1 Corinthians


4. Some moral issues affecting unity, 5:1-6:20

ii] Lawsuits before heathen judges


Paul now diverts from his theme of sexual holiness to deal with a reported problem in the church at Corinth. A member has defrauded a fellow member, who in turn has taken the matter to the civil courts. Through statements of horror, rhetorical questions, threats and sarcasm, Paul condemns the behaviour of the two members. Immorality in the church must be confronted and dealt with, and there should certainly be no need to adjudicate such matters before a civil court. Secular litigation of fellowship matters both trivializes the substance of the church (the saints will someday judge the world) and undermines the church before the world. "If the church does not judge those outside, neither does it go outside with inside affairs", Fee.


i] Context: See 5:1-13. This passage is somewhat of a digressio, a digression from the issue of sexual holiness, 5:1-7:40.


ii] Background: Libertarianism, See 5:1-13.


iii] Structure: Lawsuits before heathen judges:


Disputes should not be settled the secular law-courts.

Argument - progressed by rhetorical questions, v1-6:

Q1, sets the issue, v1;

Q2+3, places the issue in its eschatological context, v2;

Q4+5, place secular courts in their eschatological context, v3-4;

Q6, seeks to shame by sarcasm, v5-6.

Instruction, v7-11:

A call to proper action based on accepted truth;

believers should love each other rather than hurt and retaliate.


iii] Interpretation:

The passage is more a tirade than a formal structured argument. Paul is annoyed and gives the congregation both barrels, as it were. How can the Corinthians be so stupid as to carry their disputes into secular society for arbitration by "the unrighteous", v1? This action indicates that they have little appreciation of the church's standing in the world, v2-4. Where problems emerge in the Christian fellowship, experienced believers should be called on to arbitrate, v5-6. If the matter cannot be resolved, a believer should be willing to suffer loss rather than seek redress in a secular court, v7, and certainly not act to defraud a brother or sister, v8. The two litigants need to be reminded that persistent defiance against God brings with it exclusion from the kingdom of God, v9-10. Paul concludes with a word of encouragement; "whatever their problems ...[they] are the Lord's in that they have been washed, sanctified and justified", Naylor, v11.


How should we understand Paul's reference to "men who have sex with men"?. The words malakoi oute arsenokoitai "effeminate homosexuals nor masculine homosexuals", v9, cause some difficulty in translation, let alone exposition and application. In the first place, the Greek language has different words for the passive partner (female role) and active partner (male role) in a homosexual relationship. Paul uses the passive word first and then follows it up with the active word, but this does not necessarily mean that the passive word means "male prostitutes", as often translated, given that a male prostitute may take either role. It is highly unlikely that Paul is damning a homosexual inclination, but rather sodomy, ie. sexual activity with a person of the same sex, whether active or passive. So, both words can be translated as one word, "Sodomites", NRSV.

Paul's words are often dismissed as being unrelated to modern society, but the societal acceptance of homosexual intercourse in both Greek and Roman society in the first century is not dissimilar to that of Western society today. So, by listing "Sodomites", as with "fornicators", "adulterers", in a list of corrupt lifestyles, Paul is somewhat counterculture. His list of the adikoi, "unrighteous / wrongdoers", fully reflects God's moral Law, as does his pronouncement that those who persist with this behavior have no part in the kingdom of God. The world may condemn, ignore, or condone such behavior, either way it is not for the church to "judge" the matter, except where it exists in the church, cf., 5:10-13. And here lies our problem!

On the law side of this issue, Paul actually provides a useful principle in the passage before us. The wider secular society may encourage a person to seek legal redress when their rights are flouted, but, given that believers live under a God-ordained ethical frame (the Sermon on the Mount), it is more appropriate that we honour our Lord, rather than indulge our selfish passions by demanding our rights. Similarly, the wider secular society may encourage indiscriminate mating, but given that we live under a God-ordained ethical frame (Creation ordinances, cf., Gen.2:24), it is more appropriate that we honour our Lord, rather than indulge our sensual passions through illicit sex.

On the grace side of this issue, we do well to remember that every believer is flawed, we all struggle with our sexuality, we are all compromised and only survive under the mercy of God. In our relationships, both gay and straight, we do the best we can, struggling to find some dignity within what may be a highly compromised situation. To survive through the compromises of life, both failures and limitations, we can only but face them honestly and throw ourselves on the mercy of God. Gladly God accepts us on the basis of grace, on the basis of his unmerited favor realized in Christ through faith, and it is this grace alone which enables us to stand in the presence of God. So it is that we the unlovely learn to love the unlovely.

