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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 10:23

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.

Adam Clarke Commentary

All things are lawful for me - I may lawfully eat all kinds of food, but all are not expedient; ου παντα συμφερει· It would not be becoming in me to eat of all, because I should by this offend and grieve many weak minds. See the notes on 1 Corinthians 6:12, etc.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-corinthians-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

All things are lawful for me - See the note at 1 Corinthians 6:12. This is a repetition of what he had said before; and it is here applied to the subject of eating the meat that had been offered to idols. The sense is,” Though it may be admitted that it was strictly “lawful” to partake of that meat, yet there were strong reasons why it was inexpedient; and those reasons ought to have the binding force of law.”

All things edify not - All things do not tend to build up the church, and to advance the interests of religion; and when they do not have this effect, they are not expedient, and are improper. Paul acted for the welfare of the church. His object was to save souls. Anything that would promote that object was proper; anything which would hinder it, though in itself it might not be strictly unlawful, was in his view improper. This is a simple rule, and might be easily applied by all. If a man has his heart on the conversion of people and the salvation of the world, it will go far to regulate his conduct in reference to many things concerning which there may be no exact and positive law. It will do much to regulate his dress; his style of living; his expenses; his entertainments; his mode of contact with the world. He may not be able to fix his finger on any positive law, and to say that this or that article of dress is improper; that this or that piece of furniture is absolutely forbidden; or that this or that manner of life is contrary to any explicit law of Yahweh; but he may see that it will interfere with his great and main purpose, “to do good on the widest scale possible;” and therefore to him it will be inexpedient and improper. Such a grand leading purpose is a much better guide to direct a man‘s life than would be exact positive statutes to regulate everything, even if such minute statutes were possible.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-10.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

All things are lawful; but not all things are expedient. All things are lawful; but not all things edify.

All things are lawful ... The total absence from this passage of any mention of behavior which might, under any circumstances, be considered "lawful" raises a question of how these words should be understood, fithis was the watchword of the "knowledge" party in Corinth, and if they had been pressing Paul for permission to engage in idol worship, which seems likely, then the words here are spoken by way of identifying those to whom these stern words were addressed.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-corinthians-10.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

All things are lawful for me,.... All sorts of food are lawful to be eaten, every creature of God is good, there is nothing common or unclean in itself, polluted or polluting; and so things offered to idols may be lawfully eaten, but not as such, or in an idol's temple, or before a weak brother; to do which is contrary to the honour of God, and the edification of the saints: and therefore

all things are not expedient; to be done always, and in all places, and before all persons. The apostle suggests, that though they might be lawful to him, and he might make use of his liberty in eating them; yet they might not be expedient, or of service, but on the contrary hurtful to others; and which therefore ought to be judged a sufficient reason for the omission of them:

all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not; though things of an indifferent nature may be lawfully used, yet they do not always tend to the edification of others, which should be consulted; and when this is the case, they ought to be disused. This is observed in answer to an objection taken from the doctrine of Christian liberty, allowing the free use of all the creatures, and disengaging men from an observance of the distinction of meats and drinks which the apostle grants; and yet argues from his own example, and the edification of the saints, that this is not always to be closely pursued; but believers should forego what they have a right to use, when the peace and welfare of their fellow Christians require it.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-corinthians-10.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

6 t All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

(6) Coming to another type of things offered to idols, he repeats that general rule, that in the use of indifferent things we ought to have consideration not of ourselves only, but of our neighbours. And therefore there are many things which of themselves are lawful, which may be evil when done by us, because of offence to our neighbour.

(t) See before in (1 Corinthians 6:13).


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-corinthians-10.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

All things are lawful for me, etc. — Recurring to the Corinthian plea (1 Corinthians 6:12), he repeats his qualification of it. The oldest manuscripts omit both times “for me.”

edify not — tend not to build up the spiritual temple, the Church, in faith and love. Paul does not appeal to the apostolic decision (Acts 15:1-29), which seems to have been not so much regarded outside of Palestine, but rather to the broad principle of true Christian freedom, which does not allow us to be governed by external things, as though, because we can use them, we must use them (1 Corinthians 6:12). Their use or non-use is to be regulated by regard to edification.


