Shame on you! (1 Cor. 6:5)

“I say this to your shame.

Can it be

That there is no one

Among you

Wise enough

Able to decide

Between your believing brothers?”

πρὸς ἐντροπὴν ὑμῖν λέγω. οὕτως οὐκ ἔνι ἐν ὑμῖν οὐδεὶς σοφὸς, ὃς δυνήσεται διακρῖναι ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ;

Paul continued to question the Christian believers in Corinth.  He was saying this to shame them (πρὸς ἐντροπὴν ὑμῖν λέγω).  “Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough (οὕτως οὐκ ἔνι ἐν ὑμῖν οὐδεὶς σοφὸς) to be able to decide (ὃς δυνήσεται διακρῖναι) between their believing brothers (ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ)?”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἐντροπὴν, that means respect or shame.  Paul wanted to put them to shame with another ironic question.  Was there nobody wise or smart enough among these Greek Christians in Corinth able to decide or judge these small cases among the believing brothers there?  Where was all that Greek wisdom?  Someone of their fellow Christians should judge these matters.  Otherwise, it was shameful.  Do you let others judge you?

Ordinary cases (1 Cor. 6:4)

“If then you have ordinary cases,

Then why do you appoint

As judges,

Those who have no standing

In the church?”

βιωτικὰ μὲν οὖν κριτήρια ἐὰν ἔχητε, τοὺς ἐξουθενημένους ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, τούτους καθίζετε;

Paul asked again.  “If then you have ordinary cases to judge (βιωτικὰ μὲν οὖν κριτήρια ἐὰν ἔχητε), then why do you appoint as judges (τούτους καθίζετε), those who have no standing or are despised (τοὺς ἐξουθενημένους) in the church community (ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ)?”  Paul kept asking these ironic questions.  Why were they asking these despised Roman or Greek gentiles to sit as judges about their fellow Christians in these ordinary cases?  They had no standing or place in their Christian community.  Why were they going outside their community church for advice on ordinary day to day matters?  How do you solve your daily ordinary problems?

We are to judge angels (1 Cor. 6:3)

“Do you not know

That we are to judge angels,

To say nothing

Of ordinary matters?

οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἀγγέλους κρινοῦμεν, μήτιγε βιωτικά;

Paul asked the Christian Corinthians.  “Did you not know (οὐκ οἴδατε) that we are about to judge angels (ὅτι ἀγγέλους κρινοῦμεν), to say nothing about ordinary matters (μήτιγε βιωτικά)?”  Only the Pauline letters used this word μήτιγε, that means let alone, much less, or much more.  Paul continued with these ironic questions.  He wanted these Corinthian Christians to know that they were going to be judging angels or evil spirits.  They were going to share with God in the judging of the world, both good and bad.  If they would be part of this great judgment day, you would think that they could solve or judge these trivial ordinary matters.  Paul reminded them of their great power and how they refused to use it on small stuff.  Do you sweat the small stuff?

Trivial cases (1 Cor. 6:2)

“Do you not know

That the saints

Will judge

The world?

If the world

Is to be judged

By you,

Are you incompetent

To try trivial cases?”

ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι οἱ ἅγιοι τὸν κόσμον κρινοῦσιν; καὶ εἰ ἐν ὑμῖν κρίνεται ὁ κόσμος, ἀνάξιοί ἐστε κριτηρίων ἐλαχίστων;

Paul asked a couple of ironic questions.  “Do you not know (ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε) that the saints (ὅτι οἱ ἅγιοι) will judge (κρινοῦσιν) the world (τὸν κόσμον κρινοῦσιν)?  If the world is to be judged by you (καὶ εἰ ἐν ὑμῖν κρίνεται ὁ κόσμος), are you incompetent (ἀνάξιοί) to try trivial cases (κριτηρίων ἐλαχίστων)?”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀνάξιοί, that means unworthy or inadequate.  Paul continued to call this Christian community in Corinth “the saints” or the “holy ones”.  He never referred to them as Christians.  He asked them if they realized that they would be called upon to judge the whole world at the end times, the day of judgment of God?  If that was the case, how were they so incompetent that they could not judge these small or trivial cases?  Paul did not want civil authorities getting involved in the affairs of the followers of Jesus Christ.  They should be able to make their own decisions about small matters.  Do you complain about small things?

