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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 3:21

 

 

So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you,

Adam Clarke Commentary

Let no man glory in men - Let none suppose that he has any cause of exultation in any thing but God. All are yours; he that has God for his portion has every thing that can make him happy and glorious: all are his.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Therefore … - Paul here proceeds to apply the principles which he had stated above. Since all were ministers or servants of God; since God was the source of all good influences; since, whatever might be the pretensions to wisdom among people, it was all foolishness in the sight of God, the inference was clear, that no man should glory in man. They were all alike poor, frail, ignorant, erring, dependent beings. And hence, also, as all wisdom came from God, and as Christians partook Alike of the benefits of the instruction of the most eminent apostles, they ought to regard this as belonging to them in common, and not to form parties with these names at the head.

Let no man glory in men; - See 1 Corinthians 1:29; compare Jeremiah 9:23-24. It was common among the Jews to range themselves under different leaders - as Hillel and Shammai; and for the Greeks, also, to boast themselves to be the followers of Pythagoras, Zeno, Plato, etc. The same thing began to be manifest in the Christian church; and Paul here rebukes and opposes it.

For all things are yours - This is a reason why they should not range themselves in parties or factions under different leaders. Paul specifies what he means by “all things” in the following verses. The sense is, that since they had an interest in all that could go to promote their welfare; as they were common partakers of the benefits of the talents and labors of the apostles; and as they belonged to Christ, and all to God, it was improper to be split up into factions, as if they derived any special benefit; from one set of persons, or one set of objects. In Paul, in Apollos, in life, death, etc. they had a common interest, and no one should boast that he had any special proprietorship in any of these things.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Wherefore, let no one glory in men. For all things are yours.

The brief summary concludes with the first clause here, except for the beautiful doxology. As Grosheide said, "Paul is here recapitulating all he has said before. The Corinthians named themselves after men; and those who do that love the wisdom of the world."[34]

Therefore, this verse makes it crystal clear what Paul condemned in 1 Corinthians 1:12. It was the sin of their calling themselves after the names of men; and, as the name Christ is not that of a man in the sense of the words use here, there cannot be the slightest condemnation upon those who said they were "of Christ." This same truth is evident in the next verse also.

ENDNOTE:

[34] F. W. Grosheide, op. cit., p. 93.


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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 3:21". "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

Therefore let no man glory in men,.... The apostle means ministers, who are but men, even the best of them, and therefore not to be gloried in; and has chiefly respect to the false teachers, whose wisdom, learning, and eloquence, the Corinthians were greatly taken with, and boasted of; it was so ensnaring to them, that they even idolized them for it, called them their masters, pinned their faith on their sleeve, gave up themselves to them, and were greatly under their authority, influence, and direction, which is here condemned; and which was so far from being right, that they ought not to behave in such manner to the best of ministers, nor to glory in anyone above another; no, not in Paul, nor Apollos, nor Cephas;

for all things are yours; all the ministers, and all they are endowed with; these were all for their use and service, for their benefit and advantage; wherefore it was very wrong to set up one above, or against another, or for any party to engross anyone minister, when he belonged to them all; and great weakness to reject others, when they had a common right and property in them.


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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.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

11 Therefore let no man h glory in men. For all things are i yours;

(11) He returns to the proposition of the second verse, first warning the hearers, that from now on they do not esteem as lords those whom God has appointed to be ministers and not lords of their salvation. This is done by those that depend upon men, and not upon God that speaks by them.

(h) Please himself.

(i) Helps, appointed for your benefit.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "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

let no man glory in men — resuming the subject from 1 Corinthians 3:4; compare 1 Corinthians 1:12, 1 Corinthians 1:31, where the true object of glorying is stated: “He that glorieth, let him glory in THE LORD.” Also 1 Corinthians 4:6, “That no one of you be puffed up for one against another.”

For all things — not only all men. For you to glory thus in men, is lowering yourselves from your high position as heirs of all things. All men (including your teachers) belong to Christ, and therefore to you, by your union with Him; He makes them and all things work together for your good (Romans 8:28). Ye are not for the sake of them, but they for the sake of you (2 Corinthians 4:5, 2 Corinthians 4:15). They belong to you, not you to them.


