Rebuild & Renew: The Post-Exilic Books
Beginning the Journey (for new Christians).
1, 2, and 3 John
1 & 2 Thessalonians
1 & 2 Timothy
2 Peter, Jude
7 Last Words of Christ
Christ Powered Life (Rom 5-8)
David, Life of
Glorious Kingdom, The
Jesus and the Kingdom
Lamb of God
Names of God
Names of Jesus
Sermon on the Mount
Roman coins, like those that might have been collected for the poor in the Jerusalem church.
Paul has now dealt with the major problems that confronted the Corinthian church. All that remains is to give instructions for a collection to relieve the poor saints in Jerusalem, to discuss Paul's travel plans, to prepare the way for Timothy's visit, and give personal greetings.
"Now about the collection for God's people." (16:1a)
"All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do." (Galatians 2:10))
Paul promoted this offering widely among the churches he had planted, so that offerings were coming from many churches, including Galatia (16:1) and Macedonia (2 Corinthians 8:1). 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 are devoted to the grace of giving, with this offering in mind.
An acknowledgement by the Gentile churches of the spiritual debt they owed to the mother church in Jerusalem (Romans 15:27),
A practical token to the Jerusalem church of the genuineness of the Gentiles' faith, and
A means of binding Jewish and Gentile Christians more closely together.613
This wasn't a contract Paul was fulfilling, but an act that had important consequences for the unity of the world-wide church.
Paul doesn't go into the details of the reasons for the offering here. Rather, they have asked for specific instructions concerning how the offering should be handled. So Paul tells them:
"1b Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made." (16:1b-2)
Generations of preachers have used this text to encourage weekly offerings. But the text doesn't say that offerings were brought to the meetings and then banked until the offering could be sent on its way to Jerusalem. Rather, "on the first day of every week," Sunday, probably the day that the church had its regular meeting,614 each person was to "set aside615" money at home for the offering,616 saving it up."617 Probably the money was buried or hidden in the home, as banks weren't available for small sums as they are today.
Particularly significant for disciples who are seeking to give to the Lord appropriately is the instruction, "in keeping with his income" (NIV) or "as God hath prospered him" (KJV). The verb is euodoō, originally "to lead along a good road" (from hodos, "road"), but here, in the sense, "have things turn out well, prosper, succeed."618 The NRSV's "whatever extra you earn" is probably an over translation, since the idea of "extra" isn't part of the essential idea of the word. In fact, the Macedonian believers gave out of their deep poverty (2 Corinthians 8:2).
We see something similar in the Antioch church when word reached them of a need.
"The disciples, each according to his ability619, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea." (Acts 11:29)
These days we call this "proportional giving," but it's not a new concept. It goes back to the Old Testament tithe, or 10% of one's income, for the rich as well as the poor. Of course, tithing is more sacrificial for the poor than for the rich, but it involves everyone in giving to the Lord and for his work, "each ... in keeping with his income" (16:2). If we wait for the wealthy to give, we may have to wait a long time. Many studies have shown that those of modest income consistently give a substantially higher percentage of their income to the Lord's work on average than do the prosperous.
Paul's point is that they make preparations ahead of time, "so that when I come no collections620 will have to be made" (16:2b). He is teaching them to plan their giving, not to give on the basis of last minute urgency or emotional appeals.
Q1. (1 Corinthians 16:2) What does this teach us about
regular giving? About proportional giving? About planned giving, rather than
last minute giving?
The final step in arranging the offering is how they will get the money from Corinth to Jerusalem -- no simple feat on those days. Today, most banks can wire money, or you can use Western Union or MoneyGram to transfer money securely. But in Paul's day, conveying a considerable amount of money required taking it in person with enough people to guard it from robbers and to ensure that one of the members of the group didn't embezzle some for himself.
"3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift621 to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me." (16:3-4)
Paul's arrangements here are to let the Corinthian church select its own financial officers to convey the money (see 2 Corinthians 8:16-21) and, in case Paul didn't travel with them, to write for them letters of introduction to the leaders of the Jerusalem church, whom they had never met.
