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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary
1 Corinthians 6

 

 

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Verse 1

1.] On τολμᾷ, Dares …, Bengel remarks, “Grandi verbo notatur læsa majestas Christianorum.”

τις, no particular individual, but any one: for he proceeds in the plur., 1 Corinthians 6:4; 1 Corinthians 6:7.

πρᾶγμα] So ref. and Demosth. κατὰ στεφ. α. p. 1120, τῷ μὲν υἱεῖ τῷ τούτου πολλῶν πραγμάτων ὄντων οὐ παρέστη πώποτε οὐδʼ ἐβοήθησεν;

κρίνεσθαι, reff., to go to law. So Eur. Med. 609, ὡς οὐ κρινοῦμαι τῶνδε σοὶ τὰ πλείονα,—and Anthol. ii. 30, δυσκώφῳ δύσκωφος ἐκρίνετο, καὶ πολὺ μᾶλλον ἦν ὁ κριτὴς τούτων τῶν δύο κωφότερος. Wetst. on Matthew 5:40.

ἐπί (reff.), before, as judges.

τῶν ἀδίκων] οὐκ εἶπεν, ἐπὶ τῶν ἀπίστων, ἀλλʼ ἐπὶ τῶν ἀδίκων, λέξιν θείς, ἧς μάλιστα χρείαν εἶχεν εἰς τὴν προκειμένην ὑπόθεσιν, ὥστε ἀποτρέψαι κ. ἀπαγαγεῖν. ἐπειδὴ γὰρ περὶ δίκης αὐτῷ ὁ λόγος ἦν, οἱ δικαζόμενοι δὲ οὐδὲν οὕτως ἐπιζητοῦσιν, ὡς τὸ πολλὴν εἶναι πρόνοιαν τοῦ δικαίου παρὰ τοῖς δικάζουσιν, ἐντεῦθεν αὐτοὺς ἀποτρέπει, μονονουχὶ λέγων ποῖ φέρῃ καὶ τί ποιεῖς, ἄνθρωπε, τοὐναντίον πάσχων ὧν ἐπιθυμεῖς, καὶ ὑπὲρ τοῦ τῶν δικαίων τυχεῖν ἀδίκοις ἐπιτρέπων ἀνθρώποις; Chrys. Hom. xvi. p 137.

The Rabbinical prohibitions against going to law before Gentiles may be seen in Wetst.: e.g. “Statutum est, ad quod omnes Israelitæ obligantur, eum qui litem cum alio habet, non debere eam tractare coram gentilibus.” Tanchuma, xcii. 2.

καὶ οὐχὶ ἐπὶ τ. ἁγίων] The Apostle does not mean that the Christians had their courts of law, but that they should submit their differences to courts of arbitration among themselves. Such courts of arbitration were common among the Jews. In Jos. Antt. xiv. 10. 17, there is a decree by which the Jews of Sardis are allowed the use of a σύνοδος ἰδίακαὶ τόπος ἴδιος, ἐν ᾧ τά τε πράγματα κ. τὰς πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἀντιλογίας κρίνουσι.

Theodoret shews, ὡς οὐκ ἐναντία ταῦτα τοῖς πρὸς ῥωμαίους γραφεῖσιν (Romans 13:1 ff.):— οὐ γὰρ ἀντιτείνειν κελεύει τοῖς ἄρχουσιν, ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἠδικημένοις νομοθετεῖ μὴ κεχρῆσθαι τοῖς ἄρχουσι. See Stanley in loc., who thinks the existence of such courts is here implied. But his support of his view from the Ap. Constt. and the Clementines, cir. A.D. 150, would only go to shew that the Apostle’s injunction here had been obeyed, and that those courts were the result.


