work in creation, the latter to His work in the new 
creation of mankind. ' If any man is in Christ there is a new 
creation' (2 Cor. v. 17; see Lightfoot on Gal. vi. 15). "This 
verse contains the earliest statement in the N.T. as to the work 
of our Lord in creation. This is stated more fully in Col. i. 
16-18. There, as here, the work of our Lord in creation and 
His work for the Church are spoken of together" (Goudge). 
Per quern creati sumus ut essemus, per ipsum recreati sumus ut 
unum Deum intelligeremus, atque idolum nihil esse recognos- 
ceremus (Atto). The statement is clear evidence of the Apostle's 
belief in the pre-existence of Christ ; see on x. 4, where we have 
similar evidence. Schmiedel remarks that Paul nowhere else 
ascribes to Christ a share in the work of creation ; but, as he 
frequently teaches the pre-existence, it is not going much further 
to ascribe to Him this work. Wace & Schaff, Nicene Library, 
IV. Alhanasius, p. lxxi. n. ; Sanday, Life of Christ in Recent 
Research, p. 131; J. Kaftan, Jesus u. Paulus, p. 64; Weinel, 
St Paul, p. 45. 

B, Fay. omit d\\' before rjfiiv. N* omits 0e6s. B, Aeth. have Si 8v 
for dt oO. 

7. 'A\X' ouk iv irdCTii' r\ yiwis. ' But not in all people is 
there the knowledge' which is necessary for eating idol-meats 
without harm. They do not know the principle on which the 
more enlightened do this. Non omnes sciunt quod propter con- 
temptum hoc facialis, sed putant vos propter venerationem hoc 
facere (Primasius) ; and they know that any veneration of an 
idol must be wrong. There is perhaps a difference intended 

* But the unbelieving heathen must not be wholly excluded from the els 
avTbv. While the Jew was being drawn by a special revelation through the 
Prophets towards God, the Gentile was groping his way in a general revelation 
through the order of Nature towards Him, till the course of both was com- 
pleted by the revelation in Christ (Gwatkin, Early Church History, p. 15). 

t The AV. is very inaccurate, translating els 'in' instead of 'unto,' and 
5«£ ' by ' instead of ' through.' B. W. Bacon regards w. 6 and 8 as quotations 
from the Corinthians' letter. 


between having knowledge (v. 1) and its being in them as an 
effective and illuminating principle. 

Tires 8« tt] auPTjOeia ews apn tou elSwXou. To take ecus aprt 
with i<T$tovcnv, 'continue the practice of eating such food even 
until now,' simplifies the translation, but it is not correct : rfj cr. 
fws apn t. (18. is all one expression, in which ews apn (iv. 13, 
xv. 6) qualifies 177 <x. It is the force of habit which lasts even 
until now. They have been so accustomed to regard an idol 
as a reality, as representing a god that exists, that even now, 
in spite of their conversion, they cannot get rid of the feeling 
that, by eating food which has been offered to an idol, they 
are taking part in the worship of heathen gods ; they cannot 
eat iK 7tiott€ws (Rom. xiv. 23). Consequently, when the example 
of other Christians encourages them to eat meat of this kind, 
they do what they feel to be wrong. ' But some, through the 
force of habit which still clings to them respecting the idol, eat 
the meat as being an idol sacrifice.' Missionaries at the present 
day have similar experiences. A belief in witchcraft long con- 
tinues to lurk in otherwise well-instructed Christians, and 
(against their reason and their conscience) they allow them- 
selves to be influenced by it. Note the emphasis on rfj a-vvrjOda 
?ws apn, and compare the datives in Gal. vi. 12 and Rom. xi. 31. 

K(U r\ auveiorjcns aurwv da0€VT)S ouaa jaoXuVctcu. ' And SO their 
conscience, being weak, is defiled.' It is defiled, not by the 
partaking of polluted food, for food cannot pollute (Mark vii. 
18, 19; Luke xi. 41), but by the doing of something which the 
unenlightened conscience does not allow. Cf. 2 Cor. vii. 1. An 
uninstructed conscience may condemn what is not wrong, or allow 
what is ; but even in such cases it ought to be obeyed. See notes 
on Rom. xiv. 23. It is not quite clear what is meant by ao-Qevrjs. 
It may mean 'too weak to resist the temptation of following 
the example of others,' or 'weak through being unilluminated.'* 
In either case it is defiled by a consciousness of guilt. The 
man feels that he is doing what is wrong ; and, until he knows 
the real merits of the case, he is doing what is wrong. For 
awrjOeta see xi. 16; John xviii. 39; 4 Mac. ii. 12 (6 yap vo'^os 

Kal "ri)s cf>i\wv (TwrjOeta'S htairo&i, Sia Trovr)pia<; auToiis i$eX.ey\u)v), 

vi. 13, xiii. 22, 27; and for o-wet'S^o-is see notes on Rom. ii. 15 
and Westcott on Heb. ix. 9, p. 293 : <rw€ioV/o-is is rare in LXX, 
frequent in the Pauline Epistles and Hebrews. See Hastings, 

* Perhaps xi. 30 indicates that aadewtis here means 'unhealthy,' 'morbid,' 
and so 'incapable of healthy action': cf. Luke x. 9; Acts v. 15. Words 
signifying weakness of body easily become used of mental and moral weak- 
ness. A healthy conscience would not be uneasy about eating such food, 
and eating would then cause no defilement. In Ecclus. xxi. 28 the slanderer 
[xoXtivei ttjv eavrov tyvx-qv : in blackening his neighbour's character he violates 
and blackens his own conscience. 


DB. I. pp. 468 f. The 'weakness' consists in giving moral 
value to things that are morally indifferent. That must lessen 
the power of conscience. 

(jvvrjQdq. (K*ABP 17, Copt. Acth.) is to be preferred to <Tvvti8r)crci 
(N 3 D E F G L, Vulg. Arm.), and ?ws &prt should precede rod el8d>\ov 
(KBDEFG, Latt.), not follow it (ALP). 'With conscience of the 
idol' (AV.) is hardly intelligible, and 'with consciousness of the idol' is 
not much better. If cvvetd-qati be adopted, we must expand the meaning ; 
'with the scruple of conscience which they feel about the idol' (Evans). 

8. Ppwfia Se fjfias ou Trapaorrjaei tw 0ew. 'Commend' (AV., 
RV.) is perhaps a trifle too definite for Trapio-Trjfxi : 'present 'is 
accurate, meaning 'present for approbation or condemnation.' 
In this passage the Apostle probably had approbation chiefly 
in his mind, but in what follows both alternatives are given. 
Food will not bring us into any relation, good or bad, with God : 
it will have no effect on the estimate which He will form respect- 
ing us, or on the judgment which He will pronounce upon us. 
It is not one of the things which we shall have to answer for 
(Rom. xiv. 17). It is the clean heart, and not clean food, that will 
matter ; and the weak brother confounds the two. The question 
of tense (see small print below) is important. The future can 
hardly refer to anything but the Day of Judgment. For the 
verb cf. Rom. vi. 13, xiv. 10; 2 Cor. iv. 14. The translation 
'commend' obscures the reference to a judgment to come: 
' will not affect our standing before God ' is right. 

out€ iav fir) <$>ay<i)\ie\>, u<rrepoujie8a. ' If we abstain from 
eating we are not prejudiced (in God's sight), and if we eat 
we have no advantage.' We lose nothing by refraining from 
using our liberty in this matter, and we gain nothing by 
exercising it. Others explain vo-TepovfxeOa of being inferior to 
the man who does not abstain, and ircpeo-o-evopLcv of being 
superior to the man who does abstain. This explanation is 
somewhat superficial and loses all connexion with the preceding 
sentence. Almost certainly tw ©e<3 is to be understood in both 
clauses. See Alexander, The Ethics of St Paul, p. 239. 

For T]fjLas the evidence is overwhelming, but K* 17, 37 read £/*£$. The 
two words are often confused in MSS. wapacrT-qarei (KAB 17, Copt.) is 
to be preferred to iraplarrjiri (K 3 U E L P, Latt.). The ydp after the first 
otire (U E F G L P, Vulg-Clem.) should be omitted (X A B 17, Am. Copt. 
Arm. Aeth.). And probably oGre iav /jljj <p., wt. should precede otire iav 
<j>., irtp. (A* B, Am. Copt. Arm.) rather than vice versa (X D F L P, Syrr.). 
The interchange of the verbs, iav /*ij <p., irep., oiire iav <f>., vcrr. (A 2 17), 
is not likely to be right, although adopted by Lachm. The interchange 
of the clauses was a natural correction, in order to put the positive before 
the negative hypothesis. The Apostle puts the negative first, because that 
is the course which he recommends ; ' If we do not eat, although we may, 
we are in no worse position before God.' The form ireparffe^ofieda 
(B, Orig. ), adopted by the Revisers, is probably a mechanical assimilation 
to iKTrepovfitda. 


9. pXe'ireTe 8e fx-q irws rj i^ouaia upi^. ' Take heed, however, 
lest this liberty of yours prove a stumbling-block to the weak.' 
It is lawful for those whose consciences are enlightened to do 
as they like about it (igovaiav as in vii. 37, ix. 4, and as l^eo-nv 
in vi. 12); their eating will not do them any harm. But it may 
do harm to others, and thus may bring the eaters into a worse 
position before God. See notes on Rom. xiv. 13, 20: excepting 
the quotation in 1 Pet. ii. 8, TrpoaKo/x/xa in N.T. is confined to 
this passage and Romans ; in LXX it is not rare. It is that 
against which the man with weak sight stumbles; it is no 
obstacle to the man who sees his way ; but the weak-sighted 
must be considered.* 

aadevlciv ({{ABDEF, etc.), as in v. 7 ; fodevowiv (L, Chrys. Thdrt.) 
perhaps from v. I 1 . P has tuxuv. 

10. iv elowXup Ka.Ta.Ks.i\i.zvov. In order to show how the 
offendicnlum (Vulg.) arises, he takes an extreme case. A Cor- 
inthian, in a spirit of bravado, to show his superior enlightenment 
and the wide scope of his Christian freedom, not only partakes 
of idol-meats, but does so at a sacrificial banquet within the 
piecincts of the idol-temple. This was per se idolatrous; but 
St Paul holds the more severe condemnation in reserve : see on 
x. 14 f.f The tov e^ovra yvwcnv may mean either that this is the 
man's own belief about himself, or that it is the weak brother's 
opinion of him. EiSwXtov, vocabulum aptum ad deterrendum 
(Beng.), is not classical : in LXX it occurs 1 Esdr. ii. 10 ; Bel n ; 
1 Mac. i. 47 {v. I. eiSwXa), x. 83 ; and in 1 Sam. xxxi. 10 we have 
the analogous 'AoTapTciov, like 'AttoWwvclov, ncxmoWeiov, etc. J 
Such words are frequent in papyri. 

d<70evous 5Vtos. 'Seeing that he is weak.' It is just because 
he is feeble in insight and character that this following of a 
questionable example ' builds up ' his conscience in a disastrous 

* "The stronger one can, for the sake of the weaker, refrain from using 
this liberty ; but the weaker cannot, on account of his conscience, follow the 
example of the stronger" (B. Weiss). 

t Grenfell and Hunt {Oxyrhynchus Papyri, I. p. 177) give an invitation 
to sup at the KKlvrj of the Lord Serapis in the Serapeium. There is another 
invitation to a meal in honour of Serapis in a private house. See Bach- 
mann, p. 307 ; also Deissmann, Light, p. 355. 

+ It is possible that St Paul used the unusual word el8w\iov, because he 
was unwilling to put words with such sacred associations as lepov or vaos to 
any such use (Edwards). But etSuXov (v. 4) suggests el5u>\ioi>, and no other 
word would have expressed the meaning so clearly. It is also possible that 
oiKooofj.7id-/j(T€Tai (a strange word in this connexion) is a sarcastic quotation 
of a Corinthian expression. Perhaps they talked of 'edifying' the weak 
brethren by showing them to what lengths they could go. This was 
"educating their consciences," but it was a ruinosa aedifuatio (Calv.). The 
best MSS. have eiouXfy, not eldwXely : compare ddviov, Matt, xviii. 27. In 
Luke x. 34, irav56xi-ov is well attested. 


way. His conscience is not sufficiently instructed to tell him 
that he may eat without scruple, and yet he eats. Doing 
violence to scruples is no true edification : it is rather a pulling 
down of bulwarks. Tertullian seems to have had this passage 
in his mind when he says of those who are seduced into heresy ; 
Solent quidem isti infirmiores aedificari in ruinam (De Praescr. 
Haer. 3). Atto paraphrases ; provocabitur manducare idolothyta, 
non tamen ea fide qua tu. It is ruinosa aedificatio, quae in sana 
doctrina fundata non est (Calv.). 

The <rk before rbv txovra is omitted by BFG, Vulg. Some editors 
bracket it, but it is well attested (X A D E L P, Syrr. Copt. Arm). 
65oTon)dri<TeTai is an insipid conjecture for olKodo/j.7]9rjaeTai. which is 
deliberately chosen with gentle irony, and needs no mending. 

11. diroXXuTat yap 6 daQevuv iv t. <t. yv. ' For it is destruc- 
tion that he who is weak finds in thy knowledge.' Ruin, and 
not building up, is what he is getting by following the example 
of one who is better instructed than himself. There is the 
tragedy of it ; that the illumination of one Corinthian is pre- 
cisely the field in which another Corinthian takes the road to 
ruin. And the tragedy reaches a climax in the fact that the 
one who is led astray is the brother in Christ of him who leads 
him astray, and is one whom Christ died to save from ruin. 
The last clause could hardly be more forcible in its appeal ; 
every word tells ; ' the brother,' not a mere stranger ; ' for the 
sake of whom,' precisely to rescue him from destruction ; 
'Christ,' no less than He; 'died,' no less than that: cf. Rom. 
xiv. 15. Tu eris occasio mortis ejus propter quern Christ us, ut 
redimeret, mortuus est (Herv.). See Matt, xviii. 6. 

0,-koK. yip (K* B 17, Copt. Goth.) is to be preferred to ical aico\. 
(K 3 D*, d e) or &tto\. o5v (A P 39). And kclL d7ro\e?rai, though well sup- 
ported (D 3 E F G L, Vulg. Syrr. Arm. Aeth.), looks like a correction to 
assimilate the tense with oiKodofirjOrjcreTai. and carry on the question through 
v. II. The question ends at iadleiv, and what follows is explanation. 
The emphatic position of aTroWvrai, and also the tense, have force ; it 
is no less than destruction that results, and the destruction is already at 

12. outojs Se dfiapTayoyTes eis tous &8. ' But by sinning 
against your brothers in such a way as this' : ovtws is emphatic 
This verse confirms the view that eis t. 18. crwp.a d/xapr. (vu 18) 
must mean ' sins against his own body.' 

Kol TUTTTorrcs. ' And by inflicting blows upon their conscience 
in its weakness.' The ko.1 makes the d/i.apravovres more definite, 
by showing the kind of injury. The force of the present 
participles should be noted : the wounding is a continued pro- 
cess, and so also is the weakliness ; not daOevrj, but do-6evovo-av. 
Nowhere else in N.T. is TvVrw used in a metaphorical sense : 


elsewhere only in the Synoptists and Acts. But this sense occurs 
in LXX (1 Sam. i. S; Prov. xxvi. 22 ; Dan. xi. 20). 'Wounding' 
and 'weakening' are in emphatic contrast: what requires the 
tenderest handling is brutally treated, so that its sensibility is 
numbed. The wounding is not the shock which the weak 
Christian receives at seeing a fellow-Christian eating idol-meats 
in an idoi-court, but the inducement to do the like, although he 
believes it to be wrong. His conscience is lamed by being 
crushed. This is the third metaphor used respecting the weak 
conscience ; it is soiled {v. 7), made to stumble {v. 9), wounded 
(v. 12). The order of the words is a climax; 'inflicting blows, 
not on the back, but on the conscience, and on the conscience 
when it is in a weakly state.' 

els Xpioroy dji.. Like ovtws and tv-ktovt^, €19 Xp. is emphatic 
by position : * it is against Christ that ye are sinning.' St Paul 
may have known the parable of the Sheep and the Goats 
(Matt, xxv 40, 45), but Christ Himself had taught him that an 
injury to the brethren was an injury to Himself (Acts ix. 4, 5). 

13. Sion-ep. ' For this very reason,' i.e. to avoid sinning 
against Christ ; the trip strengthens the Sio : here and x. 14 only, 
in N.T. See 2 Mac. v. 20, vi. 27. 

el ppolfia k.t.X. ' If food causes my brother to stumble, I will 
certainly never eat flesh again for evermore, that I may not make 
my brother to stumble.' The declaration is conditional. If the 
Apostle knows of definite cases in which his eating food will lead 
to others being encouraged to violate the dictates of conscience, 
then certainly he will never eat meat so long as there is real 
danger of this (x. 28, 29). But if he knows of no such danger, 
he will use his Christian freedom and eat without scruple 
(x. 25-27). He does not, of course, mean that the whole practice 
of Christians is to be regulated with a view to the possible 
scrupulousness of the narrow-minded. That would be to sacrifice 
our divinely given liberty (2 Cor. iii. 17) to the ignorant pre- 
judices of bigots. The circumstances of this or that Christian 
may be such that it is his duty to abstain from intoxicants, 
although he is never tempted to drink to excess ; but Christians 
in general are bound by no such rule, and it would be tyranny 
to try to impose such a rule. 

The change from fipujxa to Kpia is natural enough. If such 
a thing as food (which is always a matter of indifference) 
causes ... I will never again eat flesh (which is in question 
here),' etc. Note how he harps on dScX^o?. 

In dealing with both the question of fornication and that of 
eating idol-meats, the Apostle brings the solution ultimately from 
our relation to Christ. Fornication is taking from Christ what 
is His property and giving it to a harlot. Reckless eating of idol- 


meats is an injury inflicted on Christ. In neither case does he 
appeal to the decree of the Apostles at the conference in Jerusalem 
(Acts xv. 20, 29). The principles to which he appeals were far 
more cogent, especially for Greeks.* Compare carefully Rom. 
«v. 14, 17, 21. 

In his recent (1908) paper on the Apostolic Decree (Acts xv. 20-29), 
Dr. Sanday says ; "The decree was only addressed in the first instance to a 
limited area : and I can well believe that it soon fell into comparative disuse 
even within that area. It is true that,- as we read it in the Acts, the decree 
has the appearance of a very authoritative document. Something of this 
appearance may be due to a mistaken estimate on the part of St Luke him- 
self. But, even so, we are apt to read into it more than it really means. 
For the moment the decree had a real significance : it meant a united 
Christendom, instead of a disunited. Many an official document has had 
a temporary success of this kind, which the course of events has soon 
caused to become a dead letter. That was really the fate of the decree. 
The tide of events ebbed away from it, and it was left on the beach 
stranded and lifeless — lifeless at least for the larger half of the Church, for 
that Gentile Church which soon began to advance by leaps and bounds." 

" As to any further difficulty from St Paul's treatment of meats offered 
in sacrifice to idols, I confess that I think little of it. He could upon 
occasion become a Jew to the Jews. But the decree, we may be sure, 
made no impression upon his mind. It "contributed nothing" to his 
Gospel. It was no outcome of his religious principles. It was just a 
practical concordat, valid in certain specified regions and under certain 
definite conditions. But when he was altogether outside these, among his 
own converts, he dealt with them by his own methods, and without any 
thought of the authorities at Jerusalem." 

The inference, from St Paul's silence, that Acts xv. belongs to a period 
later than this Epistle, is quite untenable. 


/ have not asked you to forego more rights than I forego 
myself. For the sake of others I surrender, not only what 
any Christian may claim, but what I can claim as an 

1 Can it be denied that I am a free agent, that I have the 
authority and independence of an Apostle ? I have seen our 
Lord face to face and He made me His Apostle, and you who 
were won over to Him through me are a standing proof of my 
Apostleship. 2 It may be possible for other Christians to 
question whether I am an Apostle or not, but you at least 
cannot do so, for your very existence as a Christian Church is 
the seal which authenticates my Apostleship. 3 There you have 
my answer to those who challenge my claim. 

* See Gwatkin, Early Church History, i. 57, 63. 


4 Surely we are free to do as we think best about eating and 
drinking at the cost of the Churches, 8 to do as we think best 
about taking with us on our journey a Christian sister as a wife, 
as also the rest of the Apostles do, and the brethren of the 
Lord, and Peter. 6 Or is it only I and Barnabas that are not 
free to do as we think best about working no longer for a living? 
7 No soldier on service finds his own outfit and rations. If you 
plant a vineyard, you expect to partake of the produce, and if 
you tend cattle, you expect to get a share of the milk. 

8 I am not saying all this merely from a worldly point of 
view. 9 The Divine Law assumes just the same principle. In 
the Law of Moses it stands written, Thou shalt not muzzle the 
ox while it is treading out the grain. Do you think that it was 
merely out of consideration for the oxen that God caused that to 
be written ? 10 Surely He was looking beyond them, and it is 
really for us preachers that He says this. No doubt it was in 
our interest that this law was enacted; because thus the 
principle is laid down that the plougher ought not to plough, and 
the thresher ought not to thresh, without a good prospect of 
sharing in the profit. u Well then, if it is we who in your 
hearts sowed the seeds of spiritual life, is it a very outrageous 
thing that we out of your purses shall reap some worldly benefit ? 

12 If others get their share of this right of maintenance from you, 
have not we who taught you first a still better right ? Neverthe- 
less, we did not avail ourselves of this right. On the contrary, 
we put up with every kind of privation, rather than cause the 
spread of the Glad-tidings of Christ to be in any way hampered. 

13 Of course you know that those who are engaged in the 
temple-services are maintained out of the temple-funds ; those 
who serve at the altar share the sacrifices with the altar. 14 On 
the same principle the Lord directed that those who proclaim the 
Glad-tidings should out of this work get enough to live on. 
15 But I have availed myself of none of these pleas. 

Now do not think that I write all this in order that the 
maintenance due to preachers should henceforth be granted in 
my case. Indeed not ; for it would be better for me by far to 
die than submit to that : no one shall make void my glorying in 
taking nothing for my work. 16 It is quite true that I do preach 
the Glad-tidings ; but there is no glorying about that : it is a 
duty which I must perform, — must, because it will be the worse 


for me if I do not perform it. 17 If I did this spontaneously, 1 
should have my pay : but seeing that I do it because I must, it 
is a stewardship which has been entrusted to me. 18 What pay 
then do I get ? Why, the pleasure of being a preacher who gives 
the Glad-tidings free of charge, so as not to use to the full a 
preacher's right to maintenance. 

19 So far from claiming my full rights, I submit to great 
curtailments. For, free and independent though I am from all 
men, yet I made myself all men's slave, in order that I might 
win more of them. 20 Thus to the Jews I became as a Jew, that 
1 might win Jews. That means that to those under the Mosaic 
Law I became like one of themselves (although, of course, I am 
nothing of the kind), that I might win those under the Law. 
21 To the Gentiles who are free from the Law I became like one 
of them (although, of course, I am not free from God's law ; on 
the contrary, I am under Christ's law), that I might win those 
who are free from the Law. 22 To the men of tender scruples 
I became like one of them, that I might win such people as 
these. In short, to all kinds of men I have assumed all kinds of 
characters, in order at all costs to save some. 23 But all this 
variety I practise for one and the same reason, that I may not 
keep the Gospel to myself but share its blessings with others. 

24 You know that the competitors in a race all run, but only 
one gets the prize. 25 You must run like him, so as to secure it. 
Now, every one that competes in the games is in all directions 
temperate. They verily aim at winning a perishable crown, but 
we one that is imperishable. 26 I accordingly so run as being in 
no doubt about my aim ; I so fight as not wasting blows on the 
air. 27 Far from it ; I direct heavy blows against my body, and 
force it to be my slave, lest my preaching to others should end 
in my own rejection. 

It is a mistake to regard this chapter as an independent 
section in defence of the writer's claim to be an Apostle. It is 
part of the discussion of the question as to eating food that has 
been offered to idols, in the midst of which it is inserted. 
Christians may eat such food, without fear of pollution ; but in 
doing so they may harm other Christians : therefore, where there 
is risk of harming others, they should forbear. To show that 
this forbearance ought not to seem hard, he points out that his 
habitual forbearance is greater than that which he would 


occasionally claim from them. As in vi. 1, he begins with 
animated questions. The conjecture that ix. i-x. 22 is part of 
the letter mentioned in v. 9 is not probable. 

1. Ouk ei|il eXeu'Oepos ; ouk eljxi dirooroXos ; This is the order of 
the questions in the best texts (see below). ' Have I not the 
freedom of a Christian ? Have I not the rights of an Apostle ? ' 
Logically, this is the better order ; but even if it were not, the 
evidence for it is too strong to be set aside on such grounds. It 
is the thought that he forbears to claim, not only what any 
Christian may claim, but also the exceptional claims of an 
Apostle, that makes him digress on an explanation of what an 
Apostle may claim. In v. 19 he glances back at his general 
independence. Cf. Gal. ii. 4, 5. 

ouxi 'I. t. K. Tjp.w*' ewpaxa ; This question and the next 
vindicate the claim made in the second question. He is 
certainly an Apostle, for he has the essential qualification of 
having seen the Risen Lord (Acts i. 22, ii. 32, iii. 15, iv. 33, etc.), 
and his preaching has had the power of an Apostle (2 Cor. iii. 1 f., 
xii. 12). The reference is to the Lord's appearance to him on 
the way to Damascus, — w^Orj Ka.fx.ot (xv. 8) ; an appearance 
which he regarded as similar in kind to the appearances to the 
Eleven on the Easter Day and afterwards. Whether he is also 
referring to the experiences mentioned in Acts xviii. 9, xxii. 17, 
and 2 Cor. xii. 2-4 is uncertain. It is a mistake to say that we 
are not told that he saw the Lord who spoke to him on the 
way to Damascus. This is expressly stated, Acts ix. 17 (octets), 
27 (c'Sev), xxii. 14 (t'SeiV).* Note that in this important question 
we have the stronger form of the negative, which is specially 
frequent in this argumentative Epistle (i. 20, iii. 3, v. 12, vi. 7, 
viii. 10, x. 16, 18). In the N.T. Epistles it is almost confined 
to this group of the Pauline Epistles. 

Nowhere else does St Paul use the expression ' I have seen 
Jesus the Lord,' and he seldom uses the name ' Jesus ' without 
'Christ' either before or after. See notes on Rom. i. 1, pp. 3 f . 
When he does use the name ' Jesus ' he commonly refers to our 
Lord's life on earth, especially in connexion with His Death or 
Resurrection (1 Thess. i. 10, iv. 14; 2 Cor. iv. 10-14). In 
Rom. iv. 24 we have ' Jesus our Lord,' as here, and in both 
cases the reference is to the risen Jesus. The use of ' Jesus ' 
without ' Christ ' is very rare in the later Epistles : once in 
Philippians (ii. 10), once in Ephesians (iv. 21), and not at all 
in Colossians or the Pastoral Epistles. See J. A. Robinson, 
Ephesians, pp. 23, 107 ; Milligan, Thessalonians, p. 135 ; Selbie, 

* See Weinel, St Paul, pp. 79 f. ; A. T. Robertson, Epochs in the Life of 
St Paul, pp. 39 f., a valuable chapter. 



Aspects of Christ, pp. 7 1 f., a careful discussion of the question 
whether it is possible to separate the Christ of St Paul from 
the Jesus of history. See also the lectures of Dr. Moffatt and 
Dr. Milligan in Religion and the Modern World, Hodder, 1909, 
pp. 205-253. The Christ who appeared to Saul on the road 
to Damascus declared Himself to be the historic Jesus whom 
Saul was persecuting, and he thus not merely saw Jesus our 
Lord, but received a 'voice from His mouth' (Acts xxii. 14). 
That rested on his own testimony ; but the fact of his conversion 
and the work that he had done since that day was known to all 
(iv. 15 ; 2 Cor. xii. 12). 

to Ipyoc fiou. The founding of the Corinthian Church was 
a work worthy of an Apostle : ab effectu jam secundo loco probat 
suum Apostolatum (Calv.). Edwards quotes meum opus es (Seneca, 
Ep. 34). Lest he should seem to be claiming what he disclaims 
in iii. 5-7, he adds ' in the Lord ' : only in that power could such 
a work have been accomplished (iii. 9, iv. 15). 

The order of the first two questions adopted above {t\eij9epos before 
&7r<5aro\os) is that of K AB P, Vulg. Copt. Arm. Aeth., Orig. Tert. The 
other is that of D E F G K L, Goth., which with P, Arm. insert XpiffrSw 
either before or after ' Itjitovv. NAB, Am. and other versions omit Xpurrbr. 

2. el aMois ouk etjxl dirdoroXos. The emphatic u/Aets of the 
previous clause leads to an argumentum ad hominem. The 
Corinthians are the very last people who could reasonably 
question his claim to be an Apostle : at any rate to them he 
must be one.* 'For my certificate of Apostleship are ye' 
(2 Cor. iii. 2). They themselves are a certificate of the fact, a 
certificate the validity of which lies in the same sphere as the 
success of his work; it is 'in the Lord.' Authentication is the 
idea which is specially indicated by the figurative crcppayi's. No- 
where in N.T. does o-(ppayt9 seem to be used, as often in later 
writings, with reference to baptism. See notes on Rom. iv. n, 
p. 107; Lightfoot, Epp. of Clem. ii. p. 226; Hastings, DB. 
Art. 'Seal.' Preachers who were not Apostles might convert 
many, but the remarkable spiritual gifts which Corinthians 
possessed were a guarantee that one who was more than a mere 
preacher had been sent to them. Paulus a fructu colligit se 
divinitus missum esse (Calv.). The aAAois may allude to the 

* dWd ye occurs nowhere else in N.T., except Luke xxiv. 21, where see 
footnote, p. 553. He could not prove to any one that he had seen the Lord ; 
but Corinthians at any rate had no need of such evidence to convince them 
that he was an Apostle. He seems to be glancing at the rival teachers who 
questioned his claim to the title. See Dobschiitz, Probletne des Ap. Zeitalters, 
p. 105 ; Fletcher, The Conversion of St Paul, pp. 63 f. ; Ramsay, Pictures of 
the Apostolic Age, pp. I02f. 


ftov ttjs a.Tro<7To\rjs with K B P 1 7, Orig., rather than rrjs i/xrjs iir. with 
D E F G K L. A few inferior witnesses have ^ttkttoKtjs. 

8. t) e'fAT] diroXoyia . . . imv aurrj. WH. follow Chrysostom 
and Ambrose in making this verse refer to what follows ; so also 
AV. and the Revisers. RV. leaves it doubtful. But it is more 
probable that it refers to what precedes. 'That I have seen the 
Risen Lord, and that you are such a Church as you are, — there 
you have my defence when people ask me for the evidence of 
my Apostleship.' What follows tells us that he refrained from 
making his converts maintain him, and no one disputed his right 
to do that : but the Judaizers did dispute his right to be 
accounted an Apostle. The l\*.y\ and i/xe look back to cr^pa-yts 
/xov Trjs airo(TTo\r}<;. ' My reply to those who examine me is this ' : 
6/tc, not [j.e. Moreover vv. 4-1 1 are not so much a defence as a 
statement of claims. Defence begins in the middle of v. 12 ; but 
a superfluous defence. People blamed him for maintaining his 
independence, but they could not deny his right to do it. See 
Alford, Findlay, Edwards, and B. Weiss : for the other view see 

Both d7roAoyia and avaKplvova-iv are forensic expressions, 
perhaps purposely chosen to indicate the high hand which the 
Judaizers assumed in challenging St Paul's claim. But in its 
strictly forensic sense, of a judicial investigation, avaxpiw is 
peculiar to Luke in N.T. See on Luke xxiii. 14, and cf. Acts iv. 
9, xii. 19, etc. It does not much matter whether we take avrr] 
as predicate (so better), or subject : in either case it means 'just 
what I have stated.' Cf. tovto in vii. 6 and xi. 17, and avrrj in 
John i. 19, xvii. 3. For the dative cf. Acts xix. 33 ; 2 Cor. xii. 19. 

4. Mr) ouk ex ^ 6 *' e|ouaiai>; The ^77 is the interrogative num.; 
the ovk belongs to the verb. ' Do you mean to say that we have 
no right?' Numquid non habemus potestatem (Vulg.) : cf. xi. 22 ; 
Rom. x. 19. Here, as often in the Pauline Epistles, we are in 
doubt whether the plur. includes others with the Apostle : he 
may mean himself and Barnabas. Where he means himself 
exclusively he commonly uses the singular : but it is more 
certain that the singular is always personal than that the plural 
commonly includes some one else. See Lightfoot on 1 Thess. ii. 4. 

^ayeii' kcu ireif. ' To eat and drink what those to whom we 
preach provide for us.' He is not now thinking of eating idol- 
meats : that subject is for the moment quite in abeyance. Still 
less is he contending that preachers are not bound to be ascetics. 
He says that although he personally refuses entertainment at the 
cost of those to whom he ministers, yet he has a right to it. He 
can do as he likes (c^co-ti fiot) about it; he has the privilege of 
being maintained. See Clem. Horn. iii. 7 1 ; Luke x. 7. 


ireiv (or irtv) as 2nd aor. inf. of irlvw is well supported here and x. ^ 
(U B* D* F G) against wieiv (A B 8 D s E K L P), and appears everywhere 
as a variant, except Matt. xx. 22. It is frequent in MSS. of LXX. See 
WH. 11. Notes, p. 170. 

5. d8e\<})T]i' yuyatKa irepi&yeiv. ' Do you mean to say that we 
have no right to take about (with us on our missionary journeys) 
a Christian person as a wife?' ' A sister ( = Christian woman) 
as wife' is right. Even if ywaiKa in this construction could 
mean ' woman,' it would be superfluous. The Vulgate encour- 
ages the mistranslation ' woman ' with mulierem sororem. The 
Apostle is not contending that a missionary had a right to take 
about with him a woman who was not his wife. The fact that a 
group of women ministered to Christ could not be supposed to 
justify such indiscretion. But there is an early tradition that 
very few of the Apostles were married, and hence the temptation 
to make yvvaiKa mean 'woman' rather than 'wife.' Tertullian 
{Exhort. Cast. 8) translates rightly, licebat et apostolis nubere et 
uxores circumducere, and again (Monogam. 8), potestatem uxores 
circumducendi ; but in the latter passage he suggests that only 
mulieres, such as ministered to the Lord, may be meant. This 
misinterpretation is followed by Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose, 
and others. It led to a great abuse, not confined to the clergy, 
in the early ages of the Church. Some Christians contracted a 
sort of spiritual union with unmarried persons, and the two lived 
together, without marriage, for mutual spiritual benefit. The 
women in such cases were known as dSeA^ai, dya?rr/Tut, and 
avveio-aKTOL. Under the last name they are strictly forbidden, in 
the case of any cleric, by the third Canon of the first Council of 
Nicaea (Hefele, Councils, p. 379 ; Suicer, Thesaurus, under all 
three words and under ywrj). 

St Paul is not here claiming that Apostles had a right to 
marry ; no one in that age would be likely to dispute that. He 
is claiming that they have a right to maintenance at the cost of 
the Church, and that, if they are married, the wife who travels 
with them shares this privilege. The whole of this passage 
(5-18) is concerned with the privilege (of which he refused to 
make use in his own case) of being maintained at the charges of 
the congregations. But here, as in Gal. i. 19 and elsewhere, we 
are left in doubt as to the exact meaning of d7rdo-ToAoi : see on 
xv. 5, 7. 

The Sophists blamed Socrates and Plato for teaching gratuit- 
ously, thus confessing that their teaching was worth nothing 
(Xen. Mem. i. 6; Plat. Gorg. 520, Apol. 20; Arist. Eth. Nic. 
ix. i. 5). This kind of charge may have been made by the 
Judaizers at Corinth. Other Apostles accepted maintenance 
Why did Paul refuse it? Because he knew that he was no true 


Apostle ; or, because he set up for being better than the Twelve ; 
or, because he was too proud to accept hospitality.* 

For 7re/3tayeiv transitive see 2 Mac. vi. 10. 

ws ttal ol Xoiiroi diroCTToXoi. It is probably on this that the 
interpolator of the Ignatian Epistles {JPhilad. 4) bases his state- 
ment that Peter and Paul and 01 dAAoi a-Koa-rokoi were married ; 
where the words et Paulus are omitted in some Latin texts. See 
on vii. 8. The only Apostles of whose marriage we have direct 
evidence on good authority are Peter and Philip (Papias in Eus. 
H.E. iii. 39) : see Lightfoot, Colossians, p. 45. This passage 
would certainly lead us to suppose that most of the Apostles 
were married men ; it contends that all had the privilege of 
having themselves and their wives maintained by the Church, 
and it implies that some used the privilege, and therefore were 
married. The exact meaning of Xoiiroi is not clear : it may dis- 
tinguish those who are included from ' the brethren of the Lord 
and Kephas,' or from Paul and Barnabas {v. 6). In the former 
case ' the brethren of the Lord ' are Apostles, for the Apostolic 
body is divided into three parts ; ' Kephas,' ' the brethren of the 
Lord,' and ' the rest of the Apostles.' f But it is possible that, 
without any strictly logical arrangement, he is mentioning persons 
in high position in the Church who availed themselves of the 
privilege of having their wives maintained as well as themselves, 
when they were engaged in missionary work. See Lightfoot, 
Galatians, p. 95. In dictating, he mentions Peter, by himself, 
at the end, as a specially telling instance ; but we cannot safely 
infer from this that Peter had been in Corinth with his wife : 
i. 1 2 does not prove it. See Harnack, Mission and Expansion, 
1. p. 323, 11. 99. 

ol d8e\(J>oi tou Kupiou. Here only does St Paul mention them, 
though he tells us (Gal. i. 19) that James was one. The question 
of their exact relation to Christ has produced endless discussion, 
and the question remains undecided. There is nothing in Scrip- 
ture which forbids the natural interpretation, that they were the 
children of Joseph and Mary born after the birth of Christ. To 
some students of the problem, Matt. i. 25 seems to be decisive 
for this interpretation: see Plummer, S. Matthew, pp. 9, 10, and 
the literature there cited. There is wide agreement that Jerome's 

* There was, of course, another reason. Owing to the influence of St 
Paul, a good deal of money that had previously supported Judaism now went 
elsewhere. The Jews said that he was making a fortune out of his new 
religion. Hence his protests that he never took maintenance. 

t Here, as in 2 Cor. xii. 13 and Luke xxiv. 10, AV. ignores the article ; 
'other apostles,' 'other churches,' 'other women.' 

With lis ko.1 compare Kadibs ko.1, i Thess. ii. 14 : it introduces an argument 
from induction ; v. 7 is an argument from analogy ; v. 8 is an appeal to 


theory, that they were our Lord's first cousins, children of a Mary 
who was sister to His Mother, cannot be maintained. But see 
Chapman, JTS. April 1906, pp. 412 f. The choice lies between 
the Helvidian and the Epiphanian theories. The decision does 
not affect the argument here. In any case they were persons 
whose close relationship to the Lord gave them distinction in 
the primitive Church : what they did constituted a precedent. 
Kr)<fiS.<i, as almost always in Paul (i. 12, iii. 22, xv. 5). 

6. fj fioeos e'yw kch B. The rj, as in vi. 2, 9, puts the question 
from the other point of view; that it adds "some degree of 
emotion " is not so clear. ' Or is it only I and Barnabas that 
have not a right to forbear working with our hands for a living ? ' 
The reason for including Barnabas is uncertain, and it seems tc 
be an afterthought ; hence the singular /*6Vos. It implies that 
Barnabas, like Paul, had refused maintenance ; and it is possible 
that there had been an agreement between them that on their 
missionary journey (Acts xiii. 3) they would not cost the Churches 
anything. It seems also to imply that the practice of Barnabas 
was well known. 

epyd^eo-Oai. Manual labour, to earn a livelihood, is com- 
monly meant by the word, with (iv. 12; 1 Thess. iv. n; or 
without (Matt. xxi. 28; Luke xiii. 14; Acts xviii. 3) t<us x f P<™' 
added. Here again Greek sentiment would be against the 
Apostle's practice. That a teacher who claimed to lead and to 
rule should work with his hands for a living would be thought 
most unbecoming : nothing but the direst necessity excused 
labour in a free citizen (Arist. Pol. iii. 5). Contrast 2 Thess. iii. 

7. Three illustrations add force to the argument, and they 
are such as are analogous to the Christian minister, who wages 
war upon evil, plants churches, and is a shepherd to congrega- 
tions.* It is perhaps accidental that in each case the status of 
the worker is different ; but this strengthens the argument. The 
soldier works for pay; the vine-planter is a proprietor; the 
shepherd is a slave. But to all alike the principle is applicable 
that labour may claim some kind of return. Cf. 2 Tim. ii. 6. 

6v|»uviois. Though applying primarily to the soldier's food, 
it may cover his pay and his outfit generally. Cf. 2 Cor. xi. 8 ; 
Rom. vi. 23 ; Luke iii. 14, where see note. The word is late 
(1 Esdr. iv. 56; 1 Mac. iii. 28; xiv. 32), and is sometimes 
extended to mean the supplies of an army. See Lightfoot on 
Rom. vi. 23 ; Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 266. 

t6i> Kapirof . . . €K tou ydXaKTos. The change of construction 

* Origen points out that it is as a disciple of the Good Shepherd, who laid 
down His life for the sheep, that the Apostle uses this illustration. 


is perhaps intentional. A proprietor disposes of the whole of the 
produce ; a slave gets only a portion of it. Cf. Tobit i. 10. In 
some texts rbu Kapirov has been corrected to Ik rov Kapirov (E K L, 
Latt. Syrr. Copt. Arm.). See Prov. xxvii. 18. 

8. Mtj icaTa avQpwnov. ' Do you think that I am speaking 
these things by man's rule ? ' It is not merely in accordance with 
human judgment of what is fitting that he lays down the prin- 
ciple that labour has a right to a living wage. There is higher 
authority than that. The expression Kara. avOpwirov occurs thrice 
in this Epistle (iii. 3, xv. 32) and thrice in the same group 
(Rom. iii. 5 ; Gal. i. n, iii. 15), with slightly different shades of 
meaning : ' from a human point of view' is the leading idea. 

Tj Kal 6 vop.os. ' Or (v. 6) does the Law also not say these 
things?' Perhaps some one had urged that 6 vo/xos ravra oi 
Ae'ytt ' is silent on the subject ' : it is not laid down that con- 
gregations must maintain Apostles. The change from XaXw to 
Aeyei is perhaps intentional, the one referring to mere human 
expression, the other to the substance of what is said. As in ow 
exop-ev (v. 4), the negative belongs to the verb. 

Neither Vulg. {dico . . . dicit) nor AV. distinguishes the verbs : they 
apparently follow D E F G in reading Xiyw for XaXQ. K L P have f) ovxl 
Kal 6 v6fios ravra \tyei : F G have 7) el Kal 6 i>.r.\. Doubtless f) Kal b v.-r, 
oi X. (K A B C D E, Vulg. Copt.) is right. 

9. Philo {De Humanitate) quotes this prohibition as evidence 
of the benevolence of the Law ; and Driver (on Deut. xxv. 4) 
says that it is "another example of the humanity which is character- 
istic of Dt." Cf. Exod. xx. 10, xxiii. 12; Prov. xii. 10. Oxen 
still, as a rule, thresh unmuzzled in the East. Conder says that 
exceptions are rare. Near Jericho, Robinson saw the oxen of 
Christians muzzled, while those belonging to Mahometans were 
not. Driver quotes these and other instances. Cf. 2 Sam. xxiv. 
22; Isa. xxviii. 27 f . ; Mic. iv. 12 f. Elsewhere (De Spec. Leg.) 
Philo says, ov yap iirep dAoyouv 6 vop.o<;, dAAa twv $vovro>v. 

It is not easy to decide between <pindj<reis (K A B 3 C D 3 E K L P) and 
Krifjidxren (B* D* FG). There is the same difference of reading 1 Tim. v. 
l8, but there ^i/xwcreis is unquestionably right, as in LXX of Deut. xxv. 4. 
How could KTjjUticreis be so well attested, if it were not original? If it were 
original it would readily be corrected to the LXX, esp. as K-q/xdu) is rare : 
Krjfi6s is found in LXX (Ps. xxxi. 9; Ezek. xix. 4, 9), but not kt}/x6u. 
Here Chrys. and Thdrt. support KTipulxreis. 

10. p) rdv 0owf |j.e\ei tu 0ew; c Do you suppose that it is 
for the oxen that God cares ? ' St Paul does not mean that God 
has no care for the brutes (Ps. civ. 14, 21, 27, cxlv. 9, 15 ; Matt. 
vi. 26, x. 30). Nor does he mean that in forbidding the 
muzzling, God was not thinking of the oxen at all. He means 


that the prohibition had a higher significance, in comparison 
with which the literal purport of it was of small moment. Jewish 
interpreters sometimes abandoned the literal meaning of Scripture, 
and turned it entirely into allegory. They not merely allegorized 
the words, but said that the literal meaning was untrue. In 
some cases they urged that the literal meaning was incredible, 
and that therefore the words were intended to be understood 
symbolically and in no other way. Thus Philo (De Somn. i. 16) 
says that Exod. xxii. 27 cannot be supposed to be meant literally, 
for the Creator would not be interested about such a trifle as a 
garment: and elsewhere {De Sacrif. 1) he says that the Law was 
not given for the sake of irrational animals, but for the sake of 
those who have mind and reason. Cf. Ep. Barn. x. 1, 2, xi. 1. 
St Paul elsewhere allegorizes the O.T., as Hagar and Sarah 
(Gal. iv. 24), and the fading of the light on Moses' face (2 Cor. 
iii. 13), but in neither case does he reject the literal meaning. It 
is not probable that he does so here ; even if irdvTws be rendered 
'entirely,' it need not be pressed to mean that the oxen were 
not cared for at all. Weinel, St Paul, p. 59. 

t) 81' Tjfxas irdrrus \£yei » ' Or is it for our sakes, as doubtless 
it is, that He saith it?' See RV. marg. For irdvTws Vulg. has 
utique ; Beza, omnino : utique is probably right. It emphasizes 
the truth of this second suggestion 'assuredly'; cf. Luke iv. 23 , 
Acts xviii. 21, xxi. 22, xxviii. 4. In Rom. iii. 9, oi Trdvrw; 
means ' entirely not,' ' not at all,' rather than ' not entirely,' ' not 
altogether.' See Thackeray, pp. 193 f. The 17/tas probably 
means Christians ; * but it may mean the Jewish nation, or 
mankind, to teach them to be just and humane. Origen prefers 
the former interpretation ; ovkovv 8l rj/xa<; rovs Ti)e kcuvt/v &ia6rjK7)v 
TrapeiXycjiOTas (Iprjrai ravra, /cat irepi dv6pu)7rwv yeypairrat, irvevfxa- 
tikws tou prjrov voovjxevov Kara, tw Oelov olttocttoXov. Among 
Christians, Christian missionaries are specially meant. We 
might expect oi Aeyet, as in v. 8. B. Weiss makes the sentence 
categorical ; ' Rather for. our sakes absolutely (v. 10) He says it.' 

