Lange Commentary - 1 Corinthians 10:23 - 11:1

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Lange Commentary - 1 Corinthians 10:23 - 11:1

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

E. Concluding admonition to live in such matters so as to profit one another, and to glorify God

s 1Co_10:231Co_11:1

      23All things are lawful for me [om. for me], but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful for me [om. for me],1 but all things edify not. 24Let no man seek [that which is] his own, but every man [that which is] another’s wealth [om. wealth]. 25Whatsoever is sold in the shambles [meat-market], that eat, asking no questions for conscience’ sake: 26For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. 27If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no questions for conscience’ sake. 28But if any, man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols [om. unto idols], eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience’ sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness 29thereof [om. for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof]: Conscience, I, say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s 30conscience? For [om. for] if I by grace be a partaker [if I partake with, thankfulness åἰ ἐãῶ ÷Üñéôé ìåôÝ÷ù ], why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do [or do any thing, ἐßôå ôὶ ðïéῖåôå ], do all to the glory of God. 32Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor tothe Gentiles [Greeks, ἝëëÞóéí ], nor to the church of God: 33Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of [the] many, that they may be saved.

1Co_11:1 Be ye followers [imitators, ìéìçôáἰ ] of me, even as I also am of Christ.


1Co_10:23-24. He here anticipates an objection that might be raised against his previous injunctions on the score of Christian liberty, by pointing out the ethical limitations which restrict that liberty.—All things are in my power.—[This is the old statement made in vi. 12, setting forth the broad privileges of the Christian freeman, and to which the Apostle in a measure assents.]—But all things are not expedient.—This is the first limitation of expediency. But expedient for whom? The word óõìöÝñåé might, in view of the previous warning, seem to imply ‘expedient for the subject himself.’ It were better, however, to take the word in its broadest application, ‘advantageous not only to the subject, but also to all others concerned.’—But all things edify not.—The second limitation; since it is the duty of every Christian to make edification a special object. In the verb ‘edify’ the reference to others is more fully brought out, and here it denotes the furtherance of the welfare of the Church.—In the next verse this limitation is more definitely expressed in the form of a maxim inculcating the exercise of an unselfish love. It is a general truth which he by no means intends to limit simply to the case in hand.—Let no man seek his own (wealth), but (every man) that of another.—Here the negation is to be taken absolutely, and not relatively, as though it meant, ‘seek not merely his own wealth, but also that of another.’ The ‘seeking of one’s own’ denotes the selfish attempt to make one’s own enjoyment, one’s own liberty, one’s own rights the sole paramount consideration, regardless of the good of others; and this falls under an absolute prohibition as being a violation of the great law of love. “The idea here is, that even what is indifferent in itself becomes sinful when done to the prejudice of a neighbor.” Neander. From ìçäåßò we obtain for the nominative in the positive clause an ἔêáóôïò —a ease of Zeugma. Like expressions occur in 1Co_13:5; Php_2:4; Rom_15:2 f.

1Co_10:25-26. First he asserts that the eating of flesh exposed for sale in the market, and thus disconnected from idolatrous worship—even though it may have been cut from sacrificial victims, was altogether innocent, since this meat as well as the whole earth and all things in it belonged unto God.—Whatsoever is sold in the meat-market. ìáêÝëëῳ , a word taken from the Latin and= êñåùðùëßῳ . [The sale of the portion of the sacrificial meat, which fell to the priests, formed a part of their revenue, and was not to be distinguished from ordinary meat, except perhaps by its excellence, as the animals offered at the altar were usually of a superior kind.] that eat, without special inquiry. ìçäὲí ἀíáêñßíïíôåò , carefully searching nothing, i. e., as to whether it had been offered in sacrifice or not.—on account of conscience. äéὰ ôὴí óõíåßäçóéí . [What is this to be joined with? Some say the previous participle, as setting forth the particular point as to which the inquiry is made, and meaning ‘on the score of conscience;’ others connect it with the whole participial clause, as assigning the ground for not inquiring, being equivalent either to: ‘in order that your conscience may not be disturbed,’ or: ‘because your conscience being well informed as to the real nature of idols needs no inquiry’]; it had best however be joined with the whole previous sentence, and the meaning would then be: ‘eat without inquiry in order that the conscience be not burdened or troubled.’ [Such is the view of Meyer and Alford. Hodge gives another interpretation which he considers the simplest and most natural: “buy what you want and eat, making no matter of conscience in the thing. You need have no conscientious scruples, and, therefore, ask no question as to whether the meat had been offered to idols or not.”—By reason of what is said in 1Co_10:28, one may be led to suppose that it was the conscience of an observer that was meant, which by that act might become disquieted or sullied, inasmuch as he too might be influenced through the example of one deemed stronger in the faith to eat likewise in spite of his scruples. [So De Wette, Bengel, Rückert]. And in justification of this, reference is made to 1Co_10:29, where the conscience of another person is particularly specified. But the cases are not parallel; and in 1Co_10:29, the reference to others is distinctly denoted through the preliminary clause in 1Co_10:28, and there being no such reference here, it were far more natural to suppose the conscience of the inquirer to be intended.—The exhortation in our passage applies to all parties, especially to the weak, who would anxiously ask about their duty in the premises. Yet it was also suited for the strong whose freedom of opinion might suffer damage through the inquiry, since their conscience had been quickened by the Apostle’s instruction in reference to this whole matter.—The act of eating he justifies, by a citation from Psa_24:1, [“which was the common form of Jewish thanksgiving before the meal, and hence probably was the early Eucharistic blessing, and thus alluded to in this place.” Stanley].—for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.—The word ðëÞñùìá denotes that with which a thing is filled, being passive, as everywhere in the New Testament. That which belongs to God can never pollute, and His children need have no scruple about using and enjoying it freely. [And this meat which had been offered to idols, was in fact no less His than any other meat. An idol being nothing could not vitiate it for its original use], (Comp. on 1Co_8:6; 1Ti_4:4; also Osiander in hoc loco, and the citations from Calvin and Melancthon by him).

