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1 Corinthians 8 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, Paul is continuing to respond to specific questions the Corinthians had asked him about. The underlying issue dealt with in chapter 8 and the following chapters of eating meat sacrificed to idols is hard for us to understand, so it might help to re-read the synopsis we posted on this chapter in 2020 so you can see how although this issue isn't really an issue today, the principles being addressed remain very relevant.

  • v1-8 - Paul responds to a hot-button issue of the day - was it ok to eat meat offered to idols (the pagan temple markets were a good source for reasonably priced meat).

    • Everyone had an opinion

      • but rather than 'puffing yourself up' by showing how right your opinion was

      • you must seek to build others up by applying your knowledge in love.

    • So, even though we know

      • An idol is just a wooden or stone statue with no power

      • and there is only one true God

        • The Father

          • who is the source of all things

        • And the Son

          • who is the source of all things

    • But not everyone knows this

      • For them, they have such a strong association between these powerless idols and the evils of society

      • that it deeply wounds their conscience to eat anything that's been near them.

    • Ultimately, what you eat or do not eat is not what defines your relationship with God.

  • v9-12 - Even though you may know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are right about a particular issue, don't let your 'rightness' cause another Christian to stumble.

    • They will see

      • you doing what they consider to be wrong,

      • and mistakenly conclude that it's ok to ignore their own conscience.

    • Remember,

      • Christ died for that person.

      • When your 'knowledge,' no matter how right it is,

        • wounds another person,

        • you sin against Christ.

  • v13 - It's better for you to go without something that you know is ok than to cause another to fall.


Proverbs 17 shows the wisdom of avoiding quarrels like what the Corinthians were involved in. Note especially v14 and 19.


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:

  1. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Bible: What brief statement does Paul give in verse 3 about the person who loves God?

  2. Would you say the main point in verse 2 is more about knowledge, more about pride, or more about spiritual growth? Explain your answer.

  3. The older you get, in what ways does it get easier to obey the command in verse 9? In what ways does it get harder?

Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The one God and Father from whom all things came and for whom we live, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live (v6)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Be careful that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak (v9)



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