Corinthians: Exegetical Notes
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Chapters: 14 15 16
Errors at Corinth (E. Schweizer)
Gibbs' additional comments
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)|
|X:||Chiasm (details of these are given separately)|
|OX:||Overall chiasm (1 Cor. 1.1-8.6a x 8.6b-16.24)|
|ergo:||Latin for 'therefore'|
by Paul's disciples (Paul as author of Rom, 1 & 2 Cor, Gal &
the Preaching of the Prophets, the true Power that builds
up the Church (in Hope); tongues do not: 13.1-14.40 x 2.6-16: Speaking God’s
up-building wisdom among the mature.
X: 10.23-12.31a (plus 12.31b-13.7) x (13.8-13 plus) 14.1-40.
that this puts Eucharist-section in parallel to Ministry of Word section,
Chap. 14, which would appear to indicate that they are probably both parts
of a single worship assembly, not two types of service.)
builds up Church: cf. Num 11.16, Nisan 4 [N3]:
putting spirit on 70 to help Moses; the 70 prophesy (Num 11.25-26) &
see below on 1 Cor 14.5 & 31.
do not build up the Church: cf. Gen 11.1-9 (
1 Cor 3.10-12; 14.21, 33.
Ministry of the Word
(in and for the Church)
Contrast of prophecy and tongues
(says Craig, Interp. Bible)
|πνεύματι, RSV/NRSV: ‘in the Spirit’. Héring: πνεύματι a dative of location,|
|and more likely ‘in the (person’s) spirit’ (than ‘Spirit’)
since without article (see below on vv. 13-17).
edifies/builds-up the church’: cf. Ezek 37
expresses a concession in the form of a wish
is unlikely to be fulfilled (cf. 7.7) – cf. 14.29.
|‘you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy: Num 11.29 (Nisan 4 [N3]):|
Moses says, ‘Would that all God’s people were prophets!’
Here: prophecy clearly placed above tongues (as repeatedly in Chap. 14).
|‘unless [someone] interprets’: τις, someone’, not in
text , but is understood.
this re 14.13.
or prophecy or teaching’: triad,
basically to functions of apostles, prophets & teacher, respectively.
(Cp. 12.8-9. which may indicate that ‘knowledge’ & ‘prophecy’
go with prophets and ‘teaching’ with teachers, these being the local
ministry of the church; on second thought, this seems more likely; but
even so, ‘knowledge’ is associated with love (cf. 8.1-3), ‘prophecy’
with hope, & ‘teaching’ with (the) faith believed. If
the apostle ‘planted’ love, then the prophet, the local preacher, is
to ‘water’ it (as Apollos has done, 3.6).
If the apostle proclaimed Christ crucified, God’s Wisdom, the
prophet does too, as God’s Power.
|RSV& NEB: ‘If even’, translating ὅμως. Héring : ‘similarly (& NRSV: ‘It is the same way’),|
|translating ὁμῶς (an archaic form equivalent to
This is only a question of the accent to be supplied, since MSS
and harp’ – instruments in Ps 150 (a wedding psalm)
1 Cor 13.1: ‘gong’ & ‘cymbal’, also in Ps 150.
If Ps 150 was regularly or widely used at weddings in 1st
century Judaism (which is not certain, as far as I know), then
this would increase the likelihood of the ‘bride of the Lord’ imagery
which we suggested for 1 Cor 11.2-15, following Donald Scholey’s
|ἐὰν διαστολὴν τοῖς φθόγγοις μὴ δῷ: RSV/NRSV: ‘If they do not give distinct notes;|
|Héring (& same sense in NEB): ‘If there is no order in
the sounds’, which (says Gibbs) not only fits the Greek better, but also
better befits Paul’s general argument for ‘decency and order in all
Note: 3rd person singular verb because plural subject is neuter.
if the trumpet give an uncertain voice...’:
19.16 (Exod 19-20 read on Pentecost, 6th Sivan); Num 10.9,
Nisan 3 [N3]; Isa 58.1 (Isa 48.2 H to Exod 16.4, Iyyar 1 [N2]); Jer 4.19;
Ezek 33.3=8; Joel 2.1 (H to Deut 5.1, Iyyar 4 [T3] & H to Gen 27.28,
Nisan 1 or 2 [T1].
Thus this may be a seasonal reference.
(v. 9) pattern yourself on me (vv. 6, 14-15), i.e. ‘imitation
in 4.17; 11.1; cp. 8.13; 9.26 f.
|φωνή: RSV: ‘language’; NEB/NRSV: ‘sound’; Héring: ‘word’,|
Paul uses γλῶσσα for ‘language’.
RSV: ‘without meaning’; NEB/NRSV: ‘without sound’ – cf. 12.2;
‘no kind [among the ‘many different kinds’, γένη] is meaningless’.
28.11: ‘By those of strange lips and with another tongue will he speak
to this people.’
28.16: ‘Behold, I lay in
precious corner [stone] of sure foundation – cf. 1 Cor 3,10 f,, where
‘building up’ on the ‘one foundation’ is emphasized. (Isa 28.16 H?
to Deut 10.1, Sivan 3 [T3]) – cf. further on vv. 20-21
of 12.31; cf. 13.13-14.1 (cp. Greek of 14.1`2 to 14.1).
The comparative value of these gifts.
(says Craig, Interp. Bible)
supply τις as in 14.5, so that he prays for someone
be aware that your words without an interpreter are valueless to others.
Therefore speak only when sure of finding an interpreter – cf.
balance between πνεῦμα (spirit)
and νοῦς (mind).
|πνεῦμα – Very
often in Hellenistic literature, this is that part of man
can be carried away into ecstasy, and can become in some degree the
instrument of inspiration. E.g.,
Philo, Quis rerum divinarum haeres, sections 249 ff., (Cohn &
Wendland, ed. minor, III 48 ff.).
was thought (as is said by Philo above) that as long as the νοῦς
|was active, inspiration cannot occur.|
|I.e., don’t ‘tongue it’ all the time1 (some of the time with spirit,|
of the time with mind – not a case of both simultaneously)
... sing’ – cf. Solomon’s wisdom expressed in 3,000 proverbs &
... sing’ – cf. Solomon’s wisdom expressed in 3,000 proverbs &
τὸν τόπον τοῦ
‘the one filling the place of the outsider’
- sense of ‘the uninitiated’ was current in philosophy &
|τὸν τόπον τοῦ ἰδιώτου - i.e., having a definite place in the assembly;|
pagans present by chance
but rather sympathizers as yet unbaptized (or perhaps simply ‘ordinary’
14.23-24 for ἰδιῶται and ἄπιστοι as contrasted groups.