1Co_10:27-30 : The same maxim is here applied to their conduct at a banquet given at a private house by a heathen to which they might be invited.—If any of the unbelievers invite you.—The invitation here is not to a sacrificial feast, for in such a case the person would not need to be told whether the meat set before him had been offered to idols, [nor yet would it be allowable for a Christian to be present here].—and ye desire to go.—A slight hint that remaining away would be a little better; since heathenish customs were everywhere in vogue, and the temptation to deny their Master on the part of those not firmly established was very strong. He here has in view the more liberal-minded whose liberty he did not wish to retrench, and inasmuch as the case often involved the relations of family and friendship, by means of which the truth might be brought home to those who were still unbelievers.—whatsoever is set before you eat, asking no question on account of conscience.—See comments on 1Co_10:25.—The case, however, is altered when the attention of the guest has been turned to the sacrificial character of the meat presented.—But if any man say unto you,—not the host, as is clear from the repetition of the ôéò , and from what is added further, which cannot in any case be referred to an unbeliever. For the same reason, we cannot explain it, of a heathen fellow-guest who might indicate the fact to the Christian, either from love of mischief, or from a wish to test him, or even out of good-will. Only a Christian can here be meant, and that too some weak brother who has discovered the fact pointed out, and now warns his fellow-believer of it. “Not a Jewish Christian, since such a one would not ordinarily accept the invitation of a heathen; but some converted Gentile, infected with Jewish prejudices, who regarded idols as demoniac powers, and in partaking of the sacrificial flesh, felt himself brought into contact with them.” Neander. Even a weak brother might be supposed to partake of such a meal, being influenced by his particular relations, and yet with a determination to refrain from every thing polluting.—This is offered in sacrifice. ἱåñüèïôïí . and not åἱäùëüèõôïí , see critical notes. The former is a neutral word, and is used advisedly to represent what would be said at a heathen’s table; but the latter is a contemptuous expression, which we could hardly suppose would be employed there.—eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience’ sake.—The latter expression is explanatory of the former, and the connecting êáß , and, specifies only the particular point to which the more general statement that precedes applies. If the informant were a heathen, then this expression, “for conscience’ sake,” would be unsuitable, or we should have to regard it as a second reason derived from the weaker brother, whose conscience we must suppose to be meant. Or we must take it to mean that the person must refrain from eating in order not to allow the heathen informer to suppose that the participant still had to do with idols, and in order not to violate the conscience of weak Christians—obviously, a forced interpretation. [Evidently then it is some weaker brother that is here meant, for whose sake it was duty to abstain. “The union of the most enlightened liberality with the humblest concession to the weakness of others here exhibited, may well excite the highest admiration. The most enlightened man of his whole generation was the most yielding and conciliatory in all matters of indifference.” Hodge]. He next explains himself more fully, putting it beyond a doubt whose conscience is referred to.—Conscience I say, not thine own, ôÞí åáõôïῦ , i.e., of any one who may come into such circumstances (not= ôὴí óåáõôïῦ ).—for why is my liberty judged of another’s conscience?—This is not to be taken as expressing the defiant remonstrance of the liberal-minded to his weaker brother, who objected to be governed by his prejudices. Such an interpretation would be unsuitable both by reason of the “for,” which in this case would be inapposite, and also because the following exposition gives no reply to it. Several other interpretations here offer themselves. Rückert and others think they find here a further reason for the command not to eat (1Co_10:28), taking the words to moan that the liberal-minded should not by eating give occasion for others to judge and blaspheme. But in this case they arbitrarily insert the thought, “to give occasion,” and entirely pass over what precedes.—To this there is joined another interpretation, which would find in this verse a vindication of the freedom of conscience, which the Apostle maintained in the name of the liberal-minded, q. d., ‘About one’s own conscience I am not now speaking; for it is altogether improper for my liberty to be judged by another’s conscience. If I am blamed for that which I for my part thankfully enjoy, so that by my thanksgiving such enjoyment is sanctified, this unfounded condemnation neither violates nor endangers my own conscience; so that in not eating, my concern is chiefly for the conscience of another—some weak brother which ought to be spared, and not mine own.’ [This is Meyer’s explanation, who finds here the reason asserted why Paul did not mean the person’s own conscience, for the sake of sparing which he enjoined abstinence from eating in the case mentioned in 1Co_10:28, but the conscience of 

