New American Standard Bible
For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords,
King James Bible
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
Darby Bible Translation
For and if indeed there are those called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, (as there are gods many, and lords many,)
World English Bible
For though there are things that are called "gods," whether in the heavens or on earth; as there are many "gods" and many "lords;"
Young's Literal Translation
for even if there are those called gods, whether in heaven, whether upon earth -- as there are gods many and lords many --
1 Corinthians 8:5 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
That are called gods - Gods so called. The pagans everywhere worshipped multitudes, and gave to them the name of gods.
Whether in heaven - Residing in heaven, as a part of the gods were supposed to do. Perhaps, there may be allusion here to the sun, moon, and stars; but I rather suppose that reference is made to the celestial deities, or to those who were supposed to reside in heaven, though they were supposed occasionally to visit the earth, as Jupiter, Juno, Mercury, etc.
Or in earth - Upon the earth; or that reigned particularly ever the earth, or sea, as Ceres, Neptune, etc. The ancient pagans worshipped some gods that were supposed to dwell in heaven; others that were supposed to reside on earth; and others that presided over the inferior regions, as Pluto, etc.
As there be gods many - ὥσπερ hōsper, etc. As there are, in fact, many which are so called or regarded. It is a fact that the pagans worship many whom they esteem to be gods, or whom they regard as such. This cannot be an admission of Paul that they were truly gods, and ought to he worshipped; but it is a declaration that they esteemed them to be such, or that a large number of imaginary beings were thus adored. The emphasis should be placed on the word "many;" and the design of the parenthesis is, to show that the number of these that were worshipped was not a few, but was immense; and that they were in fact worshipped as gods, and allowed to have the influence over their minds and lives which they would have if they were real; that is, that the effect of this popular belief was to produce just as much fear, alarm, superstition, and corruption, as though these imaginary gods had a real existence. So that though the more intelligent of the pagan put no confidence in them, yet the effect on the great mass was the same as if they had had a real existence, and exerted over them a real control.
And lords many - (κύριοι πολλοὶ kurioi polloi). Those who had a "rule" over them; to whom they submitted themselves; and whose laws they obeyed. This name "lord" was often given to their idol gods. Thus, among the nations of Canaan their idols was called בּצל Ba‛al, ("Baal, or lord"), the tutelary god of the Phoenicians and Syrians; Judges 8:33; Judges 9:4, Judges 9:46. It is used here with reference to the IdoLS, and means that the laws which they were supposed to give in regard to their worship had control over the minds of their worshippers.
LibraryThe Law of Christian Conscience.
Preached January 25, 1852. THE LAW OF CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE. "Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some, with conscience of the idol, unto this hour, eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is denied. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither if we eat are we the better; neither if we eat not are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling-block to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast …
Frederick W. Robertson—Sermons Preached at Brighton
The Manifestation of Holy Love.
"Boast not Thyself of To-Morrow, for Thou Knowest not what a Day May Bring Forth. "
The Unity of God
So when the people gathered together, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?"
2 Thessalonians 2:4
who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
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