1 & 2 Corinthians are epistles of reproof  for failure to exhibit the teaching set forth in Romans. Corinthians addresses leaven in practice.  Galatians deals with doctrinal failure. Corinthians deals with practical failure. These epistles are fundamental examples of pastoral theology.

1 Corinthians written from Ephesus (16:8) in 56 A.D.

2 Corinthians written from Macedonia  winter 57 A.D. - spring 58 A.D.

HISTORY - When Paul arrived in Corinth the city was about 100 years old. The original ancient Corinth was founded in the 10th century B.C. and had been the largest and richest city in ancient Greece. It was located on an isthmus of the same name connecting southern Greece (Peloponnesus) to the mainland. The narrowness of the isthmus provided 2 harbors, one on each side, only 4 miles apart and established Corinth as a commercial center. The western harbor, Lechaeum, at the Corinthian Gulf, was the trading port to Italy and Sicily. The eastern harbor, Cenchrae, at the Saronic Gulf, served the eastern Mediterranean countries and Asia.

       Around 600 B.C. Periander constructed a five foot wide rock-cut track (Gr."diolkos") for platforms which dragged or wheeled ships and their unladen cargo from one gulf to the other. A charge was imposed for this hauling and contributed significantly to the city's income. By 400 B.C. a double wall had been constructed from Lechaeum leading to the port to guard a 40 foot wide, 2 mile long rock-paved street.

       The city became the leader of the Achaian League and resisted Rome's demands for dissolution. The Roman consul, Lucius Mummius, levelled the city in 146 B.C., killed the men and sold the women and children into slavery. Many of the wealthiest families escaped to the island of Delos but for the next century Corinth was sparsely inhabited, primarily by squatters. In 44 B.C. Julius Caesar re-founded Corinth as a colony, named it Colonia Laus Julia Corinthiensis, and populated it, by conscription, with Italian, Greek, Syrian, Egyptian and Judean freed slaves. The new Corinth began to thrive within a few years and established a diverse economy of agriculture, manufacturing and trade (particularly in bronze). Many of the wealthy families from Delos returned as well as thousands of settlers looking to make their fortune.

       The great wealth of Corinth was reflected in a 20,000 seat outdoor theater, the temple of Aphrodite on the Acrocorinth, an 1886 foot hill overlooking southern Corinth (employing 1,000 "sacred" prostitutes), and the Isthmian games. The games were second only to the Olympics. They were held every 2 years in honor of Poseidon, the god of water, sea, horses and earthquakes (Corinth was ultimately destroyed by earthquakes). Both men and women competed in the games with oratorical and musical competitions held in the theater.

       Corinth became so sinful and excessive that the Greeks coined a word "korinthiazomai" (literally "to act the Corinthian") meaning "to fornicate". By the time Paul arrived, about 51 A.D., the city was 5 times as large as Athens and the capital of the province of Achaia. Corinth was young, dynamic and full of dislocated individuals including Jews expelled from Rome in 49 A.D. The city was so culturally diverse that it lacked strong traditions of any sort - religious, ethnic or intellectual.

       The Christians of Corinth were economically diverse and congregations included rich people, slaves, former slaves, tradespeople, etc. However, even the wealthy Christians did not enjoy high status and were regarded as "noveau riche" (newly rich, not "old money"). The status-seeking atmosphere of the city and its emphasis on materialism, social honor, and hedonism provided fertile ground for a multitude of issues within the church.

       Luke details Paul's activities in Corinth in Acts 18:1-18. Apollos came to Corinth later and made a huge impression with his eloquence resulting in division arising among the brethren. Paul addresses this as well as an assortment of issues including immorality, marriage, food, worship, litigation, spiritual gifts and various aberrant practices.


Order & Unity (Eph 4:1-7)

Ch.1:1,2 - "called...apostle" = "a called apostle" - Not in the sense of Gal 1:1 as a response to those who challenged Paul's status, but a denial of human merit and an expression of unity with the "called saints" of v.2. Paul's apostleship and their church membership are both due to God's merciful call (See Ro 9:16).

     - "Sosthenes" (see Ac 18:12-17) - Well-known to the church, but not mentioned hereafter.

     - "with all", "every place", "theirs and ours" - The theme of unity is firmly established in this epistle.

3 - "Grace and peace" - Not a reference to division. Used by Paul in every epistle but those to Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews.

4,5 - "is given" = "was given"    "are enriched" = "were enriched" - A reference to their baptism into the church and the privileges of the Gospel.

     - "by Jesus" = "in Jesus"   "by Him" = "in Him"  - Those who are in Christ are enriched by gifts.

     - "utterance" (Gr. "logos")     "knowledge" (Gr. "gnosis") - The church was rich in the knowledge of the Gospel and extraordinarily gifted in the enunciation of truth, specifically, speaking in tongues (languages). The utterance refers to the gift. The knowledge refers to the use/abuse.

As a leader, Paul recognizes that correction is aimed at edification. He expresses appreciation for the giftedness and its use. He will later condemn the abuse. Despite the issues and shortcomings of the church, they still provided light in the depraved darkness of Corinth.   See Heb 12:11.

6 - "Even" = "Seeing that"

     - "testimony of Christ" = The Word sent forth by apostles and preachers.

7 - Double negative in Greek for emphasis. - "So that you are not lacking in any gift (Gr."charisma") eagerly expecting the revelation (Gr."apokalupsis", NOT "parousia" or "epiphaneia") ...

See Rev 1:1-3, 19:9,10 - The "testimony of Christ" is from, about, sent, delivered by and pointed to - Christ

8 - "confirm" = "stabilize"   See Col 2:6,7

     - "blameless" - See 1Th 3:13

9 - God can be relied upon to carry out His promise, to accomplish His purpose. The thought expressed in Phil 1:6.

10 - Begins the body of the letter and shifts tone.

     - "Now" = "But"

     - "brethren" = Those who claim to be bonded in brotherhood. Repeated in v.11 for emphasis.

     - "name" - The one name to be held in common.

     - "speak the same thing" - A figure of speech used of states or communities enjoying peaceful relations without factions. Similar to the English phrase "Be on the same page."

     - "divisions"=Gr."schisma" - A word of incomplete separation as a torn cloth - Not separate pieces but not whole. See Mt 9:16 ("rent") and Jn 7:43, 9:16, 10:19 ("division/s"). Best expressed by the English term "denominations" - tears in the unified fabric of those who worship Christ.

     - "mind" = "principles"    "judgment" = "application of principles"

                                   Connect to Phil 2:5

11 - "house of Chloe"  - Evidence of the position of importance held by many women in the early Christian church.

     - "contentions" = "strifes"    See Ro 1:29 ("debate")

12 - "Now this I say..." = "What I'm referring to..."

     - "every one..." = "All of you have attached yourselves to some party. The whole body is infected."

     - "Paul...Apollos...Cephas...Christ" - Note that Paul places himself at the bottom of an ascending scaele. In the spirit of unity Paul is careful to place Peter (Cephas) closest to Christ to neutralize those who tried to place them as antagonists (See Gal 2:9-16). See Jn 4:1-3 to view a similar situation. The enemy is well-versed in the truth of Mt 12:25.

     - Apollos - Ac 18:24-19:1

13 - The affirmative answer to the 1st question is what concerns Paul (See 12:12-14,24-27)

     - The negative response to questions 2&3 settles the point.

     - "in" = "into" (subjection to and communion with) Mt 28:19

14,15 - From these verses it is apparent that Paul had made  no predetermination to avoid baptizing, but is now thankful that he abstained so often.

     - Crispus - Ruler of the synagogue (Ac 18:8)

     - Gaius - A common Roman name, but probably the same as Ro 16:23.

16 - Almost mid-sentence, Paul recalls others.

     - Stephanas - See 16:15-17

17 - "...baptize...preach" - The performance of baptism requires no special giftedness. Baptism depends upon the spirit of the recipient and God's grace. Baptism was/is often performed by subordinates (Jn 4:1,2) (Ac 10:45-48)

     - "preach the gospel"=Gr."euangelizo"="evangelize"

     - "wisdom of words" = eloquence in rhetoric and diction

A warning, particularly to the followers of Apollos, not to value presentation over substance lest the cross "vanish under the weight of" ("be made of none effect") rhetoric, itching ears, emotionalism, etc.

18 - From here to 3:2 Paul stays with preaching and a discussion of human eloquence and wisdom before smoothly returning to the theme of dissension.

     - "preaching"=Gr."logos"="word", "message"

     - "perish" = "are perishing"

     - "foolishness"=Gr."moria" Only found in this epistle="absurdity"

The power of the doctrine of the cross as the ordained instrument of God unto salvation is not subject to intellectual excellence or human preference.

19 - "is" = "has been"  See Isa 29:14

     - "bring to nothing"=Gr."atheteo"="count as nothing"  See Jn 12:48 ("rejecteth")

     - "the prudent" = Those who have and apply wisdom. Wisdom can be ignored, overridden, or corrupted (Eze 28:17)

20 - Paul paraphrases Isa 33:18 (the defeat of Sennacherib's army) to draw a spiritual image.

     - "wise"=Gr."sophos"="teacher", Greek or Jewish, but used by the Greeks only of Greek philosophers.

     - "scribe"=Gr."grammateus" - A reference to the Jewish scribe.

     - "disputer"=Gr."suzetetes"(Only occ.)="one who controverts"

IMPORTANT: "world" = "age", i.e., the age of the Messiah. See Heb 9:26 where again, "aion" is translated "world"

     - "made foolish" = "rendered vain"  Read Ro 1:21,22

     - "this" = "the"

     - "world"=Gr."kosmos"="the existing order of things"

21 - Paul explains v.20.

     - "after that" = "since"

     - "in...God,..." = "when due to the wise dispensation of God the world was unable, or failed to recognize Him,..." - Here "world" ("kosmos") lumps together Jew and Gentile, Pharisee and philosopher. Review God's plan in Ro 11:7-25. read Ac 10:28-48

IMPORTANT: "preaching" = "the thing preached" - the proclamation, not the act of preaching.

     - "believe"=Gr."pisteuo"="have faith"  The power of Jn 3:16.

22-25 - Verse 21 is confirmed and amplified. The preaching of the Gospel is opposed to the world's wisdom and God's "foolishness" trumps the world's "wisdom". Both Jew and Gentile have gone astray.

   (22) - "require a sign" = "ask for miraculous signs"  Mt 12:38-40; 16:1-4

SUMMARY: The Jews maintained an outward, material outlook. The Greeks sought to satisfy themselves intellectually. The cross satisfied neither in its moral and spiritual power. There remain those who look for God in their tangible assets and personal well-being. There remain those looking to fit God within the limits of their intellectual capacity.

   (23,24) - "preach"=Gr."kerusso"="to proclaim" (as an activity with no reference to what is proclaimed and no reference to teaching. this is contrasted to the passivity of v.22)

          - "Christ crucified" = " a crucified Messiah"

          - "stumblingblock" = The Jewish perception of the Messiah and the signs of the kingdom promised by the prophets could not reconcile crucifixion with their ideas of the Messiah. The concept - Heb 2:9-18, Ac 26:22,23

To the Jews, a contradiction. To the Greeks, meaningless.

          - "them...called" = "the called themselves" - Paul includes others besides the preachers he has referred to thus far.

          - "both" - See Gal 3:26-29, critical Scripture to rightly divide this epistle.

          - "power...wisdom" in response to "sign...wisdom" of v.22. see Ac 8:9,10 for the concept in reference to a false prophet.

Christ is the reality - The Jews pursued a shadow. the Greeks provided counterfeits.

    (25) -  Paul paraphrases a common Greek idiom.

          - "foolishness"=Gr."moros"="foolish thing"

          - "weakness"=Gr."asthenes"="weak thing"

          - "men"=plural of "anthropos"=All humankind

26 - Paul asks them to draw on their own experience.

     - "calling"=Gr."klesis"="the way you were called" or "the kinds of people sent to call you"

     - "not many" are wise...mighty...noble

27,28 - "hath chosen" = "chose"

     - "confound"=Gr."kataischuno"="put to shame"

     - "base"=Gr."agenes"= exact opposite of "eugenes" (noble) in v.26.

