Monday, January 30, 2023

Conflict Management - 1 Corinthians 1:10-4:21


Lesson 3: The Church’s Problems—Division


 Because people come from a variety of backgrounds, they have correspondingly different preferences. Some like their food spicy, while others like it plain. Some sport a hair style with the part on the side, while others part theirs in the middle or not at all. Some do their exercise walking, while others play tennis or basketball. Some enjoy listening to classical music, while others find Country and Western more to their liking. These are legitimate differences that reflect the diversity in our makeup. People in the church have various preferences, too, and these can add to the richness of a congregation. Nevertheless, differences can also impoverish a congregation by causing division and strife. What makes some differences acceptable and others unacceptable? How can a church composed of different people keep itself together? That is what Paul discusses as he addresses the first of the Corinthian church’s problems: division.


     II.    Church’s Problems        1:10-6:20

             A. Division         1:10-4:21


1 Cor 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 17


                   1.    Symptoms (1:10-17)

a.     Quarrels (v. 11)

b.    Factions (v. 12)


Comment: About “I follow Christ” (v. 12)

 This may refer to a group or leader in Corinth who opposes Paul.18 The faction, in claiming to follow Jesus, implies that others (including Paul) do not.



1 Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. 26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." [≈ Jer 9:23-24]


                   2.    Issues (1:18-31)

           a. For Jews, the issue is power (vv. 22a, 24b).  1) Assumption: The messiah will be a conquering king.  2) Disillusionment: The teacher failed to conquer.19    3) Conclusion: The gospel is a message of weakness.      b. For Greeks, the issue is wisdom (vv. 22b, 24b).

1)    Assumption: The body is an evil that man must escape.

2)    Disillusionment: The teacher rose physically from the dead.

3)    Conclusion: The gospel is a message of foolishness.    c. For both, the root is pride (vv. 29, 31).


Comment: About “…the power of God” (v. 18)

 Although we acknowledge the historicity of the crucifixion, we tend to view the cross as a mystical symbol of our faith. We may read Paul’s equation of the cross of Christ with the power of God as if there were some supernatural investment in the wood itself. Paul’s focus on Jesus’ death, however, is rather a response to a central problem for Christianity at this time; namely, that in the eyes of the state— and, therefore, in the eyes of many citizens of the state—officially, the messiah was a criminal, an insurrectionist. To “boast…in the cross” (Gal 6:14) means to face this problem in evangelism head on, not to gloss over it or to talk around it (Gal 5:11; 6:12).20 It is to address unflinchingly the accusation that the one we claim as the messiah was allegedly a felon.


1 Cor 2:1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

 6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" [≈ Isa 65:7b]—10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: 16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" [Isa 40:13] But we have the mind of Christ.


Query: Is Paul advocating an uneducated clergy (v. 1)?

           No, he is saying the message he proclaimed was simple and straightforward, not requiring great wisdom to understand.


Comment: About “not accept…not understand…spiritually discerned” (2:14)  • “Discern” (aÓnakri÷nw) appears in Paul’s writings only in 1 Cor (10x). Given its judicial sense elsewhere (e.g., 4:3-4), it seems here to mean an ability to evaluate something, to “sift” through the various details (cf. Acts 17:11) in order “to make appropriate judgments about what God is doing in the world” (Fee 1987:117). Such an evaluation is only possible with the help of God Himself.

         “Understand” (ginw¿skw) here, does not mean just being able to comprehend the words but having an appreciation of their significance (cf. 2:8).

         “Accept” (de÷comai) is also to “receive” in the sense of acknowledging certain information as valid or true.


Summary: Paul’s point in these first two chapters is that their dividing into factions—because they think that one leader has a truer message than another—is counterproductive. That is, the pride they foster by identifying themselves with a particular group actually prevents them from acquiring the truth, because pride hinders spiritual understanding and, as we will see in chapter 3, pride also hinders spiritual growth. One commentator put it this way: “Being spiritual does not lead to elitism; it leads to a deeper understanding of God’s mystery—redemption through a crucified Messiah” (Fee 1987:120).


*****??? Break ???*****


 The first problem Paul addresses in this letter is divisions in the church. There are several groups, each claiming to adhere to the teaching of a particular leader (Cephas, Apollos, Paul, and even Jesus). This is not unusual; prominent men often attract a following. Nor is it necessarily bad; the rabbi-student relationship is a useful teaching model. The situation at Corinth, though, is not simply a leader attracting a following or a rabbi with his disciples. There is no indication that these men ever led the groups that use their names (Jesus certainly did not). Furthermore, these groups are apparently in competition, for each claims to be better than the next…and such rivalry does not promote church unity. Paul’s response is two-fold.

         In chaps 1-2 he says, “Remember that those outside the church who are proud of their wisdom are at odds with God’s plan for man’s salvation” (1:23; cf. 2:8).

         In chaps 3-4 he says, “Realize that those inside the church who are proud of their wisdom are at odds with God’s plan for church growth.”

This second response is evident in the opening verses of chapter 3 (especially v. 3).


                   3.    Evaluation (3:1-4:21)


1 Cor 3:1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?


                           a. Your pride is a sign of immaturity (3:1). 



1 Cor 3:5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. 10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.


 b. Your pride is contrary to ministry (which is a cooperative effort toward a common end; 3:7). 


1 Cor 3:16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple. 18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; 20 and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." 21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.


                           c. Your pride is a denial of reality (3:18).


Comment: About “All things are yours” (v. 21b)

 Paul underscores the point he makes in v. 9—This whole thing is God’s operation—by reversing their perceptions. They have been saying, “I belong to Paul or Apollos or Cephas”; but Paul says here that he, Apollos, and Cephas actually belong to them as servant-leaders, and that together they all belong to God.


1 Cor 4:1 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

 6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

 8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings—and that without us! How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you! 9 For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.

 14 I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15 Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

 18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?


                 d. Your pride makes our work a mockery (4:10).21


Query: Is Paul advocating unity at all costs (cf. 1:10)? Why or why not?

 One reason Paul may be scolding them is that in their search for a more profound (wise) theological system, they have obscured the simplicity of the gospel (2:2). At any rate, this core must serve as the basis for unity (3:11).


Query: How does the presence of factions at Corinth relate to the existence of denominations today? Are they simply an extension of this first century problem?  Note that Paul is addressing an inter-church issue (i.e., within a congregation) not an intra-church issue (i.e., between congregations).


Comment: About “Do not go beyond what is written” (4:6)22

 With this proverbial saying (perhaps rabbinic; so Godet 1977:217; Robertson 1978:81), Paul warns the Corinthian believers not to interpret their salvation as a license to live as they please. God’s word23 is still binding upon them, and they must not add their own peculiar bias to what He has revealed.


 Upon hearing that there are divisions in the Corinthian church because of pride among the members, Paul issues a rather lengthy (four-chapter) response. We can boil it down to this:

         He tells them what they must do to repair the breech—”Stop boasting!” (3:21). Yet verbal instruction is only one side of this two-sided coin.

         He shows them what they must improve their testimony—”Imitate me!”

(4:16). Personal example is the other side of the coin.

The first is relatively easy compared to the second, but the resolution requires both. That thought, alone, of being an example or of following another’s example, can keep pride in check.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Conflict Management - 1 Corinthians 1:1-9


Lesson 2: The Apostle’s Greeting


 When we read a letter, we do not normally dwell on the salutation—“Dear so and-so”—because we know it is not really an expression of endearment any more than the closing “Sincerely yours” signifies the author’s faithfulness. These are common conventions, whether from a friend or on junk mail (see Barton 1984:1314). If we read it at all, we skip—or, at best, skim—the opening and closing lines, and look instead to the body of the letter. That is where the important material is.  We generally approach NT letters the same way, skipping the opening verses to get to the important elements. There is some justification for this in that Paul starts most of his epistles to churches the same way. His letterhead, which is another element we simply note in passing—is “Paul, an apostle.” Instead of “Dear” he writes “Grace and peace to you.”14 Nevertheless, he sometimes includes other elements that set a tone for the letter, and we should be alert for these.


       I.    The Apostle’s Greeting 1:1-9

             A. His address (vv. 1-3)


1 Cor 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


1.        From Paul and Sosthenes

2.        To the church in Corinth

a.     This is not an additional audience, but associates in holiness.

b.    God’s will for the Corinthians is the same as His will for all believers: “to be holy.” 15

  NB: Although this is God’s will for all believers, it is not a common element in Paul’s typical salutation and may indicate a particular concern he has for the Corinthians. In any case, the letter is, to some extent, church-specific.

                   3.    With a blessing from God

             B. His thanksgiving (vv. 4-9)


1 Cor 1:4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.


                   1.    For God’s grace to them in Jesus (v. 1)

a.     The effectiveness of his personal testimony

b.    The abundance of their spiritual gifts        2.      For God’s faithfulness to them in Jesus (v. 8)

a.     “You eagerly await”

b.    “Strong to the end”

c.     “Blameless on the day”


Application: Although it may be difficult to establish an order to the items in a church’s doctrinal statement, this is certainly important and one that appears in many such declarations. Does it appear in ours?16

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Conflict Management - 1 Corinthians - Summary, Bibliography, and Endnotes



 A review of the outline gives a brief summary of both the major issues and the way Paul addresses them.


I.             The Apostle’s Greeting 1:1-9

 • Paul begins this letter by noting the tension that exists between what the Corinthians are by grace and what they need to become through obedience. Then he speaks to a series of church problems.

II.          The Church’s Problems 1:10-6:20

             A. Division ........... 1:10-4:21

         Problem: There are several factions in the congregation, each claiming some exclusive corner on the truth. The ensuing quarrels are threatening the testimony of the church.

         Solution: Paul traces these divisions to pride and instructs the members to stop boasting (3:21) and to imitate him (4:16).

             B. Discipline ......... 5:1-13

         Problem: They continue to associate with a member who refuses to repent from his sexual sin. Their ignoring of the problem has not made it go away, and eventually the scandal will bring the church into disrepute.

         Solution: Paul tells them not to associate with the sinning member, in essence, to excommunicate him.

             C. Lawsuits ........... 6:1-11

         Problem: Some members are suing other members, and such

activity blurs the distinction between church (sacred) and society (secular).

         Solution: Paul reminds them that they will judge angels. Given that great responsibility in the future, they should be able to make these lesser judgments now without appealing to civil courts.

             D. Immorality ....... 6:12-20

         Problem: Some members think that being a Christian is exclusively a spiritual experience and that what one does with the body is not important. They use this line of reasoning to justify their visiting (temple) prostitutes.

         Solution: Paul corrects this misperception by stating that God is indeed concerned about the body because He will raise it in the end, so what the believer does in the body is important. Therefore, they must stop frequenting prostitutes.


III.        The Church’s Questions   7:1-16:9

             A. Marriage ........... 7:1-40

         Question: Should the believer marry or not?

         Answer: Celibacy has the advantage of allowing the believer greater freedom to serve God. Marriage is certainly permitted, though, and believers who are married should not attempt to become single by divorcing their spouses.

             B. Food ................. 8:1-11:1

         Question: Is it permissible to eat food dedicated to false gods?

         Answer: No, because eating such food brings a person into fellowship with the supernatural power behind the false god. There is also the related possibility of destroying a weaker brother for whom the practice reconnects him with his pagan past.

             C. Worship ......... 11:2-16

         Question: What is the proper attire for worship?

         Answer: The practice of headcoverings should conform to the

principles of order and honor. Given the cultural conditions of the period, women should cover their heads and men should not.

             D. Communion ... 11:17-34

         Question: What is the proper behavior for observing Passover (and communion)?

