1 Corinthians 1:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."

New Living Translation
Some of you are saying, "I am a follower of Paul." Others are saying, "I follow Apollos," or "I follow Peter," or "I follow only Christ."

English Standard Version
What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”

Berean Study Bible
What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”

Berean Literal Bible
Now I mean this, that each of you says, "I indeed am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ."

New American Standard Bible
Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ."

King James Bible
Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Christian Standard Bible
What I am saying is this: One of you says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ."

Contemporary English Version
They have said that some of you claim to follow me, while others claim to follow Apollos or Peter or Christ.

Good News Translation
Let me put it this way: each one of you says something different. One says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Peter"; and another, "I follow Christ."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What I am saying is this: Each of you says, "I'm with Paul," or "I'm with Apollos," or "I'm with Cephas," or "I'm with Christ."

International Standard Version
This is what I mean: Each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to the Messiah."

NET Bible
Now I mean this, that each of you is saying, "I am with Paul," or "I am with Apollos," or "I am with Cephas," or "I am with Christ."

New Heart English Bible
Now I mean this, that each one of you says, "I follow Paul," "I follow Apollos," "I follow Cephas," and, "I follow Christ."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But I say this: there is one of you who says, “I am of Paulus”, and one who says, “I am of Apollo”, and one who says, “I am of Kaypha”, and one who says, “I am of The Messiah.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is what I mean: Each of you is saying, "I follow Paul," or "I follow Apollos," or "I follow Cephas," or "I follow Christ."

New American Standard 1977
Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
In other words, that each one of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.

King James 2000 Bible
Now this I say, that every one of you says, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

American King James Version
Now this I say, that every one of you said, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

American Standard Version
Now this I mean, that each one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos: and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now this I say, that every one of you saith: I indeed am of Paul; and I am of Apollo; and I am of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Darby Bible Translation
But I speak of this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.

English Revised Version
Now this I mean, that each one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Webster's Bible Translation
Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Weymouth New Testament
What I mean is that each of you is a partisan. One man says "I belong to Paul;" another "I belong to Apollos;" a third "I belong to Peter;" a fourth "I belong to Christ."

World English Bible
Now I mean this, that each one of you says, "I follow Paul," "I follow Apollos," "I follow Cephas," and, "I follow Christ."

Young's Literal Translation
and I say this, that each one of you saith, 'I, indeed, am of Paul' -- 'and I of Apollos,' -- 'and I of Cephas,' -- 'and I of Christ.'
Study Bible
Unity in the Church
11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?…
Cross References
Matthew 23:8
But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.

John 1:42
Andrew brought him to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which is translated as Peter).

Acts 18:24
Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, well versed in the Scriptures.

Acts 19:1
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the interior and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples

1 Corinthians 1:11
My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.

1 Corinthians 3:4
For when one of you says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?

1 Corinthians 3:6
I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.

1 Corinthians 3:22
whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. All of them belong to you,

1 Corinthians 4:6
Brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us not to go beyond what is written. Then you will not take pride in one man over another.

1 Corinthians 9:5
Have we no right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas?

1 Corinthians 15:5
and that He appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve.

1 Corinthians 16:12
Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was not at all inclined to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.

2 Corinthians 10:7
You are looking at outward appearances. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should remind himself that we belong to Christ just as much as he does.

Treasury of Scripture

Now this I say, that every one of you said, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.


1 Corinthians 7:29 But this I say, brothers, the time is short: it remains, that both …

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the …

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; …

Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God …

I am.

1 Corinthians 3:4-6,21-23 For while one said, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are …

1 Corinthians 4:6 And these things, brothers, I have in a figure transferred to myself …


1 Corinthians 16:12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come to …

Acts 18:24-28 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent …

Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having …


1 Corinthians 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other …

1 Corinthians 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, …

Galatians 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived …

(12) Now this I say.--Better, What I mean is, that, &c. The following words, "every one of you saith," show how party-spirit pervaded the whole Christian community. It may be well to mention here briefly what we may consider to have been the distinctive characteristics of the factions which called themselves respectively the party of Paul, of Cephas, of Apollos, and of Christ.

