1 Corinthians 10 is the tenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle and Sosthenes in Ephesus. In this chapter Paul writes about the Corinthians' Exodus journey and the Eucharist, and returns to the subject of food offered to idols.[1] The argument concerning meats offered to idols is resumed in 1 Corinthians 10:14.[2][3]

1 Corinthians 10
1 Corinthians 7:33–8:4 in Papyrus 15, written in the 3rd century.
BookFirst Epistle to the Corinthians
CategoryPauline epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part7

Text Edit

Originally written in Koine Greek, this chapter is divided into 33 verses.

Textual witnesses Edit

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Old Testament references Edit

Old Testament examples against idolatry (10:1–14) Edit

The Pulpit Commentary suggests that Paul's purpose in verses 1 to 14 is to warn "against over confidence in relation to idolatry and other temptations".[7]

He has just shown them [in chapter 9] by his own example, the necessity for strenuous watchfulness and effort. In continuance of the same lesson, he teaches them historically that the possession of great privileges is no safeguard, and that the seductions, even of idolatry, must not be carelessly despised.

— 1 Corinthians 10, The Pulpit Commentary[7]

Although writing to a church made up of both Jews and gentiles,[8] Paul finds no difficulty in using scriptural narratives to illustrate God's dealings with the church, since he regards the Israelites in the desert as "our ancestors" (10:1)[9] or "our fathers", that is, the [Jewish] forefathers at the time of the exodus from Egypt.[10] He speaks, "as in Romans 4:1, from his national consciousness, which was shared in by his Jewish readers, and well understood by his Gentile ones".[11] Paul emphasises that all of "our fathers" had the blessing of the divine presence: πάντες (pantes, "all") has strong emphasis, and is repeated four times.[11] Paul uses the story of Israel's disobedience in the wilderness (also concerning idolatry and sexual immorality which makes it immediately relevant) to illustrate his warning to the Corinthians: "even those chosen by God can go badly astray; and if they do, whatever their privileges are liable to destruction".[12]

Verse 13 Edit

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

— 1 Corinthians 10:13, New King James Version[13]
  • "No temptation has overtaken you" (NKJV; KJV: "There hath no temptation taken you"): Gill suggests that this statement is to comfort the believers, so they will not be distressed or regard it as "some strange or unusual thing" or that they "must unavoidably perish and be destroyed by it."[14]
  • "Common to man": can be rendered as "is humane"[14] or "suited to man" which is explained further as "a temptation which one is able to bear".[15] Paul does not mean that "they had been, or were, or would be entirely free from other temptations", but that the temptation might be endured while the believers are strengthened by the grace of God.[14]
  • "God [...] will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able": the believers are tempted, afflicted, or persecuted, only by a "divine permission", and within the determination of God, who also provide strength and always be with them until the end.[14]
  • "The way of escape": Gill wrote that God knows how and when to deliver his people out of temptations, while also, "in His providence, open a way that they may escape out of them."[14]
  • "You may be able to bear it": or "what you are in a position to bear" (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:2).[11] According to Gill, God "does not always think fit to remove at once an affliction or temptation", although being asked earnestly by his people, as in the case of Paul himself (1 Corinthians 12:7–8),[16] but he provides them grace enough to bear it or "stand up under it" and "triumph over it."[14][unreliable source?]

The inherent disgracefulness of any tampering with idolatry (10:15–22) Edit

At the Lord's Supper, "the cup of blessing" is a "partnership" in the blood of Christ and similarly, "the bread which is broken" is a symbol of "partnership" in the body of Christ (10:16),[17] so that the participation in this meal signals a bond between the participant and Christ, which must be exclusive of all others (10:21-2; cf. the parallel argumentation in 6:15-17).[18]

The reference to the 'bread' and the 'body' leads to an exposition about the 'one body' of the church (10:17, anticipating 11:17-34 and 12:12-31), as a model to encourage the people to take more care of their fellow 'limbs' with weaker consciences (cf. 10:23—4).[18]

Verse 16 Edit

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

— 1 Corinthians 10:16, King James Version[19]
  • "The cup of blessing" (Biblical Greek: Τὸ ποτήριον τῆς εὐλογίας, To potērion tēs eulogias):[20] translated from Hebrew: kos haberachah (cf. Psalm 116:13: Biblical Hebrew: כוס־ישועות, kōs-yə-šū-‘ōṯ, "cup of salvation"),[21] that is, toward the end of the Passover celebration, a blessing was invoked by the head of the family over this cup.[7] Here, the name is transferred to the "chalice in the Eucharist", over which Christ "gave thanks" (1 Corinthians 11:24; Matthew 26:27). A close connection is observed between the "blessing" (eulogesas, Matthew 26:22; Mark 14:22) and "giving thanks" (eucharistesas, Luke 22:19).[7]
  • "The bread" or rather, "the loaf", was "apparently passed from hand to hand", that each participant "might break off a piece".[7] The best comment on the verse is John 6:41-59, where Jesus taught that "there could be no true spiritual life without the closest union with him and incorporation into his life".[7]
  • "The communion of": literally, "a participation in".[7]

Verse 17 Edit

For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

— 1 Corinthians 10:17, King James Version[22]
  • "For we are all partakers of one bread": or linguistically can be rendered as "for we all have a share from the one bread".[11]

Practical guidelines on eating and avoiding offence (10:23–33) Edit

This part, concluding in 11:1, deals with the ban on participation in 'idolatry' in 'places and occasions where sacrificial food may be on offer without involving the believer in idolatry'.[23] As in chapter 8, Paul maintains that "love is a more valuable criterion than knowledge" (8:1—3), so when acknowledging again the Corinthian principle of freedom (10:23, cf. 6:12), Paul insists on what "builds up", that is, "what is beneficial to others" (cf. 8:1).[23]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ See also 1 Corinthians 8:1–6
  2. ^ 1 Corinthians 10:14
  3. ^ Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on 1 Corinthians 10, accessed 3 April 2017
  4. ^ See the Kurzgefasste Liste, search for P129.
  5. ^ 1 Corinthians 10:28
  6. ^ Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Vol. Book IV and V: Psalms XC-CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. p. 838. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Exell, Joseph S.; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice (Editors). On "1 Corinthians 10". In: The Pulpit Commentary. 23 volumes. First publication: 1890. Accessed 2 April 2017.
  8. ^ Acts 18:1–11
  9. ^ 1 Corinthians 10:1
  10. ^ Barclay 2007, p. 1123.
  11. ^ a b c d Meyer's NT Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10. Accessed 3 April 2017
  12. ^ Barclay 2007, pp. 1123–1124.
  13. ^ 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV
  14. ^ a b c d e f Gill, John. Exposition of the Entire Bible, – 1 Corinthians 10:13. Accessed February 28, 2019.
  15. ^ Ellicott, C. J. (Ed.) Ellicott's Bible Commentary for English Readers. 1 Corinthians 10. London : Cassell and Company, Limited, [1905-1906] Online version: (OCoLC) 929526708. Accessed 28 April 2019.
  16. ^ 2 Corinthians 12:7–8
  17. ^ 1 Corinthians 10:16
  18. ^ a b Barclay 2007, p. 1124.
  19. ^ 1 Corinthians 10:16 KJV
  20. ^ Greek Text Analysis: 1 Corinthians 10:16. Biblehub
  21. ^ Hebrew Text Analysis: Psalm 116:13. Biblehub
  22. ^ 1 Corinthians 10:17 KJV
  23. ^ a b Barclay 2007, p. 1125.

Sources Edit

Further reading Edit

External links Edit