corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

1 Corinthians 16



Verse 1

Now concerning the collection for the saints (περι δε της λογιας της εις τους αγιουςperi de tēs logias tēs eis tous hagious). Paul has discussed all the problems raised by the Corinthians. Now he has on his own heart the collection for the saints in Jerusalem (see chapters 2 Corinthians 8; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15). This word λογιαlogia (or εια̇eia) is now known to be derived from a late verb λογευωlogeuō to collect, recently found in papyri and inscriptions (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 143). The word λογιαlogia is chiefly found in papyri, ostraca, and inscriptions that tell of religious collections for a god or a temple (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, p. 105). The introduction of this topic may seem sudden, but the Corinthians were behind with their part of it. They may even have asked further about it. Paul feels no conflict between discussion of the resurrection and the collection.

So also do ye (ουτως και υμας ποιησατεhoutōs kai humas poiēsate). Paul had given orders (διεταχαdietaxa) to the churches of Galatia and now gives them like commands. As a matter of fact, they had promised a long time before this (2 Corinthians 8:10; 2 Corinthians 9:1-5). Now do what you pledged.

Verse 2

Upon the first day of the week (κατα μιαν σαββατουkata mian sabbatou). For the singular σαββατουsabbatou (sabbath) for week see note on Luke 18:12 and note on Mark 16:9. For the use of the cardinal μιανmian in sense of ordinal πρωτηνprōtēn after Hebrew fashion in lxx (Robertson, Grammar, p. 672) as in Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; Acts 20:7. Distributive use of καταkata also.

Lay by him in store (παρ εαυτωι τιτετω τησαυριζωνpar' heautōi tithetō thēsaurizōn). By himself, in his home. Treasuring it (cf. Matthew 6:19. for τησαυριζωthēsaurizō). Have the habit of doing it, τιτετωtithetō (present imperative).

As he may prosper (οτι εαν ευοδωταιhoti ean euodōtai). Old verb from ευeu well, and οδοςhodos way or journey, to have a good journey, to prosper in general, common in lxx. In N.T. only here and Romans 1:10; 3 John 1:2. It is uncertain what form ευοδωταιeuodōtai is, present passive subjunctive, perfect passive indicative, or even perfect passive subjunctive (Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 54). The old MSS. had no accents. Some MSS. even have ευοδωτηιeuodōthēi (first aorist passive subjunctive). But the sense is not altered. οτιHoti is accusative of general reference and εανean can occur either with the subjunctive or indicative. This rule for giving occurs also in 2 Corinthians 8:12. Paul wishes the collections to be made before he comes.

Verse 3

When I arrive (οταν παραγενωμαιhotan paragenōmai). Whenever I arrive, indefinite temporal conjunction οτανhotan and second aorist middle subjunctive.

Whomsoever ye shall approve by letters (ους εαν δοκιμασητε δι επιστολωνhous ean dokimasēte di' epistolōn). Indefinite relative with εανean and aorist subjunctive of δοκιμαζωdokimazō (to test and so approve as in Philemon 1:10). “By letters” to make it formal and regular and Paul would approve their choice of messengers to go with him to Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:20.). Curiously enough no names from Corinth occur in the list in Acts 20:4.

To carry (απενεγκεινapenegkein). Second aorist active infinitive of αποπερωapopherō to bear away.

Bounty (χαρινcharin). Gift, grace, as in 2 Corinthians 8:4-7. As a matter of fact, the messengers of the churches (αποστολοι εκκλησιωνapostoloi ekklēsiōn 2 Corinthians 8:23) went along with Paul to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4.).

Verse 4

And if it be meet for me to go also (εαν δε αχιον ηι του καμε πορευεσταιean de axion ēi tou kame poreuesthai). “If the collection be worthy of the going as to me also.” Condition of third class (εανηιeaṅ̇ēi) and the articular infinitive in the genitive (τουtou) after αχιονaxion The accusative of general reference (καμεkame me also) with the infinitive. So the awkward phrase clears up.