ἐρεῖ τὸ Ἀμήν
ἐπὶ τῇ σῇ
‘How shall he add “Amen” upon
Deut 27; cf. Ps 106.48. A Eucharistic
If so, then a further bit of data indicating that Chaps. 11 &
14 are about a single service, not two.
certainly does not have to mean the Eucharist or a prayer in it, but it
seems to Gibbs that if Paul did not intend some such association, it would
have been more natural for him to have used
Gibbs’ suggestion would have been on firmer ground if the list of
14.26 included προσευχή but not εὐχαριστία; it includes neither.
thanksgiving that he ‘out-tongues’ them all probably bears two
first (& lesser, Gibbs thinks) is for the gift itself, the second (and
greater, Gibbs thinks) is that this makes one less area in which any
Corinthian can try to claim to have a greater potency of ‘Spirit’ than
|19||‘speak five words’ – the usual explanation is that ‘five’ is apparently idiomatic|
‘a few’ (as in the English usage of ‘half a dozen’), but (1) since
the Ten Commandments were known as the ‘Ten Words’, i.e., the
Decalogue (from the Greek for
‘Ten Words’); (2) the central section of 1 Cor (6.1-10.33) appears to
be structured on the Decalogue twice over, chiastically, and (3) the Jews
(and then the Christians) took the second table (Commandments 6-10) to be
concerned with the neighbour, therefore we suggest that
‘speak five words’ refers to speaking up-building things concerning
the neighbour, and is to be understood as a likely allusion to the second
half of the Decalogue.
probably allusion to Mark 10.14 & pars. – cf. 11.22.
φρήν (bis): only here in NT; in Theodotion,
Prov 7.7; Dan 7.34, 36.
|(cf. 3.19 & 15.54 for OT quotes
in wordings which appear to be from a text-type that turns up in
Theodotion in 2nd cent. CE.
|20c||Isa 28.9: ‘Whom will he teach knowledge?|
whom will he make to understand the message? those that are weaned from
the milk and drawn from the breasts?’
|21||Isa 28.11-12 cited, but not LXX. Apparently //Aquila’s version|
Hadrian’s time, emperor: 117-138 CE) according to Origen.
(On Isa 28.16 ff. cf. vv. 11-12 above.)
why tongues for unbelievers, prophecy for believers?
|‘unbelievers’, ἄπιστοι – Héring: here means ‘stumblers’ with hard hearts;|
same meaning as ἄπιστοι in 14.24.
Since ‘believers’ want to build up one another, and these ἄπιστοι in v. 22do not want to do so (which would mean that they would prophesy instead of being concerned to ‘tongue it’), therefore the tongues are a sign (of judgement) to them in accord with Isa 28.11-12 as cited in v. 21. ‘Believers’, on the other hand, are concerned to hear ‘prophecy’ in order that they may be built up (in the Body).
|23||‘assembles’: συνέρχεσθαι – cf. refs. At 5.4 – cf. Num 11.29 again.|
– only here in Paul (in Deutero-Paul: 5.11, 13)
|ἐλέγχειν in Gen
31.37, 42, Iyyar 1 or 2 [T1]: Laban confronted & ‘convicted’ by
Jacob for his ill-treatment of Jacob after the latter’s ‘escape’ (D.
Daube, The Exodus Pattern in the Bible, 1963, pp. 62-72, notes many
parallels to the Passover & Exodus in this story.)
to account’: ἀνακρίνειν
|1 Cor 2.14, 15 (bis); 4.3 (bis), 4; 9.3; 10.25, 27; 14.24.|
whole assembly in unity, building up.
|‘an unbeliever or outsider enters’: ἄπιστος, ‘unbeliever’, probably means|
|here a pagan (unlike v. 22, while ἰδιώτης,
‘outsider’, probably means one sympathetic to the Christian faith (cf.
v. 16 above). Note
that the assembly is open to inquirers and visitors.
|24-26||Cf. 5.3 for cross-references; cf. 12.3|
|25||‘are disclosed’: φανερὰ γίνεται – same phrase in 3.13; 11.19;|
|cp. 4.5: φανερώσει
τῶν καρδιῶν, ‘will disclose the purposes of the hearts’.
A question here of knowing & being known – cf. 8.3 &
on his face’ (i.e., having been ‘convicted’ and ‘called to account’,
|he will confess his sins).|
|‘he will worship God and declare that God is really among you’:|
(French commentary in Ėtudes Biblique, 1934, 2nd
ed. 1956) supposes, probably rightly, that some Corinthians considered
glossalaly of itself as a sign of the divine presence, an opinion which
receives scant encouragement from Paul.
Corinthian order of worship. (says Craig, Interp. Bible)
|26||‘hymn’: i.e. a poem offered by a poet (for one such,|
modified by the writer of Colossians, cf.
|27||‘tongue-speaking: ‘only two or at most three – negative loading – cf. vv. 29, 31.|
|28b||'keep silence in church'|
to self and God’ – Goudge (Westminster Comm.): ‘tongue-it’ at
would match church supper – homes to eat (their fill) in, 11,22.
|29||prophets: 'Let two or thre speak' - positive loading - cf. vv. 28, 31.|
|31||'For you can all prophesy one by one' - very positive loading - cf. vv. 28, 30.|
|// Num 11.29: Moses' wish that all God's people were prophets - cf. 1 Cor 4.5.|
|33a||vs Gen 11.1-9 (Tower of Babel: 'confusion'); here we have 'imitation of God'|
|& vice-regency; 'peace' = order, ergo be 'order-makers', peacemakers (cf. 14.25).|
|34-35||d. Women not to speak, but to be subordinate to husbands (Craig, Interp. Bible)|
|(This is an interpolation - see 1 Corinthians and Women in Paul and note that some MSS put these verse after v. 40, which increases the likelihood that they are an interpolation.)|
|33b-35||Héring: seems to interrupt context. Gibbs: it is cross-referenced to 11.2-16|
|(an interpolation), & it is chiastic against 11.2-16 in X: 10.23-13.7 x 13.8-14.40.|
|34||Héring: silence of women is only partial (cf. 11.15); i.e. women to be silent|
|when discussion and questioning of prophet's message went on. Gibbs, however, sees these two interpolations as basically the onset of a re-asserting of male dominance by a threatened patriarchy.|
are to be silent ‘in the churches’
|34b||T'hey are not ‘to speak’, λαλεῖν: λαλεῖν concerns idle speech, chatter,|
λέγειν (same root as λόγος) is used to refer to serious, reasoned speech
and thought. Thus (says
Héring) what is basically prohibited is gossiping and chattering.
