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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 16

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and HomileticalLange's Commentary

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Verses 1-24



1 Corinthians 16:0

1Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to [arranged 2throughout, διέταξα] the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the [every, χατὰμίαν] first day of the week1 let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him [whatsoever has gone well with him, ὅ τι ἅν εὐοδῶται], that there be no gatherings when I come. 3And when I come [am arrived, παραγένωμαι], whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, [om. by your letters] them will I send [with letters] to 4bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. And [But, δὲ] if it be meet that I go [worth my going, ἅξιον τοῦ χἀμὲ πορέυεσθαι] also, they shall go with me. 5Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: For I do pass through Macedonia. 6And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you [in order, ἴνα], that ye may bring me on my journey [send me forward, προπέμψητε, om. on my journey] whithersoever I go. 7For I will not [I do not wish to, οὐ θέλω] see you now by the way; but2 I trust [for I hope, ἐλπίζω γὰρ] to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit [shall have permitted me, ἐπιτρέψῃ].3 8But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. 9For a great door and effectual is [has been, ἀνέῳγε] opened unto me, and there are 10many adversaries. Now [But, δὲ] if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. 11Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth [send him forward] in peace, [in order, ἵνα] 12that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren. [But] As touching our [the] brother Apollos, I greatly4 desired him [besought him much, πολλὰπαρεκάλεσα] 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. 13Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 14Let all your things [every thing you 15do] be done with charity [in love, ἐν ὰγάπῃ]. [But] I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have 16addicted themselves to the ministry [the service] of the saints,) That ye [also, χαῖ] submit yourselves [be subject, ὑποτáςςησθε] unto such, and to every oneth at helpeth 17with us, and laboureth. I am glad of the coming [But I rejoice at the presence, χαίρω δὲ ἐπὶ τῃ παρουσίᾳ] of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part [the want of you, τὸ ὑμέτερον5 ὑστέρημα] they6 have [om. have, ἀνεπλήρωσαν] supplied. 18For they have [om. have, ὰνέπαυσαν] refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such. 19The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla7 [Prisca, ΙΙρίςχα] salute8 you much in the Lord, with the church [congregation, ἐχχλησίᾳ] that is in their house. 20All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with a holy kiss. 21The salutation of me Paul with my own hand. 22If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ [om. Jesus Christ],9 let him be Anathema, Maranatha. 23The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ10 be with you. 24My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen [om. Amen].11

The first epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi by Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus, and Timotheus. [om. this whole subscription.]12


1 Corinthians 16:1-4. [“The conclusion of this Epistle, as of that to the Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Timothy, is taken up with matters more or less personal and secular. Of these the first is the collection amongst the Gentile churches for the poorer Christians in Judea. From whatever cause, there was at this period much poverty in Palestine, compared with the other eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. The chief allusions contained in the apostolical Epistles, to the duties of the rich towards the poor, are those which we find in connection with the contribution here mentioned. And in the Epistle of St. James and that to the Hebrews, both addressed, if not to Judea, at least to Jewish communities. And with this agrees the great stress laid in the Gospels on the duty of alms-giving. We learn also, from the account of the last struggle for independence in Josephus, how deeply the feelings of the poor were embittered against the rich in Jerusalem, so as to give to the intestine factions of that time something of the character of a social war. This was, in part, occasioned by the greater density of population in Palestine, compared with the thinly inhabited tracts of Greece and Asia Minor; in part by the strongly marked distinction of rich and poor, which had been handed down to the Jews from the earlier periods of their history, where we are familiar with it from the denunciations of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Nehemiah. The Christians, besides, were, as a general rule, from the poorer classes (James 2:5), and would be subject to persecutions and difficulties, on account of their religion (Hebrews 10:24). From the mention of the poor as a distinct class in the Christian church, in Acts 9:36, and in the passages relating to the contribution now in question, it would seem that the community of property at Jerusalem must have either declined or failed of its object; and may have even contributed to occasion the great poverty which we thus find prevailing in the period of twenty or thirty years after its first mention. So pressing was the necessity at the time when St. Paul first parted from the church of Jerusalem, that an express stipulation was made in behalf of this very point (Galatians 2:10). ‘To remember the poor,’ was the one link by which the Apostle of the Gentiles was still bound to the churches of Judea. This pledge was given, probably, before his second journey. But it was not till his third and last journey that the preparations were made for the great contribution of which he now speaks. From this passage, confirmed indirectly by Galatians 2:10; Galatians 6:10, it would appear that he had first given orders for the collection in the churches of Galatia. From 2 Corinthians 8:10; 2 Corinthians 9:2, it also appears that the orders here given to the Corinthians had been received by them a year before the time of the Second Epistle, and therefore some months before this Epistle.” Stanley].

