1 Corinthians 6:2
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
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(2) Do ye not know . . . ?—The knowledge which they possessed of the great future which was in store for the Church of Christ was the strongest argument against the humiliating degradation to which their conduct was subjecting it.

The saints shall judge the world.—The Apostle here claims for all Christians the glorious prerogative which Christ had Himself promised to His immediate personal followers (Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30). Bearing in mind the deep conviction of the early Church that the second personal advent of Christ was near at hand, we may take these words as referring primarily to the conquest of the world by Christianity, which has since been accomplished, though by slower and more spiritual processes than were then anticipated, and indirectly to that final triumph of Christ and His body, the Church, of which every success here on earth is at once the type and the pledge.

To judge the smallest matters.—Better, to pronounce the most trivial judgments, as compared with the great judgments which you shall pronounce hereafter. The nature of the things which form the subject of those judgments is explained in the following verse.

6:1-8 Christians should not contend with one another, for they are brethren. This, if duly attended to, would prevent many law-suits, and end many quarrels and disputes. In matters of great damage to ourselves or families, we may use lawful means to right ourselves, but Christians should be of a forgiving temper. Refer the matters in dispute, rather than go to law about them. They are trifles, and may easily be settled, if you first conquer your own spirits. Bear and forbear, and the men of least skill among you may end your quarrels. It is a shame that little quarrels should grow to such a head among Christians, that they cannot be determined by the brethren. The peace of a man's own mind, and the calm of his neighbourhood, are worth more than victory. Lawsuits could not take place among brethren, unless there were faults among them.Do ye not know ... - The object of this verse is evidently to show that Christians were qualified to determine controversies which might arise among themselves. This the apostle shows by reminding them that they shall be engaged in determining matters of much more moment than those which could arise among the members of a church on earth; and that if qualified for that, they must be regarded as qualified to express a judgment on the questions which might arise among their brethren in the churches.

The saints - "Christians," for the word is evidently used in the same sense as in 1 Corinthians 6:1. The apostle says that they knew this, or that this was so well established a doctrine that none could doubt it. It was to be admitted on all hands.

Shall judge the world - A great variety of interpretations has been given to this passage. Grotius supposes it means that they shall be first judged by Christ, and then act as assessors to him in the judgment, or join with him in condemning the wicked; and he appeals to Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30, where Christ says that they which have followed him should "sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." See the note at Matthew 19:28. Whitby supposes that it means that Christians are to judge or condemn the world by their example, or that there shall be Christian magistrates, according to the prophecy of Isaiah Isa 49:23, and Daniel Dan 7:18 - Rosenmuller supposes it means that Christians are to judge the errors and sins of people pertaining to religion, as in 1 Corinthians 2:13, 1 Corinthians 2:16; and that they ought to be able, therefore, to judge the smaller matters pertaining to this life. Bloomfield, and the Greek fathers, and commentators, suppose that this means, that the saints will furnish matter to condemn the world; that is, by their lives and example they shall be the occasion of the greater condemnation of the world. But to this there are obvious objections:

(1) It is an unusual meaning of the word "judge."

(2) it does not meet the case before us.

The apostle is evidently saying that Christians will occupy so high and important a station in the work of judging the world that they ought to be regarded as qualified to exercise judgment on the things pertaining to this life; but the fact that their holy lives shall be the occasion of the deeper condemnation of the world does not seem to furnish any plain reason for this - To the opinion, also, of Whitby, Lightfoot, Vitringa, etc. that it refers to the fact that Christians would be magistrates, and governors, etc. according to the predictions of Isaiah and Daniel, there are obvious objections:

(1) The judgment to which Paul in this verse refers is different from that pertaining to things of this life 1 Corinthians 6:3, but the judgment which Christian magistrates would exercise, as such, would relate to them.

(2) it is not easy to see in this interpretation how, or in what sense, the saints shall judge the angels, 1 Corinthians 6:3, the common interpretation, that of Grotius, Beza, Calvin, Doddridge, etc. is that it refers to the future judgment, and that Christians will on that day be employed in some manner in judging the world.

