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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 3:10

 

 

According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.

Adam Clarke Commentary

As a wise master builder - Ὡς σοφος αρχιτεκτων . The design or plan of the building is from God; all things must be done according to the pattern which he has exhibited; but the execution of this plan was entrusted chiefly to St. Paul; he was the wise or experienced architect which God used in order to lay the foundation; to ascertain the essential and immutable doctrines of the Gospel - those alone which came from God, and which alone he would bless to the salvation of mankind.

Let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon - Let him take care that the doctrines which he preaches be answerable to those which I have preached; let him also take heed that he enjoin no other practice than that which is suitable to the doctrine, and in every sense accords with it.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

According to the grace of God - By the favor of God which is given to me. All that Paul had done had been by the mere favor of God. His appointment was from him; and all the skill which he had shown, and all the agency which he had employed, had been from him. The architectural figure is here continued with some striking additions and illustrations. By the “grace of God” here, Paul probably means his apostleship to the Gentiles, which had been conferred on him by the mere favor of God, and all the wisdom, and skill, and success which he had evinced in founding the church.

As a wise master-builder - Greek “Architect.” The word does not imply that Paul had any pre-eminence over his brethren, but that he had proceeded in his work as a skillful architect, who secures first a firm foundation. Every builder begins with the foundation; and Paul had proceeded in this manner in laying first a firm foundation on which the church could be reared. The word “wise” here means “skillful” or “judicious”; compare Matthew 7:24.

I have laid the foundation - “What” this foundation was, he states in 1 Corinthians 3:11. The meaning here is, that the church at Corinth had been at first established by Paul; see Acts 18:1, etc.

And another - Other teachers. I have communicated to the church the first elements of Christian knowledge. Others follow out this instruction, and edify the church. The discussion here undergoes a slight change. In the former part of the chapter, “Christians” are compared to a building; here the “doctrines” which are taught in the church are compared to various parts of a building. Grotius. See similar instances of translation in 1 Timothy 4:16; and preach “such” doctrine as shall bear the test of the great Day. And from this we learn, that it is important that the church should be built on the true foundation; and that it is scarcely less important that it should be built up in the knowledge of the truth. Vast evils are constantly occurring in the church for the lack of proper instruction to young converts. Many seem to feel that provided the foundation be well laid, that is all that is needed. But the grand thing which is needed at the present time, is, that those who are converted should, as soon as possible, be instructed fully in the nature of the religion which they have embraced. What would be thought of a farmer who should plant a tree, and never water or trim it; who should plant his seed, and never cultivate the grain as it springs up; who should sow his fields, and then think that all is well, and leave it to be overrun with weeds and thorns? Piety is often stunted, its early shootings blighted, its rapid growth checked, for the lack of early culture in the church. And perhaps there is no one thing in which ministers more frequently fail than in regard to the culture which ought to be bestowed upon those who are converted - especially in early life. Our Saviour‘s views on this were expressed in the admonition to Peter, “Feed my lambs,” John 21:15.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

According to the grace of God which was given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder I laid a foundation; and another buildeth thereon. But let each man take heed how he buildeth thereon.

A foundation ... The foundation which Paul laid at Corinth is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11), and this was done through the faithful proclamation of the whole gospel of our Lord.

Another buildeth thereon ... Although Farrar believed that "the allusion here may be to Apollos,"[14] it may be that Paul, in this new metaphor, considered that both Apollos and himself had laid the foundation in the preaching of Christ, a work which had also been shared by all of the apostles and inspired teachers. The entire apostolic community could do little more than lay the foundation (of Christ); and Christians themselves were expected to continue the building of God's true temple, the church. As Grosheide said:

They leave the work of building to the congregation itself. The Corinthians were actually engaged in building, but in a way the apostle felt obliged to condemn. Paul was not content with what the Corinthians had done themselves[15]

The words ANOTHER and EACH MAN are too indefinite to apply to Apollos, having rather an application to all who labor in God's building.

[14] F. W. Farrar, The Pulpit Commentary (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1950), p. 94.

[15] F. W. Grosheide, op. cit., p. 74.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-corinthians-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

According to the grace of God which is given unto me,.... Lest the apostle should be thought to be too much elated with the characters he had given of himself, and other ministers, or to assume too much to himself, in what he was about to say of himself, he ascribes all the gifts he had, and the usefulness he was of, as a labourer and builder in the church of God, to rich grace; by which he was called unto, and qualified for such work: as a wise master builder. This same phrase, σοφος αρχιτεκτων, "a wise master builder", is used by the Septuagint interpreters, in Isaiah 3:3 by which they render חכם חרשים, "the cunning artificer", or the wise man of the carpenters, or artificers. The architect of all is God the Father, Son, and Spirit; God the Father is the builder of all things; Christ builds his church on himself the rock; and the saints are built up an habitation for God, through the Spirit; ministers are builders under God, instruments he makes use of, and who would labour in vain, unless the Lord build the city: such an one was the apostle, though he calls himself a master builder with respect to inferior ministers; he being in the highest office in the church, as an apostle, and not a whit behind the chief of them; and was the chief apostle of the Gentiles, and was principally concerned in preaching the Gospel to them, and in raising churches among them. The allusion is to the Jews, who use to call the Rabbins and doctors, and the disciples of the wise men, "builders": they ask in a certain placeF8T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 114. 1. , מאי בנאין,

"who are the builders? says R. Joehanna, these are the disciples of the wise men, who employ themselves in the building of the world all their daysF9Jarchi, Maimon. Sampson, & Bartenora in Misn. Mikvaot, c. 9. sect. 6. .'