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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-corinthians-10.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

See note on 1 Corinthians 6:12 for lawful (εχεστινexestin) and expedient (συμπερειsumpherei).

Edify not (ουκ οικοδομειouk oikodomei). Build up. Explanation of expedient (συμπερειsumpherei).


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-corinthians-10.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Supposing this were lawful in itself, yet it is not expedient, it is not edifying to my neighbour.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-corinthians-10.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

All things, &c. The sense is, Many things are lawful which are not expedient, &c. This is intended to apply to those acts, which, while they do not imply any guilty participation in idol worship, might have that appearance, and so ought to be avoided. Examples are given below.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/1-corinthians-10.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

23.All things are lawful for me Again he returns to the right of Christian liberty, by which the Corinthians defended themselves, and sets aside their objection by giving the same explanation as before. “To eat of meats that were sacrificed, and be present at the banquet, was an outward thing, and therefore was in itself lawful.” Paul declares that he does not by any means call this in question, but he replies, that we must have a regard to edification. All things are lawful for me, says he, but all things are not profitable, that is, for our neighbors, for no one, as he immediately adds, ought to seek his own advantage exclusively, and if anything is not profitable to the brethren, it must be abstained from. He, in the next place, expresses the kind of advantage — when it edifies, for we must not have respect merely to the advantage of the flesh. “What then? (594) Does a thing that is in other respects permitted by God, come on this account to be unlawful — if it is not expedient for our neighbor. Then in that case our liberty would be placed under subjection to men.” Consider attentively Paul’s words, and you will perceive that liberty, nevertheless, remains unimpaired, when you accommodate yourself to your neighbors, and that it is only the use of it that is restricted, for he acknowledges that it is lawful, but says that it ought not to be made use of, if it does not edify


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Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-corinthians-10.html. 1840-57.

Vv. 23 forms the transition to this third passage, which is, as it were, the recapitulation of the whole matter treated in these three chapters.

Vv. 23. "All things are lawful, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful, but all things edify not."

The apostle here repeats the adage already enunciated, 1 Corinthians 6:12, applying it, however, to a wholly different matter. We must beware of concluding from this repetition, as has been done, that the whole intermediate part has only been a digression. Such a subordinate position would not be in keeping with the gravity of the subjects treated. What meets us in these words is simply a sort of dictum which had come to be used at Corinth on all occasions, without discernment and without taking sufficient account of the limitations enjoined by watchfulness and charity. The logical bond between this rash affirmation of Christian liberty and the thought of 1 Corinthians 10:22 is obvious.

The term all things applies to external acts, in themselves indifferent, such as using this or that kind of food. The pronoun μοι, for me, ought probably to be omitted in this sentence, as well as in the following, with the majority of authorities, not, however, without remarking that this pronoun is read in the two propositions of the verse, not only in K L and the Peschito, but also in the Coislinianus (H), a MS. of the sixth century, transcribed from the autograph MS. of Pamphilus of Caesarea.

The same meaning is usually given to the two verbs συμφέρει, is expedient, and οἰκοδομεῖ, edifies. But this would be a pure tautology. It seems to me probable, from 1 Corinthians 10:33, that the former applies to spiritual good in general, including our own (comp. 1 Corinthians 9:23 to 1 Corinthians 11:22), and the second more specially to our neighbour"s (comp. 1 Corinthians 8:1 to 1 Corinthians 9:22).

Such is the general principle; it will be repeated at the close (1 Corinthians 10:31) in different terms. 1 Corinthians 10:24 reproduces it immediately in a negative form, in order to exclude the great obstacle to its realization.