81* T] yap eypdcfvif]. The yap, as in 1 Thess. ii. 20, implies 
an affirmative answer to the previous question. 'Yes indeed for 
our sakes it was written.' It was with an eye to men rather than 
to oxen that this prohibition was laid down. Weinel, St Paul, 
p. 53; Resch, Agrapha, pp. 30, 152, 336. 

on 64>ei\ei eV eXiriSi. The on is explanatory : ' to show thai 
it is in hope that the plougher ought to plough and the thresher 
(ought to thresh) in the hope of having a share (of the produce).' 
The sentence is condensed, but quite intelligible : eV eA7riSt is 
emphatic by position, and is then repeated for emphasis when 

* The record of what was preparatory to the Gospel was made for the 
lake of those who received the Gospel. 


the thing hoped for is stated. RV. renders on 'because,' as if 
the meaning were that the prohibition must have an eye to men, 
because it is in accordance with common notions of what is fair : 
which is unlikely. The 'that' of AV. is too indefinite. "Few 
particles in the N.T. give greater difficulty to the interpreter 
than on " (Ellicott). Retaining ' Christian teachers ' or 'Apostles 1 
as the meaning of ^yu-as, we must understand the ploughing and 
threshing as metaphors for different stages of missionary work. 
Such work, and indeed teaching of any kind, is often compared 
to agriculture. Some of the processes of agriculture represent 
mission-work better than others, and St Paul would perhaps have 
taken reaping rather than threshing, had not the quotation about 
threshing preceded. But threshing may represent the separation 
of the true converts from the rest.* To take eypdtfiT] as referring 
to what follows, and introducing another quotation, is a most 
improbable construction : there is no such Scripture. 

6<pel\ei iv iXwlSi 6 dp. dp. (K* A B C P 17, Vulg., Orig. Eus.) is to 
be preferred to in eXirl8i 6<p. 6 dp. dp. (X 3 D 2 K L, Chrys. Thdrt. ), where 
the desire to make 4ir' iXirlSi still more emphatic has influenced the order. 
Other texts are much confused. 

Kal 6 dXoQv £7r' iXiridi rod^xeu' (K* A B C P 17, Syrr. Copt. Arm. 
Aeth., Orig. Eus.) is to be preferred to k. 6 dX. tt}s iX-rridos atirov /j.ere'xc 1 - 1 ' 
iw' iXiridi (N 3 D 3 E K L, Chrys. Thdrt.) and to k. 6 dX. tt)s e~Xwl5os avrou 
/Aer^xfiv (D* F G, Ambst.). Some scribe did not see that dXoqiv must be 
understood, and thus took fier^x^v to be the verb after 6<pelXei, making 
alterations to suit this construction. 

11. Ei r\\ upy . . . el irjfxeis v^Q>v. The ^acts in both places 
is emphatic and by juxtaposition is brought into contrast with the 
pronoun which follows. Cf. <rv fxov viVt£is tovs 7ro'Sas (John xiii. 
6). There is possibly a slight vein of banter in the question. 
' If it is we who in your hearts sowed spiritual blessings, is it an 
exorbitant thing that we out of your possessions shall reap 
material blessings ? ' What the Apostle gave was incalculable in 
its richness, what he might have claimed but never took, was a 
trivial advantage: was it worth disputing about? Was a little 
bodily sustenance to be compared with the blessings of the 

Gospel? With fxeya ei cf. 2 Cor. xi. 15 : with ra crapKiKa. cf. ra 

fiuariKa. (vi. 3); 'all that is necessary for our bodily sustenance.' 

eeptcrofiev (XABK) seems preferable to deplawfxev (C D E F G L P). 
The future indicative marks the reaping as more certain to follow, for 
which reason Evans prefers the subjunctive. The Apostle refused to reap. 
See Light foot on Phil. iii. 11 : he thinks that there is only one decisive 
instance of el with subj. in N.T. 

12. ei aXXoi ttjs ufj,we t'|ouCTias fJLeTe'xouaic. ' If others (the 
Judaizing teachers) have a share of the privilege which you 

* Cf. the separation of the fruit of the Spirit from the works of the flesh. 
Gal. v. 19-23. 


bestow,' viz. the privilege of being maintained by the congregation. 
It seems better to make vp.wv the subjective genitive. Yet most 
commentators make it the objective genitive; 'have a share of 
the right exercised over you ' (Mark vi. 7). But throughout the 
passage the Z£ovo-ia is looked at from the Apostles' side, the 
advantage which rightly belongs to them. This implies power 
over the Corinthians to make them supply the maintenance ; 
but that is not the side under consideration. And ' to have a 
share in power over people ' is a somewhat strange expression : 
' to have a share of a privilege which people allow ' is natural 
enough. But the sense is the same, however the genitive is 
interpreted. ' We have a better claim than others to the right 
of maintenance.' Some conjecture fifiwv for v/xwv. 

d\\' ouk cxpn]o-c!i|xe0a ttj e|ouo-ia t. ' Nevertheless,' he triumph- 
antly exclaims, ' we never availed ourselves of this privilege ' ; 
after elaborately demonstrating his right to the privilege, as if he 
were about to say, ' Therefore I hope that you will recognize the 
right and give the necessary maintenance for us in future,' he 
declares that he has never accepted it and never means to do 
so ; * and he seems to include Silvanus and Timothy. 

dXXot -rrdrra CTTeyo|ji€i'. 'On the contrary, we endure all 
things'; 'we bear up under all kinds of privations and depriva- 
tions, sooner than make use of this privilege.' The verb may mean 
1 we are proof against,' but it may be doubted whether jravra 
means " all pressure of temptation " to avail ourselves of mainten- 
ance. See on xiii. 7, and Milligan on 1 Thess. iii. 1. Beza 
needlessly conjectures cn-epyo/iev. 

Im (jlt| -riya cVkotttji' Swfxer. ' In order that we may not furnish 
any hindrance to the Gospel of Christ.' Neither in LXX nor 
elsewhere in N.T. does ivKo-n-q occur, and the word is rare in 
class. Grk. It is literally 'an incision,' and hence an 'inter- 
ruption ' or ' violent break,' as ti}s ap/Aovias. It is perhaps a 
metaphor from breaking bridges or roads to stop the march of 
an enemy. The English 'hamper' had a similar origin, of 
impeding by means of cutting. 'That we may not in any way 
hamper the progress of the Gospel' is therefore the meaning. 
Obviously, if he took maintenance, he might be suspected of 
preaching merely for the sake of what he got by it. Moreover, 
those who had to maintain him might resent the burden, and be 
unwilling to listen to him. Chrysostom uses avafioXrj, 'a mound 
thrown up to stop progress,' as equivalent to IvKoirq. St Paul's 
passionate determination to keep himself independent, especially 

* Dix fois il revient avec fierti sur ce d/tail, en apparence puiril, qu'il n'a 
rien coute" a personne, quoique' il eiit bien pu faire com we les autres et vivre 
de I'autel. Le mobile de son ze~le e'tait un amour des antes en quelque sorte 
infini (Renan, S. Paul, 237). 


at Corinth, appears in various places ; 2 Cor. xi. 9, 10 ; 1 Thess. 
ii. 9 ; 2 Thess. iii. 8. He must be free to rebuke, and his praise 
must be above the suspicion of being bought. While labouring 
at Corinth, he could accept help from Macedonians, but not from 
Corinthians. When Ignatius {Philad. 6) says that no one can 
accuse him of having been oppressive (e'ySu'pr/rru), he probably 
refers to the suppression of opinion rather than the enforcing of 
maintenance. Cf. ivii<o\pev, 1 Thess. ii. 18. 

The MSS. vary between vfiwv 4£ov<xlas (KABCDEFGP) and #. 
vfxwv : between nva i~yK. (N A B C) and ifK. nva : between iyKoir-qv (A C D 3 
F G K P), ivKoirty (B* F G) and 4kkott-/jv ( K D* L). There is no authority 
for tjjxuv ^ovcrias. 

13. He has reminded them that he has never in the past 
taken maintenance. Before stating what he means to do in the 
future, he strengthens the proof that he has a right to it. 
There is a higher and closer analogy than that of the soldier or 
of the different kinds of husbandmen. The other analogies may 
have escaped their notice, but surely they must be aware of the 
usages of the Temple, which in this matter did not differ from 
heathen usage. See Gray on Num. xviii. 8-20. 

ouk oi&cn-e ; ' Do you not know that those who perform the 
temple-rites eat the food that comes out of the temple, those 
who constantly attend on the altar share with the altar ' what is 
offered thereon ? The second half is not an additional fact ; it 
repeats the first half in a more definite form. See Num. 
xviii. 8-20 of the priest's portions, and 21-24 of the Levite's 
tithe, and contrast Deut. xiv. 23 (see Driver, p. 169). Nowhere 
else in N.T. does ovvfjLcp(£ofiai occur. 

tA £k tov iepou (K B D* F G, Copt.) is preferable to tic rod lepov, without 
t4(ACD 3 EKLP, Syrr. Arm.): and irapeSpetovres (K* ABCD E FG P) 
to irpoacbpevovTes (K 3 K L). Neither verb occurs elsewhere in N.T. , and 
there is little difference of meaning between them. See LXX of Prov. 
i. 21, viii. 3. 

14. Just as God appointed that the priests and Levites should 
be supported out of what the people offered to Him, so did 
Christ also appoint that missionaries should be supported out 
of the proceeds of missions. For the parallel between Christian 
preachers and Jewish priests see Rom. xv. 16. It is clear that 
6 Kuptos means Christ; 'the Lord also,'' just as Jehovah had 
done. St Paul was familiar with what is recorded Matt. x. 10; 
Luke x. 7, 8. See on vii. 10 and xi. 23. 

15. oil Kcxprjfjiai ouocfl tou'twi'. He repeats, in a stronger 
form, the statement of v. 12. The change of tense brings it 
down to the present moment : ' I did not avail myself,' ovk 
iXpr]o-dfA.r]v, and ' I have not availed myself,' oi KixpVF- - 1 " More- 


over, the addition of the pronoun makes the statement more 
emphatic; '/, however, have not availed myself of any of these 
advantages.' Others may have done so, but he has not. He 
now thinks no longer of Silvanus and Timothy, who were per- 
haps included in ovk ixprjad/xida (v. 12), and speaks only of 
himself. Even the close analogy of the maintenance of the 
priests has not induced him to do that. He has now com- 
pletely justified the plea that he is not asking them to forego 
more than he foregoes himself. Si ego p?-opter aliorum salutem 
a debitis sumptibus abstinui, saltern vos ab immolatis carnibus 
abstinete, ne multos fratrum praccipitetis in interitum (Herv.). But 
v. 13 may possibly have been introduced for the sake of another 
parallel. ' Like the priests who partake of what has been sacri- 
ficed, I have a right to partake of offerings, but for the sake of 
others I forbear. Then may I not ask you, although you have 
a right to partake of what has been sacrificed, for the sake of 
others to forbear ? ' 

Having emphatically reminded them of his practice in the 
past, he now declares that he means to make no change. All 
this argument is not a prelude to requiring maintenance from 
them in future. 

Ouk lypcuj/a 8e TauTa. ' Now I did not write all this,' viz. all 
the pleas which he has been urging (vv. 4-14). Or 8e may be 
' yet,' ' however,' and eyponj/a may be the epistolary aorist, like 

rjyrj&dfArjv and tTrefJuf/a (Phil. ii. 25, 28), dyeirefuj/a and Zypaya 

(Philem. 11, 19, 21); 'Yet I am not writing all this': Winer, 
p. 347. Deissmann gives examples from papyri, Light, pp. 
157, 164. 

Ira outws yeVTjTai cV ejioi . ' That it may be so done (for the 
future) in my case': not 'unto me,' as A.V. Vulg. has in me 
rightly, and in eo, Matt. xvii. 12, where both AV. and RV. have 
' unto him.' 

KaXov ydp H ,ot • • • ouScts Keywo-ei. Both reading and con- 
struction are doubtful. WH. make a rather violent aposiopesis 
after fxSXXov airoOavdv 17 : ' For a happy thing (it were) for me 

rather to die than No one shall make void my glorying,' 

i.e. his repeated declaration that he has never used his privilege 
of free maintenance. Lachmann's punctuation is still more 
violent ; ' For a happy thing it were for me rather to die than 
that my glorying should do so : no one shall make it void.' * 
The alternative is mentally to supply Iva, which with the fut. 
indie, is unusual, but not impossible (see v. 18). This difficulty 
led to the reading Iva tis Kcvwar). It is impossible to get a 
satisfactory construction out of what seems to be the true text. 

* Lachmann conjectures vr\ to Kavxv^ f Ji0V '• CI - xv « 3 l - Michelsen con 
jectures v^i rb k. pov 5 ovdds Ktvdxreu 


ov K^x/377/iai ovdevl (K* A B C D* E F G P 17) may safely be adopted : 
other texts vary the order, and some have ixpyv&M" from v, 12. And 
oiiSeis Kevwcret (K* B D* 17) is to be preferred to iW r« kcvwoji or Ktv&aei 
(K'CD 2 KLP). But whatever text or construction we adopt the sense 
remains the same ; ' I would rather die than be deprived of my independ- 
ence.' But 'rather die of hunger than accept food' is not the meaning. 
For KaXbv . . . ■% see Swete on Mark be. 43 ; Winer, p. 302 : the con- 
struction is not rare in LXX. 

16. There must be no misunderstanding as to what he con- 
siders a matter for glorying. There can be no glory in doing 
what one is forced to do ; and he is forced to preach the Gospel, 
because if he refused to do so, God would punish him. But he 
is not forced to preach the Gospel gratis ; and he does preach 
gratis. In this there is room for glorying. See Chadwick, 
Pastoral Teaching, pp. 306 f. 

dcdyKT| ycfp fioi emiceiTai. He refers to the special com- 
mission which he had received on the way to Damascus (Acts 
ix. 6). He was ' a chosen vessel to bear Christ's name before the 
Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel' (Acts ix. 15); he 
was separated for the work to which the Holy Spirit had called 
him (Acts xiii. 2) ; and this commission had been repeated in 
the Temple (Acts xxii. 21). It was impossible for him to reject 
it: Rom. i. 14; Gal. i. 15 f. ; Ezek. iii. 17 f. 'Is laid' (AV., 
RV.) is not accurate for liriKtnai : 'lies' or 'presses upon me' 
is the meaning (Luke v. 1, xxiii. 23; Acts xxvii. 20): cirtKeirai 
T7yu.1v Ta TTj<i /JacriActas (1 Mac. vi. 57); Kpareprj S' €7T€kcio-€t' 
avayK-r) (Horn. 77. vi. 458). But St Paul's dvdy/07 is the call 
of God, not the Greek's driving of blind fate. 

17, 18. Various explanations have been given of these rather 
obscure verses, and it is, not worth while to discuss them all. 
The following is close to the Greek and fits the context. ' For 
if by my own choice I make a business of this (as other teachers 
do), I get a reward (as they do).' As a matter of fact the 
Apostle does not do this ; he preaches because he must, and 
does not make a business of it or take any reward. But in 
order to make the argument complete, he states an alternative 
which might be a fact. He then states what is a fact. 'If, 
however, it is not of my own choice, then it is a stewardship 
that has been entrusted to me. What, then, is the reward that 
comes to me ? Why, that in preaching the Gospel I shall 
render the Gospel free of charge, so as not to use to the utter- 
most my privilege in the Gospel.' Or we may explain thus : 
(1) St Paul had a p.ia66<i (v. 18); therefore el yap e/ctov ... is 
not a rejected alternative ; (2) his fturOos is practically the same 
as his Kav'^T/yxa {v. 1 5). Thus the alternatives of v. 17 are both 
true. He preached of obligation, but also in a way he was not 


obliged to adopt, i.e. without pay. The latter, not the former, 
secured him a reward. If he wished to exercise his privilege 
as an Apostle for all that it was worth (Karaxpr)o-ao-6ai), he 
would insist upon full maintenance as his But the 
/Ato-^ds which he prefers and gets is the delight of preaching 
without pay, of giving the Glad-tidings for nought, and taking 
no money for them. The idea of his /uo-0ds being the com- 
mendation which he will receive at the Day of Judgment is 
quite foreign to the passage. Some editors carry the interroga- 
tion on to eijayyeAtw. This makes a question of awkward length, 
and leaves the question to answer itself. To put the question 
at 6 luvOos, and make what follows the answer to it, is more 
pointed. ' What is the pay that I get ? Why, the pleasure of 
refusing pay.' An oIkovo/xos was often a slave (Luke xii. 42). 
With Tre-Trio-rev/Mai compare Gal. ii. 7 and Lukyn Williams' note 
there ; also 1 Tim. i. 1 1 ; Tit. i. 3 ; and see Deissmann, Light, 
p. 379. Nowhere else in the Bible does a8a.Tra.vov occur, and 
nowhere else in N.T. does <xkg)v occur. See on vii. 31 for 

/iot iffrlv (K 3 B L P) rather than icrriv fioi (D s E), or fiov iariv (K* A C K), 
or tcrrai fiot (D* F G). After rb ei*yyt\iov, D 3 E F G K L P, Syrr. add 
tov XpiTTov : K A B C D*, Vulg. Copt. Arm. Aeth. omit. 

19. 'E\eu'0epos y«P & v - ' F° r although I am free from all, yet 
I made myself a bondservant to all, in order that I might gain 
the more.'* He is about to show other ways in which he 
waives his rights, in order to serve others and help the spread 
of the Gospel. Others take these verses (19-23) as explaining 
the ways in which he gets his recompense by refusing recom- 
pense. But iXevOepos wv seems to look back to v. 1 and to 
prepare the way for further instances of his forgoing his iXcvdepta. 
Note the emphatic juxtaposition of 7ra'vTo>v 7rao-iv by chiasmus. 
Both navTiDv and irao~iv are ambiguous as regards gender ; but 
iraa-Lv is almost certainly masculine, and that makes it almost 
certain that irdvrmv is masculine; 'all men' (AV., RV.);jeder- 
mann (Luther) ; so also Calvin, though he regards the neuter 
as possible. Origen adopts the neuter as if it were certain. 
"To be free Ik -rrdvTwv," he says, "is the mark of a perfect 
Apostle. A man may be free from unchastity but be a slave 
to anger, free from avarice but a slave to vanity ; he may be 
free from one sin but a slave to another sin. But to say, 
1 Although I am free from all,' is the mark of a perfect Apostle : 
and such was Paul." Strange that Origen should suppose that 
the Apostle would make any such claim. He rightly points 

* The 4k expresses more strongly than awb (Rom. vii. 3) that he is freed 
out of all dependence on others ; he is extricated from entangling ties. 


out that there was no harm in Paul's going to Jewish synagogues 
and observing Jewish customs, for he did not do this deceitfully, 
dAA.a Orjpevwv Tims e'£ avrwv. In interpreting, Origen inserts the 
article before v6p.ov, and each time writes 01 vtto tov vofiov. 
He says that people asked what was the difference between ot 
'IovScuoi and 01 v-rrb tov v6/aov, and he thinks that the latter refers 
to such people as the Samaritans. But, in quoting, he omits the 
article. He points out that St Paul does not say /rr/ wv 'lovSalos, 
for he was a Jew, although ovkItl iv tw cpavep<2 : but he does say 
fir] wv vtto vo/xor, for he was not a Samaritan. The meaning 
of it all is, that he could find in all men something with which 
he could sympathize, and he used this to win them. This was 
hard work for one with so strong and pronounced an individu- 
ality as he had. 

tous irXti'oyas. He could not expect to win all; but tovs 
TrAaovas does not mean ' the majority of mankind,' nor ' more 
than any other Apostle,' but ' more than I should have gained if 
I had not made myself a slave to all.' This is best expressed 
by 'the more' (AV., RV.). With Kep8>;o-a> cf. Matt, xviii. 15; 
1 Pet. iii. 1.* 

20. He now gives examples of his becoming a slave to all. 
He is the slave of Christ, and becomes a slave to others, in order, 
like a faithful olKov6p.o<s, to make gains for his Master. An 
oikovo/xos (see above) might be a slave. ' And (koi epexegetic) 
I behaved to the Jews as a Jew,' e.g. in circumcising Timothy 
at Lystra (Acts xvi. 3). Cf. Acts xxi. 26. 

tois utto vo\i.ov o>s uto v6\lov. ' To them that are under Law 
I behaved as one under Law.' The context shows clearly that 
vo'/xos here means the Mosaic Law as a whole : but the sentence 
is not a mere explication of the preceding one. The one 
refers to nationality, the other to religion ; and there were some 
who were under the Mosaic Law who were not Jews by race. 
The Apostle includes all who are not heathen. 

fir] S>v aoros utto v6\>.ov. 'Though I knew that I was not 
myself under Law.' He does not say ovk <5v, which might refer 
to a fact of which he was not aware : but ov with participles 
is rare in N.T. The parenthesis is remarkable as showing how 
completely St Paul had broken with Judaism. See Dobschiitz, 
Probleme, p. 82. In commenting on this verse Origen indicates 
that he was not the first to do so ; tiv«s It^T-qcrav rts rj Suupopa 
rZiV vtto tow vojxov 7rapa tovs 'IouSai'ovs. See on i. 24. 

This parenthesis is omitted in D 3 K, Copt. Aeth. AV., but is clearly to 
be inserted with K A B C D* E F G P, Vulg. Arm. RV. The omission 
is probably due to homoeoteleuton, vofiov to v6p.ov. 

* It is just possible that there is an allusion to the charge of making a gain 
(2 Cor. xi. 12, xii. 17) : his only gain was winning souls. 


21. tois d^ojxots. He goes a good deal further, and says 
that he was willing to behave as a heathen to heathen (cf. 
Gal. ii. 19). He did this, as Origen remarks, when he quoted 
heathen poets, and took as a text the inscription on a heathen 
altar, ayvuxrTw ®eoi. See also Acts xiv. 15, xxiv. 25, where 
his arguments are such as a heathen would appreciate. Here 
avojuos does not mean 'lawless' in the sense of disregarding 
and transgressing law (Luke xxii. 37 ; Acts ii. 23 ; 1 Tim. 
i. 9), but = ol fir] vtto vo/jlov, • those who were outside Law ' ; 
Rom. ii. 14. Evans (following Estius, ex/ex, in/ex) translates, 
'To God's outlaws I behaved as an outlaw, not being (as I 
well knew) an outlaw of God, but an inlaw of Christ ' ; and 
Origen explains the latter as meaning Tqpwv ttjv rroXirctav ty/v 
Kara to cuayyeAiov. But even ' outlaw ' has too much of the idea 
of lawlessness to be quite satisfactory. The genitives, ®eov and 
Xpio-rov mean ' in relation to.' Qui est dVop.os ®ew est etiam 
dVop.os Xpttrrw : qui est Iwo/ios XpiorcS est evvopos ©ew : and (on 
Gal. vi. 2) lex Christi, lex amoris (Beng.). It was the lex amoris, 
as followed by himself, that the Apostle would enforce on the 
Corinthians with regard to eating idol-meats ; and this thought 
brings him to the last illustration of his forbearing conformity, 
tois acr6ev£o-iv acr6evi]<;. The Law of Christ, while freeing him 
from the Law of Moses, did not leave him free to do as he 
pleased : it restrained him, and kept him from wandering to 
other objects than the service of God and man (2 Cor. v. 14). 

Oeov and XpLarov (K A B C D* F G P, Latt. Copt., Orig. Chrys.) rather 
than 9e<(3 and Xptoroi (D 3 K L, Arm. Thdrt.) : see Blass, § 36. n. Kepd&vu) 
or KepSavZ {X* ABCFGP 17) rather than Ke P 5^<ru} (K 3 DEK L, Orig. 
Chrys. Thdrt.), which is from w. 19, 20. tovs dv6fj.ovs (KABCDEP 17, 
Orig.) rather than &v6p.ovs (K 3 FGKL, Chrys. Thdrt.), perhaps to conform 
with 'Ioi/5cu'ous. 

22. tois acrQevio-iv acrQevr\<i. 'To the weaklings I became a 
weakling' (no <!>s). When he had to deal with the over- 
scrupulous, he sympathized with their scruples, abstaining from 
things which seemed to them (though not to him) to be wrong. 
Cf. 2 Cor. xi. 29; Rom. xiv. 1, xv. 1. Certainly this is the 
meaning, not "those who had not strength to believe the 
Gospel." Origen says that he was weak to the weak when he 
allowed those who burn to marry. He points out that Paul 
does not say /x.77 a>v avTos ao-6evrjs, which would have been 
dAa£oviKoV and xnreprjcfccLvov : yet surely not so much so as Origen's 
own interpretation of i\ev6epo<; ck tt<xvtwv (see on v. 19). See 
Resch, Agrapha, p. 132. 

tois irao-iy yeyoiTx Trcirra. 'To them all I am become all 
things.' The change from aorist to perfect is significant ; this is 
the permanent result of his past action ; he is always all-sided in 


all relations. His accommodation has no limit excepting the 
one just stated, that he is Iwo/xos Xpiarov. See Lightfoot on 
Gal. ii. 5, where we see this limit operating ; also On Revision, 
p. 92. Tarsus taught him to be many-sided. (Ramsay, Pictures 
of the Apostolic Church, pp. 346 f.) 

Iva. -n-drrws Tivds ctojctw. Another significant change ; from 
KepSrja-o) to owco. When he sums up the various conciliations 
and accommodations he states the ultimate aim ; — not merely to 
win this or that class to his side, but, by every method that was 
admissible, to save their souls. Peter sacrificed a Christian 
principle to save himself from Jewish criticism (Gal. ii. 12-14). 
Cf. for the TrdvTux; Tobit xiv. 8 ; 2 Mac. iii. 13. See the remark- 
able comment on vv. 20 22 in Cassian, Conf. xvi. 20. 

Before &<rdevr)s, K 3 C D F G K L P, Syrr. Copt. Arm. Aeth. insert ws 
from w. 20, 21: X'AB, Latt. Orig. omit. Before irdpra, D 2 KL1', 
Orig. Thdrt. insert to.: K A B C D* F G omit. For ttclvtus Ttxds some 
texts (D E F G, Latt.) have iravTas, or (17, Clem-Alex.) tovs navras. 
Clem -Alex. {Strom. V. 3) has three variations from the true text ; iravra. 
tyevd/j-riv iVa rot's ira-vTa* K€p5i]ffu). Orig. varies between toi'/s iravras, 7rdeTas 
■fj Tivds, and ttcLvtcl. Calv. , rejecting ut omnes faccrem salvos (Vulg.) foi 
ut omnino aliquos servem, remarks ; quia successu intcrdum caret indul- 
gentia cuius Paulus meminit, optime convenit haec restrietio : quamvis non 
proficeret apud omnes, non tamen destitisse, quin paucorum saltern utilitati 

23. -rrdn-a Se iroiw 8id to cuayyAiov. ' Yet all that I do, I do 
because of the Gospel.' * Not, ' for the Gospel's sake,' in order 
to help its progress, but because the Gospel is so precious to 
himself. He has just been stating how much he does for the 
salvation of others ; he now adds that he is also careful of his 
own salvation, and thus anticipates the conclusion of v. 27. 
What follows shows that this is the meaning ; he must secure his 
share in that eternal life which the Gospel offers. 

im avvKoivwvbs auTou yeVw/xai. ' In order that I may prove to 
be a fellow-partaker thereof,' i.e. not lose his share in the salva- 
tion which he tries to bring to others. t Even in speaking of his 
own salvation he does not regard it as the main thing, or as 
something apart by itself. Salvation is offered by the Gospel to 
all ; and he must strive to be one of those who receive it. The 
prize is not yet won : <rvv et yiyvo/xat magnam habent modestiam 

24. The thought of possible failure, where failure would be 
so disastrous, suggests an exhortation to great exertion, which is 

* ' This I do' (AV.) comes from a wrong reading; touto (KL, Syrr.), 
instead of iravTa.. 

t This gives some support tc the view that, in iii. 9, Qeov trvvepyol meant 
' sharers in work for God,' but it does not make that view probable. 



illustrated by the practice of runners and boxers in the Isthmian 
games. These were held once in three years close to Corinth. 
See Hastings, DB. art. ' Games ' ; Smith, D. of Grk. and Rom. 
Ant. art. ' Isthmia.' The reference to the games is certain ; 
such contests were common everywhere. The reference to the 
Isthmian games is much less certain. See Ramsay, Pauline 
Studies, p. 332, Pictures of the Apostolic Church, p. 363. 

01 iv <rraoiw Tpe'xoires • • • Ppafjelov. 'The runners in a 
race-course all of them run, but one taketh the prize.'* Does 
that mean, asks Origen, that only one Christian is saved, while 
the rest of us are lost ? Not so, for all who are in the way of 
salvation are one, 'one body.' It is the Christian Church that 
runs, and there is a prize for each of its members. But the prize 
is not in all cases the same : God gives to each according to his 
merit. The derivation of /Spa/^eiov {brabeum, brabium, bravium) 
is unknown. It occurs Phil. iii. 14; Clem. Rom. Cor. 5; 
Tatian, Ad Graec. 33. 

25. outcos Tp^x^Te, Xva. icaTa\dpT]Te. 'So run, that ye may 
secure it.' The outws may look back to the successful com- 
petitor; 'run as he does': or it may simply anticipate the 2W.f 
The change from Xa//./3di/€i to KaTaXd/3rjTe marks the difference 
between mere receiving and securing as one's own possession, 
and this play on words cannot be reproduced in English. Evans 
suggests ' take ' and ' overtake.' This would be excellent, if we 
had ovroos SiwKere, iva KaTaXdfirjTe, for Siwkciv and Ka.Ta\a.fif3di'tiv 
are common correlatives for 'pursue' and 'overtake.' But here 
the idea of one Christian overtaking another is alien to the 
context, and ' to overtake a prize ; is not a natural expression. 
In Phil. iii. 12 we have the same play on words, but there we 
have Siwkco, as also in Rom. ix. 30. 

■n-ds 8e 6 dywk'i^op.ecos. It is easy to talk about securing the 
prize, ' but every one who enters for a contest, in everything 
practises self-control ' ; he goes into strict training, which for a 
Greek athlete lasted ten months. *EyKpar. occurs vii. 9, and 
nowhere else in N.T. Cf. Hor. Ars Poet. 412 f. AV. puts a 
colon, RV. a full stop, here, so that what follows is an inde- 
pendent sentence. More probably, Ik&voi /xiv and ^eis 8« are 
two classes which make up the whole company of athletes, 7ms 6 
dya)vi£o/i.€vos. With WH. put only a comma after iyKpaTeverai. 
Emphasis on 7rS? and irdvra. 

4>0ap-roK <TTi$avo\>. In the Isthmian games a pine-wreath : 
cf. 1 Pet. v. 4 ; Wisd. iv. 2. Philo (Be Migr. Abr. 6), " Thou 

* Compare the contrast between Trap-res and ovk iv roh wXeloctv (x. I. 5). 

t In any case it means perseveranter nee rcspicicntes retro. — Recte dictum 
est, Deum adverbia, non verba remunerare ; nempe eos qui fortiter et juste, 
non autem quifortia et justa operatur (Salmeron in Denton). 


hast proved thyself to me a perfect athlete, and hast been deemed 
worthy of prizes and wreaths (/3pa/3eiW kol o-re^avwv), while 
Virtue presides over the games and holds forth to thee rewards 
of victory." Even Pindar has not succeeded in making the 
wreath of glory acpdapros : the victors in the games are not those 
who are remembered in history. Non solum corona, sed etiam 
memoria ejus perit (Beng.). The ovv is independent of the p.iv, 
which anticipates the following Si (contrast vi. 4, 7); 'they 
verily,' or 'they of course, in order to receive a perishable 

tjfieis 8c a^OapToc. The exact expression is not found else- 
where in N.T., but we have a/xapdvTivov rrjs 86$r)<; (TT€(pavov 
(1 Pet. v. 4), where ' made of immortelles' is perhaps the mean- 
ing rather than ' which fadeth not away ' : see Bigg ad loc. But 
' amaranth ' and ' immortelles ' are flowers that do not fade, so 
that the meaning is much the same. Elsewhere we have rbv 
a-T((f>avov tt}s £0)775 (Jas. i. 12; Rev. ii. 10), 6 tt}s BiKaioavvrjs 
(TTe<pavo<; (2 Tim. iv. 8). In all these places, as here, it is a 
crown of victory that is meant, rather than a royal crown, 
Sia%ia (Rev. xii. 3, xix. 12 ; Isa. lxii. 3 ; 1 Esdn iv. 30 ; 1 Mac. 
xi. 13, xiii. 32). The contrast between <p6apTo<; and a<£0apTos 
occurs in 1 Pet. i. 23. In LXX of Zech. vi. 14 we have 6 8« 
cre'e^avos Io-tcu tois vTrofxivova-iv : but more to the point is the 
description of Virtue in Wisd. iv. 2, Iv tu> alwvi oTc^av^^opovcra 
7rop.7r€v£i, tov twv dpadvToiv adXoiV dyah'a viK^cracra. The figure IS 
frequent in 4 Mac. 

Lightfoot (Si Paul and Seneca) quotes from Seneca (Ep. Mor. 
lxxviii. 16) a remarkable parallel; "What blows do athletes 
receive in their face, what blows all over their body. Yet they 
bear all the torture from thirst of glory. Let us also overcome 
all things, for our reward is not a crown or a palm branch or 
the trumpeter proclaiming silence for the announcement of our 
name, but virtue and strength of mind and peace acquired 
ever after." 

Epictetus also (Dis. iii. 21) has a fine passage on the 
qualifications and responsibilities of teachers; "The thing is 
great, it is mystical, not a common thing, nor is it given to every 
man. But not even wisdom perhaps is enough to enable a man 
to take care of youths : a man must have a certain readiness and 
fitness for this purpose ; and above all things he must have God 
to advise him to occupy this office (vv. 16, 17 ; vii. 40), as God 
advised Socrates to occupy the place of one who confutes error. 
Why then do you act at hazard in things of the greatest import- 
ance ? Leave it to those who are able to do it, and to do it 
well." And again (iii. 22), "He who without God attempts so 
great a matter, is hateful to God." 


26. eyw toivuv. Instead of going on with his exhortation to 
others, he looks to himself. He cannot dispense with painful 
effort. ' I for my part, therefore, am so running, as one with no 
uncertain course.' He knew the goal quite well, and he knew 
the road which led to it (Gal. ii. 2). Here ouYojs anticipates ws 
(iv. 1), which adds weight to the view that in v. 24 ovrws 
anticipates Iva. But ourws Tpe^w does not make it probable that 
outojs Tpeyere is indicative. To render ovk dS^Xws 'not without 
certainty of reaching the goal ' makes it almost contradict the 
fear expressed in p-r) wois olS6kl/xos yevw/ Scio quod petam et 
quomodo (Beng.) is better. In N.T., toivuv generally begins a 
sentence (see on Luke xx. 25 and cf. Heb. xiii. 13): St Paul 
has the usual classical order (cf. Wisd. i. 11, viii. 9). Nowhere 
else in the Bible is dS^'Aws found : but see 2 Mac. vii. 34 ; 
Phil. Hi. 14. 

outojs iruKTeuw. ' I so box as smiting not the air.' It is 
unlikely that he means ' I do not smite the air, but I beat my 
body,' in which case jxov to <rw/xa would have preceded virwrria£,u>, 
and it is rash to say that ovk negatives aipa, because the negative 
of Se'pw would have been /xrj. We may regard ovk de'pa Stptuv as 
one term, 'no air-smiter': he uses his fists as one in deadly 
earnest, and does not miss : he plants his blow. And ov with 
participles still survives in N.T., where the writer feels " that the 
proper negative for a statement of downright fact is oi." 

There are eleven other instances in Paul : four in 2 Cor. iv. 8, 9 ; two 
in a quotation in Gal. iv. 27 ; one each in Rom. ix. 25 ; Gal. iv. 8 ; Phil, 
iii. 3 ; Col. ii. 19 ; I Thess. ii. 4. See also Matt. xxii. n ; Luke vi. 42 ; 
John x. 12; Acts vii. 5, xxvi. 22, xxviii. 17, 19; Heb. xi. 1, 35 ; 1 Pet. 
i. 8 (see Hort), and a quotation in ii. 10. J. H. Moulton (Gr. i. p. 231) 
gives numerous illustrations from papyri, and concludes with a remark 
which applies to this passage. "The closeness of the participle to the 
indicative in the kinds of sentence found in this list makes the survival of 
01; natural." See Blass, § 75. 5. 

'Beating the air,' whether literally or metaphorically, is common in 
literature. Virgil's Dares (Aen. V. 377), verberat ictibus auras, and 
Entelius vires in ventum effudit (446) may occur to any one ; also 
ventosque lacessit ictibus (xii. 105 ; Geor. iii. 233). Ovid, Met. vii. 786, 
vacuos exercet in aera morsus. Valerius Flaccus, Arg. iv. 302, vacuas 
agit inconsulta per auras brachia. Horn. //. xx. 446, rph d'ijipa rijipe 
f}a.6eiav. Cf. also els atpa XaXeTv (xiv. 9). But we are not to under- 
stand the Apostle as speaking of practising boxing : both rpix u an d 
vvKTe<ju) refer to the actual contest. We see the close of it in 2 Tim. 
iv. 7, 8. 

27. dXV u-n-wmd^w . . . SouXayajyoJ. ' But I bruise my body 
black and blue and lead it along as a bond-servant.' The 
renderings of vir^ind^w (lit. give a black eye by hitting to 
v7TW7riov) are various; castigo (Vulg.), lividum facto (d), contundo 
(Beza), subigo (Calv.). See on Luke xviii. 5, where Vulg. has 


sugillo.* It is perhaps too much to say that St Paul regards his 
body as an antagonist. Rather, it is something which becomes 
a bad master, if it is not made to be a good servant. It is like 
the horses in a chariot race, which must be kept well in hand by 
whip and rein if the prize is to be secured. The Apostle was 
no Gnostic, regarding the body as incurably evil, and here he 
says a-w/xa and not crdp£. But the body must be made the SovAos of 
the spirit. Nowhere else in the Bible does oouAaywyw occur: cf. 
SovXow in Rom. vi. 18, 22. The purpose of SovXaywyw is tov 
firjKerL SovAevav rfj d/xapTta (Rom. vi. 6). Ignatius recalls what 
follows {Trail. 12). See Lietzmann, Greek Papyri, p. 6. 

fii] iru? a\Aoi9 (cnpu^ag auTos dSoiafios Y £ ' l ' w f Jiai - The thought 
of possible failure, which is just discernible in v. 23, is here 
expressed with full distinctness, and the metaphor of contests in 
the games perhaps still continues. There was a Krjpv$ at the 
games who announced the coming contest and called out the 
competitors : " Then our herald, in accordance with the prevail- 
ing practice, will first summon the runner" (Plat. Laws, viii. p. 
833). This the Apostle had done in preaching the Gospel ; he 
had proclaimed, ovtus i-pe^erc, Iva KaraXd/SrjTe. But he was not 
only the herald to summon competitors and teach them the 
conditions of the contest ; he was a competitor himself. How 
tragic, therefore, if one who had instructed others as to the rules 
to be observed for winning the prize, should himself be rejected 
for having transgressed them ! f Excepting Heb. vi. 8, dooxifjLos 
is found only in Paul: 2 Cor. xiii. 5-7; Rom. i. 28; Tit. i. 16; 
2 Tim. iii. 8 : 00V//.0? also (xi. 19) is mainly Pauline. Manifestly 
exclusion from the contest, as not being qualified, is not the 
meaning ; he represents himself as running and fighting : it is 
exclusion from the prize that is meant. J He might prove to be 
disqualified. His effective preaching and his miracles (x. 9-1 1, 
xiv. 18, 19; 2 Cor. xii. 12; Rom. xv. 18, 19; Gal. iii. 5) will 
avail nothing if he has broken the rules of the course (see on 
Matt. vii. 22, 23). In quo monentur omnes, ut timendo sperent et 
sperando timeant, quatenus spes foveat laborantes et timor mcitet 
negligentes (Atto). Ita certus est de praemio, ut timeat illud 
amittere ; et ita metuit amittere, ut certus sit de eo (Herv.). Potest 

* Cf. Cic. Tusc. ii. 17, Inde pugiles caestibits contusi ne ingemisrunt 
quidem, gladiator es quas plagas perferunt, accipere p/agam malunt quam 
turpiter vitare. 

t 'There is one that is wise and teacheth many, and yet is unprofitable to 
his own soul' (Ecclus. xxxvii. 19), /iia-Q aotpiarrjif Suns ovx avrf aotpbs 

X There was a herald who proclaimed the victors, and was himself crowned 
for his services. Nero proclaimed his own success at the games, and thus 
competed with the heralds. Viaorcm se ipse pronunciabat : qua de causa et 
praeconio ubique contendit (Suet. Nero, 24). 


etiam conjungi mm superiors dido, in hunc modum ; Ne Evangelio 
de/rauder, cuj'us alii tnea opera fiunt participes (Calv.). 

i;7rw7ridfa> (HA BCD* 17) is to be preferred to vTrowidlw (F G K LP), 
inrwm££w ( D 3 ), or inroirU^u} (22). ' Keep under ' ( AV. ) is from inrotri6.^w. 
For 0-^/j.o. F has ffrdfxa. For d56/ct/ios, rcprobus (Vulg.), rejectaneus (Beza). 
Schmiedel suspects vv. 24-27 as an interpolation. 


The fear expressed in ix. 27 suggests the case of the 
Israelites, who, through want of self-control, lost the promised 
prize. They presumed on their privileges, and fell into idolatry, 
which they might have resisted (1-13). This shows the danger 
of idolatry : and idol-feasts are really idolatry, as the parallels of 
the Christian Eucharist and of the Jewish sacrifices show. Idol- 
feasts must always be avoided (14-22). Idol-meats need not 
always be avoided, but only when the fact that they have been 
sacrificed to idols is pointed out by the scrupulous (23-xi. 1). 

X. 1-13. Take warning from the fall of our fathers in 
tJie wilderness. Distrust yourselves. Trust in God. 

1 The risk of being rejected is real. Our ancestors had 
extraordinary advantages, such as might seem to ensure success. 
They were all of them protected by the cloud, and they all 
passed safely through the sea, 2 and all pledged themselves to 
trust in Moses by virtue of their trustful following of the cloud 
and their trustful march in the sea ; 3 all ate the same supernatural 
food, 4 and all drank the same supernatural drink ; for they used 
to drink from a supernatural Rock which attended them, and the 
Rock was really a manifestation of the Messiah. 6 Yet, in spite 
of these amazing advantages, the vast majority of them frustrated 
the good purpose of God who granted these mercies. This is 
manifest ; for they were overthrown by Him in the wilderness. 

6 Now all these experiences of theirs happened as examples 
which we possess for our guidance, to warn us against lusting 
after evil things, just as those ancestors of ours actually did. 
7 And so you must not fall into idolatry, as some of them fell ; 
even as it stands written, The people sat down to eat and to 
drink, and rose up to sport. 8 And let us not be led on to 
commit fornication, as some of them committed, and died in a 
single day, 23,000 of them. fl And let us not strain beyond all 


bounds the Lord's forbearance, as some of them strained it, and 
were destroyed, one after another, by serpents. 10 Nor yet 
murmur ye, which is just what some of them did, and were 
destroyed forthwith by the destroying angel. u Now all these 
experiences by way of example occurred one after another to 
them, and they were recorded with a view to admonishing us, 
unto whom the ends of the ages, with their weight of authority, 
have come down. 12 Therefore if, like our forefathers, you think 
that you are standing securely, beware lest self-confidence cause 
you, in like manner, to fall. 13 And you can avoid falling. No 
temptation has taken you other than a man can withstand. Yes, 
you may trust God : He will not let you be tempted beyond your 
strength. While He arranges the temptation to brace your 
character, He will also arrange the necessary way of escape, and 
the certainty that He will do this will give you strength to 

1. Ou 0e\o> . . . &8e\<j>oi. See on xii. 1. The ydp shows the 
connexion with what precedes : ' Failure through lack of self- 
discipline is not an imaginary peril : if you lack it, your great 
spiritual gifts will not save you from disaster.' * 

oi irarepes TJuwy. Just as Christ spoke of the ancestors of the 
Jews as 'your fathers' (Matt, xxiii. 32; Luke xi. 47 ; John vi. 
49), so the Apostle calls them ' our fathers ' : some members of 
the Church of Corinth were Jews, and the expression, was literally 
true of them, as of St Paul. But he may mean that the Israelites 
were the spiritual ancestors of all Christians. In Gal. vi. 16 
'the Israel of God ' means the whole body of believers. Clem. 
Rom. (Cor. 60) uses -rots trarpdo-iv rjfxwv in the same sense, and 
speaks to the Corinthians of Jacob (4), and Abraham (31) as 
6 Trar-qp rjfxwv. See on Rom. iv. 1. 

