1 Corinthians 8:1

Now concerning things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
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Ambrosiaster

AD 400
Paul means that knowledge is a great thing and very useful to the person who has it, as long as it is tempered by love. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Paul means that knowledge only does good in company with love. Otherwise it merely puffs a man into pride.
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Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
But the "supposition of knowledge inflates "and fills with pride; "but charity edifieth "which deals not in supposition, but in truth. Whence it is said, "If any man loves, he is known.". But the knowledge of those who think themselves wise, whether the barbarian sects or the philosophers among the Greeks, according to the apostle, "puffeth up.". And there are those who say that the knowledge about things sacrificed to idols is not promulgated among all, "lest our liberty prove a stumbling-block to the weak. For by thy knowledge he that is weak is destroyed. " ...
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Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
Love builds up. It moves in the realm of truth, not of opinion. .
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Now as touching things offered unto idols we know that we all have knowledge. We all know, though some of you may think differently, that things offered to idols are the same as other food, and have no greater sanctity or power. All of us who are fairly well instructed in the faith of Christ know that they belong to the class of adiaphora. Knowledge puffeth up. This knowledge of yours, that idols are nothing, and that consequently it is lawful to eat of things offered to idols, which accordingly you do to the great offence of those who know it not, makes you proud towards the ignorant, and makes you look down on them. The word for puffeth up points to a bladder distended with wind. Such, he says, is this windy knowledge. S. Augustine (Sent. n241) says: "It is a virtue of the humble not to boast of their knowledge; because, as all alike share the light, so do they the truth." But charity edifieth. The weak and ignorant. It brushes aside such things as the eating of idol-sacrifices, wh...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
SYNOPSIS OF THE CHAPTER In this Chapter he treats of the second general question put before him by the Corinthians. It dealt with things offered to idols, and whether it was lawful to eat of them, i. He answers that, taken by itself, such eating was not unlawful, since an idol is nothing. ii. He next says that it is unlawful, if conscience be wounded, or if offence be caused to the weaker brethren. He impresses upon them that this last is by all means to be avoided. To understand the three following chapters, note that the things spoken of as offered to idols are flesh, bread, wine, &c. It was not sin simply to eat such things, as S. Thomas lays down (i. ii. qu103 , art4 , ad3). Still it was a sin (1.) if it was out of unbelief, as, e.g, if any idolater ate of such things in honour of the idol, or if it were done out of weakness of faith, as was frequently the case in S. Paul"s time. For many had been but lately converted, and were only half-taught, and so had not wholly cast off thei...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Now concerning those things. It appears from this whole passage that the Corinthians had, in a former letter, consulted this apostle, upon the subject of eating meats offered to idols. It was not unusual to reserve some part of the sacrifice of which they made a supper, either in their own family, with their friends, or sometimes even in the temple. Some of the Christians of Corinth attended without scruple at these sorts of feasts, and eat of the meats offered to idols; whilst others, on the contrary, took scandal at this conduct, and thought it a tacit approbation of idolatry. St. Paul being consulted upon this difficulty, gives them his advice in this chapter. (Calmet) We know that we all have knowledge about it. That is, all we, who are sufficiently instructed, have knowledge enough to be convinced, that idols are nothing in themselves, nor the meats offered to them better nor worse upon that account. (Witham) Knowledge puffeth up Knowledge, without charity and humility, serveth ...

Irenaeus of Lyons

AD 202
It is therefore better and more profitable to belong to the simple and unlettered class, and by means of love to attain to nearness to God, than, by imagining ourselves learned and skilful, to be found
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
It is necessary first to say what the meaning of this passage is: for so shall we readily comprehend the Apostle's discourse. For he that sees a charge brought against any one, except he first perceive the nature of the offense will not understand what is said. What then is it of which he was then accusing the Corinthians? A heavy charge and the cause of many evils. Well, what is it? Many among them, having learned that Matthew 15:11 not the things which enter in defile the man, but the things which proceed out, and that idols of wood and stone, and demons, have no power to hurt or help, had made an immoderate use of their perfect knowledge of this to the harm both of others and of themselves. They had both gone in where idols were and had partaken of the tables there, and were producing thereby great and ruinous evil. For, on the one hand, those who still retained the fear of idols and knew not how to contemn them, took part in those meals, because they saw the more perfect sort doing...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Paul rebukes those who think they are wiser than the rest by saying that everybody possesses knowledge—the selfappointed wise people are nothing special in this respect. If anyone has knowledge but lacks love, not only will he gain nothing more, but also he will be cast down from what he already has. Knowledge is not productive of love, but rather it prevents the unwary from acquiring it by puffing him up and elating him. Arrogance causes divisions, but love draws people together and leads to true knowledge. ...
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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