1 Corinthians: Exegetical Notes
Chapters 1-5

Return to Index

These notes, prepared in 1974-75 at UTC, Bangalore (and built upon exegetical studies begun with students at Lichfield Theological College, England, 1967-71), are based on Jean Héring, The First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (Epworth Press, London, 1962), while drawing on various other commentaries (such as Hans Conzelmann's).

Two significant and illuminating aspects of these notes are drawn from the chiastic structures of the letter and the themes and synagogue lections of the Passover season in which the letter is set (see 1 Corinthians and the Observance of Passover).  A third aspect is the relationship of chapters 6-10 to the Decalogue (see 1 Corinthians and the Decalogue).

Chapters:  1   2   3     5      

Abbreviations used in the notes:

N1, N2, N3, Ti, T2, T3: Refer to 1st, 2nd and 3rd years of the Nisan and Tishri Cycles, respectively, of the Jewish Synagogue Triennial Lectionary, q.v.
Nisan 1: Read on 1st Sabbath of Nisan in the TC
TC: Triennial Cycle of the Synagogue Lectionary
H: Haphtarah (Prophetic reading from OT)
TS: Torah Seder (Reading from the Pentateuch)
om.: omit(ting)
// Parallel passage
X: Chiasm (details of these are given separately)
OX: Overall chiasm (1 Cor. 1.1-8.6a x 8.6b-16.24)
acc.: according to
ergo: Latin for 'therefore'
2o Paul: Letters by Paul's disciples (Paul as author of Rom, 1 & 2 Cor, Gal & Philemon only)
Chapter 1
OX: 1.1-31 x 15.12-16.24;    X: 1.1-31 x 5.1-611;    X 1.1-5b x 1.5c-12
1: Paul: emphasis on being apostle; only after that he adds 'brother Sosthenes'
(S. a synagogue leader at Corinth when Paul founded church acc. Ac 18.17)
'called' by God to be an apostle - only here & Rom 1.1
'apostle', ἀπόστολος  = one sent.
For Paul 'apostle' means a church-founder who acts as the typical Christian (to be imitated) for the church(es) he founds.  (The Luke-Acts concept is quite different).  See: A. T. Hanson, The Pioneer Ministry; C. K.Barrett, New Testament Essays.
Paul calls the following 'apostles': Cephas , 9.5; Gal 1.18; James the Lord's brother, Gal 1.19; Apollos, 1 Cor 4.6; Barnabas, 1 Cor 9.6; Andronicus and Junias, Rom 16.7.
'through the will of God' - i.e., not by a human intermediary;
ergo, Paul's apostleship is probably under attack at Corinth.
'Jesus' ten times in 1.1-10.
Note that Paul hereafter writes in first-person singular (except when referring to  apostles as a group) in contrast to 2o Pauline: 1 & 2 Thess.
2: 'the church of God', τᾑ ἐκκλησίᾳ τοῦ θεου (= equiv. of qehal YHWH in OT)
ἐκκλησία 1 C Ro 2 C G Pn (Phil) (Col) (Eph) (1 Th) (2Th) NT: 114
times 22 5 9 3 1 (2) (4) (9) (2) (2) LXX: ca. 50
Totals 38 (19)
'sanctified..., called to be saints, ...with all who call on the name of the Lord...':
Lev 19.2: 'Speak to all the congregation  ... of Israel ...: "You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy"' - cf. Ex 19.6 Iyyar 4 (N2)
Note stress on all and everywhere: Paul stresses that what he teaches Corinthians is taught in every church (by him and others) - 7.17; 1.16 - ergo Corinthians (implied) must obey.
Mal 1.11, 14: 'name among the nations' (H to Nu 6.22, Nisan 1 [N3]) - cf. 1 Cor 1.8; 11.20 ff.
'called to be saints' (i.e., set apart by God from 'world', κόσμος)
comparable to 'sanctified in Christ Jesus' (i.e., baptized in Body of  Christ)
'name' - note names of parties in 1.12; stress on not Paul's name, 1.13, 15
'who call on the name' Joel 2.32 (H to Gen 28.12, Nisan 3 [T1])
3: 'Grace to you - and peace x from God our Father - and Lord Jesus Christ' (i.e., chiastic)
Grace from Jesus*: Ro 16.20, 24; 7.25; 1 C 16.23; G 6.18
Peace from God (as Creator of Peace, i.e. good order): Ro 5.1; 1533; 16.20; 1 Co 7.15; 2 Co 13.11; 2o Paul: Phil 4.9; 1 Th 5.23; Tit 1.4; Christ as peace: Eph 2.14; Peace of Christ: Col 3.15 - i.e. shift to Christ as source of peace
(*but it is the grace of God - 1 Co 1.4, etc.; Christ is the agent of it - cf. 8.6)
Note: This salutation (God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ) found at beginning of letters by Christians to Christians appears to signify that the writer is a Christian; note 1 Co 8.6, centre of letter: Christian form of 1st Commandment.)
'grace', χάρις - God's freely-given loving favour
'peace', εἰρήνη - God's good order, shalom
'Mercy and peace' was a Jewish greeting (Syriac Apoc. of Baruch 78.2) - used by Paul as 'peace and mercy' in Gal 6.16, a letter very Jewish in tone and argument.
4-9 Thanksgiving: announces subjects of letter
(cf. Paul Schubert, The Form and Function of the Pauline Thanksgivings, Berlin, 1939.)
4 πέρι, 'for you' = ὑπέρ, 'on your account or behalf'
ἐπί, 'because of' - indicates the reason
'in Christ Jesus' - not only means that grace is granted to believers through Christ,
but also reminds them that grace is effective only in communion with Christ and Body.
5 Centre of  1.1-12 X: ergo central point being stressed -
'in every way you have enriched in him, in every word (λόγος) and every knowledge (γνῶσις)'
λόγος refers to rational speech and knowledge -
      probably refers to preaching (= 'prophesying' in 1 Cor 12-14)
γνῶσις - 'knowledge' (which Corinthians claim to have in abundance --
       its only occurrence in 1 Cor 1-7; 10x in 1 Cor;
       5x in 1 Cor 8 (8.1 [bis], 7, 10, 11) when Paul again
       attacks them on this.
       ( σοφία, 'wisdom', 16x in 1.17-3.19)
Ro 1 Co 2 Co Gal Phlm Paul 2oPaul* NT
σοφία 'wisdom' 1 17 1 0 0 19 9 51
γνῶσις 'knowledge' 3 10 6 0 0 19 3 29
γινώσκω 'I know' 9 16 8 4 0 0 10 221
οἶδα 'I know' 16 25 3 3 3 48 31 321

