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1 Corinthians Chapter 8

1 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.

2 But if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he doesn't yet know as he ought to know.

3 But if anyone loves God, the same is known by him.

4 Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that no idol is anything in the world, and that there is no other God but one.

5 For though there are things that are called "gods", whether in the heavens or on earth; as there are many "gods" and many "lords";

6 yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we live through him.

7 However, that knowledge isn't in all men. But some, with consciousness of the idol until now, eat as of a thing sacrificed to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.

8 But food will not commend us to God. For neither, if we don't eat, are we the worse; nor, if we eat, are we the better.

9 But be careful that by no means does this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to the weak.

10 For if a man sees you who have knowledge sitting in an idol's temple, won't his conscience, if he is weak, be emboldened to eat things sacrificed to idols?

11 And through your knowledge, he who is weak perishes, the brother for whose sake Christ died.

12 Thus, sinning against the brothers, and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.

13 Therefore if food causes my brother to stumble, I will eat no meat forever more, that I don't cause my brother to stumble.


Version: World English Bible

1 Corinthians Chapter 8 Guide

The apostle next dealt with the subject of "things sacrificed to idols." The question evidently was whether the members of the Church in Corinth ought under any circumstances to eat parts of the heathen sacrifices which were sold in the market places for general consumption as food. In dealing with the question the apostle, by contrasting knowledge and love, laid down a principle that is of far wider application than the subject itself demands. He shows that "knowledge puffeth up," while "love edifieth," or "buildeth up"; and thus at once reveals love rather than knowledge as the true principle of action.

If knowledge is the simple principle and as an idol is nothing, sacrifices offered to idols have no meaning or value. The evident deduction is that in the light of knowledge a man may eat most certainly. Howbeit the apostle says not all men have that knowledge. Some have been used until now to the idol. They have considered it real, and the judgment, while evidencing the weakness of their knowledge, is nevertheless real to them.

The Christian principle of love demands consideration of the weakness of them; consequently the question whether such meat is to be eaten by the Christian must ever be decided on the basis of that principle. The apostle summarizes the whole position in the superlative words with which this section closes, "If meat causeth my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh for evermore, that I cause not my brother to stumble."

From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.