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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 3:21". "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

Wherefore let no one glory in men (ωστε μηδεις καυχαστω εν αντρωποιςhōste mēdeis kauchasthō en anthrōpois). The conclusion (ωστεhōste) from the self-conceit condemned. This particle here is merely inferential with no effect on the construction (ωστεhōŝte = and so) any more than ουνoun would have, a paratactic conjunction. There are thirty such examples of ωστεhōste in the N.T., eleven with the imperative as here (Robertson, Grammar, p. 999). The spirit of glorying in party is a species of self-conceit and inconsistent with glorying in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:31).


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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 3:21". "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

All things are yours

The categories which follow form an inventory of the possessions of the Church and of the individual Christian. This includes: the christian teachers with different gifts; the world, life, and things present; death and things to come. In Christ, death becomes a possession, as the right of way between things present and things to come.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "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

Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

Therefore — Upon the whole.

Let none glory in men — So as to divide into parties on their account.

For all things are yours — and we in particular. We are not your lords, but rather your servants.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "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

21.Therefore let no man glory in men As there is nothing that is more vain than man, how little security there is in leaning upon an evanescent shadow! Hence he infers with propriety from the preceding statement, that we must not glory in men, inasmuch as the Lord thus takes away from mankind universally every ground of glorying. At the same time this inference depends on the whole of the foregoing doctrine, as will appear ere long. For as we belong to Christ alone, it is with good reason that he teaches us, that any supremacy of man, by which the glory of Christ is impaired, involves sacrilege.


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Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-corinthians-3.html. 1840-57.

Vv. 21. "So then, let no man glory in men, for all things are yours."

The apostle began by reminding the Corinthians of what preachers are in relation to the Church: servants (ministers) of the one Lord; then, in a passage which may be regarded as an episode, he put before the eyes of the Church and of ministers themselves the grave responsibility incurred by the latter (1 Corinthians 3:10-20). Now he concludes; this is shown by the particle of transition ὥστε, so that; we can only translate it here by so then, because of the following imperative. We shall see that this same conjunction is ordinarily used in this Epistle to announce the practical conclusion to be drawn from a foregoing statement of doctrine; comp. 1 Corinthians 7:38, 1 Corinthians 11:33, 1 Corinthians 14:39, 1 Corinthians 15:58.

On the imperative after ὥστε, see on 1 Corinthians 1:31.

To glory in a person can only mean: to boast of one"s relation to him, to take honour from belonging to him, as a servant or a disciple takes glory from the name of an illustrious master. It is an allusion to the formulas: "I am of Paul,...Apollos,..." etc. Far from its being believers who belong to their teachers, it is much rather these who belong to them; and not only their teachers, but all things. Stoic wisdom had said: Omnia sapientis sunt, because the wise man can make use of everything, even of what is adverse to him. The believer can say so with a yet loftier and surer title, because he belongs to God, who puts all things at the service of His own. It is in this sense that Paul says, Romans 8:28 : "All things work together for good to them that love God." As he develops it in the same passage, God, in His eternal plan, has disposed all things with a view to the salvation and glory of those who He knew beforehand would believe on His Son. The contents of this πάντα, all things, are detailed in the following enumeration, which has been called, not without reason, "the inventory of the possessions of the child of God," and in which death itself figures.


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Bibliography
Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/1-corinthians-3.html.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

Ver. 21. Let no man glory in men] That is, that they are such a one’s scholars or followers, seeing the Church is not made for them, but they for the Church.

For all things are yours, &c.] Haec est magnae nostrae Chartulae Epitome, saith Sam. Ward. This is an epitome of the Church’s grand grant or charter. A Christian hath interest in, and right to, all these things, 1. Entirely, Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 3:11. 2. Refinedly, the curse is removed, Galatians 3:13; Proverbs 10:22. 3. Really, 1 Corinthians 7:31; Ephesians 1:23. 4. Safely, Proverbs 1:33; Proverbs 5:1-23. Serviceably, Romans 8:28. 6. Satisfyingly, Psalms 22:26. So that the poor Christian, saith one, is like the usurer, who goes meanly and fares hard, but hath thousands out at use.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". 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

Here the apostle closes his discourse with an inference not to glory in any teacher whatsoever, either in Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, seeing they were all theirs; that is, all the apostles and ministers of Christ, from the highest to the lowest, from the greatest to the least, and all their ministerial gifts and labours, are all ordained and appointed by God for their use and service: All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas.

