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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 16

Verse 16. And I baptised also the household. The family. Whether there were any infants in the family, does not appear. It is certain that the family was among the first converts to Christianity in Achaia, and that it had evinced great zeal in aiding those who were Christians. See 1 Co 16:15. From the manner in which Paul mentions this, it is probable that Stephanas did not reside at Corinth when he was baptized, though he might have subsequently removed there. "I baptized none of you, 1 Co 1:14, i.e., none of those who permanently dwelt at Corinth, or who were members of the original church there, but Crispus and Gaius—but I baptized also the family of Stephanas, now of your number." Or it may mean, "I baptized none of you who are adult members of the church, but Crispus and Gaius, though I also baptized the family of Stephanas." If this be the true interpretation, then it forms an argument to prove that Paul practised household baptism, or the baptism of the families of those who were themselves believers. Or the expression may simply indicate a recollection of the true circumstances of the case— a species of correction of the statement in 1 Co 1:14, "I recollect now also that I baptized the family of Stephanas."

Household. aikon. The house; the family. The word comprises the whole family, including adults, domestics, slaves, and children. It includes,

(1.) the men in a house, Act 7:10; 1 Ti 3:4,5,12;

(2.)domestics, Ac 10:2; 11:14; 16:15,31; 1 Ti 3:4;

(3.)the family in general, Lu 10:5; 16:27. (Bretschneider.) It was the custom, doubtless, for the apostles to baptize the entire household, whatever might be the age, including domestics, slaves, and children. The head of a family gave up the entire household to God.

Of Stephanas. Who Stephanas was, is not known. The Greek commentators say that he was the jailer of Philippi, who, after he had been baptized, (Ac 16:33,) removed with his family to Corinth. But of this there is no certain evidence.

Besides. Besides these.

I know not, etc. I do not know whether I baptized any others who are now members of that church. Paul would, doubtless, recollect that he had baptized others in other places, but he is speaking here particularly of Corinth. This is not to be urged as an argument against the inspiration of Paul, for

(1) it was not the design of inspiration to free the memory from defect in ordinary transactions, or in those things which were not to be received for the instruction of the church.

(2.) The meaning of Paul may simply be, "I know not who of the original members of the church at Corinth may have removed, or who may have died; I know not who may have removed to Corinth from other places where I have preached and baptized, and consequently I cannot know whether I may not have baptized some others of your present number." It is evident, however, that if he had baptized any others, the number was small.

{a} "besides" 1 Co 16:15,17

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