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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 16

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

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Verse 1

1Co 16:1. A great dearth was predicted in Act 11:27-30, which came with such force that the disciples in Judea were thrown into a state of want. The condition lasted for some years and it is referred to in Rom 15:26; 2Co 8:1-2 2Co 9:1-2. Collections were made at various times and from different communities for the relief of the saints. It is concerning this matter that Paul is writing in this chapter. We have no record elsewhere of this order given to the churches in Galatia. As I have given order indicates that Paul gave those churches the same instructions on the subject that he wrote to the church in Corinth. Such a plan, therefore, should be regarded as the Lord's way for churches to raise money for carrying on His work.

Verse 2

1Co 16:2. The Englishman's Greek New Testament translates the first clause as follows: "Every first day of the week," and Thayer's explanation of the passage agrees with such a rendering. It was on this day the money was to be contributed for relief of the dearth-stricken saints, and since the disciples came together on that day for the Lord's supper (Act 20:7), it was a consideration of convenience on that part of Him to ordain this public collection to come at the same gathering. Lay by him has been an occasion for controversy as to where the members were to put their contribution. The pronoun him is not necessarily in the masculine gender in the original, but may properly be rendered "itself." In store is from THESAURIZO, and James Mac-knight defines it, "putting it in the treasury." This critical information agrees with the reasoning Paul makes, namely, that there be no gatherings when I come. Gatherings is from the same Greek word as "collection" In the first verse. If the brethren were to put this contribution some place in their homes, then it would have to be collected when Paul came, and that is what he wished to avoid. Besides, the fact that they were told to do this on the same day the disciples came together, indicates it was to be a public collection. As God liath prospered him means each one was to give according to his financial ability.

Verse 3

1Co 16:3. This advice is on the principle of Rom 12:17 and 2Co 8:18-21. A man who is entrusted with the property of another should wish to protect himself from any suspicions of dishonesty. I have known of cases where brethren who handled the money of a congregation, would resent all inquiries about the amount of funds in their hands. They would probably make some peevish remark such as, "If you think I am not honest, I will just turn the job over to someone else." There is something wrong with a brother who takes such an attitude, to say the least, and he lays himself open to just suspicion.

Verse 4

1Co 16:4. When Paul wrote this verse he did not know whether he would go to Jerusalem on this mission; Rom 15:25-27 shows that he did.

Verse 5

1Co 16:5. Act 20:1-3 records this work of Paul in those Greek countries, in which he was threatened with bodily harm from the Jews.

Verse 6

1Co 16:6. Bring me on my journey. The first word is from PROPEMPO, which Thayer defines, "To send before. To bring on the way, accompany or escort." He then explains the word to mean, "To set one forward, fit him out with the requisites [things required] for his journey." Hence when a church furnishes a preacher the things he needs to take him to his "field of labor," it is bringing that preacher on his journey to the Lord's work.

Verse 7

1Co 16:7. The apostle did not count on seeing the Corinthian brethren in the immediate future, but he was expecting to see them later, subject to the will of the Lord.

Verse 8

1Co 16:8. The Mosaic system was both religious and secular as a govern.. ment. When Christ gave his institution to the world it was intended to supplant the old one for religious purposes (Rom 10:4), but the Jews were still left the privilege of observing their national institutions, as long as they did not try to obtain spiritual benefits from them. That is why Paul Planned to continue his work at Ephesus until Pentecost. That being one of the Jewish national feasts, the apostle wished to go to Jerusalem to attend it.

Verse 9

1Co 16:9. The first part of this verse is somewhat awkwardly constructed by the translators. The words great and effectual are adjectives, modifying door, which means as if it said "a great and effectual [efficient] door." The fact of there being many adversaries was the reason Paul wished to remain at Ephesus as long as he could.

Verse 10

1Co 16:10. Chapter 4:17 mentions the fact that Timotheus (Timothy) was told to go to Corinth. Paul asks the brethren to give him a friendly reception; as a recommendation in support of the request, the apostle tells them of the work of the Lord in which Timothy was engaged.

Verse 11

1Co 16:11. To despise means to belittle or treat with improper regard. Timothy was supposed to spend some time at Corinth and then return to Paul. He did this, for 2Co 1:1 shows him joining in the salutation of that epistle.

