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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
1 Corinthians 6

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

CHAPTER 6

1 Corinthians 6:2. ] is wanting in Elz., but has decisive evidence in its favour.—1 Corinthians 6:5. λέγω] Lachm. has λαλῶ, on the authority of B alone. In the absence of internal grounds for decision, this is too weakly attested, far weaker than in 1 Corinthians 15:34.

ἔνι] so Griesb. Lachm. Scholz, Rück. Tisch., following B C L א, min(857) Chrys. Theodoret, al(858) How easily the familiar ἐστιν (so Elz.) would creep in!

σοφὸς οὐδὲ εἷς] Lachm. and Rück. read οὐδεὶς σοφός, with B C א, min(859) Copt. Damasc. D* E, Clar. Germ. Aeth. Athan. have simply σοφός; F and G have οὐδὲ εἷς σοφός. In A, the whole passage 1 Corinthians 6:3-6 is wanting (from the similarity of the two last syllables ίστων in 1 Corinthians 6:2; 1 Corinthians 6:6). From this it appears that the evidence for οὐδεὶς σοφός certainly preponderates, against which, however, there must be set the difficulty of seeing why this reading should have undergone alteration. Were σοφὸς οὐδὲ εἷς, on the other hand, the original reading (D*** L, most of the min(860) Vulg., both Syr(861) Ar. p. and the majority of the Fathers), we have in the first place a very natural explanation of the omission of οὐδὲ εἷς (which Griesb. approves of), inasmuch as copyists went right on from σοφοσ to οσ, and the two other variations would then arise from dissimilar critical restorations of the text.—1 Corinthians 6:7. Elz. has ἐν ὑμῖν, against decisive evidence. An interpretation.—1 Corinthians 6:8. καὶ ταῦτα] Lachm. Rück. and Tisch. have καὶ τοῦτο, following A B C D E א, min(862) vss(863) and Fathers. Rightly; the plural crept in, because two things were mentioned ( ἀδικ. and ἀποστ.).—1 Corinthians 6:9. There is conclusive evidence for reading θεοῦ βασ. in place of βασ. θεοῦ. In 1 Corinthians 6:10, again, this order is too weakly attested to be received.—1 Corinthians 6:10. The οὐ before κληρ. is wanting in A B C D E א, min(864) Copt. Ignat. Method. Athan. Chrys. al(865) Deleted by Lachm. and Rück. with justice; for while the preceding θεοῦ might in itself just as easily lead to the omission as (by repetition of the last syllable) to the insertion of the οὐ, the latter was favoured by 1 Corinthians 6:9.—1 Corinthians 6:14. ἡμᾶς] Elz. has ὑμᾶς, against decisive testimony (perhaps from Romans 8:11).

ἐξεγερεῖ] Lachm. and Ewald read ἐξεγείρει, with A D*. B and 67** have ἐξήγειρε. The Recept(866) should be adhered to, with Tisch., following C D*** E K L א, min(867) Vulg., both Syr(868) Copt. Aeth. Arr. and many Fathers. The connection makes the future necessary as the correlative relative of καταργήσει in 1 Corinthians 6:13, and the evidence in its favour is preponderant, in view of the divided state of the codd(869) for the other readings. As to ἐξήγειρε and ἐξεγείρει, the former looks like a mechanical repetition of the preceding tense, and the latter a slip of the pen.

οὐκ (not the simple οὐκ) has decisive evidence on its side.—1 Corinthians 6:19. τὸ σῶμα] Matth. and Tisch. read τὰ σώματα upon insufficient evidence, part of which is in favour of the plural in 1 Corinthians 6:20 also. The alteration to the plural was naturally suggested by the connection.—1 Corinthians 6:20. καὶ ἐν τῷ πνεύματι ὑμῶν, ἅτινά ἐστι τοῦ θεοῦ is deleted by all modern editors (except Matth.) since Mill and Griesb., following A B C* D* E F G א, min(870) Copt. Aeth. Vulg. It. Method. Didym. Cyr. Maxim. Damasc. Tert. Cypr. Ir. Ambrosiast. and all the Latin Fathers. An ascetic addition, although a very old one (occurring even in the Syriac), which got into all the wider circulation because a church-lesson begins with δοξάσατε. Comp Reiche, Comm. crit. I. p. 165 ff.


Verse 1

1 Corinthians 6:1. A new section, not connected with what has gone before. Paul starts at once with a question of lively surprise: Dare(872) any one, etc., and so plunges in medium rem.(873) The connections of thought, which some have traced out, are arbitrary inventions. This applies not only to Baur’s view (in the theol. Jahrb. 1852, p. 10 f.),—that it was the damage done to the Christian cause in public opinion, both by the immorality discussed in chap. 5 and by the lawsuits carried on before the heathen, that led the apostle thus to pass from the one subject to the other,—but also to the connection which Hofmann seeks to establish between this passage and the censure pronounced upon the insufficient judicial action taken by the church with its members after the occurrence of the case already adverted to. The judicial proceedings now referred to are plainly of quite another kind, not in the way of discipline, but of private lawsuits; and, moreover, as to former judicial action of the church, not merely was it insufficient, but nothing of the sort had taken place at all with respect to the πόρνος. Paul does not employ so much as a δέ, or an ἀλλά, or any other form of connection, but goes on with epistolary freedom, leaping, as it were, from one point of censure to another.

τὶς] any one whate1Co 6:The quite general treatment of the subject which follows shows that no specific individual (Semler) is meant, although it must be left undetermined whether some specially striking case, possibly that of a rich and powerful man (Ewald), may not have given occasion for the apostle’s sending these admonitions.

πρᾶγμα] lawsuit, matter of dispute. Comp Xen. Mem. ii. 9. 1; Demosth. 1120. 26; Josephus, Antt. xiv. 10. 7.

κρίνεσθαι] go to law, litigare; see on Romans 3:4; Wetstein, a(875), Matthew 5:40.

ἐπὶ τῶν ἀδίκων] before (Winer, p. 351 [E. T. 469]) the unrighteous; a specially significant designation of the heathen (see on Galatians 2:5), as contrasted with the Christians, who are ἅγιοι (see on 1 Corinthians 1:2). Chrysostom puts it well: οὐκ εἶπεν· ἐπὶ τῶν ἀπίστων (as in 1 Corinthians 6:6, where the opposite of ἀδελφός was required), ἀλλʼ ἐπὶ τῶν ἀδίκων, λέξιν θεὶς ἧς ΄άλιστα χρείαν εἶχεν εἰς τὴν προκει΄ένην ὑπόθεσιν, ὥστε ἀποτρέψαι καὶ ἀπαγαγεῖν. There is indeed a contradictio in adjecto in the κρίνεσθαι ἐπὶ τ. ἀδίκων! For the Rabbinical prohibitions of going to law before the heathen, see Eisenmenger, Entdeckt. Judenth. II. p. 472 ff. (e.g. Tanchuma, f. 92. 2 : “Statutum est, ad quod omnes Israelitae obligantur, eum, qui litem cum alio habet, non debere eam tractare coram gentibus”). The tribunal intended by Paul is not merely that of arbitration, which had passed over from Judaism (see Michaelis, Einl. II. p. 1221 f.; comp Lightfoot, Hor. on 1 Corinthians 6:4; Vitringa, de Synag. p. 816 ff.) to Christianity, but his meaning is: instead of carrying on lawsuits against each other before the heathen, they were to adjust their disputes before Christians, which could of course be done only in the way of arbitration(877) (comp 1 Corinthians 6:5); according to this, therefore, different forms of the κρίνεσθαι are present to the apostle’s mind in speaking of the judgment ἐπὶ τ. ἀδ. and ἐπὶ τ. ἁγ.; in the former case, that by legal process; in the latter, that by arbitration through means of διαιτηταί.

Theodoret remarks justly (on 1 Corinthians 6:6), that the prohibition of the κρίνεσθαι ἐπὶ τῶν ἀδίκων is not at variance with Romans 13:1 ff.: οὐ γὰρ ἀντιτείνειν κελεύει τοῖς ἄρχουσιν, ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἠδικη΄ένοις νο΄οθετεῖ ΄ὴ κεχρῆσθαι τοῖς ἄρχουσι. τὸ γὰρ αἱρεῖσθαι ἀδικεῖσθαι παρὰ τοῖς ὁ΄οπίστοις δοκι΄άζεσθαι τῆς αὐτῶν ἐξηρτᾶτο γνώ΄ης.