|34c||'as the Law also says' - note prescriptive use of Law (as in 11.2-16) vs Paul's own normal usage.|
|35a||'let them ask their husbands (ἄνδρες) at home’ and learn from them|
|– i.e., question of marital subordination again, as in
11.2-16. Note assumption that all the women are married.
|35b||λαλεῖν again.||If one does not like the idea of these verses being an interpolation, then this can be viewed as showing that there is no conflict between the 'serious speech' of women prophesying and praying and the 'idle' speech of women who ought not to upset the good order and seriousness of the church assembly.|
|36-40||e. Closing injunctions to the obstinate (Craig, Interp. Bible) (// in X: 10.23-11.1)|
|X: 14.32-36a x 36b-40|
|36 ff.||As the text stands, v. 36 would be seen as one final devastating blow to the 'Women's Libbers',|
|however, these verses make more sense as following on after v. 33a, 'for God is a God not of disorder but of peace'.|
|37-38||Cf. Exod 15.26, Nisan 4 [N2], & Deut 28.1-68 re keeping commands|
|pf the Lord & being blessed (or cursed if do not) - cf. 1 Cor 15.1-2?|
|38||Theme of 'recognizing and being recognized' again.|
|39||'earnestly desire to prophesy' - positive loading.|
|'do not forbid speaking in tongues' - neutral loading.|
|40||all things should be done decently and in order' - the overriding concern,|
|since it affects internal health of the church and its external image with its repercussions on the effectiveness of the preaching of the gospel of peace..|
|OX: Teachers give Scriptural base for the Well-being that comes|
|through the Gospel of Christ's sacrificial death [Isaac typology] that, by Faith, leads to Life and eventual Resurrection in the Last Adam, Christ Jesus, raised from the dead as a life-giving Spirit: 15.1-58 x 1.18-2.5: Creative power of God in the Word of the Cross.|
|1-11||a. The Gospel delivered and believed|
|Scripturally based on Gen 22 and Isaac-bound. - cf. 2.1-11|
would remind': γνωρίζω
act.), ‘I would [make] known’ (as in γνῶσις)
recdeived': παραλαμβάνειν – tech. term, 15.1, 3
– cf. notes on 11.23
|2||'you are being saved' (pres. ind. pass. - ergo, on-going action)|
|'unless you believed in vain' - i.e., issue of faith involved.|
|Note: faith as 'trust', yet also a faith as content to be believed.|
|3-5||In accordance with the Scriptures:|
died for our sins
3) raised on the third day
Gen 22.2, 9-10)
(- Gen 22.4)
(- Gen 22.5
|to Cephas, then to the Twelve (cf. 'firstfruits' of 15.20)|
|Isaac typology based on Gen 22.|
|(Binding of Isaac as expiatory sacrifice par excellence, connected with Nisan 14th (or 15th), i.e. with Passover; note Christ as 'firstfruits in 15.20, on the 3rd day from |Passover sacrifice, i.e. on Nisan 16th when 'firstfruits' of barley harvest offered.)|
the Twelve ('theological' 12 as core of Israel)
|Mark 16.7: 'his disciples and Peter'|
|500-plus brothers (some have fallen asleep)|
|Matt 28.10 & John 20.17: 'my brothers' (cf. Ps 22.22: 'I will declare thy name unto my brethren).|
[Leader at Jerusalem, 2nd only to Peter - cf. Gal 1.18-19]
all the apostles,
lastly to me
|Note the separation by distinguishable categories, which are later coalesced and obscured be Mark, Matt & John: Luke-Acts equates 'the Twelve' with 'the Apostles'; Matt & John equate 'brothers' (John 20.17; Matt 29.10) with 'the Twelve' (John 20.24?; Matt 28.16: 12 minus 1) and 'disciples' (John 20.19; Matt 28.16).|
|8||'as to one untimely born' (RSV/NRSV); Héring: better 'as to an abortion'|
, a pejorative term - related to Paul's physical appearance?)
- cf. 4.3 (15.8-10 related to 12.24b, the inferior members of the Body?)
be called': καλεῖσθαι
- in the sense of 'to be called to be'.
|12-19||b. Significance of Jesus' resurrection for Christian faith & life now (Craig, I.B.)|
shift the translation of μόνον, 'only',
so as to read:
in this life we have only hoped in Christ ...'
(i.e., without any anticipatory or proleptic foretaste) --
Then the triumphant answer comes in v. 20:
|20||'But NOW, in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits ...'|
, 'But now, in fact' (Gibbs); 'But now (RV); 'But in fact' (RSV/NRSV);
in truth' (NEB).
Craig, Interp. Bible: νυνὶ δὲ
introduces some of Paul's most important affirmations, 13.13; Rom 3.21; 6.22; 7.6; [Col 1.22, etc.]
Craig: should be 'But in fact' as in RSV/NRSV, since not temporal significance (as ('But now'), but introduces contrast to hypothetical situation of previous paragraph.
Gibbs argues for both meanings: 'But now, in fact,...'
|20-34||c. The eschatological drama (which has already begun)|
|20-28||i. The order of events (Adam/Christ, and consummating reign)|
firstfruits’ (cf. above on vv. 3-5)
connotes not simply the 'first-part' but also the 'best part'.
Héring: almost synonymous with ἀῤῥαβών,
‘earnest’ (= down payment), in 2 Cor 1.22; 5.5 [& Eph 1.14].
|Lev 23.10-12: offering of firstfruits to God symbolized dedication|
|of whole crop to him, cf. Rom 16.5. Cp. 13.13: 'the best'; Rom 3.21; 6.22; 7.6; [and Col 1.22, which is introduced by νυνὶ δὲ, ''But indeed/now'].|
|Paul uses ἀπαρχὴ|
of first converts in a church - 16.15; Rom 16.5;
2) of the Spirit (Rom 8.23) whose work is the first instalment of our salvation (& the raising of Christ & the gift of the Spirit are very nearly synonymous, for it is the Spirit in our lives & midst which proves to faith that Christ has been raised & is the present experience of that event)
3) As of Christ himself, 'the First-born from the dead' (the phrase of Col 1.18 & Rev 1.5).
