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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 5

The Expositor's Greek TestamentExpositor's Greek Testament

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Verse 1

1 Corinthians 5:1 . Ὅλως ἀκούεται κ . τ . λ .: “There is actually fornication heard of amongst you!” No wonder that the father of the Church is compelled to show the “rod” (1 Corinthians 4:21 ). Not ἀκούω , as in 1 Corinthians 11:18 , but the impersonal ἀκούεται ( cf. ἠκούσθη , Mark 2:1 ), indicating common report in the Church ( ἐν ὑμῖν ), and ( ὅλως : see parls.) undoubted fact . Πορνεία signifies any immoral sexual relation, whether including (as in Matthew 5:32 ) or distinguished from (Matthew 15:19 ) μοιχεία .

The sin is branded as of unparalleled blackness by the description, καὶ τοιαύτη πορνεία ἥτις κ . τ . λ .: “Yes, and a fornication of such sort” the καί climactic “as (there is) not even among the Gentiles!” While mere πορνεία was excused not to say approved in heathen society, even by strict moralists, such foulness was abominated. Of this crime the loose Catullus says (76. 4): “Nam nihil est quidquam sceleris quo prodeat ultra”; and Cicero, pro Cluent. , 6, 15: “scelus incredibile, et prseter hanc unam in omni vita inauditum”; Euripides’ Hippolytus speaks for Gr [802] sentiment. Greek and Roman law both stamped it with infamy; for Jewish law, see Leviticus 18:7 f., Deuteronomy 22:30 also Genesis 49:4 . ἥτις , of quality (as in 1 Corinthians 3:17 ), in place of the regular correlative οἵα (1 Corinthians 15:48 ). Neither ὀνομάζεται (T.R.) nor ἀκούεται is understood in the ellipsis, simply ἐστίν “such as does not exist”; the exceptional heathen instances are such as to prove the rule. The actual sin is finally stated: ὥστε γυναῖκά τινα κ . τ . λ ., “as that one ( or a certain one) should have a wife of his father”. ἥτις defines the quality, ὥστε (with inf [803] ) the content and extent of the πορνεία . γυν . τοῦ πατρός (instead of μητρυίαν ) is the term of Leviticus 18:8 . ἔχειν indicates a continued association, whether in the way of formal marriage or not; nor does ἔργον (1 Corinthians 5:2 ), nor κατεργασάμενον (1 Corinthians 5:3 ), make clear this latter point. That “the father” was living is not proved by the ἀδικηθεὶς of 2 Corinthians 7:12 ; P. can hardly have referred to this foul immorality in the language of 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 ; 2 Corinthians 7:8-12 ; the “grief” and “wrong” of those passages are probably quite diff [804] The woman was not a Christian, for Paul passes no sentence upon her; see 1 Corinthians 5:13 .

[802] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

[803] infinitive mood.

[804] difference, different, differently.

Verses 1-8

1 Corinthians 5:1-8 . § 15. THE CASE OF INCEST. About the party-strifes at Cor [801] P. has been informed by the members of a particular family (1 Corinthians 1:11 ); the monstrous case of incest, to which he turns abruptly and without any preface ( cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10 ), is notorious.

[801] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Verse 2

1 Corinthians 5:2 . What are the Cor [805] doing under this deep disgrace? Not even grieving . Καὶ ὑμεῖς πεφυσιωμένοι ἐστέ ; κ . τ . λ .: “And are you (still) puffed up? and did you not rather mourn?” For the grammatical force of πεφυσ . ἐστέ , see parls. in 1Co 1:10 , 1 Corinthians 4:8 ; and for the vb [806] , note to 1 Corinthians 4:6 . P. confronts the pride of the Cor [807] Church with this crushing fact; no intellectual brilliance, no religious enthusiasm, can cover this hideous blot: “argumentatur a contrario, ubi enim luctus est, cessit gloria” (Cv [808] ). The ver. is best read interrogatively , in view of the οὐχὶ in 2nd clause ( cf. 1 Corinthians 1:20 ), and in Paul’s expostulatory style ( cf. 1 Corinthians 4:7 f.). ἐπενθήσατε (see parls.) connotes funeral mourning over “a brother dead to God, by sin, alas! undone;” the tense signifies “ going into mourning” “breaking out in grief” (Ev [809] ) when you heard of it. Of such grief the fit sequel is expressed by ἵνα ἄρθῃ ἐκ μέσου ὑμῶν , “that he should be removed from your midst, who so perpetrated this deed”. This is the later Gr [810] “sub-final” ἵνα , of the desired result: see Wr [811] , p. 420; Bm [812] , p. 237; cf. 1 Corinthians 14:12 f. πράξας , as distinguished from ποιήσας (T.R.), implies quality in the action (see parls.).