Learn hence, That all ministers, and ministerial abilities, are wholly for the church's service, and spiritual advantage: all their power is for the church's preservation, all their gifts are for the church's edification. Their message is for the church's comfort and consolation: thus all things, in and belonging to the church, are ours.

Next he mentions the things of the world are ours. Or the world, that is, all the good things in the world are ours, houses, lands, honours, friends, relations so far as God sees them good for us.

But are there not many that are Christ's who want houses and friends, and other comforts; how then can they be said to have them?

Ans. 1. They have all things eminently and transcendently in God and Christ, by whom they have a title to all things, Revelation 21:7.

2. They have all things virtually, in their contentment and satisfaction of mind which they do enjoy.

3. They have all things eventually: they have the good of all things, when they have not the actual possession of all things; their very wants, in the event, work for good.

Or life; this is ours two ways; the comfort of life is ours, and the end of life is ours, with the true use of it; for the sincere Christian only lives to purpose, by answering the great end of life, which is the promoting God's glory, and securing his own salvation.

Or death; that which is in itself so terrible is for the believer's advantage, their friend, their privilege, their passage to heaven, their deliverer from sin, the perfecter of their grace; when we come at heaven, and not till then, we shall fully understand what this meaneth, Death is ours.

Or things present: that is, all the events of providence which befall us, whether prosperity or adversity, health or sickness, riches or poverty, they are all sanctified to us, and are instrumental for the sanctifying of us. They are covenant blessings, and dispensed in love to us.

Or things to come; that is, all future things which may befall us in this world, and in the world to come, shall be to our abundant advantage; whether they be merciful or good things, or grievous and sad things: particularly death is to come, but to die is gain.

Christ's death was the death of death; he has disarmed death of its sting; the believer fears not its dart; it is not an hurting, but an healing serpent: there is no venom or malignity in it, but that which was before in the number of threatenings, is now brought within the compass of the gospel promises: all things are ours, life or death, things present and things to come.

And ye are Christ's: that is, not Paul's or Apollo's disciples or servants, but only Christ's, therefore glory only in him, and in him only.

And Christ is God's: that is, as you are Christ's, and for his glory; so Christ, as Mediator, is God's, and for his glory. He is God's servant, to do his will, to execute his pleasure. he was begotten of his Father before all time. He sought not his own, but his Father's glory, in the doctrine which he preached, in the miracles which he wrought; but lived in an entire resignation to his Father's pleasure.

Lord! how will it shame us thy servants, to follow thy servant Christ, and to be called by his name, if we seek not his glory and exalt not his will, and live not to his praise, who died for us and rose again!


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". 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

21.] ὥστε, viz. seeing that this world’s wisdom is folly with God: or perhaps as a more general inference from what has gone before since ch. i., that as the conclusion there was, ὁ καυχώμενος, ἐν κυρίῳ καυχάσθω,—so now, having gone into the matter more at length, he concludes, μηδεὶς καυχάσθω ἐν ἀνθρώποις. This boasting in men is explained in ch. 1 Corinthians 4:6 to mean μὴ εἷς ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἑνὸς φυσιοῦσθαι κατὰ τοῦ ἑτέρου.

καυχάσθω after ὥστε is a change of construction. A somewhat similar change occurred in the parallel ch. 1 Corinthians 1:31, ἵνακαυχάσθω: but there, by the citation being adduced in its existing form.

πάντα γὰρ ὑμ. ἐστ.] ‘For such boasting is a degradation to those who are heirs of all things, and for whom all, whether ministers, or events, or the world itself, are working together: see Romans 8:28; Romans 4:13.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". 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 3:21. ὥστε] Hence, that is to say, because this world’s wisdom, this source of your καυχᾶσθαι ἐν ἀνθρώποις (see 1 Corinthians 3:18), is nothing but folly before God, 1 Corinthians 3:19-20. According to Hofmann, ὥστε draws its inference from the whole section, 1 Corinthians 3:10-20. But μηδεὶς καυχάσθω κ. τ. λ(564) manifestly corresponds to the warning μηδεὶς ἑαυτ. ἐξαπ. κ. τ. λ(565) in 1 Corinthians 3:18, from the discussion of which (1 Corinthians 3:19 f.) there is now deduced the parallel warning beginning with ὥστε (1 Corinthians 3:21); and this again is finally confirmed by a sublime representation of the position held by a Christian (1 Corinthians 3:22 f.).

