1 Corinthians 1:13
Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
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(13) Is Christ divided?—Better, Christ is divided. Christ, in the communion of the Church, is rent, torn in fragments by you. The mention of the sacred name as a party-cry makes the Apostle burst into that impassioned exclamation. Then there is a momentary pause, and the Apostle goes back from his sudden denunciation of the “Christ” party, to those whom he had originally selected for typical treatment, viz., those who bore his own name, the two streams of thought, as it were, mingling and rushing together; and he asks (with a mind still full of the burning indignation aroused by the mention of the name of union as a symbol of disunion), “Was Paul crucified for you?” “Was your baptism in the name of Paul?” To each of which the answer must of necessity be “No.”

Paul being the founder of the Church, these questions apply more forcibly to the others also.

1 Corinthians 1:13-16. Why do you not all say the same thing, namely, I am of Christ, 1 Corinthians 3:23. Is Christ divided? — Did one Christ send Paul, and another Apollos, to preach the gospel to you? Is not one and the same Christ preached to you by us all? or is his body divided? See 2 Corinthians 11:4. Was Paul — Or any other but Christ Jesus; crucified for you — That you should be baptized into his death, as Christians are into the death of Christ? that is, engaged by baptism to be conformed to his death, by dying to sin and to the world. As if he had said, Are your obligations to me, or to any other apostle or Christian minister, equal or comparable to those which you are under to our common Master? to him who died for us upon the cross? He mentions himself, as it was least invidious to do so; though the application was equally just as to every other instance. The apostle’s question here implies, that the sufferings of Christ have an influence in saving the world, which the sufferings of no other man have, or can have. Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul —

By his authority, and dedicated to his service? To be baptized in or into the name of any person is, as Locke observes, “to enter himself a disciple of him into whose name he is baptized, with profession to receive his doctrine and rules, and submit to his authority: a very good argument here, why they should be called by no one’s name but Christ’s.” In this sense the Israelites are said, 1 Corinthians 10:2, to have been baptized into Moses, in the cloud, and in the sea. I thank God — Who so ordered it in the course of his providence: it is a pious phrase for the common one, I rejoice: that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius — Crispus was the ruler of the synagogue at Corinth, and among the first of the Corinthians who were converted by Paul, Acts 18:8 : Gaius, or Caius, was the person with whom the apostle lodged when he wrote his epistle to the Romans, Romans 15:23. Both of them were persons of eminence. The other Corinthians may have been baptized by the apostle’s assistants, Silas, Titus, and Timothy. Lest any should say I had baptized in my own name — In order to attach the persons baptized to myself, and cause them to acknowledge me for their head. Also the household of Stephanas — Who, according to Theophylact, was a person of note among the Corinthians; and his family seem all to have been adults when they were baptized, being said, 1 Corinthians 16:15, to have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints. I know not — That is, it does not at present occur to my memory; whether I baptized any other — “Here the apostle intimates that he is not speaking by inspiration, but from memory. He did not remember whether he baptized any more of the Corinthians. The Spirit was given to the apostles indeed to lead them into all truth; but it was truth relative to the plan of man’s salvation, which was thus made known to them, and not truth, like the fact here mentioned, the certain knowledge of which was of no use whatever to the world.”

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.Is Christ divided? - Paul, in this verse, proceeds to show the impropriety of their divisions and strifes. His general argument is, that Christ alone ought to be regarded as their head and leader, and that his claims, arising from his crucifixion, and acknowledged by their baptism, were so pre-eminent that they could not be divided, and the honors due to him should not be rendered to any other. The apostle, therefore, asks, with strong emphasis, whether Christ was to be regarded as divided? Whether this single Supreme Head and Leader of the church, had become the head of different contending factions? The strong absurdity of supposing that, showed the impropriety of their ranging themselves under different banners and leaders.