1. ST. PAUL places first that section of the Church which called themselves by his name--thus at the outset showing that it is not for the sole purpose of silencing opponents, or from a jealousy of the influence of other teachers, that he writes so strenuously against the disturbances in the Corinthian community. It is the spirit of separation and of faction which he condemns--rebuking it as strongly when it has led to the undue exaltation of his own name, as when it attempted to depreciate his gifts and ministry as compared with those of Apollos or of Cephas. He thus wins at once the attention and confidence of every candid reader. The Pauline party would no doubt have consisted chiefly of those who were the personal converts of the Apostle. Their esteem for him who had been the means of their conversion, seems to have been carried to excess in the manner in which it displayed itself. This would be increased by the hostility which their opponents' disparagement of the Apostle naturally excited in them. They allowed St. Paul's teaching of the liberty wherewith Christ made them free, to develop in them an unchristian license and a mode of treatment of others essentially illiberal, thus denying by their actions the very principles which they professed to hold dear. They "judged" and "set at nought" (Romans 14:10) brethren who could not take so essentially spiritual a view of Christianity, but who still clung to some of the outward forms of Judaism.

2. APOLLOS was a Jew of Alexandria--"an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures." He came to Ephesus during St. Paul's absence from that city, and taught what he knew of the "things of the Lord." While here, he was instructed further in "the way of God" by Aquila and Priscilla, he having previously only the inadequate knowledge which was possessed by disciples of John (Acts 18:24-28). Having preached in parts of Achaia, he came to Corinth. That he came there after St. Paul we may conclude from the Apostle's reference to himself as having "planted," and Apollos having "watered" (1Corinthians 3:6), and again to himself as having "laid the foundation" (1Corinthians 2:10). To Corinth Apollos brought with him the arts of the rhetorician, and the culture of a Greek philosopher; and while preaching Christ crucified, these gifts and knowledge rendered him more acceptable than St. Paul had been, with his studied simplicity of style, to a certain class of intellectual and rationalising hearers in Corinth. When Apollos left, a section of the Church unduly magnified the importance of his gifts and of his manner of teaching. They did so to the depreciation of the simplicity of the gospel. This all led to the development of evils which we shall see more in detail in our examination of 1Corinthians 1:18-31 and 1 Corinthians 2. It ought to be remembered that Apollos was in no sense "the founder of a party." It was the exaggeration and perversion of Apollos' teaching, by some of the converts, that really founded the party. To the end he and Paul remained friends. He was probably with the Apostle while the Epistle was being written, and (1Corinthians 16:12) refused, even when St. Paul suggested it, to go so soon again to Corinth, lest his presence should in the least tend to keep that party-spirit alive; and when, ten years (A.D. 67) later, the Apostle writes to Titus, he exhorts him "to bring Apollos on his journey diligently, that nothing be wanting to him" (Titus 3:13).

3. The third faction in Corinth professed themselves followers of ST. PETER--or, as he was always called, "Cephas." This was the name by which our Lord addressed him in Matthew 16:18, and by this name (and not by his Greek name, Peter) he would have been spoken of by the Apostles and early Christians. In the New Testament writings he is designated most frequently Peter, as his Greek name would be more intelligible to the larger world for which these writings were intended. This faction of the Corinthian Church still clung to many Jewish ceremonial ideas, from which St. Paul was entirely free. They seem not to have quite passed through the cloud. They exalted St. Peter as more worthy of honour than St. Paul, because he had personally been with Christ, and been called "Cephas" (rock) by Him. They insinuated that St. Paul's supporting himself was not so dignified as the maintenance of St. Peter and others by the Church, in accordance with their Lord's command (1Corinthians 9:4-6; 2Corinthians 11:9-10); and they unfavourably contrasted St. Paul's celibacy with the married state of St. Peter, and of "the brethren of the Lord" (1Corinthians 9:5). It is probable that their animosity towards St. Paul was not a little increased by the knowledge that there were certain matters in which he considered St. Peter to be in error, and "withstood him to the face" (Galatians 2:2). To the detailed difficulties and errors of this section of the Corinthian Church reference is to be found in the 1Corinthians 7:1 to 1Corinthians 11:1.

