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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
1 Corinthians 1

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

CHAPTER 1

1 Corinthians 1:1. κλητός] is wanting, indeed, in A D E, Clar. Germ. Cyr. (suspected by Mill and Griesb., bracketed by Lachm., deleted by Rückert), but was easily overlooked by those to whom the fact was known and familiar, that Paul in the beginning of his Epistles almost invariably styles himself ἀπόστ. . χ. διὰ θελ. θεοῦ without κλητός; see 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1. Comp also Galatians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:1; only in Romans 1:1 we find κλητός.

Instead of ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, read, on preponderant evidence, with Lachm. and Tisch., χριστοῦ ἰησοῦ.—1 Corinthians 1:2. τῇ οὔσῃ ἐν κορ.] is placed by B D* E F G, It. after ἰησοῦ; so Lachm. and Tisch. No doubt rightly, since the common arrangement of the words is plainly open to the suspicion of transposition on grounds of grammar, whereas there is no reason why, if it stood so originally, it should have undergone alteration. The hypothesis of Fritzsche, de conformat. N. T. Lachm. 1841, p. 44, that ἡγιασμ. ἐν χ. . had been left out, and then reinserted in the wrong place, is an arbitrary one, considering the weight of evidence on Lachmann’s side, and seeing that the right place for the reinsertion would have been so unmistakeable.

τε καί] Lachm.: καί, according to B D G א. But how easily τε might be dropped without its being noticed!—1 Corinthians 1:14. Rückert has ΄ου after θεῷ, in accordance with A, 17, 57, al(67), and several vss(68) and Fathers. An addition from 1 Corinthians 1:4-15. ἐβάπτισα] A B C* א, min(69) and several vss(70) and Fathers have ἐβαπτίσθητε; so Lachm. Rück. and Tisch. Rightly; the immediate context in 1 Corinthians 1:14; 1 Corinthians 1:16 led to the introduction of the active at a very early date (Syr(71) Tert.).—1 Corinthians 1:20. τούτου after κόσμου is wanting in very important witnesses. Deleted by Lachm. Tisch. and Rückert. A mechanical addition from the foregoing.—1 Corinthians 1:22. σημεῖον] σημεῖα, adopted by Griesb. Lachm. Rück. Tisch. Scholz, is so decisively attested by A B C D E F G א, min(72) and many vss(73) and Fathers, that we must regard the singular as introduced through the recollection of Matthew 12:38 f., 1 Corinthians 16:4, al(74) The reading ἐπιζήτουσιν in A points in the same direction. See the detailed justification of the plur. in Reiche, Commentar. crit. I. p. 121 ff.—1 Corinthians 1:23. ἔθνεσι] Elz.: ἕλλησι, against decisive evidence. Noted on margin, and then adopted in accordance with what goes before and follows.—1 Corinthians 1:28. Before τὰ μὴ ὄντα Elz. has καί, against preponderant testimony. Suspected by Griesb.; deleted by Lachm. Scholz, Rück. and Tisch. Mechanical connection.—1 Corinthians 1:29. τοῦ θεοῦ] So Griesb. and all later editors, following decisive evidence. αὐτοῦ in Elz. is an over-hasty correction, due to a failure to recognise the design of the repetition of τ. θεοῦ.—1 Corinthians 1:30. σοφία ἡμῖν] Approved by Griesb., adopted also by Lachm. Rück. and Tisch. Elz. and Scholz, however, have ἡμῖν σοφία. For the former order are A C D E א, min(75) Vulg. ms. It. Harl.** Or. Eus. al(76), further, B, which has σοφ. ἡμῶν, and F G, which have σοφία ἡμῖν. ἡμῖν was put first, in order to join σοφία closely to ἀπὸ θεοῦ; while others marked the conception of the true wisdom by the article (F G).


Verse 1

1 Corinthians 1:1. κλητὸς ἀπόστ. See on Romans 1:1. A polemical reference (Chrysostom, Theophylact, and many others, including Flatt, Rückert, Olshausen, Osiander), which would be foreign to the winning tone of the whole exordium, would have been quite otherwise expressed by one so decided as Paul (comp Galatians 1:1).

διὰ θελ. θεοῦ] That his position as an apostle called by Christ was brought about by the will of God, was a truth so vividly and firmly implanted in his consciousness, that he commonly includes an expression of it in the beginning of his Epistles. See 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1. “Sua ipsius voluntate P. nunquam factus esset apostolus,” Bengel. Regarding διά, see on 1 Corinthians 1:9 and Galatians 1:1.

καὶ σωσθένης] Modern interpreters reckon him the amanuensis of the Epistle (see 1 Corinthians 16:21). But the mere amanuensis as such has no share in the Epistle itself, which must, however, be the case with one who holds a place in the introductory salutation. Since, moreover, in 1 and 2 Thess. we find two others besides Paul named with him in the superscription (who therefore could hardly both be mentioned as amanuenses), and even an indefinite number of “brethren” in the Epistle to the Galatians, whereas in that to the Romans the amanuensis—who is known from 1 Corinthians 16:22—does not appear as included in the superscription, we must rather suppose that Paul made his Epistle run not only in his own name, but also (although, of course, in a subordinate sense) in the name of Sosthenes, so that the Corinthians were to regard the letter of the apostle as at the same time a letter of Sosthenes, who thereby signified his desire to impress upon them the same doctrines, admonitions, etc. This presupposes that Paul had previously considered and discussed with this friend of his the contents of the letter to be issued. Comp on Philippians 1:1. Sosthenes himself accordingly appears as a teacher then present with the apostle and enjoying his confidence, but known to, and respected among, the Corinthians. There remains, indeed, the possibility that he may have also written the Epistle, but only in so far as we are in utter ignorance of who the amanuensis was at all. Had Timothy not already started on his journey (1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 16:10), he would have had a place along with, or instead of, Sosthenes in the salutation of the Epistle; comp 2 Corinthians 1:1.

Theodoret and most commentators, including Flatt, Billroth, Ewald, Maier, Hofmann, identify Sosthenes with the person so named in Acts 18:17; but this is rightly denied by Michaelis, Pott, Rückert, and de Wette. See on Acts, l.c(80) Without due ground, Rückert concludes that he was a young man trained up by Paul—a view least of all to be deduced from the assumption that he was the amanuensis of the letter. The very absence of any definite information whatever as to Sosthenes shows how utterly arbitrary is the remark of Chrysostom, Theophylact, Grotius, and Estius, that it was a great proof of modesty in the apostle to name him along with himself.

ἀδελφός] denotes nothing more special than Christian brotherhood (so also 2 Corinthians 1:1; Colossians 1:1, al(81)), not fellowship in the office of teacher. The particulars of the position of Sosthenes were well known to the readers.


Verses 1-3

1 Corinthians 1:1-3. Apostolic address and greeting.


Verse 2

1 Corinthians 1:2. τῇ ἐκκλ. τ. θεοῦ] θεοῦ is genitive of the owner. Comp קְהַל יְהֹוָה, Numbers 16:3; Numbers 20:4. The expression is with Paul the standing theocratic designation of the Christian community, in which the theocratic idea of the Old Testament קהל presents itself as realized; it is the πλήρωσις of this קהל. Comp 1 Corinthians 10:32, 1 Corinthians 11:16; 1 Corinthians 11:22, 1 Corinthians 15:9; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:13, al(84)

ἡγιασμ. ἐν χ. .] adds at once a distinctive definition of quality to τ. ἐκκλ. τ. θεοῦ (see the critical remarks), and thereupon follows the local specification of τ. ἐκκλ. τ. θεοῦ. “To the church of God, men sanctified in Christ Jesus, which is in Corinth.” How common it is to find a participle in the plural standing in an attributive relation to a collective singular, may he seen in Kühner, II. p. 43; Pflugk, a(85) Eur. Hec. 39. τῇ οὔσῃ ἐν κορ., however, is purposely placed after ἡγιασμ. κ. τ. λ(86), because the thought is, that the church of God addressed does in itself and as such (not as Corinthian) consist of those sanctified in Christ. The ἁγιασμός is to be conceived as consecration to God in the Christian church (see above, τ. ἐκκλ. τ. θεοῦ). Comp on Romans 1:7. This belonging to God as His own has its causal ground not out of, but in Christ—namely, in His redemptive work, of which the Christians have become, and continue to be, partakers (perfect) by means of justifying faith (Ephesians 1:4 ff.; Hebrews 10:10). Comp Philippians 1:1. ἐν χ. . gives to the ἡγιασ΄. its distinctively Christian character.

κλητοῖς ἁγίοις] added, in order to a properly exhaustive description of that experienced benefit of God’s grace of which the readers, as Christians, were assumed to be conscious; the new element introduced here lies in κλητοῖς. The call to the Messianic kingdom (conceived as issued effectually, comp on Romans 8:28, and see Lamping, Pauli de praedestin. decreta, Leovard. 1858, p. 32 f.) is, according to the constant conception of the N. T. (Romans 1:6; Galatians 1:6 not excepted), given by God (1 Corinthians 1:9, Romans 8:30; Romans 9:24, al(90); Usteri, Lehrbegr. p. 281) through the preachers of the gospel (Romans 10:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:14); see Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 386 f.

σὺν πᾶσι κ. τ. λ(91)] does not belong to κλητοῖς ἁγίοις, so that the readers were to be made sensible of the greatness of the fellowship in which they, as called saints, stood (Grotius, Bengel, Storr, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Billroth, Rückert, Olshausen, de Wette, Neander, Becker, Hofmann). But it belongs, as necessarily follows from 2 Corinthians 1:1, to the superscription as part of it (on σύν, comp Philippians 1:1); yet neither so as to mark the Epistle as a catholic one (Theodoret, Estius, Calovius, Cornelius a Lapide, and others; comp Schrader); nor so that Paul shall be held, while greeting the Corinthians, as greeting in spirit also the universal church (Osiander, comp Chrysostom, Theodoret, Erasmus, Billroth, Heydenreich, and others); nor yet so that by the ἐπικαλ. τ. ὄν. τ. κυρ. were meant the separatists, in contrast to those disposed to adhere to the church (Vitringa, Michaelis), or as if σὺν πᾶσι κ. τ. λ(95) were meant to comprehend all Corinthian Christians without distinction (Eichhorn, Einleit. III. 1, p. 110, Pott); but so that the sense is in substance just that expressed in 2 Corinthians 1:1 : σὺν τοῖς ἁγίοις πᾶσι τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ἀχαΐᾳ. See below on αὐτῶν τε καὶ ἡ΄ῶν. The Epistle is primarily addressed to the Christians in Corinth; not, however, to them merely, but at the same time also to the other Achaean Christians, and the latter are denoted by πᾶσιἡμῶν. A comma is to be put after ἁγίοις.

τοῖς ἐπικαλ. τ. ὄν. τ. κυρ.] confessional designation of the Christians, Romans 10:12 f.; Acts 2:21. Respecting the N. T. idea of the invocation of Christ, which is not to be held as absolute, but as relative worship (of Him as the Mediator and Lord over all, but under God, Philippians 2:10 f.), see on Romans 10:12.