Now concerning the collection for the saints,—These words may either be connected with those immediately following, so as to be rendered, ‘as 1 gave order concerning the collection,’ etc. (comp. 12:1; 8:1; 2 Corinthians 9:1); or be taken absolutely, as in 1Co 16:12; 1 Corinthians 7:1. [“The περἰ δὲ, now concerning, rather serves to introduce the new subject than to form any constructional part of the sentence.” Alford. “Observe the beauty of the connection with what has gone before. The Apostle had just been preaching consolation to the faithful, from the certainty of a glorious resurrection of the body; and in accordance with our Lord’s declarations concerning works of mercy (Matthew 25:34-46) he had taken occasion from that doctrine to enforce the duty of laboring sted-fastly in the Lord in deeds of piety and charity, in order to a blessed immortality. He now applies that Christian doctrine and duty to a particular work, in which he himself was then engaged, and in which he desired to engage the Corinthians.” Wordsworth]. The entire form of the introduction, as well as the article before λογίας, the collection, indicates that he had spoken before in regard to the matter, and the Corinthians had, perhaps, inquired how they were to carry it forward. The word λογία no where else occurs in Scripture, [“and seems to have been Hellenistical and idiotical, it being rarely found in the classical writers.” Bloomfield]. The design of the collection is indicated by the preposition εἰς. The saints were the poor Christians in Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:3; Romans 15:26; comp. Acts 24:17). The mother church had been impoverished in part by the community of goods that took place soon after Pentecost, and in part by persecutions, and perhaps also ‘by contributions for the mission work among the dispersed’ (Osiander); and the support of it was an act of filial piety, calculated also to promote a brotherly union between the Jewish and Gentile Christians. The supposition that Paul wished to quiet the opposition of the Jewish Christians, who had been aroused against him, by this work of love (Cath.), is to be rejected as contrary to that simplicity of purpose manifest in this Epistle.—as I gave order to the churches of Galatia,—This order was issued probably during his residence among the Galatians (Acts 18:23); or it may have emanated from him at Ephesus. [Nothing of the sort appears in the Epistle to the Galatians; the allusion to it there (2:10) being only incidental]. The mention here of this order, thereby indicating what the Galatians were doing, was simply for the purpose of stimulating one church by the example of another. As Bengel remarks, “To the Corinthians he proposes the example of the Galatians; to the Macedonians, the example of the Corinthians; to the Romans that of the Corinthians and Macedonians (2 Corinthians 9:2; Romans 15:26). Great is the power of example.”—even so do ye also.—ποιήσατε—The aorist here imparts urgency to the exhortation. The thing is to be done at once; “bis dat, qui cito dat,” who gives quickly, gives twice.—Next comes the specific direction as to what they were to do.—Upon the first (day) of the week—κατὰ μία σαββάτον, lit. “upon one of the Sabbath.” σάββατου, a designation for the week, occurring also in Luke 18:12. μία, one, is for πρώτη, first; a Hebraism, אֶחָד בַּשַּבַּת (Lightfoot on Matthew 28:1). “This passage is important as the first in which there occurs any trace of a distinction put upon the first day of the week, as our Lord’s resurrection day. Certainly we cannot find here any special observance of the day, as Osiander does.” Neander. Inasmuch as he says nothing of laying by in the church assembly, it does not follow from what is here said, that the churches convened on that day. All that can be inferred is that this day of the resurrection of our Lord was for the Christians a holy day, out of which all other observances of the sort naturally develop themselves.—let each one of you lay up by himself,—παῤ ἑαυτῷ, at home (comp. πρὸς ἑαυτόν Luke 24:12); [like the French chez soi (Rob. Lex. under πάρα), or the German bei sich selbst (as Luther’s version gives it). The phrase is therefore conclusive against the prevailing opinion that the collection was taken up in the church. It was an individual and private affair. “This is confirmed by the exhortation in allusion to the same subject, in 2 Corinthians 9:7, ‘Every man, according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.’ ”13 Stanley].—treasuring up—From the fact that something was laid aside every Sunday, there would naturally result an accumulation, νησανρός, hence the part. νησαυρίζων, [rendered in the E. V. “in store. ”].—whatever he has been prospered in,—ὅ, τι ἅν εὐωδῶται; [ὅ, τι is for καθ’ ὁ̓, or καθῶς, according as, or, in respect to whatever. The addition of ἄν gives it a general and potential character; εν̓ωδεῖσθαι, lit. ‘to be set forward on a journey’]; hence, ‘what he has gained by the success of business.’ This he regards as a devine blessing, which he would have redound to the benefit of their needy brethren [as may be seen from the use of the passive implying the reception of some good from a source too obvious to require mention]. The object of this gradual accumulation was, as he says,—in order that there may be no gatherings when I come.—By this preliminary work, the whole business of collection would be lightened, the voluntariness of the contribution be preserved, a greater amount perhaps collected, and time gained. [The order of the Greek would indicate an emphasis not observed in the English translation], ‘in order that when I come, then there may be no collections made,’ as though he wanted the time of his next visit for something more important. The taking up of the collection, though a very important part of his business, was still only incidental to the far greater one of preaching the Gospel. Hodge draws another argument from this, in favor of the position that this passage is proof of an early observance of the Lord’s day for worship. “But if every man had his money laid by at home, the collection would be still to be made. The probability is, therefore, Paul intended to direct the Corinthians to make a collection every Lord’s day for the poor, when they met for worship.” There is some force in this. But must not this be interpreted in consistency with the settled meaning of παῤ ἑαυτῷ, and it be supposed to mean, as Barnes says, “that there should be no trouble in collecting the small sums; that it should all be prepared; and all persons be ready to hand over to him what he had laid by?” Or, while the “laying by” was to be at home weekly, may not “the treasuring up “refer to the depositing of the sum in the church treasury at some time previous to Paul’s arrival, so that it should be there ready for him. This seems the fairest method of interpretation].—And when I have arrived—He here goes on to mention some further arrangements respecting the guardianship of the collection, [as it were to pledge in advance the utmost care of what might be bestowed, and to preclude any allegations on the part of his enemies of any personal interest in the matter].—whomsoever ye may approve—(οὒς ἐάν, 6:18). δοκομάσητε, ‘approve after suitable examination.’ [“The Corinthians themselves were to choose their agents, probably to prevent the possibility of misappropriation, as others had been chosen for a like purpose by the other churches. See 2 Corinthians 8:18-20, ‘And we have sent with him the brother avoiding this that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us.’ ” Stanley]. Thus all suspicion would be obviated.—by letters, them will I send—δἰ ἐπιστολῶν is not to be joined with what precedes [as in E. V. and by Beza, Calvin, and Chrys.] (quos Hierosolymitanis per epistolas commendaveritis), but with what follows. It is prefixed by way of emphasis; also perhaps in allusion to the other possible alternative mentioned in the next verse, which was already in mind. These letters would be for the purpose of accrediting the messengers, and commending them and their object to friends at Jerusalem. [“Hence, we see how common Paul’s practice was of writing epistles. And who knows how many private letters of his, not addressed to churches, have been lost? The only letter of the kind, which remains to us (except the Pastoral Epistles), viz., that to Philemon, owes its preservation perhaps to the mere circumstance that it is at the same time addressed to the church in the house of Philemon (1 Corinthians 16:2).” Meyer].—to convey your favor.—χάριν, used by metonymy for your ‘charity,’ or ‘token of love.’ (Plato: εὐεργεσία ἑκούσιος); likewise in 2 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 8:19. To this he adds another proposal, conditioned upon the magnitude of the collection, is making the thing worth while.—But if it should be worth my going also,i.e., ‘the collection, or its gross amount be large enough to warrant my taking such a journey in person;’ for only this would justify his participating in the thing. He says this from a just sense of his dignity as an apostle; and it by no means conflicts with a real humility. [“A just estimate of one’s self is not pride.” Bengel]. To ascribe his readiness to accompany the gift to a desire, either to look after its distribution, or to secure for himself by means of it a kind reception, is altogether gratuitous. He intimates nothing of the sort. But it were reasonable to suppose that he took this as a delicate way of stimulating them to make the collection as large as possible. That he actually carried out this purpose, may be seen from Romans 15:25; comp. Acts 21:0 (although nothing is said here of the collection).

1 Corinthians 16:5-9. Taking up his declaration in 1 Corinthians 16:3, about being present with them, he here explains himself more fully in regard to his purpose, especially as to the time of his visit. His earlier plan, which he did not carry out (2 Corinthians 1:23), was, as we see from 2 Corinthians 1:15, a very different one. [It was to go to Macedonia by way of Corinth, and then to return to them at Corinth. This he had made known to them either by the lost Epistle, or by an oral message. But now he tacitly drops this, (thereby exposing himself to a charge of levity of purpose, 2 Corinthians 1:17 ff.), and proceeds to state another, reversing the order of his going, to Corinth round by way of Macedonia]. That here announced he did execute (comp. 2Co 2:13; 2 Corinthians 8:1; 2Co 9:2; 2 Corinthians 9:4; 2Co 2:1; 2 Corinthians 12:14; 2 Corinthians 13:1). [Here we find him already in Macedonia, when the 2 Epistle to them was written; and in Acts 20:1 ff. there is an account of his journey].—Now I will come to you when I have passed through Macedonia;—[And this he was to do without stopping by the way, as may be seen in the next sentence, which is not to be read, as it often is, parenthetically, as though repeating in a positive manner what had been just mentioned as a condition of time].—For I shall pass through Macedonia.—διέρχομαι is here present for the future; [and it must be read in its strictest ‘sense, q. d., I am going right through, as] it stands in contrast with the παραμενῶ of the next clause as indicated by δὲ.—But with you,—[π ρὸς ὑμᾶς comes first, because designed to express the antithesis to Μακεδονίαν].—it may be,—τυχόν shows his determination was not settled. He takes into account circumstances which might possibly prevent his doing as he desired.—I shall tarry, or even pass the winter,—As his language in speaking of his plan breathes an affectionate and winning spirit, so he goes on in what follows, where the position of the words is expressive of feeling.—in order that ye—in preference to every other church,—may send me forward whithersoever I may go.—In this way he shows how very close to his heart they stood. It was a custom, as may be learned from many passages, (Romans 15:24; Acts 15:3; Acts 17:15; 3 John 1:6), for members of the Church to show their respect and love by accompanying the ministers that went from them, a little way on their journey, probably by a deputation chosen from their number, οὐ [with a verb of motion], for ὅποι, Luke 10:1. [The adverb of rest is joined with a verb of motion in a pregnant way, to signify the place of rest after the motion is accomplished. See Jelf. Gr. Gram., § 647, 6, 3, a. προπέμπειν, to send forward, a common expression for denoting that helpful attendance on departing guests which was wont to be done in token of regard].—For I am not willing at this time to see you by the way;i.e., ‘only make you a flying visit. Inasmuch as ἄρτι does not stand before οὐ θέλω, it is evident, he is not here speaking of any change of plan in regard to his journey, as though his previous wish had been to see them only in passing. And since it reads ἄρτι and not πάλιν, there is nothing to warrant the inference that he made a brief earlier visit. The reason of the determination just expressed he next gives.—for I hope to tarry a while with you,—An expectation which the appearance of things, as they then were, seemed to warrant. πρὸε ὑμᾶς=παῤ ὑμῖν, as in 1 Corinthians 16:6; comp. 11, 3.—if the Lord permit.—An expression of that pious feeling which always led him to realize his dependence on the will of the Lord in whatsoever he undertook. [Comp. James 4:15. “For that ye ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that”—a condition which the early Christians were wont to append to all expressions of their determination in reference to anything future, in the deep consciousness that all events were under the direction of that God to whose will it was their purpose ever to submit. With finite creatures no resolution can or ought to be absolute. Every act is conditioned on Him who is the sole absolute Sovereign]. He now states his plans still further.—But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.—[In this revelation of his intentions Chrysostom detects an indication of his confidence and affection toward the Corinthians]. There is no reason to infer from Acts 20:1, as Osiander does, that he left Ephesus earlier than the time mentioned in consequence of the uproar occasioned by Demetrius. Two reasons are assigned for his tarrying.—For a door has been opened before me,—By the open door (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3; Revelation 3:8), he signifies the opportunity that was given him for laboring in the cause of Christ.—large—By this he indicates the extent of the opportunity before him. It was a wide field,—and effectual—By this he denotes the intensive aspect of it, or perhaps also the influence which his activity seemed destined to exert (Meyer). He here passes out from the figure to the real aspects of the case, and that, too, not in a logically consistent manner. Hence the reading ἐναργής (also in Philemon 1:6) which appears in the Latin authorities, and so the Vulgate has evidens [and the Rheims version, evident]. The meaning is, that there was a rich opportunity for labor, and that, too, of the most abundant and energetic sort. And is there not an intimation here also of the power of divine grace in opening the door (Osiander)? A second reason for lingering at Ephesus is,—and there (are) many adversaries.—The great success of the Apostle provoked strong opposition against Him. This only stimulated the Apostle, who felt himself strong in the Lord, to remain rather than to leave. [Besides, his presence was the more needful for the strength and support of the infant church, which he had gathered]. Neander, however, thinks that no motive is here assigned for a longer stay, but only that the Apostle intended to have the Corinthians infer from it that matters were not going so very comfortably with him, and that he was obliged to struggle with many obstacles. [“The opponents of the Gospel varied very much in character in different places. Those in Ephesus were principally men interested in the worship of Diana. The pressure of the heathen seemed to have driven the Jews and Christians to make common cause (Acts 19:22). Whereas, in Corinth Paul’s most bitter opposers were judaizers.” Hodge].

