1 Corinthians xvi.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. St. Paul had been charged by the apostles at the council of Jerusalem, to collect alms from the faithful of other Churches, for their poor brethren in Palestine. The apostle acquitted himself of his commission with the greatest possible zeal, and he wishes in this chapter to excite the Corinthians to a like generous conduct with the Galatians: (Calmet) a pastoral ordinance this for alms-deeds, which should be prompt, free, and proportionate to our means. It is just to prefer the wants of the children of the Church to others, particularly in those places whence the light of faith has been received, Jerusalem and Rome.

Ver. 2. On the[1] first day of the week, which is Sunday, and our sabbath, not the Jewish sabbath, as St. Chrysostom observes, so that before this time, the apostles had appointed the first day of the week for the worship of God. (Witham)

Ver. 5. Now I will come. St. Paul came to Corinth a year after he had written this epistle. Titus, his favourite disciple, arrived at Corinth before St. Paul, and was received with the greatest marks of esteem: by him he sent his second epistle to the Corinthians. (Calmet)

Ver. 9. A gate is opened to me, large and evident; that is, a fair and good occasion of labouring to convert many, where there are many adversaries. (Witham) — The work of God is carried on by the power of the cross, and in the midst of contradictions and persecutions. If we suffer this to damp our courage, we forget that we are ministers of a crucified master, and ought to wear his livery.

Ver. 12. As to our brother. St. Paul here makes an apology for sending Timothy to them, who was a young man, and not so renowned for eloquence and sanctity as Apollo, informing them that Apollo did not wish to come, perhaps on account of the commotions that were at Corinth on his account. (Estius)

Ver. 13. A Christian is a soldier, environed and attacked on all sides by enemies. It is his duty to guard against surprise. He should never abandon the post of faith, nor the fortress of the Church, unless he wish to fall an easy prey to his adversaries. He should fight with courage, and after each attack, carefully repair the breaches made by the enemy, that he may be in a condition to sustain fresh attacks by charity, which is the principle, the soul, the life, and heart of our every action.

Ver. 15. The first-fruits of Achaia; the first there converted. (Witham)

Ver. 17. Which was wanting on your part, they have supplied, by informing me, and giving me a full account of all. (Witham)

Ver. 22. Let him be anathema, accursed. Maran Atha,[2] which, according to St. Jerome and St. Chrysostom, signify, the Lord is come already, and so is to be taken as an admonition to those who doubted of the resurrection, and is to put them in mind, that Christ, the Judge of the living and the dead, is come already. The Rabbinical writers tells us, there are three curses among the Jews called by different names: that the first was niddui, which implied an expulsion from the synagogue for a time; the second was greater, such being quite cut off from the common society, called Cherem; the third, Maran Atha, the Lord cometh, is coming, or is come, which was followed by exemplary judgments and punishments. Thus Mons. Hure, in his Bible Dictionary, Mr. Legh, in his Critica Sacra, and also Mr. Nary. But whether this is better grounded than many other Rabbinical stories, let others judge. (Witham)

Ver. 24. Happy, thrice happy the pastor, whose life, labours, zeal, and the testimony of his own conscience, embolden him to say with St. Paul, that he loves the flock of Jesus Christ, that he only loves them for Jesus Christ, and in Jesus Christ, by virtue of the Holy Spirit.


[1] Ver. 2. Per unam, that is primam Sabbati, eis mian sabbaton. St. Chrysostom, om. mtoutesti kuriaken, p. 530.

[2] Ver. 22. Maran Atha, maran atha. St. Chrysostom, ti de esti maran atha; o kurios emon elthe, &c. St. Hierom[St. Jerome], Epist. ad Marcellam. tom. ii. p. 706, and de nominibus Hebraicis. tom. iv. p. 78.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Of collections of alms, admonitions, and salutations.

1 Now concerning the collections that are made for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, so do you also.

2 On the first day of the week let every one of you put apart with himself, laying up what it shall well please him: that when I come, the collections be not then to be made.

3 And when I shall be with you: whomsoever you shall approve by letters, those will I send to carry your gift to Jerusalem.

4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

5 Now I will come to you, when I shall have passed through Macedonia. For I shall pass through Macedonia.

6 And with you, perhaps, I shall abide, or even spend the winter: that you may bring me on my journey whithersoever I shall go.

7 For I will not see you now by the way; for I hope that I shall remain with you some time, if the Lord permit.

8 But I will stay at Ephesus until Pentecost.

9 For a door is opened to me, great and evident: and many adversaries.

10 Now if Timothy come, see that he be with you without fear, for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.

11 Let no man, therefore, despise him, but conduct ye him on his way in peace: that he may come to me. For I look for him with the brethren.

12 As to our brother, Apollo, I make known to you that I earnestly entreated him to come to you with the brethren: and indeed it was not his will at all to come at this time. But he will come when he shall have leisure.

13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, do manfully, and be strengthened.

14 Let all your actions be done in charity.

15 And I beseech you, brethren, you know the house of Stephanas, and of Fortunatus, and of Achaicus, that they are the first-fruits of Achaia, and have dedicated themselves to the ministry of the saints:

16 That you also be subject to such, and to every one that worketh with us, and laboureth.

17 And I rejoice in the presence of Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for that which was wanting on your part, they have supplied.

18 For they have refreshed both my spirit and yours. Know them, therefore, that are such.

19 The churches of Asia salute you, Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house: with whom I also lodge.

20 All the brethren salute you. Salute one another with a holy kiss.

21 The salutation of me, Paul, with my own hand.

22 If any man love not our Lord, Jesus Christ, let him be anathema, Maran Atha.

23 The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you.

24 My charity be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.