4. There was still one other party or faction which dared to arrogate to themselves the name of CHRIST Himself. These over-estimated the importance and value of having seen Christ in the flesh, and despised St. Paul as one who had subsequently joined the Apostolate. Contempt for all human teachers was by them exalted into a virtue. Their greatest sin was that the very name which should have been the common bond of union, the name by the thought and memory of which the Apostle would plead for a restoration of unity, was degraded by them into the exclusive party-badge of a narrow section. We do not find any very definite and detailed allusion to this section in this Epistle, though in the second Epistle a reference to them can be traced in 1Corinthians 10:7. There is no need for such at any length. Their condemnation is written in every chapter, the whole of the Epistle is a denunciation of the spirit of faction--of the sin of schism--which in their case reached a climax, inasmuch as they consecrated their sin with the very name of Christ. Such, briefly, were the four schisms which were rending the Corinthian Church. We might call them--1, The Party of Liberty (PAUL); 2, The Intellectual Party (APOLLOS); 3, The Judaizing Party (CEPHAS); 4, The Exclusive Party (who said, "I am of CHRIST").

(12) I of Christ.--It has been suggested that this is not the designation of a fourth party in the Church, but an affirmation by the Apostle, "I am of Christ," in contradistinction to those referred to before, who called themselves after the names of men. But in addition to the fact that there is no change in form of expression to indicate a change of sense, we find evident traces of the existence of such a party (1Corinthians 9:1; 2Corinthians 10:7).

Verse 12. - Now this I mean; in other words, "what I mean is this." Their "contentions" are defined to be equivalent to "religious partisanships; "antagonistic adoption of the names and views of special teachers. Each one of you saith. That party spirit ran so high that they were all listed on one side or another. None of them were wise enough and spiritual minded enough to hold aloof from parties altogether. They prided themselves on being "uncompromising" and "party men." Saith; in a self-assertive way (1 Corinthians 3:21). I am of Paul. He shows his indignation at their partisanship by first rebuking those who had used his own name as a party watchward. He disliked Paulinism as much as Petrinism (Bengel). All the Corinthians would probably have been in this sense Paulinists but for the visits of subsequent teachers. At present the Paul party consisted of those who adhered to his views about Gentile freedom, and who liked the simple spirituality of his teaching. St. Paul rose above the temptation of considering that party spirit is excusable in our own partisans. He reproves factiousness even in the party of freedom. And I of Apollos. Apollos personally was absolutely loyal and honourable, but his visit to Corinth had done mischief. His impassioned oratory, his Alexandrian refinements, his allegorizing exegesis, the culture and polish of his style, had charmed the fickle Corinthians. The Apollonians were the party of culture. They had, as we see from later parts of the Epistle, exaggerated St. Paul's views, as expounded by Apollos, into extravagance. Puffed up with the conceit of knowledge, they had fallen into moral inconsistency. The egotism of oratorical rivals, the contemptuous tone to wards weaker brethren, the sophistical condonations of vice, were probably due to them. Apollos, as we see by his noble refusal to visit Corinth under present circumstances (1 Corinthians 16:12), was as indignant as St. Paul himself at the perversion of his name into an engine of party warfare. (On Apollos, see Acts 18:24-28; Acts 19:1 Titus 3:13.) Nothing further is known respecting him, but he is the almost undoubted author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, which proves that he was of the school of St. Paul, while at the same time he showed a splendid originality in his way of arriving at the same conclusion as his teacher. I of Cephas. The use of the Aramaic name (1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:6; Galatians 2:9), perhaps, shows that these Petrinists were Judaizers (though it should be added that St. Paul only uses the name "Peter" in Galatians 2:7, 8). They personally disliked St. Paul, and questioned his apostolical authority. Perhaps the extravagances of the "speaking with tongues" arose in this party, who recalled the effects of the outpouring of the Spirit after Peter's great sermon on the day of Pentecost. And I of Christ. We trace the origin of this party to one man in particular (2 Corinthians 2:7), who was, or professed to be, an adherent of James, and therefore one of the more rigid Judaizers. He may have been one from the circle of Christ's earthly relatives - one of the Desposyni (see 1 Corinthians 9:5), and, like St. James, may have had views resembling those of the Essenes and Ebionites. If so, he was probably the author of the questions about celibacy and marriage; and perhaps he prided himself on having seen "Christ in the flesh." This party at any rate, like some modern sects, was not ashamed to degrade into a party watchword even the sacred name of Christ, and to claim for a miserable clique an exclusive interest in the Lord of the whole Church. It is the privilege of every Christian to say, "Christianus sum;" but if he says it in a haughty, loveless, and exclusive spirit, he forfeits his own claim to the title. This exclusive Christ party is, perhaps, specially alluded to in 2 Corinthians 10:7-11. The view of Chrysostom, which takes these words to be St. Paul's remark - "But I belong to Christ," is untenable, and would make trim guilty of the very self-assertiveness which he is reprobating. Now this I say that everyone of you saith,.... This the apostle affirms not upon his own personal knowledge, but upon the credit of the report the house of Chloe had made unto him; and his meaning is not that every individual member of this church, but that many of them, and the far greater number of them, were in the following factions, some being for one minister, and some for another: one part of them said,