αὐτῶν τε καὶ ἠμῶν] is joined with τοῦ κυρίου by Chrysostom, Theodoret, Photius, Theophylact, Calvin, Beza, Piscator, Erasmus Schmid, Valckenaer, and others, including Billroth, Olshausen, Lücke (de invocat. Chr., Götting. 1843), Wieseler (Chronol. des apost. Zeitalt. p. 324), in such a way as to make it an epanorthosis or (see Wieseler) epexegesis of the foregoing ἡμῶν. But apart from the fact that this ἡ΄ῶν in the habitually used κύριος ἡ΄ῶν embraces all Christians, and consequently αὐτῶν τε καὶ ἡμῶν ( ἡμῶν being referred to Paul and Sosthenes) would express something quite self-evident, and that, too, without any special significance of bearing,(96) the position of the words is decisive against this view, and in favour of attaching them to παντὶ τόπῳ, to which they necessarily belong as a more precise definition. Comp Vulg.: “In omni loco ipsorum et nostro.” If, namely, σὺν πᾶσιἡμῶν must denote the Achaean Christians out of Corinth (see above), then παντὶ τόπῳ requires a limitation to the geographical district which is intended. Now, this limitation is not already laid down by ἐν κορίνθῳ (Lücke, Wieseler), since it was precisely in the superscription that the need of definiteness in designating the readers was obvious, but it is expressly given by αὐτῶν τε καὶ ἠμῶν, in such a way, namely, that αὐτῶν refers to the Corinthians, who, however, are indicated not by ὑμῶν, but by αὐτῶν, because from the point where the widening of the address ( σὺν πᾶσι κ. τ. λ(98)) comes in, the Corinthians appear as third parties. Accordingly the Epistle is addressed: To the Corinthian Christians, and to all who, in every place that belongs to them (the Corinthians) and to us as well (Paul and Sosthenes), call upon the name of Christ. Every place in the province, namely, where Christians lived or a church existed (as e.g. in Cenchreæ, Romans 16:1), was a place which belonged to the Corinthians, a τόπος αὐτῶν, in so far as the church at Corinth was the mother-church of the Christian body in Achaia; but each such place belonged also to Paul (and Sosthenes), in so far as he was the founder and apostolic head of Christianity in Corinth and all Achaia. It is quite in accordance with the ingenious subtlety of the apostle to give the designation of the provincials in such a form, as to make his own authority felt over against the prerogative of those living in the capital ( αὐτῶν). As in Romans 16:13 αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐ΄οῦ delicately expresses the community of love (comp also 1 Corinthians 16:18; Philemon 1:11; Soph. El. 417 f.: πατρὸς τοῦ σοῦ τε κἀμοῦ), so here αὐτῶν τε καὶ ἡ΄ῶν the community of right. The objection that the sense in which they belonged to the Corinthians was different from that in which they belonged to Paul and Sosthenes (de Wette), fails to appreciate the point of the words. The offence which Hofm. takes at the reading τε καί (as though it must be equivalent to εἴτε) arises from a misunderstanding; it is the usual co-ordinating τε καί, which here has not even the appearance (Hartung, Partik. I. p. 100) of standing in place of εἴτε. Comp., on the contrary, Hartung, p. 101; Baeuml., Partik. p. 225. Observe, besides, that τε καί gives more rhetorical emphasis to the association of the two genitives than the simple καί; see Dissen, a(100) Dem. de cor. p. 165. Räbiger, krit. Unters. p. 62 f., has assented to our view.(101) Comp also Maier. Those who join σὺν πᾶσι κ. τ. λ(103) to κλητοῖς ἁγ. (see above) usually take αὐτῶν τε καὶ ἡμ. as an analysis of the idea παντί: in every place, where they and where we (Paul and Sosthenes) are, i.e. elsewhere and here in Ephesus. See Calovius, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander. But how meaningless this more precise explanation of παντί would be! In fact, it would be absurd; for, since the subject is all ( πᾶσι κ. τ. λ(104)), in which the ἡ΄εῖς are thus already included, an analysis of it into αὐτοί (which the πάντες are surely already) and ἡ΄εῖς is utterly illogical. This applies also in opposition to Becker, by whom the τόπος ἡ΄ῶν is held to be Corinth, and to refer to the strangers who come to Corinth. Others have, following Ambrosiaster, referred αὐτῶν to the heathen lands, and ἡμῶν to Judaea (Erasmus, Semler, Bolten; similarly Schrader). Contrary to the text, as is also Wetstein’s opinion: “P. suum locum vocat, ubi ipse per praedicationem evangelii ecclesiam fundaverat. Tacite se atque Sosthenem … opponit peregrino falso doctori, qui in locum non suum irrepserat.” Others refer ἐν παντὶἡμῶν to the different meeting-places of the parties (Vitringa, Mosheim, Eichhorn, Krause, Pott, Ewald), so that the τόπος ἡ΄ῶν would be the house of Justus (Acts 18:7), or, generally, the place where the church had statedly assembled at first under Paul (Ewald); and the τόπ. αὐτῶν the meeting-house of the Petrine party, perhaps the Jewish synagogue (Pott), or, in general, the other places of assembly of the new sections (Ewald). But the presupposition that the church was broken up into parties locally separated from each other (see, on the contrary, 1 Corinthians 14:23, 1 Corinthians 11:17 ff.) has not a single passage in the Epistle to justify it. Böttger, l.c(105) p. 25, holds, strangely, that αὐτῶν applies to the Corinthian Christians, and ἡμῶν to those of Lower Achaia (among whom Paul is supposed to have written; see Introd. § 3); and Ziegler, that αὐτῶν applies to those in Corinth, ἡ΄ῶν to those staying with Paul in Ephesus, Stephanas, Fortunatus, Achaicus (1 Corinthians 16:17), and others. Hofmann propounds the peculiar view that καὶ ἡ΄ῶν betokens that Paul was at home, and felt himself to be so, wherever Christ was invoked. As if the reader would have been capable of deducing any such ubiquity of spiritual domicile from the simple pronoun, and that, too, in the very address of the Epistle, without the slightest hint from the connection.


Verse 3

1 Corinthians 1:3. See on Romans 1:7.(106)


Verse 4-5

1 Corinthians 1:4-5. ΄ου] as in Romans 1:8.

πάντοτε] always, to be measured not strictly by the literal import of the word, but by the fervour of his constant love. Comp 1 Thessalonians 1:2 f.; 2 Thessalonians 1:3.

ἐπί] ground of the thanks, Philippians 1:5; Polyb. xviii. 26. 4; Valck. in loc(109) The grace of God, which had been bestowed on them, is described more precisely in 1 Corinthians 1:5 according to its effects.

ἐν χ. .] i.e. in your fellowship with Christ. By this is denoted the specifically Christian nature of the gift, in so far, namely, as it is not attained apart from Christ, but—otherwise it were a worldly gift—has in Christ, as the life-element of those who are its subjects, the distinctive sphere of its manifestation. Just in the same way 1 Corinthians 1:5.

ὅτι] that you, namely, etc., epexegesis of ἐπὶ τῇ χάρ. κ. τ. λ(110)

ἐν παντί] without limitation: in all, in every point; comp 2 Corinthians 9:11; 1 Timothy 6:18; Ephesians 2:4; James 2:5. To this Paul forthwith, and again with ἐν (comp 2 Corinthians 6:4), adds the more precise definition chosen in reference to the state of things at Corinth: ἐν παντὶ λόγῳ κ. πάσῃ γνώσει: in all discourse and all knowledge—that is to say, so that no kind of Christian aptitude of speech, or of Christian intelligence, is wanting among you, but both—the former outwardly communicative aptitude, in virtue of which a man is δυνατὸς γνῶσιν ἐξειπεῖν (Clem. Cor. I. 48); and the latter, the inward endowment—are to be found with you richly in every form. This view, according to which λόγος is sermo, occurs in substance in the Greek commentators, in Calovius, Rückert, Neander, Hofmann, and many others, and is confirmed beyond a doubt by 2 Corinthians 8:7; 2 Corinthians 11:6. As to the different kinds of Christian utterance, comp 1 Corinthians 12:8. λόγος is not therefore to be understood, with Billroth, de Wette, and Maier, of the doctrine preached to the Corinthians. Beza, Grotius, and others take λόγος to be specially the donum linguarum, and γνῶσις the donum prophetiae, which, however, is not conveyed either in the words themselves or in the connection, and is, moreover, at variance with the subordinate importance attached to the γλώσσαις λαλεῖν (chap. 14). Lastly, as to the running together of the two: ἐν πάσῃ γνώσει τοῦ λόγου (Schulz, Morus, Rosenmüller), the very repetition of the πάσῃ, and the difference in point of idea between the two words, should have dissuaded its supporters from such a view; for λόγ. and γνώσ. can as little be synonyms (Clericus, Pott) as דבר and דעת. Clement also, 1, praises the former condition of the church with respect to τὴν τελείαν καὶ ἀσφαλῆ γνῶσιν.


Verses 4-9

1 Corinthians 1:4-9. Conciliatory preamble, by no means without real praise (Hofmann), assuredly not ironical (Semler, comp Mosheim), which would be unwise and wrong; and not addressed merely to the party of Paul and that of Apollos (Flatt), which is at variance with 1 Corinthians 1:2; but, as is alone in accordance with the character of Paul and with the words themselves, directed to the church as a whole under a persuasion of the truth of its contents,—bringing forward first of all with true affection what was laudable, so far as it existed, and lovingly leaving out of view for a time what was blameworthy, but withal soberly keeping within the bounds of truth and tracing all up to God.


Verse 6

1 Corinthians 1:6. καθώς] According as, introduces the relation of that happy condition of things ( ἐν παντὶ ἐπλουτίσθητεγνώσει) to its cause. See on John 13:34; John 17:2; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 1:4; Philippians 1:7; Matthew 6:12.

τὸ μαρτύριον τοῦ χ.] characteristic designation of the Gospel, the publishers of which bear witness of Christ. Comp 2 Timothy 1:8; Acts 1:8; Acts 3:15, al(115); 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Peter 5:1. Comp ΄αρτ. τοῦ θεοῦ, 1 Corinthians 2:1.

ἐβεβαιώθη] is rendered by most: is confirmed(117) has been accredited (Mark 16:20; Romans 15:8; Hebrews 2:3, al(118)); comp also Rückert: “evinced as true by its effect on you;” and Ewald: “guaranteed among you by signs of the power of the Holy Spirit.” So too, in substance, Hofmann. It is more in keeping, however, with the logical relation of καθὼς κ. τ. λ(120) to the foregoing, as well as with the βεβαιώσει of 1 Corinthians 1:8 (comp 2 Corinthians 1:21; Colossians 2:7), to explain it of the gospel becoming firmly established in their souls (by stedfast faith), so that the opposite is expressed by the Johannine τὸν λόγον οὐκ ἔχετε μένοντα ἐν ὑμῖν (John 5:38). Comp Billroth and de Wette.

ἐν ὑμῖν] in animis vestris.


Verse 7

1 Corinthians 1:7. Result of τὸ μαρτ. τ. χ. ἐβεβ. ἐν ὑμῖν, consequently parallel to ἐν παντὶ ἐπλουτ. ἐν αὐτᾷ. The negative expression μὴ ὑστερεῖσθαι ἐν is conceived quite after the analogy of the positive πλουτίζ. ἐν (see on 1 Corinthians 1:5), so that ἐν denotes that, in which one is behind (defectively constituted). Hence: so that ye in no gift of grace are behind (i.e. less rich than other churches). Comp Plat. Pol. vi. p. 484 D: μηδʼ ἐν ἄλλῳ μηδενὶ μέρει ἀρετῆς ὑστηροῦντας. Sirach 51:24. The sense would be different, if the words were μηδενὸς χαρίσματος (so that no gift of grace is lacking to you). See Romans 3:22; Luke 22:35; John 2:3. Ruhnk. a(124) Tim. p. 51. Lobeck, a(125) Phryn. p. 237; a(126) Soph. Aj. 782. χάρισμα is here to be taken (with Calvin and others, including Rosenmüller, Pott, de Wette, Maier) in the wider sense of the spiritual blessings of Christianity generally, in so far as believers are made partakers of them by the divine grace through the πνεῦμα ἅγιον (Romans 1:11; 1 Corinthians 7:7); not, with most of the older expositors, as well as Billroth, Rückert, Olshausen, Hofmann, in the narrower sense of the extraordinary gifts (chap. 12 ff.). The proof of this is, first, that the immediately following ἀπεκδεχομ. κ. τ. λ(127) makes the ΄ὴ ὑστερεῖσθαι ἐν ΄ηδενὶ χαρίσ΄ατι appear as an ethical endowment; second, that the significant retrospective reference of the ἀνεγκλήτους in 1 Corinthians 1:8 does not suit the χαρίσ΄ατα in the narrower sense, but does suit all the more strikingly the moral character of the Christian gifts of the Spirit in general. The form of expression in the singular here stands as little in the way of this view (in opposition to Hofmann) as at Romans 1:11, and is, in fact, necessitated by the negative form of the discourse. Rückert, indeed, objects: “that Paul could not at all mean here those purely moral blessings, seeing that the Corinthians did not possess them.” The apostle, however, is not speaking of every individual, but of the church taken as a whole (comp already Chrysostom and Theophylact); and, moreover, expresses himself with much caution in a negative way, so that he only needs to answer for the presence of a sufficienter praeditum esse to stand comparison with other churches.

ἀπεκδεχομ. κ. τ. λ(129)] is a significant accompanying definition to what has gone before: as persons, who are not in any wise afraid of the revelation of Christ (1 Peter 1:7; Colossians 3:3 f.) and wish it away, but who are waiting for it. This waiting and that afflux of grace stand in a mutual relation of action and reaction. Bengel says rightly: “Character Christiani veri vel falsi, revelationem Christi vel expectare vel horrere.” The fact that there were among the Corinthians deniers of the resurrection (and consequently of the Parousia in its full idea)—which, we may add, might naturally enough cause this hope to become all the more vividly prominent in the case of the rest—does not take away from the truth of the words, which hold good of the church a potiori. Just as little can they (contrary to the winning tone of the whole preamble) have it as their design to terrify with the thought of the day of judgment (Chrysostom), or to censure the doubters (Grotius, Rückert), or even to make ironical reference to the fancied perfection of the Corinthians (Mosheim). The participial clause, which needed neither ὡς nor the article, is not merely a temporal definition—consequently “for the time” of the waiting (Hofmann)—any more than at Titus 2:13; Romans 8:23; Jude 1:21.

