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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 16

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

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Verses 1-11

The Collection for the Saints In 1 Corinthians 16:1-11 Paul gives instructions to the Corinthians on the collection for the saints. He first tells them how to make the collection (1 Corinthians 16:1-4), then he lays out his itinerary for visiting them in the near future in order to make a final pass through this region to take up this collection that would be brought back to the poor saints in Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:5-9). He also includes Timothy’s travel plans since he will prepare for Paul’s arrival (1 Corinthians 16:10-11). One purpose of this offering was to maintain unity between the Palestinian Jewish converts and the Gentile church abroad; for there were some Judaizers who had tried to bring negative reports about Paul’s work to the church and the Jews in Jerusalem.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Instructions on Giving 1 Corinthians 16:1-4

2. Paul’s Travel Plans for the Collection 1 Corinthians 16:5-9

3. Paul’s Charge Concerning Timothy 1 Corinthians 16:10-11

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 Instructions on Giving In 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 Paul gives the Corinthians practical instructions on how to gather the offering for the saints in Jerusalem.

1 Corinthians 16:5-9 Paul’s Travel Plans for the Collection In 1 Corinthians 16:5-9 Paul explains his travel plans in order to collect the offering for the saints in Jerusalem.

1 Corinthians 16:8 Comments - The reason Paul wanted to continue his stay in Ephesus is because of the success of the work there, as stated in the next verse.

1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

1 Corinthians 16:10-11 Paul’s Charge Concerning Timothy In 1 Corinthians 16:10-11 Paul charges the Corinthian church to receive young Timothy. He says, “Let no man therefore despise him.” We see Paul also tell Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth.” Thus, the motive for any possible rejection of Timothy by the Corinthians may have been in part due to his youth.

1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

1 Corinthians 16:10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.

1 Corinthians 16:10 Comments - We have Luke’s account of Paul sending Timothy and Erastus into Macedonia in order to prepare for his intended visit to this region (Acts 19:21-22). Paul’s reference to Timothy’s arrival in 1 Corinthians 16:10 very possibly corresponds to the same event.

Acts 19:21-22, “After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome. So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus ; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.”

1 Corinthians 16:11 Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.

Verses 12-24

Closing Remarks Paul then informs them of the work of Apollos as it relates to them (1 Corinthians 16:12). In 1 Corinthians 16:13-18 Paul gives them a final exhortation to work together in unity. In 1 Corinthians 16:19-21 Paul gives closing greetings from the believers in Asia. He then closes with a final benediction and assures them of his unfailing love for them after having given them words of correction (1 Corinthians 16:22-24).

1. News Concerning Apollos 1 Corinthians 16:12

2. Final Exhortation 1 Corinthians 16:13-18

3. Final Greeting 1 Corinthians 16:19-21

4. Final Benediction 1 Corinthians 16:22-24

1 Corinthians 16:12 News Concerning Apollos In 1 Corinthians 16:12 Paul gives the Corinthians an update of the ministry of Apollos.

1 Corinthians 16:12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.

1 Corinthians 16:12 Comments - After founding the church in Corinth and spending over a year establishing the believers, Paul sent Apollos there to continue teaching the Gospel from the Scriptures (Acts 19:1). He was beloved and esteemed by many believers in Corinth, thus, Paul refers to him often in this first epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:12; 1Co 3:4-6 ; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 16:12). Therefore, Paul explains that he is sending Timothy to them because Apollos was not willing to come at this time.

1 Corinthians 16:13-18 Final Exhortation In 1 Corinthians 16:13-18 Paul offers the Corinthians some final exhortations.

Stephanas and His Companions It appears from 1 Corinthians 16:15-18 that Stephanas was a leader in the church at Corinth. Paul not only lists his name first among the three who visited him (1 Corinthians 16:17), but he describes him as “the firstfruits of Achaia,” and one who has “addicted himself to the ministry” (1 Corinthians 16:15). Paul then tells the Corinthians to submit themselves to such as who are labouring among them like Stephanas (1 Corinthians 16:16).

1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13 “Watch ye” - Comments - Be alert on guard. To what? To the devil’s tricks and to falling into sin.

1 Corinthians 16:13 “quit you like men” - Comments Paul tells them to “act brave, be men of courage.”

1 Corinthians 16:13 “be strong” - Comments - Be strong spiritually. There are only four uses of this Greek verb in New Testament. The other three uses are:

Luke 1:80, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit , and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.”

Luke 2:40, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit , filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”

Ephesians 3:16, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”

There is one adjective form of this same Greek verb that is used in 1 Peter 5:6:

1 Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”

Also, note:

1 John 2:14, “I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong , and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

1 Corinthians 16:13 Illustration - The children of Israel encouraged themselves in the Lord:

Judges 20:22, “And the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day.”

The Philistines were able to encourage themselves and win the battle. See:

1 Samuel 4:7-9, “And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore. Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. Be strong, and quit yourselves like men , O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.”

Note that there was another time when David encouraged himself in the Lord.

1 Samuel 30:6, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God .”

King David told his son Solomon to be strong like a man should be.

1 Kings 2:2, ”I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;”

God told Job to gird up his loins like a man and interact with Him in dialogue.

Job 38:3, “Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.”

1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity.

1 Corinthians 16:15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

1 Corinthians 16:15 Comments - The name “Stephanas” means, “wreath,” or, “crown.” ( BDAG)

Stephanas is also mentioned at the beginning of this epistle to the Corinthians and in verse 17. Otherwise, there are no other references to him in the Scriptures.

1 Corinthians 1:16, “And I baptized also the household of Stephanas : besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

He was evidently one of Paul's early converts in the city of Corinth. He was one of a few people that Paul himself baptized. Stephanas became a faithful servant in the church.