Bring your grievance before the saints (1 Cor. 6:1)

“When any of you

Has a grievance

Against another,

Do you dare

To take it to court

Before the unrighteous,

Instead of taking it

Before the saints?”

Τολμᾷ τις ὑμῶν πρᾶγμα ἔχων πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον κρίνεσθαι ἐπὶ τῶν ἀδίκων, καὶ οὐχὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἁγίων;

Paul warned the Corinthians against lawsuits.  If any of them had a grievance (Τολμᾷ τις ὑμῶν πρᾶγμα ἔχων) against another one (πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον), Paul asked whether it should be taken to the unrighteous civil Roman court (κρίνεσθαι ἐπὶ τῶν ἀδίκων), or why not take it before the saints (καὶ οὐχὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἁγίων) in their community.  Now the question arose about how to settle disputes within the holy Christian community at Corinth.  Paul did not want them to take any lawsuits before the civil Roman court in Corinth.  If they had a grievance with each other, they should keep it in house and bring it to their saintly Christian community leaders.  Most of these lawsuits were about rich people suing poor people.  Paul felt that the civil unrighteous authorities there should not be judging the Christian community.  These holy people were to settle things among themselves.  Paul liked the Jewish model, where Jewish judges would settle these matters for Jewish people.  These pagan gentile judges were unfit to judge God’s chosen people, the holy followers of Jesus Christ. Have you ever sued anyone?

Drive out the wicked from among you (1 Cor. 5:13)

“God will judge

Those outside.

‘Drive out the wicked person

From among you.’”

τοὺς δὲ ἔξω ὁ Θεὸς κρίνει. ἐξάρατε τὸν πονηρὸν ἐξ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν.

Paul told them that God would judge those outside of their Christian community (τοὺς δὲ ἔξω ὁ Θεὸς κρίνει).  However, they were to drive out (ἐξάρατε) the wicked persons (τὸν πονηρὸν) from within their own believing community (ἐξ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν).  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἐξάρατε, that means to lift up, to remove, or eject.  Paul told the Christian Corinthians that God would judge the people who are not followers of Jesus Christ.  However, within their own Christian community, they were drive out all the wicked people among them.  Paul used the concept of expulsion from the community based on the Mosaic law in Deuteronomy, chapter 17:7 and 19:19, where Yahweh said “So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”  Evil had to be purged from their group.  Paul used the same idea here.  They had to maintain standards in their Christian community.  Do you think that wicked people should be part of your Christian community?

Judge the insiders (1 Cor. 5:12)

“What have I to do

With judging outsiders?

Is it not those

Who are inside

That you are to judge?”

τί γάρ μοι τοὺς ἔξω κρίνειν; οὐχὶ τοὺς ἔσω ὑμεῖς κρίνετε;

Paul asked what was the purpose of judging outsiders (τί γάρ μοι τοὺς ἔξω κρίνειν)?  He only wanted to judge those within the Christian community (οὐχὶ τοὺς ἔσω ὑμεῖς κρίνετε).  Those of their fellow Christian brothers were the ones that they should be judging, not those who do not follow Christ.  They should have their community members live up to high standards.  Do you live up to high standards?

Avoid the evil brothers (1 Cor. 5:11)

“Now I wrote to you

Not to associate

With anyone

Who bears the name

Of a brother,

If he is guilty

Of immorality

Or greed,

Or is an idolater,

Or reviler,

Or drunkard,

Or robber.

Do not even eat

With such a one.”

