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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

1 Corinthians 5



Verse 1

Commonly ( ὅλως )

Better, absolutely or actually, as Rev.

Should have

Opinions are divided as to whether the relation was that of marriage or concubinage. The former is urged on the ground that ἔχειν tohave is commonly used in the New Testament of marriage; and that the aorist participles ποιήσας (so Tex. Rec.) had done, and κατεργασαμενον hathwrought, imply that an incestuous marriage had already taken place. It is urged, on the other hand, that ἔχειν tohave is used of concubinage, John 4:18; but it takes its meaning there from the sense of marriage in the preceding clause, and is really a kind of play on the word. “He who now stands for thy husband is not thy husband.” The indications seem to be in favor of marriage. Notwithstanding the facilities for divorce afforded by the Roman law, and the loose morals of the Corinthians, for a man to marry his stepmother was regarded as a scandal.

Verse 5

d To deliver - unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh. On this very obscure and much controverted passage it may be observed: 1. That it implies excommunication from the Church. 2. That it implies something more, the nature of which is not clearly known. 3. That casting the offender out of the Church involved casting him back into the heathen world, which Paul habitually conceives as under the power of Satan. 4. That Paul has in view the reformation of the offender: “that the spirit may be saved,” etc. This reformation is to be through affliction, disease, pain, or loss, which also he is wont to conceive as Satan's work. See 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 12:7. Compare Luke 13:16. Hence in delivering him over to these he uses the phrase deliver unto Satan. Compare 1 Timothy 1:20.

Verse 6

Glorying ( καῦχημα )

Not the act, but the subject of boasting; namely, the condition of the Corinthian church.

Lump ( φύραμα )

See on Romans 12:21. A significant term, suggesting the oneness of the Church, and the consequent danger from evil-doers.

Verse 7


Not the sinful man, but evil of every kind, in accordance with the more general statement of the leavening, power of evil in 1 Corinthians 5:6. The apostle's metaphor is shaped by the commands concerning the removal of leaven at the passover: Exodus 12:19; Exodus 13:7. Compare Ignatius; “Dispense, therefore, with the evil leaven that has grown old ( παλαιωθεῖσαν ) and that has gone sour ( ἐνοξίσασαν ), and be changed into new leaven which is Jesus Christ” (Epistle to Magnesians, 10).

New ( νέον )

See on Matthew 26:29.

Passover ( τὸ πάσχα )

The Paschal lamb, as Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7.

Verse 8

Let us keep the feast ( ἑορτάζωμεν )

Only here in the New Testament. The epistle was probably written a short time before the Passover. See 1 Corinthians 16:8.

Sincerity ( εἰλικρινείας )

See on pure minds, 2 Peter 3:1.


Bengel observes: “Sincerity takes care not to admit evil with the good; truth, not to admit evil instead of good.”

Verse 9

I write - in my epistle

American Rev., as it is I wrote. The reference is probably to a former letter now lost. Some explain ἔγραψα Iwrote as the epistolary aorist (see on 1 John 2:13); but the words in my epistle seem to favor the other view.

To company ( συναναμίγνυσθαι )

Only here and 2 Thessalonians 3:14. The translation company is inadequate, but cannot perhaps be bettered. The word is compounded of σύν together ἀνά upand down among, and, μίγνυμι tomingle. It denotes, therefore, not only close, but habitual, intercourse.

Verse 10

Idolaters ( εἰδωλολάτραις )

Only twice outside of Paul's writings: Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15. This is the earliest known instance of the use of the word. For the collocation of the covetous and idolaters, compare Colossians 3:15; Ephesians 5:5. New-Testament usage does not confine the term to the worship of images, but extends it to the soul's devotion to any object which usurps the place of God.

Verse 13

Wicked ( πονηρὸν )

Mischievous to the Church. See on Luke 3:19. The usage of the Septuagint emphasizes the idea of active harmfulness. The word has, however, in some passages, the sense of niggardly or grudging, and the Hebrew word which is usually translated by πονηρός mischievousis sometimes rendered by βάσκανος malignantwith a distinct reference to the “evil” or “grudging eye.” This sense may go to explain Matthew 20:15, and possibly Matthew 6:19, and Matthew 7:11.


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The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 5:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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