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Friday, July 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 16

Layman's Bible CommentaryLayman's Bible Commentary

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Verses 1-24


1 Corinthians 16:1-24

The final chapter explains itself, almost. The "contribution for the saints" refers to a great project of which we hear more in 2 Corinthians 8, 9: a great united act of sharing, in which the new Gentile churches were to contribute to the needs of the now famine-ridden and poverty-stricken church in Pales­tine. Paul asked nothing for himself, but the needs of those saints in Jerusalem were much on his mind.

Note (vs. 9) that the fact that he had enemies in Ephesus strikes Paul as a good reason for staying, not leaving!

The mention of Apollos (vs. 12) is the last we hear of this man. Paul, writing in Greek, does not say it was not Apollos’ will to visit Corinth. He says it was not "the will" (literal trans­lation)—presumably the will of God.

To the end, Paul holds up love as the guide of life. It is not a soft, easygoing love; he connects it with strength, with the qualities of a soldier (vs. 13). Indeed, verses 13 and 14 could be taken as a summary of ideal Christian character.

The "holy kiss" was the special use in the Church (among men, not between men and women) of a common form of greeting in the ancient Near East. It was later called the "kiss of peace" and was replaced by a handclasp. In this form it is used today by the Church of South India.

After dictating most of the letter Paul adds his own short para­graph in his own handwriting at the end. He puts out of the Christian fellowship, so far as he is concerned, not those with an imperfect creed but those without love for the Lord. Love is still the guide of life. Paul even sends his own love after he has pronounced the benediction.

Is this conceited? The grace of the Lord Jesus and my love be with you! On the contrary, it is a good way to end. It is easy to love our fellow men and fellow Christians, sitting in church, before the benediction; it is love after the benediction that counts.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 16". "Layman's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lbc/1-corinthians-16.html.
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