(Tap footnote to read it. Old Testament quotations are underlined. "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love". However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior. It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".) Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé". Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing. It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )
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1 Corinthians Chapter 1
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Greeting From Paul and Sosthenes
- Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus the Anointed through God’s will, and Sosthenes our brother,
- to the church of God living in Corinth, (who have been made holy in Jesus the Anointed) called to be holy with all the men who call on the name of the Anointed Lord Jesus in every place, both theirs and ours;
- grace1“grace” The Greek word here is “χάρις” (charis), most often translated “grace” or “gift”. It was a technical term in the 1st century, referring to the Patronage system in place. The Patron (from “pater” = “father”) would give gifts or do favors (both called a charis) for someone. A charis was always given/done freely to anyone who would be grateful for it, and this person then became a “client” of the patron. The clients were expected to reciprocate by telling everyone what the patron had done, and offering their services to the patron whenever the patron needed them. This reciprocal act was also called “charis”, and the ones who reciprocated were “being faithful”. Both were done out of gratitude, not legal obligation. A client who wasn’t faithful and grateful probably wouldn’t receive any more charis from his patron, or any other patrons. The patron was responsible for taking care of all his clients, and making sure their needs were met. Christian Grace and Faith is well picture by this system. The Heavenly Patron (God the Father) freely gave a gift (Jesus’ blood), and the clients who accept it (Christians) are expected to “be faithful” out of gratitude. and peace to you from God our Father and the Anointed Lord Jesus.
- I thank My God always concerning you, for God’s grace which was given to you in Jesus the Anointed,
- because in everything you’ve been made rich in Him; in every word and all knowledge,
- even as the testimony of the Anointed was secured in you,
- so you won’t lack – not even in one gift2or “grace”, see note on verse 3. – as you’re eagerly awaiting the unveiling of our Anointed Lord Jesus,
- who will also secure you until the end; blameless in the day of our Anointed Lord Jesus.
- God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus the Anointed, our Lord.
Call for Unity
- But brothers, I urge you because of the name of our Anointed Lord Jesus that you all speak the same things, and that there wouldn’t be divisions among you, and that you might be joining together3“joining together” is a single difficult-to-translate word in Greek. It properly means to “fully adjust” so the object is prepared and in a proper working order. Thus, it can also have the sense of repairing/mending something which was already prepared so it’s prepared again, or joining two things together a first time so they function properly. Further, the passive and middle voice of this verb share the same ending. Therefore, Paul could be saying they should “join themselves together” (middle voice) or “be joined together” (passive voice). Either or both could’ve been intended. in the same mind and in the same judgement.
- For about you my brothers, it was revealed to me by Chloe’s men that there are quarrels among you.
- Now, I mean this: each of you says: “I’m following Paul.” or “I’m following Apollos.” or “I’m following Cephas.”4“Cephas” is Aramaic for “a rock”, and is another name for the disciple/apostle Peter. or “I’m following the Anointed.”
- Has the Anointed been divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he?” Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
- I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
- so someone can’t say that you were baptized in my name.
- Now, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. But about the rest, I don’t *remember if I baptized any other.
- For the Anointed didn’t send me to baptize, but to proclaim the Gospel. And not in wise speech, so the cross of the Anointed won’t be emptied of its power and value.5“emptied of its power and value” is one word in Greek. It’s in the passive form here, which means to be emptied out, which can carry the connotation of losing power, losing value, or both. I.e. it becomes powerless and/or valueless.
Wisdom of God and Foolishness of Man
- For the preaching of the cross is indeed foolishness to the men who perish; but it’s the power of God to us, the men who are saved.
- For it is *written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will nullify the intelligence of the intelligent.”6Quotation/allusion to Isaiah 29:14
- Where is the wise man? Where is the Scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Didn’t God surely prove the wisdom of the world foolish?7“prove… …foolish” is one word in Greek. It can also mean to make something foolish; either or both senses might’ve been intended.
- For since in God’s wisdom, the world didn’t know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save the men who believe through the foolishness of the gospel’s proclamation.
- And since Jews ask for miraculous signs and the Greeks seek wisdom,
- we preach the Anointed who has been crucified, (which indeed is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles)
- but to the called – both Jews and Greeks – God’s Anointed is the power and wisdom of God.
- For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
- For look at your calling brothers; that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many are powerful, and not many are of noble birth.
- But God chose the world’s foolish so He might shame the wise. And God chose the world’s weak so He might shame the strong.
- And God chose the world’s low-born; and the things which are *despised; and the things which are not, so He might abolish the things which are,
- so that no flesh might boast before God.
- But because of Him, you are in Jesus the Anointed, who became wisdom to us from God, and also righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,
- so that just as it is *written; “The man who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.“8Quotation/allusion to Jeremiah 9:23-24
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1 Corinthians Chapter 2
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God’s Wisdom (Continued)
- And when I came to you brothers, I didn’t come with excellent speech or wisdom; I was proclaiming the testimony of God to you.
- For I had decided not to know anything among you except Jesus the Anointed, and that He has been crucified.
- And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
- And my words and my preaching weren’t in persuasive words of wisdom; but in a demonstration1“demonstration” the Greek word here means to demonstrate something as proof of something else. of the Spirit and power,
- so your faith wouldn’t be in man’s wisdom, but in God’s power.
- Now, we do speak wisdom among the mature; but not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, the men who come to nothing.2“come to nothing” The Greek word here refers to rendering something completely inactive or inert, so it’s without force, ability or power; to do away with something completely.
- But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery which has been hidden; which God predestined before the ages for our glory,
- which none of the rulers of this age has understand. For if they understood it, they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory.
- But just as it is *written; “which the eye hasn’t seen, and ear hasn’t heard, and it hasn’t entered3literally “sprung up” or “arisen” into the heart of man how much God prepared for the men who ^love Him.”
- For God revealed it to us through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything; even the depths of God.
- For who among men *knows the depths of the man, except the man’s spirit within him? And likewise, no man *knows the depths of God, except the Spirit of God.
- But we haven’t received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so we might have known the things which were graced to us by God.
- Things of which we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but taught by the Spirit interpreting4“interpreting” This Greek word has the root meaning of “judging together”, with the idea of putting two things together and comparing them, which leads to a proper understanding of what’s being compared. Thus it can be translated as combine, compare, or interpret depending on the context. spiritual things with spiritual wisdom.
- But the natural man doesn’t welcome the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him and he isn’t able to understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
- But the spiritual man, he discerns everything but is discerned by no one.
- For who understands the Lord’s mind? Who will instruct Him?5Quotation/allusion to Isaiah 40:13 But we have the mind of the Anointed.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 3
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Spirit and Flesh
- And brothers, I couldn’t talk to you as spiritual men, but as men of flesh; like infants in the Anointed.
- I gave you milk to drink not solid food, for you couldn’t receive it yet. But you still can’t even now,
- for you’re still of the flesh. For where jealousy and quarrels are among you, aren’t you of the flesh? And don’t you walk according to man?
- For when someone says, “I’m of Paul.” but another says, “I’m of Apollos.” aren’t you in the flesh?
- Therefore, who is Apollos? And who is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, and each one just as the Lord gave.
- I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
- So neither the man who plants nor the man who waters is anyone, but only the One who causes the growth: God.
- Now, the man who plants and the man who waters are one, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
- For we are fellow workers of God – of God’s field – and you are God’s building.
Christ is the Foundation, and Testing by Fire
- According to the grace of God which was given to me, I laid the foundation like a wise master craftsman, but another builds on it. And each man must carefully examine how he builds on it.
- For no one can lay another foundation besides the one already laid, which is Jesus the Anointed.
- Now if anyone builds gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw on the foundation, then
- the work of each will become obvious. For the day will make it clear because it’s revealed in fire, and the fire itself will test what sort of work each is.
- If anyone’s work which he built remains, he will receive his wages.1wages is literal. It’s traditionally translated “reward” here (which isn’t wrong) but is less literal.
- If anyone’s work burns up, he will suffer loss. However he will be saved, but like as through a fire.
- Don’t you *know that you are God’s temple, and the Spirit of God dwells in you?
- If someone ruinously corrupts2“ruinously corrupts” is one word in Greek, typically translated “destroy” here. It literally means to corrupt, rot, or spoil something so that it wastes away to ruin. It’s typically associated with moral corruption/decay leading to ruin. the temple of God, God will ruinously corrupt him; for God’s temple is holy, whoever you are.
- Let no one utterly deceive himself: if someone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become foolish so he might become wise.