■ndyres- The emphatic repetition in each clause marks the 
contrast with ovk iv tois -rrXziocnv (v. 5). All, without exception, 
shared these great privileges, but not even a majority (in fact 
only two) secured the blessing which God offered them. No 
privilege justifies a sense of security : privilege must be used 
with fear and trembling. 

utto Ti]v ve$ekr\v. 'Under the cloud' which every one 
remembers (Exod. xiii. 21, 22, xiv. 19, 24, xl. 38; etc.). The 

* The ' Moreover ' of AV. is from a false reading 5<f (K 3 K L, Syrr.) : the 
evidence for ydp is overwhelming. It introduces further justification of his 
demand that they should imitate him in his forbearance and Entsagung. 
The ov 6. v/xas dyv. (xii. I ; 2 Cor. i. 8; Rom. i. 13; 1 Thess. iv. 13) 
implies no reproach : contrast ovk o'iSare (iii. 16, v. 6, vi. 2, etc.). 


ace. perhaps indicates movement. They marched with the 
cloud above them.* The pillar of fire is not mentioned, as 
less suitable for the figurative efiairricravTo which follows : 
Wisd. xix. 7. 

2. els toi> Muu<jr\v i$. ' They received baptism unto Moses,' 
as a sign of allegiance to him and trust in him ; or ' into Moses,' 
as a pledge of union with him. Comparison with baptism ' into 
Christ' (Rom. vi. 3 ; Gal. iii. 27) is suggested, and it is implied 
that the union with Moses which was the saving of the Israelites 
was in some way analogous to the union with Christ which was 
the salvation of the Corinthians. Throughout the paragraph, 
the incidents are chosen from the Pentateuch with a view to 
parallels with the condition of the Corinthian Christians. The 
Israelites had had a baptism into Moses, just as the Corinthians 
had had a baptism into Christ. For a contrast between Christ 
and Moses, see Heb. iii. 1-6. With the aor. mid. compare 
aTreXovo-aade, vi. II ; with the «'s, Acts xix. 3. 

eV Tjj re<j>eXif] <al iv -rij OaXdoro-t]. Both cloud and sea 
represent " the element in which their typical baptism took 
place." To make the cloud the Holy Spirit and the sea the water 
is forced and illogical ; both are material and watery elements, and 
both refer to the water in baptism. In what follows it is the 
material elements in the Eucharist which are indicated. 

Editors are divided between {jZa.TTTLaa.vTO (B K L P) and {fBa.irTlcr9r)<Tap 
(KACDEF G). But the latter looks like a correction to the expression 
which was generally used of Christian baptism (i. 13, 15, xii. 13 ; etc.). 
Cf. vi. 11. 

3. t6 auTo Ppuifjia weufiariKoe. The manna which typified the 
bread in the Eucharist (jn. vi. 31, 32) was 'spiritual' as being 
of supernatural origin, apros dyyeXwv (Ps. lxxviii. 25), dyyeXwv 
rpo<jiij (Wisd. xvi. 20). In all three passages, as here and Neh. 
ix. 15, 20, the aorist is used throughout; — quite naturally, of an 
act which is past, and the repetition of which is not under 
consideration. It is possible that Trvev/xarLKov also means that 
"the immediate relief and continuous supply of their bodily 
needs tended to have an effect upon their spirit ; that is, to 
strengthen their faith " (Massie). Israelites, una cum cibo corporis, 
alimcntum animarum datum est (Beng.). Others take it as 
meaning that the manna and the water had a spiritual or 
allegorical meaning. It is remarkable that St Paul chooses the 
manna and the rock, and not any of the Jewish sacrifices, as 

* Onkelos paraphrases Deut. xxxiii. 3 ; " With power He brought them 
out of Egypt, they were led under Thy cloud ; they journeyed according to 
Thy word." Onkelos is said to have been, like St Paul, a disciple ol 
Gamaliel. Cf. Ps. cv. 39. 


parallels to the Eucharist. In class. Grk. rrw/j-a is more common 
than Trowel. 

WH. bracket the first rd avrb, which K*, Aeth. omit, while A C* omit 
aM : but to avrb is very stronglv attested (X'BPDEFGKLP, Latt.). 
MSS. vary between irv. /3/>. i<p. (K* B C 2 P), /3p. ttk. i<p. (N 3 D E F G K L), 
and irv. i<p. /3p. (A 17). A omits the second avrb, and again there is 
difference as to the order ; irv. iir. irbpta (NABC P), irbfia vv. iir. 

4. eTruoc yap ck ttv. &ko\ou0ouctt]S ireTpas. ' For they used to 
drink from a spiritual rock accompanying them,' or 'from a 
spiritual accompanying rock.' The change to the imperfect is 
here quite intelligible : they habitually made use of a source 
which was always at hand. It is not so easy to determine the 
thought which lies at the back of this statement. That the 
wording of the passage has been influenced by the Jewish legend 
about a rock following the Israelites in their wanderings and 
supplying them with water, is hardly doubtful ; but that the 
Apostle believed the legend is very doubtful. In its oldest form, 
the legend made the well of Beer (Num. xxi. 16 f.) follow the 
Israelites ; afterwards it was the rock of Kadesh (Num. xx. 1 f.) 
which did so, or a stream flowing from the rock. St Paul seems 
to take up this Rabbinic fancy and give it a spiritual meaning. 
The origin of the allusion is interesting, but not of great import- 
ance : further discussion by Driver {Expositor, 3rd series, ix. pp. 
15 f.); Thackeray, pp. 195, 204 f. ; Selbie (Hastings, DB. art. 
•Rock'); Abbott {The Son of Man, pp. 648 f., 762). 

Of much more importance is the unquestionable evidence of 
the Apostle's belief in the pre-existence of Christ. He does not 
say, ' And the rock is Christ,' which might mean no more than, 
1 And the rock is a type of Christ,' but, ' And the rock was 
Christ.' In Gal. iv. 24, 25 he uses the present tense, Hagar and 
Sarah 'are two covenants,' i.e. represent them, are typical of 
them. Similarly, in the interpretation of parables (Matt. xiii. 
19-23, 37-38) we have 'is' throughout. The rjv implies that 
Christ was the source of the water which saved the Israelites 
from perishing of thirst ; there was a real Presence of Christ in 
the element which revived their bodies and strengthened their 
faith. The comment of Herveius, Sic solet loqui Scriptura, res 
significantes tanqam illas quae significantur appellans, is true, but 
inadequate; it overlooks the difference between ian and yv. 
We have an approach to this in Wisd. xi. 4, where the Israelites 
are represented as calling on the Divine Wisdom in their thirst, 
and it is Wisdom which grants the water. Philo {Quod deterius 
potiori, p. 176) speaks of the Divine Wisdom as a solid rock 
which gives imperishable sustenance to those who desired it ; 
and he then goes on to identify the rock with the manna. The 


pre-existence of Christ is implied in c7TTu>xewev (2 Cor. viii. 9), 
in i^airio-TeiXev 6 ©cos tov vlbv avrov (Gal. iv. 4), and in 6 ©eos tov 
iavrov vlov 7re'yu.i/fas (Rom. viii. 3). Cf. Thil. ii. 5, 6, and see 
Julicher, Paulus u. Jesus, p. 31 ; J. Kaftan, Jesus u. Paulus, 
p. 64 ; Walther, Pauli Christentum Jesu Evangelium, p. 24. 
Justin {Try. 114) probably had this passage in his mind when 
he wrote of dying for the name -n}s KaXrjs Trirpw;, kou £u>v vSwp 
rats /capoYats /3pvovar)<;, Kal iroTi£ovcrr]<; tovs (3ov\op.ivov<; to rf/s 
£0*775 vSwp 7rt£tv. By the statement that the life-saving rock was 
a manifestation of the power of Christ, present with the Israelites, 
the Apostle indicates that the legend, at which he seems to 
glance in axoXovdovo-rjs, is not to be believed literally. What 
clearly emerges is that, as the Israelites had something anal- 
ogous to Baptism, so also they had something analogous to the 
Eucharist ; and this is the only passage in N.T. in which the 
two sacraments are mentioned together. 

MSS. vary between i) rirpa Se (N B D* s ), i) Si wtrpa (A C D 2 K L P), 
and irirpa 5i (F G). 

5. d\V ouk iv tois irXcioorii' auiw TjuBoKTjaef 6 6eo9. ' Howbeit, 
not with most of them was God well pleased.' Although all of 
them had great blessings (and, in particular, those which re- 
sembled the two sacraments which the Corinthian Church 
enjoyed), there were very few in whom God r s gracious purpose 
respecting them could be fulfilled. In ovk iv tois b-Xcuktiv we 
have a mournful understatement : only two, Caleb and Joshua, 
entered the Promised Land (Num. xiv. 30-32). All the rest 
thousands in number, though they entered the lists, were dis- 
qualified, dSo'/a/xoi iyevovTo (ix. 27), by their misconduct. 

In the Epistles, the evidence as to the augment of e&doiciv varies greatly ; 
in i. 21, eii56KT]<7€v is undisputed ; here the balance favours rjvS. (A B* C) : 
see WH. 11. Notes p. 162. 

The construction ei'5. iv nvi is characteristic of LXX and N.T., while 
Polybius and others write evd. nvi : but exceptions both ways are found 
(2 Thess. ii. 12 ; I Mac. i. 43). In Matt. xii. 18 and Heb. x. 6 we have 
the accusative. 

KaTeorpc60r|o-ar yap iv tt) epi^fAu. The yap introduces a justi- 
fication of the previous statement. God cannot have been well 
pleased with them, for Karecrrpioo-ev aurovs iv rfj iprjp-u (Num. 
xiv. 16). They did not die a natural death; their death was 
a judicial overthrow. The verb is frequent in Judges and 
2 Maccabees ; cf. Eur. Her. Fur. 1000 : nowhere else in N.T. It 
gives a graphic picture, the desert strewn with dead (Heb. iii. 17). 

6. TauTa 8e tu'ttoi ^jxtoi/ iyzv!)Q-<\<ja.v. ' Now these things came 
to pass as examples for us to possess.' The examples were of 
two kinds ; beneficia quae populus accetit et peccata quae idem 


admisit (Beng.). The one kind was being followed ; the Cor- 
inthians had sacraments and spiritual gifts : they must take care 
that the other kind was avoided. This is better than under- 
standing tvttoi in the sense of types, the Israelites being types 
and the Corinthians antitypes ; in which case rjfitov would be the 
subjective genitive.* Origen understands it in the sense of 
examples to warn us. The transition from twtos (rvirro}) as ' the 
mark of a blow ' (John xx. 25) to ' the stamp of a die,' and 
thence to any ' copy,' is easy. But a ' copy ' m«>y be a thing to 
be copied, and hence twos comes to mean ' pattern ' or ' example.' 
See Milligan on 1 Thess. i. 7. Deus, inguit, illos puniendo 
tanquam in tabula nobis severitatem suam repraesentavit, ut inde 
edocti timere discamus (Calv.). Ea potissimum delicto tnemorantur, 
quae ad Corinthios admonendos pertinent (Beng.). See Weinel, 
St Paul, pp. 58, 59. 

cis to |j.t) elrai. This confirms the view that twos does not 
mean ' types,' but examples for guidance, ' to the intent that we 
should not be.' In saying cTvai eViflu^Tas rather than hnQv^Civ 
he is probably thinking of eVel e6aij/av tov kaov toV iiriOv/xrjT-qv 
(Num. xi. 34). The substantive occurs nowhere else in N.T. 

ko.0us Kd.Keti'oi eire0op,T]crac. ' Even as they also lusted.' The 
kcli is not logical, and perhaps ought to be omitted in translation ; 
it means ' they as well as you,' which assumes that the Corinthians 
have done what they are here charged not to do : cf. 1 Thess. iv. 
1 3. Longing for past heathen pleasures may be meant 

7. fATj8e elSwXoXdTpai ylveaQt. ' Neither become ye idolaters.' 
The fir/Si is not logical ; it puts a species on a level with its genus. 
1 Lusting after evil things ' is the class, of which idolatry and 
fornication are instances ; and the fniSe, ' nor yet,' implies that 
idolatry is a new class. It was, however, the most important of 
the special instances, because of its close connexion with the 
Corinthian question. But this is another point in which Greek 
idiom is sometimes rather illogical. We should say ' Therefore 
do not become.' The rives is another understatement, like ovk 
lv tois 7rAetoo-iv : the passage quoted shows that the whole people 
took part in the idolatry. St Paul seems to be glancing at the 
extreme case in viii. 10, of a Christian showing his superior 
yvoio-is by sitting at an idol-banquet in an idol-temple. Such 
conduct does amount to taking part in idolatrous rites. The 
Apostle intimates, more plainly than before, that the danger 
of actual idolatry is not so imaginary as the Corinthians in their 
enlightened emancipation supposed. 

■naileiv. The quotation is the LXX of Exod. xxxii. 6, and 

* This would imply that the Corinthians were predestined to fall as the 
Israelites did. 


we know that the ' play ' or ' sport ' included x°P ot > which Moses 
saw as he drew near.* These dances would be in honour of the 
golden calf, like those of David in honour of the Ark of God, as 
he brought it back (2 Sam. vi. 14). The quotation, therefore, 
indicates an idolatrous banquet followed by idolatrous sport. 

Calvin asks why the Apostle mentions the banquet and the 
sport, which were mere accessories, and says nothing about the 
adoration of the image, which was the essence of the idolatry. 
He replies that it was in these accessories that some Corinthians 
thought that they might indulge. None of them thought that 
they might go so far as to join in idolatrous worship. 

No doubt Sxyirep (K A B D 3 L) before y^pairrai is to be preferred to (is 
(C D* K P), and perhaps retp (B* D* F G) to rteiv (A B 3 C D 3 E K L P) : 
ttIv (K) supports irelv. See on ix. 4. 

8. The relationship of idol- worship and fornication is often 
very close, and was specially so at Corinth (Jowett, ' On the 
Connexion of Immorality and Idolatry,' Epp. of St Paul, 11. p. 
70). Hence fornication is taken as the second instance of 
lusting after evil things. In the matter of Baal-Peor (Num. xxv. 
1-9), to which allusion is made here, it was the intimacy with 
the strange women which led to participation in the idolatrous 
feasts, not vice versa as the RV. suggests ; ' the people began to 
commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab : for they called 
the people unto the sacrifices of their gods.' It is remarkable 
that precisely at this point the Apostle changes the form of this 
exhortation and passes from the 2nd pers. (yiveade) to the 1st 
(jropvevoifjLev), thus once more putting himself on a level with his 
readers. But there is nothing in the brief reference to the sins 
of the Israelites to show that, when the Moabite women invited 
the Israelites to the sacrifices of their gods, immoral intercourse 
had preceded the invitation.! In Wisd. xiv. 12 the connexion 
between idolatry and fornication and the consequent destruction 
are pointed OUt ; 'Ap^T? yap 7ropv£ia? iirivoia et8wAa>]', evpeVeis Se 
avrwv <f>6opa £0)775, where the rendering ' spiritual fornication ' 
(AV.) is unnecessary, and probably incorrect. 

eirecrav fxia T]p,e'pa Cikocti Tpels x i ^ lt ^ € s- Here we have, in the 
most literal sense, <pf?opa £ojt]s. In Num. xxv. 9 the number is 

* Aristoph. Ran. 450, rbv rj/xtrepov rpoVoc t6i> KaWixopdirarov iraifovres. 
The verb is found nowhere else in N.T. In LXX it is frequent. 

t But in Num. xxv. we have two different stories combined and somewhat 
confused : w. 1-5 come from one source, w. 6-18 from another. The 
locality in one case is Shittim, in the other Peor ; the god in one case is 
presumably Kemosh the God of Moab, but he is called in both cases the 
Baal of Peor ; the punishment in one case is execution by the judges, in the 
other plagues sent by God ; the cause of the evil in one case is Moabite, in 
the other Midianite. See Gray, Numbers, pp. 3Sof., and cf. the interchange 
of Ishmaelite with Midianite, Gen. xxxvii. 25-36. 


24,000. St Paul quotes from memory, without verifying, the 
exact number being unimportant. But harmonizers suggest that 
1000 were slain by the judges; or that 23,000 and 24,000 are 
round numbers for a figure which lay between the two ; or that, 
of the 24,000 who died of the plague, 23,000 died on one day.* 
All these suggestions are the result of a 'weak ' (viii. 9 f., ix. 22) 
theory of inspiration ; and the first does not avoid the charge of 
error, for we are told that ' those that died by the plague were 
24,000.' For hracrav see 1 Chron. xxi. 14. 

For nopvevufiev (S A B D ! E) and iirbpvevffav (ibid.) D* F G have iKwop- 
veijw/xev and e£tTr6pvev<Tai> from LXX of Num. xxv. 1. Excepting Jude 7, 
the compound is not found in N.T. Zireaav (KABC D* F G P 17) is to 
be preferred to tweaov (D 3 K L) : see W H. 11. Notes p. 164. K 3 ACD 2 
KLP insert iv before iuq. = N* B D* F G, Latt. omit. 'In one day' 
augments the terror of the punishment. 

9. frnSe cVireipd^cofxei' tov Kupiov. ' Neither let us sorely tempt 
the Lord,' try Him out and out, provoke Him to the uttermost, 
till His longsuffering ceases. This the Israelites did by their 
frequent rebellion. It is rather fanciful to connect this with v. 8, 
as v . 8 is connected with v. 7. It is true that " fornication leads 
to tempting God " ; but is that the Apostle's reason for passing 
from 7ropv€i'oj/x.€i/ to iKT7€ipd^wfxev? The compound occurs (in 
quotations from LXX of Deut. vi. 16) Matt. iv. 7 ; Luke iv. 12 ; 
also Luke x. 25 ; in LXX, both of man trying God (Ps. lxxviii. 
18), and of God trying man (Deut. viii. 2, 16). It implies pro- 
longed and severe testing. See on iii. 18. Here the meaning is 
that God was put to the proof, as to whether He had the will 
and the power to punish. In class. Grk. iKTreipaaOat is used. 
It is doubtful whether the Apostle is thinking of anything more 
definite than the general frailty and faultiness of the Corinthian 
Christians. Misuse of the gift of tongues (Theodoret) and a 
craving for miracles (Chrysostom) are not good conjectures. 

uir6 tw o<f)£(of &ttw\\uvto. ' Perished day by day by the 
serpents.' The imperfect marks the continual process, and the 
article points to the well-known story. ' Perished ' = ' were de- 
stroyed,' and hence viro is admissible. In class. Grk. v7ro' is 
used of the agent after an intrans. verb, but it is not very 
frequent in N.T. We have iraaxav vtto, Matt. xvii. 12 and 
1 Thess. ii. 14, where Milligan quotes from papyri, fiiav iraax^v 
(KacrTOTe vtto 'Ekuo-cws. See Winer, p. 462. 

We may safely prefer rbv Kvpiov (N B C P 17, Aeth. Arm.) to rbv 
Xpiffrdv (D E F G K L, Latt.) or rbv Qeov (A). No doubt Xpiarbv, if 
original, might have been changed to Kvpiov or Qebv because of the diffi- 

* The /xia -qp-ipg. increases the horror : omnia adcmit Una dies infesta tibi 
tot praemia vitat (Lucr. iii. 911) : cf. Rev. xviii. 8. 


culty of supposing that the Israelites in the wilderness tempted Christ. 
On the other hand, either Xpicrrdv or Qe6v might be a gloss to explain 
the meaning of Kvpiov. Epiphanius says that Marcion substituted XpiaTbv 
for Kvpiov, that the Apostle might not appear to assert the lordship of 
Christ. Whatever may be the truth about this, it is rash to say that 
" Marcion was right in thinking that the reading Kvpiov identifies the 
Lord Jehovah of the narrative with the historical Jesus Christ." It is safer 
to say with Hort on I Pet. ii. 3, " No such identification can be clearly 
made out in the N.T." But see on Rom. x. 12, 13. In the N.T. 6 Kvpios 
commonly means ' our Lord ' ; but this is by no means always the case, and 
here it almost certainly means Jehovah, as Num. xxi. 4-9 and Ps. lxxviii. 18 
imply. There seems to be no difference in LXX between Kvpios and 
6 Kvpios, and in N.T. we can lay down no rule that Kvpios means God 
and 6 Kvpios Christ. See Bigg on I Pet. i. 3, 25, ii. 3, iii. 15; Nestle, 
Text. Crit. of N.T. p. 307. 

Kadus rives (NABCD'FGP 17) rather than KaQuis ical rives 
(D'EKL). iirdpao-av (A B D 3 K L) rather than ^eirelpacxav (K C D* 
FGP 17), the latter being an assimilation to iKireipafa/jiev. It is more 
difficult to decide between airwWvvTo (X A B) and airuXovro (CD E F G 
K L P) : but dirdiWwTo would be more likely to be changed to airwXovro 
(v. 10) than vice versa. 

10. |xt)8€ y°YY u '£ €T€> Rebellious discontent of any kind is 
forbidden ; and there is nothing said as to the persons against 
whom, or the things about which, murmuring is likely to take 
place. But the warning instance (Kadd-n-ep nves) can hardly 
refer to anything but that of the people against Moses and 
Aaron for the punishment of Korah and his company (Num. 
xvi. 41 f.), for we know of no other case in which the murmurers 
were punished with death.* From this, and the return to the 
2nd pers. (yoyyu^ETe), we may conjecture that the Apostle is 
warning those who might be disposed to murmur against him 
for his punishment of the incestuous person, and for his severe 
rebukes in this letter, t 

utt-0 tou 6Xo0peuToG. Not Satan, but the destroying angel 
sent by God to smite the people with pestilence. The Apostle 
assumes that there was such an agent, as in the slaying of the 
firstborn (tw oXSpevovra, Exod. xii. 23), and in the plague that 
punished David (2 Sam. xxiv. 16; ayyeAos Kvpiov iioXeOpeiwv, 
1 Chron. xxi. 12), and in the destruction of the Assyrians 
(2 Chron. xxxii. 21 ; Ecclus. xlviii. 21). Cf. Acts xii. 23 : Heb. 
xi. 28. Vulg. nas ab exterminatore, Calv. a vastatore ; in Heb. 
xi. 28 Vulg. has qui vastabat, in Exod. xii. 23 percussor. The 
angelology and demonology of the Jews was confused and 
unstable. Satan is sometimes the destroyer (Wisd. ii. 24). By 
introducing sin he brought men under the power of death ; 

* The murmuring against the report of the spies can hardly be meant, for 
that was punished by the rrtarmurers dying off in the wilderness, not by any 
special destruction (Num. xiv. 1, 2, 29). 

f It is perhaps for this reason that he changes from ko.6<I)s to Ka.Q6.irtp. 
which implies the very closest resemblance, ' exactly as.' 


Rom. v. 12; Heb. ii. 14; John viii. 44. Nowhere else in the 
Bible does oAoflpeimJs occur. 

Assimilation has produced four corruptions of the text in this verse : 
yoyyvfcrf (A B C K L P, Vulg. Syrr. Aeth.) has been corrected to yoyyv- 
tw/j-fv (KDEFG): Kaddirep (N B P) has been corrected to Kadws (A C D 
E F G K L) : K L inserts na.1 before rives : and A corrects airdiXovTo to 

11. TauTa 8e tuttikws auvi^aivev eKeikois. ' Now these things 
by way of lesson happened one after another to them ' : em- 
phasis on eKetVots. The imperfect sets forth the enumerated 
events as in process of happening ; the singular sums them up 
as one series. In v. 6 we had the plural, iycv^Orjo-av, attention 
being directed to the separate twoi in vv. 1-5 ; moreover, there 
may be attraction to twoi, Winer, p. 645. 

tYpd(j)T| Se it. v- rjfi. ' And were written for our admonition,' 
ne similiter peccantes similia patiamur. The written record was 
of no service to those who had been punished ; quid enim 
mortuis prodesset historia ? vivis autem quo modo prodesset, nisi 
aliorum exemplis admoniti resipiscerent ? (Calv.). Note the 
change from imperfect to aorist. 

ctS ous Ta TeXrj Twy cuwycjv KaT^cTrjKei'. ' Unto whom the ends 
of the ages have reached.' The common meaning of Karavrdo) 
in N.T. is ' reach one's destination ' : see on xiv. 36. The point 
of the statement here is obscure. ' The ages ' are " the successive 
periods in the history of humanity, and perhaps also the parallel 
periods for different nations and parts of the world " (Hort on €7r' 
ia-x^rov twv xpovw, 1 Pet. i. 20).* In what sense have the ends 
of these ages reached us as their destination ? ' The ends ' of 
them implies that each one of them is completed and summed 
up ; and the sum-total has come down to us for whom it was 
intended. That would seem to mean that we reap the benefit 
of the experience of all these completed ages. Such an inter- 
pretation comes as a fit conclusion to a passage in which the 
Corinthians are exhorted to take the experiences of the Israelites 
as lessons for themselves. Pluralis habet vim magnam : omnia 
concurrunt et ad sutnmam veniunt ; beneficia et pericula, poenae 
et praemia (Beng.). 

Or it may mean that the ends of the ages have reached us, 
and therefore we are already in a new age, which is the final 

* The education of the Gentiles went on side by side with the education 
of the Jews, and both streams met in the Christian Church. " The Church 
is the heir of the spiritual training of mankind" (Findlay). The temptation 
to make to, t. rCiv al. singular produced corruptions ; in quos finis sacculorum 
devenit (Iren. IV. xiv. 3), in quos finis seculorum obvcnit (Aug. De cat. rud. 
3). Tert. preserves the plural ; ad nos commonendos, in quos fines aevorum 
decucurrerttnt {Marc. v. 7) ; also Vulg. ; ad correptionem nostram, in quos 
fines secu/orum devcnerunt. 


one and will be short (vii. 29 : see Westcott on Heb. ix. 26 and 
1 John ii. 18). The interpretation will then be that "the last 
act in the drama of time is begun" (Rutherford), and therefore 
the warnings contained in these examples ought at once to be 
laid to heart. The Day of Judgment is near and may come at 
any moment (xvi. 22) ; it is madness not to be watchful. 

AV. has ' Now all these things,' and 'all' is well supported ; ravra Si 
irdvra (C K L P, Vulg. Syrr. Copt. Arm. ) ; irivra hi ravra (NDEFG, 
Aeth.) ; AB 17, Theb. omit irdvra : Orig. and Tert. sometimes omit. 
The fact that iravra is inserted in different positions, and that insertion is 
more intelligible than omission, justifies exclusion. tutti/clos (NABCKP, 
Vulg. in figura) is to be preferred to rviroi (DEFGL), and <7vvt{3aivev 
(K B C K L) to crvvifiaivov ( A D E F G L), which looks like assimilation to 
v. 6 ; also Karrjvri)Kev (X B D* F G) to Karr\vrt\(jev (A C D 3 K L). 

12, 13. The Apostle adds two admonitions : to those who 
a;e so self-confident that they think that they have no need 
to be watchful ; and to those that are so despondent that they 
think that it is useless to struggle with temptation. 

12. "$2ot€. See on iii. 21. 'So then, let him that thinketh 
that he is standing securely beware lest he fall ' ; i.e. fall from 
his secure position and become doo'Kipos. The Apostle does 
not question the man's opinion of his condition ; he takes 
the security for granted : but there is danger in feeling secure, 
lor this leads to carelessness. Perhaps there is special reference 
to feeling secure against contamination from idol-feasts. It is 
less likely that there is a reference to one who " thinks that 
through the sacrament he ipso facto possesses eternal life with 
God." See Rom. xi. 20, xiv. 4. M77 toiVvv hrl rfj (ndcru </>po'vei 
(Aeya, akka <j>v\&ttov tijv tttCktlv (Chrys.). 

Both AV. and RV. disregard the difference between wore 
here and StoVcp in v. 14, translating both 'wherefore.' In 
Phil. ii. 12, AV. has ' wherefore,' and RV. 'so then,' for wore. 
Vulg. rightly distinguishes, with itaque here and propter quod in 
v. 14. Aio'Trep indicates more strongly than wore that what 
follows is a reasoned result of what precedes. 

13. Treipa.o-p.6s up-as ook ei\r|4>€v. An appeal to their past 
experience. Hitherto they have nad no highly exceptional, 
superhuman temptations, but only such as commonly assail 
men, and therefore such as a man can endure. The tvttol just 
mentioned show that others have had similar temptations. 
This ought to encourage them with regard to the future, which 
he goes on to consider. It is reading too much into the verse 
to suppose that Corinthians had been pleading that they must 
go to idol-feasts ; otherwise they might be persecuted and 
tempted to apostatize. In three of his letters, however (to the 


Alexandrians, to the clergy of Samosata, and to Acacius and 
others), Basil applies this text to persecution [Epp. 139, 219, 256). 
With cl\r)4>ev compare Wisd. xi. 12 ; Luke v. 26, vii. 16, ix. 39. 

ttkttos 8e 6 06os. 'On the contrary, God is faithful,' id est 
verax in hac promissione, ut sit semper nobiscum (Herv.). Both 
AV. and RV. have 'but' for 8i. But the opposition is to what 
is negatived in what precedes ; this clause continues the en- 
couragement already given. The perfect tense (ovk ti\rjcj>ev) 
brings us down to the present moment ; there never has 
been 7reipao-//.os ft?) avOpwTnvos. In addition to this there is the 
certainty that God will never prove faithless: est certus custos 
suorum (Calv.). 

os ouk e'do-ei ujaSs. ' And therefore He will not suffer you to 
be tempted beyond what ye are able to endure.' This follows 
from His faithfulness, 'as being one who will not allow,' etc. 
For a similar use of os see 1 Tim. ii. 4. 

d\\d -rroujo-ei k.t.X. ' But will provide, with the temptation, 
the way of escape also.' l A way to escape' (AV.) ignores the 
article before exftau-iv, 'the necessary way of escape,' the one 
suitable for such a difficulty. The <rvv and the articles imply 
that temptations and possibilities of escape always go in pairs : 
there is no ireipao-fAos without its proper eK^Sacris, for these pairs 
are arranged by God, who permits no unfairness. He knows 
the powers with which He has endowed us, and how much 
pressure they can withstand. He will not leave us to become 
the victims of circumstances which He has Himself ordered 
for us, and impossibilia non jubet. For €K/8aans Vulg. has pro- 
ventus ; Beza and Calv. (better) exitus, which Vulg. has Heb. 
xiii. 7 ; egressus might be better still. On the history of ireipd^civ 
see Kennedy, Sources, p. 106. As to God's part in temptation, 
see Matt. vi. 13 ; 1 Chron. xxi. 1 ; Job i. 12, ii. 6 ; Exod. xvi. 4 ; 
Deut. viii. 2 ; and, on the other side, Jas. i. 13. 

tou 8uWo-0ai tmeveyKelv. This tov with the infinitive to 
express purpose or result* is very frequent in Luke (i. 77, 79, 
ii. 24, where see note) and not rare in Paul (Gal. iii. 10; Phil, 
iii. 10; Rom. i. 24, vi. 6, vii. 3, viii. 12, xi. 8, 10). 'YTrocpepew 
means 'to bear up under,' 'to endure patiently' (2 Tim. iii. 11 ; 
1 Pet. ii. 19 ; Prov. vi. 33 ; Ps. lxix. 7 ; Job ii. 10). Temptation 
is probation, and God orders the probation in such a way ' that 
ye may be able to endure it.' The power to endure is given <rvv 
t<5 Treipaa-fjiw, the endurance is not given ; that depends on 

* J. II. Moulton (Gr. 1. p. 217) prefers to call this use of tov c. infin. 
' epexegetic,' and thinks that " when Paul wishes to express purpose he uses 
other means." Bachmann makes toO ouvaaOai the genitive of the substantival 
infinitive, dependent on ttc{3a.o-iv, 'the escape of being able to bear it'; i.e. 
the £/c/3a(m consists in the power to ei.dure. 



ourselves. On the liturgical addition to the Prayer, • Lead us 
not into temptation which we are not able to bear,' see Resch, 
Agrapha, pp. 85, 355 ; Hastings, DB. ill. p. 144. 

Cassian (Inst. v. 16) says that "some not understanding this testimony 
of the Apostle have read the subjunctive instead of the indicative mood : 
tentatio vos non apprehendat nisi humana " (so Vulg. ). The verse is a 
favourite one with Cassian. 

A few texts insert ov before d6va<r6e and vireveyKeiv after it : a few 
insert vfias before or after vTreveyKtlv : H* A B C D* F L P 17 omit ii/xas, 

14-22. The Lord's Supper and the Jewish sacrifices may 
convince you of the fact that to participate in a sacrificial 
feast is to participate in worship. Therefore, avoid all 
idol-feasts, ivhich are a worship of demons. 

14 Yes, God provides escapes from temptations, and so my 
affection for you moves me to urge you to escape from tempta- 
tion to idolatry ; avoid all contact with it. 16 1 appeal to your 
good sense ; you are capable of judging for yourselves whether 
my arguments are sound. 

l6 The cup of the blessing, on which we invoke the benediction 
of God in the Lord's Supper, is it not a means of communion 
in the Blood-shedding of Christ? The bread which we break 
there, is it not a means of communion in the Body of Christ ? 
17 Because the many broken pieces are all one bread, we, 
the assembled many, are all one body ; for we, the whole con- 
gregation, have with one another what comes from the one 
bread. 18 Here is another parallel. Consider the Israelites, 
as we have them in history with their national ritual. Is it 
not a fact that those Israelites who eat the prescribed sacrifices 
enter into fellowship with the altar of sacrifice, and therefore 
with Him whose altar it is? The altar unites them to one 
another and to Him. 19 You ask me what I imply by that. 
Not, of course, that there is any real sacrifice to an idol, or that 
there is any real idol, such as the heathen believe in. 20 But 
I do imply that the sacrifices which the heathen offer they offer 
to demons and to a no-god : and I do not wish you to enter 
into fellowship with the company of demons. 21 Is my meaning 
still not plain? It is simply impossible that you should drink 
of a cup that brings you into communion with the Lord and 
of a cup that brings you into communion with demons ; that 
you should eat in common with others at the table of the Lord 


and at the table of demons. 22 0r do we think so lightly ol 
this, that we persist in doing just what the Israelites did in the 
wilderness, — provoking the Lord to jealousy by putting Him on 
a level with demons ? Are we able, any more than they were, 
to defy Him with impunity ? 

14. AioTrcp. Here and viii. 13 only. 'Wherefore, my 
beloved ones (the affectionate address turns the command into 
an entreaty), flee right away from idolatry.' Flight is the sure 
iLKfiao-is in all such temptations, and they have it in their own 
power : all occasions must be shunned. They must not de- 
liberately go into temptation and then expect deliverance. They 
must not try how near they can go, but how far they can fly. 
Fagite idolatriam : omnem utique et totam (Tert. De Cor. 10). 
This might seem a hard saying to some of them, especially after 
expecting a wide measure of liberty, and he softens it with 
ayairqroi /aou. It is his love for them that makes him seem to 
be severe and compels him to lay down this rule. Cf. xv. 58 ; 
2 Cor. vii. 1 ; Phil. ii. 12, etc. St Paul more commonly has 
the simple accusative after <£evy«v (vi. 18; 1 Tim. vi. n; 
2 Tirn. ii. 22), and it is not clear that <j>€vyeLv airo, which is more 
common in Gospels and Rev., is a stronger expression. The 
accusative would not have implied that the Corinthians were 
already involved in idolatry : that would require ck. 

15. ws ^poytfiois. Cf. iii. 1 ; Eph. v. 28. There is no 
sarcasm, as in 2 Cor. xi. 19. They have plenty of intelligence, 
and can see whether an argument is sound or not, so that pauca 
verba sufficiunt ad judicandum (Beng.). Yet there is perhaps 
a gentle rebuke in the compliment. They ought not to need 
any argument in a matter, de quo judicium ferre non erat 
difficile (Calv.). Resch, Agrapha, p. 127. 

Kpivajt uji,€is <j>Tjp,i. The v/acis is emphatic, and the change 
from Aeyw to <f>r]/x.i should be marked in translation, although 
it maybe made merely for variety; 'Judge for yourselves what 
I declare.' Vulg. has loquor and dico; in Rom. iii. 8 aiunt 
(<£ao-i) and dicere (Ae'yetv). 

16. To •n-oTTipi.oi' tt]9 cuXoyias. ' The cup of the blessing,' 
i.e. over which a benediction is pronounced by Christian 
ministers, as by Christ at the Last Supper. It does not mean 
'the cup which brings a blessing,' as is clear from what follows. 
We know too little about the ritual of the Passover at the time 
of Christ to be certain which of the Paschal cups was the cup 
of the Institution. There was probably a Paschal 'cup of the 
thanksgiving' or 'blessing,' and the expression here used may 


come from that, but the addition of 'which we bless' in our 
Christian assemblies shows that the phrase is used with a fuller 
meaning. Cf. iroT-qptov o-wrrjpiov (Ps. cxv. 4). EvAoyeiv and 
evxapicrreTv express two aspects of the same action : see on xi. 24. 
The plurals, (iXoyovpav and K\wp,ev, do not necessarily mean 
that the whole congregation took part in saying the benedic- 
tion or thanksgiving and in breaking the bread, except so 
far as the minister represented the whole body. The Apostle 
is speaking of Christian practice generally, without going into 
details. See notes on xi. 23-25, where he does give some 
details, and cf. Acts ii. 42, 46. Evans enlarges on the eu in 
eiXoyov/xev, ' over which we speak the word for good,' and con- 
cludes, " the bread and wine, after their benediction or consecra- 
tion, are not indeed changed in their nature, but become in 
their use and their effects the very body and blood of Christ 
to the worthy receiver." 

ouyi Koicoma early t. aijx. t. Xpiorou ; ' Is it not communion 
in the Blood of Christ?' The RV. margin has 'participation 
in.' But 'partake' is ficrex^v: Koivwvelv is 'to have a share 
in'; therefore noivwia is ' fellowship ' rather than 'participation.' 
This is clear from what follows respecting the bread. It is 
better not to put any article before ' communion ' or ' fellow- 
ship.' AV. has 'the,' which is justifiable; for kolvwvio., being 
the predicate, does not need the article. RV. has 'a,' which 
is admissible, but is not needed. Strangely enough, Vulg. 
varies the translation of this important word ; communicatio 
sanguinis, but participatio corporis : communio (Beza) is better 
than either. As koivwvciv is ' to give a share to ' as well as ' to 
have a share in,' communicatio is a possible rendering of icotvwvia. 
The difference between ' participation ' and ' fellowship ' or 
'communion' is the difference between having a share and 
having the whole. In Holy Communion each recipient has a 
share of the bread and of the wine, but he has the whole of 
Christ : ou yap to) p.erixuv fjuovov kcu p.tTa\ap.j3dveiv dXXa. tw 
evovcrOat. Kotvovp.iv (Chrys.).* 

Here, as in Luke xxii. 17, and in the Didache 9, the cup 
is mentioned first, and this order is repeated v. 21 ; but in the 
account of the Institution (xi. 23) the usual order is observed. 
This may be in order to give prominence to the Blood-shedding, 
the characteristic act of Christ's sacrifice, and also to bring the 

* Ellicott says that this distinction between fieTix eiv ar >d koivuveIv "cannot 
be substantiated. All that can properly be said is that Koivwvelv implies more 
distinctly the idea of a community with others": and that is sufficient. See 
Cremer, p. 363. Lightfoot points out the caprice of AV. in translating 
Koivwvoi first 'partakers' and then 'have fellowship,' while Koivwvla is 'com- 
munion,' and /xfT^x eLl ' 1S <t0 be partakers' (On Revision, p. 39). 


eating of the bread into immediate juxtaposition with the eating 
at heathen sacrifices. As regards construction, to TroT-qpiov and 
tov aprov are attracted to the case of the relatives which follow. 

ov Kk&pev. It is clear from e^apto-r^o-as (xi. 24) that St Paul 
does not mean to limit ei\oyovp.a> to the cup : there was a 
benediction or thanksgiving over this also. There is no action 
with regard to the cup which would be parallel to breaking the 
bread, and therefore we cannot say that kAw/xcv is equivalent 
to, or a substitute for, euAoyovyuev. Nor would "Trivopav corre- 
spond to kAw/acv": eating would correspond to drinking, and 
both are assumed. The transition from the Body of Christ to 
the Church, which in another sense is His Body, is easily made, 
but it is not made here : that comes in the next verse. 

It is evident from xi. 18 f. that the mention of the cup 
before the bread here does not imply that in celebrating the 
rite the cup ever came first. Here he is not describing the rite, 
but pointing out a certain similarity between the Christian rite 
and pagan rites. Ramsay {Exp. Times, March 1910, p. 252) 
thinks that he names the cup first " partly because the more 
important part of the pagan ceremony lay in the drinking o\ 
the wine, and partly because the common food in the pagan 
ceremony was not bread, but something eaten out of a dish," 
which was one and the same for all. To this we may add that 
in the heathen rite it seems to have been usual for each wor- 
shipper to bring his own loaf. The worshippers drank out of 
the same cup and took sacrificial meat out of the same dish, 
but they did not partake of the same bread : eU apros was not 
true of them (Hastings, DB. v. p. 132 b). This is said to be 
"the usual practice of simple Oriental meals, in which each 
guest has his own loaf, though all eat from a common dish." 
There was therefore less analogy between the heathen bread 
and the Christian bread than between the heathen cup and the 
Christian cup, and for this reason also the cup may have been 
mentioned first. For this reason again he goes on (v. 17) to 
point out the unity implied in the bread of the. Christian rite. 
The single loaf is a symbol and an instrument of unity, a unity 
which obliterates the distinction between Jew and Gentile and 
all social distinctions. There is only one Body, the Body of 
Christ, the Body of His Church, of which each Christian is a 
member. That is the meaning of 'This is My Body.' 

The main point to which the Apostle is leading his readers, 
is that to partake ceremonially of the Thing Sacrificed is to 
become a sharer in the Sacrificial Act, and all that that involves. 

It is not easy to decide whether the first ianv should follow koivwvIo. 
(A B P, Copt. Arm.) or Xpurrov (XCDEFGKL, Latt.). Probably 
the latter order arose through assimilation to the position of the second 


iffriv. A and a few other authorities put the second itrriv after the second 
KOLvwida, probably for assimilation. KBCDFKLP have the second iariv 
after Xpi<rrov. For the second Xpiarov, D* F, Latt. have Kvplov. 

17. on els apros, ec awp-a ot iroXXoi tajicr. It is not difficult 
to get good sense out of these ambiguous words, but it is not 
easy to decide how they should be translated. Fortunately 
the meaning is much the same, whichever translation is adopted. 
The on may = ' because ' and introduce the protasis, of which 
iv awfjua . . . coyxev is the apodosis ; ' Because there is one 
bread, one body are we the many,' i.e. Because the bread, 
although broken into many pieces, is yet one bread, we, although 
we are many, are one body. Vulg. seems to take it in this way ; 
quojiiam unus pants, unum corpus multi sumus.* The awkward- 
ness of this is that there is no particle to connect the statement 
with what precedes. The Syriac inserts a 'therefore'; 'as, 
therefore, that bread is one, so are we one body.' Or (better) 
otl may = 'for' (AV.), or 'seeing that' (RV.), and be the 
connecting particle that is required ; ' Seeing that we, who 
are many, are one bread, one body' (RV.). But, however 
we unravel the construction, we have the parallel between 
many fragments, yet one bread, and many members, yet one 
body. See Lightfoot on Ign. Eph. 20, where we have 7rdvTcs 
<rvvepx^o-6e iv /ai<£ TTLcrret Kai ivl I-qcrov Xpto-Tw followed by eva 
aprov kA.wi'tcs. See also Philad. 4. The Apostle's aim is to show 
that all who partake of the one bread have fellowship with Christ. 
This is plain from what follows. See Abbott, The Son of Man, 
p. 496. 

01 y»P irdrres «* tou ivh% ap-rou fiere'xop.ej'. ' For we all have 
our share from the one bread,' i.e. the bread which is the means 
of fellowship with Christ. Nowhere else have we fi€T€^tv with 
€K : the usual construction is the simple genitive (21, ix. 12), 
which may be understood (30, ix. 10); but compare in in xi. 28. 
The meaning seems to be that we all have a share which is taken 
from the one bread, and there is possibly a suggestion that the 
one bread remains after all have received their shares. All have 
communion with the Body, but the Body is not divided. The 
idea of Augustine, that the one loaf composed of many grains of 
corn is analogous to the one body composed of many members, 
however true in itself, is foreign to this passage. We have the 
same idea in the Didache 9 ; "As this broken bread was scattered 
(as grain) upon the mountains and gathered together became one, 
etc." " How the sacramental bread becomes in its use and effects 
the body of Christ, is a thing that passes all understanding: 

* Quoniam unus est pants, unum corpus no?, qui multi sumus (Beza). 
Weil Ein Brod es ist das wir brechen, sind Ein Leib wir, die Vitlen 


the manner is a mystery" (Evans). He adds that ol TravTct 
= ' all as one,' ' all the whole congregation.' It is remarkable 
how St Paul insists upon the social aspect of both the sacra- 
ments ; ' For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body ' 
(xii. 13). 

18. The sacrifices of the Jews furnish a similar argument 
to show that participation in sacrificial feasts is communion with 
the unseen. 

pXe'-ireTe toc 'l<rpaT)\ icai-a vdpKa. ' Look at Israel after the 
flesh,' the actual Israel of history. Christians are a new Israel, 
Israel after the Spirit, rbv 'lapa^X tov ®eov (Gal. vi. 16, iii. 29; 
Phil. iii. 3), whether Jews or Gentiles by birth. 

oux ol eVGiorres k.t.X. ' Are not they who eat the sacrifices 
in fellowship with the altar ? ' They are in fellowship with the 
altar, and therefore with the unseen God, whose altar it is. To 
swear by the Temple is to swear by Him that dwelleth therein 
(Matt, xxiii. 21), and to have fellowship with the altar is to have 
fellowship with Him whose sacrifices are offered thereon. As 
in the Holy Communion, therefore, so also in the Temple 
services, participating in sacrificial feasts is sacrificial fellowship 
with an unseen power, a power that is Divine. There is some- 
thing analogous to this in the sacrificial feasts of the heathen ; 
but in that case the unseen power is not Divine. See Lev. 
vii. 6, 14, vi. 26, and Westcott on Heb. xiii. 10. 

