Darby Bible Translation But if any one say to you, This is offered to holy purposes, do not eat, for his sake that pointed it out, and conscience sake; English Revised Version But if any man say unto you, This hath been offered in sacrifice, eat not, for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: Webster's Bible Translation But if any man shall say to you, This is offered in sacrifice to idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience' sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and its fullness: Weymouth New Testament But if any one tells you, "This food has been offered in sacrifice;" abstain from eating it--out of respect for him who warned you, and, as before, for conscience' sake.
World English Bible But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," don't eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for the sake of conscience. For "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that they eat such food as if it were sacrificed to an idol.
1 Corinthians 8
And since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. Matthew Henry Commentary. As we look at this subject, we need to understand something about the background. Idols and idol temples were everywhere in the ancient world. Animal sacrifices were constantly being made to these idols. There were public sacrifices and personal or private sacrifices.
In the case of the private sacrifice, the animal was divided into three parts. A token part was burned on the altar; then the ministering priest got his share. Afterward, the worshipper received the rest of the meat.
- English Standard Version.
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With his portion, the worshipper often gave a banquet for family and friends. These feasts could be in the temple itself or in the house of the worshipper. Barclay relates to us one of the ancient invitations to such an event. Obviously, the priesthood of these idol temples received an excessive amount of quality meats, because people offered up their best animals to their gods. If the priest could not use all the meat he would send his portion to the nearby marketplace.
1COR8: KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT LOVE
Among the Christians, the obvious question arose as to whether or not it was permitted for them to buy such meat and further, if it was permissible for them to join in banquets given at the idol temples or in homes of pagan worshippers. All this presented quite a social problem for the Christians. No doubt, many civic events, things like weddings, community gatherings, and banquets of all types happened at the idol temples.
The pagan temples were thus like civic centers in ancient times. If Christians could not join in these events they were thereby cut off from most community activities. They might not even be able to attend some wedding receptions of family and friends. They might miss out on meetings of their trade guilds and so forth. So, how could this serious social problem be resolved? The Jewish people well knew this and they repeated it daily in what is called the Shema.
All other so-called gods were idols. We see here that there were many so-called gods. It was reckoned by the Greek poet Hesiod that there were 30, of them.
1COR8: KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT LOVE
Nevertheless, these spiritual powers are all subject and subordinate to the true God. This verse makes clear that the Father and Son are intricately related and are one cf. But not everyone possesses this knowledge.
Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. He adds in this chapter that just because we are strong we have no right to offend the weaker brother or sister , This is a serious matter for Paul and he actually continues this discussion off and on through the following chapters, all the way through 1 Corinthians He teaches us that the individual conscience is very important and we must not offend the conscience of the weaker brother or sister.
Then, food was used for symbols, but today these symbols are fulfilled and have passed away into the reality of Jesus Christ. The instruction of this council regarding food sacrificed to idols is seen in Acts It may be that James and the council had in mind eating only in the pagan temples. We may have to wait a while on this issue for our full understanding.
1 Corinthians 8
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. That one can eat it or not eat it, and is none the better or worse. The problem comes when the Christian brother or sister with a weak conscience observes that one eating such meat. The weaker person is then offended in his or her conscience.
Clearly, when we do such a thing we become a stumbling block Gk. It has been said, and it is blessedly true, that God has his own secret stairway into every heart; but it is equally true that the devil has his own secret and subtle stairway into every heart…Therefore, in considering whether we will or will not do anything, we must think not only of its effect on us, but of its effect on others as well.
Today, we no longer have the problem of whether or not to eat meat offered to idols. However, we have a lot of other problems where we can easily offend the conscience of another believer. For instance, in the southern Bible Belt of the US, most Christians do not drink alcoholic beverages. It is absolute taboo to them. This is a local problem and Christians in many other parts of the world think nothing of drinking such beverages in moderation.
In Israel, the Jewish people drink wine for many of their celebrations. They even give a taste of wine to their baby boys as they are being circumcised.
We know from the Bible that Jesus drank wine Mk. Still, if I placed a bottle of wine on the table in the South, I would greatly offend most of those who saw it. Therefore, I will be cautious not to do such a thing. In another one of H. He politely turned down the offer indicating that he could not eat pork. The believer chided the former Moslem, reminding him that he was now free in Christ from all these food restrictions. The convert assured the Christian that he was aware of his new freedom in Christ, but because of his family he did not eat pork.