That is, the law, as oneF11Juchasin, fol. 81. 1. of their writers explains this building; hence they are sometimes called builders of the law, and which was looked upon to be an high character: it is saidF12T. Hieros. Gittin, fol. 48. 4. of a certain person, that

"R. Zeira praised him, and called him, בנייה דאורייתא, "a builder of the law."'

But the apostle was a Gospel builder, a builder of Gospel churches in Gospel truths, and in faith and holiness; these were foolish builders, but he a wise one; and his wisdom lay in the knowledge of Christ, in preaching him, and in winning souls unto him; and particularly in that he took care in his ministry, to lay a good foundation:

I have laid the foundation; meaning not only that as at other places, so at Corinth, he first preached the Gospel to them, and was the first instrument of their conversion, and laying the foundation of a Gospel church state; but that in his preaching he laid Christ as the one and only foundation, for men to build their faith and hope upon, for everlasting life and happiness, mentioned in the following verse:

and another buildeth thereupon; which designs not a private Christian, who was directed in the apostle's ministry to build his soul upon the rock of ages, Christ the sure foundation laid in Zion; though there is a truth in this, the apostle laid Christ as a foundation, and encouraged others to build their faith and hope upon him, as to eternal salvation; and many were enabled to do so, which was the happy fruit of his ministry, and what gave him pleasure; and in this sense he also himself built upon this foundation, for this cannot be said of another, to the exclusion of himself; he would never lay a foundation, and direct others to build on it, and not build upon it himself; but another minister of the Gospel is meant, as Apollos, or any other who might follow him, and be a means of carrying on the building upon the foundation he had laid; and of edifying and establishing souls upon it; and of rearing up superstructure truths, upon the foundation one:

but let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon; that he builds by line, evenly, according to the analogy of faith; that he builds in proportion to the foundation; and lays such things upon it as are becoming it, and suitable to it.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. 4 But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

(4) Now he speaks to the teachers themselves, who succeeded him in the church of Corinth, and in this regard to all that were after or will be pastors of congregations, seeing that they succeed into the labour of the apostles, who were planters and chief builders. Therefore he warns them first that they do not persuade themselves that they may build after their own fantasy, that is, that they may propound and set forth anything in the Church, either in matter, or in type of teaching, different from the apostles who were the chief builders.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

given unto me — Paul puts this first, to guard against seeming to want humility, in pronouncing himself “a WISE master builder,” in the clause following [Chrysostom]. The “grace” is that “given” to him in common with all Christians (1 Corinthians 3:5), only proportioned to the work which God had for him to do [Alford].

wise — that is, skilful. His skill is shown in his laying a foundation. The unskillful builder lays none (Luke 6:49). Christ is the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11).

another — who ever comes after me. He does not name Apollos; for he speaks generally of all successors, whoever they be. His warning, “Let every man (every teacher) take heed how,” etc., refers to other successors rather than Apollos, who doubtless did not, as they, build wood, hay, etc., on the foundation (compare 1 Corinthians 4:15). “I have done my part, let them who follow me see (so the Greek for ‹take heed‘) to theirs” [Bengel].

how — with what material [Alford]. How far wisely, and in builder-like style (1 Peter 4:11).

buildeth thereupon — Here the building or superstructure raised on Christ the “foundation,” laid by Paul (1 Corinthians 2:2) is not, as in Ephesians 2:20, Ephesians 2:21, the Christian Church made up of believers, the “lively stones” (1 Peter 2:5), but the doctrinal and practical teaching which the teachers who succeeded Paul, superadded to his first teaching; not that they taught what was false, but their teaching was subtle and speculative reasoning, rather than solid and simple truth.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

As a wise masterbuilder (ως σοπος αρχιτεκτωνhōs sophos architektōn). Paul does not shirk his share in the work at Corinth with all the sad outcome there. He absolves Apollos from responsibility for the divisions. He denies that he himself is to blame. In doing so he has to praise himself because the Judaizers who fomented the trouble at Corinth had directly blamed Paul. It is not always wise for a preacher to defend himself against attack, but it is sometimes necessary. Factions in the church were now a fact and Paul went to the bottom of the matter. God gave Paul the grace to do what he did. This is the only New Testament example of the old and common word αρχιτεκτωνarchitektōn our architect. ΤεκτωνTektōn is from τικτωtiktō to beget, and means a begetter, then a worker in wood or stone, a carpenter or mason (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). ΑρχιArchi̇ is an old inseparable prefix like αρχαγγελοςarchaggelos (archangel), αρχεπισχοποςarchepiscopos (archbishop), αρχιερευςarchiereus (chiefpriest). ΑρχιτεκτωνArchitektōn occurs in the papyri and inscriptions in an even wider sense than our use of architect, sometimes of the chief engineers. But Paul means to claim primacy as pastor of the church in Corinth as is true of every pastor who is the architect of the whole church life and work. All the workmen (τεκτονεςtektones carpenters) work under the direction of the architect (Plato, Statesman, 259). “As a wise architect I laid a foundation” (τεμελιον ετηκαthemelion ethēka). Much depends on the wisdom of the architect in laying the foundation. This is the technical phrase (Luke 6:48; Luke 14:29), a cognate accusative for τεμελιονthemelion The substantive τεμελιονthemelion is from the same root τεthe as ετηκαethēka (τιτημιti̇thēmi). We cannot neatly reproduce the idiom in English. “I placed a placing” does only moderately well. Paul refers directly to the events described by Luke in Acts 18:1-18. The aorist ετηκαethēka is the correct text, not the perfect τετεικαtetheika