     - "despised"=Gr."exoutheneo"="counted as nothing"

     - "not"=Gr."me"= Refers to something conditionally negated due to some concept, feeling, etc.    ("haves","have nots")   ("nobodys", somebodys")

29 - Actually a common Hebraism. Best translated as "That all flesh may be prevented from boasting" 

Deu 8:10-20     Ps 62:11    Isa 10:12-15

Ac 12:21-24    Ro 3:23    1Co 4:7    Eph 2:8,9    Jas 4:13-16

30 - "is made" should be "became"

     - Separate "wisdom" from the three "and"s - Read "By becoming wisdom He became both righteousness and sanctification and also redemption"

     - Our existence comes from God, we are born of Him in Christ Jesus. It is only through wisdom that our ultimate deliverance from sin can occur. Wisdom, the application of knowledge, requires knowledge. Hence, Hos 4:6.

Read Wisdom's word  Pr 8

31 - See Jer 9:23,24

Ch.2:1 - Paul now uses himself as an example of the principles put foth in 1:26-31. He alludes to humility in preaching and humility in person. 

     - "excellency"=Gr."huperoche" Only here and 1Ti 2:2="pre-eminence"

       "I didn't come to you as a paragon  of eloquence or wisdom."

     - "testimony" - Paul came to them with the plain, simple language of a witness.

2 - "I had no intention to know about anything other than the Person and Office of our Lord, and Him too, not in His glory, but in His humiliation". (1:23,24)

3 - Weakness leading to fear leading to trembling. Not a fear of man, but nervousness and apprehension about falling short in his calling. (Eph 4:1-3)

See Gal 4:13  Eph 6:5

4 - "speech...preaching" = "the facts of the Gospel...the method of instruction and exhortation"

     - "enticing"=Gr."peithos" Only occ.="persuasive' - A colloquial Greek word, illustrating Paul's point.

     - "demonstration which comes of Spirit and power" - Moral demonstration, not verbal.  See 4:9-13.

5 - "stand" = "be" 

     - "wisdom of men" - Sermons, books, commentaries, etc. must be reconciled against God's Word.

 2Pe 1:19-21

6,7 - The rest of this chapter concerns "true" vs. "false" wisdom

     - "wisdom among the perfect"   See 1:24

     - "princes" - mighty in intelligence or rank.

Paul makes the transition from "I" to "we" to make the epistle global.

     - "ordained...unto our glory" - the subject of 1&2 Thessalonians.

See Rev 13:18   Pr 4:7

8 - "none...knew" - It was hidden by God. See 2Co 4:3-6

     - "the Lord of glory" - See Eph 1:17   Jas 2:1

9,10 - See Isa 64:4 and Ps 31:19 

     - "eye...ear...heart" - There is understanding that exceeds the ability of the senses to perceive, and the capacity of the intellect to prove. This is the essence of Jn 8:32, Heb 11:1 and Ro 8:16-28. Compare Heb 11:13.

     - "revealed" - Prophecy is not computed or reasoned. See Rev 19:10.

     - "searcheth"=Gr."ereunao"="to seek out" (as treasure or secrets)

              See Ps 139:1   Jn 5:39    Rev 2:23

     - "us" - All believers, not just the Apostles.

11-16 - (11,12) - Man's self-consciousness reveals man's nature to him. It is only the Spirit of God dwelling in man that reveals the nature of God. The knowledge of God (truth) is received, not derived. There is a process of attainment. It is much more than a knowledge of facts, theories or specific Scripture. Read Phil 2:1-12 and note v.5 "Let this mind be in you..." meaning "Mind this in yourselves." It is a matter of choice and surrender to the will of God. No man, as man, knows the things of God.

NOTE: This is carefully worded in the Greek to limit the analogy. It does not imply that the spirit of man's relationship to man is the same as the Holy Spirit's relationship to God.

     - "we" - Here refers to the Apostles as teachers.

     - "freely given" - As an act of grace. Read Jas 1:5-8 and note the process: request (ask), trust (faith), receive.

Those who claim to be unable to understand and those who claim intellectual mastery of the nature of God are, and will remain, carnal. They cannot receive the "things" of v.9.

       (13) - "comparing"=Gr."sunkrino"="fitting the meaning to the words". Used of interpreting dreams (Dan 5:16,17  Gen 40:8,16,22)

            - "with spiritual" = "to spiritual persons"

14 - "natural"=Gr."psuchikos" from "psuche" (Heb. "nephesh")="soul" - The personality and physicality of man, sometimes translated "sensual".  See 1Th 5:23 ("spirit and soul and body")

     - "receiveth not" - Includes both an inability to receive AND a disinclination to receive.

     - "know"=Gr."ginosko"="get to know", "learn", "perceive", "to become acquainted with"

     - "discerned"=Gr."anakrino"="examined", "investigated"

Truth is received from and through the Holy Spirit. Both speaker and hearer must be spiritual.  Ro 8:7   Jn 12:37-41

15 - "judgeth", "judged"  same as "discerned

     READ: "The spiritual man has standards by which to measure others, but they have no standards to apply to him. The spiritual man is a puzzle to the natural man.

16 - See Isa 40:12-14 - How could the natural man possibly understand us? If the mind of Christ is in us, and our spirits are one with His Spirit, what man can penetrate or comprehend the mind of God?

Ch.3:1 - Paul makes the transition back to dissensions in the church. Dissensions which would cease if they were spiritual people.

     - "could not" -There was wisdom that Paul was unable to impart because of their nature.

     - "carnal" - A reference to their original nature, hence the reference to "babes" (not having grown up).

2 - "You weren't strong enough then, or now". (About 5 years). Heb 5:12-6:3

3 - The conditions are indicative opf living according to human standards ("as men") - envying,strife, divisions.  Compare truth/wisdom Jas 3:13-18.

Verses 4-23 - Apostles, bishops, pastors, etc. - Merely human instruments

4 - "while" = "whenever"

     - "carnal" should be "men" (Gr."anthropos")

5 - "ministers" = "servants"         "gave" - See Eph 4:11-13

          Instruments of faith, not the objects of faith

6 - "planted", "watered" - past tense

     - "gave" = "ever gave" - Imperfect tense, therefore continuous, gradual and ongoing.

7,8 -  "Paul and Apollos are nothing, therefore they are the same thing. They cannot be Lords over you because they are nothing. They cannot be the subject of dissension because they are the same thing. Besides, planting and watering are pointless without the growth process. But, even though they are "one", everyone is rewarded individually."

9 - "God's fellow-workers" - We can only work together, without dissension, when God is "with" us, when we operate under His power. It does not mean that God is a "labourer". ("God" is the genitive case of possession)

     - "husbandry", "building" - Joins the 2 metaphors of 6-8 and 10-17.

       "husbandry"=Gr."georgion" Only occ.="tilled field"

       "building"=Gr."oikodome"="edifice" - the product of "edifying"

10 - Paul switches to the new metaphor. The unity of the effort involves a variety of assignments and tasks.

     - "According to..." - Placed first to exclude boasting

        Read: "If I laid the foundation, the credit belongs to God. It is His honor, not mine."

     - "wise" = "skillful"

     - "masterbuilder"=Gr."architekton" Only occ.="chief constructor"

                  note Mk 6:3   Heb 2:10, 12:2

     - "another"=Gr."allos"="another of the same kind in succession" Not a specific reference to Apollos nor limited to one person.

     - "take heed" - The superstructure may vary, but only one foundation is possible. Care must be taken that the building is appropriate. Compare Gal 1:6-9

11 - The foundation stone was prepared by God and "laid" by God. Not a contradiction to being "laid" by Paul.  Study Phil4:13  Jn 15:4-7

God's work cannot be done apart from God: Mt 7:21-27  1Co 13:1-3  Jn 14:6

12 - A beautifully constructed list of six (#of man) things in descending order of value and resistance to fire. Note that all, as representative of man's works, are perishable (1 Pe 1:7). the building is collective (Eph 2:19-22); each individual is responsible for his own job (Eph 4:1) and (Gal 6:4,5).  Read Mal 3:1-3.

       The first 3 indicate a palace. The second three, a hut (not suitable for the foundation). Paul yses the building as the concrete exhibition of the gospel of truth. The Corinthians were lax in the practice of doctrine.

13 - "fire" - Will purify the first 3 items, destroy the last 3.

                         See Dan 3:22,25

14 - Salvation is apart from works. Heavenly rewards are based on works.

15 - One who is saved (Jn 3:16) may narrowly escape the lake of fire as one who survives the loss of his goods in a fire. He will "suffer loss" by virtue of losing his reward, but he will survive.

16,17 - Often taken out of context and misunderstood.

     - "ye","you" - plural. - The Spirit dwells in the building formed by the collective body. This has absolutely no reference to an individual's physical state. (See Mt 15:16-20 and Mk 7:15-23)

     - "defile", "destroy"=Gr."phtheiro"="to mar"

     - As in Eph 2:20-22, the "building" must become a "Temple". The human builder cannot construct a Temple. (Read 2 Chr 5; 7:13). The building "grows" into a Temple. God provides the increase. The words "Temple of God" should read "God's Temple". There is only one. Thus the seriousness of dissension. The use of the Gr. "naos" for "Temple" refers to the inner shrine, or sanctuary. Those who offend in spirit will be requited in kind. Verse 19 addresses moral impurity, the other major issue in the church at Corinth.

Illustration: Lev 10:1-3; 21:21-23 (note "blemish")

                   Ac 5:1-14 - The phrase "one accord" appears 12 (#of government) times in Acts (11) and Philippians (1). Of the 11 occurrences in Acts, ten (#of order) are in reference to the saints, one of the heathens. (See Ac 1:14; 2:1,46; 4:24; 5:12; 7:57; 8:6; 12:20; 15:25; 18:12; 19:29 and Phil 2:2)

18 - "seemeth" = "seemeth to himself" - Worldly wisdom must be renounced in favor of moral wisdom. Read Lk 16:1-13 and note that v.9 is a question ("Do I say unto you?") with 10-12 explaining why He does not say that.

19 - The only N.T. quote from Job. Translated into Greek differently by Paul than in the Septuagint. Paul uses stronger words to reflect the "wise" being "seized".

20 - Taken from Ps 94:11

      - "thoughts" = "reasonings" - God, and those with the mind of Christ, understand natural things and worldly things. Along with the parable of Lk 16:1-13, read and understand Mt 10:16.

20-23 - "men" = "teachers"  See 1:31. - "Your teachers are your servants. They, and everything else, belong to you as disciples of Christ; as fellowheirs." Ro 8:31-39.

Ch. 4:1- "so account of us..." - according to 3:21, 23

       - "ministers" = "servants"

       - "stewards..." - True teachers are entrusted with the revealed truth of God.

            See 1 Co 15:51   Ro 11:25   2 Th 2:7    1 Ti 3:16

2 - "For the rest, it is required that a man be found trustworthy."

3,4 - "Man's day (judgment) isn't important to me. Even if I were to find no guilt in myself, I still wouldn't be justified. It is God that judges.

5 - Human opinion is futile, insufficient and unnecessary. God will reveal all and each of us will receive due praise from God, whether much or none.

          Ro 2:28,29     1 Co 3:13    Eph 5:13

6 - "I used myself and Apollos to illustrate a general truth. Do not exceed what is written in Scripture for your assessment of truth. Try the truth by the truth. Note 2 Ti 4:1-4 

7 - Switches to singular, posed to each individual.

       - "glory" = "boast"   Jn 15:4,5  1 Co 12:4-11   Deu 8:10-18   Jas 1:16-18

8 - Paul uses irony to chastise the Corinthians. - "You seem to be exalted by some special dispensation which gives you all the advantages while we poor apostles must labor and suffer. It must be nice."

9 - "We, on the other hand, instead of being royalty, are exhibited last (after the prophets) as condemned criminals for the grand finale."

       - "spectacle"=Gr."theatron"= A place of showing. The means through which God showed His Word and Works, not the show itself.

What we are and what we do is not about us. Eph 4:11,12

10-13 - Despite v.14, Paul continues his ironic contrast to the puffed up church members by describing the apostles' life.

       - fools/wise    weak/strong    honourable/despised

       - hungry, thirsty, poorly clothed wanderers.

       - "filth"=Gr."perikatharma" Only occ.="sweepings"

       - "offscouring"=Gr."peripsema" Only occ. = What is scraped off.

14 - "shame" - the method

       - "warn" - the purpose

15 - "though" = "if"     "have" = "should have" - Paul takes the stance of a father addressing his children.   See 1Th 2:1-12

16 - "followers" = "imitators"  As children copying parents.

