1 Corinthians 1:14
I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
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(14) I thank God.—“I am thankful to God that it was not so.” For if he had baptised a great many, some might have said he had created originally a party in his own name. Crispus (see Acts 18:8), a “ruler of the synagogue,” Gaius (or Caius, his Roman name), “mine host, and of the whole Church” (Romans 16:23): the evident importance and position of these two, and that they were the first converts, may account for the Apostle having departed from his usual practice in baptising them.

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.I thank God ... - Why Paul did not himself baptize, see in 1 Corinthians 1:17. To him it was now a subject of grateful reflection that he had not done it. He had not given any occasion for the suspicion that he had intended to set himself up as a leader of a sect or party.

But Crispus - Crispus had been the chief ruler of the synagogue at Corinth; Acts 18:8.

And Gaius - Gaius resided at Corinth, and at his house Paul resided when he wrote the Epistle to the Romans; Romans 16:23. It is also possible that the Third Epistle of John was directed to this man; see 3 John 1:1. And if so, then probably Diotrephes 3 John 1:9, who is mentioned as one who loved "to have the pre-eminence," had been one cause of the difficulties at Corinth. The other persons at Corinth had been probably baptized by Silas and Timothy.

14. I thank God's providence now, who so ordered it that I baptized none of you but Crispus (the former ruler of the synagogue, Ac 18:8) and Gaius (written by the Romans Caius, the host of Paul at Corinth, and of the church, Ro 16:23; a person therefore in good circumstances). Baptizing was the office of the deacons (Ac 10:48) rather than of the apostles, whose office was that of establishing and superintending generally the churches. The deacons had a better opportunity of giving the necessary course of instruction preparatory to baptism. Crispus and Gaius were probably among the first converts, and hence were baptized by Paul himself, who founded the church. Concerning the apostle’s baptizing Crispus we read, Acts 18:8; he was the chief ruler of the synagogue of the Jews: why Paul thanks God that he baptized not many, he tells us, 1 Corinthians 1:15. I thank God that I baptized none of you,.... The Alexandrian copy and the Syriac version read, "I thank my God"; not that the apostle disliked the ordinance of baptism, or the administration of it; and much less that he thought it criminal, or an evil in him to perform it; nor was he at any time displeased at the numbers of persons who desired it of him; but on the contrary rejoiced where proper subjects of it were brought to a submission to it; but inasmuch as some persons in the church at Corinth made such an ill use of his having baptized them, he was greatly thankful that it was so ordered in providence, that the far greater part of them were baptized by other ministers, either by those who were with him, or came after him; and that he baptized none of them with his own hands,

but Crispus and Gaius. The former of these was the chief ruler of the Jewish synagogue at Corinth, who hearing the apostle, and believing in Christ, was baptized by him, Acts 18:8 and the latter was a very liberal and hospitable man, and was the apostle's host, whilst he was at Corinth; see Romans 16:23.

{18} I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

(18) He protests that he speaks so much the more boldly of these things, because through God's providence, he is void of all suspicion of gathering disciples to himself, and taking them from others. By which we may understand, that not the scholars only, but the teachers also are here reprehended, who gathered flocks separately and for themselves.

1 Corinthians 1:14-15. God be thanked, that I baptized only a very few among you! Accordingly no room has been left for the reproach being brought against me, as it might otherwise have been, that I had baptized into my own name! “Providentia divina regnat saepe in rebus, quarum ratio postea cognoscitur” (Bengel). Rückert finds fault with the weakness of this proof, since it was surely the same thing whether Paul had baptized personally or through his assistants. But unjustly. For, since Paul was not generally in the habit of baptizing in person, had he himself baptized many in Corinth, this might undoubtedly have been made use of afterwards by perverse minds for the possible slander that there was a specialty in the case, that he had baptized with his own hand in Corinth, because he did it into his own name,—a purpose for which, of course, he could not have employed others. Hofmann suggests wrongly: they might have interpreted it, as though he had wished to place the persons concerned “in a peculiar relation” to himself. This imported indefiniteness is against the definite sense of the words. Just as he had said before, that it was not he who had been crucified for them in place of Christ, so he says further, that they had not been baptized into his name instead of the name of Christ. But the two points just show how wholly absurd the confession ἐγὼ μέν εἰμι Παύλου is, because it would have such absurd premisses.

Κρίσπον] See Acts 18:8.

Γάϊον] See on Romans 16:23.