See Thiselton for a survey on this subject, p440-452.


iv] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 6:1

Quarrels and litigation within the church, v1-11. i] Paul progresses his argument through a series of rhetorical questions, v1-6. Paul opens with a rhetorical question expressing shock. Would a believer dare, having a legal case against another believer, litigate their complaint before an unbelieving ("ungodly" = pagan) judge.

uJmwn gen. pro. "[if any] of you" - [dares a certain one] of you. The genitive is adjectival, partitive.

ecwn pres. part. "has [a dispute]" - having [a matter = a dispute / lawsuit]. The participle is adverbial, either conditional, as NIV, or temporal, "when one of you has a grievance", ESV.

proV + acc. "with [another]" - toward [the other]. Here expressing opposition, "against" [the other = "his fellow", Zerwick].

tolma/ (tolmaw) pres. "dare" - dares (to be so bold as to challenge or defy possible danger or opposition*). Presumably as a rhetorical question, "does any of you, who has a dispute with another, dare ...."; "has he the audacity to go to law before a pagan court ....?", Cassirer.

epi "before [the ungodly]" - [to be judged] before [the unrighteous = a gentile magistrate" - Here with a special sense, as NIV. The reference to "the ungodly / unjust" is not necessarily disparaging, it just identifies an authority outside the Christian fellowship. At times, Paul had good reason to respect secular magistrates, cf., Acts 18:12-17.

krinesqai (krinw) pres. mid/pas. inf. "for judgment" - to be judged. The middle or passive with the sense "allow yourselves to be judged", Rogers. The infinitive probably forms an object clause, after the verb of "dare", epexegetic, as Cassirer above. It should be noted that Paul had dealings with the secular courts, but only in the sense that he was hauled before the courts and forced to defend himself within the secular system, cf. Acts 25-26. He was not taking legal action against a fellow believer.

kai ouci "instead of" - rather than. Emphatic.

twn aJgiwn (oV) "[instead of before] the saints" - [before] the holy, saints. "Believers".


Given that the "saints" (here all believers rather than Jewish believers) will somehow be involved with Christ in his eternal reign (cf., Dan.7:22), they should not find it difficult to handle "trivial" matters in the present.

h] "-" - or. "Or do you not know" = "that is, if you disagree with my initial proposition, can this possibly mean that you do not know", Barrett.

ouk oidate (oida) perf. "do you not know" - The language expresses a rebuke. "Is it possible that you are not aware ....", Barclay.

oJti "that" - that. Here introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what they should know.

krinousin (krinw) fut. "will judge" - [the saints] will judge [the world]. Usually taken as a future tense, although the circumflex is a later addition so possibly a present tense is intended, which, in this context, would be gnomic, ie., as a general principle, now and into the future, the saints judge the world. Daniel 7:22 serves as the prime source of the idea that believers ("the saints") will reign with Christ in eternity, judging both humanity and the angels, cf. Rev. 3:21, 20:4. Chrysostom regarded this judging as "demanding account", but something more general may be intended, eg., administering God's judgment, possibly "arbitrating", or even just in the sense of "administrating" "ruling", Garland. Paul uses this idea to support his call that they not go before secular judges to settle disputes within the fellowship. The reason is that "Christians are eschatological people, who will themselves be involved in God's final judgment of the world", Fee.

ei + ind. "if" - [and] if, as is the case, [the world is judged by you, then ...]. Introducing a conditional clause 1st. class, where the condition is assumed to be true.

oJ kosmoV "the world" - "The world of human habitation", rather than "the ordered system that God has created", Naylor. The reference is not to the environment of human habitation, but human habitation itself with its associations and organizations. Such is primarily deceptive, often corrupting, but also at times uplifting - ie., not necessarily evil, but certainly corrupted.

en + dat. "by" - by [you]. The preposition here serves as an instrumental dative expressing agency, as NIV.

anaxioi adj. "competent" - [then are you] unworthy / incompetent. Predicate adjective. The sentence is ironic; "If the world is to be judged by you, are you not fit to organize the smallest tribunal?", Barnett.

krithriwn (on) gen. "to judge trivial cases" - a matter of judging [least = small issues]. The genitive possibly expresses reference / respect "with respect to minor legal matters", but it seems to function adjectivally, idiomatic / of value. BAGD takes the meaning as "courts" and with the superlative adjective elacistwn, "least", giving the sense, "the most insignificant courts." "Are you unworthy to serve on tribunals of the most trifling import?", Cassirer.