17 - Paul informs them that he has dispatched Timothy, a mature "sibling", to bring (to return) them into sync with the rest of the body. Timothy had not yet arrived (16:10).

18 - "Some of you have been in the house acting as if your parents were never going to return and find out what you've been doing."

19 - "shortly" = "quickly"  "know" = "discover and expose"

     - "not the speech...power" - Not the effects, but the source.

20 - Why? No problem is eliminated until its cause is removed.

     - How? Not through detective work, but spiritually. (2:13-16)

21 - "It's your choice. Do I come to you as your schoolmaster or as your father?"

Ch. 5:1 -"reported commonly" = "most assuredly known",i.e., not a rumor, but a reality. Paul does not name the informants. The woman is ignored, indicating that she did not belong to the church (v.13). The father is still alive (2 Co 7:12), divorced or separated since the issue refers to an ongoing relationship, not a single incident. See Lev 20:11, Deu 22:30.

2 - Such scandal should have humbled the church, led to mourning and triggered some action. See 2 Chron 7:14.

     - "from among" = "out of the midst of"

3,4 - Paul contrasts himself to the Corinthians. He, from afar, condemned. They, though present, condoned. Next, Paul refers to an imaginary council over which he presides in spirit. The reference is based on Mt 18:20 and apparently led to an actual tribunal (2 Co 2:6).

NOTE: A gathering that is truly held in the name of the Lord will produce Godly results accompanied by God's power..

5 - Connects to "judged" in v. 3.  "to deliver" = "That ye should deliver"

     - Satan - The instrument of physical suffering used for a Divine purpose.

See 2 Co 12:7   1 Ti 1:20   Lk 13:16   Job 2:7

NOTE: The power to afflict necessarily includes the power to stop afflicting. Satan has the power to counterfeit the gift of healing.

     - This "delivery" is through power granted by God to His chosen apostles. See Ac 5:1-10; 13:8-11   Note Ro 1:24,26,28

     - "destruction...flesh"  "spirit...saved" - Principle espoused several times by Christ.    Mk 9:43-48   Ac 9:15,16   Jn 12:24,25

6 - "glorying" = "boasting"

     - "leaven" - The sin, not the sinner. The church had a spot of plague. Their pride is condemned, but their behavior is the leaven.

7,8 - Since the Passover is past, we are in the days of unleavened bread. Ex 12:12-20

1 Co 5:9 – “an epistle” should be “the epistle” – The reference must be to a previous communication which would be well known to the Corinthians since it is identified only as “the epistle”. This two-word phrase occurs only 4 times in the Bible. Two of these instances are immediately dismissed:

-         Ac 23:33 – A letter from the chief captain to the governor at Caesarea.

-         2 Co 3:3 – A reference to human beings.

It is the 4th occurrence which unlocks the “mystery”. It is found in Ac 15:30 and, just as in 1 Co 5:9, it is identified only as “the epistle”. Are we missing an epistle of such monumental importance in the formation of the Christian church? Does nothing remain of such a widely circulated letter? Is there a missing letter to the Corinthians? The answer to these questions is an emphatic “NO!”.

The epistle is HEBREWS – Why?

Most Bibles will give the date for the writing of Hebrews as 64-68 A.D. based primarily on Heb 13:23 and reasoning that:

1.      Timothy’s release must have been in connection with his ministry in Rome with Paul in the 60s.

2.      It was written before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. because there is no reference to it in the epistle.

#2 is obviously true. #1 is baseless assumption. The imprisonment of the apostles was as common as parking tickets are today. In fact, the Gr. “apoluo” in Heb 13:23 could easily refer to Timothy having been “sent on a mission” in addition to the fact that the verse provides no time reference.

The issues of timing and authorship are settled by the Bible itself.

-         The subject of the Book of Hebrews, in part and in whole, precisely fits the subject of Ac 15:1-35 (about 51 A.D.). Hebrews sets forth Jesus as both Man and Messiah; the New Covenant as superior to the Old Covenant; Jesus being superior to both Moses and the angels, etc. To think that Hebrews would not be written until some 22 years into Paul’s ministry is illogical. Why write Romans at such an early date (58 A.D.) and not Hebrews? It is akin to building the foundation of the house as the final step.

-         The distribution of the epistle produced in Acts 15 was of paramount importance and enhanced by the split in Ac 15:36-41 (compare to Ac 8:1-4 after the stoning of Stephen). This consistency of God is also mirrored by Ro 1:16 (“to the Jew first”). Such a document would be common to all established and new “churches” and could easily be referred to as “the epistle” without further description. (Note: "the letters" of  Ac 15:23-29 were prepared for immediate distribution, akin to a corporate resolution. The entire discourse, naturally, took much longer to prepare, copy and distribute. It took 2-3 years).

-         Paul was obviously present for the Council meeting in Jerusalem and, due to his level of scholarship (Ac 22:3) compared to the other apostles, would have been the obvious choice to author such a document subject to consensus approval. The level of knowledge of the Septuagint (Greek Bible) exhibited in Hebrews is substantial. There are two clear reasons not to publish Paul as the author:

1.    To attach Paul’s name to a document aimed at “thousands” of Jews who believed after Pentecost but remained “zealous of the law” (Ac 2:41, 4:4, 6:7, 21:20) may have defeated its purpose.

2.    Documents produced by Councils (Constitutions, Treaties, etc.) do not have individual authorship assigned.

-         The style would necessarily be different from Paul’s other epistles written to churches composed primarily of Gentiles. He writes Hebrews to the Jews as an instructed scribe. The reasoning, thought and logical flow are clearly Paul’s. One does not write a letter to a friend or relative in the same style as a memo or business letter. A difference in style does not demonstrate a difference in authorship.

-         If Paul did not write Hebrews, we are left with Paul being the author of  13 epistles instead of 14 ( a violation of God’s usage of numbers in Scripture) and the structure of the epistles is destroyed.

Hebrews was almost certainly written immediately after 1&2 Thessalonians during Paul’s 18 months in Corinth . The Corinthians were among the first to receive a copy of Hebrews and knew that Paul was the author. To identify himself as the author to the church at Corinth would add immensely to its credibility since he had “begotten” them.

The completion of Hebrews can be accurately placed no later than 54 A.D.

(This is a summary of a body of evidence)

     - "company"=Gr."sunanamignumi"="intermingle" - The specific reference is to Heb 12:14-17 where the same word is used for fornicator" (Gr."pornos" = male prostitute or whoremonger) as in this verse.

10 - Not to the exclusion of witnessing (Mt 28:19-20)

     - "extortioners"= Gr."harpax" = Those who take by force or threat.

11 - See 6:10 - Refers to habitual behavior. Remember Ro 3:23.

     - "no...eat" = "not even to eat" - a Hebraism referring to fellowship and the implication of condoning such behavior.

12,13 - It is God's responsibility to judge the world. The church can, and should, only deal with matters within the body.

               See Deu 17:8-13 as the basis for Paul's statement.

Ch.6 -  Paul moves from matters of transgression against the purity of the church body to civil litigation in heathen courts.

1 - "Does it make sense for the just to submit themselves to being judged by the unjust?"

2,3 - The saints will reign with Christ as kings and accordingly sit with Him as judges.   2 Ti 2:12   Rev 22:5     Note  Rev 20:4  Mt 19:28   Lk 22:30

     - The logical question follows.

     - "...life" = Gr."biotikos" - The clause refers to the circumstances and occurrences of natural life vs. spiritual life.

4 - "set...to judge" = "cause...to sit"

     Compare Ac 6:2 to understand. Resolution of earthly matters will contribute to harmony in the body but can never be allowed to detract from spiritual ministry and leadership. The Corinthians were bickering over every real and imagined difference with each other. Spiritual giftedness was being squandered dealing with trivia.

5,6 - "Why can't you handle this? You've got brother going against brother and, even worse, you're taking it before the heathens."

7 - "...utterly a fault..." - "The fitness of the Gentile courts is not the primary issue. You diminish yourselves by being quick to litigate."

     - "one with another" = "with yourselves"

     - "Why..."  See Mt 18:21-35 (Note "my brother" in v.21)

8 - (Emphatic) "Instead of treating each like family, you seek to exploit each other."

9 - "unrighteous" - Same word translated "unjust" in v.1

     - "Be not deceived"=Gr."planao"="Do not be caused to roam" - A strong phrase used 3 times by Paul (also 15:33 and Gal 6:7)

NOTE: The things listed in vv. 9,10 reference habitual behaviors and an unsurrendered heart. Salvation is not dependent upon works (Jn 3:16), but our works are often reflective of our hearts. (Read 1 Jn 3:15 and note that ir is present tense and does not preclude the salvation of a murderer at a later time).

The list in v.9 is tied directly to the activities at the temple of Aphrodite (see INTRODUCTION).

     - "effeminate"=Gr."malakos"="soft" - The colloquial term for a catamite.

     - "abusers..."=Gr."arsenokoites"="sodomites"

Paul addresses common practices and beliefs that lingered in the church.

    1. It was common for a man to have 3 sexual partners - Wife, servant and shrine prostitute.

    2.It was common for men to regard homosexual activities according to which role was taken. Hence, Paul addresses both partners.

10 - Characteristics indicative of living "according to flesh" (Ro 8:13). manifested through sensuality and strife.

11 - "...washed" = "You washed yourselves" (Baptism)

     - "...sanctified" = "You were consecrated" (see 7:14 for the same sense)

     - "...justified" = "You were justified" (incorporated into Christ)

The verse moves from external to internal, ending with the fullness of the Trinity.


     - Sensuality was not only rampant in the church, but was not viewed as a problem by many of the members. Paul concedes the principle, denies the application to the sins of the flesh by applying a qualifying principle.

     - "All things..." = "Nothing is unlawful..."  See Ro 7:6; 8:1-4  Gal 2:19,3:21-25, etc. (Compare the concept of diplomatic immunity)

     - "BUT..." - We are not  loosed from responsibilities to ourselves and to others.

     - "expedient"=Gr."sumphero"="advantageous","profitable" - With regard to others as well as ourselves.

     - "brought under..." = "put under the tyranny" - Our own moral decay sets in with a lack of self-discipline.

IMPORTANT: The fact that we are not subject to a rule book does not give us a license to do anything we choose. In fact, it calls us to a higher standard. Read and understand Mt 5:17-48. We are responsible for our own service (Eph 4:1) and our impact on others (Mt 18:1-10). The Christian walk consists of much more than obeying the commandments (Mk 10:17-27) or avoiding some list of sins (Jas 3:2a). God has always desired more from us (Ps 24:3-5) but we needed training to reach maturity. The Resurrection advanced us to the next level. Ac 17:28-31  Col 2:12-23   Ro 14:12-23

13,14 - "destroy"=Gr."katargeo"="bring to nought" - All that is physical, natural and sensual is temporary.     2 Co 4;18  Lk 21:5,6

     - BUT... Paul makes an important distinction between what is consumed by the body and its activities which impact its resurrection. The difficulty for most people lies in separating the idea of the body from the concept of flesh and blood. Paul uses Chapter 15 for that purpose. The body as an instrument of service and worship for God is the unchanging purpose of both the natural (corruptible) and spiritual (incorruptible) body.

     - "Fornication" (Gr."porneia"=Harlotry, adultery, incest) is idolatrous, as Paul explains in vv 15-20. Idolatry is fornication based on God's relationship to His people. Carefully read and understand: Jer 3:1-10  Eze 16:1-43  2 Co 6:14-18

15 - We are the instruments of service (labourers). Note the responsibility to distribute God's blessings - Mt 14:15-19

IMPORTANT: "take" = "take away"  (See Lk 16:13) Loyalty to God cannot be divided - only removed.

16 - "What?" = "Or"     "joined"=Gr."kollao"="cleaved"

       See Gen 2:24 - Crucial to God's perspective

Cleaving = Marriage = Monogamy

     - "one flesh" - Impossible naturally, therefore supernatural, i.e., spiritual, not physical. Understand Mt 19:6

17 - Paul connects the physical and the spiritual. The union with God is inner and spiritual (Eph 4:4) and mutual in all respects (Eph 5:30). this gives wider comprehension to Scripture like Rev 2:4 and :20-23.

18 - "Flee" - See Gen 39:6-12. Note that the individual is to "run away", not to withstand, resist or overcome. The idea is expressed in Jas 1:13-16 and detailed in 2Sa 11:1-4. Lust in the mind and spirit is the leaven which ferments before any actions take place.

