“Open your hearts
We have wronged
We have corrupted
We have taken advantage of
Χωρήσατε ἡμᾶς· οὐδένα ἠδικήσαμεν, οὐδένα ἐφθείραμεν, οὐδένα ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν.
Paul said open your hearts to us (Χωρήσατε ἡμᾶς). We have wronged no one (οὐδένα ἠδικήσαμεν). We have corrupted no one (οὐδένα ἐφθείραμεν). We have taken advantage of no one (οὐδένα ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν). Only the Pauline letters used this word ἐφθείραμεν, that means to destroy, corrupt, spoil or ruin, and the word ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν, that means to have more, to overreach, take advantage of, or defraud. Paul was clear. He had done nothing wrong. He wanted the Corinthians to open up their hearts to him. If anyone has accused him of anything, they are not correct. He did not corrupt, destroy, or ruin anyone. He had not taken advantage of anyone or defrauded anyone. His conscience was clear. He acted out of sincere love. Have you ever tried to take advantage or defraud anyone?
Since we have these promises,
Let us cleanse ourselves
From every defilement
Making holiness perfect
In the fear of God.”
ταύτας οὖν ἔχοντες τὰς ἐπαγγελίας, ἀγαπητοί, καθαρίσωμεν ἑαυτοὺς ἀπὸ παντὸς μολυσμοῦ σαρκὸς καὶ πνεύματος, ἐπιτελοῦντες ἁγιωσύνην ἐν φόβῳ Θεοῦ.
Paul said beloved (ἀγαπητοί)! Since we have these promises (ταύτας οὖν ἔχοντες τὰς ἐπαγγελίας), let us cleanse ourselves (καθαρίσωμεν ἑαυτοὺς) from every defilement (ἀπὸ παντὸς μολυσμοῦ) of body (σαρκὸς) and spirit (καὶ πνεύματος), making holiness perfect (ἐπιτελοῦντες ἁγιωσύνην) in the fear of God (ἐν φόβῳ Θεοῦ). Only this Corinthian letter has this word μολυσμοῦ, that means defilement or pollution. Only the Pauline letters have this word ἐπιτελοῦντες, that means to complete, accomplish, or perfect, and the word ἁγιωσύνην, that means holiness, holy, or sanctified state. Paul wanted the Corinthians to rededicate their lives to Christ. Paul had given them these promises or commandments. They had to remove themselves from any kind of defilement of the body or the spirit. They should have perfect holiness in the body and spirit based on the fear of God. Paul wanted these Corinthians to be holy in sync with God. Are you in sync with God?
“‘I will be your father.
You shall be
Says the Lord almighty.”
καὶ ἔσομαι ὑμῖν εἰς Πατέρα, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἔσεσθέ μοι εἰς υἱοὺς καὶ θυγατέρας, λέγει Κύριος Παντοκράτωρ.
Paul indicated that God the Lord almighty (Κύριος Παντοκράτωρ) said (λέγει), “I will be your father (καὶ ἔσομαι ὑμῖν εἰς Πατέρα). You shall be (καὶ ὑμεῖς ἔσεσθέ) my sons (μοι εἰς υἱοὺς) and daughters (καὶ θυγατέρας).” Paul combined two texts. The first is from 2 Samuel 7:14, when Yahweh spoke to Nathan the prophet in a vision, as he said “I will be a father to him. He shall be my son to me.” In Deutero-Isaiah, chapter 43:6, Yahweh said, “Bring my sons from far away! Bring my daughters from the end of the earth! Bring everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed, whom I made.” Yahweh God, using the first person singular in Second Isaiah, wanted to ransom the Israelite offspring from the east, the west, the north, and the south. He would gather his sons and daughters from the ends of the earth. He would have everyone who called on his name and gave him glory ransomed, since he had formed and made them. Paul combined these two texts to indicate that God was now the father of these Corinthian Christians as they were the sons and daughters of the Lord almighty. Once again, the new Israelites were the followers of Jesus Christ. Do you feel like a child of God?
Come out from them!
Be separate from them!
Says the Lord.
Touch nothing unclean!
Then I will welcome you!”
