« PreviousContinue »
of the teachers who baptized them, he told them that he and his brethren apostles, who, in respect of their inspiration, were the chief teachers in the church, were sent by Christ, not 10 much to baptize, as to preach the gospel, ver. 17.
The false teacher, by introducing the Grecian philosophy and rhetoric into his discourses, had endeavoured to render them acceptable to the Corinthians, and had preferred himself to Paul, who he said was unskilful in these matters. Left therefore, the Corinthians should think meanly of his doctrine and manner of preaching, the apostle told them, that Christ had sent him to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of speech, that is, with philofophical arguments expressed in flowery harmonious language, such as the Greeks used in their schools; because in that me. thod, the gospel becoming a subject of philosophical disputation, would have lost its efficacy as a revelation from God, ver. 17, -That though the preaching of salvation through the cross, appeared mere foolishness to the destroyed among the heathen philosophers and Jewish scribes, yet to the saved from heathen. ism and Judaism, it was found by experience to be the powerful means of their salvation, ver, 18.-That God foretold he would remove both philosophy and Judaism on account of their ineffi. cacy, ver. 19.-arid make the Greek philosophers and Jewife scribes ashamed to shew themselves, because they had darkened and corrupted, rather than enlightened and reformed the world, ver. 20.–That having thus experimentally fhewn the inefficacy of philosophy, it pleased God, by the preaching of doctrines which to the philosophers appeared foolishness, to save them who believed, ver. 21.–And therefore, notwithstanding the Jews required the sign from heaven, in confirmation of the doctrines proposed to them, and the Greeks expected every doctrine to be conformable to their philofophical principles, the apostle preached salyation through Christ crucified, which he knew was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness, ver. 22, 23.-—But to them who were called, or per. fuaded to believe the gospel, both Jews and Greeks, that doctrine was the powerful and wise means which God made use of for their salvation, ver. 24.Therefore, said he, it is evident that the foolish doctrines of God have more wisdom in them than the wifest doctrines of men ; and the weak instruments used by God for accomplishing his purpofes, are more effectual than the greatest exertions of human genius, ver. 25.
Having thus defended both the doctrines of the gospel, and the manner in which they were preached, the apostle very properly proceeded to Thew the Corinthians, the folly of boasting in their teachers, on account of their learning, their eloquence, their high birth, or their power. Look, said he, at the persons
who have called you to the belief of the gospel ; not many phi, losophers, not many warriors, not many noblemen, have been employed to call you, ver. 26.—But God hath chofen for that purpose, unlearned persons, to put to shạme the learned, ver. 27. - by their success in enlightening and reforming the world, ver, 28. that no flesh might take any honour to himself, in the
GREEK TEXT. CHAP. I. I Paul called 1 Παυλος κλητων απος0to be an apostle of Jesus AQ 1908 X9.5%, dic JeanChrist, through the will of God, and Softhenes our bro- Mata O:8, xoh Ewo.seuns o ther,
αδελφς, , 2 Unto the church of God
2 Τη εκκλησια τα Θεε τη which is at Corinth, to them that are fanctified in Chrift son Ev KopivIw, incoleevous Jefus, called to be faints, εν Χρις ο Ιησε, κλητους, αwith all that in every place γιοις, συν πασι τοις επικαcall upon the name of Jefus λεμενοις το Chrit our Lord, both theirs ημών Ιησε Χριςε εν παντι του
λεμενοις το ονομα τε Κυρια πω, αυτων τε και ημων
Ver. 1.-1. A called Apoftle. Because the faction pretended to entertain doubts of Paul's apostleship, chap. ix. i. he began this letter with telling them, that he was not, like Matthias, an apostle made by men, neither did he assume the office by his own aụthority, but he was called to it by Christ himself, who for that purpose appeared to him from heaven, as he went to Damascus to perfecute his disciples; and that in calling him to be an apostle, Christ acted by the appointment of God. So Ananias assured Paul, Acts xxii. 14, 15. Wherefore, in respect of the manner in which Paul was made an apoftle, he was morc honourable than all the other apostles. See Rom. i. 1. note 2.
2. Sosthenes. If this person was the chief ruler of the synagogue at Corinth, mentioned as active in persecuting Paul, Acts xviii. 17. we muft suppose that he was afterwards converted, and became an eminent preacher of the gospel : and having a considerable inft:ence among Corinthians, he joined in writing this letter, for the reasons mentioned, 1 Theff. Pref. sect. 2. :
Ver. 2.-1. The church of God, &c. This is a much more august title than that mentioned, Gal. i. 2. The churches of Galatia.
2. To the sanctified. See Efl. iv. 53. and chap. vi. 11. note 2. 3. To the called into the fellowship of the saints; as the apostle him. self explains it, ver. 9.
matter of converting and saving mankind, ver. 29.- the whole glory being due to God, ver. 30, 31. In this light, the mean birth and low station of the first preachers of the gospel, together with their want of literature and eloquence, instead of being objections to the gospel, are a strong proof of its divine original.
COMMENTARY. CHAP. I. i Paula
CHAP. I. I Paul, a miracucalled apostle' of Jesus lously called apofile of Jesus Christ, Christ, by the will of God, agreeably to the will of God, and and Sosthenes ? Mr bro- Softhenes my fellow labourer in the ther,
gospel, 2 To the church of God' 2 To the worshippers of the true which is at Corinth; to God, who are in Corinth ; to the sepathe fanctified? (ev, 172.) un rated from the heathens, by their der Christ Jesus; to the being under Jesus Christ ; to the called called ; 3 to the saints; í with people of God; to those who merit all in every places who the appellation of saints, because call on the name of our they have renounced idolatry, and Lord Jesus Christ, both have devoted themselves to serve the their and our LORD:7 true God; with all in every place,
who worship our Lord Jesus Christ, who is both their and our Lord who are Jews.
4. To the saints. See Eff. iv. 48. 1 Cor. vi. 1. where the saints are opposed to the unrighteous, that is to idolaters.
5. All in every place. Though this epistle was written to correct the disorderly practices of the Corinthians, it contained many general instructions, which could not fail to be of use to all the brethren in the province of Achaia likewise, and even to Christians in every place : for which reason, the inscription consists of three members, and includes them all
6. Call upon the name of our Lord Jesus. Tog etixa Agjet015. This expression we have, Acts vii. 59. And they stoned Stephen, etimadou srov, calling upon Christ, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. See also Acts ix. 14. xxii
. 16. Rom. X. 12, 13, 14.- Praying to Christ was so much practised by the first Chriftians, that Pliny mentioned it in his letter to Trajan : Carmen Christo, quasi Deo, dicere, They sing with one another, a hymn to Christ as a God.
7. Both their and our Lord. This the apostle mentioned in the be. ginning of his letter, to fhew the Corinthians how absurd it was for the disciples of one mafter, to be divided into factions under particular leaders. Christ is the only Lord or master of all his disciples, whether they be Jews or Gentiles. Vol. II.
υμιν και ειρηνη
3 Grace be unto you, and
3 Χαρις υμιν peace from God our Father,
απο Θεα πατρος ημων, και and from the Lord Jesus Chrift. .
Κυριε Ιησε Χρις8. . : 4 I thank my God always 4 Ευχαριςω τω Θεω με on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you
παντοτε περι υμων, επι τη by Jefus Chrift ;
χαριτι τε Θεε τη δοθειση
ειν εν Χριςω Ιησε: 5 That in every thing ye 5 Οτι εν παντι επλέτιare enriched by him, in all utterance, and in AH Kno σθητε εν αυτω, εν παντι λο·ledge;
γώ και παση γνώσει, ő Even as the teftimony 6 Καθως το μαρτύριον τα of Chrift was confirmed in Χριςε εβεβαιωθη εν υμιν " you.