Another buildeth thereon (αλλος εποικοδομειallos epoikodomei). Note the preposition επιepi with the verb each time (1 Corinthians 3:10, 1 Corinthians 3:11, 1 Corinthians 3:12, 1 Corinthians 3:14). The successor to Paul did not have to lay a new foundation, but only to go on building on that already laid. It is a pity when the new pastor has to dig up the foundation and start all over again as if an earthquake had come.

Take heed how he buildeth thereon (βλεπετω πως εποικοδομειblepetō pōs epoikodomei). The carpenters have need of caution how they carry out the plans of the original architect. Successive architects of great cathedrals carry on through centuries the original design. The result becomes the wonder of succeeding generations. There is no room for individual caprice in the superstructure.


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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
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-corinthians-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Grace

The special endowment for his apostolic work. Compare Romans 1:5, grace and apostleship: Romans 12:3, Romans 12:6; Ephesians 3:7, Ephesians 3:8.

Wise ( σοφὸς )

Skillful. See on James 3:13.

Master-builder ( ἀρχιτέκτων )

Only here in the New Testament. “The architect does not work himself, but is the ruler of workmen” (Plato, “Statesman,” 259).

Foundation

The importance which Paul attached to the foundation was figured by the care employed in laying the foundation of the great Ephesian temple. “To avoid the danger of earthquakes, its foundations were built at vast cost on artificial foundations of skin and charcoal laid over the marsh” (Farrar).


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-corinthians-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

According to the grace of God given to me — This he premises, lest he should seem to ascribe it to himself.

Let every one take heed how he buildeth thereon — That all his doctrines may be consistent with the foundation.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-corinthians-3.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

10.As a wise master-builder It is a most apt similitude, and accordingly it is frequently met with in the Scriptures, as we shall see ere long. Here, however, the Apostle declares his fidelity with great confidence and fearlessness, as it required to be asserted in opposition not merely to the calumnies of the wicked, but also to the pride of the Corinthians, who had already begun to despise his doctrine. The more, therefore, they lowered him, so much the higher does he raise himself up, and speaking as it were from a pulpit of vast height, he declares (171) that he had been the first master-builder of God among them in laying the foundation, and that he had with wisdom executed that department of duty, and that it remained that others should go forward in the same manner, regulating the superstructure in conformity with the rule of the foundation. Let us observe that these things are said by Paul first of all for the purpose of commending his doctrine, which he saw was despised by the Corinthians; and, secondly, for the purpose of repressing the insolence of others, who from a desire for distinction, affected a new method of teaching. These he accordingly admonishes to attempt nothing rashly in God’s building. Two things he prohibits them from doing: they must not venture to lay another foundation, and they must not raise a superstructure that will not be answerable to the foundation.

According to the grace He always takes diligent heed not to usurp to himself a single particle of the glory that belongs to God, for he refers all thing’s to God, and leaves nothing to himself, except his having been an instrument. While, however, he thus submits himself humbly to God, he indirectly reproves the arrogance of those who thought nothing of throwing the grace of God into the shade, (172) provided only they were themselves held in estimation. He hints, too, that there was nothing of the grace of the Spirit in that empty show, for which they were held in esteem, while on the other hand he clears himself from contempt, on the ground of his having been under divine influence. (173)


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-corinthians-3.html. 1840-57.

Vv. 10. "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon; but let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon!"

The apostle first looks backwards (I laid), in order to put himself out of the question; hence the asyndeton.

The grace given him is that of founding the Church among the Gentiles, particularly at Corinth, with the totality of gifts which he received for this mission, and the use of them which he has been enabled to make. The phrase, according to the grace..., softens the eulogy which he seems to award himself in speaking, as he does here, of his work at Corinth.

One might see in the words, as a wise master builder, nothing more than an idea analogous to that expressed in Matthew 7:24-27. Paul would then simply mean: "I did not build on ground without laying a foundation; as a good architect, I provided a foundation for the building." But the idea of prudence, or better still, of ability, contained in the term σοφός, seems rather to relate to the manner in which he laboured in laying the foundation, than to the simple act itself of laying it. He took care to avoid factitious modes of procedure, means borrowed from human eloquence and speculation; he deliberately confined himself to bearing testimony to the fact of salvation, leaving the Holy Spirit to act, and refraining from entering before the time into the domain of Christian speculation; his wisdom, as a founder, was to make no account of wisdom; comp. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, and 1 Corinthians 3:1-4. — The master builder is not only he who draws the plan of the building,—in this sense the title would revert to God,—but also the man who directs its execution.

The perfect τέθεικα, which is read in the received text, might appear preferable to the aorist ἔθηκα of the Alexandrines; for the foundation, once laid, remains. But the aorist, which denotes the act done once for all, better contrasts Paul"s work with the subsequent labours which are still going on.