         Answer: To escape God’s judgment, judge yourselves by avoiding division, disorder, drunkenness, and disregard for others. If you cannot exercise self-control, eat at home before you come.

             E. Gifts ............... 12:1-14:40

         Question: How should we be using our spiritual gifts?

         Answer: Remember that there is one Spirit at work dispensing gifts in one body, and that there is one way to exercise those gifts properly: in love. Remember also that the purpose of gifts is to promote the common good, so maintain order in the service by limiting the use of gifts that are intended for non-worship settings.

             F. Resurrection ... 15:1-58

         Question: Is a resurrection of the dead possible? If so, what kind of body will they have?

         Answer: Yes, Jesus was raised and has broken the power of death,

so all will rise and have a spirit body.

             G. Collection ....... 16:1-4

         Question: How should we collect and distribute relief funds?

         Answer: Let each one set aside a percentage of his income that church representatives can take to Jerusalem.

The Apostle’s Farewell

IV.        The Apostle’s Farewell 16:5-24

         Paul ends the letter as he began, by noting the tension that exists between what the Corinthians are by grace and what they need to become through obedience. Nevertheless, Paul concludes on a note of hope: There is one who is keeping them, and he is coming again.


 How is it possible for a church with so many problems to get by? Paul hints at the solution in the way he brackets the letter, in his greeting and in his farewell.

         He opens the letter in 1:3 with “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

         He closes the letter in 16:23 similarly with “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.”

The only way this church (and any church) can make it is by God’s grace.





Associated Press

     1988       “Jesus didn’t promise Second Coming, scholars say.” April, n.p.

Bacchiocchi, Samuele

 1977 From Sabbath to Sunday: A Historical Investigation of the rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity. Rome: Pontifical Gregorian University Press.

Barton, John

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The Westminster Press.

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 n.d. The Book of Acts. NICNT. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Conway, Flo, and Jim Siegelman

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Fee, Gordon D.

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Ferguson, Everett

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Glatzer, Nahum N.

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Hoehner, Harold W.

 1982 “The Purpose of Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:20-25.” Walvoord: A Tribute. Edited by Donald K. Campbell. Chicago: Moody Press, pp. 53-66.

Jakobovits, Immanuel

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Johnson, Luke Timothy

     1992       “Tongues, Gift of.” AB 6:596-600.

MacArthur, H.K.

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Manuel, Paul


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Divorce and Remarriage.

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1The procedure for this study:


   Read the passage before class

   Review the passage in class


   Identify the problem or question

   Identify Paul’s solution or answer


   Define a relevant contemporary issue

   Determine a suitable application

   To obey a direct command

   To form an appropriate principle

2This designation applies to gentile believers, especially those in the synagogue,

Acts 10:2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly…. 22a-b The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people….” 35 [God] accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.  Acts 13:16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! …26 “Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 

Cf. Acts 15:19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.” 3He may have joined Paul later.

1 Cor 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

4Passages that refer to the Greco-Roman pantheon include:

1 Cor 8:5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"),

5Other church leaders may have included Cephas (Aram = Peter, cf. John 1:42) and Apollos

1 Cor 1:12 What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."

Acts 19:1a While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus.

6Paul alludes to the upcoming festivals.

1 Cor 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor 16:8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost,


The information Paul has about conditions in the church come from eye witnesses.

1 Cor 16:17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.

1  Cor 1:11a My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me….

2  Cor 7:6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever. 8

Immorality is a persistent problem at Corinth, which Paul mentions in both his letters.

1 Cor 5:9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 2 Cor 12:21 I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged. 9

Paul makes gentiles the ones to whom he goes after he is unsuccessful in reaching out to Jews. Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.

Acts 13:46b Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 

Acts 18:6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility.

From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 

Acts 22:21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’” 10

It may be that the dedication of a prophet and priest to God was sufficient to make such a vow superfluous.

Amos 2:11 I also raised up prophets from among your sons and Nazirites from among your young men. Is this not true, people of Israel?" declares the LORD. 12 "But you made the Nazirites drink wine and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.

1 Macc 3:49 They also brought the garments of the priesthood and the first fruits and the tithes, and they stirred up the Nazirites who had completed their days; 11

On women taking Nazirite vows, see… m Naz 4:3 [= 4] If a woman vowed to become a nazirite…. 12

The individual determined the duration of the vow, whether short or long.

Judg 13:5b No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines." …7 But he said to me, 'You will conceive and give birth to a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from birth until the day of his death.'"

Judg 16:17a So he told her everything. "No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth.

1 Sam 1:11 And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." m Naz 9:5 Samuel was a nazirite—according to the opinion of R. Nehorai…just as the razor spoken of in the case of Samson means that he was to be a nazirite so the razor spoken of regarding Samuel shows that he was to be a nazirite.

13For Paul to assume this responsibility may constitute a significant financial outlay.

Acts 21:20b Then they said to Paul: "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law…. 26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them. 27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 shouting, "Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place." 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.) 30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31 While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. Tradition made specific provision for one nazirite to support another by making a simple declaration to that effect.

m Naz 2:5 “I will be a nazirite and I undertake to ring the offerings of another nazirite!” …6 “I undertake to bring half the offerings of another nazirite!”

Early believers, including Paul, did not regard Jesus’ sacrifice as marking the end of animal sacrifices. The two have different results in different realms. The purification of animal sacrifices is ceremonial and relates to the physical realm (i.e., the earthly sanctuary). The purification of Jesus’ sacrifice is soteriological and relates to the spiritual realm (i.e., the heavenly sanctuary). See Manuel 2004c and 2007a.

14Paul employs them with great consistency. He also frequently opens with thanksgiving or praise (except Gal!) and closes with an exhortation to greet one another.

Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle…. 7 To all in Rome… Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I thank my


Rom 16:16a Greet one another with a holy kiss…. 20b The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

1       Cor 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God… 2 To the church of God in Corinth… 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 1 Cor 16:20b Greet one another with a holy kiss…. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.

2       Cor 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus… To the church of God in Corinth… 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…

2 Cor 13:12 Greet one another with a holy kiss…. 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle—sent…by Jesus Christ and God the Father… 2b To the churches in Galatia: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…. 6 I am astonished…

Gal 6:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus… 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Praise be to the

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…

Eph 6:23 Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

Phil 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi… 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God…

Phil 4:21a Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus…. 23a The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Col 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God… 2 To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father. 3 We always thank God…

Col 4:18c Grace be with you.

1 Thess 1:1 Paul… To the church of the Thessalonians… Grace and peace to you. 2a We always thank God for all of you…

1       Thess 5:26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss…. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

2       Thess 1:1 Paul… To the church of the Thessalonians… 2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We ought always to thank God for you… 2 Thess 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

1   Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus… 2 To Timothy…. Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord…. 12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord… 1 Tim 6:21b Grace be with you.

2   Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God… 2 To Timothy… Grace,

mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God… 2 Tim 4:22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ… 4 To Titus… Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Tit 3:15b Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.

Phlm 1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus… To Philemon… 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I always thank my God…. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

That these elements are indeed convention is evident in their use by other authors:

Heb 13:24a Greet all your leaders and all God's people…. 25 Grace be with you all.

Jms 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

1 Pet 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect…. 2b Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

1  Pet 5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

2  Pet 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who…have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

2       John 1 The elder, To the chosen lady and her children… 3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ….

3       John 1 The elder, To my dear friend Gaius…. 14b Peace to you…. Greet the friends there by name.

Jude 1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ… To those who have been called… 2 Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

Rev 1:4 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come… 5a and from Jesus Christ….

Rev 22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen.

15Holiness is Israel’s specific calling.

Exod 19:6a you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. 

Exod 22:31a You are to be my holy people.

Lev 11:44 I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. 45 I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.

Lev 19:2 "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

Lev 20:26 You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.

16The GSDB, SDB, and FBC statements are similar.

We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of his kingdom. (German Seventh-Day Baptists 2001)

We believe that Jesus rose from the dead and lives eternally with the Father, and that He will come again with power and great glory. (Seventh Day Baptists 1988)

We believe in [Jesus’] substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven…and personal visible return to earth. (First Baptist Church of Freeport)

All who profess to be Christians, however, do not hold this belief. For example, a conference of biblical scholars who reviewed this particular issue proposed a different view (Associated 1988:n.p.) and, lest we doubt the opinion of this learned body, one member of the conference assures us:

These are not maverick scholars…. They take a very careful approach to how the sayings of Jesus were transmitted and to the evolution of the Bible texts.

What he does not say, however, is that their starting presupposition is Jesus could not possibly have said all the NT preserves of his teaching. Consequently, in an attempt to determine the real words of Jesus, they take the Thomas Jefferson approach to the Bible and apply it to the NT: When in doubt, cut it out. Then, so no one can accuse them of unscholarly bias—I love this part—they take a vote. In all my years of education, I never learned this method of determining the truth.

In one vote of 30 scholars, 26 said they strongly disagreed that Jesus expected to return and usher in a new age. The scholars almost unanimously agreed, though, that Jesus spoke the words attributed to him in which he said the kingdom of God already was present in his day [Luke 17:21].

 The group also voted overwhelmingly that the language used to describe the future kingdom of God in the New Testament is mythical and symbolic, and recommended that people should not believe in or look forward to the Second Coming and new age.

In other words, Paul is deluding these poor Corinthians. They should not “eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” If Jesus did not intend to return, he fooled the disciples; and they, in turn, fooled us, because they did a effective job of making this all up.

17That Paul is not against baptism is evident from the prominent place this act has in his ministry and the positive statements he makes about it in other letters.

Acts 16:15a When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.

Acts 18:8b …and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. Acts 19:5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 22:16b Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.'

Rom 6:3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Eph 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

Col 2:12a having been buried with him in baptism….

18Occasionally Paul mentions his opponents.

2 Cor 10:7 You are looking only on the surface of things. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he…. 10 For some say, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing." 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.

2 Cor 11:4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough…. 23a Are they servants of Christ?

19The (size or) sophistication of a person’s faith does not necessarily determine the strength of that person’s faith; (small or) simple faith can still be strong faith.

 That Jesus had to address on several occasions the desire for signs indicates the importance people placed on such support, however insincere the request may have been.

Matt 12:38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you." 39 He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Matt 16:1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 3 and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away.

Matt 24:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" …30a "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky…. 20

Paul demonstrates the same attitude in his response to those who assert that circumcision is necessary for salvation.

Gal 5:11 Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.

Gal 6:12 Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.… 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Later in this letter, Paul places circumcision in its proper perspective (see Comment on 7:18). 21

An alternate translation for the prohibition in v. 5—“Judge nothing before the appointed time”—could read, “Stop making a verdict on anything before the appointed time,” specifically on Paul and his ministry (cf. 6:5; Fee 1987:163). 22

Paul’s obscure command has elicited several interpretations, none of which is completely satisfactory. The dual problem is identifying its source and its referent.


   Pauline proverb

   Corinthian proverb


   Preceding argument (3:5-4:5)

   Biblical reference (but which?) 23

Paul may be thinking particularly about the passages he cited earlier, although such an aphorism would apply to the whole of scripture.

1 Cor 1:19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." [Isa 29:14] …31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." [Jer 9:24]

1 Cor 3:19b As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness" [Job 5:13]; 20 and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." [Ps 94:11] 24

God expressly forbids such a relationship.

Lev 18:8 'Do not have sexual relations with your father's wife…. 25

Paul makes a similar statement

1 Tim 1:20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.


Whereas God takes a prohibitive (or restrictive) approach to Passover, He takes a proscriptive approach to the Feast of Tabernacles (Manuel 2004a).