19. ti ovv 4>T]fi.i ; ' What then do I declare ? ' This refers 
back to the <£?7/n in p. 15 and guards against apparent incon- 
sistency with viii. 4. 'Do I declare that a thing sacrificed to an 
idol is something, or that an idol is something?' In neither 
case was there reality. The el8w\66vToi/ professed to be an 
offering made to a god, and the €t'8wAov professed to represent 
a god. Both were shams. The el8a>\6dvrov was just a piece 
of flesh and nothing more, and its being sacrificed to a being 
that had no existence did not alter its quality ; the meat was 
neither the better nor the worse for that. The eiSuAov was just 
so much metal, or wood, or stone, and its being supposed to 
represent a being that had no existence did not alter its value ; 
it was neither more nor less useful than before. As a sacrifice 
to a god, and as the image of a god, the elSwkodvrov and the 
etSwAov had no reality, for there was no such being as Aphrodite 
or Serapis. Nevertheless, there was something behind both, 
although not what was believed to be there. 

AV. , following KL, Syrr. , has 'idol' first; and, without authority, 
inserts the article, ' the idol.' S B C D E P, Vulg. Copt. Arm. Aeth. have 
5ti d5w\60vTov . . . 6ti ei8u\ov. The accentuation of Tisch., 6rt et5u\6- 
$vrov ti laTLv, fj 5n efSwXie ti tarw, is probably wrong : better, tI 4<m,r 


in each case ; ' that it is something'' (aliquid) is the meaning, not ' that any 
such thing exists.' The omission of i) 8ti ei!5w\6v ri iariv (H* AC*) is 
no doubt owing to homoeoteleuton, rl iariv to tL iartv. 

20. d\V on a Ououair to. ?0ct]. ' But (what I do declare is) 
that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice.' Here (according 
to the best texts), as in Rom. ii. 14, xv. 27, idvy has a plural 
verb : in Rom. ix. 30 it has the singular. As ra Wv-q are 
animate and numerous, the plural is natural. On the history 
of the term ZQvo<; see Kennedy, Sources, p. 98. 

ScufAoi'iois tea! ou 0eu> Quoucnv. The Apostle seems to have 
LXX of Deut. xxxii. 1 7, Wvaav 8cu//.oviois kclI ov 0eo>, 6eol<: oh 
ovk TjoWav, ' They sacrificed to demons (Shedim) and to a no- 
god, to gods whom they knew not,' in his mind. That koX ov 
6e(2 means ' and to a no-god ' rather than ' and not to God ' is 
confirmed by Deut. xxxii. 21 ; auToi. irape^Xwo-dv /i.e «r' oi 6e<$ 
. . . Kayo) 7rapa£,r]\wo-u) awrous iir ovk ZOvei, 'They have made 
me jealous with a no-god . . . and I will make them jealous 
with a no-people ' ; see Driver's notes. In Bar. iv. 7 we have 
the same expression, probably based on Deut. xxxii. 1 7 ; Ovo-avrss 
8aLfj.ovtoi<; koX ov deui 'by sacrificing to demons and no-god.' 
The Shedim are mentioned nowhere else, excepting Ps. cvi. 37. 
a late Psalm, possibly of the Greek period : according to it 
human sacrifices were offered to the Shedim ; see Briggs ad loc. 
In Ps. xcvi. 5, ' All the gods of the nations are idols,' LXX 7mvT€s 
01 0eoi twv iOvav Saifiovia, the word rendered ' idols ' and 8at/x.oVta 
means ' things of nought ' (Lev. xix. 4, xxvi. 1 ; Ps. xcvii. 7 ; 
cf. Is. xl. 18 f., xliv. 9f.). Asmodaeus, the evil spirit of Tob. 
iii. 8, vi. 14, is called in the Aram, and Heb. versions 'king of 
the Shedim ' ; and it is possible that St Paul has the Shedim in 
his mind here. See Edersheim, Life and Times, 11. pp. 759- 
763. Here, the translation, 'and not to God,' introduces a 
thought which is quite superfluous: there was no need to 
declare that sacrifices to idols are not offered to God. But 
'to a no-god' has point, and is probably a reminiscence of O.T 
The Apostle is showing that taking part in the sacrificial feasts 
of the heathen involves two evils, — sharing in the worship of 
a thing-of-nought, and (what is still worse) having fellowship 
with demons. This latter point is the main thing, and it is 
expressly stated in what follows. See Hastings, DB. art. 
'Demon'; Thackeray, p. 144. The primitive and wider-spread 
idea that there is, in sacrifice, communion between deity and 
worshippers, and between the different worshippers, greatly 
aided St Paul in his teaching. 

The idea that evil spirits are worshipped, when idols which represent 
non-existent pagan deities are worshipped, was common among the Jews, 
and passed over from them into the Christian Church, with the support 


ot various passages in both O.T. and N.T. In addition to those quoted 
above may be mentioned Is. xiii. 21, xxxiv. 14, where both AV. and RV. 
have 'satyrs' and LXX 5at/x6vta. In Lev. xvii. 7 and 2 Chron. xi. 15, 
AV. has 'devils,' RV. 'he goats,' RV. marg. 'satyrs,' and LXX /xdraia : 
see Curtis on 2 Chron. xi. 15. In Enoch xcix. 7, "Others will make 
graven images of gold and silver and wood and clay, and others will 
worship impure spirits and demons and all kinds of superstitions not 
according to knowledge," quoted by Tertullian (De Idol. 4). Book of 
Jubilees i. II, "They will worship each his own (image), so as to go 
astray, and they will sacrifice their children to demons"; and again, 
xxii. 17, "They offer their sacrifices to the dead and they worship evil 
spirits." In Rev. ix. 20, 'iva. fj.T) irpoaKwriaovcnv ra baiixbvia. kclI to. ei'fiwXa. 
In the Gospels, and probably in the Apocalypse, dai/xovia seem to be the 
same as 7reei'/iaTa aKadapra, and that is likely to have been St Paul's view. 
The close connexion between idolatry and impurity would point to this 
(see Weinel, Si Paul, pp. 31-34). By entering into fellowship with 
demons or unclean spirits, they were exposing themselves to hideous 
temptations of terrific violence. 

ou Q£Koi Se k.t.X. ' And I do not wish that you should become 
fellows of the demons': 'have fellowship with' (AV.) or 'have 
communion with' (RV.) does not give the force of yivtaOai. 
The article shows that 'the demons' are regarded here as a 
society, into which the worshipper of idols is admitted. 

The text of v. 20 has been much varied by copyists, and some points 
remain doubtful. Ovovolv (KABCDEFGP) is to be preferred to dvei 
(KL), which is a grammatical correction in both places. After the first 
Qtiovmv, K A C K L P, Vulg. Syrr. Copt, have ra tdv-q : B D E F omit. 
WH. bracket. The second dvovaiv follows Kal ov 6eu) (N A B C P, Arm.), 
not precedes (D E F G, Vulg. Syrr. Copt.). For kolvwvovs tQv dai/moviuv, 
D* E F G have dai/iovluv koivuvovs. For ylveadai, F, Syrr. Copt, have 

21. 00 SimurOc. Of course it is not meant that there is any 
impossibility in going to the Lord's Supper, and then going to 
an idol-feast : but it is morally impossible for one who has real 
fellowship with Christ to consent to have fellowship with demons. 

For One who does SO consent ovk eo-nv KvpiaKOv Setirvov (frayelv. 

Only those who do not realize what the Supper is, or do not 
realize what an idol-feast is, could think of taking part in both : 
cf. 2 Cor. vi. 15 ; Matt. vi. 24. The genitives may be possessive 
genitives, but the context indicates that they mean ' the cup 
which brings you into fellowship with,' genitives of relation. 

Tpcure'£r|s Kupiou. In Mai. i. 7, 12, 'My table,' i.e. the Lord's 
table, means the altar; see also Ezek. xli. 22, xliv. 16. Here it 
can only mean the Lord's Supper, ' table ' (as often) including 
what was on it, especially food ; hence the expression, Tpairit,^ 

fitTexetv. WetStein quotes Diod. iv. 74, //.€Tacr;i(W koivt)s Tpairiltfs. 

Deissmann (New Light on the N. T,, p. 83 ; see also Light, 
p. 355) quotes the invitation to "dine at the kXiVt/ of the Lord 
Serapis in the house of CI. Serapion." Probably from this 


passage, and perhaps also from Luke xxii. 30, ' the Lord's Table' 
came to mean the Lord's Supper. Augustine calls it ' the table 
of Christ ' and ' that great table ' ; Ambrose and Gregory 
Nazianzen, ' the mystical table ' ; etc. 

22. ?j Trapa^TjXoufAet' rbv Ku'piof ; A reminiscence of Deut. 
xxxii. 21 quoted above; see on Rom. x. 19, xi. n : 'Or are we 
provoking the Lord to jealousy ? ' 'Is that what we are engaged 
in — trying whether the Lord will suffer Himself to be placed on 
a level with demons?' In Deut. 'the Lord' of course means 
Jehovah, and some understand it so here; but v. 21 almost 
necessitates a reference to Christ. The r/ introduces the alter- 
native, ' Or (if you think that you can eat of Christ's table and of 
the table of demons) are we going to provoke His jealousy?' 

(it] itrxupoTepoi auTou e'crpey; 'Surely we are not stronger than 
He?' His anger cannot be braved with impunity; Job ix. 32, 
xxxvii. 23; Eccles. vi. 10; Isa. xlv. 9; Ezek. xxii. 14; some of 
which passages may have been in the Apostle's mind when he 
thus reduced such an argument e£s aroirov. It is as when 
Jehovah answers Job out of the whirlwind. Cf. i. 13. 

x. 23-xi. 1. Idol-meats need not always be avoided, hit 
brotherly love limits Christian freedom. Abstain from idol- 
meats when an over-scrupulous brother tells you that they 
have been sacrificed to idols. In this and in all things seek 
Gods glory. That is my rule, and it keeps one from injuring 
others. And it is my rule because it is Christ's. 

23 As was agreed before, In all things one may do as one 
likes, but not all things that one may do do good. In all things 
one may do as one likes, but not all things build up the life of 
the Church. 24 In all open questions, it is the well-being of the 
persons concerned, and not one's own rights, that should deter- 
mine one's action. 

25 See how this works in practice. Anything that is on sale 
in the meat-market buy and eat, asking for no information that 
might perplex your conscience ; 26 for the meat in the market, 
like everything else in the world, is the Lord's, and His children 
may eat what is His without scruple. 27 Take another case. If 
one of the heathen invites some of you to a meal, and you care 
to go, anything that may be set before you eat, asking for no 
information, as before. 28 But if one of your fellow-guests should 
think it his duty to warn you and say, This piece of meat has 
been offered in sacrifice, then refrain from eating it, so as to 


avoid shocking your informant and wounding conscience. 29 Of 
course I do not mean your own conscience, but the conscience 
of the over-scrupulous brother who warned you. For to what 
purpose should I, by using my liberty, place myself in a false 
position, judged by the conscience of another? 80 Fancy 'saying 
grace ' for food which causes offence and involves me in blame ! 

31 In short, that aim solves all these questions. Whether you 
are eating or drinking or doing anything else, let your motive 
always be the promotion of God's glory. 32 Beware of putting 
difficulties in the way of Jews by ill-considered liberty, or of 
Greeks by narrow-minded scruples, or of the Church of God by 
unchristian self-seeking. 33 That is just my own principle. I try 
to win the approval of everybody in everything, not aiming at 
my own advantage, but at that of the many, that they may be 
saved from perdition. l In this I am only following in the foot- 
steps of Christ. Will not you follow in mine? 

The whole discussion of eiScoAoflu-ro?, accordingly, issues in 
three distinct classes of cases, for each of which St Paul has a 
definite solution : 

(1) Eating at sacrificial feasts. This is idolatry, and absol- 
utely forbidden. 

(2) Eating food bought in the shops, which may or may not 
have an idolatrous history. This is unreservedly allowed. 

There remains (3) the intermediate case of food at non- 
ceremonial feasts in private houses. If no attention is drawn to 
the "history" of the food, this class falls into class (2). But if 
attention is pointedly called to the history of the food, its eating 
is prohibited, not asperse idolatrous, but because it places the 
eater in a false position, and confuses the conscience of others. 

23. n&vTa Qecmv. A return, without special personal refer- 
ence, to the principle stated (or perhaps quoted) in vi. 12 ; where 
see notes. Of course he means all things indifferent, with regard 
to which a Christian has freedom. He repeats this principle, 
with its limitation, before dealing finally with the question of 
idol-meats. See Moffatt, Lit. of N.T., p. 112. 

ou TrdeTa oiKoSojmei. This explains ov vdvTa crvficjiipet. There 
are some things which do not build up either the character of 
the individual, or the faith which he professes, or the society to 
which he belongs. A liberty which harms others is not likely to 
benefit oneself, and a liberty which harms oneself is not likely 
to benefit others. Cf. xiv. 26 ; Rom. xiv. 19. 


Before ^eanv, in both clauses, K 3 II K L, Syrr. AV. insert fioi from 
vi. 12: H* A B C* D E, Am. Copt. omit. Through homoeoteleuton, 
irivra to iravra, F G omit the first clause and 17 omits the second. 

24. fXT|8€is to eauTou £t)T€itoj. This is the practice which 
really <rvp,cf>ip€i and oiKoSofxel : ' Let no one seek his own good.' 
The prohibition is, of course, relative : seeking one's own good 
is not always wrong, but it is less important than seeking the 
good of others ; and when the two conflict it is one's own good 
that must give way: cf. v. 33, vi. 18; Luke x. 20, xiv. 12, 13, 
xxiii. 28. 

d\\d to toO £T«?pou. The fir/Sei? of course is not the subject, 
but £/<ao-To<;, understood from the /u^Seis. Such ellipses are as 
common in English as in Greek. Here, as in iii. 7 and vii. 19, 
the a\\d implies the opposite of the previous negative. Here, 
D 2 E K L add f^ao-Tos after eripov. The Apostle now returns to 
viii. 1-13 to finish the subject. 

25. iv (xaKeWw. The word occurs nowhere else in Biblical, 
and is rare in classical, Greek ; = macellum, which may be derived 
from macto= 'slaughter' or maceria = ' enclosure.' It means 
' provision-market,' and especially ' meat-market.' Probably a 
great deal of the meat offered for sale (7rwAov/i.evov) came from 
the sacrifices, especially what was sold to the poor. See Deiss- 
mann, Light, p. 274. 

p]Se> dvaKpiVorres. 'Making no inquiry' as to whether the 
meat had been offered in sacrifice. It is not likely that the 
meaning is, 'not examining any piece of meat,' because off. 27 
In the market, it might be possible to distinguish sacrificial meat, 
but not after it had been served at table. 

Sid tj]v o-uv6i8r|<Tii/. ' Out of regard to conscience.' Is this 
clause to be taken with fxr/Skv draKptVovres, or with dva/cptVovrcs 
only ? If the latter, the meaning is ' making no conscientious 
inquiries,' asking no questions prompted by a scrupulous con- 
science. Had the order been fx-qSlv Sid t. aw. dm/co., this would 
no doubt be the meaning. As the words stand, the former con- 
struction is better; 'For the sake of your conscience making no 
inquiry,' asking no questions which might trouble conscience. 
It is not wise to seek difficulties. The connexion with ia-OUre, 
' eat, because your conscience is an enlightened one,' may safely 
be rejected. 

26. tou Kupi'ou yap. Quotation from Ps. xxiv. 1 to justify 
the advice just given. The emphasis is on tov Kvpiov, ' To the 
Lord belongs the earth.' Meat does not cease to be God's 
creature and possession because it has been offered in sacrifice : 
what is His will not pollute any one. This agrees with Mark 
vii. 19, Kadapt^wv -irdvTa to. fipu)fj.a.Ta } and with Acts x. 15, d 6 


®cos iKaOdpLcrcv. It is stated that the words here quoted are 
used by Jews as grace at meals. Whether or no they were so 
used in St Paul's day, the principle laid down in i Tim. iv. 4 
was recognized ; ' Every creature of God is good, and nothing to 
be rejected, if it be received with thanksgiving.' 

t6 TT\rjpw/j.a aurfis. ' That which fills it,' ' its contents.' See 
J. A. Robinson, Ephesians, p. 259. Cf. Ps. xcvi. n, 'The sea 
and all that therein is,' f] OdXaao-a ko.1 t6 TvX-^pwpa avnjs. 

27. KaXei ujjlSs. The pronoun here has a slight change of 
meaning. He has been addressing all the Corinthian Christians, 
but this v/tas can only mean 'some of you.' All of them had 
heathen acquaintances, one of whom might invite several of 
them. And the emphasis is on /caXei : he suggests that without 
an express invitation they surely would not go. 

Kol Ge'XtTe iropeo'eo-Oai. ' And you care to go ' : an intimation 
that he does not advise their going, though he does not forbid 
it ; satius fore si recusarent (Calv.). 

iraf to impaTiGep^ov. Placed first with emphasis, like irav to 
cv fx. TT<o\.: 'Anything that is put before you'; 'Anything that 
is for sale,' etc. Cf. Luke x. 8. 

et tu (HABD'FGP, Latt.) is to be preferred to tl 5t rts (CD 1 
EHKL, Syrr.). 

28. lav 8e tis upf etTTfl. The change from e? to idv is 
perhaps intentional, although the difference between the two is 
less in late Greek than in earlier. ' If any one invites you,' a 
thing which is very possible and may have happened. 'If any 
one should say to you,' a pure hypothesis, and not so very 
probable. In Gal. i. 8, 9 we have a change from idv to ei See 
J. H. Moulton, Gr. p. 187. This shows clearly that the meal is 
a private one, and not such as is mentioned in viii. 10. The 
Apostle has already ruled that banquets ev elSwXtw must be 
avoided, and at such a banquet there would be no need to say 
Tovro UpoOvrov Io-tiv. It is less easy to decide who the speaker 
is. Certainly not the host, whose conscience would not be 
mentioned, but a fellow-guest. And we are almost certainly to 
understand a fellow-Christian, one of the ' weak ' brethren, who, 
being scrupulous himself about such things, thinks that he ought 
to warn others of what he chances to know. That a heathen 
would do it out of malice, or amusement, or good-nature ("I 
dare say, you would rather not eat that "), is possible, but his 
conscience would hardly come into consideration. And his 
using UpoOvrov rather than elSwXoOvTov would seem to indicate 
that he was a Gentile Christian : when he was a heathen and 
regarded sacrifices to the gods as sacred, he would use UpoOvrov 


and not el8o)\66vTov : and he uses the old word still.* It shows 
how St Paul has realized the situation. The word occurs 
nowhere else in Bibl. Grk. See Deissmann, Light, p. 355 n. 

(at] e(70ieT€. This cannot mean 'Cease from eating.' As 
icrOUre (v. 25) means 'make a practice of eating,' fir) ccr&Vre 
means ' make a practice of abstaining from eating.' 

Si' IkzIvov . . . Kal tV cruveiSqo-ii'. We expect avrov after 
otWS^o-iv, but the Apostle purposely omits to say whose con- 
science is considered, in order to leave an opening for the 
emphatic statement which follows: 'out of regard to your 
informant and to conscience.' He would be shocked, and the 
shock would be a shock to conscience. 

Upddvrov (X A B H, Sah.) is to be preferred to ddu\6dvrov (C D E F 
G K L P, Copt. Arm.), which is a correction to a more usual and apparently 
more correct term. There would be little temptation to change el5w\6dvrov 
into Up68vToi>, which occurs nowhere else in N.T. or LXX. The AV M 
following II 2 K L, Goth., Chrys. Thdrt., adds from v. 26 'The earth is the 
Lords,' etc. KABCDEFGH*P, Latt. Copt. Aeth. Arm. omit. 

29. orue€i8r|<Tii' 8e Xeyu. ' Now by conscience I mean, not 
one's own, but the other's,' not the guest's who received the 
information, but the fellow-guest's who gave it. There is no 
need to regard eavrov as second person ('thine own,' AV., RV.) 
for o-eavTov : it may be indefinite, ' one's own.' In the plural, 
eairrw, etc. is regularly used in N.T. for r)fiwv airwv and ifiwv 
airuv, etc. (xi. 31 ; Phil ii. 12, etc.); but, in the singular, there 
is not one decisive example of this use. In Rom. xiii. 9 ; Gal. 
v. 14; Matt. xxii. 39, a-eavrov is the better reading; in John 
xviii. 34, creavTou. Here, lavrov is the right reading. 

Iva ti y<*P *) eXeuBepio fiou ; The Apostle graphically puts 
himself in the place of the Christian guest who has been placed 
in a difficulty by the officiousness of his scrupulous informant ; 
ex sua persona docet. Iva ti yap : the force of the iva is lost 
in most explanations of this clause (except Godet). iva ti (see 
small print) never means ' by what right,' but rather ' for what 
object ' ? St Paul's main point in the context is fir) eo-^iere, for 
which yap introduces a reason : ' Eat not, ... for what good 
will you gain ? ' (cf. viii. 8). What follows is really a characteriza- 
tion of the act of eating. The clue to the tense is in Rom. xiv. 16, 
where the same verb, /3Aao-<p?7/i.ero-0a>, is used in a very similar 
connexion, ' What good shall I gain by (eating, i.e.) by suffering 
my liberty to incur iudgment (as xi. 31 ; Rom. ii. 12; Acts xiii. 

* See Origen (Cels. viii. 21 sub init.), where he says that Celsus would 
call iepoOvra what are properly called ei5u\6dvTa, or, still better, Saifxoviddvra. 
There is no improbability in a ' weak ' Christian accepting the invitation of a 
heathen. There would be plenty of food that had never been sacrificed : and 
he mi<;ht avoid the word el5w\60vrov out of consideration for his entertainer. 


27) at the hands of another's conscience? Why incur blame 
for food for which I give thanks, if I " say grace " for it ? ' In the 
last clause, the point is in the incongruity of ' saying grace ' for 
what places ire in a false position ; the structure exhibits a slight 
logical inversion closely similar to that in Rom. vii. 16 (see 
Introd. § on Style). 

For eavTov (K A B C D 2 E, etc.), D*, Latt. (tuam) have veavrov, and H 
has ifiavrov, which are manifest corrections. For S.\\rjs, F, d g Goth., 
Ambr. have airlaTov, which is wrong both as reading and as interpretation. 

The interrogative tva tL (with yevrjrcu or yivono understood) is found 
in several places, both in N.T. (Matt. ix. 4, xxvii. 46 ; Luke xiii. 7 ; Acts 
iv. 25, vii. 25) and in LXX (Ruth i. II, 21 ; Ecclus. xiv. 3 ; 1 Mac. ii. 7) ; 
also in Plato and Aristophanes. Cf. ut quid? and in quid? and ad quid? 

30. ei iyu x^P lTl peTe'x<o. ' If I with thanksgiving partake, 
why do I receive reviling about that for which I give thanks ? ' 
This suggests, if it does not imply, that one's being able to 
thank God for it is evidence that the enjoyment is innocent. 
One cannot thank God for a pleasure which one knows to be 
wrong. The connexion between xaptn and c^apto-Tw should be 
preserved in translation. Apparently both refer to grace at 
meals, and the meaning is that all food, whether sacrificial or 
not, is sanctified, ' if it be received with thanksgiving,' fiera. evxa- 
picrTtas, dyia£eTai yap Sia \oyov ®eov /cat evTev£ew<; (1 Tim. iv. 4). 
Evans translates, ' If I with grace said have meat with others, 
why am I evil spoken of for having meat for which I have said 
grace?' AV. and RV. render x^P lTL 'by g race >' which means 
'by God's grace' (xv. 10), either His grace in providing food, or 
His grace in enlightening the conscience (Chrys.). So also 
Calvin ; quum Dei beneficium sit, quod omtiia mihi licent. But 
this is less likely than ' thanksgiving.' See Ellicott. 

The U between el and iyih (CD'EHKL, Syrr. ) may be safely 
omitted (K B D* F G P, Latt.). AV. has « For,' which has no authority. 
No connecting particle is required, and 5^ interrupts the sense. In any 
case eyw is emphatic, ' If I for my part.' For x&P lTt without the article cf. 
Eph. ii. 5 ; Heb. ii. 9, xiii. 9. 

31. Eire 05^ eaOterc. The ovv gathers up the results of the long 
discussion, and introduces a comprehensive principle which 
covers this question and a great many other things. All is to 
be done to God's glory ; and this aim will be a good guide in 
doubtful cases.* It has been suggested before, vi. 20. 

eiT€ ti TToiciTc. ' Or do anything ' ; the active side of life as 
distinct from enjoyment and refreshment. Cf. o ti lav TroifjTe, 
Travra €v dvofjLOLTi Kvpiov lyjaov, and o iav iroirjre, ipyd^eo-Oe w? tuj 

* Epictetus (Arr. Dis. ii. 19) says ; "I have this purpose, to make you 
free from constraint, compulsion, hindrance, to make you free, prosperous, 
happy, looking to God in everything small and great," els Qtbv d^opilurai i» 
wavri jjuKpy kcu fj.ey6.Xifi. 


Kvpi<o (Col. iii. 17, 23). Foregoing our rights out of Christian 
charity would illustrate this. Abstaining from action, for a good 
Motive, is included in Tt iroLelre as well as deeds, whether simple 
or heroic. Ignatius repeatedly has the phrase, eis TL/xrjv Qtov 
(Eph. 21 bis, Smyrn. II, Polyc. 5; cf. Afagn. 3, Trail. 12). 
Here again, as in v. 28, we have the refrain interpolated; 'For 
the earth is the Lord's,' etc. (C 3 ). See Deissmann, Light, p. 459. 

32. d-rrpoCTKOTToi yiVeo-Ge. 'Behave without giving offence, "prove 
yourselves to be averse to causing others to stumble ' ; sine 
offensione estote (Vu\g.). The term here, as in Ecclus. xxxii. 21, 
is certainly transitive, 'not making to stumble': in Acts xxiv. 16 
it is certainly intransitive, 'without stumbling': in Phil. i. 10 it 
may be either, but is probably intransitive. The use of the term 
here, in continuation of the great principle set forth in v. 31, 
shows that refraining from doing is much in his mind when he 

SayS £IT£ Tt 7rOietT€. 

kcu 'louocu'ois y. kcu "EMtjctu' <al tt] eKKXrjoria tou ©eou. These are 
three separate bodies ; the third does not include the other two. 
Therefore unconverted Jews and unconverted Greeks are meant ; 
they are 01 l|w (v. 12), and it is an Apostolic principle that 
Christian conduct must be regulated with reference to those 
outside the Church as well as those within : fva Trepnrarqre e.v<rxq- 
/idvtDs 7rpo? tous 2£a> (1 Thess. iv. 12 ; cf- Col. iv. 5). An ill- 
advised exhibition of Christian freedom might shock Jews and 
an ill-advised rigour about matters indifferent might excite the 
derision of Greeks, and thus those who might have been won 
over would be alienated. In *ai 777 Ik. tou ®. (i. 2, xi. 16, 22, 
xv. 9) he is again thinking of the weak brethren who have 
needless scruples.* See on xii. 12. 

ical'Iovdalois yiveade is the order in H* A B C 17, Orig. There would 
be obvious temptation to correct to ylvecrde rots T., as in K 3 D E F G K L P ; 
and versions follow suit. 

33. Ka0us Kdlyw . . . dpecn<a>. ' Just as I also am ready to 
render service to all men in all things.' The rendering ' please ' 
for apia-KO) is somewhat misleading, for it seems to mean that 
the Apostle habitually curried favour with every one and tried to 
be liked by all. Cf. Gal. i. 10. ' Please' is used from his own 
point of view of what ought to please, f 'Apecr/ceiv is sometimes 
almost 'to be a benefactor to.' "In monumental inscriptions 
the words dpe'cravTcs rrj iro\ei., rrj 7rarpi8i, etc. are used to describe 
those who have proved themselves of use to the commonwealth, 

* There is no "harsh note of ecclesiasticism " here. It is the glory of 
God that is put in the first place, and, after that, the good of others. 

f Ignatius recalls these words and iv. I, when he writes (Trail. 2), del Si 
Kal tous diaicdvous 6vras fivffTTjpiuv 'I. ~Kpi<TTOv Kara, iravra Tp6irov Ttaaiv apicrneiv. 


as in O. G- I. S. 646, 12, dpeaavra rfj re airy (SovXf] kou tw Sr/fiti) y 
(Milligan on 1 Thess. ii. 4). What follows shows that his aim 
was not popularity. 

fiT) £t]-iw to cfxauTou CTu/i.<(>opoi'. The conclusion shows what 
kind of (rvfjL<j)opov is meant, viz. spiritual profit. The saving of 
his own soul is not his main object in life ; that would be a 
refined kind of selfishness. He seeks his own salvation through 
the salvation of others. The unity of the Church as the Body of 
Christ is such that the spiritual gain of one member is to be 
sought in the spiritual gain of the whole (v. 17, xii. 12, 25, 26). 
It is for this reason that he prefers inspired preaching to speaking 
in a Tongue (xiv. 4, 19). It is a commonplace among philo- 
sophers that the man who seeks his own happiness does not 
find it : it is in seeking the happiness of others that each man 
finds his own. See Phil. ii. 4; Rom. xv. 1. Josephus {B.J. iv. 
v. 2) praises Ananus as irpb twv tSiW \vo-itc\wv to Koivrj avpapipov 


Ira o-wGuo-ic. As in ix. 22. This effort must be to the glory 
of God, for it is carrying on His work (Col. i. 13, 14). Cf. i. 21 ; 
1 Thess. ii. 16 ; 1 Tim. ii. 4. This shows what ;7acriv apio-Kw means. 

As in vii. 35, <r6ft(popov (K* ABC) is to be preferred to <xvix<p£pov 
(K 3 DEFGKLP). Nowhere else in N.T. does <n'</x</>opos occur ; in LXX 
only 2 Mac. iv. 5. Hence the change to a more familiar word. In xii. 7, 
aviKpipov is right : avficpipew is frequent. 

XI. 1. The division of the chapters is unfortunate. This verse 
clearly belongs to what precedes. He has just stated his own 
principle of action, and he begs them to follow it, because it is 
Christ's: Hinc apparet, quam ineptae sint capitum sectiones (Calv.). 
There is no connexion with what follows. 

/jupiTcu /xou yireotie. ' Become imitators of me.' Excepting 
Heb. vi. 12, (iipTfnjs is in N.T. peculiar to Paul (iv. 16 ; Eph. v. 
1 ; 1 Thess. i. 6, ii. 14): not found in LXX. Everywhere it is 
joined with yivea-Bai, which indicates moral effort ; ' Strive to 
behave as I do.' Everywhere the more definite 'imitator' (RV.) 
is to be preferred to 'follower ' (AV.) : * Be ye followers of me' 
is doubly defective. Cf. wo-n-tp ko.1 twv aAAwv Ipywv 01 SiScur/aiAoi 
rous pa6r]Ta% /xip.r]Ta<s iavrwv aTroSiiKvvovcrtv (Xen. Mem. I. vi. 3). 

Ka0ws Kayw XpioroG. This addition dispels the idea that it is 
in any spirit of arrogance that he asks them to imitate him ; 
once more he is only asking them to do what he does himself, 
to follow the example of one whom they recognized as their 
teacher : nihil praescribit aliis quod non prior observaverit ; 
deinde se et alios ad Christum, tanquam unicum recte agendi 
exemplar revocat (Calv.). It is as an example of self-sacrifice 
that he takes Christ as his model ; the whole context shows this. 



And it is commonly this aspect of Christ's life that is regarded, 
when He is put before us in N.T. as an example : Rom. xv. 2, 3 ; 
2 Cor. viii. 9; Eph. v. 2; Phil. ii. 4, 5. "The details of His 
life are not generally imitable, our calling and circumstances 
being so different from His. Indeed, the question, 'What 
would Jesus do?' may be actually misleading" (Goudge). The 
wiser question is, ' Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do ? ' It is 
seldom that St Paul mentions any of the details of our Lord's 
life on earth, and it is therefore unlikely that he is thinking of 
anything but the subject in hand — sacrificing one's own rights 
and pleasures for the good of others. Nevertheless, the know- 
ledge which St Paul displays of details is sufficient to show that 
he knew a great deal more than he mentions, and exaggerated 
statements have been made respecting his supposed ignorance. 
See Knowling, The Testimony of St Paul to Christ, Lect. x. ; 
Jacquier, Histoire des Livres du N.T., II. 22-24; The Fifth 
Gospel, pp. 75, 195 f. On the supposed difference between the 
teaching of Christ and that of St Paul see Kaftan, Jesus und 
Paulus, Tubingen 1906, esp. pp. 24, 32, 58; Walther, Pauli 
Christentum Jesu Evangelium, Leipzig, 1908, esp. pp. 25-30; 
Jiilicher, Paulus und Jesus, Tubingen, 1907, esp. pp. 35 f. 


This constitutes the third * main division of the Epistle, and 
it contains three clearly marked sections; respecting (1) the 
Veiling of Women, xi. 2-16; (2) Disorders connected with the 
Lord's Supper, xi. 17-34; (3) Spiritual Gifts, especially Pro- 
phesying and Tongues, xii. i-xiv. 40. At the outset there is a 
possible reference to the Corinthians' letter to the Apostle ; but 
the sections deal with evils which had come to his knowledge in 
other ways. 

XI. 2-16. The Veiling of Women in Public Worship. 

Although in respect of religion men and women are on 
an equality, yet the Gospel does not overthrow the natural 
ordinance, which is really of Divine appointment, that woman 
is subject to man. To disavow this subjection before the con- 
gregation must cause grave scandal ; and such shamelessness 
is condemned by nature, by authority, and by general custom. 
* The fourth, if the Introduction (i. 1-9) be counted. 


8 Now, as to another question, I do commend you for re- 
membering me, as you assure me you do, in all things, and for 
loyally holding to the traditions just as I transmitted them to 
you. 3 But I should like you to grasp, what has not previously 
been mentioned, that of every man, whether married or un- 
married, Christ is the head, while a woman's head is her husband, 
and Christ's head is God. * Every man, whether married or 
unmarried, who has any covering on his head when he publicly 
prays to God or expounds the will of God, thereby dishonours 
his head : 6 whereas every woman, whether married or unmarried, 
who has her head uncovered when she publicly prays to God or 
expounds the will of God, thereby dishonours her head ; for she 
«s then not one whit the better than the wanton whose head is 
shaven. 6 A woman who persists in being unveiled like a man 
should go the whole length of cutting her hair short like a 
man. But seeing that it is a mark of infamy for a woman to 
have her hair cut off or shorn, let her wear a veil. 7 A man has 
no right to cover his head ; he is by constitution the image of 
God and reflects God's glory : whereas the woman reflects man's 

8 Man was created first ; he does not owe his origin to 
woman, but woman owes hers to him; 9 and, what is more, she 
was made for his sake, and not he for hers. 10 For this reason 
she ought, by covering her head, publicly to acknowledge her 
subjection. Even if she does not shrink from scandalizing men, 
she might surely fear to be an offence to angels. 

11 Nevertheless, this dependence of the woman has its limits : 
in the Lord neither sex has any exclusive privileges, but each 
has an equal share. 12 For as, at the first, the woman came into 
being from the man, so, ever since then, the man has come into 
being by means of the woman ; and, like everything else, both 
are from God. 

13 Use your own powers of discernment. Is it decent that a 
woman should have her head uncovered when she publicly offers 
prayer to God ? 14 Surely even nature itself teaches you that for 
a man to wear his hair long is degrading to him ; 15 whereas this is 
a glory to a woman, because her long hair is God's gift to her, 
to serve her as a covering. 16 Yet, if any one is so contentious 
as to dispute this conclusion, it will suffice to say that both 
Christian authority and Christian usage are against him. 


2. 'Eircuyw 8e ujuis. ' Now I do praise you that in all tilings 
ye remember me and hold fast the delivered instructions exactly 
as I delivered them to you.' The verse is introductory to the 
whole of this division of the letter which treats of public worship. 
With his usual tact and generosity, the Apostle, before finding 
fault, mentions things which he can heartily and honestly praise.* 
The 8e marks the transition to a new topic, and perhaps from 
topics which the Corinthians had mentioned in their letter to 
others which he selects for himself. 'E7rcuvai looks forward to 
ovk iwaivw which is coming (v. 17) : here he can praise, in some 
other matters he cannot. He may be referring to his own letter 
(v. 9); 'Now, it is quite true that I praise you.' Or he may be 
referring to their letter, ' Now, I do praise you that, as you tell 
me, in all things you remember me'; comp. viii. 1. Primasius, 
in any case, gives the right key ; Quid erat, quod subito laudat 
quos ante vituperavit ? Ubi legis auctoritatem non habet, blandi- 
mentis provocat ad rationem. The translation, ' that ye remember 
everything of mine,' is possible but not probable : fxi^vq^ai : 
ace. is fairly common in classical Greek, but is not found in 
N.T. Both Trdrra and xaflws -rrapeSwica \t\iiv are emphatic : their 
remembrance of him was unfailing, and they observed with loyal 
precision what he had told them — by word of mouth or in the 
lost letter. Neither 7rapaoYSu>/u (in this sense) nor TrapaSocns 
(Gal. i. 14; Col. ii. 8; 2 Thess. ii. 15, iii. 6) are common in the 
Pauline Epp. It is possible that in some of these passages, as 
in v. 23 and xv. 3, we have an allusion to some rudimentary 
creed which was given to missionaries and catechists f : comp. 
2 Thess. ii. 5. There had been a Jewish 7ra/ja8ooris of monstrous 
growth, and it had done much harm (Matt. xv. 6 ; Mark vii. 8 ; 
Gal. i. 14). There is now a Christian 7rapacWis to supersede it, 
and it was from the first regarded as precious (1 Tim. vi. 20; 
2 Tim. i. 14). See Mayor, St Jude and 2 Peter, pp. 23, 61 ; 
A. E. Burn, Intr. to the Creeds, ch. ii. This 7rapaSocris contained 
the leading facts of the Gospel and the teaching of Christ and 
the Apostles. As yet there were no written Gospels for St Paul 
to appeal to, although there may have been written collections 
of the Sayings of our Lord. For Kcn-e^cre cf. xv. 2 ; 1 Thess. v. 
21 ; Heb. x. 23 ; Luke viii. 15 ; and see Milligan, Thessalonians, 
p. 155. There may be a reference to z>. 1 ; in this they are 
imitating him ; or a reference to their own letter. 

* Atto of Vercelli seems to be mistaken in saying, Haec nempe verba per 
ironiam dicta sunt. So also Herveius ; Per ironiam incipit loqai. His 
verbis plus illos tangit, quam si tnanifesle increparet eos. Quasi diceret ; 
Vos obliti est is mei, et traditiones vieas non tenetis, sed volo ut ista quae sub- 
jungo, sciatis. There is no sarcasm. Cf. i. 4-9. 

t See Basil De Spir. xxix. 71. The /j.t/j.vr]ade rather implies a consider 
able time since he had been at Corinth. It may have been over two years. 


The ' brethren ' in AV., following DEFGKL, Latt., is an interpola- 
tion : KABCP Copt. Arm. Aeth. omit. 

3. 0e\o) Be ujjias etSeVai. ' But I would have you know ' 
something not previously mentioned, but of more importance 
than they supposed, because of the principles involved. In Col. 
ii. 1 we have the same formula, but more often oi 6eX(n v[xa<; 
dyvoetv (x. i, xii. 1 ; 2 Cor. i. 8 ; Rom. i. 13, xi. 25), which is 
always accompanied by the affectionate address, dSeXepoi. He 
feels bound to insist upon the point in question, and perhaps 
would hint that the Corinthians do not know everything. 

■rraiTos dcSpos. ' Of every man Christ is the head ' : 7ravro? is 
emphatic, every male of the human family. He says di/Spos rather 
than avOpw-n-ov (xv. 45) to mark the contrast with yvvq, and he 
takes the middle relationship first ; ' man to Christ ' comes 
between ' woman to man ' and ' Christ to God.' By K^aXr] is 
meant supremacy, and in each clause it is the predicate ; ' Christ 
is the head of man, man is the head of woman, and God is the 
head of Christ' : iii. 235 Eph. i. 22, iv. 15, v. 23, comp. Judg. 
xi. 11; 2 Sam. xxii. 44. God is supreme in reference to the 
Messiah as having sent Him. This was a favourite Arian text ; 
it is in harmony with xv. 24-28, and, like that passage, it 
implies more than the inferiority of Christ's human nature ; 
John vi. 57. See Ellicott, 1 Corinthians, pp. 64, 65 ; H. St 
J. Thackeray, St Paul and Contemporary Jewish Thought, p. 49; 
Godet, ad loc. 

4. Trpoaeuxop.ei'os r\ irpo<|>r|T€UG)i' KCiTa Ke<f>a\T]S e^iov. 'When he 
prays or prophesies having (a veil) down over his head.' The 
participles are temporal and give the circumstances of the case. 
With Kara /ce<p. e^wv comp. Au7rou'/x.evo? Kara /ce<p. of Haman 
(Esth. vi. 12), Vulg. operto capite ; here velato capite. The 
' prophesying ' means public teaching, admonishing or comfort- 
ing ; delivering God's message to the congregation (xiii. 9, xiv. 1, 
3, 24, 31, 39). Such conduct 'dishonours his head' because 
covering it is a usage which symbolizes subjection to some 
visible superior, and in common worship the man has none : 
those who are visibly present are either his equals or his inferiors. 
There is no reason for supposing that men at Corinth had been 
making this mistake in the congregation. The conduct which 
would be improper for men is mentioned in order to give point 
to the censure on women, who in this matter had been acting as 
men. It is doubtful whether the Jews used the tallith or veil 
in prayer as early as this. We need not suppose that the 
Apostle is advocating the Greek practice of praying bare-headed 
in opposition to Jewish custom : he is arguing on independent 
Christian principles. Tertullian's protest to the heathen (Apol. 


30), that the Christians pray with head uncovered, because they 
have nothing to be ashamed of, is not quite in point here. 

If in 'dishonoured his head' (not 'Head') there is any 
allusion to Christ (v. 3), it is only indirect. The head, as the 
symbol of Christ, must be treated with reverence ; so also the 
body (vi. 19), as the temple of the Spirit. And there may be a 
hint that, in covering his head in public worship, the man would 
be acknowledging some head other than Christ. See Edwards 
and Ellicott; also Art. 'Schleier' in Kraus, Real-Ency. d. christ. 
Alt. 11. p. 735. 

5. 'Praying or prophesying' must be understood in the same 
way in both verses : it is arbitrary to say that the man is 
supposed to be taking the lead in full public worship, but the 
woman in mission services or family prayers. Was a woman to 
be veiled at family prayers ? Yet in public worship women were 
not to speak at all (xiv. 34; 1 Tim. ii. 12). Very possibly the 
women had urged that, if the Spirit moved them to speak, they 
must speak ; and how could they speak if their faces were veiled ? 
In that extreme case, which perhaps would never occur, the Apostle 
says that they must speak veiled. They must not outrage 
propriety by coming to public worship unveiled because of the 
bare possibility that the Spirit may compel them to speak.* 
Comp. Philip's daughters (Acts xxi. 9), and the quotation from 
Joel (Acts ii. 18). In neither men nor women must prophesying 
be interpreted as speaking with Tongues. The latter was 
addressed to God and was unintelligible to most hearers ; 
prophesying was addressed to the congregation. The women 
perhaps argued that distinctions of sex were done away in Christ 
(Gal. iii. 28), and that it was not seemly that a mark of servitude 
should be worn in Christian worship ; or they may have asked 
why considerations about the head should lead to women being 
veiled and men not. And perhaps they expected that the 
Apostle who preached against the bondage of the Law would 
be in favour of the emancipation of women. See De Wette, 
ad loc. 

The unveiled woman dishonours her head, because that is the 
part in which the indecency is manifested. Also by claiming 
equality with the other sex she disgraces the head of her own 
sex ; she is a bare-faced woman, ' for she is one and the same 
thing (neut. Blass, Gr. § 31. 2) with the woman that is shaven,' 
either as a disgrace for some scandalous offence, or out of 
bravado. Aristoph. Thesm. 838; Tac. Germ. 19; and other 
illustrations in Wetst. The Apostle has married women chiefly 

* See Harnack, The Mission and Expansion of Christianity, II. pp. 65, 
395-6, ed. 1902. See also Tert. De Virgin vet. 13; De Orat. 21. 


in view. In Corinth anything questionable in Christian wives 
was specially dangerous, and the Gospel had difficulties enough 
to contend against without shocking people by breaches of usage. 
Christianity does not cancel the natural ordinances of life ; and 
it is by the original ordinance of God that the husband has 
control of the wife. Only here and v. 13 does dKaxaKaAimros 
occur in N.T. Having decided the matter in question (vv. 4, 5), 
St Paul now proceeds (vv. 6-16) to justify his decision. 

6. If a woman refuses to be veiled, let her be consistently 
masculine and cut her hair close ; no veil, short hair : the verbs 
are middle, not passive, and express her own action (Blass, Gr. 
§ 55. 2). If she flings away the covering provided by Divine 
ordinance, let her also fling away the covering provided by 
nature (Chrys.). The combination of the aor. mid. with the 
pres. mid. (/m'pacr&u rj £vpa.<r6ai) is so unusual that some editors 
prefer £vpa<xdai, aor. mid. from $vput, a late form found in 
Plutarch (Veitch, s.v. ; Blass, Gr. § 24). 

7. The connexion between 6(f>ei\ei (v. 10) and ovk o^etX« 
here must be marked : the woman is morally bound, the man is 
not morally bound, to veil his head. But 'not bound to' may be 
an understatement for ' bound not to' ; comp. Acts xvii. 29 : St 
Paul can hardly mean that the man may please himself, while the 
woman may not — magis liber est viro habitus capitis quam mulieri 
(Beng.) ; for he has just said that the man puts his head to 
shame by covering it, as a woman puts her head to shame by not 
doing so. Shut vir professione libertatis caput suum honorat, ita 
tnu/ier, subjectionis (Calvin). The man ought not to wear a 
covering, ' since he is by original constitution (v-n-apx^v) God's 
image and glory,' reflecting the Creator's will and power, ' while 
the wife is her husband's glory.' This she is as a matter of fact 
(ia-Ttv, not virapxei). See Abbott, The Son of Man, p. 674. 
She also was made kclt ci/cova ©eoS, for in Gen. i. 26 avOpanrov 
includes both sexes, but this fact is omitted here, because it is 
the relation of woman to man, not of woman to God, that is 
under consideration ; and, as she has a superior, she does not 
so well represent Him who has no superior. Moreover, it 
is the son, rather than the wife, who is the cikwv of the man. 
Comp. 1 Tim. ii. 13. 