1 Corinthians 16:10-11. Now if Timothy come,—Timothy’s visit to Corinth was to precede his own (comp. 4:17). He, together with Erastus, had contemplated making a visitorial journey first to Macedonia (Acts 19:22). Him, therefore, he here commends to their friendly and re-spectful reception, and to their peaceful furtherance of him on his way. Instead of, “if he come,” he might have written ‘when’ he comes, thereby simply indicating the time of his arrival but in using the conditional form, he expresses some doubt in reference to his coming, in consequence of the uncertainties of the journey [“And though Paul had sent him forward thither, yet he had many churches in Macedonia to visit by the way.” Bloomfield].—see—βλἑπειν, to look to something, is generally followed by ἐις or πρός; but here by a clause beginning with ἵνα, signifying intention.—that he may be with you without fear:—This request refers not to protection from unbelievers, still less is it a warning against hostile attacks from opponents (Mosheim); but it is aimed rather a the haughty, overbearing conduct of proud partisan leaders, and their followers. He may also have had in mind Timothy’s timid nature. This request is supported by a reference to the high calling of Timothy.—for he worketh the I work of the Lord,—ἕργον τοῦ κυοίου. as in 15:58; it may mean either the work in which the Lord himself is engaged, or that which He has prescribed.—as I also do.—By this he expresses either a similarity of office, or that Timothy evinced the same zeal and fidelity to the cause of Christ which he also felt (Osiander). The first explanation would perhaps be the more correct. [Hodge combines them both]. Hereupon follows a more definite injunction.—Let no man therefore despise him:—whether it be on account of his youth (Tim. 4:12), or on account of his natural modesty (Burger, refering to 2 Timothy 1:6-7), or out of party zeal because he came from Paul.—but send him on—[In regard to the manner of sending on, see above, 1 Corinthians 16:6],—in peace,—These words are not to be connected with what follows (Flatt). They do not mean, simply, in safety and in good condition, but still more, ‘without annoyance,’ ‘with good understanding and kindly affection.’ And the object of this is,—that he may come to me:—And the reason for his coming to him, and not going elsewhere is,—for I am waiting for him with the brethren.—These brethren were not with the waiting Apostle, but with Timothy, who must have had other companions besides Erastus (comp. 1 Corinthians 16:12). It was common to send several (Meyer).

1 Corinthians 16:12.—As touching our brother Apollos,—περὶ Ἀπολλὡ, stands absolutely as 1 Corinthians 16:1. Each of the new topics of this Epistle being introduced by περί. In reference to Apollos see Int. No. 2; and also, i. 12; iii. 5 ff.; iv. 6 ff. That which he said in regard to the coming of Timothy prompts him to give information now respecting Apollos, because perhaps, of a wish that had been expressed in regard to him by the Corinthians.—I greatly exhorted him to come to you—He here wards off in advance all suspicion in regard to any reluctance of his own about the visit of Apollos at Corinth, and gives them to understand his perfect confidence in him, and the brotherly relations” which they mutually sustained, [notwithstanding the party strife that was waged under their names at Corinth. So far was he from desiring him to stay on this account, that he was urgent he should go; it may be in the hope that he might contribute something towards settling the difficulties. And here we have another illustration of the nobility of Paul’s spirit, his entire freedom from all petty jealousy and the loving confidence which he reposed in his fellow-workers]. Apollos must have been at this time at Ephesus.—ἵνα denotes not only the purport, but also the aim of his exhortation to Apollos. with the brethren:—These brethren are the ones mentioned in 1 Corinthians 16:11. [“Besides the mission of Timothy there was another later mission despatched at the time of his writing this Epistle with the view partly of carrying the Epistle and enforcing the observance of its contents, partly of urging upon the church the necessity of completing their contribution before the Apostle’s arrival (2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 12:18). This mission was composed of Titus and two other brethren (2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 8:22-23), whose names are not mentioned; Titus having been chosen for this, as Timothy for the other, probably from his greater energy and firmness of character. That the mission thus described is the one to which he here alludes can hardly be doubted. The words “exhort” and “brother” are used in the same emphatic and recognized sense in both passages; and as the mission there spoken of was previous to his writing the second Epistle, it can be referred to no occasion so obviously as that which is here described. These accordingly are “the brethren” who would, as he expected, find or wait for Timothy at Corinth, and return with him. It would seem, however, that the Apostle’s original wish had been, that the head of this mission should have been not Titus, but Apollos. Apollos, since his visit to Corinth (Acts 18:27, comp. with 1 Corinthians 3:6) must have returned to Ephesus; and he, both from the distinction which he enjoyed in the opinion of his fellow Christians, and from his previous acquaintance with the church at Corinth, would have been a natural person to send on such a mission. It is a slight confirmation of the identity of this mission with that of Titus, that the only later occasion on which the name of Apollos occurs in the New Testament is in the Epistle to Titus Titus 3:13, where they are spoken of as living together.” Stanley].—but (his) will was not at all to come at this time;—Some here take the word “will,” which stands without further designation, to mean ‘the will of God,’ appealing for support to the inconvenience mentioned in the next clause, and to the analogy of Rom. 12:28; but the context clearly shows the will of Apollos to have been meant. Here, too, ἵνα is not to be taken in the strict telic sense, but it simply indicates a degree of determination in the resolve taken. The reason of the unwillingness of Apollos to go to Corinth may have lain, partly, in his fear of encouraging the factions at Corinth, and, partly, in other duties which he regarded as more pressing. The latter seems to be indicated in the next clause.—but he will come when he shall have convenient time.—εὐκαιρεῖν, a word of later Greek, meaning to have opportunity, leisure, or occasion, for anything. Here, it refers, not to the removal of difficulties at Corinth, as though it meant, ‘when you have become united again’—but to other circumstances and engagements which were then holding him back.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14.—Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, act like men, be strong.—Hastening now to the close, he aims to impress upon his readers briefly and earnestly the duty of devoting themselves to the service of the Lord—whether he or Apollos were present to observe them, or not. This exhortation—called out; as Burger thinks, by the mention of Apollos, whose name might serve to awaken the recollection of matters already rebuked (1–3)—revolves around two main points, faith and love. Stedfastness in the faith essentially presupposes watchfulness—that Christian circumspection which keeps on the look-out for all attacks of treacherous foes, both from without and from within, abandons itself to no false security, and fortifies itself against temptation from whatsoever source (comp. 10:12). And this watchfulness is even associated with a wakeful, courageous, manly attitude, and with a summoning up of strength to resist the might of every foe. These two qualities are no less anevidence of faith, than they are the conditions of a true steadfastness. The expressions used, all imply the figure of a spiritual combat in which they are supposed to be engaged. The “standing” (στήκειν) here does not denote a standing in readiness for the fight, but a standing firm in it, and not suffering one’s self to be forced aside from that faith which is the basis of the Christian life—the fixed attitude of the warrior in the ranks or at his post (comp. 15:1, 58).—ἀνδριζεσθαι, to be manly, in deportment and action, occurs only here in the New Testament; elsewhere in he Classics and LXX. Josh. 1:21; 1Ma 2:64.—κραταιοῦσθε, be strong (comp. Ephesians 3:16. “Be strong in might through his spirit in the inward man”); in the older Greek, the word for this was κρατύνεσθαι. The word is suggestive of conflicts with open enemies, such as Jews and Heathen and also, of persecutions endured on account of the faith (Osiander).—Let all your things be done in love. After what he has said already, on the duty of love he needed only to express himself briefly on this point in concluding. The allusion is primarily to their divisions and strifes, q. d., ‘in all you do, instead of being governed by a selfish partisanship, suffer yourselves to be actuated by a love which looks to the well being of the brotherhood’ (comp. 13:1, 11; 11:18; 8:1; 10:24, 33). [“He says, ‘watch ye,’ as though they were sleeping; ‘stand fast,’ as though they were wavering; ‘be manly and strong,’ as though they were effeminate and delicate; ‘let all your things be done in love,’ as though they were at strife.” Chrys.]