I am of Paul; he had been instrumental in their conversion: he had baptized some of them, and first laid the foundation of a Gospel church among them; was a solid, brave, and bold preacher of the Gospel, and was set for the defence of it; wherefore he was the minister for them, and they were desirous of being called and distinguished by his name: but there was another party that said,

and I of Apollos; in opposition to Paul, whom they despised, as a man whose aspect was mean; his bodily presence weak, made no figure in the pulpit; his speech low and contemptible; his discourses plain, not having that flow of words, and accuracy of expression, as Apollos had; who was an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, who coming to Corinth after the Apostle Paul, many were taken with his way of preaching; he was the preacher for them, and they chose to be called after him, and in distinction from others: whilst another company of them said,

and I of Cephas; or Peter, in opposition both to Paul and Apollos; who with them were new upstart ministers, in comparison of Peter, who was with Christ from the beginning, and saw his miracles, and heard his doctrines; and, besides, had the apostleship and Gospel of the circumcision, on which account they highly valued him; for these must be supposed to be the converted Jews among them, who still retained a regard to the ceremonies of the law; wherefore they fixed on Peter as their minister, and to be called by his name: but others said,

and I of Christ; which some take to be the words of the apostle, declaring who he was of, and for, and belonged unto; intimating that they, as he, should call no man father, or master, on earth, or be called by any other name than that of Christ. Others consider them as the words of the Corinthians, a small part of them who were very mean and contemptible, and therefore mentioned last, who chose to be known and called by no other name than that of Christians; but I rather think that these design a faction and party, to be condemned as the others. These were for Christ, in opposition to Paul, Apollos, and Cephas, and any other ministers of the word. They were for Christ without his ministers; they were wiser than their teachers; they were above being under any ministrations and ordinances; as the others attributed too much to the ministers of the Gospel, these detracted too much from them, and denied them to be of any use and service. Some persons may be, in such sense, for Christ, as to be blame worthy; as when they use his name to deceive men, or divide his interest. 12. this I say—this is what I mean in saying "contentions" (1Co 1:11).

every one of you saith—Ye say severally, "glorying in men" (1Co 1:31; 1Co 3:21, 22), one, I am of Paul; another, I am of Apollos, etc. Not that they formed definite parties, but they individually betrayed the spirit of party in contentions under the name of different favorite teachers. Paul will not allow himself to be flattered even by those who made his name their party cry, so as to connive at the dishonor thereby done to Christ. These probably were converted under his ministry. Those alleging the name of Apollos, Paul's successor at Corinth (Ac 18:24, etc.), were persons attracted by his rhetorical style (probably acquired in Alexandria, 1Co 3:6), as contrasted with the "weak bodily presence" and "contemptible speech" of the apostle. Apollos, doubtless, did not willingly foster this spirit of undue preference (1Co 4:6, 8); nay, to discourage it, he would not repeat his visit just then (1Co 16:12).

I of Cephas—probably Judaizers, who sheltered themselves under the name of Peter, the apostle of the circumcision ("Cephas" is the Hebrew, "Peter" the Greek name; Joh 1:42; Ga 2:11, etc.): the subjects handled in the seventh through ninth chapters were probably suggested as matters of doubt by them. The church there began from the Jewish synagogue, Crispus the chief ruler, and Sosthenes his successor (probably), being converts. Hence some Jewish leaven, though not so much as elsewhere, is traceable (2Co 11:22). Petrism afterwards sprang up much more rankly at Rome. If it be wrong to boast "I am of Peter," how much more so to boast I am of the Pope!" [Bengel].

I of Christ—A fair pretext used to slight the ministry of Paul and their other teachers (1Co 4:8; 2Co 10:7-11).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.
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