[805] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[806] verb

[807] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[808] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii .

[809] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary .

[810] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

[811] Winer-Moulton’s Grammar of N.T. Greek (8th ed., 1877).

[812] A. Buttmann’s Grammar of the N.T. Greek (Eng. Trans., 1873).

Verses 3-5

1 Corinthians 5:3-5 . The removal of the culprit is, in any case, a settled matter: ἐγὼ μὲν γάρ , “For I at least” … ἤδη κέκρικα , “have already decided” without waiting till you should act or till I could come. For ἤδη see note, 1 Corinthians 4:8 ; κέκρικα , pf. of judgment that has determinate effect. f1μέν solitarium “I indeed (whatever you may do)”. ἀπὼν τῷ σώματι παρὼν δὲ τῷ πνεύματι , “while absent in the body yet present in the spirit”: by absence the Ap. might seem disqualified for judging ( cf. 2 Corinthians 12:20 to 2 Corinthians 13:2 ); he declares that he is spiritually present , so present to his inmost consciousness are the facts of the case; cf. Colossians 2:5 . “St. Paul’s spirit, illumined and vivified, as it unquestionably was, by the Divine Spirit, must have been endowed on certain occasions with a more than ordinary insight into the state of a Church at a distance” (Ev [813] ; cf. John 1:48 ; 2 Kings 5:26 ): “I have already passed sentence, as one present, on him that has so wrought this thing”. ὡς παρὼν means “as being present,” not “as though present” which rendering virtually surrenders the previous ἀπών … παρὼν δέ . κατεργάζομαι , to work out, consummate (see parls.); the qualifying οὕτως probably refers to the man’s being a Christian ( cf. 1 Corinthians 5:12 f.) “under these conditions” ( cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16 f., 1 Corinthians 6:15 ).

[813] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary .

The judgment already determined in the Apostle’s mind is delivered in 1 Corinthians 5:5 , supplying a further obj [814] ( of the thing: cf. for the construction, Acts 15:38 ) to κέκρικα : “I have already judged him … (have given sentence), in the name of our Lord Jesus, to deliver him that is such ( τὸν τοιοῦτον ) to Satan for destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”. The clauses of 1 Corinthians 5:4 , with their solemn, rounded terms, make fit way for this awful sentence; “graviter suspensa manet et vibrat oratio usque ad 1 Corinthians 5:5 ” (Bg [815] ). The prp [816] phrases ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τ . κυρ . Ἰ ., σὺν τ . δυνάμει τ . κυρ . ἡμῶν Ἰ ., may be connected, either of them or both, with παραδοῦναι or with the subordinate συναχθέντων ; and the four combinations thus grammatically possible have each found advocates. The order of words and balance of clauses, as well as intrinsic fitness of connexion, speak for the attachment of the former adjunct to παραδ . Σατ ., the latter to συναχθ . ὑμῶν : so Luther, Bg [817] , Mr [818] , Al [819] , Ev [820] , Bt [821] , El [822] “In the name of the Lord Jesus” every Church act is done, every word of blessing or banning uttered; that Name must be formally used when doom is pronounced in the assembly (see parls.). The gen [823] abs. clause is parenthetic, supplying the occasion and condition precedent ( aor [824] ptp [825] ) of the public sentence; all the responsible parties must be concurrent: “when you have assembled together, and my spirit, along with the power of our Lord Jesus”. Along with the gathered assembly, under Paul’s unseen directing influence, a third Supreme Presence is necessary to make the sentence valid; the Church associates itself “with the power” of its Head. Realising that it is clothed therewith, the Cor [826] Church will deliver the appalling sentence inspired by the absent Ap. σὺν τῇ δυνάμει κ . τ . λ . is a h.l [827] ; ἐν δυνάμει (1 Corinthians 2:5 , etc.) is frequent in P. “Our Lord Jesus” is Christ the Judge (see 1 Corinthians 1:8 ).