1 Corinthians 16:15-18. After the above concluding exhortation he turns to speak of some personal matters. And first he enjoins a respectful behavior towards certain prominent members of the church and one in particular.—And I beseech you, brethren,—The particular point of his exhortation is introduced by ἵνα in the 16th verse; and what follows must be treated as a parenthesis, referring to what was already known by them and formed the motive for their complying with his request.—ye know,—ο ἴδατε; this cannot be a part of his exhortation, for the simple reason that it cannot be shown to be the imperative form for ἴστε.—the house of Stephanas that it is the first fruits of Achaia,i. e., the first in that province who were brought to the faith (comp. Romans 16:5, where the words “unto Christ” are added). From 1:16 we learn that Paul himself baptized this family, It was the first sheaf of a great spiritual harvest in Corinth, indeed in that whole region; hence a family most readily disposed toward the Gospel, and from which no doubt a saving influence emanated. As it distinguished itself in respect to faith, so also in respect to love.—and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.—The plural here occurs, because the term “house” is a collective noun. By “ministry” we are not to understand any official action such as is carried on in the capacity of a presbyter, for which indeed such first fruits were as a general thing preëminently fitted. There is nothing in the following verb “submit yourselves” to constrain us to this supposition, as though the meaning here were that the Corinthians should subject themselves to these persons just as other churches submit themselves to their rulers; rather the injunction here—That ye submit yourselves unto such—corresponds to what has just been said of the household of Stephanas: ‘as these had addicted themselves unto the ministry for the saints—a thing which involved a sort of submission so also do ye devote yourselves to them.’ In what way this ministry had been exercised is uncertain; probably in services of love to individuals such as the poor, the sick, in hospitality towards brethren visiting from abroad, and in the undertaking of various responsibilities in behalf of the church, as for example, the journey of Stephenas to Ephesus for the purpose of seeing Paul. The word ὑποτάσσεσθαι denotes not simply the showing of respect in general but like obsequi, following a person’s advice or opinion, conducting in accordance with their wishes. [“Nothing is more natural than submission to the good.” Hodge]. By the expression τοῖς, τοιούτοις he brings to view more prominently the excellent qualities of the parties referred to, q. d., ‘to persons of like excellence with these.’ That it does not refer to a class is evident from the clause appended,—and to every one that helpeth with us and laboreth.—It is debated to what the συν, with, in συνεργοῦντι is to be referred. There is nothing in the context to justify our referring it to God. Rather we are led to refer it to the apostle, and, next, to those just mentioned. The participle κωπιῶντι implies that this coöperation was an carnest and laborious one. [“Those who serve should be served.” Hodge]. He enforces his injunction in relation to the family of Stephanas by mentioning what he and the Corinthian brethren with him, Fortunatus and Achaicus, had done for himself, thereby enchancing their respect for these worthy men.—I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus:—These men had been sent as a deputation to him from Corinth, and had brought the letter alluded to in 7:1. In regard to them we can determine nothing more definitely. Whether it was the same Stephanas of whose family he had just spoken (as is probable), or a son of his; and whether the two others belonged to this family or not; and whether this Fortunatus was the same as the one mentioned in the first Epistle of Clemens to the Corinthians or another of the same name, is all uncertain. The reason of his joy at their presence was,—because your want they have supplied.—For a like expression see Philippians 2:30. But what are we to understand by the expression to τὸ ὑμέτερον ὑστέρημα, your want? It would be inconsistent with the whole spirit of this paragraph to suppose the Apostle to imply a bitter charge against them by translating the words, [as in the E. V.] “that which was lacking on your part,” as though they had failed in suitable tokens of love, or the like. It is better to take ὑμέτερον as the objective genitive (comp. 15:31), and translate ‘the want of you,’ i. e., your absence. This it is which was in part made up by the presence of these brethren. This is more fully explained in what follows—For they have refreshed my spirit and yours:—ἀναπαύειν, lit. to cause to rest, to relieve from care or trouble, and in general, to refresh (2 Corinthians 7:13; Matthew 11:28; Philemon 1:20). But how far did they refresh his spirit, and that of the Corinthians? The latter certainly, does not refer to any earlier services of love which these men had shown to the Corinthians; and just as little, to the assurances of love from the apostle which they carried back with them; since this was not contemporaneous with their refreshment of his spirit: hence, also, not to the influence which the information and assurances they had conveyed to him had had upon the shaping of this Epistle. The point is best explained upon the ground of a fellowship between the apostle and the church (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:3), q. d., ‘while they refreshed me, they also refreshed you.’ The quieting of his spirit by the information they had brought and by their personal presence which served to exhibit anew the love of the church toward him and awaken in him the hope of their improvement, must also have been beneficial for them; and the consciousness of a fellowship thereby renewed and strengthened must have proved exceedingly refreshing alike for them and for him (comp. Osiander and Meyer Exodus 3:0, who remarks, “that their interview with the Apostle must have been refreshing to the feelings of the whole church, inasmuch as they had come to him as representatives of the whole church.” As they through their presence had provided for Paul a sweet refreshment they had also done it for the church, which, by their means, had come into communion with him and was indebted to them for this refreshment, which must have been felt by it in the consciousness of this communion. [“However understood it is one of the examples of urbanity with which this Apostle’s writings abound.” Hodge]. To this he adds the exhortation—therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.—ἐπιγινώσκειν does not mean precisely to highly value, but to rightly recognize, viz.: in their true worth and according to their deserts, from which indeed esteem naturally follows. The reason for this is the thing of which he has just spoken—their services and the refreshment which had been administered by them both to himself and the church.