have fallen asleep’: οἱ
κεκοιμημένοι – used only of Christians
|cf. 7.39; 11.30; 15.6; (1 Thess 4.13; Acts 7.60; Matt 27.52, where it likely refers to OT & intertestamental worthies).|
|21-27||Adam - Christ contrast (cf. Rom 5.12 ff.): the 'undoing' of Gen 3.17-19, Nisan 2 [N1].|
man': ἄνθρωπος (generic
of dead': ἀνάστασις
(no definite articles,
|as vs ‘the dead’ = corpses, probably, in 15.29).|
|Three 1st century CE Jewish conceptions of who will be raised:|
|1) The elect alone - 2 Macc 7.9, 23 (& 14.46); Pss Sol 14.3-7 - cf. Luke 14.14 (Luke-Acts: resurrection = vindication, ergo only righteous are raised)|
|2) the 'best' (to bliss) and the 'worst' (to punishment).|
|3) all men - 2 Esdras 7.32 (see citing of 2 Esdras 7.89 in 1 Cor 15.30); Apocalypse of Baruch 50-51; Ethiopian Enoch 51.1; Test. of Benjamin 10; Dan 12.2 (latest book of OT & only OT passage to refer to resurrectrion) - cf. Mark 12.25 f. & pars.|
|The Tannaim were divided between (1) and (3). (Tannaim were the Rabbis of ca. 10-220 CE.)|
|22||'all': the 'all' who belong to Christ, being 'in Christ', cf. v. 23|
|- because they are members of Christ's Body. The 'all' becomes obviously only Christians in 15.51-57.|
|23||'order': τάγμα, better ‘rank’ (as in army) – cf. 1 Clem. 37.31:|
|‘All are not generals or captains ... but each is his own
Why only two ranks when one would expect three (Christ, dead, living)?
Héring: Paul thinking of the three as in 1 Thess 4.16-17.
Gibbs: Perhaps Paul simply conflates the two ranks (living & dead) in the phrase οἱ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ‘those of Christ’ (this would match Rom 14.8; Gibbs takes 1 Thess as Deutero-Paulijne, and hence irrelevant to Héring’s case).
|ἀπαρχὴ, firstfruits’ - cf. above on v. 20.|
basically means ‘presence’ & only secondarily ‘coming’)
by Paul (a) of arrival of persons, 16.7; 2 Cor 7.6; [Phil 1.26]; (b) of
Christ: coming with messianic power at end of age (as in this verse), Matt
24.27 [1 Thess 2.19; 4.15; 5.23, etc.] in contrast to the veiling of his
glory in the days of his flesh.
-- 28 'When', ὅταν
24b 'when', ὅταν
-- 27b 'When', ὅταν
25 'For', γάρ
--- 27a 'for', γάρ
Centre: 26 on the nullification of death,. the last enemy.
literally: ‘Then the end’ – problem: how to translate?
.'shall be': 'Then shall be The End' (adopted by Héring, since same phrase in 2 Esdras 7.33 in Syriac (not in Greek) - note 15.20 cites 2 Esdras 7.89, which adds force to this suggestion). RSV/NRSV & NEB supportr this: 'Then comes the end'. Gibbs would upport this, but by taking τὸ τέλος as 'The Goal' (as in teleology), i.e., the consummation toward which man & the whole creation are moving; this matches Rom 8.18-25.
|b)||If take τέλος as 'the rest' (i.e. non-Christians), then must supply the verb 'shall be made alive' (thus Lietzmann & J. Weiss, and NRSV margin). But, says Héring, in no texts, sacred or secular, is τέλος taken in this sense.|
τέλος as adverb (= 'finally'), then vv.
24-27 are a single sentence (with the two 'when' clauses and a
parenthetical statement in 15.25) leading up to
, '[the] last enemy is being destroyed: Death!' (view of von Hoffman (1864), Karl Barth, and formerly Gibbs. Héring is attracted to it, but opts for (a)).
|24-25||Cf. Dan 7.14, 27: Kingdom of the Son of man (= saints of the Most High,|
|i.e., the righteous ones of Israel).|
110.1a: The LORD said unto my lord [= Davidic king], b sit
thou at my right hand, c until I make thine enemies thy footstool.'
(Ps 110.1a cited: Matt 22.44; Mark 12.36; Luke 20.42 f.; Acts 2.34 f.
Ps 110.1b cited: Heb 1.13; cp. Matt 26.64; Eph 1.20; Col 3.1; Heb 1.3; 8.1; 10.12; 12.2;
Ps 110.1c: Heb 10.13; cp. 1 Cor 15.25; Eph 1.22; Heb 2.8; 1 Pet 3.22.
I.e., widely used in NT.
|'he has put all ...' - 'he' is God, not Christ; cf. v. 27ac & v. 28.|
|26||'Death' = Sheol, kingdom of death, as the final obstacle to|
|the kingdom of God: 'The dead praise not the LORD', Ps 115.17; Isa 38.18 f.; cf. Matt 22.32 (cf. Rom 8.38 f., where 'death' is no longer a barrier; cp. 1 Cor 15.51-57).|
|27||Ps 8.6 freely rendered (acc. to Héring).|
is neuter and means 'in the whole universe':
as aan attributive nominative (as is usually done; RSV/NRSV & NEB),
then must be 'God is all; in all'. Héring objects:
i) if take God = everything, then have pantheism, which is unknown in the Bible;
ii) then ἐν πᾶσιν
would be superfluous ('a stupid pleonasm' - Héring).
as Greek accustaive, then translate: 'that God may be in every respect [or
'completely'] in the universe' or 'in the whole universe
This is pan-entheism, i.e. an affirmation of the total and visible presence of the Kingdom, of God; corresponds to 8.6; [cf. Col 1.18].
|29-34||ii. Ad hominem rebuttal ('to the man;: an argument directed to|
|one's prejudices rather than to the intellect),|
|29||'Otherwise what will those achieve who baptize themselves|
|because of [defilement from] corpses/ If the dead are not raised entire, why indeed do they baptize themselves [in a ritual cleansing] because of them [i.e., the corpses]?'|
are at least 30 interpretations of this verse. Gibbs opts for that
of J. Masingberd-Ford, 'Rabbinic Humour Behinf Baoptism for the Dead (I
Cor xv.29)', Studia Evangelica IV (Berlin, 1968), 400-403.
