Jesus Anathema
1 Corinthians 12:2
You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, even as you were led.

The first thing needed by a Church so inexperienced was to know what was the true character of the Divine influence. The apostle says every utterance, be it prophecy, tongue, or doctrine, which amounts to saying "Jesus is accursed," is not Divinely inspired. But to whom can we attribute this language? To the Jews or unbelieving Gentiles who treated Jesus as an impostor, and saw in His ignominious and cruel death a token of the Divine curse (1 Corinthians 1:23)? No; for how could Christians be tempted to esteem such as inspired? Besides, we have here to do with discourses uttered in church; and how would anti-Christians have been allowed to speak there? Does, then, Paul admit the possibility of discourses from Christians to this effect? Remember the powerful fermentation of religious ideas then called forth by the gospel. In 2 Corinthians 11:3, 4, the apostle speaks of teachers newly arrived in Corinth, who preached another Jesus and raised a different spirit to that which the Church had received. It was therefore not only another doctrine, but another breath, a new principle of inspiration, which these people brought with them. In 1 Corinthians 16:22 he devotes to anathema certain persons who love not Jesus when the Lord shall come, which would be very severe if it were not a return for the anathema which they threw in His face. How was this possible in a Christian Church? We must observe the term "Jesus," detecting the historical and earthly person of our Lord, and hear in mind that from the earliest times there were people who, offended at the idea of the ignominious punishment of the Cross, and the unheard abasement of the Son of God, thought they must set up a distinction between the man Jesus and the true Christ. The first had been, according to them, a pious Jew. A heavenly Being, the true Christ, had chosen Him to serve as His organ while He acted below as the Saviour of humanity. But this Christ from above had parted from Jesus before the Passion, and left the latter to suffer and die alone. It is easy to see how, from this point of view, one might curse the Crucified One who appeared to have been cursed of God on the Cross, and that without thinking he was cursing the true Saviour, and while remaining without scruple a member of the Church. taught this doctrine, and affirms that this Epistle was written against him. The , or serpent worshippers, too, who existed before the end of the first century, asked those who wished to enter their churches to curse Jesus. In stating this first negative criterion, the apostle therefore means: However ecstatic in form or profound in matter may be a spiritual manifestation, if it tends to degrade Jesus, to make Him an impostor or a man worthy of the Divine wrath, if it does violence in any way to His holiness, you may be sure the inspiring breath of such a discourse is not that of God's Spirit. Such is the decisive standard which the prophets, e.g., are summoned to use when they sit in judgment on one another (chap. 1 Corinthians 14:29).

(Prof. Godet.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

WEB: You know that when you were heathen, you were led away to those mute idols, however you might be led.

Faith a Gift of the Spirit
Top of Page
Top of Page