Verses 1-11

1–11.] PROHIBITION TO SETTLE THEIR DIFFER CES IN THE LEGAL COURTS OF THE HEATHEN: RATHER SHOULD THESE BE ADJUDGED AMONG THEMSELVES (1–6): BUT FAR BETTER NOT TO QUARREL—RATHER TO SUFFER WRONG, WAITING FOR JUSTICE TO BE DONE AT THE COMING OF THE LORD, WHEN ALL WHO DO WRONG SHALL BE EXCLUDED FORM HIS KINGDOM (6–11).


Verse 2

2.] οὐκ οἴδατε (reff.) appeals to an axiomatic truth.

οἱ ἅγιοι τ. κ. κριν.] that the saints shall judge the world?—i.e. as assessors of Christ, at His coming: so Daniel 7:22 (Theod.), ἦλθεν ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμερῶν, καὶ τὸ κρίμα ἔδωκεν ἁγίοις ὑψίστου; see also Matthew 19:28. So Calv., Beza, Grot., Est., Wolf, Olsh., Billroth, Rückert, Meyer, De Wette. All attempts to elude this plain meaning of the words are futile: whether of Chrys., Theophyl., Theodor-Mops(11), Theodoret, Erasm.,— κρινοῦσι δὲ οὐχὶ αὐτοὶ καθήμενοι κ. λόγον ἀπαιτοῦντες, ἀλλὰ κατακρινοῦσι (Matthew 12:41-42), Chrys.—for this would be no parallel to the case in hand;—or of Lightf., Vitringa, Bengel (but only as a præludium futurorum), al.,—‘quod Christiani futuri sint magistratus et judices in mundo,’—Lightf., which does not satisfy 1 Corinthians 6:3, nor agree with the Apostle’s earnest persuasion (see 2 Corinthians 5. al., and note on 2 Thessalonians 2:2) that the coming of Christ was near at hand: or of Mosheim, Ernesti, Rosenm., ‘quod Christiani profanos judicare possint,’ Rosenm., in the sense of ch. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16,—for no such meaning can be conveyed by the future, which is fixed here by the following κρινοῦμεν.

καί brings out an inconsequence or a contradiction between the members of the sentence, which it is the object of the question to remove: so Xen. Cyr. 4:3. 11, ἀλλʼ εἴποι ἄν τις, ὅτι παῖδες ὄντες ἐμάνθανον. καὶ πότερα παῖδές εἰσι φρονιμώτεροι ὥστε μαθεῖν τὰ φραζόμενα κ. δεικνύμενα ἢ ἄνδρες; see Hartung, Partikellehre, i. 147.

ἐν ὑμῖν] Chrys. attempts by this prepos. to defend his view (see above),— οὐ γὰρ εἶπεν, ὑφʼ ὑμῶν, ἀλλʼ ἐν ὑμῖν (‘exemplo vestro’). But in vain: nor as Grot., al., ἐν, by:—for κρίνεσθαι ἐν is the expression for to be judged before, as judges: the judges being the vehicle of judgment, its conditioning element, as in ref. Acts. So Aristides, Platon. ii. p. 214 (Wetst.), τινὲς ἤδη λέγονται τῶν ἡρώων ἐν θεοῖς δικασταῖς κριθῆναι and Polyb. v. 29. 6, πτολεμαῖονκρίνας ἐν τοῖς ΄ακεδόσιν ἀπέκτεινε. See other examples in Wetst. Hence (Meyer) by this ‘coram vobis’ it appears plainly, though it might be otherwise inferred from the context, that the Saints are to be the judges, sitting in judgment.

ἀνάξιοί ἐστε κριτ. ἐλαχ.] are ye unworthy of (i.e. to hold or pronounce) the smallest judgments? κριτήρια cannot be, as usually rendered, ‘matters to be judged:’ it signifies either (1) criteria, lit. or metaphor., which sense is irrelevant here: (2) tribunals, courts of justice:—so Glossar. κριτήριον, δικαστήριον, and Polyb. ix. 33. 12, κοινὸν ἐκ πάντων τῶν ἑλλήνων καθίσας κριτήριον—or (3) judgments held in such courts, judicia,—as Lucian. bis accus. (§ 25, p. 253, ed. Hagan. 1526); Hermes describes Pyrrhon as being not in court, ὅτι οὐδὲν ἡγεῖται κριτήριον ἀληθὲς εἶναι: to which δίκη replies, τοιγαροῦν ἐρήμην αὐτοῦ καταδικάτωσαν. The last meaning suits both this place and 1 Corinthians 6:4. So Cicero speaks of ‘in privatis minimarum rerum judiciis.’ Here, they are ἐλάχιστα in comparison with the weighty judgments which shall be held hereafter; = βιωτικά, 1 Corinthians 6:4.