That this is the true interpretation, is apparent for the following reasons:

(1) It is the obvious interpretation - that which will strike the great mass of people, and is likely, therefore, to be the true one.

(2) it accords with the account in Matthew 19:28, and Luke 22:30.

(3) it is the only one which gives a fair interpretation to the declaration that the saints should judge angels in 1 Corinthians 6:3. If asked "in what way" this is to be done, it may be answered, that it may be meant simply that Christians shall be exalted to the right hand of the Judge, and shall encompass his throne; that they shall assent to, and approve of his judgment, that they shall be elevated to a post of honor and favor, as if they were associated with him in the Judgment. They shall then he regarded as his friends, and express their approbation, and that "with a deep sense of its justice," of the condemnation of the wicked. Perhaps the idea is, not that they shall "pronounce" sentence, which will be done by the Lord Jesus, but that they shall then be qualified to see the justice of the condemnation which shall be passed on the wicked; they shall have a clear and distinct view of the case; they shall even see the propriety of their everlasting punishment, and shall not only approve it, but be qualified to enter into the subject, and to pronounce upon it intelligently. And the argument of the apostle is, that if they would be qualified to pronounce on the eternal doom of men and angels; if they had such views of justice and right, and such integrity as to form an opinion and express it in regard to the everlasting destiny of an immense host of immortal beings, assuredly they ought to be qualified to express their sense of the smaller transactions in this life, and pronounce an opinion between man and man.

Are ye unworthy - Are you disqualified.

The smallest matters - Matters of least consequence - matters of little moment, scarcely worth naming compared with the great and important realities of eternity. The "smallest matters" here mean, the causes, suits, and litigations relating to property, etc.

2. Do ye not know—as a truth universally recognized by Christians. Notwithstanding all your glorying in your "knowledge," ye are acting contrary to it (1Co 1:4, 5; 8:1). The oldest manuscripts have "Or" before "know ye not"; that is, "What! (expressing surprise) know ye not," &c.

saints … judge—that is, "rule," including judgment: as assessors of Christ. Mt 19:28, "judging," that is, "ruling over." (Compare Ps 49:14; Da 7:22, 27; Re 2:26; 3:21; 20:4). There is a distinction drawn by able expositors between the saints who judge or rule, and the world which is ruled by them: as there is between the elected (Mt 20:23) twelve apostles who sit on thrones judging, and the twelve tribes of Israel that are judged by them. To reign, and to be saved, are not necessarily synonymous. As Jehovah employed angels to carry the law into effect when He descended on Sinai to establish His throne in Israel, so at His coming the saints shall administer the kingdom for, and under, Him. The nations of the earth, and Israel the foremost, in the flesh, shall, in this view, be the subjects of the rule of the Lord and His saints in glorified bodies. The mistake of the Chiliasts was that they took the merely carnal view, restricting the kingdom to the terrestrial part. This part shall have place with the accession of spiritual and temporal blessings such as Christ's presence must produce. Besides this earthly glory, there shall be the heavenly glory of the saints reigning in transfigured bodies, and holding such blessed intercourse with mortal men, as angels had with men of old, and as Christ, Moses, and Elias, in glory had with Peter, James, and John, in the flesh at the transfiguration (2Ti 2:12; 2Pe 1:16-18). But here the "world" seems to be the unbelieving world that is to be "condemned" (1Co 11:22), rather than the whole world, including the subject nations which are to be brought under Christ's sway; however, it may include both those to be condemned, with the bad angels, and those about to be brought into obedience to the sway of Christ with His saints. Compare Mt 25:32, 40, "all nations," "these my brethren" on the thrones with Him. The event will decide the truth of this view.

judged by you—or, before you (compare 1Co 3:22).

smallest matters—The weightiest of earthly questions at issue are infinitely small compared with those to be decided on the judgment-day.

