corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
1 Corinthians 8



Other Authors
Verse 1

1 Corinthians 8:1. περὶοἴδαμεν, as touching—we know) This topic is taken up again at 1 Corinthians 8:4, when the parenthesis, which follows, has been concluded.— ὅτι) that. This explains the “we know.”— γνῶσιν, knowledge) The article is not added,(62)) that he may not concede too much.— ἔχομεν, we have) He speaks in the first person of himself and others, more established in the faith; when speaking more generally, he uses the third, 1 Corinthians 8:7. Thus we easily reconcile the all [1 Corinthians 8:1] and not in all [1 Corinthians 8:7].— γνῶσις, knowledge) without love. [Although the fundamental doctrines and those most necessary and difficult are spoken of. V. g.]— φυσιοῖ, puffeth up) when a man pleases himself; comp. thinks, 1 Corinthians 8:2.— δὲ ἀγάπη, but love) the right use of knowledge, love, towards God, 1 Corinthians 8:3, and towards our neighbour.— οἰκοδομεῖ, edifieth) when a man pleases his neighbour. Knowledge only says, all things are lawful for me; love adds, but all things do not edify.

Verse 2

1 Corinthians 8:2. ἐιδέναι, that he knows) This has respect to the “we know,” 1 Corinthians 8:1; it differs from to be acquainted with.(63)τὶ, anything. Paul makes some small concession here; comp. the following clause.— οὒπω, not yet) like a novice.— καθὼς, as [in the way that]) namely in the way of love, [taught] by God.

Verse 3

1 Corinthians 8:3. τὸν θεὸν, God) The love of our neighbour follows the love of God.— οὗτος, this same) who loves.— ἔγνωσται) is known. Active follows passive knowledge, 1 Corinthians 13:12. In this expression we have an admirable metalepsis(64)—he was known, and therefore he hath known, Galatians 4:9, note. The knowledge is mutual.— ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ) by Him.

Verse 4

1 Corinthians 8:4. βρώσεως) He more closely limits the subject proposed at 1 Corinthians 8:1 : as concerning, therefore, the eating, etc.— οὐδὲν) nothing, is the predicate; nothing, the force of which is augmented by the antithetic words, in the world, תהו, 1 Samuel 12:21, LXX., οὐδεν; comp. ch. 1 Corinthians 10:19, note. [A piece of wood or stone and nothing besides.—V. g.]

Verse 5

1 Corinthians 8:5. λεγόμενοι, that are called) God is said to be the supremely powerful One. Hence by homonymy [things or persons distinct in nature receiving by analogy the same name], angels who are powerful on account of their spiritual nature, and men who are powerful from being placed in authority, are called gods.— ἐν οὐρανῷ, in heaven)— ἐπὶ γῆς, on earth) The provinces of the gods among the Gentiles were divided into heaven, and earth, along with the sea; but each of these belongs to God.— θεοὶ πολλοὶ καὶ κύριοι πολλοὶ, gods many and lords many) Psalms 136:2-3.

Verse 6

1 Corinthians 8:6. ἡμῖν) to us, believers.— ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα, of whom are all things) Therefore, we have one God.— τὰ πάντα, all things) by creation.— ἡμεῖς, we) believers.— εἰς αὐτὸν, unto Him) He is the end for whom believers live.— καὶ εἷς, and one) Christ, the object of divine and religious worship. The apostles also, for the purpose of avoiding the appearance of polytheism, more frequently called Christ Lord, than God, when they wrote to the Gentile churches.— κύριος, Lord) This appellation comprehends in itself the notion of the Son of God, and therefore also of God, along with the idea of Redeemer.— διʼ οὗ, by whom) The dominion of Christ is hereby proved; by Him all things are of God.— διʼ αὐτοῦ, by Him) We come by Him, εἰς, to the Father.

