1Co 8:1
8:1 Now {1} as touching things offered unto idols, we know that
    we {a} all have knowledge. Knowledge {b} puffeth up, but
    charity {c} edifieth.

 (1) He begins to entreat of another type of indifferent things,
     that is, things offered to idols, or the use of flesh so
     offered and sacrificed.  And first of all he removes all
     those things which the Corinthians pretended in using
     things offered to idols without any respect.  First of all
     they affirmed that this difference of foods was for the
     unskilful men, but as for them, they knew well enough the
     benefit of Christ, which causes all these things to be
     clean to those that are clean.  Be it so, Paul says: even
     if we are all sufficiently instructed in the knowledge of
     Christ, I say nonetheless that we must not simply rest in
     this knowledge.  The reason is, that unless our knowledge is
     tempered with charity, it does not only not avail, but also
     does much hurt, because it is the mistress of pride.  Nay,
     it does not so much as deserve the name of godly knowledge,
     if it is separate from the love of God, and therefore from
     the love of our neighbour.
     (a) This general word is to be abridged as 1Co 8:7
         appears, for there is a type of taunt in it, as
         we may perceive by 1Co 8:2.
     (b) Gives occasion of vanity and pride, because it is void
         of charity.
     (c) Instructs our neighbour.

1Co 8:4
8:4 {2} As concerning therefore the eating of those things that
    are offered in sacrifice unto {d} idols, we know that an
    idol [is] {e} nothing in the world, and that [there is] none
    other God but one.

 (2) The application of that answer to things offered to idols:
     I grant, he says, that an idol is indeed a vain
     imagination, and that there is but one God and Lord, and
     therefore that food cannot be made either holy or profane
     by the idol.  But it does not follow therefore, that a man
     may, without regard of what they are, use those foods as
     any other.
     (d) The word "idol" in this place is taken for an image
         which is made to represent some godhead, so that
         worship might be given to it: whereupon came the word
         "idolatry", that is to say, "image service".
     (e) Is a vain dream.

1Co 8:6
8:6 But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, {f} of whom
    [are] all things, and we {g} in him; and {h} one Lord Jesus
    Christ, {i} by whom [are] all things, and we by him.

    (f) When the Father is distinguished from the Son, he is
        named the beginning of all things.
    (g) We have our being in him.
    (h) But as the Father is called Lord, so is the Son
        therefore God: therefore this word "one" does not regard
        the persons, but the natures.
    (i) This word "by" does not signify the instrumental cause,
        but the efficient: for the Father and the Son work
        together, which is not so to be taken that we make two
        causes, seeing they have both but one nature, though
        they are distinct persons.

1Co 8:7
8:7 {3} Howbeit [there is] not in every man that knowledge: for
    {4} some with {k} conscience of the idol unto this hour eat
    [it] as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience
    being weak is defiled.

 (3) The reason why that does not follow, is this: because there
     are many men who do not know that which you know.  Now the
     judgment of outward things depend not only upon your
     conscience, but upon the conscience of those that behold
     you, and therefore your actions must be applied not only to
     your knowledge, but also to the ignorance of your brethren.
 (4) An applying of the reason: there are many who cannot eat of
     things offered to idols, except with a wavering conscience,
     because they think them to be unclean.  Therefore if by
     your example they wish to do that which inwardly they
     think displeases God, their conscience is defiled with this
     eating, and you have been the occasion of this mischief.
     (k) By conscience of the idol, he means the secret judgment
         that they had within themselves, by which they thought
         all things unclean that were offered to idols, and
         therefore they could not use them with good conscience.
         For conscience has this power, that if it is good, it
         makes indifferent things good, and if it is evil, it
         makes them evil.

1Co 8:8
8:8 {5} But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we
    eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the

 (5) An anticipation of an objection: why then will we therefore
     be deprived of our liberty?  Nay, says the apostle, you
     will lose no part of Christianity although you abstain for
     your brethren's sake, as also if you receive the food, for
     it makes you in no way the more holy, for our commendation
     before God consists not in foods.  But to use our liberty
     with offence of our brethren is an abuse of liberty, the
     true use of which is completely contrary, that is, to use
     it in such a way that we have consideration of our weak

1Co 8:10
8:10 {6} For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at
     meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him
     which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are
     offered to idols;

 (6) Another plain explication of the same reason, propounding
     the example of the sitting down at the table in the idol's
     temple.  This thing the Corinthians did wrongly consider
     among things indifferent, because it is simply forbidden
     for the circumstance of the place, even though the offence
     had ceased, as it will be declared in its place.

1Co 8:11
8:11 {7} And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother
     perish, for whom Christ died?

 (7) An amplification of the argument taken both of comparison
     and opposites: "You wretched man", he says, "pleasing
     yourself with your knowledge which indeed is not knowledge,
     for if you had true knowledge, you would not sit down to
     eat food in an idol's temple.  Will you destroy your
     brother, hardening his weak conscience by this example to
     do evil, for whose salvation Christ himself has died?"

1Co 8:12
8:12 {8} But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound
     their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

 (8) Another amplification: such offending of our weak brethren,
     results in the offending of Christ, and therefore do not
     let these men think that they have to deal only with their

1Co 8:13
8:13 {9} Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will
     eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my
     brother to offend.

 (9) The conclusion, which Paul conceives in his own person,
     that he might not seem to exact that of others which he
     will not be first subject to himself.  I had rather (he
     says) abstain forever from all types of flesh, then give
     occasion of sin to any of my brethren.  And on a smaller
     scale, in any certain place or time, I would refuse to eat
     flesh offered to idols, for my brother's sake.