Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 6

Bengel's Gnomon of the New TestamentBengel's Gnomon

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verse 1

1 Corinthians 6:1 . Τολμᾷ , dare ) Treason against Christians is denoted, by this high-sounding word. τὶς , any one ) even one single person. κρίνεσθαι ) in the middle voice, that is κρίμα ἔχειν , obtain a judgment, go to law , v. 7. ἀδίκων , before the unjust ) Every unbeliever is unjust; generally so, even as a citizen. ἐτὶ τῶν ἀγίων , before the saints ) Christians. The great privilege of believers was to settle even civil matters among themselves, and the magistrate ought not to interfere at all with private affairs, unless in the case of those who especially apply to him. The heathen magistrates were very indulgent to the Jews; and in this department no difference was hitherto made between the Jews and the Christians.

Verse 2

1 Corinthians 6:2 . Οὐκ οἴδατε , do you not know? ) This phrase is used with great force six times in this single chapter. The Corinthians knew, and rejoiced that they knew; but they were acting contrary to their knowledge. οἱ ἅγιοι , the saints ) being themselves first judged. τὸν κόσμον , the world ) all those who are not saints . The antithesis is to, the smallest matters; comp. 1 Corinthians 3:22 . κρινοῦσι , they shall judge ) The future, comp. 1 Corinthians 6:3 ; Revelation 20:4 . The present, is judged , is interposed; comp. John 15:8 . The saints took possession of the civil authority also under Constantine the Great, which is the prelude of things to come. [ Scripture from time to time casts a ray of light on the most important affairs, as it were in passing. The proud despise such things; but the humble keep them laid up in their heart, with a truly sober mind. The majesty of the saints is hidden, but it will be revealed at its proper time . V. g.] ἐν , in [46] ) Comp. Acts 17:31 . ἀνάξιόι ἐστε , are ye unworthy ) The figure Communicatio. [47]

[46] In the person of ; by . ED.

[47] See Append. An appeal to the reader’s own candour to decide.

Verse 3

1 Corinthians 6:3 . Ἀγγέλους , angels ) Those who are not holy [referring to saints ], and so also wicked men. The article is not added; a gradation in respect of the world [ i.e. an ascending climax, arguing a fortiori; if angels , much more the world ]. βιωτικὰ , things belonging to life ) worthless if they be compared with angels.

Verse 4

1 Corinthians 6:4 . Τοὺς ἐξουθενημένους ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ ) those who are even least esteemed in the church , any persons whatever rather than the heathen. Every one, even the least, is capable of taking on him the decision of even the greatest interests in external affairs [ and therefore is able to come to a decision, not indeed according to the ancient laws of the heathens, but on the true principles of equity. V. g.] Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:28 , 1 Corinthians 11:22 , and therefore καθίζετε , set ye , is the imperative. [ It was not, however, to be thought of to give way at all in that matter to the jurisdiction of heathen judges . V. g.]

Verse 5

1 Corinthians 6:5 . Πρὸς ἐντροπὴν , to your shame ) The puffed up spirit [ch. 1Co 5:2 ] of the Corinthians is hereby checked: Comp. 1 Corinthians 15:34 . σοφὸς , a wise man ) They admired wisdom on other occasions, and wisdom produces the ability for judging between brethren in deciding causes. οὐδὲ εἷς , not even one ) Even the least among believers is a wiser and more desirable judge than an ungodly man. δυνἠσεται ) the future; shall be able if he be applied to. διακρῖναι ) to determine between parties. It differs from κρῖναι , to judge . ἀδελφοῦ , a brother ) The singular for the plural, to denote how easy a matter it is; he wishes that the plaintiff and the defendant should settle the dispute between themselves, without any interference on the part of the judge.

Verse 6

1 Corinthians 6:6 . Καὶ τοῦτο , and that ) So also καὶ ταῦτα , v. 8; Hebrews 11:12 .

Verse 7

1 Corinthians 6:7 . Ὅλως ) A particle implying a feeling; comp. ch. 1 Corinthians 5:1 [note]: it is opposed by implication to μηδόλως . You ought to have no cases ὄλως , at all , against one another, but you have ὅλως , after all, notwithstanding . ἥττημα , [ a fault ] defect ) even on the part of him, who has the juster cause, and thinks he has the superior cause [Matthew 5:39 .] He does not say, sin , yet this readily is added in such cases, 1 Corinthians 5:8 ; defect [ fault ] and praise are in opposition; comp. 1 Corinthians 11:17 , note. Praise is not indeed expressly found in this passage. Some such antithetic word, however, is intended, because he does not expressly use the term, sin , either. The thing which is praised , is something as it were more blooming and uncommon than the mere action agreeable to the law. So in its opposite. ὑμῖν , to you ) There is a similar dative in 1 Corinthians 15:32 . [48] μᾶλλον , rather ) all men do not understand this word rather . Many desire neither to injure nor to be injured. They do not attempt to inflict an injury, which is a mere pretence to moderation in regard to justice. ἀδικεῖσθε ) suffer wrong , in the Middle voice; as ἀποστερεῖσθε .

