Archive for May, 2020

1 Corinthians chapter 5 verses 3 to 4

May 31, 2020

Verses 3 to 5.

The woman involved isn’t mentioned… Perhaps she was not a member the church.  The man however was a member of the church and Paul says some serious things about him.

Paul says, ‘I have already judged him’

Then he says

I have decided,

 ‘5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Corinthians 5:5’

Paul really loves this man’s soul and he wants him to be saved.  Even if it means his body being destroyed…

Paul is an apostle. What would happen if this man was truly sorry for his sins?

That he turns his back on the sin… Would he be truly forgiven? Can he be forgiven?  Does the work of Christ have compassion for this man’s soul?

I think it does… If you have time have a read of 2 Corinthians 2: 5-11.  He didn’t get excommunicated, rather, possibly after 6 months, he was forgiven and reinstated…

1 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 2

May 30, 2020

Verse 2

Paul was seriously concerned with their attitude to this…  According to Paul they should have been in prayer asking God to help them to deal with this situation… It shouldn’t really surprise us though because the Corinthians were well known in their time for having their flings. 

Yet they should have known better! That was their old life.  In Christ their new life ought to be Christ centred and to be by faith on the narrow road.

Hmm interesting… As I said earlier sin is always at the door knocking, compelling us to go in the opposite direction.    Yet Paul puts it on thick… This sort of thing isn’t even found ‘amongst the Gentiles’.    Imagine you are a Christian Corinthian young man and you here this ‘not even found amongst the gentiles’

1 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 1

May 29, 2020

Verse 1

Now Paul moves onto his next moral issue in the Corinthian Church, That of fornication (πορνεία).  One of the members was in a relationship with his stepmother. The offence is not called adultery but fornication.  It is likely that the father had possibly died. This is forbidden under Jewish law 

Leviticus 18: 8 NASB

You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness.

This is what happened. 

1 Corinthians chapter 4 questions

May 28, 2020


1 Corinthians chapter 4 questions

  1. How should the leaders of the church be viewed? (kings or servants explain)
  2. Why did Paul use some legal background words (verses 3-4)?
  3. Why should be slow to judge? (verse 5)
  4. Why did Paul use himself and Apollos as examples (verses 6-7)?
  5. Explain why Paul used irony and sarcasm in verses 8 to 13.
  6. Read the sections Barclay wrote on two Greek words and explain if these words make the hyperbolic language stand out even more.
  7. How does verse 11 to 13 show how much Paul really cares for the Corinthians.
  8. How is Paul a good example for living the Christian life…?

When answering this question, you are free to look at Paul’s other writings in the Bible.


hyperbolic language = exaggeration to make a point

1 Corinthians chapter 4 verses 14 to 17

May 27, 2020

Verses 14 to 17

The Corinthians didn’t leave Christ here i.e. turn their back on Jesus Christ.  As Barclay reminds us.  They just forgot about the Gospel truths.  What a way to have been reminded though! Paul always says what needs to be said. Now Paul is comforting the Believers in Corinth after having given them a metaphorical bruising.  St Paul and the Corinthian Christians had a very close relationship and that is why he could get away with some harsh statements.  As Paul says in verse 15 that ‘In Christ he was their father’.  Then he says, ‘be imitators of me’ and he cared that much about their situation that he would send Timothy to them.

14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.

He has now finished about the cliques in the church.  Paul is moving on to another more serious problem in the Church.  The next few verses are a primer for what is to come!

18 Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. 21 What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness? 1 Corinthians 4:14-21 NASB

1 Corinthians chapter 4 verses 11 +13

May 26, 2020

Verses 11 to 13

After this sarcastic rampage on the Corinthians he says

. 11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. 1 Corinthians 4:8-13 NASB

I think this keeps things in context… The Apostles including Paul suffered a lot including martyrdoms.   It isn’t the time to have spiritual superstars.

1 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 10

May 25, 2020

Verse 10

In verse 10 Paul then goes on a sarcastic rampage. Let’s list them;

Without honourDistinguished

I don’t think you need to be very clever to work out what is happening here! Paul is teaching the Corinthians a lesson on empathy.  As well as this William Barclay picks up on a few things;

The Daily Study Bible Pages 40 to 41

He chooses a vivid picture. When a Roman general won a great victory he was allowed to parade his victorious army through the streets of the city with all the trophies that he had won; the procession was called a Triumph. But at the end there came a little group of captives who were doomed to death; they were being taken to the arena to fight with the beasts and so to die. The Corinthians in their blatant pride were like the conquering general displaying the trophies of his prowess; the apostles were like the little group of captives doomed to die.

To the Corinthians the Christian life meant flaunting their privileges and reckoning up their achievement; to Paul it meant humble service and a readiness to die for Christ.

