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reproves all these parties, and most emphatically those
who called themselves by his name. They were united
by baptism with Christ, not with him (1").

4. Moral Scandals (ch. 5). — A Christian had married
his (probably heathen) step-mother. Perhaps his
father had been separated from her on his becoming a
Christian, but (if 2 Co 7" refers to this incident) was
still alive; and the son thereupon married her. The
Corinthian Church, in the low state of public opinion,
did not condemn this, and did not even mention it in
their letter to St. Paul. St. Paul reproves them £er
tolerating "such fornication as is not even among the
Gentiles' [the word 'named' of the AV text has no
sufficient authority]. There is a difficulty here, for the
heathen tolerated even more incestuous connexions, as
between a man and his half-sister. Ramsay (Exp. vi.
[i.] 110) supposes the Apostle to mean that the Roman
law forbade such marriage. The Roman law ot affinity
was undoubtedly very strict, and Corinth, as a colony,
would be familiar with Ronian law; though the law
was not usually put in forced The Jews strongly de-
nounced such connexions (Am 2'). The Apostle says
nothing ot the punishment ot the heathen step-mother
(cf. 1 Co 5'2), but the man is to be 'delivered unto
Satan' (5', cf. 1 Ti l^").

This phrase probably means simple excommunication,
including the renouncing of all intercourae with the offender
(cf. 5'3)( though many take it to denote the infliction of
some miraculous punishment, disease, or death, and deny
that the offender of 2 Co 2 and 7 is the incestuous Corinthian
of 1 Co 6. Ramsay conjectures that the phrase is a Christian
adaptation of a pagan idea, that a person wronged by another
but unable to retaliate should consign the offenaer to the
gods and leave punishment to be inflicted by Divine power;
Satan would be looked on as God's instrument in punishing
the offender; and the latter, being cast out of the Christian
community, would be left as a prey to the devil.

6. Legal Scandals. — St. Paul rebukes the Corinthians
for litigiousness, 6'-*. This passage is usually inter-
preted as superseding heathen imperial tribunals by
voluntary Christian courts for all cases, such as the
Jews often had. Ramsay (Exp. vi. [i.l 274) suggests
that the Apostle, who usually treats Roman institutions
with respect, is not here considering serious questions of
crime and fraud at all, nor yet law courts whether
heathen or Christian, but those smaller matters which
Greeks were accustomed to submit to arbitration.
In Roman times, as this procedure developed, the
arbiters became really judges of an inferior court.


recognized by the law, and the magistrates appointed
them. In this view St. Paul reproves the Corinthians
for taking their umpires from among the heathen instead
of from among their Christian brethren.

6. Questions of Moral Sin and of Marriage (6'!^7").
— Probably the passage e'^-^" is part of the answer to
the Corinthian letter. The correspondent had said,
'All things are lawful for me.' But all things (the
Apostle replies) are not expedient. ' Meats are for the
belly, and the belly for meats' (i.e. just as food is natural
to the body, so is impurity). But both are transitory,
and the body as a whole is for the Lord ; in virtue of the
Resurrection fornication is a serious sin, for it destroys
the spiritual character of the body. True marriage is
the most perfect symbol ot the relation between Christ
and the Church (e""-; cf. Eph S^^a). In ch. 7 the
Apostle answers the Corinthians' questions about
marriage. It is usually thought that they wished to
extol asceticism, basing their view on our Lord's words
in Mt 19'"-, that they suggested that celibacy was to
be strongly encouraged in all, and that the Apostle,
though agreeing as an abstract principle, yet, because of
imminent persecution and Jesus' immediate return
(72«. 2»)^ replied that in many cases celibacy was undesir-
able. But Ramsay points out that such a question is
unnatural to both Jews and Gentiles of that time.
The better heathen tried to enforce marriage as a cure
for immorality; while the Jews looked on it as an
universal duty. Ramsay supposes, therefore, that the
Corinthians wished to make marriage compulsory, and
that St. Paul pleads for a voluntary celibacy. Against
this it is urged that the Essenes (a Jewish sect) upheld
non-marriage. But it is difficult to think, in view of 1 1"
and Eph 5™-, that St. Paul held the celibate lite to be
essentially the higher one, and the married life only a
matter of permission, a concession to weakness. — Alter
positive commands as to divorce (7'") the Apostle
answers in 7^"- another question: which would be
either (see above) a suggestion that fathers should be
discouraged from finding husbands for their daughters,
or that they should be compelled to do so. On the
latter supposition, St. Paul says that there is no obUga-
tion, and that the daughter may well remain unmarried.
The subject is concluded with advice as to widows'

