1 Corinthians 1:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

New Living Translation
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes.

English Standard Version
Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,

New American Standard Bible
Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

King James Bible
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Paul, called as an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, and Sosthenes our brother:

International Standard Version
From: Paul, called to be an apostle of the Messiah Jesus by the will of God, and from our brother Sosthenes.

NET Bible
From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Paulus, a called one, and an Apostle of Yeshua The Messiah in the will of God, and brother Sosthenes,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and from Sosthenes, our brother in the Christian faith.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother,

King James 2000 Bible
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

American King James Version
Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

American Standard Version
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

Douay-Rheims Bible
PAUL, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes a brother,

Darby Bible Translation
Paul, [a] called apostle of Jesus Christ, by God's will, and Sosthenes the brother,

English Revised Version
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

Webster's Bible Translation
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

Weymouth New Testament
Paul, called to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God--and our brother Sosthenes:

World English Bible
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

Young's Literal Translation
Paul, a called apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes the brother,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:1-9 All Christians are by baptism dedicated and devoted to Christ, and are under strict obligations to be holy. But in the true church of God are all who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, and who call upon him as God manifest in the flesh, for all the blessings of salvation; who acknowledge and obey him as their Lord, and as Lord of all; it includes no other persons. Christians are distinguished from the profane and atheists, that they dare not live without prayer; and they are distinguished from Jews and pagans, that they call on the name of Christ. Observe how often in these verses the apostle repeats the words, Our Lord Jesus Christ. He feared not to make too frequent or too honourable mention of him. To all who called upon Christ, the apostle gave his usual salutation, desiring, in their behalf, the pardoning mercy, sanctifying grace, and comforting peace of God, through Jesus Christ. Sinners can have no peace with God, nor any from him, but through Christ. He gives thanks for their conversion to the faith of Christ; that grace was given them by Jesus Christ. They had been enriched by him with all spiritual gifts. He speaks of utterance and knowledge. And where God has given these two gifts, he has given great power for usefulness. These were gifts of the Holy Ghost, by which God bore witness to the apostles. Those that wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, will be kept by him to the end; and those that are so, will be blameless in the day of Christ, made so by rich and free grace. How glorious are the hopes of such a privilege; to be kept by the power of Christ, from the power of our corruptions and Satan's temptations!

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - Paul. After the beginning of the first missionary journey (A.D. 45) he seems to have finally abandoned his Hebrew name of Saul. Called. The word "called" is absent from A, D, E, and other manuscripts, but may have been omitted as superfluous. It occurs in the greeting of Romans 1:1, but not in any other Epistle. The words might also be rendered "a called or chosen apostle." To be an apostle. He uses this title in every letter except the private one to Philemon, the peculiarly friendly and informal one to the Philippians, and the two to the Thessalonians, which were written before the Judaizers had challenged his claim to this title in its more special sense. The Epistle to the Romans is the first in which he calls himself "a slave of Jesus Christ" (comp. Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:1; James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1). It was necessary for him to assert his right to the apostolate in the highest sense of the word, as one who had received from Christ himself an authority equal to that of the twelve (see 1 Corinthians 9:1-5; 1 Corinthians 15:9; 2 Corinthians 11:5; 2 Corinthians 12:11, 12; Galatians 1:1-19, etc.). Of Jesus Christ. In the Gospels the word "Christ" is all but invariably "the Christ," i.e. the Anointed, the Messiah. It is the designation of the office of Jesus as the promised Deliverer. We trace in the New Testament the gradual transition of the word from a title into a proper name. In the two names together our Lord is represented as "the Saviour," and the anointed Prophet, Priest, and King, first of the chosen people and then of all mankind. Through the will of God (comp. 2 Corinthians 1 Ephesians Colossians 2 Timothy 1:1). This special call to the apostleship is emphatically expanded in Galatians 1:1. The vindication of the Divine and independent claim was essential to St. Paul's work. It was not due to any personal considerations, but to the necessity of proving that no human authority could be quoted to overthrow the gospel which was peculiarly "his gospel" (see Galatians 1:11; Ephesians 3:8), of which one main feature was the freedom of the Gentiles from the yoke of Judaic bondage. And Soathenes. The association of one or more brethren with himself in the greeting of his letters is peculiar to St. Paul. Silas and Timothy are associated with him in 1 and 2 Thessalonians; and Timothy, though so much his junior, in 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon; doubtless he would have been associated with St. Paul in this Epistle had he not been absent (1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 16:10). The practice arose partly from St. Paul's exquisite courtesy and consideration towards his companions, partly from his shrinking from mere personal prominence. It is owing to the same reasons that in the earlier Epistles he constantly uses "we" for "I," and sometimes when he can only be speaking of himself (1 Thessalonians 2:18). But even in the Epistles to the Thessalonians he sometimes relapses from "we" into "I" (2 Thessalonians 2:5). Our brother; literally, the brother; i.e. one of "the brethren" (comp. 2 Corinthians 1:1). Of Sosthenes nothing whatever is known. He may possibly be the amanuensis whom St. Paul employed for this letter. Later tradition, which in such matters is perfectly valueless, spoke of him as" one of the seventy disciples, and Bishop of Colophon" (Eusebius, 'Hist. Eccl.,' 1:12). There is a Jewish Sosthenes, a ruler of the synagogue, in Acts 18:17; but it is only a vague conjecture that he may have been subsequently converted, and may have joined St. Paul at Ephesus. It is obvious that the persons named in the greetings of the Epistles were not in any way supposed to be responsible for their contents, lot St. Paul begins with "I" in ver. 4. Brother. At this time there was no recognized title for Christians. In the Acts they are vaguely spoken of as "those of this way." Among themselves they were known as "the saints," "the faithful," "the elect." The name "Christians" was originally a nickname devised by the Antiochenes. In the New Testament it only occurs as a designation used by enemies (Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ,.... The author, or rather the writer of the following epistle; for the Holy Ghost was the author and dictator of it, and which was never doubted: he is described by his, name Paul, though his Jewish name was Saul; and very probably he being a Jew by birth, and yet born in a Roman city, might have two names, the one Jewish, the other Gentile; and by the one he went when among the Jews, and by the other when concerned with the Gentiles: and also by his office, "an apostle of Jesus Christ"; immediately called, and sent forth by him; had the Gospel from him by immediate revelation, and a commission to preach it; and which high office was confirmed by signs and wonders, and mighty deeds; by the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost conferred on him, and on others under his ministry; and by the eminent success which attended the preaching of the Gospel by him. This his character he the rather mentions, because some in this church, through the insinuations of the false apostles, demurred upon it; whereas this was not a mere name given him by men, and by which he was only commonly called by them, but was an office he was "called" to by Christ; he did not rush into it, or assume it of himself, but had a divine warrant for it; for he was invested with it,

