1 Corinthians Chapter 4

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  1. Let any man consider us like this: as servants of the Anointed and stewards of God’s mysteries.
  2. Furthermore,[1]literally “in this case furthermore” it’s required that someone among the stewards be found faithful.
  3. But to me, it’s a most trivial thing that I’m examined by you, or by a human court.  But I don’t examine myself either,
  4. for I was – and am – aware of nothing against myself.  But I was not – and am not – justified by this, but the One who examines me is the Lord.
  5. So then, don’t judge anything before the proper time – until the Lord has come – who will also reveal the hidden things of darkness and will expose the plans[2]“plans”, The Greek word here could also be translated “motives”, “counsel”, “purposes”, etc. of their hearts.  And then appropriate praise will come to each from God.
  6. And brothers, I’ve applied these things to myself and Apollos because of you, so that in us you might learn not to go beyond what was – and is –written; so not even one of you will be puffed up, favoring one over another.
  7. For why are you distinguished?  And what do you have that you didn’t receive?  But if you received it, why do you boast like you didn’t receive it?
  8. Already you were – and are – being satisfied.[3]“were – and are – being satisfied” is one  word in Greek.  Here it’s a participle in the perfect tense, which is (sort of) a combination of our past and present tenses.  It literally means to eat enough food so that you are satisfied.  You were already rich.  You reigned without us, and I truly wish you did reign so we might reign with you.
  9. For my opinion is that God displayed us (the apostles) last as proof,[4]“displayed… …as proof” is one word in Greek.  It means to prove that something is what it appears to be, like men about to die,[5]“about to die” is one word in Greek, which could also be translated “condemned to death”. because we became a spectacle[6]“spectacle” The Greek word here is “θέατρον” (theatron), which both means “theater” and is the root of our English word “theater”.  It can also mean a “spectacle”, like one would see in a theater. to the world, both to angels and men.
  10. We’re foolish for the Anointed, but you’re prudent in the Anointed.  We’re weak, you’re strong.  You’re greatly honored, but we’re without honor.
  11. Up to this present hour, we both hunger and thirst, and are poorly clothed, and are beaten[7]“beaten” This Greek word specifically refers to being struck with a closed fist; i.e. “punched”, and wander without a home,
  12. and we exhaust ourselves working with our own hands. Being insulted, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;
  13. being slandered, we encourage.  Like the scum of the earth, we all became like dregs until now.
  14. I’m not shaming you by writing these things, but admonishing you as my beloved children.
  15. For since you have ten thousand[8]“Ten thousand” this Greek word was also to indicate “countless” so that would also be an accurate translation here. tutors[9]“tutors” is one word in Greek.  It refers to a legally appointed instructor who had charge over a boy, and especially his moral development.  It was usually a slave, and typically the boy couldn’t even leave the house without this tutor’s permission. in the Anointed but not many fathers, I indeed fathered you in Jesus the Anointed through the Gospel.
  16. Therefore I urge you: become imitators of me,
  17. Because of this, I sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Jesus the Anointed, just like I teach everywhere, in every church.
  18. But some of you are puffed up like I’m not coming to you.
  19. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord wills.  And I will know; not the words of the men who were – and are – puffed up, but the power.
  20. For the kingdom of God isn’t in word, but in power.
  21. What do you wish?  That I come to you with a rod?  Or in love[10]The Greek word here is “ἀγάπη” (agape), typically translated “love”. However, unlike our English word “love” – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agape centers on preference.  In the verb form, it literally means “to prefer” or “show preference for”.  In the New Testament, that usually means “moral preference”, or “actively preferring what God prefers” in what we do, not just in what we feel.    It’s the “love” based on will, choice, decision, and action; not feelings. and a spirit of gentle strength?[11]“gentle strength” is one word in Greek.  It comes from the root “pra-” which is typically translated “meek”.  It more accurately refers to power that’s exercised gently, without harshness.  Our English word “meek” lacks the Greeks word’s blend of gentleness, reserve, and strength.

 

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