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The Pulpit Commentary on i Corinthians

The Pulpit Commentary on i Corinthians

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Published by glennpease
EDITED BY THE

VERY REV. H. D. M. SPENCE, D.D.,

DEAN OF GLOUCESTER ;

AND BY THE

REV. JOSEPH S. EXELL. M.A.
EDITED BY THE

VERY REV. H. D. M. SPENCE, D.D.,

DEAN OF GLOUCESTER ;

AND BY THE

REV. JOSEPH S. EXELL. M.A.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 24, 2014
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THE PULPIT COMMETARY O I CORITHIAS EDITED BY THE VERY REV. H. D. M. SPECE, D.D., DEA OF GLOUCESTER ; AD BY THE REV. JOSEPH S. EXELL. M.A. EXPOSITIO. CHAPTER n. Vers. 1 — 5. — St. PauVs own method. Ver. 1. — ^And I ; " I too ; " I in accordance with God's method. When I oame to you. The date of his first visit was in a.d. 52, and he had stayed a year and a half (Acts xviii. 11). He had since been (roughly speak- at Epiiesus. Of speeoh or of wisdom. spoke to you neitlier oratorlcally nor philo^ Bophically. Hence the Ajjollos party, fond of the brilliant rhetoric of the young Alex- andrian, spoke of Paul's speech as "con- temptible " (2 Cor. X. 10). The testimony o4 God; that is, the witness borne to Christ by the Father (1 John V. 10, 11). ing) "three years" Orpieriay, Acts' XI. 311 I Ver. 2. — I determined. The onadomad OH-n. 1— 16.J THE FIRST El'ISTLE TO TUE OOKlXTIIIAgl. 68
 
•implioity of my teaching was part of a fixed ilesign. ot to know anything. ot, that 13, to depend on any human knowledge. Of course, St. Paul neither means to set aside •11 human knowledge nor to didparnge other Christian doctrines. His words musit not be pressed oat of their due context and proportion. Jesus Christ, and him oruoifled. Christ, in the lowest depth of his abasement and self-sacrifice. He would "know" nothing else ; that is, be would make thii the central point and essence of all big knowledge, because he knew the "excel- lency" of this knowledge (Phil. iii. 8) knew it as the only knowledge which rose to the heiglit of wisdom. Christ is the only Foundation (ch. iii. 11). In the person and tlie work of Christ ia invoWed the whole Ver. 8. — I was with you; literally,/ iteame or proved myaelf, towarde you, as in •h. xvi. 10. In weakness. Si:. Puul was physically weak and liable also to nervous weakness and depression (ch. iv. 7 — 12; Gal. iv. 13; 2 Cor. x. 1, 10; xii. 7, 10). He shows an occasional self-ilistrust rising from thcoon.-<ciousness of personal infirmities. This enhances our sense of liis heroic eourage and endurance. Doubtless this physical weakness and nervous depression were connected with his " stake in tlie flesh," which seems to have been an acute and dis- tressing form of ophtiialmia, accompnnied with cerebral disturbance (see my ' Life of St. Paul,' i. 215 — 221). In fear, and in much trembling. Probably tlie words are even liter- ally true, though they are a common phrase (2 Cor. vii. 15; Phil. ii. 12, 13; Eph. vi. 5). It must be remembered that in his first visit to Corinth St Paul had gone through stormy and troubled days (Acts iviii. 1 — 12). Ver. 4. — My speech and my preaching;
 
the form and matter of my discourse. He would not attempt to use the ketn sword of philosophical dialectics or human eloquence, but would only use the weapon of the cross. Was not with enticing words of man's wisdom; rather, with persuasive words of wisdom (ttie word anthropines is a gloss). This simplicity was the more remarknble i^cause "Corinthian words" was a proverb for choice, elaborate, and glHtering phrases (Wetstein). It is not improbable that the almost total and deeply discouraging want of success of St. Paul in preaching at Athens had impressed him more strongly with the nselessness of attempting to fight Greek philosophers with their own blunt and im- perfect weapons. In demonstration of the Spirit and of power. So he says to the Thessnhmians, " Our gospel came not to ynu in word onlv, hut also in power, and in the Holy Obor-t, am! in much assurauce." The plain facts, eo repellent to the natural intellect, were ilriven home with matchles- force by spiritUHl conviction. The only heathen critic who has mentioned St. Paul'f method is Longinus, the author of the treatise on 'The Sublime and Beautiful,' who falls him "a master of unproved dogma," meaning apparently that his force lay in the irresistible statement of the facts which be came to preach. Ver. 5, — In the power of God. So in 2 Cor. iv. 7 he says that the treasure they carried was " in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of Ood and not of us." Vera. 6 — 16. — The apparent fooliikness is the only uisdom. Ver. 6. — Howbeit. In this passage he shows that in reality a crushing irony lay in his description of the gospel as being, in