1 Corinthians 15:32
Parallel Verses
New International Version
If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."

King James Bible
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

Darby Bible Translation
If, [to speak] after the manner of man, I have fought with beasts in Ephesus, what is the profit to me if [those that are] dead do not rise? let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die.

World English Bible
If I fought with animals at Ephesus for human purposes, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, then "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."

Young's Literal Translation
if after the manner of a man with wild beasts I fought in Ephesus, what the advantage to me if the dead do not rise? let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die!

1 Corinthians 15:32 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

If, after the manner of men, etc. - Much learned criticism has been employed on this verse, to ascertain whether it is to be understood literally or metaphorically. Does the apostle mean to say that he had literally fought with wild beasts at Ephesus? or, that he had met with brutish, savage men, from whom he was in danger of his life? That St. Paul did not fight with wild beasts at Ephesus, may be argued,

1. From his own silence on this subject, when enumerating his various sufferings, 2 Corinthians 11:23, etc.

2. From the silence of his historian, Luke, who, in the acts of this apostle, gives no intimation of this kind; and it certainly was too remarkable a circumstance to be passed over, either by Paul in the catalogue of his own sufferings, or by Luke in his history.

3. From similar modes of speech, which are employed metaphorically, and are so understood.

4. From the improbability that a Roman citizen, as Paul was, should be condemned to such a punishment, when in other cases, by pleading his privilege, he was exempted from being scourged, etc. And,

5. From the positive testimony of Tertullian and Chrysostom, who deny the literal interpretation.

On the other hand, it is strongly argued that the apostle is to be literally understood; and that he did, at some particular time, contend with wild beasts at Ephesus, from which he was miraculously delivered.

1. That the phrase κατα ανθρωπον signifies as men used to do, and never means according to the manner of men, as implying their purpose, or, to use their forms of speech, etc.

2. From the circumstances of the case in Ephesus usually referred to, viz. the insurrection by Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen; where, though Paul would have been in danger had he gone into the theater, he was in little or none, as he did not adventure himself.

3. From his having endured much greater conflicts at Lystra and at Philippi than at Ephesus, at the former of which he was stoned to death, and again miraculously raised to life: see the notes on Acts 14:19, etc. And yet he calls not those greater dangers by this name.

4. That it cannot refer to the insurrection of Demetrius and his fellows, for St. Paul had no contention with them, and was scarcely in any danger, though Gaius and Aristarchus were: see the whole of Acts 19. And,

5. As we do not read of any other imminent danger to which he was exposed at Ephesus, and that already mentioned is not sufficient to justify the expression, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, therefore we must conclude that he was at some time, not directly mentioned by his historian or himself, actually exposed to wild beasts at Ephesus.

6. That this is the case he refers to, 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 : For we would not, brethren, have you if ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, καθ' ὑπερβολην εβαρηθημεν ὑπερ δυναμιν, insomuch that we despaired even of life. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead; who delivered us from so great a death: for these expressions refer to some excessive and unprecedented danger, from which nothing less than a miraculous interference could have saved him; and that it might have been an actual exposure to wild beasts, or any other danger equally great, or even greater.

What advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? - I believe the common method of pointing this verse is erroneous; I propose to read it thus: If, after the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what doth it advantage me? If the dead rise not, let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

after. or, to speak after.

Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh...

Galatians 3:15 Brothers, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man cancels, or adds thereto.


2 Peter 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not...

Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts...


Acts 19:1,23 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus...


2 Corinthians 1:8-10 For we would not, brothers, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure...


Job 35:3 For you said, What advantage will it be to you? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?

Psalm 73:13 Truly I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence.

Malachi 3:14,15 You have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance...

Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?


Ecclesiastes 2:24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor...

Ecclesiastes 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart...

Isaiah 22:13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink...

Isaiah 56:12 Come you, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day...

Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

The Image of the Earthly and the Heavenly
Eversley, Easter Day, 1871. 1 Cor. xv. 49. "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." This season of Easter is the most joyful of all the year. It is the most comfortable time, in the true old sense of that word; for it is the season which ought to comfort us most--that is, it gives us strength; strength to live like men, and strength to die like men, when our time comes. Strength to live like men. Strength to fight against the temptation which
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Fifth Sunday after Easter
Text: First Corinthians 15, 51-58. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Paul's Estimate of Himself
'By the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain.'--1 COR. xv. 10. The Apostle was, all his life, under the hateful necessity of vindicating his character and Apostleship. Thus here, though his main purpose in the context is simply to declare the Gospel which he preached, he is obliged to turn aside in order to assert, and to back up his assertion, that there was no sort of difference between him and the other recognised teachers of Christian truth. He
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

The Unity of Apostolic Teaching
Whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.'--1 COR. xv. 11. Party spirit and faction were the curses of Greek civic life, and they had crept into at least one of the Greek churches--that in the luxurious and powerful city of Corinth. We know that there was a very considerable body of antagonists to Paul, who ranked themselves under the banner of Apollos or of Cephas i.e. Peter. Therefore, Paul, keenly conscious that he was speaking to some unfriendly critics, hastens in the
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 2:24
A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,

Isaiah 22:13
But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! "Let us eat and drink," you say, "for tomorrow we die!"

Isaiah 56:12
"Come," each one cries, "let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better."

Luke 12:19
And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."'

Acts 18:19
They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.

Acts 18:21
But as he left, he promised, "I will come back if it is God's will." Then he set sail from Ephesus.

Acts 19:1
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples

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