Verses 1-11

1 Corinthians 6:1-11. The readers are not to go to law before the heathen (1 Corinthians 6:1-6); and generally, they are, instead of contending with one another, rather to suffer wrong than to do it, bearing in mind that the unrighteous shall not become partakers in the Messianic kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:7-10), and that they, as Christians, have become pure, holy, and righteous (1 Corinthians 6:11).


Verse 2

1 Corinthians 6:2. οὐκ οἴδατε κ. τ. λ(879)] unveils the entire preposterousness of the course with which his readers were reproached in the indignant question of 1 Corinthians 6:1 : “Dare any of you do that,—or know ye not?” etc. Only on the ground of this not knowing could you betake yourselves to such unworthy κρίνεσθαι! σὺ τοινυν μέλλων κρίνειν ἐκείνους τότε, πῶς ὑπʼ ἐκείνων ἀνέχῃ κρίνεσθαι νῦν; Chrysostom.

τὸν κόσμον κρινοῦσι] at the last judgment, namely, sitting along with Christ as judges over all who are not Christians ( κόσμος). Comp as early a passage as Wisdom of Solomon 3:8. We have here the same conception(881)—only generalized with respect to the subjects of judgment—as in Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30. It stands in essential and logical connection with the participation in the glory of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:8; Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:11 f.), which Christians are to attain after the Parousia, and after they themselves have been judged (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1). We must not, however, refer this (with Hofmann) to the period of the reign of Christ and His people predicted in Revelation 20:4 (when the κόσμος, too, shall be subjected to their judicial authority), especially seeing that Chiliasm is a specifically Apocalyptic and not a Pauline conception; comp on 1 Corinthians 15:24. Chrysostom again, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theophylact, Schol. ap. Matth., Erasmus, and others, explain it of an indirect, not literal judging, namely, either by the faith and life of Christians placing the guilt of the κόσμος in a clearer light in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:41), or by their approving of the judicial sentence of Christ (Estius, Maier). But this (although assumed by Billroth as the ideal truth which underlay the words of the apostle, unconsciously to himself) is an alteration of the sense which runs counter to the context; for the whole argument a majori ad minus is destroyed, if κρινοῦσι is to be understood in a one-sided way as equivalent to κατακρ., and if no proper and personal act of judgment is designed.(883) It is a mistake also to hold, with Lightfoot, Vitringa, Baumgarten, Bolten, that Paul means quod Christiani futuri sint magistratus (Lightfoot), which is at variance with 1 Corinthians 6:3, and with the conception of the speedily approaching Parousia. Mosheim, Ernesti, Nösselt, Rosenmüller, and Stolz turn the “shall judge” into “can judge,” comparing 1 Corinthians 2:15-16. But this, too, is to alter the notion of κρίνειν in a way contrary to the text (judge of); and the can, since it would have an emphasis of special significance here, and would denote “be in a position to,” would require to be expressly inserted. Comp rather the prophetic basis of the thought in Daniel 7:22.

καὶ εἰ ἐν ὑμῖν κ. τ. λ(885)] The quick striking in of the καί in the very front of the question is as in 1 Corinthians 6:2; see also Fritzsche, a(886) Marc. p. 123.

εἰ ἐν ὑ΄. κρ. κόσ΄.] repeats with emphasis, and with an individualizing force ( ὑ΄ῖν), the contents of the truth already stated and established to the believing consciousness (hence the present κρίνεται). The ἐν ὑ΄ῖν, here emphatically put first, does not mean, as Chrysostom and Theophylact think,(887) in your instance, exemplo vestro (see above), but among you, i.e. in consessu vestro (see Kypke, II. p. 199), so that the essential meaning is not different from coram (Ast, a(888) Plat. Leg. p. 33. 285); comp ἐν δικασταῖς, Thuc. i. 53. 1, ἐν νο΄οθέταις κ. τ. λ(890) See, too, the passages in Wetstein. The ἐν therefore by no means stands for ὑπό (Raphel, Flatt, al(891)), although we may gather from the context that the ὑμεῖς are themselves the parties judging (1 Corinthians 6:2; 1 Corinthians 6:4). Nor has it the force of through (Grotius, Billroth, al(892)), in support of which it is a mistake to appeal to Acts 17:31, where, owing to the connection, ἐν stands in a wholly different relation from what it denotes here. Here the word ἐν is selected in view of the following κριτήρια, the Christians, who are in future to judge, being conceived of, in order to the more vivid representation of the idea, as a judicial assembly.

ἀνάξ. ἐστε κριτ. ἐλαχ.] κριτήριον does not mean matter of dispute, case at law, as most expositors (even Pott, Flatt, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Maier, Ewald) wish to take it, with no evidence at all from the usage of the language in their favour, but place of judgment (tribunal, seat of justice, James 2:6; Plato, Legg. vi. p. 767 B Susanna, 49), or judicial trial which is held (judicium). Comp the precept: μὴ ἐρχέσθω ἐπὶ κριτήριον ἐθνικόν, Constitt. ap. ii. 45. Precisely so with δικαστήριον. The latter sense, judicial trial (Lucian, bis accus. 25; Polybius, ix. 33. 12, xvi. 27. 2; Judges 5:10; Daniel 7:10; Daniel 7:26), is the true one here, as is evident from 1 Corinthians 6:4. We render therefore: Are ye unworthy to hold very trivial trials? i.e. trials in which judgment is to be given upon very insignificant matters (in comparison with the lofty and important functions which are to devolve upon you when the future judgment shall be held). The Vulgate translates freely but correctly as to the sense: “indigni estis, qui de minimis judicetis?” According to Chrysostom and Theophylact, others understand here the heathen courts of justice, either affirmatively (so, as it appears, Chrysostom and Theophylact themselves; so, too, Valckenaer, al(894)) or interrogatively (Billroth): and that it is unworthy of you to be judged before courts of so low a kind? Similarly, Olshausen. But 1 Corinthians 6:4 is decisive against this; for we have there the very same thing which in 1 Corinthians 6:2 is expressed by κριτηρ. ἐλαχ., described as βιωτικὰ κριτήρια.


Verse 3-4

1 Corinthians 6:3-4. Climactic parallels to 1 Corinthians 6:2, 1 Corinthians 6:3 corresponding to the first half of the preceding verse, and 1 Corinthians 6:4 to the second; hence 1 Corinthians 6:4 also should be taken as a question.

ἀγγέλους] angels, and that—since no defining epithet is added—in the good sense, not as Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Erasmus, Beza, Calovius, Bengel, and most commentators make it, demons (Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4), nor good and bad angels (so Cornelius a Lapide, al(895); also, as it would appear, Hofmann). Other expositors, such as Grotius, Billroth, Rückert, de Wette, leave the point undecided. But comp on 1 Corinthians 4:9. That angels themselves shall come within the sphere of the judicial activity of glorified believers, is stated here as a proposition established to the believing consciousness of the readers,—a proposition, the ground for which is to be found in the fact that in Christ, whose glorified saints will reign with Him, is given the absolute truth and the absolute right, and, consequently, the highest judicial court of resort, even as regards the world of angels, from the jurisdiction of which not even the loftiest of created beings can be excepted. There is nothing of a more detailed nature on this subject in the N. T.; but comp in general, Hebrews 1:14, according to which their service must be one for which they are to render an account; and Galatians 1:8, according to which, in a certain supposed case, they would incur an ἀνάθεμα.(898) All modes of explaining away the simple meaning of the words are just as inadmissible as in 1 Corinthians 6:2; as, for example, Chrysostom: ὅταν γὰρ αἱ ἀσώματοι δυνάμεις αὗται ἔλαττον ἡμῶν εὑρεθῶσιν ἔχουσαι τῶν σάρκα περιβεβλημένων, χαλεπωτέραν δώσουσι δίκην; Erasmus: “vestra pietas illorum impietatem, vestra innocentia illorum impuritatem condemnabit;” Calovius: the judicium is approbativum, making manifest, that is to say, before the whole world the victory of the saints already in this life over the devil; Lightfoot: what is meant is, that the influence of the kingdom of Satan is to be destroyed by Christianity; while Nösselt, Ernesti, and Stolz make it ability to judge, if an angel were to preach a false gospel (Galatians 1:8).

