Epistle Lection, Feb. 23, 2014; Comments on the Greek Text; 1 Cor 3:10-11, 16-23

Epistle Lection, Feb. 23, 2014; Comments on the Greek Text

1 Cor 3:10-11, 16-23

1Co 3:10 Κατὰ τὴν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι ὡς σοφὸς ἀρχιτέκτων[A] θεμέλιον ἔθηκα, ἄλλος δὲ ἐποικοδομεῖ. ἕκαστος δὲ βλεπέτω πῶς ἐποικοδομεῖ· According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I set a foundation, but another is building on [it].  Let each one watch how he [or she] builds on [it].
1Co 3:11 θεμέλιον γὰρ ἄλλον οὐδεὶς δύναται θεῖναι παρὰ[B] τὸν κείμενον[C], ὅς ἐστιν Ἰησοῦς Χριστός· For no one is able to set another foundation, other than the one [already] laid, who is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:16 Οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ναὸς[D] θεοῦ ἐστε καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ οἰκεῖ ἐν[E] ὑμῖν; Don’t you know that y’all are God’s temple and the Spirit of God dwells among you?
1Co 3:17 εἴ τις τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεοῦ φθείρει[F], φθερεῖ τοῦτον ὁ θεός· ὁ γὰρ ναὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ἅγιός ἐστιν, οἵτινές ἐστε ὑμεῖς[G]. If someone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy that [one].  For the temple of God is holy, [and that is] who you are.
1Co 3:18 Μηδεὶς ἑαυτὸν ἐξαπατάτω[H]· εἴ τις δοκεῖ[I] σοφὸς εἶναι ἐν ὑμῖν ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, μωρὸς γενέσθω, ἵνα γένηται σοφός, Let no one deceive himself.  If someone seems to be wise among you in this age, let him [or her] become a fool, so that he [or she] may become wise.
1Co 3:19 ἡ γὰρ σοφία τοῦ κόσμου τούτου μωρία παρὰ[J] τῷ θεῷ ἐστιν· γέγραπται γάρ· Ὁ δρασσόμενος τοὺς σοφοὺς ἐν τῇ πανουργίᾳ[K] αὐτῶν· For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the sight of God.  For it is written, “The one who catches the wise ones in their cunning.”
1Co 3:20 καὶ πάλιν· Κύριος γινώσκει τοὺς διαλογισμοὺς[L] τῶν σοφῶν ὅτι εἰσὶν μάταιοι.[M] And again, “[The] Lord knows the disputations of the wise—that they are empty.
1Co 3:21 ὥστε μηδεὶς καυχάσθω[N] ἐν[O] ἀνθρώποις· πάντα γὰρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν,[P] So then, let no one boast in human beings, for all things are yours,
1Co 3:22 εἴτε[Q] Παῦλος εἴτε Ἀπολλῶς εἴτε Κηφᾶς εἴτε κόσμος εἴτε ζωὴ εἴτε θάνατος εἴτε ἐνεστῶτα εἴτε μέλλοντα, πάντα ὑμῶν, whether Paul, whether Apollos, whether Cephas, whether [the] world, whether life, whether death, whether [things] present, whether [things] coming—all things [are] yours,
1Co 3:23 ὑμεῖς δὲ Χριστοῦ, Χριστὸς δὲ θεοῦ. and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

[A] or “architect.”

[B] or “beside”

[C] or “the one that is presently lying [there]”

[D] The word refers not to the entire temple precinct, but to the shrine—the main building housing the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.”  NT Wright in his magnum opus Paul and the Faithfulness of God points out that this is a massive shift in thinking about the Temple—particularly noteworthy in that it takes place before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.  In Paul’s thinking, the physical Temple has morphed into the Christian community.

[E] Or “in you.”  I translated “among” because that is the more natural reading, and most folks these days tend to overly individualize the text.

[F] or “corrupts,” though that doesn’t quite work with the second usage later in this verse.

[G] Note again the collective plurals here.

[H] The implication, of course, is that some of the Corinthians may in fact be deceiving theselves!

[I] Could be either “seems to be wise” or “thinks he is wise.”

[J] or “in the presence of God.”

[K] Not a nice word to link with “wise.”  Literally “in their readiness to do anything [to achieve their goals].”

[L] Or “thoughts” if one wants to interpret more individually.

[M] Cf. the cognate form in the Septuagint version of Ecclesiastes.

[N] Paul uses this word 26 times in the Corinthian correspondence alone!  It’s a big issue for these Christians.

[O] Or “let no one among human beings boast.”

[P] The drive for higher status shifts when you have everything already!

[Q] I translated all these literally, to bring out the somewhat ponderous nature of the verse.