Was Paul crucified for you? - This question implies that the crucifixion of Christ had an influence in saving them which the sufferings of no other one could have, and that those sufferings were in fact the speciality which distinguished the work of Christ, and rendered it of so much value. The atonement was the grand, crowning work of the Lord Jesus. It was through this that all the Corinthian Christians had been renewed and pardoned. That work was so pre-eminent that it could not have been performed by another. And as they had all been saved by that alone; as they were alike dependent on his merits for salvation, it was improper that they should be torn into contending factions, and ranged under different leaders. If there is anything that will recall Christians of different names and of contending sects from the heat of strife, it is the recollection of the fact that they have been purchased by the same blood, and that the same Saviour died to redeem them all. If this fact could be kept before their minds, it would put an end to angry strife everywhere in the church, and produce universal Christian love.

Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul - Or, "into," or "unto" the name of Paul; see the note at Matthew 28:19. To be baptized "into," or "unto" anyone is to be devoted to him, to receive and acknowledge him as a teacher, professing to receive his rules, and to be governed by his authority - Locke. Paul here solemnly reminds them that their baptism was an argument why they should not range themselves under different leaders. By that, they had been solemnly and entirely devoted to the service of the only Saviour. "Did I ever," was the implied language of Paul, "baptize in my own name? Did I ever pretend to organize a sect, announcing myself as a leader? Have not I always directed you to that Saviour into whose name and service you have been baptized?" It is remarkable here, that Paul refers to himself, and not to Apollos or Peter. He does not insinuate that the claims of Apollos or Peter were to be disparaged, or their talents and influence to be undervalued, as a jealous rival would have done; but he numbers himself first, and alone, as having no claims to be regarded as a religious leader among them, or the founder of a sect. Even he, the founder of the church, and their spiritual father, had never desired or intended that they should call themselves by his name; and he thus showed the impropriety of their adopting the name of any man as the leader of a sect.

13. Is Christ divided?—into various parts (one under one leader, another under another) [Alford]. The unity of His body is not to be cut in pieces, as if all did not belong to Him, the One Head.

was Paul crucified for you?—In the Greek the interrogation implies that a strong negative answer is expected: "Was it Paul (surely you will not say so) that was crucified for you?" In the former question the majesty of "Christ" (the Anointed One of God) implies the impossibility of His being "divided." in the latter, Paul's insignificance implies the impossibility of his being the head of redemption, "crucified for" them, and giving his name to the redeemed. This, which is true of Paul the founder of the Church of Corinth, holds equally good of Cephas and Apollos, who had not such a claim as Paul in the Corinthian Church.

crucified … baptized—The cross claims us for Christ, as redeemed by Him; baptism, as dedicated to Him.

in the name—rather, "into the name" (Ga 3:27), implying the incorporation involved in the idea of baptism.

How came these parties? There is but one Christ, but one that was crucified for you, but one into whose name, into a faith in whom, and a profession of whom, you were baptized. Peter baptized you into the name of Christ, so did I; I did not list those whom I baptized under any banner of my own, but under Christ’s banner. The Head is but one, and the body ought not to be divided.

Is Christ divided?.... Some read the words as an assertion, "Christ is divided"; that is, his body, the church, is divided by such factions and parties; though in some copies the note of interrogation, is put before the clause, and so to be rendered, "is Christ divided?" no; his human body was not to be divided; a bone of him was not to be broken, John 19:36; the seamless garment he wore was not to be rent asunder, John 19:23; nor is his mystical body, the church, to be torn in pieces by schisms and divisions; nor is anyone part of his Gospel different from, or opposite to another part of it; his doctrine is the same as preached by one minister and another, and is all of a piece, uniform and harmonious. Christ is not divided from his Father, not in nature; though he is to be distinguished from him, yet not to be divided; he is one in nature with him, though he is a distinct person from him; nor is he, nor can he, or will be ever separated from him; nor is he to be divided from him in his works and actions, with whom he was jointly concerned in creation, providence, and grace; and such are to be blamed as dividers of Christ from the Father, who talk of Christ to the exclusion of the Father, or to the dropping and neglect of any of his acts of grace; as his everlasting love to his chosen ones, the eternal election of them in Christ, the covenant of grace made with him, and the instance of his grace in the gift and mission of his Son: nor is Christ divided from himself, not in his nature and person; the two natures, human and divine, are united in one person; they are to be distinguished, and not to be confounded, yet not to be separated as to wake two distinct persons: nor in his offices; a whole Christ is to be received; Christ in his kingly as well as in his priestly office; to claim him as a Saviour and disown him as a King, is dishonourable to him; it is to make one end of his death void, as much as in such lies, which is, that he may be Lord of dead and living; and argues a carnal selfish spirit, and that faith in him is not right: such are to be blamed for being for Christ, and as dividers of him, who talk of being saved by him, and yet would not have him to rule over them. Nor is he divided from his Spirit, not from the person of the Spirit; he is to be distinguished from him as a person, but is one in nature with him; nor from his gifts and graces, which he has as man and Mediator without measure; nor from the work of the Spirit; for it is his grace the Spirit of God implants in the hearts of men: it comes from him, it centres in him, it makes men like him, and glorifies him; such who cry up Christ, and cry down the work of his Spirit upon the soul, are to be blamed for being for Christ, and to be reckoned dividers of them as much as in them lies: nor is Christ divided from his church and people; there is a close union between them, and he dwells in them, and among them; and they are to be blamed that talk of Christ, and never meet with his saints in public service and worship: nor is he divided from his ministers, word, and ordinances; Christ is the sum of the ministry of the word; the ordinances are instituted by him; he submitted to them himself, and is the substance of them, and has promised his presence in them to the end of the world: and what God has put together, let no man put asunder,

