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36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
Verse 8. "If the trumpet give an uncertain sound,” &c.—It is well known that trumpets were exclusively employed in almost all ancient armies, for the purpose of directing the movements of the soldiers, and informing them what they were to do as when to attack, advance, or retreat. This was the custom in even the most early Jewish armies, as the Law directed two silver trumpets to be made for the purpose (Num. x. 1, 2, 9). Of course, a distinction of tones was necessary, to express the various intimations which were in this manner conveyed; and if the trumpeter did not give the proper intonation, the soldiers could not tell how to act, or were in danger, from misconception, of acting wrongly.
39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
16. "He that occupieth the room of the unlearned.”—Not an individual of their number representing them and acting for them, but any one among them, that is, any of them. The word rendered "unlearned" (ns) we have already had occasion to explain as denoting a person not professedly learned or holding any public office or character-that is, strictly, private persons; meaning, in the present text, the private members of the church, or the audience, as distinguished from the teachers.
Say Amen at thy giving of thanks.”—“ Amen,” or “So be it," was, among the Jews, used by the congregation at the end of a prayer or blessing, to denote their assent to, or appropriation of, that which one person had pronounced. Many instances of this practice occur in the Old Testament. From the Jewish synagogue this, with many other customs of worship, passed to the Christian church, in which it is still generally retained. Justin Martyr particularly notices the unanimous and loud "Amen" at the conclusion of the Lord's Supper; observing, that "When the minister had finished the prayers and the thanksgiving, all the people present, with a joyful exclamation, said “Amen” (Apol.' vol. ii. p. 97). Influenced by ideas taken from existing customs, most English readers are apt to suppose that the verse refers to some such person as he whom we call "the clerk;" but there was no such officer either among the Jews or in the early Christian church. A few times in the Old Testament, and very frequently in the discourses of our Saviour, in the Gospels, the same word occurs at the beginning of a sentence, by way of asseveration, or for the sake of emphasis, in the sense of assuredly, truly, verily—by which last word it is rendered in our translation.
34. "Let your women keep silence in the churches."-The rules of the Jewish synagogues were also remarkably strict on this subject. We have seen, on former occasions, that it was allowed to any competent person to read in the synagogues; even an intelligent lad might do so; but not, on any account, a woman. So also, any one might in the synagogue ask questions for his instruction; but to a woman this was by no means permitted. But do the present prohibitions refer to such things as these? This is a question. There would not be much, if any, difficulty in this text if it stood alone; but we have fresh in our recollection what the apostle has said in ch. xi., suggesting and requiring that the two passages should be compared with each other. In the former, St. Paul enjoins that a woman should not "pray" or "prophesy" with her head uncovered; which seems obviously enough to suggest that she might do so with her head covered: but here he says, that she should not speak or ask questions in the church.
The point is confessedly one of great intricacy and difficulty, on which commentators have been greatly divided in opinion. It is remarkable that the difficulty never occurred to the ancient Greek commentators. Dr. Bloomfield thinks that, if it had, they would have been inclined to anticipate the explanation of Whitby and Macknight, who think that the apostle did not, in ch. xi., prohibit the women from speaking in the church, because his sole object there was to correct the abuse of their officiating with the head uncovered, reserving his correction of the other abuse, of their officiating at all, to this place. Bloomfield, however, concurs with Doddridge and others in disputing the validity of this explanation; and himself suggests that, in the former passage, "praying" may be understood not of leading but of joining in prayer; and "prophesying," not of preaching or teaching, but of the recitation of certain spiritual songs, (whether in reading or extemporaneously,) or the reading of devotional and edifying compositions in prose. This certainly might not be incompatible with the prohibition of the present chapter: but these are grounds on which even this alternative has its difficulties. Another explanation is, that while here the apostle alludes to the public assemblies of the Church, in ch. xi. he refers to the smaller or more private assemblies, in which the women were permitted to exercise their gifts. Finally, the opinion most generally received, and which has the support of such prime authorities as Grotius, Locke, Doddridge, Benson, and others, is, that the women are forbidden to speak at all, except when they had a supernatural impulse or Divine revelation; and that while the present verses refer to the general rule, the passage in ch. xi. relates to the exception.
3 By Christ's resurrection, 12 he proveth the necessity of our resurrection, against all such as deny the resurrection of the body. 21 The fruit, 35
and manner thereof, 51 and of the changing of
them, that shall be found alive at the last day.
in memory 'what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scrip
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
9 Isa 53. 5, 6, &c.
MOREOVER, brethren, I declare unto
1 Or, hold fast
Gr. by what speech.
Psal. 16 10.
John 20. 19.