ἀπεκδ.] denotes the persevering expectation. See on Romans 8:19; Fritzsche in Fritzschior. Opusc. p. 150 ff. The word does not indicate the element of longing (de Wette). See Romans 8:25; 1 Peter 3:20. For the subject-matter, comp Philippians 3:20; Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:8; Luke 12:36.


Verse 8

1 Corinthians 1:8. ὅς] refers to ἰησοῦ χ., not, as Flatt, Pott, Billroth, Schrader, Olshausen, de Wette, Osiander, Ewald, Hofmann, with the majority of interpreters, assume, to the far-distant θεός, 1 Corinthians 1:4,—a view to which we are not compelled either by the ἰησ. χριστοῦ which follows (see below), or by 1 Corinthians 1:9, seeing that the working of the exalted Christ is in fact subordinated to the will of God (1 Corinthians 3:23, 1 Corinthians 11:3; Romans 8:34, al(131)). Comp Winer, p. 149 [E.T. 196]. The apostle, however, is so full of Christ, as he addresses himself to his Epistle, that throughout the preamble he names Him in almost every verse, sometimes even twice. Comp Romans 1:1-7.

καί] also, denotes that which corresponds to the ἀπεκδέχεσθαι κ. τ. λ(134), what Christ will do.

βεβαιώσει] στηρίξει, Romans 16:25; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21. The future stands here not optatively (Pott), but as expressive of a confident hope in the gracious working of Christ.(135)

ἕως τέλους] applies not to the end of life (Calovius, Flatt, and others), but, as the foregoing τ. ἀποκάλ. κ. τ. λ(136) and the following ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ κ. τ. λ(137) clearly show, to the end of the pre-Messianic period of the world’s history (the αἰὼν οὗτος, see on Matthew 13:32), which is to be ushered in by the now nearly approaching (1 Corinthians 7:29, 1 Corinthians 15:51) Parousia. Comp 1 Corinthians 10:11; 2 Corinthians 1:13. It is the συντέλεια τοῖ αἰῶνος, Matthew 13:39 f., Matthew 24:3, Matthew 28:20; comp Hebrews 9:26.

ἀνεγκλήτους κ. τ. λ(140)] result of the strengthening: so that ye shall be free from reproach in the day, etc. Comp 1 Thessalonians 3:13. See respecting this proleptic usage generally, on Matthew 12:13; Philippians 3:21, and Jacob, Quaest. epic. ii. 4, p. 136 ff. Stallb. a(142) Plat. Rep. p. 560 D.

τοῦ κυρίον κ. τ. λ(143)] The repetition of the noun instead of the mere pronoun is common in the classics also (Ellendt, a(144) Arrian. Exp. Al. i. 55; Kühner, a(145) Xen. Mem. i. 6. 1), and elsewhere in the N. T. (Winer, l.c(146) and p. 136 [E. T. 180]). Here (as at 2 Corinthians 1:5; Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 1:13 f., al(147)) it has solemn emphasis. Comp 1 Corinthians 1:21.

It is to be noted, moreover, that the blamelessness in the day of Christ (comp Romans 8:33) is conditioned (2 Timothy 4:7) by perseverance in the faith (through which justification is appropriated), and consequently rests on the imputation of faith (Romans 4:4 f.); but is nevertheless, in virtue of the moral character and power of faith, as also in virtue of sanctification through the Spirit, of a thoroughly moral nature (Romans 6:1 ff; Romans 8:1 ff.), so that the ἀνέγκλητος at the Parousia appears not, indeed, as ἀνα΄άρτητος, but as καινὴ κτίσις ἐν χριστῷ (2 Corinthians 5:17), who, being divinely restored (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 3:10) and progressively sanctified (1 Thessalonians 5:23), has worked out his own salvation (Philippians 2:12) in the consecration of the moral power of the new spiritual life (Romans 8:2 f.; Philippians 1:10 f.), and now receives the βραβεῖον of his calling (Philippians 3:14), the στέφανος of the δικαιοσύνη (2 Timothy 4:8), in the δόξα of everlasting life.


Verse 9

1 Corinthians 1:9. Ground of this confident hope. Comp 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Philippians 1:6; Romans 11:29. Were the βεβαίωσις on the part of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:8) not to take place, the divine call to the κοινωνία τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ would remain without effect, which would not be compatible with the faithfulness of God, from whom the call comes, and who, by His calling, gives pledge to us of eternal salvation (Romans 8:30).

Rückert finds in διʼ οὗ, because God Himself is the caller, a veritable misuse of the preposition; and others, as Beza and Rosenmüller, explain it without ceremony by ὑφʼ οὔ, which D* F G in fact read. But Paul is thinking here in a popular way of the call as mediated through God. It is true, of course, that God is the causa principalis, but the mediating agency is also God’s, ἐξ οὗ καὶ διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα (Romans 11:36); hence both modes of representation may occur, and διά may be used as well as ὑπό, wherever the context does not make it of importance to have a definite designation of the primary cause as such. Comp Galatians 1:1; Plat. Symp. p. 186 E, Pol. ii. p. 379 E. Fritzsche, a(152) Rom. I. p. 15; Bernhardy, p. 235 f.

The κοινωνία τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ is the fellowship with the Son of God (genitive, as in 2 Corinthians 11:13; Philippians 2:1; 2 Peter 1:4), i.e. the having part in the filial relation of Christ, which, however, is not to be understood of the temporal relation of sonship, Galatians 3:26 f. ( κοινωνίαν γὰρ υἱοῦ τὴν υἱοθεσίαν ἐκάλεσε, Theodoret), nor of ethical fellowship (Grotius, Hofmann, and many others), but, in accordance with the idea of the καλεῖν which always refers to the Messianic kingdom, of fellowship of the glory of the Son of God in the eternal Messianic life,(153)—a fellowship which will be the glorious completion of the state of υἱοθεσία (Galatians 4:7). It is the δόξα τῶν τέκνων τοῦ θεοῦ (Romans 8:21), when they shall be συγκληρονό΄οι τοῦ χριστοῦ, σύ΄΄ορφοι of His image, συ΄βασιλεύοντες and συνδοξασθέντες, Romans 8:17; comp 1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 1:29; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; Colossians 3:4; Philippians 3:20 f.; 1 Corinthians 15:48 f.; 2 Timothy 2:12.


Verse 10

1 Corinthians 1:10. “Exhortation, however, lest ye miss this end of your calling, exhortation I give to you,” etc.

ἀδελφοί] winning and tender form of address, often introduced by Paul just at the point where he has a serious word to speak. 1 Corinthians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 7:29; 1 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Corinthians 14:20, al(155)

διὰ τοῦ ὀνό΄ατος κ. τ. λ(156)] by means of the name, etc., while I point you to the name of Christ, which, in truth, constitutes the one confession of all His disciples, and thereby set before you the motive to follow my exhortation. Comp Romans 12:1; Romans 15:30; 2 Corinthians 10:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:12. Were the meaning ex mandato Christi (Heumann, Semler, Ernesti, and Rosenmüller), it would be expressed by ἐν τῷ ὀνόμ. (1 Corinthians 5:4; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, al(158)).

ἵνα] design, and in this form of conception, contents of the παρακαλῶ, as in 1 Corinthians 16:12; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 9:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:17, and often in the Synoptic Gospels.

τὸ αὐτὸ λέγητε] agreement of confessional utterance, as opposed to the party-confessions of faith, at variance with each other, 1 Corinthians 1:12. Luther renders it appropriately: “einerlei Rede führet.” The consensus animorum is only expressed in the sequel ( ἦτε δὲ κατηρτισμ. κ. τ. λ(159)); in the first instance it is the outstanding manifestation of the evil that Paul has in view. This in opposition to Erasmus, Grotius, Estius, Wolf, and many others, including Heydenreich and Billroth, who explain the phrase of this inward agreement, which Paul would have known well how to express by τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν (Romans 15:5; Philippians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 13:11), or in some similar correct way, and which, even in such passages as Thuc. v. 31. 5, Polyb. ii. 62, is not expressed, but presupposed. More expressive still is Polyb. v. 104. 1 : λέγειν ἓν καὶ ταὐτό, to speak one and the same thing.

καὶ μὴ ἐν ὑμ. σχίσματα] the same thought in prohibitive form (comp Romans 12:14, al(161)), but designating the evil forbidden more generally, according to its category.

ἦτε δὲ κ. τ. λ(162)] δέ, but rather, but on the contrary (see Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 171; Klotz, a(163) Devar. p. 360; Baeuml. Partik. p. 95), introduces what ought to be the case instead of the forbidden καὶ μὴ κ. τ. λ(164)

κατηρτισ΄ένοι] fully adjusted, established in the right frame (Vulg. perfecti; Theophyl. τέλειοι). Comp 2 Corinthians 13:11; Galatians 6:1; Hebrews 13:11; 1 Peter 5:10; Luke 6:40. When there are divisions in a society, the κατάρτισις is wanting (2 Corinthians 13:9; comp καταρτισ΄ός, Ephesians 4:12); hence Greek writers also use καταρτίζειν in speaking of the establishment of right relations by the removal of disunion (as here), sedition, or the like, Herod. v. 28. 106; Dion. Hal. Antt. iii. 10. Whether any figurative reference, however, of κατηρτ. to the original sense of σχίσ΄ατα, fissurae, be intended (to make whole and good again what was broken or rent, comp Matthew 4:21; Mark 1:19; Esdr. 1 Corinthians 4:12-13; 1 Corinthians 4:16; Herod. v. 106), as Bos, Elsner, Valckenaer, Pott, Heydenreich, and others think, and as Luther, Calvin (“apte cohaereatis”), and Beza (“coagmentati”) express by their renderings, may be doubted, because Paul does not more precisely and definitely indicate such a conception; while, on the other hand, it was exceedingly common to use σχίσ΄α absolutely, and without special thought of its original material reference (Matthew 9:16), to denote dissidium (John 7:43; John 9:16; John 10:19; 1 Corinthians 11:18, and even 1 Corinthians 12:25).

ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ νοῒ κ. τ. λ(168)] the sphere, in which they were to be κατηρτ. Comp Hebrews 13:21. νοῦς and γνώμη differ as understanding and opinion. Through the fact, namely, that Christians in Corinth thought differently ( νοῦς) on important matters, and in consequence of this difference of thinking, formed in a partisan spirit different opinions and judgments ( γνώμη), and fought for these against each other, the τὸ αὐτὸ λέγειν was wanting and σχίσματα prevailed. In opposition to this, the Corinthians were to agree together in Christian thinking(170) and judging; the right state of things was to establish itself among them in ὁμονοεῖν and ὁ΄ογνω΄ονεῖν (Thuc. ii. 97; Dem. 281. 21; Polyb. xxviii. 6. 2). In ἔριδες, 1 Corinthians 1:11, we have the manifestation of the opposite of both of these, of Christian sameness of thought and opinion. That sameness, therefore, does not preclude the friendly discussion of points of difference in thought and judgment, with a view to mutual better understanding and the promotion of harmony, but it doubtless does preclude party-differences and hostility. ἀμφισβητοῦσι μὲν γὰρ καὶ διʼ εὔνοιαν οἱ φίλοι τοῖς φίλοις, ἐρίζουσι δὲ οἱ διαφοροί τε καὶ ἐχθροὶ ἀλλήλοις, Plat. Prot. p. 337 B. Many other interpreters take γνώμη as referring to the practical disposition (to love); whereas νοῦς denotes the theoretical understanding. See Chrysostom, Theodoret, and Theophylact, who says: ὅταν γὰρ τὴν αὐτὴν πίστιν ἔχωμεν, μὴ συναπτώμεθα δὲ κατὰ τὴν ἀγάπην, τὰ μὲν αὐτὰ νοοῦμεν, διϊστάμεθα δὲ κατὰ τὴν γνώμην. But this separation between theory and practice is quite arbitrary; and γνώ΄η never means in the N. T. “disposition,” but always (even in Revelation 17:13; Revelation 17:17) sententia, judicium. Comp the classical τῆς αὐτῆς γνώ΄ης εἶναι, to have one and the same view, Thuc. i. 113, iii. 70. Eur. Hec. 127: ἐκ μιᾶς γνώμης, Dem. 147. 1 : διὰ ΄ιᾶς γνώ΄ης γίνεσθαι, Isocr. Paneg. 38: τὴν αὐτὴν ἔξχειν γνώμην, Plat. Alc. 2, p. 139 A. The converse: ἐγένοντο δίχα αἱ γνώμαι, Herod. vi. 109.