διὸ ἐξέλθατε ἐκ μέσου αὐτῶν, καὶ ἀφορίσθητε, λέγει Κύριος, καὶ ἀκαθάρτου μὴ ἅπτεσθε· κἀγὼ εἰσδέξομαι ὑμᾶς,
Paul said therefore, come out from them (διὸ ἐξέλθατε ἐκ μέσου αὐτῶν)! Be separate from them (καὶ ἀφορίσθητε)! Says the Lord (λέγει Κύριος). Touch nothing unclean (καὶ ἀκαθάρτου μὴ ἅπτεσθε)! Then I will welcome you (κἀγὼ εἰσδέξομαι ὑμᾶς)! Only this Corinthian letter used this word εἰσδέξομαι, that means to admit, to receive, or welcome in. Paul continued with another citation from Deutero-Isaiah, chapter 52:11 “Depart! Go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Go out from the midst of it!” Second Isaiah wanted the Israelites to depart from Babylon. However, they were not to touch any unclean things. So too, Paul wanted the new Christians to leave behind their old Babylonian or pagan ways to follow Jesus. Have you left behind your old ways?
Has the temple of God
We are the temples
Of the living God.
As God said.
‘I will live in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God.
They shall be my people.”
τίς δὲ συνκατάθεσις ναῷ Θεοῦ μετὰ εἰδώλων; ἡμεῖς γὰρ ναὸς Θεοῦ ἐσμεν ζῶντος· καθὼς εἶπεν ὁ Θεὸς ὅτι Ἐνοικήσω ἐν αὐτοῖς καὶ ἐνπεριπατήσω, καὶ ἔσομαι αὐτῶν Θεός, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἔσονταί μου λαός.
Paul continued with his questions. What agreement (τίς δὲ συνκατάθεσις) has the temple of God (ναῷ Θεοῦ) with idols (μετὰ εἰδώλων)? He stated that we are the temples of the living God (ἡμεῖς γὰρ ναὸς Θεοῦ ἐσμεν ζῶντος). As God said (εἶπεν ὁ Θεὸς), “I will live in them (ὅτι Ἐνοικήσω ἐν αὐτοῖς) and walk among them (καὶ ἐνπεριπατήσω). I will be their God (καὶ ἔσομαι αὐτῶν Θεός). They shall be my people (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἔσονταί μου λαός).” Only this Corinthian letter used this word συνκατάθεσις, that means a putting down together, agreement, concord, or alliance, and the word ἐνπεριπατήσω, that means to walk about among or about in a place. Only the Pauline letters used this word Ἐνοικήσω, that means to dwell in, settled in, or indwelling. Paul then asked another ironic question. What did the idols have to do with the temple of God? The temple of God is we, ourselves, the new Corinthian Christians. Paul then reeled off a series of quotations from the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, with the preface that God had said this. First there was a citation from Leviticus, chapter 26:12, “I will walk among you. I will be your God. You shall be my people.” Yahweh would walk among his people so that Yahweh would be their God and they would be Yahweh’s people. Yahweh also said pretty much the same thing in Ezekiel, chapter 37:27, “My dwelling place shall be with them. I will be their God. They shall be my people.” Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was going to make an eternal covenant of peace with the Israelites. He was going to be their God. Thus, they would be his people. Jeremiah, chapter 31:3, also said pretty much the same thing. “At that time, I will be the God of all the families of Israel. They shall be my people.” Yahweh, via Jeremiah, spoke about a time in the future when he would be the God of all the families of Israel. Paul indicated that there was a new covenant with the followers of Jesus Christ. He applied these texts that originally referred to the Israelites to the new Christians. They were the new holy people of God. They were the temples of God. Are you a temple of God?
Have with Beliar?
Or what does a believer
Share with an unbeliever?”
τίς δὲ συμφώνησις Χριστοῦ πρὸς Βελιάρ, ἢ τίς μερὶς πιστῷ μετὰ ἀπίστου;
Paul continued to ask what agreement (τίς δὲ συμφώνησις) does Christ (Χριστοῦ) have with Beliar (πρὸς Βελιάρ)? What does a believer share (ἢ τίς μερὶς πιστῷ) with an unbeliever (ἀπίστου)? Only this Corinthian letter used this word συμφώνησις, that means agreement, harmony, or concord. Paul continued with this string of opposites that cannot be reconciled. He had two ironic questions. What agreement does Jesus Christ have with Beliar, another Hebrew name for Satan that is only found here among all the canonical Greek biblical works. In the same way, the believer and the unbeliever do not share anything in common. The answers are simple. Of course, there is nothing in common between Christ and the devil or between believers and unbelievers. What do you share with unbelievers or believers?