[48] Κρίματα , trials ) Although concerning a cause not unjust. V. g.

Verse 8

1 Corinthians 6:8 . Ὑμεῖς , ye ) Emphatic. The Antithesis is to those, from whom they ought rather to suffer injury. ἀδικεῖτε , ye do injury ) by taking away. ἀποστερεῖτε , ye defraud ) by refusing [to give back a trust] and retaining. ἀδελφοὺς , brethren ) This increases the fault.

Verse 9

1 Corinthians 6:9 . Ἣ ) Latin an [ or; the second part of a disjunctive interrogation]. ἄδικοι , unrighteous ) Comp. 1 Corinthians 5:8 . βασιλείαν Θεοῦ , the kingdom of God ) In this kingdom righteousness flourishes. οὐ κληρονομήσουσι , they shall not inherit ) because they are not the sons of God. μὴ πλανᾶσθε , be not deceived ) by yourselves and others. πόρνοι ἅρπαγες , fornicators extortioners ) Scandalous crimes common at Corinth, 2 Corinthians 12:20-21 ; at Rome, Romans 13:13 ; in Galatia, Galatians 5:19-20 : at Ephesus, 1 Timothy 1:9-10 : and in Crete, Titus 1:12 . This remark applies to the act of fornication , etc., and much more to the habit. εἰδωλολάτραι , idolaters ) Idolatry is placed between fornication and adultery, for, it usually had these crimes joined to it. μαλακοὶ , effeminate ) Even the hand in the deepest solitude ought to be chaste, a necessary warning to youth.

Verse 11

1 Corinthians 6:11 . Ταῦτα , such ) The Nominative neuter for the masculine; or the accusative with κατα understood, as ἶσα , Philippians 2:6 : Even the accusative as an adverb may be construed with the substantive verb to be . ἀλλὰ ἀπελούσασθε , ἀλλὰ ἡγιάσθητε , ἀλλʼ ἐδικαιώθητε , but ye have been washed, but ye have been sanctified, but ye have been justified ) you have been set entirely free from fornication and sins of impurity, in regard to yourselves; from idolatry and impiety against God; from unrighteousness against your neighbour, and that too, in relation both to the guilt and dominion of sin: chap. 1Co 5:7 ; 1 Corinthians 5:10 . ἡγιάσθητε , you have been sanctified ) a man is called holy in respect to God. ἐδικαιώθητε , ye have been justified ) corresponds to, the unrighteous , 1 Corinthians 6:9 . I was formerly unwilling to commit to paper, what emphasis the apostrophe in ἀλλʼ adds to this verb more than to the two preceding (comp. 2Co 7:11 ), lest some one should hiss me. Consider however the antithesis, the unrighteous . Without an apostrophe, ἀλλὰ is emphatic, but when ἀλλʼ has the apostrophe, the accent and emphasisfall upon the verb, (which stands in opposition to that fault, which is reproved at 1 Corinthians 6:7 , etc.,) namely, on the word ἐδικαιώθητε , ye are justified , because the discourse here is directed against [injustice] unrighteousness; and so in 2 Corinthians 7:11 . [ ἀλλʼ is apostrophised before] ἐκδικησιν , revenge , for this is a principal part of the zeal , previously spoken of, arising from holy sorrow; add Mark 2:17 . ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι , in the name ) From this name we have the forgiveness of sins. ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι , by the Spirit ) From this Spirit, the new life. ἡμῶν , of our ) For these reasons, he shows them, that there is now no longer any hinderance to their becoming heirs of the kingdom of God.