7. Social Questions (8'-lli).— (a) Food. — Another
question was whether Christians may eat meats which
had previously been offered to idols, as most of the meat
sold in Corinth would have been. St. Paul's answer is
a running commentary on the Corinthians' words (so
Lock, Exp. V. [vi.] 65; Ramsay agrees): 'We know
that we all have knowledge; we are not bound by
absurd ceremonial restrictions.' Yes, but knowledge
puffeth up; without love and humility it is nothing;
besides not all have knowledge. 'The false gods are
really non-existent; we have but one God; as there is no
such thing really as an idol we are free to eat meats
offered in idol temples.' But there are weaker brethren
who would be scandalized. 'Meat will not commend
us to God: it is indifferent.' But do not let your
liberty cause others to fall (note the change of pronoun
in v.«').

Why is the decree of Ac 15" not quoted? Look suggests
that it is because at Corinth there was no question between
Jew and Gentile, but only between Gentile and Gentile,
and Jewish opinion might be neglected. Ramsay (^Exp.
yi. [ii.] 375) thinks that the decree is not mentioned because
it was the very subject of discussion. The Corinthians
had said (he supposes): 'Why should we be tied down by
the Council's decree here at Corinth, so long after? We
know better than to suppose that a non-existent idol can
taint food.' St. Paul replies, maintaining the spirit of the
decree, that offence must not be given to the weaker brethren
(so Hort).

(6) Idol Feasts (gi"-" 10"-11').— St. Paul absolutely
forbids eating at idol feasts. Probably many of the
Corinthians had retained their connexion with pagan



clubs. The pagan feast meant a brotherhood or special
bond of union; but the two kinds of brotherhood were
incompatible. A Christian who, out of complaisance,
attends an idol feast, is really entering a hostile brother-

(c) Digression on Forbearance O'-IO"). — St. Paul aaya
that he habitually oonsidera the rights of others and does
not press his own rights as an Apostle to the_ full; he
implies that the Corinthians should not press their liberty
so as to scandalize others. This passage shows how little
as yet the Judaizers had been at work in Corinth. St. Paul
announces his position as an Apostle, and the right of the
Christian minister to Uveof the gospel, but he will not use his
rights to the full (9'8 RV). He teaches self-denial and
earnestness from the example of the Isthmian games i^"^ ■ ) ,
and shows that the Israelites, in spite of all their privileges,
fell from lack of this self -discipline. It is noteworthy that
he speaks of 'our fathers' (10'). Perhaps, havingaddressed
the Gentiles in particular in ch. 9, he now turns to the Jewish
section of the Corinthian Church: he refers to a Rabbinical
legend in 10*. Or he may be considering the whole Church
as being the spiritual descendants of Israel.

8. ChristianWorship (112-14").— (a) Yeaing of Women.
— In reply (as it seems) to another question, St. Paul
says that it is the Christian custom for men 'praying
or prophesying' to have their heads uncovered, but for
women to have theirs covered. This apparently
trivial matter is an instance of the application of Christian
principles to Christian ceremonial. The Jews of both
sexes prayed with head covered and with a veil before
the face (cf. 2 Co 3"s-); therefore St. Paul's injunction
does not follow Jewish custom. It is based on the
subordination of the woman to the man, and is illus-
trated by the existence of regulated ranks among the
angels; for this seems to be the meaning of ll'".

(6) The Eucharist — The Corinthians joined together in
a social meal — somewhat later called an Agape or Love-
feast — and the Eucharist, probably in imitation both of
the Last Supper and of the Jewish and heathen meals
taken in common. To this combination the name
'Lord's Supper' (here only in NT) is given. But the
party-spirit, already spoken of, showed itself in this
custom; the Corinthians did not eat the Lord's supper,
but their own, because of their factions. St. Paul
therefore gives the narrative of our Lord's Institution
as he himself had received it, strongly condemns those
who make an unworthy communion as ' guilty of the
body and the blood of the Lord,' and inculcates prep-
aration by self-probation.

It is chiefly thispassage that has led some to think that
the writer of the Kpistle is quoting the Synoptic Gospels
(see below, § 10) ; the Lukan account, as we have it in our
Bibles, is very like the Pauline. But the deduction is very
improbable. Even if our Lukan text is right, the result
is only what we should have expected, that the companion
of St. Paul has taken his master's form of the narrative,
which he would doubtless have frequently heard him use
liturgically, and has incorporated it in his Gospel. As a
matter of fact, however, it is not improbable that the Lukan
form was really much shorter than the Pauline, and that
some early scribe has lengthened it to make it fit in with
1 Co 11™- (Westcott-Hort, NT in Greek, ii. Append, p. 64).