[814] grammatical object.

[815] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

[816] preposition.

[817] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

[818] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[819] Alford’s Greek Testament .

[820] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary .

[821] J. A. Beet’s St. Paul’s Epp. to the Corinthians (1882).

[822] C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians .

[823] genitive case.

[824] aorist tense.

[825] participle

[826] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[827] .l. hapax legomenon , a solitary expression.

“Delivering to Satan,” in the view of many (including Aug [828] , Cv [829] , Bz [830] , and latterly Hn [831] ), is a synonym for excommunication , a thrusting out of the condemned into “the kingdom of darkness,” where “the god of this world” holds sway (2 Corinthians 4:4 , Ephesians 2:2 ; Ephesians 6:12 , Colossians 1:13 , etc.); similarly in 1 Timothy 1:20 . But there is no proof that such a formula of excommunication existed either in the Synagogue or the early Church; and the added words, εἰς ὄλεθρον τῆς σαρκός κ . τ . λ ., point to some physically punitive and spiritually remedial visitation of the sinner. The σὰρξ to be destroyed, it is replied, lies in the man’s sinful passions; but these would, presumably, be strengthened rather than destroyed by sending him back to the world. “The flesh,” as antithetical to “the spirit” (see parls.), is rather the man’s bodily nature; and physical maladies, even death, are ascribed in the N.T. to Satan (2 Corinthians 12:7 , Luke 13:16 , John 8:44 , Hebrews 2:14 ), while on the other hand affliction is made an instrument of spiritual benefit (1 Corinthians 9:27 , 1 Corinthians 11:30 ff., 2 Corinthians 4:16 f., 1Co 12:7 , 1 Peter 4:1 f.); moreover, the App. did occasionally, as in the cases of Ananias and Elymas (Acts 5:13 ), pronounce penal sentences in the physical sphere, which took immediate effect on the condemned. It appears certain that P. imposed in this case a severe physical infliction indeed, if ὄλεθρος is to be pressed (see parls.), a mortal stroke as the only means of marking the gravity of the crime and saving the criminal. “Il ne faut pas endouter, c’est une condamnation à mort que Paul prononce” (Renan); not however a sudden death, rather “a slow consumption, giving the sinner time to repent” (Gd [832] ). The ejection of the culprit the Church of itself could and must effect (1 Corinthians 5:2 ; 1 Corinthians 5:13 ); for the aggravated chastisement the presence of the Apostle’s “spirit,” allied “with the power of the Lord Jesus,” was necessary. ὁ Σατανᾶς (Heb. hassatân , Aram. s’tanâ: see parls.), “the Adversary,” sc. of God and man, to whom every such opportunity is welcome (John 8:44 ). That Satan’s malignity should be (as one may say) overreached by God’s wisdom and mercy ( cf. 1 Corinthians 3:19 ) is nothing very, wonderful (see 2 Corinthians 12:7 , Luke 22:31 f., also the temptation of our Lord, and of Job); hate is proverbially blind. On “ the day of the Lord,” when the ultimate salvation or perdition of each is fixed, see 1 Corinthians 1:8 , Romans 2:5-16 . That some Cor [833] afterwards sought proof of Paul’s supernatural power goes to show, not that this sentence proved abortive, but rather that the offender averted it by prompt repentance.

[828] Augustine.

[829] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii .

[830] Beza’s Nov. Testamentum: Interpretatio et Annotationes (Cantab., 1642).