ἐν ἀνθρώποις] “id pertinet ad extenuandum,” Bengel; the opposite of ἐν κυρίῳ, 1 Corinthians 1:31. Human teachers are meant, upon whom the different parties prided themselves against each other (1 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 1:12). Comp 1 Corinthians 4:6. Billroth renders wrongly: on account of men, whom he has subjected to himself and formed into a sect. εἴτε παῦλοςκηφᾶς in 1 Corinthians 3:22 is decisive against this; for how strangely forced it is to make ΄ηδείς refer to the teachers, and ὑμῶν to the church!

The imperative after ὥστε (comp 1 Corinthians 4:5, 1 Corinthians 10:12; Philippians 2:12) is not governed by that word, but the dependent statement beginning with ὥστε changes to the direct. See Hermann, a(568) Viger. p. 852; Bremi, a(569) Dem. Phil. III. p. 276; Klotz, a(570) Devar. p. 776.

πάντα γὰρ ὑ΄ῶν ἐστιν] with the emphasis on πάντα: nothing excepted, all belongs to you as your property; so that to boast yourselves of men, consequently, who as party leaders are to be your property to the exclusion of others, is something quite foreign to your high position as Christians. Observe that we are not to explain as if it ran: ὑμῶν γὰρ πάντα ἐστιν (“illa vestra sunt, non vos illorum,” Bengel); but that the apostle has in view some form of party-confession, as, for example, “Paul is mine,” or “Cephas is my man,” and the like. It was thus that some boasted themselves of individual personages as their property, in opposition to the πάντα ὑμ. . It may be added that what is conveyed in this πάντα ὑ΄ῶν ἐστιν is not “the miraculous nature of the love, which is shed abroad in the hearts of believers by the Spirit, in virtue of which the man embraces the whole world, and enjoys as his own possession whatever in it is beautiful and glorious” ( πάντα?), as is the view of Olshausen; but rather, in accordance with the diverse character of the objects thereafter enumerated, the twofold idea, that all things are destined in reality to serve the best interests of the Christians (comp Romans 8:28 ff.), and consequently to be in an ethical sense their possession,(572) and that the actual κληρονομία τοῦ κόσμου (Romans 4:13 f.) is allotted to them in the Messianic kingdom. Comp 4 Esdr 9:14. The saying of the philosophers: “Omnia sapientis esse” (see Wetstein), is a lower and imperfect analogue of this Christian idea.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". 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 3:21. ἐν ἀνθρώποις, in men) This appertains to [has the effect of] extenuation.(30)πάντα, all things) not only all men.— ὑμῶν, yours) Those things are yours; not you theirs, 1 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 4:5.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". 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

Seeing, therefore, that Christ is but one, his ministers but one, and no more than ministers by whom ye believed, 1 Corinthians 3:5; and the principal efficiency of any saving work begun, or carried on in your souls to any degree of perfection, is from God, and the minister’s work in that effect nothing compared with his; seeing you are God’s husbandry, God’s building, not merely man’s, and the temple of God, not men’s temple; leave your glorying in men, and saying l am of Paul, or I am of Apollos; glory only in this, that ye are Christ’s: besides, all things are yours; why do you glory in a particular minister, when all is yours? As if two joint-heirs in an estate should glory in this or that particular house or enclosure, when the whole estate is jointly theirs, all theirs.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". 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

Therefore; as the result of what has been said.

Glory in men; by setting up one teacher above others as his leader.

All things are yours; not one teacher alone, but all the teachers of the church with all their varied gifts. And not only they, but all things else, in the sense that God makes all things work together for your good. Romans 8:28.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "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

21. ὥστε μηδεὶς καυχάσθω ἐν ἀνθρώποις. We are to regard men as nothing in themselves, but in reference to their fellow men solely as the instruments of a Divine purpose, like all other things God has suffered to exist (1 Corinthians 3:22), a purpose beginning and ending with God, Whose we are, and for Whom alone we have been called into being. Even death itself has a part in that purpose, since through Christ it has become the gateway to everlasting life. See Collect for Easter Eve.


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"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-corinthians-3.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

21. Glory in men—As the Corinthians were so zealously doing. 1 Corinthians 1:11-16; and 1 Corinthians 3:4-5.

Let no man be fascinated by, and proud of, some partisan leader.

All things—Why greedily snatch for particular favouritisms and special leaders when you may comprehensively claim all as your own?