*excluding Pastorals

ergo, Paul is combatting γνῶσις at Corinth
       (gnosis, not gnosticism, which refers to 2nd century systems;
       e.g. Calvin vs Calvinism)
ergo, parties of 1.12 probably refers to groups claiming special gnosis.
6 καθώς, 'even as' - hard to translate (acc. Héring): preaching of gospel was cause of Spirit's action, but also reminds that only as Corinthians conform to Gospel will the fruits be genuine (Héring).
 ἐβεβαιώθη, 'was confirmed' (aor. pass. technical term in law) -
designates properly guaranteed security.
Gibbs: likely this refers at least in part to Paul's testimony in his word and person in their midst - cf. 2 Cor 12.12 and Gal 1.1, where 'before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth crucified' probably refers to Paul's behaviour in heir midst.  If this is the case, it removes the difficulty regarding καθώς
καθώς probably also intended to encourage healthy elements in church and admonish the others (Héring).
6-8 6: 'was confirmed among you' - past, when  faith began;
7 'you come behind in no gift' - present, when love should abound;
8 'who shall confirm unto the end' - future, when hope fulfilled.
Note the balance struck between God's action in past, present and future.
8 ἀνεγκλήτος 'blameless' (= α + εν + κλητός; ἐγκαλέειν, to accuse, bring a charge against')
cf. 10.13 (cf. Mal. 1.14 re blemished sacrifice)
ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ κυρίου, 'the day of the Lord'
 (= Heb. yôm YHWH, a frequent term in Jewish prophecy and apocalyptic for the day of divine judgement; earliest ref.: Amos 5.18).  Judgement, present and future, man's vs God's, is a major theme of 1 Cor.
9 ἐκλήθητε (aor. pass.), 'called out' from this age/world.
Note play on καλέειν forms in 1.1, 2, 8 & 9 and παρακαλῶ, 'I beseech' in 1.10.
κοινωνία, 'fellowship' of his Son - vs factions of 1.10-12.
1.10-4.21: Problem of Factions
1.10-12: The Factions
10 δέ, 'but' - adversative, ergo σχίσματα, 'divisions', vs intended κοινωνία of 1.9.
νοῦς, 'mind': Ro 6x; 1 Co 7x; (2o P: Phil 1x; Col 1x; Eph 2x; 1 Th 1x) NT: 21x
γνώμη (from γινώσκω): mind in assent/purpose/resolution - 5x in Paul: 1 Cor1.10; 7.25, 40; 2 Cor 8.10, Phlm 14 (Ac 20.3; Rev 17.13, 17 [bis]) NT: 9x.  I.e., 1.10 shows clearly that γνῶσις is a real problem at Corinth.
'through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ' - effective power of the Name;
here it is a call to correction with παρακαλῶ, 'I beseech'; in 5.4 it will be invoked in judgement.  Paul's message is: judge yourselves (in harmony) or you will be judged.
11 'Chloe' is a nickname of the goddess Demeter, often given to slaves; here Chloe is a free person, since others are in her service.
ἐδηλώθη, aor. pass. of δηλόω (from δῆλος, 'clearly visible'), ergo to make obvious, beyond doubt.
(Delators in in 3rd century persecutions were apostate Christian informers)
12-13 X:  Paul ... Christ x Christ ... Paul
'Is Christ divided?' (v. 13) suggests that 'I am of Christ' (v. 12) indicates
a fourth faction (perhaps spiritualistic gnostics recognizing no authority apart from Spirit of Christ)
Apollos - worked here after Paul (3.6: 'Apollos watered')
- as type of 'Greek' who believes
Cephas - as type of 'Jew' who believes
12 ἐγὼ δὲ χριστοῦ, 'but I am of Christ'
The conjectures of Perdelvitz (TSK, 1911. 180-204) that Crispus (cf. 1.14 & Ac 18.8) was the original reading, or of Héring and others that Paul's scribe (Sosthenes?) or a later copier interjected it, are unlikely in view of the chiasmus of 1.12-13 (acc. Gibbs).
13-17 X: 1.13-16 x 1.16-17
13 See 12.13: one Body - Christ - one Spirit: baptized by one Spirit into one Body
13-14 In the mystery religions: baptizer called 'father' of the initiate
14 Crispus - Ac 18.8 (a synagogue leader at Corinth converted by Paul)
Gaius - likely Paul's host of Rom 16.23, since referred to by his praenomen alone, he may be a freed slave.
15 Paul appears to be combatting mysteries-type approach (see 1.13-14)
'baptized in ...name' - indicates lordship - cf. 1.2 and fellowship of 1.9
16 Stephanus -16.15, 17 (not in Acts)
17-2.9 X: 1.17-1.29a x 1.29b-2.9
17c-25 X: 1.17c-21a x 21b-25

Sermon unit (see W. Wuellner, 'Haggadic Homily Genre in I Corinthians 1-3', JBL 89 (1970) 199-204.)

