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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - 1 CORINTHIANS 5

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    5:1 {Actually} (holws). Literally, wholly, altogether, like Latin _omnino_ and Greek pantws (#1Co 9:22). So papyri have it for "really" and also for "generally" or "everywhere" as is possible here. See also #6:7. With a negative it has the sense of "not at all" as in #15:29; Mt 5:34 the only N.T. examples, though a common word. {It is reported} (akouetai). Present passive indicative of akouw, to hear; so literally, it is heard. "Fornication is heard of among you." Probably the household of Chloe (#1:11) brought this sad news (Ellicott). {And such} (kai toiaute). Climactic qualitative pronoun showing the revolting character of this particular case of illicit sexual intercourse. porneia is sometimes used (#Ac 15:20,29) of such sin in general and not merely of the unmarried whereas moiceia is technically adultery on the part of the married (#Mr 7:21). {As is not even among the Gentiles} (hetis oude en tois eqnesin). Height of scorn. The Corinthian Christians were actually trying to win pagans to Christ and living more loosely than the Corinthian heathen among whom the very word "Corinthianize" meant to live in sexual wantonness and license. See Cicero _pro Cluentio_, v. 14. {That one of you hath his father's wife} (hwste gunaika tina tou patros ecein). "So as (usual force of hwste) for one to go on having (ecein, present infinitive) a wife of the (his) father." It was probably a permanent union (concubine or mistress) of some kind without formal marriage like #Joh 4:8. The woman probably was not the offender's mother (step-mother) and the father may have been dead or divorced. The Jewish law prescribed stoning for this crime (#Le 18:8; 22:11; De 22:30). But the rabbis (Rabbi Akibah) invented a subterfuge in the case of a proselyte to permit such a relation. Perhaps the Corinthians had also learned how to split hairs over moral matters in such an evil atmosphere and so to condone this crime in one of their own members. Expulsion Paul had urged in #2Th 3:6 for such offenders.

    5:2 {And ye are puffed up} (kai humeis pefusiwmenoi este). Emphatic position of humeis (you). It may be understood as a question. Perfect passive periphrastic indicative of the same verb fusiow used already of the partisans in Corinth (#4:6,19,20). Those of the same faction with this scoundrel justified his rascality. {Did not rather mourn} (kai ouci mallon epenqesate). Possibly question also and note strong negative form ouci, which favors it. The very least that they could have done (mallon rather than be puffed up) was to mourn for shame (penqew, old verb for lamentation) as if for one dead. {That he might be taken away} (hina arqei). The sub-final use of hina of desired result (#1:15) so common in the _Koiné_. First aorist passive subjunctive of air", to lift up, to carry off. Decent self-respect should have compelled the instant expulsion of the man instead of pride in his rascality.

    5:3 {For I verily} (egw men gar). Emphatic statement of Paul's own attitude of indignation, egw in contrast with humeis. He justifies his demand for the expulsion of the man. {Being absent} (apwn) Although absent (concessive participle) and so of parwn though present. Each with locative case (twi swmati, twi pneumati). {Have already judged} (ede kekrika). Perfect active indicative of krinw. I have already decided or judged, as though present (hws parwn). Paul felt compelled to reach a conclusion about the case and in a sentence of much difficulty seems to conceive an imaginary church court where the culprit has been tried and condemned. There are various ways of punctuating the clauses in this sentence in verses #3-5. It is not merely Paul's individual judgment. The genitive absolute clause in verse #4, {ye being gathered together} (sunacqentwn humwn, first aorist passive participle of sunagw, in regular assembly) {and my spirit} (kai tou emou pneumatos) with the assembly (he means) {and meeting in the name of our Lord Jesus} (en twi onomati tou kuriou [hemwn] iesou) with the power of the Lord Jesus (sun tei dunamei tou kuriou hemwn iesou), though this clause can be taken with the infinitive to deliver (paradounai). It makes good syntax and sense taken either way. The chief difference is that, if taken with "gathered together" (sunacqentwn) Paul assumes less apostolic prerogative to himself. But he did have such power and used it against Elymas (#Ac 13:8ff.) as Peter did against Ananias and Sapphira (#Ac 5:1ff.).

