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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 3:4

 

 

For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not mere men?

Adam Clarke Commentary

For while one saith, I am of Paul, etc. - It was notorious that both Paul and Apollos held the same creed; between them there was not the slightest difference: when, therefore, the dissentients began to prefer the one to the other, it was the fullest proof of their carnality; because in the doctrines of these apostles there was no difference: so that what the people were captivated by must be something in their outward manner, Apollos being probably more eloquent than Paul. Their preferring one to another on such an account proved that they were carnal - led by their senses and mere outward appearances, without being under the guidance either of reason or grace. There are thousands of such people in the Christian Church to the present day. See the notes on 1 Corinthians 1:10, etc.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For while one saith … ; - See the note at 1 Corinthians 1:12.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

For when one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not men? What then is Apollos? and what is Paul? Ministers through whom ye believed; and each as the Lord gave to him.

I am of Paul ... It is incorrect to suppose that either Paul or Apollos encouraged or approved any such divisions, nor is there the slightest hint that any rivalry existed between them. "Paul always spoke of Apollos with the highest esteem and affection."[9]

What then is Apollos ... Paul ... Certainly, such persons even as Paul and Apollos are nothing worthy of receiving any adoration and glory from men who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. Significantly, it appears here that Paul and Apollos were instruments only, and not, in any sense, the source of divine grace. The second word is not that the Corinthians believed "in" Paul and Apollos, but "through" them.

Ministers ... Although Paul was the grandest apostle of the New Covenant, he nevertheless refers to himself here with a title which, as variously translated in the New Testament, means "servant," "minister," or "deacon." Paul would countenance no party, not even one that proposed to honor him as a man.

And each as the Lord gave to him ... Any benefit that had come to the Christians at Corinth originated not with the instruments through whom it was conveyed, but with the Lord of glory.

Following up on the humility that should pertain to all mortal servants of God, Paul climaxed his argument with an analogy in which he and Apollos were represented merely as laborers working on a farm belonging to another.

ENDNOTE:

[9] Ibid.


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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 3:4". "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 while one saith, I am of Paul,.... This shows what their envying and strife, and divisions were about, and from whence they sprung; and which serve, to strengthen the proof, and support the charge of carnality brought against them; for when one sort made a party for Paul, and set up him as their minister above all others; and said

another, I am of Apollos, preferring him for his eloquence above Paul, or any other preacher, as appears from 1 Corinthians 1:12 there was a third sort for Cephas, whom they cried up as superior to the other two, or any other man; and a fourth were for Christ, and despised all ministers whatever:

are ye not carnal? all this was a demonstration of it: they could never clear themselves from it, they must be convicted in their own consciences of it; to which the apostle appeals: the Alexandrian copy and the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions read, "are ye not men?"


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

(1 Corinthians 1:12).

are ye not carnal — The oldest manuscripts read, “Are ye not men?” that is, “walking as men” unregenerate (1 Corinthians 3:3).


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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 3:4". "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 when one saith (οταν γαρ λεγηι τιςhotan gar legēi tis). Indefinite temporal clause with the present subjunctive of repetition (Robertson, Grammar, p. 972). Each instance is a case in point and proof abundant of the strife.

Of Paul (ΠαυλουPaulou). Predicate genitive, belong to Paul, on Paul‘s side.

Of Apollos (ΑπολλωApollō). Same genitive, but the form is the so-called Attic second declension. See the nominative ΑπολλωςApollōs in 1 Corinthians 3:5.

Men (αντρωποιanthrōpoi). Just mere human creatures (αντρωποιanthrōpoi generic term for mankind), in the flesh (σαρκινοιsarkinoi), acting like the flesh (σαρκικοιsarkikoi), not πνευματικοιpneumatikoi as if still πσυχικοιpsuchikoi It was a home-thrust. Paul would not even defend his own partisans.


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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 3:4". "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

Another ( ἕτερος )

See on Matthew 6:24. Not merely another, numerically, but another of different affinities and prepossessions.

Carnal

The best texts read ἄνθρωποι menAre ye not mere men?