through the will of God: both by the secret will and purpose of God, by which he was a chosen vessel, to bear the name of Christ among the Gentiles, Acts 9:15; and by the revealed will of God, signified by the Spirit of God, who said, "separate me Saul and Barnabas, for the work whereunto I have called them", Acts 13:2, and shows, that it was not owing to any worth or merit in him, but purely to the free grace and sovereign will and pleasure of God, that he was made an apostle of Christ:

and Sosthenes our brother. This seems to be the same man, who was the chief ruler of the synagogue of the Jews at Corinth; and was converted to the Christian faith by the Apostle Paul whilst there, as appears from his favouring the cause of the apostle, for which the Jews beat him before the judgment seat, and yet Gallio the Roman deputy took no notice of it, Acts 18:17, in the Syriac dictionary (a) mention is made of one Sosthenes, governor of a city, one of the seventy disciples, who was educated at Pontus, and cast into the sea by the order of Nouna; and is also said to be bishop of Colophon in Ionia; see Gill on Luke 10:1; but without any reason. This person the apostle joins with him, not as in equal office with him, but as a brother in Christ, and very probably a ministering brother, and a companion of his; and the rather, because he might be well known to the Corinthians, and respected by them; wherefore he chose to join him with him, to show their agreement in doctrine and discipline, and in advice to them, which might have the greater weight with them; see Acts 18:17.

(a) Bar Bahluli apud Castel. Lex. Polyglott. col. 2444. Vid. Euseb, Eccl. Hist. l. 1. c. 12.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS Commentary by A. R. Faussett

INTRODUCTION

The Authenticity of this Epistle is attested by Clement of Rome [First Epistle to the Corinthians, 47], Polycarp [Epistle to the Philippians, 11], and Irenæus [Against Heresies, 4.27.3]. The city to which it was sent was famed for its wealth and commerce, which were chiefly due to its situation between the Ionian and Ægean Seas on the isthmus connecting the Peloponese with Greece. In Paul's time it was the capital of the province Achaia and the seat of the Roman proconsul (Ac 18:12). The state of morals in it was notorious for debauchery, even in the profligate heathen world; so much so that "to Corinthianize" was a proverbial phrase for "to play the wanton"; hence arose dangers to the purity of the Christian Church at Corinth. That Church was founded by Paul on his first visit (Ac 18:1-17).

