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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 3:3

 

 

for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

Adam Clarke Commentary

There is among you envying, and strife, and divisions - Ζηλος και ερις και διχοστασιαι . There are three things here worthy of note: these people were wrong in thought, word, and deed. Ζηλος, envying refers to the state of their souls; they had inward grudgings and disaffection towards each other. Ερις, strife or contention, refers to their words; they were continually disputing and contending whose party was the best, each endeavoring to prove that he and his party were alone in the right. Διχοστασιαι, divisions, refers to their conduct; as they could not agree, they contended till they separated from each other, and thus rent the Church of Christ. Thus the envying and grudging led to strife and evil Speaking, and this led to divisions and fixed parties. In this state well might the apostle say, Are ye not carnal, and walk as men? Ye act just as the people of the world, and have no more of the spirit of religion than they.


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

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For ye are yet carnal - Though you are Christians, and are the friends of God in the main, yet your divisions and strifes show that you are yet, in some degree, under the influence of the principles which govern the people of this world. People who are governed solely by the principles of this world, evince a spirit of strife, emulation and contention; and just so far as you are engaged in strife, just so far do you show that you are governed by their principles and feelings.

For whereas - In proof that you are carnal I appeal to your contentions and strifes.

Envying - ζῆλος zēloszeal; used here in the sense of envy, as it is in James 3:14, James 3:16. It denotes, properly, any “fervour” of mind (from ζέω zeō), and may be applied to any exciting and agitating passion. The envy here referred to, was that which arose from the superior advantages and endowments which some claimed or possessed over others. Envy everywhere is a fruitful cause of strife. Most contentions in the church are somehow usually connected with envy.

And strife - Contention and dispute.

And divisions - Dissensions and quarrels. The margin correctly renders it “factions.” The idea is, that they were split up into parties, and that those parties were embittered with mutual recriminations and reproaches, as they always are in a church.

And walk as men - Margin. “according to man.” The word “walk” is used often in the Scriptures in the sense of “conduct” or “act.” You conduct yourselves as human beings of this earth, that is, as people commonly do; you evince the same spirit that the great mass of mankind does. Instead of being filled with love; of being united and harmonious as the members of the same family ought to be, you are split up into factions as the people of the world are.


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

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

For ye are yet carnal for whereas there is among you, jealousy and strife, are ye not carnal, and do ye not walk after the manner of men?

Carnal ... Paul by this word did not deny that the Corinthians were Christians; they were still "brethren"; but their lives were marred by serious failures. Russell declared that Paul used this word,

Not in the modern meaning of "sensual," but as meaning earthly secular, worldly, having the worldly spirit of partisan strife, like (some) politicians rather than Christian disciples.[7]

Jealousy and strife ... These call to mind Paul's list of the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21); and "Where these exist, the flesh rules. Had they been spiritual, they would have looked to Christ and would not have been partisans of men."[8]

After the manner of men ... means "like ordinary, unconverted men."

[7] John William Russell, Compact Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1964), p. 407.

[8] David Lipscomb, Commentary on First Corinthians (Nashville: The Gospel Advocate Company, 1935), p. 47.


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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 3:3". "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

For ye are yet carnal,.... The Syriac reads it, בבסר אנתון, "ye are in the flesh": a phrase the apostle elsewhere uses of men in an unregenerate state; but this is not his meaning here, as before explained, but that carnality still prevailed among them, of which he gives proof and evidence:

for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? They envied each other's gifts and knowledge, strove about words to no profit, entered into warm debates and contentions about their ministers, and went into factions and parties, which were distinguished by the names they were most affected to; in all which they gave too clear evidence of their prevailing carnality, that they too much walked as other men, who make no profession of religion; that they were led by the judgment of men, and were carried away with human passions and inflections; and in their conduct could scarcely be distinguished from the rest of the world. The things that are here mentioned, and with which they are charged, are reckoned by the apostle among the works of the flesh, Galatians 5:19 the phrase, "and divisions", is omitted in the Alexandrian copy, and in some others, and in the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions.


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

Geneva Study Bible

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as d men?

(d) Using the tools of man's intellect and judgment.