She notes (1) the ancient taboo that required one to lustrate oneself
after touching a corpse is explained in early Judaism on the basis of the
belief that the nucleus of the body to be resurrected remains in
the corpse (perhaps in the spine), and it is this dynamism which defiles
one who touches a corpse, so that their lustrating (washing/baptizing)
themselves presupposes belief in resurrection. I.e., their actions
belie their words. (2) She finds support for this in the fact that οἱ
, 'the dead', is used here instead of simply νεκροί without the article, as Paul does when he refers to ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν
, 'resurrection of the dead [persons]', as in 115.12. what is at stake here is resurrection of the body, which is why Paul speaks of being raised:
'wholly', 'entirely' - i.e. as a total psychosomatic unity
|of the whole person, including the body (or perhaps, for Paul, this 'wholeness' being indicated by the word 'body' itself).|
|I.e., the conclusion of the above is that the RSV/NRSV & NEB translations totally|
|miss the point of both halves of v. 29. This interpretation of Ford's, followed by Gibbs, appears to receive further support in v. 31 (see below). (Cf. 2 Macc 12.43-45, on praying for the dead only because one believed in the resurrection.)|
|30||'Why am I in peril every hour?' - citing 2 Esdras 7.89; cf. v. 24 above.|
|31||'by my pride' - equivalent to 'I swear on a stack of Bibles!'|
|'I die daily' - i.e, he is in peril every day from which God alone can rescue him|
OT & Judaism, 'death' and 'dying' include perils, which if continues,
would lead to death in our sense - cf. 11.30 on those who 'sleep' re
the consequences of the Eucharist, which may refer either to one who are
spiritually dead or to ones who are physically dead, or both. (On
this concept of death see M. D. Goulder, Type and History in Acts
Gibbs suspects a bit of sarcasm here: if they wash themselves after touchinmg corpses, then they ought to wash themselves after Paul has been around, for he becomes like a corpse daily! Num 19.1, Sivan 1 or 2 [N3]; Num 19.11: unclean 7 days if touch corpse.
pers. sing. aor. 1,
: J. Weiss & Héring
|take this as a conditional construction: 'If ... I had fought against beasts ... [what use] would it have been [to me]?' (No beast-fighting in Paul's catalogue of hardships in 2 Cor 11.23 ff. Pharisees saw martyrdom as giving good prospects of corporal resurrection; see the imagery of being beset by wild beasts in Ps 22.12-13.)|
|32b||'Let us eat ...' - Isa 22.13 (part of H to Exod 12.29, Nisan 2 [N2])|
|(cf. Wisd 2.6 ff.; cp. Prov 12.1-10; slogan in Seneca, Controverses 14: Libamus, moriendum est,': 'Let us drink, dying is [at hand].')|
|33||Citing Menander, Thaïs, but probably simply as a popular proverb,|
|for its equivalent runs through the Wisdom literature - cf. 5.6.|
- i.e. Paul vs libertine gnosis-types here,
|so that 15.32b is irony & sarcasm. On knowing God cf. cross-references at 13.12.|
|35-50||c. The resurrection body|
|In vv. 35-50 note conjunction of 'body', 'flesh', 'glory', 'image', & 'spirit' - cf. 6.16-20.|
|35-41||i. Various types of body|
|35-41||Héring: vs those Greeks who could only think in grossly materialistic terms|
|when they thought of body or flesh.|
|35||D.S. Russell, Between the Testaments (2nd ed., 1963), p. 161:|
|Same type questions in II Baruch 49.3 & similar discussion in II Baruch 49-51.|
man' - ἄφρων
: almost synonynm for 'godless' as in Ps 14.1 (13.1 LXX):
|'The fool hath said in his heart, "There is no God".'|
= 'make to live' as vs ἀποθνήσκειν
(= 'to die'); i.e. requires
|intervention (bearing on resurrection as God's sovereign action).|
|37||'naked seed' - also found in Talmud, Sanhedrin 90b - ergo Paul may|
|have taken this from Jewish tradition.|
|38||'each kind of seed' - cf. Gen 1.11, Nisan 1 [N1].|
|39||Galen (129?-199 CE), de constitutione artis medicae, Ch. 9 (Kühn, I 255),|
|even insists on difference between flesh of lions & that of lambs.|
|39 f.||Reverse order of Gen 1, Nisan 1 [N1].|
|41||Same order as Gen 1.16.|
|42-50||ii. A spiritual Body (Adam/Last Adam = Christ raised)|
|42 ff.||D. S. Russell, Betw. the Tests., p. 160: cf. I Enoch 108.11, where|
|buried body will be raised 'a glorious body' on day of resurrection.|
φθορᾷ, (‘in corruption’) ... ἐν
ἀφθαρσίᾳ (‘in imperishability’)
Not immortality of soul (Greek idea) but incorruptibility of body.
Resurrection of body vs Roman baptismal creed (Apostles
Creed), where have 'resurrection of the flesh' (σάρξ
dishonour’) ... ἐν δόξῃ (‘in glory’) (cf. Rom 8.18
(‘in weakness’), ... ἐν δυνάμει (‘in power’)
(cf. 2 Cor 5.4;
|8.9; 11.30 & especially 12.9-10.)|
|42 f.||imperishability, glory, power - cp. triad of 1.26 ff. (& elsewhwere)|
(= 'natural body') ... σῶμα πνευματικόν
(= 'spiritual body')
|The three attributes of vv. 42 f. belong tothe spiritual body; probably v. 43 concerns moral ability & disobedience, since basar (Heb.), 'flesh' = man in his (physical & moral) weakness and transience.|
|45-49||Two Adams: Doctrine of the two Adams is not to be found|
|in Jewish apocalyptic, Talmud, Gospels, Hellenistic or Mandaean speculation on Anthropos, but Hippolytus' summary of the doctrine of the Naasenes represents slightly parallel scheme [Philosophumena or The Refutation of all Heresies (translated Legge, London, 1921), I.118-46].|
|What one does certainly encounter in Judaism is the idea that the whole glory of Adam will belong to thwe righteous Israelites in the End Time (cf. Damascus Document, CD iii.12-21; & similar notion apparently behind Dan 7.13 ff.). Jesus as the true Adam, if not a second Adam, is certainly to be found in Mark, Matthew, Luke-Acts, John & Hebrews, at least.|
: Gen 2.7: 'a living being' (Gen.2.4-3.21, Nisan 2 [N1])
|(Note addition of 'Adam' as a personal name - not in LXX)|
: 'a life-making spirit'
|Robin Scroggs, The Last Adam (Oxford: Blackwell, 1966), makes a good case from Rabbinic data that in 1st cent. CE Adam is viewesd as the first patriarch of Israel who was given Torah in foprm of a sinlge commandment, which he failed to keep. Thus Christ as theb 2nd Man is now our patriarch in whom we have the Law of Christ (9.21).|
the very strong stress here that the natural man (τὸ
|not the spiritual one (τὸ πνευματικὸν). is prior in time - no Heavenly Anthropos myth allowed here! - only 'Salvation-History'. [Heavenly Anthropos myth: An initially perfect heavenly man was killed and his parts scattered in bits in earthly men (i.e., trapped in 'dirty' matter). THose 9gnostics) who know their true origins through enlightening gnosis can 'escape' from matter and reassemble/re-enter the Heavenly Anthropos.]|
|Philo of Alexandria (a very Hellenistic Jew), thinking Platonically, take Gen 1 as concerned with creation of the perfect 'type' of the Heavenly Man, and Gen 2 as concerned with the creation of his 'antitype', the earthly man. Paul rejects any such approach. (See below on v. 47.)|
|47||Note repeat of 'first man ... second man' stress.|
ἐκ γῆς χοϊκός
, 'man from the earth, earthy'
this whole phrase, including χοϊκός,
is marked as being an OT quote in BFBS, Nestle-Aland & NEB, but
χοϊκός occurs nowhere in LXX or other known
Greek versions. The obvious reference is
Gen 2.7, Nisan 2 [N1]: τὸν
χοῦν ἀπὸ τῆς
, '(And God formed) man [of] dust from the earth'. (Obviously the relation between χοῦς
, 'dust', and χοϊκός
,, 'dusty', is why the textual editors include χοϊκός
, as part of the quote.
