1 Corinthians 10:28
But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
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(28) But if any man. . . .—If, however, some weak brother present points out that it is sacrificial meat, do not eat for his sake and for conscience sake (see 1Corinthians 10:29). Here your personal liberty is to be modified by the principle mentioned in 1Corinthians 10:24. If the weak brother see you eat the flesh which he has just informed you was used as a sacrifice, he may be led by your example to eat it himself, though the very fact of his having called your attention to it showed that he thinks it wrong, and so his conscience is defiled.

The word (hierothuton) here used (according to the best MSS.) for “offered to an idol” is different from the condemnatory word (eidolothuton) elsewhere used; as natural courtesy would lead a Christian at the table of a heathen to use an epithet which would not be offensive to his host. A lesson in controversy—Don’t conceal your conscientious convictions, but don’t express them in language unnecessarily painful to your opponent.

The repetition of the words “The earth is the Lord’s,” &c., in this verse is an interpolation not found in the best MSS., and tends to interrupt the thought which is carried on in 1Corinthians 10:29.

10:23-33 There were cases wherein Christians might eat what had been offered to idols, without sin. Such as when the flesh was sold in the market as common food, for the priest to whom it had been given. But a Christian must not merely consider what is lawful, but what is expedient, and to edify others. Christianity by no means forbids the common offices of kindness, or allows uncourteous behaviour to any, however they may differ from us in religious sentiments or practices. But this is not to be understood of religious festivals, partaking in idolatrous worship. According to this advice of the apostle, Christians should take care not to use their liberty to the hurt of others, or to their own reproach. In eating and drinking, and in all we do, we should aim at the glory of God, at pleasing and honouring him. This is the great end of all religion, and directs us where express rules are wanting. A holy, peaceable, and benevolent spirit, will disarm the greatest enemies.But if any man - If any fellow guest; any scrupulous fellow Christian who may be present. That the word "any" (τις tis) refers to a fellow guest seems evident; for it is not probable that the host would point out any part of the food on his own table, of the lawfulness of eating which he would suppose there was any doubt. Yet there might be present some scrupulous fellow Christian who would have strong doubts of the propriety of partaking of the food, and who would indicate it to the other guests.

For his sake that showed it - Do not offend him; do not lead him into sin;, do not pain and wound his feelings.

And for conscience' sake - Eat not, out of respect to the conscientious scruples of him that told thee that it had been offered to idols. The word "conscience" refers to the conscience of the informer 1 Corinthians 10:29; still he should make it a matter of conscience not to wound his weak brethren, or lead them into sin.

For the earth is the Lord's ... - See 1 Corinthians 10:26. These words are missing in many mss. (see Mill's Greek Testament), and in the Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Arabic versions; and are omitted by Griesbach. Grotius says that they should be omitted. There might easily have been a mistake in transcribing them from 1 Corinthians 10:26. The authority of the mss., however, is in favor of retaining them; and they are quoted by the Greek fathers and commentators. If they are to be retained, they are to be interpreted, probably, in this sense; "There is no "necessity" that you should partake of this food. All things belong to God; and he has made ample provision for your needs without subjecting you to the necessity of eating this. Since this is the case, it is best to regard the scruples of those who have doubts of the propriety of eating this food, and to abstain."

28. if any man—a weak Christian at table, wishing to warn his brother.

offered in sacrifice unto idols—The oldest manuscripts omit "unto idols." At a heathen's table the expression, offensive to him, would naturally be avoided.

for conscience' sake—not to cause a stumbling-block to the conscience of thy weak brother (1Co 8:10-12).

for the earth is the Lord's, &c.—not in the oldest manuscripts.

The meat being out of the idol’s temple, and returned to a common use, there could be no impiety in eating it, no communion with devils, and partaking of the table of devils, in and by such an action; but yet there might be a breach of charity in the action, that is, in case one were there present, who knew that it had been so offered to the idol, and declared his offence, by telling the Christian that was about to eat, that that meat had been so offered: in that case the apostle commandeth Christians not to eat, and that partly

for his sake that showed it, lest they should lay a stumbling block before him, and by their example imbolden him that showed it to do the like, though he doubted the lawfulness of it; and likewise

for conscience sake, that is, for their own conscience sake, which through weakness might afterward trouble them for it, though without just cause. He gives them as a reason for it, because

the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof, that is, because there was other meat enough to eat. This passage, taken out of the psalmist, had a something different application, 1 Corinthians 10:26; there the apostle used it to justify the lawfulness of their eating such meat, returned again to a common use, and exposed to sale in the shambles; here he useth it to dissuade them from eating, if any let them know it had been offered to the idol.