Verse 3

3.] The same glorious office of Christians is again referred to, and even a more striking point of contrast brought out.

ἀγγέλους] always, where not otherwise specified, good angels: and therefore here; the λειτουργικὰ πνεύματα of Hebrews 1:14; but exactly how we shall judge them, is not revealed to us. Chrys., Theodoret, Œcum., Theophyl., and most Commentators interpret it of bad angels, or of bad and good together: and Chrys. as before, understands that the bad angels will be condemned by comparison with us, ὅταν γὰρ αἱ ἀσώματοι δυνάμεις αὐταὶ ἔλαττον ἡμῶν εὑρεθῶσιν ἔχουσαι τῶν σάρκα περιβεβλημένων, χαλεπώτερον δώσουσι δίκην. p. 138. But see above on 1 Corinthians 6:2.

μήτιγε, to say nothing of, ‘ut omittam:’ so Demosth. p. 24. 23, οὐκ ἔνι δʼ αὐτὸν ἀργοῦντα οὐδὲ τοῖς φίλοις ἐπιτάττειν ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ τι ποιεῖν, μή τί γε δὴ τοῖς θεοῖς. See Hartung, Partikellehre, ii. 155.

βιωτικά, matters relating to ὁ βίος, a man’s livelihood: see ref. and Clem(12) Alex. Strom. vii. 12 (69), p. 873 P., θλιβόμενον ἐπικουφίζει παραμνθίαις …, ταῖς βιωτικαῖς χρείαις ἐπικουρῶν. It is a word of later Greek usage, see Lexx. In classic Greek it would be τὰ τοῦ βίου.

The meaning here then will be civil causes, matters of meum and tuum, as De Wette. The sense is best with only a comma at κρινοῦμεν.


Verse 4

4.] βιωτικά is emphatically repeated, as being the only sort of κριτήρια which were in question here. Meyer compares Herod, vii. 104, τὰ ἂν ἐκεῖνος ἀνώγῃ· ἀνώγει δὲ τὠϋτὸ ἀεί, and Aristoph. Ran. 287 f.

μὲν οὖν, ‘immo vero,’ reff. (see below). It corrects a foregoing misapprehension: so Soph. Œd. Col. 31, “ δεῦρο προσστείχοντα κἀξορμώμενον;” “ καὶ δὴ μὲν οὖν παρόντα.” Hartung, Partikell. ii. 400. See also Moulton’s Winer, p. 556, note 2.

κριτήρια, again, not matters to be judged, but judgments: the matters about which, are expressed in βιωτικά.