1 Corinthians 16:19-20. He presents a three-fold greeting whereby Christian fellowship is expressed and confirmed.—The churches of Asia salute you.—Asia is here to be understood, either in the narrowest sense as designating Ionia and the region round about Ephesus; or suitably to Roman usage then current, as applying to the whole region of Asia Minor bordering on the western coast, including Caria, Lydia, Mysia (Asia proconsularis). Since a regular intercourse was maintained between Ephesus and those regions, and since the apostle stood in living relations to the churches here planted, both by personal visits and by means of brethren visiting him from thence, it is probable that they sent greetings by him to the Corinthian church on his giving them information respecting it and announcing his intention of writing. Next comes a greeting from that excellent Christian couple who formerly tarried with him at Corinth, and were intimately connected with the Christian church there, but who had left and come to Ephesus (Acts 18:2; Acts 18:26). The greeting here is a hearty one, and founded upon a Christian fellowship.—Aquilla and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord,—As bound together by faith in a common Lord, they here send the benedictions of a fervent love.—and the Church that is in their house,i. e., not simply their numerous household, but that portion of the Ephesian church which was wont to assemble under their roof. Owing to the lack of accommodations, the larger churches, like those of Ephesus and Rome were obliged to divide, and meet in several rooms furnished by the more wealthy members.—All the brethren greet you.i. e., the Ephesian Christians collectively, apart from those just mentioned specifically. The fellowship thus extended from church to church, he next insists on their maintaining among themselves.—Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.—[“This was the conventional token of Christian affection. In the East the kiss was a sign either of friendship among equals, or of reverence and submission on the part of an inferior. The people kissed the images of their gods and the hands of princes.” Hodge]. This token the apostle would have them give to each other immediately upon their hearing the Epistle, as a pledge of their freshly awakened brotherly love, and in connection with the assurances of love conveyed to them in the salutations from abroad.—ἀσπάζεσθαι, to manifest a cordial love, especially at times of meeting and parting. “A holy kiss” means the token of Christian fellowship and holy love, as contrasted with that prompted by natural or impure affections. The expression occurs also in Romans 16:16; 2Co 13:12; 1 Peter 5:14. In the century following Christians were wont to welcome each other after prayers and at the love feasts and before the communion of the Lord’s Supper, men greeting men, and women women, as brethren and sisters. “The kiss which they were to give,” as Bengel observes, “was one in which all discord and dissention must be swallowed up.”

1 Corinthians 16:21-24. The salutation of (me) Paul with mine own hand.—As Paul commonly wrote by an amanuensis, he was accustomed to write with his own hand the concluding sentences of his Epistle by way of authenticating them (2 Thessalonians 3:17; Colossians 4:18). Accordingly he here appends his own greeting with his own hand in token of the genuineness of the Epistle. “The salutation,” as it were the main one—the greeting par eminence. Next follows, in the first place, an earnest word of warning, written still undoubtedly with his own hand.—If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ,—He here excludes all formal Christians from any part in his salutation and blessing. Since his language does not apply to those who are not Christians professedly, and nothing can be said about positive hatred to the Lord among Christians, the expression “love not” cannot be interpreted as equivalent to hate; but it is to be understood of decayed affection, which betrayed itself in party strife, as well as in fostering other carnal tendencies; and in doubting or denying different portions of Christian truth. “Wherefore does the Apostle speak thus here? Because in his view love to Christ is the very soul of the entire Christian life; and the Corinthians needed to be specially reminded of this love; for their divisions originated in the fact that the love of Christ did not sufficiently unite them.” Neander. φιλεῖν means to love with a peculiar intensity of affection, and the word is used by Paul only in this place in relation to Christ. (John designates by it, John 5:20, the love of the Father to the Son, and also the believer’s love to Jesus, 16:27; 21:15, 17). In Ephesians 6:24, Paul employs the word ἀγαπᾶν, which is the term common with him to denote the love of God and Christ, and also our love to God, and to the brethren, and to wives. While the latter word which properly means to highly esteem, is never used to express a sensuous, passionate affection, φιλεῖν is found in this sense, yet rarely however. It here means to value highly, to regard in the light of a dear friend, a token of which regard was a kiss, φίλημα, which probably suggested the use of φιλεῖν. Short and sharp is the denunciation pronounced.—let him be Anathema,—Not simply, ‘let him be expelled from the church, but let him be devoted to God’s wrath and judgment,’—let him become a curse, accursed. The word ἀνάθεμα correspond to the Hebrew חֵרֶם, a ban, i. e.., one put under the ban—irrevocably devoted to destruction—to be given up to God without power of redemption, which, if the thing were animated, involved a putting to death (comp. 12:3; Galatians 1:8, and Meyer on Romans 9:3). This imprecation or malediction is confirmed by an allusion to the judgment which will introduce it.—Maranatha.—Syriac for “our Lord comes (מָרָנָא אֲתָא); “not, ‘he has come,’ so that obstinate hatred and conflict with him are all useless” (Jerome). Why Paul here employs the Syriac can only be conjectured. It can hardly be said that it was for a stronger confirmation of the genuineness of his Epistle by the use of Hebrew letters; such extraordinary confirmation when his Epistle was to be in charge of trusted friends, is wholly superfluous. Or was it because this formula was one current among the Jews as expressing their strongest ban? Meyer says, “perhaps it conveyed an important reminiscence to his readers from the period of his residence at Corinth; or it was only the thought of the moment to give a more solemn character to his declaration.” Bisping says: “perhaps Maranatha was the mysterious password of the early Christians (comp. Rev. 20:22).” For other improbable conjectures see Meyer and Osiander. Luther’s Maharam Motha, meaning maledictus ad mortem, is a groundless alteration. Heubner says: “that Luther appended this as the Hebrew formula for excommunication.” [By translating the expression into Greek, ὁ κύριος ἕρχεται, we are at once reminded of the epithet ὁ έρχομένος, coming One, as applied to the Messiah in Matthew 11:3; Luke 17:19-20; John 6:14; John 11:27; and also as constantly recurring in Revelation, where the coming of Christ forms the refrain of the whole book, and where at the close John winds up the canon of Scripture with a reference to the solemn fact, “He that testifieth of these things, saith, Behold I come quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” Here in fact is the key-note of the Apostle’s constant mood. In all the changes of thought and feeling we hear it ever returning; and what is more natural than that in uttering it, he should use the very terms in which the thought was always ringing through his soul? They had acquired with him the character of a solemn formula, for which nothing else could be substituted]. After this severe exclusion of the unworthy there follows a benediction.—The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (be) with you.—As to be anathema from Christ is everlasting perdition so His favor is eternal life. The prayer here is therefore a prayer for all good. To this he adds assurance of his own love as felt toward all in Christ Jesus.—My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.—As in the previous clause εἴη is to be supplied, so here we must insert ἐστίν, is, as a positive declaration of what he actually cherished toward them. Μεθ’ ὑμῶν, with you, a designation of communion with them, or of the presence of his spirit in the midst of them, q. d., ‘is among you all’—a harmonizing, reconciling expression used in view of his strong rebukes and of their partisan distrust. “The expression forms a striking contrast to the strifes and divisions among the Corinthians which the Apostle here is resolved to ignore.” Neander. [The closing word in the Rec., “Amen,” was an after-addition. It being originally a word of response, the Apostle could not well have appended it to his own production. The adoption of it falls in with the current inconsistent usage of closing one’s own prayer with an Amen—a thing which ought to be left to the congregation at large. But though the word forms no part of the Epistle, it still fitly comes in at the end to express the cordial, emphatic assent which every Christian heart must feel constrained to utter as he finishes an epistle so replete with Divine Wisdom and Love issuing from one of the noblest spirits that ever wrought on earth in the cause of Heaven, with whom it has been good to hold communion. Yes, let the Amen stand the abiding testimony of the faith of the Church in the teachings of the greatest of the apostles; and the whole world come at last to say as they read verse after verse, chapter after chapter, epistle after epistle, in accent strong and clear, Amen]

The subscription is later. The statement of the letter being sent from Philippi arose from a misunderstanding of what is said in 1 Corinthians 16:5 about his passing through Macedonia.