He had been the instrument of converting many Gentiles (1Co 12:2), and some Jews (Ac 18:8), notwithstanding the vehement opposition of the countrymen of the latter (Ac 18:5), during the year and a half in which he sojourned there. The converts were chiefly of the humbler classes (1Co 1:26, &c.). Crispus (1Co 1:14; Ac 18:8), Erastus, and Gaius (Caius) were, however, men of rank (Ro 16:23). A variety of classes is also implied in 1Co 11:22. The risk of contamination by contact with the surrounding corruptions, and the temptation to a craving for Greek philosophy and rhetoric (which Apollos' eloquent style rather tended to foster, Ac 18:24, &c.) in contrast to Paul's simple preaching of Christ crucified (1Co 2:1, &c.), as well as the opposition of certain teachers to him, naturally caused him anxiety. Emissaries from the Judaizers of Palestine boasted of "letters of commendation" from Jerusalem, the metropolis of the faith. They did not, it is true, insist on circumcision in refined Corinth, where the attempt would have been hopeless, as they did among the simpler people of Galatia; but they attacked the apostolic authority of Paul (1Co 9:1, 2; 2Co 10:1, 7, 8), some of them declaring themselves followers of Cephas, the chief apostle, others boasting that they belonged to Christ Himself (1Co 1:12; 2Co 10:7), while they haughtily repudiated all subordinate teaching. Those persons gave out themselves for apostles (2Co 11:5, 13). The ground taken by them was that Paul was not one of the Twelve, and not an eye-witness of the Gospel facts, and durst not prove his apostleship by claiming sustenance from the Christian Church. Another section avowed themselves followers of Paul himself, but did so in a party spirit, exalting the minister rather than Christ. The followers of Apollos, again, unduly prized his Alexandrian learning and eloquence, to the disparagement of the apostle, who studiously avoided any deviation from Christian simplicity (1Co 2:1-5). In some of this last philosophizing party there may have arisen the Antinomian tendency which tried to defend theoretically their own practical immorality: hence their denial of the future resurrection, and their adoption of the Epicurean motto, prevalent in heathen Corinth, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die" (1Co 15:32). Hence, perhaps, arose their connivance at the incestuous intercourse kept up by one of the so-called Christian body with his stepmother during his father's life. The household of Chloe informed Paul of many other evils: such as contentions, divisions, and lawsuits brought against brethren in heathen law courts by professing Christians; the abuse of their spiritual gifts into occasions of display and fanaticism; the interruption of public worship by simultaneous and disorderly ministrations, and decorum violated by women speaking unveiled (contrary to Oriental usage), and so usurping the office of men, and even the holy communion desecrated by greediness and revelling on the part of the communicants. Other messengers, also, came from Corinth, consulting him on the subject of (1) the controversy about meats offered to idols; (2) the disputes about celibacy and marriage; (3) the due exercise of spiritual gifts in public worship; (4) the best mode of making the collection which he had requested for the saints at Jerusalem (1Co 16:1, &c.). Such were the circumstances which called forth the First Epistle to the Corinthians, the most varied in its topics of all the Epistles.

In 1Co 5:9, "I wrote unto you in an Epistle not to company with fornicators," it is implied that Paul had written a previous letter to the Corinthians (now lost). Probably in it he had also enjoined them to make a contribution for the poor saints at Jerusalem, whereupon they seem to have asked directions as to the mode of doing so, to which he now replies (1Co 16:2). It also probably announced his intention of visiting them on way to Macedonia, and again on his return from Macedonia (2Co 1:15, 16), which purpose he changed hearing the unfavorable report from Chloe's household (1Co 16:5-7), for which he was charged with (2Co 1:17). In the first Epistle which we have, the subject of fornication is alluded to only in a way, as if he were rather replying to an excuse set up after rebuke in the matter, than introducing for the first time [Alford]. Preceding this former letter, he seems to have paid a second visit to Corinth. For in 2Co 12:4; 13:1, he speaks of his intention of paying them a third visit, implying he had already twice visited them. See on [2277]2Co 2:1; [2278]2Co 13:2; also see on [2279]2Co 1:15; [2280]2Co 1:16. It is hardly likely that during his three years' sojourn at Ephesus he would have failed to revisit his Corinthian converts, which he could so readily do by sea, there being constant maritime intercourse between the two cities. This second visit was probably a short one (compare 1Co 16:7); and attended with pain and humiliation (2Co 2:1; 12:21), occasioned by the scandalous conduct of so many of his own converts. His milder censures having then failed to produce reformation, he wrote briefly directing them "not to company with fornicators." On their misapprehending this injunction, he explained it more fully in the Epistle, the first of the two extant (1Co 5:9, 12). That the second visit is not mentioned in Acts is no objection to its having really taken place, as that book is fragmentary and omits other leading incidents in Paul's life; for example, his visit to Arabia, Syria, and Cilicia (Ga 1:17-21).