(c) Spiritual Gifts (chs, 12-14). — The public manifes-
tation of the presence of the Spirit known as ' speaking
with tongues' (see art. Tongues [Gift of]), seems to
have been very common at Corinth. After the magnif-
icent digression of ch. 13, which shows that of all
spiritual gilts love is the greatest, that it alone is eternal,
that without it all other gifts are useless, St. Paul
applies the principle that spiritual gifts are means to
an end, not an end in themselves; and he therefore
upholds 'prophecy' (i.e., in this connexion, the inter-
pretation of Scripture and of Christian doctrine) as
superior to speaking with tongues, because it edifies
all present. He says, further, that women are to keep
silence (i.e. not to prophesy?) in the public assemblies
(14M'-, cf. 1 Ti 212). In lis (cf. Ac 21') some women
are said to have had the gift of prophecy; so that we
must understand that they were allowed to exercise it
only among women, or in their own households. But


possibly the Apostle has chiefly in his mind questions
asked by women in the pubUc assemblies (cf. 14?^).

9. The Resurrection of the Body (ch. is).— This, the
only doctrinal chapter of the Epistle, contains also the
earliest evidence for our Lord's resurrection. Appar-
ently the Gentile converts at Corinth felt a great difSculty
in accepting the doctrine of the resurrection of the
body; it appeared to them too material a doctrine
to be true (ISi", cf. 2 Ti 2^'). St. Paul replies that Christ
has risen, as many still alive can testify, and that there-
fore the dead will rise. For his treatment of the subject
see art. Paul the Apostle, iii. 10. The Corinthian
scepticism does not seem to have died out at the end of
the century, for Clement of Rome, writing to Corinth,
strongly emphasizes the doctrine (Cor. 24f.).

St. Paul concludes the Epistle with directions about
the regular collecting of alms for the poor Christians
of Judsea, and with personal notices and salutations.

10. Date and genuineness of the Epistle. —It is referred
to as St. Paul's by Clement of Rome, c. a.d. 95 (jOor.
47), who speaks of the parties of Paul, Cephas, and
ApoUos, but omits the Christ-party (see above § 3);
we cannot infer from his phrase 'the Epistle of the
blessed Paul' that he knew only one Epistle to the
Corinthians, as early usage shows (Lightfoot, Clement,
ii. 143). There are other clear allusions in Clement.
Ignatius (Eph. 18f.) refers to 1 Co I™- ="■ 41= and
probably 2«; Polycarp (§11) quotes 1 Co 6* as Paul's;
references are found in the Martyrdom of Polycarp, in
Justin Martyr, and in the Epistle to Diognetus; while
Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian at the
end of the 2nd cent, quote the Epistle fully. Of the
2nd cent, heretics the Ophites and Basilides certainly
knew it. Internal evidence fully bears out the external;
no Epistle shows more clearly the mark of originality ;
and the undesigned coincidences between it and Acts,
which Paley draws out, point in the same direction.
It is in fact one of the four ' generally accepted ' Epistles
of St. Paul. See art. Paul the Apostle, i. 2, for the
general arguments adduced against their genuineness.
Against that of our Epistle in particular it has been
alleged that it is dependent on Romans — thus, 4« (' the
things which are written') is said to be a quotation of
Ro 12^, surely a most fanciful idea — and on the Synoptic
Gospels, especially in two particulars, the account of the
Last Supper (see § 8 (6) above) , and that of the Resurrec-
tion appearances of our Lord (15*»). The real problem
of the latter passage, however (as Goudge remarks, p.
xxvii.), is not to account for the extent to which it
runs parallel with the Gospels, but to explain why it
does not run more nearly parallel with them. Few will
be convinced by a criticism which practically assumes
that a Christian writer of the 1st cent, could only know
the facts of our Lord's earthly life from our Gospels.
We may then take the genuineness of the Epistle as
being unassailable.

If so, what is its date? Relatively to the rest of the
Pauline chronology, it may be approximately fixed.
In the year of his arrest at Jerusalem, St. Paul left
Corinth in the early spring, after spending three months
there (Ac 20'- '). He must therefore have arrived
there in late autumn or early winter. This seems
to have been the visit to Corinth promised in 2 Co 13',
which was the third visit. Two visits in all must have
therefore preceded 2 Cor. (some think also 1 Cor.), and in
any case an interval of some months between the two
Epistles must be allowed for. In 1 Co 16« the Apostle
had announced his intention of wintering in Corinth,
and it is possible that the visit of Ac 20' is the fulfilment
of this intention, though St. Paul certainly did not
carry out all his plans at this time (2 Co I'"- "). If so,
1 Cor. would have been written from Ephesus in the
spring of the year before St. Paul's arrest at Jerusalem.