Verse 5

When I shall have passed through Macedonia (οταν Μακεδονιαν διελτωhotan Makedonian dielthō). “Whenever I pass through (second aorist active subjunctive of διερχομαιdierchomai) Macedonia” (see construction in 1 Corinthians 16:3).

I do pass through (διερχομαιdierchomai). I plan to pass through, futuristic use of present indicative.

Verse 6

It may be (τυχονtuchon). Neuter accusative of second aorist active participle of τυγχανωtugchanō used as an adverb (in Plato and Xenophon, but nowhere else in N.T.).

Or even winter (η και παραχειμασωē kai paracheimasō). Future active of late verb παραχειμαζωparacheimazō (χειμωνcheimōn winter). See note on Acts 27:12; note on Acts 28:11; and note on Titus 3:12. He did stay in Corinth for three months (Acts 20:3), probably the coming winter.

Whithersoever I go (ου εαν πορευωμαιhou ean poreuōmai). Indefinite local clause with subjunctive. As a matter of fact, Paul had to flee from a conspiracy in Corinth (Acts 20:3).

Verse 7

Now by the way (αρτι εν παροδωιarti en parodōi). Like our “by the way” (παροδοςparodos), incidentally.

If the Lord permit (εαν ο Κυριος επιτρεπσηιean ho Kurios epitrepsēi). Condition of the third class. Paul did everything εν Κυριωιen Kuriōi (Cf. Acts 18:21).

Verse 8

Until Pentecost (εως της Πεντηκοστηςheōs tēs Pentēkostēs). He writes them in the spring before pentecost. Apparently the uproar by Demetrius hurried Paul away from Ephesus (Acts 20:1).

Verse 9

For a great and effectual door is opened unto me (τυρα γαρ μοι ανεωιγεν μεγαλη και ενεργηςthura gar moi aneōigen megalē kai energēs). Second perfect active indicative of ανοιγωanoigō to open. Intransitive, stands wide open at last after his years there (Acts 20:31). A wide open door. What does he mean by ενεργηςenergēs It is a late word in the Koiné. In the papyri a medical receipt has it for “tolerably strong.” The form ενεργοςenergos in the papyri is used of a mill “in working order,” of “tilled land,” and of “wrought iron.” In the N.T. it occurs in Philemon 1:6; Hebrews 4:12 of “the word of God” as “ενεργηςenergēs ” (powerful). Paul means that he has at least a great opportunity for work in Ephesus.

And there are many adversaries (και αντικειμενοι πολλοιkai antikeimenoi polloi). “And many are lying opposed to me,” lined up against me. These Paul mentions as a reason for staying in, not for leaving, Ephesus. Read Acts 19 and see the opposition from Jews and Gentiles with the explosion under the lead of Demetrius. And yet Paul suddenly leaves. He hints of much of which we should like to know more (1 Corinthians 15:32; 2 Corinthians 1:8.).

Verse 10

That he be without fear (ινα αποβως γενηταιhina aphobōs genētai). Evidently he had reason to fear the treatment that Timothy might receive in Corinth as shown in 1 Corinthians 4:17-21.

Verse 11

For I expect him (εκδεχομαι γαρ αυτονekdechomai gar auton). Apparently later Timothy had to return to Ephesus without much success before Paul left and was sent on to Macedonia with Erastus (Acts 19:22) and Titus sent to Corinth whom Paul then arranged to meet in Troas (2 Corinthians 2:12).

Verse 12

And it was not at all his will to come now (και παντως ουκ ην τελημα ινα νυν ελτηιkai pantōs ouk ēn thelēma hina nun elthēi). Adversative use of καιkai = “but.” Apollos had left Corinth in disgust over the strife there which involved him and Paul (1 Corinthians 1-4). He had had enough of partisan strife over preachers.

Verse 13

Watch ye (γρηγορειτεgrēgoreite). Stay awake. Late present from εγρηγοραegrēgora second perfect of εγειρωegeirō to awake.

Quit you like men (ανδριζεστεandrizesthe). Play the man. Middle voice, show yourselves men. From ανηρanēr a man.

Verse 15

Ye know (οιδατεoidate). Koiné{[28928]}š form for second perfect indicative used as present of οραωhoraō Parenthetic clause through rest of the verse. Stephanas is mentioned also in 1 Corinthians 1:16 and in 1 Corinthians 16:17. For απαρχηaparchē see note on 1 Corinthians 15:20, 1 Corinthians 15:23.

They have set themselves (εταχαν εαυτουςetaxan heautous). Remarkable statement worthy of attention today. This noble family appointed themselves to be ministers to the saints that needed it (the poor and needy). Personal work for Christ is still the only way to win the world for Christ, voluntary personal work. If all Christians did it!


Verse 16

That ye also be in subjection unto such (ινα και υμεις υποτασσηστε τοις τοιουτοιςhina kai humeis hupotassēsthe tois toioutois). This is the exhortation begun in 1 Corinthians 16:15. The family of Stephanas took the lead in good works. Do ye also follow such leaders. This is our great problem today, to find great leaders and many loyal followers. This would solve all church problems, great leadership and great following. Lend a hand.

Verse 17

At the coming (επι τηι παρουσιαιepi tēi parousiāi). At the coming here of Stephanas, etc., the very word used of the παρουσιαparousia of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:23).

That which was lacking on your part they supplied (το υμετερον υστερημα ουτοι ανεπληρωσανto humeteron husterēma houtoi aneplērōsan). Either “these filled up my lack of you” or “these filled up your lack of me.” Either makes perfectly good sense and both were true. Which Paul meant we cannot tell.

Verse 18

For they refreshed my spirit and yours (ανεπαυσαν γαρ το εμον πνευμα και το υμωνanepausan gar to emon pneuma kai to humōn). They did both. The very verb used by Jesus in Matthew 11:28 for the refreshment offered by him to those who come to him, fellowship with Jesus, and here fellowship with each other.

Verse 19

The churches of Asia (αι εκκλησιαι της Ασιαςhai ekklēsiai tēs Asias). True of the Roman province (Acts 10:10, Acts 10:26; Colossians 1:6; Colossians 2:1; Colossians 4:13, Colossians 4:16). The gospel spread rapidly from Ephesus.

With the church that is in their house (συν τηι κατ οικον αυτων εκκλησιαιsun tēi kat' oikon autōn ekklēsiāi). Paul had long ago left the synagogue for the school house of Tyrannus (Acts 19:9). But Aquila and Prisca opened their house here for the services. The churches had to meet where they could. Paul had laboured and lived with this family in Corinth (Acts 18:2) and now again in Ephesus (Acts 18:19; Acts 20:34). It was their habit wherever they lived (Romans 16:5).

Verse 20

With a holy kiss (εν πιληματι αγιωιen philēmati hagiōi). In the synagogue men kissed men and women kissed women. This was the Christian custom at a later date and apparently so here. See note on 1 Thessalonians 5:26; note on 2 Corinthians 13:12; Romans 3:8; 1 Peter 5:14. It seems never to have been promiscuous between the sexes.

Verse 21

Of me Paul with mine own hand (τηι εμηι χειρι Παυλουtēi emēi cheiri Paulou). Literally, “With the hand of me Paul.” The genitive ΠαυλουPaulou is in apposition with the possessive pronoun εμηιemēi which is in the instrumental case just as in 2 Thessalonians 3:17, the sign in every Epistle. He dictated, but signed at the end. If we only had that signature on that scrap of paper.

Verse 22

ΑνατεμαAnathema The word seems a bit harsh to us, but the refusal to love Christ (ου πιλειou philei) on the part of a nominal Christian deserves ανατεμαanathema (see note on 1 Corinthians 12:3 for this word). Μαραν αταMaran atha This Aramaic phrase means “Our Lord (μαρανmaran) cometh (αταatha)” or, used as a proleptic perfect, “has come.” It seems to be a sort of watchword (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:14.; James 5:7.; Philemon 4:5; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 3:11; Revelation 22:20), expressing the lively hope that the Lord will come. It was a curious blunder in the King James Version that connected Μαραν αταMaran atha with ΑνατεμαAnathema sa120


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 16:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology