1 奉 神旨意作基督耶稣使徒的保罗，和提摩太弟兄，写信给在哥林多 神的教会，和全亚该亚所有的圣徒。
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
NOTES ON CHAP. I.
Verse 1. Paul, an apostle] Paul, commissioned immediately by
Jesus Christ himself, according to the will of God, to preach the
Gospel to the Gentiles. .
In all Achaia] The whole of the Peloponnesus, or that country
separated from the main land by the Isthmus of Corinth. From this
we may learn that this epistle was not only sent to the Church at
Corinth, but to all the Churches in that country.
2Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Verse 2. Grace be to you and peace] See .
3我们主耶稣基督的父 神是应当称颂的。他是满有怜悯的父，赐各样安慰的 神。
3Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
3 Verse 3. Blessed be God] Let God have universal and eternal
praise: 1. Because he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
is the gift of his endless love to man, . 2. Because he
is the Father of mercies, οπατηρτωνοικτιρμων, the source whence
all mercy flows, whether it respect the body or the soul, time or
eternity; the source of tender mercy; for so the word implies.
And, 3. Because he is the God of all comfort-the Fountain whence
all consolation, happiness, and bliss flow to angels and to men.
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
4 Verse 4. Who comforteth us] Who shows himself to be the God
of tender mercy, by condescending to notice us, who have never
deserved any good at his hand; and also the God of all
consolation, by comforting us in all our tribulation-never leaving
us a prey to anxiety, carking care, persecution, or temptation;
but, by the comforts of his Spirit, bearing us up in, through, and
above, all our trials and difficulties.
That we may be able to comfort them] Even spiritual comforts
are not given us for our use alone; they, like all the gifts of
God, are given that they may be distributed, or become the
instruments of help to others. A minister's trials and comforts
are permitted and sent for the benefit of the Church. What a
miserable preacher must he be who has all his divinity by study
and learning, and nothing by experience! If his soul have not
gone through all the travail of regeneration, if his heart have
not felt the love of God shed abroad in it by the Holy Ghost, he
can neither instruct the ignorant nor comfort the distressed. See
5For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
5 Verse 5. The sufferings of Christ] Suffering endured for the
cause of Christ: such as persecutions, hardships, and privations
of different kinds.
Our consolation also aboundeth] We stood as well, as firmly,
and as easily, in the heaviest trial, as in the lightest; because
the consolation was always proportioned to the trial and
difficulty. Hence we learn, that he who is upheld in a slight
trial need not fear a great one; for if he be faithful, his
consolation shall abound, as his sufferings abound. Is it not as
easy for a man to lift one hundred pounds' weight, as it is for an
infant to lift a few ounces? The proportion of strength destroys
the comparative difficulty.
6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
6 Verse 6. And whether we be afflicted] .
Which is effectual] There is a strange and unusual variation
in the MSS. and versions in this passage. Perhaps the whole
should be read thus: For if we be afflicted, it is for your
encouragement and salvation; and if we be comforted, it is also
for your encouragement, which exerted itself by enduring the same
sufferings which we also suffer.
This transposition of the middle and last clauses is authorized
by the best MSS. and versions. The meaning seems to be this:
While ye abide faithful to God, no suffering can be prejudicial to
you; on the contrary, it will be advantageous; God having your
comfort and salvation continually in view, by all the
dispensations of his providence: and while you patiently endure,
your salvation is advanced; sufferings and consolations all
becoming energetic means of accomplishing the great design, for
all things work together for good to them that love God. See the
variations in Griesbach.
7And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
7 Verse 7. And our hope of you is steadfast] We have no doubt
of your continuing in the truth; because we see that you have such
a full, experimental knowledge of it, that no sufferings or
persecutions can turn you aside. And we are sure that, as ye
suffer, so shall ye rejoice.
8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
8 Verse 8. Our trouble which came to us in Asia] To what part
of his history the apostle refers we know not: some think it is to
the Jews lying in wait to kill him, ; others, to the
insurrection raised against him by Demetrius and his fellow
others, to his fighting with beasts at Ephesus, ,
which they understand literally; and others think that there is a
reference here to some persecution which is not recorded in any
part of the apostle's history.
We were pressed out of measure, above strength] The original
is exceedingly emphatic: καθυπερβοληνεβαρηθημενυπερδυναμιν.
we were weighed down beyond what is credible, even beyond what any
natural strength could support. There is no part of St. Paul's
history known to us which can justify these strong expressions,
except his being stoned at Lystra; which if not what is here
intended, the facts to which he refers are not on record. As
Lystra was properly in Asia, unless he mean Asia Minor, and his
stoning at Lystra did most evidently destroy his life, so that his
being raised was an effect of the miraculous power of God; he
might be supposed to refer to this. ,
&c. But it is very likely that the reference is to some terrible
persecution which he had endured some short time before his
writing this epistle; and with the outlines of which the
Corinthians had been acquainted.
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
9 Verse 9. We had the sentence of death in ourselves] The
tribulation was so violent and overwhelming, that he had no hope
of escaping death.
That we should not trust in ourselves] The tribulation was of
such a nature as to take away all expectation of help but from GOD
But in God which raiseth the dead] This is very like the
business at Lystra; and would be sufficient to fix the apostle's
reference to that fact could the time and other circumstances
10Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
10 Verse 10. Who delivered us from so great a death] For the
circumstances were such that no human power could avail.
Will yet deliver us] Having had such a signal evidence of His
interposition already, we will confide in him with an unshaken
confidence that he will continue to support and deliver.
11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
11 Verse 11. Ye also helping together by prayer] Even an apostle
felt the prayers of the Church of God necessary for his comfort
and support. What innumerable blessings do the prayers of the
followers of God draw down on those who are the objects of them!
The gift bestowed-by the means of many persons] The blessings
communicated by means of their prayers.
Thanks may be given by many] When they who have prayed hear
that their prayers are so particularly answered, then all that
have prayed will feel themselves led to praise God for his
gracious answers. Thus, the prayers of many obtain the gift; and
the thanksgiving of many acknowledge the mercy.
The gift, or χαρισμα, which the apostle mentions, was his
deliverance from the dangers and deaths to which he was exposed.
12我们引以为荣的，就是我们处世为人，是本着 神的圣洁和真诚，不是靠着人的聪明，而是靠着 神的恩典，对你们更是这样，这是我们的良心可以作证的。
12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
12 Verse 12. For our rejoicing is this] ηκαυχησις. Our
boasting, exultation, subject of glorying.
The testimony of our conscience] μαρτυριοντηςσυνειδησεως.
That testimony or witness which conscience, under the light and
influence of the Spirit of God, renders to the soul of its state,
sincerity, safety, &c.
In simplicity] απλοτητι. from α, denoting unity or
together, and πελω, to be; or from α, negative, and
πολυς, many; not compounded, having one end in view, having
no sinister purpose, no by end to answer. Instead of απλοτητι,
many MSS. and versions have αγιοτητι, holiness.
In godly sincerity] ειλικρινειαθεου. The sincerity of God:
that is, such a sincerity as comes from his work in the soul.
ειλικρινεια, sincerity, and ειλικρινης, sincere, come from
ειλη, the splendour, or bright shining of the sun; and here
signifies such simplicity of intention, and purity of affection,
as can stand the test of the light of God shining upon it, without
the discovery being made of a single blemish or flaw.
Not with fleshly wisdom] The cunning and duplicity of man, who
is uninfluenced by the Spirit of God, and has his secular
interest, ease, profit, pleasure, and worldly honour in view.
But by the grace of God] Which alone can produce the
simplicity and godly sincerity before mentioned, and inspire the
wisdom that comes from above.
We have had our conversation] ανεστραφημεν. We have conducted
ourselves. The word properly refers to the whole tenor of a man's
life-all that he does says, and intends; and the object or end he
has in view, and in reference to which he speaks, acts, and
thinks; and is so used by the best Greek writers. The verb
αναστρεφω is compounded of ανα, again, and στρεφω, to turn;
a continual coming back again to the point from which he set out;
a circulation; beginning, continuing, and ending every thing to
the glory of God; setting out with Divine views, and still
maintaining them; beginning in the Spirit, and ending in the
Spirit; acting in reference to God, as the planets do in reference
to the sun, deriving all their light, heat, and motion from him;
and incessantly and regularly revolving round him. Thus acted
Paul; thus acted the primitive Christians; and thus must every
Christian act who expects to see God in his glory. The word
conversation is not an unapt Latinism for the Greek term, as
conversatio comes from con, together, and verto, I turn; and is
used by the Latins in precisely the same sense as the other is by
the Greeks, signifying the whole of a man's conduct, the tenor and
practice of his life: and conversio astrorum, and conversiones
caelestes, is by CICERO used for the course of the stars and
heavenly bodies.--De Leg. c. 8: Caelum una conversione atque
eadem, ipse circum se torquetur et vertitur.--CIC de Univers.,
c. 8: "The heaven itself is, with one and the same revolution,
whirled about, and revolves round itself."