1. [Christian Beneficence. 1. Its source. It follows as the natural exercise of that divine love which is shed abroad in the heart by the Spirit, and which likens us to that Redeemer who freely gave Himself up for us all, and demands of us that we give as freely as we have received. 2. Its scope. It goes beyond—yea, ignores—all natural limitations of family, or neighborhood, or country, or nationality, and is governed simply by the providential calls made on it and by the opportunities opened to it. Christianity breaks down all barriers, obliterates all distinctions between Jew and Gentile, and brings the whole race into a sympathy that makes us regardful of the welfare of our fellow-men wherever found. In the text we have the first instance of this broad charity ever known—Gentile Christians in Greece, contributing to supply the destitution of Jewish Christians at Jerusalem. It was the commencement of a work of charity which is destined to spread with the church, and will go on increasing in vigor and intensity, just in proportion as the Spirit of Christ prevails in the hearts of believers. 3. Should do systematic, forming a part of the Christian’s duty as regularly as his prayers and worship. Inasmuch as the demands for it are constant, and the discipline of it is ever needful to the character as a counteractive to our natural selfishness and for the development of charity, it is only by habitual practice that the ends contemplated in it can be properly answered. The time prescribed for it by the apostle is the first day of the week—the day commemorative of our Lord’s resurrection and victory, and the day of the church’s joy, and gladness, and praise. And surely no time can be more fitting for the exercise of our grateful charity than this; for it serves to remind us in an especial manner of God’s redeeming grace, and, so, of the love which we ourselves, have experienced. In fact, alms-giving ought to be made a part of our Sabbath worship, coming in there as a tribute, not so much of kindness towards the needy and the destitute, as of thanksgiving and honor unto the God of our salvation. It thus becomes a matter not of impulse, performed under the influence of emotions excited by special appeals, but of principle, resting upon established grounds, and furnishing a reliable foundation on which to carry forward the great work of the church. 4. Its measure. “According as God hath prospered”—so writes the apostle, prescribing no fixed proportion as under the ancient dispensation, but leaving it with every man to determine with himself what the amount shall be. The right use of the liberty of judgment here granted is a part of the Christian’s probation; and the manner in which he improves it will serve to show his sense of obligation to the God that has prospered him, and the strength of his love. The beauty and the worth of Christian charity are seen in its voluntariness, and also, in its freedom from all parade. Hence, the requisition of the apostle “let each one lay up by himself,” in the privacy of his own home, settling the matter with quiet reflection amid the abundance of those blessings which constitute the sum of his domestic happiness. It is there that he can best ascertain how much he owes to his Lord].

2. Conditions of success in Christian life. If the Christian life is to be successful it must, on one hand, abide immovably fixed on the foundations of faith, ever keeping in view the temptations to which it is exposed, not allowing itself to be turned aside from known truth, and resisting every assault with manly courage and mighty resistance. On the other hand, it must give love the sway in every particular, so that the same person who, in one case, shows himself a courageous hero in the fight of faith and powerful to prostrate every foe, shall in others, prove himself a willing servant and subject himself to the wishes of others—being a lion in conflict, and a lamb in tenderness and patience, the image of him who is at the same time the Lion and the Lamb (Revelation 5:5-6).

3. Mutual concurrence in the Church. In a true churchly life it so happens that the more we exercise our love in serving others, the more will those who are thus served be disposed to submit to us. Such love makes the recipients of it, not haughty, but lowly in spirit. The fact that others do for them, constrains them, and inspires them with zeal to requite the service shown, and to respond to the slightest wishes of their benefactors. Counsel and exhortation coming from such a source, even though it be in the form of a request, appear to them as sacred commands. In such rivalry of humility lies the wonderful harmony of the Christian church life.

4. The fervor of a true zeal. The more ardent our love for the Lord, and the more profound our regard for souls, the more fervidly will our zeal burn for Him, that He should be loved by all as He deserves—that no soul shall be wanting in affection for him, and that none suffer his love for Him to grow cold. And however severe may be our zeal in its indignation against those in whom love dies out by reason of the prevalence of sinful affections, prompting us to rebuke them with words of burning condemnation, yet all this will be nothing less than a sincere, ardent love for the souls themselves, which urges a person on to ascertain whether he cannot in some way bring them back to reflection, so that the flame which has died out may be kindled afresh and made to burn with new brightness on the altar of the heart.



1 Corinthians 16:1. ‘Pious and poor often go together.’—We ought indeed to enlist ourselves in behalf of all that suffer, without always inquiring whether they are worthy; but worthy ones, such as true members of Christ, ought to be regarded in preference to others, especially as the dear Saviour has given us so precious a promise in reference to them (Matthew 25:35). Who would deny his Saviour such a service of love?—One church ought readily to follow another in good and praise-worthy conduct (1 Thessalonians 2:14).

1 Corinthians 16:2. There is none so poor but he may find some one poorer, towards whom he can show the works of love and compassion (Mark 12:42; 1 Kings 17:10 ff.), and thus cultivate the grace of charity. Hed.:

1 Corinthians 16:3. Paul cares, writes and entreats for the poor; and should it be a disgrace to imitate Him?

1 Corinthians 16:4. We should grudge no labor bestowed for refreshing the pious poor, since we do it to Christ.

1 Corinthians 16:5. Although the servants of the church have at this day no command to go about the world as the Apostle did, it is nevertheless necessary that the state of the churches should be investigated at times by those who are appointed for the purpose, in order to improve what may be improved (2 Chronicles 17:7 ff).

1 Corinthians 16:6. The church should care for its true servants that they come not into peril of their life, since one such is a great treasure.

1 Corinthians 16:7. We should subject our plans and purposes to the will of God, and either carry them out or abandon them according to His pleasure (Jeremiah 10:23; James 4:15). When in populous regions the whole counsel of God is powerfully proclaimed by earnest preachers, and such proclamation is enforced by their own holy walk, and God opens to them a door for the conversion of many souls, Satan commonly stirs himself up against them in his instruments. But by this means the open door is still more widened; since opposition provokes inquiry and observation, and this begets conviction (Philippians 1:12).

1 Corinthians 16:9. A true servant must not shrink from foes. He who is astonished and offended at oppositions and persecutions, forgets that he is a servant of the crucified.—We should prefer the honor of God and the good of our neighbor, to our own advantage and convenience; for love seeks not its own.

1 Corinthians 16:10 f. Faithful hearers deal faithfully with their preachers, and do not despise them when young, if learned and pious. Christians seek after, honor and love one another.—The crude multitude are astonished at this and cannot endure it.

1 Corinthians 16:12. It is well for preachers to visit their hearers separately, as opportunities occur, and converse with them for their best good.

1 Corinthians 16:13. Circumspection, faith and manly energy go well together. Faith as the chief thing occupies the middle place; and as it requires a careful circumspection, so does it also involve, and at the same time beget, strength—the strength of the spirit.—A Christian is a soldier who is surrounded by foes. He must watch if he would not be surprised.—He must not abandon the post of faith, but strive on manfully and strengthen himself, and fill up the gaps after each attack in order to hold out against a new one.

1 Corinthians 16:14. Love imparts to our actions their proper adaptations and right profit among men, as faith gives them their due weight (Galatians 5:6). 1 Corinthians 16:15 f. Divine Providence has raised up many gallant men who have made themselves of great service to the church; and this fact should be recognized with gratitude, while we hearken to, and follow such.

1 Corinthians 16:17 f. The best satisfaction of a true preacher is the faith and love of his hearers.

1 Corinthians 16:19. Christian churches should maintain friendship and communion with each other, edifying and precious in the sight of God (Colossians 4:15; Acts 15:23).

1 Corinthians 16:20. What else is a true greeting but the wishing well to another? Christians ought to desire and invoke all manner of good for each other.—Why should a kiss, the token of a pure spiritual and divine love, be made the token of a carnal, unchaste and devilish love? (Proverbs 7:13).

1 Corinthians 16:22. Amen! yea cursed be he, who loveth not Thee. Oh thou friend of my soul! Take heed to thyself, thou poor creature! Paul’s zeal is discriminating and has shown its power in countless instances. But what thou, O Lord, blessest, is, and remains blessed.—Since most persons persist in a state of prevailing worldliness and selfishness, inconsistent with the love of Jesus, we can easily see how many there are whom this imprecation will hit

1 Corinthians 16:23. Grace! grace! To this everything comes at last in the restoration of sinners, as being absolutely necessary for the forgiveness of sins and the recovery of fallen nature.