The Place of Writing is fixed to be Ephesus (1Co 16:8). The subscription in English Version, "From Philippi," has no authority whatever, and probably arose from a mistaken translation of 1Co 16:5, "For I am passing through Macedonia." At the time of writing Paul implies (1Co 16:8) that he intended to leave Ephesus after Pentecost of that year. He really did leave it about Pentecost (A.D. 57). Compare Ac 19:20. The allusion to Passover imagery in connection with our Christian Passover, Easter (1Co 5:7), makes it likely that the season was about Easter. Thus the date of the Epistle is fixed with tolerable accuracy, about Easter, certainly before Pentecost, in the third year of his residence at Ephesus, A.D. 57. For other arguments, see Conybeare and Howson's Life and Epistles of St. Paul.

The Epistle is written in the name of Sosthenes "[our] brother." Birks supposes he is the same as the Sosthenes, Ac 18:17, who, he thinks, was converted subsequently to that occurrence. He bears no part in the Epistle itself, the apostle in the very next verses (1Co 1:4, &c.) using the first person: so Timothy is introduced, 2Co 1:1. The bearers of the Epistle were probably Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus (see the subscription, 1Co 16:24), whom he mentions (1Co 16:17, 18) as with him then, but who he implies are about to return back to Corinth; and therefore he commends them to the regard of the Corinthians.

CHAPTER 1

1Co 1:1-31. The Inscription; Thanksgiving for the Spiritual State of the Corinthian Church; Reproof of Party Divisions: His Own Method of Preaching Only Christ.

1. called to be—Found in some, not in others, of the oldest manuscripts Possibly inserted from Ro 1:1; but as likely to be genuine. Translate, literally, "a called apostle" [Conybeare and Howson].

through the will of God—not because of my own merit. Thus Paul's call as "an apostle by the will of God," while constituting the ground of the authority he claims in the Corinthian Church (compare Ga 1:1), is a reason for humility on his own part (1Co 15:8, 10) [Bengel]. In assuming the ministerial office a man should see he does so not of his own impulse, but by the will of God (Jer 23:21); Paul if left to his own will would never have been an apostle (Ro 9:16).

Sosthenes—See my [2281]Introduction. Associated by Paul with himself in the inscription, either in modesty, Sosthenes being his inferior [Chrysostom], or in order that the name of a "brother" of note in Corinth (Ac 18:17) might give weight to his Epistle and might show, in opposition to his detractors that he was supported by leading brethren. Gallio had driven the Jews who accused Paul from the judgment-seat. The Greek mob, who disliked Jews, took the opportunity then of beating Sosthenes the ruler of the Jewish synagogue, while Gallio looked on and refused to interfere, being secretly pleased that the mob should second his own contempt for the Jews. Paul probably at this time had showed sympathy for an adversary in distress, which issued in the conversion of the latter. So Crispus also, the previous chief ruler of the synagogue had been converted. Saul the persecutor turned into Paul the apostle, and Sosthenes the leader in persecution against that apostle, were two trophies of divine grace that, side by side, would appeal with double power to the Church at Corinth [Birks].

1 Corinthians 1:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Greetings from Paul
1Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:…
Cross References
Acts 1:15
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)

Acts 18:17
Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.

Romans 1:1
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God--

Romans 1:10
in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

2 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:

2 Corinthians 8:5
And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

Ephesians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God's holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Colossians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

2 Timothy 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
Treasury of Scripture

Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

called.

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated …

Galatians 2:7,8 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision …

an.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are laborers together with God: you are God's husbandry, you …

1 Corinthians 9:1,2 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ …

1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called …

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called to him his disciples: and of them …

John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be to you: as my Father has …

Acts 1:2,25,26 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the …

Acts 22:21 And he said to me, Depart: for I will send you far hence to the Gentiles.

Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to …

2 Corinthians 11:5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very most chief apostles.

2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were worked among you in all patience, …

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, …

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; …

1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Savior, …

1 Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the …

through.

1 Corinthians 6:16,17 What? know you not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? …

John 15:16 You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, …

2 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy …

Galatians 1:15,16 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, …

Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints …

Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

Sosthenes.

Acts 18:17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, …

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