If indeed the Corinthians had had no other competent judges, they might have been excused in making use of infidel judges; but, saith the apostle, you have other persons competent enough, whom you may (by your submission to them) make judges; for you

know that the saints shall judge the world; in the same sense (as some think) as Christ saith the Ninevites and the queen of the south should rise up in judgment against the Jews, and condemn them; but certainly there is something more than that in it; when the apostle said, the saints should judge the world, he intended to say something of them which was not common to some heathens with them. Others therefore think, that the saints in the day of judgment shall judge the world, approving the sentence of Christ pronounced against the world, and as being assessors with Christ, which indeed is what Christ said of the apostles, Matthew 19:28 Luke 22:39. Others think, that the phrase only signifieth a great honour and dignity, to which the saints shall be advanced. A late learned and very critical author hath another notion of the saints’ judging the world here spoken of, interpreting it of a time when the secular judgment of the world should be given to the saints, which was prophesied by Daniel, Daniel 7:18,27, and therefore might be known by them. If this be the sense, it is either a prophecy of God’s giving the government of the world into the hands of Christians, (which fell out after this in Constantine’s time), or else it signifies such a time towards the end of the world, as those that expect a fifth monarchy speak of, when those that are true saints, in the strictest sense, shall have the government of the world; which seemeth not probable, considering what the Scripture speaks of persecutions, and wars, and disorders, rather increasing than abating towards the end of the world. The apostle therefore here seemeth rather to speak of the saints judging the world in the last day, approving the sentence of Christ the Judge of the quick and the dead; or else to prophesy of that time, when Christianity should so far obtain in the world, that the government either of the whole world, or of a great part of it, should be in the hands of Christians. From whence the apostle strongly concludeth the competency of Christians to arbitrate and determine little matters of difference amongst Christians, in their commerce and civil dealings one with another.

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world,.... The apostle appeals to them concerning this matter, as a thing well known unto them, or might easily be known by them; for this was either a traditional notion among the Jews, many of whom were in this church, that good men should judge the world; as is said of the righteous in the apocryphal book:

"They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.'' (Wisdom 3:8)

and so the Jews say (a), that

"the first day of the month is the beginning of judgment in the whole world, and Isaac sat on a throne, , "to judge the world":''

or this might be collected, as Dr. Lightfoot observes, out of Daniel 7:18, but the difficulty is, in what sense the apostle means the saints shall judge the world; not merely in a comparative sense, for so even will the Heathens, the men of Nineveh, and the queen of Sheba, judge and condemn the Jews; nor as assessors on the throne with Christ, for though they shall sit on the same throne with him as reigning, yet not as judging with him, all judgment is solely committed to him: nor merely as approving that judiciary sentence, that will be pronounced by him on the world; for even wicked men themselves, and devils, will be obliged to own the justice of it; but his meaning is, that in a little time the saints, Christian men, men under a profession of Christianity at least, should be governors in the world, and bear the office of civil magistracy in it; which came to pass in a few centuries after the writing of this, and has been more or less the case ever since; and will be more so in the latter day, when kings shall be nursing fathers, and queens nursing mothers to the church; and when the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High: upon which the apostle strongly argues,

and if the world shall be judged by you; if such men as you shall bear sway in it, fill up all civil offices in it, even the highest; shall sit upon the benches of judges, and on the thrones of kings, and at last have the government of the whole world; since such honour the saints shall have, and be abundantly capable of it,

are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? is it too high a post, and can you be thought to be unqualified for, and unfit to have such trivial things, of little or no moment and importance, things relating to the common affairs of life, brought before you, and be tried, and judged by you?

(a) Ibid. in Lev. fol. 13. 4.

{3} Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

(3) He gathers by a comparison that the faithful cannot seek to be judged by infidels, without great injury done to the saints, seeing that God himself will make the saints judges of the world, and of the devils, with his Son Christ. Much more ought they to judge these light and final causes which may be by equity, and good conscience determined.

1 Corinthians 6:2. Ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε κ.τ.λ[879]] unveils the entire preposterousness of the course with which his readers were reproached in the indignant question of 1 Corinthians 6:1 : “Dare any of you do that,—or know ye not?” etc. Only on the ground of this not knowing could you betake yourselves to such unworthy κρίνεσθαι! Σὺ τοινυν ὁ μέλλων κρίνειν ἐκείνους τότε, πῶς ὑπʼ ἐκείνων ἀνέχῃ κρίνεσθαι νῦν; Chrysostom.