another. The man’s own conscience, he says, did not need such consideration, for it is not affected by another’s judging and blaspheming, since both are ground-less. The reason therefore for abstaining, could only be found in the conscience of another, and not in the danger done to one’s own conscience; and this also is Bengel’s view].—The. ἵíá ôé = ἱíá ôß ãÝíçôáé , in order that what may happen?—why? a form for introducing a question about something which has no object or ground, as here, and the verb ‘judge’ ( êñßíåéí ) here denotes a disapproving, condemning judgment, as is seen in the parallel verb, âëáóöÞìåéí , in the next clause.—If I with grace do partake.—Here ÷Üñéôé corresponds to åὐ÷áñéóôῶ in what follows, and is not to be understood of the goodness of God, which allows of such participation, or gives me the light which liberalizes my spirit, and hence is not to be translated ‘through grace’ [or ‘by grace,’ as the E. V. has it], but it means, with thanks, referring to the Eucharistic blessing which accompanied the social meal, as may be seen in the expression still common in many places—“to say grace.” As the object of the verb ‘partake,’ we are to supply ‘meat and drink.’—why am I evil spoken of respecting that for which I give thanks? âëáóöÞìåéí , lit., to blaspheme, a sharp word, denoting the bitter condemnation pronounced on the liberal-minded, as on one false to his principles. In the use of it there lies a sharp rebuke of the lack of love exhibited by the person judging (comp. Rom_15:3; Rom_14:16).

1Co_10:311Co_11:1. His exhortation here turns to the Church in general, describing the end and aim which should control the entire conduct of every Christian. And this he connects directly with the last word in the previous verse, åὑ÷áñéóôåῖí , which denotes an ascription of honor to God.—Therefore,q. d., ‘in like manner, as ye thank God for your nourishment, so in all your eating and drinking,’ etc. Or if this mode of connection does not satisfy, we may take the ‘therefore’ to indicate the logical inference of a general truth from the special one,—whether ye eat, whether ye drink, whether any thing ye do.—The first ðïéåῖôå may be taken either as generic, including under itself also the eating and drinking, or, it may be taken as expressing action, in contrast to enjoyment. In the first case, the emphasis would lie upon ôé , as equivalent to ὁôéïῦí , whatsoever; in the second, it would lie upon the verb,—but this is hardly to be preferred, [though Alford does prefer it]. In like manner, Col_3:17. “From what has been said, Paul here deduces a general didactic inference; he exhorts them so to adjust and use every thing, however indifferent, that God’s name may be hallowed.” Neander.—Do all to the glory of God.—[“This may mean either, ‘Do all things with a view to the glory of God;’ Let that be the object constantly aimed at; or, ‘Do all things in such a way that God may be glorified.’ There is little difference between these modes of explanation. God cannot be glorified by our conduct, unless it be our object to act for His glory. The latter interpretation is favored by a comparison with 1Pe_4:11, “That God in all things may be glorified.” See Col_3:17, all the special directions given in the preceding discussion are here summed up. ‘Let self be forgotten. Let your eye be fixed on God. Let the promotion ofHis glory be your object in all ye do. Strive in every thing to act in such a way that men may praise that God whom you profess to serve.’ Hodge]. This thought is further expanded negatively.—Give none offence, neither to Jews, nor to Greeks, nor to the church of God.—He here specially addresses the liberal-minded, as in 1Co_10:31, who by the reckless use of their liberty were putting a stumbling-block as well in the way of the Jews to whom every approach to heathenism was an abomination, as in the way of the heathen who beheld in their lax conduct a want of fidelity to a religion which professed to separate itself so strictly from heathenism, and would become disgusted at the divisions thus created among Christians; and also in the way of the Church of God, both at Corinth and elsewhere, which would feel injured by conduct so ambiguous and so prejudicial to its unity. And while thus the recognition of the true God in Christ would be obstructed both among Jews and Gentiles, and the Church would be hindered in its happy success, the result would be, in its final bearings, dishonorable to the glory of God. The regard here paid to Jews and heathen, should not so surprise us, as to force us to the supposition that Jewish and heathen converts were meant; for in 1Co_9:20 also, we find the Apostle laying just as great a stress on the duty of taking pains to win both.—This exhortation he finally strengthens by a reference to his own example.—Even as I please all, in all things.—Comp. 1Co_9:19 ff.— ðÜíôá , the accusative of more exact definition. The verb ‘please,’ as in Rom_15:2, means to seek to please, try to prove acceptable to, and is to be taken in a good sense, as the subsequent explanations show. It is otherwise in Gal_1:10.—Not seeking,—[ ìὴ æçô ̣ ῶí , the use of the subjunctive negative here, shows the implication of a particular affection, which he ascribes to himself, and brings into the supposition, q. d., ‘as one who, as far as I can, am seeking,’ see Winer, p. III. , §55, 5, 13],—mine own profit, but that of the many.—Here he puts in contrast over against his own single self, the vast multitude (as in Rom_5:15) whose interests were the object of his pure and affectionate endeavor. Their profit which he sought, was the highest conceivable,—that they might be saved.—Comp. 1Co_9:22; 1Co_1:18.—Assured of this his purpose, he urges them to imitate his example (comp. 1Co_4:16) even as he himself imitated the example of Christ, in the exercise of a love which renounced all selfish interests.—Be ye imitators of me, as I also am of Christ.—“Only in so far should they imitate him, as he set forth the image of Christ. Of course the whole picture of Christ’s life stood before the eyes of the Apostle. But then Paul must have had a historical portrait of the acts and sufferings of Christ, just as it is exhibited in the traces sketched by the Evangelists, and in this we have an argument against the mythical view of the life of Christ.” Neander.