17 Paul sent to preach, not baptize
ergo, baptism normally administered by local leaders
'not in wisdom of word', οὐκ ἐν σοφίᾳ λόγου; σοφία introduces theme of 'wisdom';
λόγος (re rational thought picked up in next verse.
18 ὁ λόγος γὰρ ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦ: here λόγος means 'instruction',
so 'the instruction about the cross'
σῳζομένοις, pres. ind. part., 'who are being saved' (i.e., ongoing process)
(see 1.21: πιστεύοντας, pres. ind. part., 'who are believing')
'power' // Rom 1.16
ἀπολλουμένοις, pres. ind. part., 'are perishing' - cf. 7.31b
λόγος conn. w. δύναμις (power);  
cf. λόγος conn. w. σοφία (wisdom) in 1.17; i.e.  δύναμις and σοφία are paired, as in 1.24b.  
X: 'folly ... to those perishing' x 'to us being saved ... wisdom of God'
19 Isa. 29.14 (not exactly LXX) 
(Isa. 29.10 H to Gen 18.1 Sivan 2 [N1]; Isa. 2918-30.18 H to Gen. 5.1 Nisan 4 [N1]) // Job 5.12, 13.
20 Rhetorical style // Isa. 33.18. Opening question - Isa. 19.12.
'wise' - Paul's general term in section, ergo likely all-embracing
'scribe'  - Jew learned in Torah It is likely (vs Leon Morris) that Paul distinguishes between these two, since does so 3x in 1.23, 24
'debater' - Greek sophist
αἰών 'age', the present era and condition of man and the world
κόσμος 'world', the created order, including mankind
Used here for mankind in its finitude/waywardness/blindness (as, e.g., in John 3.16)
21 'For since, set amidst the wisdom of God, ...'
'the wisdom of God': either God's providential intention, 
or more likely by far, the ordered creation as having immanent beauty and order, not perceived by man, but created through, and showing forth, Wisdom of God (cf. Isa. 6.3; Ps 19 for man's lack of perception; Sir. 24.3-10; 51.26 [yoke of Wisdom = Torah; cp. Matt. 11.29)]; Wisd. 7.22; 7.25-26 [σοφία = God's glory/image]; cf. Rom 1.19 ff.)
ἐπειδὴ γὰρ - 'For since' (temporal) or 'Because' (causal) -
ergo, Leon Morris is weak here.
'it pleased God' - i.e., sign of God's enduring chesed,
steadfast loving-kindness (vs Morris)
κηρύγματος - what preached (i.e., content) (or better, 'proclamation')
πιστέυοντας - pres. ind. part., 'are believing' - cf. 1.18.
21-24 X: 1.21-22 x 1.23-24
22 'Jews demand signs' - i.e. of power (apocalyptic signs?)
'Greeks seek wisdom' - i.e. man-made knowledge
23 ἡμεῖς δὲ , 'But [adversative] we [emphatic] ...
ἐσταυρωμένον,'crucified'. perf. pass. part.
σκάνδαλον, 'Stumbling-block' - cf. Jer 6.21 (mikshôl).
μωρίαν, 'foolishness' - cf., e.g., 'impassibility' 
and Greek-type attributes of σοφία in Wisd. 7.22-23.
24 'Christ the Power of God' (cp. 1.17 f.)
On 'Power' as periphrasis for 'god', cf. F. w. Borsch, Son of Man, pp. 58, 203.
(Cp. Simon Magus in Ac 8.9 ff.  Samaritans attributed to him 'the great Power of God' - Early Church Fathers thought they detected his influence on 2nd cent. Gnosticism.)
'the Wisdom of God' - cf. 1.21.
25 Put this with vv. 26 ff.
ἀσθενές, 'weakness' with μωρόν, 'foolishness' of God: cf. 15.9: 'I am the least (ἐλάχιστος) of the apostles; cf. 2 Cor 12.9: 'my weakness' in which the power of God is perfected.
26 ff. Jer 9.23-24: same three notes, e.g. in 4.8-13; 6.5-9; 12.4-7; 15.42b-43, and throughout the letter. - cp. Mic 6.8; Matt 23.23 and 1QS1 viii.1 (For full presentation see Wisdom, Power and Well-being)
26 κατὰ σάρκα, 'according to/after the flesh'
σάρξ as LXX translation of basar, 'flesh'
In OT: basar used for 'living creature', with emphasis upon creaturliness i..e., created things vs God), and often on its weakness (as over against God).
nephesh used for 'living creature', with emphasis on its being alive (as in Gen 2.7, where Yahweh breathes nishmah, 'breath', into Adam's form to make him a nephesh hayah, a 'living being'.
Thus σάρξ can be neutral or pejorative.
κατὰ σάρκα In Paul this is in contrast to κατὰ πνεῦμα, 'after the Spirit', i.e. in accordance with, or as disceernd by God's power and will.
26 Note that some are/were wise, powerful, of noble birth
(same order, contrasting Corinthians to Paul and Apollos in 4.10).
27 καταισχύνω, 'put to shame' - 1.27 (bis); 11.4, 5, 22 - cf. 9.22.
Ps 8.2: 'Out of the mouths of babes ... you have founded a bulwark ... to silence the enemy...'
(Ps 8 associated w. Gen 1 and likely read with it.)
28 τὰ μὴ ὄντα, 'the things that are not', i.e. Christ dead and buried
Same phrase with similar force in Rom 4.17 (may be technical philosophical phrase, as in Plato).
Job 34.19, 24
28b Isa 2.11
29 Judg. 7.2 - ergo, no (human) boasting in presence of God.
μὴ ... πασα literally, 'not ... all'.  Héring: "1.29, in which this flight of oratory culminates, even contains a flagrant Hebraism (frequent also in the LXX): μὴ ... πασα = [Hebrew] lô kol ('that every creature should not vaunt itself'); in classical Greek 'ὅπως μηδεμία' or 'μήποτε τίς' ('so that no creature should boast')."
πᾶσα σὰρξ literally, 'all flesh', i.e. all creatures, or all men, in their creatureliness, in their own strength.
30 δικαιοσύνη, 'righteousness' - divine acquittal.  See Jer 23.5-6.
ἁγιασμός, 'sanctification'
- cultic significance of bringing into nearness to God.
ἀπολύτρωσις, 'redemption' - slave market term - cf. 6.20
For Paul this is not the same as 'salvation': we have been redeemed, but we are being saved, an ongoing-process.
'Christ Jesus whom God made our Wisdom'
'Perhaps 'righteousness', 'sanctification' and 'redemption' are to be seen as subsidiary aspects of Christ Jesus as Wisdom to/for us.
31b Jer 9.24 (as in 1.26)
26-2.5: X: 26-31b x 31c-2.5 (Centre: 'Let him who boasts/boast of the Lord')
Chapter 2
OX: 2.1-16 x 13.12-15.11; X: 2.1-12.a x 2.12b-3.9
2.1-3.9 X: 2.1-12.a x 2.12b-3.9
1 This chiasm places 'the mystery of God' (2.1) against 3.6b-9, which speaks of 'God' 5x, and of Christians as 'God's garden', God's building', so that the 'mystery' appears to have to do with the ultimate destiny of the Church.  See the comparable ultimate destiny, the 'mystery' (15.51) of 15.50-58.
1, 3 κἀγω ... κἀγω (= καὶ ἐγώ), 'and I', or 'I also' - marks an affectionate style (just as in formal English one says 'I can not', whereas in informal speech or a letter to a friend one says, 'I can't'.
1 ἦλθον οὐ καθ' ὑπεροχὴν λόγου ἢ σοφίας: 'I came not after the manner of one pre-eminent in word or wisdom'
κατά to denote kind and manner
'word', λόγος  - art of rhetorician
'wisdom', σοφία - art of philosopher
μυστήριον, 'mystery', more likely (Héring, UBSGNT 3rd ed., Nestle-Aland 27th ed., NRSV, Gibbs) than μαρτύριον, 'testimony' (RSV, NEB, Nestle-Aland 23rd ed., BFBS 2nd ed.)
Héring: 1)  'Testimony' does not give an acceptable sense; if τοῦ θεοῦ is taken as an objective genitive (i.e. the content of the witnessing: 'the testimony about God'), it does not fit, since it is to the cross of Christ that Paul bore witness; if taken as subjective genitive (source or owner: 'God's witness'), then we have to think of God testifying (to whom?) by the crucifixion, 'which is obscure and hardly Pauline'.
[Gibbs: Héring is weak here: the cross is the testimony of God's reconciling love; cf. Rom 5.8: 'God shows his love for us ....'; 8.3: 'For God has done ..., sending his own Son....'; 8.32: 'He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, ....'  Thus 'God's testimony' could make sense.  But λόγος 'word', and σοφία, 'wisdom', make μυστήριον more appropriate to the context.]
Héring: 2)  μυστήριον in 2.1 matches μυστήριον in 2.7.
1-8 [Gibbs: I agree: X: 2.1-4a x 2.4b-8, so that μυστήριον matches μυστήριον.
(1a // 8; 1b // 7b; 2a  // 7a; 3 // 6b; 4a // 6a; 4b // 5c; Centre: 5a: That your faith should not stand / 5b: in the wisdom of men (ἀνθρώπων)
[UBSGNT textual commentary: μαρτύριον is a scribal recollection of 1.6, while μυστήριον is better exegetically and prepares for 2.7.]
[NEB textual commentary: μαρτύριον as following on naturally after 1.6, with μυστήριον being a scribal alteration under the influence of 2.7.]
2 'Christ Jesus and him crucified' is the content of the Wisdom Paul makes known -
now being specified more clearly as 'Christ crucified'.  Note that 2.2-3 balances 1.23-24 (Christ as Power and Wisdom of God) in X: 1.1-24a x 1.24b-3.22.
'Christ crucified': (1) turns human 'wisdom' upside down, and (2) is God's action in history, not an 'idea' such as the Greeks sought.
3 πολλῷ, 'much', 'great': modifies three nouns: 'weakness, fear and trembling'
'in fear and in trembling': 'trembling and fear', τρόμος καὶ φόβος, in Ex 15.16 [Nisan 4 (N2)] and Dt 2.25 [Iyyar 2 (T3)]
4 ἐν πειθοῖ σοφίας, 'in philosophical persuasion' - Héring
(text: Héring & UBSGNT 2nd ed.;Nestle-Aland 27th ed., vs ἐν πειθοῖς σοφίας λὀγοις as in NEB; BFBSGNT 2nd ed.; NRSV)
1) πειθοῖς pre-supposes a non-existent adjective;
2) πειθοῖ, dative of  the noun πειθώ, 'persuasion', makes good sense and and good parallel to ἐν ἀποδείξει πνεύματος, 'in demonstration of the Spirit'.
3) Likely a scribe doubled ς: πειθοῖς σοφίας; 2nd scribe added λὀγοις to make sense of it.
ἀποδείξει, 'demonstration' - possibly a techncal terms of rhetoric.
5 Same order (wisdom, power) as in 1.25;
Zech. 4.6: 'Not by might. nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts' (H, Num. 10.8 (Nisan 3 [N3]).
6 σοφίαν δὲ λαλοῦμεν ὲν τοῖς τελέιοις, 'But wisdom we do speak among the mature'
'we' - apostles, as authority external to Corinth


'wisdom', here means a more profound mystery (cf. 2.7-8) than simply the preaching of the cross.


'mature' or 'perfect' ones vs the νήπιοι, 'babes' of 3.1 (2.6 matches 3.1 in X: 2.1-11a x 2.11b-3.9).


20x in LXX; 3x in Torah: Gen 6.9 (Noah as τέλειος) Iyyar 1[N1]; Exod. 12.5 (Passover lamb to be τέλειος) Nisan 1 [N2]; Deut. 18.13 (be τέλειος before God); 2 Sam 22.26 (Be-perfect with τέλειος man) read on 7th day of Passover, also H to Exod. 15.1 Nisan 4 [N2]; 1 Kings 8.61 (Let your heart be τέλειος with ... God) H to Exod. 35.1 Nisan 2 [T3]; Cant. 5.2; 6.9 (taken by Jews a addressed by God to Israel as his bride: 'my τέλειος'; Song of Songs read at Passover); Wisd. 9.6; Ecclus 44.17 (Noah again).


is part of the vocabulary of the mystery religions (from which many Gentile Christians at Corinth must have been drawn, or at least, with which they were familiar), but the OT passages cited above show Paul's OT-lectionary basis for it.  In the Mysteries baptism directly conferred the character of τέλειος, and gnostics held only a τέλειος one was saved.

Thus τέλειοι for Paul means those who have truly grasped the meaning of the Cross and are now in the way of salvation (on the way).