Was Paul crucified for you? no; he had taught them another doctrine; namely, that Christ was crucified for them, that he died for their sins, and had bought them with the price of his own blood; and therefore they were not to be the servants of men, or to call any man master, or to be called by his name, or any other man's, only by Christ's, who had redeemed them by his blood; so that they were not their own, nor any other's, but his, and ought to glorify him with their souls and bodies, which were his,

Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul; no; but in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The apostle did not pretend to be the author of a new revelation, or the propagator of a new religion, but was a preacher of the Gospel, and an administrator of the ordinances of Christ; wherefore he baptized not in his own name, but in the name of Christ: to whose worship and service such as are baptized are devoted, and not to the service of men, and therefore not to be called after their names.

{15} Is Christ divided? was {16} Paul crucified for you? or were ye {17} baptized in the name of Paul?

(15) The first reason why divisions ought to be avoided: because Christ seems by that means to be divide and torn in pieces, who cannot be the head of two different and disagreeing bodies, being himself one.

(16) Another reason: because they cannot without great injury to God so depend on men as on Christ: which thing those no doubt do who allow whatever some man speaks, and do it for their own sakes: as these men allowed one and the very same Gospel being uttered by one man, and did loathe it being uttered by another man. So that these factions were called by the names of their teachers. Now Paul sets aside his own name, not simply to grieve no man, but also to show that he does not plead his own cause.

(17) The third reason taken from the form and end of baptism, in which we make a promise to Christ, calling also on the name of the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore although a man does not fall from the doctrine of Christ, yet if he depends upon certain teachers, and despises others, he forsakes Christ: for if he holds Christ as his only master, he would hear him, no matter who Christ taught by.

1 Corinthians 1:13. Μεμέρισται ὁ Χριστός] affirmative (with Lachmann and Kniewel; so τινές as early as Theodoret), not interrogatory (as commonly taken), setting forth the tragical result of the aforesaid state of party-division, 1 Corinthians 1:12, and that with arresting emphasis from the absence of any connective particle: Christ is divided! i.e. in place of being whole and undivided, the One common Christ of all, He is broken up into different party-Christs! Such, that is to say, is the actual appearance of things when, of several parties mutually exclusive of one another, each seems to have its own separate Christ.[194] The reproach here conveyed suits the Christ-party also (against Räbiger), just as forming a party, but not them alone (Hofmann). The interrogatory rendering, common since Chrysostom: Is Christ divided? taken as a question of surprise, has nothing against it linguistically (see esp. Valckenaer, II. p. 71 f.), but it is liable to the objection that it is only with the following μή that the text gives us to recognise the beginning of the interrogative address. Had Paul intended μεμέρ. ὁ Χ. as a question, it would have been most natural for him in the flow of his discourse to carry on the same form of interrogation, and say: ἢ Παῦλος ἐστ. ὑπ. ὑμ. The text, I may add, gives no warrant for interpreting Χριστός of the corpus Chr. mysticum, i.e. the church (Estius, Olshausen, and others; τινές in Theodoret), or even of the doctrina Chr., which is not varia et multiplex (Grotius, Mosheim, Semler, Morus, Rosenmüller).