This date is favoured by the allusion of 5"-, which suggests
to many commentatora that the Easter festival was being,
or about to be, celebrated when St. Paul wrote. It is a



little doubtful, however, whether the Gentile churches
kept the annual as well as the weekly feast of the Resurrection
at this early date; see art. 'Calendar, The Christian,' in
Hastings' DCG i. 256.

Ramsay (;S(. Paul the Trav. p. 276) thinks that we
must date our Epistle some six months earlier, in the
second autumn before St. Paul's arrest. The events
alluded to In 2 Cor. require a long interval between the
Epistles. Moreover, the Corinthians had begun the
collection for the poor Jews 'a year ago' when St. Paul
wrote 2 Cor. (8'" 9'), and it seems, therefore, that at least
a year must have elapsed since the injunction of 1 Co
16'. It is suggested, however, that we should rather
translate the phrase 'last year,' and that to one who
used the Macedonian calendar, and who wrote in the
autumn, 'last spring' would also be 'last year,' for the
new year began in September. On the whole, however,
the argument about the Easter festival seems to be
precarious, and the conditions are probably better
satisfied if a longer interval be allowed, and the First
Epistle put about 18 months before St. Paul's arrest.
The absolute, as opposed to the'relative, date will depend
on our view of the rival schemes given in art. Chronology
OP THE NT, § iii. A. J. Maclean.

stances of the Epistle.^ — The circumstances of this
' Epistle are more diiEcult to discover than those of any
other of St. Paul's Epistles. The historical situation
has been well described as a 'trackless forest,' and as
a consequence the views of writers are very varied.
We may best start by noticing that the Epistle
was clearly written when the Apostle was burdened
by some great anxiety, perhaps physical, but assuredly
spiritual (11^8). xhis anxiety seems to have been
connected with at least three things: (a) a mission of
Titus; (6) a letter St. Paul had written to Corinth,
either our 1 Cor., or an Epistle now lost (7'); (c) the
treatment of some offender at Corinth, either the guilty
one of 1 Co 5', or some resolute opponent of St. Paul's
authority. In 13' we read of a projected third visit (for
such seems the most natural interpretation of the words) ,
and this presupposes a second visit of which we have
no record. Four questions then need to be answered.

(1) Why Titus' mission should have caused anxiety?

(2) What was the letter that led to St. Paul's concern
as to its effect? (3) Who was the offender referred to?
(4) When did the second visit take place?

2 . St. Paul and Corinth . — The Church was f oundedjln
53 or 54 on the Second Missionary Journey (Ac 18'). St.
Paul remained there two years. After leaving, he kept
up communications (2 Co 12"), though it was only at
Ephesus on the Third Missionary Journey in 66 (Ac 19')
that he could resume personal intercourse. While
there, he heard of the terrible immorality, and wrote
a short letter (1 Co 5'), ordering them to have no inter-
course with fornicators. This letter, now lost, may be
referred to in 2 Co I'S; and if so, it may have contained
a statement that he would come to Corinth before
going to Macedonia. This project, however, was altered
(1 Co 16'). About the same time (a.d. 56) he possibly
paid a second visit from Ephesus to Corinth, which
caused him great pain and grief (2 Co 2' 12'«- « 13').
Then in the spring of 57 he wrote 1 Cor., and on the
strength of his Apostolic authority ordered the punish-
ment of the incestuous person (1 Co 6'-'). At the
same time he sent Timothy on a mission (1 Co 4" 16'°)
to support and supplement his letter. It is possible
that 'nmothy returned with the sad news that the
Church refused to carry out St. Paul's orders, or possibly
that there was a growing opposition to his authority
under some Judaizing ringleader. Then followed the
mission of Titus, carrying with him a letter, our 1 Cor.,
or another now lost (2 Co 2' 7'), in which St. Paul
insisted on Church discipUne. Paul leaves Ephesus
owing to riot (Ac 19), expects to see Titus in Troas,
but does not meet him until they reach Macedonia in


the summer or autumn of 57 (2 Co 2'2- "). The news
Titus brought from Corinth is mixed. The majority
of the Church had obeyed his orders and punished the
offender (2 Co 28-"), but the Judaizers had grown
stronger in opposition to the Apostle, charging him
with inconsistency, false Apostleship, boasting, and
money-making. They were also probably endeavour-
ing to thwart his collections for Jerusalem (1 Co 16',
2 Co 8'). Not least of all was the still existing danger
for Gentile converts of relapsing into heathen worship
and impurity (2 Co 6" 7' 12i»-2'). As a result of this
news, St. Paul writes our 2 Cor., in which (1) he ex-
presses great satisfaction at the good news of discipline
exercised against evildoers, (2) justifies the collection
for Jerusalem, and (3) vindicates his Apostolicauthority.
Then followed a visit (the third) to Corinth, and a stay
of three months (Ac 20').