[831] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[832] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

[833] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Verse 6

1 Corinthians 5:6 . “Your vaunt is not good:” καύχημα , materies gloriandi ( cf. αἰσχρὸν κλέος , Eurip., Helena , 135: Mr [834] ), found in the state of the Church, of which the Cor [835] were proud (1 Corinthians 4:6 ff.) when they ought to have been ashamed. καλόν , good in the sense of seemly, of fine quality; cf. 2 Corinthians 8:21 , John 10:32 , etc. For οὐκ οἴδατε …; see 1 Corinthians 3:16 . The Cor [836] might reply that the offence, however shameful, was the sin of one man and therefore a little thing; P. retorts, that it is “a little leaven ,” enough to “leaven the whole kneading”: cf. the Parables of Matthew 13:33 and Luke 12:1 . A sin so virulent held an indefinite power of corruption; it tainted the entire community. The φύραμα ( φυράω , to mix ) is the lump of dough kneaded for a single batch of bread: see parls.

[834] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[835] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[836] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Verse 7

1 Corinthians 5:7 . ἐκκαθάρατε , “Cleanse out” the aor [837] implying a summary , and ἐκ - a complete removal (see parls.; for simple καθαίρω , John 15:2 ), leaving the Church “clean”: an allusion to the pre-Paschal removal of leaven (Exodus 12:15 ff; Exodus 13:7 ). For τ . παλαιὰν ζύμην , cf. Ignatius, ad Magn. , 10, τ . κακὴν ζύμην τ . παλαιωιθεῖσαν κ . ἐνοξίσασαν , applying, however, to Judaism what here relates to Gentile vice. The “old leaven” (denoting not persons the incestuous and his like but influences: see

Verse 8

1 Corinthians 5:8 explains the symbolical ἄζυμοι . Participation in the sacrifice of Christ presumes unleavenedness in the participants; the unleavened bread and the passover are related (objectively) as repentance and faith (subjectively): “For indeed our passover has been slain , even Christ”. τὸ πάσχα … ἐτύθη (aor [840] , of historical fact) the Passover Lamb killed, and leaven not yet cast out: what a contradiction! The Law prescribed no exact time, but usage required every scrap of leaven to be got rid of from the house at the beginning (eve) of the day, Nisan 14, on which the Lamb was slain. πάσχα stands for the Paschal Lamb , the sacrifice of which legally constituted the Passover (Mark 14:12 , cf. John 1:29 ).

[840] aorist tense.

“Our (Christian) passover,” cf. Hebrews 13:10 ; and for Paul’s appropriation to the Church of the things of the Old Covenant, Romans 11:17 , Galatians 4:26 ; Galatians 6:16 , Philippians 3:3 . This identification of Christ crucified with the Paschal Lamb lends some support to the view that Jesus died, as the Fourth Gospel appears to represent, on the 14 th Nisan; but the precise coincidence is not essential to his interpretation. The Pascha (Aram. pascha = Heb. pesach ) in O.T. “Jehovah’s Passover” was the sacrificial covenant-feast of the kingdom of God in Israel. It contained three essential elements: (1) the blood of the victim, sprinkled at the exodus on each house-door, afterwards on the national altar, as an expiation to God ( cf. Romans 3:25 ), who “passes over” when He “sees the blood”; (2) the flesh of the lamb, supplying the food of redeemed Israel as it sets out to the Holy Mount and the Promised Land (see 1 Corinthians 10:16 f., John 6:32 ; John 6:51 ); (3) the continued feast , an act of fellowship, grounded on redemption, between Jehovah and Israel and amongst the Israelites; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:16-22 , 1 Corinthians 11:20 , and notes.