1. The Christian’s inheritance in this earth, and the duties consequent upon it. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” In this one sentence there is opened to the Christian an inexhaustible wealth of joy and satisfaction, as well as a wide sphere of sacred obligations. If the earth, with all that fills and adorns it, belongs to the Lord, because it is His work, then in every earthly good which nourishes and quickens him, which strengthens and delights him, ought the Christian to taste the favor and the goodness of his God (Psa_136:1; Psa_34:8), to perceive His power and glory, and to receive it all as the gift of His love. In all his observations and researches, he ought to mark the footsteps of the Divine wisdom and greatness; of the Divine faithfulness and care for His creatures, and above all, for His human creatures made in His own image. Wherever he turns, the thoughts of God which are expressed in the manifold productions of earth, will reveal themselves to his thought. The earth itself, with all its rich and varied life, will become to him a manifestation of the Divine glory and grace; and the more he searches, the more clearly will this open before him. Thus he acquires a large open heart, and becomes ever more capable of enjoyment. Every thing narrow and contracted about him will drop away by degrees. What once seemed strange and mysterious will become known and familiar; he will be able to rejoice in it, freed from all anxious thoughts.—Such results are, however, conditioned on the fact that he walks as in the presence of God, that the earth appears to him as a sanctuary, where he ventures to tread, only after he has taken off his shoes, i. e., only after he has divested himself of the commonness of his earthly sense, of vain and proud thoughts, of selfish and interested projects and endeavors, and after he has become collected in spirit; so that out from the midst of all the manifold phenomena around him, the one Divine ground and aim had in them, the Divine idea in forming, and so richly unfolding itself therein, shall shine out upon his spirit. His God, who furnishes him all this fulness for his use and enjoyment, for his study and comprehension, has by this means put him under obligations also, i. e., inwardly bound him to Himself, so that he shall be dependent on Him, as on the One who is the ground and goal of all things; so that all participation and all joy of discovery shall issue in thanksgiving and praise to His great and good name, and so that he, as the priest of God, shall conduct His creatures to Him in an intelligent, susceptible, and worshipful spirit, moulding and fashioning them out of his own spirit, in such a way as to awaken in them Divine thoughts and endeavors, and to cause the natural to wear the impress more and more of the spiritual. In this is included a tender, delicate, gracious treatment of all creatures, and also a temperance and modesty in their use, to the exclusion alike of all conduct that is crude, severe, arbitrary, reckless and excessive; and of all mismanagement as well through unmercifulness, as through foolish fondling and petting.—Cf. Scriver;—Gotthold’s: “Four hundred occasional prayers;” Paul Gerhard’s: “Go forth, my heart, and seek my joy,” etc.; and much in J. Böhme, Oetinger, Herder, Schubert, etc.

2. The success, perfection and development of the church of Christ is conditioned on the prevailing power of righteousness, which, on the one hand, takes account of the weakness of unconfirmed and scrupulous natures in considerate, tolerant self-denying love, honors the severity of earnest Christians even though oftentimes abrupt and inordinate, and presents an offering of self-denial to one another with perfect willingness; yet, on the other, injures in no respect the right of evangelical liberty, but avows it and maintains it, and, with all readiness to deny itself of this and that in order to give no occasion of offence, also insists upon the fact that the conscience of a person living in faith is not dependent upon the scruples, and narrow thoughts and judgments of another, but, on the contrary, stands free and far above them, inviolable, in untroubled calmness and clearness. It is thus that, a true advance can be made towards the sound expansion and softening of a narrow and stringent mode of thought, as well as towards the healthy restriction of that which is broad and free; and thus the glory of God be promoted and strengthened in His Church.