- For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, for it is *written; “He’s the One who traps the wise in their craftiness.”3quotation/allusion to Job 5:13
- And again, “the Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are futile.“4quotation/allusion to Psalm 94:11
- So then, let no one boast in men, for all things are yours.
- Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas,5“Cephas” is Aramaic for “a rock”, and is another name for the disciple/apostle Peter. or the world, or life, or death, or what’s *present, or what will be; all are yours.
- But you belong to the Anointed, and the Anointed belongs to God.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 4
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Judging and being judged
- Let any man consider us like this: as servants of the Anointed and stewards of God’s mysteries.
- Furthermore, in this case it’s required that someone among the stewards be found faithful.
- 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,
- for I have been aware of nothing against myself, but I haven’t been made righteous by this, yet the One who examines me is the Lord.
- 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 plans1“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.
Don’t go beyond what’s written
- 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 is *written; so not even one of you will be puffed up, favoring one over another.
- 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?
- You already have been satisfied. You were already rich. You reigned without us, and I wish you really did reign so we might reign with you.
- For I think that God displayed us (the apostles) last as proof,2“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,3“about to die” is one word in Greek, which could also be translated “condemned to death”. because we became a spectacle4“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, to both angels and men.
- 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.
- Up to this present hour, we both hunger and thirst, and are poorly clothed, and are beaten5“beaten” This Greek word specifically refers to being struck with a closed fist; i.e. “punched”, and wander without a home,
- and we exhaust ourselves working with our own hands. Being insulted, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;
- being slandered, we encourage. Like the scum of the earth, we all became like dregs until now.
- I’m not shaming you by writing these things, but admonishing you as my beloved children.
- For since you have ten thousand6“ten thousand” this Greek word was also to indicate “countless” so that would also be an accurate translation here. tutors7“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.
- Therefore I urge you: become imitators of me.
- 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.
- But some of you are puffed up like I’m not coming to you.
- But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord wills. And I will know; not the words of the men who have been puffed up, but the power.
- For the kingdom of God isn’t in word, but in power.
- What do you wish? That I come to you with a rod? Or in ^love and a spirit of gentle strength?8“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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1 Corinthians Chapter 5
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- Fornication is actually reported among you. And fornication of such a kind, it’s not even done among the pagans, as someone has the wife of his father.
- And you are *puffed up. And more, you weren’t grieved at all, so that the man who did this deed might be removed from your midst.
- For indeed I’m absent in body, but present in spirit. And like I’m present, I have already judged the man who committed this deed.
- When you (and I in spirit) are assembled with the power of our Lord Jesus, then in the name of our Lord Jesus1There are four ways to assemble the three significant parts of this verse with the infinitive verb “to deliver” in the beginning of the next verse. The principle parts are: the phrase “in the name” (of our Lord Jesus), the participle “being assembled”, the phrase “with the power” (of our Lord Jesus). In a shortened form, here are the ways to look at it: (1) “Assembled in the name… with the power of Jesus deliver…” (2) “Assembled in the name and with the power… deliver…” (3) “Assembled… in the name and with the power deliver…” (4) “Assembled with the power… in the name of Jesus deliver…” Versions #2 and #3 seem out of place because they repeat the authority/power twice in the same clause. While #1 has no obvious issues, the phrase “in the name” is more commonly used of pronouncements in the New Testament, (as in 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Acts 3:6; Acts 16:18). Therefore (#4) was chosen.
- you are to deliver such a man to Satan for the ruin of the flesh, so that his spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord.
- Your boast isn’t good. Don’t you *know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?
- Purge the old leaven so you might be a new lump of dough, just as you are unleavened. For also our Passover Lamb was sacrificed – the Anointed –
- so we might observe the feast;2During the Feast of Unleavened Bread (The Passover), the Jews were required by the Mosaic Law to remove all the leaven/yeast from their houses, and to abstain from eating leaven. (Exodus 12:15-20) Those who ate leaven during this period were “cut off” from the people. In the law, there was a symbolic connection between leaven and sin, which Jesus also alluded to. (Matthew 16:6-12). Thus, being “unleavened” can symbolize righteousness or being without the stain of sin. not in old leaven, nor in leaven of malice and wickedness, but in unleavened purity and truth.
Don’t socialize with “Christian” fornicators
- I wrote in my letter that you aren’t to socialize with fornicators,
- not at all meaning the fornicators of this world – or the covetous, and robbers, or idolaters – since then you’d need to leave the world.
- But now, I wrote telling you not to socialize with anyone calling himself a brother if he’s a fornicator, or a coveter, or idolater, or slanderer, or drunkard, or robber. Don’t even eat with such a man.
- For why is it my place to judge the men outside the church? Don’t you judge the men inside the church?
- However, God judges the men outside. Remove the wicked man from among you.3quotation/allusion to several verses in Deuteronomy, namely: 13:5, 17:7, 21:21, 22:21
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1 Corinthians Chapter 6
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Lawsuits Among Believers
- Does any of you – when he has a case against another brother – dare to bring it to court before the unjust and not before the saints?
- Or don’t you *know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy of the smallest court cases?
- Don’t you *know that we will judge angels? How much more the ordinary things of life?
- So if you indeed have judgement in the ordinary things of life, why appoint the men who aren’t *esteemed in the church to judge?
- I say this to your shame. So isn’t there a wise man among you who’s able to judge between his brothers?
- But instead, brother goes to court against brother, and this before unbelievers!
- Therefore, it’s actually already a loss for you that you have lawsuits among one another. Why not suffer wrong instead? Why not be defrauded instead?
- But you do wrong and defraud… and do these things to brothers!
Fornication And The Body
- Or don’t you *know that the unrighteous won’t inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be misled; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor men who have sex with other men’s wives,1“men who have sex with other men’s wives” is one word in Greek, usually translated “adulterers” in this verse. However, the Greek (and Hebrew) words specifically mean a man (married or unmarried) having sex with another man’s wife. Whereas the English word “adultery” means either spouse engaging in sex with someone else. The Hebrews divided sexual sins into two classes based on the marital status of the woman. A man having sex with another man’s wife (or betrothed) was adultery. A man having sex with an unmarried woman was fornication. Both are serious sins, but they are differentiated by the Greek and Hebrew words. nor effeminate men,2“effeminate men” This Greek word usually has the meaning of “soft”, but when used in a negative sense it can refer to “perversely effeminate” men. This has three possible connotations, all of which Paul likely intended. (1) Men who intentionally behaved like women, i.e. dressing in female clothing and behaving in an effeminate manner. (2) This could be an allusion to early transgenderism. We have Sumerian and Akkadian texts from ~2500 BC which document transgender or transvestite priests. There are other accounts of transgenderism scattered throughout ancient history as well. (3) It could refer to a (typically pubescent) boy who was the sexual companion – voluntary or not – of an adult man (pederasty). In this sense, the boy is “perversely effeminate” because he is serving the function of a woman during sex (being penetrated; see Romans 1:26-27 and footnotes.). This last meaning is unlikely though, especially given the next item on this list. nor men who sleep with other men,3“men who sleep with other men” is one word in Greek. It literally means “a man in bed with another man“, but is more properly “a man engaging in sexual activity with another man“. Male homosexuality is also mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:10 (using the same word in a similar list), in Romans 1:27 by description, and in Leviticus 18:22, and Leviticus 20:13.
- nor thieves, nor coveters, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor robbers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
- And some of you were these things; but you washed yourselves;4“you washed yourselves” is one word in the Greek middle voice, however virtually all modern translations change it to the passive voice (you were washed) with no justification. English doesn’t have the middle voice, but it’s similar to our active voice except the agent is more involved with the result. For example: “I sacrificed a cow” is in the active voice. “I sacrificed a cow for my benefit” or “…for myself” is the middle voice. Given that the verb here for “wash” includes the connotation of water, it could refer to baptism. Or it could refer to being washed in the “water of life” at the point of salvation. Or, more likely that the believers in question have “washed themselves” of the sins mentioned in the previous two verses. but you were made holy; but you were declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, and by the Spirit of our God.
- All things are lawful for me, but all things aren’t profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I won’t be mastered by anything.
- The stomach is for foods, and foods for the stomach; but God will nullify5“nullify” the Greek word here means to make something completely idle and/or to no effect, which can have a peripheral meaning of abolishing something (by making it of no effect). both of them.6literally “both this and these”, referring to the stomach and foods respectively. And the body isn’t for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body.
- And God both raised the Lord and will fully raise us through His power.