The following words may be rendered in two ways: either, ( α) ‘Yea, rather (so far from remembering your high prospect, of judging angels, your practice is), if ye have in hand judgments concerning civil matters,—those men who are of no account in the church (viz. the heathen), those you set up (place on the bench) as judges’ (i.e. by bringing your causes before them, you set them up as judges over you). καθίζω occurs in this sense in Plato, Legg. ix. p. 873, ἐὰν δὲ ἄψυχόν τι ψυγῆς ἄνθρωπον στερήσνῃ, … δικαστὴν μὲν αυτῷ καθιζέτω τῶν γειτόνων τὸν ἐγγύτατον ὁ προσήκων γένει—and Polyb. ix. 33. 12, cited above on κριτήριον. Thus, making καθίζ. indicative, Valla, Castal., Luther, Calov., Wolf, al., Schrader, Rückert, Olsh., De Wette, Meyer. But ( β) Syr., Vulg., Chrys., Theodoret, Theophyl., Erasm., Beza, Calvin, Grot., Estius, Bengel, Wetst., al., take καθίζετε as imperative, and τοὺς ἐξουθεν. ἐν τ. ἐκκλ. as ‘minimos de piorum plebe.’ So E. V.: set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. And to this last interpretation I am inclined to accede, both from the context and from the arrangement of the words. The context is this: ‘Your office is to judge angels:’ mere business causes of this world are almost beneath your notice. If such causes arise among you (he continues in a lofty irony) set those to judge them who are of no account among you:—do not go out of your own number to others to have them judged: the meanest among you is capable of doing it. Let it be noticed that he is passing to 1 Corinthians 6:7, where he insists on the impropriety of βιωτικὰ κριτ. between Christians at all, and is here depreciating them ironically.

But the arrangement and construction of the words are even more strongly in favour of the imperative rendering. For (1) on the other, no account is given of the emphatic position of βιωτικά. (2) the μὲν οὖν is not so naturally rendered (see above) ‘yea rather your course is,’ as ‘yea rather let your practice be:’ it expresses more naturally a subjective correction, in the mind of the speaker, than an objective one: see below, ver.7. (3) if the sentence had referred to their existing practice of going before heathen tribunals, it would have been expressed not βιωτικὰ μὲν οὖν κριτ. ἐὰν ἔχητε, but β. μ. οὖν κρ. ἔχοντες, as in 1 Corinthians 6:1. (4) οἱ ἐξουθενημένοι ἐν τῇ ἐκκ. are much more naturally the despised in (within) the church, than those who in (the estimation of) the church are held of no account. Meyer argues against this that it would be in this case τοὺς ἐξουθ. τοὺς ἐν τῇ ἐκκλ., but surely he can hardly be serious, or I do not understand him rightly. (5) καθίζετε applies much better to the appointing judges over a matter among themselves, than to going before judges already appointed. (6) as to the objection that on this rendering the word ‘rather’ must be inserted, τούτους μᾶλλον καθίζετε, it has no force, for no such supplement is required. The command is absolute, but given to shew them the absurdity of their going to law about βιωτικά at all, rather than bona fide.


Verse 5

5.] πρὸς ἐντρ. ὑμ. λέγω refers to the ironical command in 1 Corinthians 6:4I say this to put you to shame.

οὕτως] Is there so completely a lack of all wise men among you.… He now suggests the more Christian way of settling their differences, viz. by arbitration: and asks, ‘Are you come to this, that yon are obliged καθίζειν any δικαστάς at all,’—have you no wise man among you (the rec., οὐδὲ εἷς, would be ‘quod est vehementius, cum sitis tam multi.’ Erasm.) who shall be able (in such event) to decide (as arbitrator) between his brother (i.e. his brethren)? This last is a harsh method of expression, and apparently only to be accounted for by the singular form of οὐδεὶς σοφός having attracted the other into the singular likewise, so that instead of σοφοὶ οἳ δυνήσονται διακρ. ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν ἀδελφῶν αὐτῶν, we have σαφὸς ὃς δυνήσεται διακρ. ἀνὰ μ. τοῦ ἀδ. αὐτοῦ. But it is not without use: it prevents the apparent inference, which might be made if τῶν ἀδελφῶν αὐτοῦ were used, that one wise man was to be appointed universal arbitrator,—and confines the appointment of the arbitrator to each possibly arising case respectively.


Verse 6

6.] (It seems not to be so): nay, &c., as implied in 1 Corinthians 6:1.

ἀλλά after a question passes rapidly on to the other alternative, the particle negativing the question being suppressed. So Xen. Mem. i. 2. 2, πῶς οὖν αὐτὸς ὢν τοιοῦτος ἄλλους ἂν ἀσεβεῖςἐποίησεν; ἀλλʼ ἔπαυσε μὲν τούτων πολλούς, ἀρετῆς ποιήσας ἐπιθυμεῖν. See Hartung, Partikellehre, ii. 37.