But ministers

Omit but, and place the interrogations after Paul and Apollos, respectively, as Rev. For ministers see on Matthew 20:26; see on Mark 9:35. Servants, not heads of parties.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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 while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

I am of Apollos — St. Paul named himself and Apollos, to show that he would condemn any division among them, even though it were in favour of himself, or the dearest friend he had in the world.

Are ye not carnal — For the Spirit of God allows no party zeal.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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

4.For while one saith He now specifies the particular kind of contentions, (152) and he does this by personating the Corinthians, that his description may have more force — that each one gloried in his particular master, as though Christ were not the one Master of all (Matthew 23:8.) Now, where such ambition still prevails, the gospel has little or no success. You are not, however, to understand that they declared this openly in express words, but the Apostle reproves those depraved dispositions to which they were given up. At the same time it is likely, that, as a predilection arising from ambition is usually accompanied with an empty talkativeness, (153) they openly discovered by their words the absurd bias of their mind, by extolling their teachers to the skies in magnificent terms, accompanying this at the same time with contempt of Paul and those like him.


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Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-corinthians-3.html. 1840-57.

Vv. 4 expresses the result of the whole foregoing development, and forms the transition to the following passage. In order to attack the spirit of rivalry with effect, and the divisions which had invaded the life of the Church, Paul had gone to the very root of the evil: the false way of regarding the gospel itself. He had shown that the preaching of the gospel was, not the exposition of a new religious speculation, but the good news of a fact, and that a fact absurd in the eyes of reason: the salvation of humanity by a Crucified One; and now he deduces therefrom the true notion of the Christian ministry and of the part it has to play within the Church.

Holsten and others think that the apostle turns at this point to the partisans of Apollos to upbraid their infatuation for this teacher. This we think is an error arising from a misunderstanding of 1 Corinthians 3:4-5. We shall see that this special intention is foreign to the true sense of the following passage.


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Bibliography
Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/1-corinthians-3.html.

Scofield's Reference Notes

1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 1:17; John 1:13; Judges 1:23.


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Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/1-corinthians-3.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Ver. 4. For when one saith, &c.] So those that will needs be called Lutherans, Iurantque in verba magistri. They swear in the words of a teacher. Did not Luther play the man, when he and other Dutch divines advised Philip Landgrave of Hesse, a pious prince, to marry a second wife, that is, an adulteress, while his lawful wife was yet alive? And might he not deceive and be deceived in other things as well as in that? (Zanch. Miscel. Epist. Dedicat.)

Are ye not carnal?] Nay, will not the world think ye are mad? as the apostle speaks in a like case, 1 Corinthians 14:23. Will they not think worse. See John 17:21; John 17:23. If Christians unite not, if they fall out and wrangle, the world will think "thou never sentest me," saith our Saviour.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". 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 3:4. I am of Apollos From this verse, compared with ch. 1 Corinthians 4:6 it may be no improbable conjecture, says Mr. Locke, that the division in his church was owing to two opposite parties, whereof the one adhered to St. Paul, the other stood up for their head, a false Apostle, who opposed St. Paul. For the Apollos whom St. Paul mentions here was one, as he tells us, 1 Corinthians 3:6 who came in, and watered what he had planted; that is, when St. Paul had planted a church at Corinth, this Apostle got into it, and pretended to instruct them further, and boasted of his performances among them, of which St. Paul takes notice again, 2 Corinthians 10:15-16. Now the Apollos whom he here speaks of, he himself tells us, ch. 1 Corinthians 4:6 was another man, under that borrowed name. It is true, St. Paul in his Epistles to the Corinthians, generally speaks of these his opposers in the plural number; but it is to be remembered, that he speaks thus of himself also; which, as it was the less invidious way, with regard to himself, so it was the softer way towards his opposer; though he seems to intimate plainly, that it was one leader, who was set up against him. Others, differing in sentiment from Mr. Locke, think it much more probable from ch. 1 Corinthians 4:6 that St. Paul chose to make use of the name of Apollos, that he might give no offence, and to shew that he should lament and condemn any division among them, though it were in favour of himself, or the dearest friend he had in the world;—and they cannot think that St. Paul would have described this supposed false Apostle as watering his plantation which he rather wasted; of have spoken of himself, and that messenger of Satan as one. See 1 Corinthians 3:8.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". 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, one saith, in opposition to another, I am the disciple of Paul; and another I follow Apollos: and thus, probably, they call themselves after the names of their admired preachers, factiously crying up one minister above another.

