1 Corinthians 4:8-13

1 Corinthians 4:8-13
A Women’s Lectionary 35


Already you have all you want!A Already you have become rich!B Quite apart fromC us

Notes on verse 8a

A “have all you want” = korennmi. Literally “already you are satisfied.” 2x in NT. From koros (excess, overindulgence). This is to fill or satisfy until full. Often it has the sense of cramming or glutting – more than satisfied.
B “become rich” = plouteo. 12x in NT. From ploutizo (to enrich, cause abundance, bring fullness); from ploutos (abundance, wealth, or riches; money, possessions, spiritual abundance, or a valuable bestowment); from polus (much, many, abundant) OR pleo (to sail, voyage); {probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow)} OR pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is to be rich or abound in. It is to be or get wealth in a literal or figurative sense.
C “apart from” = choris. From chora (space, land, region, fields, open area); from chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to gape, yawn). This is apart from, separate from.

you have become kings!D If onlyE you had become kings, so that we might be kings withF you! 

Notes on verse 8b

D “become kings” = basileuo. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is to reign as king, to rule in a literal or figurative sense.
E “if only” = ophelon. 4x in NT. From opheilo (to be indebted morally or legally – having an obligation one must meet. This term came from the legal world, but was then adopted in reference to morality. In the New Testament it is used for humanity’s ethical responsibility); perhaps from the base of ophelos (advantage, gain, profit); from ophello (heaped together, accumulate, increase). This is used specifically to express a wish or desire that cannot be achieved. So it is would that or oh that.
F “be kings with” = sumbasileuo. Related to “become kings” in v8. 2x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + basileuo (see note D above). This is to reign with or be kings with.

For I thinkG that GodH has exhibitedI us apostlesJ as lastK of all, as though sentenced to death,

Notes on verse 9a

G “think” = dokeo. From dokos (opinion). This is to have an opinion, seem, appear, think, suppose. It deals with a personal judgment. This is the root of the word “doxology.”
H “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
I “exhibited” = apodeiknumi. 4x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is to demonstrate by offering proof – showing that something meets its claims. It can also be showing off, exhibiting or, figuratively, to accredit.
J “apostles” = apostolos. From apostello (to send, send away, send forth as a messenger, to commission); {from apo (from, away from) + stello (to set, arrange, prepare, provide for); {probably from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand firm)}}. This is a messenger – someone sent out on a mission as an envoy or delegate. It can also refer to someone set at liberty. Generally, this is a messenger who is meant to be a representative of the one who sent them. They are thus, set apart on a mission literally or figuratively.
K “last” = eschatos. Related to eschaton (end, last); perhaps from echo (to have, possess, hold). This is last, end, extreme, final. It is often used to discuss the end times, prophecies of the future, and the afterlife. The branch of theology focusing on all these topics is called “eschatology.”

because we have becomeL a spectacleM to the world,N to angelsO and to humans.P 

Notes on verse 9b

L “become” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
M “spectacle” = theatron. 3x in NT. From theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); from thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance); from theoros (a spectator or envoy). This is a theatre – a place for shows or other public displays that was usually outside or open to the air. It could also refer to a show at a theatre. Figuratively, it would be treating someone as a public display, making a spectacle of them, or mocking them. It could also refer to any kind of spectacle.
N “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
O “angels” = aggelos. Probably from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide) + agele (flock, herd, drove); {also from ago (see above)}. This is angel or messenger. Properly, it is one sent with news or to perform a specific task. This messenger can be human or an angel from heaven. More commonly, it is used for angels in the New Testament.
P “humans” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.

10 We are foolsQ for the sake of Christ,R but you are sensibleS people in Christ.

Notes on verse 10a

Q “fools” = moros. 12x in NT. This is foolish, dull, stupid. It is something lacking an edge so figuratively it refers to someone who has a loose grasp of reality or whose understanding is dull. It is someone who acts as though they have not brain.
R “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
S “sensible” = phronimos. 14x in NT.  From phroneo (to think, judge, use one’s mind, have an opinion, shape one’s opinion through action); from phren (diaphragm, heart, intellect, understanding; figurative for personal opinion or inner mindset; thought regulating action; sympathy, feelings, cognition); perhaps from phrao (to rein in or curb). This is wise in a practical sense, prudent, or sensible. It is savvy, rooted in our own point of view, thoughtful. It can also mean conceited.

We are weak,T but you are strong.U You are honored,V but we are dishonored.W 

Notes on verse 10b

T “weak” = asthenes. From a (not) + sthenes (strong, vigor); {from the base of sthenoo (to strengthen so that one can be mobile); from sthenos (strength)}. This is without strength so weak, sick, helpless, frail, feeble. It can also be unimpressive or impotent. It can be used for physical or moral weakness.
U “strong” = ischuros. From ischuo (to be strong, healthy and vigorous, able, have power, prevail; strength that engages a resisting force); from ischus (strength, might, power, force, ability; power that engages immediate resistance). This is strong – first of physical strength. Later, also used figuratively for forcible, powerful, mighty, vehement, or sure.
V “honored” = endoxos. Related to “think” in v9. 4x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + doxa (glory, opinion, praise, honor, renown; particularly used as a quality of God or manifestation of God – splendor); from dokeo (see note G above). This is glorious, splendid, or distinguished. Properly, it is someone or something held in glory – it shows dignity or elevated rank, reputation, or status. Figuratively, it can also mean noble.
W “dishonored” = atimos. 4x in NT. From a (not, without) + time (worth or something’s perceived value; literally, price, but figuratively, the honor or value one sees in someone or something else; also esteem or dignity; also precious or valuables); {from tino (to pay, be punished, pay a penalty or fine because of a crime); from tio (to pay respect, value)}. This is without honor, despised, not valued, not recognized.