In eternity believers will administer ("judge") the angelic community. This being the case, believers should be able to easily handle everyday affairs. "In light of our existence in Christ and our participation in the eschatological judgments, how can one care about such trifling matters in the first place, and in any case, how can one bring them before those who have no standing in the church and therefore will not share in those judgments?", Fee. Note that the Gk. punctuation is unclear. The verse may be a single sentence question, as UBS4; "are you not aware that we are to judge angels, not to mention day-to-day affairs?", REB. The NIV follows Nestle.

ouk "[do you] not [know]" - This negation in a question forms an expected positive answer, "yes".

oJti "that" - that. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what they should know.

aggelouV "angels" - [we will judge] angels. Presumably heavenly beings are intended, but as for "judging" them, see above, Paul probably has in mind their "administration". Traditionally understood as judging wicked angels ("fallen angels", Hoskins), inc. the angels of the nations ("patrons of the nations", Cullmann), sometimes even the good angels, since all must give account, so Meyer. Garland rightly notes that Paul is not establishing a theological framework for eschatological judgment, but is simply making the point that "if they (the Corinthians) are destined to be participants in the celestial judgment of the world and of angels, they ought to be able to handle mundane matter of far less consequence."

mhti ge "how much more" - not to mention. The emphatic negation with the particle ge "yet, indeed, surely", gives a sense something like "to say nothing of", Conzelmann.

biwtika adj. "the things of this life" - things of human existence. The adjective serves as a substantive, accusative direct object of the verb "to judge"; "commonplace matters", Zerwick.


The NIV treats this verse as an ironic imperative, but even as irony it is unlikely that Paul would describe those who are to arbitrate on matters in the church as "men of little account". It is more likely that the verse is a question with the object (toutouV "such ones") being secular judges rather than members of the congregation; "if therefore you have such everyday disputes, how can you entrust jurisdiction to outsiders with no standing in the church?, REB, cf., Fee.

men oun "therefore" - The sense is unclear; probably drawing a logical conclusion / inferential, with men denoting continuation; "so then." See Smyth, Gk., #2901.

ean + subj. "if" - if, as the case may be, [you may have a matter of judgment concerning things of this life, then how could you appoint as judges such ones being little esteemed by the church]? Introducing a conditional clause, 3rd. class, where the condition has the possibility of coming true. "If you have such cases", ESV.

krithria (on) "disputes" - a matter of judgment. As in v2, "law courts / tribunals"; "tribunals [dealing with worldly matters]", R&P, and so "legal matters / a case". "Law-suits", Barclay.

biwtika adj. "about such matters" - things of this life. As in v3, "commonplace matters". As an adjective, the word limits "case", "a case which concerns commonplace matters." Everyday matters", Cassirer.

kaqizete (kaqizw) pres. "appoint / do you ask for a ruling from" - could you appoint. See above, as a question "how could you appoint (set in place such ones [secular judges])", ie. not an imperative, but an interrogative indicative.

toutouV "-" - such ones. Accusative direct object of the verb "to appoint."

touV exouqenhmenouV (exouqenew) perf. pas. part. "men of little account" - being little esteemed. The articular participle serves a an attributive adjective limiting "such ones"; "such ones who are of little account." "Who count for nothing", Barrett.

en + dat. "in" - in = by [the church]. The preposition en is possibly serving as an instrumental dative; "by the church." Possibly the more gracious "from the point of view of those in the church", Cassirer.


It is to the shame of the church that the Corinthians can't find someone wise enough to arbitrate on a dispute between brothers.

proV + acc. "to" - toward. Probably as NIV with a final sense, expressing purpose, "in order to shame you", but also possibly "I speak [this] to your shame". The assumed object "this" is either what went before, or what follows.

entrophn (h) "shame" - shame, inward looking. "Embarrassment, shame."

uJmin "you" - to you [i speak this]. The dative is possibly taking a reflective sense, "in yourselves"; "to make you ashamed of yourselves", NJB.

ouk eni (enesti) "is it possible that there is" - is there not = is it. Compound verb to-be, en eimi = eneimi, here 3rd. pers. sing, enesti, shortened to eni. The negation ouk in a question produces the answer "yes". "Is it .......? (Indeed yes!)".