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

envying — jealousy, rivalry. As this refers to their feelings, “strife” refers to their words, and “divisions” to their actions [Bengel]. There is a gradation, or ascending climax: envying had produced strife, and strife divisions (factious parties) [Grotius]. His language becomes severer now as He proceeds; in 1 Corinthians 1:11 he had only said “contentions,” he now multiplies the words (compare the stronger term, 1 Corinthians 4:6, than in 1 Corinthians 3:21).

carnal — For “strife” is a “work of the flesh” (Galatians 5:20). The “flesh” includes all feelings that aim not at the glory of God, and the good of our neighbor, but at gratifying self.

walk as men — as unregenerate men (compare Matthew 16:23). “After the flesh, not after the Spirit” of God, as becomes you as regenerate by the Spirit (Romans 8:4; Galatians 5:25, Galatians 5:26).


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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 3:3". "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

For ye are yet carnal (ετι γαρ σαρκικοι εστεeti gar sarkikoi este). ΣαρκικοςSarkikos unlike σαρκινοςsarkinos like ικοςikos formations, means adapted to, fitted for the flesh (σαρχsarx), one who lives according to the flesh (κατα σαρκαkata sarka). Paul by πσυχικοςpsuchikos describes the unregenerate man, by πνευματικοςpneumatikos the regenerate man. Both classes are σαρκινοιsarkinoi made in flesh, and both may be σαρκικοιsarkikoi though the πνευματικοιpneumatikoi should not be. The πνευματικοιpneumatikoi who continue to be σαρκινοιsarkinoi are still babes (νηπιοιnēpioi), not adults (τελειοιteleioi), while those who are still σαρκικοιsarkikoi (carnal) have given way to the flesh as if they were still πσυχικοιpsuchikoi (unregenerate). It is a bold and cutting figure, not without sarcasm, but necessary to reveal the Corinthians to themselves.

Jealousy and strife (ζηλος και εριςzēlos kai eris). Zeal (ζηλοςzēlos from ζεωzeō to boil) is not necessarily evil, but good if under control. It may be not according to knowledge (Romans 10:2) and easily becomes jealousy (same root through the French jaloux) as zeal. Ardour may be like the jealousy of God (2 Corinthians 11:2) or the envy of men (Acts 5:17). ΕριςEris is an old word, but used only by Paul in N.T. (see note on 1 Corinthians 1:11). Wrangling follows jealousy. These two voices of the spirit are to Paul proof that the Corinthians are still σαρκικοιsarkikoi and walking according to men, not according to the Spirit of Christ.


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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 3:3". "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

Carnal ( σαρκικοί )

Here the milder word is used (see 1 Corinthians 3:1), having the nature of flesh. In 1 Corinthians 3:1, Paul would say that he was compelled to address the Corinthians as unspiritual, made of flesh. Here he says that though they have received the Spirit in some measure, they are yet under the influence of the flesh.


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

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

For while there is among you emulation in your hearts, strife in your words, and actual divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk according to men - As mere men; not as Christians, according to God.


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

3.For ye are as yet carnal So long as the flesh, that is to say, natural corruption, prevails in a man, it has so completely possession of the man’s mind, that the wisdom of God finds no admittance. Hence, if we would make proficiency in the Lord’s school, we must first of all renounce our own judgment and our own will. Now, although among the Corinthians some sparks of piety were emitted, they were kept under by being choked. (151)

For since there are among you. The proof is derived from the effects; for as envying, and strifes, and divisions, are the fruits of the flesh, wherever they are seen, it is certain that the root is there in its rigor. Those evils prevailed among the Corinthians; and accordingly he proves from this that they are carnal He makes use of the same argument, too, in Galatians 5:25 If ye live in the Spirit, walk also in the Spirit For while they were desirous to be regarded as spiritual, he calls them to look at their works, by which they denied what with their mouth they professed (Titus 1:16.) Observe, however, the elegant arrangement that Paul here pursues: for from envying spring up contentions, and these, when they have once been enkindled, break out into deadly sects: but the mother of all these evils is ambition.

Walk as men From this it is manifest that the term flesh is not restricted to the lower appetites merely, as the Sophists pretend, the seat of which they call sensuality, but is employed to describe man’s whole nature. For those that follow the guidance of nature, are not governed by the Spirit of God. These, according to the Apostle’s definition, are carnal, so that the flesh and man’s natural disposition are quite synonymous, and hence it is not without good reason that he elsewhere requires that we be new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17.)