τὸν κόσμον κρινοῦσι] at the last judgment, namely, sitting along with Christ as judges over all who are not Christians (κόσμος). Comp as early a passage as Wis 3:8. We have here the same conception[881]—only generalized with respect to the subjects of judgment—as in Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30. It stands in essential and logical connection with the participation in the glory of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:8; Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:11 f.), which Christians are to attain after the Parousia, and after they themselves have been judged (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1). We must not, however, refer this (with Hofmann) to the period of the reign of Christ and His people predicted in Revelation 20:4 (when the κόσμος, too, shall be subjected to their judicial authority), especially seeing that Chiliasm is a specifically Apocalyptic and not a Pauline conception; comp on 1 Corinthians 15:24. Chrysostom again, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theophylact, Schol. ap. Matth., Erasmus, and others, explain it of an indirect, not literal judging, namely, either by the faith and life of Christians placing the guilt of the κόσμος in a clearer light in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:41), or by their approving of the judicial sentence of Christ (Estius, Maier). But this (although assumed by Billroth as the ideal truth which underlay the words of the apostle, unconsciously to himself) is an alteration of the sense which runs counter to the context; for the whole argument a majori ad minus is destroyed, if κρινοῦσι is to be understood in a one-sided way as equivalent to κατακρ., and if no proper and personal act of judgment is designed.[883] It is a mistake also to hold, with Lightfoot, Vitringa, Baumgarten, Bolten, that Paul means quod Christiani futuri sint magistratus (Lightfoot), which is at variance with 1 Corinthians 6:3, and with the conception of the speedily approaching Parousia. Mosheim, Ernesti, Nösselt, Rosenmüller, and Stolz turn the “shall judge” into “can judge,” comparing 1 Corinthians 2:15-16. But this, too, is to alter the notion of κρίνειν in a way contrary to the text (judge of); and the can, since it would have an emphasis of special significance here, and would denote “be in a position to,” would require to be expressly inserted. Comp rather the prophetic basis of the thought in Daniel 7:22.

καὶ εἰ ἐν ὑμῖν κ.τ.λ[885]] The quick striking in of the ΚΑΊ in the very front of the question is as in 1 Corinthians 6:2; see also Fritzsche, a[886] Marc. p. 123.

ΕἸ ἘΝ ὙΜ. ΚΡ. Ὁ ΚΌΣΜ.] repeats with emphasis, and with an individualizing force (ὙΜῖΝ), the contents of the truth already stated and established to the believing consciousness (hence the present ΚΡΊΝΕΤΑΙ). The ἘΝ ὙΜῖΝ, here emphatically put first, does not mean, as Chrysostom and Theophylact think,[887] in your instance, exemplo vestro (see above), but among you, i.e. in consessu vestro (see Kypke, II. p. 199), so that the essential meaning is not different from coram (Ast, a[888] Plat. Leg. p. 33. 285); comp ἘΝ ΔΙΚΑΣΤΑῖς, Thuc. i. 53. 1, ἘΝ ΝΟΜΟΘΈΤΑΙς Κ.Τ.Λ[890] See, too, the passages in Wetstein. The ἐν therefore by no means stands for ὑπό (Raphel, Flatt, al[891]), although we may gather from the context that the ὑμεῖς are themselves the parties judging (1 Corinthians 6:2; 1 Corinthians 6:4). Nor has it the force of through (Grotius, Billroth, al[892]), in support of which it is a mistake to appeal to Acts 17:31, where, owing to the connection, ἐν stands in a wholly different relation from what it denotes here. Here the word ἐν is selected in view of the following κριτήρια, the Christians, who are in future to judge, being conceived of, in order to the more vivid representation of the idea, as a judicial assembly.