Verse 7

7.] He gives his own censure of their going to law at all.

μὲν οὖν as above, 1 Corinthians 6:4.

ὅλως, altogether, without the aggravation of ἐπὶ ἀπίστων.

ἥττημα, a falling short, viz. of your inheritance of the kingdom of God—a hindrance in the way of your salvation: see 1 Corinthians 6:9 :—not as ordinarily understood (see especially Estius in loc.) a moral delinquency (cf. the usage in reff.), nor an ἡττᾶσθαι τῇ ὀργῇ, as Œcum.

κρίματα, matters of dispute, leading to κρίνεσθαι; not = κρίσεις,— μεθʼ ἑαυτῶν, with one another (reff.), as being brethren in Christ.

ἀδικεῖσθε and ἀποστερεῖσθε not passives, but middle (cf. Bernhardy, Syntax, chap. viii. § 4, p. 346: Menander frag.: οὗτος κράτιστός ἐστʼ ἀνήρ, ὦ γοργία, ὅστις ἀδικεῖσθαι πλεῖστʼ ἐπίσταται βροτῶν: Hesiod. ἔργ. 347, εὖ μὲν μετρεῖσθαι παρὰ γείτονος, εὖδʼ ἀποδοῦναι)—allow yourselves to be wronged and defrauded. See Matthew 5:39 ff.


Verse 8

8.] cannot be, as Meyer, a continuation of the question, on account of the emphatic ὑμεῖς, which would thus be without meaning. The account of this emphatic ὑμεῖς is to be found in an ellipsis after ἀποστερεῖσθε to the effect, ‘as our Lord commanded us His disciples,’ or ‘as it behoves the followers of Christ.’ Then ὑμεῖς comes in contrast: YOU on the contrary ( ἀλλά, see above 1 Corinthians 6:6) do wrong, and defraud, and that (your) brethren.


Verse 9

9.] ‘Ye commit wrong:’ this looks as if you had forgotten the rigid exclusion from the kingdom of God of all wrong-doers of every kind (included here under ἄδικοι); see Galatians 5:21.

μὴ πλανᾶσθε] This caution would be most salutary and needful in a dissolute place like Corinth. It is similarly used, and with an express reference to ὁμιλίαι κακαί, ch. 1 Corinthians 15:33.

πόρνοι refers back to ch. 5, and is taken up again, 1 Corinthians 6:12 ff.

μαλακοί = παθικοί (see in Wetst.).

μέθυσοι, see on ch. 1 Corinthians 5:11.


Verse 11

11.] ‘These things were the former state of some among you: but ye are now in a far different state.’ These things (I cannot think with Meyer that ταῦτα is used with an implication of contempt, such a horde, or rabble: it is rather ‘of such a kind,’ see Winer, Gr. § 23.5) were some of you ( τινες limits the ὑμεῖς which is the suppressed subject of ἦτε): but ye washed them off (viz. at your baptism. The 1 aor. mid. cannot by any possibility be passive in signification, as it is generally, for doctrinal reasons, here rendered. On the other hand the middle sense has no doctrinal import, regarding merely the fact of their having submitted themselves to Christian baptism. See ref. Acts), but (there is in the repetition of ἀλλά, the triumph of one who was under God the instrument of this mighty change) ye were sanctified (not in the dogmatic sense of progressive sanctification, but so that whereas before you were unholy, by the reception of the Holy Ghost you became dedicated to God and holy), but ye were justified (by faith in Christ, you received the δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ, Romans 1:17), in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and in the (working of the) Spirit of our God. These two last clauses must not be fancifully (as Meyer, al.) assigned amongst the preceding. They belong to all, as De Wette rightly maintains. The spiritual washing in baptism, the sanctification of the children of God, the justification of the believer, are all wrought in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and are each and all the work of the Spirit of our God.