With financial matters it is always wise to involve several trusted people so no one is tempted and there is no cause for criticism in the way money is handled. Let everything be done transparently "to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift" (2 Corinthians 8:20).
Paul shares his tentative travel plans -- some of which didn't come about as he sketched out here.
"4 If it seems advisable622
for me to go also, they will accompany me. 5 After I go
through Macedonia, I will come to you -- for I will be going through Macedonia.
6 Perhaps I will stay with you awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.623
8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost...." (15:4-8)
Notice that Paul prefaces his future plans with reference to God's will. Elsewhere in the New Testament, we see among God's servants a reverence rather than presumption about making future plans.
"But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing...." (4:19)
"I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you." (Romans 1:10)
"But as he left, [Paul] promised, 'I will come back if it is God's will.'" (Acts 18:21)
"... By God's will I may come to you." (Romans 15:32)
"And God permitting, we will do so." (Hebrews 6:3)
James gave explicit instruction -- and a rebuke -- about this matter.
"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'" (James 4:13-15)
Q2. (1 Corinthians 16:4-7) What does Paul's wording, "if
the Lord permits" teach us about making plans? Why is planning without this
mindset actually arrogant?
As it turns out, the visits Paul proposed in 16:4-8 didn't come to pass as soon as Paul hoped due to intervening circumstances. Below, I've tried to outline what we can piece together of Paul's visits to the Corinthian church. (You can see more details in Appendix 3. Tentative Chronology of Paul and the Corinthians, 50-56 AD.)
First Visit (50-52 AD). Paul founds the church. After 2 years, he leaves in the Spring of 52 AD, stops at Ephesus, then to Jerusalem by way of Antioch.
1 Corinthians Letter: In the Spring of 55 AD. Paul sends what we call 1 Corinthians.
Second visit, the "painful visit," is a quick trip to deal with troubles in Corinth that were serious enough to require direct personal confrontation (2 Corinthians 2:1; 13:2). We don't know the exact date, perhaps 55-56 AD.
Paul travels to Troas and Macedonia amidst various afflictions (2 Corinthians 7:5-7).
2nd Corinthians Letter: Paul sends the "2 Corinthians" letter from Macedonia about 56 AD.
Third Visit to Corinth occurs about 57 AD, when Paul gathers with those who are preparing to send the gift collected to relieve the Jerusalem saints (Acts 19:21-22; 20:1-5).
Paul Leaves Corinth for Jerusalem after three months, escaping to Macedonia to avoid a Jewish plot, meets his companions in Troas (Acts 20:1-5), and leaves for Jerusalem where he is arrested.
As you can see, Paul did visit the Corinthians again, travelling through Macedonia, as he had expected -- but as to the timing, God's will differed from Paul's hopes. Whether the men designated to carry the Corinthians' offering for Jerusalem travelled with him or not, we're not sure (Acts 20:4-6).
Notice Paul's expectation,
" Perhaps I will stay with you awhile ... so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go." (16:6)
The verb is propempō, "to assist someone in making a journey, send on one's way" with food, money, by arranging for companions, means of travel, etc.624 Paul is asking for the normal Christian hospitality that would be extended to travellers, especially Christian workers, in the ancient world.
"8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me." (16:8-9)
The idiom of opening a door indicates opportunity (2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3; Acts 14:27). Paul had planned to stay in Ephesus until Pentecost (late May or early June), but he ended up staying longer. He had preached in the synagogue until he was kicked out, then formed a congregation that met daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus, and taught there for two years (Acts 19:8-10). It was a fruitful time, marked with miracles and a mass turning from the occult (Acts 19:11-20). This is probably the "great door for effective work"625 that Paul shares with the Corinthian church.
However, Paul's work was dangerous because of the enemies626 he created by turning people from idols and the occult to Jesus Christ. As it turned out silversmiths were losing money selling idols, since so many of their clientele were turning to Christ. They caused a riot, forcing Paul to leave Ephesus for Macedonia, eventually travelling to Corinth (Acts 19:23-20:3).