These labours are denoted by the term ἐποικοδομεῖν, "building on (the foundation laid)." The ἄλλος, another, is referred specially to Apollos. Two things should serve to set aside this idea: first, the present ἐποικοδομεῖ, builds upon; for, at the time when Paul wrote, Apollos was no longer at Corinth; then the word each which follows, and which shows that the ἄλλος, another, is a collective term. The word, in fact, denotes the whole body of individuals who, as prophets, teachers, or speaking in tongues, had laboured, since Paul"s departure, in developing the Church founded by him. Apollos was one of them, and he certainly belongs, in Paul"s view, to the number of those who had built with materials of good quality, 1 Corinthians 3:14; comp. 1 Corinthians 3:6-7. The end of the verse is an admonition addressed to all these workers, and prepared for by all that precedes from 1 Corinthians 3:8 b. The πῶς, how (that is to say: with what sort of materials), is the theme of the whole following development.


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Bibliography
Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/1-corinthians-3.html.

Scofield's Reference Notes

grace

Grace (imparted). 1 Corinthians 15:10; Romans 6:1; 2 Peter 3:18


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Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/1-corinthians-3.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

Ver. 10. As a wise master builder] Artificers also have their wisdom, as Aristotle yieldeth. "For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him," Isaiah 28:26. As he did Bezaleel and Aholiah.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. The character which St. Paul assumes to himself, namely, that of a master-builder, yea, of a wise master-builder.

But was it not vain-glorious in the apostle thus to describe himself? Is not Christ the great and wise master-builder of the church?

Yes, undoubtedly: but the apostles were instruments in his hand, which he honoured with success: for which reason St. Paul thus speaks.

Learn hence, That in some cases it is not vain-glory, but a necessary duty, for the ministers of Christ to magnify their work and office received from Christ.

Observe, 2. The special work performed by St. Paul, the wise master-builder: he laid the foundation; that is, he first acquainted them with the rudiments and fundamental principles of the Christian religion, which they had never heard of before.

Learn thence, That it is a special part of divine wisdom in a minister to lay at first a good foundation of scripture knowledge in the minds and understandings of his people. Unless we having a knowing people, we are not like to have a gracious people. All our sermons will be dashed to pieces upon the rock of our people's ignorance, if they be not well catechised and instructed in the fundamentals of Christianity.

Observe, 3. How very careful our apostle is to ascribe all his strength, his assistance and success, as a master-builder, to the grace of God: According to the grace of God given to me.

Learn thence, That it is the property of every godly man, much more of every gracious minister, to attribute all that good which is either received or done by him, to the grace of God. What man ever received more grace from God, or did more service for God, than St. Paul? And so enlarged is he upon all occasions in magnifying the grace of God, that he is never satisfied in exalting of it: Not I, but the grace of God that was with me, &c.

Observe, 4. The cautionary direction by St. Paul, to all succeeding ministers of Christ, to take heed that they lay no other foundation than what was laid by him; and that they build suitably upon that foundation : Let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon.

Learn hence, That the ministers of Christ are to take especial care that they preach no other doctrine than what Christ and his apostles preached, and laid as the foundation of Christianity: and that they do not build upon that foundation any doctrine which may endanger their own or their people's salvation: I have laid the foundation, and let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

10.] κατὰ τ. χάρ. &c., as an expression of humility (reff.), fitly introduces the σοφός which follows. So Chrys.: ὅρα γοῦν πῶς μετριάζει. εἰπὼν γὰρ σοφὸν ἑαυτόν, οὐκ ἀφῆκεν αὐτοῦ τοῦτο εἶναι, ἀλλʼ ὅλον ἑαυτὸν πρότερον ἀναθεὶς τῷ θεῷ τότε ἑαυτὸν οὕτως ἐκάλεσε. Hom. viii. p. 69. The χάρις is not the peculiar grace of his apostleship—for an apostle was not always required to lay the foundation, e.g. in Rome:—but that given to him in common with all Christians (1 Corinthians 3:5), only in a degree proportioned to the work which God had for him to do.

σοφός, skilful, see reff., and many examples in Wetstein. The proof of this skill is given, in his laying a foundation: the unskilful master-builder lays none, see Luke 6:49. The foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11) was and must be, JESUS CHRIST: the facts of redemption by Him (obj.), and the reception of Him and His work by faith (subj.).

The mascul. form ὁ θεμέλιος (sc. λίθος) is said by Thomas Mag. (in Wetst.) to belong to the κοινὴ διάλεκτος—the Attic form is θεμέλιον, or, if in the plur., οἱ θεμέλιοι:— οἱ γὰρ θεμέλιοι παντοίων λίθων ὑπόκεινται, Thucyd. i. 93.

ἄλλος, ‘whoever comes after me,’—another: not only Apollos.

ἐποικοδομεῖ, pres., as the necessary state and condition of the subsequent teacher, be he who he may. The building on, over the foundation, imports the carrying them onward in knowledge and intelligent faith.