,, 'earthy': Héring notes that 'earthy' makes a duplication here
|that has no parallel in v. 47b; thus Héring believes (but without any MSS support) it crept in from v. 48 where it belongs.|
: 'from heaven' - cf. John 3.12; 6.62.
various works, e.g. De opificio mundi sects. 134 ff.):
Gen 1 - creation of heavenly man, who is οὐράνιος
(incorruptible), ἀσώματος (without body) & ἀνδραγύνος
(man-woman, i.e. bi-sexual).
Gen 2 - creation of earthly man, who is γηῖνος
(earthy) and ἄισθητος
|Paul||apparently knows something similar to Philo's view (says Héring), but (says Gibbs) reacts against it. (cf. v. 46)|
|48||Jewish idea of being in the loins of a patriarch explains this (cf. Heb 7.9).|
|49b||Two well-attested readings:|
shall bear', φορέσομεν
us bear', φορέσωμεν
(1 aorist subjunctive)
has preference for latter, but Nestle- Aland, BFBS, USBGNT (C rating),
RSV/NRSV & NEB give former (NRSV gives 2nd as alternative).
Former as continuing action makes more sense than latter as punctiliar, but the latter may accord with v. 50. UBSGNT editors take passage as didactic (i..e. teaching), not hortatory, therefore prefer former even though they think its attestation is weaker. G. Zuntz, The Test of the Epistles (1963) has shown p46 B 424 1739 combination likely Paul's reading, but in this verse B has the future indicative.
|51-58||d. The Christian's confidence|
the last trumpet': ἐν τῇ
- may not mean the last
|of a series here; can also mean the trumpet of the End.|
|The trumpet was already part of the machinery of Jewish apocalyptic: See Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exod 20.18 (Etheridge, I.513); Zech 9.14 (Zech 9.10 H? to Gen 14.1, Sivan 1 [N1]; 2 Esdras 6.23; cf. Matt 24.31; 1 Thess 4.16.|
|Exod 19.16-17:||trumpet (& other signs of God's eschatological presence) on third day.|
|Gibbs: If Christ is firstfruits of (barley) harvest (15.20), then perhaps 15.51 ff. denotes the final ingathering of the (barley) hatrvest at Pentecost, when Exod 19-20 came to be read - cf. 16.8 (Pentecost).|
|54c||Isa 25.8 in form which turns up in Theodotion's Greek version (2nd cent. CE).|
|(H to Gen 30.22, Nisan 4 or Iyyar 1 [T1])|
= 'permanently' (an idiomatic expression), not 'in victory',
R. A. Kraft, "εἰς
= 'permanently' (1 Cor xv.54, Matt xii.20)", a paper delivered to the 4th NT Congress, Oxford, 1969, & probably in Studia Evangelica VI (Berlin, 1973).
|55||Hosea 13.14 (Hos 12.1-14.1 H to Gen 37.1, Tishri 1 or 2 [T1])|
LXX has δίκη
|55b||'O Death': LXX has 'Hades' (i.e. the grave).|
|56a||Cf. Rom 5.12 - sin makes man liable to death.|
|56b||Cf. Gal 3.10 ff. - Rom 3.20 - the Law leads to sin (I do the forbidden).|
|54b||"Death is swallowed up completely" - Well-being?|
Death, where is thy victory?" - Power?
"O Death, where thy sting?" - Power?
sting of Death is sin,' - Power/(un-)Wise?
'and the power of sin is the Law.' - Power/(un-)Wise
thanks be to God who gives us the victory
through Jesus Christ our Lord' - Well-being
|58||'be steadfast' - Faith? (cf., 15.2: 'hold it fast; 16.13: 'stand firm in your faith')|
|'be immovable'||- Hope?|
|'always abounding in the work of the Lord' - Love?|
|OX: "Administration" - Farewell: 16.1-24 x 1.1-17: Salutation - "Administration"|
|1-9||a. The Collection|
|1-4||i. The contribution for the saints (i.e. for church in Jerusalem)|
|1||The Collection: Gal 2.10 (probably); 2 Cor 8.4-15; Rom 15.27;|
|Acts 11.29 f.; 12.25. - as love-offering from Gentile Christians to Jewish Christians at Jerusalem to cement relations. Looks like it is what Paul laid down his life for, going to Jerusalem at all costs to bear it (vs Acts, which places the 'famine relief' early and hushes up any prolonged Jewish-Gentile friction within the Church). (See K. F. Nickle, The Collection - A study in Paul's Strategy (Studies ijn Biblical Theiology 45, SCM, London, 1966.)|
each one should collect by putting aside what he can manage [εὐοδῶται
] to put aside [= θησαυρίζein - 'to treasure up' - verb understood; it does not occur in the text]
I.e., like a weekly savings account (or, in Britain, like a "Christmas Savings Club" where one saves weekly amounts to spend on Christmas presents).
|3-4||Paul not willing to act as treasurer, probably to avoid slanders|
|of unscrupulous opponents of chapters 3 & 9.|
- plural, ergo one letter per carrier.
|Who writes the letters? Paul or the Corinthians? Question of punctuation:|
you approve, I shall send by letters'
(BFBS, NEB, Nestle-Aland) or
you approve by letters, I shall send'
(RSV & the earlier Nestle text) (NRSV, although leaning to Paul, appears to leave the other option open: 'I will send any whom you approve with letters'.)
Jerusalem Chrch probably knows Paul, not Ciorinthians.
2) In what sense can Paul IsendI them if not by letters?