This should be a lesson to us. We are not playing at religion; we are in a spiritual war zone. If we are effective in our work, spiritual forces will be upset by a shift in power and go after us. You may be loving and gentle like your Master, but that won't prevent you from making enemies -- if you are being effective. For every action in the spiritual realm there is an equal and opposite reaction. Of course, if you're not having much effect, you won't make many enemies.
Don't be afraid of the opposition. Jesus told us what our attitude should be:
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." (Luke 9:23-24)
Fear is a normal reaction to attack. But if you let fear paralyze you and keep you from completing your mission, then it could be that you haven't fully surrendered your life and future to Christ. Jesus told his disciples to "take up your cross daily," be which he meant, be willing to die each day if need be. Just as Paul said in the previous chapter:
"I die every day -- I mean that, brothers -- just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord." (15:31)
To the Philippians, who were threatened by their adversaries, he wrote:
"I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved -- and that by God." (Philippians 1:27b-28)
Q3. (1 Corinthians 16:8-9) What does it take to continue
to minister in the face of opposition? Why does opposition nearly always
accompany success? In what way does this require spiritual warfare?
Paul has sent Timothy to work with the Corinthian church as his representative. Since Paul isn't too popular at this point, it's likely that Timothy will experience some opposition, so Paul prepares the way by commanding them to receive Timothy as a true servant of God.
"10 If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. 11 No one, then, should refuse to accept627 him. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers." (16:10-11)
Paul gives three commands regarding Timothy:
- Threats. See that he has no need to fear. Paul must have been aware of a group in the church that had threatened Paul and his team. It's interesting that he has to affirm Timothy's credentials as a worker for Jesus -- "He is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am" -- therefore, don't you dare threaten him.
- Rejection. Do not refuse to accept him. There was a possibility that the church might refuse to accept him because he was Paul's associate -- or because of his age. When Timothy was in Ephesus, Paul exhorted him, "Let no one despise628 your youth..." (1 Timothy 4:12, NRSV).
- Aid. When Timothy is ready to return, Paul tells them to "send him on his way in peace." The verb is propempō, which we saw in 16:6 above, "to assist someone in making a journey, send on one's way" with food, money, by arranging for companions, means of travel, etc.629
Paul is putting the Corinthians on notice not to try any stupid ways of getting back at Paul through his young associate. You wouldn't think that the New Testament church would have these kinds of people, but it did. I've even met some in our day. Dear friends, we are accountable to God for the way we treat -- and talk about -- Christ's servants.
"Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity." (16:12)
The phrase "now about...." tells us that the Corinthians had requested by letter that Paul send Apollos to them. You'd think that since Apollos was the person that many strongly preferred over Paul (1:12; 3:1-15), that he would be the last person Paul would want to send back to them. This short verse tells us several things.
- Paul and Apollos are friends. Paul calls him "our brother." Their relationship is one of equals, rather than Paul being Apollos's superior.
- Apollos isn't party to the hero-worship that was going on in Corinth. Perhaps one of the reasons he refused to go to Corinth was because he didn't want to stir up this problem further.
- Paul isn't consumed by envy. Rather, he "strongly urged" Apollos to go to Corinth, even though he knew the problems it might cause. With Paul this isn't a personal rivalry.
We don't know whether it was God's will or Apollos's will that causes him to refuse the request -- the Greek text is ambiguous -- but he is willing to return to Corinth when he has the "opportunity."630
Paul is almost finished. Here is his closing exhortation to the believers at Corinth:
"13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 14 Do everything in love." (16:13-14)
It is a five-fold exhortation to believers that he had brought forth in the Lord.
- Be alert. "Be on your guard" (NIV), "keep alert" (NRSV), "watch" (KJV) is grēgoreō, basically, "to stay awake," here, by extension, "to be in constant readiness, be on the alert."631
- Be steadfast. "Stand firm" (NIV, NRSV), "stand fast" (KJV) is stēkō, "stand," here, by extension, "to be firmly committed in conviction or belief, stand firm, be steadfast.632
- Be courageous. "Be men of courage" (NIV), "be courageous" (NRSV), "quit you like men" (KJV) is andrizomai, literally, "be a man, a male," figuratively, "conduct oneself in a courageous way."633
- Be strong. The verb is krataioō, "become strong."634
- Be loving. "Do everything in love" (16:14). What a wonderful word to live by. So many of the Corinthian church's problems relate to their own selfishness and immaturity. So a call to "do everything in love," is indeed the answer to many of their problems.