πῶς, emphatic, = here, with what material. De Wette imagines that it also conveys a caution not to alter the foundations, and that the γάρ in 1 Corinthians 3:11 refers to this. But the identity of the foundation is surely implied in ἐποικοδομεῖ. On the γάρ, see below.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-corinthians-3.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

1 Corinthians 3:10. The former of these images ( γεώργ.) has been the underlying thought in what has hitherto been said (1 Corinthians 3:6-8); the second and new figure ( οἰκοδ.) is now retained in what follows up to 1 Corinthians 3:15, the course of thought being this, that Paul, first of all, states the difference between his own work and that of others at this building, and then passes on to the responsibility which he who would build after him takes upon himself.

The χάρις is not the apostolic office, with which Paul was graced (Romans 12:3; Romans 15:15; Galatians 1:15, al(499)), for it was not exclusively an apostle who was required for the founder of a church (Rome, Colossae), but the special endowment of grace, which he had received from God to fit him for his calling; and he was conscious in himself that he was qualified and destined just for the right laying of the foundation, Romans 15:20.

The significant weight of the words κατὰδοθ. μοι is to express humility in making the utterance which follows. Comp Chrysostom and Theophylact.

ὡς σοφὸς ἀρχιτ.] proceeding as such an one would, going to work in this capacity. To it belongs the right laying of the foundation in strict accordance with the design of the building, the reverse of which would be the part of an unskilful architect. Without a foundation no man builds; without a proper foundation no σοφός, i.e. no one who understands the art (Exodus 35:10). Comp Plato, Phil. p. 17 C, de virt. p. 376 A Pind. Pyth. iii. 115, v. 115; Soph. Ant. 362. But Paul by the grace of God was a σοφὸς ἀρχιτέκτων.

What he understands by such a foundation, he himself tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:11, namely, Jesus Christ, without whom (both in an objective sense: without whose appearing and work, and in a subjective: without appropriating whom in conscious faith; see 1 Corinthians 3:11) a Christian society could not come into existence at all. This foundation Paul had laid, inasmuch as he had made Christ to be possessed by the conscious faith of the Corinthian church. Comp on Ephesians 2:20.

θεμέλιον] The masculine θεμέλιος (see 1 Corinthians 3:11; hence wrongly held by Ewald to be neuter here), attributed by the old grammarians to the κοινή (see Wetstein on 1 Corinthians 3:11), is commonly found only in the plural, and that as early as Thuc. i. 93. 1. In the singular, 2 Timothy 2:19; Revelation 21:19; Machon in Athen. viii. p. 346 A 3 Esdr. 6:20.

ἄλλος δὲ ἐποικοδ.] By this is meant not merely Apollos, but any later teacher of the Corinthians whatever (comp ἕκαστος): “Not my task, however, but that of another, is the building up, the carrying on the building.”

πῶς] i.e. here: with what materials.(504) See 1 Corinthians 3:12-13. Without figurative language: “Let each take heed what sort of doctrine (as regards substance and form) he applies, in order to advance and develope more fully the church, founded upon Jesus Christ, in its saving knowledge and frame of life.” See on 1 Corinthians 3:12. The figure is not changed, as has been often thought (“Ante fideles dixerat aedificium Dei, nunc aedificium vocat ea, quae in ecclesia Christiana a doctoribus docentur,” Grotius; comp Rosenmüller); but the οἰκοδομή is, as before, the church, which, being founded upon Christ (see above), is further built up, i.e. developed in the Christian faith and life (which may take place in a right or a wrong way, see 1 Corinthians 3:12-13), by the teachings of the later teachers. In like manner is a house built up by the different building-materials upon the foundation laid for it.


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 Corinthians 3:10. χάριν, grace) By this word he takes anticipatory precaution [ προθεραπείαν], not to appear arrogantly to pronounce himself wise.— δοθεῖσαν, given) it was therefore a something habitual in Paul.(27)σοφὸς) [wise] skilful. The knowledge of Jesus Christ makes men so.— θεμέλιον, foundation) The foundation is the first beginning.— ἄλλος) another, whoever he is. He elegantly avoids mentioning the proper name. The predecessor does not see his successor, and Paul has regard to the dignity of Apollos; so immediately after, every man; for there were also others, 1 Corinthians 4:15.— βλεπέτω, let him see [take heed]) I, says Paul, have done my part; let them see to theirs, who follow me in this work.— πως) how, how far wisely, how far in builder-like style.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-corinthians-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

According to the grace of God which is given unto me: carin here signifies either the ability which God hath given Paul to preach the gospel, or the apostolical office, to which God had called him; he maketh both to proceed from God, and to be the effects of his free love and favour to him. According to this he saith: Look,

as a wise master-builder first layeth the foundation, then buildeth upon the foundation which he hath laid; so

I, being the first whom God pleased to employ in this his work at Corinth, have laid the foundation, that is, have first preached the gospel in this famous city: thus the first preaching of the gospel is called, a laying the foundation, Romans 15:20 Hebrews 6:1.

Another buildeth thereon; afterwards Apollos and other ministers further carried on that work of preaching the gospel amongst them.

But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon; but (saith he) whoever cometh to preach after me had need take heed what he buildeth; for, Galatians 1:8, though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

I have laid the foundation; Paul first preached to the Corinthians Christ crucified, an atoning sacrifice for sin, as the only and all-sufficient foundation for human hope; and gathered such as appeared to believe on him into the church.

Another buildeth; others afterwards preached to them, and admitted to their number such as professed to be converted.

