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1 Corinthians 16:22,23 – Anathema, maranatha

24-06-2020 - Posted by Andre Piet

If anyone is not fond of the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema! Maran atha! The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

Anathema is a curse. Maranatha too, by the way. The first is Greek, the second Hebrew (mara = curse, ata = you are; compare Mal.3: 9). Paul is not lavish in uttering such terms. Most translations say something like “let him be anathema …”. But because the Greek has no gender here, it can also be interpreted neuter (“it”). The anathema does not refer to someone, but to not being fond of the Lord.

In Galatians 1: 8,9, Paul expresses his anathema about an ‘evangel’ that is different from what he himself had proclaimed. Of this he says: that is not an ‘evangel’ because it takes away from the grace of Christ. In the name of the evangel, grace is undone. Remember, in church history, this type of preaching has become the official doctrine of the Church. But Paul does not hesitate to call such a curse! If grace is at stake, any concession is out of the question. In our verse, too, the anathema opposes the grace. Grace is also the cure. Whoever recognizes this grace (= for free!) will love the Lord wholeheartedly!