The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 7, 2009

I’ve included the Bishop’s paraphrase of the biblical text in this post. Text in red, if any, represent my additions to the notes.


1Co 1:3  Grace to you and peace, from God our father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:4  I give thanks to my God always for your for the grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus.
1:5  That in all things you are made rich in him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
1:6  as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you.
1:7  So that nothing is wanting to you in any grace, waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:8  Who also will confirm you unto the end without crime, in the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:9  God is faithful: by whom you are called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.


1:3 May you receive the abundance of all spiritual gifts, and the quiet, undisturbed possession of them from their efficient cause, God the Father; and their meritorious cause, Jesus Christ, whose purchased slaves we are become by right of redemption.
1:4  I always render thanks to God on account of the spiritual gifts abundantly conferred on you by your having become Christians:
1:5  Because you are enriched with the plentitude of all spiritual gifts through Christ, both as regards the abundance of spiritual knowledge, and the power of expressing and communicating the same.
1:6  By the means of which gifts the gospel of Christ has received further confirmation amongst you.
1:7  So that no grace is wanting to you to bring you to your end of consummate glory, which shall be conferred on you, when our Lord Jesus Christ shall appear at his second coming.
1:8  And this same Jesus Christ, the giver of all these good gifts, will, I firmly hope, bring those graces to a happy issue, and confirm you unto the end without any grievous sin, or any sin deserving of reproach on the day of his second and glorious coming.
1:9  My hopes in your perseverance are founded on the veracity of God, who has pledged his unerring word that, provided we comply with the necessary conditions, he will grant us final perseverance and eternal glory, of which he has given us a sure earnest by calling us to partnership with his Son, of whom we are the co-heirs.


1:3  The usual form of apostolic salutation (see note to Rom 1:7). Grace: “The word grace when used with reference to human relationships can mean either the quality that makes a person attractive (Acts 2:47), or it can mean thanks for a gift (Lk 6:32-34; 17:9), or it can mean something given freely and unearned (Acts 25:3; 1 Cor 16:3; 2 Cor 8:6-7, 19).  This last sense predominates in the N.T. and especially in Paul who uses the word to describe the way God saves through Jesus: it is a work of spontaneous love to which no one has any claim…The word sums of the gift of God so well that Paul begins and ends his letters by wishing ‘grace’ to all his readers” (Jerusalem Bible, footnote “i” to chapter 3 of Romans). In other words, “grace” designates the entire salvific bounty of God.  Peace: “The customary Jewish greeting and farewell (lk 10:5); it means soundness of body but came to be used of the perfect happiness and the deliverance which the Messiah would bring.  All this Jesus gives” Jerusalem Bible, footnote “s” to chapter 14 of John).

1:4 I give thanks to my God always for you.  As God is the source of all blessings; to him, therefore, all thanks and gratitude is due.  For the grace of God &c., This refers to their Christian vocation, and all the blessings flowing from it, which he enumerates in the next verse.

1:5  In all things you are made rich.  This is spoken in allusion to the commercial wealth of the Corinthians, as if he said, that the converts among them enjoyed riches of a higher order than those so much prized by their countrymen.  In him, i.e., Christ; in all utterance, the power or faculty of imparting this knowledge of faith to others.  Knowledge means the spiritual illumination of the intellect; and utterance the power of giving expression.

1:6  As the testimony of Christ, &c. This verse is to be included in a parenthesis; and verse 7, immediately connected with verse 5.  As, i.e., by which gifts of knowledge and eloquence, the testimony of Christ, i.e., his gospel, called testimony-because transmitted by witnesses-was confirmed in you.  The abundant effusion of spiritual gifts (v.g.), of miracles, prophecy, tongues, &c., which accompanied the preaching of the Apostles, and the sacraments of baptism, and confirmation affords an additional proof of the divinity of the Christian religion, in particular individuals, these external gifts might be found without real interior sanctity, as in the case of Balaam (Num 26); still, the same could not be said of a particular society of men.  The presence of these gifts would impel others to join in religion with those possessed of them; and hence, God himself would, to a certain extent, be the cause of leading men into error.

1:7  This is connected with verse 5.  In this verse  he asserts that all the gifts necessary to bring them to a happy resurrection, were to e found in the Church of Corinth.

1:8  Who will also confirm you, &c. All this is conditional.  God will bring them to a happy issue; he will preserve them free from all grievous crimes; or, if they fall, resuscitate them, and confer on them the crowning gift of final perseverance, provided they comply with the necessary conditions.  This is evidently implied in the following verse: In the day of the coming.  In the Greek, coming is wanting: which simply is εν τη ημερα του κυριου ημων ιησου, in the day of our Lord, &c. Some MSS. have the word “coming,” and omit “day.”  The Vulgate combines both readings

1:9  From this verse it appears, that the Apostle’s hopes are conditional; for it is only on condition that they perform their part, that the veracity of God is pledged to them.


6 Responses to “Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:3-9”

  1. […] 9/23/10. Bishop MacEvily on 1 Cor 1:4-8. This was originally posted in 2008 and consists of commentary on verses […]

  2. […] Bishop MacEvily on Today’s Second Reading (1 Cor 1:3-9). Previously posted. […]

  3. […] Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:4-8. This post actually contains commentary on verse 3-9. […]

  4. […] Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Today’s Second Reading (1 Cor 1:3-9). […]

  5. […] Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Today’s Second Reading (1 Cor 1:3-9). […]

  6. […] Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on 1 Cor 1:4-8. On 3-9. […]

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