1 Corinthians 5:1

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
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 as is not even named among the Gentiles. For so continually he makes the Gentiles a topic of reproach to the believers. Thus writing to the Thessalonians, he said, 1 Thessalonians 4:4-5, καὶ τιμῆ om. τὰ λοιπὰ inserted Let every one possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification, not in the passion of lust, even as the rest of the Gentiles. And to the Colossians and Ephesians, Ephesians 4:17. cf. Colossians 3:6-7 That you should no longer walk, as the other Gentiles walk. Now if their committing the same sins was unpardonable, when they even outdid the Gentiles, what place can we find for them? Tell me: inasmuch as among the Gentiles, so he speaks, not only they dare no such thing, but they do not even give it a name. Do you see to what point he aggravated his charge? For when they are convicted of inventing such modes of uncleanness as the unbelievers, so far from venturing on them, do not even know of, the sin must be exceeding great, beyond all words. And the clause, among you, is spoken also emphatically; that is, Among you, the faithful, who have been favored with so high mysteries, the partakers of secrets, the guests invited to heaven. Do you mark with what indignant feeling his works overflow? With what anger against all? For had it not been for the great wrath of which he was full, had he not been setting himself against them all, he would have spoken thus: Having heard that such and such a person has committed fornication, I charge you to punish him. But as it is he does not so; he rather challenges all at once. And indeed, if they had written first, this is what he probably would have said. Since however so far from writing, they had even thrown the fault into the shade, on this account he orders his discourse more vehemently. 2. That one of you should have his father's wife. Wherefore said he not, That he should abuse his father's wife? The extreme foulness of the deed caused him to shrink. He hurries by it accordingly, with a sort of scrupulousness as though it had been explicitly mentioned before. And hereby again he aggravates the charge, implying that such things are ventured on among them as even to speak plainly of was intolerable for Paul. Wherefore also, as he goes on, he uses the same mode of speech, saying, Him who has so done this thing: and is again ashamed and blushes to speak out; which also we are wont to do in regard of matters extremely disgraceful. And he said not, his step-mother, but, his father's wife; so as to strike much more severely. For when the mere terms are sufficient to convey the charge, he proceeds with them simply, adding nothing. And tell me not, says he, that the fornicator is but one: the charge has become common to all. Wherefore at once he added, and you are puffed up: he said not, with the sin; for this would imply want of all reason: but with the doctrine you have heard from that person. This however he set not down himself, but left it undetermined, that he might inflict a heavier blow. And mark the good sense of Paul. Having first overthrown the wisdom from without, and signified that it is nothing by itself although no sin were associated with it; then and not till then he discourses about the sin also. For if by way of comparison with the fornicator who perhaps was some wise one, he had maintained the greatness of his own spiritual gift; he had done no great thing: but even when unattended with sin to take down the heathen wisdom and demonstrate it to be nothing, this was indicating its extreme worthlessness indeed. Wherefore first, as I said, having made the comparison, he afterwards mentions the man's sin also. And with him indeed he condescends not to debate, and thereby signifies the exceeding greatness of his dishonor. But to the others he says, You ought to weep and wail, and cover your faces, but now ye do the contrary. And this is the force of the next clause, And you are puffed up, and did not rather mourn. And why are we to weep? some might say. Because the reproach has made its way even unto the whole body of your Church. And what good are we to get by our weeping? That such an one should be taken away from you. Not even here does he mention his name; rather, I should say, not any where; which in all monstrous things is our usual way. And he said not, You have not rather cast him out, but, as in the case of any disease or pestilence, there is need of mourning, says he, and of intense supplication, 'that he may be taken away.' And you should have used prayer for this, and left nothing undone that he should be cut off. Nor yet does he accuse them for not having given him information, but for not having mourned so that the man should be taken away; implying that even without their Teacher this ought to have been done, because of the notoriety of the offense.
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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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