- Don’t you *know that your bodies are parts of the Anointed? Having taken the parts of the Anointed, should I make them parts of a prostitute? May it never happen!
- Or don’t you *know that the man who joins to a prostitute is one body with her? For it says: the two will be in one flesh.7Quotation allusion to Genesis 2:24.
- But the man who joins to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
- Flee fornication. Every sin that a man commits is outside the body. But the man who fornicates sins against his own body.
- Or don’t you *know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, who you have from God? And you aren’t your own,
- for you were bought with a price. So then, glorify God in your body [and in your spirit, which are both God’s]
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1 Corinthians Chapter 7
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Marriage and Sex
- Now, about what you wrote. It’s good for a man not to touch1“touch” this Greek word has the basic meaning of “touch” It’s most often used to indicate a simple touch, like Jesus “touching” various sick people to heal them. However, it can vary considerably in nuance depending on the context. At the other end of the spectrum, it can mean to “touch sexually”, which is interesting considering the same word can also be used of kindling a fire. It can also mean to “fasten or adhere to” perhaps in an affectionate sense, like how we would use the words “snuggle” or cuddle”. It can also mean to feel around with the fingers; i.e. to “grope”. a woman.
- But because of temptation to fornication, let each man have the wife to himself,2“wife to himself” is literal, though most translations render it “his own wife” making it more similar to Paul’s statement in the second half of the verse regarding wives (see following footnote). However, the two clauses are different. The Greek word translated “himself” here is “ἑαυτοῦ” (heautou). In this verse, it’s a 3rd person singular masculine reflexive pronoun, of which English has exactly one: “himself”. For some reason, Paul made a distinction between how husbands “have” their wives vs. how wives “have” their husbands. This difference has been accurately translated here, but we won’t speculate on why Paul made the two clauses different. and let each wife have her husband.3literally “her own husband”, but not in the sense of ownership, like the wife “owns” the husband. Rather, it’s an emphatic way to refer to the wife’s ‘own’ husband, as opposed to a man who isn’t her husband. The Greek word is “ἴδιος” (idios), and it’s often used of ownership in a non-exclusive sense. Example: “his own city” in Matthew 9:1, “his own country” in John 4:44, “his own language” in Acts 2:6, and “on their own” in Matthew 17:1, plus many similar passages. It refers to something that ‘belongs’ to someone, but usually not exclusively to that person. As an example, this same Greek word is used twice in verse 4, and translated “own” both times.
- Let the husband give what is owed4“give what is owed” is literal, and the two Greek words used here implies the payment (or repayment) of a debt, or – more likely – the fulfillment of an obligation which they are required to fulfill. to the wife, and likewise also the wife to the husband.
- The wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise also, the husband doesn’t have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
- Don’t defraud5“defraud” is literal. The Greek word literally means to take away or deprive someone of something that is rightfully theirs. each other, except by agreement for a suitable time, that you might devote yourselves to prayer; and then be together again so Satan won’t tempt you through your lack of self-control.
- But I say this as a concession not as a command.
- Now, I wish all men were like myself, but each has his own gift from God. Indeed, one man has this gift, but another man that.
- But I tell the unmarried and the widows that it’s good if they remain single like I am.
- But if they can’t exercise self-control, let them marry; for it’s better to marry than to burn.
- And to the men who are *married,6“the men who are *married” is an definite article + participle phrase in Greek. Nearly all translations change the gender of this (masculine) definite article + participle phrase at the beginning of the verse (changing it from “the men who are married” into the genderless “the married”). I command (not I, but the Lord) that a wife isn’t to be separated7“to be separated” is literal, as the Greek verb is a passive infinitive. Nearly all translations change this verb to an active verb, often with the imperative sense (“must not separate from”), making the wife the active agent of the verb. In this word specifically, it can have reflexive force (“to separates herself” in some cases. from her husband.
- But if she was indeed separated, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to the husband. Also, a husband isn’t to divorce his wife.
- And to the rest, I say (I, not the Lord) if any brother has an unbelieving wife and she happily agrees8“happily agrees” is one word in Greek, with that exact meaning. It could also be translated “happily consents” or “happily approves”. It’s only used 6 times; once here, once in the following verse, plus in Luke 11:48, Acts 8:1, Acts 20:22, and Romans 1:32. The latter three of which clearly mean enthusiastic approval of something, and Luke 11:48 clearly leans that way also. to live with him, let him not divorce her.
- And if any wife has an unbelieving husband and he happily agrees9“happily agrees” is one word in Greek, with that exact meaning. It could also be translated “happily consents” or “happily approves”. It’s only used 6 times; once here, once in the previous verse, plus in Luke 11:48, Acts 8:1, Acts 20:22, and Romans 1:32. The latter three of which clearly mean enthusiastic approval of something, and Luke 11:48 clearly leans that way also. to live with her, let her not divorce the husband.
- For the unbelieving husband has been made holy by the wife, and the unbelieving wife has been made holy by the husband. For otherwise your children are unclean; but now they’re holy.
- But if the unbeliever separates himself,10“separates himself” is literally “is separated”. However, this Greek word can have reflexive force (himself/herself/itself) even in the passive voice. let him be separated. The brother or sister isn’t *under bondage in such cases. But God has called you to peace.
- For wife, how do you *know if you will save the husband? Or husband, how do you *know if you will save the wife?
Walk in Your Calling
- Only as the Lord assigned to each; only as God has called each; so he must walk. And I give instruction like this in all the churches.
- Was someone called who has been circumcised? He shouldn’t become uncircumcised.11“become uncircumcised” is one word in Greek, with a literal meaning of “to draw out/over”. Some Jews would use implements to stretch the foreskin so it would again cover the glans, thus simulating what an uncircumcised male would look like. This was done for multiple reasons, but one was to participate in the Olympic Games (in which competitors were traditionally nude). Has someone been called while uncircumcised? He shouldn’t be circumcised.
- Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing; but observing God’s commandments is what matters.
- Let each man remain in the calling in which he was called.
- Were you called as a slave? Don’t let it concern you. But also, if you’re able to become free, it’s better to make use of the opportunity.
- For the slave who was called in the Lord is a freedman12“freedman” the Greek word here refers to a slave who has been freed, not a person born into freedom. of the Lord. Likewise, the free man who was called is a slave of the Anointed.
- You were bought with a price; don’t become slaves of men.
- Brothers, in whatever state each was called, let him remain in that state with God.
To marry or not marry
- Now concerning the virgins, I don’t have a commandment from the Lord. However, I give counsel as one who has received mercy from the Lord to be trustworthy.
- Therefore, I think this is good – because of the present distress – that it’s good for a man to be just as he is.
- Have you been bound to a wife? Don’t seek release. Have you been released from a wife? Don’t seek a wife.
- But also, you haven’t sinned if you marry. And if the virgin marries, she hasn’t sinned. However, such will have trouble in the flesh, and I want to spare you.
- Now, I declare this brothers: the opportune moment has been shortened so that from now on, even the men who have wives might be like they don’t have a wife,
- and the men who are weep like they aren’t weeping, and the men who rejoice like they aren’t rejoicing, and the men who buy like they aren’t taking possession,
- and the men who use this world like they aren’t using it; for the form of this world is passing away.
- Now, I wish you to be free from care. The unmarried man cares for the things of the Lord, and how he might please the Lord.
- But the man who married cares for the things of the world, how he might please the wife,
- and he *divides himself.13Or “he is *divided”. The passive and middle endings for this word are identical, so either could be intended. And the unmarried woman and the virgin cares for the things of the Lord; that she might be holy in both body and spirit. But the woman who married cares for the things of the world, how she might please her husband.
- Now, I say this for your own benefit, not so I might throw a restraint14“restraint” the Greek word here refers to a rope with a slipknot – like a cowboy’s lasso – used to catch animals, and restrain them from escaping after they are caught. on you, but toward the honorable and devoted service to the Lord without distraction.