But if any man say unto you,.... Either a weak believer, to prevent the doing of what he thought to be sinful; or the unbeliever, that invites to try the integrity of his Christian guest, and to draw him into a snare:

this is offered in sacrifice unto idols; the meat that is in that dish, or that portion of food which stands in such a part of the table, came out of an idol's temple, and was sacrificed to idols; which with the Jews were forbidden (o): for

"everything that came out of an idol's temple was forbidden, and was reckoned as the sacrifices of the dead; for it was not thought possible it could be there, and not offered to idols:''

now when any at the feast, either believer or unbeliever, should thus point at any particular dish, and affirm this of it; then the apostle's advice is,

eat not for his sake that showed it: who, if a weak believer, will be grieved and wounded; and if an infidel, will be hardened in his impiety, and be furnished with an opportunity of reproaching the Christians, as variable, insincere, and unfaithful in their religion:

and for conscience sake; which is explained in the following verse:

the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; which words are neither in the Syriac version, nor in the Vulgate Latin, nor in the Alexandrian copy, and some others, and are thought by some to be added, from 1 Corinthians 10:26 though the repetition of them is far from being impertinent; since they contain a very good reason why such a man should abstain from things sacrificed to idols, seeing there is such a plenty and variety of creatures for his use, which he has a right to eat of; and therefore is under no necessity to eat of such sacrifices, nor is it any hardship upon him to forbear the use of them.

(o) T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 32. 2.

But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
1 Corinthians 10:28. Ἐὰν δέ τις κ.τ.λ[1711]] But should it so happen that some one, etc. It is clear from this that the host (Grotius, Mosheim, Semler) is not meant, otherwise τίς (1 Corinthians 10:27) would not be repeated, and besides, διʼ ἐκεῖνονσυνείδησιν would not suit; but a fellow-guest, and that not a heathen (Chrysostom, Theophylact, Erasmus, al[1712], including de Wette and Maier, according to whom the thing is done maliciously, or to put the Christian to the test[1713]), nor a heathen or Christian indifferently (Flatt), nor a Jew (Wetstein), but a Christian fellow-guest (Osiander, Neander, al[1714]), who, being himself still under the influence of the ideas about sacrificial flesh, warns his fellow-believer at the table against defilement; and, moreover, a Gentile Christian (see remark on 1 Corinthians 8:7), who had somehow learned—perhaps only since coming to the house—that the flesh from the altar was to form part of the feast.[1715] According to Reiche, in his Comment. crit., we should not seek to define the τίς more specially, but leave it quite general. But this is at variance with the apodosis, which takes for granted that, in the case supposed, eating of flesh would involve a want of forbearance towards the μήνυσας, as was obviously implied of necessity in the ΔΙΆ after what had already been said in 1 Corinthians 8:7-13. The ΤΊς, therefore, must be one whose conscience required to be spared, consequently neither a heathen nor a Jew, but, in accordance with 1 Corinthians 8:7 ff., only a brother who was of weak conscience. This holds against Hofmann also, who assumes that the case supposed in 1 Corinthians 10:28 might occur just as well if the seller knew the buyer to be a Christian as if the host or any of his family knew the guest as such. To leave the τίς thus indefinite is, besides, the more clearly wrong, seeing that the rule for buying meat had been finally disposed of in 1 Corinthians 10:25-26, and cannot extend into 1 Corinthians 10:28, because 1 Corinthians 10:28 is included under the case of the invitation brought forward in 1 Corinthians 10:27, and this case again is very distinctly separated by the very order of the words (see on 1 Corinthians 10:27) from that of the purchase in the market, 1 Corinthians 10:25.

διʼ ἐκεῖνον τ. μηνύσ. κ. τ. συνείδ.] for the sake of him who made it known, and of conscience, i.e. in order to spare him and not to injure conscience. The (διὰ) τὴν συνείδησιν is the refrain which serves to give the motive for the rules laid down since 1 Corinthians 10:25. To whose conscience this refrain points here, Paul does not yet say (else he would have added αὐτοῦ), but utters again first of all this moral watchword without any more precise definition, in order immediately thereafter in 1 Corinthians 10:29 to express with the special emphasis of contrast the particular reference of its meaning designed here;[1716] for in 1 Corinthians 10:25; 1 Corinthians 10:27, the ΣΥΝΕΊΔΗΣΙς had a different meaning. This κ. τ. συνείδησιν, therefore (the ΚΑΊ here being the simple and), carries with it something to whet curiosity; it stands forth in the first place as a sort of riddle, so to speak, which is to find its solution in 1 Corinthians 10:29.

