1 Corinthians

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1 Corinthians 10 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 1 Corinthians 10 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

Don't be an idolater. If you are an idolater, God will make you sit down to eat and then rise up to play.
The author of the SAB has completely misread this verse. The sitting down to eat and drink and rising up to play is an example of the idolatry the idolaters had done. This is a reference to Ex. 32:6.

8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

Paul claims that God killed 23,000 in a plague for "committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab," but Numbers (25:9) says that he killed 24,000.
How many did God kill?
The key phrase is “one day”: on that day 23,000 fell by the sword, Num. 25:5. The day before, 1,000 leaders were hanged, Num. 25:4.

9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

"Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents."
If you tempt Christ (How could you tempt Christ?), then you will die from snakebites.
The author of the SAB resorts to wrong logic again. This is what the apostle Paul says:
  1. There are people who tempt Christ.
  2. Some of them were destroyed by serpents.
From this it does not follow that all those who tempt Christ will be destroyed by serpents. Only some were and it's an example given by Paul that tempting Christ can be deadly.
On how you can tempt Christ, John Gill explains:

As all such persons do, who, presuming on the power and grace of Christ to keep them, or upon what they have received from him, unnecessarily expose themselves to snares and temptations, and so to danger; and as many of the Corinthians did, who are here chiefly respected, who trusting to their gifts and attainments, their knowledge and Christian liberty, would go into an idol's temple, sit down at meat there, and exposed themselves great and imminent danger; which was a tempting Christ, whether he would preserve them or not:

10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

If you murmur, then you'll be destroyed by the destroyer (God).
This refers to the murmuring of the Israelites, Num. 16:41, being unhappy with God's providence and his chosen servants. The destroyer is either God's judgment or an angel God employs for this task as in 2 Sam. 24:16.

11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

"They are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
Paul believed that he would live to see the end of the world.
The phrase “ends of the world” means New Testament times. Paul does not say he would live to see Christ's second coming.

12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

"The Gentiles ... sacrifice to devils."
Gentiles sacrifice to devils. If you have gentile friends, then you are friends with devils.
This is clearly about Gentiles who sacrifice. Not everyone who is a Gentile might sacrifice though, but probably in Paul's time almost everyone did. In our times people also sacrifice: their unborn children to the god of freedom from all responsibility.

21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

"All things are lawful for me."
Everything is lawful to Paul.
The “all things” is clearly limited by the context: eating of all things. Although eating of meat sacrificed to devils can be done, it shouldn't be done in the temple of idols nor in front of a weak brother.

24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.

25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

"Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake."
What should we eat?
Paul explains that Christians can eat food sacrificed to idols if they do not know it has been sacrificed. They don't need a certificate for every piece of food. They can freely buy it and can freely eat it without defiling themselves. But they shouldn't buy it or eat it if someone has told them it has been sacrificed to devils.
On the general question what Christians can eat, see Old Testament Laws.

26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

(10:26) "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof."
Who owns the earth?
As this verse says, God is the creator and still Lord of this earth. See Matthew 4:9 where the author of the SAB reads something different.

27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:

29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?

30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

"I please all men in all things."
In Galatians (1:10) Paul says, "If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." In this verse he says, "I please all men in all things." Therefore Paul is not the servant of Christ.
Should we try to please everyone?
This verse has the same context and meaning as Rom. 15:2.