μήτιγε βιωτικά] is not to be included in the question, so that we should have to put only a comma after κρινοῦμεν (as Tischendorf does). For βιωτικά, things which belong to the necessities of this life, disputes as to the meum and tuum, (comp Polybius, xiii. 1. 3 : τῶν βιωτικῶν συναλλαγμάτων), will not be among the subjects of the future judgment, to which κρινοῦμεν refers. We must retain, therefore, the mark of interrogation after κρινοῦμεν (Lachmann), and put a full stop after βιωτ., so that μήτιγε βιωτ. may be seen to be the condensed conclusio: to say nothing then of private disputes! i.e. How far less can it be doubtful that we have to judge βιωτικά! Comp Dem. Ol. i. (ii.) 23, and Bremi in loc(901) p. 159. See generally as to μήτιγε (found only here in the N. T.), nedum sc(902) dicam; Herm. a(903) Viger. p. 803; Schaefer, Appar. ad Dem. I. p. 265; Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 154 f. Regarding the relation of βιωτικός to the later Greek, see Lobeck, a(904) Phryn. p. 355.

The antithesis of ἀγγέλους and βιωτικά turns on this, that the former belong to the higher superterrestrial sphere of life ( ὡς ἂν ἐκείνων οὐ κατὰ τὸν βίον τοῦτον ὄντων, Theodore of Mopsuestia). The ἀγγέλ. without the, article is qualitative.


Verse 4

1 Corinthians 6:4. βιωτικὰ μὲν οὖν κ. τ. λ(905)] takes up βιωτ. at once again with emphasis. Comp Herod. vii. 104: τὰ ἂν ἐκεῖνος ἀνώγῃ· ἀνώγει δὲ ταὐτὸ ἀεί.

The sentence may be understood as a question (of astonishment), so de Wette, Tischendorf, Ewald, al(907); or as a reproachful statement, so Lachmann. The former, if τ. ἐξουθ. be correctly explained, corresponds best with the whole structure of this animated address (see on 1 Corinthians 6:3). ΄ὲν οὖν is the simple accordingly, thus.(908) κριτήρια are here also not lawsuits, but judicia, as in 1 Corinthians 6:2. The meaning therefore is: If ye then have courts of trial as to private matters, i.e. if ye are in such circumstances as to have to hold courts of that kind. Comp Dem. 1153. 4 : ἐχόντων τὰς δίκας, qui lites habent administrandas. Hofmann’s rendering is a most involved one, making βιωτ. κριτ. predicate to τοὺς ἐξουθ. ἐν τ. ἐκκλ., and ἐὰν ἐχ. a parenthetical clause, to which we are to supply as its object ἐχουθενημένους.(910)

καθίζετε] do ye—instead of taking some from among yourselves for this purpose—set those down, etc.? namely, upon the judgment-seat as judges, which follows from κριτήρια. Comp Plato, Legg. ix. p. 873 E Dem. 997. 23; Polyb. ix. 33. 12. It is the indicative, and the ἐξουθενήμ. ἐν τ. ἐκκλ. are the heathen. So in substance Valla, Faber, Castalio, Luther, Calovius, Wolf, al(912), including Pott, Flatt, Heydenreich, Schrader, Rückert, Olshausen, de Wette, Ewald, Maier, Neander, Weiss; Osiander is undecided. To this it is objected that καθίζ. does not suit heathen magistrates, and that ἐν τ. ἐκκλ, indicates the ἐξουθ. as members of the church (see especially Kypke, II. p. 201). But neither objection is valid; for the term καθίζετε is purposely selected as significant of the strange audacity shown in making the matter in dispute dependent on the decision of a heathen court, and that in special keeping with the contrast ( τοὺς ἐξουθ.), while the text does not give τοὺς ἐν τῇ ἐκκλ. Moreover, by τ. ἐξουθ., Paul does not mean to describe the contempt for the heathen as justifiable (Hofmann’s objection), but simply as existing, as a fact, however, the universal existence of which made the absurdity of the procedure here censured very palpable. Other interpreters make καθίζ. imperative, and the ἐξουθ. members of the church held in small account: take (rather) minimos de piorum plebe as arbiters. So the Vulgate, Peschito, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Erasmus, Beza, Vatablus, Calvin, Grotius, Estius, Bengel, Wetstein, Hofmann, al(913) But not to speak of the rather generally supplied from imagination, nor of the fact that to designate those less capable of judging as τ. ἐξουθ. ἐν τ. ἐκκλ. would be far from wise, and likely to lend countenance to the specially Corinthian conceit of knowledge,—if this were the true sense, Paul would have had to lay stress upon the church-membership of the despised persons, and must have written at least τοὺς ἐξουθ. τοὺς ἐν τ. ἐκκλ. For οἱ ἐξουθ. ἐν τ. ἐκκλ. are those who are despised in the church, which leaves it altogether to the context to decide whether they themselves belong to the church or not. Now, that the latter is the case here is shown by 1 Corinthians 6:1-2, and especially by 1 Corinthians 6:5 : οὐκ ἔνι ἐν ὑμῖν. Arrangements of words like τοὺς ἐξουθ. ἐν τῇ ἐκκλ. for τοὺς ἐν τ. ἐκκλ. ἐξουθ. are common enough in classical writers also. See Kühner, a(914) Xen. Anab. iv. 2. 18.

τούτους] with an emphasis of disdain. See Dissen, a(915) Dem, de Cor. p. lii. f., 225; Krüger, Anab. i. 6. 9; Ellendt, Lex Soph. II. p. 460.


Verse 5

1 Corinthians 6:5. πρὸς ἐντρ. ὑμῖν λέγω] is to be referred, as is done by Lachmann, Tischendorf, Neander, and Hofmann, to 1 Corinthians 6:4, comp 1 Corinthians 15:34 (it is commonly referred to what comes after), so that the following question unfolds the humiliating consideration involved in 1 Corinthians 6:4. The address thus acquires more point and impressiveness.

οὕτως] belongs not to λέγω (Hofmann), but to οὐκ ἔνι κ. τ. λ(917), and sums up the state of things: sic igitur, rebus ita comparatis, since you τοὺς ἐξουθενημένους καθίζετε. See Bornemann in Rosenmüller’s Repert. II. p. 245 ff.; Hermann, a(918) Viger. p. 933. C. Fr. Hermann, a(919) Lucian. de hist. conscr. p. 161. It is otherwise understood by Chrysostom, Theophylact, Luther, al(920), including Flatt, Billroth, Rückert, Olshausen, Ewald, who make it: so much, so completely is there lacking, etc. But it is only the definition of mode, not of degree, that will suit the absolute negation of this clause, intensified as it is by οὐδὲ εἷς.

Regarding ἔνι, see on Galatians 3:28. The σοφός carries point against the Corinthian self-conceit.

οὐδὲ εἷς] ne unus quidem. “Quod est vehementius,” as Erasmus well puts it, “cum sitis tum multi.” See on John 1:3, and Krüger, Anab. iii. 1. 3; Bornemann and Poppo, a(921) Cyrop. ii. 1. 21. Comp non ullus (Kühner, a(923) Cic. Tusc. i. 39. 94) nemo unus (Locella, a(924) Xen. Eph. p. 137). Frequent in Isocr., see Bremi, I. Exc. iii.

ὃς δυνήσεται] purely future in force: who (as cases shall occur) will be able.

διακρῖναι] to judge, as arbitrator.