Verses 10-16

1 Corinthians 1:10-16. Exhortation to unity (1 Corinthians 1:10), statement of the character of their party-division (1 Corinthians 1:11-12), and how wrong it was (1 Corinthians 1:13-16).


Verses 10-21

1 Corinthians 1:10 to 1 Corinthians 4:21. First section of the Epistle: respecting the parties, with a defence of the apostle’s way of teaching.


Verse 11

1 Corinthians 1:11. Motive for the foregoing exhortation.

ὑπὸ τῶν χλόης] comp Romans 16:10; Winer, p. 179 [E. T. 238]. What persons belonging to Chloe are meant, was as well known to the readers as it is unknown to us. Grotius and Valckenaer understood “mortuae Chloes liberos;” others generally, “those of her household;” others, again, “slaves,” as undoubtedly such genitives are sometimes to be explained by δοῦλος (Schaef. a(173) Bos. Ell. p. 117 f.); comp Plat. Phaed. p. 60 A. Chloe herself is commonly held to be a Corinthian Christian, members of whose household had come to Ephesus. It seems, however, more in accordance with apostolic discretion to suppose (with Michaelis) that she was an Ephesian well known to the Corinthians, members of whose household had been in Corinth and returned thence.

The name (familiar as a surname of Demeter) occurs also elsewhere; Hor. Od. i. 23, iii. 9. 6; Long. Past. 7. We may add that Bengel remarks well on ἐδηλώθη (comp Colossians 1:8): “exemplum delationis bonae nec sine causâ celandae.” It was in fact the fulfilment of a duty of love.


Verse 12

1 Corinthians 1:12. Now what I mean (by this ἔριδες ἐν ὑμῖν εἰσι) is this (which follows), that, etc. Regarding the explicative λέγω, common also in Greek writers, comp Galatians 3:17; Romans 15:8. Calvin and Beza understand it, making τοῦτο retrospective: I say this, because, etc. But, not to speak of the less suitable meaning thus attained, τοῦτο in all parallel passages points invariably forward (Galatians 3:17; Ephesians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 7:29; 1 Corinthians 15:50), except when, as in 1 Corinthians 7:35, Colossians 2:4, a clause expressive of design follows.

ἕκαστος] Each of you speaks in one of the forms following. Comp 1 Corinthians 14:26. Chrysostom says aptly: οὐ γὰρ ΄έρος, ἀλλὰ τὸ πᾶν ἐπενέ΄ετο τῆς ἐκκλησίας φθορά.

Nothing is to be supplied with the genitive παύλου κ. τ. λ(178), for εἶναί τινος means to belong to any one, addictum esse. See Seidl. a(179) Eur. El. 1098; Ast. Lex. Plat. I. p. 621; Winer, p. 184 [E. T. 243 f.].

κηφᾶ] The Jewish name ( כֵּיפָא) is so usual with Paul (1 Corinthians 3:22, 1 Corinthians 9:5, 1 Corinthians 15:5, and see the critical remarks on Galatians 1:18) that it is only in Galatians 2:7-8 that we find πέτρος employed by him; hence the less may we regard κηφᾶ here as taken directly from the lips of the Jewish Petrine party (Estius).

The order of the four names is historical, following that in which the parties successively arose.

For a connected review of them and the relative literature, see Introd. § 1. The following remarks may be added from the exegetical standpoint: (1) The χριστοῦ and 1 Corinthians 1:14 ff. invalidate at once the theory held by the Fathers (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact, and others, see Räbiger, krit. Unters. p. 9) and many of the older commentators, including Michaelis, and based principally on 1 Corinthians 4:6, that the three first names were fictitious merely, and used in order to avoid bringing forward by name the real heads of the parties. (2) There can be no reduction of the number of the parties below four, although many attempts have been made to bring together not only the partisans of Paul and of Apollos (as having but a formal difference), but also the Petrine and the Christine parties (J. E. Chr. Schmidt, Bibl. f. Krit. u. Exeg. I. p. 91; Baur in the Tüb. Zeitschr. 1831, 4, p. 61 ff., and in his Paulus, I. p. 291 ff., ed. 2; also Billroth, Lechler, and others); or else—which, however, is merely a drawing of them together in form—to reduce the four to two main parties, the apostolic and the Christine (Neander, Jaeger, and Schenkel); or, lastly, by exegetical expedients (Räbiger), either to get rid of the Christ-party altogether (see below), or at least to take them out of the list of parties by assuming that they were approved of by the apostle (Schott, with older interpreters). Paul, in fact, sets forth quite uniformly four definite diversities of confession standing in contrast, and then shows in 1 Corinthians 1:13 how sad and how preposterous this state of division was.

In the face of this manifest mode of reckoning and disposing of the parties by the apostle himself in this passage, several theories, respecting more particularly (3) the Christ-party, must be dismissed as untenable. Among these is (a) the view repeatedly brought forward from the days of Chrysostom:(180) “Mentionem eorum propterea fecit una cum illis, quod, cujusnam generis essent dissidia inter Cor. excitata, perspicue explicare non poterat, nisi ita, ut diceret, alios hunc, alios illum praeferre doctorem, aliis (recte quidem, 1 Corinthians 3:23) se Christi sectatores simpliciter appellantibus” (Schott, Isag. 233). With respect to this, it is to be observed that 1 Corinthians 3:23 implies not the justification of those λέγοντες· ἐγὼ δὲ χριστοῦ, but the truth of the idea,(181) from the abuse of which that fourth party arose which in the passage before us appears under a precisely similar condemnation to that of the other three. (b) The theory invented by Baur(182) in behalf of the antagonism between Paulinism and Petrinism (comp also Lechler, p. 386): that the same party called themselves both τοὺς κηφᾶ, because Peter had the primacy among the apostles of the Jews, and also τοὺς χριστοῖ, because they held direct connection with Christ to be the main mark of true apostleship, and therefore counted Paul far behind the other apostles;(184) that the Christ-party, in fact, were the most thoroughgoing disciples of Peter (comp Billroth and Credner, Einl. sec. 132; also Reuss, and especially Holsten, z. Ev. d. Paul. u. Petr. p. 25 f.). (c) The opinion of Becker, that the Christine party were Jewish-Christians, who had attached themselves to the followers of Peter that had come from a distance to Corinth, but, as having been converted by Paul and Apollos, had called themselves not after Peter, but after Christ. (d) Räbiger’s view, according to which the Christ-party is purely a creation of the exegetes, ἐγὼ δὲ χριστοῦ being the utterance common to the three parties; so that all, indeed, professed allegiance to Christ, but the strife between them consisted in this, “that they made participation in Christ dependent on different teachers, each holding that they, inasmuch as they belonged to a particular teacher, had the real and true Christ,—a better Christ than the others.” This explanation, if we judge in accordance with the preceding elements in 1 Corinthians 1:12, is an exegetical impossibility. It has been already well said by Calovius: “Et illi, qui a Christo Christianos se dicebant, quatenus ab aliis sese per schisma separabant, illo nomine sibi solum appropriato, schismatis rei erant.” Since they are ranked, just as the others, under the category of the σχίσματα and ἔριδες (1 Corinthians 1:10-11), and their fault is set before them as before the others, 1 Corinthians 1:13, by μεμέρ. χριστός, we cannot even characterize them, with Eichhorn, as neutrals.

To name Christ as their Head was so extremely natural for a party who, as contrasted with the others, wished to keep themselves free from all authority of human teachers (see Introd. § 1; also Rückert, Bleek, Einl., Hofm. 16 f.), that there is no need whatever for any attempt at a different explanation; such as Eichhorn’s imagination, that they rested upon the sayings of Jesus in the Protevangelium; or the view of Grotius, Witsius, Wetstein, and Ziegler, that they had heard Christ themselves,(186) or at least their founder had (if the former, how disproportionately small must their number needs have been! and if the latter, they would surely have named themselves after their founder, since Peter, too, was a personal disciple of Christ). Equally undeserving of acceptance is Storr’s view (Opusc. II. p. 252 ff.), adopted by Rosenmüller, Krause, Hug, Heydenreich, and Flatt (comp also Bertholdt, Einl. VI. p. 3319), that they had called themselves τοῦ χριστοῦ, as followers of James the brother of Christ. This is an empty conjecture, not to be supported by 1 Corinthians 9:5, 1 Corinthians 15:9; and it has, besides, especially this against it, that the followers of the venerated James would have had no ground, as distinguished from the other parties, for not calling themselves οἱ τοῦ ἰακώβου or οἱ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ τοῦ κυρίου, and that James also would have been mentioned with the rest in 1 Corinthians 3:22, as well as in Clem. 1 Cor. 47, if the Christ-party had not referred themselves directly to Christ.

This claim, moreover, of a direct relation to Christ as regards His exclusive authority, found its sufficient ground and justification in the general acquaintance with the doctrine and work of Christ, which was owing to the living presence of the gospel tidings in the churches. There is no evidence in the Epistles themselves of any other and peculiar connection with the Lord being laid claim to by the Christ-party. This holds especially of Schenkel’s view, that the Christ-party, consisting of Jewish-Christians from Asia Minor with theosophic training, had asserted a supernatural connection with Christ through visions and revelations, their spiritual condition consequently having its analogues at a later date in Cerinthus, Marcion, the Montanists, and the like; and that this party had its continuation in those who opposed the presbyters in Clement’s Epistle. Schenkel’s theory (defended also by Grimm in the Lit. Bl. zur allg. Kirchenzeit. 1851, No. 82) bases itself especially on the passages 1 Corinthians 9:1; 2 Corinthians 10:7; 2 Corinthians 12:1. To explain these, however, there is no need to suppose any allusion to theosophic opponents, or any reference to the Christ-party at all, since Paul—more especially if they had been a party standing in such (fanatical) antagonism in point of principle to himself—would have combated them directly and in detail, and that in the section of the Epistle which deals expressly with the party-divisions (down to 1 Corinthians 4:21).(188) And to connect them with the opponents of the presbyters in Clement is all the more arbitrary, because that writer, while finding a parallel to the factions which he blames in the parties of Paul, Apollos, and Peter, makes no reference whatsoever to the Christ-party,—a silence which is eloquent enough to make us hesitate in ascribing to them any such extreme and dangerous character as some have lately imputed to them, and to incline us rather to the view of their fundamental principle being one in itself sound, but perverted in its application by party-spirit. In addition to de Wette, Lutterbeck, and Maier, Goldhorn and Dähne agree in substance with Schenkel, seeking amidst differences in detail to prove the existence of Jewish-Alexandrian philosophy in the Christ-party; just as Kniewel (comp Grimm) regards them as forerunners of the Gnostics. According to Ewald, they are the adherents of some unknown teacher of Essene views, who, “founding, doubtless, on some special evangelic writing, and in accordance therewith exalting the example of Christ personally above all else, disapproved of marriage;” they were, in truth, the first Christian monks and Jesuits.(190) But it is very doubtful whether the rejection of marriage in chap. 7 should be traced precisely to the Christ-party; and, apart from this, there is not in the Epistles to the Corinthians a single vestige of the phenomena of Essene Christianity, or in particular of Essene asceticism, as at Rome and Colossae; while, on the other hand, the rejection of marriage does not appear among the Romans and Colossians who held Essene views. Comp on 1 Corinthians 7:1.

