Table of Contents
The First Epistle of St Paul the Apostle
to the Corinthians
The 1st Chapter
Paul by vocation an Apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and brother Sostenes.
Unto the congregation of God which is at Corinthum. To them that are sanctified in Christ *Jesu, saints by calling, with all that call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both of theirs and of ours. Jesu; Hebrew for Jesus
Grace be with you and peace from God our father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ, that in all things you are made rich by him, in all learning and in all knowledge, even as the testimony of Jesus Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are behind in no gift, and wait for the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ which shall strength you unto the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. For God is faithful by whom you are called unto the fellowship of his son Jesus Christ our Lord. I beseech you brethren in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak one thing and that there be no dissension among you: but be you knit to gether in one mind and in one meaning: It is showed unto me (my brethren) of you, by them that are of the house of Cloe, that there is strife among you. And this is it that I mean: how that commonly among you, one says: I hold of Paul: another I hold of Apollo: the third I hold of Cephas: the fourth that I hold of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? either were you baptised in the name of Paul? I thank God that I christened none of you, but Crispus and Gaius, least any should say that I had baptised in mine own name. I baptised also the house of Stephana. Furthermore know I not whether I baptised any man or no.
For Christ sent me not to baptise, but to preach the Gospell, not with wisdom of words, least the cross of Christ should have been made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will cast away the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the searcher of this world? Has not God made the wisdom of this world foolishness?
For when the world through wisdom knew not God, in the wisdom of God: it pleased God through foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews an occasion, of falling, and unto the Greeks foolishness: but unto them which are called both of Jews and Greeks, we preach Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men: and the weakness of God is stronger than men. Brethren look on your calling how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many of high degree are called: But God has chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise. And God has chosen the weak things of the world, to confound things which are mighty. And vile things of the world, and things which are despised has God chosen, yes and things of no reputation, for to bring to nought things of reputation, that no flesh should rejoice in his presence. And unto him pertain ye, in Christ Jesu, which of God is made unto us wisdom, and also righteousness, and sanctifying and redemption. That according as it is written: he which rejoices, should rejoice in the Lord.
The 2nd Chapter
And I brethren when I came to you, came not in gloriousness of words or of wisdom, showing unto you the testimony of God. Neither showed I myself that I knew any thing among you save Jesus Christ, even the same that was crucified. And I was among you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my words and my preaching were not with enticing words of mans wisdom: but in showing of the spirit and of power that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men: but in the power of God.
That we speak of, is wisdom among them that are perfect: not the wisdom of this world, neither of the rulers of this world (which go to nought), but we speak the wisdom of God, which is in secret and lies hid, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory: which wisdom none of the rulers of the world knew. For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: The eye has not seen, and the ear has not heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
But God has opened them unto us by his spirit. For the spirit searches all things, you the bottom of Gods secrets. For what man knows the things of a man: save the spirit of a man which is within him? Even so the things of God knows no man, but the spirit of God. And we have not received the spirit of the world: but the spirit which comes of God, for to know the things that are given to us of God, which things also we speak, not in the cunning words of mans wisdom, but with the cunning words of the holy ghost, making spiritual comparisons of spiritual things. For the natural man perceives not the things of the spirit of God. For they are but foolishness unto him. Neither can he perceive them, because he is spiritually examined. But he that is spiritual, discusses all things: yet he him self is judged of no man. For who knows the mind of the Lord, other who shall inform him? But we understand the mind of Christ.
The 3rd Chapter
And I could not speak unto you brethren as unto spiritual: but as unto carnal, even as it were unto babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink and not meat. For you then were not strong, no neither yet are. For you are yet carnal. As long verily as there is among you envying, strife and dissension: are you not carnal, and walk after the manner of men? As long as one says, I hold of Paul, and another I am of Apollo, are you not carnal? What is Paul? What thing is Apollo? Only ministers are they by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave every man grace. I have planted: Apollo watered: but God gave increase. So then, neither is he that plants any thing, neither he that waters: but God which gave the increase. He that plants and he that waters, are neither better than the other. Every man yet shall receive his reward according to his labour. We are Gods laborers, you are Gods husbandry, you are Gods building. According to the grace of God given unto me, as a wise builder have I laid the foundation. And another built there on. But let every man take heed how he builds upon. For other foundation can no man lay, than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man build on this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones: timber, hay or stubble: every mans work shall appear. For the day shall declare it, and it shall be showed in fire. And the fire shall try every mans work, what it is. If any mans work that he has built upon, bide, he shall receive a reward. If any mans work burn, he shall suffer loss, but he shall be safe himself: nevertheless yet as it were through fire.