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

Scofield's Reference Notes

carnel i.e. fleshy.


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

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Ver. 3. For ye are yet carnal] It is a shame for Christians to be like other men, as Samson was after he had lost his hair. It ill becomes those excellent ones of the earth, princes in all lands, to contend and quarrel, as those terrigenae fratres earthly brothers used to do. By the laws of England, noblemen have this privilege, that none of them can be bound to the peace; because it is supposed that the peace is always bound to them, and that of their own accord they will be careful to preserve it.

Envying and strife, &c.] These overflowings of the gall and spleen came from a fulness of bad humours.

And walk as men] Christians should be as Saul was, higher than the people by head and shoulders. Something singular is expected from them, Matthew 5:47; they should have their feet where other men’s heads are, Proverbs 15:24. When we do evil, we work de nostro et secundum hominem, we do our kind, as the devil when he speaks lies, speaks de suo, of his own, John 8:44.


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

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Corinthians 3:3. And walk as men? Speaking according to man, signifies, speaking according to the principles of natural reason, in contradistinction to revelation. See ch. 1 Corinthians 9:8. Galatians 1:11 and so walking according to man must here be understood. See on 1 Corinthians 3:1.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

That is, "Ye are in a great measure carnal; for your envy, strife, and divisions prove you to be so, and that you live according to the corrupt nature of man." They had the seed and root of grace abiding, and yet the relics of corruption remaining in them. There is a vast difference between weak grace and no grace, between the presence of sin and the power of sin.

But how could the apostle here call the Corinthians carnal, and babes in Christ, when in 1 Corinthians 1:5 he affirmed that they were enriched with all knowledge and utterance?

Ans. That might be true as to some particular persons amongst them, who had those extraordinary gifts of tongues and miracles given them for the confirmation of the gospel; and yet what is here said be true, as to the generality of them, that they had too much carnality and unmollified corruption remaining in them: Ye are yet carnal.

Observe next, What proof he gives of it, namely, ocular demonstration; for, says he, there are among you envying, strife, and divisions. Envy, as the root, bears strife, and strife breeds divisions and factions. Envy is a pestilent lust; it makes another's good our grief. The devil envies God and man their happiness; he rejoices at the destruction of sinners, though he has no advantage by it; nay, though it increaseth his torment, because they were tempted by him to sin. There is nothing so like the devil as an envious man, with his cloven foot, to make division wherever he comes.

Learn hence, 1. That envy is the cause and companion of strife.

Learn, 2. That strife and contention, differences and divisions, are often found in the churches of Christ, and among particular Christians.

Learn, 3. That so far as these prevail in and among any, it evidences that they are carnal, and walk as men.


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

3.] On σαρκικοί, see above, 1 Corinthians 3:1.

ὅπου, not = ἐπεί, but putting the assumption in a local form, see reff.

ζῆλος, emulation, in a bad sense; or as in reff., ‘angry jealousy.’

κατὰ ἄνθρ., see reff., according to the manner of (unrenewed and ungodly) man, = κατὰ σάρκα, Romans 8:4; see note on ch. 1 Corinthians 15:32.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:3". 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 3:3. σαρκικοί] see on 1 Corinthians 3:1.

ὅπου] equivalent seemingly to quandoquidem (see Vigerus, ed. Herm. 431); but the conditioning state of things is locally conceived. Comp Hebrews 9:16; Hebrews 10:18; 4 Maccabees 2:14; 4 Maccabees 6:34; 4 Maccabees 14:11; Plato, Tim. p. 86 E the passages from Xenophon cited by Sturz. III. p. 307; Herod. i. 68; Thuc. viii. 27. 2, viii. 96. 1; Isocrates, Paneg. 186.

ζῆλος] Jealousy.

κατὰ ἄνθρ.] after the fashion of men. Comp on Romans 3:5; often, too, in classical writers, e.g. κατʼ ἄνθρ. φρονεῖν (Soph. Aj. 747, 764). The contrast here is to the mode of life conformed to the Divine Spirit; hence not different from κατὰ σάρκα in Romans 8:4.

Respecting the relation to each other of the three words ζῆλ., ἔρ., διχοστ., see Theophylact: πατὴρ γὰρ ζῆλος τῆς ἔριδος, αὓτη δὲ τὰς διχοστασίας γεννᾷ.

