New American Standard Bible
So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?
King James Bible
If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
Darby Bible Translation
If then ye have judgments as to things of this life, set those to judge who are little esteemed in the assembly.
World English Bible
If then, you have to judge things pertaining to this life, do you set them to judge who are of no account in the assembly?
Young's Literal Translation
of the things of life, indeed, then, if ye may have judgment, those despised in the assembly -- these cause ye to sit;
1 Corinthians 6:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Ye have judgments - Causes; controversies; suits.
Things pertaining to this life - Property, etc.
Set them to judge ... - The verb translated set καθίζετε kathizete may be either in the imperative mood, as in our translation, and then it will imply a command; or it may be regarded as in the indicative, and to be rendered interrogatively, "Do ye set or appoint them to judge who are of little repute for their wisdom and equity?" that is, pagan magistrates. The latter is probably the correct rendering, as according to the former no good reason can be given why Paul should command them to select as judges those who had little repute for wisdom in the church. Had he designed this as a command, he would doubtless have directed them to choose their most aged, wise and experienced men, instead of those "least esteemed." It is manifest, therefore, that this is to he read as a question: "Since you are abundantly qualified yourselves to settle your own differences, do you employ the pagan magistrates, in whom the church can have little confidence for their integrity and justice?" It is designed, therefore, as a severe reproof for what they had been accustomed to do; and an implied injunction that they should do it no more.
Who are least esteemed - (ἐξουθενημένους exouthenēmenous). Who are "contemned," or regarded as of no value or worth; in whose judgment and integrity you can have little or no confidence. According to the interpretation given above of the previous part of the verse this refers to the pagan magistrates - to people in whose virtue, piety and qualifications for just judgment Christians could have little confidence; and whose judgment must be regarded as in fact of very little value, and as very little likely to be correct. That the pagan magistrates were in general very corrupt, there can be no doubt. Many of them were people of abandoned character, of dissipated lives, men who were easily bribed, and people, therefore, in whose judgment Christians could repose little confidence. Paul reproves the Corinthians for going before them with their disputes when they could better settle them themselves. Others, however, who regard this whole passage as an instruction to Christians to appoint those to determine their controversies who were least esteemed, suppose that this refers to the "lowest orders" of judges among the Hebrews; to those who were least esteemed, or who were almost despised; and that Paul directs them to select even them in preference to the pagan magistrates. See Lightfoot. But the objection to this is obvious and insuperable. Paul would not have recommended this class of people to decide their causes, but would have recommended the selection of the most wise and virtuous among them. This is proved by 1 Corinthians 6:5, where, in directing them to settle their matters among themselves, he asks whether there is not a "wise man" among them, clearly proving that he wished their difficulties adjusted, not by the most obscure and the least respected members of the church, but by the most wise and intelligent members.
In the church - By the church. That is, the pagan magistrates evince such a character as not to be worthy of the confidence of the church in settling matters of controversy.
Library"Bought with a Price"
You will notice that in this chapter the apostle Paul has been dealing with sins of the flesh, with fornication and adultery. Now, it is at all times exceedingly difficult for the preacher either to speak or to write upon this subject; it demands the strictest care to keep the language guarded, so that while we are denouncing a detestable evil we do not ourselves promote it by a single expression that should be otherwise than chaste and pure. Observe how well the apostle Paul succeeds, for though …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871
On Communion in the Lord's Supper.
Tempest and Trust
Death to Sin through Christ
1 Corinthians 6:3
Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?
1 Corinthians 6:5
I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren,
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