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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

1 Corinthians 8

Introduction

1 Corinthians 8:1 to 1 Corinthians 9:1 . Meats Offered to Idols.— This also seems to have been one of the inquiries addressed to Paul, with the views of the church expounded to him in a self-complacent spirit. For a discussion of the whole question, see pp. 650 f.

1 Corinthians 8. Let Those who Have Knowledge Control its Exercise by Love, lest they Ruin their Brother for whom Christ Died.— Paul begins with a quotation from the church letter. They claim that all have knowledge. Yes, but knowledge makes men conceited, love develops and consolidates them. They who fancy that they know have no right knowledge: he who loves God is known by God, a better knowledge than any of his own. However, all are aware that no idol has any real existence and that there is only one God. For, allowing that there are so-called gods, as in truth there are many gods and lords ( i.e. the demons), yet Christians recognise one God, the Father, source of all things and their own goal, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, the efficient agent in creation and in their own redemption. Yet those who are without such knowledge, when they eat the idol sacrifice, are dominated by the old point of view, and their conscience, readily troubled by morbid scruples, is stained. Food will not influence Gods decision at the Judgment. But freedom from such scruples may lead to disregard of the weak, who, when he sees the “ intellectual” complacently reclining at the temple banquet, will become progressive enough to eat, against his own conscience, the idol food. Impatient lack of consideration ruins the weak brother and is a sin against Christ. Paul would never touch flesh again rather than gratify himself at such ruinous cost to others.

Verses 1-13

1 Corinthians 8. Let Those who Have Knowledge Control its Exercise by Love, lest they Ruin their Brother for whom Christ Died.— Paul begins with a quotation from the church letter. They claim that all have knowledge. Yes, but knowledge makes men conceited, love develops and consolidates them. They who fancy that they know have no right knowledge: he who loves God is known by God, a better knowledge than any of his own. However, all are aware that no idol has any real existence and that there is only one God. For, allowing that there are so-called gods, as in truth there are many gods and lords ( i.e. the demons), yet Christians recognise one God, the Father, source of all things and their own goal, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, the efficient agent in creation and in their own redemption. Yet those who are without such knowledge, when they eat the idol sacrifice, are dominated by the old point of view, and their conscience, readily troubled by morbid scruples, is stained. Food will not influence Gods decision at the Judgment. But freedom from such scruples may lead to disregard of the weak, who, when he sees the “ intellectual” complacently reclining at the temple banquet, will become progressive enough to eat, against his own conscience, the idol food. Impatient lack of consideration ruins the weak brother and is a sin against Christ. Paul would never touch flesh again rather than gratify himself at such ruinous cost to others.

1 Corinthians 8:2 . So Socrates recognised that he was wiser than others, in that while all alike knew nothing, he alone was aware of his ignorance.

1 Corinthians 8:3 . Note the unexpected turn of thought. He does not say, By love we know God; God’ s knowledge of us is so much greater a certainty, so much firmer a ground of consolation and assurance.

1 Corinthians 8:6 b . Here essentially the Christology of Colossians is implied.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 8". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/1-corinthians-8.html. 1919.