8. 9. Parenthetical, to confirm the statement that the 
woman is man's glory by an appeal to both initial (Ik) and final 
(Sid c. ace.) causes. Woman was created out of man, and more- 
over (/<at yap) for man, not vice versa. The articles in v. 9, t^v 
yvvai/<a . . . rov dvSpa, may mean the woman and the man in 
Gen. ii. 18-22, Eve and Adam. For ko.1 ydp see Blass, § 78. 6. 


10. 81a touto. Because* man is a reflexion of the divine 
glory, while woman is only a reflexion of that reflexion, " there- 
fore the woman (generic) is morally bound to have [the mark of 
his] authority upon her head." The passage is unique, no 
satisfactory parallel having been found. There is no real doubt 
as to the meaning, which is clear from the context. The diffi- 
culty is to see why the Apostle has expressed himself in this 
extraordinary manner. That ' authority ' (e£owia) is put for 
' sign of authority ' is not difficult ; but why does St Paul say 
1 authority ' when he means ' subjection ' ? The man has the 
symbol of authority, no veil on his head ; the woman has the 
symbol of subjection, a veil on her head. For l^ovcria. we should 
expect wordy?/ (1 Tim. ii. 11, iii. 4, of the subjection of women), 
or inm£is (Plut. 2. 75 id of the subjection of women; comp. 
wreUeiv, Heb. xiii. 17), or viraKo-q (Rom. v. 19, vi. 16, xvi. 19). 
Is it likely that St Paul would say the exact opposite of what he 
means ? The words put in square brackets can scarcely be the 
true explanation. For conjectural emendations of i$ovo-iav (all 
worthless) see Stanley, ad loc. p. 184. 

In Rev. xi. 6, k^ovuiav l\ovcnv iirl twv vSdrwv means ' have 
control over the waters'; xiv. 18, tx o)V efovo-iav «ri tov irvp6<;, 
' having control over fire ' ; xx. 6, iirl tovtwv 6 SevTepos Odvaros ovk 
€X«i £$ovo-iav, 'over these the second death has no control.' 
Comp. Rom. ix. 21 ; 1 Cor. vii. 37 ; the LXX of Dan. iii. 30 (97). 
Can the meaning here be, ' ought to have control over her head,' 
so as not to expose it to indignity ? If she unveils it, every one 
has control over it and can gaze at her so as to put her out of 
countenance. Her face is no longer under her own control. 

Ramsay (The Cities of St Paul, pp. 202 ff.) scouts the 
common explanation that the 'authority' which the woman 
wears on her head is the authority to which she is subject, "a 
preposterous idea which a Greek scholar would laugh at any 
where except in the N.T." Following Thomson (The Land and 
the Book, p. 31) he explains thus. "In Oriental lands the veil is 
the power and the honour and dignity of the woman. With the 
veil on her head she can go anywhere in security and profound 
respect. She is not seen ; it is a mark of thoroughly bad 
manners to observe a veiled woman in the street. She is alone. 
The rest of the people around are non-existent to her, as she 
is to them. She is supreme in the crowd. . . . But without the veil 
the woman is a thing of nought, whom any one may insult. ... A 

* One might say, ' Precisely for this reason,' 5:d tovto being stronger 
than oSv, and introducing a special, if an exclusive reason. This helps to 
decide the explanation of Sea tous ayyiXovs, which must mean something that 
is at least a very important reason for women being veiled in public worship, 
if not the only reason. 


woman's authority and dignity vanish along with the all-covering 
veil that she discards. That is the Oriental view, which Paul 
learned at Tarsus." In his Preface (vi.) Ramsay adds; "In the 
Hebrew marriage ceremony, as it is celebrated in modern 
Palestine, I am informed that the husband snatches off the 
bride's veil and throws it on his own shoulder, as a sign that he 
has assumed authority over her." Was Rebekah's veiling 
herself a sign of subjection? Gen. xxiv. 65. See Glover, The 
Conflict of Religions in the Roman World, p. 154. 

8id tous dyY 6 '^ 00 ?- These words have produced much 
discussion, but there is not serious doubt as to their meaning. 
They are not a gloss (Baur), still less is the whole verse an 
interpolation (Holsten, Baljon). Marcion had the words, and 
the evidence for them is overwhelming.* An interpolator would 
have made his meaning clearer. Accepting them, we may 
safely reject the explanation that 'angels' here mean the bishops 
^'Ambrose) or presbyters (Ephraem) or all the clergy (Primasius). 
Nor can evil angels be meant (Tert. De Virg. vel. vii., xvii. ); the 
article is against it : ol dyyeAoi always means good angels 
(xiii. 1 ; Matt. xiii. 49, xxv. 31 ; Luke xvi. 22 ; Heb. i. 4, 5, etc.). 
And the suggestion that the Apostle is hinting that unveiled 
women might be a temptation to angels (Gen. vi. 1, 2) is some- 
what childish. Is it to be supposed that a veil hides a human 
face from angels, or that public worship would be the only 
occasion when an unveiled woman might lead angels into 
temptation? It is a mistake to quote the Testament of the 
XII. Patriarchs {Reuben v. 6), or the Book of Jubilees (iv. 15, 
22), or Theodotus (Frag. 44; C R. Gregory, Enleit. in d. N.T., 
p. 151), in illustration of this passage. The meaning is plain. If 
a woman thinks lightly of shocking men, she must remember 
that she will also be shocking the angels, who of course are 
present at public worship. Compare iv. 9, and ivavriov dyyc'Awv 
i/iaXw 0-01 (Ps. cxxxviii. 1), and ' O ye angels of the Lord, bless ye 
the Lord ' (Song of the Three Children, 37). Ancient liturgies 
often bear witness to this belief, as does our own ; " Therefore with 
Angels and Archangels," etc., Chrysostom says, " Knowest thou 
not that thou standest in the midst of the angels? with them 
thou singest, with them thou chantest, and dost thou stand 
laughing?" See Luke xv. 7, 10, xii. 8, 9. 

One other suggestion is worth considering, viz. that Sid t. 
dyyc'Aous might mean 'because the angels do so.' Angels, in 
the presence of their direct and visible Superior, veil their faces 

* St Paul assumes, as obvious to his readers, a connexion no longer 
obvious to us. We can hardly regard the reason intended as falling outside 
the scope of the Sia tovto (see above). The question is, what point of 
contact for 5td t. CI77. is furnished in vv. 3-9 ? 


(Isa. vi. 2) ; a woman, when worshipping in the presence of her 
direct and visible superior (man), should do the same. 

Conjectural emendations (all worthless) are quoted by Stanley : see 
also Expositor, 1st series, xi. p. 20. "None of the known emendations 
can possibly be right ; and the intrinsic and obvious difficulty is itself 
enough to set aside the suggestion that the whole verse is an interpolation " 
(WH. App. p. 116). 

11. ir\r\v. Limitation. Although by original constitution 
woman is dependent on man, yet he has no right to look down 
on her. In the Christian sphere each is dependent on the other, 
and both are dependent on God (viii. 6 ; Rom. xi. 36) ; and it 
is only in the Christian sphere that woman's rights are duly 
respected. Each sex is incomplete without the other. 

iv Kupiw. There can be no separation between man and 
woman when both are members of Christ. Cf. for ev Kuptw 
1 Thess. iv. 1 ; 2 Thess. iii. 4 ; Gal. v. 10 ; Eph. iv. 17. 

K A B C D* D s E F G H P, RV. have oOre ywi) x- <*• before oihe iviip 
X- y. D 2 K L, Vulg. AV. transpose the clauses. 

12. This mutual dependence of the sexes is shown by the 
fact that, although originally woman sprang from man, yet ever 
since then it is through woman that man comes into existence : 
if he is her initial cause (e/<), she is his instrumental cause 
(Bid c. gen.). But (another reason why man must not be con- 
temptuous) the whole universe — man and woman and their 
whole environment — owes its origin to God. Cf. xv. 27 ; Eph. 
v. 23 ; and see Basil, De Spiritu, v. 12, xviii. 46. 

13. In conclusion he asks two questions, the second of 
which clinches the first. He appeals to their general sense of 
propriety, a sense which is in harmony with the teaching of <pwris 
and is doubtless inspired by <£uo-is. Their ideas of what is 
Trpiirov are in the best sense natural. It should be noted that 
both in AV. and RV. the second question is brought to a close 
too soon. The note of interrogation should be placed after 
'it is a glory to her,' as in the Vulgate, Luther, Tyndale, and 
Coverdale. Beza and others make three questions, breaking up 
the second into two. 

iv 6fuf au-rots KpiVaTe. In their own inner judgment (vi. 2), 
cannot they decide (x. 15)? 'Is it becoming that a woman 
should pray to God unveiled ? ' Usually Trpoo-eu'xo/xat has no 
case after it, but here tw ©e<5 is added to emphasize the prin- 
ciple that when she is addressing God she ought not to be 
asserting her equality with men or trying to draw the attention 
of men : comp. Matt. vi. 6. For TrpeVov see Westcott on Heb 
ii. 10, 


14. A further argument, supporting the previous one. In- 
stinctively they must feel the impropriety ; and then external 
nature confirms the instinctive feeling. Even if the internal 
feeling should not arise, does not even nature by itself show 
that, while doubtless man, being short-haired, is by Divine order 
unveiled, woman, being long-haired, is by Divine order veiled? 
Naturae debet respondere voluntas (Beng.).* While fanaticism 
defies nature, Christianity respects and refines it ; and whatever 
shocks the common feelings of mankind is not likely to be 
right. At this period, civilized men, whether Jews, Greeks, or 
Romans, wore their hair short. 'Long hair is a permanent 
endowment (ScSotcu) of woman, to serve as an enveloping 
mantle' (Heb. i. 12 from Ps. ci. 27; Judg. viii. 26; Ezek. 
xvi, 13, xxvii. 7; Isa. lix. 17). Note the emphasis on avrjp 
and ywrj, also on the clause introduced by 8e. Nowhere else in 
Biblical Greek does Ko/xdw occur. Milligan, Grk. Papyri, p. 84. 

16. This is best taken as concluding the subject of the 
veil; it makes a clumsy opening to the next subject. 'But if 
any one seemeth to be (or is minded to be) f contentious, we 
have no such custom, nor yet the Churches of God.' There 
are people who are so fond of disputing that they will contest 
the clearest conclusions, and the Corinthians were fond of dis- 
putation. But the Apostle will not encourage them. If such 
should question the dictates of decorum and of nature in this 
matter, they may be told that the teachers have no such usage 
as permitting women to be unveiled, — a thing unheard of in 
Christian congregations. It is possible that ^/xet? means only 
himself, but he probably means that he knows of no Apostle 
who allows this. I 

Throughout the section he appeals to principles. The 
wearing or not wearing a veil may seem to be a small matter. 
Everything depends upon what the wearing or not wearing 
implies, and what kind of sanction the one practice or the 
other can claim. He does not use Set about the matter; 

* Was the obscure metaphor of 'the veil,' which Dante {Purg. xxix. 27) 
uses of Eve, Non sofferst di star so/to alcun veto, suggested by the revolt 
of the women of Corinth against "standing under any veil" in public 

t Comp. iii. 18, viii. 2, and especially xiv. 37, where we have a summary 
conclusion similar to this. 

+ Herveius interprets jjjueis as ' we Jews.' Postrationes ponit auctoritatem, 
ut contentiosos vincat, quia neque Judaismus hoc habuit, nee Ecclesia Dei, 
ostendens quia neque Moyses neque Salvador sic tradidil. Atto has the same 
idea. ' Nos ' propter Judaeos, ' Ecclesia ' dicit propter gentes. Qunpropter, 
si hanc consuchidinem kabetis, non solum non Christi, scd nee Aloysi discip- 
ulos fore monstratis. Nowhere else in N.T. or LXX is rpt\6ytiK0t found, 
excepting Ezek. iii. 7, where all Israel are said to be such. 


there is no intrinsic necessity (v. 19): but he does use both 
6<£etA« (7, 10) and Trplirov ka-TL (13) ; for there is both moral 
obligation and natural fitness. His final appeal — to the practice 
of all congregations — would be of special weight in democratic 
Corinth. For al iKKXrja-Lai. tov ®eov comp. 2 Thess. i. 4. See 
Hort, The Christian Ecclesia, pp. 108, 117, 120. There is no 
need to conjecture that v. 16 is an interpolation, or that 
(TvvrjOua refers to contentiousness. Would St Paul think it 
necessary to say that Apostles have no habit of contentious- 

For Greek and Roman customs respecting the hair and veils, 
see Smith, Diet, of Ant. Artt. 'Coma,' 'Flammeum,' 'Vestales.' 
The cases in which males, both Greek and Roman, wore long hair 
do not interfere with the argument.* Such cases were either 
exceptional or temporary; and they were temporary because 
nature taught men otherwise. For men to wear their hair 
long, and for women to wear it short, for men to veil then 
heads in public assemblies, and for women not to do so, were 
alike attempts to obliterate natural distinctions of sex. In the 
Catacombs the men are represented with short hair. 

XI. 17-34. Disorders connected with the Lord's Supper. 

There are abuses of a grave kind in your public worship ; 
a chronic state of dissension, and gross selfishness and 
excess in your love-feasts and celebrations of the Lords 
Supper. This profanation brings grievous judgments on 
you. Avert the judgments by putting a stop to the pro- 

17 Now, in giving you this charge about the veiling of 
women, I do not commend you that your religious gatherings 
do you more harm than good. 18 First of all, when you meet 
as a Christian congregation, you are split into sets : — so I am 
told, and to some extent I am afraid that it is true. 19 Indeed, 
party-divisions among you can hardly be avoided if men of 
proved worth are not to be lost in the crowd. 

20 Well then, as to your religious gatherings: it cannot be 

said that it is the Lord's Supper that you eat. 21 For everybody's 

first thought is to be beforehand in getting his own supper ; and 

so, while the poor man who brings nothing cannot get enough even 

* Horn. //. ii. 472, 542 ; Hdt. i. 82, v. 72 ; Aristoph. Eq. 580. Cf. oui 


to eat, the rich man who brings abundance takes a great deal too 
much even to drink. 22 Surely you do not mean that you have no 
homes in which you can satisfy hunger and thirst ? Or do you 
think that you need have no reverence for God's congregation ; 
or that because a man is poor you may treat him with contempt? 
What am I to say to you? Do you expect me to commend 
you? In this matter that is impossible. 

23 Quite impossible; for I know that you know better. I 
myself received from the Lord that which in turn I transmitted 
to you, namely, that the Lord Jesus, in the night in which He 
was being delivered up, took bread: 24 and when He had given 
thanks, He brake it, and said, ' This is My Body, which is for 
you. This do ye, in remembrance of Me.' 25 In like manner 
also the cup, after supper was over, saying, ' This cup is the new 
covenant in virtue of My Blood. This do ye, as often as ye 
drink it, in remembrance of Me.' 

26 Yes, He gave this command; for as often as you eat this 
bread and drink this cup, it is the death of the Lord that you 
are proclaiming, — nothing less than that, — until His return. 
27 It follows, therefore, that whoever eats the bread or drinks the 
cup of the Lord in a way that dishonours Him, shall be held 
responsible for profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord. 
38 But, in order to avoid this profanation, let a man scrutinize 
his own spiritual condition and his motives ; then, and not till 
then, let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he 
who eats and drinks is thereby eating and drinking a sentence 
on himself, if he fails to recognize the sanctity of the Body. 
30 The proof of this is within your own experience ; for it is 
because people fail to recognize this sanctity that so many of 
you are sick and ill, while not a few have died. S1 But if we 
recognized our own condition and motives, we should escape this 
sentence. 32 Yet, when we are thus sentenced, we are being 
chastened by the Lord, to save us from being involved in the 
final condemnation of the world. 

33 So then, my brothers, at your religious gatherings for a 
common meal, wait until all are ready. 34 If any one is too 
hungry to wait, let him stay at home and eat; so that your 
gatherings may not have these fatal results. All the other 
matters in which you need instruction I will regulate whenever 
I come. 


The shocking desecration of the Lord's Supper by the dis- 
orders which St Paul here censures was, no doubt, the primary 
reason why he is so severe in his condemnation of the conduct 
of those Corinthians who profaned it by their selfish mis- 
behaviour, but it was not the only reason for distress and 
indignation. " In the whole range of history there is no more 
striking contrast than that of the Apostolic Churches with the 
heathenism round them. They had shortcomings enough, it is 
true, and divisions and scandals not a few, for even apostolic 
times were no golden age of purity and primitive simplicity. 
Yet we can see that their fulness of life, and hope, and promise 
for the future was a new power in the world. Within their own 
limits they had solved almost by the way the social problem 
which baffled Rome, and baffles Europe still. They had lifted 
woman to her rightful place, restored the dignity of labour, 
abolished beggary, and drawn the sting of slavery. The secret 
of the revolution is that the selfishness of race and class was 
forgotten in the Supper of the Lord, and a new basis for society 
found in love of the visible image of God in men for whom 
Christ died" (Gwatkin, Early Church History, p. 73). The 
Corinthian offenders were reviving the selfishness of class, were 
treating with contumely the image of God visible in their fellow- 
men, and were thus bringing into serious peril the best results 
of this blessed revolution. The Apostle does not hesitate to 
declare (vv. 30-32) that this evil work of theirs is bringing upon 
them the manifest judgments of God. 

It is worth noting that he appeals to what ' the Lord Jesus ' 
did at the Supper, not to what ' Jesus ' did. There is no basis 
for the hypothesis that St Paul did not regard Jesus as the Son 
of God until after His Resurrection, comp. v. 4, 5. See Intro- 
duction, § ' Doctrine.' 

17. Touto Se irapayYeXXwi' ouk eirau'u. The reading is some- 
what doubtful (see below), as also is the meaning of tovto. If 
touto refers to the charge which he gives respecting the Love- 
feasts (28-34), then the interval between this preface and the 
words which it anticipates is awkwardly prolonged. It is not 
impossible that tovto refers to the charge about women wearing 
veils.* The connexion between the two subjects is close, both 
being concerned with proper behaviour at public worship. ' Now 
in giving you this charge I do not praise [you], that your 
religious gatherings do you harm instead of good.' It is an 

* There is similar doubt as to the scope of the tovto in vii. 6, and the 
auTT? in ix. 3. Here the doubt is considerable. The trapayy. about veiling 
was prefaced by praise (v. 2) : and tovto Si may introduce another irapayy. 
where praise is impossible ; ' In giving this charge I have no praise to give.' 


understatement, purposely made in contrast to v. 2, that he 
does not praise them. He censures them severely. What was 
intended for their wealth they had made an occasion of falling. 
These gatherings, instead of quickening their spiritual life, had 
led to grievous misconduct and consequent suffering. For cis, 
of result, comp. Col. iii. 10. 

The evidence for wapayytWuv ovk iiraivCi is somewhat stronger than for 
ir a payyiWu ovk iiraivuiv. B is neutral with irapayy^XKwv ovk i-n-aivuiv, and 
D with irapayyiWd) ovk iircuvQ : Vulg. praecipio non landaus. There is 
no v/mas in the Greek ; but neither AV. nor RV. put 'you' in italics. 

Both the Attic kosIttov (vii. 9) and the un-Attic Kpdo-o-ov (here and 
vii. 38) are well attested : rb J)<to-ov here only ; comp. 2 Cor. xii. 15. It is 
possible that both Kpucrffov and ijcraov were pronounced in a similar way 
(kreesson heesson) ; if so, we have a play upon sound. 

18. 'For, to begin with.' The Apostle hastens to justify his 
refusal to give praise. The irpwrov p.iv has no Sevrepov Se or 
67T£tTa Sc afterwards, and possibly there is no antithesis ; but 
some find it in the section about spiritual gifts (xii. 1 f.) : cf. 
Rom. i. 8, iii. 2, x. I, xi. 13; 2 Cor. xii. 12: Blass, Gr 

iv €KK\t]o-ta. * In assembly,' i.e. in a gathering of the members 
of the Corinthian Church. "This use is at once classical and a 
return to the original force of qahdl" (Hort, The Chr. Eccles. 
p. 118) : xiv. 19, 28, 35 ; comp. 3 John 6 and eV o-wayuryfj, John 
vi. 59, xviii 20. 'Church' in the sense of a building for public 
worship cannot be meant ; there were no such buildings. 

dKou'w axierp.aTa iv ujiic oiripxeif. 'I continually hear (pres.) 
that dissensions among you prevail ' (not simply civai) : these splits 
are the rule. In the Love-feasts they seem to have been chiefly 
social, between rich and poor. Possibly what St James con- 
demns (ii. 1-4) took place ; the wealthy got the best places at 
the tables. Yet neither cr^io-/xaTa (see on i. 10) nor aipeo-cts are 
separations from the Church, but dissensions within it. Wherever 
people deliberately choose (cupetv) their own line independently 
of authority, there is alpeo-is : Gal. v. 20. 

jAe'pos ti Trioreoo). The Apostle has the love which ' hopeth 
all things ' (xiii. 7), and he will not believe that all that he hears 
to their discredit is true ; mitt sermone utitur (Beng.). 

The reading iv rj? 4kk\. (TR., 'in the Church' AV.) is found only in a 
few cursives. There is no reason for suspecting that iv iKK\. (all uncials) 
is an interpolation. 

/z^pos rt is the accusative of the extent to which the action applies : 
comp. iravra iraaiv aptaKw (x. 33). We might have had £k ptpovs (xiii. g, 

19. Sei yap icai alp«(<T€is. Comp. Matt, xviii. 7. In the 
nature of things, if there are splits of any kind, these are sure 


to settle down into parties, — factions with self-chosen views, 
Human nature being what it is, and Corinthian love of faction 
being so great, if a division once became chronic, it was certain 
to be intensified. But here perhaps there is not much difference 
between o-xto-yuara and cupe'cms. Justin M. (Try. 35) mixes the 
words ecrovrut w^ccrp.aTa kcu alp. with Matt. xxiv. 5, 1 1, 24, vii. 15, 
and attributes them to our Lord. Comp. Clem. Horn. xvi. 21, 
and see Resch, p. 100. For oupeo-is comp. Acts v. 17, xv. 5, 
xxvi. 5, etc. 

Xvo. [xai] ol Sokijaoi ^avepo! yfivtavjox. Divine Providence turns 
this evil tendency to good account : it is the means of causing 
the trusty and true to become recognizable. Either by coming 
to the front in the interests of unity, or by keeping aloof from 
all divisions, the more stable characters will become manifest : 
2 Thess. ii. n, 12. To have religious zeal, without becoming a 
religious partizan, is a great proof of true devotion. Contrast 
aSoKifjuos (ix. 27). 

D F G, Latt. omit iv vfj.1v before etvai. B D, Latt. insert ical before ol 
56ki/j.oi : NACEFGKLP, Syrr. omit. The 56ict/xoi are those who have 
been ' accepted ' after being tested like metals or stones (Gen. xxiii. 16); 
hence 'proved' and 'approved' (Rom. xvi. 10; 2 Cor. x. 18, xiii. 7). 
See Origen, Con. Cels. iii. 13, Fhilocalia xvi. 2. Quite needlessly, some 
suspect that iW . . . iv hixiv is an interpolation. 

20. Tuvepypnevw ouv uu-wy itrl t6 auTo. ' When therefore you 
come together to one place' (Acts i. 15, ii. 1, 44, iii. 1), 'when 
you are assembled iv iKKXrjcrta, i.e. for a religious purpose.' Or 
€7rt to avro might (less probably) mean ' for the same object.' 
The place is not yet a building set apart. In any case, eVt to 
avro emphasizes the contrast between the external union and the 
internal dissension. Compare vii. 5, xiv. 23. 

ouk tony KupiaKoe SeiTTKot' ^ayet^. The adjective is emphatic 
by position : 'there is no eating a Lord's supper.' A supper they 
may eat, but it is not the Lord's : ovk Io-tlv, ' there is no such 
thing,' for such conduct as theirs excludes it. Hence ovk Io-tlv 
may be rendered 'it is not possible,' non licet (Ecclus. xiv. 16); 
but this is not necessary. At first, the Eucharist proper seems to 
have followed the Agape or Love-feast, being a continuation of 
it. Later the Eucharist preceded and was transferred from 
evening to morning. Here, KvpiaKov hzlTrvov probably includes 
both, the whole re-enactment of the Last Supper including the 
Eucharist. Placuit Spiritui Sancto ut in honorem tanti sacrament i 
in os Christiani prius Dominicum corpus intraret quam exieri cibi 
(Aug. Ep. cxviii. 6, 7, ad Januar.). See Hastings, DB. III. 
p. 157; Smith, D. Chr. Ant. 1. p. 40; Ency. Biol. 11. 1424. We 
cannot be sure from the use of Kvpianov instead of tov nvpLov that 
the name Kvpiaxov hd-n-vov was already in use. The expression 


must have had a beginning, and this may be the first use of it. 
Inscriptions and papyri show that, as early as a.d. 68, KvpiaKos 
was in use in the sense of ' pertaining to the Emperor,' 'imperial ' 
(Deissmann, New Light on the N.T. p. 82, Bible Studies, p. 217, 
Light, p. 361). The word Sei-n-vov occurs only here and Rev. 
xix. 9, 17, outside the Gospels; in LXX, only in Daniel and 
4 Mace. 

31. fKaoros yap to iSio^ Seiirvoy TrpoXapPd^ei. ' For each one 
takes before the rest (instead of with them) his own supper' : he 
anticipates the partaking in common, and thus destroys the 
whole meaning and beauty of the ordinance. It was thus not 
even a koivov 'bCnrvov, much less KVpcaxov. The Av tw (payeiv is 
not an otiose addition : it is a mere eating, which he might just 
as well or better have done elsewhere and elsewhen.* 

Kal os peV ireim. ' The consequence is that one man cannot 
even satisfy his hunger, while another even drinks to excess.' 
These are probably respectively the rich and the poor. The 
poor brought little or nothing to the common meal, and got 
little or nothing from the rich, who brought plenty ; while some 
of the rich, out of their abundant supplies, became drunk. There 
is a sharp antithesis between deficiency in necessary food and 
excess in superfluous drink. There is no need to water down 
the usual meaning of /xetfveiv (Matt. xxiv. 49; John ii. 10; 
Acts ii. 15; 1 Thess. v. 7). Even in a heathen epavos such 
selfish and disgusting behaviour would have been considered 
shameful, as the directions given by Socrates show ; they are 
very similar to those of St Paul (Xen. Mem. in. iv. 1). Certainly 
such meetings must have been ' for the worse ' ; hungry poor 
meeting intoxicated rich, at what was supposed to be a supper of 
the Lord ! In these gatherings the religious element was far 
more important than the social ; but the Corinthians had 
destroyed both. For this late use of the relative, os fikv . . . 
os 8c . . . comp. Rom. ix. 21; 2 Tim. ii. 20; Matt. xxi. 35, 
xxii. 5, xxv. 15. Coincidence is implied. 

For Trpo\a/j.pdvei (NBCDEFGKLP) A and some cursives have 
irpoaXa/i^dvei, the active of which does not occur in the N.T., except as a 
variant here and Acts xxvii. 34. 

22. p.t) yap oiKias ouk excTe. ' For surely you do not mean 
that you have not got houses to eat and to drink in ! ' Comp. 
faj ovk €x o H- ev (ix- 4) 5> 6), and «ts to . . . kcrBUiv (viii. 10); and 

* Comp. *• And no prophet that orders a table in the spirit eats of it 
himself: but if he does, he is a false prophet" {Didache xi. 9). This calling 
for a Love-feast in a state of ecstasy (4v irvev/xari) is a curious possibility, 
which had probably been experienced. Only a false prophet would do this 
in order to get food for himself. 



see Abbott, Johannine Grammar, 2702 b. 'Well, then, if that is 
not true (and of course it is not), there is only one alternative,' 
which is introduced by r\. ' Ye despise the congregation that is 
assembled for the worship of God, and ye put the poor to shame.' 
They treated a religious meal as if it were a licentious entertain- 
ment, and therein exposed the poverty of those who were in need. 
There can be little doubt that, as 01 €x o, ' T£S = ' the rich,' 01 fir) 
?Xovt£s =' the poor.' Here it might mean 'those who have not 
houses for meals' (Alford) ; so also Wiclif, 'han noon' ; but this 
is very improbable. The tov ®eou is added with solemnity (v. 16, 
x. 32) to give emphasis to the profanity. The addition is frequent 
in the two earliest groups of the Pauline Epistles (Hort, The Chr. 
Eccles. pp. 103, 108, 117): Kara^povetre, as Rom. ii. 4; Matt, 
xviii. 10; KaTaia-xvveTe, as Rom. v. 5. The majority of the 
Corinthian Christians would be poor.* 

ti eT-irw Apr; iiraiviaa ujias ; Deliberative subjunctives: 
'What am I to say to you? Am I to praise you?' The lv 
tou'tw may be taken with what precedes (AV., RV.), or with 
what follows (Tisch., WH., Ell). The latter seems to be better, 
as limiting the censure to this particular, and also as preparing 
for what follows. 

28. eyw yap irape'XaPoi' diro tou Kupiou. ' I cannot praise you, 
for what / received from the Lord, and also delivered to you, 
was this.' We cannot tell how St Paul received this. Neither 
does the iyJ> imply that the communication was direct, nor does 
the diro that it was not direct, although, if it was direct, we 
should probably have had napd (Gal. i. 12 ; 1 Thess. ii. 13, iv. 1 ; 
etc.). The eyw balances v/xlv : the Apostle received and trans- 
mitted to them this very thing, so that both know exactly what 
took place. He was a sure link in a chain which reached from 
the Lord Himself to them. They did not receive it from the 
Lord, but they received it from one who had so received it, and 
therefore they have no excuse. This is one of the 7rapaSo'o-eis 
which they professed to be holding fast (v. 2). See Ramsay, 
Exp. Times, April 19 10; Julicher, Paulus u. Jesus, p. 30. 

It is urged that in a matter of such moment a direct revela- 
tion to the Apostle is not incredible. On the other hand, why 
assume a supernatural communication when a natural one was 
ready at hand? It would be easy for St Paul to learn every- 
thing from some of the Twelve. But what is important is, 
not the mode of the communication, but the source. In some 
way or other St Paul received this from Christ, and its authen- 

* Rutherford translates ; ' Or do you think that you need stand on no 
ceremony with the Church of God ; that because men are poor you may 
affront them ? ' 


ticity cannot be gainsaid ; bui his adding dirb rov Kvpiov is no 
guide as to the way in which he received it. More important 
also than the mode are the contents of the communication, and 
it is to them that 7rapaXa/j.fSd.p€Lv frequently points (1 Thess. ii. 13 ; 
2 Thess. iii. 6; 1 Cor. xv. 1, 3): see Lightfoot on Gal. i. 1, 13. 
It certainly does not point to anything written : St Paul does 
not say that he had read what he delivered to them. See 
Knowling, The Testimony of St Paul to Christ, pp. 275 f. Zahn 
and Schmiedel are here agreed that St Paul is appealing to 
historical tradition. See also Camb. Bibl. Ess. pp. 336 f. ; 
Mansfield College Essays, pp. 48 f. 

o Kal iTape'ScoKa ufile. 'Which I also delivered to you.' 
He transmitted to them the very thing which he had received 
from the Lord, so that they were well aware of what ought to 
have made these disorders impossible. This would be St Paul's 
own reply to the assertion that he, and not Jesus, is the founder 
of Christianity. 

lv tt] vuktX t] irapeSiSeTo. ' In the night in which He was 
being delivered up.' St Paul mentions the sad solemnity of 
the occasion in contrast to the irreverent revelry of the Cor- 
inthians. Neither AV. nor RV. keeps the same translations 
for -irapa^i6(Dfxi in this verse, nor marks the imperfect. The 
delivery to His enemies had already begun and was going on 
at the very time when the Lord instituted the Eucharist. 
Moreover, to translate ' was betrayed ' confines the meaning to 
the action of Judas ; whereas the Father's surrender of the Son 
is included, and perhaps is chiefly meant, and the Son's self- 
sacrifice may also be included (E. A. Abbott, Paradosis, §§ 11 55, 
1202, 14 1 7). It is plain that St Paul assumes that his readers 
are acquainted with the details of the Passion; and the pre- 
cision with which he writes here and xv. 3-8 is evidence that 
"he is drawing from a well-furnished store" (Sanday, DCG. II. 
p. 888). He himself is well acquainted with the chief facts in 
the life of Christ (A. T. Robertson, Epochs in the Life oj 
St Paul, p. 89; Fletcher, The Conversion of St Paul, pp. 55 f.). 

e'Xafkv' ap-rov. 'Took a loaf,' one of the thin cakes of bread 
used for the Paschal meal. It was perhaps more like our 
biscuit or oatcake than ordinary loaves. Hastings, DCG. I. 
pp. 230 f. 

24. euxapicrrrjo-as IkKcu^v. All four accounts of the Institu- 
tion have tKXacrev here, a detail of Divinely-appointed ritual. 
Luke also has euxapio-rr/o-as, for which Mark and Matthew 
substitute evAoyr/o-as. The two words doubtless refer to the 
same utterance of Christ, in which He gave thanks and blessed 
God, and both contain the significant tu: comp. cuayyeXioi/, 


evSoKta, and see T. S. Evans ad loc. Mark has these features, 
which are omitted here; 'as they were eating,' 'Take ye,' 
' they all drank of it,' ' which is shed for many.' For the third 
of these Matthew substitutes 'Drink ye all of it'; he has the 
other three. Luke has none of them. Mark, Matthew, and 
Luke have ev^apio-Trjaa?, of the cup also, and here wcravrux; 
covers it. The three, moreover, give, what is omitted here, ' I 
say to you I will in no wise drink of the fruit of the vine until ' 
. . . 'the Kingdom.' The details which are common to all 
four accounts are (i) the taking bread, (2) the giving thanks, 
(3) the breaking, (4) the words, 'This is My Body,' (5) the 
cup ; and, if the disputed passage in Luke be retained, (6) the 
words ' blood ' and ' covenant.' The disputed passage is almost 
verbatim as vv. 24, 25 here, from to vTrep vfxwv . . . aifiart. 

Of the four accounts of the Institution this is the earliest 
that has come down to us, and the words of our Lord which 
are contained in it are the earliest record of any of His utter- 
ances ; for this Epistle was written before any of the Gospels. 
It is, however, possible that Mark used a document in giving 
his account, and this document might be earlier than this 

Touto fjiou eorlv to o~uj|xa to oircp ufj.wv'. All carnal ideas 
respecting these much-discussed words are excluded by the 
fact that the Institution took place before the Passion. Our 
Lord's human Body was present, and His Blood was not yet 
shed. What is certain is that those who rightly receive the 
consecrated bread and wine in the Eucharist receive spiritually 
the Body and the Blood of Christ. How this takes place is 
beyond our comprehension, and it is vain to claim knowledge 
which cannot be possessed, or to attempt to explain what 
cannot be explained. " If there is a point on which the witness 
of Scripture, of the purest ecclesiastical tradition, and of our 
own Church, is more express and uniform than another, it is 
the peculiar and transcendent quality of the blessing which 
this Sacrament both represents and exhibits, and consequently 
of the Presence by which that blessing is conferred. How this 
Presence differs from that of which we are assured by our 
Lord's promise, where two or three are gathered together in 
His name — whether only in degree or in kind — it is beyond 
the power of human language to define and of human thought 
to conceive. It is a subject fit, not for curious speculation, 
but for the exercise of pious meditation and devotional feeling ; 
and it is one in which there is a certainty that the highest 
flight of contemplation will always fall short of the Divine 
reality" (Bishop Thirlwall, Charges, vol. i. p. 278; see also 
pp. 245, 246). "I could not consent to make our Church 


answerable for a dogma committing those who hold it to the 
belief that, in the institution of the Supper, that which out 
Lord held in His hand, and gave to His disciples, was nothing 
less than His own Person, Body, Soul, and Godhead" (Ibid. 
vol. ii. p. 251 ; see also the appendix on Transubstantiation, 
pp. 281 f.). The notes of Ellicott and Evans ad loc, with 
Gould on Mark xiv. 22 ; Westcott on John vi. and xiii. ; Gore, 
Dissertations, pp. 230 f. ; Hastings, DB. iii. pp. 148 f., with 
the bibliography there given, may be consulted. Excellent 
remarks and summaries of doctrine will be found in Beet, 
A Manual of Theology, pp. 380-96. Happily, no theory of 
the manner of Christ's Presence in the Eucharist is necessary 
for the fruitful reception of it, and to have this demonstrated 
would not make us better Christians, any more than a know- 
ledge of the chemical properties of bread makes us better able 
to digest it. Stanley, Christian Institutions, ch. vi. 

touto iroieiTe els tt)^ efi^ dfdjjivYjcri.e. 'Perform this action 
(continue to take bread, give thanks, and break it) in remem- 
brance of Me' (Num. x. 10; Ps. xxxviii. 1, lxx. 1). This 
implies that hereafter He is to be absent from sight. The 
words are not in Mark or Matthew, nor in Luke, except in 
the disputed verses. Therefore the command to continue the 
celebration of the Lord's Supper rests upon the testimony of 
St Paul. This, however, does not for a moment imply that 
he was the first to repeat the celebration, or the first to teach 
Christians to do so. This passage plainly implies that repeated 
celebrations were already a firmly established practice. The 
authority of St Paul was quite inadequate to this immense 
result. Nothing less than the authority of Christ would have 
sufficed to produce it. See Knowling, pp. 279 f. 

The proposal to give to touto irouire the meaning 'sacrifice 
this' must be abandoned. As the Romanist commentator 
Estius says, it is plane praeter mentem Scripturae* So also 
Westcott ; " I have not the least doubt that tovto 7roieixe can 
mean only do this act (including the whole action of hands 
and lips), and not sacrifice this ; and that the Latin also can 
have only the same rendering " (in a letter quoted in his life, 
II. p. 353) : and Bachmann, tovto geht auf die ganze Handlung, 
wie sie durch das Tun Jesu und seiner Jiinger dargestellt ist : 
and Herveius ; ' Hoc facile,' id est, corpus meum accipite et 
manducate per successionem tenporis usque in finem saeculi, in 
me?noriam passionis meae. See Ellicott and Goudge ad loc. ; 
Expositor, 3rd series, vii. 441 ; T. K. Abbott, Essays on the 

* Hoc facile, id est accipite et date (Card. Hugo de Sto. Caro, d. 1263); 
Mar.dat fieri quod ipse fecit, scilicet accipere paiiem, gratias agere, frangere, 
consecrare, sumere, ac dare (Card. Thomas de Vio, Caietanus, d. 1534). 


Original Texts of O. and JV.T. p. no; A Reply to Mr. Supple 's 
and other Criticisms; and notes on Luke xxii. 19 in the Int. 
Crit. Com. p. 497. 

Edwards translates tV epji' &v6.y.vf\<siv, 'My commemora- 
tion,' in contrast to that of Moses (x. 2), thus making <rqv ifj.rjv 
parallel to Kaivr, {v. 25). See Blass, Gr. § 48. 7. The Eucharist 
perpetually calls to mind the redemption by Christ from the 
bondage of sin, as the Passover recalled the redemption from 
the bondage of Egypt. Christ did not say, 'in remembrance 
of My death.' The recorded words, ' as My memorial,' are of 
wider import; they imply 'in remembrance of all that I have 
done for you and all that I am to you.' The early Christians 
seem to have regarded the Eucharist as a commemoration of 
the Resurrection as well as the Death, for they selected the 
first day of the week for this memorial. Wetstein compares 
the address of T. Manlius to the troops after his colleague 
Decius had devoted himself to secure their success ; Consurgite 
nunc, memores consulis pro vestra victoria morte occumbentis 
(Livy, viii. 10). 

Ad/Sere, <pdyere (C'KLP, Syrr. Aeth.) are an interpolation from 
Matt. xxvi. 26 ; K A B C* D E F G, Lat-Vet. Aegyptt. Arm. omit. ( After 
rb vvtp vfj.Qv, N 3 C 3 E F G K L P insert icXu/xevov, D* inserts dpvwro^vov. 
Vulg. (quod . . . tradetur) and some other versions have a rendering 
which implies diSop-evov. X* A B C* 17 and other witnesses omit. The 
interpolation of any of these words weakens the nervosa sententia (Beng.), 
rb xi-rcip V/J.03V, which means ' for your salvation' (Mark x. 45). AV. inserts 
' Take, eat,' and ' broken ' ; RV. gives the latter a place in the margin. 

25. wo-airrws t6 ■rroTrjpioi'. He acted with the cup as with 
the bread: He took it, gave thanks, and administered it to 
the disciples. c The cup' means 'the usual cup/ the well- 
known one (x. 16). The addition of pera to Senrvrjo-ai shows 
that the bread was distributed during the meal, iadiovTuv airwv 
(Mark xiv. 22): but it was after supper was over, postquam 
caenatum est (Aug.), not postquam coenavit (Vulg.), that the 
cup was administered. Perhaps the Apostle is pointing out 
that the cup, against which they had so grievously offended 
by intoxication, was no part of the meal, but a solemn addition 
to it. But we must not translate, ' the after-supper cup,' which 
would require to /Ae-ra to 8. Trorr/ptov. Thomas Aquinas would 
give a meaning to the fact that the bread was distributed 
during the meal, while the cup was not administered till the 
meal was over. The one represents the Incarnation, which 
took place while the observances of the Law still had force; 
but the other represents the Passion, which put an end to the 
observances of the Law. And Cornelius a Lapide regards 
Christ's taking the cup into His hands as a token of His 


voluntarily taking death for us. Such thoughts are admissible, 
if it is not maintained that they are the meaning which is 
intended in Scripture.* 

TOUTO TO TTOT^piOC 7] KCUl'Y] 8ia0T]KTJ CCTTll' Iv TW €U.U) CUfXaTl. 

Hie calix novum testamentum est in meo sanguine. The position 
of IdTLv is against combining Iv tw e/xw at'/Aon with 17 kclivi] 
had-qKT]. Rather, 'This cup is the new covenant, and it is so 
in virtue of My Blood.' ' In My Blood ' is an expansion or 
explanation of the 'is,' and is equivalent to an adverb such 
as ' mystically.' The cup represents that which it contains, 
and the wine which it contains represents the Blood which 
seals the covenant. The Atonement is implied, without which 
coctrine the Lord's Supper is scarcely intelligible. Only 
St Paul (and Luke?) has the Kaivrj. The covenant is 'fresh' 
as distinct from the former covenant which is now obsolete. 
It is Kaivr) in its contents, in the blessings which it secures, 
viz. forgiveness and grace : and ra e/i.<3 ai/x. is in contrast to 
the blood with which the old covenant was confirmed (Exod. 
xxiv. 8). See Jer. xxxi. 31, the only place in O.T. in which 
htaOyjK-q Kaivrj occurs. The choice of Sia6t]K7], rather than o-vvOrJKrj, 
which is the common word for covenant, is no doubt deliberate, 
for <rvv6rJKr) might imply that the parties to the covenant con- 
tracted on equal terms. Between God and man that is impossible. 
When He enters into a contract He disposes everything, as a 
man disposes of his property by will : hence SiaBrJK-q often 
means a testament or will. In the LXX crvvOijK-q is freq.; in 
the N.T. it does not occur. Westcott, Hebrews, p. 299. On 
the meaning of ' blood,' ' which is the life,' in connexion with 
Christ's Sacrifice, see Westcott, Hebrews, pp. 293 f. ; Epp. oj 
St John, pp. 34 f. ; Sanday and Headlam, Romans, pp. 89, 91. 

touto iroieiTe k.t.X. St Paul alone has these words of the 
cup. In the disputed passage in Luke they are wanting. 

oaciKts iav ■nivr]T€. This makes the command very compre- 
hensive ; quotiescunque : comp. ocraKts iav OeXrjo-wcriv (Rev. xi. 6). 
Every time that they partake of the sacramental cup (tovto to 
ttottjplov), they are to do as He has done in remembrance of 
Him. He does not merely give permission; He commands. 
It is perverse to interpret this as a general command, referring 
to all meals at which anything is drunk. What precedes and 

* On the other hand, " the crude suggestion of Professor P. Gardner ( The 
Origin of the Lord's Supper, 1893), that St Paul borrowed the idea of the 
Eucharist from the Eleusinian Mysteries, which he may have learned about 
at Corinth," is not admissible. The theory ignores the evidence of the 
Mark-tradition, and involves misapprehension of the Eleusinian Mysteries. 
See E. L. Hicks, Studia Biblica, iv. 12. Ramsay thinks that the interval 
between the bread and the cup "was occupied with instruction in the 
meaning of the symbolism " (Exp. Times, March 1910). 


follows limits the meaning to ' the cup of blessing.' The Lord 
commands that the Supper be often repeated, and His Apostle 
charges those who repeat it to keep in view Him who instituted 
it, and who died to give life to them. In liturgies these words 
are transferred to Christ; 'ye proclaim My death till /come.' 

With regard to the Lord's presence in Holy Communion, 
Bishop Westcott wrote to the Archbishop of York, 8th Oct. 1900 ; 
"The circumstances of the Institution are, we may say, spiritu- 
ally reproduced. The Lord Himself offers His Body given and 
His Blood shed. But these gifts are not either separately (as 
the Council of Trent) or in combination Himself ... I shrink 
with my whole nature from speaking of such a mystery, but it 
seems to me to be vital to guard against the thought of the 
Presence of the Lord ' in or under the forms of bread and wine.' 
From this the greatest practical errors follow " {Life and Letters 
of B. F. Westcott, 11. p. 351). 