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "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

21. So let no one boast among men.” Vainly do the millionaires, scholars and aristocrats of this world boast over the Lord’s poor ignoramuses. They know not what they are doing. We have all things and they are our slaves. “For all things are yours.”


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Godbey, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/1-corinthians-3.html.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

"So then" marks the apostle"s conclusion. It is wrong to line up in cliques behind one or another of God"s servants. In doing Song of Solomon , the Corinthians were only limiting God"s blessing on them. They were rejecting God"s good gifts by not appreciating all the people God had sent to help them.

"Perhaps we cannot help but have our personal preferences when it comes to the way different men minister the Word. But we must not permit our personal preferences to become divisive prejudices. In fact, the preacher I may enjoy the least may be the one I need the most!" [Note: Wiersbe, 1:581.]


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "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 3:21. Wherefore, let no one glory in men—in one preacher as opposed to another.—For all things are yours.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "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 3:21 a. ὥστε μηδεὶς καυχάσθω ἐν ἀνθρώποις: “And so let no one glory in men”.— ὥστε often, with P., introduces the impv(617) at the point where argument or explanation passes into exhortation; cf. note on 1 Corinthians 3:7, and see 1 Corinthians 4:5, 1 Corinthians 5:8, etc.— ἐν ἀνθρώποις states the forbidden ground of boasting (see parls.), supplying the negative counterpart of 1 Corinthians 1:31. Paul condemns alike the self-laudation of clever teachers, hinted at in 1 Corinthians 3:18, and the admiration rendered to them, along with all partisan applause.

1 Corinthians 3:21-23 form an unbroken chain, linking the Cor(618) and their teachers to the throne of God. Not till the last words of 1 Corinthians 3:23 do we find the full justification (sustaining the initial γάρ) for the prohibition of 1 Corinthians 3:21 a; “only when the other side to the πάντα ὑμῶν has been expressed, is the object presented in which alone the Church ought to glory” (Hf(619)); standing by itself, “All things are yours” would be a reason in favour of, rather than against, glorying in human power. The saying of 1 Corinthians 3:21 b is, very possibly, taken from the lips of the Cor(620) δοκοῦντες (1 Corinthians 3:18), who talked in the high-flown Stoic style, affirming like Zeno (in Diog. Laert., vii., 1. 25), τῶν σοφῶν πάντα εἶναι, or daring with Seneca (de Benef., vii., 2 f.) “emittere hanc vocem, Haec omnia mea esse!” similarly the Stoic in Horace (Sat. I., iii., 125–133; Ep. I., i., 106 ff.): “Sapiens uno minor est Jove, dives, liber, honoratus, pulcher, rex denique regum!” Some such pretentious vein is hinted at in 1 Corinthians 4:7-10, 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 1 Corinthians 10:22 f., 1 Corinthians 7:31. ( οἱ χρώμενοι τ. κόσμον: see notes); the affecters of philosophy at Cor(621) made a “liberal” use of the world. As in 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 1 Corinthians 10:22 f., the Ap. adopts their motto, giving to it a grander scope than its authors dreamed of (1 Corinthians 3:22), but only to check and balance it, reproving the conceit of its vaunters by the contrasted principle ( δέ) of the Divine dominion in Christ, which absorbs all human proprietorship (1 Corinthians 3:23).