ἀνάξ. ἐστε κριτ. ἐλαχ.] κριτήριον does not mean matter of dispute, case at law, as most expositors (even Pott, Flatt, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Maier, Ewald) wish to take it, with no evidence at all from the usage of the language in their favour, but place of judgment (tribunal, seat of justice, Jam 2:6; Plato, Legg. vi. p. 767 B; Susanna, 49), or judicial trial which is held (judicium). Comp the precept: μὴ ἐρχέσθω ἐπὶ κριτήριον ἐθνικόν, Constitt. ap. ii. 45. Precisely so with δικαστήριον. The latter sense, judicial trial (Lucian, bis accus. 25; Polybius, ix. 33. 12, xvi. 27. 2; Jdg 5:10; Daniel 7:10; Daniel 7:26), is the true one here, as is evident from 1 Corinthians 6:4. We render therefore: Are ye unworthy to hold very trivial trials? i.e. trials in which judgment is to be given upon very insignificant matters (in comparison with the lofty and important functions which are to devolve upon you when the future judgment shall be held). The Vulgate translates freely but correctly as to the sense: “indigni estis, qui de minimis judicetis?” According to Chrysostom and Theophylact, others understand here the heathen courts of justice, either affirmatively (so, as it appears, Chrysostom and Theophylact themselves; so, too, Valckenaer, al[894]) or interrogatively (Billroth): and that it is unworthy of you to be judged before courts of so low a kind? Similarly, Olshausen. But 1 Corinthians 6:4 is decisive against this; for we have there the very same thing which in 1 Corinthians 6:2 is expressed by κριτηρ. ἐλαχ., described as βιωτικὰ κριτήρια.

[879] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[881] Observe that this view necessarily presupposes the resurrection of unbelievers also (Acts 17:31). Comp. on 1 Corinthians 15:24.

[883] Hence, too, it is unsuitable to transform the concrete meaning of this question into a general participation in the reign of Christ (Flatt, Heydenreich).

[885] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

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

[887] Comp. too, van Hengel, ad Rom. ii. 27: “vita vestra cum vita eorum comparanda.”

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

[890] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

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

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

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

1 Corinthians 6:2. ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε κ.τ.λ.; “Or (is it that) you do not know?” etc. If the appeal to non-Christian tribunals is not made in insolence (τολμᾷ) towards the Church, it must be made in ignorance of its matchless prerogative. That “the saints will judge the world” is involved in the conception of the Messianic kingdom (Daniel 7:22; cf. Matthew 20:21); Israel, with its Christ, is to rule, and therefore judge, the nations (Acts 1:6, etc.: cf. Galatians 6:16). See Wis 3:7 f., where participation in this Messianic power is asserted for “the souls of the righteous” in their future state. After the manner of Jesus, the Ap. carried over to the new Israel of God the promises of dominion claimed under the Old Covenant, transforming in transferring them (2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:4; Revelation 22:5, etc.). Paul reminds his readers of a truth they should have known, since it belongs to the nature of “the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9) and to the glory they look for at “the unveiling of Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:7 ff.; cf. 1 Corinthians 4:8, Romans 8:17, etc.). Cm[893] and others see here a virtual judgment of the world, lying in the faith of the saints as contrasted with its unbelief (cf. Luke 11:31, John 3:18 ff., Romans 8:3),—a thought irrelevant here. 1 Corinthians 6:3, moreover, carries the judgment in question into a region far beyond that of Christian magistrates, whose appointment some prosaic interpreters see here predicted. The Ap. argues à majori ad minus, from the grand and celestial to earthly commonplace. The early Church ascribed this dignity esp. to the martyrs: τοῦ Χριστοῦ πάρεδροικαὶ μέτοχοι τῆς κρίσεως αὐτοῦ καὶ συνδικάζοντες (Euseb., H.E., vi., 42; see Ed[894]).—ἐν ὑμῖν, in consessu vestro—picturing Christ and His saints in session, with “the world” brought in for trial before them. “It is absurd in itself, and quite inconsistent with the Divine idea and counsel, that any of you should now appear at their bar, who shall some day appear at yours” (Ev[895]).—κρίνεται, pr[896] tense, of faith’s certainty (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:13).—κριτήριον (see 1 Corinthians 6:4) signifies place rather than matter of judgment (see parls.); for the latter sense lexical warrant is wanting. The question is: “Are you unworthy of (sitting on) the smallest tribunals?” of forming courts to deal with trifling affairs of secular property?—cf. our “petty sessions”. Cm[897] reads the sentence as affirmative, ἀνάξιοι as nimis digni, and τ. κριτηρ. ἐλαχ. as the heathen tribunals: “It is beneath your dignity to appear before these contemptible courts!” But this does not square with 1 Corinthians 6:4.

