1 Corinthians v.
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. As
the like is not among the heathens. This seems to have been the crime of incest, that he took the wife of his father yet
living. See 2 Corinthians vii. 12. (Witham) --- St. Chrysostom, Theod.[Theodoret?], &c., think, that this incestuous person
was one of the chiefs of the schism which then reigned in Corinth. This man, say they, was a great orator, with whose eloquence
the Corinthians were enchanted, and therefore dissembled a knowledge of his crime, public as it was. The apostle having proved
to them the vanity of all human learning, in the preceding chapter, now attacks the incestuous man, and exposes to their view
the enormity of his crime. (Calmet)
Ver. 2. You
are puffed up, seem to be unconcerned, to take pride in it, instead of having the man separated from you. (Witham)
Ver. 3. &c.
Have already judged, decreed, and do decree, being present in spirit with you, and with your congregation. ---
In the name....with the power of our Lord Jesus, to deliver such a one to Satan by a sentence of excommunication, depriving
him of the sacraments, the prayers, and communion, and even of the conversation of the rest of the faithful. It is likely
in those times, such excommunicated persons were delivered over to Satan, so as to be corporally tormented by the devil.
But most divines are of opinion that this man was delivered over to the devil, to strike a terror into others. See
St. Chrysostom, hom. xv. and this is said to be done for the destruction, or punishment of the flesh, that the
spirit, or soul, may be saved. (Witham) --- It is the opinion of most of the Greek fathers, that this man was
either really possessed by the devil, or at least struck with such a complaint as a mortification, and humiliation to his
body, whilst it served to purify his soul. We have seen from many instances in holy Scripture, that it was not unusual, in
the origin of Christianity, for persons who had fallen into crimes of this nature, to be punished with death, some grievous
sickness, or by being possessed by the devil. But most divines are of opinion that this man was delivered over
to the devil, so as to be separated from the communion of the Church. (St. Ambrose; Estius; Just.[St. Justin Martyr?];
Ver. 6-8. Your
glorying is not good, when you suffer such a scandal among you: you have little reason to boast of your masters, or even
of the gifts and graces you received. A little leaven corrupteth the whole mass; a public scandal, when not punished,
is of dangerous consequence. --- Purge out the old leaven. He alludes to the precept given to the Jews of having no
leaven in their houses during the seven days of the Paschal feast. For our Pasch, i.e. Paschal lamb, Christ is sacrificed:
and Christians, says St. Chrysostom, must keep this feast continually, by always abstaining from the leaven of sin. (Witham)
Ver. 9. &c.
I wrote to you in an epistle. If he does not mean what he has said already in this epistle, it must have been in some
other, which he had written to them before, (as some conjecture) and which is not now extant. --- Now to keep company with
fornicators, nor with such like public scandalous sinners, not so much as to eat with them. But you must take notice,
that I mean, when they are brethren, or Christians, not when they are infidels, for this cannot be avoided, especially
by those who are to labour to convert them. This admonition of the apostle, shews us how much such persons are to blame, who
by their carriage encourage, applaud, and are delighted with wicked company. Them who are without the pale and fold
of the Church, the apostle leaves to the great judge of the living and the dead. (Witham)
Ver. 12. To
judge them that are without. Those who are said by the apostle to be without, are those who have never been converted
to the faith, and therefore are not within the jurisdiction of the Church.
Ver. 13. Take
away. This passage is differently understood by commentators. By some it is understood thus: expel the evil one from among
you, that is, the incestuous man. (Estius) --- By others, it is understood to be spoken in a general sense, meaning, take
away the evil of sin from among you. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
He excommunicates the incestuous adulterer, and admonishes
them to purge out the old leaven.
1 It is heard for certain that there is fornication among you, *and such
fornication, as the like is not among the heathens: that some one hath his father's wife.
2 And you are puffed up: and have not rather mourned, that he might be
taken away from among you, who hath done this deed.
3 *I indeed absent in body, but present in spirit, have already judged,
as though I were present, him that hath so done,
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together and
my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,
5 To deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that
the spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
6 Your glorying is not good. *Know you not that a little leaven corrupteth
the whole mass?
7 Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened.
For Christ, our Pasch, is sacrificed.
8 Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven
of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I wrote to you in an epistle, not to keep company with fornicators.
10 I mean not with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous,
or the extortioners, or the servers of idols: otherwise you must needs go out of this world.
11 But now I have written to you, not to keep company: if any man that
is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or a server of idols, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with
such a one not so much as to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them that are without ? Do not you judge
them that are within?
13 For them that are without, God will judge. Put away the evil one from
1: Leviticus xviii. 7. and 8. and xx. 11.
3: Colossians ii. 5.
6: Galatians v. 9.