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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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1 Corinthians 1:2

The church of God (thi ekklhsiai tou teou).
Belonging to God, not to any individual or faction, as this genitive case shows. In 1 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul wrote "the church of the Thessalonians in God" (en tewi), but "the churches of God" in 1 Thessalonians 2:14. See same idiom in 1 Corinthians 10:32; 11:16,22; 15:9; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:13, etc.

Which is in Corinth (thi oushi en Korintwi).
See on Acts 13:1 for idiom. It is God's church even in Corinth, "laetum et ingens paradoxon" (Bengel). This city, destroyed by Mummius B.C. 146, had been restored by Julius Caesar a hundred years later, B.C. 44, and now after another hundred years has become very rich and very corrupt. The very word "to Corinthianize" meant to practise vile immoralities in the worship of Aphrodite (Venus). It was located on the narrow Isthmus of the Peloponnesus with two harbours (Lechaeum and Cenchreae). It had schools of rhetoric and philosophy and made a flashy imitation of the real culture of Athens. See Acts 18:1ff. for the story of Paul's work here and now the later developments and divisions in this church will give Paul grave concern as is shown in detail in I and II Corinthians. All the problems of a modern city church come to the front in Corinth. They call for all the wisdom and statesmanship in Paul.

That are sanctified (hgiasmenoiv).
Perfect passive participle of agiazw, late form for agizw, so far found only in the Greek Bible and in ecclesiastical writers. It means to make or to declare agion (from agov, awe, reverence, and this from azw, to venerate). It is significant that Paul uses this word concerning the

called saints} or {called to be saints (klhtoiv agioiv)
in Corinth. Cf. klhtov apostolov in 1:1. It is because they are sanctified

in Christ Jesus (en Xristwi Ihsou).
He is the sphere in which this act of consecration takes place. Note plural, construction according to sense, because ekklhsia is a collective substantive.

With all that call upon (sun pasin toiv epikaloumenoiv).
Associative instrumental case with sun rather than kai (and), making a close connection with "saints" just before and so giving the Corinthian Christians a picture of their close unity with the brotherhood everywhere through the common bond of faith. This phrase occurs in the LXX (Genesis 12:8; Zechariah 13:9) and is applied to Christ as to Jehovah (2 Thessalonians 1:7,9,12; Philippians 2:9,10). Paul heard Stephen pray to Christ as Lord (Acts 7:59). Here "with a plain and direct reference to the Divinity of our Lord" (Ellicott).

Their Lord and ours (autwn kai hmwn).
This is the interpretation of the Greek commentators and is the correct one, an afterthought and expansion (epanortwsiv) of the previous "our," showing the universality of Christ.


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 1:2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.


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