Lev 23:42b All native-born Israelites are to live in booths 27 Paul also refers to their condemnation in another letter.

Rom 2:12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. 28

Moses addresses the precedence and Jesus describes the procedure.

Deut 17:7 The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you

Deut 19:19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you.

Deut 21:21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

Deut 22:21 she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death…. You must purge the evil from among you…. 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death…. You must purge the evil from among you.

Deut 24:7 …the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from among you.

Matt 18:15 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 29

Jude makes a similar observation.

Jude 12a These men are blemishes at your love feasts…. 30

Paul speaks elsewhere about putting off the old and putting on the new.

Col 3:8 …rid yourselves of all…anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator…. 12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 31

Jesus gives a series of graduated steps, the final and most severe being excommunication.

Matt 18:15 If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that “every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Paul’s admonition in another letter may reflect one of these preliminary steps.

2 Thess 3:14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

32The rabbis make a similar analogy. b Ber 17a R Alexandri [?] on concluding his prayer used to say the following…our will is to perform Thy will, and what prevents us? The yeast in the dough and the subjection to foreign powers. May it be thy will to deliver us from their hand, so that we may return to perform the statutes of Thy will with a perfect heart. 

33He condemns judging several times. Is Paul contradicting himself in these passages? 

1 Cor 2:15a The spiritual man makes judgments about all things…

1 Cor 4:5a Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

1 Cor 5:3 Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present.

1 Cor 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

The answer lies in understanding Paul’s point in each case.

   In 2:15 judge = to discern someone’s relationship with God

   A person who is obeying God’s spirit can discern what God is doing and order his life accordingly, but his life remains a mystery to those without God’s spirit. Can you think of an example of such puzzlement from your own non-Christian acquaintances?

   In 4:5 judge = to decide someone’s eternal fate      • Only God has the final word on a person’s life. 

   In 5:3 judge = to decide someone’s immediate fate

   Because the immoral believer has refused to repent, you must censure him by expelling him from the congregation. Excommunication does not, however, determine or reflect his eternal fate (v. 5). 

   In 5:12 judge = to discern a believer’s moral condition

   This is the task of a congregation—not an individual—and is necessary to preserve the moral purity of the group. 

34Care in judging is a common admonition in scripture (see also Manuel 2002a).

Lev 19:15b …do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. 

Isa 11:3b He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 

Zech 7:9b …Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.

35This is similar to Jesus’ admonition, although he is referring to individual not congregational responsibility.

John 7:24 Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.

36This responsibility accords with other NT instruction.

Matt 5:16 …let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds….

Phil 2:15 …become blameless and pure…without fault in a crooked and depraved generation 1 Pet 2:12 Live such good lives among the pagans that…they may see your good deeds…. 37This is what it means to be in the world but not of the world, a distinction Jesus makes.

John 15:19b …you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  

John 17:14b …they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 …not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16a They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

Cf. Col 2:20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules:

38Gallio made a similar statement when he dismissed the charge of some Corinthian Jews against Paul.

Acts 18:14b "If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things."

39Paul also deals with the other issues from an eschatological perspective: divisions (2:6; 3:13; 4:5), discipline (5:13), lawsuits (6:2-3, 9-10), immorality (6:14).

40Paul uses interrogative queries ten times in this book and twice in Romans. This form appears only once by another NT author.

1 Cor 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

1 Cor 5:6b Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 

1 Cor 6:9a Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? …15a Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? …16a Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? …19a Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

1       Cor 9:13 Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? …24a Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?

Rom 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 

Rom 11:2b Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 

Jms 4:4a You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?

The trope appears less frequently in the OT.

2       Chr 32:13a Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the other lands?

Isa 40:21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 

Ezek 17:12 …Do you not know what these things mean? 

Zech 4:5a …Do you not know what these are? …13a Do you not know what these are? 41There are two other biblical references to judgment by believers, although they do not mention the involvement of angels.

Dan 7:27a Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High.

Luke 19:16 "The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.' 17 "'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.' 18 "The second came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned five more.' 19 "His master answered, 'You take charge of five cities.'

There are two other biblical references and (at least) one extra-biblical reference to judgment of angels, although they do not mention the involvement of believers.

2 Pet 2:4 …God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;

Jude 6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

1 Enoch 67: 7…those angels who perverted those who dwell upon the earth shall be punished.

42Paul mentions the role of courts in keeping public order.

Rom 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves…. 4a For he is God's servant…. 5a Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities….

43Paul’s use of Roman courts was not necessarily voluntary, but he was probably glad that system was in place.

Acts 16:37 But Paul said to the officers: "They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out." 38 The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39a They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison….

Acts 25:10 Paul answered: "I am now standing before Caesar's court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. 11c …I appeal to Caesar!" 12 After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: "You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!"

44Jesus discourages civil suits between believers.

Matt 5:25 Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.

45As a society declines morally, practices that were once stigmatized become acceptable.


Lev 18:20 Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor's wife and defile yourself with her.

Lev 20:10 If a man commits adultery with another man's wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.


Lev 18:22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

Lev 20:13 If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

Apparently there was very little incidence of homosexuality in the Jewish community, for the subject receives scant treatment in rabbinic sources (Jakobovits 1972 8:961). 46

Paul addresses homosexuality elsewhere (also Manuel 2002b).

Rom 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 47 A church’s greatest public testimony is in its private interactions.

Gal 6:10 …let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Negative admonitions (in addition to the charge in v. 8, above) include:

1 Thess 4:6a …and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. 48

See also the expanded list of the intervening section and compare it with what Paul says earlier. 1 Cor 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Cor 5:9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 49

Elsewhere Paul identifies the absence of moral restraints as the absence of freedom.

Rom 6:19b …you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to everincreasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness…. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!

Tit 3:3a At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. 50

This revises the NIV division (see Fee 1987:253-254). 51

The saying is a conflation of two OT passages.

Isa 22:13b "Let us eat and drink," you say, "for tomorrow we die!"

Eccl 8:15b …nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Cf. Luke 12:19b Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry. 52

Jesus and (elsewhere) Paul both recognize the importance of keeping the body in check. Matt 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

2 Cor 7:1 …let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 

1 Thess 4:4 …each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,   53

Nevertheless, because the body serves as a vessel for the Holy Spirit, it would be inappropriate to engage in any activity that would defile it.

1 Cor 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 

1       Cor 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 

2       Cor 6:16a-b What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. 

54In support of this view, proponents appeal to such passages as…

1 Cor 14:34 women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.

Other references, however, show his appreciation of the contribution women make to the kingdom.

Rom 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. 3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila [note the order], my fellow workers in Christ Jesus….6 Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you…. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them.

55Sexual self-control is a particular concern to Paul:

Rom 13:13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime…not in sexual immorality….

1 Cor. 5:11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral…. With such a man do not even eat.

1       Cor 6:9b Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral…nor adulterers… 10b …will inherit the kingdom of God…. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

2       Cor 12:21 …I will be grieved over many who…have not repented of the…sexual sin…in which they have indulged.

Gal 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery… 21b I warn you…that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;

Eph 4:19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. 

Eph 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity…because these are improper for God’s holy people…. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure…person…has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 

Col 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality,  1 Thess 4:3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy… 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God…. 6b The Lord will punish men for all such sins…. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

1 Tim 1:9 …law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels… 10 for

adulterers and perverts…and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine Other NT writers address the issue as well.

Heb 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Rev 21:8a But…the sexually immoral…their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Rev 22:15 Outside are…the sexually immoral…. 56

For further discussion of this distinction, see Manuel 2000a. 57

The phrase “…not to marry” in 7:1b is literally “not to touch a woman,” a euphemism for sexual intercourse that is neutral with regard to marriage (Fee 1987:275). 58

The reference to “…devote yourselves to prayer” in 7:5 has pseudepigraphical parallel:

T. Naph 8:8, There is a time for having intercourse with one’s wife, and a time to abstain for the purpose of prayer.

59The Greek word for “unmarried” (aÓga¿moiß) in v. 8 may also be translated as “widowers,” which would not only balance the paired noun “widows” but also keep distinct those Paul addresses here from those unmarried he addresses later in the chapter (cf. Fee 1987:287-288). 60

Paul distinguishes torah (“the Lord” = revelation in v. 10) and halakah (“I” = application in v. 17, cf. vv. 25, 40). 61

Jesus addresses divorce but only from one side, because only the man could issue the certificate (see Manuel 2015).

Matt 5:32 …anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. Matt 19:9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." 62

God’s command would probably have an introductory formula to the OT source. 63

God’s prohibition of mixed marriage harkens back to the nation’s beginning.

Exod 34:16 And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same. Deut 7:3 Do not intermarry with them…. 4 for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you….

Ezra 9:12a Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons.

2 Cor 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

Israel’s history includes several prominent examples, especially among the nation’s leaders.

 • Solomon

1 Kgs 11:1a King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women…. 2 They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites,  “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3b …and his wives led him astray. 4a As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods…. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites…. 7 On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods.

 • Jehoram

2 Chr 21:6 He [Jehoram] walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD.

 • Ahaziah

2 Chr 22:3 He [Ahaziah] too walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong.

 • Priests, etc.

Ezra 9:1 After these things had been done, the leaders came to me and said,  “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices…. 2 They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.” Intermarriage was such a problem for the returnees that Ezra and Nehemiah had to take stern measures against it.

Ezra 10:10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. 11 Now make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.”

Neh 10:30 We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the peoples around us or take their daughters for our sons.

Those who became part of Israel, however, God accepted.


Josh 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho — and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

Heb 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. 

Cf. Jms 2:25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?


Ruth 1:16 But Ruth replied,  “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.


Deut 21:11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.

64He regards the offspring of legitimate marriages as holy.

Mal 2:15 Has not [the LORD] made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

Cf. Ezra 9:2a They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them.

The issue of illegitimate marriages (by implication) He regards as unholy.

Ezra 10:3 Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law. 

Cf. Neh 13:24 Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of one of the other peoples, and did not know how to speak the language of Judah.

65Paul notes the effect of unhealthy associations.

1 Cor 15:33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

66Paul cannot mean that the unbeliever is saved by virtue of being married to a believer. Such a position would contradict the means of salvation that Paul asserts elsewhere.

Rom 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

1 Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

The one alleged counter example to which some appeal must also link salvation with personal (not proxy) faith.

Acts 16:31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household."

67This is similar to his argument elsewhere.

Rom 11:16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

68Later, he warns against entering such a relationship, a situation for which Ezra prescribed divorce..

2 Cor 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

Ezra 10:2b "We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. 3 Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law.

Paul may also be responding to an uncertainty among those in mixed marriages whether or not their relationships were still in force. After all, he told them not to associate with immoral people (5:9-11). Rabbinic tradition holds that a proselyte is like a newborn child, and all previous relationships are annulled at conversion.

b Yeb 22a [= 48b; 62a; 97b; ≈ Bek 47a] …one who has become a proselyte is like a child newly born.

Eccl Rab on 1.8 §4 R Joshua [said] “When she set her mind on being a proselyte, she no longer lived to the world….”

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Therefore, was continued intercourse with an unbelieving (“former”) spouse immoral? Paul’s response uses “sanctify” (D √vdq) in the rabbinic fashion of taking a wife (or spouse?), the marriage being “sanctified” through sexual intercourse.

m Qidd 1:1 The widowed sister-in-law is acquired by sexual intercourse….

Paul’s argument (so Daube in Fee 1987:300) is… even though the marriage was dissolved through conversion, one should live on with the spouse in the hope of his or her conversion; by intercourse one [‘sanctifies’] the new marriage, otherwise one’s children (meaning any born to this relationship) would be ‘unclean’ (illegitimate).