     - "Every" = "Every other" - Even things like gluttony and drunkenness are apart from the body as an instrument of service.

     - "sinneth against" - See Eph 5:29. Again, the difference between what we consume and what we cleave to.

To understand: Read 1Jn 4:20 "...for he that loveth not, is not committed and faithful to his spouse which he hath married and vowed to cleave to, how can he commit and be faithful to God Whom he hath not seen?"

19 - See 3:16 where the collective body is addressed regarding strife and vainglory.

       Here it is the individual regarding sensuality.

REMEMBER: The physical structure of the body is not key, its usage is important. See the "den of thieves"  Mt 21:12,13

20 - "bought"=Gr."agorazo" - The aorist tense, meaning paid once for all. This is NOT the concept of redemption by the blood of Jesus Christ nor is it propitiation. It is NOT ransom from slavery, captivity and bondage. It refers to the purchase price of transfer to a new master, a change of ownership as we remain slaves/servants (See Ro 6:18,22).   1Co 7:21-24

     - "therefore" = "Be sure to"

     - "and in your spirit" - OMIT. Not present in any text.

Ch. 7:1-11 - To marry or not marry

                     - Duties of those already married.

                     - The unmarried - Single,divorced,separated,widowed

1 -Paul refers directly to a letter he received from the Corinthians containing general and specific questions. Many (too many) Christians still have the same questions.

     - "good" - Unqualified here. Given context in vv. 2,9 and more importantly in Eph 5:22-33. See Pr18:22  Heb 13:4

A Christian has no responsibility to be either married or unmarried. Our duty is to live according to our status.

2 - "Nevertheless to avoid..." = "But because of..."

     - "every" = "each" - A prohibition of polygamy given to both parties to prevent misuse of Scriptures like Tit 2:5 and 1Ti 3:1,5.

Paul continues to stress the mutual responsibilities of both marital partners in the following verses.

3 - "benevolence"=Gr."eunoia"="kindness", BUT the text reads Gr."opheile"="the debt", hence the term "render" (See Mt 22:21). There are non-negotiable obligations between spouses. Things owed contractually, legally and morally. For example, monogamy is not negotiable.

4 - As "one flesh", neither husband nor wife is the controlloing party. Neither husband nor wife is unaffected by the actions or status of the other.

5 - Summarizes the points made in vv. 2-4. Spouses are not to withhold sex as a weapon or as a reward. It is "owed" unless both parties agree to a "grace period." 

     - "Defraud"=Gr."apostereo"="deprive"

     - "give yourselves to"=Gr."scholazo"="have leisure for" (as a break from school or vacation from work - temporary, short-term)

     - "fasting and" - OMIT, not in any text. (Fasting is not to be equated with prayer in terms of spiritual growth).

     - "incontinency"=Gr."akrasia" Only here and Mt 23:25 "excess"="lack of self-restraint" - The idea is that sexual deprivation can make one more susceptible to illicit conduct.

6 - Read: "I do not state this as binding rules. I state what is allowable. I speak permissively, not imperatively." See Mt 19:8

7 - "If it were up to me, I'd prefer that all live in celibacy and continence. But not all have the same dispensation of grace."

 READ and UNDERSTAND Mt 19:10-12

8 - "widows" - applies to both sexes - "Do not feel a need to remarry if once married, nor to marry if never married."

9 - "cannot contain" = "don't have self-control"

     - "burn" = "be consumed" (as by fire), "inflamed", "obsessed"

Paul states that Christians choose marriage (monogamy), not fornication, frustration, distraction ot the temptation of v.5. Celibacy is not a realistic option for all (v.7). There is no allowance made for pre- or extra-marital sex, nor multiple partners.

10 - "depart"=Gr."chorizo"="be separated" See Mt 19:6 "put asunder".

         Also see Mt 5:32, Lk 16:18

NOTE: The exception expressed in Mt 19:9 is understood of itself as a violation of covenbant and constitutes a moral, though not legal, act of divorcement.

11 - "put away"=Gr."aphiemi"="send away" - As Christ does not "send away" the Church collectively or individually, the husband cannot send away the wife. The wife may make a choice with the possibility of reconciliation by "abiding" unmarried. Compare Heb 6:4-6  Deu 24:1-4

12 - Paul now addresses marriages between Christians and non-Christians ("the rest"). Paul authoritatively addresses existing believer/non-believer unions in the absence of specific commandment.

Contrast the treatment of Ezra 10:9-19,44.

It is likely that many married people in Corinth became individually converted and were uncertain what, if anything, they should do.

     - The compound preposition here requires that the consent of the believing husband is assumed.

13 - "leave" = "send away" as in v.11

     - "him" = "her husband"

Read thus: "Let her not dismiss him; he is still her husband."

14 - "sanctified"=Gr."hagiazo"="hallowed" - The concept of holiness is based on separation. See "hagiazo" used in Jn 17:15-19. Note 2Co 6:14-18.

     - "by" = "in"    "else" = "since otherwise"

IMPORTANT: A principle of God: The better is not rejected due to its connection with the worse. The lesser takes it character from the greater. 

Understand  1Jn 4:4, Spirit vs. flesh, New nature vs. old nature, etc.

As God's children, we are holy because He is holy (See Lev 11:45). In practice, children of "mixed" marriages are regarded as Christian children. Note the required circumcision of Eliezer, Moses' second son by Zipporah, under the threat of death to Gershom, the firstborn. (CAREFULLY read Ex 4:19-26 where v.23 has God speaking directly to Moses about his sons.  Read Ro 11:16.

15 - "but God hath called us IN (not "to") peace." - (Read Jn 14:27, Isa 9:6). Understand 2Ki 22:20 and note that King Josiah died in war (2Ki 23:29). There is no contradiction. God's peace is of mind and heart). This phrase summarizes vv. 10-15. Christianity should not destroy family relationships nor instigate conflict. We should abide peaceably with a spouse who desires to live with us. We are not inextricably bound to a relationship with one who is unsaved, BUT we are not to foster dissension or actively seek separation. Dissolution of the marriage should not be our doing. We are called to serve in an atmosphere of peace (Phil 4:7).

16 - WHY? - The possibility of salvation for the spouse is worth staying for. The possibility of not saving the spouse is inadequate and insufficient reason to automatically dissolve the union. the Christian conduct of a believing spouse is a strong witness - not an immediate witness.

17 - "Lord" and "God" are transposed. An important distinction.

     - God calls: 1 Co 1:9  Ro 8:30  Gal 1:15  1 Th 2:12  2 Th 2:13,14

     - The Lord distributes: Eph 4:7-13  Mt 15:30-36, 25:14-30

It is the Head of the Church Who assigns positions based on His distribution and the resulting differences in individuals.  1 Co 12:19.

18-24 - The general concept of v.17 is illustrated by specific ezamples. The principle of Jn 3:3 and 2 Co 5:17 is applied to the church at Corinth including among its membership converted Jews with Gentiles as well as masters and servants as fellow worshipers.

     (18,19) - "Is" = "Was" - Paul preached and practiced acceptance of Christianity, not destruction of Judaism.

                 - "keeping" - The "guarding" of God's commandments is everything. See Ro 13:8-10 and Jn 13:34,35

     (20) - "calling"=Gr."klesis" Used in Eph 1:18, 4:1 ("vocation") - A call to the knowledge of God and membership in the Church and the Kingdom. In classical Greek it is: a name or designation; an invitation (as to a feast, Mt 22:3,4,8); a summons to appear in court as a witness or advocate. Paul uses this word in reference to the act and the circumstance. We are called in an external condition, not to one.

     (21) - Servants with an opportunity to be free should do so, but one's position in the world does not equate to spiritual standing.

     (22) - Christ buys us from our old master (sin) to free us, but we still owe Him service. being subject to christ is to be free from sin.

     (23) - As in 6:20, we have been purchased and belong to our new owner.

     (24) - v.17.   "with"=Gr."para"= In the sight and presence of God.

25-38 - Another topic from the letter (7:1) is addressed. The question concerns giving unmarried daughters in marriage. Paul gives a general point (v.27), applies it to both sexes (28-35), and then specifically answers the question.

25 - "virgins"=Gr."parthenos"="maidens" - a term for an unmarried (never married) daughter, presumed to be a virgin.

     - As in v.10, this is not explicitly addressed by Scripture, but authoritative (Gal 1:12)

     - "obtained mercy" - See 1Ti 1:13,16

     - "faithful"=Gr."pistos"="trustworthy"

26 - Paul echoes the sentiment of v.1 in terms of "the present distress" (persecution). A man can be torn between duty to God and obligations to wife and children. bravery can dissipate with thoughts of leaving a widow and orphaned children.

   - "so to be" = "to remain as he is"

27 - The operative word is "seek". The pattern set in Gen 2:22 is for God to supply a suitable companion for the unmarried. For the married, Mt 19:6 governs. The words "God hath joined together" are highly significant, to church ministry as well as individuals. This verse does not imply that those addressed were previously married.

28 - The operative word is "flesh". Spiritual standing is not impacted by marital status of either men or women. Marriage has its own "trouble" (Gr."thlipsis"="tribulation" (testing)) as a more complex situation, but Paul chooses not to get specific. The advice in v.26 is for simplification of our service to God.

29-31 - "time is short"="season is shortened" - All earthly, natural things are temporal - marriage, joy, possessions.

       2Co 4:16-18   1Pe 1:3-9   Mk 12:18-25   Heb 11:24-26

The O.T. view of marriage and childbearing as signs of favor with God persisted in Corinth, and with many to this day.

32 - "without carefulness"=Gr."amerimnos"="free from anxiety" 

     - "that belong to" = "of" as in v.34

33 - The distinction between married and unmarried men is in priorities and attention.

34 - The parallel is drawn for women, equally subject to distraction and divided allegiance.

35 - "snare"=Gr."brochos" Only occ.=Something to restrict, as a halter.

     - "that which is comely"=Gr."euschemon"="proper decorum" - Those actively "seeking" (v.27) may drift into inappropriate behavior.

     - "that ye may attend"=Gr."euprosedros"="for devoted attention"

     - "without distraction"=Gr."aperipastos" Only occ.="unencumbered"

36,37 - Fathers with unmarried daughters (Nu 30)

       (a) There was recognized power of fathers over daughters. A father's permission was required for a marriage to occur.

        (b) Paul is responding to the question put forth in the letter of 7:1, not endeavoring to cover all aspects, i.e., daughter's rights.

     - "virgin" = virgin daughter

     - "pass the flower" = "be of age"

     - "need so require" = "if it ought to be so"

38 - Again, not a matter of spiritual standing.

39,40 - Widows

     - See Ro 7:1-3

     - "by the law" - Omit

     - "only in the Lord" - Necessary to avoid misapplication of the verse. It is a reference to not forgetting or neglecting her membership in the body and her Christian duties and responsibilities. This would logically imply marriage to a Christian husband, but the meaning is much more comprehensive.

     - "my judgment" - See v.25. Paul advises according to Divine revelation where there is no specific Scripture.

Ch.8:1-3 - "things...idols"=Gr."eidolothutos" also Ac 15:29

     - "knowledge"=Gr."gnosis"=knowledge through experience

     NOTE: The rest of v.1 through v.3 is parenthetical

     - "puffeth" is to "edifieth" as a "bubble" is to a 'building"

  (2) - "If" - See 2:1,2 - Being puffed up demonstrates a lack of understanding and maturity. Read Phil 3:8.

  (3) - "But" - What is necessary is that we are known by God. read and understand Mt 7:21-23 and 1Co 13:2.   Jn 14:23.

4 - "nothing" - See Ps 106:19,20  Isa 44:9-20

5 - Ps 82:1,6  Gen 35:1-4  Gal 4:8-10

6 - Col 1:12-17  Ro 11:34-36  Eph 4:6

7 - "every man" - Within the context of the church. To many in the church, God is not exclusive. Eze 8:1-17 relates to "conscience" (custom=Gr."sunetheia) of idols. Many "believers" today consult horoscopes or psychics, possess "lucky" items, and/or fear not responding to chain letters and other things which threaten them with "curses". Superstitions of all sorts abound within the body of Christ passed down through family and other associates."unto this hour" applies even now.

    - "conscience...defiled" - Their conviction is weak, and thus "polluted" because they are not rooted in v.6.

8 - Another external thing without spiritual significance. Mt 15:1-20 1Co 6:12,13a

9 - "liberty"=Gr."exousia"="authority".  Paul issues a warning here, the explanation in 10-13.

