1 Corinthians 1:11
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.
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(11) The house of Chloe.—Who Chloe was we cannot tell. Her name was evidently well known to the Corinthians, and some slaves of her household, probably travelling between Ephesus and Corinth, on their owner’s business, had brought to St. Paul the account of the distracted state of the church in their city.

1 Corinthians 1:11-12. For it hath been declared — Not out of ill-will, but to procure a remedy of the evil; unto me — Whom it concerns to know such things, that I may redress them; of you, my brethren — Brethren, says Locke, is a name of union and friendship, and is twice used by the apostle in this exhortation to these virtues. By them of the house of Chloe — According to Grotius, these were Stephanas, Fortunatus, Achaicus, mentioned 1 Corinthians 16:17; who, he thinks, were Chloe’s sons, and the bearers of the letter which the Corinthians sent to the apostle, 1 Corinthians 7:1. That there are contentions among you — A word equivalent with schisms, in the preceding verse: now this I say — That is, what I mean is this; that every one of you saith, I am of Paul, &c. — There are various parties among you, who set themselves one against another, in behalf of the several teachers they admire. And I of Cephas — This seems to have been the boast of the Judaizing teachers: for as they came recommended by letters from Judea, they might be particularly attached to Peter, perhaps having been converted under his ministry: and I of Christ — Such spoke well, if they did not, on this pretence, despise their teachers. It seems there were now in the church at Corinth some Jewish Christians, who, having heard Christ preach, had been converted by him, and who claimed greater respect on that account. Chrysostom thought this was said by Paul himself, to show the Corinthians that all ought to consider themselves as the disciples of Christ, and of no other master; otherwise they derogated from the honour due to Christ. The Greeks, it must be observed, “valued themselves greatly on account of the fame of their masters in philosophy and the arts. This humour the Corinthians brought with them into the church. For some, especially the heads of the faction, claimed an authority over others on account of the dignity of the persons who had converted them, and to whom they had attached themselves, as their masters in the gospel. But others, who reckoned themselves equally honourable on account of the reputation of their teachers, opposed their pretensions. Hence arose those envyings, strifes, and divisions, which prevailed in the Corinthian church, and which the apostle termed, a walking after the manner of men, 1 Corinthians 3:3.” — Macknight.

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.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.

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).

The apostle cometh to show one reason, as why he wrote to them, so also why in the preceding verse he so zealously pressed unity upon them, because of an information he had received from some of the family of Chloe; for it is far more probable that Chloe was the name of a person, head of a family in Corinth, than of a city or town.

There are contentions among you: what their divisions were about, the next verses will tell us.

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.

1 Corinthians 1:11. Motive for the foregoing exhortation.

ὑπὸ τῶν Χλόης] comp Romans 16:10; Winer, p. 179 [E. T. 238]. What persons belonging to Chloe are meant, was as well known to the readers as it is unknown to us. Grotius and Valckenaer understood “mortuae Chloes liberos;” others generally, “those of her household;” others, again, “slaves,” as undoubtedly such genitives are sometimes to be explained by δοῦλος (Schaef. a[173] Bos. Ell. p. 117 f.); comp Plat. Phaed. p. 60 A. Chloe herself is commonly held to be a Corinthian Christian, members of whose household had come to Ephesus. It seems, however, more in accordance with apostolic discretion to suppose (with Michaelis) that she was an Ephesian well known to the Corinthians, members of whose household had been in Corinth and returned thence.

The name (familiar as a surname of Demeter) occurs also elsewhere; Hor. Od. i. 23, iii. 9. 6; Long. Past. 7. We may add that Bengel remarks well on ἐδηλώθη (comp Colossians 1:8): “exemplum delationis bonae nec sine causâ celandae.” It was in fact the fulfilment of a duty of love.

[173] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

1 Corinthians 1:11. The appeal above made implies a serious charge; now the authority for it: “For it has been signified to me about you, my brothers, by the (people) of Chloç”.—ἐδηλώθη (see parls.) implies definite information, the disclosure of facts.—οἱ Χλόης, “persons of Chloç’s household”—children, companions, or possibly slaves (cf. Romans 16:10): there is nothing further to identify them. “Chloç is usually considered a Cor[139] Christian, whose people had come to Eph.; but it is more in harmony with St. Paul’s discretion to suppose that she was an Ephesian known to the Cor[140], whose people had been at Cor[141] and returned to Eph.” (Ev[142], Hf[143]). “Chloç’s people” are distinct from the Cor[144] deputies of 1 Corinthians 16:17, or Paul would have named the latter here; besides, Stephanas was himself the head of a household.—Χλόη (Verdure) was an epithet of the goddess Demeter, as φοίβη of Artemis (Romans 16:1): such names were often given to slaves, and . may have been a freedwoman of property (Lt[145]). “That strifes exist among you” (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:3, 2 Corinthians 12:20) was the information given; these ἔριδες, the next ver. explains, were generating the σχίσματα (see note on 10).

[139] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[140] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[141] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[142] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary.

[143] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[144] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[145] J. B. Lightfoot’s (posthumous) Notes on Epp. of St. Paul (1895).

11. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe] The aorist here seems to imply some special occasion on which St Paul met his informants, and received the intelligence which pained him. Of Chloe nothing is known.

1 Corinthians 1:11. Ἐδηλώθη, it hath been declared) an example of justifiable giving of information against others,—such information as ought not to be concealed without a reason, ch. 1 Corinthians 11:18.—ὑπὸ τῶν Χλόης, by those, who are of the house of Chloe) These men seem to have obtained the special approbation both of Paul and of the Corinthians; as also the matron Chloe [sc. seems to have had their approbation], whose sons the Corinthians sent with letters to Paul, ch. 1 Corinthians 7:1. They had sent Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus, ch. 1 Corinthians 16:17, of whom the one or the other might even be a son of Chloe’s, by Stephanas as the father, 1 Corinthians 1:16; 1 Corinthians 16:15.—ριδες, contentions) He calls the thing by its own [right] 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.'). 1 Corinthians 1:11It 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.

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