1 Corinthians 1:11
For it has been declared to me of you, my brothers, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
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For it hath been declared unto me - Of the contentions existing in the church at Corinth, it is evident that they had not informed him in the letter which they had sent; see 1 Corinthians 7:1, compare the introduction. He had incidentally heard of their contentions.

My brethren - A token of affectionate regard, evincing his love for them, and his deep interest in their welfare, even when he administered a needed rebuke.

Of the house of Chloe - Of the family of Chloe. It is most probable that Chloe was a member of the church at Corinth, some of whose family had been at Ephesus when Paul was, and had given him information of the state of things there. Who those members of her family were, is unknown. Grotius conjectures that they were Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 16:17, who brought the letter of the church at Corinth to Paul. But of this there is no certain evidence; perhaps not much probability. If the information had been obtained from them, it is probable that it would have been put in the letter which they bore. The probability is that Paul had received this information before they arrived.

By them which are of the house of Chloe - This was doubtless some very religious matron at Corinth, whose family were converted to the Lord; some of whom were probably sent to the apostle to inform him of the dissensions which then prevailed in the Church at that place. Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, mentioned 1 Corinthians 16:17, were probably the sons of this Chloe.

Contentions - Εριδες, Altercations; produced by the σχισματα, divisions, mentioned above. When once they had divided, they must necessarily have contended, in order to support their respective parties.

For it hath been declared unto me, of you, my brethren,.... Lest the above advice of the apostle should be thought to be impertinent and needless, and to proceed upon groundless suspicions and jealousies of his, he signifies that he not only had some broad hints of their contentions and divisions, but the whole affair was laid open, and made manifest to him: the thing was a clear point to him; he had no reason at all to doubt of the truth of it; nor could they deny it, the proof was so strong, the evidence so full, being given

by them which are of the house of Chloe. Some take Chloe to be the name of a place; a city so called is said to have been in Cappadocia; but it seems rather to have been the name of a woman. Horace (b) several times makes mention of a woman of this name, and so does Martial (c). Pausanias (d) calls the goddess Ceres by it, the goddess of husbandry; the word signifying green grass of the field. The person the apostle speaks of was one that very probably lived at Corinth, and was a member of the church there, and at the head of a family of great worth and credit; who being grieved at the growing animosities, and disturbances there raised, wrote to the apostle, and gave him a distinct account of them, desiring him to use his interest to put a stop to them. He mentions this family by name, to show that he had not took up an idle tale, and received reports from anybody, nor from a single person only, but from a family of repute among them; and who could have no other views in the relation of it to him, than the good of the church, and the glory of God: and what they had made out clearly to him was,

that there are contentions among you; about their ministers, as appears afterward, as well as about opinions in doctrines, and ceremonies in worship, which occasioned undue heats, and great indecencies, tending to make rents and schisms among them,

(b) Carrain. l. 3. Ode 7, 9, 19. (c) L. 4. Epigr. 22. & l. 9. Epigr. 13. (d) L. 1. sive Attica, p. 38.

{14} For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

(14) He begins his reprehension and chiding by taking away an objection, because he understood from good witnesses that there were many factions among them. And in addition he declares the cause of dissentions, because some depended on one teacher, some on another, and some were so addicted to themselves that they neglected all teachers and learned men, calling themselves the disciples of Christ alone, completely ignoring their teachers.

11. (1Co 11:18).

by them … of … house of Chloe—They seem to have been alike in the confidence of Paul and of the Corinthians. The Corinthians "wrote" to the apostle (1Co 7:1), consulting him concerning certain points; marriage, the eating of things offered to idols, the decorum to be observed by women in religious assemblies. But they said not a syllable about the enormities and disorders that had crept in among them. That information reached Paul by other quarters. Hence his language about those evils is, "It hath been declared unto me," &c.; "It is reported commonly" (1Co 5:1, 2). All this he says before he refers to their letter, which shows that the latter did not give him any intimation of those evils. An undesigned proof of genuineness [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ]. Observe his prudence: He names the family, to let it be seen that he made his allegation not without authority: he does not name the individuals, not to excite odium against them. He tacitly implies that the information ought rather to have come to him directly from their presbyters, as they had consulted him about matters of less moment.

contentions—not so severe a word as "divisions," literally, "schisms" (1Co 1:10, Margin).

1:10-16 In the great things of religion be of one mind; and where there is not unity of sentiment, still let there be union of affection. Agreement in the greater things should extinguish divisions about the lesser. There will be perfect union in heaven, and the nearer we approach it on earth, the nearer we come to perfection. Paul and Apollos both were faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, and helpers of their faith and joy; but those disposed to be contentious, broke into parties. So liable are the best things to be corrupted, and the gospel and its institutions made engines of discord and contention. Satan has always endeavoured to stir up strife among Christians, as one of his chief devices against the gospel. The apostle left it to other ministers to baptize, while he preached the gospel, as a more useful work. 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me. He candidly tells them how he had learned of their dissensions.

Them who are of the house of Chloe. Whether these were her children or her servants, or whether she lived at Corinth and these members of her household had come to visit Paul at Ephesus, or whether she lived at Ephesus and these persons had made a visit to Corinth, these are all unknown. Chloe is not elsewhere name.

Verse 11. - It hath been signified unto me. He had heard these saddening rumours towards the close of his stay in Ephesus. By them which are of the household of Chloe. The Greek only has "by them of Chloe. St. Paul wisely and kindly mentions his authority for these reports. Nothing is known of Chloe or her household. It has been conjectured that Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, Corinthians who were now with St. Paul at Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:16), may have been Chloe's slaves or freedmen. Contentions. These are the works of the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:20; 1 Timothy 6:4). The condition of the Church was the same when St. Clement of Rome wrote to them. He had still to complain of the "strange and alien and, for the elect of God, detest able and unholy spirit of faction which a few rash and self willed persons kindled to such a pitch of dementation" ('Ep. ad Corinthians 1.').

it hath.

1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that …

Genesis 27:42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she …

Genesis 37:2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years …

1 Samuel 25:14-17 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, …

that there.

1 Corinthians 3:3 For you are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and …

1 Corinthians 6:1-7 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before …

Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride comes contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

Proverbs 18:6 A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for strokes.

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, …

Galatians 5:15,20,26 But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not …

Philippians 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

1 Timothy 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes …

2 Timothy 2:23-25 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do engender …

James 4:1,2 From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even …

It hath been declared (ἐδηλώθη)

Rev., signified, which is hardly strong enough. The word means to make clear, or manifest (δῆλος). Compare 1 Corinthians 3:13. It may imply that Paul was reluctant to believe the reports, but was convinced by unimpeachable testimony.

Of the household of Chloe (τῶν Χλόης)

See on Romans 16:10 for the form of expression. The persons may have been slaves who had come to Ephesus on business for their mistress, or members of her family. Chloe means tender verdure, and was an epithet of Demeter (Ceres), the goddess of agriculture and rural life. It is uncertain whether she belonged to the Corinthian or to the Ephesian church.

Contentions (ἔριδες)

Socrates in Plato's "Republic" distinguishes between disputing (ἐρίζειν) and discussing (διαλέγεσθαι), and identifies contention (ἔρις) with gainsaying (ἀντιλογία), "Republic," v., 454. Compare Titus 3:9.

1:11 It hath been declared to me by them of the family of Chloe - Whom some suppose to have been the wife of Stephanas, and the mother of Fortunatus and Achaicus. By these three the Corinthians had sent their letter to St. Paul, 1Cor 16:17. That there are contentions - A word equivalent with schisms in the preceding verse .
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