Hence learn, That although it be a people's duty to have a great and high esteem of the ministers of Christ, yet must not their respect degenerate into a sinful admiration of their persons; for their factious affecting of one minister above another, is both sinful and dangerous. When the gifts and abilities of one minister are cried up, to the contempt of others, it occasions enmity and dissension amongst ministers themselves, and their people also. Are ye not carnal, when one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; And I of Christ; 1 Corinthians 1:12. That is, they factiously said they were of, or for Christ, in opposition to his ministers. They pretended to the immediate teachings of Christ, and had no need of the ministry either of Paul or Apollos.

Learn hence, That although Christ only is to be relied upon as head of his church, yet it is not his will we should despise his ministry, or contemn his ministers, under that pretence.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". 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

4.] He names but two of the foregoing designations, ch. 1 Corinthians 1:12; intending, both there more fully, and here briefly, rather to give a sample of the sectarian spirit prevalent, than to describe, as matter of fact, any sects into which they were actually divided: see note there, and on ch. 1 Corinthians 4:6. Meyer sees in the mention here of Paul and Apollos only, a reference to the two methods of teaching which have been treated of in this section: but as I have before said, the German Commentators are misled by too definite a view of the Corinthian parties.

ἄνθρωποι, i.e. walking κατὰ ἄνθρωπον,— σαρκικοί.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". 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 3:4. γάρ] explanatory by exhibiting the state of contention in concreto.

ἄνθρ.] with a pregnant emphasis: are ye not men? i.e. according to the context: are ye not persons, who are absorbed in the unspiritual natural ways of men—in whose thoughts and strivings the divine element of life is awanting? Comp Xen. Anab. vi. 1, 26: ἄνθρωπός εἰμι (I am a weak, fallible man). What determines the shade of meaning in such cases is lot anything in the word itself, but the connection. Comp 1 Peter 4:2. The specific reference here has its basis in the preceding κατὰ ἄνθρωπον περιπατεῖτε, hence there is no ground for rejecting the reading ἄνθρωποι, with Fritzsche (de conform. N. T. Lachm. p. 48), as a lectio insulsa (comp also Reiche), or for misinterpreting it, with Hofmann, into “that they are surely men at all events and nothing less.” This latter rendering brings in the idea, quite foreign to this passage, of the dignity of man, and that in such a way as if the interrogative apodosis were adversative ( ἀλλʼ οὐκ or οὐ μέντοι).

It may be added that Paul names only the two parties: ἐγὼπαύλου and ἐγὼ ἀπολλώ, not giving an imperfect enumeration for the sake of the μετασχηματισμός which follows (1 Corinthians 4:6—so, arbitrarily, de Wette and others), but because in this section of the Epistle he has to do just with the antagonism of the Apollos-party to himself and to those who, against his will, called themselves after him; hence also he makes the μετασχηματισμός, in 1 Corinthians 4:6, with reference to himself and Apollos alone.

ἐγὼ μέν] This μέν does not stand in a logical relation to the following δέ. An inexactitude arising from the lively way in which thought follows thought, just as in classical writers too, from a like reason, there is often a want of exactly adjusted correspondence between μέν and δέ (Breitenbach, a(479) Xen. Hier. i. 9; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 168 f.).


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". 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 3:4. οὐχὶ,(25) are ye not) For the Spirit does not endure party-spirit among men.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". 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

Not that Christians so large a city as Corinth might not put themselves under several pastors, or, as to themselves, prefer one before another, either in respect of the more eminent gifts of God bestowed upon one, (as doubtless Paul was preferable to Apollos), or in respect of the more suitableness of one man’s gifts to their capacities than another: but their adherence so to one minister of the gospel, that for his sake they vilified and despised all others, that were also true and faithful servants of God in the work of his gospel, this was their sin, and spake them to have vicious and corrupt affections, and to walk more like men than like saints, not having a true notion of the ministers of Christ, nor behaving themselves towards them as they ought to do.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". 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 am of Paul-I am of Apollos; their division into parties and their violent contentions showed that they were still narrow in their views, and carnal in their feelings. Young Christians are exposed to be self-confident-to be influenced by feeling rather than judgment-to glory in men, and follow human leaders; not duly considering that they may be very zealous and earnest in efforts to increase the number and strength of their sect or party, and yet be far from that unity of spirit with Christ and his people which he requires.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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

4. ἄνθρωποι. See Critical Note. It is difficult to account for ἄνθρωποι having crept into the text, if it be not the true reading, whereas its correction by a transcriber into σαρκικοί would seem obvious and natural. If it be the true reading, it must mean ‘purely human,’ not sharing that Divine, regenerate life which is the special privilege of faith.