Paul may also have in mind the rabbinic category “in sanctity” (h`Dvé;dVqI;b), which refers to the status of a female proselyte and her children, (apparently) regardless of whether or not her husband is a Jew. Children born after her conversion are “in sanctity” and may be subject to certain laws. b Ketub 4:3 If [the daughter of a proselyte] were conceived in unholiness [i.e., before her mother converted] but her birth was in holiness, then [if she later commits adultery] she is liable to stoning [as is a born Israelitess]…. If both her conception and her birth were in sanctity [i.e., after her mother converted], then she is as a daughter of Israel in every respect. b Yeb 11:2 [The sons of a proselyte woman do not have to contract levirate marriage] even if one son was not conceived in sanctity and another son was both conceived and born in sanctity. 69

There are two possible implications, which he does not touch:

   A marriage that begins mixed when one party is a believer, is unclean, because the union is one God prohibits.

   A marriage that begins unmixed when neither party is a believer, is also unclean, but because no one in the union has a relationship with God. 70

This line of thinking is similar (although not identical) to the rabbinic view that children of proselytes are part of Israel (see references in n. 64). 71

This is not a general prohibition of divorce between believers. There are situations that do permit it (Manuel 2015). Rather Paul is saying that these circumstances do not warrant it. 72

Circumcision is a permanent ordinance in Israel and concerns participation in the covenant not entry to heaven, a distinction Paul makes elsewhere.

Gen 17:10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised…. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised…. 13b My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant." Acts 21:21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles …not to circumcise their children…. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses…. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you….

Rom 3:30 …God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 73

Some Hellenized Jews attempted to reverse the covenantal signature.

1 Macc 1:14 So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, 15a and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant.

Ant 12.241 [T]hey…concealed the circumcision of their private parts in order to be Greeks even when unclothed….

One text refers to the coercion of this practice:

As Mos 8:3b …their young sons will be cut by physicians to bring forward their foreskins.


Conversion to Judaism is not a requirement for salvation.

Acts 15:1 Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved."

Gal 5:2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Gal 6:15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. 75

Compare what Paul says in v. 40 with his statements elsewhere.

Rom 7:2 …by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3 So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.

1 Tim 5:11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge…. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry…. 76

Those who “made themselves eunuchs because of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 19:12) may refer to ones who “renounced marriage” (so NIV). 77

For a fuller discussion, see Manuel 2015. 78

He expresses a positive attitude elsewhere.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Otherwise, he would be arguing against his own position.

1 Cor 9:5 Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? 79 The question is actually closer to kashrut and what is permissible to eat. Other sources attest the uncleanness of food dedicated to idols.

Acts 15:20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

Rev 2:14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality…. 20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

Abod Zar 2:3 Flesh that is going into [a place] for idol worship is permitted, but what comes out is prohibited, for it is as “the sacrifices of the dead” [Ps 106:28].

b Hul 13b R. Judah b. Bathyra said, Whence do we know that sacrifices unto idols defile [men and utensils that are] in the same tent? From the verse, “They joined themselves also unto Baal-Peor and ate the sacrifices of the dead” [Ps 106:28]; as a dead body defiles [men and utensils that are] in the same tent so also do sacrifices unto idols.

2 Macc 6:7 On the monthly celebration of the king's birthday, the Jews were taken, under bitter constraint, to partake of the sacrifices…. 8 At the suggestion of Ptolemy a decree was issued to the neighboring Greek cities, that they should adopt the same policy toward the Jews and make them partake of the sacrifices,

4 Macc 5:1 The tyrant Antiochus, sitting in state with his counselors on a certain high place, and with his armed soldiers standing about him, 2 ordered the guards to seize each and every Hebrew and to compel them to eat pork and food sacrificed to idols.

For some treatment of kashrut, of what constitutes food, see Manuel 2006 and 2013a.

80Note what Paul does in these verses.

   He contrasts what pagans believe with what Christians believe.

   V. 5b Pagans: many gods many lords

   V. 6 Christians: one God one Lord  • He tells about two persons of the godhead.

   V. 6a Father: from whom all things come and for whom we live

   V. 6b Jesus: through whom all things come and through whom we live 81Such communal meals were a way devotees connected to the deity.

Deut 14:22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23 Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.

This connection also applied to Israelites.

Exod 24:11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.

1 Sam 9:13 As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat.

1 Kgs 1:25 Today he has gone down and sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep. He has invited all the king's sons, the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest. Right now they are eating and drinking with him and saying, 'Long live King Adonijah!'

Hos 8:13a They offer sacrifices given to me and they eat the meat, but the LORD is not pleased with them.

82Examples of debauchery in pagan worship include:

Exod 32:6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.

Num 25:1 While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, 2 who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate and bowed down before these gods.

Dan 5:1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. 2 …he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. 3 So they brought in the gold goblets…and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4 As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.


Paul also discusses the weaker brother in…

Rom 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 84

For another treatment of this issue, see the introduction to Manuel 2002.


Confession is properly to God.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins…. Nevertheless, it may be appropriate at times to reveal a weakness to other believers, such as when there is a particular vulnerability.

Jms 5:16a Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other…. 86

This is a strong word with consequences of eternal significance.

1 Cor 1:18 …the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing

1 Cor 10:9-10 …some of them…were killed by snakes….some of them…were killed by the destroying angel

1           Cor 15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost 87 Paul addresses the issue again in his second epistle.

2           Cor 11:7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.

2 Cor 12:13 How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong! 88

Several statements in this chapter warrant explication.

 “For it is written…” (9:9): One of the primary benefits of the Bible to believers is the instruction it gives for righteous living. As Paul writes in another letter…

2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful… 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Here, Paul mentions three ways the Bible offers instruction.

   Torah: command (9:9 = Deut 25:4)

   The passage reflects the agricultural practice of having an ox pull a threshing-sledge over grain in order to release the kernels. The ox is to be un-muzzled so it can eat some of the grain, because the ox has a right to benefit from its labor.

   Halakah: [contemporary] interpretation (and application, 9:10-14)

   Just as the ox has the right to derive sustenance from the harvest of grain, so Christian workers have a right to derive support from the harvest of souls.

   This principle is operative in the Temple, where the priests are supported by the offerings of worshippers.

Lev 6:16a Aaron and his sons shall eat the rest of it…. 17b I have given it as their share of the offerings made to me by fire…. 18 Any male descendant of Aaron may eat it. It is his regular share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire for the generations to come…. 26 The priest who offers it shall eat it….

Lev 7:6a Any male in a priest's family may eat it…. 8 The priest who offers a burnt offering for anyone may keep its hide for himself. 9 Every grain offering baked in an oven or cooked in a pan or on a griddle belongs to the priest who offers it, 10 and every grain offering, whether mixed with oil or dry, belongs equally to all the sons of Aaron…. 28 The LORD said to Moses, 29 "Say to the Israelites: 'Anyone who brings a fellowship offering to the LORD is to bring part of it as his sacrifice to the LORD…. 31 The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast belongs to Aaron and his sons. 32 You are to give the right thigh of your fellowship offerings to the priest as a contribution. 33 The son of Aaron who offers the blood and the fat of the fellowship offering shall have the right thigh as his share. 34 From the fellowship offerings of the Israelites, I have taken the breast that is waved and the thigh that is presented and have given them to Aaron the priest and his sons as their regular share from the Israelites.'" 35 This is the portion of the offerings made to the LORD by fire that were allotted to Aaron and his sons on the day they were presented to serve the LORD as priests. 36 On the day they were anointed, the LORD commanded that the Israelites give this to them as their regular share for the generations to come.

Num 18:8 Then the LORD said to Aaron, "I myself have put you in charge of the offerings presented to me; all the holy offerings the Israelites give me I give to you and your sons as your portion and regular share. 9 You are to have the part of the most holy offerings that is kept from the fire. From all the gifts they bring me as most holy offerings, whether grain or sin or guilt offerings, that part belongs to you and your sons. 10 Eat it as something most holy….. 11 "This also is yours: whatever is set aside from the gifts of all the wave offerings of the Israelites. I give this to you and your sons and daughters as your regular share. Everyone in your household who is ceremonially clean may eat it. 12 "I give you all the finest olive oil and all the finest new wine and grain they give the LORD as the firstfruits of their harvest. 13 All the land's firstfruits that they bring to the LORD will be yours. Everyone in your household who is ceremonially clean may eat it. 14 "Everything in Israel that is devoted to the LORD is yours. 15 The first offspring of every womb, both man and animal, that is offered to the LORD is yours. But you must redeem every firstborn son and every firstborn male of unclean animals. 16 When they are a month old, you must redeem them at the redemption price set at five shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. 17a "But you must not redeem the firstborn of an ox, a sheep or a goat; they are holy…. 18 Their meat is to be yours, just as the breast of the wave offering and the right thigh are yours. 19 Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings the Israelites present to the LORD I give to you and your sons and daughters as your regular share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the LORD for both you and your offspring."

          It should also be operative in missions, where the worker is supported by the offerings of believers.

Matt 10:10 take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.

   Haggadah: illustration ([of interpretation] of command—a story, 10:1-5)

   Paul retells the story of Israel’s involvement with idolatry in the wilderness to show parallels with the believers in Corinth. He states that just as their contact with idols is similar to Israel’s, so they are in danger of receiving similar judgment.

For both the second item (halakah) and the third item (haggadah), the author draws an analogy between the contemporary situation and the command in order to make his point. The relation between the contemporary situation and command is not necessarily inherent in either. For example, the command about the ox (9:9) was intended to ensure the fair treatment of livestock not priests or preachers. Paul, however, in his interpretation, extrapolates a principle from the precept, which he then applies to preachers. Paul uses a rabbinic method called rmjw lq (from the lesser to the greater): If God shows such interest to animals (Manuel 2000b), how much more interest will He show to us.

b B Mes 88b [A]n ox, which may eat of what is attached, may surely eat of what is detached!

b Git 62a The ox eats of his threshing.

Jesus uses similar reasoning:

Matt 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 

As Fee remarks, “Paul does not speak to what the law originally meant, which tends to be our concern. He is interested with what it [currently] means, with its application to their present situation” (1987:408). 

 “…become like a Jew” (9:20): Paul cannot mean that he obeys the law only when witnessing to Jews and not at other times. Inconsistency in lifestyle, especially in matters of Torah, would hardly advance the gospel among those who take torah seriously. Besides, such a cavalier attitude does not agree with Paul’s testimony elsewhere.

Acts 21:24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law…. 26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made…. Acts 23:29 I found that the accusation had to do with questions about their law, but there was no charge against him that deserved death or imprisonment.

Acts 25:8 Then Paul made his defense: "I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar."

Therefore, the issue is probably a more lax or strict adherence to various schools of halakah (application of torah), perhaps concerning contact with gentiles.

Acts 10:28 You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. Acts 11:2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, "You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them."

Gal 2:11 When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 14 …I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? 15 "We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

Abod Zar 4:6 An idol whose devotees have abandoned it in time of peace [i.e., permanently] is permitted [for use by Jews], but if in time of war [i.e., temporarily] it is prohibited.

 “…under Christ’s law” (9:21): This is not different from “God’s law,” for which Paul is still responsible. The distinction is of degree; Jesus made God’s law even more demanding (cf. Matt 5:21-48). Therefore, to be “under Christ’s law” is to have even greater accountability. 89

A twice-told tale in 10:1-11?—This is not properly a Midrash, which is generally a fictitious story using real events or people, like an historical novel. Nevertheless, Paul may be drawing on existing midrashic material, at least in part (see Fee 1987:442, n. 5; p. 444, n .17). There is a Midrash in t Suk 3:11 on Num 21:16-18 that speaks about the rock water source following Israel in the wilderness (cf. 1 Cor 10:4).

