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Now concerning things sacrificed to idols
(περ δε των ειδωλοθυτων). Plainly the Corinthians had asked also about this problem in their letter to Paul (7:1). This compound
adjective (ειδωλον, idol, θυτος, verbal adjective from θυω, to sacrifice) is still found only in the N.T. and ecclesiastical
writers, not so far in the papyri. We have seen this problem mentioned in the decision of the Jerusalem Conference (Ac 15:29; 21:25
). The connection between idolatry and impurity was very close, especially in Corinth. See both topics connected in Re 2:14,20
. By ειδωλοθυτα was meant the portion of the flesh left over after the heathen sacrifices. The heathen called it ιεροθυτον
). This leftover part "was either eaten sacrificially, or taken home for private meals, or sold in the markets" (Robertson
and Plummer). What were Christians to do about eating such portions either buying in the market or eating in the home of another
or at the feast to the idol? Three questions are thus involved and Paul discusses them all. There was evidently difference
of opinion on the subject among the Corinthian Christians. Aspects of the matter come forward not touched on in the Jerusalem
Conference to which Paul does not here allude, though he does treat it in Ga 2:1-10
. There was the more enlightened group who acted on the basis of their superior knowledge about the non-existence of the gods
represented by the idols.
(φυσιο). From φυσιοω (present indicative active). See on
4:6. Pride may be the result, not edification (οικοδομε) which comes from love. Note article (η) with both γνωσις and αγαπη,
making the contrast sharper. See on 1Th 5:11
for the verb οικοδομεω, to build up. Love is the solution, not knowledge, in all social problems.
46894689 The same is known of him (ουτος εγνωστα υπ' αυτου). Loving God (condition of first class again) is the way to come to know God. It is not certain whether ουτος refers to the man who loves God or to God who is loved. Both are true. God knows those that are his (2Ti 2:19; Ex 33:12 ). Those who know God are known of God (Ga 4:9 ). We love God because he first loved us (1Jo 4:19 ). But here Paul uses both ideas and both verbs. Εγνωστα is perfect passive indicative of γινωσκω, an abiding state of recognition by (υπ') God. No one is acquainted with God who does not love him (1Jo 4:8 ). God sets the seal of his favour on the one who loves him. So much for the principle.
No idol is anything in the world
(ουδεν ειδωλον εν κοσμω). Probably correct translation, though no copula is expressed. On ειδωλον (from ειδος), old word,
see on Ac 7:41; 15:20; 1Th 1:9
. The idol was a mere picture or symbol of a god. If the god has no existence, the idol is a non-entity. This Gentile Christians
had come to know as Jews and Jewish Christians already knew.
For though there be
(κα γαρ ειπερ εισ). Literally, "For even if indeed there are" (a concessive clause, condition of first class, assumed to
be true for argument's sake).
Yet to us there is one God, the Father
(αλλ' ημιν εις θεος ο πατηρ). B omits αλλ' here, but the sense calls for it anyhow in this apodosis, a strong antithesis
to the protasis (
even if at least
, κα ειπερ).
Howbeit in all men there is not that knowledge
(αλλ' ουκ εν πασιν η γνωσις). The knowledge (η γνωσις) of which Paul is speaking. Knowledge has to overcome inheritance and
environment, prejudice, fear, and many other hindrances.
Will not commend
(ου παραστησε). Future active indicative of παριστημ, old word to present as in Ac 1:3; Lu 2:22; Col 1:28
. Food (βρωμα) will not give us an entree to God for commendation or condemnation, whether meat-eaters or vegetarians.
(βλεπετε). A warning to the enlightened.
46964696 If a man see thee which hast knowledge sitting at meat in an idol's temple (εαν γαρ τις ιδη [σε] τον εχοντα γνωσιν εν ειδωλειω κατακειμενον). Condition of third class, a possible case. Paul draws the picture of the enlightened brother exercising his "liberty" by eating in the idol's temple. Later he will discuss the peril to the man's own soul in this phase of the matter (10:14-22), but here he considers only the effect of such conduct on the unenlightened or weak brother. This bravado at a sacrificial banquet is in itself idolatrous as Paul will show. But our weak brother will be emboldened (οικοδομηθησετα, future passive indicative, will be built up) to go on and do what he still believes to be wrong, to eat things sacrificed to idols (εις το τα ειδωλοθυτα εσθιειν). Alas, how often that has happened. Defiance is flung in the face of the unenlightened brother instead of loving consideration.
Through thy knowledge
(εν τη ση γνωσε). Literally, in thy knowledge. Surely a poor use to put one's superior knowledge.
Wounding their conscience
(τυπτοντες αυτων την συνειδησιν). Old verb τυπτω, to smite with fist, staff, whip. The conscience is sensitive to a blow
like that, a slap in the face.
(βρωμα). Food it should be, not flesh (κρεα).
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