Verse 12

1 Corinthians 6:12 . Πάντα , all things ) The apostle takes care that no one should abuse those remarks of his, which he was soon about to make concerning meats and the belly; comp. 1 Corinthians 10:23 . The expression, all things , is to be referred to what follows; not to fornication, although this is the principal subject of his argument; but to a subject accessory and incidental, in regard to the eating of meats, on which he treats also below, 1 Corinthians 10:29 . On that same point it is repeated, that all things are lawful to me, which can be lawful at all. μοι , to me ) Paul often speaks in the first person singular, which has the force of a gnome [or moral maxim ], especially in this epistle, 1 Corinthians 6:15 ; 1Co 7:7 ; 1 Corinthians 8:13 ; 1 Corinthians 10:23 ; 1 Corinthians 10:29-30 ; 1 Corinthians 14:11 . To me, i.e. , the Corinthians ought to think as I do . συμφέρει , are expedient ) We must above all consider, what may be expedient. ἔξεστιν ἐξουσιασθήσομαι ) Conjugate words. He, who does not freely use his legitimate power and liberty, steps aside from his own power, and passes into the power of another, for example, into that of a harlot , 1 Corinthians 6:15 ; comp. 1 Corinthians 7:4 . He would be a stupid traveller, who, though his road lay in the middle of the plain, would always walk on the bank of the river and at the very edge of the stream. And yet many so live, who pass even for godly men. The Power ought to be in the hands of the believer, not in the things, which he uses. [ Liberty good in itself is destroyed by its abuse , Galatians 5:13 ; 1 Peter 2:16 . V. g.] The very expression I will not [ οὐκ ἐγώ , not I ] has power , with application to the individual himself. Not I! another may venture it, so far as I am concerned. The believer establishes this principle in respect of himself: he says in respect of his neighbour, all things do not edify , 1 Corinthians 10:23 . τινὸς ) any thing Neuter, the same as πάντα .

Verse 13

1 Corinthians 6:13 . Τὰ βρώματα , meats ) viz. ἐστὶ . The conclusion drawn from the lawfulness of meats to that of lust has no weight. καὶ ταὑτην καὶ ταῦτα , both it and them ) Demonstrative, twice used concerning the present time; the it precedes, inasmuch as food is for [on account of] the belly. καταργήσει ) shall destroy; and that too, not merely in the same way as the body is destroyed at death; [49] from the antithesis of the belly and the body, it may be inferred, that there will be a difference of sexes even in the state similar to that of the angels. [50] Those things which shall be destroyed, considered in themselves, have their use unrestricted [free], Colossians 2:20 , etc., Mark 7:18 , [whatsoever thing from without entereth a man] cannot [defile him]. Now [ δἐ , whereas ] is here and in the following verse elegantly put instead of for; for a severer denunciation [“God shall destroy both it,” etc.] is subjoined to the concession [“meats for the belly,” etc.]; a joyful declaration [God will raise up us also, etc.], to the prohibition [the body is not for fornication]. He will raise up , directly corresponds from the antithetic side to, He will destroy . τὸ δὲ σῶμα , now [but] the body ) The body here is not opposed to the belly [alvo], but to meats. [51] ΠΟΡΝΕΊᾼ , for fornication ) an abstract noun. τῷ Κυρίῳ , for the Lord ) Christ. The body is His due, for He Himself assumed the body, and hath thereby sanctified us; and we are joined to Him by the resurrection of the body. τῷ σώματι , for the body ) How great honour!

[49] The destruction of meats and the belly will be a permanent destruction. ED.

[50] For though the belly is to be for ever destroyed, not so the body . ED.

[51] The Germ. Vers., however, thinks that the body is opposed to the belly [ventri], and it has on the margin these words: The body is much more noble than the belly. E. B.

Verse 14

1 Corinthians 6:14 . Ἤγειρε ἐξεγερεῖ , hath raised and will raise ) [Paul introduces here in the way of prelude those topics, which he was to discuss more fully and distinctly in ch. 15 V. g.] The simple verb is appropriately applied to [Christ] the first fruits, the compound, of rare occurrence, to the general mass of them that sleep. Εξ in composition often signifies consummation. The practical application from the resurrection of our flesh is, sin once committed in the flesh will never be undone. διὰ , by ) Paul would rather connect this with the mentioning of the resurrection, than with that of destruction. δυνάμεως , power ) who then can doubt? God is omnipotent.

Verse 15

1 Corinthians 6:15 . Σώματα , bodies ) whether regard is had to the whole or the parts. ἄρας οὖν τὰ μέλη τοῦ Χριστοῦ ποιήσω πόρνης μέλη ;) Some copies have ἄρα for ἄρας ; [52] Paul often says ἌΡΑ ΟὖΝ , but in such places where the conclusion is subjoined, after a somewhat long discourse. ἌΡΑς is more suitable to this place, and they have it, whose testimony is of highest value, among whom is Irenæu [53] : and there is the utmost ἘΝΆΡΓΕΙΑ , graphic power , in this participle, depicting as it were the baseness of the thing: taking away , spontaneously alienating the members of Christ, shall I make them the members of a harlot? So the participle φέρων is often redundant, of which I have spoken, on Chrysost. de Sacerdot. p. 394, at the passage, ΦΈΡΩΝ ἙΑΥΤῸΝ ΚΑΤΕΚΡΉΜΝΙΣΕ , he took and threw himself down . ποιήσω , shall I make? ) For they cannot be at the same time the members of a harlot and of Christ .