Are you not ware (aware) that you are the temple of God, and how that the spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. Let no man deceive him self. If any man seem wise among you, let him be a fool in this world, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written: he compasses the wise in their craftiness. And again, God knows the thoughts of the wise that they be vain. Therefore let no man rejoice in men. For all things are yours, whether it be Paul, either Apollos, either Cephas: whether it be the world, or life, either death, whether they be present things or things to come: all are yours: and you are Christs, and Christ is Gods.
The 4th Chapter
Let men this wise esteem us, even as the ministers of Christ, and disposers of the secrets of God. Furthermore it is required of the disposers that they be found faithful. With me is it but a very small thing, that I should be judged of you, either of (mans day). No, I judge not mine own self. I know nought (nothing) by myself: yet am I not thereby justified. It is the Lord that judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the time until the Lord come, which will lighten things that are hid in darkness and open the counsels of the hearts. And then shall every man have praise of God.
These things brethren I have described in mine own person and Apollos, for your sakes, that you might learn by us, that no man count of him self beyond that which is above written: that one swell not against another for any mans cause. For who prefers you? What have you, that you have not received? If you have received it, why rejoice you as though you had not received it? Now you are full: now you are made rich: you reign as kings without us: and I would to God you did reign, that we might reign with you.
Me thinks that God has set forth us which are Apostles, for the lowest of all, as it were men appointed to death. For we are a gazing stock unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools for Christs sake and you are wise through Christ. We are weak, and you are strong. you are honorable, and we are despised. Even unto this day we hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted with fists, and have no certain dwelling place, and labour working with our own hands. We are reviled, and yet we bless. We are persecuted, and suffer it. We are evil spoken of, and we pray. We are made as it were the filthiness of the world, the off scouring of all things, even unto this time.
I write not these things to shame you: but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ: yet have you not many fathers. In Christ Jesu, I have begotten you through the Gospell. Wherefore I desire you to follow me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, which is my dear son and faithful in the Lord, which shall put you in remembrance of my ways which I have in Christ, even as I teach everywhere in all congregations. Some swell as though I would come no more at you. But I will come to you shortly, if God will: and will know, not the words of them which swell, but the power: for the Kingdom of God is not in words, but in power. What will you ? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or else in love and in the spirit of meekness?
The 5th Chapter
There goes a common saying that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not once named among the gentiles: that one should have his fathers wife. And you swell, and have not rather sorrowed, that he which has done this deed, might be put from among you. For I verily as absent in body, even so present in spirit, have determined already (as though I were present) of him that has done this deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver him unto Satan, for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be: saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Your rejoicing is not good: know you not that a little leaven sours the whole lump of dough? Purge therefore the old leaven, that you may be new dough, as you are sweet bread. For Christ our *ester lamb is offered up for us. Therefore let us keep holy day, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of maliciousness and wickedness: but with the sweet bread of pureness and truth. *ester lamb: exactly as it appears; this is the Hebrew feast of sweet bread, and this lamb was offered at the first passover in Egypt.
I wrote unto you in an epistle that you should not company with fornicators. And I meant not at all of the fornicators of this world, either of the covetous, or of extortioners, either of the idolaters: for then must you needs have gone out of the world. But now I write unto you, that you company not together, if any that is called a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or a worshipper of images, either a railer, either a drunkard, or an extortioner: with him that is such see that you eat not. For what have I to do, to judge them which are without? Do you not judge them that are within? Them that are without, God shall judge. Put away from among you, that evil person.
The 6th Chapter
How dare one of you having business with another, go to law under the wicked, and not rather under the saints? Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? If the world shall be judged by you: are you not good enough to judge small trifles: know you not how that we shall judge the angels? How much more may we judge things that pertain to the life? If you have judgements of worldly matters, take them which are despised in the congregation, and make them judges. This I say to your shame. Is there utterly no wise man among you? What not one at all, that can judge between brother and brother, but one brother goes to law with another: and that under the unbelievers?
Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because you go to law one with another. Why rather suffer you not wrong? why rather suffer (allow) you not yourselves to be robbed? No, you yourselves do wrong, and rob: and that the brethren. Do you not remember how that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived. For neither fornicators, neither worshippers of images, neither whoremongers, neither weaklings, neither abusers of themselves with mankind, neither thieves, neither the covetous, neither drunkards, neither cursed speakers, neither *pillers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were you verily: but you are washed: you are sanctified: you are justified by the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God.*pillers: those that charge others excessively, as to pillage the people, what ever the market will bear.
All things are lawful unto me: but all things are not profitable. I may do all things: but I will be brought under no mans power. Meats are ordained for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Let not the body be applied unto fornication, but unto the Lord, and the Lord unto the body. God has raised up the Lord, and shall raise us up by his power.
Either remember you not, that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I now take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. Do you not understand that he which couples himself with an harlot, is become one body? For two (says he) shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord, is one spirit.