Lastly, after this examination of the different views entertained regarding the Christ-party, the question whether they were Jewish (as commonly held) or Gentile Christians answers itself to this effect, that they were composed of both elements, as also were the adherents of Paul and of Apollos. For we have not the slightest ground for assuming that, when the division in the church arose upon matters turning on the respect due to individual men, it was either Jewish Christians alone, or Gentile Christians alone, who gave themselves to the idea of renouncing the acknowledgment of any human teacher, and seeking instead to be τοῦ χριστοῦ. This holds good in particular against Neander, who makes the Christ-party to be Gentile Christians, of a certain philosophic culture and of rationalistic tendency, to whom Christ appeared as a second, perhaps greater, Socrates, but who could not bring themselves to accept the doctrine of Christ in the form given to it by the apostles, and sought rather by philosophic criticism, which they exercised also on the doctrine of the resurrection (chap. 15), to separate, possibly with the help of a collection of the sayings of the Lord, the pure teaching of Christ from the mass of received material. In how totally different a way must Paul have come forward against any such syncretistic rationalism! See, besides, in reply to this, Beyschlag, p. 220 ff. Altogether, there were but few men of philosophic training who had come over to Christianity at Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:26); and those who had at least a philosophic tendency found the food for which they sought with Apollos. And it is a groundless assumption to maintain that what Paul says against worldly wisdom (chap. 1 Corinthians 1:2) is spoken with a polemic reference to the Christ-party (this in opposition to Schenkel, Jaeger, Goldhorn, Dähne, Kniewel, and others); see, on the contrary, chap. 3 and 1 Corinthians 4:6. In like manner, too, it is arbitrary, and in any case unsafe to proceed, from the point at which Paul passes from discussing the state of division in the church to speak of other existing evils (from chap. 5 onwards), to apportion the latter among the several parties, and by this method, as well as by means of expressions and details from the second Epistle, to depict the character more especially of the Christ-party, whom Jaeger(192) makes in this manner to appear in the most damaging light, while Osiander(193) treats them prejudicially in another way, finding in them the originators of sectarian Ebionitism. Beyschlag, too, in his investigation, proceeds by the same uncertain path, putting together the characteristics of the Christ-party especially from the second Epistle. According to him they were Judaists, although free from Judaistic errors in doctrine, who depreciated the apostle Paul, but prided themselves on their Hebrew origin, their labours and sufferings for Christ, their more precise historical acquaintance with and information regarding Christ, whom they had known personally, as also on their visions and revelations of Him. In connection with this view, Beyschlag is forced to assume that it was only in the interval between the first and second Epistle that the Christ-party had developed such keen and personal antagonism to the apostle,—an assumption made also by Hilgenfeld. If, notwithstanding this development of hostility, they are to be taken as Judaists free from Judaistic anti-Pauline doctrine, we stand confronted by a complete anomaly in the history of the antagonism between the Judaistic and the Pauline currents in the apostolic church, so far as that is known to us from other quarters. And it seems the less possible to explain this anomaly by the supposition of a cunning reticence on the part of the persons in question, the more we see how bitter and passionate their opposition to Paul must have been, and the more we find it difficult—considering their cunning—to perceive why they should not have contented themselves with making common cause with the Petrine party, instead of forming a distinct faction of their own.


Verse 13

1 Corinthians 1:13. ΄εμέρισται χριστός] affirmative (with Lachmann and Kniewel; so τινές as early as Theodoret), not interrogatory (as commonly taken), setting forth the tragical result of the aforesaid state of party-division, 1 Corinthians 1:12, and that with arresting emphasis from the absence of any connective particle: Christ is divided! i.e. in place of being whole and undivided, the One common Christ of all, He is broken up into different party-Christs! Such, that is to say, is the actual appearance of things when, of several parties mutually exclusive of one another, each seems to have its own separate Christ.(194) The reproach here conveyed suits the Christ-party also (against Räbiger), just as forming a party, but not them alone (Hofmann). The interrogatory rendering, common since Chrysostom: Is Christ divided? taken as a question of surprise, has nothing against it linguistically (see esp. Valckenaer, II. p. 71 f.), but it is liable to the objection that it is only with the following μή that the text gives us to recognise the beginning of the interrogative address. Had Paul intended μεμέρ. χ. as a question, it would have been most natural for him in the flow of his discourse to carry on the same form of interrogation, and say: παῦλος ἐστ. ὑπ. ὑμ. The text, I may add, gives no warrant for interpreting χριστός of the corpus Chr. mysticum, i.e. the church (Estius, Olshausen, and others; τινές in Theodoret), or even of the doctrina Chr., which is not varia et multiplex (Grotius, Mosheim, Semler, Morus, Rosenmüller).

μὴ παῦλος κ. τ. λ(195)] Paul surely was not, etc. From this point on to 1 Corinthians 1:16 the incongruous nature of the first party-confession of faith is specially exposed. Bengel aptly remarks: “Crux et baptismus nos Christo asserit; relata: redimere, se addicere.” The two questions correspond to the mutual connection between believing and being baptized.

ὑπέρ] on behalf of, in the sense of atonement.(196) Comp on Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 5:2.

εἰς τὸ ὄνο΄α] in reference to the name, as the name of him who is to be henceforth the object of the faith and confession of the individual baptized. Comp on Matthew 28:19 and Romans 6:3.

There was no need of a single word more regarding the first of these two questions; the answer to it was so self-evident. But as to the second, the apostle has some remarks to make, 1 Corinthians 1:14-16.


Verse 14-15

1 Corinthians 1:14-15. God be thanked, that I baptized only a very few among you! Accordingly no room has been left for the reproach being brought against me, as it might otherwise have been, that I had baptized into my own name! “Providentia divina regnat saepe in rebus, quarum ratio postea cognoscitur” (Bengel). Rückert finds fault with the weakness of this proof, since it was surely the same thing whether Paul had baptized personally or through his assistants. But unjustly. For, since Paul was not generally in the habit of baptizing in person, had he himself baptized many in Corinth, this might undoubtedly have been made use of afterwards by perverse minds for the possible slander that there was a specialty in the case, that he had baptized with his own hand in Corinth, because he did it into his own name,—a purpose for which, of course, he could not have employed others. Hofmann suggests wrongly: they might have interpreted it, as though he had wished to place the persons concerned “in a peculiar relation” to himself. This imported indefiniteness is against the definite sense of the words. Just as he had said before, that it was not he who had been crucified for them in place of Christ, so he says further, that they had not been baptized into his name instead of the name of Christ. But the two points just show how wholly absurd the confession ἐγὼ μέν εἰμι παύλου is, because it would have such absurd premisses.

κρίσπον] See Acts 18:8.

γάϊον] See on Romans 16:23.

ἵνα μή] is never elsewhere, and is not here, to be taken as: so that not, but it denotes the design, arranged in the divine providential leading, of the οὐδένα ὑμ. ἐβάπτισα (comp 1 Corinthians 1:17; 2 Corinthians 1:9, al(200)).


Verse 16

1 Corinthians 1:16. Another Corinthian family baptized by him occurs to his mind. He adds it conscientiously, and then cuts off any possibility of his being reproached with untruthful omission by λοιπὸν οὐκ οἶδα κ. τ. λ(201) Regarding Stephanas, we know nothing save from 1 Corinthians 16:15; 1 Corinthians 16:17.

λοιπόν is the simple ceterum, otherwise, besides that. Comp 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; frequent in Greek writers also after Polybius.


Verse 17

1 Corinthians 1:17. Rapid and skilful transition (comp Romans 1:16) to this ( οὐ γὰρεὐαγγ.),(204) and theme of the section ( οὐκ ἐν σοφίᾳχριστοῦ).

οὐ γὰρ κ. τ. λ(205)] In the assured consciousness that the design of his apostolic mission was teaching, Paul recognised that baptizing, as an external office and one that required no special gift, should as a rule be left to others, the apostolic ὑπηρέται (Acts 13:5), in order to avoid, for his own part, being drawn away from following out that higher aim, which was his specific calling. A very needful and salutary division of duties, considering the multitude of those converted by him! Peter, too, acted in the same way (Acts 10:48), and perhaps all the apostles. Nor was this contrary to Christ’s command in Matthew 28:19, seeing that, according to it also (comp Luke 24:47; Mark 16:15), teaching was the main business of the apostolic office, while the baptismal command was equally fulfilled by baptism performed by means of others authorized by the apostles.(207)

οὐἀλλʼ] is not here, any more than elsewhere, to be taken as equivalent to non tam … quam (Beza, Piscator, Grotius, Estius, Storr, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Pott, and others; comp also Fritzsche, a(209) Marc. p. 785), but absolutely (see Winer, p. 461 ff. [E. T. 621 ff.]; Klotz, a(210) Devar. p. 9 f.); and the absoluteness of the negation is not at all to be set down to the account of the strong rhetorical colouring (Rückert, comp Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 306 [E. T. 356]). To baptize was really not the purpose for which Christ sent Paul, but to preach (Acts 9:15; Acts 9:20; Acts 22:15; Acts 26:16-18); in saying which it is not implied that he was not authorized to administer baptism ( εἰς μὲν γὰρ τὸ μεῖζον ἀπεστάλη, ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ καὶ τὸ ἔλαττον ἐνεργεῖν οὐκ ἐκωλύθη, Theophylact), but sent in order to baptize he was not. Comp Chrysostom, Theodoret, and Theophylact.

οὐκ ἐν σοφίᾳ λόγου] does not belong to ἀπέστ. (Storr, Flatt), which would be an involved construction, but links itself closely to εὐαγγελίζεσθαι, as telling in what element that does not take place. The negation is objective, attaching to the object (Kühner, II. § 714. 1; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 257 ff.), negativing actually the ἐν σοφίᾳ; hence not ΄ή. That σοφία λόγου is not the same as λόγος σόφος, λ. σεσοφισ΄ένος (Erasmus, Grotius, and many others, including Flatt and Pott), but emphasizes σοφία as the main conception, may be seen in Winer, p. 221 f. [E. T. 296 f.]: to preach without wisdom, of speech, without the discourse having a philosophic character,—as desired by the Hellenic taste. We are not to apply this, however, to the philosophic contents of the teaching (Storr, Rosenmüller, Flatt, and others), but to the form, which consists in the clothing of the doctrine in philosophic garb, in speculative skill, argumentative reasoning, illustration, elaboration of the matter, and the like, together with the effect which this, from the nature of the case, may have upon the doctrine itself. For it followed as a matter of course from Paul’s being sent by Christ, that he was not to preach a doctrine of this world’s wisdom (as did Plato, Aristotle, the Sophists, etc.); what he had to do was to deliver the substance of the εὐαγγελίζεσθαι—which is in truth given for all cases alike—without casting it in any philosophic mould; his speech was not to be ἐν σοφίᾳ, lest its substance should lose its essential character. This substance was the crucified Christ, about whom he had to preach, not in the style and mode of presentation used by the wisdom of this world,—not in such a way that his preaching would have been the setting forth of a Christian philosophy of religion. Even the dialectic element in Paul’s discourses widely differs from anything of this sort.

ἵνα μὴ κενωθῇ κ. τ. λ(213)] aim of the εὐαγγ. οὐκ ἐν σοφ. λ.: in order that the cross of Christ might not be emptied (comp Romans 4:14) of its essence divinely effectual for salvation (Romans 1:16). The cross of Christ—that Christ was crucified (and thereby won salvation for us),—this fact alone was the pure main substance (“nucleus et medulla,” Calovius) of the apostolic preaching, and as such has the essential quality of proving itself in all believers the saving power of God, and of thereby, in the way of inward living experience, bringing to nought all human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:18-19 ff.). Now, had the cross of Christ been preached ἐν σοφιᾳ λόγου, it would have been emptied of its divine and essential power to bless, since it would then have made common cause with man’s wisdom, and therefore, instead of overthrowing the latter, would have exalted it and made it come, totally alien in nature as it was, in place of itself. Bengel says well: “Sermo autem crucis nil heterogeneum admittit.”

With marked emphasis, σταυρὸς τοῦ χριστοῦ is put last.


Verses 17-31

1 Corinthians 1:17-31. Paul justifies the simplicity of his way of teaching by the contents of the gospel. This, like all that follows on to 1 Corinthians 4:21, is directed primarily against the pride of wisdom displayed by the party which certainly threatened most danger in the circumstances of the Corinthian church,—the party, namely, of Apollos (not that of Christ); see 1 Corinthians 3:4, 1 Corinthians 4:6. As to the Petrine and the Christine-party, there is no special entering into details; it is only in passing that the judgment is extended so as to include them also (see 1 Corinthians 3:22).


Verse 18

1 Corinthians 1:18. Establishment of the foregoing ἵνα μὴχριστοῦ. Were, namely, the doctrine of the cross, although folly to the unbelieving, not a power of God to believers, it would be impossible to speak of a ἵνα μὴ κενωθῇ of its substance, the cross of Christ, as the aim of the εὐαγγ. οὐκ ἐν σ. λ.

The ἐστί with the dative expresses the actual relation in which the λόγος stands to both; it is for them in fact (not, as might be thought, simply in their judgment) the one and the other.

τοῖς ἀπολλυμ.] to those who are incurring (eternal) ἀπώλεια. Comp 2 Corinthians 2:15; 2 Corinthians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:10. The present participle(216) betokens either the certainty of the future destruction (Bernhardy, p. 371), or it brings the being lost before us as a development which is already taking place in them; just as τοῖς σωζομ., those who are being saved unto Messianic bliss. From 1 Corinthians 15:2, Romans 5:9-10; Romans 8:24, al(217), also Ephesians 2:5-8, the former mode of conceiving it seems to be the correct one; comp 1 Corinthians 2:6. Paul designates in this way the believers and unbelievers, ἀπὸ τοῦ τέλους τὰς προσηγορίας τιθείς, Theodoret. He has certainly (Rückert) conceived of both classes as predestinated (1 Corinthians 1:24; Romans 8:29; Romans 9:11; Romans 9:19; Romans 9:22 f.; Ephesians 1:4 f.; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, al(219)); but this point remains here out of view.