Take heed; let them be careful as to what doctrines they preach, and what practices they encourage; and see that both are according to the revealed will of God.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-corinthians-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

10. τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι. Which was given to me, i. e. when I laid the foundation.

ὡς σοφὸς ἀρχιτέκτων. St Paul now desires to identify himself with the teachers of the Corinthian Church, so far as they were really carrying on the work which he had begun. His object is to combat the individualism which had led the Corinthian Church astray. If their teachers be genuine ministers of Christ, it is but one work that they are carrying on. They are merely proceeding with the superstructure of that which the Apostle had founded. Comparison of their personal claims with those of St Paul, and still more an attitude of antagonism to him and to one another, are fatal to the healthy growth of Christ’s Body.

ἔθηκα. I laid, according to the true reading. See Critical Note.

ἐποικοδομεῖ. Is building thereon. Are we to understand here any reference to a particular opponent of St Paul? Or is the ἄλλος purely general, and equivalent to ‘other people’? It is impossible to say positively.

ἕκαστος δὲ βλεπέτω. A fresh subject is here introduced. We are now told of what kind the labour of a minister of Christ is to be, and what his reward. There is, there can be, but One Foundation, but there are many ways of building on that foundation. ἕκαστος tends to support the view that St Paul intended no special individual by ἄλλος.


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"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-corinthians-3.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10. Wise master-builder—At the proper time Paul does not hesitate to style himself a sophos—a wise.

I laid… another—Nor does he at all abdicate his prerogative as founder.

But—From this point commences a solemn caution to ministers, even who build on Christ as their foundation, what structure of doctrine, or morals, or churchdom they build thereon. The fire of the judgment day will test whether its materials be combustible. If so, the building will be burned up; yet the builder, as having built on Christ, will escape, like a householder, through the conflagration of his home, losing all else, but saving his life. All this, and what follows to 1 Corinthians 4:6, Paul figuratively speaks as in the persons of himself and Apollos, 1 Corinthians 3:4-8; but it is equally applicable to all other preachers and to all ministers in all ages.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-corinthians-3.html. 1874-1909.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

DIVERSITY OF REWARDS

10. According to the grace of God which was given unto me as a wise master builder I laid the foundation; and another buildeth thereon.” Paul had been instrumental in founding the Corinthian church. Apollos and other God-sent laborers had followed on, lending a helping hand to rear up this stupendous superstructure on the foundation laid by the great apostle to the Gentiles.


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Godbey, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/1-corinthians-3.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘According to the grace (of God) which was given to me, I laid a foundation like a wise master-builder, and another builds on it. But let each man be very careful how he builds on it.’

Following up the illustration Paul sees himself as the wise master-builder. This is a reminder of the high position God has given him. He is not inferior to these other preachers some of whom make so much of themselves. The master builder was in overall control with many builders under him. By ‘wise’ he probably means expert and efficient while also having in mind his previous references to God’s wisdom. He ensures that he builds as a good master builder and builds in accordance with God’s true wisdom. Along with his helpers, for as a master builder he has others working with him, he has laid a sound foundation, and he intends to use sound materials. Then others (in this case including Apollos by name) build on it. Each is hopefully doing the work of God, and each has one purpose in mind, to work with the others in making the building the best that it can be for God. Thus the picture in context is of spiritual teaching which will strengthen and establish the church of God, commencing with vital first principles as a foundation (the preaching of the cross, and the crucified One - 1 Corinthians 1:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:2) and going on with further spiritual teaching, but not being too taken up with secondary matters. They are to plan their activity with greatest care under the guidance of God.

‘According to the grace of God which was given to me.’ Paul reminds them of his special calling, while recognising that it was all of God. He had been especially chosen as the master builder, and God had uniquely called him so that even the twelve Apostles had acknowledged his equality with them in taking the Gospel to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:8-9; Romans 11:13). He was not arrogant at the thought of being a preacher, and especially of being a church founder, he was humbled by the thought. He recognises what a great privilege it was. And he recognises that he did not deserve it. In fact the opposite (1 Corinthians 15:9). It was all of the unmerited favour of God freely bestowed on him, and what had been accomplished was also all His doing.

And not only so, he also recognises his continued dependence on that grace, that unmerited favour of God for he knows that he can do nothing without it (if only the others would do the same).

‘The grace (of God).’ P46 omits ‘of God’, and so does Clement when citing it. For when Paul speaks of God’s grace, His undeserved active favour, towards individuals he does not usually include the genitive (Romans 12:3; Galatians 2:9). But the idea is always implicit.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-corinthians-3.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

In the new illustration Paul laid the foundation of the church in Corinth by founding the church, and others added the walls and continued building on that foundation. Paul"s special mission from God was to found churches ( Romans 15:20). He readily acknowledged that it was only by God"s grace that he could do so as a skillful master-builder. He added a word of warning that the quality of the materials and workmanship that went into building the church are very important.

"By laying the foundation he did-Jesus Christ and him crucified-he was the truly "wise" master-builder in contrast to the "wise" in Corinth, who are building the church of totally incongenial materials and are therefore in danger of attempting to lay another foundation as well." [Note: Fee, The First . . ., p138.]