10,11 - "which is" = "since he is"

     - "emboldened"=Gr."oikodomeo"="built up", i.e., edified to fall down as in "perish". We can be built up to destruction as well as salvation; by liberty or restriction. See Mt 23:13-15.

12 - To contribute to the stumbling of another is grievous error. Mt 18:6,7

13 - "offend"=Gr."skandalizo"="to cast a snare"

Ch.9: Framed by v.3, Paul uses practical teaching as defense
1,2 - A series of rhetorical questions with positive responses.

     - "seen"=Gr."horao"="to physically see with the eyes" - Read Ac 9:1-8 and understand v.3 through Jn 1:4-9 and read 2 Co 3:1-3

     - "my work in the Lord" - Lk 6:43-45   Jn 10:37,38

     - "doubtless" = "at least"

     - "seal..."  Compare 2 Co 3:1-3

3 - The defense begins.

     - "answer"=Gr."apologia"="defense'

     - "examine"=Gr."anakrino"="interrogate", "cross-examine"

4 - Add "at the expense of the church"

5 - "sister a wife" = a believing wife also entitled to be supported

     - "other..." - The other apostles, including Peter, did not continue in outside occupations (Paul still made tents).

6 - "Or is it just Barnabas and myself who aren't allowed to give up our outside jobs?"

7 - "What soldier pays the army to serve? Who can't eat from their own garden? Can't a farmer partake of his crops and drink the milk from his flock?"

8 - "It's not just my words and thoughts. The law agrees.

9 - From Deut 25:4  "treadeth out"=Gr."aloao"="thresheth" as in v.10

     - "Doth..."  Add "only"   See Mt 6:26-30

10 - Paul states the application of the principle.

     - Plow in hope (anticipation) of threshing. Thresh in hope of partaking (sharing in).  Heb 12:2-11

11 - A rhetorical question to those thinking carnally. Se 1 Ti 6:10.

12 - Paul states, as on other occasions, that he is not chargeable to the church by his choice, to eliminate any doubt about his motives.

13 - "Do ye not..."   Read Deu 18:1-8

     - "live' = "eat"

     - "wait"=Gr."paredreou"="to attend as a servant"

     - "are partakers" Gr."summerizomai" Only occ.="divide"

14,15 - "I'm telling you what God has ordained. I'm not campaigning for a paycheck. Nothing is more important to me than protecting my ministry for the Lord."

16 - "though" = "If"    "necessity"=Gr."ananke"="constraint"

     - Paul is simply carrying out "must perform" tasks. The glory belongs to God.

            See Ro 12:1-3 and Eph 4:1,7,11-13

     - God views us based on the quality of service, not the nature of the service.

            Read Lk 12:41-48

17 - "If I simply chose to make a living this way, I'd get paid for it, but I have been entrusted with a stewardship that I am obliged and bound to fulfil."

18 - "What..?"  Ultimately answered in v. 23.

     - "I preach the gospel without cost to maximize its power."

19 - Omit "men". "I have no restrictions, but I have enslaved myself in order to reach more people."

20-22 - See Ac 16;1-3; 1 Co 8:13. Evangelism often involves conciliation which does not compromise God. Paul could eat pork if he wanted to do so. To do so while witnessing to a Jew living under the law would be counterproductive. Contrast what Peter did (Gal 2:11-13) and note the operative word "separated".

23 - "might...you" = "may share in the triumph of the gospel" 

24 - "Aren't races about winning? Run to win."

     - "prize"=Gr."brabeion" See also Phil 3:14="an award resulting from arbitration"  See 2 Ti 4:7,8

25 - See 2 Ti 2:5   "is temperate" = "exercises self-control", "trains"

NATURAL power is other others. SPIRITUAL power is over oneself.

     - "all things" - Moderation is necessary for a fruitful Christian life. Read 2 Pe 1:1-11 ("temperance") and Gen 2:1-3. The enemy desires excess which is rooted in one or more of pride, covetousness or lust. Even our service to God is based upon being a member of the body, not the whole show. God Himself rested from His work.

     - "they" - Those we run against (Ro 8:1-15). The natural race is contrasted to the spiritual race. 

26 - "not as uncertainly" - Paul knows the race, the track, the conditions, the circumstances, the objective and the training required to be victorious.

     - "fight"=Gr."pukteo" Only occ.="to fight with the fist" - Done in those days with the hand covered by a "cestus", leather thongs studded with metal spikes and/or beads. The fights were often to the death.

     - "beateth the air" - Shadow boxing (Gr."skiamachia") - Paul is in the real life or death match. He's not just sparring.

27 - "keep under"=Gr."hupopiazo"="to hit under the eye" - An extension of the pugilistic analogy meaning "subdue" or as in Luke 18:5 "weary."

     - "bring...subjection"=Gr."doulagogeo" Only occ.="reduce to slavery' (What was formerly in control, i.e., flesh).

     - "preached'=Gr."kerusso"="acted as a herald" (The herald summoned runners to the starting line at the races).

     - "castaway" = "rejected" (by the Arbitrator)

Ch.10 - "5" is the Scriptural number of grace. Paul uses "all" 5 times to emphasize the grace of the "Whosoever" God. Verse 5 introduces the "many" who failed to finish.

1 - "under" - Physically, morally and legally.

Ex 13:20-22; 14:19-24; 16:10; 19:9,16; 24:16-18; 34:5; 40:34-38

     - "sea" - Ex 14:19-31  note "saved" in v.30, "believed" in v.31

2 - "unto"=Gr."eis" = placed in motion toward an object

NOTE: This baptism replaced (temporarily) circumcision during the time in the wilderness (Jos 5:1-8). It would later permanently replace circumcision as Christ permanently replaced Moses and the Law. This baptism was by "cloud...and...sea."

3,4 - "meat...drink" - That which nourishes and sustains.

     - "for..." - Should be in parentheses.

     - "them" - OMIT. The reference is to time. The water was after the manna. Christ was after Moses.

IMPORTANT: "Rock...Christ" Read Nu 20:1-12 and Heb 6:4-6

       The Rock was struck (crucified) once (Ex 17:1-6). Thereafter, it was to be spoken to (Nu 20:8). Note in Nu 20:12 that Moses and Aaron were denied entry into the promised land due to unbelief, not disobedience. Read 2 Pe 2:20-22 and Luke 9:62. God does not offer alternative salvation plans. Once the gift is accepted, it is our responsibility to secure it and maintain it (Phil 2:12). If we discard the gift in favor of another offer we are ineligible for replacement. There is one per person, non-transferable. Salvation is accepted or rejected. It is not found or lost.

5 - "many" = "the most" - Of the "all" who were baptized and partook of the spiritual meat and drink.

     - "overthrown"=Gr."katastronnumi"="slain" - Those referred to in Heb 6:4-6. many of today's church members.

The promised land available to "all" was entered by only Joshua and Caleb of the adult males (about 600,000) who left Egypt. Ex 12:37.

6 - "examples"=Gr."tupos"=""types' - We are to learn from the people in the Bible, not copy them (Ro 3:23). It is not alright to do something just because someone in the Bible did it ( such as polygamy). God's way is to provide examples of what to do and what not to do.

     Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10:1-11)      Achan (Jos 7:1,10-26)

     Ananias and Sapphira (Ac 4:32-5:11)    Herod (Ac 12:18-23)

7 - See Ex 32:1-10

8 - See Nu 25:1-9 where 24,000 includes those hanged in vv. 4,5

9 - "tempt"=Gr."ekpeirazo"="strenously test"   See Nu 21:4-9

10 - "destroyer"=Gr."olothreutes" Only occ.="destroying angel" (See Ex 12:23)

       See Nu 14:26-38 (Note the special plague for the ten men in v.37)

11 - "these things" - Lust, idolatry, fornication, tempting God, and murmuring are objectively condemned by God.

     - "happened to them", "written" for us as warnings.

     - "world" = "ages"

12 - Read 1 Pe 4:17-19 and 1 Th 5:18 and note that our everyday complaints, gripes and grumblings are no different to God than lust, idolatry, etc.

This verse stands as one of the strongest warnings in Scripture. Few would speak the words of Lk 18:10-12, but many have the same heart.

13 - We are given examples (types) because human beings are tried in certain ways. All of humanity was affected by sin at the same time (Ro 5:12-21), not uniquely and individually.

     - "faithful" = "trustworthy"    "suffer" = "allow"

     - "a way to escape"=Gr."ekbasis"="a way out"

     - "bear" = "endure"

It is up to us to seek, desire and utilize the "exit". See the next verse.

14 - One of the things we are to "exit" from (flee).

1 Co 6:18 (fornication)       2 Ti 2:22 (youthful lusts)

1 Ti 6:9-11 (foolish and hurtful lusts)

15 - An appeal to the brethren.

1 Co 10:13,14 - EXPANDED     They = We = I

     - "temptation"=Gr."peirasmos"="a putting to proof"

          God tests by experience - What He allows

          The devil tests by experiment - What he initiates   (Jas 1:13)

     - "common to man" - In process and intent, not specific detail. All tests have a purpose. Testing is often a destructive process.

   - Testing can confirm suitability or unsuitability.

   - Testing can assess quality/ranking relative to others.

   - Testing can be repetitive, periodic, at regular intervals or on a surprise basis.

   - Testing may not only be unannounced, it may be unperceived by the one being tested.

   - Testing may be voluntary or involuntary.

   - Testing may vary in intensity and duration. It may be done in stages or parts.

   - Testing is no respecter of persons.

READ James 1:12-16 and 1 John 2:16 and assess the testing process in the following circumstances:

Eve - Gen 3:1-6

Abraham - Gen 22:1-18

Job - Job 1,2

David - 2 Samuel 11-12:23

Jesus - Mt 4:1-11

16 - "the cup of blessing"

Each Jew is obligated to drink four cups of wine at these specific times during each Seder (1st two nights of Passover, 15th & 16th of Nisan): the first at the start of the Seder, following Kiddush (sanctification blessing); the second before the meal, after reciting the Haggadah (story of liberation from Egypt); the third is the cup of blessing following the Grace After the Meal; and the last after Hallel (Psalms of Praise 113-118).

The cup of blessing and the application to believers.

First - the cup must be washed on the inside.

Second - it must be rinsed on the outside.

Clean within and without, cheerful and uncomplaining.

Third - the cup must be without chips or cracks.

Fourth -the cup must be filled with wine to the brim.

Caters to the physical as well as the spiritual and intellectual needs of his people.

Fifth - part of the wine must be given to others in the household and those who are present.

Sixth - One should invite worthy disciples and learned men to share the occasion.

Eager to learn and to teach, to influence others for the good and to be influenced himself. A credit to his family and a source of blessing.

Seventh - the cup of blessing should be taken with both hands

Whole-hearted commitment and devotion

     - "communion"=Gr."koinonia" - translated "fellowship" in 1:9

     - "blood...bread" - Wine representing the purity of the blood of Christ. Bread likewise being unleavened as a sign of purity. Both provided by God (Ps 104:14,15) as was Christ (Jn 3:16).   See Jn 6:48-59

17 - "We the many are one body because there is one loaf and we all partake of that one loaf."

18-20 - Paul is careful to refer back to 8:4 to clarify his point. The issue is fellowship/communion with "devils" (demons) instead of Christ.  See 2 Co 6:14-18

Fellowship implies partnership, not everyday interaction, hence the image of being "yoked".

21 - Another instance of God's call for commitment.

                 Mt 10:37-39; 12:30   Mk 8:34-38   Lk 9:57-62; 14:25-35; 16:13

Jas 1:8

22 - Two rhetorical questions with negative answers.

     - "jealousy" - See Ex 20:1-5

23 - See 6:12. Not all things are profitable. Not all things edify.

24 - A lack of breaking rules or doing "bad" things does not make a Christian fruitful. Christians should be benefactors to others. (See Ac 10:38)  Mt 25:31-46

     - "another's wealth" = "the things of the other"

25 - "shambles"=Gr."makellon" Only occ.="meat market", butcher's shop/stand"

Since an idol is nothing, don't make it an issue if it isn't. See Ro 14:14,15

26 - from Ps 24:1.   Read Ac 10:9-15 and 1 Ti 4:1-5

27 - The subject of this verse shows that "fellowship" involves more than social interaction. Jesus Himself often ate with sinners and evangelism requires contact with sinners. See 1:10.