90A better translation for the “cup of thanksgiving” (10:16) is “blessing” (eujlogi÷a). This is the third cup of the Passover seder, which follows immediately after the meal.

1 Cor 11:25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

Matt 26:27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 91

Jesus condemns eating meat sacrificed to idols.

Rev 2:20b By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 92

Written by John Lennon, the Beatles song (1967), “All You Need Is Love” appeared first as a single and later on the album, Magical Mystery Tour. 93

Paul does not use “conscience” in the sense of moral arbiter but of moral awareness. 94

In several passages Paul recommends deferring to others.

Rom 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."

1 Thess 2:4 On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.

Gal 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. 95

Query: If we apply Paul’s admonition in 11:1 to the whole passage, including chapter 9 where he talks about not depending on church support, does this mean that churches (we) should not support Christian workers with anything more than occasional gifts? (No, they have the right to such support, and churches [we] are responsible to provide it unless the workers themselves waive that right.) 96

The linguistic evidence seems to favor “source,” that is, the “relationships that are predicated on one’s [life] being the source of the other’s existence,” so the “source of life” versus an authority over life (Fee 1987:503). 97

Recognizing these two uses is especially important in vv. 4-5, where man dishonors his figurative head (Christ) by praying or prophesying with his physical head covered, and woman dishonors her figurative head (man) by praying or prophesying with her physical head uncovered.

98That woman came from man is an assertion several passages make but only in the sense of her initial creation.

Gen 2:22a Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man…. 1 Cor 11:8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 1 Tim 2:13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.

99Christ was God’s agent of creation.

 • Original creation

Gen 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

John 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

1 Cor 8:6 …for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came…and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came….

Col 1:16 For by him all things were created…all things were created by him and for him. Heb 1:2 …in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…through whom he made the universe.

 • New creation

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

100That Christ came from God is an assertion several passages make but only in the sense of the incarnation.

Matt 1:18 …the birth of Jesus Christ came about…through the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:35 …The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

1 Cor 3:23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

This is an especially common theme in John’s gospel.

John 1:14b We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father…. 

John 5:37a And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me.

John 6:46a No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; 

John 7:16 …My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me…. 28c I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. 29 …I know him because I am from him and he sent me…. 33b …I go to the one who sent me. 

John 8:16b I stand with the Father, who sent me…. 29a The one who sent me is with me….

42b I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.

John 9:4a As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me.

John 10:36a what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world?

John 11:42b I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.

John 12:44 …When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me…. 49b the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.

John 14:24b These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 

John 16:5a Now I am going to him who sent me…. 27b …I came from God. 28a I came from the Father and entered the world…. 30b This makes us believe that you came from God. John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent…. 8b They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me…. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world…. 21b May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me…. 23b May they…let the world know that you sent me…. 25b …they know that you have sent me.

101Some also raise a temporal objection that Christ comes from God after man comes from Christ.

102That God is over Christ is an assertion several passages make but only for the incarnation.

Ps 110:1 …Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.

Isa 42:1a Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight;

Matt 26:39 …My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.

1 Cor 15:24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father…. 27b Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

Eph 1:22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,

Phil 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

Heb 3:2a He was faithful to the one who appointed him…. 

Heb 5:5b But God said to him,  “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” Rev 2:27c I have received authority from my Father. 

Rev 3:21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.

This is also an especially common theme in John’s gospel.

John 4:34 My food…is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.

John 5:19b he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

John 7:16 …My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me…. 28c I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true.

John 8:28b I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me…. 29b I always do what pleases him…. 49b I honor my Father….

John 10:18b-c I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father…. 25b The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me…. 29a My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all…. 

John 12:49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50b …whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” 

John 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father…. 24b These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me…. 28b …the Father is greater than I…. 31a …I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

John 15:10b I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love…. 15b …everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 

John 17:2a For you granted him authority over all people…. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.

103That Christ is over man is an assertion several passages make.

Dan 7:14a He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.

Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

Acts 10:36b …Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

Rom 6:23 …the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rom 8:39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rom 10:12b …the same Lord is Lord of all…

1 Cor 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

Eph 1:22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,

Phil 2:11a …every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord….

Col 1:18a And he is the head of the body, the church….

Col 3:24b It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

1 Tim 1:12a I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength….

Rev 3:14b These are the words…the ruler of God’s creation.

104That man is over woman an assertion several passages make is an assertion several passages make but normally in the context of marriage.

Gen 3:16b Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Isa 3:12 Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.

1 Cor 14:34 women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

1 Tim 2:11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

Titus 2:5d …to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

105Apart from the text in question, there are no passages that support Christ’s authority over males but not over females. Paul is probably not thinking about the rabbinic view that regards women as exempt from certain commands. m Kid 1:7c For every positive commandment dependent upon the time [of year], men are liable, and women are exempt.

Still, passages that speak about gender equality do not necessarily deny different gender roles.

Job 31:13 If I have denied justice to my menservants and maidservants when they had a grievance against me, 14 what will I do when God confronts me? What will I answer when called to account? 15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?

Gal 3:28 There is neither…male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 106

A head-covering is part of the high priest’s vestments.

Exod 28:4 These are the garments they are to make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash. They are to make these sacred garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, so they may serve me as priests…. 39a Weave the tunic of fine linen and make the turban of fine linen…. 40b …to give them dignity and honor.

Lev 10:6 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, "Do not let your hair become unkempt, [or Do not uncover your heads] and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the LORD will be angry with the whole community.

Ezek 21:26 this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low. 107 This is not the central issue but one Paul introduces to bolster his argument. 108

Long hair was only one sign of his devotion.

Num 6:5 'During the entire period of his vow of separation no razor may be used on his head…. he must let the hair of his head grow long.

Judg 13:5b No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth….

1 Sam 1:11b …I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.

Luke 1:15b He is never to take wine or other fermented drink….

Acts 18:18c [Paul!] had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken.

Acts 21:23b There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 109

In the Talmudic Period, women’s hair arrangements were sometimes so elaborate, being skillfully braided or augmented by a wig and jewelry, that to undo it on the Sabbath would violate the prohibition against building or demolishing (see Manuel 2014,  n. 55). 110

See Fee (1987:510, n. 79). It also marked the temporary separation of female captives. Deut 21:12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 111 Other possibilities include that the term refers to church leaders, as it may in Rev 2-3, or that it should be translated “because the angels do so” (i.e., veil themselves before their direct superior or source).

Isa 6:2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 112

They are his halakah = the application of a biblical principle or command to daily life in the form of a rule; paradosis. Elsewhere in the book Paul distinguishes his own rulings from those he has received.

1 Cor 7:10a To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): …12a To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord):

1 Cor 11:23a For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you:

1 Cor 15:3a For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:

113Jewish custom may not have been fixed, although head coverings were probably common.

Gen 24:65c So she took her veil and covered herself.

Gen 38:14 she took off her widow's clothes, covered herself with a veil to [w] disguise herself 114Jewish custom, except for priests, was not yet fixed (Zeitlin 1947:303). Although probably in use, the tallit may not yet have been regular part of prayer.

b Shab 10a R Ashi [late 4th c.] said: I saw R Kahana [?], when there was trouble in the world, removing his cloak [as a sign of humility]…and pray…. When there was peace, he would put it on, cover and enfold himself and pray…. b Shab 12b One who enters [a house] to visit the sick…must wrap himself about [as a sign of reverence]…for the Divine Presence is above an invalid’s pillow….

Abot R Nat 21a (= chap 6) Nakdimon b. Gurion [= Nicodemus?] entered the Temple, wrapped himself in his cloak and stood up to pray…. Nakdimon returned to the Temple, wrapped himself in his cloak and again stood up in prayer….

115Several statements in this chapter warrant explication.

   “head” (passim)

   Support for “authority” derives from the LXX translation of vaør in the sense of “leader” or “chief” with kefalh/.

Judg 11:11a So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them.

2 Sam 22:44b [= Ps 18:43b] you have preserved me as the head of nations.

Isa 7:8a for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin…. 9a The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah's son.

Lam 1:5a Her foes have become her masters….

   Support for “source” derives from the LXX translation of vaør in the sense of “authority,” although usually with a different word. Moreover, vv. 11-12 speak of interdependence. 

   “holding to the teachings” (11:2)

   Paul may be building them up in one area with general praise so that he can critique them in this other area without seeming overly negative (cf. 1:5-6), or…

   Paul may be directing his praise at this particular subject (head coverings) in contrast with the next subject (Communion, v. 17).

   “the head of every man is Christ” (11:3a)

   He is the source of every man’s likeness and the source of every believer’s life.

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 2 Cor 5:17a Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation….

   “the head of the woman is man” (11:3b)

   According to the “authority” meaning of kefalh/, Paul is addressing individuals by using “man” in the sense of husband (or father)—the head of each woman is her husband. Paul’s desire is that wives do not disgrace their husbands.

   According to the “source” meaning of kefalh/, Paul is addressing the congregation by using “man” in the sense of human—the head of women in general is man (because he came first). Paul’s desire is that the women of the church do not disgrace the men.

   “with his head uncovered” (11:4)

   This is literally “having down the head” (kata» kefalhvß e¶cwn), which probably implies a covering (see Esth 6:12 “with his head covered”; LXX kata» kefalhvß literally “head down”).

   “with her head uncovered” (11:5)

   The most likely meaning is a physical scarf, which is implied by the verb “to cover” as well as by the reference to man’s cover (v. 7).

   Less likely is it long hair, which may be implied by hair being (aÓnti÷) her covering (v. 15), although the word can also mean “equivalent to”; and put-up hair, which is loosed for a suspected adulterous or in the frenzy of pagan prophecy (for the latter, see Fee 1987:510, n. 77).

Num 5:18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the LORD, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse.

Philo Spec Leg 3.60 [T]he woman is to come forward with her head uncovered…and the priest…stands fronting her….

   Chiasm (11:6)

   The construction is a first class condition (i.e., assumed to be true; “since”).

                 If a woman does not cover her head she should cut her hair

                  If it is a disgrace to cut her hair she should cover her head

   “woman is the glory of man” (11:7)

   If by “head” Paul means “source,” then woman is man’s glory in that she was created for man’s sake (v. 9b). “She exists to his honor as the one who having come from man is the one companion suitable to him, so that he might be complete and that together they might form humanity” (Fee 1987:517). Consider also “the analogy of a work of art [as] being an artist’s glory, since it both gives expression to a part of…him…and at the same time brings praise and honor to…his skills (Fee 1987:516). 

   “we have no other practice” (11:16)

   The word translated “other” (toiau/thn) actually means “such.” The referent may, therefore, be to the practice of head coverings or to the practice of contesting Paul’s instructions.

116The practice of a man’s removing his hat in church actually applies when he enters any building and is more a sign of good manners than of reverence or devotion to God (so also the practice of removing or tipping one’s hat in the presence of a woman).

117Linda continued to wear her head covering until she felt it was becoming a distraction as well as a source of confusion for other women, who wondered if they should also be wearing them. To avoid the repeated need to explain the difference between precept and principle, Linda decided to eliminate the problem by forgoing the practice.

118For further discussion, see the chart “Assessing the strength of your convictions” in Manuel. 119Jude is not critical of the practice, only of participants whose poor table manners are similar to what Paul treats.

Jude 12a These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves.

Cf. 2 Pet 2:13c They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.

Luke mentions the breaking of bread together, but such occasions seem to have been informal or on a smaller scale than the Love Feast.