On αὐχί comp Bengel: “nam Spiritus non fert studium partium human-arum.” On the contrary, ζῆλος κ. τ. λ(475) are ranked expressly among the ἔργα τῆς σαρκός, Galatians 5:20.


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:3". 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 3:3. ὅπου) where.— ζῆλος, envying) This refers to the state of feeling.— ἔρις, strife) to the words.— διχοστασίαι, divisions) to the actions. The style of writing increases in strength; he had used the word contentions, 1 Corinthians 1:11; he now multiplies the words; in like manner he uses the word glorying, 1 Corinthians 3:21; afterwards, a severer expression, to be puffed up, 1 Corinthians 4:6.— κατὰ ἄνθρωπον, according to the ways of men) not according to the ways of God; after the manner of men.


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

For ye are yet carnal; not wholly carnal, but in a great measure so, not having your lusts and corrupt affections entirely subdued to the will of God, nor yet so much subdued as some other Christians have, and you ought to have. As an evidence of this he mindeth them of the

envying, strifes, and divisions that were amongst them.

Strife and envyings are reckoned amongst the works of the flesh, Galatians 5:19-21; they are all opposite to love, in which the perfection of a Christian lieth. He told us before what strifes and contentions he meant, and tells us it again in the next verse.


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

Carnal, and walk as men; selfish and worldly in their feelings and conduct.


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

3. ἔτι γὰρ σαρκικοί ἐστε. The word carnal conveys a stronger reproach than natural (see note on 1 Corinthians 2:14). The latter, as we have seen, signifies the man whose hopes and desires are bounded by the limits of the present life. The former is applicable to those who are under the dominion of the sensual passions. St Paul here inculcates a truth which may seem strange to our ears when he tells his Corinthian converts that a taste for religious controversy is a sign of the strength of the sensual nature in man. His language is less remarkable though not less true, when he reminds us (1 Corinthians 3:2) that an appetite for religious strife prevents us from discerning the deeper truths of the Christian faith. If it be asked how ‘they who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints’ can at the same time be carnal, we may answer, with Olshausen, that the spiritual man becomes carnal when he mingles his old unregenerate views with the new element of life he has received in Christ.

ζῆλος. This word often has a good sense in the N. T., as in John 2:17; Romans 10:2; 2 Corinthians 7:7; 2 Corinthians 7:11. But when coupled with other words, as here, it has a bad sense. Connected with ζέω to boil up, and perhaps with the intensitive prefix ζα-, it means eagerness, vehemence, in any cause, bad or good.

κατὰ ἄνθρωπον. After the manner of men. See note on ch. 1 Corinthians 15:32.


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

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3. Yet—The reports by the household of Chloe indicate no advance in spirituality.

Carnal—Fleshly. Though their strifes were what are distinctively called “sins of the spirit,” their existence proved to the apostle’s mind their fleshly quality. This use of the word flesh is not founded in the doctrine of the necessary evil of matter, but in the fact that our bodily appetites are so largely the source of temptation and sin.

Properly regulated—fixed upon the right object in the right degree—all our appetites, desires, and passions are right. It is in their exercise on the wrong object, or their exercise in excess, that the act of sin lies.

As men— Note on 1 Corinthians 3:4.

Are ye not carnal—True reading, are ye not men? in which men is a synonyme for unspiritual. So our Lord’s words, But beware of men. Matthew 10:17.


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

3. For ye are yet carnal.” No human sophistry can possibly evade the truth here revealed. The Holy Ghost repeatedly affirms that these Christians are carnal and have never been otherwise, several times using the adverb

“yet,” denoting positively that they had been carnal from the beginning. Oh! we have need to go into the churches today and shout aloud, like Paul: “Ye are yet carnal.” It is superfluous here to state to the intelligent reader that there were a diversity of people in that great Corinthian church consisting of many Jews and Gentiles. While many of them were not only sanctified wholly, and addressed as “elect saints,” here is another class, and doubtless not a few, who had never progressed out of spiritual babyhood. As they had not cut their teeth, they could not eat solid food, but, like millions nowadays, were dependent on sucking bottles. “For where there is envy and strife among you, are you not carnal and walking about like men?