     - When invited by unbelievers, if you decide to go, do not ask if the food has been offered to idols, relax and eat.

28 - However, if the host makes a point of telling you that the food has been offered in heathen sacrifice you cannot demonstrate approval of his practice, nor ambivalence in your own worship. If you know in advance, simply don't go. You wil provide a negative witness as a "downer", or as one not wholly committed to the One True God.

29,30 - This is in our consideration for others (unbelievers, weak believers). An idol is nothing and as long as we give thanks and appreciation for God's provision, we cannot be wrong.

31-33 - Do all to the glory of God.

         - Do not let your liberty cause another to stumble.

         - Place the benefit of others before your own.

                                Ro 14:1-13

     - "many...saved" - Eph 4:11-13

Ch.11:1 - Logical end to Ch.10. "Be" = "Become"

     - Follow the sheep that follow the Shepherd, not those who stray.

                       Jn 10:1-15

     - "followers"=Gr."mimetes"="imitators"

2 - Paul "commends" the brethren for holding him in esteem and "holding fast" to the teachings they received from him, but he is compelled to return to the topic of 1:13.

3 - "BUT" - A caution to those who would exalt or be exalted.

   CRITICAL: vv. 3-14 "man"=Gr."aner"="husband" (same as Eph 5:22,23).

This entire section refers to husbands and wives, not men and women, nor males and females. Gender is a function of flesh, it does not exist spiritually. What the Bible must clarify is the protocol regarding two people as one flesh, i.e., marriage.

 The other Greek words would be "tis" (11:16), "arren" or "arsen" (Rev 12:5), and "teleios" (1 Co 14:20).

     - "head"=Gr."kephale" Used both literally and figuratively= Leader, director. The one to whom others are subordinate. Power, authority. The one in first place. The center for thought and expeession.

       God's position as head is both above and in front. See 1 Pe 2:25 where God is Shepherd (leading) and Bishop (overseeing). Since God also has our back (Isa 58:8), He is a... 


The concept of covering is essential to understanding 1 Cor 11

        1.To overspread the surface of one thing with another    Ps 65:13   Ex 10:15

2. To hide or conceal by something overspread        Ps 139:11

3. To conceal by an intervening object   (as in Ex 14:19,20)

4. To clothe    1 Sa 28:14   Ex 28:42

5. To overwhelm     Ps 71:13

6. To conceal from notice or punishment     1 Pe 4:8

7. To conceal; to refrain from disclosing      Pr 28:13

8. To pardon or remit      Ps 32:1

9. To wrap, enfold or envelope (as a package)

10. To shelter, protect or defend

11. To brood or incubate (as a hen with eggs)

12. To include, embrace or comprehend  (as to cover a loan with collateral)

13. To pay the price  (as to cover a dinner check)

14. To provide sufficiency   (as to cover a bet)

15. To enclose or surround for preservation   (as to cover leftovers)

16. To review a subject or topic

17. To insure against damage or harm

18. To atone – Read Genesis 6:14 where “pitch” = Gr.“kaphar”=“to cover”

 This is the ONLY word used in the Old Testament for “atonement”.

 It is only atonement that can protect us from judgment. 

4 - Paul begins to use the natural to explain the spiritual origins of a tradition ("custom"=Gr."sunetheia" in v.16 and Jn 18:39) which lingers to this day of men being uncovered (hatless) and women being covered (hats or veils (as most brides wear)) in church. He refers to husbands and wives since unmarried women are covered by fathers (See 7:34-38 and Nu 30).

     - "man" = "husband"

     - "his head covered" = "something upon his head" = something above Christ (see v. 3) whom we put to shame ("dishonoureth") by replacing the "vail" (See 2 C0 3:13-18 which applies to both male and female, again establishing the "one flesh" subject of this chapter). Whatever is above Christ or between the husband and Christ is an idol.

5 - "woman" = "wife" 

     - "uncovered"=Gr."akatakaluptos"="unveiled"  Occurs here and v.13

6 - If a wife disregards her spiritual covering, she may as well disregard her natural covering. The point carried added weight for Paul's readers since the only women who shaved their heads were prostitutes who did it to accomodate elaborate wigs (the reason for 1 Ti 2:9).

7,8 - "forasmuch as he is"=Gr."huparcho"="being the original"   A reference to the chronological sequence outlined in Gen 2.

Man from dust. Woman from man as a complementary refinement.

9 - Man was not created because of woman. (Husbands weren't made for wives, wives were created for husbands. Note God, the father, delivering the bride in Gen 2:22).

10 - "power"=Gr."exousia"="authority"

     - "angels" - Gen 6:2  2 Pe 2:4   Jude 6

            Referred to by Jesus - Mt 24:37,38   Mk 13:17

            "the kings of the east" - Rev 16:12 

11 - "Nevertheless" - Paul now makes the point that he is referring to order in God's design, not issues of superiority.

     - "without"=Gr."choris"="apart from"   Gen 2:24

     - "in the Lord" = spiritually  Mt 19:4-6

12 - Woman of (Gr."ek"="from within") man. Man by (Gr."dia"="through") woman. Both from God.  1 Co 8:6    Eph 3:9

13 - "Judge" = "Decide", "Conclude"

14 - "have long hair"=Gr."komao"="let the hair grow", literally, "to wear tresses" (long unbound hair or plaits)

     - "shame"=Gr."atimia" (See Ro 1:26  "vile")="indignity"

15 - The concept of a woman's hair being her "crowning glory"

     IMPORTANT: "for"=Gr."anti"="instead of"

     - "covering"=Gr."peribolaion"="veil", "mantle" Only other occ. Heb 1:12 "vesture" (Unlike a woman's hair, it is "clothes that make the man" in our more modern expression of the concept).

16 - "any man" = "any one" (Gr."tis")

     - "contentious"=Gr."philoneikos" Only occ.="fond of strife"

    - Paul, though understanding the origins and meaning of the practice, says that neither the apostles themselves, nor the church, as doctrine, have any requirements in this area, and no more time should be spent arguing about it.

17 - Paul transitions to the issue of strife and contention within the body with the phrase "I praise you not" contrasted to v.2. The members would assemble physically, but not spiritually and harm rather than promote unity (Gal 5:13-17).

18 - "partly" = "some part of you"  See 1:10,11

19 - The concept of wheat and tares.  See 1 Jn 2:18,19

     - "heresies" = "sects" - An undesirable reality. Permitted by God - not justified.  Read and understand Mt 13:24-30.


There are two meals referenced in these verses. Paul starts out by referring to the "Agape (or Love) feast", a fellowship meal preceding the Lord's Supper (See Jude 12). The love feasts were intended to promote fellowship and embody the concept of loving one another. These meals were a part of most early churches on both weekly and high sabbaths, but occurred daily in a few churches and monthly in others.

          Everyone was to bring their own food and drink with the idea that those who had much would share with those who had little. Instead, things quickly degenerated to the point that the meals started to resemble the pagan feasts of former times. The meals began to feature drunkenness and gluttony with the rich attempting to outdo each other. Even worse, the well-to-do were typically able to arrive earlier than the poor who often labored for long hours. They would eat all their food within their own cliques and be gone before the poor even arrived (11:33).

          What was intended for fellowship and communion intensified socio-economic divisions and was in direct opposition to what followed (the Lord's Table). The church in Corinth was largely responsible for the demise of the agape feast. Their practice fostered anger, strife and division. It not only failed to further unity, it destroyed it. The failure to embrace and apply the principles of communion and grace made a joke of the fellowship at the Lord's Table and will do the same in any church. Anyone who has attended a rancorous church meeting has first-hand knowledge of what distressed Paul.

20 - "one place" - The love feast took place in a common room.

     - "not..." - Their focus was on their bellies (Ro 16:17,18)

21 - "hungry...drunken" = "deprivation...excess"

             See God's design in Ex 16:15-18

22 - See v.34. Paul specifically refers to the extravagance of the rich and their disregard for both the spiritual body as a whole and the members of the body. This is fewer than 20 years after Ac 4:32.

     - "What..." - Paul leaves no room for doubt. Their behavior is unacceptable.

23,24 - Mt 26:25-28

     - "given thanks"=Gr."eucharisteo"="expressed gratitude"

     - "which is broken for you" should be immediately after "this"

     - "remembrance of Me" = "My memorial"  Ex 3:13-15, 12:14

                             See Eph 5:30

25 - "when" = "after"

     - "testament" = "covenant"

     - "as oft as" = "whenever", "every time" - No specified interval

26 - "shew"=Gr."katangello"="bring word of and set forth"

       See Ex 25:30 where the shewbread denoted the presence and provision of God.

27 - IMPORTANT: "unworthily"=Gr."anaxios"="without reverence" - The "worth" applies to the "worthship" of Jesus Christ in the heart of the individual. NONE OF US ARE WORTHY!!! Those who do not believe in Christ as Lord and Savior are "guilty" (Gr."enochos"="subject to penalty or deprivation") with regard to the body and blood, i.e., not receiving the benefit. Contrast this verse to Ro 8:1.

28 - Self-examination will humble the righteous, exalt God.

             Lk 18:10-14

29 - "eateth and drinketh" - in acknowledgement or celebration of an event or accomplishment as in a wedding toast.

     - "damnation" = "judgment"

     - "not discerning" = "since he does not discern"

Non-believers are not condemned for participating in communion ceremonies. They are, ironically, "toasting" their own judgment. See Jn 3:18 to understand.

     - "unworthily" - OMIT

30 - "weak...sickly...sleep" - A progressive descent involving more than physical problems. See Mt 9:35 and 10:1 where we see "sickness" and "disease". One may be debilitated without having an active ailment. One may be physically healthy and spiritually crippled. (See 1 Co 5:5  1Jn 5:16,17  Jas 5:14-16  Ro 6:23). The loss of benefits from salvation ("guilty" in v.26) leaves us exposed, it does not mean an attack from God; it leaves us without spiritual armor (Eph 6:10-18), rewards (Heb 11:6), peace (Jn 14:27), etc.

31,32 - These two verses reference chastening (Heb 12:5-11) for correction, not eternal judgment. This emphasizes the fact that v.29 does not indicate a "lake of fire" outcome for non-believers accepting communion at the Lord's table.

     - "...judge ourselves" - Pr 14:12,16:25,21:2    For this reason God allows what is described in v.30.

33,34 - Paul's instruction to come together for fellowship, not condemnation. Don't show up to eat and run. Don't show up to save on grocery bills.

     - "the rest" - Other questions asked by the Corinthians in their letter.

Ch.12:1 - "spiritual gifts"=Gr."pneumatikos"="spiritual things"

     - It is in v.4 where "gifts" ("charisma") actually becomes the topic. "Pneumatikos" includes the subject of Chapter 13. From here to 14:40 Paul addresses the public exercise and display of spiritual gifts. Paul's extensive discourse points to multiple questions from the members.

     - "I would not..." - One of several N.T. phrases indicating the importance of what follows, as "Verily,verily" and "He that hath an ear..."

2 - "carried...led" = "led...brought" - As lambs to slaughter.

         See "drew...cast" Rev 12:4    "drawn...enticed"   Jas 1:14

     - "even as..." - By whatever happened to be popular   Deu 32:17

3 - 1Jn 4:1-3   "by" = "in"

     - "Spirit of God"=Gr."Pneuma Theou" - The indwelling Spirit of the new nature (see 7:40, Ro 8:9)

     - "calleth..." = "saith 'accursed Jesus'"

     - "that Jesus is the Lord" = "Lord Jesus"

     - "but" = "if not"  See Ro 10:9 as more than mere words. It is recognition and acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord.

4 - Connects the Spirit to His gifts as the sole source.

5 - "differences" - Same word as "diversities" in v.4

     - "administrations"=Gr."diakonia"="ministry", "services"

     - "Lord" - connects to "Spirit" v.4 and "God" v.6

6 - "operations" (translated "working" in v.10) = "activities" which are activated ("worketh") by God.

     - "all in all" = All the gifts in all the members

7 - "manifestation"=Gr."phaneosis" Only here and 2 Co 4:2="exhibition"

     - "every...withal" - All the members of the body are gifted for the purpose of edifying the body. Eph 4:7-16  Heb 10:24,25

Just as natural body parts have different functions by design, the members of the body of Christ have purpose.