Flee fornication. All sins that a man doth, are without the body. But he that is a fornicator, sins against his own body. Either know you not how that your bodies are the temple of the holy ghost, which is in you, whom you have of God, and how that you are not your own? For you are dearly bought. Therefore glorify you God in your bodies and in your spirits, for they are Gods.
The 7th Chapter
As concerning the things whereof you wrote unto me: it is good for a man, not to touch a woman. Nevertheless to avoid fornication, let every man have his wife: and let every woman have her husband. Let the man give unto the wife due *benevolence (compassion, kindness). Likewise also the wife unto the man. The wife has not power over her own body: but the husband. And likewise the man has not power over his own body: but the wife. Withdraw not yourselves one from another, except it be with consent for a time, for to give yourselves to fasting and prayer. And afterward come again to the same thing, least Satan tempt you for your *incontinence (not continuing).
This I say of favour, not of commandment. For I would that all men were as I myself am: but every man has his proper gift of God, one after this manner, another after that. I say unto the unmarried men and widows: it is good for them if they abide even as I do. But and if they cannot abstain, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn.
Unto the married command not I, but the Lord: that the wife separate not herself from the man. If she separate herself, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled unto her husband again. And let not the husband put away his wife from him.
To the remnant speak I, and not the Lord. If any brother have a wife that believes not, if she be content to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which has to her husband an infidel, if he consent to dwell with her, let her not put him away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband. Or else were your children unclean: but now are they pure. But and if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not in subjection to such. God has called us in peace. For how know you o woman, whether you shall save that man or no? Other how know you o man whether you shall save that woman or no? but even as God has distributed to every man.
As the Lord has called every person, so let him walk: and so ordain I in all congregations. If any man be called being circumcised, let him add nothing thereto. If any be called uncircumcised: let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, uncircumcision is nothing: but the keeping of the commandments of God is altogether.
Let every man abide in the same state wherein he was called. are you called a servant? care not for it. Nevertheless if you may be free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord being a servant is the Lords freeman. Likewise he that is called being free, is Christs servant. you are dearly bought, be not mens servants. Brethren let every man wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
As concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord: yet give I counsel, as one that has obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I suppose that it is good for the present necessity. For it is good for a man so to be. are you bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. are you loosed from a wife? seek not, a wife. But and if you take a wife you sin not. Likewise if a virgin marry, she sins not. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in their flesh: but I favour you.
This say I brethren, the time is short. It remains that they which have wives, be as though they had none, and they that weep be as though they wept not: and they that rejoice, be as though they rejoiced not: and they that buy, be as though they possessed not: and they that use this world, be as though they used it not. For the fashion of this world goes away. I would have you without care. The single man cares for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But he that has married, cares for the things of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference between a virgin and a wife. The single woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be pure both in body and also in spirit. But she that is married, cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This speak I for your profit, not to tangle you in a snare: but for that which is honest and comely unto you, and that you may quietly cleave unto the Lord without separation.
If any man think that it is uncomely for his virgin, if she pass the time of marriage, and if so need require, let him do what he lists (inclined to do), he sins not: let them be coupled in marriage. Nevertheless he that purposes surely in his heart, having none need: but has power over his own will: and has so decreed in his heart, that he will keep his virgin, does well. So then he that joins his virgin in marriage does well. But he that joins not his virgin in marriage, does better. The wife is bound to the law as long as her husband lives. If her husband sleep, she is at liberty to marry with whom she will, only in the Lord. But she is happier if she so abide, in my judgement. And I think verily that I have the spirit of God.
The 8th Chapter
To speak of things dedicate unto idols, we are sure that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes a man swell: but love edifies. If any man think that he knows any thing, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
To speak of meat dedicate unto idols, we are sure that there is none idol in the world and that there is none other God but one. And though there be that are called Goddes, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be Godds many and lords many) yet unto us is there but one God, which is the father, of whom are all things, and we in him: and one Lord Jesus Christ by whom are all things, and we by him. But every man has not knowledge. For some suppose that there is an idol until this hour, and eat as of a thing offered unto the idol, and so their consciences being yet weak, are defiled. Meat makes us not acceptable to God. Neither if we eat, are we the better. Neither if we eat not, are we the worse.
But take heed that your liberty cause not the weak to fall. For if some man see you which have knowledge, sit at meat in the idols temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak, be boldened to eat those things which are offered unto the idol? And so through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish for whom Christ died. When you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak consciences you sin against Christ. Wherefore if meat hurt my brother, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, because I will not hurt my brother.