Starke:—1Co_10:33 (Spener). A God-loving Christian willingly refrains from needlessly doing anything which may awaken doubts as to its propriety. It is not enough to have truth in view, and according to this our rights, and according to our rights our liberty; but the rules of Christian prudence and moderation, directed to general edification, require compliance with love, that true mistress, which, though it often yields its rights, never loses its good conscience.—1Co_10:24. Since self-love has become so far corrupt as to lift us not only above our neighbor, but also above God, self-denial has come to be the first rule of Christianity, in order that our love may be properly balanced; since there is no danger of our ever absolutely forgetting self. Indeed, the equity of love demands that we, in many circumstances, prefer our neighbor to self, i. e., the profit of his soul to our own bodily convenience.—(Hed.) “Let every one seek what is another’s”—so, in fact, selfishness and avarice say, i. e., “take, rob, get by fraud what is another’s.” But mark what is added: “Let no one seek his own.”—1Co_10:25. The Christian is free to eat everything, provided no offence is given to his neighbor. Useless inquiries and curious subtleties awaken many scruples. Against all such, simple-mindedness is a sure antidote.—1Co_10:26 (Luther). Christ is Lord, and free, and so are Christians, in all things.—Oh, man, thou art not lord-proprietor, but only steward in God’s domain! What a rich Father we have if we are God’s children.—1Co_10:29 (Luther). My conscience shall remain unbound, though I outwardly comply with my neighbor for his good. We may eat what we will, provided we have it righteously, take it as a gift from God, and receive it with thanksgiving.—1Co_10:31. All acts, however small, are sanctified and ennobled by a single reference to the glory of God; and this is promoted, when we do that which accords with a well ordered love toward ourselves and our neighbor, and abstain from whatever deseorates God’s name.—1Co_10:32. Believers ought to walk unreprovably, not only among brethren, but also among unbelievers and hypocrites, in order that such may find no occasion for blaspheming Christian doctrine.—All have one common Father; we ought, therefore, to be serviceable to one as well as to another.—1Co_10:33. Ministers should be an example to their hearers, in order that they may not retract with the left what they give with the right.—1Co_9:1. Christ is the perfect pattern of a holy life, who, for our sakes, renounced all comfort and personal convenience. To follow in His steps is the preëminent token of a true minister. Such imitation is possible through the privilege we have of drawing from His fulness (Joh_1:10).

Berlenb. Bible:—1Co_10:23. A soul truly emancipated may, by reason of its innocence and simplicity, do much which is not only not displeasing, but even acceptable to God; nevertheless, it. may not be always advisable to do it Love must be the standard in all things.—1Co_10:24. Let none say, ‘why must I consult for another? Why must he be so weak?’ Wherefore, then, didst thou wish to become a member of the Church if thou art unwilling to inquire after its members?—In this way thou severest thyself from the Head.—1Co_10:25. We must deal very tenderly with the conscience on account of our corrupt state. Many are scrupulous where they might be unhesitating, and reckless where they ought to be careful.—1Co_10:26. What the earth produces is good; the great point is, how is it used?—1Co_10:27. The liberty which Christ has earned for us should be guarded as a priceless jewel, that Christ may have His own.—1Co_10:28 ff. A person may possess something and yet refrain from its use, preserving his liberty intact.—1Co_10:31. A Christian must order his entire life, so as to render it a perpetual God-service. Even our calling is a service of God; therefore refrain not from it. If with singleness of purpose thou dost consecrate all thy labor to God, then does it become a divine service. This rule put in exercise, sanctifies everything, even our natural work; and converts every meal into a sort of sacrament, so that it, in its own way, as if an acted prayer, shall receive its reward. By this means our most general works are hallowed, and without this our costliest works are punishable. Such searching method in the service of the Spirit many call legal. But it is the right method of faith, whereby the Son makes us free from the law of sin and death. The believer does, according to the spirit, nothing but good so far as he is a believer; he pleases God in all things by virtue of the divine life in him, which he has by faith. His doing, thinking, speaking, all transpires in God and before God.—1Co_10:32. If a person desire to honor God, and yet set his neighbor aside, his eye would be playing the rogue. Be void of offence!

1Co_11:1. Christ’s example is both a gift and an influence. If we put on His example, His Spirit, His compassion, He makes out everything which can happen in our outer and inner life. He is the original, according to which all must be fashioned. The Apostles, indeed, referred to themselves; but they had a good conscience.

Rieger:—1Co_11:1. Christ is certainly the most perfect example; yet, since it is difficult for us, in all our varied circumstances, always to track His footsteps, the types of Christ seen in the Old Testament, and the patterns after Him found in the New Testament, serve to present to us His mind in a form adapted to our every day conditions.


1Co_10:30. Giving thanks at meals sanctifies all food, denies the authority of idols, and acknowledges that of God.


1Co_10:24. The Christian pays a tender regard to the conscience of others, without proudly asserting his own rights, and without loftiness of spirit.

1Co_10:29. In doubtful cases, do not insist upon another’s deciding according to your own conscience.

1Co_10:30. Since a thankful spirit sanctifies every enjoyment, all that thou canst, with a clear conscience, give thanks for and ask a blessing on, is allowable.

1Co_10:31. Also in the society of the unholy ought a Christian to keep in view his highest aim, i. e., to glorify God by his life; hence he should join in nothing that dishonors God.

1Co_10:32. By carefully avoiding offences, a Christian should preserve his own honor and that of his Church. The immoralities of professing converts may prove a cause of stumbling even to unbelievers.

1Co_10:33. The Christian’s pleasing is a holy pleasing. It aims not at his own enjoyment, but at the spiritual good of others; it proposes to win them, and the agreeable exterior is designed to open a way to the interior—the sanctuary within.—1Co_11:1. Christ has taken care to provide for us a multitude of examples, in order to show us that we likewise may follow Him.