First amongst the “all things” that the Cor(622) may legitimately boast, there stand—suggested by ἀνθρώποις, 21—“Paul, Apollos, Cephas,” the figureheads of the Church factions (1 Corinthians 1:12),—enumerated with εἴτεεἴτε (whether P. or Ap. or Ceph.), since these chiefs belong to the Church alike, not P. to this section, Ap. to that, and so on. Christ (1 Corinthians 1:12) is not named in this series of “men”; a diff(623) place is His (1 Corinthians 3:23).—From “Cephas” the enumeration passes per saltum to “the world” ( εἴτε κόσμος—anarthrous, as thought of qualitatively; cf. Galatians 6:14], understood in its largest sense,—the existing order of material things; cf. note on 1 Corinthians 1:20. The right to use worldly goods, asserted broadly by Greek Christians at Cor(624) (1 Corinthians 6:12, 1 Corinthians 7:31, 1 Corinthians 10:23 f.: see notes), is frankly admitted; the Church (represented by its three leaders) and the world both exist for “you,”—are bound to serve you (cf. 1 Timothy 2:2-4; 1 Timothy 4:8; 1 Timothy 6:17; Psalms 8, etc.); the Messianic kingdom makes the saints even the world’s judges (1 Corinthians 6:2, Romans 4:13; Revelation 5:10, etc.).— εἴτε ζωὴ εἴτε θάνατος, by another bold and sudden sweep, carries the Christian empire into the unseen. Not Life alone, but Death—king of fears to a sinful world (Romans 5:17; Romans 5:21, Hebrews 2:15)—is the saints’ servant (1 Corinthians 15:26, etc.). They hold a condominium (Romans 8:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:10) with Him who is “Lord of living and dead” (Romans 14:9, etc.; Ephesians 4:9 f., Revelation 1:18); cf. ἐμοὶ τὸ ζῇν χριστός, καὶ τὸ ἀποθανεῖν κέρδος, Philippians 1:21.— ζωὴ and θάνατος extend the Christian’s estate over all states of being; εἴτε ἐνεστῶτα, εἴτε μέλλοντα, stretch it to all periods and possibilities of time. The former of these ptps. (pf. intransitive of ἐνίστημι) denotes what has come to stand there (instans),—is on the spot, in evidence; the latter what exists in intention,—to be evolved out of the present: see the two pairs of antitheses in Romans 8:38 f.; these things cannot hurt the beloved of God (Rom.), nay, must help and serve them (1 Cor.). See other parls. for “things present” (esp. Galatians 1:4) and “to come” (esp. Romans 8:17-25).

The Apostle repeats triumphantly his πάντα ὑμῶν, having gathered into it the totality of finite existence, to reverse it by the words ὑμεῖς δὲ χριστοῦ, “but (not and) you are Christ’s!” (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:20, Romans 12:1 f., 2 Corinthians 5:15). The Cor(625) readers, exalted to a height outsoaring Stoic pride, are in a moment laid low at the feet of Christ: “Lords of the universe—you are His bondmen, your vast heritage in the present and future you gather as factors for Him”. P. endorses the doctrine of the kingship of the spiritual man, dilating on it with an eloquence surpassing that of Stoicism; “but,” he reminds him, his wealth is that of a steward. Our property is immense, but we are Another’s; we rule, to be ruled. A man cannot own too much, provided that he recognises his Owner.

Finally, Christ who demands our subordination, supplies in Himself its grand example: χριστὸς δὲ θεοῦ, “but Christ is God’s”. We are masters of everything, but Christ’s servants; He Master of us, but God’s Servant (cf. Acts 3:13, etc.). For His filial submission, see 1 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Corinthians 15:22 ff., Romans 6:10, and notes; also John 8:29; John 10:29, etc. We cannot accept Cv(626)’s dilution of the sense, “Hæc subjectio ad Christi humanitatem refertur”; for the ὑμεῖς χριστοῦ, just affirmed, raises Christ high over men. It is enough to say with Thd(627), χριστὸς θεοῦ οὐχ ὡς κτίσμα θεοῦ, ἀλλʼ ὡς ὑιὸς τοῦ θεοῦ: cf. Hebrews 5:8. The sovereignty of the Father is the corner-stone of authority in the universe (1 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Corinthians 15:28).

The Ap. has now vindicated God’s rights in His Church (see Introd. to § 10), and recalled the Cor(628) from their carnal strife and pursuit of worldly wisdom to the unity, sanctity, and grandeur of their Christian calling, which makes them servants of God through Christ, and in His right the heirs of all things.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-corinthians-3.html. 1897-1910.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

1 Corinthians 3:21 Wherefore let no one glory in men. For all things are yours;

"Wherefore"-"What is the proper conclusion to be drawn from all this?"

"let no one glory in men"-"to glory in men, means to boast about them, their qualities, teachings, and wisdom in any measure or degree apart from Christ and the wisdom of the gospel. The Corinthians were on the way to that type of glorying." (Lenski p. 153)

There is no good reason to glory to man, seeing that man, by himself can"t find God! (; Jeremiah 10:23) Why in the world would one want to boast in a "wisdom" that is so helplessly inept?

"For all things are yours"-"all of them belong to you" (NEB).


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Bibliography
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "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

Therefore = So then.

glory = boast, as in 1 Corinthians 1:29.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "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

Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

Let no man glory in men - as the sphere in which he glories; resuming 1 Corinthians 3:4 : cf. 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 1:31, where the true object of glorying is stated: "THE LORD." Also 1 Corinthians 4:6.