  • He says that they are buffeted (kolaphizesthai, GSN2852). That is the word used for beating a slave. Plutarch tells how a witness gave evidence that a slave belonged to a certain man because he had seen the man beating him and this is the word that is used. Paul was willing for the sake of Christ to be treated like a slave.

(ii) He says, “When we are insulted (loidoresthai, GSN3058), we bless.” We probably do not realize just how surprising a statement this would be to a pagan. Aristotle declares that the highest virtue is megalopsuchia, great-heartedness, the virtue of the man with the great soul; and he defines this virtue as the quality which will not endure to be insulted. To the ancient world Christian humility was a virtue altogether new. This indeed was the kind of conduct that to men looked crazily foolish although this very foolishness was the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 9

May 24, 2020

Verse 9

Contrasted to this Paul uses the opposite strategy…  ‘apostles are condemned to die’… the apostles are spectacles (negative connotation)

9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 1 Corinthians 4:9 NASB

Paul was being very serious about verse 9.  History tells us that most of the Apostles died gruesome deaths.

This section was taken from

How Did the Apostles Die?

Reports and legends abound, and they are not always reliable, but it is safe to say that the apostles went far and wide as heralds of the message of the risen Christ. An early legend says they cast lots and divided up the world to determine who would go where, so all could hear about Jesus. They suffered greatly for their faith and in most cases met violent deaths on account of their bold witness.

Peter and Paul

Both martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified, upside down at his request, since he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.


went to the “land of the man-eaters,” in what is now the Soviet Union. Christians there claim him as the first to bring the gospel to their land. He also preached in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, and in Greece, where he is said to have been crucified.


was probably most active in the area east of Syria. Tradition has him preaching as far east as India, where the ancient Marthoma Christians revere him as their founder. They claim that he died there when pierced through with the spears of four soldiers.


possibly had a powerful ministry in Carthage in North Africa and then in Asia Minor, where he converted the wife of a Roman proconsul. In retaliation the proconsul had Philip arrested and cruelly put to death.


the tax collector and writer of a Gospel ministered in Persia and Ethiopia. Some of the oldest reports say he was not martyred, while others say he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.


had widespread missionary travels attributed to him by tradition: to India with Thomas, back to Armenia, and also to Ethiopia and Southern Arabia. There are various accounts of how he met his death as a martyr for the gospel.


the son of Alpheus is one of at least three James referred to in the New Testament. There is some confusion as to which is which, but this James is reckoned to have ministered in Syria. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that he was stoned and then clubbed to death.

Simon the Zealot

so the story goes, ministered in Persia and was killed after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god.


The apostle chosen to replace Judas. Tradition sends him to Syria with Andrew and to death by burning.


The only one of the apostles generally thought to have died a natural death from old age. He was the leader of the church in the Ephesus area and is said to have taken care of Mary the mother of Jesus in his home. During Domitian’s persecution in the middle ’90s, he was exiled to the island of Patmos. There he is credited with writing the last book of the New Testament–the Revelation. An early Latin tradition has him escaping unhurt after being cast into boiling oil at Rome.

Paul was telling the truth about himself and the other Apostles

1 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 8

May 23, 2020

Verse 8

I can see St Paul getting angry in the next section as he uses irony or sarcasm to get his message across to the Corinthians… in English it sounds really harsh, but it may be acceptable in a Greek culture of the time.  I really do not know the answer to this… I will read more to try to find out.  Lets read the whole section before we try to dig into the text itself;

8 You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. 9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honour. 11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. 1 Corinthians 4:8-13 NASB

Verse 8 is very interesting, and Paul is using a lot of irony for example look at the adverbs ‘already’ x 2 and also ‘without us’.   Then the sarcasm ‘we might reign with you’.

1 Corinthians 4 verses 6 -7

May 22, 2020

Verse 6 -7

6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. 7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 1 Corinthians 4:6-7 NASB

We can assume because he says, “, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes” then it applies to all the leaders in the Corinthian church including Sosthenes.  Poor Sosthenes, who had to put up with all this bickering!

‘I have figuratively’ for  μετασχηματίζa   isn’t one hundred percent as it is not in the perfect but the aorist.  Having said that, at the end of the clause we have the verb gegraptai that is definitely in the perfect… So I think that because it is in the same clause it was ok to use a perfect tense here.

μετασχηματίζa  = I figuratively  apply aorist tense!


Turkish also has an aorist gelirim = ‘I come’.  The aorist can be a little ambiguous… I am coming right now or a little time in the future.   English does not use the aorist tense.  So, Paul could mean I figuratively apply this to me and Appolos…  Later in the clause Paul uses gegraptai which means has been written.  Sainaiticus 2nd hand has an extra word thronein to think but I agree with the main translation because it is awkward to use with gegraptai.

Moving on to the feel of these two verses; Look at all the negative words.

The English carries over the meaning rather well.  The Corinthians crossed the line of scripture and what is allowed.

not to exceed

no one will become arrogant

you did not receive?

you had not received it