W. F. Besser:

1Co_10:24. Liberty is given thee in all sorts of things, not to use them for thine own sake at pleasure, but rather to serve thy neighbor therewith, and to seek his prosperity.

1Co_10:25. There is a hunting after conscientious scruples, in which many persons carry out their whole Christianity, ending, alas! oftentimes, in straining out gnats and swallowing camels.

[A. Fuller:

1Co_10:33. Paul pleased men in all things, and yet he says, if I pleased men I should not be the servant of Christ, Gal_1:10. From the context in the former case, it appears plain that the things in which the Apostle pleased all men require to be restricted to such things as tend to their “profit, that they may be saved.” Whereas the things in which, according to the latter passage, he could not please men, and “yet be the servant of Christ,” were of a contrary tendency. Such were the objects pursued by the false teachers whom he opposed, and who desired to make a fair show in the flesh, lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ, 1Co_6:12. The former is that sweet inoffensiveness of spirit which teaches us to lay aside all self-will and self-importance, that charity which “seeketh not her own,” and “is not easily provoked;” it is that spirit, in short, which the same writer elsewhere recommends for the example of Christ Himself: “We, then, who are strong, ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.—Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification; for even Christ pleased not Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.”—But the latter spirit referred to is that sordid compliance with the corruptions of human nature, of which flatterers and deceivers have always availed themselves, not for the glory of God or the good of men, but for the promotion of their own selfish designs].

[M. Henry:

1Co_10:23. They who allow themselves in everything not plainly sinful in itself, will often run into what is evil by accident, and do much mischief to others. Circumstances may make that a sin, which in itself is none.

1Co_10:27. Christianity does by no means bind us up from the common offices of humanity, or allow us an uncourteous behaviour to any of our own kind, however they may differ from us in religious sentiments or practices.

1Co_10:33. A preacher may press his advice home with boldness and authority, when he can enforce it with his own example. He is most likely to promote a public spirit in others, who can give evidence of it in himself. And it is highly commendable in a minister to neglect his own advantages, that he may promote the salvation of his hearers. This shows that he has a spirit suitable to his function. It is a station for public usefulness, and can never be faithfully discharged by a man of a narrow spirit and selfish principles].

[F. W. Robertson:

1Co_10:29. The duty of attending to appearances.—Now we may think this time-serving; but the motive made all the difference: “Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other.” Study appearances, therefore, so far as they are likely to be injurious to others. Here, then, is the principle and the rule; we cannot live in this world indifferent to appearances. Year by year we are more and more taught this truth. It is irksome, no doubt, to be under restraint, to have to ask not only, “Does God permit this?” but, “Will it not be misconstrued by others?” and to a free, open, fiery spirit, such as the Apostle of the Gentiles, doubly irksome, and almost intolerable. Nevertheless, it was to him a most solemn consideration: Why should I make my goodness and my right the occasion of blasphemy? Truly, then, and boldly, and not carelessly, he determined to give no offence to Jews or Gentiles, or to the Church of God, but to please all men. And the measure or restraint of this resolution was, that in carrying it into practice he would seek not his own profit, but the profit of many, that they might be saved].


1Co_10:16.—The verb ἐóôßí , is sometimes placed after êïéíùíßá , and sometimes after ×ñéóôïῦ . The latter position has the best authority in its favor. [Tischendorf, in both questions of this verse, puts ἐóôßí immediately after êïéíùíßá . In the first question he follows A. B. Sahid. Copt. Syr. Cyr. Aug. Beda. Lachmann, Bloomfield, Alford, Stanley and Words., place it at the close of the sentences, not only on account of external evidence (C. D. F. K. L., Sinait., Ital., Goth., Chrys., Theodt., Ambst.), but because the other order seems to be a correction to avoid the harshness of this verb at the end of the sentence, and in such close proximity to the other ἐóôßí . In the second question, the Sahid. omits ἐóôßí altogether, and B. agrees with those authorities which placed it after ×ñéóôïῦ in the first, in putting it at the end of this sentence; and only A. Copt. Syr. Cyr. Aug. and Bede make it precede ôïῦ óþìáôïò —C. P. W.].

[1Co_10:17.—Before ìåôÝ÷ïìåí , D. E. F. G., the Ital. and several copies of the Vulg. (not amiat.), Ambrst., Pelag. and Bede insert êáὶ ôïῦ ἑíὸò ðïôÞñéïõ . D. and E., however, omit ἑíὸò .—C. P. W.].

1Co_10:19.—In the Rec. the words ἐßäùëüí and ἐßäùëüèõôüí occur in their inverse order, but the authority for such an order is feeble. The second word was probably thrown out by the copyist through mistake, and then was reinserted where it seemed most fitting (the cause before the effect). [The Rec. is sustained by K. L. and most of the cursives, the Syr. and Gothic versions, and Chrys. and Theodt., and is adopted by Bloomfield, Osiander and Reiche. Some MSS., including A.C. (1st hand) Sinait. and Epiph. entirely omit the question relating to ἐßäþëïí . In favor of putting ἐßäùëüèõôüí in the former, and ἐßäþëïí in the latter question, we have B. C. (2d hand) D. Sinait. (1st hand), Vulg., Copt., Æth., Aug., Ambrst., Pelag., Bede. and this order is preferred by Tisch., Alford, Stanley and Wordsworth.—C. P. W.].

