1 Corinthians


2. Thesis, 1:10

The unity of the church


Having concluded his greeting and thanksgiving to God for the Corinthian believers, Paul now outlines the central concern of his letter to the church at Corinth, namely, the maintenance of fellowship within the congregation.


i] Context: See 1:1-3.


ii] Interpretation:

This verse serves as the "thesis statement of the entire discourse", Witherington, Conflict and Community. The thesis is nicely paraphrased by Peterson -


"You must get along with each other.

You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common."


iii] Exposition: A simple exposition may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 1:10

Unity in the church. On the issue of divisions in the church, Paul could command their obedience, but instead he encourages a response prompted by the grace of God in Christ. His "appeal" is that they:

a) "agree with one another." Paul means by this that there should be no "divisions" among them. Divisions, not so much in the sense of parties (he is not demanding uniformity), but rather rents or tears in their fellowship.

b) "be perfectly united in mind and thought". Paul is calling here for a unity of opinion in the gospel. The Corinthians have divided theological opinions which are focused on different teachers, possibly without their approval.

de "-" - but, and. Here a transitional connective, marking a step in the argument.

parakalw "I appeal to" - I encourage, appeal to, exhort, implore, entreat... Probably best in the sense of "I ask", rather than "beg / beseech / appeal."

adelfoi (oV) "brothers" - "brothers and sisters", NRSV.

dia + gen. "in" - Instrumental, expressing means, "by means of"; "by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ", Barclay. None-the-less, agency makes better sense; "through the name."

tou onomatoV (a atoV) gen. "the name" - The "name" represents the person and all that the person stands for. Often used of exercising authority for that person; "by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ."

tou kuriou (oV) gen. "of [our] Lord" - The genitive is adjectival, possessive; "the name that belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ."

hJmwn gen. pro. "our" - The genitive may be classified as adjectival, possessive, although more appropriately, expressing subordination; "over us."

iJna + subj. "that [... you agree]" - Here introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing Paul's "appeal".

to auto leghte "all of you agree" - speak the same thing. "Be at peace / make up the difference", is a common expression of the day. "All to be in agreement in what you profess", NJB.

mh h\/ "so that there may be no [divisions] / and that there be no [divisions]" - Serving to form the second object clause / dependent statement expressing Paul's "appeal", "that there may not be schisms", as TNIV, but possibly a purpose clause, "in order that", as NIV.

en + dat. "among [you]" - in [you]. Expressing space / sphere; "to not allow yourselves to be split up in parties", Phillips.

de h\te subj. of verb to-be "but that you may be [perfectly united]" - Forming a third object clause / dependent statement expressing Paul's "appeal".

kathrtismenoi (katartizw) perf. pas. part. "perfectly united" - being united, restored, mended, made complete. With the subj. verb to-be h|te the participle forms an unusual periphrastic perfect expressing a union that is achieved, but also ongoing. "You may be refurbished", Garland.

en + dat. "in" - in [the same mind and] in [the same thought]. Usually treated as local, expressing space / sphere, "having the same mind and the same judgment", Cassirer, yet an adverbial sense is to be preferred expressing the goal toward which the action is directed; "with the same mind-set and with the same consent", Thiselton. The two nouns, nouV, "mind" and gnwmh, "thought" take many meanings and this has prompted numerous translations, "united in your beliefs and judgments", NJB; "in your general attitude to life and in each particular decision", Barclay; "common temper and attitude", Moffatt.


1 Corinthians Introduction


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