In the world] Both among Jews and Gentiles have we always
acted as seeing Him who is invisible.
More abundantly to you-ward.] That is, We have given the
fullest proof of this in our conduct towards you; YOU have
witnessed the holy manner in which we have always acted; and GOD
is witness of the purity of the motives by which we have been
actuated; and our conscience tells us that we have lived in
uprightness before him.
13For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end;
13 Verse 13. Than what ye read] Viz. In the first epistle which
he had sent them.
Or acknowledge] To be the truth of God; and which he hoped
they would continue to acknowledge, and not permit themselves to
be turned aside from the hope of the Gospel.
14As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.
14 Verse 14. Have acknowledged us in part] απομερους may
signify here not in part, but some of you; and it is evident, from
the distracted state of the Corinthians, and the opposition raised
there against the apostle, that it was only a part of them that
did acknowledge him, and receive and profit by his epistles and
We are your rejoicing, &c.] You boast of us as the ministers
of Christ through whom ye have believed; as we boast of you as
genuine converts to the Christian faith, and worthy members of the
Church of God.
15And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;
15 Verse 15. And in this confidence] Under the conviction or
persuasion that this is the case; that ye exult in us, as we do in
I was minded] I had purposed to come to you before, as he had
intimated, ; for he had intended to call on them in his
way from Macedonia, but this purpose he did not fulfil; and he
gives the reason, .
A second benefit] He had been with them once, and they had
received an especial blessing in having the seed of life sown
among them by the preaching of the Gospel; and he had purposed to
visit them again that they might have a second blessing, in having
that seed watered. Instead of χαριν, grace or benefit,
several MSS. read χαραν joy, pleasure; but the word grace or
benefit, seems to express the apostle's meaning best.
16And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea.
16 Verse 16. To pass by you into Macedonia] He had purposed to
go to Macedonia first, and then from Macedonia return to them, and
probably winter in Corinth. Therefore we must understand the δι
υμων, by you, as implying that he would sail up the AEgean Sea,
leaving Corinth to the west; though he might have taken it in his
way, and have gone by land through Greece up to Macedonia. Some
think that the meaning is, that he purposed to take Achaia in his
way to Macedonia, without calling at Corinth; but Achaia was out
of his way considerably, and he could scarcely go through Achaia
without passing close by Corinth. I consider the words,
therefore, as implying that he purposed not to call at Corinth at
that time, but to pass by it, as before stated.
17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?
17 Verse 17. Did I use lightness?] When I formed this purpose,
was it without due consideration? and did I abandon it through
fickleness of mind?
That with me there should be yea, &c.] That I should act as
carnal men, who change their purposes, and falsify their
engagements, according as may seem best to their secular interest?
18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.
18 Verse 18. But as God is true] Setting the God of truth before
my eyes, I could not act in this way: and as sure as he is true,
so surely were my purposes sincere; and it was only my uncertainty
about your state that induced me to postpone my visit.
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
19 Verse 19. For the Son of God, &c.] If I could have changed my
purpose through carnal or secular interests then I must have had
the same interest in view when I first preached the Gospel to you,
with Silvanus and Timotheus. But did not the whole of our conduct
prove that we neither had, nor could have such interest in view?
20因为 神的一切应许，在基督里都是“是”的，为此我们借着他说“阿们”，使荣耀归于 神。
20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
20 Verse 20. For all the promises of God] Had we been light,
fickle, worldly-minded persons; persons who could only be bound by
our engagements as far as comported with our secular interest;
would God have confirmed our testimony among you? Did we not lay
before you the promises of God? And did not God fulfil those
promises by us-by our instrumentality, to your salvation and his
own glory? God is true; therefore every promise of God is true;
and consequently each must have its due fulfilment. God will not
make use of trifling, worldly men, as the instruments by which he
will fulfil his promises; but he has fulfilled them by us;
therefore we are just and spiritual men, else God would not have
In him are yea, and in him amen] All the promises which God
has made to mankind are yea-true in themselves, and
amen-faithfully fulfilled to them who believe in Christ Jesus.
The promises are all made in reference to Christ; for it is only
on the Gospel system that we can have promises of grace; for it
is only on that system that we can have mercy. Therefore, the
promise comes originally by Christ, and is yea; and it has its
fulfilment through Christ, and is amen; and this is to the glory
of God, by the preaching of the apostles.