- Now, if someone thinks he acts unjustly over his virgin daughter15“daughter” was added for clarity, as the Greek word for “virgin” here is feminine. Some translations alter verses 36-38 so they refer to a fiancée and his betrothed. Most translations which mistranslate these verses will mistranslate “virgin” as “betrothed”, completely leave out the clause “if she is past the bloom of youth”, and add the word “passion” somewhere to make this interpretation fit. Further, in verse 38 they will usually mistranslate the Greek verb which means “to give in marriage” (and more specifically to betroth a daughter to a husband) as “marry” or something similar. – if she is past the bloom of youth16“past the bloom of youth” is one word in Greek. There are two views as to its meaning. (1) “The bloom of youth” refers to menstruation and “past” this bloom means the girl has not only begun to menstruate, but also has been menstruating long enough to be regular. Historically, this would’ve happened at 15-16 years old, though women did marry younger. (2) “Past the bloom of youth” refers to a woman who is past her prime and thus past the ideal age to be married; i.e. an “old maid”. Some ancient sources fixed this at 20 years old. and thus ought17“ought” is the weakest possible way to translate the Greek word used here. It more literally means “is morally or legally obligated” The word was originally a financial term that literally meant to owe or be indebted to. (It’s used of debts in Matthew 18:28, 30, and 34.) In New Testament times, it referred to anything which someone was legally or morally obligated to do, which included obligations to the gods. to be married – let him do as he wishes; he doesn’t sin, let her18literally “let them marry” as the verb here is plural, referring either to multiple daughters, or more likely the daughters in general of the men Paul was addressing. Since English doesn’t have a plural feminine pronoun (they/them in a feminine form) it was changed to “she” to prevent anyone thinking that Paul was condoning a father marrying his daughter, which is incest and thoroughly condemned elsewhere in the Bible. marry.
- But a man who has stood firm in his heart (not having a need, but having authority over his own will) and has judged in his own heart to keep the virgin with himself, he will do well.
- And so, the man who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage19“gives… …daughter in marriage” is one word in Greek, with that exact meaning. It properly refers to a father betrothing his daughter to a husband. (In betrothal, the groom-to-be pays a bride price to literally buy a man’s daughter to be his wife; see Exodus 22:16-17, and the footnote on 1 Thessalonians 4:4.) Many translations translate this word as “marry” in this verse as if the man were marrying the girl himself (see the first footnote on verse 36), but this Greek word never means that. It only ever means a father betrothing his daughter to a husband, and never means a man marrying a woman himself. does well, and the man who doesn’t give her in marriage will do better.
- A wife has been bound for as long as her husband lives. But if her husband dies, she’s free to be married to who she wishes, but only in the Lord.
- But in my opinion, she’s more blessed if she remains the way she is; and I think I also have God’s Spirit.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 8
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Things Sacrificed to Idols
- Now, about things sacrificed to idols. We *know that we all have knowledge; knowledge puffs up, but ^love builds up.
- If anyone thinks to have known anything, he doesn’t yet know as he needs to know.
- But if anyone ^loves God, he is *known by Him.
- Therefore, about food sacrificed to idols; we have known that an idol in the world is nothing, and that there’s no God except One.
- For indeed, even if some are being called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),
- But to us, there’s one God – the Father – from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord – Jesus the Anointed – through1or “because of”, as the Greek word can – and does – mean either depending on the context. It also quite possible Paul left it slightly ambiguous, and intended both meanings. whom all things exist, and we exist through2or “because of”; see previous note. Him.
- But this knowledge isn’t in everyone. And until now, some are accustomed to eating food sacrificed to an idol as if the idol is real; and their conscience – being weak – is defiled.3“is defiled” could also be translated “they defile themselves” as the endings for the passive voice and middle voice are the exact same for this Greek word. The idea is these Christians with a weak conscience believes the food is consecrated to the idol, and thus eating food consecrated to another god would displease the True God. While Paul says since the other “god” don’t even exist, the food can’t be consecrated to a god who doesn’t exist.
- But food won’t bring us closer to God; we neither fall short if we don’t eat, nor excel if we do eat.
- But beware, lest your liberty in this somehow becomes a stumbling block to the weak.
- For if someone sees you (the man who has knowledge) reclining at the table in an idol’s temple, with his conscience being weak, won’t he be encouraged to eat the things sacrificed to idols?
- For then the man who’s weak is ruined by your knowledge; the brother for whom the Anointed died.
- And thus, in sinning against the brothers and wounding their weak conscience, you sin against the Anointed.
- Therefore, if food ensnares my brother, I definitely won’t eat meat sacrificed to idols through the age, so I won’t ensnare my brother.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 9
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The Rights of the Apostles
- Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord? Aren’t you my work in the Lord?
- If I’m not an apostle to others, then at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
- My defense1The Greek word here is “ἀπολογία” (apologia) is the root of our English word “apologetics”. It specifically refers to a verbal defense, and the term was used for a legal defense in court. It implies providing compelling evidence to answer an accusation or objection that was raised. to the men who examine me is this:
- Don’t we definitely have the right to eat and drink?
- Don’t we definitely have the right to bring along a believing2literally “a sister wife”, with sister indicating a wife who is Christian. wife? (Just as also the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas3“Cephas” is Aramaic for “a rock”, and is another name for the disciple/apostle Peter. do.)
- Or do only Barnabas and I lack the right to not work?
- Who ever serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and doesn’t eat of its fruit? Or who shepherds a flock and doesn’t drink the milk of the flock?
- I don’t speak these things according to man, do I? Doesn’t the law also say these things?
- For it is *written in the Law of Moses; “you shall not muzzle an ox that’s threshing“4quotation/allusion to Deuteronomy 25:4 Threshing is part of the process for separating chaff from grain. Threshing involves beating the grain to break the chaff free from the grain. It was typically done on a “threshing floor” with either a tool or by animals. Once the chaff is broken free, you then “winnow” the chaff and grain mixture by throwing it in the air so the wind carries away the lighter, useless chaff, while the heavier grain falls back to the earth. Once ground into flour and cooked, the grains are ready to eat. God isn’t concerned about the oxen, is He?
- Or does He speak entirely for our sake? For it was written for our sake, because the man who plows ought to plow in expectation, and the man who threshes5“threshes” is literal. See note on previous verse does so in expectation to partake of the grain.
- If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it a great thing if we reap material things from you?
- If others partake of their right from you, couldn’t we do so more? But we didn’t make use of this right, but instead, we patiently endured everything so we wouldn’t put any hindrance on the gospel of the Anointed.
- Don’t you *know the men who work in the temple eat the food in the temple? And don’t the men who serve at the altar have a share in the altar sacrifices?
- And in this way, the Lord appointed for the men who proclaim the gospel to live from the gospel.
- But I haven’t made use of these rights. (And I didn’t write these things so it might become this way with me.) For it’s better for me to die than for anyone to make my boasting empty.
- For if I proclaim the gospel, there isn’t a boast for me, for a compulsion is placed on me; for woe is me if I don’t proclaim the gospel.
- For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwillingly, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
- What then is my reward? That in preaching the gospel free of charge, I might offer the gospel without needing to use my right in the gospel.
All things to all men
- For while being free from all men, I made myself a slave to all men so I might gain more of them.
- And I became like a Jew to the Jews, so I might win the Jews. To men under the law, like I’m under the law – though not being under the law myself – so I might win men under the law.
- To men without the law,6“without the law” is one word in Greek. It can mean “lawless” in the sense of wicked, but it can also refer to those without the Mosaic Law; i.e. Gentiles. That is likely the intended sense here. like a man without the law – though not being without God’s law, but lawful in the Anointed – so I might win men without the law.
- I became weak to the weak, so I might win the weak. I *become all things to all men, so that by all means I might save some.
- But I do everything for the gospel’s sake, so I might become a fellow partaker in it.
- Don’t you *know that the men who run in a race all indeed run, but only one receives the prize? Run like this so you might seize it.
- And every man who competes uses self-control in everything. Then these men indeed compete so they might receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.
- Therefore, I indeed run like this, but not aimlessly. I box like this, but not like punching air.
- But I discipline my body and make it my slave, lest after having preached to others, I might become disqualified.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 10
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Warnings from Israel’s History
- For I don’t want you to be ignorant brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,
- and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
- and all ate the same spiritual food,
- And all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from the spiritual rock that followed them; and the rock is the Anointed.
- But God wasn’t pleased with most of them, for their bodies were scattered in the desert.
- Now, these things have become examples to us; for us not to be coveters1or “cravers”; either is a correct translation of this Greek word. of wicked things, just as they also coveted.2or “craved them“; either is a correct translation of this Greek word.
- And don’t become idolaters, just as some of them did. As it is *written; “The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose to play.”3quotation/allusion to Exodus 32:4-6
- Nor should we fornicate, just as some of them fornicated and twenty three thousand fell in one day.
- Nor should we test the Anointed, just as some of them tested Him and were destroyed by the serpents.