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

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The reason Paul did not feel he should give them more advanced instruction was that their flesh (Gr. sarkikos) still dominated them. As believers they were making provision for the flesh to fulfill its desires rather than following the leading of the Holy Spirit. They were not only immature believers but also carnal believers. The carnal, fleshly believer is the fourth type of person Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians 2:14 to 1 Corinthians 3:4.

Various students of this section of the epistle have understood Paul as describing several different kinds of people. Some believe he saw only a difference between unbelievers (natural) and believers (spiritual). [Note: E.g, John F. MacArthur Jeremiah , Faith Works, p126.] Others have seen three kinds of people in view: unbelievers, spiritual believers, and carnal believers. [Note: E.g, Lewis S. Chafer, He That Is Spiritual, pp3-14.] Still others have seen four: unbelievers (psychikos), mature believers (pneumatikos), immature believers (sarkinos), and carnal believers (sarkikos). [Note: E.g, Stanley D. Toussaint, "The Spiritual Prayer of Manasseh ," Bibliotheca Sacra125:498 (April-June1968):139-46.] I believe the last view is the best.

Paul let the Corinthians diagnose themselves. Are not jealousy and strife the works of the flesh ( Galatians 5:20)? Did these qualities not indicate that they were conducting themselves as unbelievers, as people who do not even possess the Holy Spirit? [Note: For an excellent discussion of carnal believers, see Joseph C. Dillow, The Reign of the Servant Kings, pp311-31.] Their inability to get along with other Christians showed that their flesh (sinful human nature) controlled them.

"Being human is not a bad thing in itself, any more than being sarkinoi [fleshen] is ( 1 Corinthians 3:1). What is intolerable is to have received the Spirit, which makes one more than merely human, and to continue to live as though one were nothing more." [Note: Fee, The First . . ., p127.]


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:3". "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 3:3. for whereas there is among you Jealousy—each party for its favourite preacher.

and strife—engendered by such jealousies (the next words in the received text, “and divisions,” are feebly attested, and indeed are out of place).

are ye not carnal, and walk as men?—unrenewed men.


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Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:3". "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 3:3. ἀλλʼ οὐδὲ ἔτι νῦν δύνασθε: “Nay, but not even yet (after this further interval), at the present time, are you strong enough (immo ne nunc quidem adhuc potestis, Bz(466)), for you are yet carnal”. For ἔτι, cf. 1 Corinthians 15:17, Galatians 1:10; Galatians 5:11; for σαρκικοί, see note on σάρκινοι (1). The Cor(467) are weak (otherwise than in 1 Corinthians 10:28) just where they think themselves strong (1 Corinthians 8:1), viz., in spiritual apprehension; their gifts of “word and knowledge” are a source of weakness, through the conceit and strife they engender. The ἀλλʼ οὐδὲ clause, with its strong disjunctives, is better joined to 1 Corinthians 3:3 (Al(468), W.H(469), Sm(470)) than to 1 Corinthians 3:2. The foregoing οὔπω γὰρ ἐδύνασθε sufficiently explained the οὐκ ἠδυνήθην of Paul’s previous ministry (1); οὐδὲ ἔτι νῦν δύνασθε describes the present condition of the Cor(471) (1 Corinthians 3:3 f.). It is reluctantly and with misgiving that the Apostle later in the Ep. enters into deep doctrine ( βρῶμα, cf. note on 1 Corinthians 2:6).— ὅπου γὰρ ἐν ὑμῖν κ. τ. λ., “for where (not when, nor whereas—Vg(472) cum, Mr(473) quandoquidem) amongst you there is jealousy and strife”: this seems to limit the censure (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:12; 1 Corinthians 15:34); the use of party-names was universal (1 Corinthians 1:12), but not due in all cases to ζῆλος καὶ ἔρις. Otherwise the ὅπου clause must be read as a general principle applied to the Cor(474) = ὅπου γὰρ ζῆλος καὶ ἔρις, ὡς ἐν ὑμῖν—a construction inconsistent with the position of ἐν ὑμῖν. So far as these evils exist, the readers are σαρκικοί, not πνευματικοί. For ἔρις, see note to 1 Corinthians 1:11; ζῆλος is the emulation, then envy, which is a chief cause of ἔρις. These are companion “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:20 : for the honourable sense of ζῆλος, prevailing in cl(475) Gr(476), see 2 Corinthians 7:7, etc.; also Trench, Syn(477), § xxvi.; zealous and jealous reproduce the diff(478)