From what the apostle says here, and the serious and solemn
manner in which he vindicates himself, it appears that his enemies
at Corinth had made a handle of his not coming to Corinth,
according to his proposal, to defame his character, and to
depreciate his ministry; but he makes use of it as a means of
exalting the truth and mercy of God through Christ Jesus; and of
showing that the promises of God not only come by him, but are
fulfilled through him.
21Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
21 Verse 21. Now he which stablisheth us with you] It is God
that has brought both us and you to this sure state of salvation
through Christ; and he has anointed us, giving us the
extraordinary influences of the Holy Ghost, that we might be able
effectually to administer this Gospel to your salvation. Through
this unction we know and preach the truth, and are preserved by it
from dissimulation and falsity of every kind.
22Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
22 Verse 22. Who hath also sealed us] Not only deeply impressed
His truth and image upon our hearts; but, by the miraculous gifts
of the Holy Spirit, attested the truth of our extraordinary
unction or calling to the ministry.
And given the earnest of the Spirit] τοναρραβωνατου
πνευματος. From this unction and sealing we have a clear
testimony in our souls, the Divine Spirit dwelling constantly in
us, of our acceptance with God, and that our ways please him. The
αρραβων of the apostle is the same as the erabon of Moses,
which we there translate pledge. The word properly signifies an
earnest of something promised; a part of the price agreed for
between a buyer and seller, by giving and receiving of which the
bargain was ratified; or a deposit, which was to be restored when
the thing promised was given. From the use of the term in Genesis,
which the apostle puts here in Greek letters, we may at once see
his meaning above, and in ; the Holy Spirit being an
earnest in the heart, and an earnest of the promised inheritance
means a security given in hand for the fulfilment of all God's
promises relative to grace and eternal life. We may learn from
this, that eternal life will be given in the great day to all who
can produce the arrhabon, or pledge. He who is found then
with the earnest of God's Spirit in his heart, shall not only be
saved from death, but have that eternal life of which it is the
pledge, the earnest, and the evidence. Without this arrhabon
there can be no glory. See the whole case of Judah and Tamar,
, &c., and the notes there.
23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.
23 Verse 23. I call God for a record upon my soul] The apostle
here resumes the subject which he left , and in the most
solemn manner calls God to witness, and consequently to punish, if
he asserted any thing false, that it was through tenderness to
them that he did not visit Corinth at the time proposed. As there
were so many scandals among them, the apostle had reason to
believe that he should be obliged to use the severe and
authoritative part of his function in the excommunication of those
who had sinned, and delivering them over to Satan for the
destruction of the flesh, &c.; but to give them space to amend,
and to see what effect his epistle might produce, (not having
heard as yet from them,) he proposed to delay his coming. It is
plain, as several commentators have observed, 1. That St. Paul's
doctrine had been opposed by some of Corinth, . His
apostleship questioned, , and . 2. Himself
despised, and treated as a person who, because of the consciousness
he had of his own worthlessness, dared not to come, .
His letters, say they, are weighty and powerful-full of boastings
of what he can and what he will do; but his bodily presence is
weak, and his speech contemptible, . 3. This being the
state in which his reputation was then at Corinth, and he having
promised to come to them, , he could not but think it
necessary to vindicate his failing them by reasons which should be
both convincing and kind, such as those contained in the preceding
verses. See Dodd and others.
24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
24 Verse 24. Not for that we have dominion over your faith]
I will not come to exercise my apostolical authority in punishing
them who have acted sinfully and disorderly; for this would be to
several of you a cause of distress, the delinquents being friends
and relatives; but I hope to come to promote your joy, to increase
your spiritual happiness, by watering the seed which I have
already sowed. This I think to be the meaning of the apostle.
It is certain that the faith which they had already received was
preached by the apostles; and, therefore, in a certain sense,
according to our meaning of the term, they had a right to propound
to them the articles which they ought to believe; and to forbid
them, in the most solemn manner, to believe any thing else as
Christianity which was opposed to those articles. In that sense
they had dominion over their faith; and this dominion was
essential to them as apostles. But shall any others-persons who
are not apostles, who are not under the unerring and infallible
influence of the Holy Ghost, arrogate to themselves this dominion
over the faith of mankind; not only by insisting on them to
receive new doctrines, taught nowhere by apostles or apostolic
men; but also threatening them with perdition if they do not
credit doctrines which are opposed to the very spirit and letter
of the word of God? These things men, not only not apostles, but
wicked, profligate, and ignorant, have insisted on as their right.
