1 Corinthians 4:6

6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed 1what is written, so that no one of you will 2become arrogant 3in behalf of one against the other.

1 Corinthians 4:6 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 4:6

And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred,
&c.] Not what he had said concerning the different factions at Corinth, one being for Paul, and another for Apollos, and another for Cephas, as if these several parties did not really go by those names, but by those of others, the false teachers; only the apostle, to decline everything that looked like reflection, put these, as the Syriac version renders it, "upon" his own "person", and Apollos's, the sooner and better to put an end to such divisions; for it is certain, from his way of arguing and reasoning, that these are not fictitious names, but they were really divided, and were quarrelling among themselves about himself, Apollos, and Cephas: but his meaning is, when he says,

I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos
these things; that he had "brought these comparisons", as the Arabic version reads it, concerning himself and Apollos; namely, that one was a planter, and another a waterer; that they were both labourers and builders, ministers or servants, and stewards: and these similes, and such a figurative way of speaking he had made use of, as he says,

for your sakes;
for the sake of the members of this church, that they might have right notions of them, and accordingly account of them, and behave towards them: or, as he adds,

that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is
meaning, either in the word of God in general; or in some particular passages of Scripture he might have respect to; or rather in the above places in this, and the foregoing chapter, where he gives the fore mentioned characters of ministers; where, in the apostles themselves, in their own words, from their own account, they might learn, on the one hand, not to ascribe too much to them, nor, on the other hand, to detract from their just character and usefulness: and also,

that no one of you be puffed up for one against the other;
speak great swelling words of vanity, and envy, for one minister against another; when they are all one, bear the same character, are in the same office, and are jointly concerned in the same common cause of Christ and the good of immortal souls.

1 Corinthians 4:6 In-Context

4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord .
5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God.
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.
7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
8 You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.

Cross References 3

  • 1. 1 Corinthians 1:19, 31; 1 Corinthians 3:19
  • 2. 1 Corinthians 4:18; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 13:4
  • 3. 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:4

Footnotes 1

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