It is very remarkable that "the words of institution" differ 
widely in the four accounts. There is substantial agreement in 
meaning; but the only clause in which all four agree is 'This 
is My Body'; and even here there is a difference of order 
between Tovto fiov icrrlv to (tCi/jlo. (i Cor.) and Tovto icrriv to cw/xa 
fiov (Mark, Matt., Luke). It is quite clear that in all four 
accounts these words are words of administration, not of con- 
secration. This is specially manifest in Mark, where they are 
preceded by ' Take ye ' (A<x/3eTe), and in Matt., where they are 
preceded by 'Take, eat' (Ad/3eT€, <£aycTe). The same may be 
said of 'This is My Blood' (Mark, Matt.): they are words of 
administration, not of consecration. The consecration has 
preceded, and would seem to be included in cu^P'or^o-as or 
cuAoy^o-as. "All liturgies of every type agree in bearing witness 
to the fact that the original form of consecration was a thanks- 
giving " ; and the form of words in which our Lord gave thanks 
has not been preserved. In the Eastern liturgies " the words of 
institution were not recited as of themselves effecting the con- 
secration, but rather as the authority in obedience to which the 
rite is performed" (W. C. Bishop, Ch. Quart. Rev., July 1908, 
pp. 387-92). In the main lines of Eucharistic teaching in the 
fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, " The moment of consecration 
is associated with the invocation of God the Word (Serapion, 1), 
or with the invocation of God the Holy Ghost (St. Cyril of 
Jerusalem. Cat. xxi. 3), or with the Invocation of the Holy 
Trinity {Ibid. xix. 7),* or with the recital of the words recorded 
to have been used by our Lord at the institution (Pseudo- 
Ambrose, De Sacr. iv. 21-23)" (Darwell Stone, Ch. Quart. Rev. 

* To this may be added the still earlier testimony of Origen ; see on 
vii. 5. 


Oct. 1908, p. 36). Cyril of Jerusalem quotes St Paul as saying 
(v. 25), "And having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, 
Take, drink, this is My Blood," which is wide of St Paul's words, 
and agrees exactly with none of the other accounts {Cat. xxi. 1). 
It would thus appear that we know the exact words of institu- 
tion only very imperfectly, and the exact words of consecration 
not at all. Again, just as we do not know the manner of our 
Lord's Presence in the rite as a whole, so we do not know 
"the supreme moment of consecration." It is lawful to believe 
that we should not be in a better position for making a good use 
of this mystery if all these things were known.* 

26. dcrdias yap iav ia0ii]T6. In Apost. Const, viii. 12, 16 
these words are put into Christ's mouth, with the change, " My 
death, till /come." The ydp introduces the Apostle's explana- 
tion of the Lord's command to continue making this commemor- 
ative act. Or possibly ydp refers to the whole passage (23-25) ; 
"Such being the original Institution, it follows that as often as 
ye eat," etc. To make the ydp co-ordinate with the ydp of 
v. 23, as giving an additional reason for ovk eVaivw, is very 
forced. St Paul gives no directions as to how frequently the 
Lord's Supper is to be celebrated, but he implies that it is to be 
done frequently, in order to keep the remembrance of the Lord 
fresh. We may conjecture that at Corinth celebrations had been 
frequent, and that it was familiarity with them that had led to 
their being so dishonoured. By 'this bread' (tov dprov tovtov) 
would seem to be meant bread used in the manner prescribed 
by Christ (w. 23, 24). 

The tovto with rb iror-qpiov (' this cup,' AV.) is a manifest interpolation : 
X* A B C* D* F G, Latt. Arm. omit. Note the chiasmus between eadiyrf 
and irivrjTe, but the change of order seems to have no significance. What 
is significant is the addition of Kal rb wor-qpiov iriv-qTe, which can hardly be 
reconciled with the practice of denying the cup to the laity. 

tov OdvcLTov too Kupiou KaTayyeXXeTc 'Ye proclaim ('shew' 
is inadequate) continually (pres. indie.) the death of the Lord.' 
The Eucharist is an acted sermon, an acted proclamation of the 
death which it commemorates ; f but it is possible that there 
is reference to some expression of belief \n the atoning death of 
Christ as being a usual element in the service. The verb is 
indicative, not imperative. 

axpi oS eXGrj. The Eucharist looks backwards to the Cruci- 

* See art. Abendmahl in Schiele, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegen- 
wart, in which the doubtful points in the history of the institution are clearly 
stated ; also Plummer, S. Matthew, pp. 361 f. ; Dobschiitz, Probleme d. Ap. 
Zeitalters, p. 73; Hastings, Dli. iii. p. 146, DCG. 11. p. 66. 

t Comp. Cyprian (De zelo et livore, 17) ; De Sacramento crucis et cibum 
sumis et potum. 


fixion and forwards to the Return : hoc mysterium duo tempora 
extrema conjungit (Beng.). But at the Second Advent Euchar- 
ists will come to an end, for the commemoration of the absent 
ceases when the absent returns. " No further need of symbols 
of the Body, when the Body itself appears " (Theodoret). Then 
instead of their drinking in memory of Him, He will drink with 
them in His Kingdom (Matt. xxvi. 29). 

The &v between &XP 1 or ^X/ 3 ' 5 °^ and fKdy is not likely to be genuine : 
X* A B C D* F and Fathers omit. If it were genuine, it would indicate that 
the Coming is uncertain, and this can hardly be the Apostle's meaning. 
How near the Coming may be is not here in question ; but Eucharists 
must continue till then. 

27. wore . . . Ivoxos lorai. 'Consequently ... he will be 
guilty.' Seeing that partaking of the bread and of the cup is 
a proclaiming of the Lord's death, partaking unworthily must 
be a grievous sin. No definition of ' unworthily ' is given ; but 
the expression covers all that is incompatible with the intention 
of Christ in instituting the rite. It is quite certain that selfish 
and greedy irreverence is incompatible. But what follows shows 
that not only external behaviour but an inward attitude of soul 
is included. There must be brotherly love towards all and sure 
faith in Christ. Weinel fails to notice this (p. 259). 

t] met]. As the cup followed the bread at a considerable 
interval, it was possible to receive one unworthily without 
receiving the other at all. In either case the whole sacrament 
was profaned. It is on the use of r\ here, and not /cat, that an 
argument is based for communion in one kind only ; and it is 
the only one that can be found in Scripture. But the argument 
is baseless. Because profaning one element involves profaning 
both, it does not follow that receiving one element worthily is 
the same as worthily receiving both.* It is eating this bread 
and drinking the cup that proclaims the death of the Lord 
(v. 26) : we have no right to assume that eating without drinking, 
or vice versa, will suffice. The whole passage, especially vv. 22, 
26, 28, 29, may be called proof that we are to eat and drink. 
And see Blass, § 77. 11 on the quasi-copulative sense which r/ 
has in such sentences : vel (Vulg.), aut (Calvin). 

to •iroTiipioi' tou Kupiou. The cup which has reference to the 
Lord and brings us into communion with Him, as the ' cup of 
demons ' (ttott^hov Saifiovtutv) brings the partakers into com- 
munion with them (x. 21) : comp. xvpiaxov h&irvov (v. 20). No- 
where else in N.T. does dra^itos occur : in vi. 2 we have dvd£ios. 

e^oxos lorai tou o-wu.o.tos k.t.X. 'Shall be under guilt of 

* To break one commandment is to break the whole Law, but to keep one 
command is not to keep the whole Law. See Abbott, Johannine Grammar, 
2759 f., and comp. r) in Rom. i. 21. 


violating, be guilty of a sin against, the Body and the Blood of 
the Lord.' The dignity of that of which they partake (x. 16) is 
the measure of the dignity which their irreverence profanes 
He does not say eVo^o? eo-rai tou 6o.vo.tov t. K., par f acit, quasi 
Christum trucidaret (Grotius). The guilt is rather that of 
deliberate injury or insult to the king's effigy or seal, or profane 
treatment of a crucifix. Dishonour to the symbols is dishonour 
to that which they represent ; and to use the bread and the 
wine as the Corinthians used them was to treat the memorials 
of Christ's death, and therefore that which they commemorated, 
with insult. 

The use of tvoxos is varied : c. gen. of the offence (Mark iii. 29), of 
that which is violated (here and fas. ii. io), and of the penalty (Mark 
xiv. 64; lleb. ii. 15); c. dat. of that which is violated (Deut. xix. 10) 
and of the tribunal (Matt. v. 21, 22). 

After Tbv &prov, KLP, Vulg. AV. add tovtov : XABCDEFG 
Lat.-Vet. RV. omit. For i) before irLvy A, Aegypt. Aeth. AV. read ko.1, 
a manifest correction. After dea^ws, D L, Pesh. Goth, add tov Kvpiov. 
A few unimportant witnesses support the TR. in omitting tov before 
ai'jiiaros. The AV. inserts 'this' before 'cup of the Lord,' without 

28. 8oKip.a£€Tw 8c afflpcoTros eauTov. ' But (in order to avoid 
all this profanity) let a man (iv. 1 ; Gal. vi. 1) prove himself 
(1 Thess. v. 21; Gal. vi. 4). Let him see whether he is in a 
proper state of mind for commemorating and proclaiming the 
death of the Lord. The emphasis is on So/a/Aa£eT<j). It is 
assumed that the result of the testing will either directly or 
indirectly be satisfactory. This is sometimes implied in oo/a/xa- 
t,uv as distinct from ireipd^eiv : Lightfoot on 1 Thess. v. 21; 
Trench, Syn. § lxxiv. The man will either find that he is already in 
a right condition to receive, or he will take the necessary means 
to become so. Nothing is said here either for or against employ- 
ing the help of a minister, as in private confession : but ooiu/xa^eru) 
eavTov shows that the individual Christian can do it for himself, 
and perhaps implies that this is the normal condition of things.* 
Those who are unskilful in testing themselves may reasonably 
seek help ; and confession, whether public or private, is help 
supplied by the Church to those who need it. But when the 
right condition has been reached, by whatever means, then and 
not till then (ovtu)?) let him come and partake. 

ck too apTou . . . £K Tou TroTT]piou. The prepositions seem to 
imply that there are other communicants (x. 17) ; but the change 
of construction in ix. 7 renders this doubtful. Evans interprets 
the ck of " the mystical effects of the bread eaten." 

* Chrysostom insists on this; "He does not order one man to test 
another, but each man himself ; thus making the court a private one and the 
verdict without witnesses." Unicuique committitur suimet judicium (Cajetan). 


29. It is impossible to reproduce in English the play upon 
words which is manifest in these verses (29-34), in which changes 
are rung upon Kpip.a and Kpiva> with its compounds : Blass, Gr. 
§ 82. 4. Such things are very common in 2 Cor. (i. 13, iii. 2, 
iv. 8, vi. 10, x. 6, 12, xii. 4). The exact meaning of this verse is 
uncertain. Either (1) 'For the (mere) eater and drinker,' who 
turns the Supper into an ordinary meal; or, (2) 'For he who 
eats and drinks (unworthily, or without testing himself).' There 
is not much difference between these two, and in either case pj 
Sia.Kpiewi' must mean ' because he does not rightly judge,' or 
'without rightly judging.' Or else, (3) ' He who eats and drinks, 
eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not rightly judge.' 
In any case Kpip.a is a neutral word, ' judgment ' or ' sentence,' 
not 'condemnation,' still less 'damnation.' The context implies 
that the judgment is adverse and penal (v. 30) ; but it also 
implies that the punishments are temporal, not eternal. These 
temporal chastisements are sent to save offenders from eternal 
condemnation. For Kpip.a, not k/oio-is, comp. Rom. iii. 8, v. 16; 
Gal. v. 10 ; and see Thayer's Grimm. 

It seems to be safe to assume that SiaKpivu has the same 
meaning in vv. 29 and 31. In that case 'discern' or 'dis- 
criminate ' (RV. and marg.) can hardly be right, for this meaning 
makes poor sense in v. 3r. 'Judge rightly' makes good sense 
in both places. Of course one who forms a right judgment will 
discern and discriminate (in this case, will distinguish the Body 
from ordinary food), but ' distinguish ' is not the primary idea. 
Chrysostom paraphrases, p.r) iwowv, tbs XPV> T ° j*eye0os twv -n-poKei- 
/acvwv, p-i) Aoyt^o/xevos. It is not likely that, because the bread 
symbolizes the many grains of Christian souls united in one 
Church, to o-ai/i.a here means the body of Christians ; * still less 
that it means 'the substance' which is veiled in the bread, as 
some Lutherans interpret. 

The addition of dvaf/ws after irlvwv, and ot rod Kvplov after r6 <rQfia in 
a number of texts, are obvious interpolations. Why should S* A B C* and 
other authorities omit in both cases, if the additions were genuine? 

Editors differ as to the accent of Kpip.a. In classical Greek Kpl/xa is right, 
but in this later Greek the earlier witnesses for accents give Kplfxa. Much 
the same difference is found with regard to crrvXos, which Tisch. accents 
otOXos. See Lightfoot on Gal. ii. 9, v. 10. 

On the insoluble problem as to what it is that the wicked receive in the 
Lord's Supper, see E. H. Browne and E. C. S. Gibson on article xxix • 

* Stanley strongly contends for this meaning ; it was " the community and 
fellowship one with another which the Corinthian Christians were so slow to 
discern" ; and he appeals to xii. 12, 13, 20, 27 ; Rom. xii. 4, 5 ; Eph. ii. 
16, iii. 6, iv. 12, 16 ; Col. i. 18, ii. 19, iii. I $ (Christian Institutions, p. m). 
In any case we may compare the striking saying of Ignatius [Rom. vii., 
Trait, viii.), that "the Blood of Jesus Christ is lave" 


the correspondence between Keble and Pusey at the end of vol. iii. of The 
Life of Pusey ; and J. B. Mozley, Lectures and other Theological Papers, 
p. 205. "If he receive unworthily, he verily rejects the Body and Blood 
of Christ" (Khomiakoff, Essay on the Church, in Birkbeck, A'ussia and 
the English Church, p. 207). Some problems respecting the Eucharist are 
the result of theories (which may be erroneous) respecting the manner 
of Christ's Presence in the Eucharist : if the theory is relinquished, the 
difficulty disappears. It is clear from w. 28, 29, which have ko.1 and not 
f) between iad. and wiv., that communion in both kinds was usual, and 
there is no mention of special ministers who distributed the bread and the 
wine. But these abuses might suggest the employment of ministers. 

30. Sid touto. He proceeds to prove the truth of Kpi/xa lavrw 
icrOUi koX iriveL from the Corinthians' own experiences. It is 
because of their irreverence at the Lord's Supper that many 
among them have been chastised with sickness, and some even 
with death. To interpret this of spiritual weakness and deadness 
is inadequate ; and no ancient commentator thus explains the 
words. Their spiritual deadness produced the irreverence, and 
for this irreverence God chastised them with bodily suffering. 
Had spiritual maladies been meant, we should probably have 
had ev TrvevfACLTi, or iv tous /capStais i/j.wv. Perhaps at this time 
there was much sickness in the Church of Corinth, and St Paul 
points out the cause of it. We need not assume that he had 
received a special revelation on the subject. It is possible that 
the excess in drinking may have led in some cases to illness. 
Beth aa-OeveU and appwo-rot imply the weakness of ill-health (Mark 
vi. 5, 13; Matt. xiv. 14), and it is not clear which is the stronger 
word of the two : infirmi et imbecilles (Vulg.) ; but appwareiv 
(2 Chron. xxxii. 24) is perhaps more than acr&evtiv. By i/cavot is 
meant ' enough to be considerable ' : in this sense the word is 
frequent in Luke and Acts, and in 1 and 2 Mac, but is rare else- 
where : in Rom. xv. 23 the reading is somewhat doubtful. See 
Swete on Mark x. 46. 

KoifAwvTcu. ' Are sleeping ' (in death), dormiunt, rather than 
'are falling asleep,' obdormiunt \ here and elsewhere the Vulg. 
has dormio. The word was welcomed by Christians as harmon- 
izing with the belief in a resurrection, but it was previously used 
by Jews and heathen without any such belief. Test, of xn. 
Patr. Joseph xx. 4, eKoifj-ydrj virvco KaXw, where some texts read 
Ik. vttvov alwviov : COmp. 07rws KapwOwcnv /ecu vttvwctoxtiv vttvov 
aitliviov, and vttvuhtovo-iv vttvov alwviov kcu fjur] i£eyep6wo-tv (Jer. li. 
39> 57) >* Book of Jubilees xxiii. 1; Turn consanguineus Leti 
Sopor (Virg. Aen. vi. 278. See Milligan on 1 Thess. iv. 13). 
Calvin points out that these consequences of profanation must 

* With akivios here comp. Kotfj.7io-a.To x^ K€0V Owyof (Horn. //. xi. 241) ; 
ferreus urget somnus (Virg. Aen. x. 745), perpetuus sopor urget (Hor. Od. I. 
xxiv. 5). These illnesses and deaths would be all the more remarkable in a 
Church which had a xap'07'a tafidruv (xii. 9). 


be regarded as admonitions : neque enim frustra nos affligit Deus, 
quia vi alls nostris non delect atur ; argumentum copiosum et amplum. 
He also seems to regard solitary masses as a repetition of the 
offence in v. 21 \ ut unus seorsum epulam suam habeat, abolita 

81, el 8e eauTous 8t6KpiVo(jL6f. 'But if we made a practice 
(imperf.) of rightly judging ourselves ' : iavrovs is emphatic, and 
eavrovs Bitxp. is stronger than the middle. The reference is to 
v. 28. 'If we habitually tested ourselves, and reached a right 
estimate, we should not receive judgment' (such as these sick- 
nesses and deaths). For the construction comp. John v. 46, 
viii. 19, 42, xv. 19, xviii. 36; and for iavTovs with the 1st pers. 
Acts xxiii. 14; 1 John i. 8. In using the 1st pers. the Apostle 
softens the admonition by including himself. What follows is 
much less stern than what precedes. He is anxious to close 

e;5^(N*ABDEF G, Vulg, Aeth. Goth. RV.) is certainly to be pre- 
ferred to d ydp (X s C K L P, Syrr. Aegyptt. AV.). 

32. Kpiy6|j.ei'oi 8£ ' But when we do receive judgment (as is 
actually the case by these sicknesses), we are being chastened by the 
Lord, in order that we may not receive judgment of condemnation 
(be judged to death) with the world.' These temporal sufferings 
are indeed punishments for sin, but their purpose is disciplinary 
and educational (1 Tim. i. 20), to induce us to amend our w r ays 
and escape the sentence which will be pronounced on rebels at 
the last day. The Kooyxos here is, not God's well-ordered 
creature, but His enemy, as commonly in St John. ' I beseech 
therefore those who read this book, that they be not dis- 
couraged because of the calamities, but account that these 
punishments were not for the destruction, but for the chastening 
of our race' (2 Mac. vi. 12). For 7raio , euo/i.€#a (as implying 
moral training as distinct from mere teaching), see Westcott on 
Heb. xii. 7 ; Trench, Syn. § 32 ; Milligan, Grk. Papyri, p. 94.* 

33. wore, d8e\<j>oi fiou. In w. 31, 32 he has been regarding 
offences generally. He now returns to the disorders in con- 
nexion with the Lord's Supper in order to close the subject, and 
in so doing he repeats the affectionate address (i. n) which 
still further migitates the recent severity. This conclusion 
indicates where the great fault has been : in the common meal 
of Christian love and fellowship there has been no love or fellow- 
ship. Having charged them to secure the necessary internal 

* "The Apostle did not say Ko\a^6/j.eda, nor rifj.upouf^eda, but 7rai5ei/6,ue0a. 
For his purpose is to admonish, not to condemn ; to heal, not to requite ; 
to correct, not to punish" (Chrys.). 


feeling by means of self-examination, he now insists upon the 
necessity for the external expression of it. To the last he harps 
upon crvvipx^o-Oai. These are meetings, Christian gatherings, the 
object of which is to manifest mutual love. Moreover, the 
purpose of the congregational meal is spiritual, not physical ; not 
to satisfy hunger, but to commemorate and to hold communion 
with Christ. Let them cease to come together d% rjo-aov, eis 
Kpifjia. As in v. a i, to cpayelv is a general expression for a 
common meal. 

d\\.T)Xou9 iKoeyeo-Qe. ' Wait for one another,' i?ivicem expectate 
(Vulg.). This is the usual meaning of the verb in the N.T. 
(xvi. 11; Heb. x. 13, xi. 10; Acts xvii. 16; Jas. v. 7). The 
meaning ' receive ye one another ' (common in the LXX and in 
class. Grk.) is less suitable : for this he would perhaps have used 
Trpoo-\afjifSdveo-9ai (Rom. xiv. 1, xv. 7). The waiting would 
prevent the greedy ■n-poXap.^d.p.etv (21): and Chrysostom points 
out the delicacy of the expression. It is the rich who are to wait 
for the poor ; but neither rich nor poor are mentioned. 

34. The mere satisfying of hunger should be done iv olkw 
(xiv. 35), not lv tKK\-q<Tia (v. 1 8). Comp. tear olkov (Acts ii. 46, 
v. 42). The abrupt conclusion is similar to the conclusion of 
the discussion about women wearing veils (v. 16). He is not 
going to argue the matter any further ; the difference between 
the Supper and ordinary meals must be clearly marked : that is 

The M after el,— el 8t tis (X 8 D 3 EKLP, Syrr. AV.) is a manifest 
interpolation (X* A B C D* F G, Latt. RV. omit). The asyndeton makes 
an abrupt conclusion. 

to ok Xonrd. One may guess for ever, and without result, as 
to what things the Apostle was going to set in order, just as one 
may guess for ever as to what directions our Lord gave to the 
Apostles respecting Church order during the forty days. Here 
'all the other matters ' possibly refers to matters about which the 
Corinthians had asked, and probably to matters connected with 
the Love-feasts and the Eucharist. The use of 6Wd£ (vii. 
17, ix. 14, xvi. 1 ; Tit. i. 5) suggests that these had reference to 
externals, eira^ia, rather than to the inner meaning of the rite. 
But the evidence is slight, and does not carry us far. 

o»s ac cXGo). 'Whensoever I shall have come,' or 'according 
as I come.' The dv makes both event and time uncertain. 
Comp. J)? av 7ropevwp,aL cis rr)v ~2,iraviav (Rom. XV. 24) ; u>s av 
oVi'Sod tol ircpl ifie (Phil. ii. 23). J. H. Moulton, i. p. 167. 
Meanwhile there seems to be no overseer or body of elders to 
act for him. 



This passage throws considerable light upon the manner of 
celebrating the Lord's Supper in St Paul's day. On the negative 
side we have important evidence. As J. A. Beet in loc. points 
out very incisively, the Apostle says nothing about ■ consecration ' 
by a ' priest ' ; and, had there been anything of the kind, would 
he not have said, ' Wait for the consecration,' rather than 'Wait 
for one another ' {v. 33) ? Beet points out further {Manual oj 
Theology, p. 388) that private members were able to appropriate 
beforehand the food designed for the communion, which implies 
that they were not in the habit of receiving the bread and wine 
from the church officers. And St Paul does not tell them that 
they must not help themselves to the bread and wine, although 
this would have effectually put a stop to the abuses in question ; 
which shows that he did not look upon reception of the elements 
as essential to the validity of the rite. From this we infer with 
certainty that, when Christ ordained the Supper, He did not 
direct, and that, when 1 Corinthians was written, the Apostles 
had not directed, that the sacred rite should be administered by 
the church officers and them alone. Nor have we in the N.T. 
any evidence that the Apostles afterwards gave this direction. 
What we have is evidence that a body of church officers was 
being developed : and it is reasonable to suppose that, when a 
distinction had been made between laity and clergy, the duty of 
celebrating the Lord's Supper would very soon be reserved for 
the clergy. 

On the positive side we may assume from tovto irouh-e that 
the Christian Supper was closely modelled, in all essentials, on 
what Christ did at the Paschal Supper. This carries with it — 

(a) The Blessing and Breaking of Bread and the Blessing of 
a Cup, as then by Christ, so later by a presiding person. 

(/3) The Meal itself, originally meant, like the Passover, to be 
a genuine meal, for satisfying hunger and thirst. 

But {v. 22) St Paul began a change which tended to make 
the meal connected with the Lord's Supper a mere ceremony. 
The genuine meal, for satisfying hunger, is to be taken at home, 
and the Lord's Supper is not to be used for that purpose by all 
communicants as a matter of course, although the poor are to 
have an opportunity of satisfying their appetites. This change 
naturally tended to the goal which was ultimately reached, 
viz., the complete separation of the Eucharist from the Supper, 
which became a mere 'Agape.' The contributions of food 
brought by the worshippers survived in later times as the First 
Oblation, the EvAoyiai. See Diet, of Chr. Ant. Artt. ' Agape,' 
1 Eulogia,' ' Eucharist ' ; Kraus, Real-Enc. d. christ. Alt 1. Artt. 


' Eucharistie,' ' Eulogien ' ; Hastings, DB. and DCG. Artt. 
'Lord's Supper,' 'Communion.' 


This is the third and longest section of the fourth main 
division of the Epistle ; and, as at the beginning of this 
division (xi. 2), there is a possible reference to the letter of the 
Corinthians to the Apostle ; but he would no doubt have 
treated of a number of the topics which are handled, even if 
they had not mentioned them. 

In all three of the sections we are reminded that he is 
dealing with a young Church in which some of the faults of their 
former state of life are reappearing. This is specially the case 
with the Corinthian love of faction. There were rivalries, 
cliques, and splits, hardening sometimes into parties with party- 
leaders. About the veils, there was the rivalry between men and 
women. At the love feasts, there was the rivalry between rich 
and poor. And here we have evidence of rivalries as to the 
possession of spiritual gifts, and especially as to those which 
were most demonstrative, and therefore seemed to confer most 

The difficulty of this section lies in our ignorance of the 
condition of things to which it refers. The phenomena which 
are described, or sometimes only alluded to, were to a large 
extent abnormal and transitory. They were not part of the 
regular development of the Christian Church. Even in 
Chrysostom's time there was so much ignorance about them as 
to cause perplexity. He remarks that the whole of the passage 
is very obscure, because of our defective information respecting 
facts, which took place then, but take place no longer. Some 
members of the Corinthian Church, in the first glow of early 
enthusiasm, found themselves in possession of exceptional 
spiritual endowments. These appear to have been either wholly 
supernatural endowments or natural gifts raised to an extra- 
ordinarily high power. It seems to be clear that these endowments, 
although spiritual, did not of themselves make the possessors of 
them morally better. In some instances the reverse was the 
case ; for the gifted person was puffed up and looked down on 
the ungifted. Moreover, the gifts which were most desired ana 
valued were not those which were most useful, but those which 
made most show. 

The chapter falls into two clearly marked parts : (1) The 
Variety, Unity, and true Purpose of Spiritual Gifts, 1-11; (2) 


Illustration from Man's Body of the truth that, though the Gifts 
may be various, those who possess them are one organic Whole, 
12-31. The first three verses are introductory, to supply a test 
which a Church consisting chiefly of converts from heathenism 
would be likely to require. Converts from Judaism might know 
from their own history and previous experience what manifesta- 
tions of power were divinely inspired, and what not. But 
converts from idolatry would not be able to distinguish : 
incantations and spells were all alike to them. Then follows 
(4-1 1) the paragraph on the oneness of the origin of all gifts 
that are beneficial. 

A sure test of the origin of any spiritual gift is, Does it 
promote the glory of fesus Christ ? What dishonours Him 
cannot be from above. The good gifts are very various in 
their manifestations, but they have only one Source — God's 
Holy Spirit. 

1 Now concerning spiritual manifestations, Brethren, I am 
anxious that you should be under no delusions. 2 You remember 
that, when you were heathens, you were led away, just as the 
impulse might take you, to the dumb idols that could tell you 
nothing. 8 Those experiences do not help you now ; and therefore 
I would impress upon you this as a sure test. No one who is 
speaking under the influence of God's Spirit ever says, Jesus is 
anathema ; and no one can say, Jesus is Lord, except under the 
influence of the Holy Spirit. 

4 Now there are various distributions of gifts ; but it is one 
and the same Spirit who bestows them. 6 And there are various 
distributions of ministrations ; and it is to one and the same 
Lord that they are rendered. 6 And there are various distribu- 
tions of effects ; yet it is the same God who causes every one of 
them in every Christian that manifests them. 7 But to each 
Christian the manifestation of the Spirit is granted with a view 
to some beneficent end. 8 For to one man is granted through 
the Spirit the utterance of wisdom ; to another, the utterance of 
knowledge according to the leading of the same Spirit; 9 toa 
third, potent faith by means of the same Spirit ; and to another, 
manifold gifts of healings by means of the one Spirit ; 10 and to 
another, various miraculous effects; to another, inspired utter- 
ance ; to another, powers of discriminating between inspirations ; 
to yet another, different kinds of Tongues ; and to another, 


the interpretation of Tongues. n But every one of these mani- 
festations of power is caused by one and the same Spirit, who 
distributes them to each individual singly, exactly as He wills. 

1. flepl Be twi' irveufxa-riKwy. ' Now concerning spiritual 
powers' or 'gifts.' The irepC, as in vii. 1 and viii. 1, probably 
refers to topics mentioned by them ; and the Be, as in xi. 2, 
marks the transition from one topic to another, and probably 
from one topic about which they had asked to another about 
which they had asked. With less probability some make the Be 
antithetical, as distinguishing what he deals with at once from 
what he has decided to postpone ; ' But, while I postpone ra 
XoLird, I must not delay to instruct you about to. irvevp.aTiK(L' 
Some again would make tuv 7rvevp.aTiKwv masculine, as in ii. 15 
and xiv. 37 ; but it is certainly neuter, as in xiv. 1. What 
follows treats of the spiritual gifts, rather than those who are 
endowed with them ; but the difference is not very important. 
Spiritualia dona vocat, quia solius Spiritus Sancti opera sunt, 
industria humana nihil ad hoc conferente (Natalis Alexander) : 
see Denton on the Ep. for 10th Sunday after Trinity. 

ou 0e\w ufxas dyyoeii'. As in x. 1 ; comp. Rom. i. 13, xi. 25 ; 
2 Cor. i, 8 ; 1 Thess. iv. 13. The formula marks the introduction 
of an important subject which must not be overlooked, and is 
always softened by the addition of the affectionate a.BeX(po(: he 
will not leave his brethren in ignorance. Moreover, this addition 
reminds them that there ought to be no jealousies between 
brethren as to the possession of spiritual gifts. 

2. oioare on otc . . . dirayofiefoi.. The sentence is not 
grammatical, and the simplest remedy is to understand r\re with 
aira.y6fj.evoi, which is not a violent supplement. The main 
sentence in that case is olBare on 77-pos rd eiSwAa aVa-y o txevoi 
(r/Te). ' Ye know that, when ye were heathen, ye were led away, 
as from time to time ye might be led,* to worship the idols, the 
speechless things.' They were hurried along, like dumb brutes, 
to pay reverence to the dumb idols, — objects of worship which, 
so far from inspiring others to speak, could not speak themselves. 
They had no revelation to give, and could not have communi- 
cated it, if they had. 'They have mouths and speak not' 
(Ps. cxv. 5; Hab. ii. 18; Wisd. xiii. 17-19; Baruch vi. 8), and 
can neither answer questions nor make known their own will : 
coeci ad mutos ibatis, mutt ad coecos (Beng.). The insertion of ' as 
at any time ye might be led,' added to d7rayo'//.ei'oi, emphasizes 
the idea of senseless, and almost unconscious following. They 

* This is one of the places in which the old iterative force of &.v seems to 
survive in the N.T. Comp. Acts ii. 45, iv. 35. J. H. Moulton, p. 167. 


were led, not by any revelation of Divine will, but by local 
custom, or by the command of priests or rulers.* But a7rayd- 
fj.€voL does not mean ' led astray ' : the heathen were not seduced 
from a better religion to idolatry. Here only is a-rrdyeLv found in 
the N.T., except in the Synoptics and Acts ; and there the 
common meaning is to lead away by force, rather than by 
seductive guile, to trial, prison, or punishment (Matt. xxvi. 57, 
xxvii. 2, 31 ; etc. ; Acts xii. 19, xxiv. 7). The agent who led 
them on to the worship of idols is not mentioned ; but we 
are probably to understand the evil one as at the back of custom 
or command, Satan, "the wily wire-puller of moral mischief" 
(Evans). Contrast ttv(.v^o.ti ayeo-dai (Gal. v. 18; Rom. viii. 14), 
and with ore IOvtj 7/re comp. ore r/fxev vrjTnoi (Gal. iv. 3). On the 
verse as a whole Calvin rightly remarks, perturbat a est constructio, 
sed tamen clarus est sensus. 

We may safely adopt lis &v ifyeade rather than a>s &rfiyea$e. Other 
doubts are not so easily settled. 

Some regard dis hv rfye<rde as a resumption of the clause introduced by 
Sri : ' Ye know that, when ye were heathen, — how ye were led to those 
voiceless idols, being carried away.' This makes the awayofievoi come in 
very awkwardly. Both fin and fire are found in XABCDELP, Vu!g. 
Arm., but some texts omit fire and some omit fin. WH. suspect a 
primitive error, and for fin fire conjecture on irore. The error might easily 
arise in dictation. This is very attractive ; it gets rid of all grammatical 
difficulty and is in accordance with Pauline usage ; ' Ye know that once ye 
were heathen, carried away to those voiceless idols, as on occasions ye 
might be led.' St Paul often contrasts his readers' previous unhappy 
paganism (irore) with their happy condition as believers (vvv) : Rom. xi. 30; 
Col. L 21, iii. 8; Eph. ii. n-13, v. 8. But whichever reading or con- 
struction we adopt, the import of the verse is clear : it is because they once 
were idolaters that he is so anxious that they should be properly instructed 
about to. irvevfxa.TiK<i. 

3. 816 yi/wpi^w vfilv. ' On which account I make known to 
you' (xv. 1 ; Gal. i. 11). Excepting the Pastoral Epistles, Sid is 
frequent in the Pauline Epp. Seeing that in their heathen state 
they could know nothing about spiritual gifts, nor how to discern 
whether a person was speaking by the Spirit or not, he must tell 
them by what kind of spiritual power God makes revelations to 
man.f No utterance inspired by Him can be against Christ. 
Every word for Christ is inspired by Him. 

* " Much of the immorality which St Paul so graphically describes was 
associated with religious worship. So that the Apostle assigns as the cause 
of the universal condition of moral corruption in the world the universal 
prevalence not so much of no religion as of false religion" (Du Bose, The 
Gospel according to St Paul, p. 63). On the idea of Christians ceasing to 
belong to the £dvr\, see Harnack, The Mission and Expansion 0/ Christianity , 
i. pp. 60, 89. 

t Chrysostom thinks that he is contrasting Christian inspiration with the 
frenzy of the Dionysiac and other mysteries ; this may be true in part. 


iv n^ufian ©eou. The eV may express either sphere or 
instrumentality: comp. Rom. ix. i, xiv. 17, xv. 16; Luke iii. 16. 
Although it is perhaps more common to have the article where 
direct agency is meant (vi. n), yet active influence rather than 
surrounding element seems to be implied here. See J. A. 
Robinson on Eph. v. 18. The difference between XaXtlv and 
Xe'yctv may be noted, the one of uttering sounds, the other of 
articulately saying something : comp. ch. xiv. passim ; Acts ii. 4, 
6, 7, 11. The blasphemous 'AvdOefia 'lyo-ovs would be more 
likely to be uttered by a Jew than a Gentile ; faciebant gentes, 
sed magis Judaei (Beng.). It is possible that it was uttered 
against Jesus by His bitter enemies even during His life on 
earth. It is not improbable that Saul himself used it in his per- 
secuting days, and strove to make others do so (Acts xxvi. 11). 
When the Gospel was preached in the synagogues the fanatical 
Jews would be likely to use these very words when Jesus was 
proclaimed as the Messiah (Acts xiii. 45, xviii. 6). Unbelievers, 
whether Jews or Gentiles, were admitted to Christian gatherings 
(xiv. 24), and therefore one of these might suddenly exclaim in 
the middle of public worship, 'Avadefjua 'lyo-ovs. To the inexperi- 
enced Corinthians a mad shout of this kind, reminding them of 
the shrieks of frenzied worshippers of Dionysus and the 
Corybantes, might seem to be inspired : see Findlay ad loc. St 
Paul assures them that this anti-Christian utterance is absolutely 
decisive : it cannot come from the Spirit.* For di'dOe/xa comp. 
xvi. 22 ; Gal. i. 8, 9 ; Trench, Syn. § v. ; Cremer, p. 547 ; Suicer, 
268. It is one of the 103 words which in N.T. are found only 
in Paul and Luke (Hawkins, Hor. Syn. p. 190). It is less likely 
that St Paul is thinking of cases of apostasy. Fifty years later, 
those who denied that they were Christians were required to 
blaspheme Christ : this was the crucial test. Qui negabant esse 
se Christianos aut fuisse, cum praeeunte me deos appellarent et 
imagi?ii tuae ture ac vino supplicarent, praeterea male dicerent 
Christo, quorum nihil posse cogi dicuntur qui sunt re vera Chris- 
tiani, dimittendos esse putavi (Pliny to Trajan, Ep. x. 96). 

Ku'pios Miaous. This comprehensive utterance is as wide as 
Christendom : every loyal Christian is inspired. Those who 
have received special gifts, such as those which are mentioned 
below (4-1 1), must not regard those who have not received them 
as devoid of the Spirit. This is one of the ways in which the 

* Origen says that the Ophites required this utterance from those who 
joined them : &rri tis a'lpecris rjrts ov irpoaleTai rbv irpocriovTa el /xrj avadenarlcrj) 
Tbv'ltjaovv. See/7'S. x. 37, p. 30. 

Here the RV. is right in making 'Jesus is anathema' and 'Jesus is Lord* 
the oratio recta: N A IS C have avadep.a 'Irjaous, not 'Irjcrovf, and Kvpios 
'lr)<rovs, not Kupiov li)covv. 


Spirit glorifies Jesus (John xvi. 14), by enabling many to confess 
Him as Lord. Comp. the similar double test, negative and 
positive, given in 1 John iv. 2-4 ; but while St John has in view 
those who denied the humanity of Christ, St Paul has in view 
those who denied His Divinity. In Gal. iv. 6 we have the 
parallel cry, ' Abba, Father,' as a mark of Christian adoption ; 
and in Acts viii. 16, xix. 5 we have the formula, baptized 'into 
the name of the Lord Jesus.' * 

4-6. These verses give the keynote of the passage. Having 
given the negative and positive criterion of genuine spiritual 
endowments as manifested in speech, the Apostle goes on to 
point out the essential oneness of these very varied gifts. In 
doing so he shows clearly, and perhaps of set purpose, that 
Trinitarian doctrine is the basis of his thought. We have the 
three Persons in inverse order, the Fount of Deity being reached 
last, — nvev/ta, Kuptos, ©cos. We have the same order, and 
similar thought in Eph. iv. 4-6 ; one body, quickened by one 
Spirit, dependent upon one Lord, and having the origin of its 
being in one God and Father of all. And there, as here, the 
Trinitarian Unity is at once followed by a statement of the 
distribution of grace to each separate individual ; evl Be eKaaru) 
fjixwv i86drj 17 x^-P^- Still more clear is the benediction at the 
end of 2 Cor. (xiii. 14); see notes in the Camb. Grk. Test 
Comp. Clem. Rom. Cor. xlvi. 3 ; " one God and one Christ and 
one Spirit of grace" ; and Iviii. 2 ; "as God liveth, and the Lord 
Jesus Christ liveth, and the Holy Spirit." See also Sanday in 
Hastings, DB. 11. p. 213; Goudge, 1 Corinthians, pp. xxix ff. 
This language of St Paul, in which the Trinitarian point of view 
is not paraded, but comes out quite naturally and incidentally, 
gives confirmation to the authenticity of Matt, xxviii. 19. This 
Epistle was written a dozen years or more before the First 
Gospel ; but St Paul's language is all the more intelligible if it 
was well known that our Lord had spoken as Matt, reports. 

4. Aiaipecreis Se x a P UT f At *T<oi' tlaiv. Although every one who 
knows the significance of 'Jesus is Lord,' and can heartily affirm 
it, is inspired, 'yet there are distributions of special gifts' — 
divisiones gratiarum (Vulg.). Aiaipecrts occurs nowhere else in 
the N.T., and it may mean either 'differences,' 'distinctions,' or 
'distributions,' 'apportionings,' 'dealings out.' f The use of 

* Our Lord uses a similar argument (Mark ix. 39 ; Luke ix. 50). It is 
quite possible that, at baptism, the convert made some short confession of 
faith, such as Kvpios 'It/ctoDs. He confessed the Name, when he was baptized 
in the Name. 

t It is frequent in LXX, especially in Chronicles, of the ' courses of 
priests, Levites, and troops. 


Biaipovv in v. 11 seems to decide for the latter. In all three 
cases here the word refers to the gifts being distributed among 
different individuals rather than to the distinctions between the 
gifts themselves. Both meanings are true ; but it is the dealing 
out of the gifts, rather than the variety of them, that is insisted 
upon here.* Xd/Ha-fxa is almost exclusively a N.T. word, and 
(excepting 1 Pet. iv. 10) is peculiar to Paul. It is found as a 
doubtful reading twice in Ecclus. ; in vii. 33 x"P ts * s probably 
right, and in xxxviii. 34 (30) ^jour/Aa m ^y be right. The word is 
frequent in 1 Cor. and Rom., and is found once each in 2 Cor. 
and 1 and 2 Tim. See especially Rom. xii. 3-8, which was 
perhaps written when the Apostle had this chapter in his mind. 
From neither passage can we gather that there were definite 
ministers, differing in function, and each endowed with special 
and appropriate x a P^ a t iaTa - The impression conveyed is that 
these gifts were widely diffused, and that perhaps there were not 
many Christians at Corinth who were not endowed with at least 
one of them. See P. W. Schmiedel, Ency. Bibl. iv. 4755 f.; Hort, 
The Chr. Eccles., pp. 153 f.; W. E. Chadwick, The Pastoral 
Teaching of St Paul, ch. iii. ; J. Wilhelm in The Catholic Cyclo- 
paedia, iii. Art. ' Charismata ' ; Sanday and Headlam, Pomans, 
pp. 358 f . ; Cremer, p. 577; Suicer, 1500. The word is some- 
times used in a wider sense of any gift of grace, e.g. continence 
(vii. 7), or faith (Rom. i. ti). 

to 8e auTo rifeGfjia. The 6V marks the antithesis between the 
one Fount and the many streams. The Spirit which bestows all 
these special gifts is the same as that which enables Gentile or 
Jew to confess Christ; consequently the test given in v. 3 is 
available in each case. See Dale, Ephesians, pp. 133 ff. 

6. Siafcoyiai/. Like x°-P t(T l JLa ) the word has both a general 
and a special meaning : (1) any Christian ministration or service 
(here; Rom. xi. 13; Eph. iv. 12), whether of an Apostle or of 
the humblest believer; (2) some special administration, as of 
alms, or attendance to bodily needs (xvi. 15; 2 Cor. viii. 4). 
"Spiritual service of an official kind" is not included in the 
meaning, but may be implied in the context. See Hort, 
Christian Eaiesia, pp. 202 f. 

iced 6 auTos Ku'pios. Here there is no antithesis (/cai, not Se) 
between the many and the one : the two facts are stated as 
parallel. On the one side are the apportionments of ministra- 
tions ; on the other is He who ' came not to be ministered 
to, but to minister' (Mark x. 45), but who counts all service 
to others as service done to Himself (Matt. xxv. 40). 'Ye serve 

* Comp. Maharbal's words to Hannibal ; Non omnia nimirum eidem dii 
dedere (Livy, xxii. 51). 


the Lord Christ ' (Col. iii. 24) : it is He who is glorified by the 
diverse distribution of ministries. 

6. eyepYTi|j.dTw. These are the results or effects of the eVe'p- 
yeia given by God (Eph. iii. 7; Col. i. 29, ii. 12), the outward 
manifestations of His power. Among these ivepy. are certainly 
XapLcriutTa ia/xartuv. The word occurs again v. 10, but nowhere 
else in Biblical Greek : it is almost co-extensive with ^aptV/xara, 
but it gives prominence to the idea of power rather than that of 
endowment. Cremer, pp. 262, 713; he quotes Polyb. iv. 8. 7, 
at twv avOpunruiv (pvcreis l^oucri Tt 7roXvttoes, wcrrc rbv avrbv aVSpa 
fir/ fj.6vov iv Tot? 8ia<pepov(riv twv ivepyrj/xaTtuv : and Diodor. iv. 5 I, 
tu>v Se ivepyy]p.aT<x)v V7rep t?;v dvOpayn-Lvrjv tpvaiv (pavevrmv. 

6 8e auTos 0e6s. If this is the right reading, we again have 
a contrast between the oneness of the Operator and the multi- 
plicity of the operations, as before in v. 4. The Operator 
(6 cVepywv) is always God : every one of the gifts in every person 
that manifests them (to. Travra iv iracnv) is bestowed and set in 
motion by Him. See J. A. Robinson, Eph. p. 241 ; Westcott, 
Eph. p. 155. 

6 5£ avr6% is the reading of K A K L P, Latt. Syrr. Arm., and the 5^ is 
supported by the 6 avrbs 54 of D E F G. But Kai 6 avrds is found in B C, 
some cursives, and Origen. If ical 6 avros may be due to assimilation to 
v. 5, 6 5£ avrds may be due to assimilation to v. 4. St Paul would be as 
likely to repeat the ko.1 as to go back to the 5^. 