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-corinthians-3.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 Corinthians 3:10. According to the grace of God which was given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I laid a foundation—alluding to our Lord’s parable of the “wise man who built his house upon the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25). But he takes care to ascribe the “wisdom” shown in this to “the grace of God.”

and another buildeth thereon. But let each man take heed how he buildeth thereon—that is (as will presently appear), with what materials he builds.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/1-corinthians-3.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 Corinthians 3:10. κατὰ τὴν χάριν κ. τ. λ.: while “the grace of God” has been given to all Christians, constituting them such (see 1 Corinthians 1:4), to the Ap. a special and singular “grace was given,” “according to” which he “laid a foundation,” whereon the Church at Cor(528) rests: see the like contrast in Ephesians 3:2-9; Ephesians 4:7-16; and for Paul’s specific gift as founder, 1 Corinthians 15:10, 2 Corinthians 3:5 ff., Romans 1:1-5; Romans 15:15 ff. The office of the founder is his own, and incommunicable: “you have not many fathers” (1 Corinthians 4:15).

σοφὸς is a correct attributive to ἀρχιτέκτων: see σοφία ( τ. ἀρχόντων), 1 Corinthians 2:6, and note; so in the LXX, Exodus 35:31, Isaiah 3:3, it characterizes the craftsman’s skill; in Arist., Eth. Nic., σοφία is the ἀρετὴ τέχνης—indeed this was its primitive sense (see Ed(529)). The Church architect (Christ, in the first instance, Matthew 16:18) is endowed with the σοφία τοῦ θεοῦ, the νοῦς χριστοῦ (1 Corinthians 2:6-16; cf. 2 Corinthians 3:4-6, Romans 15:16-20). The Gr(530) ἀρχιτέκτων was not a designer of plans on paper; he was like the old cathedral builders, the master-mason, developing his ideas in the material. “As a wise master-builder, I laid a foundation ( θεμέλιον ἔθηκα), but another builds thereupon” ( ἄλλος δὲ ἐποικοδομεῖ): P. knew that by God’s grace his part was done wisely; let his successors see to theirs. Not “the foundation”—that will be defined immediately (1 Corinthians 3:11 b): P. contrasts himself as foundation-layer with later workmen; hence the vbs. are respectively past and pr(531) The θεμέλιον, laid out once for all by the ἀρχιτέκτων, determines the site and ground-plan of the edifice (cf. Ephesians 2:20).—With the distributive ἄλλος cf. ἕκαστος (1 Corinthians 3:11): if Apollos, by himself, were intended, ἐποικοδομεῖ would have to be read as impf(532) (for ἐπῳκ., was building cf. aor(533), 1 Corinthians 3:14), since he is not now at Cor(534) Many Christian teachers are busy there (1 Corinthians 4:15). For this indef. ἄλλος, cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8 ff., 1 Corinthians 15:39; and for ἐγώἄλλος δέ, Luke 9:19, John 4:37; John 14:16; John 21:18. For the compound vb(535), see parls.; ἐπ- points to the basis, which gives the standard and measure to all subsequent work.—Hence the warning, ἕκαστος δὲ βλεπέτω πῶς κ. τ. λ.: “But let each man see (to it) how he is building thereupon!” Working upon the foundation, he must follow the lines laid down; he must use fit material. Not “how he is to build” (as in 1 Corinthians 7:32, aor(536) sbj(537)), but “how he is a-building” (pr(538) ind(539))—the work is going on. For the moods of the Indirect Question, see Wr(540), pp. 373 ff., Bn(541), §§ 341–356.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-corinthians-3.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

I have laid the foundation well, as a wise architect, not of myself, but according to the grace of God, and the gifts he bestowed upon me: and another, or several others, built upon it, continue the building. --- But let every man take heed how he buildeth, and that it be always upon the same foundation, which is Christ Jesus, his faith, and his doctrine. (Witham)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder I laid a foundation; and another buildeth thereon. But let each man take heed how he buildeth thereon.

"According to the grace of God which was given unto me"-"In His love God gave me a work to do." (Beck) The unmerited favor shown to Paul in appointing him to be an apostle, to speak by inspiration, to establish churches. (1 Corinthians 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am"; Ephesians 3:8)

"as a wise masterbuilder"-"In the case of the Corinthians, Paul was the one who laid the foundation. He has no doubt that he did wisely what the Master had entrusted him to do. At this point Paul is drawing a distinction between himself as the "founder" of this particular congregation and those who carry on the work with that assembly. He did his job wisely. Those who continue the work need to do theirs likewise." [Note: _ McGuiggan p. 52]

Paul was a wise master builder, or a skillful architect, in the sense that he KNEW THE RIGHT FOUNDATION TO LAY.

"I laid a foundation"-The foundation that Paul laid was Jesus Christ (). The church isn"t founded upon the apostles, rather they were the ones who through preaching laid the foundation. (Ephesians 2:20) Simply another way of saying, "I planted."

"another buildeth thereon"-referring to those like Apollos who had and would continue to work with the church in Corinth.

"But let each man take how he buildeth thereon"-"Whoever he is, let him be careful how he builds" (Mof).