ou{twV adv. "-" - thus, so that. According to Lightfoot the adverb here is modal expressing the manner of what exists. This is followed up by an appositional clause explaining what is "thus"; "is it thus, namely that there is no one wise among you who will be able to judge between the brothers of him .......]?" "Has it come to this, that there is not a single wise man among you who could decide a dispute between members of the brotherhood?", Moffatt.

oudeiV "nobody" - no one. "Not even one person."

en + dat. "among" - in = among [you, not even one wise man]. Local, expressing space. Most translations opt for "among you."

diakrinai (diakrinw) aor. inf. "to judge a dispute" - [who will be able] to evaluate. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "will be able." "Competent to arbitrate", Thiselton.

ana meson "between" - each in the middle, between. A compound preposition which takes the meaning "between". "Able to give a decision between one Christian and another", Barclay.

tou adelfou autou "believers" - of the brothers of him. "Fellow Christians", Fitzmyer.


This verse can be treated as a statement in its own right, as NIV, REB, .... Yet, it is likely that it is the second half of the appositional clause explaining "thus", particularly as both verses evidence Paul's "not ..... but" formula, cf., Fee. "Has it come to this (is it thus), that there is not a ....... (v5), but brother goes to law with brother, and that at the bar of unbelievers?", so Cassirer, also Moffatt. The church has allowed members to air their dirty linen before unbelievers, and such is a disgrace.

alla "but instead" - but instead of dealing with the matter yourselves. Contrastive.

meta + gen. "against" - [brother] with [brother is judged]. Expressing association / accompaniment, "brother in company with brother"; "Brother goes to law with brother", AV.

kai touto "and this" - and that (the going to court to seek arbitration). Here epexegetic.

epi "in front of" - before. Again with a spatial sense. "At the bar of unbelievers", Cassirer.

apistwn adj. "unbelievers" - disbelieving, unbelievers. "Pagan", Junkins; "those who have no faith in Christ", Phillips.


ii] Instruction, v7-11: A call to proper action based on accepted truth, namely, that believers should love each other rather than hurt and retaliate. From this verse, through to v11, Paul addresses the two people involved in the legal action, confronting their sin, warning them of divine retribution, but at the same time reminding them of their standing in Christ. The wronged litigant should have chosen the path of nonretaliation. "Whether you win or lose, the action itself is already a loss. For even if you win, you lose by not being able to endure injury, and the church loses by your action before the public tribunal", Fee.

men oun "the very fact" - therefore. See above; "so then." Barrett opts for "in fact", as NIV; "Indeed", REB.

oJti "that" - that / because. Serving as a noun clause, subject of the verb to-be; "that you have legal proceedings with one another is (estin, "it is") already completely a defeat for you", as NIV, but possibly introducing a causal clause; "you have completely failed because you go to law with one another."

meq (meta) "among [you]" - [you have lawsuits] with [one another]. Expressing association.

uJmin dat. pro. "[means] you [have been]" - [is a complete defeat] to = for you. Dative of interest, disadvantage. Presumably referring to the two people involved in the legal action, rather than the congregation, but often read as referring to the congregation. "It is an altogether defeat", Fee.

h{tthma (a) "defeated" - defeat, failure. In the sense, failed in their Christian life. If their faith was firm they would not be taking each other to court, but rather they would "renounce the asserting of one's rights", Conzelmann. Such is the proper application of the fruit of faith ("be merciful as God is merciful"). "A total moral failure", Thiselton.

dia ti ouci "why not" - because why not ....? Serving to introduce a direct question; the dia being causal, "because why?"

mallon adv. "rather" - rather. This adverb expresses a contrast and thus an alternative.

adikeisqe (adikew) pres. pas/mid. "be wronged" - be harmed, cheated. The NIV opts for a passive here, but it is possibly middle, a "permissive use of the middle voice", Thiselton. So, "Why do you not rather let yourselves be deprived of your rights? Why do you not rather let yourselves be defrauded."


As for the offender, Paul warns him (and the church - uJmeiV, "you", is plural) that such action undermines his standing as a believer. The action of defrauding a brother makes the church member no different to the pagans who surround the church. Not only is it shameful, but it cannot be tolerated in a Christian fellowship.

alla "instead" - but instead. Contrastive.

uJmeiV "you yourselves" - you [do wrong and cheat]. Emphatic, as NIV.

kai touto "and you do this" - and this. "And believers at that", NRSV.

adelfouV (oV) "to your brother" - to your brothers. Accusative direct object of the verb "to do wrong" and "to cheat."