7. The emphasis is on the first word and on the last. One 
and the same Divine Unity works throughout, as Spirit, Lord, 
and God : ' but to each one is being given the manifestation of the 
Spirit with a view to profiting.' The purpose of all these various 
gifts, like their origin, is one and the same — the good of the 
congregation ; they are bestowed to be exercised for the benefit 
of all: Eph. iv. 7-16. The AV. is unfortunate; 'to every man' 
is wrong and wrongly placed. In t) 4>akepwcris (2 Cor. iv. 2 only) 
toG riueufiaTos, the genitive is probably objective, ' the operation 
which manifests the Spirit, rather than subjective, 'the mani- 
festation which the Spirit produces.' There are many such 
doubtful genitives ; Moul.-Win. p. 232. 

irp6s to o-uu,<|>epot'. ' With a view to advantage,' i.e. 'the profit 
of all.' We are probably to understand that it is common weal 
that is meant, not the advantage of the gifted individual. These 
charismata are not for self-glorification, nor merely for the 
spiritual benefit of the recipient, but for that of the whole Church. 
Here <rvp.(f>epov is certainly right; com]). Acts xx. 20; Heb. xii. 
10 : in vii. 35 and x. 33 <rvp.<popov is to be preferred, but in x. 33 
the Revisers have crvfufrepov, as here. 

The import of vv. 6 and 7 is, that the very various gifts, 


bestowed not for merit but of free bounty — gratiae gratis datae, 
are being distributed to each individual according to his capacity ; 
and he must use the new powers, opportunities, and activities for 
the well-being of the whole. Ttiey are talents out of one and the 
same treasury of love, and must be used for the profit of the 
one body. What follows is the explanation of «aorai oY8otcu 
(8-1 i), and then we have an amplification of irpos to <rvp.<pipov 
(12 ff.). 

8-11. The details of the continual giving are now stated. It 
is by no means certain that St Paul is consciously classifying the 
nine gifts which he mentions ; still less is it certain that the 
eTepa) in vv. 9 and 10 marks the beginning of a new class. The 
change to trlpta may be made merely to break the intolerable 
monotony of aAAci> eight times in succession ; and we might 
render the first irepw ' to a third,' and the second ' to an eighth.' 
Comp. dAXw . . . aAAw . . . erepu> . . . aAAw in Horn. 77. xiii. 
730-2. Nevertheless, if we take each frepta as marking a new 
division, we get an intelligible result. Of the three classes thus 
made, the first is connected with the intellect, the second with 
faith, and the third with the Tongues. Note that the Tongues 
come last. For Origen's comment, see/TS. x. 37, p. 31. 

8. to fikv . . . Xoyos ffCNJuas, fiWw 8e Xoyos yywcrews. In each 
case it is the Xoyos which is divinely imparted, the power of 
communicating to others : the o-cxpCa. and the yvuicris may come 
from above, or from human study or instruction. The Xdyos 
owpias is discourse which expounds the mysteries of God's 
counsels and makes known the means of salvation. It is a 
higher gift than Xoyos yvwcrews, and hence is placed first, and is 
given by the instrumentality (Sia tov) of the Spirit, whereas the 
latter is given in accordance with (Kara to) the Spirit. Com- 
mentators differ as to the exact differences between <ro<pta and 
yvuicris ; but cr. is the more comprehensive term. By it we know 
the true value of things through seeing what they really are ; 
it is spiritual insight and comprehension (Eph. i. 17 ; 2 Esdras 
xiv. 22, 25). By yv. we have an intelligent grasp of the prin- 
ciples of the Gospel ; by o-. a comprehensive survey of their 
relations to one another and to other things. Contrast the 
shallow aoifita Xoyov, so valued at Corinth (i. 17). In itself, yv. 
may be the result of instruction guided by reason, and it requires 
no special illumination ; but the use of this knowledge, in accord- 
ance with the Spirit, for the edification of others, is a special 
gift. But our ignorance of the situation makes our distinctions 
between the two words precarious : to the Corinthians, among 
whom these two gifts were of common occurrence, the difference 
between cr. and yv. would be clear enough. 


0. €Tepw m'oris. ' To a third, faith.' This cannot mean the 
first faith of a convert's self-surrender to the truth, nor the saving 
faith which is permanently possessed by every sincere Christian, 
but the wonder-working faith (xiii. 2 ; Matt. xvii. 20) which mani 
fests itself in epya rather than in Aoyos ; potent faith ; ardentissima 
et praesentissima apprehensio Dei in ipsius potissimum voluniate 
(Beng.) ; tvlcttlv ov rrjv rajv hoyfxdruiv, dAAa ttjv twv OTi/m'wv 
(Chrys.) ; the faith which produces, not only miracles, but 
martyrs. We are perhaps to understand the next four gifts, or 
at any rate the next two, as grouped under 71-10-7-15. If ttlcttl's is 
thus regarded as generic, and as including some of the gifts 
which follow, then the six gifts which follow 71-10-7-19, like the two 
which precede it, fall into pairs : Aoyos o\ and Aoyos yv., ^apio-- 
fjiaTa lafxariov and ivepy^fiara Svvdfieoiv, Trpocprp-eia and oia/cpio-eis 
■jrvevfidrw, ykvf] y\<Darcrwv and ip/Arjveia yAwo-ow. 

Xapio-jiaTa Iol\i&t<i)v. 'Gifts of healings,' 'gifts which result in 
healings': tap.a in this chap, only, in the N.T., and always in 
this phrase (vv. 28, 30), but frequent in the LXX. Cf. Acts 
iv. 30. The plur. seems to imply that different persons each had 
a disease or group of diseases that they could cure : that any one 
could cure 7rao*av voo*ov kcu 7racrav /xaXaKiav (Theophyl.) is not 
stated. The means may have been supernatural, or an excep- 
tionally successful use of natural powers, such as ' suggestion ' : 
see Jas. v. 14.* 

efepyrj|j.aTa. SuKdjiewf. This may be added to cover wonderful 
works which are not healings, such as the exorcizing of demons ; 
and such chastisements as were inflicted on Elymas the sorcerer, 
or on Hymenaeus and Philetus may be included. Cf. Gal. iii. 5 ; 
Heb. ii. 4. 

10. Trpo<|>T]Teia. Not necessarily predicting the future, but 
preaching the word with power (xiv. 3, 24, 30) : comp. Didache 
xi. This gift implies special insight into revealed truths and a 
great faculty for making them and their consequences known to 
others. It was about the two pairs of gifts mentioned in this 
verse that the Corinthians were specially excited. See Ency. Bibl. 
in. 3886, iv. 4760. 

* Harnack holds that St Luke was "a physician endowed with peculiar 
'spiritual' gifts of healing, and this fact profoundly affects his conception of 
Christianity " {The Acts of the Apostles, p. 133). Again, "whose own we- 
account shows him to have been a physician endowed with miraculous gifts of 
healing" (p. 143; comp. p. 146). 

It is remarkable that although there are allusions to signs and wonders in 
the Apostolic age (2 Cor. xii. 12 ; Gal. iii. 5 ; Rom. xv. 19; Heb. ii. 4), there 
is no allusion to miracles wrought by Christ. It cannot be said that in the 
age in which the Gospels were being framed there was a tendency to glorify 
Christ by attributing miracles to Him. See L. Ragg, The Book of Books, 
p. 221. 


SiaKpi'o-eis ivv€ujicnw. 'The gift of discerning in various cases 
(hence the plur.) whether extraordinary spiritual manifestations 
were from above or not' ; they might be purely natural, though 
strange, or they might be diabolical. An intuitive discernment 
is implied, without the application of tests. Perhaps the expres- 
sion chiefly refers to the prophetic gift, which might easily be 
claimed by vainglorious persons or by those who made a trade 
of religion. The Didache (xi. 8) says that " not every one that 
speaks in the spirit is a prophet, but only if he has the ways of 
the Lord. By their ways therefore the false prophet and the true 
shall be known." The whole chapter should be read in this 
connexion : but the Didache gives certain external tests, about 
which St Paul says nothing either here or 1 Thess. v. 19-21. 
He implies that the discrimination between true and false mani- 
festations of power is a purely spiritual act (ii. 15). Dollinger 
{First Age of the Chruch, p. 312) remarks; "How St Paul 
distinguished the gift of wisdom, which he claimed for himself 
also, from the gift of knowledge, must remain doubtful. The 
special gift of faith which he mentions can only have consisted 
in the energetic power and heroic confidence of unlimited trust 
in God. The gift of discerning spirits enabled its possessor to 
discriminate true prophets from false, and judge whether what 
was announced came from God or was an illusion. Such a gift 
was indispensable to the Church at a time when false prophets 
abounded, forced their way into congregations, and increased 
every year in numbers and audacity. There were false teachers, 
as St John intimates (1 John iv. 1 f.), who preached their own 
doctrine as a revelation imparted to them from above." 

yivr\ yXuaCTwi'. St Paul places last the gifts on which the 
Corinthians specially prided themselves, and which they were 
most eager to possess, because they made most display. Their 
enthusiasm for the gift of Tongues was exaggerated. The 
undisciplined spirit which had turned even the name of Christ 
into a party-cry (i. 12), and the Lord's Supper into a drunken 
revel, turned spiritual gifts into food for selfish vanity, instead 
of means for the good of all. And here again they would not 
'wait for one another,' but each was eager to take his turn 
first, and numbers were speaking all at once (xiv. 27). The yivrj 
indicates that the manifestations of this gift varied much ; comp. 
yiv-q (fiwvwv (xiv. 10): but it seems to be clear that in all cases 
persons who possessed this gift spoke in ecstasy a language 
which was intelligible to themselves, but not to their hearers, 
unless some one was present who had the gift of interpretation. 
The soul was undergoing experiences which ordinary language 
could not express, but the Spirit which caused the experiences 
supplied also a language in which to express them. This 


ecstatic language was a blissful outlet of blissful emotions, but 
was of no service to any one but the speaker and those who 
had the gift of interpretation. The gift of interpreting these 
ecstatic utterances might be possessed by the person who 
uttered them (xiv. 5, 13); but this seems to have been excep- 
tional: comp. Acts x. 46, xix. 6; [Mark] xvi. 17. From 
xiv. 27, 28 it seems to be clear that this ecstatic utterance was 
not uncontrollable : it was very different from the frenzy of 
some heathen rites, in which the worshipper parted with both 
reason and power of will. And whatever may be the relation 
of this gift to the Tongues at Pentecost, the two are alike in 
being exceptional and transitory (see below on xiv.). 

The conjunctions in these two verses (9, 10) are somewhat uncertain. 
In v. 9 there should probably be no 84 after erepy : X* B D* E F G, Latt. 
Arm. omit. In v. 10 there should perhaps be no 5^ until the last clause, 
dWcp 8k ep/j.. y\. But there is considerable authority for a 5^ after the 
first and the second AWy : yet B D E F G, Latt. omit. 

In v . 9, 4v rip ivl (A B, cursives, Latt. ) is to be preferred to 4v t<$ 
airr$, which comes from the previous clause. The temptation to alter 
evl to airry would be great ; and v. II confirms the ivi. In v. 10 StaKpicreis 
(A B K L) is to be preferred to didtcpiins (X C D* F G P). The plur. would 
be changed to the sing, to harmonize with Trpo(pr]Teta and ipix-qvla. "Epfj.t)vla 
occurs again xiv. 26, and nowhere else in N.T. 

11. irdtra 8e TauTa. The iravra is very emphatic, and the 
67 marks the contrast of transition from the manifold gifts and 
powers to the one Source of them all. This Source is the Spirit 
of God; so that there is no contradiction between v. 6 and v. 10. 
What God works, the Spirit works. Nor is there any contra- 
diction between v. 10 and v. 31. Our earnest desire for the 
best gifts is one of the things which fits us to receive them, 
and each man receives in proportion to this desire, a desire 
which may be cultivated. The Spirit knows the capacity of 
each; iii. 8, vii. 7, xv. 23. 

to iv koI to o.ut6 rii'eujj.a. This is a combination of t<3 brl 
Hv. with to airw TLv. in v. 9, and is so far a confirmation of 
the reading, t<3 ivL This one and the same Spirit has already 
been defined as ' God's Spirit ' (v. 3), who is here said to do 
what God does (v. 6). But here there is something added ; 
the Spirit ' distinguishes and distributes severally to each, exactly 
as He willeth.' Throughout the verse, but especially in the 
last words (/ca^ws (HovX-erai), the personality of the Spirit is 
implied.* It is in the will that personality chiefly consists. 

* St Paul commonly uses ivepyelv with a personal subject (v. 6 ; Gal. ii. 8, 
iii. 5 ; Eph. i. II, 20, ii. 2, as here; Phil. ii. 13), but ivepyeiadat with an 
impersonal subject (Rom. vii. 5 ; 2 Cor. i. 6, iv. 12 ; Gal. v. 6 ; Eph. iii. 20 ; 
Col. i. 29 ; 1 Thess. ii. 13 ; 2 Thess. ii. 7). See J. A. Robinson, Ephestans, 
p. 246. See also Basil, De Spir. xvi. 37, xxvi. 6l, and Ep. xxxviii. 4. 


The Apostle here teaches the Corinthians that they ought not 
to plume themselves upon the possession of one or more of 
these gifts. They may be evidence of capacity, but they are 
no proof of merit. It is the will of the Spirit that decides, a 
will which discriminates, but which cannot be compelled by 
anything which man can do : singulis dat singula, vel aliqua, 
varia mensura (Beng.). The Church consists of many persons 
very variously endowed, and the gifts bestowed upon individuals 
benefit the whole. Aicupew in NT. is found only here and Luke 
xv. 12. 

The addition of ISia (sc. 55£) emphasizes the fact that the Spirit deals 
with men, not en masse, but one by one, ' to each according to his several 
ability '(Matt. xxv. 15 ; Rom. xii. 6 ; Eph. iv. 11). In N.T. we commonly 
have /car' Idiav in this sense : here only tdtq., and 2 Mac. iv. 34 only in 
LXX. But I5ia is not rare in class. Grk. 

12-31. We pass on to an illustration (taken from the human 
body) of the truth that, though the gifts of God's Spirit may 
be many and various, yet those who are endowed with them 
constitute one organic whole. The illustration is a common 
one, and is used several times by the Apostle : Rom. xii. 4, 5 ; 
Eph. iv. 16, v. 30; Col. ii. 19. See J. A. Robinson on 
Eph. iv. 16. The difference between the famous parable of 
Menenius Agrippa (Livy ii. 32) and this simile of St Paul is 
that the Apostle does not say anything about a centre of 
nourishment : it is not the feeding of the body, but its unity, 
and the dependence of the members on one another, that is 
the lesson to be instilled.* In the brute creation, as Buckland 
taught his Oxford pupils, and among brutalized men, it is the 
stomach that rules the world. The ultimate aim of the violence 
and cunning of each animal is to feed itself, and often at the 
cost of the lives of other animals : this determines its activities. 
The ultimate aim of the Christian is the well-being of the whole 
body, of which the controlling power is Christ, who is at once 
the Head and the Body, for every Christian is a member of 
Him (vi. 15; Eph. v. 30), and represents Him (Matt. xxv. 
40, 45). Hence, inter Christianos longe alia est ratio (Calvin). 
►The Church is neither a dead mass of similar particles, like 
a heap of sand, nor a living swarm of antagonistic individuals, 
like a cage of wild beasts : it has the unity of a living organism, 
in which no two parts are exactly alike, but all discharge different 

* The Emperor Marcus Aurelius frequently insists on this ; Veyova/xev 
yap wpbi avvepytav, uis iro'oes, (is x c <pts> ws /3Xicj>apa, lis ol aroixoi- t&v &vw ko.\ 
tujv Karoo doovrwV t6 ovv av tut pacta (lv dXAijXois, wapa <pvcriv (ii. 1). Ta XoyiKa 
fuia aWrjXtjjv iveKev yiyoue (iv. 3). Oldv icm. iv ijvwfxivois to. fiiX-rj rov 
ffiLfxaros, tovtov ix €l T ^> v X6yov iv diearCocn tcl XoyiKa, irpbs /xiav riva avvtpyia* 
KareaKevaa-^Uva (vii. 13). 


functions for the good of the whole. All men are not equal, 
and no individual can be independent of the rest : everywhere 
there is subordination and dependence. Some have special 
gifts, some have none ; some have several gifts, some only 
one ; some have higher gifts, some have lower : but every 
individual has some function to discharge, and all must work 
together for the common good. This is the all-important point 
— unity in loving service. The Church is an organic body, an 
organized society, of which all the parts are moved by a spirit 
of common interest and mutual affection. Weinel, St Paul, 
pp. 130-133. 

In considering these various gifts, remember that there 
is in the Christian body, just as there is in the frame of 
the living man, a divinely ordained diversity of members, 
combined with a oneness in mutual help and in devotion to 
tfie whole : so that no member can be despised as useless, 
either by himself or by other members ; for each has his 
proper function, and all are alike necessary. This unity 
involves mutual dependence, and therefore it excludes dis- 
content and jealousy on the one hand, arrogance and contempt 
on the other. 

12 Just as the human body is one whole and has many 
organs, while all the organs, although many, form only one 
body, so is it with the Christ, in whom all Christians are one. 
13 For it was by means of one Spirit, and in order to form one 
body, that we all of us were baptized — Jews and Greeks, slaves 
and freemen, without distinction, — and were all made to drink 
deeply of that one Spirit. 14 For, I repeat, the human body 
consists, not of one organ, but of many. 15 Suppose the foot 
were to grumble and say, ' As I am not as high up as the hand, 
1 do not count as part of the body,' not for all it can say does 
it cease to belong to the body. 16 And suppose the ear were 
to grumble and say, 'As 1 am not as well placed as the eye, 
I do not count as part of the body,' not for all it can say doe? 
it cease to belong to the body. 17 If the whole body were one 
monstrous eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole 
were hearing, where would the smelling be? 18 But, as a 
matter of fact, God gave every one of the organs its proper 
place in the body, exactly as He willed. 19 Now, if all made 
only one organ, where would the body be? 20 But, as it is* 


although there be many organs, there is only one body. fl And 
the eye has no right to look down on the hand and say, ' Thou 
art of no use to me ' ; nor the head to look down on the feet 
and say, ' Ye are of no use to me.' 22 On the contrary, it is 
much truer to say that those organs of the body which seem 
to be somewhat feeble are really as indispensable as any, 2S and 
the parts of the body which we regard as less honourable are 
just those which we clothe with more especial care, and in 
this way our uncomely parts have a special comeliness ; 
24 whereas our comely parts have all that they need, without 
special attention. Why, yes ; God framed the body on prin- 
ciples of compensation, by giving additional dignity to whatever 
part showed any deficiency, 26 so as to prevent anything like 
disunion in the body, and to secure in all organs alike the 
same anxious care for one another's welfare. 26 And, accord- 
ingly, if one of them is in pain, all the rest are in pain with it ; 
and honour done to one is a joy to all. 27 Now you are a body 
—the Body of Christ, and individually you are His members. 
M And God gave each his proper place within the Church, — 
Apostles first, inspired preachers next, teachers third ; besides 
these, He gave miraculous powers and gifts of healing, powers 
of succouring, powers of governing, ecstatic utterance. 29 Surely 
you do not all of you expect to be Apostles, or inspired preachers, 
or teachers : surely you do not all of you expect to have all 
these wonderful gifts, and even more than these ! 81 What 
you ought to do is persistently to long for yet greater gifts. 
And accordingly I go on to show you a still more excellent 
way by which you may attain to them. 

12. tt&vto. 8e tol | ' While all the members of the body, 
though they be many, are one body, so also is the Christ,' in 
whose Nature they share, in whom they all form one body 
(v. 27), and whom they all serve (v. 5). From one point of 
view Christ is the Head, but that is not the thought here. 
Here He is the whole Body, as being that which unites the 
members and makes them an organic whole. We might have 
had ourws kcu fj £KK\rj<TLa, for Christ or the Church is only one 
Body with many members. The superfluous rov awfiaros after 
to. fxeXrj emphasizes the idea of unity ; and some texts make 
this still more emphatic by interpolating rov tvos after rov 
o-oj/xutos. The human body is a unique illustration of unity 
in diversity. Comp. Justin M. Try. 42. In Eph. and Col. 


to crufia has become a common designation of the Church. 
The congregation, having to serve one and the same Lord, 
must be united. 

13. Kal yap iv eel riveufian. The 'one body' suggests the 
' one Spirit,' for it is in a body that spirit has a field for its 
operations. ' For in one Spirit also we all were baptized so 
as to form one body.' An additional reason (koL yap, v. 7, 
xi. 9) for the oneness of the many. The Spirit is the element 
in (Iv) which the baptism takes place, and the one body is 
the end to (eh) which the act is directed : tit simus unum 
corpus uno Spiritu animatum (Beng.) ; tVt tovtw ware cis iv 
Q-dfm reXelv (Theod.). St Paul insists here on the social 
aspect of Baptism, as in x. 17 on the social aspect of the 

eiT€ MouScuoi eiTC "EM^vcs, €tT€ 8ou\oi c"t€ eXeu'Gepoi. The 
insertion of this parenthetical explanation shows in the clearest 
way how diverse were to be the members and how close the 
oneness of the body. The racial difference between Jew and 
Greek was a fundamental distinction made by nature ; the 
social difference between slave and freeman was a fundamental 
distinction made by custom and law : and yet both differences 
were to be done away, when those who were thus separated 
became members of Christ. In Gal. iii. 28 this momentous 
truth is stated still more broadly, and with more detail in 
Col. iii. 11. In each case the wording is probably determined 
by the thought of those to whom the Apostle is writing. See 
Lightfoot on Col. iii. 11, and cf. vii. 22 ; Rom. x. 12 ; Eph. ii. 14, 
with J. A. Robinson's note. 

TraWes iv ir^eGfia eiroTicr0Y)pe»'. ' Were all watered, saturated, 
imbued, with one Spirit' The 7ravTe? and the ev are placed 
together in emphatic antithesis. The Christ is the ev <r<2pa, and 
this suggests iv Hvev/jia, for in man aw/xa and irvevfxa are correla- 
tives. Comp. 'A7roAAws eVoTio-ev. 

The verse is taken in three different ways. (1) The whole 
refers to Baptism under two different figures, — being immersed 
in the Spirit, and being made to drink the Spirit as a new elixir 
of life. But, as ttotl&lv is used of irrigating lands, there is 
perhaps not much change of metaphor. (2) The first part refers 
to Baptism, the second to the outpouring of spiritual gifts after 
Baptism. (3) The first refers to Baptism, the second to the 
Eucharist (Aug. Luth. Calv.). This is certainly wrong; the 
aorists refer to some definite occasion, and ' drinking the Spirit ' 
is not used of the Eucharist. Both parts refer to Baptism. 
Compare the thought in Gal. iii. 26 f., and see/TS., Jan. 1906, 
p. 198. 


Before tv ■kv. iiror., K L, Vulg. AV. insert eh, to agree with the first 
clause: N B C D* F P, Syrr. Aeth. Arm. RV. omit. For iv irv. iiroT., A 
has iv crwfxd ecr/xev. For iiroriadiuuLev, L and some cursives have iipuiriadr)- 
fj.ev, a verb which in ecclesiastical Greek is often used of baptism. 

In the active Trorlfa has two accusatives, 7<i\a v/xas iworiaa, and therefore 
retains one ace. in the passive : comp. 2 Thess. ii. 15 , Luke xii. 47, xvi. 19. 

14. icai yap to a. Additional confirmation ; ' For the body 
also is not one member, but many.' * 

15. ' If the foot should say, Because I am not hand, I am 
not of the body, it is not on account of this (discontented 
grumbling) not of the body.' The 7rap<x tovto ('all along of 
this,' 4 Mac. x. 19) refers to the pettish argument of the foot, 
rather than to the fact of its not being a hand. In each case it 
is the inferior limb which grumbles, the hand being of more value 
than the foot, and the eye than the ear. And Chrysostom 
remarks that the foot contrasts itself with the hand rather than 
with the ear, because we do not envy those who are very much 
higher than ourselves so much as those who have got a little 

above US ; ou tois o-(p68pa VTrepe^ovaLV, dAA.a tois oXiyov avafte- 

firjKoo-L. For dpi eK, ' belong to,' and so ' dependent on,' see 
John iv. 22; and for the double negative, 2 Thess. iii. 9. 
Bengel compares Theoph. Ant. (ad Autol. 3) ; ov napa rb p.r) 
(3\eTr€iv Toil's TvcpXovs rjor) Kai ovk co~tl to <£oj5 tov tjXlov (fiouvov : 
and Origen (con. Cels. vii. 63) ; ov Sta tovto ov [xoi-^vovo-lv 
Some would take ov irapa tovto in vv. 15, 16 interrogatively, as 
in the AV. But this would require p.rj. 

17. el SW to o-wfAa. ' If the whole body (Luke xi. 34) were 
eye (Num. x. 31), where were the hearing?' Each member has 
a function which it alone can discharge, and no organ ought to 
think little of its own function, or covet that of another organ. f 
In class- Grk. oo-^prjrns is common, but it occurs nowhere else in 
the Bible. 

* M. Aurelius, as we have seen, says that we are made to co-operate with 
one another, as feet, and hands, and eyelids, and upper and lower jaws. To 
act in opposition to one another is unnatural (ii. 1). Socrates points out 
how monstrous it would be if hands and feet, which God made to work in 
harmony, were to thwart and impede one another (Xen. Mem. II. iii. 18). 

f Wetstein quotes Quintilian, viii. 5 ; Neque oculos esse toto corpore velim, 
ne caetera membra suum officium perdant. Cic. De Off. i. 35 ; Principio 
corporis nostri tiiagtiam natura ipsa videtur habnisse rationem, quae formain 
nostram, rcliquamque figuram, in qua esset species honesta, earn posuit in 
promptu ; quae partes autem corporis ad naturae necessitatem datae adspectum 
essent deformen habiturae at que turpem, eas contexit atque abdidit. De Off. 
iii. 5 ; Si unumquodque membrum sensum hutic haberet, ut posse putaret se 
valere, si proximi membri valetudinem ad se traduxisset, debilitari et interire 
totum corpus neresse est. 

I'rimasius turns v. 17 thus; Si toti docentes, ubi auditores? Si tot- 
auditores, quit sciret discernerc bonum vel ma/urn ? 



18. vuv 8e 6 0eos eOero. ' But, as it is, God placed the members, 
each one of them, in the body, even as He willed.' As we see 
from manifest facts, God made unity, but not uniformity; He 
did not level all down to monotonous similarity. The aorists 
refer to the act of creation, and there is no need to turn either 
into a perfect ('hath set,' AV., RV.). From the very first it was 
ordered so, as part of a plan ; therefore ' placed ' rather than 
'set.' Every member cannot have the same function, and 
therefore there must be higher and lower gifts. But pride and 
discontent are quite out of place, for they are not only the out- 
come of selfishness, but also rebellion against God's will. This has 
two points ; it was not our fellow-men who placed us in an 
inferior position, but God; and He did it, not to please us or 
our fellows, but in accordance with His will, which must be 
right. Who is so disloyal as to gainsay what God willed to 
arrange? Rom. ix. 20. Compare Kaflws fiovXerai (v. 11), but 
the change of verb and of tense should be noted : it is not mere 
repetition. Deissmann {Bible Studies, p. 252) quotes ws 6 ®ebs 
rjOekev from a private letter of about 200 a.d. 

19. 'Now, if they all (to, iravTa) were one member, where 
were the body?' This is the second absurdity: the first was 
' where were the other members ? ' The very idea of body implies 
many members, and if all the members tried to have the honour 
of the highest member, the body would be lost. Quanta ergo 
insania erit, si membrum unum, potius quam alteri cedat, in suum 
et corporis inter Hum conspiret (Calv.). See Pope, Essay on Man, 
i. 259 f., "What if the foot," etc. 

20. ■ But, as it is (But now you see), there are many 
members, yet one body.' Perhaps there was already a proverb — 
■rroXXa [j.eX.r}, ev awfxa. St Paul reiterates this truth, for on it 
everything which he desires to inculcate turns. From the oneness 
of the whole the mutual dependence of the parts follows of neces- 
sity. See M. Aurelius, ii. 3 ; in the universe, part and whole must 

vuv Si is specially frequent in I Cor. (v. II, vii. 14, xii. 20, xiv. 6) ; but 
both here and elsewhere authorities are divided between vvv and vvvL : in 
xiii. 13 and xv. 20 vvvl is probably right. In v. 19, B F G omit the r<i 
before ir&vra, and in v. 20 the f*£v after 7ro'\\a is omitted by B D*, Arm. 
Goth. If we retain fUv, ' yet one body ' or ' but one body ' may be 
strengthened to ' yet but one body ' (AV.), unum vero corpus (Beza). 

21. Hitherto he has been regarding the inferior organs, who 
grumbled because they were not superior. Now he takes the 
superior, who looked down on the inferior. All, of course, with 
reference to evils at Corinth. ' But the eye cannot say to the 


hand' — cannct, without stultifying itself: it is manifestly untrue. 
What would become of the desire of the eyes if there were no 
hand to grasp it? There is no such thing as independence 
either in an organism or in society. All parts are not equal, and 
no one part can isolate itself. From the first there is dependence 
and subordination. 

The article before <5<£0aV6y is certainly genuine (XABCDEFGLP), 
and the Be before 6 6<pda\/i6s is probably genuine (KBDEKL, Latt.). 
Arm. omits both. 

22. ' Nay, on the contrary (dAAd), much rather those members 
of the body which seem to be naturally (xmdpxeiv) somewhat 
feeble, are necessary.' The humbler parts not only are indis- 
pensable, but are as indispensable as the rest. So also in society. 
It is the humblest workers, the day-labourers in each trade, that 
are not only as necessary as the higher ones, but are more 
necessary. We can spare this artizan better than this poet ; 
but we can spare all the poets better than all the artizans. 
With this use of the comparative to soften the meaning, comp. 
2 Tim. i. 8 ; Acts xvii. 22. St Paul does not specify the 'some- 
what feeble ' members, and we need not do so. 

23. Kal 8. ooKoujiev dnixoTepa . . . -rrepiTiOep.ei'. ' And the 
parts of the body which we deem to be less honourable, these we 
clothe with more abundant honour.' Elsewhere in the N.T. 
ircpiTi6r]fii. occurs only in the Gospels and there only in the 
literal sense, and generally of clothing (Matt, xxvii. 28), or the 
crown of thorns (Mark xv. 17), or a fence (Matt. xxi. 33 ; Mark 
xii. 1), etc. ; but in the LXX we have this same metaphor ; ko.1 
outoj? 7racrat al yuvaiKcs 7r€pt^>;o"ovo"iv Tip.r)v tois avSpdcnv kavrun> 
(Esth. i. 20) : ti/at?v eavTw TrepiTi6tL<i (Prov. xii. 9). 

The division of the verses is unfortunate, and the punctuation 
of the AV. is wrong, while that of the RV. might be improved. 
Put a comma at the end of v. 23, and a full stop at the end of 
the first clause of v. 24. ' And so our uncomely parts have a 
comeliness more exceeding, whereas our comely parts have no 
need.' This is the result of giving more abundant honour to the 
less honourable ; acting on that principle, we give most honour 
to the least honourable. The ' more exceeding comeliness ' 
refers to the abundance of clothing, which, even when other 
parts are unclothed, to. acrxy/J- 01 " 1 receive. For these the Vulg. 
has inhonesta, Beza indecora, Calv. minus honesta. There are 
three classes ; to. nJo-x^ova, which have no need of clothing or 
adornment, and are commonly exposed to view ; ra dnp-orepa, 
which are usually clothed and often adorned ; and rd acrxypava, 
which are always carefully clothed, ut membra quae turpiter 


pater ent, lateant honeste (Calv.). The least honourable are not 
only not despised, they are treated with exceptional care.* 
There is no doubt that here, as elsewhere, (.vcrxn^oo-vvq refers to 
external grace, elegance, or decorum. It does not refer to 
dignity of function. It is true that fatherhood has high responsi- 
bility, and that the womb and the breast are sacred, but evcrxvH- - 
a-vvq is not the word to express that. Throughout the passage the 
Apostle is thinking of the members of the Church, and therefore 
more or less personifies the organs of the body. We might 
render ov xpetav ix iL ' feels no need,' no need of anything additional, 
nullius egent (Vulg.), which is better than the more definite it's 
decorenon est opus (Beza). We do not adorn the eye, or protect 
the face as we protect the feet. 'Acrx^wv occurs several times 
in LXX, but nowhere else in N.T. ; evaxn^ocrvvr} in 4 Mac. vi. 2, 
but nowhere else in N.T. or LXX. See Abbott, Son of Man, 
p. 178. 

24. dXXa 6 ©cos (rvveKepavev to awp-a. The nominative is 
emphatic. 'But the fact is, it was God who compounded 
(blended) the body together, by giving to that which feeleth lack 
more abundant honour.' The two aorists are contemporaneous, 
8ovs with a-vviKipaa-ev : in giving, or by giving, He tempered ; and 
in tempering, or by tempering, He gave. In the LXX and N.T. 
avyKepavvvvat is rare (Dan. ii. 43 ; 2 Mac. xv. 39 ; Heb. iv. 2), 
but it is common in class. Grk. Comp. the speech of Alcibiades 
(Thuc. VI. xviii. 6) ; vojauraTe veoTrjra fikv kol yvjpas aVeu oAAt/Xwv 
firjSkv Svvaadai, opiov 8e to tc <pav\ov kcli to fieo-ov ko.1 to irdvv 
d/cpi/?e? uv ivyKpadey [xakicrT av lo-)(yeiv : also o-vyKpacris tis eo"Tiv iv 
irao-iv (Clem. Rom. Cor. 37). In v. 23 the Apostle shows how 
men, led by a natural instinct, equalize the dignity of their 
members. Here he shows that it is in reality God who blends 
and balances the whole by endowing men with this instinctive 
sense of propriety. What is in accordance with the common 
feelings of mankind is evidence of what is right (xi. 14). 

We should read t<$ wrepoviJ.iv^ (X A B C) rather than r£ vcrrepovvTi 
(D E F G K L). The former expresses the member's sense of inferiority. 

25. im (jltj r\ o-xiVfjia iv t. o\ ' That there should be no 
disunion in the body, but that (on the contrary) the members 
should have the same care one for another ' : to o,uto is emphatic, 
and fiepipwo-if is plural because the argument requires that the 
members be thought of as many and separate : 1 Tim. v. 25 ; 
Rev. v. 14; Luke xxiv. 11. The verb implies anxious care, 
thoughtful trouble. 

* Atto of Vercelli illustrates this principle by the honour which is paid to 
those who, out of humility, go bare-footed and wear shabby clothing. 


26. ptoi. ' And so (as a consequence of the perfect blending), 
whether one member suffereth, all the members rejoice with it.' 
Not only are the members united to one another and careful for 
one another, but what is felt by one is felt by all. See St Paul's 
own sympathy, 2 Cor. xi. 28, 29. Plato (Repub. v. 462) points 
out that when one's finger is hurt, one does not say, " My finger 
is in pain," but "/have a pain in my finger"; and Chrysostom 
(ad he.) graphically describes how the various organs are affected 
when a thorn runs into the foot, and also when the head is 
crowned. ' Is glorified ' may mean either by adornment, or 
by healthy action, or by special cultivation. In o-vyxaipei the 
personification of the organs is complete: congaudent (Vulg.), 
congratulantur (Beza). But Beza, by substituting simul dolent for 
compatiuntur (Vulg.), makes av/jardcrx^ imply as much personifica- 
tion as cruyxo-Lpei.. The Christian principle is the law of sympathy. 
The interests of all individuals, of all classes, and of all nations 
are really identical, although we are seldom able to take a 
view sufficiently extended to see that this is so : but we must 
try to believe it. The benefit of one is the benefit of every 
one ; and a wrong done to one is a wrong done to every 
one. Salva esse societas, nisi amore et custodia partium, non 
potest (Seneca).* The verb in N.T. is found only in Paul 
and Luke. 

God, in the nature of its being, founds 
Its proper bliss, and sets its proper bounds : 
But as He framed a whole the whole to bless, 
On mutual wants built mutual happiness. 
Thus God and nature linked the general frame, 
And bade self-love and social be the same. 

Pope, Essay on Man, iii. 109, 217. 

27. ufjieTs 8e core orwu,a XpioroG. ' Now ye are Body of Christ ' : 
no article. 'Body of Christ' is the quality of the whole which 
each of them individually helps to constitute. Comp. 6 ®€os <£<3s 
e'ori (i John i. 5), 6 ®£o? dyd-rrr] icniv (1 John iv. 8), Trvevfxa 6 

®eo9 (John iv. 24), ©eos fy 6 Xoyo9 (John i. 1) ; 1 Cor. iii. 9, 16. 
It does not mean, 'Ye are the Body of Christ,' although that 
translation is admissible, and indicates the truth that each 
Christian community is the Universal Church in miniature; nor, 
' Ye are Christ's Body,' which makes ' Christ's ' emphatic, whereas 
the emphasis is on aw/xa as the antithesis of /xe'Aiy. Least of all 

* " One of the most remarkable sides of the history of Rome is the growth 
of ideas which found their realization and completion in the Christian Empire. 
Universal citizenship, universal equality, universal religion, a universal 
Church, all were ideas which the Empire was slowly working out, but which 
it could not realize till it merged itself in Christianity " (Ramsay, The Church 
in the Roman Empire, p. 192). 


does it mean, ' Ye are a Body of Christ,' as if St Paul were insist- 
ing that the Corinthians were only a Church and not the Church, 
a meaning which is quite remote from the passage. Nowhere in 
the Pauline Epistles is there the idea that the one Ecclesia is 
made of many Ecclesiae. "The members which make up the 
One Ecclesia are not communities but individual men. The 
One Ecclesia includes all members of partial Ecclesiae ; but its 
relations to them all are direct, not mediate. . . . There is no 
indication that St Paul regarded the conditions of membership 
in the universal Ecclesia as differing from the conditions of 
membership in the partial local Ecclesiae" (Hort, The Chr. Eccl. 
pp. 168-9). He means here that the nature of the whole of 
which the Corinthians are parts is that it is Body of Christ, 
not any other kind of whole. Consequently, whatever gift each 
one of them receives is not to be hidden away, or selfishly 
enjoyed, or exhibited for show, but to be used for the good of 
the whole community. The Se marks a return to what was laid 
down in v. 12. 

fieXn €K fie'pous. membra de membro (Vulg.) ; membra ex parte 
(Calv.) ; membra particulatim (Beza). The meaning is uncertain, 
but probably, 'members each in his assigned part,' 'apportioned 
members of it.' Chrysostom and Bengel explain that the 
Corinthians were not the whole Church, but ' members of a 
part ' of the Universalis Ecclesia. This seems to Calvin to be 
sensus coactior, and he prefers the other interpretation. Still 
less satisfactory is the explanation ' partial members of it,' 
i.e. imperfect members, which does not suit the context at 
all, Cf. Eph. iv. 16. 

The Vulgate, with def Arm., supports D* in reading jtAt; 4k fifkovs. 
Origen and Eusebius commonly have fiipovs, but once each has fiiXovs : 
Theodoret the same. Chrysostom always pApovs. 

28. Kal ous (i.€K I9eTO 6 6eos iv tjj ^kkXtjcio. The correspond- 
ence with v. 18 is manifest, and it must be marked in translation. 
'And some God placed in the Church,' or 'in His Church' 
(i. 2, x. 32, xi. 16, 22, xv. 9). Just as God in the original con- 
stitution of the body placed differently endowed members in it, 
so in the original constitution of the Church He placed (Acts 
xx. 28) differently endowed members in it. The mid. implies 
that He placed them for His own purpose, Ka#o>9 ^e'A^o-ev. The 
Church is the Church Universal, not the Corinthian Church; 
and this is perhaps the first Epistle in which we find this use : 
comp. x. 32, xi. 22, xv. 9; Hort, p. 117. The sentence should 
have run, ous fiev d-n-oon-oXovs, ovs 8k irpo<f>-qTa<;, but the original 
construction is abandoned, perhaps intentionally, because 
an arrangement in order of dignity seemed better than a 


mere enumeration, the last place being again reserved for the 
Tongues. Later he drops into a mere enumeration. MouL- 
Win. p. 710. 

TTpurov &ttoot6\ous. Not to be restricted to the Twelve. 
The term included Paul and Barnabas, James the Lord's brother 
(xv. 7; Gal. i. 19 ; comp. ix. 5), apparently Andronicus and 
Junias (Rom. xvi. 7), and probably others (xv. 5, 7). There 
could not have been false apostles (2 Cor. xi. 13) unless the 
number of Apostles had been indefinite. From this passage, 
and from Eph. iv. 1 1 (comp. ii. 20), we learn that Apostles were 
the first order in the Church ; also that St Peter is not an order 
by himself. Apparently it was essential that an Apostle should 
have seen the Lord, and especially the risen Lord (ix. 1, 2; 
Luke xxiv. 48; Acts i. 8, 21-23): he must be a 'witness of 
His resurrection.' This was true of Matthias, James, and Paul ; 
and may easily have been true of Barnabas, Andronicus, and 
Junias ; but not of Apollos or Timothy. The Apostles were 
analogous to the Prophets of the O.T., being sent to the 
new Israel, as the Prophets to the old. They had admini- 
strative functions, but no local jurisdiction : they belonged to 
the whole Church. Nevertheless various ties made local 
Churches to be more under the control of one Apostle than of 
others. See Lightfoot, Galaiians, pp. 92 f. The 'evangelists' 
and 'pastors' of Eph. iv. n are perhaps included here under 
'prophets and teachers.' But evangelists are not ad rem here, 
because the subject is the spiritual life of members of the 
Church, and their relations to one another in the Church, rather 
than their external activity among the heathen. The enumera- 
tion here is more concrete than that in vv. 8-10, but less 
concrete than in Eph. iv. 11. The first three are explicitly in 
order of eminence ; but the eVcn-a with the next two probably 
means no more than that these come after the first three. The 
gifts that follow the first three are not connected with particular 
persons, but are distributed 'at will' for the profit of the whole 
congregation; and it is remarkable that hvvdfxet<i and x a pt (r t iaTa 
lafjLa.Tu>v are placed after SiSao-KaAous. See Dobschiitz, Probleme, 
p. 105. 

•jrpo<J>rJTas. See on a 10 and xiv. 3, 24, 25. They were 
inspired to utter the deep things of God, for the conviction of 
sin, for edification, and for comfort ; sometimes also for pre- 
dicting the future, as in the case of Agabus. 

8i8ao-K({\ous. Men whose natural powers and acquired know- 
ledge were augmented by a special gift. It is evident from 'Are 
all teachers?' (v. 29) that there was a class of teachers to which 
only some Christians belonged, and the questions which follow 
show that ' teachers,' like ' workers of miracles,' were distinguished 


by the possession of some gift.* In Eph. iv. n we are not 
sure whether ' pastors and teachers ' means one class or two, but 
at any rate it is probable that whereas 'Apostles,' 'prophets,' 
and ' evangelists ' instructed both the converted and the uncon- 
verted, ' pastors and teachers ' ministered to settled congregations. 
In Acts xiii. i we are equally in doubt whether ' prophets and 
teachers ' means one class or two. St Luke may mean that of 
the five people mentioned some were prophets and some were 
teachers, or he may mean that all were both. ' Teacher ' might 
be applied to Apostles, prophets, and evangelists, as well as to 
the special class of teachers. In i Tim. ii. 7 St Paul calls 
himself a 'preacher' (k7~y>u£), an 'Apostle,' and a 'teacher.' In 
the Didache the 'teacher' seems to be itinerant like the 
'prophet' (xiii. 2). When the ministry became more settled 
the 'bishops' and 'elders' seem to have become the official 
teachers; but perhaps not all elders taught (1 Tim. v. 17). In 
the Shepherd of Hernias the teachers are still distinct from the 
bishops ; " The stones that are squared and white, and that fit 
together in their joints, these are the Apostles and bishops and 
teachers and deacons" {Vis. iii. 5). See Hastings, DB. iv. 
p. 691 ; Ency. Bibl. iv. 4917. 

IireiTa Suvdjxeis, eireiTa xapwrHXiTa lajia'-nuv. Change from the 
concrete to the abstract, perhaps for the sake of variety ; in 
Rom. xii. 7 the converse change is made. We must not 
count e-n-eira, lircLra as equivalent to 'fourthly, fifthly': the 
classification according to rank ends with ' teachers,' but yivq 
■yXwcrow are purposely placed last. ' Gifts of healing ' are 
a special kind of ' miraculous powers ' : see on v. 9, where the 
less comprehensive gift is placed first, while here we descend 
from the general to the particular. It would be a lesson to the 
Corinthians to hear these brilliant gifts expressly declared to be 
inferior to teaching ; the liruja clearly means that. 

deTi\r)|uu|/eis. This and the next gift form a pair, referring to 
general management of an external character. This term occurs 
nowhere else in the N.T., but it comes from dvTiXaixfidveo-Oai 
(Luke i. 54; Acts xx. 35 ; 1 Tim. vi. 2; comp. Rom. viii. 26), 

* " It is impossible to determine exactly how people were recognized as 
teachers. One clue, however, seems visible in J as. iii. 1. From this it 
follows that to become a teacher was a matter of personal choice — based, of 
course, upon the individual's consciousness of possessing a charisma" 
(Harnack, The Mission and Expansion of Christianity, 1. p. 336 ; p. 243, 
ed. 1902). The whole chapter (1st of the 3rd Book) should be read. It 
shows that the order ' Apostles, prophets, and teachers ' is very early. 
"St Paul is thinking without doubt of some arrangement in the Church 
which held good among Jewish Christian communities founded apart from 
bis co-operation, no less than among the communities of Greece and Asia 


which means to take firm hold of some one, in order to help. 
These 'helpings' therefore probably refer to the succouring of 
those in need, whether poor, sick, widows, orphans, strangers, 
travellers, or what not ; the work of the diaconate, both male 
and female. We have those who need avTt'A^^ts (Ecclus. xi. 12, 
li. 7). The word is fairly common in the Psalms and 2 and 
3 Mac. See also Psalms of Solomon vii. 9, xvi. title. 

