s4 , 5.—When ye are gathered together . . . deliver such an one unto Satan. I determine and order, O Corinthians, that when you are assembled in the Church, where I shall be present in my spirit, i.e, in mind, affection, and the authority given me by Christ, this incestuous person be excommunicated and handed over to Satan, who rules outside he Church, and is wont in this world to afflict the excommunicate not only in soul but also in body. It plainly appears from these words that the heretics are wrong in saying that the power of excommunicating resides in the whole congregation, and not in the prelates. On the contrary, he says, I have judged. All that the Apostle means is that the excommunication is to be publicly pronounced by whoever was presiding over the Church, that others might fear to do the like. Hence, he does not say that they were to assemble and hand him over to Satan, but when ye are gathered together I have determined to hand him over to Satan, i.e, through him who in ...
s3 , 4.—For I verily as absent in body . . . in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. As it behoves a Pastor and Bishop to be always present by vigilant care, even though absent in bidy from the Church, I have already judged, i.e, determined; and by these words I now order that he be excommunicated and handed over to Satan, and that in the name of Christ, by His authority which I wield when I order and judge.
Chrysostom refers the clause in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to what follows, when ye are gathered together. Paul means that they were to assemble, and in a public congregation of the Church they were to excommunicate the incestuous person. This clause, thirdly, may be referred to the words to deliver such an one to Satin; such delivery and execution of the sentence would be done in the power, name, and place of Christ.
It is reported commonly among you. It is no vague rumour, but a well-ascertained fact.
1. The Gentiles who were not barbarians, but living civilised and honest lives, by natural instinct rejected all such intercourse of a step-son and step-mother. The poets praise Hippolytus for preferring to incur the anger of his father, Theseus, rather than yield to the lust of his step-mother, Phdra. When he was solicited by Phdra and refused to consent to the abomination, he was falsely accused by her to his father of having solicited her, and was torn asunder by him by four horses. There Isaiah , however, extant an example of such intercourse in Valerius Maximus (lib. v. De Par. Amore in Lib.), in the case of King Seleucus, who, on learning from his physician that his son Antiochus was sick unto death from love of his wife Stratonice, handed her over to him.
2. Theodoret, in his preface to this epistle, and Chrysostom here say that this fornicator was an eminent and powerful leader of the schism...
SYNOPSIS OF THE CHAPTER
i. The Apostle proceeds from the schism of the Corinthians to deal with the scandal caused by incest among them: he blames them for allowing one living openly in incest to remain among them, and orders them to excommunicate him and hand him over to Satan.
ii. He bids them (ver6) purge out this and any other leaven of sin, in order that they may with purity celebrate the everlasting Passover, and so eat the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
iii. He orders them (ver9) not to mingle with Christians that are open sinners; but as for heathens and unbelievers, he says that they are not under the jurisdiction of him or of the Church.
As the like is not among the heathens. This seems to have been the crime of incest, that he took the wife of his father yet living. See 2 Corinthians vii. 12. (Witham)
St. Chrysostom, Theod., think, that this incestuous person was one of the chiefs of the schism which then reigned in Corinth. This man, say they, was a great orator, with whose eloquence the Corinthians were enchanted, and therefore dissembled a knowledge of his crime, public as it was. The apostle having proved to them the vanity of all human learning, in the preceding chapter, now attacks the incestuous man, and exposes to their view the enormity of his crime. (Calmet)
When he was discoursing about their divisions, he did not indeed at once address them vehemently, but more gently at first; and afterwards, he ended in accusation, saying thus, 1 Corinthians 1:11 For it has been signified unto me concerning you, my brethren, by them which are of the household of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. But in this place, not so; but he lays about him immediately and makes the reproach of the accusation as general as possible. For he said not, Why did such an one commit fornication? but, It is reported that there is fornication among you; that they might as persons altogether aloof from his charge take it easily; but might be filled with such anxiety as was natural when the whole body was wounded, and the Church had incurred reproach. For no one, says he, will state it thus, 'such an one has committed fornication,' but, 'in the Church of Corinthians that sin has been committed.'
And he said not, Fornication is perpetrated, but, Is reported—such a...