By the ἡμῶν again, he binds the Corinthians and himself together in the glorious blessings of the gospel-state, and mingles the oil of joy with the mourning which by his reproof he is reluctantly creating.


Verse 12

12.] Statement of the true doctrine of Christian freedom. πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν are the bona fide words of the Apostle himself, not, as some have understood them, the saying of an opponent cited by him. For (1) the sentiment is a true Christian axiom: πάντα being of course understood, as it evidently was even by the abusers of the doctrine, of things (supposed by them) ἀδιάφορα. (2) It is not introduced by any clause indicative of its being the saying of another, which is Paul’s habit in such cases, see Romans 11:19. (3) The Apostle does not either deny or qualify the ἔξεστιν, but takes up the matter from another point of view, viz. the συμφέρει. The μοι is spoken in the person of Christians generally. “Sæpe Paulus prima persona singulari eloquitur quæ vim habent gnomes: in hac præsertim epistola, 1 Corinthians 6:15, ch. 1 Corinthians 7:7, 1 Corinthians 8:13, 1 Corinthians 10:23; 1 Corinthians 10:29-30, 1 Corinthians 14:11.” Bengel.

συμφέρει are advantageous—in the most general sense: distinguished from οἰκοδομεῖ, ch. 1 Corinthians 10:23, where the words again occur. Meyer cites from Theodor. Mops(13),— ἐπειδὴ γὰρ οὐ πάντα συμφέρει, δῆλον ὡς οὐ πᾶσι χρηστέον, ἀλλὰ τοῖς ὠφελοῦσι μόνοις.

ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἐγὼ ἐξ.] Meyer thinks that the ἐγώ here has an emphasis, as meaning the real I, my moral personality. But this can hardly be so: the real emphasis is on οὐκ, and ἐγώ corresponds to μοι, expressed more to bring out the first person as the sample of Christians in general, than for any such formal distinction.

ἐξουσιασθήσομαι] I will not be deprived of my freedom by any practice;—i.e. indulge in any practice which shall mar this liberty and render it no real freedom, making me to be one under ἐξουσία, instead of one exercising it. The play on ἔξεστι and ἐξουσία cannot be given in English.


Verses 12-20

12–20.] CORRECTION OF AN ABUSE OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRISTIAN FREEDOM WHICH SOME AMONG THEM HAD MADE, THAT, AS MEATS WERE INDIFFERENT, SO WAS FORNICATION (1 Corinthians 6:12-17). STRONG PROHIBITION OF, AND DISSUASIVE FROM THIS SIN (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).


Verse 13

13.] τῇ κοιλ., scil. ἐστιν. The belly is their appointed receptacle—they, its appointed pabulum. Of course even this part of the argument must be understood within the limits of οὐ πάντα συμφέρει.

ὁ δὲ θ.… καταργ.] viz. at the appearing of the Lord: when, ch. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, we shall be changed from a σῶμα ψυχικόν, to be a σῶμα πνευματικόν: not, at death.

τῇ πορν.] The body was not made for the practice of fornication. The reciprocal subserviency of the belly and meats is shewn by their coextensiveness in duration, and perishing together: but when πορνεία (and even that lawful use which is physically the same, but which is not here contemplated) shall have for ever passed away, the body shall be subserving its real use—that of being an instrument for the Lord’s work.

κ. ὁ κύρ. τῷ σώμ.] not, only for the body: but for the body; to sanctify our bodies by His Spirit, and finally to glorify them for Himself, see Romans 8:11. This final reference must not be excluded here, though it is not the principal thought:—rather, the redemption of the body from sin, and making it into a member of Himself by the Spirit.