The offender needs to understand, as does the church, that to persist in the same evils as the "wicked" is to face the danger of the same judgement, namely to "not inherit the kingdom of God." The warning is real, although it seems likely that its intent is not to condemn, but prompt repentance. Paul defines the "wicked" in terms of ten common corrupt societal life-styles.

oJti " that" - [or do you not know] that. Introducing a dependent statement of perception, expressing what they should know.

adikoi adj. "the wicked" - wicked ones. The adjective serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb "to inherit."

ou klhronomhsousin (klhronomew) fut. "will not inherit" - That those who practice the evils listed in v10-11 "will not inherit (will not enter)" the kingdom of God is oft repeated in scripture. It is usually understood that Paul is warning against joining the ranks of "the wicked" again, those who habitually practice these evils. The issue here is most likely not occasional sin, probably not even recurrent sin, but rather a wilful abandoning of a life lived under the grace of God, and this for a life of rebellion against God.

basileian (a) "the kingdom" - kingdom [of god]. See 4:20. Given that Paul is writing primarily to Gentile churches, he only rarely uses the phrase "the kingdom of God" for the righteous reign of God, God's right acting, his setting all things right. So, when Paul refers to God's righteous reign he tends to use the phrase thn tou qeou dikaiosunhn, "The righteousness of God", particularly in his treatise on the gospel in his letter to the Romans. The synoptic gospels, on the other hand, reflecting a Semitic oral tradition, commonly use the phrase "the kingdom of God", a phrase easily understood by those with a Jewish background as referring to God's promised eschatological reign now realized in Christ.

mh planasqe (planaw) pres. pas. imp. "do not be deceived" - be not deceived, led astray, misled. The present tense is durative / imperfective.

oute ... oute .. "neither .... nor .... nor ... nor .." - A negated correlative construction.

pornoi (oV) "sexually immoral" - sexually promiscuous, fornicators. "Illicit sex relationships", Thiselton.

eidwlolatrai (hV ou) "idolaters" - people who worship idols, other gods. Paul is following the Old Testament by placing idolatry next to adultery, where, for an Israelite, the going after other gods is like an act of adultery. Also, on a practical level, promiscuous sex was often associated with pagan cults, particularly where fertility rites were involved.

moicoi (oV) "adulterers" - adulterers [nor effeminate homosexuals, nor masculine homosexuals]. Sex with the married partner of another person.


The list of corrupt societal life-styles continues, all nominative subjects of the negated verb "will not inherit."

kleptai (hV ou) "thieves".

pleonektai (hV ou) "the greedy" - greedy, covetous persons.

mequsoi (oV) "drunkards" - heavy drinkers. "Abusers of alcohol", Junkins.

loidoroi (oV) "slanderers" - "Those who use abusive language", Barclay.

arpageV adj. "swindlers" - violently greedy. Adjective serving as a substantive. The word probably has a similar sense to "thieves", but thieving with violence, so possibly "extortioners", Cassirer, but better "armed robbers".


The litigants once stood with the "wicked", but in Christ they are something different, therefore live like it. The imperative "be what you are" is implied in this verse - they are new people in Christ, therefore be new people. Their change came about when they were: "washed", cleansed of their sins, forgiven; "sanctified", set apart for God, holy in his sight; "justified", set right with God. The instrument of their newness is "the Lord Jesus Christ", his substitutionary dying and rising, and also "the Spirit of our God", his indwelling compelling work of renewal.

kai "and" - and. "And it is true", Godet.

h\te imperf. "you were" - [some] you were [these things]. The imperfect is durative expressing an ongoing life of sin. "Such were some of you", Zerwick.

alla "but" - but. Adversative. "But" is repeated for emphasis.

apelousasqe (apolouw) aor. "you were washed" - The word is compounded with the preposition apo for emphasis, "completely washed". If middle, "you have had yourselves washed", so Godet, Lightfoot, R&P, Beasley-Murray, Fung, Garlington, but as Fee, Barrett, .. note, the word is primarily found in the middle voice and so is possibly a middle with passive sense, or even just a middle of personal interest, so Thiselton; "you have been washed clean [in baptism]", Barclay. Barclay puts into words what many assume, namely that Paul is referring to water baptism. Of course, the rite may be in the mix, but primarily Paul is referring to the washing away of sin, of forgiveness, "the spiritual transformation of conversion", Dunn. So, "you were forgiven once and for all." Water baptism but illustrates forgiveness as an outward expression of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. "You have been purified from sin", TEV.