6 'a wisdom not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are perishing'
'this age': now interpenetrated by 'the age to come'; the one in Christ belongs to 'the age to come' as a καινὴ κτίσις, 'new creation/creature', Gal. 6.15 & 2 Cor. 5.17 - cf. 1 Cor. 10.11.
'the rulers of this age', οἵ ἀρχόντες τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου, means cosmic powers, not political rulers, although these might be under their influence (thus Héring, Bultmann, Origen & Theodore of Mopsuestia); cf. the ἀρχαί (and other non-human powers) of Rom. 8.38, and the στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου, 'elemental powers of the cosmos', from whose bondage we have been released, Gal. 4.3, 9.  (A further argument is that in Rom. 13.1 ff. Paul takes authorities of the Roman Empire as providential and beneficial.) 
τῶν καταργουμένων, 'who are being made powerless, being abolished';
sometimes a tech. astrological term for nullifying an astral influence by a superior power (Héring, referring to Reitzenstein, Poimandres [Leipzig, 1904], p. 353) - This would support taking the 'rulers' of 2.6 as cosmic powers.
7 ἐν μυστηρίῳ, 'in a  mystery'; RSV/NRSV: 'secret' 9adjective) - cf. 15.51
προώρισεν, 'decreed' - Note: not double predestination, 
and one will be saved only as one responds by grace.
εἰς δόξαν ἡμῶν, 'for our glory': the glory (// God's image) of the End-time body - cf. 15.35-38 & Rom. 8.17-30.
8 ἔγνωκεν (perfect); ἔγνωσαν (2 aorist) - (none) has known; (none) knew.
'They would not have crucified the Lord of glory' (= image of God, good order)
In OX: this //s 14.31-40: God of peace, order.
'Lord of glory' apparently borrowed from apocalyptic thought of Enoch,
which has this title for God (Eth. Enoch 22.14; 25.3, 7; 27.3, 4; 63.2; 75.3).
9 'But as it is written' - usually introduces Scripture,
but for Paul and 1stcentury Jews only Law and Prophets were 'fixed'; Writings still fluid.
"What no eye ... who love him" - no direct OT parallel,
but partial ones in Isa. 52.15; 64.4; 65.17, H to Gen. 1.1 Nisan 1 [N1]; Jer. 3.16.  Origen found the words in the 'Apocalypse of Elijah', a work now lost.
"for those who love him" - Exod. 20.6 Iyyar [N2]; 
Gibbs: possibly Paul is citing a conflation of OT texts, perhaps from a testimonia.
10-12 Note 3 spirits: (1) of God, 2.10 , (2) of man, 2.11, (3) of world (2.12).
10 *γὰρ, 'for' (om. RSV, NRSV): Héring says to be linked to ἀλλὰ, 'but', of 2.9, as if read  ἀλλὰ γἀρ, with the force of  'but on the contrary'.
*δὲ, 'but' (UBSGNT 3rd ed. opts  for δὲ as more Pauline, with γὰρ a scribal improvement, although strongly attested; Nestle-Aland 27th ed.)
τἀ βάθη, 'the depths' - cf. Rom. 8.38; cp. Matt. 23.23; Mic. 6.8; 1QS viii.1 (Qumran Manual of Discipline).  Acc. to Reitzenstein a mystery religion term.
11 Héring (vs Nestle-Aland 27nd ed.; UBSGNT, BFBS, NEB) omits ἀνθρώπων, 'of men', 
and takes the masculine τίς, 'who', as a personification of the human spirit by analogy with God's spiirit, giving: 'Indeed, who knows what is in man except the humajn s[pirit which is within him?' (as in the mss. A, 17, Ethiop. & Cyril [MPG LXXIV, col. 301 A]; P 46 is defective here.) 
12 'But we (ἡμεῖς - emphatic) have received ...the Spirit ... from God'

'Received' - i..e. given as a gift - not spirit of κόσμος, 'world'.

Centre of X: 2.1-12a x 12b-3.9;
i.e., centres on contrast between 'spirit of world' and 'the Spirit which is from God'.
13 ἐν διδακτοῖς ἀνθρωπίνες σοφίας λόγοις, 'in words taught by human wisdom'

Héring, following Blass, would delete λόγοις as a scribal misunderstanding of διδακτοῖς as being an adjective, whereas Héring and Blass say 'taught by wisdom' can translate σοφίας, a genitive, only if διδακτός is taken as a noun.   Assuming λόγοις was added as in 2.4, and taking διδακτός as a masculine substantive (noun) [as in 1 Macc. 4.7: διδακτοί πολέμου, ''instructed in matters of war'], gives:

ἐν διδακτοῖς ἀνθρωπίνες σοφίας, 'amongst people instructed in human philosophy' 
(or by human philosophy) which places it // to ὲν τοῖς τελέιοις 'among the mature', of 2.6.

'to spiritual men' or 'to those who have received the Spirit' (NRSV: 'to those who are spiritual'), but not as in RSV: 'to those who possess the Spirit', for the Spirit is given and cannot be 'possessed'.

14 ψυχικὸς ἄνθρωπος, 'natural man'
On basis of mystery religion categories, Paul may be using σαρκικός, 'man of flesh', 3.1; ψυχικὸς, 'natural man', 2.14, and πνευματικός, 'spiritual man', 2.13, 15; 3.1.  His opponents at Corinth probably said they were πνευματικόι, ordinary Christians were ψυχικόι, and those outside were σαρκικόι (Valentinus, 2nd cent. Gnostic, does).
ψυχή = the whole natural man, as a living being = Heb. nephesh (not 'soul' as though it were a part of man, as KJV/AV has it).
15 This is true, but the Corinthians do not measure up to it - cf. 5.1-13.
16a Isa. 40.13, H to Deut. 3.23 (Iyyar 3 [N3]).
16b ἡμεις δὲ νοῦν Χριστοῦ ἔχομεν, 'But we (emphatic) have the mind of Christ'
i.e., we can discern in accord with the God-centred understanding of Christ.
Chapter 3
OX: 3.1-13 (Wisdom for beginners) x 13.1-13 (Love brought by the Apostles)
1 νήπιοι, 'babes' - cf. 13.11: 'When I as a child', νήπιος, and 14.20: Do not be children [παιδία] in your thinking but be babe-like [verb form: νηπιάζετε] in evil.'

It is likely Isa. 3.1-15 is echoed here (cf. on 1 Cor. 3.10, 12)
3.1: the LORD takes away bread and water (= Well-being)
3.2: the mighty man and the man of war (= Power)
       the judge and the prophet ... and the
3.3: wise masterbuilder ... [cf. 1 Cor. 3.10] (= Wisdom)
3.4: And I will give children to be their princes
       and babes [LXX: νεανίσκος] shall rule over them.'

νεανίσκος, 'young man': Mark 14.51 & 16.5: apparently for baptismal candidate - cf. R. Scroggs & K. Groff, JBL 92/4, 531-548.