μὴ Παῦλος κ.τ.λ[195]] Paul surely was not, etc. From this point on to 1 Corinthians 1:16 the incongruous nature of the first party-confession of faith is specially exposed. Bengel aptly remarks: “Crux et baptismus nos Christo asserit; relata: redimere, se addicere.” The two questions correspond to the mutual connection between believing and being baptized.

ὑπέρ] on behalf of, in the sense of atonement.[196] Comp on Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 5:2.

ΕἸς ΤῸ ὌΝΟΜΑ] in reference to the name, as the name of him who is to be henceforth the object of the faith and confession of the individual baptized. Comp on Matthew 28:19 and Romans 6:3.

There was no need of a single word more regarding the first of these two questions; the answer to it was so self-evident. But as to the second, the apostle has some remarks to make, 1 Corinthians 1:14-16.

[194] The conception is not that Christ is broken up into parts or fragments, so that the one party should possess this, the other that, part (see Baur, de Wette, Rückert, Calvin, etc., with Chrysostom and Theophylact); for each party gave itself out as the possessor of the whole Christ, not simply of a part, He standing to it in the relation of its Lord and Head. To this conception corresponds, too, the ἐγὼ δὲ Χριστοῦ, instead of which it would not have been necessary that it should run, ἐμοῦ ὁ Χριστός, as Hofmann objects.

[195] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[196] Lachm. reads περὶ ὑμῶν, instead of ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, following only B D*; too weakly attested, and deserving of rejection also on this ground, that Paul always uses ὑπέρ (even in 1 Thessalonians 5:10) where the death of Christ is placed in relation to persons, for whom He died. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 15:3, which is the only certain passage in Paul’s writings where ὁπέρ (occurs with an abstract term. See also Wieseler on Galatians 1:4.

1 Corinthians 1:13. In his expostulation P. uses, with telling contrast, the first and last only of the party names: “Is the Christ divided? Was Paul crucified on your behalf? or into the name of Paul were you baptised?” Lachmann, W.H[176], Mr[177], Bt[178], read μεμέρισται ὁ Χ. as an exclamation: “The Christ (then) has been divided!”—torn in pieces by your strife. But μερίζω (here in pf. of resultful fact) denotes distribution, not dismemberment (see parls.): the Christian who asserts “I am Christ’s” in distinction from others, claims an exclusive part in Him, whereas the one and whole Christ belongs to every limb of His manifold body (see 1 Corinthians 12:12; also 1 Corinthians 11:3, Romans 10:12; Romans 14:7-9, Ephesians 4:3 ff., Colossians 2:19). A divided Church means a Christ parcelled out, appropriated κατὰ μέρος. ὁ Χριστὸς is the Christ, in the fulness of all that His title signifies (see 1 Corinthians 12:12, etc.).—While μεμέρισται ὁ Χ.; is Paul’s abrupt and indignant question to himself, μὴ Παῦλος ἐσταυρώθη; (aor[179] of historical event) interrogates the readers—“Is it Paul that was crucified for you?” From the cross the Ap. draws his first reproof, the point of which 1 Corinthians 6:20 makes clear, “You were bought at a price”: the Cor[180] therefore were not Paul’s or Kephas’, nor some of them Christ’s and some of them Paul’s men, but only Christ’s and all Christ’s alike.

[176] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.

[177] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[178] J. A. Beet’s St. Paul’s Epp. to the Corinthians (1882).

[179] aorist tense.

[180] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

The cross was the ground of κοινωνία Χριστοῦ (1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 Corinthians 10:16); baptism, signalising personal union with Him by faith, its attestation (Romans 6:3); to this P. appeals asking, ἢ εἰς τὸ ὄνομα Παύλου ἐβαπτίσθητε; His converts will remember how Christ’s name was then sealed upon them, and Paul’s ignored. What was true of his practice, he tacitly assumes for the other chiefs. The readers had been baptised as Christians, not Pauline, Apollonian, or Petrine Christians. Paul’s horror at the thought of baptising in his name shows how truly Christ’s was to him “the name above every name’ (Php 2:9; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:5).