    5:5 {To deliver such an one unto Satan} (paradounai ton toiouton twi satanai). We have the same idiom in #1Ti 1:20 used of Hymenius and Alexander. In #2Co 12:7 Paul speaks of his own physical suffering as a messenger (aggelos) of Satan. Paul certainly means expulsion from the church (verse #2) and regarding him as outside of the commonwealth of Israel (#Eph 2:11f.). But we are not to infer that expulsion from the local church means the damnation of the offender. The wilful offenders have to be expelled and not regarded as enemies, but admonished as brothers (#2Th 3:14f.). {For the destruction of the flesh} (eis oleqron tes sarkos). Both for physical suffering as in the case of Job (#Job 2:6) and for conquest of the fleshly sins, remedial punishment. {That the spirit may be saved} (hina to pneuma swqei). The ultimate purpose of the expulsion as discipline. Note the use of to pneuma in contrast with sarx as the seat of personality (cf. #3:15). Paul's motive is not merely vindictive, but the reformation of the offender who is not named here nor in #2Co 2:5-11 if the same man is meant, which is very doubtful. The final salvation of the man in the day of Christ is the goal and this is to be attained not by condoning his sin.

    5:6 {Not good} (ou kalon). Not beautiful, not seemly, in view of this plague spot, this cancer on the church. They needed a surgical operation at once instead of boasting and pride (puffed up). kaucema is the thing gloried in. {A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump} (mikra zume holon to furama zumoi). this proverb occurs _verbatim_ in #Ga 5:9. zume (leaven) is a late word from zew, to boil, as is zumow, to leaven. The contraction is regular (-oei=oi) for the third person singular present indicative. See the parables of Jesus for the pervasive power of leaven (#Mt 13:33). Some of the members may have argued that one such case did not affect the church as a whole, a specious excuse for negligence that Paul here answers. The emphasis is on the "little" (mikra, note position). Lump (furama from furaw, to mix, late word, in the papyri mixing a medical prescription) is a substance mixed with water and kneaded like dough. Compare the pervasive power of germs of disease in the body as they spread through the body.

    5:7 {Purge out} (ekkaqarate). First aorist (effective) active imperative of ekkaqairw, old verb to cleanse out (ek), to clean completely. Aorist tense of urgency, do it now and do it effectively before the whole church is contaminated. this turn to the metaphor is from the command to purge out the old (palaian, now old and decayed) leaven before the passover feast (#Ex 12:15f.; 13:7; Zep 1:12). Cf. modern methods of disinfection after a contagious disease. {A new lump} (neon furama). Make a fresh start as a new community with the contamination removed. neos is the root for neaniskos, a young man, not yet old (geraios). So new wine (oinon neon #Mt 9:17). kainos is fresh as compared with the ancient (palaios). See the distinction in #Col 3:10; Eph 4:22ff.; 2Co 5:17. {Unleavened} (azumoi). Without (a privative) leaven, the normal and ideal state of Christians. Rare word among the ancients (once in Plato). They are a new creation (kaine ktisis), "exemplifying Kant's maxim that you should treat a man as if he were what you would wish him to be" (Robertson and Plummer). {For our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ} (kai gar to pasca hemwn etuqe cristos). First aorist passive indicative of quw, old verb to sacrifice. Euphony of consonants, q to t because of -qe. Reference to the death of Christ on the Cross as the Passover Lamb (common use of pasca as #Mr 14:12; Lu 22:7), the figure used long before by the Baptist of Jesus (#Joh 1:29). Paul means that the Lamb was already slain on Calvary and yet you have not gotten rid of the leaven.

    5:8 {Wherefore let us keep the feast} (hwste heortazwmen). Present active subjunctive (volitive). Let us keep on keeping the feast, a perpetual feast (Lightfoot), and keep the leaven out. It is quite possible that Paul was writing about the time of the Jewish passover, since it was before pentecost (#1Co 16:8). But, if so, that is merely incidental, and his language here is not a plea for the observance of Easter by Christians. {With the leaven of malice and wickedness} (en zumei kakias kai ponerias). Vicious disposition and evil deed. {With the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth} (en azumois eilikrinias kai aleqeias). No word for "bread." The plural of azumois may suggest "elements" or "loaves." eilikrinia (sincerity) does not occur in the ancient Greek and is rare in the later Greek. In the papyri it means probity in one example. The etymology is uncertain. Boisacq inclines to the notion of heile or hele, sunlight, and krinw, to judge by the light of the sun, holding up to the light. aleqeia (truth) is a common word from aleqes (true) and this from a privative and leqw (laqein, lanqanw, to conceal or hide) and so unconcealed, not hidden. The Greek idea of truth is out in the open. Note #Ro 1:18 where Paul pictures those who are holding down the truth in unrighteousness.

    5:9 {I wrote unto you in my epistle} (egraya humin en tei epistolei). Not the epistolary aorist, but a reference to an epistle to the Corinthians earlier than this one (our First Corinthians), one not preserved to us. What a "find" it would be if a bundle of papyri in Egypt should give it back to us? {To have no company with fornicators} (me sunanamignusqai pornois). Present middle infinitive with me in an indirect command of a late double compound verb used in the papyri to mix up with (sun-ana-mignusqai, a mi verb). It is in the N.T. only here and verse #11; 2Th 3:14 which see. It is used here with the associative instrumental case (pornois, from peraw, pernemi, to sell, men and women who sell their bodies for lust). It is a pertinent question today how far modern views try to put a veneer over the vice in men and women.

    5:10 {Not altogether} (ou pantws). Not absolutely, not in all circumstances. Paul thus puts a limitation on his prohibition and confines it to members of the church. He has no jurisdiction over the outsiders ( this world, tou kosmou toutou). {The covetous} (tois pleonektais). Old word for the over-reachers, those avaricious for more and more (pleon, ecw, to have more). In N.T. only here, #6:10; Eph 5:5. It always comes in bad company (the lascivious and the idolaters) like the modern gangsters who form a combination of liquor, lewdness, lawlessness for money and power. {Extortioners} (harpaxin). An old adjective with only one gender, rapacious (#Mt 7:15; Lu 18:11), and as a substantive robber or extortioner (here and #6:10). Bandits, hijackers, grafters they would be called today. {Idolaters} (eidwlolatrais). Late word for hirelings (latris) of the idols (eidwlon), so our very word idolater. See #6:9; 10:7; Eph 5:5; Re 21:8; 22:15. Nageli regards this word as a Christian formation. {For qen must ye needs} (epei wfeilete oun). this neat Greek idiom of epei with the imperfect indicative (wfeilete, from ofeilw, to be under obligation) is really the conclusion of a second-class condition with the condition unexpressed (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 965). Sometimes an is used also as in #Heb 10:2, but with verbs of obligation or necessity an is usually absent as here (cf. #Heb 9:20). The unexpressed condition here would be, "if that were true" (including fornicators, the covetous, extortioners, idolaters of the outside world). Ara means in that case.

    5:11 {But now I write unto you} (nun de egraya humin). this is the epistolary aorist referring to this same epistle and not to a previous one as in verse #9. As it is (when you read it) I did write unto you. {If any man that is named a brother be} (ean tis adelfos onomazomenos ei). Condition of the third class, a supposable case. {Or a reviler or a drunkard} (e loidoros e mequsos). loidoros occurs in Euripides as an adjective and in later writings. In N.T. only here and #6:10. For the verb see #1Co 4:12. mequsos is an old Greek word for women and even men (cf. paroinos, of men, #1Ti 3:3). In N.T. only here and #6:10. Cf. #Ro 13:13. Deissmann (_Light from the Ancient East_, p. 316) gives a list of virtues and vices on counters for Roman games that correspond remarkably with Paul's list of vices here and in #6:10. Chrysostom noted that people in his day complained of the bad company given by Paul for revilers and drunkards as being men with more "respectable" vices! {With such a one, no, not to eat} (twi toioutwi mede sunesqiein). Associative instrumental case of toioutwi after sunesqiein, "not even to eat with such a one." Social contacts with such "a brother" are forbidden

    5:12 {For what have I to do?} (ti gar moi;). "For what is it to me (dative) to judge those without (tous exo)?" They are outside the church and not within Paul's jurisdiction. God passes judgment on them.

    5:13 {Put away the wicked man} (exarate ton poneron). By this quotation from #De 17:7 Paul clinches the case for the expulsion of the offender (#5:2). Note ex twice and effective aorist tense.

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