1 Corinthians 16:24. He is a true, dear man, in whom love dwells; he loves and is loved. Well for him! he will eat the fruits of love in eternity.

Berlenburger Bibel:

1 Corinthians 16:2. An illustration of that wise moderation which belongs to Christianity everywhere. A reckless zeal never prospers. The case may be pressing, but the method of meeting it must be unconstrained.

1 Corinthians 16:4 f. Christians are ready for all manner of business; but they are no rovers who drive their traffic with their religion.

1 Corinthians 16:6. What is done in faith through love, though apparently small, is in the sight of God a great thing.

1 Corinthians 16:7. True Christians watch for the Lord’s hour.

1 Corinthians 16:9. Resistance sharpens the zeal of God’s servants. When adversaries are many the spirit becomes more eager to preach the word, and hopes to find a yet more open door. God’s word will be confirmed by the cross.—But there are two kinds of opposition: 1. When many receive the word with joy, others appear who resist the word and the good done—a sure sign that advantage has been gained. Then ought we to increase in courage as difficulties present themselves. 2. But when no one profits by the word, and will not so much as hear it, then must we take it elsewhere, and not desecrate it, by casting it before the unthankful.

1 Corinthians 16:10 f. It is not well for Christians not to be free with each other.

1 Corinthians 16:12. Christians are ready for everything, but they do not act blindly.

1 Corinthians 16:13. Watchfulness is the ground upon which all the rest is built. We must perpetually take heed to our own hearts; otherwise it will not be possible for us to stand and maintain our attitude as men.

1 Corinthians 16:14. There is many a one who aims to be manly, but does not do it in love. Love is free, and seeks the good of a neighbor. Even the best and greatest duties toward God and our neighbor, if not prompted by love, are, in God’s sight, nothing worth—Love is the salt without which everything which we have and do is tasteless.

1 Corinthians 16:15 f. The most eminent must devote themselves to the service of the poor. But such persons are not to be abused, and to be regarded as common pursuivants; but they ought to be gratefully recognized and honored.

1 Corinthians 16:19. Greeting serves for a genial bond of love.

1 Corinthians 16:22. Who is there that loves Jesus so that he aims to please Him and to follow Him and to become like Him, and think of Him constantly and occupies himself with Him! Oh, how many fall under Paul’s ban!—The Lord cometh! Let Him judge; He will know how to avenge Himself on His unthankful servant, because he is absent people think themselves safe.

1 Corinthians 16:23. This wish is hedged about by the previous warning, and such a warning must grace and love have, on account of our perilous condition.

1 Corinthians 16:24. From this we see that the rebukes given have been a work of pious affection. Oh, what a bond is this! (John 17:22-26).


1 Corinthians 16:1 ff. To be obliged to seek assistance, and to receive favor from others, makes us of little account; but when persons, in such condition, are saints of God, and we know that God constrains His dearest children and most assured heirs of salvation to perform their pilgrimage under such circumstances, this awakens consideration.—Imitation in such cases must not be on the score of shame, but it must be grounded on love in the heart; yet good examples do their part in exciting to good works (Hebrews 10:24).—The word “beneficence” reminds one of the wise constitution of God, who allows His gifts to run through other hands, and gives to us that we may have to give to such as are needy, and does not Himself supply the wants of the needy, in order that others may have the opportunity of testifying through these of their faith, and hope, and love.

1 Corinthians 16:12. We must carry nothing by force, nor interfere too much with the ways of others.

1 Corinthians 16:13 f. The word ‘watch’ belongs among the master-pieces of the Holy Ghost, since with this one word he enjoins the perpetual attention of the Christian to his whole duty, and so can awaken and arouse him to so great a degree.—To abide in the saving knowledge of God and of Christ and in constant trust toward God through Christ, expresses the whole of the Christian state.—All a Christian’s strength, magnanimity, zeal and earnestness, must be regulated by that love which seeks the honor of God, and the salvation of our neighbor.

1 Corinthians 16:18. Even the most honest laborers and helpers of the truth may become so involved under disparaging trials, and be so overwhelmed with slanders, as to require that something be spoken in their behalf.

1 Corinthians 16:22. Love to Christ is the chief source from which the communion of saints derives its true form and character.

1 Corinthians 16:23. A holy dread of the curse is sweetened by a cordial address to the believing friends of Christ. Grace helps us out of many sins; strengthens us against many a fall; sets dislocated members; removes difficulties; disconcerts Satan’s plans; stops scandals; maintains love in its course amid all varieties of gifts, until, through grace, we are made meet for that Kingdom, wherein the manifoldness of gifts and benefits in all the saints shall be a subject of eternal wonder and praise. Amen!


1 Corinthians 16:2. Christian thrift collects together its spare money for others. To the Christian nothing is too small which has a value for love.

1 Corinthians 16:9. God only can open an entrance into the heart.—Where goodness prospers, wickedness is aroused.

1 Corinthians 16:13. The conditions of growth in Christianity: 1. Watchfulness and prayer; 2. Stedfastness in the faith; 3. A decided, manly strength of will and independence, which, without regard to another’s will, does what is known to be good and right, and stands by it; 4. And, with all this, love.

1 Corinthians 16:22. A want of love—coldness, indifference, makes a person unworthy of Christian fellowship. The Lord comes to judgment over such lukewarm souls.

W. F. Besser:

1 Corinthians 16:12. From this we may learn that Christian office-bearers of the right sort do not rule over those subject to them arbitrarily, as over servants; but exhort them as brethren, and respect their counter views when they are Christian.

1 Corinthians 16:20. The Christian greeting draws those who are greeted into Christ.

1 Corinthians 16:22. This word of condemnation stands written as a holy threatening for us all. That word of God, which is able to implant in our souls the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, is read by each one of us, cither for a blessing or a curse.


1 Corinthians 16:15. If we wish to secure the welfare of the church, let us always take care that honor be conferred upon the good; let their counsels have the greatest weight; let others give way to them, and allow themselves to be governed by their prudence. This Paul does in this instance, when admonishing the Corinthians, to show respect to the house of Stephanas].

[Robertson:— 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. A Jewish object supported by Gentile subscriptions!—a new thing in this world. To scattered races and divided peoples, to separate castes and ancient enmities, Christ was the magnet that united all.—Benumbed and paralyzed till then, the frame of humanity was made to throb with a common life. Hitherto men were combined by war and trade—now by religion and love.—In God’s counsels sorrow draws out good. Pain and sorrow are mysteries. Inexplicable often, why we are afflicted; but sometimes the vail is withdrawn, and we see the reason clearly.—Charity must be systematic—a matter of principle; to give from impulse, often a mere luxury, costs but little,—whereas a true Christian economy involves self-denial—an abridging of pleasure to give to God.—Men do not give as God has prospered them, because they do not give systematically. It is a fact, the more we have the less we give. System is easier with little than with much. The man of thousands squanders, and his indulgences, grown into necessities, leave him little to spare.— 1 Corinthians 16:10-24. With Paul personal considerations were not lost in general philanthropy. He put value on the courtesies of life. There are minds which are indifferent to such things, and fancy themselves above them. But love is dependent on forms—courtesy of etiquette guards and protects courtesy of heart.

1 Corinthians 16:12. “As touching our brother Apollos,”—mark the perfect absence of all mean jealousy in St. Paul’s mind. This is magnanimity and true delicacy of heart.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14. If you think Christianity a feeble, soft thing, ill-adapted to call out the manlier features of character, read here, “Quit you like men.” (Abridged)].

[Sermon.—Jon. Edwards:— 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. The perpetuity and change of the Sabbath. Complete works, vol. iv., p. 615 ff. ].


1 Corinthians 16:2; 1 Corinthians 16:2.—The Rec. has σαββάτων, but it is feebly attested, and was probably derived from Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1. [The singular σαββάτον has been adopted by Griesbach, Lachmann and Tischendorf, on the authority of A. B. C. D. E. F. G. I., Sinait., the Ital. and Vulg. versions, Chrys. and the Latin writers. The plural has the support of K. L., many cursives, the Goth, and Copt. versions, Theodt. and Damasc.—C. P. W.].

