1 Corinthians 4:14
I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
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(14) I write not these things to shame you.—Better, I write these things not as one making you ashamed, but I am warning you as beloved children. The mingled irony and reproach of the preceding verses here ceases, and from indignant expostulation the writer now turns to make a tender and touching appeal to their better nature and their sympathy. This abrupt and sudden change in style is characteristic of the writings of St. Paul. Similar passages are nowhere to be found in the writings of the other Apostles. The following verses to the end of this chapter soften the severity of this early part of the Epistle by explaining in what spirit he has written, and the right which he has as their “father in the faith” to so address them.

1 Corinthians 4:14-16. I write not these things to shame you — Publicly to disgrace you, and stain your credit with other churches; but as my beloved sons I warn you — Show you in a mild and tender way what is wrong in your conduct, and put you in mind of your duty. It is with admirable prudence and sweetness the apostle adds this, to prevent any unkind construction of his words. For though you have ten thousand instructers — To advance you in the knowledge of Christ; yet have ye not many fathers; to convert you to Christ: for in Christ Jesus — By his blessing upon my labours; I have begotten you through the gospel — Been the first instrument of your conversion. This excludes, not only Apollos, his successor, but also Silas and Timothy, his companions. And the relation between a spiritual father and his children brings with it an inexpressible nearness and affection. Be ye followers of me — In that spirit and behaviour which I have so largely declared.

4:14-21 In reproving for sin, we should distinguish between sinners and their sins. Reproofs that kindly and affectionately warn, are likely to reform. Though the apostle spoke with authority as a parent, he would rather beseech them in love. And as ministers are to set an example, others must follow them, as far as they follow Christ in faith and practice. Christians may mistake and differ in their views, but Christ and Christian truth are the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Whenever the gospel is effectual, it comes not in word only, but also in power, by the Holy Spirit, quickening dead sinners, delivering persons from the slavery of sin and Satan, renewing them both inwardly and outwardly, and comforting, strengthening, and establishing the saints, which cannot be done by the persuasive language of men, but by the power of God. And it is a happy temper, to have the spirit of love and meekness bear the rule, yet to maintain just authority.To shame you - It is not my design to put you to shame by showing you how little you suffer in comparison with us. This is not our design, though it may have this effect. I have no wish to make you ashamed, to appear to triumph over you or merely to taunt you. My design is higher and nobler than this.

But as my beloved sons - As my dear children. I speak as a father to his children, and I say these things for your good. No father would desire to make his children ashamed. In his counsels, entreaties, and admonitions, he would have a higher object than that.

I warn you - I do not say these things in a harsh manner, with a severe spirit of rebuke; but in order to admonish you, to suggest counsel, to instil wisdom into the mind. I say these things not to make, you blush, but with the hope that they may be the means of your reformation, and of a more holy life. No man, no minister, ought to reprove another merely to overwhelm him with shame, but the object should always be to make a brother better; and the admonition should be so administered as to have this end, not sourly or morosely, but in a kind, tender, and affectionate manner.

14. warn—rather, "admonish" as a father uses "admonition" to "beloved sons," not provoking them to wrath (Eph 6:4). The Corinthians might well be "ashamed" at the disparity of state between the father, Paul, and his spiritual children themselves. I tell you not of this to make you blush, as having had any hand in these indignities which are put upon us, nor yet

to shame you (though possibly you have reason to be ashamed, either for your neglect of us, or for your adding to our affliction); I look upon you as my sons, and sons whom I love: I only write to warn you, both of your duty, to have some respect for us, and of, your sin, if you have neglected us beyond what was your duty to have done.

I write not these things to shame you,.... Though they had a great deal of reason to be ashamed of the vain opinion they had of themselves, and that they suffered the faithful ministers of Christ to want the necessaries of life, when they abounded so much with the good things of it; and though the apostle's view in giving this narrative was to bring them under a sense of their faults, and to a conviction of them, and so to shame for them, in order to their future reformation and amendment; yet it was not merely to put them to the blush, but to admonish and instruct them, that he enlarged on these things:

but as my beloved sons I warn you; they being his children in a spiritual sense, for whom he had the strongest love and affection, as their spiritual Father; and as it was his place, and became him standing in such a relation to them, he warned, admonished, and put them in mind of their obligations and duty to him.

{10} I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

(10) Moderating the sharpness of his mockery, he puts them in mind to remember of whom they were begotten in Christ, and that they should not doubt to follow him for an example. Even though he seems vile according to the outward show in respect of others, yet he is mighty by the efficacy of God's Spirit, as had been shown among themselves.

1 Corinthians 4:14. Οὐκ ἐντρέπων] The common interpretation is the (correct one: not putting you to shame, not in such a way as to shame you, write I this (1 Corinthians 4:8-13). The participle, however, is, not the same as an infinitive, but the meaning is: I shame you not by what I am now writing to you. See Heind. a[697] Phaed. p 249 f.; Stallbaum, a[698] Plat. Rep. p. 495 D; Matthiae, p. 1289. Rückert prefers keeping to the general sense of humbling, moving greatly; but why should we, when we have in 2 Thessalonians 3:14, Titus 2:8, 1 Corinthians 6:5; 1 Corinthians 15:34, the perfectly distinctive Pauline notion of the word? Comp also Diog. L. ii. 29; Ael. V. H. iii. 17. And just because Paul feels the shaming element in his rebuke for the Corinthians, does he point out, so as to further the moral effect of his bitter words, what according to his idea his rebuke essentially is, not a putting to shame, but fatherly admonition. Bengel says well: “Exquisita ἐπιθεραπεία … Saepe quendam quasi leporem apostolus salva gravitate apostolica adhibet.”

νουθετῶ] The kindly intention of the admonition is not conveyed in the word by itself (see on Ephesians 6:4, and comp e.g. Plato, Pol. viii. p. 560 A: νουθετούντων τε καὶ κακιζόντων, Legg. ix. p. 879 D; Dem. 798. 19, al[701]), but in the context. Comp Acts 20:31. Plato, Euthyd. p. 284 E: νουθετῶ σʼ ἑταῖρον. The construction is varied so as to give us not the participle again, but the indicative (as the opposite of ἐντρέπων γράφω, taken together), whereby the antithesis is made independent and so more emphatic. See Hermann, a[703] Hymn. Hom. p. 125. Kühner, II. p. 423.

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

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

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

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

1 Corinthians 4:14-21. Receive this censure (from 1 Corinthians 4:7 onwards) not as meant to put you utterly to shame, but as an admonition from your spiritual father, whom ye ought to copy (1 Corinthians 4:14-16), for which cause I have also sent Timothy to you (1 Corinthians 4:17). But Ithis by way of warning to those who are puffed up!hope soon to come to you myself; am I to come to punish, or in gentleness (1 Corinthians 4:18-21)?

1 Corinthians 4:14-21. § 14. PAUL’S FATHERLY DISCIPLINE. All has now been said that can be concerning the Divisions at Cor[756]—the causes underlying them, and the spirit they manifest and foster in the Church. In their self-complacent, ungrateful thoughts, the Cor[757] have raised themselves quite above the despised and painful condition of the App. of Christ; “imitabantur filios qui illustrati parum curant humiles parentes—ex saturitate fastidium habebant, ex opulentia insolentiam, ex regno superbiam” (Bg[758]). The delineation of Paul’s state and theirs in the last Section is, in truth, a bitter sarcasm upon the behaviour of the readers; yet P. wishes to admonish, not to rebuke them (1 Corinthians 4:14). He states, in a softened tone, the measures he is taking to rectify the evils complained of. His severity springs from the anxious heart of a father (1 Corinthians 4:14 f.). Yet in the father’s hand, before the paragraph ends, we see again the rod (1 Corinthians 4:21).

[756] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[757] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[758] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

14. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you] The object of the foregoing passage might be mistaken, and therefore the Apostle refers to the mutual relation between himself and the Corinthian Church. His object is not reproach, but the amendment of their lives. It is the rebuke of a father, not the strong language of a man justly indignant.

1 Corinthians 4:14. Οὐκ ἐντρέπων, not making ashamed) An exquisite epitherapeia.[36] The dissimilarity between themselves and Paul, between the sons and the father, might have made the Corinthians ashamed. This Ἐντροπὴ, putting them to shame, in the mind of the apostle, was not an end, but a means, as he says also on another occasion, that he was unwilling to make them sad, though he had actually done so. The apostle often introduces a certain degree of refined pleasantry, without forgetting the apostolic gravity, for example, 2 Corinthians 12:13, note.—νουθετῶ, I warn) you as a father, Ephesians 6:4.

[36] See App. An after addition to words, which might give offence, and a kind of softening of what went before by a declaration of friendly feeling towards the persons addressed.

Verses 14-21. - The practical steps which he intends to take with reference to these party divisions. Verse 14. - To shame you. Such seems to be the meaning of the word, for it is so used in the LXX. (compare the use of the verb in 2 Thessalonians 3:14; Titus 2:8; and of the substantive in 1 Corinthians 6:5; 1 Corinthians 15:34). I warn; rather, I admonish. St. Paul here gives the reason why he cannot write angrily or bitterly, even though he has used strong expostulation and keen irony. It is because he regards himself as their spiritual father (comp. 2 Corinthians 6:13; 2 Corinthians 12:14, 15; 1 Thessalonians 2:11). 1 Corinthians 4:14To shame (ἐντρέπων)

Lit., as shaming. See on Matthew 21:37. The verb means to turn about, hence to turn one upon himself; put him to shame. Compare 2 Thessalonians 3:14; Titus 2:8. Also, in the middle voice, in the sense of reverence; to turn one's self toward another. See Mark 12:6; Luke 18:2. The kindred noun ἐντροπή occurs twice: 1 Corinthians 6:5; 1 Corinthians 15:34. Compare Sophocles: "Think you he will have any regard (ἐντροπὴν) for the blind man" ("Oedipus at Colonos," 299).

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