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Bibliography
Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/1-corinthians-10.html.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Ver. 23. All things are not expedient] An liceat, an deceat, an expediat, Is it permitted, is it proper, is it expedient, are three most needful questions. (Bernard.) Things lawful in themselves may be unseemly for our state and calling; unbehoveful also to the benefit of others. Think unlawful for thee whatsoever implies either inexpediency or indecency.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-corinthians-10.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Corinthians 10:23.— The Apostle here proceeds with another argument against things offered to idols, wherein he shews the danger which might be in it, from the scandal it might give, supposing the thing lawful in itself. He had formerly treated on this subject, (ch. 8) so far as to let them see, that there was no good or virtue in eating things offered to idols, notwithstanding they knew that idols were nothing, and they might think their free eating without scruple shewed that they knew their liberty in the Gospel,—that idols were in reality nothing, and therefore they slighted and disregarded them and their worship as nothing; but the Apostle informs them, that there might be great evil in eating,—by the offence it might give to weak Christians, who had not that knowledge. He here takes up the argument of offence again, and extends it to Jews and Gentiles, 1 Corinthians 10:32; shewing that it is not enough to justify us in any action, that the thing we do is in itself lawful, unless we seek in it the glory of God, and the good of others, 1 Corinthians 10:23, to ch. 1 Corinthians 11:1.

All things The word all is here to be limited to such things as are the subject of the Apostle's discourse; and his meaning is,—"Supposing all these things be lawful; supposing it lawful to eat things offered unto idols; yet things that are lawful are not expedient: all things that are lawful for me, may not tend to the edification of others, and so ought to be forborne." See Locke and Doddridge.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-corinthians-10.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our apostle having in the former part of this chapter resolved the case concerning public eating things offered unto idols in the idol-temples, and by several arguments proved it to be absolutely unlawful; he comes now to resolve another case, concerning private buying and private eating of things offered unto idols; for it seems to have been a custom to set to sale in the market, flesh that was sacrificed, (the gain whereof went to the priests,) as well as other flesh; but first he answers an objection.

Some might be ready to say, all things are lawful for me; that is, all meats may be lawfully eaten by me. If so, says the apostle, yet all lawful things are not expedient to be done in respect of our weak brother; plainly intimating, that there are many things lawful in themselves, which, considered under such and such circumstances, are very inexpedient: so far are they unlawful.


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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/1-corinthians-10.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

23.] He recurs to the plea of ch. 1 Corinthians 6:12;—reasserts his modification of it, with a view, after what has passed since, to shew its reasonableness, and to introduce the following directions.

οἰκοδομεῖ] viz. the Christian body: tend to build up the whole, or the individual parts, of that spiritual temple, God’s οἰκοδομή.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-corinthians-10.html. 1863-1878.

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

1 Corinthians 10:23. In connection, however, with this matter also, as with a former one, 1 Corinthians 6:12, the principle of Christian liberty in things indifferent admitted of application, and had no doubt been applied in Corinth itself. Paul therefore now proceeds to treat the subject from this purely ethical side, introducing the new section without any connective particle (Buttmann, neut. Gram. p. 345 [E. T. 403]), and enunciating in the first place the aforesaid principle itself, coupled, however, with its qualifying condition of love. Thereafter in 1 Corinthians 10:24 he lays down the general maxims arising out of this qualification; and then in 1 Corinthians 10:25 if. the special rules bearing upon the eating of meat offered in sacrifice.

οἰκοδομεῖ] promotes the Christian life of the brethren, 1 Corinthians 8:1. Comp on Romans 14:19. See the counterpart to this in Romans 14:13; Romans 14:15; Romans 14:20.

As to συμφέρει, see on 1 Corinthians 6:12.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-corinthians-10.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 Corinthians 10:23. συμφέρει, expedient) 1 Corinthians 10:33. The power, by which all things ἔξεστιν, are lawful, is given by God: συμφέρον, expediency, is a thing affecting myself: οἰκοδομὴ, edification, relates to another.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-corinthians-10.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

All things here must necessarily signify many things, or, at least, (as some think), all those things I have spoken of, to eat meat offered to idols, &c. But if we interpret it in the latter sense, it is not true without limitations; for the apostle had but now determined, that to eat meat offered to idols in the idol’s temple, was to have communion with devils. I had rather therefore interpret all by many, as that universal particle must be interpreted in a great multitude of scriptures. So as the sense is: There are many things that are lawful which are not expedient; that is, considered in themselves, under due circumstances, they are lawful, but considered in such and such circumstances, are not so, because they are not for the profit or good, but the hurt and disadvantage, of others. Thus the apostle himself expounds it in the latter clause of the verse, where he saith, they

edify not, that is, they tend not to promote the gospel, or the faith and holiness of particular Christians.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-corinthians-10.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

