Food Sacrificed to Idols
1 With regard to food sacrificed to idols, we know that “we all have knowledge.”#sn “We all have knowledge.” Here and in v. 4 Paul cites certain slogans the Corinthians apparently used to justify their behavior (cf. 6:12-13; 7:1; 10:23). Paul agrees with the slogans in part, but corrects them to show how the Corinthians have misused these ideas. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If someone thinks he knows something, he does not yet know to the degree that he needs to know. 3 But if someone loves God, he#tn Grk “this one.” is known by God.#tn Grk “him”; in the translation the most likely referent (God) has been specified for clarity.
4 With regard then to eating food sacrificed to idols, we know that “an idol in this world is nothing,” and that “there is no God but one.”#sn “An idol in this world is nothing” and “There is no God but one.” Here and in v. 1 Paul cites certain slogans the Corinthians apparently used to justify their behavior (cf. 6:12-13; 7:1; 10:23). Paul agrees with the slogans in part, but corrects them to show how the Corinthians have misused these ideas. 5 If after all there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we live, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we live.#tn Grk “through whom [are] all things and we [are] through him.”
7 But this knowledge is not shared by all. And some, by being accustomed to idols in former times, eat this food as an idol sacrifice, and their conscience, because it is weak, is defiled. 8 Now food will not bring us close to God. We are no worse if we do not eat and no better if we do. 9 But be careful that this liberty of yours does not become a hindrance to the weak. 10 For if someone weak sees you who possess knowledge dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience be “strengthened”#tn Or “built up”; This is the same word used in v. 1b. It is used ironically here: The weak person is “built up” to commit what he regards as sin. to eat food offered to idols? 11 So by your knowledge the weak brother or sister,#tn Grk “the one who is weak…the brother for whom Christ died,” but see note on the word “Christian” in 5:11. for whom Christ died, is destroyed.#tn This may be an indirect middle, “destroys himself.” 12 If you sin against your brothers or sisters#tn See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:10. in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 For this reason, if food causes my brother or sister to sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I may not cause one of them#tn Grk “my brother.” Both “my brother or sister” earlier in the verse and “one of them” here translate the same Greek phrase. Since the same expression occurs in the previous line, a pronoun phrase is substituted here to suit English style, which is less tolerant of such repetition. to sin.