1Co_10:20.—Rec. has èýåé ôὰ ἔèíῃ , äáéìïíßáéò èýåé , but it is opposed by decisive authorities. The interpolation of ôὰ ἔèíç made necessary the alteration of èýïõóéí into èýåé . Lachmann puts the second èýïõóéí after èåῷ , in accordance with A. B. C., et al. [In favor of ôá ἔèíç , we have A.C. K. L. (placing the words after ὅôé ), Sinait., el at., Vulg., Goth., Copt., Sahid., Syr. Chrys., Theodt., Orig., Aug., Bede. In favor of èýïõóéí (twice) we have A. B. C. D. E. F. G., Sinait. The text as given by Tisch. is: ὅôé ἃ èýïõóéí äáéìïíἰïéò èýïõóéí êáὶ ïὐ èåῷ . Alford and Stanley have the same text, only they place the second èåῷ .—C. P. W.].

[‘It is observable that two of the Evangelists, Matthew (Mat_26:26) and Mark (Mar_14:22), use the word åὐëïãÞóáò , having blessed, in their description of Christ’s action at the institution of the Lord’s Supper, before the consecration of the bread; and Luke (Luk_22:19) and Paul (1Co_11:24) use the word åὐ÷áñéóôÞóáò , having given thanks; but in the benediction of the cup Matthew (Mat_26:27) and Mark (Mar_14:23) use the word åὐ÷áñéóôÞóáò , whereas Paul uses the word åὐëïãßá here. This variety of expression gives us a fuller and clearer view of the nature of the act here spoken of. It was eucharistic and also eulogistic; it was one of thanksgiving and one of benediction, and in the application of each of the terms to each of the elements, we learn more fully and clearly what the true character of the Holy Communion is, and what are our duties in its administration and reception.2Wordsworth (ad sensum)].

[We here give Stanley’s ingenious and valuable note entire. “From this passage his meaning has often been taken to be that, although the particular divinities, as conceived under the names of Jupiter, Venus, etc., were mere fictions, yet there were real evil spirits, who under those names, or in the general system of pagan polytheism, beguiled them away from the true God. (So Psa_96:5, ðÜíôåò ïὶ èåïὶ ôῶí ἐèíῶí äáéìüíéá ). Such certainly was the general belief of the early Christians. But the strong declaration in 1Co_8:4, reiterated here in 1Co_10:19, of the utter non-existence of the heathen divinities, renders it safer to understand him as saying that in the mind of the heathen sacrificers, whatever Christians might think, the sacrifices were really made to those whom the Old Testament called äáéìüíéá . It is in fact a play on the word äáéìüíéïí . The heathen Greeks (as in Act_17:18, the only passage where it is so used in Biblical Greek) employed it as a general word for ‘Divinity,’ and more especially for those heroes and inferior divinities, to whom alone (according to the belief of this later age), and not to the supreme rulers of the universe, sacrifices as such were due. The writers of the New Testament and the LXX., on the other hand, always use it of ‘evil demons,’ although never, perhaps, strictly speaking, for the author of evil, who is called emphatically ‘Satan,’ or the ‘Devil.’ It is by a union of these two meanings that the sense of the passage is produced. ‘The words of Deu_32:17, truly describe their state, for even according to their own confession, although in a different sense, they sacrifice to demons.’ A similar play on the same word, although for a different object, occurs in the Apology of Socrates, where he defends himself against the charge of atheism, on the ground that he believed in a demon ( äáéìüíéïí ); and that demons ( äáéìüíéá ) being sons of gods ( èåῶí ðáßäåò ), he must therefore be acknowledged to believe in the gods themselves”].

[We let our author’s statement of sacramentarian theories, and his expressed preference, pass without debate. The main point of doctrine he has well brought out in the first paragraph; and some will think that the Calvinistic theory of the “Real Presence” will answer all its demands. In the words of the Westminster Catechism, the sacrament of the Supper may be said “to represent, seal, and apply Christ and the benefits of the new covenant to all believers.” And this is done through the Spirit who takes of the things that are Christ’s, and shows them unto us in His ordinances according to their intent. Those interested in the question here mooted, we would refer to the current works on Dogmatic Theology, also to Hooker. Ecc. Pol., B. V., 100:67; Edward Irving, “Homilies on the Lord’s Supper.” Coll. Writings, Vol. II., p. 439 ff. J. M. Mason, “Letters on Frequent Communion.” Works, Vol. I. p. 372 ff.—D. W. P.].

1Co_10:23.—The Rec. has ìïé after ðÜíôá in each clause, bat it is opposed by the best authorities, and was probably taken from 1Co_6:12. [As the Apostle was here unquestionably repeating the same expression as was used in 1Co_6:12, the internal evidence would seem to be in favor of ìïé (Bloomfield, Rinck). But the documentary evidence in its favor (H. E. L. Sin. (3d hand), the Syr. both, one copy of the Vulg., Chrys., Theodt., Orig, August, and some inferior MSS., which omit ðÜíôá ἔî ., ἀëë ïὐ ð . ïἰêïä .) is too feeble, and that in opposition to it [A. B. C. (1st hand) D. Sin. (with Clem., Athan., Damasc., Iren., Tert. and many others), too strong to warrant its insertion.—C.P. W.].