In any case, Paul needs νήπιος to match his 'milk' image of 3.2.
ὡς σαρκίνοις, 'as fleshly people': Paul puts them in their own lowest category.
σαρκικός = 'having the nature and charcteristics of  σάρξ, flesh';
σαρκινός = 'composed' or 'consisting of flesh'; 
this distinction between 'fleshly' and 'fleshy' is not always observed by the NT writers (or their copyists); some MSS (mostly late) have σαρκικοῖς, the mopre appropriate reading.
2 'milk...meat': same contrast in Heb. 5.12-14; 1 PET. 2.2; Philo, On Husbandry, 9.
'Milk' as simple word of Cross; 'meat' as 'secret and hidden wisdom of God'.
3 'jealousy and strife' - Sir. 40.6, cf. 40.1-7.
'behaving like ordinary men': κατὰ ἄνθρωπον περιπατεῖτε.
4 'Paul...Apollos' - looks back to 1.12 and forward to next section.
'are you not [merely] men? [ἄνθρωποι] - finishes off this section.
5-9 No distinction between Apollos and Paul,
ergo no help to ally self with one or the other - Paul cuts the ground out from under their feet.
Image of garden (planting, watering) - Gen 2, Eden 9Nisan 2 [N1])
5 διάκονοι, 'servants' (our word 'deacons')
6-17 The Community Rule of Qumran (1QS viii) combines
the images of 'plantation', building', foundation' (quoting Isa. 28.16 cf. 1 Cor. 3.10), and 'temple', so Paul's combination here is Jewish and pre-Christian, and is probably based on Jewish apocxalyptic, as is the identification of the Church with the perfectTemple of the last times (cf. Isa. 28.16 ff.; Eth. Enoch 91.13; Jubilees 1.17).  Cf. JTS  n.s. 23/21, Oct. 1972, 472, and McKelvey, The New Temple: The Church in the New Testament (1969).
Lectionary combination of 'Garden' and 'Sanctuary':
N1: Gen. 2.4 // T2: Exod. 34.27 or 35.1; N1: Gen. 3.22 // T2: Exod. 35.20 (Eden // Bezalel and Tabernacle).  I suspect this is the basis of Qumran and apocalyptic thought above.
6 'God gave the growth' - cf. Jonah's gourd, Jon. 3.10.
7b 'but only God who gives the growth [is everything]' - implied - cf. 15.28.
8 μισθός: can be either 'reward' or 'wages'.  Since one's salvation is not in question here (see 3.15), the μισθός refers to one's rank in the Kingdom.
9b-23 Christians as Temple (and Image) of God
9 'You are God's cultivated land, vineyard', γεώργιον - Gen. 9.20: Noah's vineyard (Iyyar 3[N3])
'God's building', οἰκοδομή - starts next section,
based on the Tower of Babel, Gen. 11.1-9 (part of TS on Iyyar 4 [N1]), which will be taken up again in 1 Cor. 14. 
οἰκοδομή: 3.9; 14.3, 5, 12, 26; οἰκοδομέω: 8.1, 10; 10.23; 14.4 (bis), 17.
The idea of God's building (οἰκοδομή) and of building up (οἰκοδομέω) clearly points toward 1 Cor. 14, where 'prophecy' builds up the Church, but 'tongues' do not.  This strengthens the argument for connecting 3.9-15 to Gen. 11.1-9.
10 κατά τὴν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι,
'According to the grace/gift of God given [aor. pass. part.] to me'  Cp. 4..6 and note //s between 3.10-15 and 4.1-5.
σοφός ἀρχιτέςτων, 'wise masterbuilder'
Precise phrase in LXX only at Isa. 3.3 (see 3.1 above); cf. Isa. 3.1-5 against 1 Cor. 3.10-15.
Exod. 35.32 (Nisan 3 [T2]): Bezalel, having σοφία, 'wisdom', is to devise, ἀφχιτεκτόνειν, the work pf the Tabernacle; (// Exod. 34).  Thus Paul is the builder of the Tabernacle made without hands.
θεμέλιον, 'foundation', means foundation laid by the arechitect,
not the ground built upon. - cf. θεμέλιον of Isa. 28.16 and below on vv. 6-17.
11 Centre of First Secondary Chiasm: X: 1.1-3.11a x 3.11b-6.11
I.e., this is one of the (probably three) most important points of the letter.
This verse stresses two points (from Héring): "1) Once the foundations are laid, the building can only be done thereupon, without adding others; that is to say, Paul alone is responsible for establishing the foundations.  2) There can be no doubt about the choice of foundation: Christ alone can serve."
12 'gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw'
1.  Exod 35.32 (& Exod. 31.4) (see v. 10 above): Bezalel to build trabernacle, devisinf works of gold, silver, brass, precious stones and carved  wood; ergo, Christians are building God's sanctuary (cf. 3.16-17).
2.  'Hay' and 'straw', as highly combustible, add a note of judgement to match the testing fire of 3.13.
χόρτος, 'hay': Isa. 40.6-8, 'All flesh is grass ...: the grass withers' (part of H to Deut. 3.23 Iyyar 3 [T3]; Ps. 102.10 f., ' Because of thy ... wrath ... I am withered like grass' (Nisan 3, 3rd year); Ps. 103.15: 'As for man, his days are as grass' (Nisan 4, 3rd year).
καλάμη, 'straw' (or 'stubble'): Exod. 15.7 'Thou sendest forth thy wrath, it consumes them like stubble' (Nisan 4 [N2]0; Mal. 4.1: 'all the proud ... shall be stubble, and the Day that comes shall burn them up' (likely H to Gen. 18.1 Sivan 2 [N1]).
13 'the Day' = the Day of the Lord, a t.t. for the Day of Judgement.
ἐν πυρὶ ἀποκαλύπτεται:
1) ἐν is probably a Semitism for 'with' (although the meaning 'with' is also found in the papyri; cf. 4.21: ἐν ῥάβδῳ).
2) The verb's subject is ἡ ἡμέρα, 'the Day'.
3) The fire is not a purging or cleansing fire, but one that destroys worthless material.
14 μισθός: (cf. 3.8)  Paul is here stressing the worthwhile-ness of responding to God's grace (i.e., it is to be rewarded).  As we shall see in 1 Cor. 14, the proper response is to work to build up others in Christ.
15 ζημιωθήσεται, 'be deprived, suffer loss':
The idea is one of loss, not punishment.  Comparing Last Judgement to a fire is common in Jewish apocalyptic (Isa. 28.16 ff.; Eth. Enoch 91.13; Jubilees 1.17); idea apparently of Mazdaean origin (Zoroastrian ism), as well as belief that righteous will pass through the fire unharmed.
'he himself will be saved'
Here is the good news for the 'weaker brother': salvation (which is future) comes as a free, unearnable gift in the End.
'but as though through fire'
Here is Paul's final 'twisting of the knife', aimed at those who think of themselves as the better, 'stronger' ones: although you will be saved by the free gift of God, you had better work!
16 'God's temple' (ναός, sanctuary, i.e. the inner sanctum)

ναός used by Paul (3.16, 17 [bis]; 6.19); 2o Paul ph. 2.21, 2 Thess. 2.4) and in 2 Cor. 6.16 (bis), a fragment of likely by Paul's opponents, re the Church and Christians (see below on v. 17);  the Jerusalem temple is called ἱερόν, 'temple', 1 Cor. 9.13.