For all things - not only all men. For you to glory in men is lowering yourselves from your high position as heirs of all things. All (including your teachers) belong to Christ, and therefore to you, by your union with Him: He makes them and all things work together for your good (Romans 8:28). Ye are not for the sake of them, but they for you (2 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 4:15). They belong to you, not you to them.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-corinthians-3.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

About what men can do. Since Paul, Apollos, and Peter are all God's servants, no one should boast about being followers of one specific teacher. But especially, they had no reason to boast about the false teacher who brought "wicked men" into the church (1 Corinthians 3:18 and note). Actually everything belongs to you. From here through 1 Corinthians 3:23, Paul shows the reason why no one should boast about what men can do. By God's decree, all things good and bad, present and future, belong to his people in the sense of helping them grow in this life, and making them happy in the next!


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-corinthians-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(21) Therefore.—Not because of what has been mentioned, but introducing what he is about to mention. Let party-spirit cease. Do not degrade yourselves by calling yourselves after the names of any man, for everything is yours—then teachers only exist for you. The enthusiasm of the Apostle, as he speaks of the privileges of Christians, leads him on beyond the bare assertion necessary to the logical conclusion of the argument, and enlarging the idea he dwells, in a few brief and impressive utterances, on the limitless possessions—in life and in death, in the present life and that which is future—which belong to those who are united with Christ. But they must remember that all this is theirs because they “are Christ’s.” They are possessors because possessed by Him. “His service is their perfect freedom” as the Collect in the English Prayer Book puts it, or, more strikingly, as it occurs in the Latin version, “Whom to serve, is to reign.”


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
glory
4-7; 1:12-17; 4:6; Jeremiah 9:23,24
For
Romans 4:13; 8:28,32; 2 Corinthians 4:5,15; Revelation 21:7

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-corinthians-3.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

Therefore let no one glory in men: for all things are yours.

To glory in any person or thing is to trust in him or it as the ground of confidence, or as the source of honor or blessedness. It is to regard ourselves as blessed because of our relation to it. Thus men are said to glory in the Lord, or in the cross; because God, or Christ as crucified, is regarded as the ground of confidence and the source of blessedness. Others are said to glory in the flesh, in the law, or even in themselves. The apostle having shown that ministers are mere servants, nothing in themselves, and that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God, draws from these premises the inference that they are not the ground of the believer's confidence. The Corinthians did glory in men, when they said, I am of Paul, I of Apollos, and I of Cephas. They forgot their own dignity when they regarded as masters those who were their servants.

For all things are yours. The amplification of these words, given in the next verse, shows that they are to be taken in their widest sense. The universe is yours. How unworthy men is it, that you should glory in men. Paul often appeals to the dignity and destiny of the church as a motive to right action. "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?" 1 Corinthians 6:2. There are two senses in which the declaration, "All things are yours," may be understood. It means that all things are designed to promote the interests of the church. The consummation of the work of redemption is the great end to which all things are directed, and to which they are to be made subservient. And secondly, the church is the heir of the world, Romans 4:13. All things are given to Christ as the head of the church and to the church in him. For his people are to reign with him, Romans 8:17 and the glory which the Father gave him, he gives them, John 17:22. The church, which is to be thus exalted, is not any external society with its hierarchy, nor is it the body of poor, imperfect believers as they now are, who for their own good are despised and down-trodden. But it is the consummated church to be formed out of materials now so unpromising. The people of God, however, should not be unmindful of their high destiny, nor act unworthily of it.


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Bibliography
Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/1-corinthians-3.html.

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

1 Corinthians 3:21

"Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and you are Christ"s; and Christ is God"s." 1 Corinthians 3:21-23

Whatever there be in heaven, whatever there be in earth, that can be for your spiritual good, all is yours so far as you are an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ. The silver and the gold and the cattle upon a thousand hills are all Christ"s because all power is given to him in heaven and in earth. Whatever your temporal needs may be, he can supply them, because he is king on earth as well as in heaven. Whatever enemies you may have, he is able to defeat them; whatever evils may press upon you, he is able to subdue them; whatever sorrows surround you, he is able to console you under them. Everything in time, everything in eternity, in this world and in the world to come, are all on your side, that are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.


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Bibliography
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:21". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jcp/1-corinthians-3.html.

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