Ergo, BFBS, NEB & Nestle-Aland probably correct.
|5-9||ii. Paul's travel plans|
|6||Cf. Acts 20 - 3 months stay in Greece|
|5-9||Appears to contradict 4.19 (ergo Héring argues for two letters in 1 Cor).|
I shall come to you [πρὸς
] when I come-through [διέλθω
for I am coming-through [διέρχομαι
] Macedonia and I shall abide with you [πρὸς ὑμᾶς] ...'
, 'to come through', 13x in Pentateuch in LXX: Gen 4.8; 15.17; 22.5; 41.46; Exod 12.12; 14.20; 32.27; Lev 26.5; Num 20.17, 18, 20; 31.23 (bis); Deut 2.7. But only once with πρὸς ὑμᾶς: Gen 22.5.
2) Paul thinks of himself as Abraham begetting 'little Isaacs' (Phjlemon 9 - see Philemon) or even as Sarah begetting Isaacs (Gal 4.19 with Gen 12.1 ff. - see Galatians).
3) He calls himself the 'Father' of the Corinthians who has begotten them in Christ (1 Cor 4.15).
4) He appears to be calling the members of his churches to be 'little Isaacs' by addressing them as ἀγααπητοί
. 'beloved' (cf. Gen 22.2: 'thy son, the beloved [ἀγααπητός
, LXX]' and by his repeated calling of them to enter into suffering together (1 Cor 12.26; Rom 8.17; 2 Cor 7.3) that they may also be glorified together as Adam raised (same passages).
5) One last argument. On the basis of Gen 12.1 ff. Jews took Abraham yo be a proselyte and the maker of proselytes (12.5), and this theme they associated with Pentecost, when Gen 12-17 were read, Sivan 1 [N1]. This matches the 'Pentecost' and 'great door' motifs of 1 Cor 16.8. (Note Paul's whole stress in Gal on the 'covenant of promise', 'seed of promise', and 'sons of Abraham' as the true heirs by faith like Abraham's (Gen 15.6).
|Thus,||Gibbs believes that in 1 Cor 16.5 Paul is alluding to himself as Abraham in terms of Gen 22.5, LXX: 'And Abraham said to his servants, "Sit ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will proceed [διελευσόμεθα] thus far, and having worshipped we will return to you [πρὸς ὑμᾶς]"'.|
may speed me on my journey': προπέμψητε
, from προπέμπειν
|'to accompany a little way' - e.g., as far as the boat, & perhaps providing support for the journey.|
, the Jewish feast. Question: What did Pentecost
|mean to ex-pagan Corinthians in 52 CE? Gibbs' answer: probably a great deal, as impressed on tghem by their initial Jewish-Christian leaders. (See J. C. Kirby, Ephesians, Baptism and Pentecost , who argues that this deutero-Pauline letter (ca. 70 CE), is solidly structured on Pentecost - see Galatians and its Pentecost setting. Thus no difficulty in talking to Pauline Gentile Christians about Pentecost and its symbolic significance for Christians.|
wide door': θύρα ... μεγάλη
, lit.: 'door ... great';
|cf. Hos 2.15: 'a door of hope', & cf. Hos 3.14-23. ('door' and 'gate' generally have this notion of entrance into the Gospel/Church/Christ in the NT; cf. Mark 1.33; 2.2; John 10.9: 'I am the Door'. This fits the Pentecost missionary setting.|
|10-12||b. Travel plans of coworkers|
|10-11||i. Help Timothy if he comes|
if': ἐὰν δὲ
(as in NRSV, not 'When' as in RSV)
(conditional) instead of ὅταν
, 'when' (tempopral) is surprising here;
|is Paul not sure Timothy will reach Corinth? (4.17)|
|10-11||Question of why Timothy might be snubbed at Corinth?|
|1)||Possibly because of shyness? (cf. 2 Tim 1.7, ca. 100 CE, which appears to preserve a tradition about his being shy),|
|2)||Or possibly because Paul has recently circumcised him at Jerusalem, and the report of this has reached Corinth (& apparently the Galatian church) (Acts 16.3 - Paul's accommodation of Jewish Christians at Jerusalem may have back-fired in his Gentile churches, & this may have led to the circumcision issue to which Galatians in part is addressed.)|
the brothers': μετὰ
(identical phrase in 16.12):
'I and the brethren are waiting ...' - i.e Christians at Ephesus,
Or, as is more likely from the construction: Timothy will come 'with the brethren' (who might include Erastus, if Acts 19.22 is correct).
|12||iii. Apollos not coming at present|
|Apollos, who had left Ephesus for Corinth acc. to Acts 18.27-19.1, had returned.|
|Paul apparently is here dispelling any idea that he may have disapproved of Apollos' work at Corinth.|
|'with the brothers': μετὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ('other', RSV/NRSV, is not in the Greek)|
The brethren and I urged ...'
Or, more probably: 'that he should come with the brethren', so that 'brothers' = Timothy & Erastus or the Corinthians of 16.17.
lacks τοῦ θεοῦ
| yet most probably not
Apollos' will (as in NRSV), but God's will (as RSV & NEB),
since end of 16.12 indicates circumstanceas beyond Apollos' control.
θέλημα = God's will in Rom 2.18; 1 Thess 4.3 in some MSS; also 1 Macc 3.60 & Ecclus 43.16 (MS B).
|13-16||c. Exhortations (based on Passover motifs?)|
|13-14||Exhortations ending the letter proper (so Héring).|
part of the metaphorical language of eschatology used by earliest
Christians; cf. Matt 25.13; 26.41.
Gibbs: possible connection with the Messianic Passover, since Passover was the 'night of watchings', Exod 12.42; Mark 14.34, 37, 38.
firm in your faith' (RSV/NRSV): στήκετε
ἐν τῇ πίστει
(and literally): 'remain steadfast in the faith';
Gibbs: In view of Chap. 15 & Paul's emphasis on holding to thwe received tradition (cf. Notes above on 11.23), this sense seems more likely, i.e. to take ἡ πίστις
, 'the faith', = 'that which is believed'.
courageous, be strong': ἀνδρίζεσθε,
- cf. Ps 30.25 LXX (Ps 31.24 EV).
'all that comes from you', hence 'all that you do'.:
household of Stephanus': τὴν
- cf. 1.16.
: 'firstfruits' in sense of 'first converts' as in RSV/NRSV & NEB.