ἀνὰ μέσον τ. ἀδ. αὐτοῦ] between (LXX. Genesis 16:5; Exodus 11:7; Ezekiel 22:26; Isaiah 57:11; Matthew 13:25; Theocr. xxii. 21; Strabo, xi. 5. 1, p. 503; Polyb. x. 48. 1, v. 55. 7) his (Christian) brother. The expression, τ. ἀδελφοῦ, is meant to put to shame. The singular is used for this reason, that τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ must mean the plaintiff who brings on the lawsuit (not the defendant, as Ewald would have it), between whom (and, as is obvious, the defendant) the arbitrator, called into requisition by the bringing of the suit, pronounces his decision. Were the plural employed, that would indicate the two litigants generally, but not the party bringing on the suit in particular. Hofmann, contrary to the plain meaning of the words, understands the phrase of the self-decision of the individual demanding or refusing, namely, as to the point where his right ceased and his wrong began. In that case, Paul, if he wished to be intelligible, would have required to say something like this: διακρῖναι ἐν ἑαυτῷ πρὸς τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ. Moreover, οὐδὲ εἷς (or οὐδείς, as Hofmann reads) would militate against this view, seeing that it contains what would be, according to 1 Corinthians 6:1, a disproportionate accusation, if the meaning is not, “not a single man fitted to be an arbitrator.”

The reading, τ. ἀδεκφοῦ κ. τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ (Syr(925) Arr.), is an interpretation, although recommended by Grotius and again by Laurent.


Verse 6

1 Corinthians 6:6. Quick reply to the preceding question: No (see Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 37; Baeumlein, Partikell. p. 10 f.) brother goes to law with brother, and that (see on Romans 13:11) before unbelievers.(926) How then can there be such a wise man among you? He would assuredly, by his intervention as arbitrator, keep the matter from coming to a lawsuit, which, as between Christian brethren, and that, too, before a heathen court, is altogether unfitting and unworthy! κρίνεται in precisely the same sense as in 1 Corinthians 6:1, κρίνεσθαι ἐπὶ τῶν ἀδίκων.


Verse 7

1 Corinthians 6:7. ΄ὲν οὖν] as in 1 Corinthians 6:4; it now brings under special consideration the foregoing ἀδελφ. μετὰ ἀδ. κρίνεται—namely, as to what the real character of such a proceeding may be in itself viewed generally ( ὅλως being taken as in 1 Corinthians 5:1), apart from the special element unhappily added in Corinth, ἐπὶ ἀπίστων. The μέν corresponds as little (against Hofmann) to the ἀλλά which follows in 1 Corinthians 6:8, as the μέν in 1 Corinthians 6:4 to the ἀλλά in 1 Corinthians 6:6. The ἤδη is the logical already (“already then, viewed generally”), in reference to something special, by which the case is made yet worse. Comp Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 240 f.

ἥττημα] a defeat (see on Romans 11:12), i.e. damage, loss, and that, according to the context, not moral decay (so commonly), or hurt to the church (Hofmann), or imperfection (Billroth, Rückert), or weakness (Beza); but, it redounds to your coming short of the Messianic salvation (see 1 Corinthians 6:9).

ἑαυτῶν] like ἀλλήλων, but giving them to feel, more strongly than the latter would, the impropriety which had a place in their own circle (Kühner, a(928) Xen. Mem. ii. 6. 20).

κρίματα] as in Romans 5:16, Wisdom of Solomon 12:12, legal judgments, which they had respectively obtained ( ἔχετε).

ἀδικεῖσθεἀποστερ.] middles: to allow wrong and loss to be inflicted on themselves. Comp Vulgate. See Bernhardy, p. 346 f. As to the matter itself, see Matthew 5:39 ff.; example of Jesus, 1 Peter 2:23.


Verse 8

1 Corinthians 6:8. The question beginning with διατί in 1 Corinthians 6:7 still continues: Why do ye not rather allow yourselves to suffer wrong, etc., and not, on your part, do wrong, etc.? This view, instead of the ordinary one, which makes 1 Corinthians 6:8 an independent sentence like 1 Corinthians 6:6, is necessary, because οὐκ οἴδατε in 1 Corinthians 6:9 has its logical reference in διατί. The reference, namely, is this: “There is no ground conceivable for your not,” etc. ( διατίἀδελφούς),” unless that ye knew not,” etc. ( οὐκ οἴδατε).

καὶ τοῦτο ἀδελφούς] to whom nevertheless, as your brethren, the very opposite was due from you! With respect to the climactic κ. τοῦτο, and that, see on Romans 12:11, and Baeumlein, Partik. p. 147.


Verse 9

1 Corinthians 6:9. οὐκ οἴδατε] See on 1 Corinthians 6:8. To supply an unexpressed thought here (“Do not regard the matter lightly,” Billroth; “This is a far greater ἥττημα,” Ruckert; that ἥττημα to the church “they could only fail to perceive, if they did not know,” etc., Hofmann) is just as arbitrary as to do so in 1 Corinthians 6:2.

ἄδικοι] the general conception (under which the preceding ἀδικεῖν and ἀποστ. are included): unrighteous, immoral. See the enumeration which follows.

θεοῦ βασιλ.] the θεοῦ coming close after ἄδικοι, and put first for emphasis (see the critical remarks). As to the truth itself, that ἀδικία excludes from the Messiah’s kingdom, see on Galatians 5:21; and as regards what is implied in the Messianic κληρονομία, on Galatians 3:18; Ephesians 1:11.

μὴ πλανᾶσθε] for that moral fundamental law was more easily, it is plain, flung to the winds in frivolous Corinth than anywhere else! Possibly, too, some might even say openly: φιλάνθρωπος ὢν θεὸς καὶ ἀγαθὸς, οὐκ ἐπεξέρχεται τοῖς πλημμελήμασι· μὴ δὴ φοβηθῶμεν! Chrysostom. Hence: be not mistaken ( πλανᾶσθε, passive, as also in 1 Corinthians 15:33; Galatians 6:7; Luke 21:8; James 1:16; comp the active form in 1 John 3:7), followed by the emphatic repetition of that fundamental law with a many-sided breaking up of the notion ἄδικοι into particulars, not, however, arranged systematically, or in couples, nor reducible, save by force, to any logical scheme;(931) in this enumeration, owing to the state of matters in the place, the sins of sensuality are most amply specified.

πόρνοι, fornicators in general; μοιχοί, adulterers, Hebrews 13:4.

εἰδωλολ.] see on v. 11.

μαλακοί] effeminates, commonly understood as qui muliebria patiuntur, but with no sufficient evidence from the usage of the language (the passages in Wetstein and Kypke, even Dion. Hal. vii. 2, do not prove the point); moreover, such catamites (molles) were called πόρνοι or κίναιδοι. One does not see, moreover, why precisely this sin should be mentioned twice over in different aspects. Rather therefore: effeminate luxurious livers. Comp Aristotle, Eth. vii. 7 : μαλακὸς καὶ τρυφῶν, Xen. Mem. ii. 1, 20, also μαλακῶς, iii. 11. 10 : τρυφὴ δὲ καὶ μαλθακία, Plato, Rep. p. 590 B.

ἀρσενοκοῖται] sodomites, who defile themselves with men (1 Timothy 1:10; Eusebius, Praep. evang. p. 276 D). Regarding the wide diffusion of this vice, see the passages in Wetstein; comp on Romans 1:27, and Hermann, Privatalterth. § 29. 17 ff.


Verse 11

1 Corinthians 6:11. How unworthy are such of your new Christian relations!

ταῦτα] of persons in a contemptuous sense: such trash, such a set. See Bernhardy, p. 281.

τινές] more exact definition of the subject of ἦτε, namely, that all are not meant. It is the well-known σχῆμα καθʼ ὅλον καὶ μέρος (Kühner, II. p. 156). Comp Grotius. Valckenaer says well: “vocula τινές dictum paulo durius emollit.” Billroth is wrong in holding (as Vorstius before him) that ταῦτά τινες belong to each other, and are equivalent to τοιοῦτοι. In that case ταῦτά τινα would be required, or τοῖοί τινες. See Ast, a(935) Plat. Legg. p. 71; Bornemann, a(936) Xen. Cyr. ii. 1. 2; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 832.