Luke 24:30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them…. 35 Then the two told…how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. 

Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer…. 46b They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 

Acts 20:7a On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

Ferguson describes the Love Feast as “a fellowship meal which was a principle occasion for charity to the poorer members of the church” (1992:90). Post-NT writers mention common meals, communion, or Love Feasts.

   Common Meal

Diognetus [late 2d c.] 5:7 They have their meals in common, but not their wives.

Pliny [early 2d c.], Ep 10.96 …they had been accustomed to assemble on a fixed day before daylight and sing by turns a hymn to Christ as God….after these things were done, it was their custom to depart and meet to gather again to take food, but ordinary and harmless food; and they said that even this has ceased after my edict was issued, by which, according to your commands, I had forbidden the existence of clubs.


Didache [early 2d c.] 9.5 But let none eat or drink of your Eucharist except those who have been baptized in the Lord’s name.

Tertullian [c. 160-215], De Corona 3 We take also, in congregations before daybreak, and from the hand of none but the presidents, the sacrament of the Eucharist, which the Lord both commanded to be eaten at meal-times, and enjoined to be taken by all alike.

   Love Feast

Origen [c. 185-254], Against Celsus 1.2 …his wish is to bring into disrepute what are termed the “love-feasts” of the Christians….

Tertullian [c. 160-215], Apology 39 Our feast explains itself by its name. The Greeks call it agape, i.e., affection. Whatever its costs, our outlay in the name of piety is gain, since with the good things of the feast we benefit the needy; not as it is with you, do parasites aspire to the glory of satisfying their licentious propensities…but as it is with God himself, a peculiar respect to the lowly…. The participants, before reclining, taste first of prayer to God. As much is eaten as satisfies the cravings of hunger; as much is drunk as befits the chaste…. After manual ablution, and the bringing out of lights, each is asked to stand forth and sing, as he can, a hymn to God…a proof of the measure of our drinking. As the feast commenced with prayer, so with prayer it is closed.

Augustine [c. 400], Reply to Faustus 20 We do not turn the sacrifices of the Gentiles into love-feasts, as Faustus says we do. Our love feasts are rather a substitute for the sacrifice spoken by the Lord, in the words… “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.” At our love-feasts the poor obtain vegetable or animal food…. And because in our love-feasts flesh is often given to the poor, you compare Christian charity to pagan sacrifices.

Some mention communion and the Love Feast, but they were not necessarily or universally synonymous.

Ignatius [d. 98/117], Smyrn 8.1d Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints…. 2c It is not lawful either to baptize or to hold an “agape” without the bishop….

During the fourth century, the Love Feast included communion.

Council at Gangra [325-381], Canon 11 If anyone shall despise those who out of faith make love-feasts and invite the brethren in honor of the Lord, and is not willing to accept these invitations because he despises what is done, let him be anathema.

Unfortunately, the Love Feast also included abuses that led to its ban.

Clement [c. 155-220], Paedagogus 2.1 …some, speaking with unbridled tongue, dare to apply the name agape, to pitiful suppers, redolent of savor and sauces. Dishonoring the good and saving work of the Word, the consecrated agape, with pots and pourings of sauce…they are deceived in their idea, having expected that the promise of God might be bought with suppers…. But such entertainments the Lord has not called agape…. For such is the agape, which, the food that comes from Christ [Eucharist?] shows that we ought to partake of. Synod of Laodicea [343-381] Canon 28 It is not permitted to hold love feasts…in the Lord’s houses or churches. nor to eat and to spread couches in the house of God.

Council in Trullo [= Quinisext; 692] Canon 74 It is not permitted to hold what are called agapae, that is love feasts, in the Lord’s houses or churches, nor to eat within the house, nor to spread couches. If anyone dare to do so let him cease therefrom or be cut off.

120Other groups held common meals.


1QS 6 After he has entered the Council of the Community he shall not touch the pure meal of the congregation until one full year is completed…. He shall not touch the drink of the congregation until he has completed a second year…. [Then] he shall be examined, and if it be his destiny…he shall be inscribed among his brethren…for the pure meal….

1Qsa 2 [When] they shall gather for the common [tab]le, to eat and [to drink] new wine, when the common table shall be set for eating and the new wine [poured] for drinking, let no man extend his hand over the first-fruits of bread and wine before the priest….


Philo, Vita Cont 8 [= 65-66] …these people assemble after seven sets of seven days have passed…. This is the eve of the chief feast…. [S]tanding they pray to God that their feasting may be acceptable and proceed as he would have it.

121God’s initial instructions and Jesus’ subsequent example affirm that the festival is…

   A group meeting

Exod 12:4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.  Luke 22:14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 

   A permanent ordinance

Exod 12:14 This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance. 

Luke 22:19b This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.

Cf. Luke 22:16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

This also agrees with early church practice (Manuel 1989). 


Paul is probably not referring to the same divisions he mentions in the beginning (1:10-12), as his subsequent comment makes clear (“and to some extent I believe it”). 123

The Passover seder marks the release from Egypt.

Pes 10:5 He brought us forth from slavery to freedom.

Exod 12:26 And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' 27a then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'" 124

The seder follows the Haggadah (telling) of the exodus.

Pes 10:4 [The leader] begins [the telling] with the shameful tale [of slavery] and ends with the praiseworthy narrative [of redemption].

Exod 13:8 On that day tell your son, 'I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.' 125

The seder prescribes four cups of wine at the meal.

Pes 10:1 [The hosts] give him not less than four cups of wine.

Luke 22:17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him." 126

The seder contains the line: “Let all who are hungry enter and eat; let all who are needy come to our Passover feast” (Glatzer 1969:20-21). m Pes 10:1 [T]hey must give him [a poor person] not less than four cups of win even though he is supported from the charity-food. 127

The sage also warns about such behavior.

Prov 23:2  and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony…. 20 Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, 21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. 128

Conspicuously absent is any mention of foot-washing, suggesting that Jesus’ instructions (only!) in John’s gospel were just for the disciples, perhaps in support of his earlier instructions (Manuel 2013b).

Luke 22:26b …the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 129

Paul’s formula “…received from…passed on to…” (11:23) is a rabbinic technical expression for the transmission of religious instruction:

Abot 1:1 Moses received the Law from Sinai and handed it down to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets, and the prophets handed it down to the men of the Great Assembly. 130

The prohibition against the consumption of blood is one of the oldest and persistent in scripture.

Gen 9:4 …you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.

Lev 17:10 "'Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood—I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. 12 Therefore I say to the Israelites, "None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood." 13 "'Any Israelite or any alien living among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, 14 because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, "You must not eat the blood of any creature,

because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off." Acts 15:20 we should write to them, telling them to…from blood. 131

James’ recommendation follows the discussion and testimony of several parties, but the letter itself acknowledges the Spirit’s leading.

Acts 15:28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. 132

A misunderstanding over this subject early in Jesus’ ministry, where he makes the comparison even more explicit, caused many disciples to leave him.

John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…. 60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" …66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 133

Such metaphors are also common in John’s gospel.

John 6:35 [= v. 48] I am the bread of life.

John 8:12 [= 9:5b] I am the light of the world.

John 10:7 I am the gate for the sheep.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd.

John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life.

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. 134

The disciples had difficulty with one metaphor concerning the Pharisees.

Matt 16:5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 "Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 7 They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn't bring any bread." 8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, "You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 135

Were the figurative nature of such sacrificial statements not obvious, even if their meaning was obscure, Jesus’ opponents could have charged that he advocated the consumption of blood (see n. 130), although even the false witnesses they brought misunderstood his figurative references.

John 2:19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." 20 The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body.

Matt 26:59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward 61 and declared, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'" 136 Other figurative references to libation include:

Phil 2:17 I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith.

2 Tim 4:6a For I am already being poured out like a drink offering….

2 Cor 12:15a I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. 137

Other passages in Matthew that associate bread with life include:

Matt 4:4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Matt 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.

Matt 14:16 Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." 17 "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.

Matt 15:33 His disciples answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?" 34 "How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked. "Seven," they replied, "and a few small fish." 138

Other passages that associate wine with joy include:

Ps 16:5a LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup Ps 23:5c my cup overflows.

The connection is sometimes negative.

Gen 9:21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 

Gen 19:32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father. 

Lev 10:9 “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the Tent of Meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 

Prov 20:1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;   whoever is led astray by them is not wise.   139

The piece at the beginning of the service recalls the haste of the departure from Egypt and is called “the bread of affliction/poverty” (Glatzer 1969:20-21).

Exod 12:39 With the dough they had brought from Egypt, they baked cakes of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.

The piece just before the meal accompanies the blessing for God’s provision of the food (Glatzer 1969:55). 140 It is because the afikomen cones last that it symbolizes the Pascal lamb.

Pes 10:8 They must not call for more food after the Passover offering. 141

This connection may be what lies behind Paul’s earlier statement when, in connection with matzah, he says: “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor 5:7).


The cup at the start of the seder is called the cup of sanctification and marks the commemorative nature of the day (Glatzer 1969:17). The cup just before the meal is called the cup of praise (ibid., p. 55), perhaps because it accompanies the first part of the Hallel (= “praise”; Pss 113-114).

Pes 10:2 When the first cup had been filled up, the School of Shammai says, He recites the Benediction over the day and then recites the Benediction of the wine….

Jesus refers to one of these cups, but whether it is the first or second is uncertain.

Luke 22:17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you.

The cup at the close of the seder is called the cup of acceptance (Glatzer 1969:69) and celebrates God’s acceptance of Israel as His people.

Pes 10:7a Then they mixed for him the third cup. He recites the Grace after his food. Exod 6:7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 143 With Elijah’s cup, the seder anticipates the future even as it recalls the past.

Pes 10:7b Over the fourth [cup] he concludes the Hallel….

Mal 4:5 See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.

Matt 17:9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead." 10 The disciples asked him, "Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?" 11 Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things.” 144 Jesus anticipates the celebration that will attend his return.

Matt 26:29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." 145

The seder was also a combination of doing and reviewing.

Exod 12:24 "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' 27 then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'" 146

The phrase “…the body of the Lord” (v. 29) may not refer to Jesus’ body (as in v. 27, where it occurs as part of the couplet: “body and blood”) but to the church, which would accord with his criticism of its members’ actions as disruptive.

1 Cor 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 

Eph 1:22 And God…appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23a which is his body…. 

Eph 4:12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

Col 1:18a And he is the head of the body, the church…. 24b …I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 

Col 2:19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.


The early church, especially in the east, continued to observe Passover after the Apostolic Period, perhaps even into the 6th c., at which time the western church succeeded in abolishing the practice within Christendom (Manuel 1989). 148 This is one of the Spirit’s roles.

John 16:14a He will bring glory to me…. 149

Just as the Spirit ministered in the OT, so he dispensed gifts to OT saints (Manuel 2004b). 150 Paul had warned of this earlier.

1 Cor 10:20 …the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 151

One passage describes that content.

Acts 2:11b …we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" 152

In an attempt to identify the gifts, Christian exegetes (interpreters) generally offer one of two explanations for each, depending on whether they see the Holy Spirit’s involvement as overt (direct) or covert (indirect). Most of the suggestions for the latter—that these are subtle workings of the Spirit—should properly be characteristic of every believer.

   Message of wisdom (v. 8)

   Overt: Inspired counsel for especially difficult times

   Covert: “[R]ecognition that the message of Christ crucified is God’s true wisdom” (Fee 1987:592).

   Message of knowledge (v. 8)

   Overt: Inspired familiarity with factual information that could not otherwise be known, perhaps of future events (13:2)

John 4:18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."