Paul seems to hear the Cor(479) denying the allegation made in 3a, ἔτι σαρκικοί ἐστε, and so puts it to them again as a question prefaced by the reason (and limitation), ὅπου ἐν ὑμῖν ζῆλος, κ. τ. λ., and with the further challenge, οὐχίκαὶ κατὰ ἄνθρωπον περιπατεῖτε; To “walk according to man” (non secundum Deum, humano more, Bg(480)) is to behave as men are apt to do—the σάρκινοι, the ψυχικοί. This Pauline phrase (confined to the epp. of this group) has κατὰ θεὸν for its tacit antithesis (cf. 4b); Mr(481)-Hn(482) quote the parl(483) καθʼ υἱοὺς τ. ἀνθρώπων εἶναι, Sir. 36:28 (Vg(484) 25; E.V(485) 23); also Soph., Ajax, 747, 764, κατʼ ἄνθρωπον φρονεῖν.


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

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

And walk according to man? As carnal and sensual men, as long as there are jealousies and divisions among you. (Witham)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:3". "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 3:3 for ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you jealousy and strife, are ye not carnal, and do ye not walk after the manner of men?

"carnal"-4559. sarkikos {sar-kee-kos"}; from 4561; pertaining to flesh, i.e. (by extension) bodily, temporal, or (by implication) animal, unregenerate: -carnal, fleshly. "Means adapted to, fitted for the flesh, one who lives according to the flesh." (Robertson p. 93)

Most commentators see a distinction between this Greek word rendered "carnal", and the one rendered "carnal" in verse 1. Barclay says that the word rendered "carnal" in the first verse, means, "made of flesh". While this word in verse 3 means, "dominated by the flesh". Hence, the condition in verse 1 is that of being "unspiritual". A condition that time, study, prayer, etc..could take care of. A condition that Paul hoped the Corinthians would grow out of. But verse 3, is describing a condition that is "anti-spiritual", a condition that they could "help", a condition that they had allowed to happen since their conversion. Verse 3 isn"t describing a state of spiritual immaturity or ignorance, rather, a state in which one has allowed worldly attitudes and appetites to dominate their lives.

"for"-the proof of the last statement. Paul might be anticipating a defiant, "Prove it Paul". "The proof of this immature, undeveloped, worldly state was found in their envying and strife and divisions." [Note: _ Erdman p. 44]

"whereas there is among you jealousy and strife"-"these are included in the "works of the flesh" in Galatians 5:20 (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:20); men of the Spirit ought to have got rid of such things." [Note: _ F.F. Bruce p. 42] And the Corinthians cannot deny it! (James 3:16)

"Jealousy"-zeal that has turned into something bad.

"There is something of the tragedy of the human situation here..."zelos" could denote a great thing which had degenerated into a sin. Maybe it is true to say that there is no better test of a man that his reaction to the greatness and to the success of some one else. If it moves him to the "zelos" which is noble ambition to goodness, that is the work of the Spirit, but, if it moves him to a bitter and envious resentment, that is the work of the flesh, and what ought to be a spur to goodness has become a persuasion to sin." [Note: _ Flesh and Spirit. William Barclay p. 49]

"Strife"-2054. eris {er"-is}; of uncertain affinity; a quarrel, i.e. (by implication) wrangling: -contention, debate, strife, variance.

This seems to be the natural outcome of the state of mind that includes the aforementioned jealousy.

"But the really significant fact about Paul"s use of the word "eris" is that four out of its six occurrences are connected with life in the Church. (1 Corinthians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Philippians 1:15)..."Eris" invades the church and becomes characteristic of the church, when the leaders and the members of the church think more about people and about parties and about slogans and about personal issues than they do about Jesus Christ. Here is our warning. Whenever in a church Jesus Christ is dethroned from the central place, all personal relationships go wrong...when a man begins to argue to demolish his opponent rather than to win him, then "eris" comes in." [Note: _ Flesh and Spirit. p. 44]

"and do ye not walk after the manner of men?"-"are you not walking like mere men?" (NASV); "living on the purely human level." (NEB); "are you not worldly-minded and do you not behave like the unconverted" (Ber); "and are acting merely as other men do." (TCNT)

Points to Note:

1. Whatever the Corinthians were "saying" about their behaviour, their "actions" denied it.

2. "Walk after"-indicates a norm or standard of conduct. Far from acting like "spiritual men", the Corinthians were "acting" like the world. Hence spiritual growth won"t happen, without the cooperation of the individual. (2 Peter 1:5-11)


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

carnal. Greek. sarkikos. See 1 Corinthians 3:1. Romans 7:14.

among. App-104.

envying. Greek. zelos. See Acts 5:17.

strife. Greek. eris. See 1 Corinthians 1:11.

divisions. dichoatasia. See Romans 16:17. But the texts omit "and divisions".

as = according to. App-104.

men = a man. App-123.