In this humble service, Stephanas, accompanied by Fortunatus and Achaicus, brought gifts (1 Corinthians 16:17) and a letter (1 Corinthians 7:1) to Paul while he was perhaps in the city of Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:8).

1 Corinthians 16:17, “I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.”

1 Corinthians 7:1, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.”

1 Corinthians 16:8, “But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.”

This visit resulted in Paul writing the epistle of 1 Corinthians, of which Stephanas became the bearer when he and his two friends returned to Corinth.

1 Corinthians 16:16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.

1 Corinthians 16:17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.

1 Corinthians 16:18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.

1 Corinthians 16:19-21 Final Greeting In 1 Corinthians 16:19-21 Paul sends his final greetings to the Corinthians from his companions in Asia before closing the epistle with a benediction.

1 Corinthians 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

1 Corinthians 16:19 “Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord” - Comments - Paul first met Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth on his second missionary journey when he established a church there. They had been banished from Rome by Claudius.

Acts 18:1-2, “After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.”

He took them with him on his way back to Antioch and left them in the city of Ephesus.

Acts 18:18-19, “And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow. And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.”

We find that this couple is still in Ephesus when Paul returns on his third missionary journey and writes his first epistle to the Corinthians from there. They had started a church in their home while in Ephesus.

1 Corinthians 16:19, “The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.”

In Romans 16:3, which is dated a short time later, we find them back in the city of Rome. It is possible that Paul sent them to Rome before he left Ephesus in order to help establish the church there.

Romans 16:3-4, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.”

Near the end of Paul’s life, while writing to Timothy from the city of Rome just before his death, we find this couple back in Ephesus.

2 Timothy 4:19, “Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.”

This story would certainly fit the Paul’s description of their sacrifices of laying down their lives in the following verse (1 Corinthians 16:4). They had returned to Rome, which was placing them in risk of their lives. They had served in Ephesus for some years until Paul returned on his next visit. Thus, the churches of the Gentiles had something to thank them for.

1 Corinthians 16:19 “with the church that is in their house” Comments - The common meeting places for the early churches were in the homes of those members who were wealthy or able to accommodate them. Thus, at Colossi the congregation met in the house of Philemon (Philemon 1:2). At Ephesus the congregation initially met in the school of Tyrannus (Acts 19:9) before later meeting in the house of Aquila and Prisca (1 Corinthians 16:19, Romans 16:5). At Corinth the church met initially in the house of Justus (Acts 18:7), and later in the house of Gaius, as the congregation grew in number (Romans 16:23). At Laodicea one congregation met in the house of Nympha (Colossians 4:15). In Philippi the early believers probably met in the house of Lydia (Acts 16:15). In Thessalonica the first converts probably met in the house of Jason (Acts 17:5). This was the way Jesus Christ commanded His disciples in Matthew 10:11-13 to find a place of rest during their travels, by staying in the homes of those who received their message.

Matthew 10:11-13, “And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.”

1 Corinthians 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

1 Corinthians 16:20 “Greet ye one another with an holy kiss” Comments - The Oriental custom of greeting with a kiss was practiced within the Jewish culture and the early Church. [191] Paul’s charge to salute, or greet, the brethren with a holy kiss is also found in the closing remarks of three other Pauline epistles as well as 1 Peter, where it is called a “kiss of love.”

[191] James D. G. Dunn, Romans 1-8, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 38A (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), comments on Romans 16:16.

Romans 16:16, “Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.”

2 Corinthians 13:12, “Greet one another with an holy kiss.”

1 Thessalonians 5:26, “Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.”

1 Peter 5:14, “Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

1 Corinthians 16:21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.

1 Corinthians 16:21 Comments - Paul wrote his salutations as a signature of authenticity (2 Thessalonians 3:17) just like we place our signature today at the end of a document. He may have written entire epistles as indicated in Philemon 1:19. However, there are indications in six of his epistles that Paul used an amanuensis to write most of his letters.

Romans 16:22, “I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 16:21, “The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.”

Galatians 6:11, “Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.”

Colossians 4:18, “The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.”

2 Thessalonians 3:17, “The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.”

Philemon 1:19, “I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.”

1 Corinthians 16:22-24 Final Benediction In 1 Corinthians 16:22-24 Paul writes the final benediction to his first epistle to the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

1 Corinthians 16:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

1 Corinthians 16:23 Comments (1) - In a similar way that the early apostles were instructed by Jesus to let their peace come upon the home of their host (Matthew 10:13), so did Paul the apostle open every one of his thirteen New Testament epistles with a blessing of God’s peace and grace upon his readers. Matthew 10:13 shows that you can bless a house by speaking God's peace upon it.

Matthew 10:13, “And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.”

This practice of speaking blessings upon God’s children may have its roots in the Priestly blessing of Numbers 6:22-27, where God instructed Moses to have the priests speak a blessing upon the children of Israel. Now Paul closes his first epistle to the Corinthians by restating the blessing that he opened his epistle with in 1 Corinthians 1:3.

1 Corinthians 16:23 Comments (2) - In 1 Corinthians 16:23 Paul basically commends them into the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, in much the same way that he did in the book of Acts. We find this statement at the end of all of Paul’s epistles.

Acts 14:23, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”

Acts 20:32, “And now, brethren, 1 Commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

1 Corinthians 16:24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

1 Corinthians 16:24 “Amen” Comments - In the Textus Receptus the word “Amen” is attached to the end of all thirteen of Paul’s epistles, as well as to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, and to the General Epistles of Hebrews , 1 and 2 Peter , 1 and 2 John, and to the book of Revelation. However, because “Amen” is not supported in more ancient manuscripts many scholars believe that this word is a later liturgical addition. For example, these Pauline benedictions could have been used by the early churches with the added “Amen.”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 16". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/1-corinthians-16.html. 2013.
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