With the leaven removed and the Passover Lamb slain, “let us keep the feast” ( ἑορτάζωμεν , pr [841] sbj [842] of continued action ) this term again allegorical not literal (see ἄζυμοι , 7), “a figurative characterisation of the whole Christian conduct of life” (Mr [843] ). ἅπας ὁ βίος αὐτοῦ πανήγυρις ἄγια (Clem. Al [844] , Strom. , viii., quoted by Ed [845] ); to the same effect Cm [846] , δείκνυσιν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ χρόνος ἑορτῆς ἐστι καιρὸς τ . Χριστιανοῖς διὰ τ . ὑπερβολὴν τ . ἀγαθῶν αὐτοῖς δοθέντων . διὰ τοῦτο γὰρ ὁ υἱὸς τ . Θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος γέγονε καὶ ιτύθη , ἵνα σε ἑορτάζειν ποιήσῃ ; cf. , earlier than P., Philo’s interpretation of the Feast, De migr. Abrah. , 16; De congr. quærend. erudit. gratia , 28. For ὥστε with impv [847] , see note on 1 Corinthians 4:5 . The ἄζυμα (unleavened cakes), to be partaken of by the ἄζυμοι (1 Corinthians 5:7 ), are described by the attributes εἰλικρινίας καὶ ἀληθείας , “of sincerity and truth” a sound inward disposition, and a right position in accord with the reality of things. To the forbidden ἐν ζύμῃ παλαιᾷ (see note, 7) is added, by way of closer specification, μηδὲ ἐν ζύμῃ κακίας κ . πονηρίας ( malitiæ et nequitiæ ) “ κακία the vicious disposition, πονηρία the active exercise of it” (Lt [848] ); see Trench, Syn [849] , § 11. The associations of approaching Easter, probably, suggested this train of thought ( cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23 , ἀπαρχή ); nowhere else does P. call Christ “the Pascha”.

[841] present tense.

[842] subjunctive mood.

[843] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[844] Alford’s Greek Testament .

[845] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians . 2

[846] John Chrysostom’s Homiliœ († 407).

[847] imperative mood.

[848] J. B. Lightfoot’s (posthumous) Notes on Epp. of St. Paul (1895).

[849] synonym, synonymous.

Verse 9

1 Corinthians 5:9 . “I wrote to you in the (my) letter” the last the Cor [851] had received from P., which is recalled by the matter just discussed. The Ff [852] , except Ambrosiaster (? Hilary of Rome, prob. Isaac, a converted Jew), referred the ἔγραψα to this Ep. , reading the vb [853] as epistolary aorist (as in 1 Corinthians 5:11 ; see Bn [854] § 44); but there is nothing in 1 Cor. to sustain the ref [855] , and ἐν τῇ ἐπιστολῇ seems “added expressly to guard against this interpretation” (Ed [856] ). Modern expositors, from Cv [857] downwards, find the traces here of a lost Ep. antecedent to our First; 2 Corinthians 10:10 f. intimates that the Cor [858] had received several letters from P. before the canonical Second. Some have found in 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 2 Corinthians 7:1 a stray leaf of the missing document; that par. is certainly germane to its purpose (see Hilgenfeld, Einleit. in das N.T. , p. 287; Whitelaw, in Classical Review , 1890, pp. 12, 317 f.). The ambiguity lay in the word συναναμίγνυσθαι ( to mix oneself up with ), which forbids social intimacy, while those who wished to misunderstand took it as a prohibition of all intercourse.

[851] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[852] Fathers.

[853] verb

[854] E. Burton’s Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in the N.T. (1894).

[855] reference.

[856] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians . 2

[857] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii .

[858] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Verses 9-13

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 . § 16. A PREVIOUS LETTER MISREAD. The Cor [850] Church were taking no action against the offender of § 15; in this neglect they disregarded the Apostle’s instructions conveyed by some recent letter. These instructions they appear to have misunderstood, reading them as though Paul forbade Christians to have any dealings with immoral persons, and asking for further explanation. Not improbably, they were making their uncertainty on the general question an excuse for hesitation in this urgent and flagrant case. Accordingly the Ap., after giving sentence upon the πόρνος of 1 Corinthians 5:1 f., repeats with all possible distinctness his direction to excommunicate persons of openly immoral life from the Church . Profligates of the world must be left to God’s sole judgment. P. felt that there was an evasion, prompted by the disposition to palter with sin, in the misunderstanding reported to him; hence the closing words of the last Section, condemning the “leaven of badness and wickedness” and commending the “unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”. On the nature and occasion of the lost letter , see Introd. , chap. 2.

