Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament1 Corinthians 8:1
- Now concerning things sacrificed to idols (peri de twn eidwlotutwn).
- Plainly the Corinthians had asked also about this problem in their letter to Paul (7:1). This compound adjective (eidwlon, idol, tutov, verbal adjective from tuw, to sacrifice) is still found only in the N.T. and ecclesiastical writers, not so far in the papyri. We have seen this problem mentioned in the decision of the Jerusalem Conference (Acts 15:29; 21:25). The connection between idolatry and impurity was very close, especially in Corinth. See both topics connected in Revelation 2:14,20. By eidwlotuta was meant the portion of the flesh left over after the heathen sacrifices. The heathen called it ierotuton (1 Corinthians 10:28). This leftover part "was either eaten sacrificially, or taken home for private meals, or sold in the markets" (Robertson and Plummer). What were Christians to do about eating such portions either buying in the market or eating in the home of another or at the feast to the idol? Three questions are thus involved and Paul discusses them all. There was evidently difference of opinion on the subject among the Corinthian Christians. Aspects of the matter come forward not touched on in the Jerusalem Conference to which Paul does not here allude, though he does treat it in Galatians 2:1-10. There was the more enlightened group who acted on the basis of their superior knowledge about the non-existence of the gods represented by the idols.
- Ye know that we all have knowledge (oidamen oti pantev gnwsin exomen).
- This may be a quotation from the letter (Moffatt, Lit. of N.T., p. 112). Since their conversion to Christ, they know the emptiness of idol-worship. Paul admits that all Christians have this knowledge (personal experience, gnwsiv), but this problem cannot be solved by knowledge.