νῦν δὲ ἔγραψα ὑμῖν μὴ συναναμίγνυσθαι ἐάν τις ἀδελφὸς ὀνομαζόμενος ᾖ πόρνος ἢ πλεονέκτης ἢ εἰδωλολάτρης ἢ λοίδορος ἢ μέθυσος ἢ ἅρπαξ, τῷ τοιούτῳ μηδὲ συνεσθίειν.

Paul said that he wrote to these Corinthian Christians (νῦν δὲ ἔγραψα ὑμῖν) warning them not to associate (μὴ συναναμίγνυσθαι) with anyone who bears the name of a brother (ἐάν τις ἀδελφὸς ὀνομαζόμενος), who is guilty of sexual immorality (ᾖ πόρνος), or greed (ἢ πλεονέκτης), or is an idolater (ἢ λοίδορος), or reviler (ἢ λοίδορος), or drunkard (ἢ μέθυσος), or robber (ἢ ἅρπαξ).  They were not even to eat with such a one (τῷ τοιούτῳ μηδὲ συνεσθίειν).  Only the Pauline letters used a series of words for these sinners that are not found elsewhere in the Greek Biblical literature.  The word συναναμίγνυσθαι means to mix up together, to associate with, mingle together, or keep company with.  The word πλεονέκτης means one desirous of having more, covetous or avaricious person.  The word εἰδωλολάτρης means an image worshiper.  The word λοίδορος means abusive, or reviler.  The word μέθυσος means a drunkard.  Paul clarified who the evil people who they were not to associate with.  They were not to associate with their known fellow brother Christian believers who were displaying these bad behaviors of sexual immorality, greed, idolatry, revelers, drunkards, or robbers.  They should not associate with them or even eat with them.  These were the people who should be avoided, the evil doers in their own Christian community.  Are there evil doers in your Christian community?

Not all immoral people (1 Cor. 5:10)

“I do not mean

All the sexually immoral

Of this world,

Or the greedy

Or the robbers,

Or idolaters,

Since then,

You would need

To go out of the world.”

οὐ πάντως τοῖς πόρνοις τοῦ κόσμου τούτου ἢ τοῖς πλεονέκταις καὶ ἅρπαξιν ἢ εἰδωλολάτραις, ἐπεὶ ὠφείλετε ἄρα ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου ἐξελθεῖν.

Paul said that he did not mean all the sexually immoral people (οὐ πάντως τοῖς πόρνοις) of this world (τοῦ κόσμου τούτου), or the greedy (ἢ τοῖς πλεονέκταις), or the robbers (καὶ ἅρπαξιν), or the idolaters (ἢ εἰδωλολάτραις), since then you would need (ἐπεὶ ὠφείλετε ἄρα) to go out (ἐξελθεῖν) of the world (ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου).  Only the Pauline letters used this word πλεονέκταις, that means one desirous of having more, covetous or avaricious person, and the word εἰδωλολάτραις, that means an image worshiper.  Paul explained himself again.  He did not mean all sexually immoral people, because that would probably include every person in the world.  They would probably have to leave this world itself to avoid all the evil people who are greedy, robbers, or idolaters.  Paul was going to explain what he meant.  Are all people immoral?

Do not associate with sexually immoral people (1 Cor. 5:9)

“I wrote to you

In my letter

Not to associate

With sexually immoral persons.”

Ἔγραψα ὑμῖν ἐν τῇ ἐπιστολῇ μὴ συναναμίγνυσθαι πόρνοις,

Paul said that he wrote to them (Ἔγραψα ὑμῖν) in his letter (ἐν τῇ ἐπιστολῇ) not to associate (μὴ συναναμίγνυσθαι) with sexually immoral people (πόρνοις).  Only the Pauline letters used this word συναναμίγνυσθαι, that means to mix up together, to associate with, or keep company with.  Apparently, Paul had written an earlier letter to the Christian Corinthians telling them to stay away from immoral people in Corinth.  This letter is now lost, but parts may be in the second letter to the Corinthians.  They did not seem to understand this letter, so Paul was going to explain it again.  Do you associate with sexually immoral people?