7 So that ye come behind 7 Ωςε υμάς μη υς ερείσin no gift ; waiting for the θαι εν μηδενι χαρισματι, αcoming of our Lord Jefus πεκδεχομενες την αποκαλυψιν Chrift.
τε Κυριε ημων Ιησε Χρις8, 8 Who shall also confirm 8 Ος και βεβαιωσει υμας you unto the end, that je may έως τελες ανεγκλητες εν τη be blamelels in the day of our Lord Jefus Chrift.
ημερα το Κυρις ημων Iησε Χριςο.
Ver. 4. On account of the grace of God; that is on account of the Spiritual gifts. For so the grace of God fignifres, Rom. xii. 6. Having gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us. See alfo Ephef. iv. 7, 8. 1 Ρet. iv. 1ο. That grace hath this fignification here, is evident from ver. 5.
Ver 5.-1. With all speech. EN TUOTTI doyu, with all forts of languages. From chap. xiv. we learn that many of the Gentiles at Corinth, as well as of the Jews, were endowed with the gift of tongues.
2. And all knowledge. See 1 Cor. xii. 8. note 2. What is here faid concerning the enriching of the Corinthians with all knowledge, is to be understood chiefly of the fpiritual men among the Jewish converts ; for most of the Gentile converts at Corinch, were felly or weak perfons, and babes in Chrift, chap. iii. 1.3,
Ver. 6. When the testimony of Chrift: the testimony concerning Chrift. So the phrase signifies, 2 Tim. i. 8. See Eff. iv. 24.
Ver. 7. So that ye come behind in no gift. The apostle speaks here, mot of individuals, but of the church at Corinth, as having in it fpi. ritual men, who poffeffed all the different fpiritual gifts which com. mon believers could enjoy. Accordingly he asked them, 2 Cor. xii.
3 Grace Be to you, and 3 May gracious dispositions be to you, peace (see Rom. i. 7. note with peace, temporal and eternal, 3.) from God our Father, from God our Father, and from the and From the Lord Jesus Lord Jesus Christ, by whom God Christ.
dispenses these blessings. 4 I give thanks to my 4 In my prayers, 1 give thanks to God always concerning my God, always concerning yor, on acyou, on account of the
grace count of the grace of God, which was of God which was given given to you through the powerful to you, (EV, 167.) through operation, and agreeably to the will Jesus Chrift:
of Jesus Chrift:
ye were enriched (sv) with every GIFT, (see with every spiritual gift by Jesus ver. 7.) by him, EVEN Chrift; and in particular, with all WITH all speech,' and all sorts of languages, and with a great knowledge,
measure of inspired knowledge, 6 (KaJG, 202.) When 6-When our testimony concerning the testimony of Christ' Christ, as the Son of God and Sawas confirmed (ev, 172.) viour of the world, was confirmed among you:
among you, by the miracles which I wrought, and the spiritual gifts I
conferred on you. 7 So that
7 So that ye come behind other hind in no gift,' waiting churches, in no gift ; firmly expecting for the revelation (see i the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ Pet. i. 7. note 2.) of our as the Son of God, by his appearing Lord Jesus Chrift. in the glory of the Father to judge
the world. 8 (“Os, 61.) He' also 8 He (God, ver. 4.) also will conwill confirm you until the firm you, until the end, in the belief end, without accusation, in of that testimony ; so as to be with the day of our Lord Jesus out just cause of accusation, in the day Christ.
of the revelation of our Lord Jesus Chrift.
ye come be.
13. What is the thing wherein ye have been inferior to other churches ? See 2 Cor. xii. 12, note 3.
Ver. 8.-1. He also will confirm you. 'Os, here, is not the relative, but the personal pronoun. For the following verse shews that the perfon (poken of is God, mentioned ver. 4. I give thanks to my God, &c.
2. Without accufation. The apostle in this, expreffes only his chari. table judgment, not of individuals, but of the body of the Corinthian church. For by no stretch of charity could he hope, that every individual of a church in which there were such great disorders, would be unaccusable at the day of judgment. Scc i Thes. iii. 13. note 2.