1 Corinthians 16:20
All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.
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(20) An holy kiss.—The kiss was the ordinary form of affectionate greeting in the East. The Church adopted it; and when thus interchanged between those whose bond of friendship was not earthly, but spiritual, it was designated “the holy kiss.” (See Romans 16:16; 1Thessalonians 5:26.) The practice was given up in the Latin Church in the thirteenth century, but is still used in the Greek Church on certain great occasions, such as Easter Day.

16:19-24 Christianity by no means destroys civility. Religion should promote a courteous and obliging temper towards all. Those give a false idea of religion, and reproach it, who would take encouragement from it to be sour and morose. And Christian salutations are not mere empty compliments; but are real expressions of good-will to others, and commend them to the Divine grace and blessing. Every Christian family should be as a Christian church. Wherever two or three are gathered together in the name of Christ, and he is among them, there is a church. Here is a solemn warning. Many who have Christ's name much in their mouths, have no true love to him in their hearts. None love him in truth, who do not love his laws, and keep his commandments. Many are Christians in name, who do not love Christ Jesus the Lord in sincerity. Such are separated from the people of God, and the favour of God. Those who love not the Lord Jesus Christ, must perish without remedy. Let us not rest in any religious profession where there is not the love of Christ, earnest desires for his salvation, gratitude for his mercies, and obedience to his commandments. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ has in it all that is good, for time and for eternity. To wish that our friends may have this grace with them, is wishing them the utmost good. And this we should wish all our friends and brethren in Christ. We can wish them nothing greater, and we should wish them nothing less. True Christianity makes us wish those whom we love, the blessings of both worlds; this is meant in wishing the grace of Christ to be with them. The apostle had dealt plainly with the Corinthians, and told them of their faults with just severity; but he parts in love, and with a solemn profession of his love to them for Christ's sake. May our love be with all who are in Christ Jesus. Let us try whether all things appear worthless to us, when compared with Christ and his righteousness. Do we allow ourselves in any known sin, or in the neglect of any known duty? By such inquiries, faithfully made, we may judge of the state of our souls.All the brethren ... - All the Christians with whom Paul was connected in Ephesus. They felt a deep interest in the church at Corinth, and sent to them Christian salutations. "With a holy kiss; see the note on Romans 16:16. 20. holy kiss—the token of the mutual love of Christians, especially at the Lord's Supper (compare Ro 16:16; 1Th 5:26), "in which all the dissensions of the Corinthians would be swallowed up" [Bengel]. This proveth no more, than that as it is in use with us to salute one another with a kiss when we meet; so it was in use in those times and countries to do the like, in token of love and friendship. It is called the kiss of charity, 1 Peter 5:14. The apostle requireth, that in these salutations they should have chaste and holy thoughts. This seemeth to be all meant by the

holy kiss, mentioned Romans 16:16 2 Corinthians 13:12 1 Thessalonians 5:26, and here.

All the brethren greet you,.... Either the brethren, the members of the church at Ephesus; or the apostle's brethren in the ministry, that were along with him, as Sosthenes and others; or the brethren that were come to him from Corinth, namely Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus:

greet ye one another with an holy kiss; See Gill on Romans 16:16.

All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.
20. All the brethren] i.e. “the whole Ephesian Church.”—Alford.

with a holy kiss] The word holy is added to guard against misconception in an impure age. The spirit in which it was to be given was that which was to regulate the intercourse of Timothy with the other sex. (1 Timothy 5:2.) The kiss of peace (see Romans 16:16; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14) once formed a prominent part in the ritual of the Church. It is still retained in the East, where the men and women sit, and salute each other, apart. In the Roman ritual the pax, a small piece of metal or wood, which the priest kissed, and afterwards sent round for the congregation to kiss in turn, was substituted for it In our own Reformed Liturgy it has been abolished.

1 Corinthians 16:20. Ἐν φιλήματι ἁγίῳ, with a holy kiss) in which all dissensions might be swallowed up.

Verse 20. - All the brethren. The Ephesian Church in general. With an holy kiss. The kiss of peace is mentioned in Romans 16:16; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Peter 5:14. It was a sign of the reconciliation of all dissensions. But the abuse of the practice and the hideous heathen calumnies which it helped to perpetuate, led to its abolition. In the Roman Church a shadow of it still remains in the custom of the congregation kissing the pax after the priest has kissed it. The custom still continues in the Christos voscress of Easter Day in the Greek Church, when -

" See! the bearded faces kiss each other:
Every Russian Christian loves his brother.
Serf or noble, each today may claim
Friendly kiss in that all friendly Name."
1 Corinthians 16:20
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