Dan 2:19a During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision… 21b He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. 22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. 23d …you have made known to us the dream of the king." …28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come…. 1 Enoch 41:1 …I saw all the secrets in heaven, and how a kingdom breaks up, and how the actions of the people are weighed in the balance.

1               Enoch 52:1b …my eyes saw there all the secret things of heaven and the future things. 1 Enoch 61:5a And these measurements shall reveal all the secrets of the depths of the earth….

1 Enoch 63:3a Your power exposes every secret thing from generation to generation…. 1 Enoch 68:5 Therefore, all that which has been concealed shall come upon them forever and ever….

1 Enoch 71:4 He…showed me all the secrets of the extreme ends of heaven….

   Covert: Special insight into the meaning of scripture (Fee 1987:593)

   Faith (v. 9)

   Overt: Inspired confidence in God’s ability to move mountains (13:2)

Matt 17:20 …I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

Matt 21:21 "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt…you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.

1               Kgs 18:36 …the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.

   Covert: Faith that leads to salvation

        NB: This also contrasts faith as a fruit of the Spirit.

Gal 5:22a But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23a gentleness and self-control.  • Gifts of healing (v. 9)

   Overt: Inspired ability to cure physical disease

  The plural may indicate that this is not a permanent gift for a believer (so also miraculous powers, below)

Acts 19:12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

   Covert: Perhaps an ability to cure emotional troubles

   Miraculous powers (v. 10)

   Overt: Inspired ability to move mountains

Josh 10:12 …Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” 13a So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,  

2 Kgs 6:6b Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float.

   Covert: N/a

   Prophecy (v. 10)

   Overt: Inspired utterance by direct divine revelation, usually concerning judgment or salvation, and possibly predicting the future

2 Kgs 22:14 Hilkiah the priest…went to speak to the prophetess Huldah….

Amos 7:14 "I was neither a prophet nor a prophet's son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'

Acts 11:28a One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world.

Acts 21:9 He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. 10b …a prophet named Agabus…. 11 …took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, "The Holy Spirit says, 'In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.'"

   Covert: Preaching

   Distinguishing between spirits (v. 10)

   Overt: Inspired judgment as to whether a prophetic utterance is from the Holy Spirit or from another source (human or demon)

Acts 16:16a …we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future…. 17 This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he…said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.

   Covert: Distinguishing truth from falsehood

1               John 4:1 …do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

   Different kinds of tongues (v. 10)

   Overt: Inspired speech in an unlearned language

Acts 2:7 Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?

   Covert: Perhaps a facility for learning languages

   Interpretation of tongues (v. 10)

   Overt: Inspired translation of an unlearned language

   Covert: N/a (perhaps similar to a facility for learning languages) 153Elijah had the gifts of healing and prophecy.

1               Kgs 17:22 The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 

1 Kgs 18:22a Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the LORD’S prophets left….

Paul had the gifts of apostleship and tongues.

1 Cor 1:1a Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God….

1  Cor 14:18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.

154Paul exhorts Timothy to develop his gift.

2  Tim 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

155While the believer may request a certain gift, it is the Spirit’s prerogative how to answer.

1 Cor 12:31a But eagerly desire the greater gifts.

1 Cor 14:1b …eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy…. 39 …be eager to prophesy

John 3:8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

156When Paul says that “…all given the one Spirit to drink” (12:13), this is not a reference to some post-conversion experience but is rather a (semitic) parallel to the previous statement: “we were all baptized by one Spirit.” Both are metaphors referring to the common lot of believers: receiving the Holy Spirit upon conversion.

John 4:10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." …14 …whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

John 7:37b "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39a By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

157Several statements in this chapter warrant explication.

   “…the tongues of men and of angels” (13:1)

   There are several possible ways of interpreting Paul’s reference to angelic speech.

   It may be hypothetical, a way of heightening the argument:  “If I speak in the tongues of men and even (were it possible) of angels….”

   It may be metaphorical, meaning the ability to speak eloquently (Fee 1987:630).

   It may be concessional, using a belief held at Corinth that tongues were really angelic speech (cf. 15:29).

Test of Job 48:3a [Hemera] spoke ecstatically in the angelic dialect, sending up a hymn to God in accord with the hymnic style of angels…. 49:2 [Kasia] took on the dialect of the archons and she praised God for the creation of the heights…. 50:1b [Amaltheia’s Horn] spoke ecstatically in the dialect of those on high…. 2b For she spoke in the dialect of the cherubim, glorifying the Master of virtues….

           In any case, where the NT record identifies tongues, it is human speech, albeit unlearned. 

Acts 2:6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? …11b …we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!"

   “…then we shall see face to face” (13:12)

   This is similar to the Hebrew idiom “mouth to mouth” that signifies direct, personal communication.

Gen 32:30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."

Num 12:8a With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles….

Deut 34:10 …no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face

  Corinth had an excellent reputation for producing fine bronze mirrors (Fee 1987:648). Cf. 2 Cor 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory….

  When Paul states that “we see but a poor [e˙n ai˙ni÷gmati] reflection,” he does not mean that the image is distorted and thus imperfect, but that it is indirect. A reflection, no matter how good, is not the same as looking at the person himself.

   “faith, hope and love” (13:13)

   That Paul should include faith and hope is not unusual, because the three were commonly associated in Christian circles. 

1 Thess 1:3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thess 5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

Gal 5:5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6b …The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Rom 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Col 1:4 …we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints—5 …that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven…

Eph 4:2b …bearing with one another in love…. 4b …you were called to one hope when you were called—5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

Heb 6:10 God…will not forget…the love you have shown him as you have helped his people…. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence…to make your hope sure. 12 …imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Heb 10:22a let us draw near to God with…full assurance of faith…. 23a Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess…. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

158This is a third class conditional sentence (as are the ones that follow) indicating “a supposable case” (Robertson 1931 4:170), not “a situation contrary to fact,” as MacArthur states. 159Specific interpretations, however, differ.


   Past: Perfection has come.

   Character: culmination of Corinthian maturity, when they attain fullness of love (2nd c.?)

   Church: culmination of the Apostolic Age, when church membership includes Jews and

Gentiles (1st c.) 

   Canon: culmination of the NT canon, when the Bible includes all its books (1st c.) 

   Future: Perfection will come.

   Christ: culmination of the present age, when believers are resurrected (cf. chapter 15)   • Imperfect

   Inclusive: All gifts will disappear “when perfection comes.”

   The list of gifts in vv. 8-9 is broadly illustrative, and Paul could have chosen any other three gifts instead of these.

   Exclusive: Sign gifts (only) will disappear “when perfection comes.”

   The list of gifts in vv. 8-9 is narrowly illustrative, and Paul chose these three (prophecy, tongues, and knowledge) because they represent a specific kind of gift (spectacular). There are four possible combinations for these four identifications, but commentators only hold two of them to be real options.


   Past + inclusive = There are no gifts now.

   No one subscribes to this position.

   Past + exclusive = There are non-sign gifts now.

   This is the position of many non-Charismatics (e.g., Dispensationalists).

   Future + exclusive = There will be non-sign gifts later.

   No one subscribes to this position.

   Future + inclusive = There will be no gifts later.

   This is the position of Charismatics and of many non-Charismatics.

160Mare, who argues for this opinion (although he does not hold it), says…

There is something to commend this view as an argument against the position that the gifts mentioned in vv. 8-10 continued, beyond the apostolic period, especially prophetic revelation. For if such revelation is held to continue, then might not the Koran, The Book of Mormon, and Science and Health be considered inspired revelations from God? (1976:269)

This suggestion is unconvincing. God’s people have always had to distinguish between inspired and non-inspired documents (e.g., intertestamental apocrypha and pseudepigrapha). That need for discernment will continue, as Jesus warns of false prophets in the last days and John mentions the advent of true prophets.

Matt 24:10a At that time… 11 …many false prophets will appear and deceive many people…. 23a At that time… 24a …false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.

Rev 11:3 …I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth. 161

Mare argues for this option (which he also holds), appealing to the use of this word and its cognates elsewhere.

…in a number of contexts the related words telos (“end,” “termination,” “last part”) and teleo (“bring to an end”) are used in relation to the second coming of Christ. This is true in both non-Pauline writing (cf. James 5:11; Rev 20:5, 7; 21:6; 22:13) and 1 Corinthians 1:8; 15:24. Since in the contexts of the Second Coming these related words are used and since Paul himself used telos in talking about the Second Coming elsewhere in 1 Corinthians, it seems more normal to understand teleion in v. 10 to mean that “perfection” is to come about at the Second Coming, or, if before, when the Christian dies and is taken to be with the Lord. (1976:269)

While those who are believers when Jesus returns will be perfect and no longer need the gifts, those who become believers after he returns will not reach that state until their resurrection and, until then, will still need the gifts. 162 Love is not a gift of the Spirit but a fruit of the Spirit.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23a gentleness and self-control. 163 Paul’s desire in v. 5 echoes that of Moses’ to Joshua.

Num 11:29b I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them! 164

”[Paul] is demonstrating that the Corinthians were using the sign gift in a wrong context. The sign gift was to be used uninterpreted in a nonchurch context to authenticate the message and the activity of God and to aid in evangelism” (Hoehner 1982:64). 165

When used in its proper setting, the unbeliever becomes the interpreter. In worship, someone else must be present with the gift of interpretation. It is possible, then, that the gift of interpretation is also for use outside the church, that an evangelist might understand an unlearned language. 166

Paul’s use of Isa 28:11-12 in 1 Cor 14:21 is difficult to understand. In the context of Isa 28, God states that Israel will not listen to familiar speech (i.e., from His prophets), so He will attempt to reach them using foreign speech (from their Assyrian overlords), although He admits the futility of that as well. Paul quotes this passage in order to draw an analogy with the purpose of the gift of tongues. As with any analogy, we must identify the points of contact between the original setting and the contemporary setting. The most obvious connection is the mention of foreign speech. (NB: This is a real language in Isaiah.) The next connection is not as obvious and seems to depend on how one views “this people” (1 Cor 14:21). If Paul intends the stress to be on their rebellion, then he may be noting the appropriateness of foreign speech for “evangelism.” If, on the other hand, Paul intends the stress to be on their belonging to the Lord, then he may be noting the inappropriateness of foreign speech for God’s people (i.e., the inability of tongues to effect belief in Israel; so Fee 1987:680). (The second option is probably better, given Paul’s abridgment of Isa 28:12 to include the failure of foreign speech.) In either case, foreign speech is an extraordinary means of talking to people who cannot seem to get the message through conventional channels (Oswalt 1986:513; cf. 1 Cor 14:24). 167

Their initial NT use is by Jews who proclaim the gospel.

Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them…. 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?

Their subsequent NT use is by groups who receive the gospel, whose legitimate place in the new movement might be uncertain.


Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. 

   John’s disciples

Acts 19:4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

Even in these cases, though, tongues was recognizable speech (praise and prophecy). One group not identified in this manner is Samaritans, who do not appear in Acts, perhaps because their status as (part of) God’s people is not in doubt (Manuel 2007b). 168

Victor Paul Wierwille, founder of The Way International, claims he can teach any Christian how to speak in tongues and published a booklet on the subject (n.d.:8-9).

Sit quietly and do exactly as I instruct…. In a moment I want you to open your mouth wide and breathe in…. Thank God for having filled you with the fullness of the power of His holy spirit…. When you begin to speak in tongues, move your lips, your throat, your tongue. Speak forth. When you have finished one word, speak another. Do not pay any attention to what you are thinking…. You are magnifying God no matter what the words sound like to your ears…. You are speaking in tongues.