Verse 12

1Co 16:12. Paul was an apostle while Apollos was only an unofficial preacher, yet he was not bound to make the journey to Corinth, for the apostle only greatly desired him to go. This indicates that Paul was not inclined to abuse his position by commanding another brother in matters where the legislation of God was not involved.

Verse 13

1Co 16:13. Watch ye, stand last contains a twofold exhortation. To watch means to be alert for any challenge to their faith, and if it appears it should not be suffered to shake them from their faithfulness. Quit you like men is all from one Greek word which Thayer defines, "to show one's self a man, be brave." Such an attitude was necessary to meet the attacks of enemies.

Verse 14

1Co 16:14. Charity is from one of the Greek words that are usually translated "love." For a complete explanation of the word, see the notes on Mat 5:43 in volume 1 of the New Testament Commentary.

Verse 15

1Co 16:15. Achaia is another name for Greece, the country in which Corinth was located. The baptism of Stephanas and his household is recorded in Chapter 1:16. (See the notes on Rom 16:5.) Addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints denotes they were devoted to the service in behalf of the saints or disciples.

Verse 16

1Co 16:16. Thayer explains the original for submit to mean, "to yield to one's admonition or advice." Hence it is not used in the sense of an authoritative command, for even a righteous household like that of Stephanas would have no such authority. The statement of Paul is more in the nature of an advisory exhortation. It is always well to listen to the instructions or exhortations of faithful disciples of Christ. If they are scriptural they should be accepted on the principle of chapter 11:1.

Verse 17

1Co 16:17. The lack on the part of the Corinthians, which was supplied by the coming of these brethren, was not in regard to material things as the next verse shows.

Verse 18

1Co 16:18. These brethren refreshed Paul by their coming to him, and by the message which they evidently brought from the Corinthian church (chapter 7:1). Paul reasons that such brethren were a blessing wherever they dwelt, and therefore must have been so among the brethren at Corinth; he commends them to the favor of the church.

Verse 19

1Co 16:19. Rev 1:11 names seven churches in Asia, and Ephesus was one of them, where Paul was when he wrote this epistle (verse 8). Salute is from ASPAZOMAI, and in the King James Version it is translated by embrace 2 times, greet 15, salute 42, take leave of 1. Thayer defines it, "to salute one, greet, bid welcome, wish well to; pay one's respects to." He explains that it can be done either in person or by letter, and of course it was done by the latter method in the present case. Special mention is made of Aquila and Priscilla because they were outstanding disciples and had been closely associated with the apostle in the Lord's work (Act 18:1-3). They were at Corinth at the same time that Paul labored there, but later went to Ephesus and hence gave their salutation to the Corinthian church through the epistle that Paul was writing. Church that is in their house. In the first years of the church the brethren did not have regular church buildings in many places. That was due either to their financial limitations, or to the fact that the group in the community was too few in numbers to require it. In such cases the church had its meetings in private homes, and Aquila and Priscilla used their home for that purpose.

Verse 20

1Co 16:20. All the brethren would necessarily mean those in contact with Paul as he was writing the epistle, especially those engaged in public work for the church. Holy kiss. I have examined a number of clic- tionaries and histories, as well as four lexicons, and they all represent the kiss to have been a form of salute between persons of both sexes, the custom dating back to ancient times. The instruction of the apostle, then, was not to start any new form of salutation, for that of the kiss was in existence centuries before he was born. The point is in the word holy, and it means for the salutation to be sincere and not hypocritical as was that of Judas.

Verse 21

1Co 16:21. Paul wrote some of his epistles with his own hand (Gal 6:11), others he dictated and then signed them to show that they were genuine.

Verse 22

1Co 16:22. Anathema means a curse, and it is pronounced upon a man who does not love Jesus. Maranatha is transferred into the King James Version without being translated. Thayer defines it, "our Lord cometh or will come." It denotes, therefore, that such a person will be accursed when the Lord comes. (See 2Th 1:7-9).

Verse 23

1Co 16:23-24. Paul wishes that the grace (favor) of Jesus may be with the brethren at Corinth. As a secondary favor upon the church, the apostle assures it of his love for all in Christ Jesus. Amen is explained in the notes on Rom 16:24, volume 1 of the New Testament Commentary.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 16". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/1-corinthians-16.html. 1952.
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