Verse 13-14

13, 14.] “a cibis ad venerem non valet consequentia.” Bengel. The argument is,—meats (of which he doubtless had often impressed on them that they were ἀδιάφορα, whence the abuse) are expressly created for the belly, and the belly for them, by its organization being fitted to assimilate them; and both these are of a transitory nature: in the change to the more perfect state, God will do away with both. Therefore meats are ἀδιάφορα. But neither is the body created for fornication, nor can this transitoriness be predicated of it: the body is for the Lord, and the Lord (in his mediatorial work) for the body: and God raised up the Lord, and will raise up us (i.e. our bodies): so that the body is not perishable, and (resumed 1 Corinthians 6:18) he that fornicates, sins against his own body. THEREFORE, fornication is not an ἀδιάφορον.

It is very remarkable how these verses contain the germ of three weighty sections of the Epistle about to follow, and doubtless in the Apostle’s mind when he wrote them, (1) the relation between the sexes: (2) the question of meats offered to idols: (3) the doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body. See Neander, Pfl. u. Leit. p. 401, note 21.


Verse 14

14.] So far from the case of the Lord and the body answering to the other, God raised up the Lord (Romans 8:11, al. fr.), and will raise up us too by His power. I cannot adopt here the reading ( ἐξήγειρεν), or the view, of Meyer. He holds, that all reference to the resurrection, as a thing future, is out of place: that the Apostle refers to the virtual and proleptic resurrection which has already taken place in the case of the believer, as Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12,—and thinks that the reading ἐξεγερεῖ has arisen from not seeing this. But how unnatural will the construction thus be— ὁ δὲ θεὸς καὶ τὸν κύριον ἤγειρεν, καὶ ἡμᾶς ἐξήγειρεν, διὰ τ. δυν. αὐτοῦ! I can conceive no account of such a sentence, except that some emphasis is meant to be laid on the distinction between ἤγειρεν and ἐξ ήγειρεν which idea (maintained by Bengel, al.) Meyer himself very properly repudiates: see below. The future corresponds to καταργήσει, and is used with ἡμᾶς,—contrary to the usual practice of Paul, who expected to be alive at the παρουσία,—as the expression, in the first person, of the truth of the future resurrection, not destruction of the body. ἤγειρεν, viz. ἐκ νεκρῶν, Acts 3:15; Romans 4:24, and passim: ἐξεγερεῖ, viz. ἐκ νεκρῶν. So that there is no real difference between the two words.


Verse 15

15.] Resumption of τὸ σῶμα τῷ κυρίῳ κ. ὁ κύριος τῷ σώματι. The two are so intimately connected, that the Lord is a mystical Body, of which our bodies, parts of ourselves in our perfect organization, are members. This Christian axiom is introduced as before (reff.) by οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι.

Having then ( οὖν, ‘concesso,’ that my body is a member = my members are members of Christ) alienated ([or, taken away] ἄρας is not merely pleonastic, ‘Shall I take … and make them.…’ as E. V. This is shewn by its position first in the sentence) the members of Christ (i.e. my own members) shall I make them an harlot’s members? The expression πόρνης μέλη is put as coarsely and startlingly as possible, with the emphasis on πόρνης.

ποιήσω may also be the aor. subj., ‘must I, have I any right to, make them?’ But μὴ γένοιτο answers better to the future.


Verse 16

16.] Explanation and justification of the expression πόρνης μέλη. , as De Wette well, “Do you think the expression ποιήσω πόρν. μέλη too strong?”

κολλ.ublicher Vusdrud fur Geschlechtsvereinigung.” De Wette.

τῇ πόρνῃ] with a harlot, generic: or which in fact amounts to the same, with ‘the harlot,’ presupposed in the hypothesis.

ἓν σῶμα, viz. ‘with her.’ The full construction would be ὅτι ὁ κολλ. τῇ πόρ. καὶ ἡ πόρ. ἓν σ. εἰσιν, but he is here bringing out the criminality of the fornicator, and leaves the other out of view.

The citation is spoken of marriage; but here as above (see on 1 Corinthians 6:13) he is treating merely of the physical act, which is the same in both cases.

