The Criterion of Conduct: Love and Knowledge (8:1–6)
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8 1 1 Corinthians 8:1-6 The Criterion of Conduct: Love and Knowledge Now concerning meat sacrificed to idols.' we are aware that we all have knowledge . Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 21 If anyone imagines that he knows something,2 then he does not yet know in the proper sense. 31 But if a man loves God. then he is known by God. 3 41 Well then, as far as eating meat sacrificed to idols is concerned, we are aware that no idol exists in the world and that no god exists in the world but one. 5 I For even if so-called gods exist, be it in heaven or on earth, as (in actual fact) many gods and many lords do exist. 6 I yet for us there exists only one God, the Father. 4 from whom all things come. and toward whom we move,5 and one Lord, Jesus Christ. through whom all things exist, and through whom we live. •1 ElowX68vrov, "meat sacrificed to idols," is a Jewish term, constructed with a polemical edge against the Greek lEpoOvrov (10:28). 6 For his answer Paul can rely upon the statement which he had already quoted in 6:12 and whose validity he had recognized: 1ravra E~ECTTLV, "I am free to do any7TEpL , "concerning," cannot be dependent on '}'1/Wcn ~, "knowledge." This is clear (1) from the analogy with the other section~ introduced by 7TEpL; (2) from the word order; (3) from v 4; (4) from the absolute use in v 7; (5) the matter is completely clear when there is a quotation (see the commentary ). 5 2 See next note. 3 Om. n in v 2: p46 Tert., Orig.; om. r(w (}Eiw: p•6 Clem. AI.; om. v7T' avrov: p46 Clem. AI., N* 33. The abbreviations produce a very pregnant text, though admittedly one that is testified as a whole only by p46. Zuntz, Text, 31f, considers it to be the original, 6 but intermingles textual criticism, exegesis and psychology : only the abbreviated text, he holds, fits logically into the train of thought; the other is the result of an addition. This, however, does not explain the remarkable state of the textual tradition. It is plain that the short text presupposes the (Alexandrian ) development of the concept '}'llwcn~ (and ci'}'cl7T17). The erasures in v 3 were facilitated by v 2, whether n originally stood there or not. In what follows, too, there is a noticeable agreement between p46 and Clement (with a pervading tendency toward abbreviation). 4 o7TaT~p, "the Father," is in apposition. This harmonizes with v 4 from the linguistic standpoint and is in keeping with the content of the context. Lietzmann is apparently of a different mind, for in his translation he takes o7Tar~p as predicate:".. . yet for us only the one God is Father." This destroys the parallel between the statements on God and on the Lord. For the construction see Blass- Debrunner §297 (cf.§469): not a semitizing, pleonastic use of the personal pronoun, but "the linking of a clause logically parallel to a relative clause by means of Kat . . . avrov," also unobjectionable in classical Greek; see Kuhner- Blass- Gerth 2:432f; cf. 2 Pet 2:3. 4 Mace. 5.2; Acts 15 :29 (not v 20); 21 :25; Rev 2:14, 20. The rabbinic equivalent is C'J:l'r;l 'IJ=!l! il!l~, "flesh of an offering to the dead= to idols"; cf. A.( 2.3 (Akiba): "Flesh that is entering in unto an idol is permitted, but what comes forth is forbidden, for it is as the sacrifices of the dead" (Danby, 438f); Str.-B. 3:377. The passage has no bearing on the Corinthian case. It is a matter of pure theory, since of course the jew is only allowed to partake of animals that have been ritually slaughtered. 139 thing." 7 In 8:1, too, it is plain that he is directly taking up a Corinthian slogan and recognizing it in principle, by using the word o'Loap,Ev, "we are aware," to include himself and his readers8-the slogan: 7raVTH "(VWULV EXOJJ.EV, "we all have knowledge." Whether 7ravns, "all," belongs to the quoted slogan or is an addition on Paul's part may be asked. In favor of the latter assumption is the fact that in Corinth there are ofcourse "weak" people who do not have this knowledge. Paul would then be using the addition...