Regarding μηνύσ., see on Luke 20:37. If we imagine the ΜΗΝΎΣ. to be a heathen, the κ. τ. συνείδ. lands us in an insoluble difficulty. For either (1) we should, with Ewald, suppose that this heathen’s view of the matter was, that the Christian, being warned, would not eat, but, on the other hand, if he did, would be still worse than a Jew, converting liberty into licentiousness; comp Erasmus, Paraphr.[1718] But in that case how very obscurely Paul would have expressed himself, especially when in the whole context συνείδησις means the Christian consciousness raising scruples for itself, and that in respect of what was lawful or unlawful! Or (2) we should have, with de Wette, to take τὴν συνείδησιν as not the conscience of the μηνύσ. at all, but that of third persons (weak Christians), which, however, 1 Corinthians 10:29 forbids us to do, unless we are to regard Paul as writing with excessive awkwardness.

ἱερόθυτον] used of sacrificial flesh also in Plutarch, Mor. p. 729 C. The term is purposely chosen here instead of εἰδωλόθυτον, as a more honourable expression, because the words are spoken at table in the presence of heathen. We may be sure that this delicate touch is due to no corrector of the text (in opposition to de Wette and Reiche). As to the usage of the word in Greek, see Lobeck, a[1719] Phryn. p. 159.

[1711] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[1712] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[1713] Ewald, too, holds the τίς to be a heathen (“the host, as most interpreters take it, or very possibly a companion at the table”), who gave the hint in a frank and kindly way, as not expecting that a Christian would partake of meat of that sort.

[1714] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[1715] De Wette’s objection, that one of such tender conscience would hardly have gone to a heathen festival at all, carries weight only on the supposition of a sacrificial feast being meant.

[1716] Hence τ. συνείδ. should not be understood of conscience in abstracto (Hofmann: “conscience as such, no matter whose,” although in the first place that of the μηνύσ.).

[1718] Similarly Hofmann also thinks of the “bad opinion of Christianity” which the μηνύσ. first of all, but others as well, would have occasion to form, so that the Christian’s liberty would be subject to the tribunal of the moral consciousness of others.

[1719] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

1 Corinthians 10:28-29 a. ἐὰν δὲεἴπῃ, “But if any one say to you”—a probable contingency, as εἴ τις καλεῖ κ.τ.λ. (1 Corinthians 10:27) was an assumed fact; see Bn[1576] on the forms of the Condit. Sentence, §§ 242 ff.—δὲ confronts this contingency with both the situations described in 1 Corinthians 10:25; 1 Corinthians 10:27. The information, “This is sacrificial meat,” might be volunteered to the Christian purchaser in the market (by the salesman, or a by-stander), or to the Christian guest at the unbeliever’s table (by the host, or by a fellow-guest), the communication being prompted by civility and the wish to spare the supposed susceptibilities of the Christian, or by the desire to embarrass him; whatever its occasion or motive, it alters the situation. The genuine reading, ἱερόθυτον (slain-as-sacred, i.e., in sacrifice), takes the statement as from the mouth of unbelievers; a Jew or Christian would presumably say εἰδωλόθυτον, as above and here in T.R.: Reuss and 1. suppose the informant to be “a Christian converted from heathenism” using the inoffensive term “at the table of a heathen host”; but τ. ἀπίστων suggests heathen company, and μηνύσαντα private information. “Forbear eating (μὴ ἐσθίετε, revoking the permission of 1 Corinthians 10:25 ff.) for the sake of him that informed (you), and for conscience’ sake.”—Μηνύω (see parls.), to disclose what does not appear on the surface or is imparted secretly. The informant expects the Christian to be shocked; with his συνήθεια τ. εἰδώλου (1 Corinthians 8:7), he looks on the flesh of the sacrifice as having acquired a religious character (it is ἱερόθυτον); by saying Τοῦτο ἱερόθυτον, he calls conscience into play—whose conscience the next clause shows.—διὰ τὸν μηνύσαντα καὶ τὴν συνείδησιν form one idea, being governed by the same prp[1577], καὶ adding an explanation; from regard to the conscience of the μηνύσας—not his possible contempt or ill-will—the Christian should decline the offered flesh or stop eating it.—συνείδησιν δὲ λέγω, οὐ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ κ.τ.λ., “Conscience however I mean, not one’s own, but that of the other”. 1 Corinthians 10:29 a explains the διὰ τ. συνείδησιν of 1 Corinthians 10:28, and reconciles its instruction with that of 1 Corinthians 10:25; 1 Corinthians 10:27, while it brings the matter under the governing rule laid down in 1 Corinthians 10:23 f. By contrast with “the other,” the 2nd pl[1578] of 1 Corinthians 10:28 becomes here 2nd sing[1579] reflexive.

[1576] E. Burton’s Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in the N.T. (1894).

[1577] preposition.

[1578] plural.

[1579]ing. singular number.