φησιν, viz. GOD, Who is the speaker in the Scriptures: so in citing the same words, our Lord gives them to ὁ ποιήσας ( αὐτοὺς) ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, Matthew 19:5. They were spoken by the mouth of Adam, but prophetically, divino afflatu. To render φησιν impersonal, ‘it says,’ ‘heißt es,’ though justified by classical usage, see Winer, edn. 6, § 58. 9, would, as Meyer remarks, be altogether without precedent in the citations of Paul. The words οἱ δύο are not in the Heb., but in the LXX and the Samaritan Pentateuch, and are found in the Rabbinical citations of the passage. See note on Matthew 19:5.


Verse 17

17.] Union to God, His service, and His ways, is often expressed by this word ( κολλ.) in the LXX (reff.): but here that inner union with Christ in spirit is meant, which is the normal state of every believer, and of which it may be said that he ἓν πν. ἐστιν with Christ. See John 17:21, and the parable of John 15:1-7. Meyer rightly remarks, that the mystical marriage between Christ and His Church must not (as Olsh. from Ephesians 5:23 ff.) be pressed here, as the relations of the compared are not correspondent. Still, however, the inner verity of that mystical relation is the ground of both passages.


Verse 18

18.] φεύγετε might be followed by οὖν, but is more forcible in this disconnected form.

πᾶν ἁμάρτ.] The assertion, which has surprised many of the Commentators, is nevertheless strictly true. Drunkenness and gluttony, e.g. are sins done in and by the body, and are sins by abuse of the body,—but they are still ἐκτὸς τοῦ σώματος—introduced from without, sinful not in their act, but in their effect, which effect it is each man’s duty to foresee and avoid. But fornication is the alienating that body which is the Lord’s, and making it a harlot’s body—it is sin against a man’s own body, in its very nature,—against the verity and nature of his body; not an effect on the body from participation of things without, but a contradiction of the truth of the body, wrought within itself. When man and wife are one in the Lord,—united by His ordinance,—no such alienation of the body takes place, and consequently no sin.


Verses 18-20

18–20.] Direct prohibition of fornication, and its grounds.


Verse 19

19.] Justification of the εἰς τὸ ἴδ. σῶμ. ἁμαρτ. above,—and this by an amplification of the above σῶμα τῷ κυρίῳ, and ἓν πνεῦμά ἐστιν. Your body (i.e. the body of each man among you, but put singular, to keep, as in ch. 1 Corinthians 3:16, the unity of the idea of God’s temple, or perhaps because the body in its attributes is in question here) is the temple of (possessed by, as His residence: the temple, not a temple, see note on ch. 1 Corinthians 3:16) the Holy Spirit who is in you (reminiscence of the reality of His indwelling), whom ye have from God (reminiscence, whose Spirit He is, and so preparation for the following inference), and are not your own (so that ye have no right to alienate your body, not being yours).


Verse 20

20.] Proof, that ye are not your own. The possession of your body as His temple, by the Holy Ghost, is a presumptive proof that ye are not; but there is also a proof in matter of fact: For ye were bought (not, as E. V. are bought, which destroys the historic reference) with a price (viz. the blood of Christ, see 1 Peter 1:18-19; Matthew 20:28; Galatians 3:13,—not as Vulg. prelio magno: τιμῆς merely recalls the fact here, that a price was paid and so the purchase completed). This buying is here mentioned mainly with reference to the right of possession, which Christ has thereby acquired in us. In other places it is alleged as a freeing from other services: e.g. that of sin (Romans 6:17-18), of the law and its curse (Galatians 3.), of Satan (Colossians 1:13).

δοξάς. δὴ.…] Glorify then ( δή, not exactly an inference from the foregoing, but = ‘eja,’ ‘agedum,’ tending to enforce and intensify the command: “as a cheering or hortatory expression,” Stanley. So Od. 1 Corinthians 6:17, τέτλαθι δή, κραδίη; see Hartung, Partikellehre, i. 284 f.) God (i.e. not praise God, but glorify Him by your acts) in your body (not, by means of your body, but in your body, as the temple of God; see John 13:32).

 


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Bibliography Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-corinthians-6.html. 1863-1878.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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