΄ωρία] This doctrine is to them (to their conscious experience) an absurdity ( μωρία τε καὶ ἀλογία, Plat. Epin. p. 983 E Dem. 397, pen.). Why? see 1 Corinthians 1:22. Comp 2 Corinthians 4:3. Billroth’s answer is un-Pauline.

ἡ΄ῖν] is not put last out of modesty (Billroth), but because the emphasis of the contrast lies on the idea of τοῖς σωζο΄. Comp Eur. Phoeniss. 1738. Pors.: ἐλαύνειν τὸν γέροντα μʼ ἐκ πάτρας.

δύναμις θεοῦ] Comp on Romans 1:16. That doctrine is to them (to their conscious experience) God’s power, inasmuch, that is to say, as God works mightily in them through the saving tidings of the Crucified. The contrast is stronger than if it were σοφία θεοῦ, and is also logically correct; for δύνα΄ις θεοῦ necessarily presupposes the opposite of ΄ωρία, because the power of God brings about enlightenment, repentance, sanctification, love, peace, hope, etc. Comp Ignat. a(224) Eph. 18, where it is said of the cross, that it is to us σωτηρία κ. ζωὴ αἰώνιος.


Verse 19

1 Corinthians 1:19. Establishment from Scripture of the foregoing τοῖς δὲ σωζομ. κ. τ. λ(225): for were the word of the cross not God’s power for the σωζόμενοι, God could not say of it in the Scriptures: “I will destroy,” etc.

In the passage, Isaiah 29:14 (a free quotation from the LXX., the difference between which and the original Hebrew is unessential), Paul, in accordance with the typical significance attendant on the historical sense,(226) recognises a prediction of the powerful working of the doctrine of the cross as that through which God would bring to nought and do away with the wisdom of man, i.e. empty it of its estimation. The justification of this way of viewing it lay in the Messianic character of O. T. prophecy in general, by virtue of which the historical sense does not exhaust the design of the utterances, but leaves open higher references to the further development of the theocratic relations, and especially to the Messianic era, which references are to manifest themselves historically by the corresponding facts of later date, and so be recognised from the standpoint of their historical fulfilment. See more in detail, on Matthew 1:22 f. Christ Himself confirms the Messianic reference of the prophetic utterance, Matthew 15:8.

Regarding the distinction between σοφία and σύνεσις (intelligence), see on Colossians 1:9.


Verse 20

1 Corinthians 1:20. What this passage of Scripture promises, has occurred: Where is a wise man, etc. The force of these triumphant questions (comp 1 Corinthians 15:55, and see on Romans 3:27) is: clean gone are all sages, scribes, and disputers of this world-period (they can no more hold their ground, no longer assert themselves, have, as it were, vanished); God has made the world’s wisdom to be manifest folly! As the passages, Isaiah 19:12; Isaiah 33:18, were perhaps before the apostle’s mind, the form of expression used rests probably on them. Comp Romans 3:27, where ἐξεκλείσθη is the answer to the ποῦ; according to classical usage, Valckenaer, a(229) Eur. Phoen. 1662. Ewald holds 1 Corinthians 1:20 to be a citation from a lost book; but we are not necessarily shut up to this conclusion by the γραμματεύς, although the term does not occur elsewhere in Paul’s writings, for this exclamation might easily have been suggested to him by the γραμματικοί, of Isaiah 33:18. The three substantives cannot well be taken as alluding to the synagogal phrases חכם ספר and דרשן (Lightfoot, Vitringa), since Paul was not writing to a purely Jewish-Christian community. Attempts to explain the distinction between them have been made in a variety of ways. But it is to be noted that in what immediately follows τὴν σοφίαν represents all the three ideas put together; that γραμματεύς, again, is always (excepting Acts 19:35) used in the N. T. (even in Matthew 13:52; Matthew 23:34, where the idea is only raised to the Christian sphere) of scribes in the Jewish sense; that the συζητήτης) (Ignat. ad Eph. 18), which is not found in the Greek writers or in the LXX., is most surely interpreted disputant, in accordance with the use of συζητέω (Mark 8:11; Mark 9:14; Luke 24:15; Acts 6:9; Acts 9:29, al(230)) and συζήτησις (Acts 15:2; Acts 15:7; Acts 28:29); and further, that disputing was especially in vogue among the Sophists ( οἱ οἰό΄ενοι πάντʼ εἰδέναι, Xen. Mem. i. 4. 1). And on these grounds we conclude that σοφός is to be taken of human wisdom in general, as then pursued on the Jewish side by the scribes, and on the Hellenic side by the sophistical disputers, so that, in this view, γραμμ. and συζητ. are subordinated to the general σοφός in respect to matters of Jewish and Hellenic pursuit. Many exegetes (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Oecumenius, and others, including Storr, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Billroth) depart from the view now stated in this respect, that they would limit σοφός to the heathen philosophers,(231) which, however, is precluded by the σοφίαν embracing all the three elements (comp also 1 Corinthians 1:21). This holds at the same time against Rückert, who finds here only the three most outstanding features in the intellectual character of the Hellenes: cleverness, erudition, and argumentativeness. But 1 Corinthians 1:22 shows that Paul is not shutting out the Jewish element; just as his Jewish-Christian readers could see in γραμμ. nothing else than a name for the σοφοί of their people. Schrader, with older expositors (see below), understands by συζητ. an inquirer, and in a perfectly arbitrary way makes it refer partly to the pupils of the great training-schools of Alexandria, Athens, Jerusalem, etc.; partly to the disciples of the apostles and of Jesus Himself. But συζητ. could only denote a fellow-inquirer (comp συζητεῖν in Plat. Men. p. 90 B, Crat. p. 384 C Diog. L. ii. 22), which would be without pertinence here; while, on the other hand, according to our view, the σύν finds its reference in the notion of disputare.

τοῦ αἰῶν. τούτου] attaches to all the three subjects: who belong to the pre-Messianic period of the world (“quod totum est extra sphaeram verbi crucis,” Bengel), and are not, like the Christians, set apart by God from the υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου to be members of the Messianic kingdom, in virtue whereof they already, ideally considered, belong to the coming αἰών. Comp 1 Corinthians 1:27; Galatians 1:4; Colossians 1:13; Philippians 3:20; Romans 12:2. Luther and many others take τοῦ αἰῶν. τ. as referring simply to συζητ.; but wrongly, for it gives an essential characteristic of the first two subjects as well. Of those who think thus, some keep the true meaning of αἰὼν οὗτος (as Rückert and Billroth); others render: indagator rerum naturae, physical philosopher (Erasmus, Beza, Drusius, Cornelius a Lapide, Justiniani, Grotius, Clericus, and Valckenaer), which is quite contrary to the invariable sense of αἰὼν οὗτ.

ἐμώρανεν] emphatically put first: made foolish, i.e. from the context, not: He has made it into incapacity of knowledge (Hofmann), which would come in the end to the notion of callousness, but: He has shown it practically to be folly, “insaniens sapientia” (Hor. Od. i. 34. 2), σοφία ἄσοφος (Clem. Protr. V. p. 56 A), by bringing about, namely, the salvation of believers just through that which to the wise men of this world seemed foolishness, the preaching of the cross. See 1 Corinthians 1:21. The more foolish, therefore, this preaching is in their eyes and according to their judgment, the more they themselves are exhibited as fools (as μωρόσοφοι, Lucian, Alex. 40), and put to shame (1 Corinthians 1:27), since the κήρυγμα, held by them to be foolish, is that which brings salvation, not indeed to them, but to those who believe; ποία γὰρ σοφία, ὅταν τὸ κεφάλαιον τῶν ἀγαθῶν μὴ εὑρίσκῃ; Chrysostom. Comp Isaiah 44:25, where μωραίνων is to be taken in precisely the same way as here.

τοῦ κόσμου] i.e. of profane non-Christian humanity, the two halves of which are the Jews and the heathen 1 Corinthians 1:22-24.


Verse 21

1 Corinthians 1:21. More detailed explanation as to this ἐμώρανεν θεὸς κ. τ. λ(236), specifying the why in the protasis and the how in the apodosis: since (see Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 259), that is to say, in the wisdom of God the world knew not God through wisdom, it pleased God to save believers through the foolishness of preaching. The wisdom of God was set before the eyes of the world, even of the heathen part of it, in the works of creation (Romans 1:19 f.; comp also Acts 17:26 f., 1 Corinthians 16:15 ff.); to the Jews it was presented, besides, in the revelation of the O. T. In this His manifested wisdom Go might and should have been known by men; but they did not know Him therein ( ἐν τῇ σοφ. τ. θεοῦ οὐκ ἔγνω κόσ΄. τ. θεόν),—did not attain by the means which they employed, by their wisdom, namely ( διὰ τῆς σοφίας), to this knowledge; whereupon God adopted the plan of saving (in the Messianic sense) believe through the opposite of wisdom, namely, through the foolishness of the gospel.

ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ τ. θεοῦ] is put first emphatically. because the whole stress of the antithesis in both protasis and apodosis is meant to fall on the notions of wisdom and folly. By ἐν Paul marks out the sphere, in which the negative fact of the οὐκ ἔγνω (“in media luce,” Calvin) took place; τοῦ θεοῦ again is genitive subjecti, denoting, however, not the wisdom shown by God in Christ (Zachariae, Heydenreich, and Maier), nor Christ Himself even (Schrader and older expositors adduced by Estius), both of which would be quite unsuitable to the apodosis, but the wisdom of God manifested before Christianity in nature and Scripture.(238) Rückert is wrong in holding that ἐν τ. σοφ. τ. θεοῦ is: “in virtue of the wisdom of God, i.e. under its guidance and arrangement, the world knew not God through its own wisdom.” Certainly Paul would not be made by this interpretation to say anything which would in itself be at variance with his view of the divine relationship to the matter; for with him the two factors of human action, the divine causality and the human self-determination, are so associated, that he may bring now the one and now the other into the foreground (comp on Romans 9); but against it may be urged, partly the position of the words ἐνθεοῦ, which on Rückert’s view would lose their weight and convey a thought here unessential, and partly the significant relation between the protasis and apodosis, according to which the measure taken by God ( εὐδόκησεν κ. τ. λ(240)) appears as called forth by men’s lack of knowledge, and hence the οὐκ ἔγνω would in such a passage be most unsuitably referred to the appointment of God, so as to excuse what is declared in Romans 1:20 to be inexcusable.

οὐκ ἔγνω] Seeing that the Jews also are included, and that anything which would contradict Romans 1:19-21 is out of the question, this must apply to the true knowledge of God, which was not attained, and which, if the κόσμος had reached it, would have caused the preaching of the cross to appear other than foolishness; comp 1 Corinthians 2:14.

διὰ τῆς σοφ.] applies to the heathen world-wisdom and the Jewish school-wisdom, since it is the means of knowledge employed without result (observe that by the οὐκ the whole from ἔγνω to θεόν inclusive is negatived) by the κόσμος for the knowing God. The prepositional relation cannot differ from that of the correlative διὰ τ. μωρίας which follows. Hence Theophylact interprets wrongly: διὰ τῆς ἐν εὐγλωττίᾳ θεωρου΄ένης σοφίας ἐ΄ποδιζό΄ενοι. So, too, Billroth: “their own wisdom was the cause of their not knowing.”

ἐυδόκησεν θ.] placuit Deo, He pleased, it was His will, as Romans 15:26; Galatians 1:15; Colossians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:8. See Fritzsche, a(242) Rom. II. p. 370.

διὰ τῆς ΄ωρίας τοῦ κηρύγ΄., i.e. by means of the foolishness which formed the substance of the preaching (of the gospel). That is the doctrine of the cross, 1 Corinthians 1:18, which, as compared with the wisdom employed by the κόσμος as a means of knowledge, is a foolish doctrine, but in the counsel and work of God the means of salvation, namely, for the πιστεύοντας, which word, as solving the riddle of the divinely applied ΄ωρία, stands emphatically at the end. For to the conscious experience of believers that resultless wisdom of the world is now foolishness, and the foolishness of the κήρυγμα the divine saving wisdom.

Notice, in conclusion, how the whole verse is a compact and stately co-ordination and dovetailing of correlative clauses. Remark, in particular, the repetition of σοφία and θεός, “quasi aliquod telum saepius perveniat in eandem partem corporis,” Auct. a(243) Herenn. iv. 28.