ναός θεοῦ, 'God's temple', not ὁ ναός θεοῦ: no article 9'the') because 1) ναός is attributive, and 2) this reflects Hebrew  'construct state' which does not use the article.
'God's Spirit dwells in you':
Exod. 40.34, God's presence on σκηνή, 'tabernacle', Iyyar 2 [t2].
16-23 Cp. 6.12-20; 8.1-6; 10.23-31.
17 Cf. prohibition of murder on basis of man as God's image, εἰκών,
Gen. 96 Iyyar 2 [N1]; Num. 33.50-53, Israelites to drive out Canaanites, destroy their images, and dwell in the land, Nisan 2 [T3].  All occurrences of tselem 'image' in Hebrew, within the Pentateuch are in the Priestly narrative (Gen. 1.26, 27 [bis]; 5.3; 9.6; Num. 33.52), and the same is true of demuth, 'likeness' (Gen. 1.26; 5.1, 3).  Thus Num. 33-50-53 appears to indicate that the heathen's images are destroyed and then God plants his image, i.e., his people, in the land as a symbol of his sovereignty.
2 Cor. 6.16 (in 2 Cor. 6.14-7.1, a non-Pauline fragment with many affinities to Qumran) contrasts the ναός of God to idols, εἰδώλοι.  All this data points toward Paul substituting ναός, 'temple', for εἰκών, 'image', here in 3.16-17.
This is aimed at those who upset the weaker brothers - cf. vv. 19, 20.
18 ἐξαπατάω, 'deceive': Rom.7.11; 16.18; 1 Cor. 3.18; 2 Cor. 11.3 (2 Thess. 2.3; 1 Tim. 2.14) - all re deceiving the innocent (and cf. 1 Cor. 10.9).  2 Cor. 11.3: serpent deceiving Eve.  Thus quite likely refers here to Gen. 3.1-7, serpent tempting them to eat and become 'knowing' (Gen. 3.1 ff. Nisan 2 [N1])
μωρός 'fool', 'madman': almost a t.t. of Stoics and Cynics for those who opposed (their) philosophy.
19b Job 5.13 (only direct quote of Job in NT): This matches neither MT (Hebrew) nor LXX, perhaps from version later re-written by Theodotion.  Has two stronger words than LXX: δρασσόμενος, 'grasp with the hand' (LXX: καταλαμβάνων, 'seize') and πανουργία, 'knavery' (LXX: φρόνησις, 'understanding', 'way of thinking').
19-20 Both OT quotes re wicked oppressing the poor, thus they bear on 3.16 f.
20 Ps. 94.11: Exactly LXX, except for σοφῶν, 'wise', instead of ἀνθρώπων, 'men'
Héring thinks the variant reading, ἀνθρώπων, was original, with a copyist, influenced by σοφός (3.18)and σοφία (3.19), substituting σοφῶν.
Gibbs, on the basis of , 'wise guys' , masculine in the midst of all the rest being neuters in 1.27, plus 3.20 being the end of the haggadic homily (Wuellner) re wisdom and 'wise guys', opts for σοφῶν in agreement with RSV, NRSV, NEB, Nestle-Aland, BFBS & UBSGNT: it has more bite.
21-23 Note: rhythmical prose based on Gen. 1.26-28 (Nisan 1 [N1]).  (Gen. 1.28: vice-regency given.)  Cf. Christians 'will judge the world' (6.2-3).
21a Cp. Matt. 5.16: 'Let your light so shine before men ... that they may glorify your Father in heaven.'  If one is the image of God, one belongs to God.
21b-22a As the image of God, you have the vice-regency:
exercise your rightful lordship over all things.  Cp. Rom. 838: close resemblance of lists, but in Romans nothing can separate us from the love of God.
23 'you are Christ's because you are the image of Christ, and hence his property;
'and Christ is God's' because he is the image of God, and hence God's property.  Note that this verse is ultimately God-centred: Christ is central only because it is through Christ that God has reconciled the world to himself (12 Cor. 5.19).
Chapter 4
OX: 4.1-21 x 12.4-13.2; X: 4.1-10 x 4.10-21;  X: 3.18b- 4.4b x 4.4c-10b.
1 οὕτως, 'From this follows: despite the ὡς, 'as', which follows, οὕτως has a consecutive sense ('Because these things are, so then ...'), not a comparative one (i.e. not 'This is how' as in RSV, NRSV).
'so account of us': Note that Paul makes his appeal
on behalf of life-style of all the apostles, especially Apollos and himself (3.21; 4.6, 9), not just on his own alone, though he centres on his own example as their apostle and father in Christ (4.15 f.).  Note also his stress that he teaches the same thing in all the churches, 4.17.
ὑπηρέτης, manual labourer, (RSV/NRSV: 'servants') - only time in Paul (occurs in all 4 Gospels plus Acts; NT 20x; LXX 4x.)
οἰκονόμος, RSV/NRSV: 'stewards' - manager or administratore of (another's) estate or household (cp. 1 Pet. 4.10).
μυστηρίων, 'mysteries': cf. τὰ μυστήρια, 'the mysteries', Matt. 13.11, (versus τὸ μυστήριον, 'the mystery' of Mark 4.11).
2 ὡδε, 'Hence', 'It follows that', not 'moreover' as in RSV/NRSV.  Same force as οὕτως in 4.1 (Héring, following J. Weiss, who cites Rev. 13.10, 18; 14.12; 17.9 as a similar use of ὡδε).
λοιπόν - an ellipsis for 'there is only one more thing to do, namely ...'
ζητεῖται, 'it is sought', or ζητεῖτε, 'you seek!' (imperative). Héring opts for latter (vs NEB, RSV, NRSV, Nestle-Aland, BDBS, UBSGNT) because majority of good MSS have it (P46, א, a, c, d, e, g, p, 1739).
G. Zuntz, The text of the Epistles (Schweich Lectures), 1963, shows good grounds for accepting Pauline readings attested to be the combination of p46, B, 424 and 1739.
'Hence, moreover, seek nothing else of administrators than that they be faithful'
(Héring's translation, based on the above notes re text); cf. 7.25, 40; Moses as 'faithful' servant in LORDs 'house', Num. 12.7 (Num. 11.16 Nisan 4 [N3]) - therefore likely Paul compares self to Moses.
3 ἐλάχιστος, 'smallest, least'; 6.2; 15.9 - associated in Paul with judgement theme (elsewhere in Pauline corpus only in Eph. 3.8).
ἀνθρωπίνης ἡμέρας, 'human Day' = human tribunal,
court or judgement in contrast to 'the Day of the Lord' - vs litigation (4.6), cf. 5.12; 11.29.
ἀνακριθῶ, 'I should be judged':
Note how judgement/judging vocabulary stands out in 1 Cor.
(2o Paul, incl.
Ro 1C 2C G Phlmn
ἀνακρίνω, 'I examine' 10
διακρίνω, 'I differentiate' 2 5
διάκρισις, 'differentiation' 1 1
κατακρίνω, 'I condemn' 4 1
κατάκρισις, 'condemnation'
κρίνω, 'I judge' 4 18 17 2
κρίσις, 'judgement' 2
κρίμα, 'lawsuit/ verdict / condemnation / punishment' 2 6 3 1
4a Cf. Job 27.6
4b Cf. Job 9.15; 10.15
4bc Centre of X: 3.18b-4.4b x 4.4c-10b:
'but I am not hereby justified/made righteous/acquitted (δεδικαίωμαι); but he who is examining (ἀνακρίνων) me is the Lord': i.e., no human self-justification - cf. 2 Cor. 10.18.
5 πρὸ καιροῦ,

'before the time': καιρός, 'time'/'season', here is the appointed time, like ἡμέρα, 'Day', when judgement will be given.  πρὸ καιροῦ also in Matt. 8.29, referring to final judgement.

τοῦ σκότους, 'of the darkness': subjective genitive as in 14.25 and Rom. 2.16; 'the hidden things of the domain of darkness'.
5a cf. 3.13 f.; Rom. 14.13; Matt. 7.1 (Judge not that you be not judged')
5b 'who will bring ... purposes of the heart':
Héring, following J. Weiss, thinks this may be a lost 'quote'; cf. 2 Esdras 16.65; Hos. 5.5; Isa. 3.9; Jer. 2.19  (Jer. 2.9 is H to Num. 33.1 Nisan 2 [T3])
5c Individual judgement at End // Matt. 13.24-30 (Parable of the Tares).
6a μετασχηματίζειν means 'to change the form of something or someone',
never 'to apply' as ion RSV/NRSV: I have applied'.  Here it means that Paul in 4.1 ff. has presented in terms of Apollos and himself what pertains to the Corinthians.  (Héring, however, translates as: 'These truths, brothers, I have represented in a figurative form which applies to myself and Apollos, ...' - Héring assumes that some abstract truth has been figuratively and thus more concretely, presented by Paul as it applies to Apollos and himself.
6b ἵνα ἐν ἡμῖν μάθητε τὸ μὴ ὑπὲρ ἃ γέγραπται:
RV (1881): 'that in us ye might learn not [to go] beyond the things that are written'
RSV: 'that you may learn by us to live according to scripture'
NRSV; 'so that you may learn through us the meaning of  the saying, "Nothing beyond what is written"
A.  Héring: This is untranslatable, i.e., it makes no sense; also the repetition of ἵνα ... ἵνα is off ('in order that ... in order that').  Thus Héring says the only satisfactory solution is that of the Dutch scholar, Baljon (Utrecht, 1884):
1) Original test: ἵνα ἐν ἡμῖν μάθητε ἵνα μὴ εἷς ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἑνὸς φυσιουσθε κατὰ τοῦ ἑτέρου: 'that you may learn from our example not to be puffed up by taking sides for one against the other.'
2) A copyist omitted μὴ, 'not', and then inserted it above the line over the α of ἵνα (i.e. between ἵνα and εἷς),
3) A 2nd copyist added the μὴ correctly, but noted in the margin: 'the μὴ was written over the alpha', τὸ μὴ ὑπέρ α γέγραπται.
4) A 3rd scribe, not understanding the marginal gloss, added it to the text.  (J. Weiss says this suggestion is 'too clever'.)

B. A. T. Hanson, The Pioneer Ministry, pp. 59-60:  The ministry of the apostles shows us in miniature what the church should be namely. subordinate to Christ and his commissions (4.1-5, 8 ff.).  Retaining μὴ ὑπέρ ἁ γέγραπται, he then accepts R. St. J. Parry's explanation (1 Corinthians, Cambridge Greek Testament, 1916): 'Not to go beyond the terms of your commission'.

