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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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Chapter 3
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1 Corinthians 4:6

I have in a figure transferred (metesxhmatisa).
First aorist active (not perfect) indicative of meta-sxhmatizw, used by Plato and Aristotle for changing the form of a thing (from meta, after, and sxhma, form or habit, like Latin habitus from exw and so different from morph as in Philippians 2:7; Romans 12:2). For the idea of refashioning see Field, Notes, p. 169f. and Preisigke, Fachworter). Both Greek and Latin writers (Quintilian, Martial) used sxhma for a rhetorical artifice. Paul's use of the word (in Paul only in N.T.) appears also further in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 where the word occurs three times, twice of the false apostles posing and passing as apostles of Christ and ministers of righteousness, and once of Satan as an angel of light, twice with eiv and once with wv. In Philippians 3:21 the word is used for the change in the body of our humiliation to the body of glory. But here it is clearly the rhetorical figure for a veiled allusion to Paul and Apollos "for your sakes" (dia umav).

That in us ye may learn (ina en hmin mathte).
Final clause with ina and the second aorist active subjunctive of mantanw, to learn. As an object lesson in our cases (en hmin). It is no more true of Paul and Apollos than of other ministers, but the wrangles in Corinth started about them. So Paul boldly puts himself and Apollos to the fore in the discussion of the principles involved.

Not to go beyond the things which are written (to Mh uper a gegraptai).
It is difficult to reproduce the Greek idiom in English. The article to is in the accusative case as the object of the verb mathte (learn) and points at the words "Mh uper a gegraptai," apparently a proverb or rule, and elliptical in form with no principal verb expressed with mh, whether "think" (Auth.) or "go" (Revised). There was a constant tendency to smooth out Paul's ellipses as in 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Corinthians 1:26,31. Lightfoot thinks that Paul may have in mind O.T. passages quoted in 1 Corinthians 1:19,31; 3:19,20.

That ye be not puffed up (ina mh pusiouste).
Sub-final use of ina (second use in this sentence) with notion of result. It is not certain whether pusiouste (late verb form like pusiaw, pusaw, to blow up, to inflate, to puff up), used only by Paul in the N.T., is present indicative with ina like zhloute in Galatians 4:17 (cf. ina ginwskomen in 1 John 5:20) or the present subjunctive by irregular contraction (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 203, 342f.), probably the present indicative. Pusiow is from pusiv (nature) and so meant to make natural, but it is used by Paul just like pusaw or pusiaw (from pusa, a pair of bellows), a vivid picture of self-conceit.

One for the one against the other (eiv uper tou enov kata tou eterou).
This is the precise idea of this idiom of partitive apposition. This is the rule with partisans. They are "for" (uper) the one and "against" (kata, down on, the genitive case) the other (tou eterou, not merely another or a second, but the different sort, eterodox).


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 4:6". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.


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