7. αλλʼ) We have γνῶσιν, knowledge; but others have it not in the same degree.— τινὲς, some) an antithesis to all, 1 Corinthians 8:1. Some, viz. the Jews, holding the idol in abomination; the Greeks regarding it with reverence, 1 Corinthians 10:32.— τοῦ εἰδώλου, of the idol) They had this feeling,(65) as if the idol were something; or at least as if the thing offered to the idol were polluted thereby.— ἓως ἄρτι, until this hour) when by this time they should have knowledge.— ὡς) as: on this depends the distinction.— μολύνεται, is defiled) a suitable expression, by a metaphor derived from flesh.— βρῶμα, food) used indefinitely, 1 Corinthians 8:13.— ἡμᾶς, us) having or not having knowledge.— οὐ παρίστησι) neither as regards pleasing Him in the judgment, nor as regards displeasing Him, πρὸς τὸ ὑστερεῖσθαι [so as to be accounted the worse for it]; συνίστημι, I commend; but the word παρίστημι occupies a middle place between a good and a bad sense, as is evident from the Ep. of Athanasius, προς ʼ αμοῦν, where he makes this periphrasis, φυσική τις ἔκκρισις ἡμᾶς οὐ παραστήσει πρὸς τιμωρίαν.(66) So 1 Corinthians 8:10, οἰκοδομηθήσεται is used as a word in a middle sense. This is the foundation of lawful power [liberty, 1 Corinthians 8:9], ἐξονσίας; comp. δὲ in the next verse.— οὔτεπερισσεύομεν οὔτεὑστερούμεθα, neither are we the better; nor—are we the worse) because in both cases thanksgiving is retained, Romans 14:6.

Tisch. prefers συνειδήσει with D (A) G Vulg. both Syr. Versions, and fg. Lachm. reads συνηθείᾳ with AB Memph.—ED.

Verse 9

1 Corinthians 8:9. ἐξουσία, lawful power [liberty]) a word frequently used for power and liberty in this discussion, 1 Corinthians 9:1; 1 Corinthians 9:4, etc.: comp. 1 Corinthians 6:12.— ὑμῶν, of yours) which you so eagerly uphold, 1 Corinthians 8:11.

Verse 10

1 Corinthians 8:10. εἰδωλείῳ) A word fitted to deter. It is found in 1 Maccabees 1:47; 1 Maccabees 1:50, 1 Maccabees 10:83.; 3 Esdr. 2:10.— οἰκοδομηθήσεται, shall be built up in [emboldened to]) An antiphrasis.(67) You ought to have built up your brother in doing good; but you by your example impel him to do evil. [The force of example is great.—V. g.]— τὰ εἰδωλόθυτα ἐσθίειν, to eat things offered to idols) By these very words the horror of the weak man is expressed, who eats notwithstanding.

Verse 11

1 Corinthians 8:11. ἀπολεῖται, shall perish) He will lose his faith, and, if he do not recover it, his salvation, Romans 14:23. [See, what important results a single action may produce, although externally considered it seemed to be of little consequence.—V. g.]— διʼ ὃν, for [on account of] whom) For rather than instead of suits the passage before us; that we may be taught, what we ought to do for the sake of our brethren.— ἀπέθανεν, died) prompted by the love, which thou so very little imitatest.

Verse 12

1 Corinthians 8:12. τύπτοντες, striking) [Engl. V. not so well, wounding], as the weary cattle are urged on by the lash. Striking is elegantly used, not wounding, for a wound is seen, a stroke is not so discernible. You strike brethren, or make them strike themselves.— εἰς χριστὸν, against Christ) to whom the brethren are united. The expression, against Christ, in the latter clause bears the chief emphasis; when ye sin, in the former.

Verse 13

1 Corinthians 8:13. κρέα, flesh) In order to avoid with the greater certainty flesh sacrificed to an idol, I would abstain from all kinds of flesh.— σκανδαλίσω, I should make to offend) The person is changed: he just now said, if meat offend.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 8:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology