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1 Corinthians 8:7 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Howbeit there is not in all men that knowledge: but some, being used until now to the idol, eat as [of] a thing sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Howbeit [there is] not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat [it] as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat [food] as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— But [there is] not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol to this hour eat [it] as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— But knowledge [is] not in all: but some, with conscience of the idol, until now eat as of a thing sacrificed to idols; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Howbeit, not in all, is the knowledge; but, some, by their familiarity, until even now, with the idol, as an idol-sacrifice, eat it, and, their conscience, being, weak, is defiled.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— but not in all men [is] the knowledge, and certain with conscience of the idol, till now, as a thing sacrificed to an idol do eat [it], and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— But there is not knowledge in every one. For some until this present, with conscience of the idol, eat as a thing sacrificed to an idol: and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Howbeit there is not in euerie man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idole vnto this houre, eate it as a thing offred vnto an idole, and their conscience being weake, is defiled.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— But not in every man is this knowledge; for there are some who in their conscience until now (believe) that, with respect to idols, as of that which hath been sacrificed we eat. And because of weakness their conscience is defiled.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— But there is not [this] knowledge in every man; for there are some, who, to the present time, in their conscience, eat [it] as an offering to idols; and because their conscience is weak, it is defiled.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Howbeit 235
{0235} Prime
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
[there is] not 3756
{3756} Prime
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
in 1722
{1722} Prime
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
every man 3956
{3956} Prime
Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.
that knowledge: 1108
{1108} Prime
From G1097; knowing (the act), that is, (by implication) knowledge.
for 1161
{1161} Prime
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
some 5100
{5100} Prime
An enclitic indefinite pronoun; some or any person or object.
with conscience 4893
{4893} Prime
From a prolonged form of G4894; co-perception, that is, moral consciousness.
of the x3588
(3588) Complement

The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
idol 1497
{1497} Prime
From G1491; an image (that is, for worship); by implication a heathen god, or (plural) the worship of such.
unto 2193
{2193} Prime
Of uncertain affinity; a conjugation, preposition and adverb of continuance, until (of time and place).
this hour 737
{0737} Prime
Adverb from a derivative of G0142 (compare G0740) through the idea of suspension; just now.
eat 2068
{2068} Prime
Strengthened for a primary word ἔδω [[edo]] (to eat); used only in certain tenses, the rest being supplied by G5315; to eat (usually literally).
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
[it] as 5613
{5613} Prime
Probably adverb of comparative from G3739; which how, that is, in that manner (very variously used as shown).
a thing offered unto an idol; 1494
{1494} Prime
Neuter of a compound of G1497 and a presumed derivative of G2380; an image sacrifice, that is, part of an idolatrous offering.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
their y846
[0846] Standard
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
(0848) Complement
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
conscience y4893
[4893] Standard
From a prolonged form of G4894; co-perception, that is, moral consciousness.
(4983) Complement
From G4982; the body (as a sound whole), used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively.
being 5607
{5607} Prime
The feminine, the neuter and the present participle of G1510; being.
<5752> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 186
weak 772
{0772} Prime
From G0001 (as a negative particle) and the base of G4599; strengthless (in various applications, literally, or figuratively and morally).
is defiled. 3435
{3435} Prime
Probably from G3189; to soil (figuratively).
<5743> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 271
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Corinthians 8:7

_ _ Howbeit — Though to us who “have knowledge” (1 Corinthians 8:1, 1 Corinthians 8:4-6) all meats are indifferent, yet “this knowledge is not in all” in the same degree as we have it. Paul had admitted to the Corinthians that “we all have knowledge” (1 Corinthians 8:1), that is, so far as Christian theory goes; but practically some have it not in the same degree.

_ _ with conscience — an ancient reading; but other very old manuscripts read “association” or “habit.” In either reading the meaning is: Some Gentile Christians, whether from old association of ideas or misdirected conscience, when they ate such meats, ate them with some feeling as if the idol were something real (1 Corinthians 8:4), and had changed the meats by the fact of the consecration into something either holy or else polluted.

_ _ unto this hour — after they have embraced Christianity; an implied censure, that they are not further advanced by this time in Christian “knowledge.”

_ _ their conscience ... is defiled — by their eating it “as a thing offered to idols.” If they ate it unconscious at the time that it had been offered to idols, there would be no defilement of conscience. But conscious of what it was, and not having such knowledge as other Corinthians boasted of, namely, that an idol is nothing and can therefore neither pollute nor sanctify meats, they by eating them sin against conscience (compare Romans 14:15-23). It was on the ground of Christian expediency, not to cause a stumbling-block to “weak” brethren, that the Jerusalem decree against partaking of such meats (though indifferent in themselves) was passed (Acts 15:1-29). Hence he here vindicates it against the Corinthian asserters of an inexpedient liberty.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Corinthians 8:7-13

_ _ The apostle, having granted, and indeed confirmed, the opinion of some among the Corinthians, that idols were nothing, proceeds now to show them that their inference from this assumption was not just, namely, that therefore they might go into the idol-temple, and eat of the sacrifices, and feast there with their heathen neighbours. He does not indeed here so much insist upon the unlawfulness of the thing in itself as the mischief such freedom might do to weaker Christians, persons that had not the same measure of knowledge with these pretenders. And here,

_ _ I. He informs them that every Christian man, at that time, was not so fully convinced and persuaded that an idol was nothing. Howbeit, there is not in every man this knowledge; for some, with conscience of the idol, unto this hour, eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; with conscience of the idol; that is, some confused veneration for it. Though they were converts to Christianity, and professed the true religion, they were not perfectly cured of the old leaven, but retained an unaccountable respect for the idols they had worshipped before. Note, Weak Christians may be ignorant, or have but a confused knowledge of the greatest and plainest truths. Such were those of the one God and one Mediator. And yet some of those who were turned form heathenism to Christianity among the Corinthians seem to have retained a veneration for their idols, utterly irreconcilable with those great principles; so that when an opportunity offered to eat things offered to idols they did not abstain, to testify their abhorrence of idolatry, nor eat with a professed contempt of the idol, by declaring they looked upon it to be nothing; and so their conscience, being weak, was defiled; that is, they contracted guilt; they ate out of respect to the idol, with an imagination that it had something divine in it, and so committed idolatry: whereas the design of the gospel was to turn men from dumb idols to the living God. They were weak in their understanding, not thoroughly apprized of the vanity of idols; and, while they ate what was sacrificed to them out of veneration for them, contracted the guilt of idolatry, and so greatly polluted themselves. This seems to be the sense of the place; though some understand it of weak Christians defiling themselves by eating what was offered to an idol with an apprehension that thereby it became unclean, and made those so in a moral sense who should eat it, every one not having a knowledge that the idol was nothing, and therefore that it could not render what was offered to it in this sense unclean. Note, We should be careful to do nothing that may occasion weak Christians to defile their consciences.

_ _ II. He tells them that mere eating and drinking had nothing in them virtuous nor criminal, nothing that could make them better nor worse, pleasing nor displeasing to God: Meat commendeth us not to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we eat not are we the worse, 1 Corinthians 8:8. It looks as if some of the Corinthians made a merit of their eating what had been offered to idols, and that in their very temples too (1 Corinthians 8:10), because it plainly showed that they thought the idols nothing. But eating and drinking are in themselves actions indifferent. It matters little what we eat. What goes into the man of this sort neither purifies nor defiles. Flesh offered to idols may in itself be as proper for food as any other; and the bare eating, or forbearing to eat, has no virtue in it. Note, It is a gross mistake to think that distinction of food will make any distinction between men in God's account. Eating this food, and forbearing that, having nothing in them to recommend a person to God.

_ _ III. He cautions them against abusing their liberty, the liberty they thought they had in this matter. For that they mistook this matter, and had no allowance to sit at meat in the idol's temple, seems plain from 1 Corinthians 10:20, etc. But the apostle argues here that, even upon the supposition that they had such power, they must be cautious how they use it; it might be a stumbling-block to the weak (1 Corinthians 10:9), it might occasion their falling into idolatrous actions, perhaps their falling off from Christianity and revolting again to heathenism. “If a man see thee, who hast knowledge (hast superior understanding to his, and hereupon concedest that thou hast a liberty to sit at meat, or feast, in an idol's temple, because an idol, thou sayest, is nothing), shall not one who is less thoroughly informed in this matter, and thinks an idol something, be emboldened to eat what was offered to the idol, not as common food, but sacrifice, and thereby be guilty of idolatry?” Such an occasion of falling they should be careful of laying before their weak brethren, whatever liberty or power they themselves had. The apostle backs this caution with two considerations: — 1. The danger that might accrue to weak brethren, even those weak brethren for whom Christ died. We must deny ourselves even what is lawful rather than occasion their stumbling, and endanger their souls (1 Corinthians 10:11): Through thy knowledge shall thy weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? Note, Those whom Christ hath redeemed with his most precious blood should be very precious and dear to us. If he had such compassion as to die for them, that they might not perish, we should have so much compassion for them as to deny ourselves, for their sakes, in various instances, and not use our liberty to their hurt, to occasion their stumbling, or hazard their ruin. That man has very little of the spirit of the Redeemer who had rather his brother should perish than himself be abridged, in any respect, of his liberty. He who hath the Spirit of Christ in him will love those whom Christ loved, so as to die for them, and will study to promote their spiritual and eternal warfare, and shun every thing that would unnecessarily grieve them, and much more every thing that would be likely to occasion their stumbling, or falling into sin. 2. The hurt done to them Christ takes as done to himself: When you sin so against the weak brethren and wound their consciences, you sin against Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:12. Note, Injuries done to Christians are injuries to Christ, especially to babes in Christ, to weak Christians; and most of all, involving them in guilt: wounding their consciences is wounding him. He has a particular care of the lambs of the flock: He gathers them in his arm and carries them in his bosom, Isaiah 60:11. Strong Christians should be very careful to avoid what will offend weak ones, or lay a stumbling-block in their way. Shall we be void of compassion for those to whom Christ has shown so much? Shall we sin against Christ who suffered for us? Shall we set ourselves to defeat his gracious designs, and help to ruin those whom he died to save?

_ _ IV. He enforces all with his own example (1 Corinthians 8:13): Wherefore if meat make my brother to offend I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. He does not say that he will never eat more. This were to destroy himself, and to commit a heinous sin, to prevent the sin and fall of a brother. Such evil must not be done that good may come of it. But, though it was necessary to eat, it was not necessary to eat flesh. And therefore, rather than occasion sin in a brother, he would abstain from it as long as he lived. He had such a value for the soul of his brother that he would willingly deny himself in a matter of liberty, and forbear any particular food, which he might have lawfully eaten and might like to eat, rather than lay a stumbling-block in a weak brother's way, and occasion him to sin, by following his example, without being clear in his mind whether it were lawful or no. Note, We should be very tender of doing any thing that may be an occasion of stumbling to others, though it may be innocent in itself. Liberty is valuable, but the weakness of a brother should induce, and sometimes bind, us to waive it. We must not rigorously claim nor use our own rights, to the hurt and ruin of a brother's soul, and so to the injury of our Redeemer, who died for him. When it is certainly foreseen that my doing what I may forbear will occasion a fellow-christian to do what he ought to forbear, I shall offend, scandalize, or lay a stumbling-block in his way, which to do is a sin, however lawful the thing itself be which is done. And, if we must be so careful not to occasion other men's sins, how careful should we be to avoid sin ourselves! If we must not endanger other men's souls, how much should we be concerned not to destroy our own!

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Corinthians 8:7

Some eat, with consciousness of the idol — That is, fancying it is something, and that it makes the meat unlawful to be eaten. And their conscience, being weak — Not rightly informed. Is defiled — contracts guilt by doing it.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Corinthians 8:7

(3) Howbeit [there is] not in every man that knowledge: for (4) some with (k) conscience of the idol unto this hour eat [it] as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

(3) The reason why that does not follow, is this: because there are many men who do not know that which you know. Now the judgment of outward things depend not only upon your conscience, but upon the conscience of those that behold you, and therefore your actions must be applied not only to your knowledge, but also to the ignorance of your brethren. (4) An applying of the reason: there are many who cannot eat of things offered to idols, except with a wavering conscience, because they think them to be unclean. Therefore if by your example they wish to do that which inwardly they think displeases God, their conscience is defiled with this eating, and you have been the occasion of this mischief.

(k) By conscience of the idol, he means the secret judgment that they had within themselves, by which they thought all things unclean that were offered to idols, and therefore they could not use them with good conscience. For conscience has this power, that if it is good, it makes indifferent things good, and if it is evil, it makes them evil.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

1 Corinthians 1:10-11 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. ... For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them [which are of the house] of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

Rather, as Dr. Doddridge renders, "with consciousness of (some religious regard to) the idol," as συνειδησις [Strong's G4893], and formerly conscience, also imports.
1 Corinthians 8:9-10 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. ... For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
1 Corinthians 10:28-29 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth [is] the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: ... Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another [man's] conscience?
Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that [there is] nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him [it is] unclean.
Romans 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because [he eateth] not of faith: for whatsoever [is] not of faith is sin.
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Ro 14:14, 23. 1Co 1:10; 8:9; 10:28.

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