[850] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Verse 10

1 Corinthians 5:10 gives the needful definition of the above injunction. οὐ πάντως is best understood as by Er [859] ( non omnino ), Cv [860] ( neque in universum ), Mr [861] , Bt [862] , Ed [863] , El [864] , as not absolutely, not altogether , οὐ negativing πάντως and making the inhibition a qualified one: “I did not altogether forbid your holding intercourse with the fornicators of this world”. To make the πάντως emphasise the οὐ (as in Romans 3:9 ) “Assuredly I did not mean to forbid association with fornicators outside the Church” (Lt [865] ) is to lend the passage the air of recommending association with unconverted profligates! What applies to one sort of immorality applies to others: ἢ τ . πλεονέκταις καὶ ἅρπαξιν ἢ εἰδωλολάτραις , “or with the covetous and rapacious, or with idolaters”. The πλεονεκται (from πλέον and ἔχω : see parls.) are the self-aggrandising in general; ἅρπαγες , those who seize with violence; sins of greed are frequent in commercial cities. “Idolaters”(the first appearance of the word in literature: cf. notes on 1 Corinthians 8:1 and 1 Corinthians 10:19 ) included the entire pagan world; Cor [866] idolatry was specially associated with sensual sin. ἐπεὶ … ἄρα κ . τ . λ ., “since in that case” the logical consequence of absolute non-intercourse “you were bound to go out of the world!” ἑτέραν οἰκουμένην ὠφείλετε ζητῆσαι (Thp [867] ). One could not pursue any avocation at Cor [868] without daily contact with such sinners. ὠφείλετε , in the impf [869] tense of the unfulfilled condition (implied in ἄρα ); for the omission, common with vbs. of this nature, of the ἂν of contingency, see Wr [870] , p. 382, and cf. Hebrews 9:26 . For the principle implied as against the cloister see John 17:14-19 .

[859] Erasmus’ In N.T. Annotationes .

[860] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii .

[861] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[862] J. A. Beet’s St. Paul’s Epp. to the Corinthians (1882).

[863] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians . 2

[864] C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians .

[865] J. B. Lightfoot’s (posthumous) Notes on Epp. of St. Paul (1895).

[866] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[867] Theophylact, Greek Commentator.

[868] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[869]mpf. imperfect tense.

[870] Winer-Moulton’s Grammar of N.T. Greek (8th ed., 1877).

Verse 11

1 Corinthians 5:11 . νῦν δὲ ἔγραψα , “But now I have written” in contrast to the Εγραψα … ἐν τῇ ἐπιστ . of 1 Corinthians 5:9 : “If any one doubted the purport of the former letter, it shall be impossible to mistake my meaning now ”. The logical (not temporal) sense of νῦν (or νυνί ) is preferred by some interpreters: “But now after this, as things now appear (you must understand that) I wrote,” etc., this ἔγραψα thus repeating the former. Νυνὶ δὲ bears the like emphatic temporal sense in 2 Corinthians 8:11 , Ephesians 2:13 . ἐάν τις ἀδελφὸς ὀνομαζόμενος , “if any one bearing the name of brother ” the point of the amended rule, which P. in writing before had apparently left to the common-sense of his readers, but is compelled to make explicit. So the μὴ συναναμίγνυσθαι clearly signifies not to hold fraternal, friendly commerce with vicious men: cf. 1 Corinthians 15:33 . Such a one may be “named,” but is not, “a brother”; cf. Revelation 3:1 . Among the kinds of sinners proscribed P. now inserts the λοίδορος (see note on 1 Corinthians 4:12 ), the “railer,” “reviler” the foul-mouthed abuser of others; and the μέθυσος , “drunkard” a word bearing in earlier Gr [871] a comic sense, tipsy , afterwards seriously used (Lt [872] ): these sins are companions; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:10 . τῷ τοιούτῳ μηδὲ συνεσθίειν : “with him that is such (I bid you) not even to eat”. The inf [873] is pr [874] of usage, practice; cf. Galatians 2:12 . “Eating together is a sign of friendliness; business transactions are not. If the ref [875] be restricted to Christian fellowship ( sc. the Agapé), the emphatic not even is out of place” (Ed [876] ). To forbid intercourse to this extent implies expulsion from the Church, and more; cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:14 f. (milder treatment), Matthew 18:17 . That it should be possible for an actual “idolater” not merely one who “sits in an idol’s house” (1 Corinthians 8:10 ) as a place indifferent, or who still in some sort believes in its power (1 Corinthians 8:7 ) to be in the Church is evidence of the laxity of Cor [877] Christianity. That this was really the case, and that some Cor [878] , perhaps of philosophical, semi-pantheistic tendencies, wished to combine the worship of the heathen temple with that of the Christian Church, appears likely from 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 ; the same syncretism is found in India now; cf. the case of Naaman, 2 Kings 5:17 f.