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"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-corinthians-3.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4. The true position of the people under such ministry, 16-23. As the temple of God, he by whom they are destroyed shall be himself destroyed, 16, 17. Knowing the folly of all sophia, (see notes, 1 Corinthians 1:12, etc.,) let them glory in no special leading men, but claim all as their own, as they are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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

4. For when one may say, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not men?


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Godbey, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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

‘For when one says, “I am of Paul.” And another, “I am of Apollos.’ Are you not men?’

Instead of concentrating on learning about and knowing Christ, and loving one another, and pleasing God, and dying to themselves, they have taken sides supporting one or another particular approach to things, and certain particular men, possibly even using their spiritual gifts to that end, and have caused dissension on the basis of it (Paul and Apollos are only being cited as examples - 1 Corinthians 4:6). ‘Are you not men?’ That is, are you not behaving like ‘natural’ men (1 Corinthians 2:14)? Are you not behaving like mere men who have had no spiritual illumination.

“I am of Paul.” And another, “I am of Apollos”. The names of Paul and Apollos are given as examples to represent all who preach in Christ’s name (1 Corinthians 4:6). The point is that to lay too much emphasis on any man of God is wrong. They do not belong to Paul. They do not belong to Apollos. All are servants of the One on Whom attention should be set, that is, Christ. They belong to Christ (1 Corinthians 3:23).


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-corinthians-3.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Partisanship is a manifestation of human wisdom. All the philosophical schools in Greece had their chief teachers. There was keen competition among these teachers, and there were strong preferences among the students as to who was the best. However this attitude is totally inappropriate when it comes to evaluating the servants of Christ. It is completely contrary to the mind of Christ who Himself stooped to raise others.

"It is sinful for church members to compare pastors, or for believers to follow human leaders as disciples of men and not disciples of Jesus Christ. The "personality cults" in the church today are in direct disobedience to the Word of God. Only Jesus Christ should have the place of preeminence ( Colossians 1:18)." [Note: Wiersbe, 1:569.]

This section of verses makes it very clear that it is possible for genuine Christians to behave as and to appear to be unbelievers (cf. Matthew 13:24-30; Matthew 13:36-43). The Corinthians" conduct indicated carnality, not lack of eternal life. Prolonged immaturity as a result of carnality is a condition all too prevalent in modern Christianity. Often we mistake carnal Christians for natural men, unbelievers.


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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 3:4. For when one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not as men?(1)—men who have never passed into the new life.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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 3:4 is parl(486) to 1 Corinthians 3:3. The protasis, ὅταν γὰρ κ. τ. λ., restates in concreto the charge made in ὅπου γὰρ κ. τ. λ.; while the interr(487) apodosis, οὐκ ἄνθρωποί ἐστε; gathers into a word the reproach of the foregoing οὐχὶ σαρκικοί ἐστε κ. τ. λ.: where and when the Cor(488) act in the manner stated, they justify P. in treating them as “carnal”. To say “Are you not men?” is at once to accuse and to excuse: see parls.; also ’adâm (mere man) as distinguished from ’îsh (Isaiah 2:9, etc.); cf. Xenoph., Anab., vi., 1. 26, ἐγώ, ἄνδρες, ἥδομαι μὲν ὑπὸ ὑμῶν τιμώμενος, εἴπερ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι; Cyrop., vii., 2. 4; and the familiar saying, Humanum est errare.— ὅταν γὰρ λέγῃ τις: “For whenever any one says” (pr(489) sbj(490) of recurring contingency); every such utterance shows you to be men. On ἐγὼπαύλου, see note to 1 Corinthians 1:12. The Ap. refers to the Pauline and Apollonian parties only: (1) Because they suffice, by way of example, to make good his point; (2) the main cause of strife, viz., the craving for λόγος σοφίας, lay between these two parties; (3) P. avoided bringing Cephas’ name into controversy, while he deals freely with that of his friend and disciple, Apollos, now with him (1 Corinthians 16:12).