All things; which are good to eat, may at proper times be eaten and even meat which had been offered to idols was not changed, and would not injure Paul: but it would not on that account be right for him to partake of it in idolatrous feasts, because his doing so might injure others.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-corinthians-10.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

23. πάντα ἔξεστιν. See Critical Note, and ch. 1 Corinthians 6:12, note. A repetition of the words in ch. 1 Corinthians 6:12, with a more emphatic enunciation of the doctrine that the great limiting principle of liberty is our neighbour’s edification.

οἰκοδομεῖ. See note on ch. 1 Corinthians 8:1.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-corinthians-10.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23. All thingsAll natural gratifications are, in their proper kind and degree, lawful. See note on 1 Corinthians 6:12-13.

But—This primitive all has its limitations.

Not expedient—And so, being unprofitable and injurious, may thereby become unlawful. And now he proceeds to lay down some of the moral expediences and prudences by which the eating of meats must be regulated.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-corinthians-10.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

'All things are lawful, but not all things are expedient. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.'

Again he takes up their own challenge that 'all things are lawful to us' (compare 1 Corinthians 6:12). Quite right, he says, but they are not necessarily expedient, not necessarily for the best, not necessarily good. Such things may be lawful to them, but they edify neither them themselves nor those who see them in the act. Rather do they do them both harm. So what is of primary importance is not the assertion of liberty, true though it may be, but the concern to show love to one's fellow. Freedom is glorious, but misused freedom is in this case devilish.

Once again we have here an example of the danger of what seem to be sensible catch phrases, but which turn out not to be so, for they always have to be qualified in some way. Trite sayings misrepresent truth.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-corinthians-10.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Earlier Paul had addressed the issue of Christian liberty and had said that all things were lawful for him, but all things were not beneficial ( 1 Corinthians 6:12). Now he went further and clarified that beneficial means beneficial for others, not just self. Thus he sought to bring the rights-conscious Corinthians to their knees.


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-corinthians-10.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 Corinthians 10:23. All things are lawful; but all things edify not (see on 1 Corinthians 6:12 and ch. 8).


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/1-corinthians-10.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 Corinthians 10:23. On πάντα ἔξεστιν κ. τ. λ., see notes to 1 Corinthians 6:12. The form of that ver. seems to be purposely repeated here ( μοι only omitted), with the effect of bringing out the altruistic as complementary to the self-regarding side of Christian expediency. On Paul’s dialectical use of the words of opponents, cf. 1 Corinthians 8:10 ff. and notes. Closing his discussion about the sacrificial meats, P. returns to the point from which he set out in ch. 8., viz., the supremacy of love in Church life—there commended as superior to knowledge, here as supplying the guard of liberty; in both passages, it is the principle of edification.—The tacit obj(1543) of οἰκοδομεῖ (see 1 Corinthians 8:1, 1 Corinthians 3:9-17) is “the Church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32). Edification, in its proper meaning, is always relative to the community; P. is safe-guarding not the particular interests of “the weak brother” so much as the welfare of the Church, when he says, “Not all things edify”.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-corinthians-10.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

All things are lawful. This is the same sentiment he has expressed in chap. vi. ver. 12. and in chap. viii. ver. 8. 9. wherein he teaches us, that on some occasions it is necessary to abstain even from things in themselves lawful, as in the case of meats consecrated to idols. (Calmet) --- Two excellent rules that can serve as guides on these occasions, are the edification of the Church, and the spiritual good of our neighbour. Without the aid of these guides, we go astray ourselves and decoy others, in doing what the letter of the law permits, but what the spirit of the law, charity, forbids.


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-corinthians-10.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful; but not all things are expedient. All things are lawful; but not all things edify.

-The same principle is laid down in .

"expedient"-i.e. helpful, beneficial, advantageous.

