1 Corinthians 14:38
But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(38) But if any man be ignorant.—There are here two readings in the Greek, for each of which there is strong evidence. The passage may run, either, as in the English, if any man does not know this, let him not know it: then the words would mean that a person who could not recognise such an evident and simple truth must be of a perverse mind—his opposition would give the Apostle no further concern. The other reading is, if any man knows not this, he is himself not known: this would signify that any man who knows not this truth is not known of God (as in 1Corinthians 8:2-3; 1Corinthians 13:12).

14:34-40 When the apostle exhorts Christian women to seek information on religious subjects from their husbands at home, it shows that believing families ought to assemble for promoting spiritual knowledge. The Spirit of Christ can never contradict itself; and if their revelations are against those of the apostle, they do not come from the same Spirit. The way to keep peace, truth, and order in the church, is to seek that which is good for it, to bear with that which is not hurtful to its welfare, and to keep up good behaviour, order, and decency.But if any be ignorant ... - If anyone affects to be ignorant of my authority, or whether I have a right to command. If he affects to doubt whether I am inspired, and whether what I utter is in accordance with the will of God.

Let him be ignorant - At his own peril, let him remain so, and abide the consequences. I shall not take any further trouble to debate with him. I have stated my authority. I have delivered the commands of God. And now, if he disregards them, and still doubts whether all this is said by divine authority, let him abide the consequences of rejecting the law of God. I have given full proof of my divine commission. I have nothing more to say on that head. And now, if he chooses to remain in ignorance or incredulity, the fault is his own, and he must answer for it to God.

38. if any man be ignorant—wilfully; not wishing to recognize these ordinances and my apostolic authority in enjoining them.

let him be ignorant—I leave him to his ignorance: it will be at his own peril; I feel it a waste of words to speak anything further to convince him. An argument likely to have weight with the Corinthians, who admired "knowledge" so much.

If any one will pretend ignorance in this, he is wilfully ignorant; for my own part, I will concern myself no further about him, but leave myself and him also to the judgment of God;

let him be ignorant. In some copies it is, he shall not be known: in the day of judgment Christ shalt say unto him: Depart from me, I know you not. But if any man be ignorant,.... Of "these" words, as the Arabic version adds, and does not know and own them to be the commandments of Christ; though he may profess himself to be a prophet, or a spiritual man, he is a very ignorant one, and has not the Spirit of God he pretends to: and if he will not be convinced, but goes on to doubt, and call in question the truth of these things, and obstinately persist in his ignorance,

let him be ignorant: let him be treated and despised as an ignorant man; and let his ignorance be no hinderance to any in receiving these rules and directions as the commandments of Christ; for no regard is to be had, or pity shown, to a man of affected ignorance, and wilful obstinacy; such a man is not to be known and owned, but shunned and rejected.

{17} But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

(17) The church ought not to care for those who are stubbornly ignorant, and will not abide to be taught, but to go forward nonetheless in those things which are right.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 14:38. Ἀγνοεῖ] namely, ἃ γράφω ὑμῖν, ὅτι κ.τ.λ., 1 Corinthians 14:37. His not being willing to know, or the attitude of wrongly knowing (Hofmann), is not conveyed in the word, but is presupposed.

ἀγνοείτω] permissive, denotes the renunciation of all endeavours to instruct such an one who lets himself be puffed up. It is the opposite of the ἐπιγινώσκειν, 1 Corinthians 14:37. Estius puts it well: “Sibi suaeque ignorantiae relinquendos esse censeo.” Comp. 1 Corinthians 11:16.38. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant] Some editors read ‘he is ignored’ instead of ‘let him be ignorant.’ If we take the reading in the text, which seems preferable, the sense is that St Paul will give himself no further trouble about one whose insubordination proves him to be no real prophet of God; if the reading which some would substitute for it, the signification is that God will neglect him who neglects the commandments of His Apostle. Cf. ch. 1 Corinthians 8:3. The Vulgate renders ignorabitur; and Wiclif, he schal be unknowe; Tyndale renders as in the text.1 Corinthians 14:38. Εἰ δέ τις ἀγνοεῖ, But if any man be ignorant) So that he has not the capacity to perceive [acknowledge]. If any one knows not, he says, or pretends not to know. This is an argument which would have weight with the Corinthians, who were very desirous of knowledge.—ἀγνοείτω, let him be ignorant) which means, we cannot cast away all things for the sake of such a man; let him keep it to himself. Those, who are thus left to themselves, repent more readily, than if you were to teach them against their will.Verse 38. - Let him be ignorant. The formula seems to fall under the idiom which refuses to say anything more about a subject ("If I perish, I perish;" "What I have written, I have written;" "He that is filthy, let him be filthy still," etc.). The readings vary considerably ("He is ignored;" "He has been ignored;" "He shall be ignored;" "Let him be ignored"). These other readings would be a statement of retribution in kind - of God "sprinkling penal blindnesses on forbidden lusts." But the reading of our translation is on the whole the best supported, and means that to invincible bigotry and ignorant obstinacy St. Paul will have no more to say (Matthew 15:14; 1 Timothy 6:3-5). Let him be ignorant (ἀγνοείτω)

Let him remain ignorant. The text is doubtful. Some read ἀγνοεῖται he is not known; i.e., he is one whom God knows not.

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