hJgiasqhte (aJgiazw) aor. pas. "you were sanctified" - [but] you were made holy. The aorist is punctiliar, as is "washed" ("the event of coming to faith", Thiselton) and "made righteous", ie. a singular event is in mind. The base sense of the word is "set apart [for God]", and this is possibly central in Paul's thought; "you were claimed by God as his own and made a member of his holy people", Barrett. It is certainly unlikely that Paul is referring to the process of sanctification in the continuing Christian life, the aorist puts that idea to bed. There is also no significance in "sanctification" being mentioned before "justification" since being holy and right before God are virtually a single package in Paul's mind. As far as Paul is concerned, his readers are sanctified, already made holy, and this in Christ. In union with Christ a believer is as Christ is, holy. Of course, the indicative, what is, does not deny the imperative, what should be. We should be what we are, and this is Paul's point, as far as the Corinthians are concerned, and particularly as far as the two members who are involved in litigation are concerned - they should be what they are.

edikaiwqhte (dikaiow) aor. pas. "you were justified" - [but] you were made righteous. Paul is surely using this word with its full theological meaning rather than something like "made morally righteous", cf., Bultmann. Cranfield, aligning with many conservative commentators, gives the sense as "confer a righteous status on", thus pushing toward the idea of imputed righteousness. Today a more widely accepted sense is "judged in the right with God / judged as covenant compliant", Dumbrell, even "count / treat as righteous", Barrett, thus pushing toward the idea that justification is simply divine forgiveness. Although the idea of "made right with God" carries with it the danger of perfectionism, justification does involve something more than just regarding a person right, for when God says that someone is right with him, they are right with him. So, "set right with God", Bruce ("rectified", Martyn!!!). See Galatians 2:13 - Justification.

en + dat. "in" - Introducing the two prepositional phrases "in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" and "in the Spirit of our God". Usually taken as local in the first use, and then instrumental in the second, as NIV, so Fitzmyer, Thiselton, ... Some commentators take both as local; "in .... and in ....", R&P, Garlington, Bruce (in union with Christ, and in the Spirit we are baptized into one body), ... Yet, this preposition often functions in the place of an instrumental dative (Semitic form); "through / by means of", and given that "in the Spirit of our God" is unlikely, and that it is unlikely that Paul would use the preposition differently in such close proximity, and that both prepositional phrases together are likely to modify the three preceding verbs, then an instrumental sense for both phrases is more than likely; "through the name (by means of the authority of the Lord) ..... and through the Spirit ....", Barrett, Conzelmann, Barnett, Fee. Thrall takes the view that forgiveness and membership of God's people are gifts granted to the Corinthians at their baptism "in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" and "at which converts received the power of the Holy Spirit." Linking Paul's words so tightly to the rite of baptism is probably unhelpful, but her approach is valid enough, given that forgiveness, holiness and right-standing before God rests on the person and work of Christ and the present ministry of the Holy Spirit.

tw/ onamati (a atoV) "the name" - The presence of the phrase "in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" has led many commentators to use it as support for taking "washed" as a reference to water baptism, cf., Matt.28:19. Yet, "the name" simply means "the whole person", their being, character, deeds, with special reference here to Christ's authority. So, the phrase "the name of the Lord", common in the scriptures, is simply identifying the being / character / person of God. To do something "in / by the name of the Lord", is to do it with him, ie. by his authority. Here Jesus is identified as "the Lord" and it is by means of his person and work that the Corinthians are forgiven, made holy and set-right before God.

tou kuriou (oV) gen. "of the Lord" - of the lord [jesus christ]. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, to which "Jesus Christ" is genitive in apposition to "Lord".

tw/ pneumati (a atoV) "the Spirit" - [and in] the spirit. The ongoing standing of the Corinthians as forgiven, made holy and set-right people before God, rests not in their own power, but on the indwelling Spirit's renewing power.

tou qeou (oV) gen. "of [our] God" - of the god [of us]. Taking the Spirit as the third member of the trinity, the genitive would be classified as adjectival, relational. One wonders if, as with "the name", taken in an active sense = under the authority of, "Spirit" is being used actively of the Spirit's sanctifying power, in which case, an ablative, source / origin sense may be intended. See en above.


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