[871] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

[872] J. B. Lightfoot’s (posthumous) Notes on Epp. of St. Paul (1895).

[873] infinitive mood.

[874] present tense.

[875] reference.

[876] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians . 2

[877] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[878] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Verses 12-13

1 Corinthians 5:12-13 . τί γάρ μοι τοὺς ἔξω κ . τ . λ .; “For what business of mine is it ( Quid mea refert? Cv [879] ) to judge those that are outside? (Is it) not those within (that) you judge, while those without God judges?” By these questions P. justifies his excluding the impure ἀδελφὸς ὀνομαζ . from the communion and social courtesies of the Church. He holds jurisdiction over those within its pale; of their conduct the Church ( ὑμεῖς ) is bound to take note; the world outside must be left to the judgment of God: “cives judicate, ne alienos” (Bg [880] ). The Ap. places himself and the Cor [881] on the one side ( cf. 1 Corinthians 6:4 ; also 1 Corinthians 12:25 f.), in contrast with God who judges τοὺς ἔξω . “Within” and “without” denoted in Synagogue usage members and non-members of the sacred community (see parls.): οἱ ἔσω = οἱ ἅγιοι , οἱ οἰκεῖοι τῆς πίστεως , οἱ τοῦ Χριστοῦ , etc. Yet this mutual judgment of Christians by each other has great limitations (Romans 14:4-10 ; Matthew 7:1 ff.); its sphere lies in vital matters of character essential to Church life; and there it is subject to the final Court of Appeal (see 1 Corinthians 4:3 ff.). ὁ Θεὸς κρίνει (not κρινεῖ ): P. is not anticipating the Last Judgment, but laying down the principle that God is the world’s Judge; see Romans 2:16 ; Romans 3:6 , Hebrews 12:23 , etc. The interrog. οὐχὶ holds under its regimen the two clauses linked by the contrastive δέ ; El [882] however reads τοὺς δὲ ἔξω κ . τ . λ . assertively, as a concluding “grave enunciation”.

[879] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii .

[880] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

[881] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[882] C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians .

From his digression to the lost Ep. and the general social problem, the Ap. returns, with vehement emphasis, to the offender of 1 Corinthians 5:1 f. and demands his expulsion in the solemn words of the Deuteronomic law. τὸν πονηρὸν is not Satan (“scelerum omnium principem,” Cv [883] ), nor “the wicked” in general each case as it arises (Hf [884] ); but “istum improbum” (Bz [885] ), the case of notorious and extreme guilt which gave rise to the whole discussion. ἐξάρατε ( cf. ἐκκαθάρατε , 1 Corinthians 6:7 ) takes up again the ἵνα ἀρθῇ of 1 Corinthians 5:2 , with the added thought ( ἐξ - … ἐξ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν ) of the riddance effected by his removal. The terrible sentence of 1 Corinthians 5:3 ff. had not, in so many words, prescribed ejection, though implying it; and P. needed to be very explicit: see note on 1 Corinthians 5:9 . The formal expulsion must proceed from the Cor [886] , ὑμεῖς κρίνετε ; the Church is a self-governing body.

[883] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii .

[884] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht , ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[885] Beza’s Nov. Testamentum: Interpretatio et Annotationes (Cantab., 1642).

[886] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 5". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/egt/1-corinthians-5.html. 1897-1910.
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