11 To the present hourX we are hungryY and thirsty,Z

Notes on verse 11a

X “hour” = hora. This is a set time or period, an hour, instant, or season. This is where the word “hour” comes from.
Y “are hungry” = peinao. From peina (hunger); related to penomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is to hunger, be needy, or desire earnestly. It can be being famished in a definitive sense or in comparison to someone or something else. Figuratively, this means to crave.
Z “thirsty” = dipsao. 16x in NT. From dipsa (thirst); from dipsos (thirst). This is thirst in a literal or figurative sense. Can also mean keenly desire.

we are nakedAA and beatenBB and homeless,CC 

Notes on verse 11b

AA “are naked” = gumniteuo. 1x in NT. From gumnos (naked; generally refers to someone who is not completely clothed i.e. only wearing the undergarment and not the complete attire for going out; rarely, it can mean completely naked; naked in a literal or figurative sense – open, bare, ill-clad). This is being naked or poorly clad. It is wearing only the undergarment.
BB “beaten” = kolaphizo. 5x in NT. From kolaphos (to hit with a fist); from the base of kolazo (to punish, particularly to punish slaves so that they are restricted or chastised); from kolos (docked). This is to punch – literally to hit with knuckles. It can also more generally mean violent mistreatment.
CC “homeless” = astateo. Related to “apostles” in v9. 1x in NT. From a (not, without) + histemi (see note J above). This is unsettled, not having a steady home and so living as a homeless person.

12 and we grow wearyDD from the workEE of our ownFF hands.GG

Notes on verse 12a

DD “grow weary” = kopiao. From kopos (labor that leads to exhaustion, depletion, weariness, fatigue; working until worn out); from kopto (to cut, strike, cut off; beating the chest to lament and so to mourn). This is working with effort, whether of the body or mind, growing weary, feeling tired, working hard.
EE “work” = ergazomai. From ergon (work, task, action, employment). This is to work, labor, perform, toil.
FF “own” = idios. This is something that belongs to you or that is personal, private, apart. It indicates a stronger sense of possession than a simple possessive pronoun. This is where “idiot” comes from (denoting someone who hasn’t had formal training or education and so they rely on their own understanding).
GG “hands” = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.

When reviled,HH we bless;II when persecuted,JJ we endure;KK 

Notes on verse 12b

HH “reviled” = loidoreo. 4x in NT. From loidoros (abusive, reproach, reviler; harming someone else’s reputation with abusive words); perhaps from loidos (mischief). This is to abuse or revile – insulting someone to their face in a demoralizing or humiliating way.
II “bless” = eulogeo. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); {from lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. Properly, this is speaking well of – speaking so that the other is benefited. It can mean praise, bless, thank, or call for a blessing. This is where “eulogy” comes from.
JJ “persecuted” = dioko. From dio (put to flight). This is chase or pursue in an aggressive fashion. By implication, it is persecute. It can also be used positively for eagerly pursuing something.
KK “endure” = anecho. Related to “last” in v9. 15x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, among, anew) + echo (see note K above). This is to endure, bear with, tolerate, persist, put up with.

13 when slandered,LL we speak kindly.MM We have become like the rubbishNN of the world, the dregsOO of allPP things, to this very day.

Notes on verse 13

LL “slandered” = dusphemia. 2x in NT. From dus (un- or mis-) + pheme (saying, news, rumor, fame) {from phemi (to say, declare, speak comparatively through contrasts, bring to light); from phao (to shine)}. This is ill-repute, defamation, or the contents of a bad omen.
MM “speak kindly” = parakaleo. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud) {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is to call to, summon, invite, request, or beg. It can also be exhort or admonish. Also, this can be encourage, comfort, or console. This word has legal overtones and is used of one’s advocate in a courtroom. It is the root of the name of the Holy Spirit “paraclete” is our advocate and comforter.
NN “rubbish” = perikatharma. 1x in NT. From peri (all-around, encompassing, excess) + kathairo (to cleanse or purify by purging out unwanted elements); {from katharos (clean, clear, pure, unstained; clean in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense; so, also guiltless, innocent or upright; something that is pure because it has been separated from the negative substance or aspect; spiritually clean because of God’s act of purifying)}. Properly, this is that which remains after something is cleaned. It is the filth or scum that comes from cleaning. It can also be filth in a figurative sense.
OO “dregs” = peripsema. 1x in NT. From peri (all-around, encompassing, excess) + psao (to rub, wipe off). This is the scrapings so it could be dirt, dregs or filth. Figuratively, it can mean scum.
PP “all” = pas. This is all or every.

Image credit: “2016.07.28 Summer Shower” by michaeljoakes, 2012.

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