ἀπελούσ. κ. τ. λ(937)] describes from step to step the new relations established by their reception of Christianity. First of all: ye washed yourselves clean, namely, by your immersion in the waters of baptism, from the moral defilement of the guilt of your sins (you obtained, through means of baptism, the forgiveness of your sins committed before you became Christians). Comp Acts 22:16; Acts 2:38; Ephesians 5:26; 1 Peter 3:21. Observe the use of the middle, arising from the conception of their self-destination for baptism. Comp ἐβαπτίσαντο, 1 Corinthians 10:2. We must not take the middle here for the passive, as most expositors do, following the Vulgate (so Flatt, Pott, Billroth, Olshausen, Ewald), which in part arose—as in the case of Olshausen—from dogmatical preconceptions; neither is it to be understood, with Usteri (Lehrbegriff, p. 230) and Rückert (comp Loesner, p. 278), of moral purification by laying aside everything sinful, of the putting off the old man (comp Romans 6:2 ff.), against which the same phrase in Acts 22:16, and the analogous one, καθαρίσας, in Ephesians 5:26, militate strongly. This moral regeneration exists in connection with baptism (Titus 3:5), but is not designated by ἀπελούσ., although its subjective conditions, ΄ετάνοια and πίστις, are presupposed in the latter expression. The producing of regeneration, which is by water and Spirit, is implied in the ἡγιάσθητε which follows: ye became (from being unholy, as ye were before baptism) holy, inasmuch, namely, as by receiving the δωρεὰ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος (Acts 2:38) ye were translated into that moral altitude and frame of life which is Christian and consecrated to God (John 3:5; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 5:25, ἁγιάσῃ). Rückert and Olshausen take it in the theocratic sense: “ye became set apart, numbered among the ἅγιοι.” Comp Osiander, also Hofmann: “incorporated in the holy church.” But the progression of thought here, which marks its advance towards a climax by the repetition of the ἀλλά, requires, not a threefold description of the transaction involved in baptism (Calvin, Hofmann), but three different characteristic points, dating their commencement from baptism, and forming, as regards their substance, the new moral condition of life from which those who have become Christians ought not again to fall back.

ἐδικαιώθητε] ye were made righteous. This, however, cannot mean the imputative justification of Romans 3:21 (de Wette, Osiander, Hofmann, with older commentators); because, in the first place, this is already given in the ἀπελούσασθε; and secondly, because the ἐδικαιώθητε, if used in this sense, would have needed not to follow the ἁγιάσθητε, but to precede it, as in 1 Corinthians 1:30; for to suppose a descending climax (Calovius) is out of the question, if only on account of the ἀπελούσ., which so manifestly indicates the beginning of the Christian state. What is meant, and that by way of contrast to the notion of ἀδικία which prevails in 1 Corinthians 6:9 f., is the actual moral righteousness of life,(943) which has been brought about as the result of the operation of the Spirit which began with baptism, so that now there is seen in the man the fulfilment of the moral demands or of the δικαίωμα τοῦ νόμου (Romans 8:4), and he himself, being dead unto sin, δεδικαίωται ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας (Romans 6:7), and ἐδουλώθη τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ (Romans 6:18), whose instruments his members have now become in the καινότης of the spirit and life (Romans 6:13). This δικαιωθῆναι does not stand related to the ἁγιασθῆναι in any sort of tautological sense, but is the effect and outcome of it, and in so far, certainly, is also the moral continuatio justificationis (comp Calovius), Revelation 22:11.

The thrice repeated ἀλλά lays a special emphasis upon each of the three points. Comp Xenophon, Anab. v. 8. 4; Aristophanes, Acharn. 402 ff.; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Wyttenbach, a(946) Plat. Phaed. p. 142; Bornemann, a(947) Xen. Symp. iv. 53; Buttmann, neut. Gramm. p. 341 [E. T. 398].

ἐν τῷ ὀνόματιἡμῶν] is by most expositors made to refer to all the three points. But since ἐν τῷ πνεύματι κ. τ. λ(948) does not accord with ἀπελούσ. (for the Spirit is only received after baptism, Acts 2:38; Acts 19:5-6; Titus 3:5-6; the case in Acts 10:47 is exceptional), it is better, with Rückert, to connect ἐν τῷ ὀνόματιἡμῶν simply with ἐδικαιώθ., which best harmonizes also with the significant importance of the ἐδικαιώθητε as the crowning point of the whole transformation wrought in the Christian. The name of the Lord Jesus, i.e. what pronouncing the name “ κύριος ἰησοῦς” (1 Corinthians 12:3) affirms,—this, as the contents of the faith and confession, is that in which the becoming morally righteous had its causal basis ( ἐν), and equally had it its ground in the Spirit of our God, since it was He who established it by His sanctifying agency; through that name its origin was subjectively conditioned, and through that Spirit it was objectively realized. Were we, with Hofmann, to bring ἐν τῷ ὀνόματιθεοῦ ἡμῶν into connection with the πάντα ΄οι ἔξεστιν which follows, the latter would at once become limited and defined in a way with which the antitheses ἀλλʼ κ. τ. λ(949) would no longer in that case harmonize. For it is precisely in the absoluteness of the πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν that these antitheses have their ethical correctness and significance, as being the moral limitation of that axiom, which therefore appears again absolutely in 1 Corinthians 10:23.

Observe, further, how, notwithstanding of the defective condition of the church in point of fact, the aorists ἡγιάσθ. and ἐδικαιώθ. have their warrant as acts of God, and in accordance with the ideal view of what is the specifically Christian condition, however imperfectly as yet this may have been realized, or whatever backsliding may have taken place. The ideal way of speaking, too, corresponds to the design of the apostle, who is seeking to make his readers feel the contradiction between their conduct and the character which as Christians they assumed at conversion; σφόδρα ἐντρεπτικῶς ἐπήγαγε λέγων· ἐννοήσατε ἡλίκων ὑμᾶς ἐξείλετο κακῶν θεός κ. τ. λ(950), Chrysostom. And thereby he seeks morally to raise them.


Verses 12-14

1 Corinthians 6:12-14. Connection and sequence of thought. In this new condition of life (1 Corinthians 6:11) all things are allowed to us, but they must be for our good,—all things allowed, but we on our part must remain free (1 Corinthians 6:12). Among these allowed things is the use of food, as what is in accordance with nature and appointed by God merely for a time ( τὰ βρώματακαταργ., 1 Corinthians 6:13). Wholly otherwise is it with the use of the body for fornication; that is anti-Christian ( τὸ δὲ σῶμασώματι, 1 Corinthians 6:13), and contrary to the eternal destiny fixed by God for the body (1 Corinthians 6:14).

Not without reason did Paul, when reckoning up the different forms of ἀδικία in 1 Corinthians 6:9, place πορνεία first. Comp 1 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 12:21. But Corinthian Epicureanism, starting from the Hellenic mode of viewing this matter, which was altogether very lax (Herm. Privatalterth., § 29. 13 ff.), easily found for itself even a certain justification of fornication, namely, in the doctrine of Christian liberty in adiaphoris, the maxim of which is: πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν. Now we may infer from the passage before us that this erroneous justification had actually been brought forward, that more than one voluptuary in the church had, as Paul was informed, actually declared that just as satisfying the desire for food was an adiaphoron, so also was satisfying the desire for sensual pleasure by fornication. Comp Baur in the theol. Jahrb. 1852, 1 and 3; Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 420 f. Olshausen, indeed, thinks that Paul would have given an absolute command to exclude all such persons from the church, and that therefore it is only the possibility of so gross an abuse of Christian liberty that is implied here. But the former is an arbitrary assumption,(953) and the latter has these two considerations against it—first, that in no other Epistle does Paul touch on this possibility, although the opinion that licentious intercourse was allowable was widely spread among the Greeks and Romans; and secondly, that the statement of the moral difference between the use of meats and whoredom is of too special a kind to be naturally accounted for in the absence of actual occasion. Neander, whose objections lose their force, if we only do not go the length of assuming that this adiaphoristic view of fornication had become universal in Corinth, or had been formally published and propagated there as a doctrinal tenet, is of opinion that Paul meant to begin here upon the theme of meat offered to idols (comp 1 Corinthians 10:23), but was led on after the first half of 1 Corinthians 6:13 to draw a contrast (perhaps in order to guard against a misunderstanding of his words, perhaps also in opposition to those who denied the resurrection) which conducted him so far away from his theme, that it was only in chap. 8 that he made his way back to it again from another point. But how arbitrary this is! And how entirely unexampled a thing, that the apostle should so far forget himself, and write in a manner so irregular and open to misconception! Chap. 1 Corinthians 10:23 lends no support to this exposition, for it is obvious that the same maxim could be made to apply in very many different directions. Rückert’s exegesis is only a little less violent; he supposes that, in the question addressed to the apostle about the sacrificial meat, the party eating it had adduced the πάντα ἔξεστιν in their favour, and that Paul had only transferred it here in order to guard against the abuse of it respecting fornication (in substance, therefore, coinciding with Olshausen). To the ordinary interpretation Rückert objects, that the Corinthians in their letter would certainly not have described the πορνεία as prevailing among them, nor would they have undertaken the defence of it to the apostle whom they knew so well. But this objection is unfounded; for from 1 Corinthians 5:1 we must assume that Paul had come to know of the state of morals at Corinth through oral reports, and consequently had not learned the abuse there made of the πάντα ἔξεστιν through expressions in the Corinthian letter (this against Hofmann also). According to Ewald, there had been doubts and debates concerning the obligation of the Jewish laws about food and marriage; Paul therefore lays down in 1 Corinthians 6:12 the principle which should decide all such cases, and then at once, in 1 Corinthians 6:13, disposes shortly of the first point in dispute, in order, at a later stage (chap. 8–10), to speak of it more at length, and hastens on in 1 Corinthians 6:13 ff. to the second point. Against this we may urge, first, that the first point was surely too important to be disposed of by so brief a hint as that in 1 Corinthians 6:13; secondly, that the two halves of 1 Corinthians 6:13 stand in an antithetic relation to each other, which gives the first half merely the position of an auxiliary clause; thirdly, that chap. 8–10 do not deal with the question of food in general, but with that of eating sacrificial flesh in particular; and lastly, that 1 Corinthians 6:13 ff. have likewise quite as their special subject that of fornication.

πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν] might be regarded as the objection of an opponent (so Pott and Flatt, with older expositors); hence also it is understood by Theodoret as a question. But this is unnecessary (for surely it is, in point of fact, a Christian, and indeed a specially Pauline principle), and arbitrary besides, since there is here no formula of objection (such as ἐρεῖς οὖν, or the like). Comp on 1 Corinthians 6:13.

It would be self-evident to the reader that πάντα meant all that was in itself indifferent (whatever was not anti-Christian).

μοι] spoken in the character of a Christian in general. Comp 1 Corinthians 6:15. Bengel says well: “Saepe Paulus primâ personâ singul. eloquitur, quae vim habent gnomes.” Comp Galatians 2:18.

συ΄φέρει] is profitable. This must not be arbitrarily restricted, either in the way of taking it as equivalent to οἰκοδομεῖ (Calvin, al(958), also Billroth after 1 Corinthians 10:23), or by confining it to one’s own advantage (Grotius, Heumann, Schulz, Olshausen). What is meant is moral profitableness generally in every respect, as conditioned by the special circumstances of each case as it arises. So, too, in 1 Corinthians 10:23. Theodore of Mopsuestia, it may be added, says rightly: ἐπειδὴ γὰρ οὐ πάντα συμφέρει, δῆλον ὡς οὐ πᾶσι χρηστέον, ἀλλὰ τοῖς ὠφελοῦσι μόνοις.

οὐκ ἐγώ] not I for my part. The subjection will not be on my side, but the things allowed will be what is brought into subjection. This tacit contrast is indicated both by the position of οὐκ ἐγώ and by ὑπό τινος. The common interpretation: “ego sub nullius redigar potestatem” (Vulgate), does not correspond to the order of the words.

ἐξουσιασθ.] purely future in force: shall be ruled by anything whate1Co 6:This result, that on my part moral freedom should be lost through anything, will not ensue! Otherwise the thing would plainly be not allowed. I shall preserve the power of moral self-determination, so as to do or leave undone, just according to the moral relations constituted by the circumstances of the case, what in itself would be allowed to me. Comp the great thought in 1 Corinthians 3:22, and Paul’s own example in Philippians 4:11-12. Were τινός masculine (Ambrosiaster, Erasmus, Vatablus, Ewald, al(960)), the meaning would then be, that in things indifferent a man should not yield himself to be tutored and dictated to by others (Ewald). But, in point of fact, it is neuter, being in contrast to the thrice repeated and emphatic πάντα.

The paronomasia in ἔξεστιν and ἐξουσ. was remarked by expositors as early as Chrysostom and Theophylact. All is in my power, yet it is not I who will be overpowered by anything. Regarding ἐξουσιάξειν (which is not used in this sense by Greek writers), comp Ecclesiastes 7:19; Ecclesiastes 8:8; Ecclesiastes 10:4 f.


Verses 12-20

1 Corinthians 6:12-20. Correction of the misunderstanding of Christian liberty, as though fornication, equally with the use of meats, came under the head of things allowable (1 Corinthians 6:12-17). Admonitions against fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).


Verse 13

1 Corinthians 6:13. τῇ κοιλίᾳ] sc(962) ἔστι, belong to, inasmuch, that is to say, as they are destined to be received and digested by the belly (the ὑποδοχῆ τῶν σιτίων, Photius in Oecumenius). Comp Matthew 15:17.

τοῖς βρώ΄ασιν] inasmuch as it is destined to receive and digest the food.

This reciprocal destination according to nature is the first element, which, in its relation to the second half of the verse, is intended to call attention to the fact, that the case of fornication is totally different from that of the use of food,—that the latter, being in accordance with its destination, belongs to the category of the adiaphora; while fornication, on the other hand, which is anti-Christian, is contrary to the relation of the body to Christ. The second element (which, however, is very closely connected with the first), by which this is made manifest, consists in what God will hereafter do on the one hand with the κοιλίᾳ and the βρώ΄ασι, and on the other hand (1 Corinthians 6:14) in respect of the body’s relation as pertaining to Christ, which latter relation is imperishable, in contrast to the perishable nature of the things first mentioned.

δὲ θεὸς καταργ.] i.e. God, however, will (at the Parousia) cause such a change to take place in the bodily constitution of man and in the world of sense generally, that neither the organs of digestion as such, nor the meats as such, will then be existent. To such passing away is this relation destined by God! With respect to the glorifying of the body here indicated, comp Matthew 22:30; 1 Corinthians 15:44; 1 Corinthians 15:51. Melanchthon aptly says: “Cibl et venter … sunt res periturae; … ideo sunt adiaphora;” and Bengel: “quae destruentur, per se liberum habent usum, Colossians 2:20 ff.” Comp Castalio, and among more modern expositors, Schulz, Krause, Billroth, Rückert, Schrader, Olshausen, de Wette, Osiander, Ewald, Maier, Neander, Hofmann.(966) Pott, Flatt, and Heydenreich (and see still earlier writers in Wolf) approximate to this view, but take τὰ βρώ΄ατα καταργ. as words of an opponent, the premisses of a conclusion as to the allowableness of fornication, which conclusion is impugned by Paul in the τὸ δὲ σῶμα κ. τ. λ(967) which follows. But the apostle has not given the slightest hint of this passage being a dialogue; moreover, had it been so, he would have begun his reply in 1 Corinthians 6:13 with ἀλλά again (as in 1 Corinthians 6:12, according to this dialogistic view). Other interpreters, following Chrysostom and Theophylact, make the design of δὲ θεὸς κ. τ. λ(968) to be a warning against excess. Comp Calvin, Grotius, Calovius, al(970) But this, although in harmony with the ἀλλά in 1 Corinthians 6:12, would stand in no logical relation to the δὲ θεὸς κ. τ. λ(971) of 1 Corinthians 6:14, and thereby the inner connection of the whole address (see above) would be broken up.

καὶ ταύτην καὶ ταῦτα] Regarding the use of the double οὗτος for ἐκεῖνοςοὗτος, which is not common, see Bernhardy, p. 277. Comp Joshua 8:22; 1 Maccabees 7:46; 1 Maccabees 9:17.

τὸ δὲ σῶμα] Paul cannot name again here a single organ; the whole body is the organ of fleshly intercourse;(973) see 1 Corinthians 6:16.

τῇ πορνείᾳ] for fornication (conceived of as a personal power), for its disposal and use.

τῷ κυρίῳ] inasmuch as the body is a member of Christ. See 1 Corinthians 6:15.