: 'service' - not listed among special gifts of 1 Cor 12.
thinks we have here origins of πρεσβύτεροι
('presbyters') & διάκονοι
|17-18||d. The arrival of Stephanus, etc.|
|17||Fortunatus - one of the same name named as bearer to Corinth of 1 Clement (1 Clem 65.1).|
|Achaicus - slaves often called by name of country of origin,|
|thus mighty be a slave of Stephanus coming originally from Achaia.|
|18||Aquila & Prisca - cf. acts 18.2, 18, 26.|
|'the church in their houise': Were there special meetings in houses in Ephesus|
|(& Corinth?) as well as the general gatherings? Héring thinks so.|
|(See T. Y.Mullins, 'Greeting as a NT Form', Jour. Bib. Lit. 87/4, Dec. 1968, 418-426.)|
a holy kiss': ἐν
- cf. Rom 16.16; 2 Cor 13.12;
Thess 5.26; cp. ἐν
('with a kiss of love') in 1 Pet 5.14 & Justin Martyr, Apol. I.65.
in: Clement Alex., Paedagogos, Bk III.xi, sect. 81 - who calls it
'mystical'; Tertullian, De oratione ('On Prayer') 18.
But Apostolic Constitutions II.57 & VIII.11 (3rd cent. CE) forbids the φιλήματι between men and women in order to cut off calumny (i. e., ill-fame for the Church) & perhaps to stop abuse of the practice.
Cf. Ps 85.10b: 'Righteousness and peace have kissed each other'.
|20-24||Cf. J. A. T. Robinson, 'The Earliest Christian Liturgical Sequence?'|
Twelve NT Studies (SBT 345, 1962), 154-157 (reprintyed from Jour.
Theo. Studies, n.s. iv (1953), 38-41). He argues: (1)lLanguage
is non-Pauline; (2) sequence is same as Didache 10.6 (ca. 90-150
CE) & (3) probably indicates a fixed liturgical sequence at Corinth by
Such non-liturgically oriented NT scholars as E. m. B. Green disagree, but Gibbs, noting strong Jewish(-Christian) liturgical nexus of 1 Cor around Passover, lectionary & Decalogue, thinks Robinson's thesis is possible. However, Gibbs thinks the sequence may be later Church modification in Pauline letters. Cf. J. G. Cuming, 'Service-Endings in the Epistles', N. T. Studies 22 (1975-76), 110-113; J. M. Gibbs, 'Canon Cuming's "Service-Endings in the Epistles": A Rejoinder', N.T.S. 24 (1977-78), 545-547.
- Note that this is an inversion of 12.3 where ecstatics
saying 'Jesus is anathema' (where is may have meant a calling
of the earthly, historical and physical Jesus accursed as opposed to the
heavenly, non-material Anthropos).
Deut 20.17, read on Pentecost, anathematizes (using ἀνάθεμα
, i.e.noun and verb, in LXX) the Gentile nations who would lead Israel astray to other gods by their teaching.
- this is Aramaic transliterated into Greek letters.
we put it back into Aramaic, it may be divided two ways:
(1) either indicative: μαρα ναθα, אֳתָא מָרָן, 'the Lord comes' or 'the Lord is come', or
(2) or imperative: μαρανα θα, תָ מָרָןָ, 'our Lord, come!'
is supported by Rev 22.20: ἔρχου,
'Come, Lord Jesus!'
|(1) may well be supported by Didache10.6, where,|
|says Héring, the invocation, Maranatha, had a set place at the end of the eucharistic prayer, 'where it must have had the value of an epiclesis'; i.e., it must have called upon the Lord to be present at the eucharistic celebration.|
|C. F. D. Moule, 'A Reconsideration of the Contest of Maranatha',|
6 (1959-60), 307 ff., argues for μαραναθα
as an invitation to judgement rather than to the eucharist.
(cf. article above in note on 16.20-24) argues that μαραναθα
|should probably be taken as intended
by Paul to be taken both as μαραν
αθα. ''the Lord comes/is come', i.e. is here and now, and
θα, 'our Lord, come!', i.e. future expectation, with both
eucharist and judgement being involved, because (1) 1 Cor elsewhere
balances inaugurated and futurist eschatology, and (2) 'real' presence,
judgement & eating are repeatedly lionked (presence & judgement:
5.3; 12.3; 14.24-5; cf. 16.22-3; food & judgement: 6.13; 10.31;
prsence, eating & judgement: 10.1-10; 11.19-22, 26-32.
|23||'the grace ... be with you' - cp. Didache 10.6:|
|'Let grace come and let this world pass away'.|
|24||'in Christ Jesus' can go either with 'my love' or 'with you all'.|
|Perhaps intended to be both, and may be another 'real presence' of Paul passage akin to 5.3.|
ERRORS AT CORINTH AS SEEN IN I CORINTHIANS
(The following is taken from Eduard Schweizer, The Church as the Body of Christ [London: SPCK, 1965], pp. 27-28.)
A year or two after Paul's first visit there, he discovered that they had
reinterpreted his message in a highly Hellenized way. For the Corinthians
the divine spirit was the only essential part of man. This led them to
(a) No resurrection was needed, since man had become immortal and divine when he underwent baptism. Death meant merely that his deified self was freed from the physical body which had been his burden during earthly life (1 Cor 15.12 ff.).
(b) The miracles happening in the congregation were the token of this deification. Particularly in the speaking of tongues, man escaped his bodily boundaries, his spirit moved in the heavenly heights ( 1 Cor 14).
(c) The body was an indifferent matter, even a nuisance. There were, on the one hand, members of the church nor daring to marry or to enter into marital intercourse (1 Cor 7). There were, on the other hand, members to whom the body seemed so indifferent that they considered everything lawful, even prostitution and sexual immorality, so long as it did not touch the innermost divine self of man, his spirit (1 Cor 6.12 ff.).
(Gnosis, knowledge, was the only thing that mattered, knowledge of this divine essence of man. Whether a fellowman got any help out of this or not was entirely unimportant. He interested the deified Christian only after having reached the same level of knowledge, otherwise he was a nuisance (1 Cor 9.1 ff.).
(e) Like baptism, the Lord's Supper played a role of first importance, since it was considered as a medicine of immortality. The common meal, of course, was no consideration. It was utilized simply to appease the hunger, but had no significance for the life of the church. Why therefore wait for the latecomers (1 Cor 11.17 ff.)?
[For a convenient summary of how Paul deals with all five of these issues, see Schweizer's subsequent pages, pp. 28-37.]
GIBBS' ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
I would add the following comments to the above: (1) The Hellenistic Mystery Religions were a-social and individualistic in nature, so that those coming from their background would fall into errors (a), (d) and (e) quite readily. (A Jewish critique was that they had no concern for the commonweal.) (2) The apparent practice of baptizing oneself after touching a corpse (15.29) and Paul's explicit down-grading of circumcision (and uncircumcision) (7.19) indicate that Hellenistic syncretizing tendencies were at work, taking up even elements from Judaism into their practice (as is also the case in Galatia and Colossae. See Paul's opponents in Galatians.