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of 'one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
27 For he "hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? "let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised
8 Col. 1. 18.
7 Or, an abortive. 12 Some read our. 13 Or, to speak after the manner of men.
Rev. 1.5. 91 Thes. 4. 15.
10 Psal. 110. 1. 11 Psal. 8. 6. 14 Iga, 22. 13.
Verse 5. "He was seen of Cephas."-As the authority of Peter and James was very high among, at least, the Judaizing Christians at Corinth. St. Paul refers to them particularly and by name. To Peter here, and to James below. "Then of the twelve.”—Judas was dead, and Thomas was absent, so there were but ten; but according to a very common practice, they are called the twelve, since that was the number of their body at its original institution. Thus a council or tribunal denominated from the number of its members-as of Ten, Forty, Twenty-three, or Seventy-retains its name even though some of its members may be absent.
6. "Seen of above five hundred brethren at once."-This is not recorded in the Gospels; and we should therefore not have known it had it not been mentioned here. Indeed we should not have known that our Lord had so many disciples, as only 120 are mentioned as being assembled at Jerusalem when Matthias was chosen to the apostleship. This appearance probably took place in Galilee, where our Saviour appears to have had a much greater number of disciples than in any other part of the country.
7. "After that, he was seen of James."-Tradition states that this was James the Less, the "brother," or near relative, of our Lord. The separate appearance to him is not recorded by the Evangelists.
29. "Baptized for the dead."-There is perhaps no passage of Scripture which has been so variously interpreted as this. We cannot therefore undertake to state even the principal of the explanations which have been given: but shall not withhold the expression of our own concurrence in the view taken by Chrysostom and other Greek fathers, as well as by Hammond, Wetstein, Bloomfield, and others. This interpretation gives to the passage the sense of " 'Baptized in the confidence and expectation of a resurrection from the dead." Under this view, it is thought by Chrysostom and others, that there is also an allusion to the ancient mode of baptism by immersion, in which the immersion represented the state of death, and the rising again, the resurrection from the dead. Compare Col. ii. 12, "Buried with him (Christ) in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him." And also, Rom. vi. 3—5.
32. "If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus."-It has been questioned whether St. Paul here refers to an actual conflict with wild beasts at Ephesus, or alludes figuratively to a contest with brutal men. A very respectable body of commentators advocate the former opinion, and certainly produce some strong arguments against the latter. But on attentively considering the question, their objections do not appear unanswerable, and it seems much the safest course to assign the passage a literal interpretation, which has received the support of the great body of commentators, ancient and modern. But even were it not so, it would still be allowed that the allusion is derived from the conflicts with wild beasts to which men were often in this age exposed. Some slight notice of this practice may therefore be very suitably introduced.
To view wild beasts fight with each other, in the amphitheatre, or men combating with them, or even men exposed unarmed to be devoured by them, after abortive attempts to evade their savage fury, were among those barbarous spectacles in which the Romans delighted, and which they introduced in the principal cities of their wide-spread dominion. In most countries of the East, and even of Europe, there are, or have been, more or less, practices of this sort, such as bear and bull-baiting in this country; bull-fighting in Spain; or single combats of men with forest beasts, or of such beasts with one another, in the East: but all these things are of small note and of trifling consequence compared with the doings of the Romans; for we frequently read of three or four hundred beasts being, in one way or another, slain in one show, for the amusement of the most sanguinary people that ever breathed. All sorts of animals from all parts of the world were employed on such occasions; and even water was sometimes introduced into the am
phitheatre to enable the sea monsters and the inmates of the forest to combat together. one another do not however apply to the illustration of the present text.
Such fights of animals with The men who fought with wild beasts in the amphitheatre, were of different classes. First there were persons condemned to death, and who were exposed to the wild beasts with some weapon in their hands which they might use as best they could against the assailant. But very often such persons were exposed unarmed to be literally devoured by wild animals: in which case the spectators seem to have found their amusement in the feats of activity and prowess which even unarmed men often displayed in such desperate circumstances. We know from early ecclesiastical history, that under the Roman persecutions, Christians were very commonly sentenced to be given to the beasts, which sentence means either armed or unarmed exposure, though the latter seems in the end to have become its most usual meaning, as applied to condemned Christians, probably because it was found that they were disposed to submit passively to their doom, and would not afford amusement either by their resistance to the assailing beast, or by their activity in evading his assaults.
There was another class of combatants, who afforded more amusement. These were the persons regularly trained to such combats, and who bore the title of bestiarii. Sometimes free men, of desperate circumstances, sought a precarious subsistance by hazarding their lives in this profession; but it was chiefly exercised by slaves and prisoners of war, whom their masters or conquerors devoted to it; or by condemned persons, to whom was thus afforded an uncertain prolongation of existence, dependent upon their own prowess, activity, or skill.