A scientific study exposed sixty test subjects to sixty seconds of glossolalia and asked them to reproduce it for thirty seconds. Twenty percent were immediately successful. Half the test group then received training in glossolalia, at the end of which seventy percent of that group were successful. The researchers concluded that tongues is a learned behavior (Spanos 1986). 169

“Such a command would not be apropos if Paul had in mind the ecstatic babbling of a ‘private’ prayer language or spontaneous celestial sounds” (MacArthur 1992:227). 170

Other passages that echo this include:

Num 2:17b They will set out in the same order as they encamp, each in his own place under his standard. 

1 Chr 24:19 This was their appointed order of ministering when they entered the temple of the LORD…as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded him. 

Job 25:2 Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven. 

Here and elsewhere Paul expresses his own proclivity for order.

1  Cor 14:40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. 

2  Cor 12:20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be…. I fear that there may be…disorder. 

Col 2:5b … I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are…. 171

Disorder in speech was a sign of divine judgment.

Gen 11:9a That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. 172 The end of Mark is a later addition.

Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe…they will speak in new tongues;

Paul does not include tongues in his other lists of spiritual gifts.

Rom 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. 

Eph 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,

By the close of the first century, glossolalia may no longer be at issue in Corinth, for Clement of Rome makes not mention of it in his letter to the church (late 1st c). 173

These include use by marginal and non-Christian groups.

Irenaeus [late 2d c] Against Heresies 5.6.1 …we do also hear many brethren in the Church, who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages…. Tertullian [c. 160-215] Against Marcion 5.8 Now all these signs (of spiritual gifts) are forthcoming from my side without any difficulty….

Origen [c. 185-254] Against Celsus 7.9 [After describing Christian prophesying, Celsus says,] To these promises are added strange, fanatical, and quite unintelligible words, of which no rational person can find the meaning: for so dark are they, as to have no meaning at all; but they give occasion to every fool or impostor to apply them to suit his own purposes. Origen [c. 185-254] On the Gospel of St. John 32.7 Why is it that no man speaks in the tongues of all nations? Because the Church itself now speaks in the tongues of all nations…. The Church, spread among the nations, speaks in all tongues….

Eusebius [early 4th c] Eccl Hist 5.16.6 [Montanus] began to be ecstatic and to speak and to talk strangely, prophesying contrary to the custom which belongs to the tradition and succession of the church from te beginning.

Chrysostom [c. 354-407] Homilies on First Corinthians 29 [12:1-2] …the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur but now no longer take place.

Augustine [c. 416] Homilies on First John 6.10 [3:19-4:3] That thing was done for a betokening, and it passed away. 174

When Paul states “…as the Law says” (14:34), he may be referring to Oral Torah or, more likely, “Law” should be translated “rule” and refer back to his instructions in 11:2-10. 175

The motivation for separation may have been a concern for ceremonial purity. 176

Paul makes a similar statement to Timothy, using a synonymous term, and is probably advocating a similar decorum.

1 Tim 2:11 A woman should learn in quietness [hJsuci÷a] and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent [hJsuci÷a]. 177The specific text to which Paul refers in “…according to the Scriptures” (15:4) is not clear, but commentators have proposed several options (Manuel 2001):

   Hos 6:2, which rabbinic tradition understands as a reference to resurrection (McArthur 1971/72:81-86);

Hos 6:2b …on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.

   Jonah 1:17, which Jesus connected with his resurrection; Jonah 1:17 Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

Cf. Matt 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

   Ps 16:10, as a reflection of Jewish belief about the onset of decay.

Ps 16:10 …you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. There is also a rabbinic motif that sees the third day as “the day of divine salvation, deliverance and manifestation” (Fee 1987:727, n. 66).

178Commenting on “…found to be false witnesses” (15:15), Fee says (1987:743, n. 24): Even more than vv. 5-8, this clause stands as the strongest kind of evidence that Paul believed in the Resurrection as an objectively verifiable reality. He simply would not have understood the double-talk of Christian existentialism, which affirms “resurrection language” theologically but denies that anything actually happened as an event in history.

179The historicity of Jesus’ resurrection is central:

   To our redemption

1 Cor 15:2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain…. 17 [Yet ] if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

 • To our resurrection

1 Thess 4:14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him…. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven…and the dead in Christ will rise first.

1       Cor 15:17a [Yet ] if Christ has not been raised…. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.

“[T]o deny the resurrection of the dead is not only to deny one’s past [v. 12a] but…to deny any real future as well [v. 19b]” (Fee 1987:744).

180The immediate alternative to having a physical body in life is not a having a resurrection body in death. There will for many people be a period of incorporeal existence between those states.

2       Cor 5:6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord…. 8 We…would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

181Some statements in this chapter warrant explication.

   “…Christ, the firstfruits” (v. 22)

   The metaphor is that the first harvest is a foretaste (“guarantee,” so Fee 1987:749) of the greater harvest to come (see 16:15, where the house of Stephanas is “firsfruits” in a specific location). Thus, Jesus’ resurrection anticipates the coming resurrection of believers.

   “…that God may be all in all” (v. 28)

   This is a soteriological and not a metaphysical statement, referring to that point in time when “God’s will be supreme in every quarter and in every way” (Fee 1987:760). Paul may be alluding to Zechariah’s prediction.

Zech 14:9b On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

182Paul says explicitly “that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked” (Acts 24:15). John, in his Revelation, also speaks about this all-encompassing resurrection and fills in the framework that Paul gives in 1 Cor.

Rev 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years…. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Later in the chapter, Paul limits his discussion of resurrection to believers (cf. “we all” in vv. 5152).

183All such references appear in the same book.

Rev 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years…. 14b The lake of fire is the second death. 

Rev 21:8b the fiery lake of burning sulfur….is the second death.

184In the proverb Paul quotes—“Bad company corrupts good character” (v. 33)—the word “company” (oJmili÷ai) can also be translated “conversation.” Hence, it is possible that Paul is referring to the kind of conversation that denies the resurrection and, thereby, destroys one’s motivation for righteousness (cf. v. 32). 185The closest practice is prayer for the dead.

2 Macc 12:39 On the next day, as by that time it had become necessary, Judas and his men went to take up the bodies of the fallen and to bring them back to lie with their kinsmen in the sepulchers of their fathers. 40 Then under the tunic of every one of the dead they found sacred tokens of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. And it became clear to all that this was why these men had fallen. 41 So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous Judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; 42 and they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. 43 He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. 44 For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. 45 But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin. 186

This is a view Solomon espouses often.

Eccl 2:24a A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.

Eccl 3:13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil…. 

Eccl 5:18 …it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor…. 

Eccl 8:15a …nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Eccl 9:7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart….  187

This may reflect a Hellenistic view of the body. 188

How the dead are raised (v. 35) has also generated discussion in rabbinic literature, especially in b Sanh 90b-91a.

   R. Meir [mid-2nd c.] said: “if a grain of wheat, which is buried naked, sprouts forth in many robes, how much more so the righteous, who are buried in their raiment!”

   “An emperor said to Rabban Gamaliel [early 1st c.]: ‘You maintain that the dead will revive; but they turn to dust, and how can dust come to life?’ Thereupon his [the emperor’s] daughter said to him [the Rabbi]: ‘Let me answer him: In our town there are two potters; one fashions his products [from water], and the other from clay: who is the more praiseworthy?’ ‘He who fashions them from water, he replied [this being far more difficult; to which she responded], ‘If he can fashion [man] from water, surely he can do so from clay!’“

   “The School of R. Ishmael [early 2nd c.] taught: It can be deduced from glassware: if glassware, which, though made by the breath of human being, can yet be repaired when broken [by being melted down again]; then how much more so man, created by the breath of the Holy One, blessed be He.”  189

Paul says here that we shall “bear the likeness of the man from heaven” (v. 49b).

   His body was adapted for existence in the physical realm.

Luke 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." …42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Acts 1:4a On one occasion, while he was eating with them….

   His body was adapted for existence in the spiritual realm.

John 20:26b Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"

Acts 1:9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

Rom 8:34b Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Our bodies will apparently have a similar design, enabling us to have access to heaven as well as to earth, an ability that may be necessary in the Messianic Age. Paul states elsewhere that the believer’s resurrection body “will be like [Jesus’] glorious body” (Phil 4:21).

Acts 26:13 …I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 

Rev 1:16b His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. 

Cf. Matt 13:43a Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. 190The NT’s description of the Intermediate State (Manuel 1999) suggests that the physical body may not be as necessary a means of identification after death as it is before death.  • The disciples recognized Moses and Elijah (even though they had never met).

Luke 9:33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him,  “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. 

 • The rich man recognized Abraham and Lazarus.

Luke 16:23 In hell, where he was in torment, he…saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ Likewise, the disciples recognized Jesus’ resurrection body.

Luke 24:37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost…. 40b he showed them his hands and feet.

Paul says “the power of sin is the law” (v. 56b), meaning that law gives sin its power because “sin is not taken into account when there is no law” (Rom 5:13b).

191Paul’s letter to the Galatians makes no mention of this contribution. He must have given them this instruction (v. 1b) on another occasion.

192This is a “fence” derived from the prohibition against conducting business on the Sabbath (Manuel 2014).

Jer 17:21 This is what the LORD says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your forefathers.

Neh 13:18 Didn’t your forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.” 

Tos Shab 16:22 Beth Shammai says: “Contributions for the poor are not allotted on the Sabbath in the synagogue, even a dowry to marry an orphan man to an orphan woman.” …Beth Hillel permits these activities.

Bacchiocchi states that “Contributions for the poor were forbidden since they conflicted with the future material abundance which the day symbolized” (1977:91).

193Jesus warns against ostentatious giving.

Matt 6:3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

Luke 21:1 …Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

194Paul oversees other gift transfers.

2 Cor 8:13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.

2 Cor 9:9 As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." …12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

Rom 15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.

195Luke refers to the affect of this situation on residents of Jerusalem.

Acts 6:1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

Acts 11:27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

196This Greek term refers to the votive offering, but it assumes a personal usage elsewhere.

2 Macc 2:13 The same things are reported in the…letters of kings about votive offerings. Luke 21:5a Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God.

Opponents of the gospel use it.

   Of themselves

Acts 23:14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul.

   Of the savior

1 Cor 12:3a Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed,"

Proponents of the gospel use it.

   Of themselves

Rom 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race,

   Of their opponents

Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Rev 22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

197This Aramaic term is probably a vocative + imperative rather than an indicative and is similar to expressions elsewhere. (Uncial manuscripts, those prior to the 10th c., had no word divisions.) Matt 6:10a your kingdom come [subjunctive] Rev 22:20c Come [imperative], Lord Jesus.

The next earliest source to use it is early 2nd c.

Did 10:6 Let grace come and let this world pass away…. O Lord, come!

Such expectation also accords with Paul’s eschatological anticipation throughout this and other letters..

Rom 13:11b …our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12a The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. Phil 4:5b The Lord is near. 198

It is one of his reciprocal commands.

1  Thess 5:26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

2  Cor 13:12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Rom 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss.

1      Pet 5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. 199

Normally, the greeting is reserved for family members and very close friends. Gen 27:26 Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come here, my son, and kiss me." 1 Sam 20:41b Then they kissed each other and wept together….

Luke 15:20c … he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 22:47b He approached Jesus to kiss him, 200 In at least one of his epistles, Paul expresses concern over the possibility of forgery.

2      Thess 2:2 [Do] not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some…letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 201

The amanuensis is normally silent, operating in the background.

Gal 6:11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!

Col 4:18a I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.

Rom 16:22 I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.

Peter also used a scribe.

Summary1 Pet 5:12a With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly….