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6
The error of litigation in the Church
1Now another matter — the Greeks are devoted to litigation, it is a passion with them, but what has that to do with you? Are you going to haunt the law-courts of Corinth and with cases which you bring against one another! 2This has little to do with the true judgment and justice which your faith exemplifies. 3That is capable of judging angels, and if you have it are you not even capable of settling these business disputes which arise amongst yourselves? 4-7Have you no one wise enough for that, but must you go to law with one another, and invoke the methods and assistance of a corrupt judicial system to get the better of your brother? Questions of everyday life then cannot be settled by the Church, but you must needs take them before those who know nothing of your faith, and whom the Church on that account esteems as of no account. Yet you bring your quarrels and disputes before them! And why do such disputes arise? 8Is it not because you still have in your midst the old spirit of over-reaching and dishonesty? I declare it is better to be wronged, to be cheated and robbed, and to take the injustice and say no more about it, for that would more resemble your calling than to do the opposite. 9Yes, for the old world of wickedness that God is judging, which is for ever excluded from His Kingdom, is still lurking in your midst. O do not be deceived by it, whatever cloak it may put on! Fornication, idolatry, adultery, sodomy, 10dishonesty, greed, drunkenness, cursing, theft — these are the things that hide the Kingdom of God, and they can never win it. 11Were you once involved in them, and were you purified, cleansed, justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the spirit of our God? Yes, you were, you had won clear of that spirit of perdition, but see that it does not entangle you again, know it for what it is.
Man not subordinate to physical nature
12True, I am free, I am independent, and can act as seems good to me, yet, though nothing is bad in itself, evil in its influence is dangerous. I am a free man, but I will not be mastered by any influences. 13Food and drink have nothing to do with my real being, they affect the belly, not me, you say, and I am in my true self independent of them. Yet that physical part of you is doomed to destruction along with the material things that feed it. Perhaps you would dare to apply the same view to the body. Never! The body is not for fornication. It is for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14And as the Lord was raised from the dead by the power of God, so shall we be raised. 15For there is nothing legitimate or natural for you in an appetite which demands such vile institutions and uses for its satisfaction. Your bodies are no longer carnal, they are members of Christ. 16Shall I take that which is spiritual and convert it into the very opposite, change the limbs of Christ into the flesh of a harlot? “They twain shall be of one flesh,” says Moses (Gen ii. 24), and so this awful substitution takes place, and in the place of Christ's body we find that of a harlot. Such then is their practice, this besetting sin of Corinth. Flee from it. 17For the One Spirit makes us one with the Lord. 18That is the truth, of which the other is the lie. Just as in the truth man cannot separate himself from the Lord, for there is but one Spirit, so in the false, in the carnal action, man cannot separate himself from the sin to which he surrenders, he sins not against another only, nor does the wrong of his action merely affect that which is outside himself. He cannot excuse himself by saying “it has nothing to do with my true being, it is inherent in the body only, and I disclaim its connection with me, though as a physical being I am forced by the power of Nature to submit to it, even as I am forced by other appetites to eat and drink!” The reasoning is false. 19Your bodies are spiritual structures, the spirit that dwells in you is of God, and your bodies are correspondingly spiritual, as temples, rather than animal organisms; 20they owe allegiance not to the physical self, but to Him who redeemed them at a price. God Himself is to be glorified in your bodies.
6
Lawsuits
1 When any of you has a legal dispute with another, does he dare go to court before the unrighteous rather than before the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to settle trivial suits? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? Why not ordinary matters! 4 So if you have ordinary lawsuits, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church?#tn Or “if you have ordinary lawsuits, appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church!” This alternative reading (cf. KJV, NIV) takes the Greek verb καθίζετε (kaqizete) as an ironic imperative instead of a question. This verb comes, however, at the end of the sentence. It is not impossible that Paul meant for it to be understood this way, but its placement in the sentence does not make this probable. 5 I say this to your shame! Is there no one among you wise enough to settle disputes between fellow Christians?#tn Grk “to decide between his brother (and his opponent),” but see the note on the word “Christian” in 5:11. 6 Instead, does a Christian sue a Christian,#tn Grk “does a brother sue a brother,” but see the note on the word “Christian” in 5:11. and do this before unbelievers? 7 The fact that you have lawsuits among yourselves demonstrates that you have already been defeated. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 But you yourselves wrong and cheat, and you do this to your brothers and sisters!#tn Grk “brothers.” The Greek term “brother” literally refers to family relationships, but here it is used in a broader sense to connote familial relationships within the family of God (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 2.a). See also the note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:10.
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners,#tn This term is sometimes rendered “effeminate,” although in contemporary English usage such a translation could be taken to refer to demeanor rather than behavior. BDAG 613 s.v. μαλακός 2 has “pert. to being passive in a same-sex relationship, effeminate esp. of catamites, of men and boys who are sodomized by other males in such a relationship.” L&N 88.281 states, “the passive male partner in homosexual intercourse – ‘homosexual.’ …As in Greek, a number of other languages also have entirely distinct terms for the active and passive roles in homosexual intercourse.” See also the discussion in G. D. Fee, First Corinthians (NICNT), 243-44. A number of modern translations have adopted the phrase “male prostitutes” for μαλακοί in 1 Cor 6:9 (NIV, NRSV, NLT) but this could be misunderstood by the modern reader to mean “males who sell their services to women,” while the term in question appears, at least in context, to relate to homosexual activity between males. Furthermore, it is far from certain that prostitution as commonly understood (the selling of sexual favors) is specified here, as opposed to a consensual relationship. Thus the translation “passive homosexual partners” has been used here. practicing homosexuals,#tn On this term BDAG 135 s.v. ἀρσενοκοίτης states, “a male who engages in sexual activity w. a pers. of his own sex, pederast 1 Cor 6:9…of one who assumes the dominant role in same-sex activity, opp. μαλακός…1 Ti 1:10; Pol 5:3. Cp. Ro 1:27.” L&N 88.280 states, “a male partner in homosexual intercourse – ‘homosexual.’…It is possible that ἀρσενοκοίτης in certain contexts refers to the active male partner in homosexual intercourse in contrast with μαλακός, the passive male partner.” Since there is a distinction in contemporary usage between sexual orientation and actual behavior, the qualification “practicing” was supplied in the translation, following the emphasis in BDAG. 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive,#tn Or “revilers”; BDAG 602 s.v. λοίδορος defines the term as “reviler, abusive person.” Because the term “abusive” without further qualification has become associated in contemporary English with both physical and sexual abuse, the qualifier “verbally” has been supplied in the translation. and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Some of you once lived this way.#tn Grk “and some [of you] were these.” But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ#tc The external evidence in support of the reading ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ (Ihsou Cristou, “Jesus Christ”) is quite impressive: Ì11vid,46 א B Cvid D* P 33 81 104 365 629 630 1739 1881 2464 al lat bo as well as several fathers, while the reading with merely ᾿Ιησοῦ has significantly poorer support (A D2 Ψ Ï sa). Although the wording of the original could certainly have been expanded, it is also possible that Χριστοῦ as a nomen sacrum could have accidentally dropped out. Although the latter is not as likely under normal circumstances, in light of the early and widespread witnesses for the fuller expression, the original wording seems to have been ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ. and by the Spirit of our God.
Flee Sexual Immorality
12 “All things are lawful for me”#sn All things are lawful for me. In the expressions in vv. 12-13 within quotation marks, Paul cites certain slogans the Corinthians apparently used to justify their behavior. Paul agrees with the slogans in part, but corrects them to show how the Corinthians have misused these ideas. – but not everything is beneficial. “All things are lawful for me” – but I will not be controlled by anything. 13 “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both.”#tn Grk “both this [stomach] and these [foods].”sn There is debate as to the extent of the Corinthian slogan which Paul quotes here. Some argue that the slogan is only the first sentence – “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food” – with the second statement forming Paul’s rejoinder, while others argue that the slogan contains both sentences (as in the translation above). The argument which favors the latter is the tight conceptual and grammatical parallelism which occurs if Paul’s response begins with “The body is not for sexual immorality” and then continues through the end of v. 14. For discussion and diagrams of this structure, see G. D. Fee, First Corinthians (NICNT), 253-57. The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 Now God indeed raised the Lord and he will raise us by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that anyone who is united with#tn Or “is in relationship with.” a prostitute is one body with her?#tn Grk “is one body,” implying the association “with her.” For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”#sn A quotation from Gen 2:24. 17 But the one united with#tn Grk “in relationship with.” the Lord is one spirit with him.#tn Grk “is one spirit,” implying the association “with him.” 18 Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin a person commits is outside of the body”#sn It is debated whether this is a Corinthian slogan. If it is not, then Paul is essentially arguing that there are two types of sin, nonsexual sins which take place outside the body and sexual sins which are against a person’s very own body. If it is a Corinthian slogan, then it is a slogan used by the Corinthians to justify their immoral behavior. With it they are claiming that anything done in the body or through the body had no moral relevance. A decision here is very difficult, but the latter is to be preferred for two main reasons. (1) This is the most natural understanding of the statement as it is written. To construe it as a statement by Paul requires a substantial clarification in the sense (e.g., “All other sins…” [NIV]). (2) Theologically the former is more difficult: Why would Paul single out sexual sins as more intrinsically related to the body than other sins, such as gluttony or drunkenness? For these reasons, it is more likely that the phrase in quotation marks is indeed a Corinthian slogan which Paul turns against them in the course of his argument, although the decision must be regarded as tentative. – but the immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,#tn Grk “the ‘in you’ Holy Spirit.” The position of the prepositional phrase ἐν ὑμῖν (en Jumin, “in you”) between the article and the adjective effectively places the prepositional phrase in first attributive position. Such constructions are generally translated into English as relative clauses. whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.