1Co_10:24.—The Rec. also inserts ἕêáóôïò after ôïῦ ἑôÝñïõ , but it was perhaps borrowed from a similar passage in Php_2:4. [It is not found in A. B. C. D. F. G. H., Sin., six cursives, the Ital, Vulg., Copt., Sahid. and Arm. versions, and some Greek and Latin Fathers. Even Bloomfield, who at first defended it, now brackets it.—C. P. W.].

1Co_10:27.—The äὲ is wanting after åἰ in some good manuscripts [A. B. D. (1st hand) F. G. Sin, and some cursives, the Ital., Copt, and Vulg. versions, and Antioch., Chrys., Theodt., Aug., Ambrst.], and was probably, inserted because it was supposed to be needed as a connecting particle. [It is retained by Tisch. with C. D. (3d hand) E. H. K. L., some Sahid., Syr., Goth. versions, Theodt., Theophyl. and Œcum, but it is cancelled by Lach., Alf., Mey., Stanl. and Wordsworth. D. E. F. G:, the Ital., Vulg. and Copt, versions, and Ambrst., Pelag. and Bede (not the Aug.) insert åἰò äåῖðíïí after ἀðßóôùí .—C. P. W.].

1Co_10:28.—The Rec. has åἰäùëüèõôïí , but it is probably a gloss which has been substituted in the text for the more uncommon ἱåñüèõôïí . Neither word was common, but ἱåñüè . was of the classical, and åἰäïëüè . of the Hellenistic Greek (Bloomfield). The former had a neutral, and the latter a contemptuous signification (Stanley), and hence some have thought that no one would be likely to use the latter at the table of an unbeliever, unless, as Bloomfield suggests, by a weak fellow-Christian in an under tone, or aside. The former word is not too respectful for the Apostle to use, and it would imply nothing false. It is adopted by Griesb., Lachm., Tisch., Meyer, Alford and Stanley, on the authority of A. B. H. Sin., two cursives adduced by Bloomf.; the Sahid. version and some indirect testimonies produced by Tischendorf. Julian quotes Paul as using this word in this connection, and his opponent Cyril admits the same (Tisch). The Latin versions of D. and F. use the word immolaticium, to which some Vulg. MSS. add idols, one (amiat.) has immolatium (2d cor. has immolativum) idolis, and the Vulg. (ed.) has immolatum idolis. The Rec. is favored by C. D. E. F. G. K. L., Chrys. and Theodt., and it is defended by Scholz, Reiche, Bloomfield and Wordsworth.—C. P.W.].

1Co_10:28.—The Rec. after óõíåßä . has ôïῦ ãὰñ êõñßïõ ἡ ãῆ êáὶ ôὸ ðëÞñùìá áὐôῆò , but these words are not found in the best MSS., and are a repetition of 1Co_10:26. [They are left out in A. B.C. D. E. F. G. H. (1st hand), Sin., the Ital., Vulg., Copt., Syr., Sahid. and Arm. versions, and Damasc, August., Ambrst., Pelag. and Bede, and are retained in H. (2d hand) K. L., the Goth., Slav., some Syr. and Arm. versions, and Chrys., Theodt., Phot., Œcum. and Theophyl.—C. P. W.].

1Co_10:30.—The Rec. after åἰ inserts äὲ , but it is feebly sustained.

1Co_10:32.—The Rec. has ãßíåóèå êáὶ Éïõä ., but êáὶ Éïõä . ãßíåóèå , is better sustained by the MSS. [The latter has for it A. B. C. Sin., 17, 37, 73, Orig., Didym., Cyr., while D. E. K. L. Sin. (3d hand), some cursives, and Chrys., Theodt. and Damasc. are in favor of the Recep.—C. P. W.].

1Co_10:33.—The Rec. has óõìöÝñïí , but óýìöïñïí has better authority. [The former is more usual, and is sustained by D. E. F. G. K. L. Sin. (3d hand), while the latter is sustained by A. B. C. Sin. Comp. on the same variation of reading in 1Co_7:35.—C. P. W.].

[Kling here hardly does justice to the interpretation he so summarily sets aside, and which is advocated by Chrys. and the Greek commentators, Heyd., Billr.. Olsh., Neand., Hodge, Stanley, and many others. This takes êñßíåôáé for êáôáêñßíåôáé , in the sense of condemn, and finds here a valid reason for enjoining the liberal-minded brother not to eat against the convictions and prejudices of the weaker one, who has pointed out to him the objectionable meat. The reason is that there is no propriety in doing that which seems censurable to another, and gives occasion for observers to blaspheme, even though it may be right in our own esteem, and accompanied with thanksgiving to God. “This.” as Hodge well says, “brings the passage into harmony with the whole context, and connects it with the main idea of the previous verse, and not with an intermediate and subordinate clause”].