Brief notes on my translation of 1 Corinthians 8
1 Corinthians Chapter 8
Apostolic Counsel—Food Sacrificed to Idols
1 Now concerning things offered to idols. We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes one proud, but love edifies.
[Idol temples after the offered sacrifices then sell it to the public. Even when we know that these idols are not reality—there is only one God—then this knowledge can hurt other believers. We should be sensitive of their consciences lest we cause a fellow believer to do something, they believe is sinful. If they continue in this, it could lead to their faith in Jesus being destroyed (1 Corinthians 8:11-12). We are to edify one another, not destroy (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Compare Isaiah 35:3-4].
2 If anyone thinks that he knows something, he really knows nothing as he really should know.
[We may have strong confidence in our stance on these sacrifices and feel bold to take that stance, but what good is it, if our brother or sister feels guilty in eating]?
3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by him.
[If anyone loves God, they will obey God (John 14:15). It is this person, who is known by God, who will not cause their brother or sister in the faith to sin. See Romans 14:13. Compare Exodus 23:33].
4 Therefore, concerning the eating of those things offered in sacrifice to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in this world, and that there is no other God but one.
5 Even though there are so called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and lords),
6 To us there is only one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we in him and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom is everything, and we [live] through him.
[“From whom are all things” refers to Yahweh being the originator. “We in Him” refers to believers. We are in His kingdom and in His salvation. Jesus Christ through whom is everything refers to Jesus being the creator. “We live through Him” carries the idea that life has come to us—an eternal life with God to fellowship and serve Him forever].
7 Nevertheless, not everyone [has] that knowledge, and some with consciousness of the idol, to this hour eat it as a thing offered to an idol. Their weak conscience being weak is defiled.
8 But food does not make us more acceptable to God. We are not better off if we eat, nor are we worse off if we don’t eat.
[To the Jews this is heresy. They had strict dietary laws, which are now disabled. See Leviticus 11 and Isaiah 66:17. Compare those verses to Romans 14:14-17, 1 Timothy 4:4, and Mark 7:18-19. There are restrictions for believers (Acts 15:29).
9 But beware lest this liberty of yoursp becomes a stumbling block to those who are sensitive.
[The word “liberty” is the Greek word ἐξουσία exousía (G1849). Depending on the context it can mean ability, permission, right, etc. TDNTa notes the specifics:
2. It then means the “right,” “authority,” “permission” conferred by a higher court: a. the possibility granted by government; b. the right in various social relationships, e.g., that of parents, masters, or owners.
3. Since the authority under 2. is illusory without real power, the term approximates at times to dýnamis, but with the distinction that dýnamis denotes external power but exousía has a more inward reference].
10 For if anyone sees yous, who has this knowledge, sitting to eat in the idol’s temple, won’t the one who has the sensitive conscience have his courage built up to eat those things which are offered to idols?
11 And through yours knowledge the sensitive brother for whom Christ died will be destroyed.
[Their faith is in danger by our freedom. They may apostatize. Our brothers and sisters are more important than our freedoms. We are to edify, not destroy (Romans 14:19)].
12 But when youp sin this way against the brethren [other Christians] and wound their sensitive conscience, youp sin against Christ.
13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, for fear that I will cause my brother to stumble.