1 Corinthians 16:7; 1 Corinthians 16:7.—For the second γὰρ, the Rec. has δέ, but with inferior evidence in its behalf.

1 Corinthians 16:7; 1 Corinthians 16:7.—The Rec. has ἕπιτρέπῃ, but in opposition to the best MSS., and derived from Hebrews 6:3. [Lachm., Tischendorf and Alford favor ἐπιτρέψη after A. B. C. I., Sinait., Vulg. [permiserit], Chrys., Theophyl.; but the present is given in D. E. F. G. K. et at., as Alford suggests because “the force of the aorist was not perceived.”—C. P. W.].

[4][1 Corinthians 16:12.—Before πολλα, the words δηλῶ ὑμῖν ὃτι are inserted by D. E. F. G., Sinait. several Latin MSS., the Vulg. Goth. and the Lat. writers.—C. P. W.].

1 Corinthians 16:17; 1 Corinthians 16:17.—The Rec. has ὑμῶν instead of ὑμετερον, but against much preponderating evidence; comp. Philippians 2:30. [For ὑμῶν we have A. K. L., Sinait., a number of cursives, with Chrys., Theodt. and Damasc.; but for ὑμὲτερον B. C. D. E. F. G., 17, et al.—C. P. W.].

1 Corinthians 16:17; 1 Corinthians 16:17.—The Rec. has οὑτοι, [with B. C. K. L., Sinait., many cursives, Theodt. and Damasc.] instead of αὑτοὶ [with A. D. E. F. G., Vulg. Syr. (Pesch.) Chrys., Œcum., Ambrst., Pelag.]; but it is not so well authenticated.

1 Corinthians 16:19; 1 Corinthians 16:19.—The Rec. has πρίσκιλλα and it is well sustained. Even Lachm. in his ed. major has adopted it. [But πρίσκα is preferred by Tischendorf, Kling, on the authority of B. M., Sinait., 17, three of the best MSS. of the Vulg., the CFopt. and Goth, versions, and Pelag. This form appears on the authority of all the uncial and cursives (except one) in Romans 16:3; and 2 Timothy 4:19; and the other (πρίσκιλλα), on unvarying authority in Acts 18:2; Acts 18:18; Acts 18:26. From the Acts it appears to have passed into some MSS. of Paul’s Epistles. Lachm. (in the earlier editions), Bloomfield, Alford, Wordsworth and Stanley prefer the diminutive form, with A. C. D. E. F. G. K. L., et al.—C. P. W.].

1 Corinthians 16:19; 1 Corinthians 16:19.—The Rec. has ἀσπάζονται, and Lachmann has adopted it, but it is probably an attempt to correct the text. [It has in its favor, B. F. G. L., and numerous cursives, versions and fathers; but against it C. D. E. K., Sinait., and the Gothic and Theodt.—C. P. W.].

1 Corinthians 16:22; 1 Corinthians 16:22.—The Rec. after κύριον adds Ἱησοῦν χριστόν, but in opposition to the best MSS. [A. B. C. (1st hand) M. Sinait. (1st hand), 4 cursives, Aeth. (both) Cyr. Chrys. (mosc). These words are inserted in C. (3d hand), D. E. F. G. K. L., Sinait., (3d hand), Ital. Vulg., later Syr., Copt., and Goth, versions, and some Fathers. Some of these (including K. L., the Vulg. Chrys. Theophyl.) insert ἡμῶν before Ἰησ. Χρ—C. P. W.].

1 Corinthians 16:23; 1 Corinthians 16:23.—The Rec. and Lachmann have Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, and they are sustained by weighty testimony, [A. C. D. E. F.G. K. L, Sinait. (3d hand), many cursives, 4 Latin MSS. the Vulg. Copt. and Syr. (both), Chrys. Ambrst. Many of these (including A. L. 20 cursives, the Vulg. Copt, and Syr. and Fathers) insert ἡμῶν after κύριοῦ. Some (including B. Sinait. (1st hand) 10 cursives. Goth. Theodt.) add only Ἰησοῦ after κυρίου.—C. P. W.].


1 Corinthians 16:24.—The Rec. has ἀμήν, after important authorities: [A. C. D. E. K. L., Sinait., with the majority of cursives, versions and writers, Tischendorf (and Dr. Clarke decidedly) cancel it, and it is bracketed by Bloomfield, Alford, Conybeare and Stanley].

[Subscription.—The most ancient and best MSS. (A. B. C. Sinait.) have simply ΙΙΟΡΣ ΚΟΡΙΝΘΙΟΥΣ ᾶ; to which F.G. prefix ἐτελέσθη; D adds ἐπληρώθη; some MSS. of the Vulg. add immediately after ᾶ, explicit. No subscription of any kind is found in M. and the Vulgate. The Rec. has πρὸς κορ. πρώτη ἐγράφη�. φουρτουςάτου κ. ἀχαϊκοῦ κ. τιμοθέου, on the authority of K. L., 7 cursives, Syr. (later), Arab. (later), and Damasc.; two other cursives have the same, substituting ἐφεσοῦ for φιλ; and Theodt. the same, omitting τιμ. B. (2d hand) and Chrys. (com.) have γράφη�͂υ, some others adding τῆς� and others substituting this for ἐφεσοῦ. E., a few cursives, Slav. Theodt. (spurious) Œcum. have ἐγράφη�͂ φιλἰππων, to which D. (2d hand) and the Syr. (Pesch.) adds Μακεδονίας. The Copt. says: e Filippa, ut dixerunt quidam; verum potius videtur secundum ipsius apostoli indicium scripta esse ex Asia.—C. P. W.].

1 Corinthians 16:24; 1 Corinthians 16:24.—The Rec. has ἀμήν, after important authorities: [A. C. D. E. K. L., Sinait., with the majority of cursives, versions and writers, Tischendorf (and Dr. Clarke decidedly) cancel it, and it is bracketed by Bloomfield, Alford, Conybeare and Stanley].

[Subscription.—The most ancient and best MSS. (A. B. C. Sinait.) have simply ΙΙΟΡΣ ΚΟΡΙΝΘΙΟΥΣ ᾶ; to which F.G. prefix ἐτελέσθη; D adds ἐπληρώθη; some MSS. of the Vulg. add immediately after ᾶ, explicit. No subscription of any kind is found in M. and the Vulgate. The Rec. has πρὸς κορ. πρώτη ἐγράφη�. φουρτουςάτου κ. ἀχαϊκοῦ κ. τιμοθέου, on the authority of K. L., 7 cursives, Syr. (later), Arab. (later), and Damasc.; two other cursives have the same, substituting ἐφεσοῦ for φιλ; and Theodt. the same, omitting τιμ. B. (2d hand) and Chrys. (com.) have γράφη�͂υ, some others adding τῆς� and others substituting this for ἐφεσοῦ. E., a few cursives, Slav. Theodt. (spurious) Œcum. have ἐγράφη�͂ φιλἰππων, to which D. (2d hand) and the Syr. (Pesch.) adds Μακεδονίας. The Copt. says: e Filippa, ut dixerunt quidam; verum potius videtur secundum ipsius apostoli indicium scripta esse ex Asia.—C. P. W.].

[13][Hodge, however, objects to this, “that the whole expression is thus obscure and awkward. ‘Let every one at home place, treasuring up what he has to give.’ The words mean to lay by himself. The direction is nothing more definite than let him place by himself, i. e., let him take to himself what he means to give. What he was to do with it, or where he was to deposit it, is not said. The word θησαυρίζων means putting into the treasury, or hoarding up, and is perfectly consistent with the assumption that the place of deposit was some common, and not every man’s house.” This is well argued in behalf of the public solemn observance of the Lord’s day; but we can no more change the meaning of παῤ ἑαυτῷ than we can the parallel phrases in the other languages. They are the idiomatic expressions for ‘at home,’ and honestly require that we should so interpret. This is the rendering which even the ancient Syriac version gives it].

Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 16". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lcc/1-corinthians-16.html. 1857-84.
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