[52] So ABCD ( Λ ), Orig. 1, 520 c : ‘tollens’ in f . Vulg. Iren. Lucif.: ‘auferens’ in Cypr.: “an tollens” in g . Ἢ ἄρα is read by G. ED.

[53] renæus (of Lyons, in Gaul: born about 130 A.D., and died about the end of the second century). The Editio Renati Massueti, Parisinæ, a. 1710.

Verse 16

1 Corinthians 6:16 . Ὁ κολλώμενος τῇ πόρνῃ , he who is joined to a harlot ) A syllepsis, [54] i.e. [by this figure, there being mentally understood] the harlot and he who is joined to her; for so the predicate, is one body , appropriately is in accordance [with such a double subject]; and the expression, these two [ οἱ δύο ], agrees with this view. ἜΣΟΝΤΑΙ , they shall be ) This is said in the first instance of husbands and wives; and, by parity of reasoning, is applied to those, who become one flesh without a conjugal covenant. By covenant the woman becomes the wife of the husband before the husband is joined (carnally) to her; and the reason, why their union is indissoluble, chiefly rests on this circumstance; otherwise even the union of men with harlots would also be indissoluble.

[54] See Appendix.

Verse 17

1 Corinthians 6:17 . Τῷ Κυρίῳ , to the Lord ) Christ. It is the same syllepsis [the Lord and he who is joined to Him are, etc.] ἓν πνεῦμα , one spirit ) so closely, as husband and wife are one body. Make this your experience.

Verse 18

1 Corinthians 6:18 . Φεύγετε τὴν πορνείαν , flee fornication ) Severity with disgust; flee , for danger is near. πᾶν ἁμάρτημα , every sin ) even gluttony and drunkenness; comp. 1 Corinthians 5:13 ; even self-murder [ even idolatry, however much more grievous the sin may otherwise be . V. g.] It is a more serious matter to abuse the members of Christ, than food or wine, and the belly: and the body of a fornicator is more debased by the agency of a flagitious deed, than the carcase even of the man who has perished by his own hand. The comparison at Proverbs 6:30 , etc., is not unlike this. ἐκτὸς , without ) a man indeed sins with the body and by the body, but not εἰς against the body; the sin is not terminated in his body; and he certainly injures, but does not alienate the body, he rather sins against the κοιλίαν , belly , than against the body , as the apostle makes the distinction. Such moral sentiments are not to be harshly pushed to extremes, nor in their utmost ἀκρίβειᾳ , strictness . The viscera, which stand in a peculiar relation to the animal economy, seem likely to be destroyed permanently, and not to be restored at the resurrection. The Scripture refers much to the bones, as to the solid parts, in respect of good and evil, of punishment and reward; whence it is no vain conjecture, that the most intense pain, and so also the most intense degree of joy and pleasure, will be in the bones.

Verse 19

1 Corinthians 6:19 . Ἣ ) a particle denoting the second part of a disjunctive interrogation. The expression, his own , 1 Corinthians 6:18 , is in this ver. sweetly limited. Our body is so constituted, as that it may be the temple of God, i.e. His peculiar and perpetual habitation. τοῦ ἐν ὑμῖν , which is in you ) This expression assigns the reason [ætiology. end.]. The Holy Spirit is in you; therefore you are His temple. οὗ ) whom , the Spirit. καὶ οὐκ ἐστὲ ἑαυτῶν , and ye are not your own ) This appropriately follows, but yet it is connected more closely with, ye are bought , and in its construction, it also depends on ὅτι , because .

Verse 20

1 Corinthians 6:20 . Ἠγοράσθητε , ye are bought ) You are entirely in the power of another. To sell is used for to alienate; to buy for to claim for one’s self , and here too with propriety; for the mention of a price is added. τιμῆς , with a price ) This word has thus much greater force, than if an epithet were added. So also 1 Corinthians 7:23 . δοξάσατε , glorify ) An Epiphonema [an exclamation subjoined to a weighty argument. Appen.] They are in error, who think that God should be only internally, or only externally worshipped. ἐν τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν , [55] in your body ) Romans 12:1 ; Philippians 1:20 .

[55] The words which follow to the end of this clause, are declared by the margin of both Ed. as a reading not genuine; wherefore, also, in the German Vers., they are only within a parenthesis. Not. Crit. on this passage agrees to it: ὑμῶν , περὶ ) a sure reading; the question here is about the use and abuse of the body. E. B.

Rec. Text adds καὶ ἐν τῷ πνεύματι ὑμῶν ἅτινα ἐστὶν τοῦ Θεοῦ . Both Syr. Vers. alone of the oldest authorities support this reading. But ABC corrected later, D corr. lat., G Vulg. fg Iren. Cypr. Lucif. Memph. omit the words. ED.

Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.