Did they succeed? Yes, for a time; and that time was a time of
thick darkness; a darkness that might be felt; a darkness
producing nothing but misery, and lengthening out and deepening
the shadow of death. But the light of God shone; the Scriptures
were read; those vain and wicked pretensions were brought to the
eternal touchstone: and what was the consequence? The splendour
of truth pierced, dissipated, and annihilated them for ever!
British Protestants have learned, and Europe is learning that
the SACRED WRITINGS, and they alone, contain what is necessary to
faith and practice; and that no man, number of men, society,
church, council, presbytery, consistory, or conclave, has dominion
over any man's faith. The word of God alone is his rule, and to
its Author he is to give account of the use he has made of it.
For by faith ye stand.] You believe not in us, but in GOD. We
have prescribed to you on his authority, what you are to believe;
you received the Gospel as coming from Him, and ye stand in and by
THE subjects in this chapter which are of the most importance
have been carefully considered in the preceding notes. That alone
of the apostle's oath has been passed by with general observations
only. But, that it is an oath has been questioned by some. An
oath, properly speaking, is an appeal to God, as the Searcher of
the hearts for the truth of what is spoken; and an appeal to Him,
as the Judge of right and wrong, to punish the falsity and
perjury. All this appears to be implied in the awful words above:
I call God for a record upon my soul; and this is not the only
place in which the apostle uses words of the same import.
See , and the note on this latter passage.
On this subject I have spoken pretty much at large at the end
of the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy; but as it appears that there
I have made a mistake in saying that the people called Quakers
hold up their hand in a court of justice, when called upon to make
affirmation, I take this opportunity to correct that expression,
and to give the form of the oath, for so the law considers it,
which the statute (7 and 8 of William III., cap. 34, sec. 1)
required of this sect of Christians: "I, A. B., do declare in the
presence of almighty God, the witness of the truth of what I say."
Though this act was only intended at first to continue in force
for seven years, yet it was afterwards made perpetual. See Burn,
vol. iii., page 654.
A more solemn and more awful form of an oath was never
presented nor taken by man than this; no kissing of the book,
holding up of the hand, nor laying hand on the Bible, can add
either solemnity or weight to such an oath! It is as awful and
as binding as any thing can be; and him, who would break this, no
obligation can bind.
But the religious people in question found their consciences
aggrieved by this form, and made application to have another
substituted for it; in consequence of this the form has undergone
a little alteration, and the solemn affirmation which is to stand
instead of an oath taken in the usual manner, as finally settled
by the 8th Geo., cap. 6, is the following: "I, A. B., do solemnly,
sincerely, and truly declare and affirm." Burn, vol. iii., page
It may be well to examine this solemn affirmation, and see
whether it does not contain the essential principles of an oath;
and whether it should not be reputed by all people, as being equal
to any oath taken in the common form, and sufficiently binding on
every conscience that entertains the belief of a God, and the
doctrine of a future state. The word solemnly refers to the
presence and omniscience of GOD, before whom the affirmation is
made; and the word sincerely to the consciousness that the person
has of the uprightness of his own soul, and the total absence of
guile and deceit; and the word truly refers to the state of
his understanding as to his knowledge of the fact in question.
The word declare refers to the authority requiring, and the
persons before whom this declaration is made; and the term affirm
refers back to the words solemnly, sincerely, and truly, on which
the declaration and affirmation are founded. This also contains
all that is vital to the spirit and essence of an oath; and the
honest man, who takes or makes it, feels that there is no form
used among men by which his conscience can be more solemnly bound.
As to the particular form, as long as it is not absurd or
superstitious, it is a matter of perfect indifference as to the
thing itself as long as the declaration or affirmation contains
the spirit and essence of an oath; and that the law considers this
as an oath, is evident from the following clause: "That if any one
be convicted of having wilfully or falsely made this declaration
or affirmation, such offender shall incur the same penalties and
forfeitures as are enacted against persons convicted of wilful and
corrupt perjury." I believe it may be said with strict truth,
that few instances can be produced where this affirmation, which
I must consider as a most solemn oath, was corruptly made by any
accredited member of that religious society for whose peace and
comfort it was enacted. And when this most solemn affirmation is
properly considered, no man of reason will say that the persons
who take it are not bound by a sufficient and available oath.