The churches here in the province of Asia send greetings in the Lord, as do Aquila and Priscilla and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings. All the brothers and sisters here send greetings to you. Greet each other with Christian love.
HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL.
IF ANYONE DOES NOT LOVE THE LORD, THAT PERSON IS CURSED. OUR LORD, COME! MAY THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS BE WITH YOU. MY LOVE TO YOU ALL IN CHRIST JESUS. [AMEN]1 Corinthians 16:19-24
I don’t intend to comment on everything here, nor in other places. I have already spent time on Priscilla and Aquila (see Bible Gems 276) but note this time we have a rare inversion of the order to a more culturally normal Aquila and Priscilla. Apart from that Paul sends the normal greetings of Christian love from the saints at Ephesus. It is like the crowd gathered around watching him write the letter (as they did for the letter to the Roman church) and saying “Say Hi from me . . . and me . . . and me too”. He finishes this first letter to the Corinthian church with normal Christian greetings of love and grace. But adds, greet each other with Christian love too. Is that a veiled comment to the effect, we send out love to you but you could do with a little dose of loving one another too? Don’t be so intent on your factions! Hard to tell. Into this mix he inserts “If anyone does not love the Lord that person is cursed.” Rather strong words. No doubt fuelled by the factions and lack of love that was shown at times in the Corinthian church.
The noteworthy point in this section that cries for comment is “HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL”. I have been asked over the last few years, “why are these words in capital letters?” I remember one person demonstrating they had some knowledge of New Testament background and asking in front of others, “Was it because of the Uncial texts of the Greek New Testament? (The capital letter texts of the Greek New Testament) No, if that was the reason, the whole letter would be written in capital letters. No, there is another simpler reason for this being the case.
See if you can find what it is for yourself by tomorrow. Just one more little assignment for you, before we finish the Gems on First Corinthians. Test your ability to dig out the truth and background to the verses of the Bible. Remember you can cross reference to other parts of Paul’s letters and use the commentaries and whatever is at your disposal to find the answer. A reminder to pay attention to every detail of Scripture.
More in the next Gem.
I believe that success can be measured in the number of uncomfortable conversations you’re willing to have.Timothy Ferris
I believe your understanding of a thing is dependant upon the degree to which you are willing to ask the hard questions.Ian Vail