“Do not be mismatched
Is there between
Or what fellowship
Is there between
Μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγοῦντες ἀπίστοις· τίς γὰρ μετοχὴ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀνομίᾳ, ἢ τίς κοινωνία φωτὶ πρὸς σκότος;
Paul told the Corinthians to not be mismatched (Μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγοῦντες) with unbelievers (ἀπίστοις). He asked what partnership (τίς γὰρ μετοχὴ) is there between righteousness (δικαιοσύνῃ) and iniquity (καὶ ἀνομίᾳ)? What fellowship is there (ἢ τίς κοινωνία) between light (φωτὶ) and darkness (πρὸς σκότος)? Only this Corinthian letter used this word ἑτεροζυγοῦντες, that means to be yoked up differently or to be unequally yoked, and the word μετοχὴ, that means sharing, partnership, or fellowship. Paul referenced here Deuteronomy, chapter 22:10, about not yoking up oxen with donkeys. “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.” Keep things separate, including your work animals also. Thus, there should not be mingling between the believers and unbelievers. There should not be any partnerships with the righteous and the unrighteous wicked ones. Once again, Paul asked an ironic question. What was the fellowship between light and darkness? They should keep away from dangerous relationships. Somethings are just not compatible. Righteousness and light were not compatible with iniquity and darkness. Do you have strange partnerships with people who do not believe like you do?
I speak as to children.
τὴν δὲ αὐτὴν ἀντιμισθίαν, ὡς τέκνοις λέγω, πλατύνθητε καὶ ὑμεῖς.
Paul said that in return (τὴν δὲ αὐτὴν ἀντιμισθίαν), I speak (λέγω) as to children (ὡς τέκνοις). Open wide your hearts (πλατύνθητε καὶ ὑμεῖς)! Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀντιμισθίαν, that means a reward, recompense, or retribution. Paul indicated that he would respond or reward the Corinthians by speaking to them as they were his children. He just wanted them to open up their hearts, since Paul was their spiritual father. Like good children, he wanted them to listen with an open heart to what he was saying. This was both an affection and a reprimand. He loved them as children, but they were acting like children. They had to be more attentive to what he was saying. Do you treat people like children?
“There is no restriction
On our affections,
But only in yours.”
οὐ στενοχωρεῖσθε ἐν ἡμῖν, στενοχωρεῖσθε δὲ ἐν τοῖς σπλάγχνοις ὑμῶν·
Paul said that there was no restriction (οὐ στενοχωρεῖσθε) on his (ἐν ἡμῖν) affections (δὲ ἐν τοῖς σπλάγχνοις) for them, but only a restriction (στενοχωρεῖσθε) on their part (ὑμῶν). Only this Corinthian letter used this word στενοχωρεῖσθε, that means to be made narrow, to compress, press upon, cramp, or restrain. Paul said that he loved the Corinthians. He put no restrictions on his affections for them. However, they seemed to not reciprocate. They were the ones putting restrictions on their affections for him. He had not caused this rift between him and them. They were the ones who caused this problem. Who causes problems in your life?
“We have spoken frankly
To you Corinthians.
Our heart is wide open
Τὸ στόμα ἡμῶν ἀνέῳγεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, Κορίνθιοι, ἡ καρδία ἡμῶν πεπλάτυνται·
Paul said that we have spoken frankly to you (Τὸ στόμα ἡμῶν ἀνέῳγεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς) the Corinthians (Κορίνθιοι). Our heart (ἡ καρδία ἡμῶν) is wide open (πεπλάτυνται·) to you. Paul explained that he had opened his mouth widely or spoken frankly to the Corinthians. His heart was open to them. Paul had not held back. He was speaking from the heart and was not afraid to criticize these Corinthians. Do you speak frankly to people?