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1 Corinthians 4 is the fourth 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, composed between 52–55 CE.[1] Paul continues to confront the factionalism of the Corinthian church and describes the role of an apostle.

1 Corinthians 4
POxy1008 (1Co 7.33-8.4).jpg
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


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 21 verses.

Textual witnessesEdit

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of GodEdit

In verse 1, Paul writes of "us" as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. The New Living Translation [3] and the Living Bible paraphrase both specify that "us" refers to Paul and Apollos, continuing from the references to factions within the church which Paul has confronted in the previous chapter.[4] The Weymouth New Testament and Albert Barnes both refer to "us" as "us Apostles".[5] Heinrich Meyer argues differently: "us" meaning "myself and such as I, by which other apostles also and apostolic teachers (like Apollos) are meant. In view of 1 Corinthians 3:22 (whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come — all are yours) no narrower limitation is allowable."[6]

The words generally translated as "servants of Christ" (υπηρετας χριστου, hypēretas Christou) could also be translated as "officers" of Christ.[7]

Verse 5Edit

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God. (NKJV)[8]

Verse 17Edit

For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church. (NKJV)[9]
  • "I have sent Timothy to you": Out of concern and respect, Paul not only writes, giving his best advice and counsel, promising to come, but, in the meanwhile, sends Timothy (or "Timotheus" in Greek) to the Corinthian church.[10]
  • "Beloved son": In his epistles, Paul often styles Timothy as his own son in the faith, a dearly beloved son. Paul was not the instrument of his conversion, because Timothy was a disciple of Christ before he knew Paul (Acts 16:1) but either because he was younger than Paul or because of their great affection, he served him in the Gospel (Philippians 2:22) knowing well Paul's methods of doctrine and practice.[10]
  • "Remind you of my ways": All the preaching, doctrines, rules and orders Paul gave for the "discipline and management of the affairs of churches", which he had formerly delivered to them, were seemingly forgotten by the church. Therefore, Timothy is sent, not to teach new ways, but only to remind them what Paul had formerly taught them.[10]
  • "In Christ": Paul's doctrines, the sum and substance of them were Christ, what Paul had received from Christ, and such as were agreeably to the mind of Christ.[10]
  • "As I teach everywhere in every church": Paul's plan of doctrine and discipline was the same in every place.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Barton & Muddiman 2007, p. 1108-1109.
  2. ^ Aland, Kurt; Aland, Barbara (1995). The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism. Erroll F. Rhodes (trans.). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-8028-4098-1.
  3. ^ New Living Translation
  4. ^ 1 Corinthians 4:1
  5. ^ Weymouth New Testament: 1 Corinthians 4:1; Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 4, accessed 22 March 2017
  6. ^ Meyer's NT Commentary on 1 Corinthians 4, accessed 23 March 2017
  7. ^ 1 Corinthians 4:1 in Young's Literal Translation
  8. ^ 1 Corinthians 4:5 NKJV
  9. ^ 1 Corinthians 4:16 NKJV
  10. ^ a b c d e John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, – 1 Corinthians 4:17


External linksEdit