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". 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 3:4 For when one saith,I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not men?

"For when one saith"-"For whenever any one says" (pr. sbj. of recurring contingency); every such utterance shows you to be "men"." (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 787) "Each instance is a case in point and proof abundant of the strife." (Robertson p. 93)

"I am of Paul"-"It was a home-thrust. Paul would not even defend his own partisans." (Robertson p. 93) "Partisanship was consonant with the wisdom of men (the leading philosophical schools of Greece invoked the names of their founders and chief teachers)." [Note: _ F.F. Bruce p. 43]

Points to Note:

1. "The Corinthians may have expected a different kind of proof, for they may not have considered their contentions such a serious matter. For when they wrote to Paul they never mentioned a word on this subject (; 1:11). Paul"s words must, therefore, have struck them rather forcefully. Really serious faults in the church quite frequently make little or no impression on the members while lesser failings stir them up (Matthew 23:23)." [Note: _ Lenski p. 125]

2. "This is extremely significant because it means that you can tell what a man"s relations with God are by looking at his relations with his fellow men. If a man is at variance with his fellow men, if he is a quarrelsome, competitive, argumentative, trouble-making creature, he may be a diligent church attender, he may even be a church office-bearer, but he is not a man of God." [Note: _ Barclay p. 34]

3. We should note that Paul doesn"t have a lot of patience with belief that doesn"t issue in proper behaviour.

4. Modern Application: The "spirit" that Paul here condemns, still lives on in the church. There is nothing wrong in quoting from a human source. If a man said something insightful, then certainly give him the credit. But it is another thing to quote from human sources, thinking that such sources "establish" the truthfulness of a position.

"Angels straight out of heaven are to be tested by the word of God. (Galatians 1:6-9) Bereans heard an apostle speak and checked their Bibles to see if what he said agreed with the Bible (Acts 17:11). If what you say is biblical, stand on it yourself!" [Note: _ McGuiggan p. 50]


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Bibliography
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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

while = whenever.

another. App-124.

carnal. Greek. sarkikos, as in 1 Corinthians 3:3; but the texts read "men" (anthropoi).


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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 while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Are ye not carnal? (1 Corinthians 1:12.) 'Aleph (') A B C Delta G f g, Vulgate, read 'Are ye not men?' - i:e., 'walking as men' unregenerate (1 Corinthians 3:3).


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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

4. When one of you says. The competition between them that grew out of their "party spirit" was proof of their worldly motives.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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

(4) One saith, I am of Paul.—These and the following words explain exactly what the Apostle means by their being “carnal,” and walking after a merely human manner. Only two of the factions—those of Paul and of Apollos—are mentioned as types of the rest. The factious spirit was in each and all the “parties” the same, but the particular difference between the teaching of the higher wisdom and the simpler truths of the gospel was best illustrated by these two.

The selection for rebuke of those who called them selves by the Apostle’s own name was, no doubt, intended by him to show that it was no matter of personal jealousy on his part. He specially condemns those who magnified his name. It is for his Master alone that he is jealous.

Are ye not carnal?—Better, are ye not only men? carrying on the idea expressed in 1 Corinthians 3:3.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
1:12; 4:6

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". "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 while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I (am) of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

This confirms the fact that there were such divisions among them as proved them to be governed by unholy feelings, and also explains the nature of those divisions. There were in Corinth, as appears from 1 Corinthians 1:12, more parties than two; but the apostle confines himself to those here mentioned, because throughout the whole discussion he has had reference to the opposition of the Grecian element in the church, and because from the intimate relation between himself and Apollos, he could speak of him as freely as he did of himself. As the party spirit which disturbed the peace of the Corinthian church arose from wrong views of the relation of ministers to the church, the apostle endeavors to correct the evil by presenting that relation in its true light.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:4". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/1-corinthians-3.html.

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