[893] John Chrysostom’s Homiliœ († 407).

[894] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.

[895] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary.

[896] present tense.

[897] John Chrysostom’s Homiliœ († 407).

2. the saints shall judge the world] i.e. at Christ’s second coming. See St Matthew 19:28, St Luke 22:30, and Daniel 7:22.

are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?] The word here translated matters, and in 1 Corinthians 6:4 judgments, has the following significations: (1) tribunals; (2) causes brought before such tribunals; (3) the trial held in such courts; (4) the proofs whereby the trial is decided. Of these (4) is out of the question here. If we do not accept (2), which is the rendering of our version, we must either translate Are ye unworthy to preside over the most unimportant tribunals? or Are ye unworthy to hold trials of the most insignificant kind?

1 Corinthians 6:2. Οὐκ οἴδατε, do you not know?) This phrase is used with great force six times in this single chapter. The Corinthians knew, and rejoiced that they knew; but they were acting contrary to their knowledge.—οἱ ἅγιοι, the saints) being themselves first judged.—τὸν κόσμον, the world) all those who are not saints. The antithesis is to, the smallest matters; comp. 1 Corinthians 3:22.—κρινοῦσι, they shall judge) The future, comp. 1 Corinthians 6:3; Revelation 20:4. The present, is judged, is interposed; comp. John 15:8. The saints took possession of the civil authority also under Constantine the Great, which is the prelude of things to come. [Scripture from time to time casts a ray of light on the most important affairs, as it were in passing. The proud despise such things; but the humble keep them laid up in their heart, with a truly sober mind. The majesty of the saints is hidden, but it will be revealed at its proper time.—V. g.]—ἐν, in[46]) Comp. Acts 17:31.—ἀνάξιόι ἐστε, are ye unworthy) The figure Communicatio.[47]

[46] In the person of; by.—ED.

[47] See Append. An appeal to the reader’s own candour to decide.

Verse 2. - Do ye not know? The word "or" should be supplied from א, A, B, C, D, F, etc. Bishop Wordsworth points out that this emphatic question occurs ten times in these two Epistles (1 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3, 9, 15, 16, 19; 1 Corinthians 9:13, 24), and only twice in all the rest (Romans 6:16; Romans 11:2). It was a fitting rebuke to those who took for knowledge their obvious ignorance. It resembles the "Have ye not so much as read?" to Pharisees who professed such profound familiarity with the Scriptures. That the saints shall judge the world. So Daniel (Daniel 7:22) had said, "The Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High." Our Lord had confirmed this promise to his apostles, "Ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28). Various modes of evading the literal sense have been adopted, but even in the Book of Wisdom we find, "They [the righteous] shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people" (Wisd. 3:8). All speculation as to the manner and extent in which the saints shall share in the work of Christ as Judge of the quick and dead, are obviously futile. Shall be judged; literally, is being judged - the present points to the future, as though that which is inevitable is already in course of fulfilment. To judge the smallest matters; literally, of the smallest judgments. 1 Corinthians 6:2Matters (κριτηρίων)

The word means, 1, The instrument or rule of judging; 2, the tribunal of a judge. It occurs only here, 1 Corinthians 6:4, and James 2:6, where it means judgment-seats. This latter gives a good sense here without having recourse to the meaning suit or case, which lacks warrant. So Rev., in margin, "are ye unworthy of the smallest tribunals?" That is, are ye unworthy of holding or passing judgment in such inferior courts?

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