KvfSepvr\<reis. ' Governings ' or 'administrations.' This pro- 
bably refers to those who superintended the externals of organ- 
ization, ot Trpoia-Tdfiivoi (Rom. xii. 8; 1 Thess. v. 12), or 01 fjyov- 
fievoi (Heb. xiii. 7, 17, 24; Acts xv. 22; Clem. Rom. Cor. 1). 
See Hort, The Chr. Eccl. p. 126. The word is derived from the 
idea of piloting a ship (Acts xxvii. n ; Rev. xviii. 17), and hence 
easily acquires the sense of directing with skill and wisdom : oh fvq 
virap-^iL Kvfiepvrjo-is, ttiivtovq-iv ws <£uAAa, ubi non est gubernator, 
populus corruet '(Prov. xi. 14). The term, which is found nowhere 
else in N.T., may be equivalent to Itv'io-kotvoi and 7rpeo-/?irrepoi. 
We must, however, remember that we are here dealing with 
gifts rather than with the offices which grew out of the gifts. 

These two classes, avTiXrjp.\pu<; and Kvfiepvr]o-eL<;, are not 
mentioned in w. 5-10; nor are they repeated in vv. 29, 30. 
But Stanley would identify the former with the help rendered in 
the ' intepretation of tongues,' and the latter with the guidance 
given in the 'discerning of spirits.' This is not at all probable. 
See Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 92. 

With regard to the subordinate position which these two 
gifts have in the one list which contains them, Renan {Saint 
Paul, pp. 409, 410) has a fine passage. "Malheur a celui qui 
s'arreterait a la surface, et qui, pour deux ou trois dons chimer- 
iques, oublierait que dans cette Strange Enumeration, parmi les 
diaconies et les charismata de l'Eglise primitive, se trouve le soin 
de ceux qui souffrent, l'administration des deniers du pauvre, 
l'assistance re"ciproque ! Paule enumere ces fonctions en dernier 
lieu et comme d'humbles choses. Mais son regard percant sait 
encore ici voir le vrai. ' Prenez garde,' dit-il ; ' nos membres 
les moins nobles sont justement les plus honoris.' Prophetes, 
docteurs, vous passerez. Diacres, veuves deVoue"es, vous 
resterez ; vous fondez pour l'£ternite\" * 

ftretra . . . iireira is right (SAB C), not tireiTa . . . dra (K L, f Vulg. 
deinde . . . exindc), nor tiretTa, without either to follow (DEFG). 
Vulg. after genera linguarum adds interpretationes sermonum from v. 10. 
But whence comes the change to sermonum? Tertullian (Adv. Alarcion. 
v. 8) has genera linguarum . . . interpretatio . . . linguarum. 

* The shortness of the list of charismata in Eph. iv. n as compared with 
the list here is perhaps an indication that the regular exercise of extraordinary 
gifts in public worship was already dying out. Hastings, DB. in. p. 141. 


29. fir) irarres dirooroXoi ; ' Surely all are not Apostles ? ' 
These rhetorical questions explain fxiXrj ck pepovs (v. 27) and 
look back to to o-w/jlo. ovk tv /z.eAo<> dAAa 7roAAa (v. 1 4). God did 
not give all these spiritual gifts to all. That would have been to 
make each member a kind of complete body, independent of the 
other members; and this would have been fatal to the whole. 
He has made no one member self-sufficient ; each needs much 
from others and supplies something to them. See Godet. Here 
all the illustrations are concrete, with the possible exception of 
Svvdfxw;. But seeing that Sui'd/xtis and \ap. la/mrwv form a pair, 
we may put the two questions together and take Zx 0V(TLV Wltn 
both terms ; ' Have all (the power of working) miracles, all 
gifts of healing?' The Vulgate may be taken in a similar 
manner ; Numquid omnes virtutes, numqiiid omnes gratiam habent 
curationum ? but again, why the change from gratias {v. 28) to 
gra/iam? For the third time the gift of Tongues is placed 

30. The compound verb Si€p/j.Tjv(vu here has led to the reading Step- 
firjvela (or -ta) in v. 10 (AD*). The compound (xiv. 5, 13, 27; Luke 
xxiv. 27 ; Acts ix. 36) is more common in the N.T. than the more classical 
ip/Mjvefa (John i. 43, ix. 7 ; Heb. vii. 2). As language weakens, the ten- 
dency to strengthen by means of compounds increases. With the general 
sense of the two verses compare Horn. //. xiii. 729 ; 'AW oti irws dfia 
irdvra Svvrjcreai aiirbs iXiadai, and the familiar non omnia possumus omnes. 

31. £rj\ouTe oe to. xapurfiaTa tcI jxeij^oea. ' Continue to desire 
earnestly (pres. imperat.) the greater gifts.' The Corinthians 
coveted the greater gifts, but they had formed a wrong estimate 
as to which were the greater. The Hymn of Love, which follows, 
is to guide them to a better decision : not those which make 
most show, but those which do most good, are the better. As 
members of one and the same body they must exhibit self- 
sacrificing love, and they must use their gifts for the benefit of 
the whole body. This is the lesson of ch. xiv. We cannot all 
of us have all the best gifts ; but (Se) by prayer and habitual 
preparation we can strive to obtain them : and a continual 
desire is in itself a preparation. Mei/eTe IttlOvixovvt^ x a P l(T l x o- T(JiV ^ 
as Chrysostom says. For ^AoCre comp. xiv. 1, 39 ; and itrfXaxra 
to dya66v (Ecclus. li. 18). The verb is also used in a bad 
sense, ' be moved with envy or hatred ' (xiii. 4 ; Acts vii. 9, 
xvii. 5). See Hort and also Mayor on Jas. iv. 2. It is perhaps 
with a double entendre that it is used here, as an indirect rebuke 
to the jealousy with which some of them regarded the gifts 
bestowed on others. Chrysostom {Horn. xxxi. 4) has some 
strong remarks on jealousy, as the chief cause of dissension, 
and as even more deadly in its effects than avarice. Hucusque 
revocavit illos a schismate ad concordiam et unionem, ut nullus 


glorietur de charismate superiori, nulhisque dolt at de inferiori. 
Hinc eos in charitatem innuit, ostendens sine ea nihil caetera 
valere (Herveius). Sicut publico, via excelsior est reliquis viis ac 
semi/is, it a et charitas via est direct a, per quatn ad coelestem 
metropolim tenditur (Primasius). 

tea! en kci0' uTrepPoXTjy 6Soe ujiii' SeiKfujn. There is no con- 
trast with what precedes ('And yet,' AV.): on the contrary, kcu 
means 'And in accordance with this charge to desire what is 
best,' while en belongs to what follows; 'And a still more 
excellent way show I to you,' Ka6" v-n-epfSoX^v being equivalent 
to a comparative, excellentiorem viam (Vulg.). If In be taken 
with /cat, it means ' moreover,' et porro (Beza) ; ' And besides, I 
show you a supremely excellent way.' What is this way ko.t 
l^oyJ]vl Is it the way by which the greater gifts are to be 
reached? Or is it the way by which something better than 
these gifts may be reached? The latter seems to be right. 
'Yearn for the best gifts; that is good, as far as it goes. But 
the gifts do not make you better Christians ; and I am going to 
point out the way to something better, which will show you the 
best gifts, and how to use them.'* xiv. 1 confirms this view. 

There is considerable evidence (D E F G K L, Vulg. Arm.) for Kpdrrovtx. 
or KpeLaaova, and Chrys. expressly prefers the reading ; but /xeL^ova (X A B C, 
Am. Aeth., Orig.) is probably right. 

In the N.T. virep(3o\ri is confined to this group of the Pauline Epp. 
(I and 2 Cor. Gal. Rom.), and generally in this phrase, Ka.6' virepfio\7)v. 
Comp. Rom. vii. 13. 

Klostermann adopts the reading of D* ; ical ft ti icad' virtpfiok-fiv, 85ov 
v/xcv 8tiKwfu t 'And if (ye desire earnestly) something superlativelv good, 
I show you a way.' But the earliest versions confirm the other MSS. in 
reading in. 

The Spiritual Gifts. 

In this chapter we have had three enumerations of these gifts [w. 8-10, 
28, 29-30) ; and in Romans (xii. 6-8) and Ephesians (iv. 11) we have other 
lists. It will be useful to compare the five statements. 

I Cor. xii. 8-IO 

xii. 28 

xii. 29, 30 


X070S ffcxptas 






X070S yvtlxrew* 











X a f- laudruv 
ivipry. 5vvd/j.(usv 

SidKp. irvevfxdruiv 
•yivrj yXcoaauif 





Xap. ia^drwv 
ytv-r\ yXuitrcrCjy 



Xap. lafidruv 

■yXunrcrats XaXeTv 


(p/x. yXuxrcruiv 




* Comp. the use of 17 656s, 'the Way' par excellence, for Christianity 
(Acts ix. 2, xix. 9, 23, xxii. 4, xxiv. 14, 22). Bengel has via maxime vialis : 
it has the true characteristic of a way in perfection. 


Rom. xii. 6-8. Eph. iv. 11. 

2. irpocprjTilcL I. atrdaroXoi 
5ia.Kovla 2. irf)o<j>rJTai 

3. SidajKaXla euayye\i<TTal 

Vap&K\ri<TlS VOLfliffS teal 

fxeTadtddvai 3. BioaaKaXot. 


It will be observed that in tour of the lists there are at least two gifts 
which are not mentioned in the other lists : in 1 Cor. xii. 8-IO, vIcttis and 
8i6.Kpi.cris Trvevfj.dTwv ; in xii. 28, ai>Tt\rifj.^a.s and KvjBepvricreis : in Rom. xii. 
6-8, diaKovla, irapaKK-qcns, ixeraSiSdvaL, and wpotcrTacrdai; and in Eph. iv. II, 
eiiayyeXicrral and Troiftives, if Troifxtves is a separate class from 5:5dcr/ca\ot. We 
must not assume that in all cases the difference of name means a difference 
of gift or of function. We may tentatively identify StaKovla with a.vTi\rifi\pis, 
and 01 with Kvpepvi)<reis, and perhaps with troi.iJ.ives. We have 
St Paul's own authority for placing o.-t6ctto\ol, Trpo<p7)Tai, and 5t5d<x*a\o« 
above all the rest, and in that order ; and for placing yivrj ykwocrQiv with 
ip/j.i]veia yXwcrcruv last. Taking xii. 28 as our guide, we notice that, of the 
nine gifts enumerated, three are those in which teaching is the common 
element, two are wonder-working, two are administrative, and two are 
ecstatic. The three pairs are valuable, especially the first two, yet they are 
not indispensable ; but powers of teaching are indispensable. If there is no 
one to teach with sureness and authority, the Christian Church cannot be 
built up and cannot grow. But it must be remembered once more that we 
are treating of various gifts bestowed upon various persons, some of whom 
had more than one gift, and that some Christians had no special endowment. 
We are not dealing with classes of officials, each with definite functions ; 
tnunus in the sense of donum has not yet passed into munus in the sense of 
ofiuium, and the process of transition has scarcely begun. In correcting the 
errors into which the Corinthians had fallen, the Apostle does not tell any 
officials to take action, but addresses the congregation as a whole. The 
inference is that there were no officials in the ecclesiastical sense, although, as 
in every society, there were leading men. See Ency. Bibl. I. 1038, III. 3108, 
IV. 4759 ; Hastings, DB. III. 377 ; Hort, Chr. Eccles. pp. 203 f. 

Novatian (De Trinitate xxix. ) paraphrases this passage thus; Hie est 
enim qui prophetas in ecclesia constituit, magistros erudit, linguas dirigit, 
vbtutes et sanitates facit, opera mirabilia gerit, discreliones spirituum por- 
rigit, gubernationes conlribuit, consilia suggerit, quaeque alia sunt charis- 
matum dona componit et di gerit ; et ideo ecclesiam domini undique et in 
omnibus per/ectam et consummatam facit ; where (as in ix. and xii. ) Novatian 
evidently uses sanitates in the sense of 'cures.' 

On our scanty knowledge of the organization of the Apostolic Churches 
see Gwatkin, Early Church History, i. pp. 64-72. 


If the theory is correct that the Christ party were docetists, who used 
the name of Christ in opposition, not merely to the names of Paul, Apollos, 
and Kephas, but also to the name of Jesus, then the cry ' Jesus be 
anathema' might express their contempt for ' knowing Christ after the flesh.' 
They would have nothing to do with any external or material reality, and 
in this spirit perhaps denied that there could be any resurrection of the 
body, either in the case of Christ or of any one else. See B. W. Bacon, 
Introd. to N. T. p. 92. There may have been docetists at Corinth, whethei 
they belonged to the Christ party or not. 



The thirteenth chapter stands to the whole discussion on 
Spiritual Gifts in a relation closely similar to that of the digression 
on self-limitation (ch. ix.) to the discussion of d8(i>\66vTa. Either 
chapter raises the whole subject of its main section to the level 
of a central principle. The principle is in each case the same 
in kind, namely, that of subordinating (the lower) self to the 
good of others ; but in this chapter the principle itself is raised 
to its highest power : from forbearance, or mere self-limitation, 
we ascend to love. 

The chapter, although a digression, is yet a step in the 
treatment of the subject of Spiritual Gifts (xii. i-xiv. 40), 
and forms in itself a complete and beautiful whole. After 
the promise that he will point out a still more surpassing 
way, there is, as it were, a moment of suspense ; and then jam 
ardet Paulus et fertur in amorem (Beng.). Stanley imagines 
"how the Apostle's amanuensis must have paused to look up in 
his master's face at the sudden change in the style of his dicta- 
tion, and seen his countenance lit up as it had been the face of 
an angel, as this vision of Divine perfection passed before him " 
(p. 238). Writer after writer has expatiated upon its literary and 
rhythmical beauty, which places it among the finest passages in 
the sacred, or, indeed, in any writings.* We may compare 
ch. xv., Rom. viii. 31-39, and — on a much lower plane — the 
torrent of invective in 2 Cor. xi. 19-29. This chapter is a 
divine irpotfrTjreia, which might have for its title that which dis- 
tinguishes Ps. xlv., — 'A Song of Love' or 'of Loves.' And it is 
noteworthy that these praises of Love come, not from the Apostle 
of Love, but from the Apostle of Faith. It is not a fact that 
the Apostles are one-sided and prejudiced, each seeing only the 
gift which he specially esteems. Just as it is St John who says, 
'This is the victory which overcometh the world, even our faith,' 
so it is St Paul who declares that greater than all gifts is Love. 

No distinction is drawn between love to God and love to 
man. Throughout the chapter it is the root-principle that is 
meant ; aya-rrrj in its most perfect and complete sense. But it 
is specially in reference to its manifestations to men that it is 
praised, and most of the features selected as characteristic of it 
are just those in which the Corinthians had proved defective. 

* "The greatest, strongest, deepest thing Paul ever wrote" (Harnack). 

" I never read I Cor. xiii. without thinking of the description of the 
virtues in the Nicomachean Ethics. St Paul's ethical teaching has quite an 
Hellenic ring. It is philosophical, as resting on a definite principle, viz. our 
new life in Christ ; and it is logical, as classifying virtues and duties according 
to some intelligible principle " (E. L. Hicks, Studio. Bibtica, iv. p. 9. 


And this deficiency is fatal. Christian Love is that something 
without which everything else is nothing, and which would be 
all-sufficient, even were it alone. It is not merely an attribute 
of God, it is His very nature, and no other moral term is thus 
used of Him (i John iv. 8, 16). See W. E. Chadwick, The 
Pastoral Teaching of St Paul, ch. vi. j Moffatt, Lit. of N.T., 

PP- 57,. 5 8 )- 

This hymn in praise of love is of importance with regard to 
the question of St Paul's personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. 
It is too often forgotten that Saul of Tarsus was a contemporary 
of our Lord, and the tendency of historical criticism at the 
present time is to place the date of Saul's conversion not very 
long after the Ascension. Furrer and Clemen would argue for 
this. Saul may not have been in Jerusalem at the time of the 
Crucifixion and Resurrection; but he would have abundant 
means of getting evidence at first hand about both, after the 
Appearance on the road to Damascus had made it imperative 
that he should do so ; and some have seen evidence of exact 
knowledge of the life and character of Jesus of Nazareth in this 
marvellous analysis of the nature and attributes of Love. We 
have only, it is said, to substitute Jesus for Love throughout the 
chapter, and St Paul's panegyric " becomes a simple and perfect 
description of the historic Jesus" {The Fifth Gospel, p. 153). 
Intellect was worshipped in Greece, and power in Rome ; but 
where did St Paul learn the surpassing beauty of love ? " It was 
the life of love which Jesus lived which made the psalm of love 
which Paul wrote possible " (ibid.). In this chapter, as in Rom. 
xii., " we note that very significant transference of the centre of 
gravity in morals from justice to the sphere of the affections." 
See Inge, in Cambridge Biblical Essays, p. 271. 

Most commentators and translators are agreed that here, as in the 
writings of St John, d7d7r7? should be rendered ' love ' rather than ' charity ' ; 
for the contrary view see Evans, p. 376. In the Vulgate, a,y6.iri) is usually 
translated caritas, but dilectio is fairly common, and to this variation the 
inconsistencies in the AV. are due. The RV. has abolished them, and the 
gain is great. ' Charity ' has become greatly narrowed in meaning, and 
now is understood as signifying either ' giving to the poor ' or ' toleration of 
differences of opinion.' In the former and commonest sense it makes v. 3 
self-contradictory, — almsgiving without 'charity.' SeeSandayandHeadlam, 
Romans, p. 374 ; Stanley, Corinthians, p. 240. 

The chapter falls into three clearly marked parts. (1) The 
Necessity of possessing Love, 1-3 ; (2) Its glorious Character- 
istics, 4-7; Its eternal Durability, 8-13. 

The one indispensable gift is Love. If one were to have 
all the special gifts in the highest perfection, wit J tout having 
Love, one would produce nothing, be nothing, and gain 


nothing. Love includes all the most beautiful features of 
moral character, and excludes all the offensive ones. More- 
over, it is far more durable than even the best of the special 
gifts. They are of use in this world only ; Love, with 
Faith and Hope, endures both in this world and in the next. 

1 1 may talk with the tongues of men, yea of angels ; yet, 
if I have no Love, so far from doing any good to a Christian 
assembly, I am become like the senseless din in heathen 
worships. 2 And I may have the gift of inspired preaching, and 
see my way through all the mysteries of the Kingdom of God 
and all the knowledge that man can attain ; and I may have all 
the fulness of faith, so as to move mountains ; yet, if I have no 
Love, so far from being a Christian of great account, I am 
nothing. 8 I may even dole out with my own hands everything 
that I possess, — may even, like the Three Children, surrender 
my body to the flames ; yet, if I have no Love, so far from 
becoming a saint or a hero, or from winning a rich recompense 
from Heaven, I am not one whit the better. Love is the one 
thing that counts. 
4 For Love is patient and kind ; Love knows no hatred or envy. 

It is never a braggart in mien, or swells with self-adulation ; 
6 It never offends good feeling, or insists on all it has claim to ; 

It never blazes with rage, and it stores up no resentment. 

6 It delights not over the wrong that men do, 
But responds with delight to true dealing. 

7 Unfailingly tolerant, unfailingly trustful, 
Unfailingly hopeful, unfailingly strong. 

8 The time will never come for Love to die. 
There will be a time when our prophesyings will be useless ; 
There will be a time when these Tongues will cease ; 
There will be a time when our knowledge will be useless. 

9 For our knowledge is but of fragments, 
And our prophesyings but of fragments. 

10 But when absolute completeness shall have come, 
Then that which is of fragments will have no use. 
The difference is far greater than that which distinguishes 
childhood from manhood ; and yet, even there, how marked the 


change ! u When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, to 
think as a child, to reason as a child. Since I am become a 
man, I have done away with childhood's ways. 12 In a similar 
way, what we now see are but reflexions from a mirror which 
clouds and confuses things, so that we can only guess at the 
realities ; but in the next world we shall have them face to face. 
The knowledge that I now have is only of fragments ; but then 
I shall know as completely as God from the first knew me. 

13 So then, Faith, Hope, and Love last on — just these three: 
but chiefest and best is Love. 

1-3. All four classes of gifts (xii. 28) are included here : the 
ecstatic in v. 1 ; the teaching (irpo^Tiia) and the wonder-working 
(ttlotis) gifts in v. 2 ; and the administrative in v. 3. The 
Apostle takes the lowest of these special gifts first, because the 
Corinthians specially needed to be set right about them, and 
also because the least valuable of the special gifts made the 
strongest contrast to the excellence of Love. Speaking with 
Tongues and having no Love was only too common at Corinth. 
There is a climax in the succession, yXwcraat, Trpo^rjTda, ttlotk, 
xf/wjxio-u) Kal irapaSoj. To mark this one may perhaps translate /ecu 
idv in v. 3 ' even if ; but in strict grammar Kal idv is throughout 
simply ' and if.' 

5 Eay Teas yXwo-o-ais . . . XaXu. A mere objective possibility 
connected with the future ; ' If I should speak with the tongues 
of men and of angels,' not ' Though I speak ' (AV.). The 
addition of #ccu twv dyyc'Xwv gives the supposition about rapturous 
utterances the widest possible sweep ; ' Supposing that I had all 
the powers of earthly and heavenly utterance.' The reference 
to the Tongues need not be questioned. For the combination, 
' angels and men,' comp. iv. 9. The language of angels was a 
subject which the Jews discussed, some Rabbis maintaining that 
it was Hebrew. Origen suggests that it is as superior to that of 
men as that of men is to the inarticulate cries of infants ; but 

^co/hs a.ydirq<;, yXwcraa kolv d.yytXu)V iv avdpioTTOLS kolu viroveaiv r), 
drpavwrds icmv (JTS. x. 37, p. 33), Ambrose (De off ministr. 
ii. 27), Si volumus commendare nos Deo, caritatem habeamus. See 
Chadwick, Pastoral Teaching, p. 245. With the supposition here 

vo €i fioL oe«a fj.ev yAwcrcrai oe/<a oe crro/xaT eiev, 
<p(i)V-i] 8' apprjKTOS, ^oAkcov 8e p.01 rjTop IveLr). 

Horn. 77. ii. 489. 

Non, mihi si linguae centum sint, oraque centum, 
Jferrea vox. Virg. Georg. ii. 44; Aen. vi. 625. 


Godet has useful warnings against the " religious sybaritism " 
which, especially during the excitement of religious " revivals," is 
apt to turn Christianity into sentiment and fine speaking. The 
gift of Tongues might lead to this. The Apostle sets an example 
of love and of humility in taking himself as the illustration of 
failure. He might have said, ' If you should speak,' or ' Although 
you speak.' But he remembers his own gift of Tongues (xiv. 18), 
and gives the warning to himself all through these three verses. 

6.ydiry]v 8e jxt] ?xw, yeyora k.t.X. ' And should not have love ' 
(viii. i), or, 'while I have not love,' on that assumption 'I am 
become (Gal. iv. 16) sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.' The 
XoXkos probably means something of the nature of a gong rather 
than a trumpet ; and dXaXa^oe imitates loud and prolonged noise, 
often of the shout of victory (Josh. vi. 20 ; 1 Sam. xvii. 52), but 
sometimes of grief (Jer. iv. 8 ; Mark v. 38). Cymbals are often 
mentioned in the O.T., but nowhere else in the N.T. ; and in 
St Paul's day they were much used in the worship of Dionysus, 
Cybele, and the Corybantes. Seeing that he insists so strongly 
on the unedifying character of the Tongues (xiv.), as being of no 
service to the congregation without a special interpreter, it is 
quite possible that he is here comparing unintelligible Tongues 
in Christian worship with the din of gongs and cymbals in pagan 
worship. Or he may be pointing out the worthlessness of 
extravagant manifestations of emotion, which proceed, not from 
the heart, but from hollowness. Cymbals were hollow, to 
increase the noise. Or he may be merely saying that Tongues 
without Christian love are as senseless as the unmusical and 
distracting noise of a soulless instrument. AojSgjvcuov xoAkciov is 
said to have been a proverbial expression for an empty talker ; 
and it was probably on account of his vainglorious loquacity that 
Apion the grammarian, against whom Josephus wrote, was called 
by Tiberius cytnbalum mundi: $opriK.6% ns /ecu lirayByyi tois 
■n-oAAois, as Chrysostom paraphrases here. 

On dydTTT) see above; Trench, Syn. § xii. ; Cremer, pp. 13 f. ; 
Suicer, i. pp. 18 f. ; Hastings, DB. iii. p. 156; Deissmann, Bible 
Studies, p. 199, Light, pp. 18, 70, and see 150, 399. 'H^iv is 
frequent in LXX, but is found nowhere else in N.T. 

2. Kay ?xw •n-po<(>T]T€iai' k.t.X. ' And if I should have the gift 
of prophesying (preaching with special inspiration), and should 
know all the mysteries (of God's counsels and will), and all 
possible knowledge about them (xii. 8), and if I should have all 
possible faith (xii. 9), so as to remove mountains, while I have 
no love, I am nothing ' — spiritually a cipher. Having said that 
the ecstatic gifts are worthless without love, he now says that the 
teaching gifts are equally worthless : and perhaps he is here 



indicating the three kinds of spiritual instructors (xii. 8, io, 28), 
for ret fivarrjpia Travra may refer to the ao<f>ia of the olttoo-toXoi, 
and iracrav Ti]v yviocriv to the yvw(ns of the 8i8dcn<a\oi. Comp. 
Rom. xi. 33, xv. 14. By 7rtcms is meant wonder-working faith, 
not saving faith ; ' enough to displace mountains ' : comp. to. op-q 
fxeracrrrjaecrdai. (Isa. liv. 10). It is possible that St Paul is 
alluding to our Lord's saying (Mark xi. 22 ; Matt. xvii. 20, xxi. 
21), although of course not to Gospels which were not yet 
written. But it is quite as probable that both He and the 
Apostle used a proverbial expression, moving mountains being a 
common metaphor for a great difficulty. See Abbott, The Son 
of Man, p. 387. In N.T. the verb is found only in Paul and 
Luke. Balaam and Samson were instances of persons who had 
supernatural gifts and yet were morally degraded. For the com- 
bination of faith and knowledge, comp. 2 Cor. viii. 7, and for the 
emphatic repetition of 7ras, 2 Cor. ix. 8. The abruptness of 
ovOiv d/xL, after the prolonged hypothesis of three clauses, is 

In w. 2 and 3 the MSS. differ considerably between k&v and koI idv 
and Kal &v. But it is proboble that k&v is right throughout, the evidence 
for it being stronger in v. 3 than in v. 2, but not decisive. For ixeditrrdvai 
(KBDEFG) the external evidence is stronger than for /xeduTrdveiv 
(A C K L, Orig. Chrys. ) ; but, on the other hand, the unusual /j.edicrrdi'eu' 
would be likely to be altered to the common form. And oiidiv (X A B C L) 
is to be preferred to ovbiv (D* F G K). 

3. We now pass on to the administrative gifts, dm-iA^^ets 
(xii. 28), ministering to the bodily needs of the brethren, and 
that in what seems to be a specially self-denying form. 

Kav <J/<o|j.iaoj irdrra to. {nt&pyovra fiou. ' And if I should give 
away in doles of food all my possessions.' There is no need to 
say anything about the recipients of the bounty, tous 7revr)Ta<; 
(Chrys.), pauperum (Vulg.), 'the poor' (AV., RV.) : it is the 
giver, not the recipients, that is in question. The verb implies 
personal distribution to many, and that the act is done once for 
all : he could not habitually give away all his goods. The ' all ' 
continues the emphatic repetition of ira.% : throughout he makes 
the supposition as strong as possible. We have i/'w/ai^o) in Rom. 
xii. 20 and in the LXX (Num. xi. 4, 18; Deut. viii. 3, 16 of the 
manna ; and often). In class. Grk. it is used of feeding 
children and young animals with if/wfxot, ' morsels ' (freq. in LXX) : 
{f/tD/xtov, ' sop,' John xiii. 26. Si distribuero in cibos pauperum 
(Vulg.), insumam in alimoniam (Calv.), insumam alendis egenis 

k&v irapa8w . . . ica KauGrjo-ojAcu. ' And (even) if I deliver up 
myself to be burned.' Literally, ' deliver up my body, so that I 
shall be burned.' In the N.T. Iva is often used where result is 


prominent and purpose in the background. It expresses a 
" purposive result," the subjective intention shading off into the 
objective effect; and hence the use of the future : ix. 18; Gal. 
ii. 4 ; John vii. 3, xvii. 2, etc. True love, as he proceeds to 
show, does not need the supreme crises which call for the 
sacrifice of all that one possesses or of one's life, — a sacrifice 
which might be made without true love : it manifests itself at all 
times and in all circumstances. Sacrifices made without love may 
profit other people, but they do not profit the man himself. 
Non charitas de martyrio, sed martyrium nascitur ex charitate 
(Primasius). St Paul is not thinking of burning as a punishment, 
which it was not, nor of the branding of slaves, but of the most 
painful death which any one can voluntarily suffer. It was from 
this text that Dr. Richard Smith, Regius Professor of Divinity, 
preached at Oxford before the burning of Ridley and Latimer, 
16th October 1555. Comp. Trape'oWav to. aw/xara clvtCjv ets irvp 
(Dan. iii. 28, Theod. 95), which may be in the Apostle's mind, and 
Trvpl to o-u>fj.a TrapaSoVi-es, of the Indians (Joseph. B.J. vn. viii. 7). 
In each of the three suppositions we have a different result : 
'I produce nothing of value' (v. 1); 'lam of no value' {v. 2); 
' I gain nothing of value ' (v. 3). The man who possessed all the 
gifts mentioned might be useful to the Church, but in character 
he would be worthless, if the one indispensable thing were 
lacking. The gifts are not valueless, but he is. 

It is by no means certain that Kavdrjcro/xat (D E F G L, Latt. Syrr. Arm. 
Aeth. Goth., Method. Bas. Tert.), to which KavOfowfiuu (C K, Chrys.) give 
additional support, is the right reading. The evidence for Kavxvvuw- 
(X AB 17, Aegyptt., Orig. Lat. MSS. known to Jer.) is very strong, and 
\VH. (App. p. 117) argue strongly in favour of it. Clement of Rome (Cor. 
Iv.) may be referring to the passage with this reading when he says, 
" Many gave themselves up (tavrobs iraptdwKav) to slavery, and receiving 
the price paid for themselves fed (tyuixiaav) others." If Kai'xijco^cu be 
adopted, it belongs to both clauses, not to the second only ; ' If I should 
dole away my goods in alms, and if I should give up my very body, all 
for the sake of glory, while I have no love, I am not a whit the better.' 

But, as in the case of fieOKTriveiv (v. 2), we must consider more than the 
external evidence. Which would the Apostle be more likely to write, and 
which would be more likely to be changed by a copyist ? ' Surrender my 
body,' without saying how or to whom, is an unlikely expression. In the 
two preceding verses nothing is said about the presence of an unworthy 
motive, but only the absence of the one indispensable motive. And the 
introduction of the unworthy motive spoils the all-important ' and have no 
love.' No need to say that, if the motive is self-glorification. If the 
thought of Dan. iii. might have led a copyist to change icavxvMV- - 1 into 
Kavdfjjivfiai, it might equally well have led the Apostle to write KavOrjaw/xai 
or Kavdrjaofiai : comp. Icrfievav duva/xiv irvpos (Heb. xi. 34). And if the 
original reading had been Kavx-qawfiai, would not Kavd-qaw^ai have been a 
more common reading than Kavd^aop-ai ? Cyprian twice quotes, st tradidero 
corpus meum ul ardeam, cdritatem aulem non kabeam ( Test. iii. 3 ; De 
cath. eccl. unit. 14), and the author of the tract on Re-baptism (13) has 


etsi corpus meum tradidero, ila ut exurar igni, dilectionem autem non 

The attractive suggestion of Stanley (p. 231) and nf Lightfoot 
Colossians, p. 156, ed. 1875 ; p. 394, ed. 1892) that St Paul is thinking of 
"the Indian's tomb," with its boastful inscription, which he may have seen 
at Athens, confirms the reading icavO. rather than Kav%., but it suits either. 
The tomb was still to be seen in Plutarch's time {Alexander 69), and the 
inscription ran thus ; " Zarmano-chegas, an Indian from Bargosa, according 
to the traditional customs of Indians, made himself immortal, and lies here " 
(iavrbv as kcitm). He had burnt himself alive on the funeral 
pyre. But it is more likely that St Paul would think of Jewish examples 
(1 Mace. ii. 59). 

\f/w/u.i^ui (K) for \j/ufil<ru) (X A B C D, etc.) is the correction of a copyist 
who did not see the significance of the aorist. 

With ovdiv (BCDFKL, not ovdev, N A) ufeXov/xai, comp. Matt. vi. 1 , 
vii. 22, 23, xvi. 26. 

4—7. The Apostle, having shown the moral worthlessness 
and unproductiveness of the man who has many supernatural 
gifts and performs seemingly heroic acts without love, now 
depicts in rapturous praise the character that consists of just this 
one indispensable virtue. Every one of the moral excellences 
which he enumerates tells, for they are no mere abstractions, but 
are based on experience, and are aimed at the special faults 
exhibited by the Corinthians. And just as he personifies Sin, 
Death, and the Law in Romans, so here he personifies Love. 
The rhythm becomes lyrical. 

We have fourteen descriptive statements in pairs. The 
fi r st pair of characteristics has both members positive. Four 
pairs of negative characteristics follow, the last member being 
stated both negatively and positively (v. 6); and then we have 
two more pairs of positive characteristics {v. 7). 

'H dydw-q /j.a.KpodvfAet, xPV< rT( '' €Tai -' 
'H dydirri ov i"77'W, ov Trfp-Trepeverai, 
oil (pvatovrai, ovk daxvt* ''* 1 , 
oi) irjTei rd eavrfjs, ov Trapo^vueraL, 
ov Xc/i'j'erai to kclkov, ov x a 'P f ' ^ 7r ' T V dSudy, 
avvxaipei 5t ttj d\r]0eia' 

trdvTa. ffr^yci, irdfTa wio~Tevei, 

icdvjo. €\wi£ei, trdvTa. inrop-ivet. 

4. fiaKpoOufiel. ' Is long-suffering, long-tempered,' longanimis 
(Erasm.) : it is slow to anger, slow to take offence or to inflict 
punishment.* While viro^ovrj (2 Cor. i. 6, vi. 4, xii. 12; Luke 
only in the Gospels, etc.) is endurance of suffering without 
giving way, fiaKpo8vfiLa (2 Cor. vi. 6; Rom. ii. 4, ix. 22, etc.; 
not in the Gospels) is patience of injuries without paying back. 

* Quod si te illud movet, quod solemus earn quam Graeci p.o.Kpodvfj.iai' 
vocant, longanimitatem interpretari, animadvertere licet a corpore ad animum 
multa verba transferri, sicut ab animo ad corpus (Aug. De quantitate anitnae 
xvii. 30). 


it is the opposite of o£u0v/aw, 'quick' or 'short temper': 
comp. Jas. i. 19, and the adaptation of these verses in Clem. 
Rom. Cor. 49. 

XPT](rrcu€Tai. 'Is kind in demeanour,' 'plays the gentle 
part.' While fiaxpoO. gives the passive side in reference to 
injuries received, xP r ) (TT - £' ves tne active side in reference 
to benefits bestowed. Nowhere else in the Bible is xpTio-Teu'eo-flai 
found, but xp^ctot^s and xPV™* are frequent in both the LXX 
and N.T. See Clem. Rom. Cor. 18. 

tj dyd-TTT] ou £t]\ch. 'H aydirrj is repeated at the beginning 
of the negative characteristics ; it is to be taken with oi £77X01, 
not with xPW T ™*Tai. ' Love knows neither jealousy nor envy.' 
The verb covers both vices, and perhaps others; 'boil (£ew) 
with hatred or jealousy' is apparently the original meaning 
(Acts vii. 9, xvii. 5; Jas. iv. 2). Contrast xii. 31, xiv. 1, 39; 
2 Cor. xi. 2. To covet good gifts is right, to envy gifted 
persons is wrong; for envy and jealousy lead to division and 
strife (iii. 1). 

ou irep-Trepeu'eTai. ' Does not play the braggart ' (irepir€po<i) ; 
late Greek, and not elsewhere in the Bible. Marcus Aurelius 
couples it with yAio-;(/>€?jecr#cu, /cai KoXaKeveiv, koll apecrK€vecr0ai 
(v. 5). Ostentation is the chief idea. Clem. Alex. (Paed. in. 
i p. 251) says; Hepirepua yap 6 KaAAa)7rio-/J.6s, TrepiTTorrp-os 
Kal dxpeioTijros %x wv €j u ^ a o~« / - Origen applies it especially to 
intellectual pride; Cicero (Epp. ad Attic. 1. xiv. 4) uses it of 
rhetorical display. Tert. (De Pat. 12) translates; non protervum 
sapit, which is not so very different from Chrys. (ad toe.) oi 
TrpoireTevcTCLi. Hesychius says that the Trip-repos is /xerd /JA.a/cetas 
eTratpo'/xcvos. Evidently the word had various shades of meaning : 
see Wetstein and Suicer. But the idea of ostentatious boasting 
leads easily to the next point. 

ou 4>uo-ioutcu. 'Does not puff itself out' (iv. 6, 18, 19, v. 2, 
viii. 1; Col. ii. 18; and not elsewhere in the N.T.). "He 
who subjects himself to his neighbour in love can never be 
humiliated" (Basil to Atarbius, Ep. 65). 

A third i) dydvr] between ov £rj\oi and 06 irepirep. (XACDEFGKL, 
Syrr. Goth.) is probably not genuine (om. B 17 and other cursives, Vu!g. 
Copt. Arm. Grk. and Lat. Fathers). 'H ay&irr) at the beginning of the 
positive and of the negative characteristics is in place ; a third is super- 
fluous. If it be inserted, it belongs, like the other two, to what follows. 
The punctuation, 7/ ay&irr) [xaKpodvfxd, x/>7j<rrei/eTai 7) dyair-q, 06 {"riXot 7) 
aydTrr), is clumsy. 

6. ouk dax'nfjioi'ei. Comp. vii. 36. In both places 'behave 
unmannerly,' rather than 'suffer shame' or 'seem vile' (Deut. 
xxv. 3), is the meaning. Love is tactful, and does nothing 
that would raise a blush : non agit indecenter (Calv.), indecort 


(Beza), rather than non est ambitiosa (Vulg.), fas tidiosa (Erasm.). 
The verb occurs in LXX, but nowhere else in N.T., excepting 
vi. 36. M. Aurelius (xi. 1) assigns properties to the rational 
soul (XoyLKj] ^xv) which remind us of those which the Apostle 
assigns to dyan-7;, e.g. to c^iAciv toi>? TrA^cuov, kol akrjOeia, kol 

tci iaoTTjs. 'Its own interests': x. 24, 33. This makes 
nobler sense than the reading to ^77 «nm}s (B, Clem-Alex.). 
That Love does not try to defraud would be bathos here. 
This statement perhaps looks back to the law-suits in ch. vi. 

ou irapoluVeTcu. Not merely ' does not fly into a rage,' but 
1 does not yield to provocation ' : it is not embittered by 
injuries, whether real or supposed. Elsewhere in N.T. only 
of St Paul's spirit being provoked at the numerous idois in 
Athens (Acts xvii. 16): in LXX frequent of great anger. The 
'contention' between Paul and Barnabas (Acts xv. 39) was a 
wapo$vafj.6<i : see Westcott on Heb. x. 24. 

ou Xoyi^cToi t6 kokok. When there is no question that it 
has received an injury, Love ' doth not register the evil ' ; 
it stores up no resentment, and bears no malice. Comp. tt)v 
kolkiolv tov ttXyjctlov fxr] Aoyi£eo-#e cv Tats KapSicus vp-wv (Zech 
viii. 17). For this sense of 'reckoning' see ,2 Cor. v. 19; 
Rom. iv. 8; cf. Philem. 18. Neither non cogitat malum (Vulg) 
nor non suspicatur malum (Grot.) does justice to either the 
verb or the article : to kclkov is ' the evil done to it.' 

6. ou x at P ei i™ aSiKta. ' Rejoiceth not over unrighteous 
ness,' the wrongdoing committed by others (Rom. i. 32). It 
cannot sympathize with what is evil. Chrys. misses the point 
in saying that Love does not rejoice over those who suffer 
wrong, tois<; Tracr^ouo-t. It is quite true that there is no 
Schadenfreude in Love, no gloating over the misfortunes of 
others ; but that is not the meaning here. Love cannot share 
the glee of the successful transgressor. 

eruvxaipei 8e ttj d\t]0eia. So far from feeling satisfaction 
at the misdeeds of others, Love 'rejoices with the Truth.' 
Here Truth is personified, and Love and Truth rejoice together : 
comp. 2 Cor. xiii. 8 ; Jas. iii. 14 ; 1 John v. 6. The truth of 
the Gospel is not meant, but Truth in its widest sense, as 
opposed to doWa (2 Thess. ii. 12 ; Rom. ii. 8), and therefore 
equivalent to Goodness. The change of preposition, from IttL 
to crw-, is ignored in the AV. Non gaudet super iniquitatem, 
congaudet autem veritati (Vulg.). Love sympathizes with all 
that is really good in others. 

The seven negatives would become monotonous if they 
were continued. By giving an affirmative antithesis to the 


last of them St Paul prepares the way for a return to positive 

7. -navra <rre'yei. The meaning of the verb is somewhat 
uncertain. It occurs only Ecclus. viii. 17 in LXX, of the fool 
who will not be able to conceal the matter, Xoyov o-rt^ai : and 
only here, ix. 12, and 1 Thess. iii. 1, 5 in N.T. ' Covereth,' 
and so 'excuseth' would make sense here, but not such good 
sense as the other meaning of the verb, ' is proof against,' and 
so 'forbeareth, endureth,' which seems to be the meaning in 
all four places in the N.T. The second meaning springs from 
the first. ' To cover ' is 'to protect,' and ' to protect 'is 'to 
keep off' rain, foes, troubles, etc., and therefore to be proof 
against them or endure them. See Lightfoot on 1 Thess. iii. 1, 
where the Vulg. has non sustinentes, v. 5, non sustinens, and in 
ix. 12, omnia sustinemus, while here it has omnia suffert. The 
root is connected with tegere, 'deck,' 'thatch.' 

irdrra mcrreuei. This does not mean, as Calvin points out, 
that a Christian is to allow himself to be fooled by every 
rogue, or to pretend that he believes that white is black. But 
in doubtful cases he will prefer being too generous in his 
conclusions to suspecting another unjustly. While he is patient 
with (crre'yci) fche mischief which his neighbour undoubtedly 
does, he credits him with good intentions, which he perhaps 
does not possess. 

This characteristic, with the next pair, forms a climax. 
When Love has no evidence, it believes the best. When 
the evidence is adverse, it hopes for the best. And when 
hopes are repeatedly disappointed, it still courageously waits. 
The four form a chiasmus, the second being related to the 
third as the first to the last. While ore'yei refers to present 
trials, virofievei covers the future also. It is that cheerful and 
loyal fortitude which, having done all without apparent success, 
still stands and endures, whether the ingratitude of friends or 
the persecution of foes. Throughout the Pauline Epistles it 
is assumed that the Christian is likely to be persecuted ; 1 Thess. 
i. 6, iii. 3, 7 ; 2 Thess. i. 4, 6; Rom. v. 3, viii. 35, xii. 12, etc. 

One result of all this is closely connected with the subject 
of the preceding and of the following chapter — the well-being 
of the Christian body, as a whole consisting of many unequally 
gifted members : praecipuus scopus est quam sit necessaria caritas 
ad conservandam ecclesiae unitatem (Calvin). 

8-13. Having shown the worthlessness of supernatural gifts, 
if love is absent, and the supreme excellence of a character 
in which love is dominant, St Paul now shows that love is 
superior to all the gifts, because they are for this world only, 


whereas love is for both time and eternity. "This is the 
crowning glory of love, that it is imperishable " (Stanley) ; it 
abides until and beyond the supreme crisis of the Last Day. 

8. C H dyainr] ouoe'iroTe iriirrei. In making this new point 
the nominative is again repeated, and with good effect. And 
the new point is reached without difficulty. From vn-o/xtvci to 
ov8. ■KiTTTf.i is an easy transition. That which withstands all 
assaults and is not crushed by either the shortcomings of 
comrades or the violence of opponents, will stand firm and 
unshaken. In the N.T., TrCirTt.iv is nearly always literal; but 
COmp. toS vofxov fiiav xepaiav Treauv (Luke xvi. 17). In class. 
Grk., ovScTroTe is stronger than ovTrore ; but in late Grk. strong 
forms lose their strength and become the common forms : 
ouSeVoTe occurs fifteen or sixteen times in the N.T., oi . . . 
ttotc only 2 Pet. i. 21; comp. Eph. v. 29; 1 Thess. ii. 5; 
2 Pet. i. 10. 

From the statement that ' Love never faileth ' but ' abideth ' 
after death, has been inferred the doctrine that the saints at 
rest pray for those on earth. Calvin vigorously attacks this 
inference, as if it were harmful to believe in such a result 
of love. The inference is, no doubt, somewhat remote from the 

The reading irlirrei (X* A B C* 17, 47, Nyss. Ambrst. Aug.) is to be 
preferred to £kttIttt€i (DEFGKLP, Vulg. , Tert. Cypr. ), which perhaps 
comes from Rom. ix. 6. Chrys. reads iKiriirTei, and explains that 
Christians must never hate their persecutors. They hate the evil deeds, 
which are the devil's work, but not the doers, for they are the work of 
God. But oidiirore iriirTeL means more than this, as what follows shows. 

cit€ Se Trpo<|>r|T€iai, KaTapY*]0iio-oi'Tcu. St Paul now takes up 
again the comparison between Love and the special gifts. 
Tested by the attribute of durability, Love exceeds all these 
XapLa-fxara. And here the AV. improves on the Greek. The 
varied rendering of KarapytiaOai, 'fail,' 'vanish away,' 'be done 
away,' is more pleasing than the repetition of the same word ; 
and the making the first Karapy. a verbal contradiction of 
ouSe7roT€ TTLiTTtL is effective. 

The repeated clre is depreciatory ; it suggests indifference 
as to the existence of gifts of which the use was at best 
temporary. ' But as to prophesyings, if there be any, they 
shall be done away.' Excepting Luke xiii. 7 and Heb. ii. 14, 
Karapyelv, 'to put out of action,' is wholly Pauline in the N.T. 
It is found in all four groups, but is specially common in t