1 Corinthians 6:1-6

1 Corinthians 6:1-6
A Women’s Lectionary – Proper 23


When any of you has a grievanceA against another,B do you dareC

Notes on verse 1a

A “grievance” = pragma. 11x in NT. From prasso (to do or practice – something done on an on-going basis or by habit; to accomplish, attend, or commit). This is an action, matter, or business. It is something done on a regular basis that is done in order to get something done.
B “another” = heteros. This is other, another, different, strange. It is another of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word allos, which is another of the same kind. This could be a different quality, type, or group.
C “dare” = tolmao. 16x in NT. From tolma (boldness); perhaps from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax); from tello (to start out with a definite goal in mind). This is to show courage to take a risk, to venture decisively, to put it on the line for something that matters.

to take it to courtD before the unrighteous,E instead of taking it before the saints?F 

Notes on verse 1b

D “take…to court” = krino. To judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue. This is judging whether it is done in court or in a private setting. Properly, it refers to mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty. It can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging.
E “unrighteous” = adikos. 12x in NT. From a (not, without) + dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); {may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known)}. This is unjust, unrighteous, wicked, treacherous.
F “saints” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.

Do you not knowG that the saints will judgeH the world?I

Notes on verse 2a

G “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
H “judge” = krino. Same as “take…to court” in v1. See note D above.
I “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.

And if the world is to be judged by you, areJ you incompetentK to try trivialL cases?M 

Notes on verse 2b

J “are” = eimi. This is to be, exist.
K “incompetent” = anaxios. 1x in NT. From a (not, without) + axios (worth, worthy, deserving, corresponding; properly, refers to weight – something that matches the worth or value – a due reward); from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, go). This is something that has gone through testing and not passed the test. So, it is unworthy or inadequate. Put another way, it is something or someone that does not rise to the occasion. It is something that does not match what it claims to be in terms of value.
L “trivial” = elachistos. 13x in NT. From elachus (short); used as a superlative for mikros (small). This is smallest or littlest in the sense of size, amount, rank, dignity, and so on.
M “cases” = kriterion. Related to “take…to court” in v1. 3x in NT. From krites (judge, ruler); from krino (see note D above). This is a legal case, cause, criterion for judging. It can also imply a court of law or the judgment seat. This is the root of the word “criterion.”

Do you not know that we are to judge angels,N to say nothing ofO ordinary matters?P 

Notes on verse 3

N “angels” = aggelos. Related to “incompetent” in v2. Probably from ago (see note K above) + 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.
O “to say nothing of” = meti ge. Literally, “how much more.”
P “ordinary matters” = biotikos. 3x in NT. From bioo (to live, life related to the physical); from bios (life, livelihood, goods, wealth). This is related to regular life, earthly life, physicality.

If you have ordinary cases,Q then, do you appointR as judgesS those who have no standingT in the church?U 

Notes on verse 4

Q {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
R “appoint” = kathizo. From kathezomai (to sit down, be seated); {from kata (down, against, according to, among) + hezomai (to sit); {from aphedron (a seat, a base)}}. This is to sit, set, appoint, stay, rest.
S “judges” = kriterion. Same as “cases” in v2. See note M above.
T “no standing” = exoutheneo. 11x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + oudeis (no one, none, nothing; ruling out absolutely); {from oude (and not, neither, not even) {from ou (not, no) + de (but, and, now, indeed)} + heis (one, first, alone)}. Properly, this is casting someone or something out as nothing, consider someone or something nothing – of no account. This would be to treat someone with utter contempt or to ignore them.
U “church” = ekklesia. From ek (from, out from) + 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 properly a calling out or an assembly. It was used to refer to a church.

I say this to your shame.V Can it be that there is no one person wiseW enough toX decideY

Notes on verse 5a

V “shame” = entrope. 2x in NT. From entrepo (to turn about, confound, turn in shame; in a good sense, to revere or respect; also turning to in rapt attention); {from en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + trepo (to turn; may be turning as a part of change); {from trepo (to turn)}}. This is shame or confusion. It can also mean respect.
W “wise” = sophos. Related to saphes (clear). This is wise, clever, skilled, learned, cultivated. This is wisdom as expressed through a practical skill or ability as opposed to thoughtfulness, or intelligence.
X “to” = dunamai. This is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
Y “decide” = diakrino. Related to “take…to court” in v1 & “cases” in v2. 19x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + krino (see note D above). This is to judge, separate, contend, investigate, thoroughly judge.

between brothersZ and sisters? Instead, brothers and sisters go to courtAA against one another, and this before the unbelievers.BB

Notes on verses 5b-6

Z “brothers” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
AA “go to court” = krino. Same as “take…to court” in v1. See note D above.
BB “unbelievers” = apistos. From a (not, without) + pistos (faithful, trustworthy, reliable, sure, or true; a fullness of faith); {from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust)}. This is unbelieving, incredulous, faithless. It is someone who chooses to reject faith.

Image credit: “Fight on Snow” from Tama Zoological Park, Tokyo. Photo by su neko, 2008.

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