1 Corinthians 1:16
And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Stephanas.—The mention of Stephanas and his household was, from the words preceding, evidently a subsequent correction by the Apostle. He had forgotten them, and was reminded of it possibly by Sosthenes, who was writing from his dictation, and would naturally have known the fact, for Stephanas was the “firstfruits of Achaia” (1Corinthians 16:15), and Sosthenes had been chief ruler of the synagogue (Acts 18:17) when Paul had been brought before Gallio, deputy of Achaia. Stephanas himself was at Ephesus with St. Paul when this letter was written, and doubtless in daily intercourse both with him and with Sosthenes (1Corinthians 16:17). Finding how his memory had failed him on this point, the Apostle adds, “And I know not,” &c. (i.e., I don’t remember) so as to prevent any cavil from hypercritical opponents.

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.And I baptized also the household - The family. Whether there were any infants in the family, does not appear. It is certain that the family was among the first converts to Christianity in Achaia, and that it had evinced great zeal in aiding those who were Christians; see 1 Corinthians 16:15 - From the manner in which Paul mentions this, it is probable that Stephanas did not reside at Corinth when he was baptized, though he might have subsequently removed there. "I baptized none 'of you' 1 Corinthians 1:14. - that is, none of those who permanently dwelt at Corinth, or who were members of the original church there, but Crispus and Gaius - but I baptized also the family of Stephanas, 'now' of your number" - Or it may mean, "I baptized none of you 'who are adult members of the church,' but Crispus and Gains, though I also baptized the 'family' of Stephanas. If this be the true interpretation, then it forms an argument to prove that Paul practiced household baptism, or the baptism of the families of those who were themselves believers. Or the expression may simply indicate a recollection of the true circumstances of the case - a species of correction of the statement in 1 Corinthians 1:14, "I recollect now also that I baptized the family of Stephanas."

Household - οἶκον oikon. The house; the family. The word comprises the whole family, including adults, domestics, slaves, and children. It includes:

(1) The men in a house, Acts 7:10; 1 Timothy 3:4-5, 1 Timothy 3:12;

(2) "Domestics," Acts 10:2; Acts 11:14; Acts 16:15, Acts 16:31; 1 Timothy 3:4;

(3) "The family" in general; Luke 10:5; Luke 16:27.

Bretschneider. It was the custom, doubtless, for the apostles to baptize the entire "household," whatever might be the age, including domestics, slaves, and children. The head of a family gave up the entire "household" to God.

(That adult domestics and slaves were baptized without personal profession or other evidence of faith, is incredible. The word οἶκον oikon indeed includes domestics as well as children, out while the latter must have been admitted on the profession of their parents, it is reasonable to suppose that the former would be received solely on their own.)

Of Stephanas - Who Stephanas was, is not known. The Greek commentators say that he was the jailor of Philippi, who, after he had been baptized Acts 16:33, removed with his family to Corinth. But of this there is no certain evidence.

Besides - Besides these.

I know not ... - I do not know whether I baptized any others who are now members of that church. Paul would, doubtless, recollect that he had baptized others in other places, but he is speaking here particularly of Corinth. This is not to be urged as an argument against the inspiration of Paul, for:

(1) It was not the design of inspiration to free the memory from defect in ordinary transactions, or in those things which were not to be received for the instruction of the church;

(2) The meaning of Paul may simply be, "I know not who of the original members of the church at Corinth may have removed, or who may have died; I know not who may have removed to Corinth from other places where I have preached and baptized, and consequently I cannot know whether I may not have baptized some others of your present number." It is evident, however, that if he had baptized any others, the number was small.

16. household of Stephanas—"The first-fruits of Achaia," that is, among the first converted there (1Co 16:15, 17). It is likely that such "households" included infants (Ac 16:33). The history of the Church favors this view, as infant baptism was the usage from the earliest ages. He correcteth himself, remembering that he also baptized the household of Stephanas, which (1 Corinthians 16:15) he calleth the first-fruits of Achaia, a family that had addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints. Besides, I know not whether I baptized any other; he did not remember that he had baptized any more at Corinth, though it is very probable he had baptized many more in other parts of the world, where he had been travelling. And I also baptized the household of Stephanas,.... The same name with "Stephanios", or "Stephanio" in Pliny (e). Before he says he had baptized none but Crispus and Gaius; but recollecting things, he corrects himself, and observes, that he had also baptized the household of Stephanas, who by the Greek writers is thought to be the same with the jailer baptized by the apostle at Philippi, but was now removed from thence to Corinth, and was become a famous and useful man there. No argument can be formed from the baptism of his household in favour of infant baptism, since it must be first proved that he had any infants in his family, and that these were baptized; and if his household and the jailer's are the same, it is certain that his household were such who were capable of having the word of God spoke to them, and who actually did believe in God. And if they were not the same, yet it is clear that this household of Stephanas consisted of adult, converted, and very useful persons; they were the firstfruits of Achaia, and had addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints, 1 Corinthians 16:15.

Besides, that is, the above mentioned persons,

I know not whether I baptized any other; meaning at Corinth, for he might have baptized, and doubtless did baptize many more in other places, for anything that is here said to the contrary: of this he would not be positive; for though he might fully know, and well remember, on recollection, who, and how many, were baptized by him with his own hands there, yet he could not tell but that some persons might have removed thither, and become members of the church in that place, who had been baptized by him elsewhere,

(e) Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 48.

And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 1:16. Another Corinthian family baptized by him occurs to his mind. He adds it conscientiously, and then cuts off any possibility of his being reproached with untruthful omission by λοιπὸν οὐκ οἶδα κ.τ.λ[201] Regarding Stephanas, we know nothing save from 1 Corinthians 16:15; 1 Corinthians 16:17.

Λοιπόν is the simple ceterum, otherwise, besides that. Comp 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; frequent in Greek writers also after Polybius.

[201] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.16. Stephanas] Probably the bearer of the Epistle. He is mentioned in ch. 1 Corinthians 16:15; 1 Corinthians 16:17.1 Corinthians 1:16.[5] Λοιπὸν, for the rest [as to what remains]) He is very anxious to be accurate in recording the facts as they occurred.—οὐκ οἶδα, I do not know) It does not occur to my memory without an effort.—εἴ τινα, if any) i.e. I have baptized no one else, or scarce any other; comp. the following verse. He left it to the memory of the individuals [themselves to say], by whom they were baptized.

[5] Καὶ τὸν Στεφανᾶ οἶκον, the house of Stephanas also) viz. the first fruits of Achaia, 1 Corinthians 14:15. The rest of the believers at Corinth may have been baptized by Silvanus, Timotheus, Crispus, Gaius, or at least by the members of the family of Stephanas.—V. g.Verse 16. - And I baptized also. This he recalls by an afterthought being, perhaps, reminded of it by Stephanas himself. The household of Stephanas. Stephanas and his house were the first converts in Achaia (1 Corinthians 16:5). When converts became more numerous, St. Paul ceased to baptize them personally (comp. Acts 10:48). I know not. The inspiration of the apostles involved none of the mechanical infallibility ascribed to them by popular dogma, He forgot whether he had baptized any one else or not, but this made no difference as regards his main argument. And I baptized also

Another exceptional case occurs to him which he conscientiously adds. The δὲ and has a slightly corrective force.

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