- And don’t grumble, just as some of them grumbled and perished4“perished” The Greek word here is in the middle voice, not the active voice, making the agent significantly more involved in the result. Translating it “killed themselves” wouldn’t be out of place. This is likely a reference to Numbers 16:41-49, where all of Israel grumbled against Moses and Arron, ascribing to them the fault of God’s divine judgement on Korah’s rebellion. by the destroyer.
- Now, these things were happening to them as examples, and were written as a warning to us, to whom the ends of the ages have come.
- Therefore, the man who thinks he *stands; let him beware, lest he fall.
- Temptation hasn’t seized you except what’s common to man. But God is faithful, who won’t allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear, but with the temptation will also make an escape, so you’ll be able to endure it.
- Therefore my beloved, flee from idolatry.
- I speak as I would to prudent men; you judge what I declare.
Things sacrificed to idols
- Isn’t the cup of blessings that we bless a participation in the blood of the Anointed? Isn’t the bread that we break a participation in the body of the Anointed?
- Since there’s one bread, we the many are one body, for all partake from the one bread.
- Look at Israel according to the flesh. Aren’t the men who eat the sacrifices partakers in the altar?
- Therefore, what do I mean? That what is sacrificed to idols is anything? Or that an idol is anything?
- Rather, I mean that what [the gentiles] sacrifice to demons, they don’t sacrifice to God. Now, I don’t want you to become partakers with demons.
- You aren’t able to drink the Lord’s cup and a demon’s cup. You aren’t able to partake of the Lord’s table and a demon’s table.
- Or, do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We aren’t stronger than Him, are we?
- All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.
- Let no one seek to edify himself, but to edify another.
- Eat everything which is sold in the meat market, investigating nothing for your conscience’ sake.
- For “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”5quotation/allusion to Psalm 24:1
- If some unbeliever invites you and you want to go, eat everything which is set before you; investigating nothing for conscience’ sake.
- But if someone tells you; “This is sacrificed to an idol.” Don’t eat it because of the man who revealed it, and his conscience. [For The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.“6quotation/allusion to Psalm 24:1]7The majority of manuscripts have the bracketed portion in this verse, but it is missing from some early manuscripts that some scholars consider important. Most modern Bibles don’t include it.
- Now, I definitely don’t mean your own conscience, but the conscience of the other man. For why is my freedom decided by another man’s conscience?
- If I partake by grace, why am I slandered over the food for which I give thanks?
- Therefore, whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God.
- Become inoffensive, both to Jews and Greeks, and to the church of God,
- just as I also please all men in all things; not seeking profit for myself, but the profit of many so they might be saved.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 11
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- Become imitators of me, just as I also imitate the Anointed.
On Men and Women
- Now, I commend you because you have remembered me in everything, and you hold tightly to the traditions just as I delivered them to you.
- And I want you to *know that the Anointed is the head of every man, and the man is the head of woman, and God is the head of the Anointed.
- Every man who is praying or prophesying while having something hanging down from1“hanging down from” is the Greek word “κατὰ” (kata), often translated “on” here. It primarily means “down” or “down from”, but it has many uses and one of the largest semantic ranges of any Greek word. Here it’s used in the sense of “hanging down from”, of which there are two main interpretations. (1) Paul is referring to head coverings. In Rabbinic custom, men wore a prayer shawl called a “Tallit”, which they would drape over their heads while they prayed out of reverence for God, to indicate they weren’t worthy to look on His face. This shawl would thus “hang down” from their heads. (2) The second view says Paul is referring to hair which is long enough to “hang down”. This makes much more sense contextually because verses 2-16 have a chiastic structure, and verse 4’s counterpart in verse 14 is clearly referencing long hair on men. his head dishonors his head.
- But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered dishonors her head. For she is one and the same with the woman who has shaved her head.2“the woman who has shaved her head” could also be translated “the woman who is *shaved” because the endings for the Greek middle and passive voice are the same for this word. This almost certainly refers to the women of the Isle of Lesbos, not terribly far from Corinth. (It’s likely where the term “lesbian” came from.) Lucian of Samosata (125 – 180 AD) wrote in Dialogues of the Courtesans about a character named Megilla who was a “rich Lesbian woman” who had the “skin of her head which was shaved close“. He also writes of: “women like that in Lesbos, with faces like men, and unwilling to consort with men, but only with women, as though they themselves were men“. These women from the Isle of Lesbos rejected every form of male authority, and signified this partially by shaving off their hair, or cutting it very short like men did.
- For if a woman won’t cover her head, let her also cut off her hair.3“let her… …cut off her hair” is more literally “sheer herself”, which is a technical term specifically referring to sheering sheep. After being sheered, a sheep’s hair is extremely short – ideally less than an inch (25mm) – like a modern buzz cut. But if it’s shameful for a woman to cut off her hair,4“to cut off her hair” see previous note. or to be shaved, let her cover her head.
- For indeed, man is obligated5“is obligated” is one word in Greek, with that exact meaning. It was originally a financial term that literally meant to owe or be indebted to. (It’s used of debts in Matthew 18:28, 30, and 34.) This included moral obligations to deities and others. In New Testament times, it referred to anything which someone was legally or morally obligated to do. not to cover his head since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.
- For man didn’t come from woman, but woman from man.
- For also, man wasn’t created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.
- Because of this, the woman is obligated6“is obligated” is one word in Greek, with that exact meaning. It was originally a financial term that literally meant to owe or be indebted to. (It’s used of debts in Matthew 18:28, 30, and 34.) This included moral obligations to deities and others. In New Testament times, it referred to anything which someone was legally or morally obligated to do. to have7Many translations add the phrase “a symbol of” before the word authority, altering the sense to be about a hat or veil. (Thankfully, some italicize it to show it’s an addition) authority upon8“upon” Some translations pervert this verse by making it sound as if the woman has authority over her own head. However, that isn’t the intention of the Greek. The authority on “her head” is another’s authority over her. her head, because of the angels.9“because of the angels” These three Greek words (διὰ τοὺς ἀγγέλους) are among the most confusing, and therefore most commented on in the whole Bible. The most common interpretations are: (1.) The early church believed that angels were present during their gatherings. Thus this could be either an example for them showing the women were under authority, or because it was fitting because of the angelic presence. (2.) Paul is using an analogy/example as a warning, and the angels referred to here are the fallen angels before they fell. They fell because they rebelled by refusing to observe their place in God’s created order. (Jude 1:6) This theory says Paul is saying women must observe their place in God’s order (under male authority) or else they are rebelling like the angels did. (3.) This theory says “διὰ ” (dia, here translated “because of”) should be translated “through” which is another one of its primary meanings. The idea is the authority is conveyed or applied through the angels somehow. (4.) This refers to head coverings, and that women should have their heads covered like the angels covered their faces in Isaiah 6:2.
- Yet in the Lord, neither is woman separate from man, nor man separate from woman.
- For just as the woman came out of the man, so also the man is born through the woman; But everything comes from God.
- Judge for yourselves: is it proper for an uncovered woman to pray to God? 10Most translations move the word “uncovered” to the end of the sentence, and add “with her head” so it reads “…to pray to god with her head uncovered?” However, that changes the word uncovered from adjectival to substantive, which isn’t keeping with the Greek.
- And doesn’t nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it’s indeed a disgrace to him?
- But if a woman has long hair, it’s a glory to her? For the long hair has been given to her instead of11“instead of” many translations translate this “for” here, which is correct in some cases. (Example: Matthew 5:38, “and eye for an eye”) However, it more properly means “in exchange for” or “instead of” because the Greek word refers to a substitute. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon specifically mentions this passage as a place where “instead of” is the correct translation. a cloth covering.12“cloth covering” The Greek word used here is specific to clothing of some kind, including veils, mantles, robes, etc. It is different than the words for covering used earlier, which can indicate any kind of covering, including hair.
- But if anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no other custom; nor do the churches of God.
The Lord’s Supper
- Now, in instructing this I don’t commend you because you don’t assemble for the better, but for the worse.
- For first: when you’re gathering in the church assembly, I hear there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.
- For it’s necessary for there to be factions13“factions” this Greek word refers to a division of a religious group that is separated from the main group and follows its own tenants. It’s often translated “sect” in the context of the Pharisees and Sadducees being a sect of Judaism. Modern denominations are a good example of “sects” of Christianity. among you so the genuine14“genuine” This Greek word was used to describe coins that had been verified to not be counterfeit or corrupted. ones among you might become evident.
- Therefore, when you’re assembling at the same place, it’s not to eat the Lord’s supper.
- For each takes their own dinner to eat before others have opportunity; and indeed, one is hungry but another is drunk.
- Don’t do that! For don’t you have houses to eat and to drink? Or do you scorn the church of God and shame the men who have nothing? What should I tell you? Should I commend you in this? I don’t commend you!
- For I received from the Lord what I delivered to you; that the Lord Jesus – on the night He was betrayed – took bread.
- And having given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, broken for your benefit; do this in remembrance of Me.”
- And likewise after supper He took the cup saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. As often as you drink this, do it in remembrance of me.”
- For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
- Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the Lord’s body and blood.
- But let a man examine15“examine” The Greek word here doesn’t focus on proving something is bad, but rather on testing and/or examining something to show that it’s good. himself, and in this manner let him eat of the bread and let him drink of the cup.
- For the man who eats and drinks without considering the body eats and drinks judgement on himself.
- Because of this, many among you are weak and sick, and enough16“enough” could also be translated “sufficient” or “ample” of you sleep.17“sleep” the Greek word can also be used of the “sleep” of death, and hence can mean to die.
- For if we were evaluating ourselves, we wouldn’t be coming under judgement.
- But when we’re being judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so we won’t be condemned with the world.
- Therefore my brothers, wait for one another when you’re assembling to eat.
- If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home so you won’t be assembled for judgment. And I will arrange the rest as soon as I come.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 12
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- Now brothers, I don’t want you to be ignorant about spiritual things.
- You *know that when you were pagans, you were being led to mute idols, just like men being led astray.
- Therefore, I declare to you that no one speaking in God’ Spirit says “Jesus is anathema1“anathema” likely because of the Bible, this Greek word has entered the English vocabulary. In Greek it literally means to curse someone, or more specifically to offer a curse to them to devote them to God’ destruction. It can also have the connotation of being abominable and/or detestable.“, and no one is able to say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
- Now, there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit.
- And there are varieties of ministries and the same Lord.
- And there are varieties of powers but the same God, the One who works everything in everyone.
- Now, to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the benefit of all.
- For indeed, one is given a word of wisdom through the Spirit, but to another a word of knowledge by the same Spirit.
- A different one is given faith by the same Spirit, but another gifts of healing by the one Spirit.
- To another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, and another discernment of spirits, a different one the tongues of various nations,2“nations” is more accurately “ethnicities” or “races”. The Greek word refers to the offspring of a common ancestor, and thus families, races, or nations. It’s used this way consistently throughout the New Testament, and is sometimes translated “kinds” – as in various kinds of families/races/nations – but it retains the focus on a common ancestor, and thus should be translated accordingly. but another the interpretation of tongues.
- But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each individually just as He wills.
Many Parts, One Body
- For just as the body has many parts and is one body; and just as all the parts of the body are one body though being many parts; so also is the Anointed.
- For in one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slave or free – we were all given one Spirit to drink.
- For also, the body isn’t one part, but many.
- If the foot says, “Because I’m not a hand, I’m not part of the body” it doesn’t stop being part of the body because of this.
- And if the ear says, “Because I’m not an eye, I’m not part of the body” it doesn’t stop being part of the body because of this.
- If the whole body was an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If all were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?
- But at this moment, God placed the parts in the body – each one of them – just as He willed.
- But if all were one part, where would the body be?
- But now, there are indeed many parts, but only one body.
- And the eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you”. Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you”.
- But rather, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are essential.
- And parts of the body which we presume to be less honorable, these we clothe with far greater honor; and our indecent parts have far greater modesty.
- But our presentable parts have no need of that. But God orchestrated3“orchestrated” The Greek word used here means to mix disparate elements together to produce a unified and harmonious whole. the body, having given far greater honor to the parts which fall short,
- so there might not be division in the body, but the parts might have the same concern for one another.
- And if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it. And if one part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it.
- Now, you are the body of the Anointed and each part receives a share.
- And to those in the church, God indeed appointed apostles initially,4“initially” is more literally “first”, but not in the sense of importance or authority. Some take “first” to mean that apostles have greater authority because they are first on this list, and then ascribe a descending hierarchy based on a gift’s position on this list. That is manifestly not Paul’s intent here. The word used for “first” here is “πρῶτον” (proton) which carries the connotation of time, not authority. By contrast, the Greek word “ἀρχή” (arché) does mean first in the sense of time and/or authority, and is sometimes translated “ruler”. prophets second, teachers third, afterwards miracles, after that gifts of healing, helps, administration,5“administration” This Greek word properly refers to the pilot (though not the captain) of a sailing ship, who guides the ship under the captain’s direction. This has the idea of directing day-to-day affairs to keep the ship on course; hence “administration”. and tongues of various nations.6“nations” see note on verse 10
- All aren’t apostles are they? All aren’t prophets are they? All aren’t teachers are they? All don’t work miracles do they?
- All don’t have gifts of healing do they? All don’t speak in tongues do they? All don’t interpret do they?
- But zealously desire the greater gifts. And further, I show you a most excellent way.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 13
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- If I speak the tongues of angels and men but don’t have ^love, I have become become a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
- And if I have prophecy, and have understood all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but don’t have ^love; I am nothing.
- And if I give all that I possess to feed1“I give… …to feed” Is one word in Greek. It properly refers to giving out food in small portions to feed someone or something. the poor, and deliver my body to prison so that I might boast but don’t have ^love; I gain nothing.
- ^Love is patient, it’s kind. ^Love isn’t jealous, ^love doesn’t boast, it isn’t puffed up,
- It doesn’t act indecently, it doesn’t seek things for itself, it isn’t easily angered, it doesn’t take into account wrongs suffered.
- it doesn’t rejoice at unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.
- It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
- ^Love never fails. But if there are prophecies, they will be abolished;2“they will be abolished” is one Word in Greek, literally meaning to render something as completely without force or power, making it idle and of no effect. Thus, it also means to abolish, because the force has been completely removed. It’s the same word used to refer to knowledge later in the verse. if tongues, they will cease, if knowledge, it will be abolished.3“it will be abolished” is one Word in Greek, literally meaning to render something as completely without force or power, making it idle and of no effect. Thus, it also means to abolish, because the force has been completely removed. It’s the same word used to refer to prophecies earlier in the verse
- For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
- But when the perfect comes, the partial will be abolished.
- When I was a child, I was talking like a child, I was understanding like a child, I was reasoning like a child. When I had become a man, I had abolished the childish things.
- For now we see through a mirror4“mirror” The Greek word here refers to a metallic mirror, not a glass one. in puzzling obscurity,5“puzzling obscurity” The Greek word here literally refers to a riddle or enigma which obscures something. but then face to face. I know in part now, but then I will know Him fully, even as I’m fully known.
- But now these three remain: faith, hope, and ^love; and the greatest of these is ^love.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 14
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Prophecy and Tongues
- Earnestly pursue ^love, yet zealously desire the spiritual gifts, and especially that you might prophesy.
- For the man who speaks in a tongue doesn’t speak to men, but to God. For no one understands him, but he speaks mysteries in his spirit.
- But the man who prophesies speaks for building up, and encouragement, and consolation.
- The man who speaks in a tongue builds himself up; but the man who prophesies builds up a church.
- And I want all of you to speak in tongues, but prefer that you prophesy. And the man who prophesies is greater than the man who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets so the church might receive edification.
- And now brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you in revelation, or in knowledge, or in prophecy, or in a teaching?
- Even lifeless things which make a sound – whether flute or harp – if the sounds they make aren’t distinct, how will it be recognized what’s played on the flute or harp?
- For also, if a trumpet makes an unrecognizable sound, who will prepare himself for battle?
- And in the same way, unless you make easily understood1“easily understood” The Greek word here more literally means “clear to the understanding” words with your tongue, how will it be known what’s spoken? For you’ll be speaking into the air.
- There are, perhaps, a great many national2“national” is more accurately “ethnic” or “racial”. The Greek word refers to the offspring of a common ancestor, and thus families, races, or nations. It’s used this way consistently throughout the New Testament, and sometimes translated “kinds” – as in various kinds of families/races/nations – but it retains the focus on a common ancestor, and thus should be translated accordingly. languages in the world, and none is without meaning.
- Therefore, if I don’t *know the meaning of the language, I will be an incomprehensible foreigner3“incomprehensible foreigner” This Greek word here is “βάρβαρος” (barbaros), which is a technical word referring to anyone who didn’t speak Greek. The Greek thought themselves so superior, that over time it became nearly an insult, and is the root of our word “barbarian”. to the man who speaks, and the man who speaks an incomprehensible foreigner4“incomprehensible foreigner” see previous note. to me.
- It’s also this way with you. Since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, seek to make them abound for the building up of the church.
- For this reason, let the man who speaks in a tongue pray that he might interpret.
- For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.
- Therefore, what is fruitful? I will pray with the spirit, but I will also pray with the mind. I will sing with the spirit, but I will also sing with the mind.
- Otherwise if you bless in spirit, how will the man who fills the ungifted place say “Amen” at your thankfulness, since he doesn’t *know what you say?
- For you indeed give thanks well, but the other man isn’t built up.
- I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
- But in the church, I want to speak five words with my mind so I might teach others, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.
- Brothers, don’t become children in your thoughts – yet be infants in evil – but become mature in your thoughts.
- It is *written in the law; “By other tongues, and by other men’s lips I will speak to this people; and they won’t listen to Me even this way, says the Lord.”5quotation/allusion to Isaiah 28:11-12
- So then, tongues aren’t a sign to the men who believe, but to the unbelievers. But prophecy isn’t for the unbelievers, but for the men who believe.
- Therefore, if the whole church assembles at the same place and all speak in tongues, but ungifted men or unbelievers enter, won’t they say that you speak as madmen?
- But if all prophesy and some unbelievers or ungifted men enter, he is convicted by all and examined by all.
- The secrets of his heart become revealed, and having fallen on his face he will worship God, declaring that God is truly among you.
Be Orderly When You Assemble
- Therefore brothers, what is proper? Whenever you assemble, each has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation; let everything be done to build up one another.
- And if someone speaks in a tongue, it must be by two (or at the most three) and each in turn; and one must interpret.
- But if there’s no interpreter, he must be silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God.
- And let two or three prophets speak and let the others6“others” In Greek, this is a single word which means “another of the same kind”, which contextually refers to prophets. judge what’s prophesied.
- But if something is revealed to another who’s sitting, let the first be silent.
- For you are all able to prophecy one by one, so that all might learn and all might be strengthened.7“strengthened” Other possible interpretations of this word in this context include: exhorted, encouraged, instructed, admonished.
- And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
- For God isn’t the God of chaos, but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
- the women must be silent in the church assemblies. For it’s not allowed for them to speak, but they must submit themselves,8“submit themselves” The Greek word here is “ὑποτάσσω” (hupotassó) The endings for its middle and passive voice are the same, so either could’ve been intended. In the middle voice, it contains reflexive force and thus has the connotation of voluntary obedience, so “wives must obey” is more accurate to the intended sense (though less literal, despite this meaning being in the lexicons). In the passive voice it could be translated “must be submitted”. The middle voice is more likely because the passive voice could indicate that their submission/obedience is being done to them (i.e. they’re being made to submit). just as the law also says.9“just as the law also says” Paul might be referring to the submission aspect here. In that case, the only verse in the law that might fit is Genesis 3:16.
- But if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it’s shameful for a woman to speak in the church assembly. 10Verse Note: in the list of things done in the assembly (verses 26-32), the Greek words which could be used to determine the genders of the teachers, prophets, etc. are all masculine. None of them are feminine or neuter.
- Or did the word of God come from you? Or did it only come to you?
- If someone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, he must recognize that the things I write to you are the Lord’s command.
- But if someone won’t know this, he isn’t known.11The Greek word “ἀγνοέω” (agnoeó) is used twice in this verse; once in the active indicative with negation (“won’t know”) and once in the middle/passive indicative (“he isn’t known”). It literally means to “not know” a person or thing, and can refer to willful ignorance. In this latter sense it carries the connotation of sinning. Many commentators have suggested this is a reference to Matthew 7:23, saying that the man “isn’t known” by God for his “willful ignorance”/sin. There is a textual variant in this verse which makes the second instance a 3rd person imperative (command = “let him not be known”). In this view, the command to not know the man is likely pointing to church discipline, again because of his “willful ignorance”.
- So my brothers, zealously desire to prophesy and don’t forbid speaking in tongues,
- yet do everything properly and with order.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 15
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- Now brothers, I declare to you the gospel that I preached to you, which you also received and in which you *stand.
- Through which you’re also saved by the word that I preached to you – if you hold fast to it – otherwise1“otherwise you believed in vain” There are two ways to take this clause, centering on how to translate the phrase “ἐκτός εἰ μή” (here translated “otherwise”). The word “ἐκτός” means “outside” or “without” or “except”, while “εἰ μή” when used together this way means “unless” or “except”. The first way to take this clause – used in the BOS Bible – is to translate it “without unless”, (shortened to “otherwise” for readability”) and the meaning is clear: unless they hold fast to the Gospel their faith is in vain. The second way to take this clause is to translate it “unless except”, which is typically taken to mean that if the Gospel Paul preached isn’t true, then their faith is in vain. The first view has a much stronger contextual argument in this passage (and is also supported by Romans 11:17-24, especially verse 22) and thus was chosen here. you believed in vain.
- For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received; that the Anointed died for our sins according to the scriptures,
- and that He was buried, and that He has been raised on the third day according to the scriptures,
- and that He was seen by Cephas,2“Cephas” is Aramaic for “a rock”, and is another name for the disciple/apostle Peter. and then the twelve.
- Afterwards, He was seen by more than five hundred brothers at once; of whom many remain, but some were put to sleep.
- Afterwards, He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
- And last of all – as if to one born at the wrong time – He was also seen by me.
- For I’m the least of the apostles, who isn’t worthy to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God.
- But by God’s grace,3“Grace” The Greek word here is “χάρις” (charis), most often translated “grace” or “gift”. It was a technical term in the 1st century, referring to the Patronage system in place. The Patron (from “pater” = “father”) would give gifts or do favors (both called a charis). A charis was always given/done freely to anyone who would be grateful for it, and this person then became a “client” of the patron. The clients were expected to reciprocate by telling everyone what the patron had done, and offering their services to the patron whenever the patron needed them. This reciprocal act was also called “charis”, and the ones who reciprocated were “being faithful”. Both were done out of gratitude, not legal obligation. A client who wasn’t faithful and grateful probably wouldn’t receive any more charis from his patron, or any other patrons. The patron was responsible for taking care of all his clients, and making sure their needs were met. Christian Grace and Faith is well picture by this system. The Heavenly Patron (God the Father) freely gave a gift (Jesus’ blood), and the clients who accept it (Christians) are expected to “be faithful” out of gratitude. I am what I am; and His grace to me hasn’t become void. But I toiled far more than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
- Therefore we preach like this – whether I or they – and you believed like this.
The Necessity of Resurrection
- Now, if it’s preached that the Anointed has been raised from the dead, how can some among you say that there’s no resurrection of the dead?
- But if there’s no resurrection of the dead, not even the Anointed has been raised.
- And if the Anointed hasn’t been raised, then our preaching is worthless and your faith is worthless.
- Then we’re even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that He raised the Anointed, who wasn’t raised if the dead aren’t raised.
- For if the dead aren’t raised, not even the Anointed has been raised.
- And if the Anointed hasn’t been raised, your faith is useless; you’re still in your sins.
- Then also, the men who were put to sleep in the Anointed perished.
- If we *hope in the Anointed in this life only, we’re more pitiable than all men.
- And now, the Anointed has been raised from the dead; the firstfruit of the men who have been put to sleep.
- For since death came through a man, resurrection of the dead also came through a man.
- For just as in Adam all die, thus also in the Anointed, all will be made alive,
- but each in his own order: the Anointed as the firstfruit, then the men of the Anointed at His coming.
- Then comes the end, when He hands the kingdom over to the God and Father, when He’s abolished every ruler and every authority and power.
- For He must reign until He has put all the enemies under His feet.
- The last enemy to be abolished is death.
- For He put all things in subjection under His feet.4quotation/allusion to Psalm 8:6 But when He said “He has put all things in subjection”, it’s obvious that the One who has put all things in subjection to Him is the exception.
- And when all things have been made subject to Him, then even the Son Himself will be made subject to the One who made all things subject to Him, so that God might be all in all.
- So then, what will the men who are baptized for the dead do? If the dead really aren’t raised, why are they even baptized for them? 5Verse Note: Just north of Corinth, there was a town called “Eleusis”. The Eleusian mystery religion practiced a rite in the sea that was similar to baptism. They did this for the dead in order to “guarantee” a good afterlife. Notice, Paul uses the word “them” and the first sentence does create a sense of distance as if he was talking about those outside the church. Paul virtually never uses “them” to refer to Christians, only those outside the church. It’s like Paul was referring to the Eleusian’s practice, saying in effect “even the pagans believe in the resurrection of the dead.”
