1 Corinthians: Interpretation
- The Governing Body uses this verse to control the thoughts and beliefs of Jehovah's
Witnesses. They are instructed not to accept or read the religious literature of others, not to
listen to criticism of the Watchtower Society's teachings, and to fight against independent thinking.
- The oldest Christian denominations were partisans of Paul, Apollos, Cephas, and Christ. 1:12
- Does Hell exist? 3:17,
- "I wrote unto you in an epistle"
Despite its title, First Corinthians wasn't the first epistle that Paul wrote the Corinthians. There was another
(Zeroth Corinthians?) that was either lost or considered not worthy of including in the Bible. 5:9
- Jehovah's Witnesses use these verses to justify disfellowshipping those who fail to follow
the teachings of the Governing Body. JWs are told to
shun disfellowshipped family and friends. They are not to speak to them or share a
meal with them. If a witness is caught doing so, they will be disfellowshipped as well.
Witnesses believe that they should not take another member of their
church to court. Consequently, JWs who report incidents of sex abuse are often disfellowshipped.
- Is polygamy OK? 7:2
- Does God approve of slavery? 7:21-22,
- "As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in
sacrifice unto idols...."
The short answer (that you'll find scattered around in this chapter) is this: Go ahead and eat animals that
were sacrificed to other gods. Try not to do it, though, when weaker
Christians are watching. You don't want to scandalize the weaklings, do you? 8:4
- "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?"
Depends on whether you're a Catholic or a Protestant. To me it's just bread and wine. 10:16
- Is Jesus God? 11:3,
- Should women have the same rights as men? 11:3,
- May a woman speak in church? 11:4-5,
church uses this verse to prove that marriage is required to become gods and goddesses in the celestial kingdom.
- "For as often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep
proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives." (NWT). If Christ arrived in 1914, as the governing body
teaches, then why do Jehovah's Witnesses continue to partake of the bread and wine? Shouldn't they have
stopped in 1914? 11:26
- "Faith, hope, and charity ... but the greatest of these is charity.
Love is more important than faith. 13:13
- In some manuscripts, verses 34-35 are found at the end of chapter 14, leading some scholars to think that they were not
written by Paul but originated from a misogynistic scribe's marginal note.14:34-36
- "In Adam all die. In Christ shall all be made alive."
Nothing died before Adam sinned. In Christ all will have eternal life. (Christ died for the animals.)15:21-22
- "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
Does hell exist? 15:22
- "If the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" This is the verse
that the Mormons use to justify their belief in the baptism of the dead. 15:29
- "All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another of beasts."
This verse is used by Creationists to argue against both evolution and any attempt to create "human-animal hybrids" or
- "The first man Adam"
Young Earth Creationists use this verse to support
a literal reading of Genesis. "If we cannot believe in the First Adam, why believe in the Last [Christ]?"
- "And afterword that which is spiritual."
Asa Gray, the foremost American botanist in the 19th century and close friend of Charles Darwin,
used this verse to support the idea that the Bible is not inconsistent with human evolution.
- Have Christians been raised with Christ? 15:51-52