8-10 - "by"=Gr."dia"="through"

     - "word"=Gr."logos"="spoken word" - for clarity and counsel

     - "knowledge"=Gr."gnosis"= learning and experience

     - "healing"=Gr."iama" Only here,28,30="curing the effectof something"

NOTE: The distribution of the gift of healing to people precludes the idea of God not wanting people to see physicians (as some are taught).

     - "miracles"=Gr."dunamis"= Miraculous powers or abilities.

     - "prophecy" = Inspired revelation (not predicting the future).

     - "discerning of spirits" - Distinguishing truth from error, good from evil. Note 1 John 4:6

     - "tongues"=Gr."glossa"="languages", specifically other than one's naturally acquired language. The gift of speaking languages is separate from the ability to interpret (Gr."hermeneia"="translation"). (See 1 Co 14:18 - Paul spoke, at least, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Latin).

11 - "dividing" = "distributing"    "severally" = "in His own way"

       "as He will" = "for His purpose" - Purpose given in v.7

The key to this verse is "every man" receives giftedness.

12 - The body of Christ can be understood by comparison with the natural human body.

13 - One body only if one spirit. - See 1:10

     - "drink..." - See Isa 12:3  Jn 4:14, 7:37-39 because "into"=Gr."eis"="at"

The Holy Spirit is a fountain (Jas 3:11,12)

14 - There is no such thing as a one-person church. So determined by The Holy Spirit (v.11) and God (v.18).

15,16 - Members do not choose their calling. (Ro 10:15a).

     - Members do not have the option of functioning individually (Jn 15:4).

     - Members should not have envy towards, nor compare themselves to other members  2 Co 10:12    Eph 4:1-3

17-20 - A body cannot function unless the members differ. It is necessary and by design. Psalm 139:14-17 applies to the body of Christ. A church which mistakes uniformity and rigidity for accord will be a cult.

The members require one another for completeness and fruitfulness.

(Jn 15:4-6)

1 Co 12:18      “set”= Gr.”tithemi”= “placed” 

“lay down”   Jn 15:13

“ordained”    Jn 15:16

 “putting”      1 Ti 1:12

“ordained”   1 Ti 2:7

“appointed”   2 Ti 1:11

“appointed”   Heb 1:2

21-23 - Churches lack the vertical structure of a typical corporation. The "diversities" of vv. 4-6 do not involve rank or prestige. Some gifts are more visible than others and may be valued more by members. The church in Corinth had members showing off and trying to outdo each other. Paul points out that body parts which are not visible or on display are no less important nor lacking in dignity. For example, the loss of a hand or eye would probably be less serious than the loss of a liver. The heart, lungs and stomach are not on display but are nonetheless important. Paul points to the investment of time, money, etc. to clothe and dress up the parts which aren't visible. Likewise, the behind-the-scenes members of the church merit honor.

24,25 - God's design of the human body has the essentials of life (brain, heart, nerves, etc.) tucked away inside. He has structured the body of Christ similarly so that all parts need each other.

     -"tempered...together"=Gr."sunkerannumi"="compounded" (Heb 4:2 "mixed")

26 - "whether" = "if even"     "with it" = "together"

     - "honoured" = "glorified'

27 - "in particular" = "each in his part"

28 - List is sequenced based on spiritual accountability for edifying the body. (See Lk 12:48 and Jas 3:1). Note that the first three are often manifested in a single individual  and recall v.11.

     - "governments"=Gr."kubernesis" Only occ.="steering", "guidance"

29,30 - 7 rhetorical questions all beginning with Gr."me" indicating negative condition. The answer to all seven is "NO". Anyone claiming that all who are saved should speak in tongues need only refer here.

31 - IMPORTANT: "But" = "Yet you"  "covet earnestly"=Gr."zeloo" See Ac 7:9 "moved with envy" - NOT A GOOD THING. Gifts are distributed by the Holy Spirit, not acquired. Ears wanting to be eyes is the subject and Paul is referring to those who may have desired to be prophets, etc. but were not gifted, nor placed to serve as such. To read this verse as instruction to "move up" or seek promotion to a "higher" function in the body contradicts all that preceded (since v.15).

     - "and yet" = "instead"

     - "a more..." = "the way of excellence"

Ch.13 - Paul now expands on 12:31 by explaining that gifts are transient but love is abiding, supreme and pre-eminent. Their pursuit of giftedness would prove to be futile and empty. He makes the point that one with all giftedness to the ultimate degree would still be nothing without love. How much less for we who would function at the level of v.9.

1 - "charity"=Gr."agape" = Spontaneous love not tied to right or merit or outside source. See 1 Jn 4:8 to understand its application for this chapter. See also Jn 15:5 and Ro 8:35-39.

NOTE: The most common term used by the Greeks was "philadelphia" (love of brethren). The other is "philanthrophia" (love of man) applied to respecting the rights and needs of others.

     - Paul draws extreme examples to make the point that no degree of "giftedness" can produce fruit apart from God/love/charity/Holy Spirit/Christ. See Ro 8:8.

     - "If I have the ability to speak every language in heaven and in earth..."

     - "sounding brass" = "rattling coins"

     - "tinkling cymbal" = the sound of banging something hollow

2 - IMPORTANT: Omit "the gift" - Paul is not referring to having the gift of prophecy. He means possessing prophecy itself, i.e., complete, total insight into God's truth. His examples are designed to exceed the capabilities of flesh in order to apply to everyone.

     - "understand...knowledge;" - As one in possession of prophecy.

     - "all faith" - See Heb 11:1,6 - Faith is the surrogate for knowledge. One with all understanding, knowledge and faith can never be uncertain about anything.

     - "nothing"=Gr."oudeis"="not anything at all"   See Mt 7:21-23 where the Omniscient One says "I never knew you". What God does not see or know does not exist.

3 - The self-savers of Mt.7 attempting to work their way into heaven. Self-denial can be self-centered. Generosity can be ego-centered. The pious may be prideful. Without love, virtue can be vice. See Jer 17:9,10.

    - "profiteth" - Mt 6:1-21

4-8 - The attributes of love are necessarily attributes of God (1 Jn 4:8) AND have God as their source (1 Jn 4:19 (Omit "Him")). Paul has selected what is most essential for unity in the body.

4 - "suffereth long"=Gr."makrothumeo"="patiently endures" (Jas 5:7-11)

          A lack of murmuring and complaining, not just waiting.

     - "is kind"=Gr."chresteuomai" Only occ.="is morally useful", i.e., acts benevolently (this is not "kindhearted"). Lk 10:30-37   2 Chr 28:8-15

     - "envieth"=Gr."zeloo" Same word as 12:31 and Ac 7:9. See Col 3:15

          Beyond want or desire. When one covets, there is no peace or contentment until the objective is secured (Phil 4:11-13)

     - "vaunteth"=Gr."perpereuomai" Only occ.="brags", "boasts" in the sense of self-promotion. Literally "to push through" or "pierce". Dan 4:30-33  Ac 12:21-23

     - "puffed up"=Gr."phusioo"="inflated" See 4:6,18,19;5:2;8:1  Col 2:18

5 - "Doth...unseemly"=Gr."aschemoneo"= Inappropriately, immodestly

     - "is...provoked"=Gr."paroxunomai"="roused to anger" (Omit "easily")

          This refers to reaction and response. It does not preclude the emotion of anger (Mk 3:1-5; Ro 12:17-19, Eph 4:26), but stresses self-control and eschewing vengeance. This connects to the next clause.

     - "thinketh no" = "reckons not" - Does not keep a scorecard of the evil done by others; harboring thoughts of revenge.

6 - "in truth" = "with truth" - Truth is personified here, Scripture personified in Gal 3:8. See 2 Th 2:8-12.

7 - "all things" - NOT "everything". Always determined by context, it is Gr."agathos"="good", "well"

     - "Beareth..." - Endures all provocations

     - "believeth..." - Trusts God completely

     - "hopeth..." - Seeks what is good expectantly

     - "endureth..." - Remains steadfast, finishes the course

8 - "never"=Gr."oudepote"="never at all at any time"

     - "faileth" = "falleth" - Since God is love, love must always be supreme.

            Rev 1:8-11a, 21:6, 22:13

     - "fail"=Gr."katargeo"="be brought to nothing"   See Rev 22:18,19

     - "tongues..cease" - See Gen 11:1 - The process: Tongues confounded in judgment (Gen 11:5-9), given in grace (Ac 2:4), united in glory (Rev 7:9,10)

     - "vanish away" - Same as "fail"

9 - Putting us short of v.2 and thereby making the need for love conclusive.

10 - Refers back to v.8 to frame v.9

     - "perfect"=Gr."teleios"="that which has nothing beyond", i.e., the end, Omega. (See Rev 19:11-21 (note "all" v.18)), 1 Co 15:51-53, 2 Th 2:8, Mt 24

Nothing "left behind"

11 - "I" (not "we") - This is not a general concept, but an individual one. This is not every child, but each of us as a child vs. each of us as an adult. It is about growth, maturity and perfection in Christ. Regardless of age, we always accept salvation as "babes". See 3:1,2   Heb 5:12-14   Eph 2:18-22

               Children: are inconsistent

                              are prone to flights of imagination

                              have tantrums

                              are inner-directed

                              like to pretend, imitate others

                              choose fun over responsibility

                              require supervision and discipline

     - "child"=Gr."nepios"= not old enough to speak, i.e., a babbler

     - "put away" - Same as "fail" v.8

12 - "For now" = "At present" contrasted with "then"

     - "glass" - See Ex 38:8        "darkly"=Gr."ainigma"="in a riddle"  

     - "known" - Rev 22:4   1 Jn 3:2    Jn 14:20,21

13 - "Now" - "Then", when we fully know, neither faith nor hope will be necessary (Ro 8:24) and love will still abide. Love is therefore greatest even now, being the source, conduit and object of faith and hope.

Ch 14:1 - "Be led by love, and covet spiritual things for the purpose of prophesying". See the last clause in v.23.

     - "prophesy"=Gr."propheteuo"="to make known inspired truth" from root words meaning "to manifest", "to set forth". In other words, "forth-telling", not "fore-telling" AND NOT RESTRICTED by gift, manifestation or operation. Hence, Paul's statement. We are to be walking epistles, manifesting God's truth in every aspect of our lives at all times. (Mt 28:19,20). That which does not "prophesy" does not edify. All gifts are for edification, so all should prophesy (v.24).

2 - "speaketh" - Without interpretation

     - "in the spirit" = "in spirit"

3 - "edification...exhortation...comfort" - building, counsel, instruction, consolation

4 - the reason for 14:1

5 - With interpretation, speaking in tongues may become prophesying

6 - "except" = "unless"    "by" = "in"

7,8 - Even unspoken sounds, like music, or military bugles, need some significance, order or structure to be meaningful and not mere noise (13:1).

9 - "easy to be understood"=Gr."eusemos" Only occ.="intelligible"

10,11 - "It's possible that every sound has some meaning, but: If I don't understand your sound and you don't understand mine, we'll be foreigners to each other".

12 - See v.1 and Eph 4:11-13     "excel" = "abound"

13,14 - It is still common for some in the church to desire spiritual things without placing value on understanding (their own or that of others). They seek an experience without edification and are satisfied with v.2.

15 - We must pray, sing, etc. in the spirit AND we must know what we are praying and singing about.  Jn 4:24   Mt 22:37

16 - "If I don't know what's being said, how can I even know when to say 'Amen'"?

     -  "unlearned" - one who is apart, therefore ignorant

This is simple common sense. If I only understand Spanish, my understanding cannot be edified by a sermon delivered in German no matter how inspired it may be.

17 - Again, the objective of giftedness.

18,19 - "God has blessed me to speak more languages than any of you, but I recognize the value of 5 words which teach over 10,00 words to show off."

20 - "be" = "become"    "malice" - In disposition, not action

21 - "the law" _ This quote from Isa 28:11,12 allows the O.T. to be referred to as "the law" despite the other divisions set forth.

See Lk 24:44 and Jn 15:25 (includes Psalms in "the law")

22 - "sign" - See Mt 12:38,39  1 Co 1:22  Those of faith require only God's Word (Jn 10:2-6), this explains the last part of the verse.

23 - "unlearned"  See v.16

     - "will they...?" - See Ac 2:1-13  The Corinthian behavior was actually driving away potential members.

24,25 - If all are manifesting God's Word, it will have the effects described in Scripture.

Heb 4:12  Jn 1:1-5  Ac 16:25-34  Ac 2:36-41  Lk 8:11-17  Lk 24:27-32

     - "in you" = "among you"

26 - A church with all masters and no servants.

