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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 16

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

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Verses 1-24

The Collection. Personal Messages and Conclusion

The Apostle in this chapter instructs the Corinthians to make a collection for the poor Christians in Judæa, intimates his intention of visiting them at an early date by way of Macedonia, and concludes with kind messages of brotherly love. In 1 Corinthians 16:8 he mentions his intention to stay in Ephesus till Pentecost. He probably stayed much longer, owing to the troubles that arose in Corinth; for in our Second Epistle (2 Corinthians 9:2) he speaks of the collection which he here appoints to be made, being ready a year ago. Meanwhile he had probably made the Corinthians a short visit by sea from Ephesus, and returned disappointed. He finally visited them by way of Macedonia, according to his original intention, announced in this chapter after their repentance. On the whole circumstances see Intro, to 2 Cor.

(g) 16:1-4. The Collection

The collection for the Church in Jerusalem was made at St. Paul’s request by all the Churches he had founded in the Gentile world, as we learn from his letters and from the list of delegates sent by these Churches to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4). The Church in Jerusalem included many poor (Acts 6:1), and the Gentile Churches were enabled to show alike their gratitude to and their sympathy with the Mother-Church by material aid from their more ample resources.

1. The collection for the saints] cp. 2 Corinthians 8, 9, Romans 15:25-28.

To the churches of Galatia] either by messenger, or by a letter not preserved; not in our Epistle to the Galatians. The Churches of Galatia were those he had established in Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Derbe, and Lystra: see Acts 13:14; Acts 14:23.

2. The first day of the week] viz. Sunday, already the day for Christian assemblies (Acts 20:7); a fit time for an act of Christian love. This v. is the great scriptural justification of the weekly offertory.

That there be no gatherings (RV ’that no collections be made’) when I come] i.e. that it may be all your own doing, not mine.

3. By your letters] of commendation to the Christians at Jerusalem: cp. 2 Corinthians 3:1; Delegates would go from Corinth to avoid all suspicion of misappropriation of the money (2 Corinthians 8:19-21).

(h) 16:5-24. Personal Messages and Conclusion

5. I do pass through Macedonia] i.e. this is my present intention. His original plan had been to go direct to Corinth (2 Corinthians 1:15-16), but only for a passing visit.

6. Yea, and winter] RV ’or even winter.’ He stayed three months in Greece (Acts 20:2-3), when at length he carried out his plan. Bring me on my journey] cp. Romans 15:24; Titus 3:13.

8. Pentecost] one of the three great Jewish feasts, associated under Christianity with the descent of the Holy Spirit.

9. A great door and effectual is opened] cp. 2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:8; Revelation 3:8; ’I have good openings, and must make full use of them.’ Many adversaries] Acts 20:19, also Acts 19:28.

10. If Timotheus (RV ’Timothy’) come] cp. 1 Corinthians 4:17. It is not quite certain whether or not he reached Corinth: see Intro. 2 Cor. He was young (cp. 1 Timothy 4:12), and seems to have been timid.

11. With the brethren] the bearers of this letter.

12. Apollos] Perhaps the Corinthians had asked that he might visit them. His refusal may have arisen from fear of rekindling the party feeling at Corinth.

13, 14. These vv. sum up the practical teaching of the Epistle. They needed to avoid carelessness, fickleness, and moral feebleness, and to cultivate a spirit of Christian love.

15. The house of Stephanas] baptised by the Apostle himself (1 Corinthians 1:16).

The firstfruits of Achaia] There were converts at Athens (Acts 17:34), therefore Achaia must be used in the narrower sense of Southern Greece; or else these were the firstfruits as a household. Addicted themselves to the ministry] RV ’have set themselves to minister.’

16. Submit yourselves unto such] ’esteeming them very highly in love for their work’s sake’ (1 Thessalonians 5:13).

17. Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus] who had probably brought the letter from the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 7:1). That which was lacking on your part they have supplied] i.e. their visit has made up for your absence.

18. And yours] for you will be glad to hear of my gladness.

19. Asia] i.e. the Roman province, of which Ephesus was the capital—the western part of Asia Minor or Turkey in Asia: cp. Acts 19:10, Acts 19:26; Revelation 1:11.

Aquila and Priscilla] cp. Acts 18:2-3 at Ephesus, Acts 18:18-19, Acts 18:26. The church that is in their house] Those Christians who assemble there.

20. An holy kiss] a token of Christian brotherhood: cp. Romans 16:16.

21. With mine own hand] This signature authenticated the letter, which was written by a secretary, perhaps Sosthenes (1 Corinthians 1:1): cp. Romans 16:22; 2 Thessalonians 3:17.

22. If any man love not the Lord] Without this love, religion is a delusion or mockery; where this love is the man cannot go far wrong. And love is shown by obedience (John 14:15). Anathema] a Gk. word, meaning ’accursed,’ ’cut off from God.’ Maran-atha] This expression stands by itself and is not joined to anathema as in AV. It is two Aramaic words, meaning either ’the Lord has come’ (cp. 1 John 5:20), or ’our Lord cometh’ (RM), or perhaps ’Lord, come’: cp. Philippians 4:5; Revelation 22:20.

24. My love be with you all] though I have had to reprove severely, and though some prefer other leaders. In Christ Jesus] who inspires all Christian love.

For the subscription see Intro.: 1 Corinthians 16:8 shows that the Epistle was written from Ephesus.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 16". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/1-corinthians-16.html. 1909.
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