τῷ σώματι] inasmuch, namely, as Christ is destined (has it as His function) to rule and use the body as His member. “Quanta dignatio!” Bengel. It is a mistake to make the phrase refer to the raising up and glorifying of the body, which it is the part of Christ to effect (Ambrosiaster, Anselm Thomas, Grotius); for this would destroy the unity of mutual reference in the two clauses (comp above, τὰ βρώματα κ. τ. λ(975)], and, besides, the resurrection is brought forward afterwards as something separate from the preceding, and that, too, as the work to God (parallel to the δὲ θεὸς κ. τ. λ(976) in 1 Corinthians 6:13).


Verse 14

1 Corinthians 6:14. This is parallel in contents and form to the sentence, δὲ θεὸςκαταργήσει, in 1 Corinthians 6:13 : Now God has not only raised up the Lord, but will raise up us also by His power. The body, consequently, has a destiny which stretches on into the future eternal αἰών; how wholly different therefore from the κοιλία, that organ of temporal nourishment, which will cease to be!

καὶ τὸν κύρ. ἤγειρε] necessary assurance of what follows. See Romans 8:11. Comp 1 Corinthians 15:20; Colossians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 4:14.

καὶ ἡμᾶς ἐξεγερεῖ(978)] The bodily change in the case of those still alive at the time of the Parousia (1 Corinthians 15:51; 2 Corinthians 5:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:15 ff.) did not need to be specially mentioned, since Paul was not here to enter into detail upon the doctrine of the resurrection. Comp on Romans 8:11. He therefore, in accordance with the τὸν κύρ. ἤγειρε, designates here the consummation of all things only a potiori, namely, as a raising up, speaking at the same time in the person of Christians generally ( ἡμᾶς), and leaving out of view in this general expression his own personal hope that he might survive to the Parousia.

The interchange of ἤγ. and ἐξεγ. (out of the grave, comp ἐξανάστασις τῶν νεκρῶν, Philippians 3:11) is accidental, without any special design—in opposition to Bengel and Osiander’s arbitrary opinion that the former word denoted the first-fruits, and the latter the “massa dormientium.”(981)

αὐτοῦ]—not αὑτοῦ, because uttered from the standpoint of the writer—applies to God, not to Jesus (Theodoret); and διὰ τῆς δυνάμ. αὐτ. should be referred not to both the clauses in the sentence (Billroth), but, as its position demands, to ἐξεγερεῖ; for to the ground of faith which the latter has in καὶ τὸν κύριον ἤγειρε, Paul now adds its undoubted possibility (Matthew 22:29), perhaps glancing purposely at the deniers of the resurrection, τῇ ἀξιοπιστίᾳ τῆς τοῦ ποιοῦντος ἰσχύος τοὺς ἀντιλέγοντας ἐπιστομίζων, Chrysostom.


Verses 15-17

1 Corinthians 6:15-17. That fornication is not an indifferent thing like the use of meats, but anti-Christian, Paul has already proved in 1 Corinthians 6:13-14, namely, from this, that the body belongs to Christ and is destined by God to be raised up again. How deserving of abhorrence fornication is on that account, he now brings home to the mind of his readers in a striking and concrete way. The immorality of fornication is certainly taken for granted in 1 Corinthians 6:15 f., yet not in such a manner as to make Paul guilty of a petitio principii (Baur in the theol. Jahrb. 1852, p. 538 f.), but on the ground of the proof of this immorality already given in 1 Corinthians 6:13-14 In 1 Corinthians 6:15 f. the apostle does not seek to prove it over again, but to teach the Corinthians to abhor the sin.

οὐκ οἴδατε κ. τ. λ(982)] He here takes up once more, and exhibits with greater fulness, the thought in 1 Corinthians 6:13, τὸ σῶ΄α τῷ κυρίῳ, as the basis for the following warning: ἄρας οὖν κ. τ. λ(983)

μέλη χριστοῦ] Inasmuch, that is to say, as Christ, as the Head of the Christian world, stands to it in the closest and most inward fellowship of organic life (see especially Ephesians 4:16), and forms, as it were, one moral Person with it; the bodies of the individual believers, who in fact belong to the Lord, and He to them for this world and that which is to come (1 Corinthians 6:13 f.), may be conceived as Christ’s members, just as from the same point of view the whole church of Christ is His collective organ, His body (Romans 12:5; Ephesians 1:23; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:19; 1 Corinthians 12:13, al(984)).

ἄρας] Shall I then take away, take off, the members of Christ, and, etc. Billroth sees in ἄρας simply minuteness of description, indicative of deliberation, as in לקח. But this is to confound it with λαβών. The Vulgate renders rightly: tollens; Luke 6:29; Luke 11:22; John 11:48; Plato, Pol. ix. p. 578 E, Tim. p. 76 B Sophocles, Trach. 796; 1 Maccabees 8:18. What is depicted is daring misappropriation. The plural τὰ μέλη denotes the category, for the matter “non quanta sit numero, sed qualis genere sit, spectatur,” Reisig, Conjec. in Aristoph. p. 58. Since the Christian’s body is among the members of Christ, the πορνεύειν is a deed whereby a man takes away the members of Christ from Him whose property they are, and makes them a harlot’s members.

ποιήσω] future: Shall this case occur with me? shall I degrade myself to this? so far forget myself? Rückert and Osiander hold that it is the aorist subjunctive: should I, etc. (see Herm. a(985) Viger. p. 742). It is impossible to decide the point.


Verse 16

1 Corinthians 6:16. οὐκ οἴδατε] “Or if this μὴ γένοιτο (conveying, as it does, a negative to that question) still appears to you to admit of doubt, even after the statement of the nature of the case given in 1 Corinthians 6:15, then ye must be ignorant that,” etc. This οὐκ οἴδατε cannot correspond with the οὐκ οἴδατε of 1 Corinthians 6:15 (Hofmann: “either the one or the other they must be ignorant of,” etc.), for ὅτι κολλώμ. κ. τ. λ(986) manifestly refers to the conclusion from the preceding expressed in ἄρας οὖν, and therefore is subordinated to the question answered shudderingly with ΄ὴ γένοιτο. In 1 Corinthians 6:19, too, the οὐκ οἴδατε refers to what has just before been said.

κολλώ΄.] who joins himself to ( דָּבַק), indicating the union in licentious intercourse. Comp Sirach 19:2; Genesis 2:24; Ezra 4:20.

τῇ πόρνῃ] the harlot with whom he deals (article).

ἓν σῶ΄ά ἐστιν] is a single body; previous to the κολλᾶσθαι he and the person concerned were two bodies, but he who is joined to the harlot—an united subject—is one body.

ἔσονται γὰρ κ. τ. λ(988)] Genesis 2:24 (quoted from the LXX.) speaks, indeed, of wedded, not unwedded, intercourse; but Theodoret rightly points out the paritas rationis: ἓν γὰρ καὶ τοῦτο κἀκεῖνο τῇ φύσει τοῦ πράγματος.

φησίν] Who it is that says it, is self-evident, namely, God; the utterances of the Scripture being His words, even when they may be spoken through another, as Genesis 2:24 was through Adam. Comp on Matthew 19:5. Similarly Galatians 3:16; Ephesians 4:8; Hebrews 8:5; 1 Corinthians 15:27. γραφή, which is what is usually supplied here, would need to be suggested by the context, as in Romans 15:10. Rückert arbitrarily prefers τὸ πνεῦμα.(990)

οἱ δύο] the two in question. The words are wanting in the Hebrew text, but are always quoted with it in the N. T. (Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:8; Ephesians 5:31) after the LXX., and also by the Rabbins (e.g. Beresh. Rabb. 18); an addition of later date in the interests of monogamy, which, although not expressly enjoined in the law, came by degrees to prevail, in accordance with its adumbration from the first in the history of the creation (Ewald, Alterth. p. 260 f.).

εἰς σάρκα μίαν] לְבָשָׂר אֶחַד. See on Matthew 19:5.


Verse 17

1 Corinthians 6:17. Weighty contrast to κολλώμ. τῇ πόρνῃ ἓν σῶμά ἐστι, no longer dependent on ὅτι.

κολλᾶσθαι τῷ κυρίῳ, an expression of close attachment to Jehovah, which is very common in the O. T. (Jeremiah 13:11; Deuteronomy 10:20; Deuteronomy 11:22; 2 Kings 18:6; Sirach 2:3, al(991)). It denotes here, inward union of life with Christ, and is selected to be set against the κολλ. τῇ πόρνῃ in 1 Corinthians 6:16, inasmuch as in both cases an intima conjunctio takes place, in the one fleshly, in the other spiritual. We are not to assume that Paul was thinking here, as in Ephesians 5:23 ff. (comp 2 Corinthians 11:2; Romans 5:4), of the union with Christ as a marriage (Piscator, Olshausen, comp also Osiander); for in that mystical marriage-union Christ is the Bridegroom, filling the man’s place, and hence the contrast to κολλ. τῇ πόρνῃ would be an unsuitable one. Olshausen’s additional conjecture, that when the apostle spoke of τῇ πόρνῃ there floated before his mind a vision of the great whore who sitteth upon many waters (Revelation 17:1), is an empty fancy.

ἓν πνεῦμά ἐστι] conceived of as the analogue to ἓν σῶμα. Comp 2 Corinthians 3:17. This is the same Unio mystica which Jesus Himself so often demands in the Gospel of John, and in which no ethical diversity exists between the πνεῦμα of the believing man and the πνεῦμα of Christ which fills it; Christ lives in the believer, Galatians 2:20, as the believer in Christ, Galatians 3:27, Colossians 3:17, this being brought about by Christ’s communicating Himself to the human spirit through the power of the Holy Spirit, Romans 8:9-11. Now, be it observed how, by fleshly union with a harlot, this high and holy unity is not simply put in hazard (Hofmann), but excluded altogether as a moral impossibility! Comp the idea of the impossibility of serving two masters (Romans 6:16), of fellowship with Christ and Belial, and the like. It is unnecessary to say that this has no application to union in marriage, seeing that it is ordained of God, “ob verbum, quo actus concubialis sanctificatur,” Calovius. Comp Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 421.


Verse 18

1 Corinthians 6:18. φεύγετε τὴν πορν.] Inferred from the foregoing verses (13–17), but expressed in all the more lively way from not being linked to them by any connective particle. “Severitas cum fastidio,” Bengel.

πᾶν ἁμάρτημα κ. τ. λ(997)] asyndetic corroboration of the preceding prohibition. Paul does not say anything here incapable of being maintained in its full stringency of meaning (Rückert, de Wette), nor is there any reason for taking πᾶν, with Michaelis, Flatt, Pott, and others, in a popular sense, as equivalent to almost all (comp Theodore of Mopsuestia and Melanchthon: “cum quodam candore accipiatur de iis, quae saepius accidunt”); but the truth of his words is based on the fact that every other sinful act ( ἁμάρτημα), if it has to do at all with the body, works upon it from without, and consequently holds a position in reference to the body external to the same. The sinner makes that which is not of the body, but outside of it, as e.g. food and drink, to be the instrument of his immoral act, whereby the ἁμάρτημα, viewed in its relation to the body, comes to stand ἐκτὸς τοῦ σώ΄ατος, and has there the sphere of its occurrence and consummation. This holds true even in the case of the suicide, whose act is in fact a sinful use of external things, the instance of a man’s voluntarily starving himself not excepted (against Hofmann’s objection), for this is accomplished by the abuse of abstinence from food (which is equally an external relationship), and therefore ἐκτὸς τοῦ σώ΄ατος. How entirely different from the case of all such other sinful acts stands the state of things with unchasteness, where there is sin, not ἐκτὸς τ. σώ΄ατος, but εἰς τὸ ἴδιον σῶ΄α! See below. In connection with this passage, expositors indulge in many arbitrary and sometimes very odd interpretations(999) and saving clauses. Among these must be reckoned the exposition of Calvin and others, by way of comparison: “secundum plus et minus.” Neander, too, imports a meaning which is not in the words, that fornication desecrates the body in its very highest and most enduring significance (namely, as the sum of the personality). According to Chr. F. Fritzsche (Nova Opusc. p. 249 f.), what is meant is that all other sins do not separate the body of the Christian from the body of Christ, this taking place only through fornication (1 Corinthians 6:15). But the general and local expression ἐκτὸς τ. σώματός ἐστιν does not correspond with this special and ethical reference, nor are we warranted in attributing to one of such ethical strictness as the apostle the conception that no other sin separates from the body of Christ, 1 Corinthians 6:9 f.; Romans 8:9, al(1000)

ἐὰν κ. τ. λ(1001)] which in any case whatever (Hermann, a(1002) Viger. p. 819) a man shall have committed. Respecting ἐάν, instead of ἄν, after relatives, see Winer, p. 291 [E. T. 390].

ἐκτὸς τ. σώμ. ἐστιν] inasmuch as the sinful deed done has been one brought about outside of the body.

εἰς τὸ ἴδιον σῶμα] For his own bodily frame is the immediate object which he affects in a sinful way, whose moral purity and honour he hurts and wounds by his action. Comp on εἰς, Luke 15:18. He dishonours his own body, which is the organ and object of his sin. Comp Beza. The apostle says nothing at all here of the weakening effect upon the body itself (Athanasius in Oecumenius, and others).


Verses 18-20

1 Corinthians 6:18-20. Direct prohibition of fornication, strengthened by description of it as a sin against one’s own body, which is in fact the temple of the Holy Spirit, etc.


Verse 19

1 Corinthians 6:19 justifies the ἁμαρτάνει in respect of the specific description of it given by εἰς τὸ ἴδιον σῶμα. “Commits sin,” I say, against his own body; or, in case ye doubt that, and think perhaps that it does not matter so much about the body, know ye not that (1) your body (i.e. the body of each one among you, see Bernhardy, p. 60) is the temple (not: a temple, see on 1 Corinthians 3:16) of the Holy Spirit which is in you (Romans 8:11); and that (2) ye belong not to your own selves (see 1 Corinthians 6:20)? Fornication, therefore, so far as it affects your own body, is a desecration of what is holy, and a selfish rebellion against God your Lord.

οὗ ἔχετε ἀπὸ θεοῦ] gives edge to the proof,(1005) and leads on to the second point ( οὐκ ἐστὲ ἑαυτῶν) οὔ is under attraction from ἁγ. πν. (Winer, p. 154 [E. T. 203]).

καὶ οὐκ κ. τ. λ(1006)] still dependent upon ὅτι, which is to be supplied again after καί, not an independent statement (Hofmann, who takes the καί as meaning also), which would needlessly interrupt the flow of the animated address.


Verse 20

1 Corinthians 6:20. For (proof of the οὐκ ἐστὲ ἑαυτ.) ye were bought, i.e. redeemed from the curse of the law, Galatians 3:13; from the wrath of God, Ephesians 2:3; from the bond of the guilt of sin, Romans 3:19-21; and acquired as God’s property (Ephesians 2:19; Ephesians 1:14), for a price, which was paid to God for your reconciliation with Him, namely, the blood of Christ, Matthew 26:28; Romans 3:24 f.; 2 Corinthians 5:18 ff.; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18 f.; Revelation 5:9. We have the same conception in Acts 20:28, although there, as also in 1 Corinthians 7:23, and Titus 2:14, the church is represented as the property of Christ; but see John 17:9.

τιμῆς] strengthens the ἠγοράσθ. as the opposite of acquiring without an equivalent. Comp 1 Corinthians 7:23. The common exposition (following the Vulgate): magno pretio, inserts without warrant what is not in the text (so, too, Pott, Flatt, Rückert, Osiander, Olshausen, Ewald).(1008) Comp Herod. vii. 119, and the passages in Wetstein; and see already Valla.

δοξάσατε δὴ κ. τ. λ(1010)] Do but glorify, etc. This is the moral obligation arising out of the two things grasped by faith as certainties, 1 Corinthians 6:19. Regarding the δή of urgency with imperatives, see on Acts 13:2

ἐν τῷ σώ΄. ὑ΄.] not instrumental, nor as in Philippians 1:20 (comp Romans 12:1), but so expressed, because the exhortation proceeds upon the footing of the whole tenor of 1 Corinthians 6:19, in which the body is described as a temple; in your body, namely, practically by chastity, the opposite of which would be an ἀτιμάζειν τὸν θεόν (Romans 2:23) in His own sanctuary!

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-corinthians-6.html. 1832.

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Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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