13. Is Christ divided?] Some editors read this affirmatively, “Christ is divided,” instead of interrogatively as in the text. But the latter is preferable. St Paul would ask if Christ, into Whose Name the whole Church has been baptized, and Whose Body (Ephesians 1:23) the whole Church is, can thus be split up into portions, and each portion appropriated by one of the parties he has mentioned.

was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?] Rather, into the name of Paul. To baptize ‘into’ a name signifies something more than to baptize in a name. Had St Paul used the latter phrase here, he would have been rebuking those Christians who called themselves disciples of any other but Christ. But he is also reminding them that the ‘Name’ of Christ, standing as it does for Himself, is the only way of salvation, that Christ is the only Head of the Church, and he disclaims any attempt to claim for himself that close connection with the inner life of all who profess belief in Christ, which is the prerogative of Christ alone. Cf. St Matthew 28:19; Acts 3:16; Acts 4:12.

1 Corinthians 1:13. Μεμέρισται, has [Christ] been divided?) Are then all the members not now any longer under one Head? And yet, since He alone was crucified for you, is it not in the name of Him alone that ye have been baptized? The glory of Christ is not to be divided with His servants; nor is the unity of His body to be cut into pieces, as if Christ were to cease to be one.—μὴ) Lat. num:[4] it is often put in the second clause of an interrogation; ch. 1 Corinthians 10:22; 2 Corinthians 3:1.—ἘΣΤΑΥΡΏΘΗἘΒΑΠΤΊΣΘΗΤΕ, was crucified—ye were baptized) The cross and baptism claim us for Christ. The correlatives are, redemption, and self-dedication.

[4] It expects a negative answer. “Was it Paul (surely you will not say so) that was crucified for you.” This illustrates the subjective force of μὴ (i.e. referring to something in the mind of the subject); whilst οὐκ is objective.—ED.

Verse 13. - Is Christ divided? Has Christ been parcelled into fragments? "Is there a Pauline, a Petrine, an Apollonian, a Christian Christ?" Whether you call yourselves Liberals, or Intellectualists, or Catholics, or Bible Christians, your party spirit is a sin, and all the worse a sin because it pranks itself out in the guise of pure religious zeal. This is more forcible than to take the clause affirmatively:" Christ has been parcelled into fragments." In either ease we see" the tragic result of party spirit." Was Paul crucified for you? Again he rebukes the partisanship which attached itself to his own name. This showed a splendid courage and honesty. The introduction of the question by the negative μὴ expresses astonished indignation: "Can you possibly make a watchword of the name of a mere man, as though he had been crucified for you?" This outburst of feeling is very important, as proving the immeasurable distance which, in Paul's own view, separated him from his Lord. It is also instructive to see how St. Paul at once denounces the spirit of party without deigning to enter into the question as to which party of these wrangling "theologians" was most or least in the right. He did not choose to pander to their sectarian spirit by deciding between their various forms of aggressive orthodoxy. Into the name (comp. Matthew 28:19). 1 Corinthians 1:13Is Christ divided? (μεμέρισται ὁ Χριστός)

Some of the best expositors render as an assertion. Christ has been divided by your controversies. He is broken up into different party Christs. This gives a perfectly good and forcible sense, and is favored by the absence of the interrogative particle μὴ, which introduces the next clause. Divided: so portioned up that one party may claim Him more than another. Christ has the article. See on Matthew 1:1.

Was Paul crucified for you? (μὴ Παῦλος ἐσταυρώθη ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν)

A negative answer is implied. Paul surely was not, etc. For is ὑπέρ on behalf of, not περί on account of, as some texts.

In the name (εἰς τὸ ὄνομα)

Rev., correctly, Into the name. See on Matthew 28:19. Of Paul as the name of him whom you were to confess. The order of the original is: Was it into the name of Paul that ye were baptized?

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