The moat uncertain point is the place of the second visit.
As above stated, it is thought by some to have taken place
before our 1 Cor. was written, though others suggest it should
come soon after Timothy's mission and as a result of his
failure. On this view, however, it is difficult, if not im-
possible, to account for Titus' mission. It is also urged
(Robertson in Hastings' DB) that a place for the second
visit cannot be found anterior to our 1 Cor., and it must
therefore be removed altogether from thesphere and circum-
stances of our two Epistles. It is also uncertain whether
the offender is the one of 1 Cor., as seems more probable,
or some entirely different person who was a virulent opponent
of St. Paul's Apostolicauthority. Godet makes out a strong
and almost convincing case for a different set of circum-
stances in 2 Cor. from those in 1 Corinthians. There is equal
uncertainty as to the letter about which St. Paul was anxious
Moat probably it is one now lost, and not our 1 Corinthians.
Denney {Expos. Bible) considers the connexion between
1 and 2 Ck>r. so close as to need no hypotheses of additional
Epistles now lost. He would explain 2 Cor. entirely out of

1 Corinthians. Bernard favours this view (so formerly
Plummer) . On the other handj Godet places the second visit
between our 1 and 2 Cor., which visit is thought to be the
painful and recent one in 2 Co 18'-28. The following, modified
from Robertson (Hastings' DB^i. 495), is perhaps the best
scheme of events: — (1) Foundation of Church at Corinth (Ac
18'-'). (2) Apollo3atCorinth(Acl9',lColi2). (3)St.Paul
at Ephesus (Ac 19'). [The second visit to CJorinth if before
our 1 Cor.] (4) Lost letter of 1 Co 6^ (perhaps announcing
the jplan of 2 Co 1"). (5) Some would put second visit to
Connth here. (6) Visit of Stephanas and others from Corinth
to St. Paul at Ephesus (1 Co 16"- '«), askmg for advice
on certain matters (1 Co 71 8'). (7) 1 Cor. sent by Titus
and the 'brother' (2 Co 12'8). (8) St. Paul determines
to pay a double visit to CJorinth (2 Co 1") . (9) Painful news
from Corinth through Titusleads toachangeof plan. (10) A
severe letter sent. (11) Titus sent to Corinth (2 Co 7'-"),
with, on the whole, favourable results. (12) Titus returns
and meets St. Paul in Macedonia. (.13) Titus sent to Corinth
with 2 Corinthians. (14) St. Paul's visit to Corinth and
three months' stay (Ac 20*).

It is interesting to note the happy results of this letter.
Not only did the Apostle go again to Corinth, but actually
wintered there. Still more, it was during these three
months that he wrote his great Epistle to the Romans,
the quiet tone and massive strength of which bear
witness to the restf ulness of the Apostle's mind and heart,
as well as to the complete victory over the Judaizers.
Not least of all, his favourite project — the collection
for Jerusalem — was brought to a successful completion,
and the Church of Corinth had some of its members
included in the delegation to Jerusalem (Ac 20*). Hia
vigorous Epistle was therefore not in vain, and Corinth
and the whole Church have been the gainers by it in
the overruUng providence of God.

3. Date. — 1 Cor. was written in the spring of 57, and

2 Cor. probably in the same year, though it is impossible
to say definitely what was the exact interval between
them. The all-engrossing topic of the collection for
Jerusalem (chs. 8 and 9) indicates the date as during
the time of the Third Missionary Journey. St. Paul had
left Asia (,!'), and had passed through Troas (2"), and
was in Macedonia (2" 9'). From Ac 20' we know
that he wintered at Corinth, and so 2 Cor. fits in exactly



with Ac 20'. Waite (^Speaker's Com.) therefore suggests
October 57 and not earUer. This would suit the cir-
cumstances of Timothy's and Titus' visits, and account
for the great change at Corinth towards St. Paul. Godet
would put just over a year between the two Epistles,
arguing that such a change of circumstances and tone
could not have arisen within a few months.

4. Integrity. — There is no ground for supposing
that the letter is not now in its original form. Recent

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