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

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Envying - jealousy, rivalry. This refers to their feelings; "strife," to their words; "divisions," to their actions. An ascending climax: envying produced strife, and strife divisions (factious parties) [ dichostasiai (Greek #1370) is supported by 'Aleph (') Delta G f g; but A B C, Vulgate, omit it]. His language becomes severer as he proceeds: in 1 Corinthians 1:11 he had only said "contentions;" he now multiplies words (cf. the stronger term, 1 Corinthians 4:6, than in 1 Corinthians 3:21). Carnal - "strife" is a "work of the flesh" (Galatians 5:20). The "flesh" includes all feelings that aim not at the glory of God and the good of our neighbour, but at gratifying self: not merely the lower appetites.

Walk as men - as unregenerate men (cf. Matthew 16:23). "After the flesh, not after the Spirit," as becomes those regenerate by the Spirit (Romans 8:4; Galatians 5:25-26).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:3". "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

(3) For whereas.—Better, For since there is.

As men.—Better, after the manner of man—i.e., after a merely human and not after a spiritually enlightened manner. In Romans 3:5, Galatians 1:2, also Romans 15:5, the opposite condition is expressed by the same Greek particle used with our Lord’s name, “according to Jesus Christ.”


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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
for whereas
1:11; 6:1-8; 11:18; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:15,19-21; James 3:16; 4:1,2
divisions
or, factions. and walk.
Hosea 6:7; Mark 7:21,22; Ephesians 2:2,3; 4:22-24; Titus 3:3; 1 Peter 4:2
as men
Gr. according to man.

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

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas (there is) among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Their unfitness to receive any other nourishment than that adapted to children, is proved by their being carnal; and their being carnal is proved by the divisions existing among them. Ye are yet carnal, i.e. under the influence of the flesh, or corrupt nature. They were imperfectly sanctified. Even Paul said of himself, ‘I am carnal.' This term therefore may be applied even to the most advanced Christians. Its definite meaning depends on the context.

The existence among them of the evils mentioned was proof of their low religious state. Of these evils the first was envying ( זח ͂ כןע). The word means zeal, fervid feeling. Whether good or bad, and of what particular kind depends on the connection. Here party spirit would seem to be the special evil intended. This gives rise to strife ( ו ̓́ סיע), and that again to divisions ( היקןףפבףי ́ ב), literally, standing apart; here not sects, but parties. If these things are among you, asks the apostle, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? ‘To walk as men' is to be guided by principles which belong to men, as distinguished from the Spirit of God. The doctrine that human nature is corrupt, and that all holiness in man is due to the influence of the Spirit, is taken for granted every where in the Bible. Therefore "the world" means the wicked or the unrenewed; to be worldly, or to act after the manner of men, is to act wickedly.

The description here given of the state of the church of Corinth is not inconsistent with the commendations bestowed upon it in the beginning of the first chapter. Viewed in comparison with the heathen around them, or even with other churches, the Corinthians deserved the praise there given them. But judged by the standard of the gospel, or of their privileges, they deserved the censures which the apostle so faithfully administers. Besides, in addressing the same church, the apostle has sometimes one class of its members in view, and sometimes another. He therefore sometimes speaks as if they were all Jews, at other times as though they were all Gentiles; sometimes as though they were weak and narrow-minded, and sometimes as if they were latitudinarian — one time he addresses them as if they were in a high state of piety, and at another, as if they were in a very low state. His language is to be limited in its application to those for whom the context in any case may show it was intended.


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

The Bible Study New Testament

Because you still live. Their lives are no different from the unconverted. Doesn't this prove? They are jealous and quarrel like men of the world. Compare Galatians 5:19-21.


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

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