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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
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1 2 It is widely reported
that there is immorality among you, and immorality of a kind not found even
among pagans - a man living with his father's wife.
And you are inflated with pride. 3
Should you not rather have been sorrowful? The one who did this deed should be
expelled from your midst.
I, for my part, although absent in body but
present in spirit, have already, as if present, pronounced judgment on the one
who has committed this deed,
in the name of (our) Lord Jesus: when you have
gathered together and I am with you in spirit with the power of the Lord Jesus,
you are to deliver this man to Satan 4
for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of
Your boasting is not appropriate. Do you not
know that a little yeast 5 leavens all the dough?
6 Clear out the old yeast, so that you may
become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal
lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with
the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened
bread of sincerity and truth.
7 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with
not at all referring to the immoral of this
world or the greedy and robbers or idolaters; for you would then have to leave
But I now write to you not to associate with
anyone named a brother, if he is immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a
drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person.
For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it
not your business to judge those within?
God will judge those outside. "Purge the
evil person from your midst."
1 [⇒ 5:1-⇒ 6:20]
Paul now takes up a number of other matters that require regulation. These have
come to his attention by hearsay (⇒ 1 Cor 5:1),
probably in reports brought by "Chloe's people" (⇒ 1
2 [1-13] Paul first deals with the
incestuous union of a man with his stepmother (⇒ 1 Cor
5:1-8) and then attempts to clarify general admonitions he has given
about associating with fellow Christians guilty of immorality
(⇒ 1 Cor 5:9-13). Each of these three brief
paragraphs expresses the same idea: the need of separation between the holy and
3  Inflated with pride: this
remark and the reference to boasting in ⇒ 1 Cor 5:6
suggest that they are proud of themselves despite the infection in their midst,
tolerating and possibly even approving the situation. The attitude expressed in
⇒ 1 Cor 6:2, ⇒ 13 may be
influencing their thinking in this case.
4  Deliver this man to Satan: once
the sinner is expelled from the church, the sphere of Jesus' lordship and
victory over sin, he will be in the region outside over which Satan is still
master. For the destruction of his flesh: the purpose of the penalty is
medicinal: through affliction, sin's grip over him may be destroyed and the
path to repentance and reunion laid open. With Paul's instructions for an
excommunication ceremony here, contrast his recommendations for the
reconciliation of a sinner in ⇒ 2 Cor 2:5-11.
5  A little yeast: yeast, which
induces fermentation, is a natural symbol for a source of corruption that
becomes all-pervasive. The expression is proverbial.
6 [7-8] In the Jewish calendar,
Passover was followed immediately by the festival of Unleavened Bread. In
preparation for this feast all traces of old bread were removed from the house,
and during the festival only unleavened bread was eaten. The sequence of these
two feasts provides Paul with an image of Christian existence: Christ's death
(the true Passover celebration) is followed by the life of the Christian
community, marked by newness, purity, and integrity (a perpetual feast of
unleavened bread). Paul may have been writing around Passover time (cf
⇒ 1 Cor 16:5); this is a little Easter homily, the
earliest in Christian literature.
7 [9-13] Paul here corrects a
misunderstanding of his earlier directives against associating with immoral
fellow Christians. He concedes the impossibility of avoiding contact with
sinners in society at large but urges the Corinthians to maintain the inner
purity of their own community.
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