The 9th Chapter
Am I not an Apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not you my work in the Lord? If I be not an Apostle unto other, yet am I unto you. For the seal of mine Apostleship are you in the Lord. Mine answer to them that ask me, is this. Have we not power to eat and to drink? Either have we not power to lead about a sister to wife, as well as other Apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord and Cephas? Either only I and Barnabas have not power this to do? Who goes a warfare any time at his own cost? Who plants a vineyard, and eats not of the fruit? Who feeds a flock and eats not of the milk?
Say I these things after the manner of men? Or says not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses: You shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn. does God take thought for oxen? Either says he it not all together for our sakes? For our sakes no doubt this is written: that he which eareth, should ear in hope: and that he which threshes in hope, should be partaker of his hope. If we sow unto you spiritual things: is it a great thing if we reap your carnal things? If other be partakers of this power over you, wherefore are not we rather?
Nevertheless we have not used this power: but suffer all things least we should hinder the Gospell of Christ. Do you not understand how that they which minister in the temple, have their finding of the temple? And they which wait at the altar, are partakers with the altar. Even so also did the Lord ordain, that they which preach the Gospell, should live of the Gospell. But I have used none of these things.
Neither wrote I these things that it should be so done unto me. For it were better for me to die, than any man should take this rejoicing from me. In that I preach the Gospell, I have nothing to rejoice of. For necessity is put unto me. Woe is it unto me if I preach not the Gospell. If I do it with a good will I have a reward. But if I do it against my will, an office is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that when I preach the Gospell, I make the Gospell of Christ free, that I misuse not mine authority in the Gospell.
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all men, that I might win the more. Unto the Jewes, I became as a Jewe, to win the Jews. To them that were under the law, was I made as though I had been under the law, to win them that were under the law. To them that were without law, became I as though I had been without law (when I was not without law as pertaining to God, but under a law as concerning Christ) to win them that were without law. To the weak became I as weak, to win the weak. In all things I fashioned myself to all men, to save at the least way some. And this I do for the Gospells sake, that I might have my part thereof.
Perceive you not how that they which run in a course, run all, yet but one receives the reward? So run that you may obtain. Every man that proves masteries, abstains from all things. And they do it to obtain a corruptible crown: but we to obtain an uncorruptible crown: I therefore so run, not as at an uncertain thing. So fight I, not as one that beats the air: but I tame my body and bring it into subjection, least after that I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
The 10th Chapter
Brethren I would not that you should be ignorant of this, how that our fathers were all under a cloud, and all passed through the sea, and were all baptised under Moses, in the cloud and in the sea: and did all eat of one spiritual meat, and did all drink of one manner of spiritual drink. And they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, which rock was Christ. But in many of them had God no delight. For they were overthrown in the wilderness.
These are examples to us that we should not lust after evil things, as they lusted. Neither be you worshippers of images as were some of them according as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up again to play. Neither let us commit fornication as some of them committed fornication, and were destroyed in one day twenty three thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur you as some of them murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
All these things happened upon them for examples, and were written to put us in remembrance, whom the ends of the world are come upon. Wherefore let him that thinks he stands, take heed least he fall. There has none other temptation taken you, but such as follows the nature of man. But God is faithful, which shall not suffer (allow) you to be tempted above your strength: but shall in the midst of the temptation make a way to escape out. Wherefore my dear beloved, flee from worshipping of idols.
I speak as unto them which have discretion (common sense) , judge you what I say. Is not the cup of blessing which we bless, partaking of the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break, partaking of the body of Christ? Because that we (though we be many) yet are one bread, and one body in as much as we all are partakers of one bread. Behold Israel which walks carnally: Are not they which eat of the sacrifice, partakers of the altar?
What say I then? that the image is anything? or that it which is offered to images is anything? No but I say, that these things which the gentiles offer, they offer to devils, and not to God.
And I would not that you should have fellowship with the devils. you cannot drink of the cup of the Lord, and of the cup of the devils. you can not be partakers of the Lords table, and of the table of devils. Either shall we provoke the Lord? Or are we stronger then he? All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient (helpful). All things are lawful to me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own profit: but let every man seek anothers wealth.
Whatsoever is sold in the market, that eat, and ask no questions for conscience sake. For the earth is the Lords, and all that therein is. If any of them which believe not, bid you to a feast, and if you be disposed to go, whatsoever is set before you: eat, asking no question for conscience sake. But and if any man say unto you: this is dedicate unto idols, eat not of it for his sake that showed it, and for hurting of conscience. The earth is the Lords and all that therein is. Conscience I say, not thine: but the conscience of that other. For why should my liberty be judged of another mans conscience? For if I take my part with thanks: why am I evil spoken of for that thing wherefore I give thanks?
Whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the praise of God. See that you give none occasion of evil, neither to the Jewes, nor yet to the gentiles, neither to the congregation of God: even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they might be saved. Follow me as I do Christ.
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