"edify"-builds strong Christian character. All "lawful" things don"t necessarily promote spirituality. "But not everything is constructive" (Fee p. 479)


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-corinthians-10.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

all things, &c. = not all things are expedient, or profitable.

all things, &c. = not all things edify. Greek. oikodomeo. See Acts 9:31.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-corinthians-10.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

All things are lawful for me ... Recurring to the Corinthian plea (1 Corinthians 6:12), he repeats his qualification of it. A B C 'Aleph (') G f g, Vulgate, omit "for me." 'Aleph (') C have it.

Edify not - build not up the spiritual temple, the Church, in faith and love. Paul does not appeal to the apostolic decision, Acts 15:1-41, but to the broad principle of true Christian freedom, which does not think that, because we can use external things, we must use them (1 Corinthians 6:12). Their use or non-use should be regulated by regard to general edification.


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-corinthians-10.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

We are allowed to do anything. This was a slogan of the Corinthian church (see note on 1 Corinthians 6:12), Yes, but. Christian liberty must be limited to make it both kind and helpful. Even though we may be allowed to do something, the effect on others could make it a sin (1 Corinthians 8:1-3; 1 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Corinthians 8:12-13).


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-corinthians-10.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) All things are lawful for me.—The Apostle now proceeds to conclude, with some practical direction and advice, the question of the eating of meat offered to idols, from which immediate subject the strong expression of personal feeling in 1 Corinthians 8:13 had led him to branch off into the various aspects of collateral matters which have occupied him since, and to which the subject treated of in 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 of this chapter naturally lead back the thoughts of the writer. He repeats here the great principle of Christian liberty, “All things are lawful for me” (see 1 Corinthians 6:12), but insists, as before, that its application must be limited by a regard (1) to the effect which each action has upon ourselves, and (2) its influence on the Church at large. “Does this act tend to my own spiritual profit? Does it tend to build up others?” should be the practical rules of Christian life.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-corinthians-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
things are lawful
6:12; 8:9; Romans 14:15,20
edify
8:1; 14:3-5,12,17,26; Romans 14:19; 15:1,2; 2 Corinthians 12:19; Ephesians 4:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 1 Timothy 1:4

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-corinthians-10.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

The apostle having, in the preceding paragraph, proved that eating of the sacrifices offered to idols under circumstances which gave a religious character to the act, was idolatry, comes to state the circumstances under which those sacrifices might be eaten without scruple. He begins by reverting to the general law of Christian liberty stated with the same limitations as in 1 Corinthians 6:12. The right to use things offered to idols, as well as other things in themselves indifferent, is limited by expediency. We should be governed in this matter by a regard to the good of others, and to our own edification, 1 Corinthians 10:23, 1 Corinthians 10:24. If the meat of sacrifices be sold in the market, 1 Corinthians 10:25, or found at private tables, it may be eaten without any hesitation, 1 Corinthians 10:27. But if any one at a private table, from scruples on the subject, should apprise us that a certain dish contained part of a sacrifice, for his sake, and not for our own, we ought to abstain, 1 Corinthians 10:28. We should not make such a use of our liberty as to cause our good to be evil spoken of, 1 Corinthians 10:29. The general rule of action, not only as to meats and drinks, but as to all other things is, first, to act with a regard to the glory of God, 1 Corinthians 10:31; and secondly, so as to avoid giving offense (i.e. occasion for sin) to any class of men, 1 Corinthians 10:32. In this matter Paul presents himself as an example to his fellow-believers, 1 Corinthians 10:33.

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

The apostle had already, in 1 Corinthians 6:12, and in 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, conceded that eating of the sacrifices offered to idols, was, in itself, a matter of indifference. But the use of things indifferent is limited by two principles; first, a regard to the welfare of others; secondly, regard to our own welfare. The word ( ףץלצו ́ סוי) is expedient expresses the one of these ideas, and ( ןי ̓ ךןהןלוי ͂) edifieth the other. All things are not expedient or useful to others; and all things are not edifying to ourselves. The latter phrase might indeed have reference to others as well as to ourselves — but as contrasted with the former clause, it appears to be used here with this restricted application. In this view it agrees with the clause, "I will not be brought under the power of any thing," in 1 Corinthians 6:12.


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

Bibliography
Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:23". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/1-corinthians-10.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, August 25th, 2019
the Week of Proper 16 / Ordinary 21
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