     - "Let all things..." - A guaranteed path to order and unity.

27-40 - Instructions, Rules, Guidelines for maintaining order

27 - speaking in turn, with interpretation (see v.5)

28 - No interpretation, no speaking in tongues.

NOTE: "keep silence" here and v.34 is accurately translated as "hold his peace" in v.30. Keeping silent is definitive. Holding one's peace is always determined by context as at a wedding when it refers only to the integrity of the marriage. Otherwise, v.28 would prohibit anyone capable of speaking in tongues from saying anything at all in any language.

29 - "judge" = "discern"  See Deu 9:15  Pr 27:17

30 - A point of order to "yield the floor", limited in total by v.29. This restricts the "prophets". See next verse.

31 - "All" may "prophesy" for the reasons given. Compare Heb 5:12a.

32 - The possessor controls the gift.  "spirits" = "spiritual gifts"

33 - "confusion"=Gr."akatastasia"="commotion"

Nothing which disrupts worship is of the Spirit. An outburst of tongue speaking which interrupts a sermon is bogus.

34 - 2 Ti 2:15  2 Pe 1:20


See Joel 2:28,29 (Ac 2:17,18); Ac 21:8,9; Luke 2:36,37, etc.

 - There are NO gifts or callings designated by gender.

 - If women were/are prohibited from prophesying, it would simply be stated and 11:3-16 has no relevance purpose or place.

 - Gal 3:26-29


     - "your women" = "wives"  See "under obedience (subject) and "husbands" in v.35

     - "keep silence" = "hold their peace" in the context of the subject which is commotion vs. order. Chapter 11:5 concerns behavior in the church and requires this context to make sense of both verses and conform to truth.

     - "speak"=Gr."lalein","laleo" (Strong's 2980)="extended or random utterance without reference to the words spoken". Compare to Strong's 3004, Gr."lego"="a set discourse" as in 1:10; 6:5; 7:6,12,35; 10:15; 15:34. "Laleo" includes whispering, chattering, etc., any of which adds to commotion and disturbs peace.

Why address the wives? To bring them into accord with the atmosphere of order along with their husbands (Gen 3:16  Eph 5:21-24). Whether there was a specific issue or Paul anticipated certain situations; whether or not men and women were seated on opposite sides of the church, the important thing was to restrict disruption from spilling over into cultural, personal or domestic conflicts.

35 - Since most women  of that time were uneducated, the level of crosstalk, whispering, etc. had the potential to be rampant. Paul had to put a lid on it while being careful not to discourage a desire to understand. Hence, "Hold your questions" not "Don't ask questions".

     - "speak" - See above.

36 - "Does God's Word only go forth from you or come only to you?" - A call to spirit over flesh (Gal 5:22-25). In light of 1 Th 5:19, Paul is concerned with moderation, not prohibition (see v.32), humility vs. self-importance.

         His advice: "Check yourself."

37,38 - Conduct yourself according to God's Word and will or choose to waste your time. - Understand Jn 4:24 and Ro 8:8

         Paul says, "Let a word to the wise be sufficient."

39 - See v.1. Paul reinforces the idea of moderation and self-control.

40 - "Let all things be done properly (to a high standard) and according to appropriate arrangement."

     See 1 Co 16:14  Phil 2:14  2 Ti 4:5   Col 3:17

Ch.15:1,2 - "keep in memory"=Gr."katecho"="hold fast"

                               See Eph 2:8,9   Gal 1:6-9

3 - See 2:1,2

4 - "rose again" should be "has been raised"

     - "scriptures" - Ps 16:10   Isa 53:9-11

5-8 - Sequential events

     - "Cephas" - Lk 24:34

     - "the twelve" - A designation for the group of apostles, not a count.

                                           Jn 20:19,24

     - "all the apostles" - Lk 24:50-52  Ac 1:6-9

     - "seen" - Ac 9:1-9

     - "born...time"=Gr."ektroma"="untimely birth"  Job 3:16  Ecc 6:3

9 - "persecuted" - Ac 7:54-8:4;9:1,2   Gal 1:13,14

10 - Paul as a deliverer of the gospel, had to first be a receiver. See 1 Ti 1:12-16

     - "what I am" - Ro 10:15   Must be called and sent.

     - "laboured" - See 1 Co 3:9,10  Phil 4:13   Isa 40:29-31   2 Co 12:9

11 - "I or they" - 1 Co 1:12-15   Eph 4:4-7  Paul call himself "least", but made up for it by working harder. Therefore, no difference.

12 - Here and v.35 Paul answers objections to his doctrinal teaching.

13 - No resurrection? Then not even Christ has been raised.

14 - If no risen Christ, why preach? Faith is empty, useless.

15 - We must be liars and/or fools for testifying that God raised Him up if He has not been raised.

16,17 - If Christ is not risen, you remain unsaved.

18 - Then the believers who died are dead indeed.

19 - If all we have is this physical life, we are more to be pitied than all men. After all, we will have laboured and suffered in the vanity of our faith. See 1 Th 4:13

20-28 - A digression. Verse 29 connects directly to v.19.

20 - "firstfruits" - A literal truth as Christ fulfilled Lev 23:9-17 (fulfilled at Jn 20:1,17,19)

21,22 - Ro 5:12-21   "Adam" = "the Adam"

     The dominion of Gen 1:28 prohibited unilateral action by God to undo what man allowed.

     - "even so" - Christ has the necessary relationship to mankind. He is Lord (Ro 14:8,9), and salvation is through acknowledgement of that relationship (Ro 10:9).

23 - "order"=Gr."tagma"="succession", "rank", or "troop"

     - "at" = "in" - Those returning with Christ precede ('prevent") those who are still alive ( 1 Th 4:15).

24 - "the end" - Not the coming of Christ, but the end of the Millenial Kingdom.

     - "put down'=Gr."katargeo"="bring to nought"

25 - "He" = "God  Ps 110:1

26 - Should read, "Death, the last enemy, is destroyed."  Rev 20:14

      - The Resurrection only defeated death, it did not eliminate death.

27 - "put under" = "subjected"  Ps 8:6  Obviously, "all things" does not include God Himself.

28 - "all in all" - Supreme everywhere in everything.

          Rev 11:15-17; 19:11-16   Ps 60:12; 145:20    Phil2:9-11

29 - Resumes from v.19. - "What's the use of being baptized just to remain dead? If Christ is not risen, and therefore remains dead, baptism is pointless."

30 - Ro 8:36. What would be the point of enduring such things as outlined in 2 Co 11:23-28?

31 - "I affirm my joy in you while I'm putting myself on the line everyday."  2 Co 11:28-33

32 - "...at Ephesus" - See Ac 19:11-20:1

     - "let us..." - "We might as well devote ourselves to pleasure, if this is all there is."  From Isa 22:13

33 - "communications"=Gr."homilia"="associations"

     - "manners"=Gr."ethos"="morals"    See Haggai 2:11-13

34 - "Awake"=Gr."eknepho"="awake to sobriety"   Gen 9:24

     - "some..." - "many of you are ignorant of Who God is"

35 - Paul anticipates the next objection.

36 - "fool"=Gr."aphron"="senseless ones"  - A seed is not made alive until it dies.

37 - What is sown (the seed) is different from what is produced.

38 - "every seed" = "each of the seeds"

39 - Even in the natural world all flesh isn't the same.

40 - There are differences between heavenly and earthly bodies.

41 - Not only are earthly and heavenly bodies different. There are also differences between heavenly bodies. 

42-44 - The dead are resurrected to different bodies.

     - "the dead"=Gr."nekros"="dead bodies"

corruption to incorruption

dishonour to glory

weakness to power

natural to spiritual

     - "a spiritual body" = "also a spiritual body"

45 - "was made"=Gr."egneto eis"="became into"   See Gen 2:7

        There is a change from one body to another. We are not born into this world from nothingness.  Jer 1:4,5

     - "man"=Gr."anthropos"="human"

     - "quickening" - See Jn 5:21, 20:22

46 - The natural Adam preceded the spiritual Adam.

47-49 - "earthy"=Gr."choikos"="of the dust"

               See Mt 17:1-8, Mal 4:4,5 - Moses as one who died. Elijah as one caught up before dying. All earthly flesh will bear the image of the heavenly (same word as "celestial" in v.40).  2 Co 5:1-10   2 Pe 1:13-15

50 - See Mt 16:17  Gal 5:17  The spiritual realm requires a spiritual body.

51 -"all" - Saved and Unsaved.   Jn 5:28,29  Rev 19:17,18

There will be NO flesh and blood after Rev 19.

52 - "moment"=Gr."atomos"="that which cannot be cut or divided". Hence, English "atom". 

NOTE: The change is instantaneous. The resurrections are separate.

Rev 20:4-6

     - "last trump" - NECESSARILY AFTER the sixth trumpet of the seven. Rev 9:13-11:14 MUST take place PRIOR to Christ's return (2 Th 2:1-12).

"Let no man deceive you by any means"

53 - "this" = "that which is" - Everything will come to an eternal state from which it will not change.  Rev 22:10-12

54 - "saying"=Gr."logos"="word"  Quote from Isa 25:8 (Read entire chapter) 

55 - From Hos 13:14  "grave" - Texts read "death" (Gr."thanatos")

        Questions answered in 56,57

56,57 - "strength" = "power"   Ro 7:5,6; 8:1-13  Heb 7:14-28  2 Ti 1:8-10

          "us" - Now addressing "the brethren". 

58 - "Therefore" - Since victory is through Christ

     - "stedfast"=Gr."hedraios"="settled", "seated"

     - "unmoveable"=Gr."ametakinetos" Only occ.="incapable of being moved to another place"   See Jas 1:17

     - "always" = "in every way" Ro 12:1

     - "forasmuch..." = "knowing"  (Contrast v.19)

Ch.16:1 - "collection"=Gr."logia" same as "gatherings" in v.2

     - "given order" = "commanded"

     - "Galatia" - An example for Corinth. Paul uses the Corinthians as an example to the Macedonians (2 Co 9:2) and uses the Corinthians and Macedonians as an example to the Romans (Ro 15:26) - We are all to learn from and be examples to each other. 

2 - "first...week" = "...weeks"  - See notes on John 20:1, note v.8 below

     - "every" = "each"

     - "in store...him" = "treasuring up whatever he may be prospered in" - Any increase, not restricted to earnings.

3 - "by...send" = "them will I send with letters"

     - "liberality"=Gr."charis"="grace"

4 - A representative from the church would be required whether or not Paul would be taking the gift to Jerusalem.

5 - Paul proposed to stop by after having passed through Macedonia.

6 - "abide"=Gr."parameno"="stay near" 

7 - "by the way" = "in passing"

8 - "Pentecost" - See v.2

9 - See v.12 and Ac 19:1-20:3 to get the particulars

10,11 - Paul, always fatherly towards Timothy, asks that he be kept safely and treated respectfully. Compare Ro 16:1,2 

     - "come" = "shall have come" - Timothy had already departed (4:17) but was not travelling directly to Corinth and might arrive after the delivery of the epistle by the three named in v.17.

12 - "desired" = "urged"

     - "brethren" - the ones delivering the epistle

Note Paul's lack of jealousy towards Apollos (1:12).

It is God's glory that matters.

13 - "quit you like men"=Gr."andrizomai" Only occ.="to act manly"

     - "be strong" = "be strengthened"  Used in Eph 3:16

14 - "with charity" = "in love"

15,16 - See 1:16   "addicted...to" = "set...for" = Gr."tasso" - See Ac 13:48 ("ordained"), 15:2 ("determined"), 22:10 ("appointed")

     - "ye" = "ye also"

17 - "coming" = "presence"    Omit "have"

18 - "refreshed" = "gave rest to" same as Mt 11:28

19 - Note the inclusion of Priscilla here, Ac 18:1-3 (note "their occupation"); Ac 18:18,26; Ro 16:3,4; 2 Ti 4:19

20 - "holy kiss"=Gr."philema" - A sign of affection and respect (both essential to the unity of the body)

21 - The sign of authenticity (see "as from us" 2 Th 2:2).

22 - Omit "Jesus Christ". Place a period after "Anathema" ("accursed").

LOVE IS THE FINAL TEST, not religious compliance.

     - "Maranatha" - Aramaic for "Our Lord Come!"

23,24 - The Lord's grace before brotherly love.