ἵνα μή] is never elsewhere, and is not here, to be taken as: so that not, but it denotes the design, arranged in the divine providential leading, of the οὐδένα ὑμ. ἐβάπτισα (comp 1 Corinthians 1:17; 2 Corinthians 1:9, al[200]).

[200] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.1 Corinthians 1:14-16. In fact, P. had himself baptised very few of the Cor[181] He sees a providence in this; otherwise he might have seemed wishful to stamp his own name upon his converts, and some colour would have been lent to the action of the Paulinists—“lest any one should say that you were baptised into my name”. For βαπτίζω εἰς τὸ ὄνομα, cf. Matthew 28:19 and other parls.; also βαπτίζω εἰς, 1 Corinthians 10:2; it corresponds to πιστεύω εἰς, and has the like pregnant force. “The name” connotes the nature and authority of the bearer, and His relationship to those who speak of Him by it. Crispus and Gaius: both Roman names (see Introd., p[182] 733); the former a cognomen (Curly), the latter an exceedingly common prænomen. These two were amongst Paul’s earliest converts (Acts 18:8, Romans 16:23), the former a Synagogue-ruler. On second thoughts (“he was reminded by his amanuensis,” Lt[183]; or by Steph. himself), P. remembers that he had “baptised the house of Stephanas” (see 1 Corinthians 16:15, and note), the first family here won to Christ. Στεφανᾶς (perhaps short for Στεφανηφόρος), like Κηφᾶς, takes the Doric gen[184] in - usual with proper names in -ᾶς, whether of native or foreign origin (see Bm[185], p. 20).—λοιπὸν οὐκ οἶδα εἴ τινα κ.τ.λ.: P. cannot recall any other instance of baptism by his own hands at Cor[186]; this was a slight matter, which left no clear mark in his memory, λοιπόν (more regularly, τὸ λοιπόν), “for the rest”—in point of time (1 Corinthians 7:29), or number—a somewhat frequent idiom with Paul (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:2). In οὐκ οἶδα εἰ (haud scio an), the conjunction is indir[187] interr[188], as in 1 Corinthians 7:16.

[181] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[182]. Paul.

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

[184] genitive case.

[185] A. Buttmann’s Grammar of the N.T. Greek (Eng. Trans., 1873).

[186] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[187]ndir. indirect.

[188]nterr. interrogative.14. Crispus and Gaius] The special honour seems to have been accorded to Crispus of baptism by the hands of St Paul, because he was ‘the chief ruler of the synagogue’ (Acts 18:8). Gaius, ‘mine host, and of the whole Church’ (Romans 16:23) must not be confounded with Gaius of Derbe (Acts 20:4), nor with the Macedonian Gaius mentioned in Acts 19:29. Gaius or Caius was a very common Roman name. The Epistle to the Romans was written at Corinth. Paley (Horae Paulinae, 1st Epistle to the Corinthians 8) remarks on the minute yet undesigned agreement between the Epistles and the Acts. We must not foil to notice also that the Corinthian Church was by no means an exclusively Gentile community. See Acts 18:12-13.1 Corinthians 1:14. Εὐχαριστῶ, I give thanks) The Providence of God reigns often in events, of which the reason is afterwards discovered. This is the language of a godly man, indicating the importance of the subject, instead of the common phrase, I rejoice.—Κρίσπον καὶ Γάϊον, Crispus and Gaius) He brings forward his witnesses. Paul baptized with his own hand, the most respectable persons, not many others; and not from ambition, but because they were among the first, who believed. The just estimation of his office is not pride, ch. 1 Corinthians 16:4. The administration of baptism was not so much the duty of the apostles, as of the deacons, Acts 10:48; nor did that circumstance diminish the dignity of this ordinance.Verse 14. - I thank God that I baptized none of you. St. Paul, in his characteristic manner, "goes off at the word" baptize. He thanked God, not by way of any disparagement to baptism, but because he had thus given no excuse to the undue exaltation of his own name. Compare the practice of our Lord himself, in leaving his disciples to baptize (John 4:2). The apostles would not have approved the system of wholesale baptisms of the heathen which has prevailed in some Romanist missions. Save Crispus. The ruler of the synagogue (Acts 18:8). Doubtless there were some strong special reasons why, in these instances, St. Paul departed from his general rule of not personally baptizing his converts. And Gaius. Gaius of Corinth (Romans 16:23). It was one of the commonest of names. There was another Gaius of Derbe (Acts 20:4), and another known to St. John (3 John 1:1).
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