Verse 22

1 Corinthians 1:22 f.(244) Protasis ( ἐπειδή) and apodosis ( ἡ΄εῖς δέ) parallel to the protasis and apodosis in 1 Corinthians 1:21 : since as well Jews desire a sign as Hellenes seek after wisdom, we, on the other hand, preach, etc. It is to be observed how exactly the several members of the sentence correspond to what was said in 1 Corinthians 1:21; for ἰουδαῖοι κ. ἕλληνες is just the notion of the κόσ΄ος broken up; ση΄εῖα αἰτοῦσι and σοφίαν ζητ. is the practical manifestation of the οὐκ ἔγνω τὸν θεόν; and lastly, ἡ΄εῖς δὲ κηρύσσο΄ευ κ. τ. λ(245) contains the actual way in which the εὐδόκησεν θεός κ. τ. λ(246) was carried into effect. And to this carrying into effect belongs in substance ἰουδαίοις ΄ὲν σκάνδαλον κ. τ. λ(247) down to σοφίαν, 1 Corinthians 1:24,—a consideration which disposes of the logical difficulty raised by Hofmann as to the causal relation of protasis and apodosis.

The correlation καὶκαί includes not only the two subjects ἰουδαῖοι and ἕλληνες, but the two whole affirmations; as well the one thing, that the Jews demand a sign, as the other, that the Gentiles desire philosophy, takes place.

ἡμεῖς δέ] This δέ, on the contrary, on the other hand, is the common classical δέ of the apodosis (Acts 11:17), which sets it in an antithetic relation corresponding to the protasis. See Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 184 f.; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 92 f.; Bornem. Act. ap. I. p. 77. Examples of this usage after ἐπεί and ἐπειδή may be seen in Klotz, a(248) Devar. p. 371 f. The parallel relation, which the eye at once detects, between 1 Corinthians 1:21 and 1 Corinthians 1:22 (and in which a rhetorical emphasis is given by the repetition of the ἐπειδή used by Paul only in 1 Corinthians 14:16, 1 Corinthians 15:21; Philippians 2:26, besides this passage), is opposed not merely to Billroth and Maier’s interpretation, which makes ἐπειδὴζητοῦσιν introduce a second protasis after εὐδόκ. θεός, but also to Hofmann’s, that 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 are meant to explain the emphasis laid on τοὺς πιστεύοντας; as likewise to the view of Rückert and de Wette, that there is here added an explanation of the διὰ τῆς μωρίας κ. τ. λ(249), in connection with which Rückert arbitrarily imagines a ΄έν supplied after ἰουδαῖοι.

ἰουδαῖοι and ἕλληνες without the article, since the statement is regarding what such as are Jews, etc., are wont, as a rule, to desire.

σημεῖα] Their desire is, that He on whom they are to believe should manifest Himself by miraculous signs, which would demonstrate His Messiahship (Matthew 16:4). They demand these, therefore, as a ground of faith; comp John 4:48. That we are not to understand here miracles of the apostles (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Bengel, and others) is clear, both from the nature of the antithesis, and from the consideration that, in point of fact, the apostles did actually perform σημεῖα (Romans 15:18 f.; 2 Corinthians 12:12). What the Jews desired in place of these were miraculous signs by which the crucified, but, according to the apostles’ teaching, risen and exalted, Jesus, should evince His being the Messiah, seeing that the miracles of His earthly life had for them lost all probative power through His crucifixion (Matthew 27:41 f., 63 f.). Comp Reiche, Comment. crit. I. p. 123 f. To take, with Hofmann, the σημεῖα αἰτ. generally, as a universal Jewish characteristic, of the tendency to crave acts of power that should strike the senses and exclude the possibility of doubt, is less suitable to the definite reference of the context to Christ, in whom they were refusing to believe. Were the reading σημεῖον (see the critical remarks) to be adopted, we should have to understand it of some miracle specifically accrediting the Messiahship; not, with Schulz, Valckenaer, Eichhorn, and Pott, of the illustrious person of an earthly ruler. Any such personal reference would need to be suggested by the connection, as in Luke 2:34; but this is not at all the case in view of the parallel σοφίαν, nor is it so even by χ. ἐσταυρ. in 1 Corinthians 1:23. See on the latter verse.

αἰτοῦσι] is the demand actually uttered (that there be given); ζητοῦσι the seeking after and desiring, anquirere (correlative: εὑρίσκειν).

χριστὸν ἐσταυρ.] Christ as crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 3:1), and therefore neither as one who exhibits miraculous signs, nor as the originator of a new philosophy, such, possibly, as Socrates or Pythagoras.

σκάνδαλον] in apposition to χ. ἐσταυρ. As crucified, He is to them an occasion for unbelief and rejection. Galatians 5:11. For His being put to a shameful death conflicts with the demand to have a Messiah glorified by miracles.

μωρίαν] because philosophy is what they desire as a guide to salvation; therefore to believe in Christ (not as one of the wise of this world, but) as crucified, is to them a folly, an absurdity; whereby, indeed, their own σοφία becomes ΄ωρία παρὰ τ. θεῷ, 1 Corinthians 3:19.


Verse 24

1 Corinthians 1:24. Along with χριστόν, which is triumphantly repeated, we are mentally to supply κηρύσσομεν: but to the called themselves … we preach Christ as God’s power and God’s wisdomi.e. our preaching of Christ as crucified makes such an impression upon them,(252) that they come to know in their experience the manifestation and the whole work of Christ as that whereby God powerfully works out salvation and reveals His counsel full of wisdom; comp 1 Corinthians 1:30. Hofmann’s construction, making χριστόν to be in apposition to χριστὸν ἐσταυρ., would be logically correct only on one of two suppositions: either if in 1 Corinthians 1:23 there stood merely ἐσταυρωμένον without χριστόν (“a crucified one … who is to them Christ”); or if, in 1 Corinthians 1:24, some more precise definition, such as ὄντως or ἀληθῶς, were given along with χριστόν.

αὐτοῖς] is not the iis pointing back to τοὺς πιστεύοντας, so that τοῖς κλητοῖς would be in apposition to it (Hofmann); for in that case, notwithstanding the harsh and distant retrospective reference, αὐτοῖς would in fact be entirely superfluous; but the words αὐτοῖς δὲ τοῖς κλητοῖς—the αὐτοῖς being emphatically put first (2 Corinthians 11:14; Hebrews 9:23, al(254), and very often in Greek writers)—go together as closely connected, and mean simply: ipsis autem vocatis (Vulg.), to the called for their part, so far as they are concerned, so that αὐτοῖς denotes the called themselves (Herm. a(255) Viger. p. 733), in contrast to those round about them still remaining in unbelief ( ἰουδαίοιςμωρίαν). Instead of τ. κλητοῖς, we might have had τοῖς πιστεύουσιν (1 Corinthians 1:21); but how natural it was that the θεοῦ δύνα΄ιν κ. τ. λ(256), which was present to the apostle’s mind, should have led to his designating the subjects of his statement according to the divine qualification which applied to them. Comp 1 Corinthians 1:26. As to κλητός, see on 1 Corinthians 1:2.(258) That Paul did not write ἡ΄ῖν, is to be accounted for on the ground of its being unsuitable to the κηρύσσ., which is to be here again understood; not, as Rückert thinks, because it seemed to him too hard to oppose ἡ΄. to ἰουδ. and ἔθνεσι.

θεοῦ δύν. κ. θ. σοφ.] To all the κλητοί Christ is both. But the words are formally parallel to the two former demands in 1 Corinthians 1:22; hence δύναμιν is put first. Respecting σοφίαν, comp on 1 Corinthians 1:30.


Verse 25

1 Corinthians 1:25. Confirmation of the θεοῦ δύν. κ. θεοῦ σοφ. by a general proposition, the first half of which corresponds to the θεοῦ σοφίαν, and the second to the θεοῦ δύναμιν.

τὸ μωρὸν τοῦ θεοῦ] the foolish thing which comes from God,(260) i.e. what God works and orders, and which appears to men absurd. Comp τὸ σωτήριον τ. θεοῦ, Luke 2:30.

τῶν ἀνθρώπων] We are not to amplify this, with the majority of interpreters (including Beza, Grotius, Valckenaer, Zachariae, Flatt, Pott, Heydenreich, and de Wette), into τοῦ σοφοῦ τῶν ἀνθρώπ., after a well-known abbreviated mode of comparison (see on Matthew 5:20; John 5:36), which Estius rightly censures here as coactum (comp Winer, p. 230 [E. T. 307]), because we should have to supply with τῶν ἀνθρ. not the last named attribute, but its opposite; the true rendering, in fact, is just the simple one: wiser than men; men possess less wisdom than is contained in the foolish thing of God.

τὸ ἀσθενὲς τοῦ θεοῦ] whatever in God’s appointments is, to human estimation, powerless and resultless. The concrete instance which Paul has in view when employing the general terms τὸ ΄ωρόν and τὸ ἀσθενὲς τοῦ θεοῦ, is the death of Christ on the cross, through which God has fulfilled the counsel of His eternal wisdom, wrought out with power the redemption of the world, laid the foundations of everlasting bliss, and overcome all powers antagonistic to Himself.


Verse 26

1 Corinthians 1:26. Confirmation of this general proposition from the experience of the readers. The element of proof lies in the contrast, 1 Corinthians 1:27 f. For if the matter were not as stated in 1 Corinthians 1:25, then God would not have chosen the foolish of the world to put to shame its wise ones. By so doing He has, indeed, set before your eyes the practical experimental proof, that the μωρὸν τοῦ θεοῦ transcends men in wisdom. Otherwise He would have acted in the reverse way, and have sought out for Himself the wise of the world, in order, through their wisdom, to help that which now appears as the μωρὸν τ. θεοῦ to victory over the foolishness of the world. This holds, too, as against de Wette, who (comp also Hofmann) makes γάρ refer to the whole series of thoughts, 1 Corinthians 1:19-25, notwithstanding that the expressions here used attach themselves so distinctly to 1 Corinthians 1:25.

βλέπετε] imperative. As such it has with logical correctness its hortatory emphasis;(264) but not so, if we take it as indicative (Valla, Erasmus, Castalio, Beza, Vatablus, Bengel, Rosenmüller, and Schrader).

τὴν κλῆσιν ὑμῶν] is not to be taken arbitrarily, with Beza, Estius, Mosheim, Semler, Rosenmüller, and Pott, pro concreto, for ὑμᾶς τοὺς κλητούς, but as: your calling (to salvation through the Messiah); see, what was the nature of it as regards the persons whom God, the caller, had chosen (1 Corinthians 1:27 ff.). Krause and Olshausen run counter to the specific Christian sense of the word, and even to the general linguistic usage (see on 1 Corinthians 7:20), when they make it mean, like the German word “Beruf” [calling], the vitae genus, the outward circumstances.

ὅτι] equivalent to εἰς ἐκεῖνο, ὅτι, in so far, namely, as. Plat. Prot. p. 330 E, Crat. p. 384 C, al(265), John 2:18; John 9:17; John 11:51; 2 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 11:10; Mark 16:14; Fritzsche, a(266) Matth. p. 248 f.

οὐ πολλοὶ σοφοὶ κ. σ.] that not many (among you) are wise in the eyes of men, etc. It is enough to supply the simple εἰσί, making οὐ πολλ., i.e. but few, the subject, and σοφ. the predicate; and there is no need for introducing an ἐκλήθησαν (so commonly), according to which οὐ π. σ. together would be the subject. κατὰ σάρκα, specifying the kind and manner of the σοφία, marks it out as purely human, and distinguishes it from the Christian wisdom which proceeds from the Holy Spirit. For σάρξ comprises the simply human element in man as opposed to the divine principle. Comp σοφία σαρκική, 2 Corinthians 1:12; σοφία ψυχική, James 3:15; and see on Romans 4:1; John 3:6. Estius aptly remarks: “Significari vult sapientiam, quae studio humano absque doctrina Spir. sancti potest acquiri.” In substance, the σοφία τοῦ κόσ΄ου, 1 Corinthians 1:20, and the σ. τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου, 1 Corinthians 2:6, are the same.

δυνατοί] We are not to supply κατὰ σάρκα here again; for that was essentially requisite only with σοφοί, and Paul otherwise would have coupled it with the third word (comp 1 Corinthians 1:20). That mighty men of this world are meant, is self-evident.

εὐγενεῖς] of high descent. Comp Luke 19:12; frequent in the classics.

Rückert objects that Paul, instead of proving the phenomenon recorded in 1 Corinthians 1:26 to have proceeded from the divine wisdom, uses it as an argument for 1 Corinthians 1:25, and so reasons in a circle. But this is without foundation. For that the phenomenon in question was a work of the divine wisdom, was to the Christian consciousness (and Paul was, of course, writing to Christians, who looked at it in the same light with himself) a thing ascertained and settled, which could be employed therefore directly to establish 1 Corinthians 1:25 in conformity with experience.