- Also, why are we in peril every hour?
- As sure as my boast in you brothers – which I have in our Anointed Lord Jesus – I die every day.
- If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for6“for” this Greek preposition – “κατά” (kata) – has a very large range of meanings. It could also be translated “according to”, “in the manner of”, “as a”, and a few others. man, what does it gain me? If the dead aren’t raised, we could eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
- Don’t be misled; bad company ruinously corrupts7“ruinously corrupts” is one word in Greek. It literally means to corrupt, rot, or spoil something so that it wastes away to ruin. It’s typically associated with moral corruption/decay leading to ruin. good moral habits.8“moral habits” The Greek word here refers to the habits, customs, and behavior patterns that a person exercises on a daily basis. It especially refers to ones that are good, moral, and ethical. The Greek word here is “ἦθος” (éthos), which is the root of our word “ethics”.
- Sober up righteously and don’t sin, for some have willful ignorance of God. I say this to your shame.
The Manner of Resurrection
- But some will say, “How are the dead raised?” And, “What kind of body do they come with?”
- You fool! What you sow doesn’t come to life unless it dies.
- And what you sow isn’t the body that it will become after you sow, but a bare seed. (Perhaps of wheat or one of the others.)
- But God gives it a body just as He willed, and He gives each of the seeds its own body.
- Not all flesh is the same flesh, but indeed there’s one of men, but another flesh of cattle, yet another flesh of birds, and another of fish.
- And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. But indeed, the glory of the heavenly is one kind, but the earthly another.
- The sun’s glory is one kind, and the moon’s glory another, and the stars’ glory another. (For star differs from star in glory.)
- The resurrection of the dead is also like this. It’s sown in decay, it’s raised incorruptible.
- It’s sown in shame, it’s raised in glory. It’s sown in weakness, it’s raised in power.
- It’s sown a natural body, it’s raised a spiritual body. If there’s a natural body, there’s also a spiritual one.
- And as it is *written, “the first man – Adam – became a living being;“9Quotation/allusion to Genesis 2:7. The Greek word translated “being” here is “ψυχή” (psuché), which sometimes translated “soul”. It doesn’t mean the part of us which survives death and goes to reward or punishment (Biblically that’s our spirit. In Revelation 8:9, animals are said to have “psuché”.) Psuché literally means “breath” and is often translated “life”. It refers to the life; the vital force which – together with the body – enables a person to live. It can also refer to mind, will, emotions, and desires, which together make up a person’s identity. the last Adam a life-giving spirit.
- But the spiritual wasn’t first, but the natural; afterwards came the spiritual.
- The first man was made from the dust of the earth; the second man came from heaven.
- Just as the man made of dust was, so also the men made of dust are; and just as the man of heaven is, so also the men of heaven are.
- And just as we bear the image of the man made of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.
- Now I declare this brothers: flesh and blood can’t inherit the kingdom of God, nor can the incorruptible inherit decay.
- Behold, I tell you a mystery. We won’t all be put to sleep, but we’ll all be changed
- in an instant – in the blink of an eye – at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
- For the corruptible must clothe itself in incorruptibility, and the mortal clothe itself in immortality.
- And when the corruptible has clothed itself in incorruptibility, and the mortal has clothed itself in immortality; then it will happen, the word which is *written, “Death was swallowed in victory.“10quotation/allusion to Isaiah 25:8
- “O Death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?“11quotation/allusion to Hosea 13:14
- Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
- But grace12“grace” The Greek word here is “χάρις” (charis), most often translated “grace” or “gift”. It was a technical term in the 1st century, referring to the Patronage system in place. The Patron (from “pater” = “father”) would give gifts or do favors (both called a charis). A charis was always given/done freely to anyone who would be grateful for it, and this person then became a “client” of the patron. The clients were expected to reciprocate by telling everyone what the patron had done, and offering their services to the patron whenever the patron needed them. This reciprocal act was also called “charis”, and the ones who reciprocated were “being faithful”. Both were done out of gratitude, not legal obligation. A client who wasn’t faithful and grateful probably wouldn’t receive any more charis from his patron, or any other patrons. The patron was responsible for taking care of all his clients, and making sure their needs were met. Christian Grace and Faith is well picture by this system. The Heavenly Patron (God the Father) freely gave a gift (Jesus’ blood), and the clients who accept it (Christians) are expected to “be faithful” out of gratitude. Paul is not only talking about being grateful to God, but also “being faithful”; i.e. to reciprocate charis to God in return for His charis to us. be to God; the One who gives us the victory through our Anointed Lord Jesus.
- Therefore my beloved brothers, become steadfast; immovable, always overflowing in the Lord’s work, *knowing that your exhausting labor isn’t in worthless in the Lord.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 16
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The Collection for the Saints
- Now, about the collection for the saints.1We know from elsewhere in Bible that this collection was for the poor believers in Jerusalem. This is almost certainly because of the famine prophetically predicted in Acts 11:28. In Acts 11:29-30 they decided to take up a collection for the relief of the brothers in Judea. In verse 30, Barnabas and Paul (still called “Saul” there) were put in charge of collecting it. Just as I directed the churches in Galatia, you also do likewise.
- Every first of the week, let each of you set something aside, saving as he prospers so there won’t be any collections when I come.
- And when I arrive, I will send whoever you approve with letters to carry your gift2“gift” The Greek word here is “χάρις” (charis), most often translated “grace” or “gift”. It was a technical term in the 1st century, referring to the Patronage system in place. The Patron (from “pater” = “father”) would give gifts or do favors (both called a charis) for someone. A charis was always given/done freely to anyone who would be grateful for it, and this person then became a “client” of the patron. The clients were expected to reciprocate by telling everyone what the patron had done, and offering their services to the patron whenever the patron needed them. This reciprocal act was also called “charis”, and the ones who reciprocated were “being faithful”. Both were done out of gratitude, not legal obligation. A client who wasn’t faithful and grateful probably wouldn’t receive any more charis from his patron, or any other patrons. The patron was responsible for taking care of all his clients, and making sure their needs were met. Christian Grace and Faith is well picture by this system. The Heavenly Patron (God the Father) freely gave a gift (Jesus’ blood), and the clients who accept it (Christians) are expected to “be faithful” out of gratitude. to Jerusalem.
- And if it’s appropriate for me also to go, they will travel with me.
- Now, I’ll come to you after I travel through Macedonia, for I’m traveling through Macedonia.
- Then perhaps I will remain with you, or even spend the winter so you might equip me for wherever I might travel.
- For I don’t want to see you only in passing right now. Indeed, I hope to remain with you some time, if the Lord allows.
- But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost.
- For a great and effective door has opened to me, and many are opposing it.
- Now if Timothy comes, see that he becomes without fear toward you, for he’s doing the Lord’s work, just as I am also.
- Therefore, no one should treat him with contempt, but equip him in peace so he might come to me, for I expect him with the brothers.
- Now about the brother Apollos. I greatly encouraged him to come to you with the brothers, and it was altogether not his will that he comes now; but he will come when he has a good opportunity.
- Be vigilant; stand firm in the faith; act like men; become strong.
- Let everything you do be done in ^love.
- Now I encourage you brothers. You *know the household of Stephanus, that it’s the firstfruit of Achaia,3“Achaia” was a province of Rome which included most of Greece. and they have set themselves to the service of the saints.
- So also, submit yourselves to men like these, and every man who works together and labors.
- But I rejoice at the coming of Stephanus, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus because these men filled the void you left,
- for they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore, recognize men like these.
- The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca4“Prisca” is the proper form of “Priscilla”, the latter being more informal and familiar. greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church at their house.
- All the brothers greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
- This greeting is by my own hand – Paul.
- If someone doesn’t love5“love” the Greek word for love here isn’t the usual “ἀγαπάω” (agapao), which is the verb form of “ἀγάπη” (agape,); see footnote before the chapter. Here it’s “φιλέω” (phileó) which indicates brotherly affection and warm feelings of friendship or intimacy. the Lord, let him be anathema.6“anathema” likely because of the Bible, this Greek word has entered the English vocabulary. In Greek it literally means to curse someone, and more specifically to offer a curse on them to devote them to God’s destruction. It can also have the connotation of being abominable and/or detestable. Our Lord, come!7“Our Lord, come!” this is an Aramaic phrase transliterated into Greek. It very likely refers to judgement, as the phrase “come” is often applied to mean “come in judgement” in both the Old and New Testaments.
- The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
- My ^love is with all of you in the Anointed Jesus. [Amen.]
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