"Some interpretations of tend to place absolutely no responsibility on the preacher for whether what he builds on the foundation is gold, silver.....The warning, "Let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon", necessitates that whatever interpretation one places upon these verses must be one which harmonizes with the fact that the preacher (or leading elements in Corinth) is to some degree responsible for using the proper material to build upon the foundation of Christ." [Note: _ Willis p. 107]


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-corinthians-3.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

grace. App-184.

masterbuilder. Greek. architekton. Only here.

have. The texts omit.

foundation. Compare App-146.

another. App-124.

buildeth thereon. Greek. epoikodomeo. See Acts 20:32.

take heed = see. App-133.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-corinthians-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

Grace ... given unto me (1 Corinthians 3:5). Paul puts this first, to guard against usurping a particle of the divine glory in pronouncing himself "a WISE master-builder."

Wise - i:e., skillful. His skill is shown in laying the foundation (1 Corinthians 2:2). The unskillful builder lays none (Luke 6:49). Christ is the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11).

Another - whoever comes after me. He does not name Apollos, for he speaks generally of all successors. His warning, "Let every man (especially, though not exclusively, every teacher) take heed how," etc., refers to other successors than Apollos, who doubtless did not build wood, hay, etc., on the foundation (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:15). Believers, too, have to take heed what superstructural doctrine they build upon Christ in themselves and in those whom they influence.

How - with what material: how far wisely, and in builder-like style (1 Peter 4:11).

Buildeth thereupon. Here the superstructure raised on Christ is not, as in Ephesians 2:20-21, of believers, the "lively stones" of the Church (1 Peter 2:5), but the doctrinal and practical teaching which succeeding teachers added to Paul's first teaching; not that they taught what was false, but their teaching was subtle and speculative, rather than solid and simple.


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-corinthians-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) According to the grace of God.—The Apostle being about to speak of himself as “a wise masterbuilder,” takes care by commencing his statement with these words to show that he is not indulging in self-laudation, but merely pointing out what God had given him the grace to do. (See Romans 1:5; Romans 12:3.)

Wise—i.e., skilful or judicious.

Another buildeth thereon.—The sequence of the work here is the same as in the planting and watering of the previous illustration. The use of the indefinite word “another” avoids what might be considered the invidiously frequent repetition of the name of Apollos, and also indicates that there were others also who came after Paul, as is evident from 1 Corinthians 4:15. (See Romans 15:20.)

But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.—Better, But let each one see in what manner he buildeth thereon. The argument in this and the following verse is that there can be only one foundation in the spiritual building—namely, the personal Jesus Christ. That foundation the Apostle has laid. None can alter it or add to it as a foundation; but there may be an immense variety in the materials with which those who come after the laying of the foundation may build up the superstructure. Therefore their own work and “how” they build (i.e., with what materials), and not the one foundation once for all and unalterably laid, should be the subject of their thought and care.


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
to the
5; 15:10; Romans 1:5; 12:3; 15:15; Ephesians 3:2-8; Colossians 1:29; 1 Timothy 1:11-14; 1 Peter 4:11
as a
1 Kings 3:9-11; 2 Chronicles 2:12; Daniel 12:3; Matthew 7:24; 24:45; 2 Timothy 2:15
I have
6,11; 9:2; Zechariah 4:9; Romans 15:20; Ephesians 2:20; Revelation 21:14,19
and another
15:11,12; Acts 18:27; 2 Corinthians 10:15; 11:13-15
But let every
Ecclesiastes 12:9; Luke 11:35; 21:8; Colossians 4:17; 1 Timothy 4:16; James 3:1; *Gr:; 1 Peter 4:11; 2 Peter 2:1-3

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-corinthians-3.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

According to the grace of God given unto me. Paul often speaks of his apostolic office as a grace or favor which he had received of God, but here, as in 1 Corinthians 15:10, the reference is more general. By the grace of God he means all the gifts and influences of the Spirit, which not only qualified him for his work, but rendered him so laborious and faithful. Here, as elsewhere, he attributes to God all he was, and all that he was enabled to accomplish.

As a wise master-builder. Wise ( ףןצן ́ ע), i.e. skillful. The word is familiarly used of artificers. Paul was not only a laborer, but an ( ב ̓ סמיפו ́ ךפשם) architect. To him was revealed the whole plan of the building, and he was inspired to develop that plan, and to prescribe the way in which it should be carried out. He laid the foundation. The same idea as was expressed above by saying, "I have planted, Apollos watered." He began the work in Corinth. Those who came after him were to carry on the edifice which he had commenced. The building must be erected upon the foundation and according to it. And, therefore, he adds, Let every man (i.e. every builder) take heed how he buildeth thereupon. In the whole context he is speaking of ministers, and therefore this clause must be considered as a warning addressed to them. They are to take heed how, i.e. with what materials, they carried on the building of this holy temple. Fidelity as well as diligence is required in a minister. No matter how laborious he may be, unless he employs the proper materials, he will lose his reward. Nothing but truth can be safely used in the development of Christian character, or in building up the Church. To mix the wisdom of men with the wisdom of God in this work, is, as the apostle afterwards says, like using alternate layers of straw and marble in the erection of a temple. Let no man deceive himself in this matter. He will prove himself a fool, if he attempts to substitute philosophy for the gospel in the work of saving men.


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Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/1-corinthians-3.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

That God gave me. God himself made Paul an apostle. I did the work. As an apostle, Paul laid the foundation everywhere he went. He did this by proclaiming the Good News of God's act in Christ to set men free. Another man. Apollos and the other teachers built on the foundation which Paul laid. Must be careful. The false teacher was also building on the foundation.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:10". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-corinthians-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

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