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1 Corinthians 8:1 – Puffing up or building up

10-06-2019 - Posted by Andre Piet

Now concerning the idol sacrifices: We are aware that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, yet love builds up.

Paul was addressed on various topics. In chapter 7 he dealt with various questions regarding marriage. From this verse forward he deals with the subject of idol sacrifices. A current issue in Corinth. Questions and conflicts had arisen about this.

“We are all aware that we all have knowledge” was a slogan heard in the ecclesia in Corinth. Just as we already encountered slogans before (6: 12, 13, 18). The claim that all had knowledge made it difficult for Paul to correct his readers. After all, they already knew everything. Before Paul contradicts this pretention (:7), he begins to put the value of their knowledge into perspective.

No matter how valuable knowledge is, without love, it just puffs up. It make things look big, but it’s bluff. The apostle previously wrote about the effects of leaven (5: 2, 6). Which also puffs up. It produces volume but it has no weight. Whoever advocates knowledge makes himself bigger at the expense of the other. That is the exact opposite of what love does. Love does not puff up, but it builds up. Not themselves but the other.