C.  Gibbs: If we basically accept Hanson and Parry, then we may view ἁ γέγραπται, 'the things written', as, in effect, the 'building plans' for what is to be erected on the one foundation of 3.10.  ἁ γέγραπται may, perhaps, also refer to the scriptures quoted in 1.19, 31; 3.19, 20, which would be appropriate.
6b φυσιόω, 'puff up' - in 1 Cor. Paul appears to use this as a pun against those who claim  to be πνευματικοί, 'spiritual ones': they are not full of Holy Spirit but of 'hot air' of human origin!  φυσιόω, literally means 'to inflate'; in NT only in 1 Cor. 4.6, 18, 19; 5.2; 8.1; 13.4 (also Col. 2.18) - always in a derogatory sense.
7 2nd person singular ('thou') - appeal to individuals,
or possibly to the church collectively.
7bc Received from the apostles - cf. 4.8; 3.10.
8 Cf. 1.28; related to Stoic catch-phrases? (Morris); cf. 11.11.
'Without us' - note separation/link with apostles stressed; versus over-realized eschatology of 'gnosis' party?
8-13 Contrasts the Corinthians' illusory view of their situation with the harsh reality of the apostles' lot.
9 'exhibited us ... like men sentenced to death, ... a spectacle':
// gladiators.  Same figure used by Stoics, but in sense if being admired by God; in Paul's usage the idea of the spectators' contempt is dominant.  This shade of difference is is characteristic of the distinction between the Stoic and the Christian attitude to trials.  In Ignatius, Ep. to Trallians 9.1, the angels contemplated the death of Christ.
'Spectacle' - cf. Isa. 8.18; 20.3; 1 Pet. 1.12.
τοὺς ἀπστόλους ἐσχάτους, 'the last [or 'final'] apostles',
i.e./, in effect, God's final messengers, messengers of the End-time and the Age to Come inaugurated in 'the Last Adam', ὁ ἔσχατος Ἀδἀμ, 15.45.
9-10 // 15.30-31: 'I die daily'
10 Centre of X: 4.1-10 X 4.10-21; // 1.26-27: wise, powerful, well-born.
8-9 Reversed order in 4.8-9:
Well-born: 'filled' and 'rich', Powerful: 'kings' and 'reign', Wise: 'sentenced to death'  (// Christ crucified = God's Wisdom).
10 φρόνιμοι, 'wise' in sense of setting one's mind, making a decision.
ἀσθενεῖς, 'weak' - cf. 9.22: To weak I became weak to win weak.
ἄτιμοι, 'ones without honour or repute' - at Corinth especially.
(With NRSV take 4.10 with 4.11-13, not only with 4.8-9 as in RSV.)
11 ἄχρι τῆς ἄρτι ὥρας, 'Up to the present hour' -
The 'both now' of Paul and the Corinthians corresponding to the 'not yet' of 4.8: filled, rich, kings.
12 κοπιῶμεν, 'we are spent with hard labour, wearied with labour' -
cf. the manual labour of Paul (and Barnabas) in 1 Cor. 9.
12b-13 // Jesus-tradition - Luke 6.27-36 (cp. Matt. 5.38-48)
Attitude with which Christian should react to misfortunes: 'Insulted, we bless...' etc.  Very terse, not even any conjunction between antitheses like δέ, 'and/but'.
13b περικαθάρματα, 'rinsings' (of vessels); RSV: 'refuse'; NRSV: 'rubbish'.
περίψημα, 'scraping' (of vessels); RSV: 'offscoouring'; NRSV: 'dregs'.
Both these terms are found in the Greek scholia (i.e. notes on various authors) as terms used to refer to wretched, ignoble, good-for-nothing men who were offered as expiatory sacrifices (to the gods of Athens and elsewhere, or to Poseidon, the sea-god) to ward off some calamity such as a pestilence.
περικάθαρμα used for atoning sacrifice in Prov. 21.18 LXX, 'ransom'.
περίψημα used for 'ransom' in Tobit 5.18 LXX.
(A. T. Hanson, The Pioneer Ministry [London, 1961], pp. 60-62 on 1 Cor. 4.8-13.)
I.e., apostles are expiatory sacrifice for the whole world.
See 'Thou hast made us the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples' Lam. 3...45 (but our Greek words do not appear in lXX version); cf. Isa. 4.4.
πάντων περίψημα ἕως ἄρτι, the offscouring of all things up to now.' -
13 ends just as 11 began, with emphasis on the present lot of the apostles (vs Corinthians' assumed lot).
14-21 Paul as Corinthians' one father in Christ Jesus.
Cf. Num. 11.12 (Nisan 3 [N3]) where Moses complains about having to act the role of father to the Israelites.  4.14 - cp. 5.5.
14 ὡς τέκνα μου ἀγαπητά, 'as my beloved children' -
lack of the article,  , before , 'children', is probably because Paul has other spiritual children in other churches.
15a παιδαγωγοί, 'guides', is a term used for slaves who took care of children
and escorted them to school - they are less than schoolmasters.
'I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel'

Judaism counted one who taught Torah as the father and begetter of the one taught.  In OT, disciples of prophets are called their sons: 2 Kings 2; 4.1, 38; 5.22; 9.1; Amos 7.11, etc.; and also Acts 3.25.  (And, as noted at 1 Cor. 1.13 f., in some mystery religions the initiator was called the 'father' of the initiated.)