Verse 27-28

1 Corinthians 1:27-28. Expanded (see τοῦ κόσμου and πᾶσα σάρξ, 1 Corinthians 1:29) statement of the opposite: No; the foolish things of the world were what God chose out for Himself, etc. The calling, 1 Corinthians 1:26, was in truth just the result and the proof of the election. Comp 1 Thessalonians 1:4 f.; 2 Thessalonians 2:13 f.; Romans 8:30; Romans 9:23 f.

τὰ ΄ωρὰ τοῦ κόσ΄ου] the foolish elements of the world (mankind), i.e. those to whom earthly wisdom was a quite foreign thing, so that they were the simple among men. Comp Matthew 11:25. Many exegetes (including Theodoret, Luther, Grotius, Estius, Rosenmüller, Flatt, and Billroth) take the genitive as: according to the judgment of the world. Against this may he urged, partly, the very fact that when God chose to Himself the persons referred to, they too had not yet the higher wisdom, and consequently were not unwise merely in the eyes of the world; and partly, as deciding the point, the following ἀσθ. and ἀγεν., for they were, it is plain, really (and not merely in the eyes of the world) weak and of mean origin.

The neuters (comp on the plural, Galatians 3:22) indicate the category generally, it being evident from the context that what is meant is the persons included under that category. See generally, Winer, p. 167 [E. T. 222], and the same usage among classical writers in Blomfield, a(273) Aesch. Pers. Gloss. 101.

ἵνα τ. σ. καταισχ.] design. The nothingness and worthlessness of their wisdom were, to their shame, to be brought practically to light (by God’s choosing not them, but the unwise, for honour), no matter whether they themselves were conscious of this putting of them to shame or not.

The thrice-repeated ἐξελ. θεός, beside the three contrasts of σοφοί, δυνατοί, and εὐγενεῖς (1 Corinthians 1:26), carries with it a triumphant emphasis.

τὰ ΄ὴ ὄντα] The contrast to εὐγενεῖς is brought out by three steps forming a climax. This third phrase is the strongest of all, and sums up powerfully the two foregoing ones by way of apposition (hence without καί): the non-existent, i.e. what was as utterly worth nothing as if it had not existed at all (Winer, p. 451 [E. T. 608]). Comp Eur. Hec. 284: ἦν πότʼ, ἀλλὰ νῦν οὐκ εἴμʼ ἔτι. Dem. 248. 25; Plat. Crit. p. 50 B and Stallbaum thereon. The subjective negation μή is quite according to rule (Baeumlein, Partik. p. 296), since the participle with the article expresses a generic notion; and there is no need of importing the idea of an untrue although actual existence (Hofmann). We are not therefore to supply τι to τὰ ὄντα (as if ΄ηδὲν εἶναι had been used before), but to explain it: the existent, what through repute, fortune, etc., is regarded as that which is ( κατʼ ἐξοχήν). Comp Pflugk, a(276) Hec. l.c(277): “ipsum verbum εἶναι eam vim habet, ut significet in aliquo numero esse, rebus secundis florere.

κατηργ.] Not καταισχ. again, because the notions ΄ὴ εἶναι and εἶναι required a stronger word to correspond to them; one which would convey the idea of bringing to nought (i.e. making worthless, Romans 3:31).


Verse 29

1 Corinthians 1:29. Final aim, to which is subordinated the mediate aim expressed by the thrice-repeated ἵνα κ. τ. λ(278)

ὅπως μὴ καυχ. πᾶσα σάρξ] Hebraistic way of saying: that no man may boast himself. Its explanation lies in the fact that the negation belongs to the verb, not to πᾶσα σ. ( כָּל־בָּשָׂר): that every man may abstain from boasting himself. Comp Fritzsche, Diss. in 2 Cor. II. p. 24 f. Regarding σάρξ as a designation of man in his weakness and imperfection as contrasted with God, see on Acts 3:17.

ἐνώπ. τ. θεοῦ] Romans 3:20; Luke 16:15, al(280) No one is to come forth before God and boast, I am wise, etc.; on this account God has, by choosing the unwise, etc., brought to nought the wisdom and loftiness of men, so that the ground for the assertion of human excellences before God has been cut away.


Verse 30

1 Corinthians 1:30 f. In contrast ( δέ) to the ὅπως μὴ καυχ. π. σ. ἐνώπιον τ. θεοῦ, we have now the true relation to God and the true and right καυχᾶσθαι arising out of it: But truly it is God’s work, that ye are Christians and so partakers of the greatest divine blessings, that none of you should in any way boast himself save only in God. Comp Ephesians 2:8 f.

ἐξ αὐτοῦ] has the principal emphasis: From no other than God is derived the fact that you are in Christ (as the element of your life). ἐξ denotes the causal origination. Comp Ephesians 2:8 : οὐκ ἐξ ὑ΄ῶν, θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον, also in profane writers: ἐκ θεῶν, ἐκ διός (Valckenaer, a(283) Herod. ii. 13); and generally, Winer, p. 345 [E. T. 460]. While Hofmann here, too, as in 1 Corinthians 1:28, introduces into εἶναι the notion of the true existence, which they have from God “in virtue of their being included in Christ,” others again, following Chrysostom, Theodoret, and Theophylact, take ἐξ αὐτοῦ δὲ ὑμεῖς ἐστε by itself in such a way as to make it express sonship with God (comp Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 553), and regard ἐν as conveying the more precise definition of the mode whereby this sonship is attained: παῖδες αὐτοῦ ἐστε, διὰ τοῦ χριστοῦ τοῦτο γενό΄ενοι, Chrysostom; comp Calvin, Beza, Grotius, Flatt, Billroth, Rückert, Ewald, and others. But wrongly; or the conception ἐκ θεοῦ εἶναι in the supposed sense is Johannine, but is not in accordance with the Pauline mode of expression (not even in Galatians 4:4); and εἶναι ἐν χριστῷ was a conception so habitually in use (Romans 16:7; Romans 16:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 1:22, al(286)), that it must have occurred of itself here also to the reader; besides, the ἀπὸ θεοῦ which follows answers to the ἐξ αὐτοῦ. This applies, too, against Osiander, who, after ἐξ αὐτοῦ, mentally supplies γεγενη΄ένοι: “being born of God, ye are members of Christ.”

ὑ΄εῖς] with emphasis: ye for your part, ye the chosen out of the world.

ὃς ἐγενήθηἀπολύτρωσις] brings home to the heart the high value of that God-derived εἶναι ἐν χριστῷ: who has become to us from God wisdom, righteousness and holiness, and redemption. ἐγενήθη is simply a later (Doric) form for ἐγένετο (Thom. Mag. p. 189; Lobeck, a(287) Phryn. p. 108 f.), not, as Rückert makes it (comp Luther: “gemacht ist”), a true passive in sense; comp Acts 4:4; Colossians 4:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:14 (Ephesians 3:7, Lachm.). Christ became to us wisdom, etc., inasmuch as His manifestation and His whole saving work have procured for believers these blessings; namely, first of all,—what was of primary importance in the connection of 1 Corinthians 1:19 ff.,—wisdom, for to believers is revealed the counsel of God, in whom are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge (see 1 Corinthians 2:7 ff.; Colossians 2:3); righteousness, for by means of faith we are through the Lord’s atoning death constituted righteous before God (Romans 3:24 f., al(290); see on Romans 1:17); holiness (see on Romans 6:19; Romans 6:22), for in those who are justified by faith Christ works continually by His Spirit the new holy life (Romans 8:1-11); redemption, for Christ has delivered believers, through His blood paid as their ransom (Romans 3:24; Romans 6:20; Romans 7:23), from the wrath of God, to which they were subject before the entrance of faith (see on Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:3). The order in which these predicates stand is not illogical; for after the first intellectual benefit ( σοφία) which we have received in Christ, marked out too from the rest by the position of the word, Paul brings forward the ethical blessedness of the Christian, and that in the first place positively as δικαιοσύνη and ἁγιασ΄ός, but then also—as though in triumph that there was now nothing more to fear from God—negatively as ἀπολύτρωσις, in which is quenched all the wrath of God against former sin (instead of which with the Christian there are now righteousness and holiness). Hence in explaining ἀπολύτρ. we should not (with Chrysostom) abide by the general ἀπήλλαξεν ἡ΄ᾶς ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν κακῶν, which is already contained in what goes before; nor again should we, with Grotius, Calovius, Rückert, Osiander, Neander, and others (comp also Schmid, bibl. Theol. II. p. 325; and Lipsius, Paulin. Rechtfertigungslehre, p. 8), make it the final redemption from death and all evils, such as is the object of ἐλπίς, the redemption perfecting itself beyond our earthly-life (Hofmann), or the definitive acquittal at the last judgment (Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 327). In the passages alleged to support the interpretation in question, this sense is given solely by the accessory defining phrases—namely, in Ephesians 1:14 by τῆς περιποιήσεως, in Ephesians 4:30 by ἡ΄έραν, and in Romans 8:23 by τοῦ σώ΄ατος. Rückert (comp Neander) is further of opinion that δικαιοσύνη κ. τ. λ(293) is merely explanatory of how far Christ is to us σοφία, namely, as δικαιοσύνη, ἁγιασμός, and ἀπολύτρ., and that these three refer to the three essential things in the Christian life, faith, love, and hope: the τέ binding together the last three words and separating them from the first. But (1) the τέ links closely together only δικαιοσ. and ἁγιασμ., and does not include ἀπολ.; much less does it separate the three last predicates from σοφία;(294) on the contrary, τε καί embraces δικ. and ἁγ., as it were, in one, so that then ἀπολύτρωσις comes to be added with the adjunctive καί as a separate element, and consequently there results the following division: (a) wisdom, (b) righteousness and holiness, and (c) redemption. See as to this use of τε καίκαί, Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 102; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 878 f.; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 224 f. (2) Paul would, on this theory, have left his readers without the slightest hint of the subordinate relation of the three last predicates to the first, although he could so easily have indicated it by ὡς or a participle. (3) According to the correct interpretation, ἀπολύτρ. is not something yet future, but something which has already taken place in the death of Christ. Bos (Obs. Misc. p. 1 ff.), Alethius, Clericus, Nösselt (Opusc. II. p. 127 ff.), Valckenaer, and Krause interpret in a still more involved way, holding that only the words from ὅς to θεοῦ apply to Christ, and these are to be put in a parenthesis; while δικαιοσύνη κ. τ. λ(295) are abstracta pro concretis (2 Corinthians 5:21), and belong to ὑμεῖς ἐστε: “Ejus beneficio vos estis in Christo Jesu δικαιοσυνη κ. τ. λ(296),” Valckenaer. How ambiguous and unsuitable would such a statement as ὃς ἐγεν. σοφία κ. τ. λ(297) be for a mere parenthetical notice!

ἀπὸ θεοῦ] on God’s part, by God as the author of the fact. Comp Herod. vi. 125: ἀπὸ δὲ ἀλκ΄αίωνος ἐγένοντο καὶ κάρτα λα΄προί. See generally, Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 194; Winer, p. 348 [E. T. 464]; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 280 [E. T. 325]. That it belongs to ἐγενήθη, and not to σοφία, is proved by the ἡ΄ῖν which stands between. The latter, however, is not to be understood, with Rückert, as though it ran ἡ΄ετέρα σοφία (“what to the Hellene his σοφία is, or is merely assumed to be, namely, the ground of confidence,—that Christ is to us”), else Paul must have written: ὃς ἡμῖν ἐγενήθη σοφία with the article, and have placed ἡ΄ῖν first with the emphasis of contrast.

Observe further, that Paul has said ὑ΄εῖς with his eye still, as in 1 Corinthians 1:26, upon the church to which his readers belonged; but now, in adducing the blessings found in Christ, he extends the range of his view to all Christians; and hence, instead of the individualizing ὑ΄εῖς, we have the ἡ΄ῖν including himself and others.


Verse 31

1 Corinthians 1:31. The fact that God is the author of your connection with Christ, and thereby of the blessings you receive as Christians (1 Corinthians 1:30), should, according to the divine purpose ( ἵνα), determine you to comply with that word of Scripture which calls for the true lowly καυχᾶσθαι: he that boasteth himself, let him boast himself in the Lord, praise his own privileges only as God’s work, boast himself only as the object of His grace.

That the κύριος is not Christ (Rückert) but God, and not Christ and God (Hofmann), is proved by the emphatic ἐξ αὐτοῦ, 1 Corinthians 1:30, and ἐνώπ. τ. θεοῦ, 1 Corinthians 1:29. Comp on 2 Corinthians 10:17.

The apostle quotes Jeremiah 9:24, abbreviating quite freely, after the LXX. The construction, however, is anacoluthic; for Paul purposely retains the scriptural saying unaltered in its strong imperative form, and leaves it to the reader to supply the change from the imperative to the subjunctive, which the syntax, properly speaking, would require. Comp on Romans 15:3.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-corinthians-1.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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