1 Corinthians 10:29 b, 1 Corinthians 10:30 justify, in two rhetorical questions, the Christian’s deference to the conscience of another: (a) ἵνα τί γὰρ κ.τ.λ.; “For to what purpose is my liberty judged by another conscience?” i.e. “What good end will be served by my eating under these circumstances, and exposing my freedom to the censure of an unsympathetic conscience?” cf. 1 Corinthians 2:15, Matthew 7:6. ἵνα τί (γένηται); ut quid? (Vg[1580]), signifies purpose, not ground as Mr[1581] and others take it; there is nothing to be gained by the exercise of liberty in this case. For κρίνω in adverse sense, see parls. For the previous συνείδ. τὴν τοῦ ἑτέρου (alterius), ἄλλης (alienœ) συνειδήσεως is substituted (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:29, 2 Corinthians 11:4), indicating a distinction not merely in the persons but in the consciences severally possessed. The Ap. says here of Liberty what he says of Faith in Romans 14:22 : κατὰ σεαυτὸν ἔχε ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ.—Question (b) intimates that, instead of any benefit resulting from the assertion of liberty in face of conscientious condemnation, positive harm ensues—thanksgiving leads to blasphemy! “If I with thanks (or by grace) partake, why am I blasphemed over (that for) which I give thanks?” The τί is prospective, as in 1 Corinthians 15:29 f. = εἰς τί or ἵνα τί; The bare χάριτι can scarcely mean here “by (the) grace (of God)”—esp. in view of εὐχαριστῶ; cf. Romans 14:6; Romans 14:16 (for βλασφημοῦμαι). Men of heathen conscience, seeing the Christian give thanks knowingly over food devoted to the idol, will regard his act as one of sacrilegious indulgence and denounce it accordingly; it seems to them a revolting hypocrisy; “Quelle religion est celle-là? devaient dire les païens” (Gd[1582])—a grievous πρόσκομμα both to Jews and Greeks (1 Corinthians 10:32); cf. Romans 2:24.—ὑπὲρ οὗ absorbs the dem. pron[1583] governed by the same prp[1584]; cf. 1 Corinthians 7:39, 2 Corinthians 2:3. The repeated emphatic ἐγὼ points to the Christian as devout on his own part, yet incurring the scandal of gross irreverence.

[1580] Latin Vulgate Translation.

[1581] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1582] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

[1583]ron. pronoun.

[1584] preposition.

28. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols] i.e. if (1) one of your fellow-guests should display scruples of conscience, or (2) a heathen should be likely to draw the inference that you approved of idol worship. The reading ἱερόθυτον confirms the latter, that in the text the former interpretation. “This altogether alters the case. You are no longer simply eating with thankfulness the food set before you as the gift of God. The question of idolatrous worship is now introduced. If your own conscience would permit you to eat, you have to consider whether your conduct might lead another to suppose that you regarded participation in the worship of idols as permissible to a Christian.” Most MSS. and Editors omit the words, ‘For the earth is the Lord’s, &c.’ in this verse, as a mere and meaningless repetition from 1 Corinthians 10:16.

1 Corinthians 10:28. Τὸν μηνύσαντα καὶ τὴν συνείδησιν, for the sake of him that showed it, and for consciencesake) a Hendiadys. μηνύω denotes serious information given of a thing.

Verse 28. - But if any man say unto you. Who is the "any man" is left undefined. Perhaps some "weak" Christian is meant, who happens to be a fellow guest. This is offered in sacrifice unto idols. The true reading is probably, hierothuton, sacred sacrifice, not eidolothuton, idol sacrifice. Perhaps there is a touch of delicate reserve in the word, implying that the remark is made at the table of heathens, who would be insulted by the word eidolothuton, sacrificed to idols. Whoever the interlocutor is supposed to be - heathen host or Christian guest - the mere fact of attention being drawn to the food as forming part of a heathen sacrifice is enough to make it your duty to give no overt sanction to idolatry. In that case, therefore, you ought to refuse it. It will be seen how gross was the calumny which asserted that St. Paul taught men to be indifferent about eating things offered to idols. He only taught indifference in cases where idolatry could not be directly involved in the question. He only repudiates the idle superstition that the food became inherently tainted by such a consecration when the eater was unaware of it. In later times, when the eating of such offerings was deliberately erected into a test of apostasy, he would have used language as strong against every semblance of compliance as any which was used by St. John himself or by Justin Martyr. Difference of time and circumstances necessarily involves a difference in the mode of viewing matters which in themselves are unimportant. For the earth is the Lord's. It is doubtful whether the repetition of this clause is genuine. It is omitted by all the best uncials. 1 Corinthians 10:28Any man

Some fellow-guest, probably a gentile convert, but, at all events, with a weak conscience.

Shewed (μηνύσαντα)

See on Luke 20:37 It implies the disclosure of a secret which the brother reveals because he thinks his companion in danger

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