15b ἐν γὰρ Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἐγὼ ὑμᾶς ἐγέννησα,
'For in Christ Jesus through the gospel I begot you.': a reminder that the new birth in Christ was engendered by Paul's preaching (note the emphatic ἐγὼ, 'I'). - cf. Sarah-typology in Gall. 4.19 (Paul in 'birthpangs').
  16 'Therefore (οὐν) I urge you, become imitators of me.' -
11.1; cf. 14.9; Gal. 4.12 (2 Thess. 3.7, 9).  Note emphasis on Paul (and apostles generally) as typifying what it means to be a Cristian.
17 ἔπεμψα, 'I sent' (aor.) - probably this is poart of the ancient epistolary style,
which treated the moment when the letter was received as the present, so that at the time of writing Timothy may not have already departed  from Paul.  According to 1 Cir. 16, the letter should arrive before Timothy.  Agreeing with Acts 19.22, we conclude Timothy travelled by way of Macedonia, while the letter has taken the shorter sea route.
'Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord' -
implies P{aul converted him (vs the impression of Acts 14.6 ff.; 16.1).  2 Cor. 1.19 suggests he (with Sylvanus)  helped Paul found the church at Corinth.  (Besides 2 Cor. he is associated with 'Paul' in the writing of 1 & 2 Thess. & Col.)
Note that Timothy is the exemplary son - in deed as well as in word.
17b τὰς ὁδούς μου, 'my ways' = Paul's halakôth, 'precepts'
(W. D. Davies, T he Setting of the Sermon on the Mount, 1964, p. 456.)
'as I teach them everywhere in every church':
1) The Corinthians are not being singled out for special precepts.
2) Paul applies 'pressure' of the catholicity of his teaching - cf. 1.2; 7.17; 14.33.
18 'Some are puffed up' cf. note on 4.6.
19 This appears to contradict 16.5-9, where Paul indicates a delay in his coming.
'if the Lord wills' - apparently a devout pagan way
rather than a Jewish one of referring to Divine Providence - cf. 16.7; Jas. 4.15.
20 Contrasts λόγος, 'word' (RSV/NRSV: 'talk') vs δύναμις, 'power' - cf. 1.18.
Some Corinthians apparently claimed to have "the real λόγος".
21 ἐν ῥάβδῳ ... ... ἐν ἀγάπῃ: ἐν + dative = μετά ('with') + gen.
Thus: 'with a rod ...   ... with love'.  For this as a Semitism (Ps. 77 [78].5, 15, 36, 45) and also in Greek papyri, see 3.13 above.
ῥάβδος, 'rod' - may well refer to schoolmaster's whip, but perhaps also to 'the rod of God' with which Moses (& Israel) fought Amalek, Exod. 17.9 (Iyyar 2 [N2]).
ἐν ἀγάπῃ πνεύματι τε πραΰτητος, 'with love in a spirit of gentleness' -
cp. 4.9-13; Matt. 21.5.
Chapter 5
OX: 5.1-13 (including 'Passover') x 11.23-12.3 (including Eucharist)
1st 2o X: 1.18-31 x 5.1-13; X: 5.1-8b x 8c-13.
1 Cf. 6.18; 10.8; forbidden by Lev. 18.7 f.; Deut. 22.30; 27.20;
forbidden by Roman Law (Institutes of Gaius, I.63 - leading 2nd cent. AD jurist); note charge of Ezek. 16.26 (Ezek. 16.6 H to Gen. 34.1 Iyyar 4 [T1])
ὅλως: Héring says this must mean 'everywhere' here, not 'actually' as in RSV/NRSV.  Héring makes sense in view of (1) Paul's stress on 'all the churches' (7.17; 11.16, etc.) and (2) how gossip spreads; i.e., this bad example would threaten the life of, and Paul's standing in, all churches.
2 καὶ ὑμεῖς, 'And you' or 'You even' - very emphatic.
'puffed up' (cf. 4.6): 'And you are the ones who have been puffed up!'
Note combination of verb 'to be' + perfect passive participle.  On arrogance cf. 1 Sam 2.3; Prov. 8.13; Isa. 13.11; Jer. 48.29.
2b ἐπενθήσατε, 'you ought to mourn!' (aor. imperative)
Mourning to ward off misfortune: 1 Kings 21.9; Amos 5.16; 8.10.  (Among Hebrews an essential feature of mourning was sacrifice of the hair.)
2c ἵνα ἀρθῇ ἐκ μέσου ὑμῶν ὁ τὸ ἔργον τοῦτο πράξας 
'in order that the one who did this deed might be removed from your midst.' - i.e., the ἵνα clause indicates that purpose of the mourning is tied up with the removal of the evil-doer.  ἀρθῇ, 1 aor. subj. pass. of  ἄιρω, 'remove', cannot signify voluntary separation (says Héring) - i.e., a rite of exorcism and/or excommunication is involved, as in 5.5.  Deut. 17.7 and see further OT references on 5.13b.
3-5 Cf. 2 Cor. 2.5-11.
3 'For I [ἐγώ - intensive], though absent in body am present in spirit,
already have judged as one present ...':  Note repeated linking of 'real' presence, judgement and eating in 1 Cor. 6.13: food - destroy - destroyed; 10.31: eat or drink to glory of God; 11.26: eat and drink - proclaim Lord's death, cf. 11.27-28; 11.29: eat and drink judgement, not discerning Body; 12.3: 'no one speaking by Spirit of God says "Jesus is accursed"'; 14.24-25: presence and judgement; 16.24: presence of Paul's love with them 'in Christ Jesus'.
'absent ... present': 2 Kings 5.26 (Elishah - Gehazi);
2 Cor. 5.6; 13.10; Phlmn 16; (Col. 2.5).
4 'in the name of the Lord Jesus' - 1.2, 10, 14, 15; 6.11.
Note that this phrase connects both with Paul's spiritual presence in judgement and also with the Corinthians being assembled together; cp. Matt. 18.18-20.
'When in the name of the Lord Jesus you and my spirit are assembled together ...'
'assembled': συναχθέντων: genitive aor. pass. participle of συνάγω (only occurrence of συνάγω in Paul; root of συναγωγή, 'synagogue').
Cf. συνέρχομαι, 'to come together' - only in 1 Cor. re Eucharist & church supper in 11.17, 18, 20, 33, 34; re 'Service of the Word' in 14.23, 26.
5 Cf. Lev. 26, read before Pentecost, the 'curses' chapter.
Lev. 26-43: punishment for sins, but Lev. 26.44 f.: promise of final restoration.  Ergo, close parallel to 1 Cor. 5.5. - cf. Isa. 4.4 H to Gen. 30.22 Iyyar 1[T1].
On Satan afflicting the flesh but sparing the life, cf. Job 2.4-7.
σάρξ,'flesh' - here not so much physical flesh as such as rather all that is orientated toward anything other than God and his will.
Note that the man is to be excommunicated
for the sake of his ultimate salvation (very likely with a curse, as in 17.22: 'anathema', as was certainly true in later Jewish practice and probably was the case in 1st cent. Jewish practice as well).
τὸ πνεῦμα, 'the spirit' (RSV/NRSV add 'his' - not in the Greek):
'the human spirit insofar as it is already regenerated by the Spirit of God and contains in germ in the inner man the resurrection body' (Héring). - cf. 3.15, 16.
6-8 See 1 Corinthians and the Observance of Passover).
Any leaven left in the house was regarded as containing a principle of contagious impurity (Exod. 12.15; Mishnah Pesahim, I & II); cf. John 18.38.  Hence the need to remove this 'leaven' of the incestuous man.
 6a 'Your boasting isa not good.' - οὐ, 'not' is omitted
by Lucifer of Calaris (died 371) and Ambrosiaster (4th cent. ?); if οὐ was not written by Paul, then he was using biting irony: 'This mania of boasting about yourselves suits you!' (Héring).
6b Cf. Gal. 5.9 for the same proverb;
cp. proverb of 1 Cor. 15.33: 'Evil company corrupts good manners'.
7-8a 'For indeed our Passover has been sacrificed: Christ, therefore let us keep the feast ....'
W. D. Davies, 'The Jewish State in the Hellenistic World', Peake's Commentary, §603a (p. 591) tells of 'all the steps necessary to become Jews in the full sense, i.e., circumcision, baptism, the presentation of an offering in the Temple (the presentation of a sacrifice however was not one of the conditions of becoming a proselyte but only a condition precedent to the exercise of one of the rights of a proselyte, i.e. participation in a sacrificial meal).'
Gibbs: (1) It would appear that this sacrificial offering is being referred to, so that (2) this increases the likelihood that Héring is right in seeing 'let us keep the feast' as a reference to the Eucharist.
θύσαι τὸ πάσχα, 'sacrifice the Passover' was the tech. term
acc. Deut. 16.5 for killing the Passover lamb.  ('Binding of Isaac', Gen. 22, as the great expiatory sacrifice took place on 14th Nisan acc. Jubilees 18 - cf. 1 Cor. 15.3.
Other refs. to Passover in 1 Cor. 10.1 ff.; 15.20; 16.8.
8d 'sincerity and truth' - same phrase in Joshua 24.14 H to Exod. 14.15 Nisan 4 [N2]
- refers to purity of motive ('sincerity') and deed ('truth').
9 Reference to an earlier letter, commonly regarded as lost.
C. T. Craig, 'I Corinthians', Interp. Bible, conjectured that 6..12-20 includes quotes from it.
'not to associate with immoral persons'
- Is part of the force here an avoiding so as to be pure for Passover (as in John 19.28)?  If so, then this would appear to match 1 Cor. 7.12-15 on one's non-Christian spouse and children being 'holy'/'clean'.
10 Many Christians would appear to have been slaves
or workers in pagan households and businesses (implied in 1.26): this assures them that they are not wrong in this, but it also prepares the way for the greater severity of judgement on those within the church in v. 11.
10 πλεονέκτης, RSV/NRSV: 'a greedy one' - can be used in a vague way for egoism and greed.  In 2. Cor. 7.2 and 12.18 πλεονέκτης is one who has wronged another.  But is sometimes a synonym for κλέπτης, 'thief', and even for ἅρπαξ, 'robber' or 'swindler'.  Then it means one who uses brute force to enrich himself at the expense of his neighbour.  Ezek. 22.27: wicked leaders are compared with wolves and are called πλεονέκται.
10-11 Vice list: further lists in 6.9 f.;Gal. 5.19 ff.; Rom. 13.13; 2 Cor. 12.20;
11b (Col. 3.8; Eph. 4.31; 1 Tim. 1.9 f.; 2 Tim. 3.2-5).  (1) It is not a complete list; (2) some are vices present at Corinth; (3) it is not said that all these vices were represented in the Corinthian church at that time; (4) except for 'drunkard' all these vices are in the Decalogue (cf. 11.21 for the drunkards at the  church supper; possibly Noah's drunkenness is also being echoed, Gen. 9.22 Iyyar 3 [N1].
11a 'one who is being named "brother"' - an actual (or possible) unworthy Christian;
it does not refer to a pagan passing himself off as a Christian.
11c 'not even to eat with such a one' - note that the meal
(agape/eucharist) of 1 Cor. 11 likely being referred to, in view of the drunkenness of 5.11b and 11.21, plus the correspondence of 5.11b to 11.21 in the OX.
12, 13 τοὺς ἔζω, 'those outside', means pagans
(as in 1 Thess. 4.12; Col. 4.5; 1 Tim. 3.7; Mark 4.11 [Gibbs: or even unbelieving Jews in Mark]).  Same term is found among the Jews: Sir., Prologue 5: οἱ ἐκτός; Josephus, Antiquities, XV,ix.2: οἱ ἔξωθεν.
12 Cf. Q: Matt.19.28=Luke 22.30 - Judging 12 tribes of Israel.
Cf. 11.37: judge selves that you be not judged; cp. 4.3.
13b Citing Deut. 13.5 or 17.7 (19.19; 21.21; 24.7)
- almost all stonings; Cf. Gen. 3.24;, 4.14 Nisan 3 [N1] - cf. 1 Cor. 5.5.

Go to:  1 Corinthians Exegesis, Chapters 6-10