Now this I say, that every one of you says, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
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Paul exposes their error without mentioning the names of the people responsible. The men whom he names here were all good teachers, but by alluding to them in this way he is really getting at the false apostles. For if the Corinthians were not to boast of their devotion to any of these men, how much more would this be true in the case of false teachers, whose corrupt doctrine he refers to next? Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.
Inspired by God, Paul wrote to you concerning himself and Cephas and Apollos, because even then you were given to faction. But that factiousness involved you in less guilt, because then you were partisans of highly reputed apostles and of those commended by them.
That every one of you; i.e, Whoever of you contend with one another, and foment any part of schism. (For there were among the Corinthians many others well-disposed and peaceful, unconnected with schism, and consequently with the following words): says, in turn, alternately or respectively; for not each one was saying, I am of Paul, I of Apollos, I of Cephas, but in turn; since one would say, I am of Paul, another, I of Apollos, a third, I of Cephas. In the words "every one," therefore, there is a distributive and disjunctive force familiar to the Hebrews; for every one ambitiously and contentiously was saying, "I am of Paul," &c, I am of Paul, viz, a disciple, a catechumen; I of Cephas, that is to say, taught or baptized by the Blessed Pontiff Peter at AntiÃ´ch, at Rome, or elsewhere. For Peter had not yet been at Corinth, as is deduced from ch. iv15. Whence Baronius thinks that these are the words of those who were avoiding divisions, which had properly arisen because of Paul and Apol...
The quarreling at Corinth was not over trivial matters but over something fundamental. Even those who said they were of Christ were at fault, because they were implicitly denying this to others and making Christ the head of a faction rather than the head of the whole church.
Next he declares also the kind of contention.
That each one of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas. I say, contentions, says he, I mean, not about private matters, but of the more grievous sort. That each one of you says; for the corruption pervaded not a part, but the whole of the Church. And yet they were not speaking about himself, nor about Peter, nor about Apollos; but he signifies that if these were not to be leaned on, much less others. For that they had not spoken about them, he says further on: And these things I have transferred in a figure unto myself and Apollos, that you may learn in us not to go beyond the things which are written. For if it were not right for them to call themselves by the name of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas, much less of any others. If under the Teacher and the first of the Apostles, and one that had instructed so much people, it were not right to enroll themselves, much less under those who were nothing. By way of hyper...
Give any sign of His Christ, as destined to be the foundation of such as believe in Him, upon which every man should build at will the superstructure of either sound or worthless doctrine; forasmuch as it is the Creator's function, when a man's work shall be tried by fire, (or) when a reward shall be recompensed to him by fire; because it is by fire that the test is applied to the building which you erect upon the foundation which is laid by Him, that is, the foundation of His Christ.