Now we come to an interesting paragraph. But you have to read between the lines to see why Paul included it.
"15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, 16 to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it. 17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition." (16:15-18)
The most recent letter from the Corinthian church was probably carried by Stephanas to Paul in Ephesus. We don't know anything about Fortunatus and Achaicus, except that their names were often found among slaves and freedmen. So they may have been part of Stephanas' household -- we're not sure.
Paul had baptized Stephanas and his household (1:16) as the first converts635 in the province of Achaia. (It is possible that Paul met them in Athens, but they now seem to reside in Corinth.) What is remarkable about Stephanas and his family is that they are self-appointed636 ministers who faithfully serve people in the church community.
"They have devoted themselves to the service of the saints." (16:15b)
Twice in this short paragraph Paul exhorts the Corinthians to acknowledge and appreciate their ministry.
- Submit639 to them -- not because they are in authority, but because they are serving640 Christ and working hard641 at it (16:16).
- Recognize them. The word is epiginōskō, "know," here, "to indicate that one values the person of another, acknowledge, give recognition to"642 (16:18b).
It may well be that because Stephanas was a known friend of Paul's, that some had tried to minimize his influence in the Christian community. Paul uses this opportunity to help Stephanas regain influence in Corinth.
Paul concludes by telling the Corinthians how Stephanas's visit refreshed643 him. These members of the Corinthian church "supplied what was lacking from you,"644 he tells them. Paul had missed the fellowship of the church, and when Stephanas and his party came, it brought back many memories of love and affection with the church there.
Paul writes from Ephesus, the center of the province of Asia -- known today as Asia Minor. Some of the churches in this area you might recognize are those at Ephesus, Colossae, and Laodicea.
"19 The churches in the province
of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord,
and so does the church that meets at their house.
20 All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss." (16:19-20)
Aquila and Priscilla, now in Ephesus, were Jewish refugees from Rome, whom Paul met in Corinth -- and worked for as a tentmaker (Acts 18:1-3). Later they became teachers (Acts 18:26), hosted a church in their home (16:19), and returned to Rome (Romans 16:3).
It was customary to send such greetings, just like we might tell someone, "Say hello to everyone for me."
"Greet one another with a holy kiss." The kiss was a sign of affection and love between family members -- and the church at its best is an extended family, full of love for one another. Here and elsewhere, Paul calls it a "holy kiss," probably to distinguish it from an erotic kiss.645
Paul was accustomed to writing his letters by dictating to a secretary or amanuensis. But in order to provide authentication, he would write the last few lines with his own hand (Galatians 6:11; Colossians 4:18; 2 Thessalonians 3:17).
"I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand." (16:21)
This letter has a unique closing. Most letters conclude with a benediction or blessing, but this one ends with a curse -- probably Paul's last warning against his opponents.
"If anyone does not love the Lord -- a curse be on him." (16:22a)
This isn't the first time that Paul has pronounced a curse on those who preach another gospel (Galatians 1:8-9) or a warning to those who won't obey instruction (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15). He calls on his readers to "love"646 the Lord -- or face the eternal consequences. "Curse" is the Greek noun anathema.647
To put it bluntly, failure to obey Jesus is to not love him (John 14:15). Living in incest, going to prostitutes, feasting in pagan temples, and the like are incompatible with the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9). We may not like to hear this in our easy-salvation era, but we must not deceive ourselves. The gospel Jesus taught is a gospel of repentance and humility before God.648
In the Greek text we read here a kind of intentional tongue-twister:
Anathema marana tha
The Greek marana tha is a transliteration of the Aramaic words meaning "Our Lord, come!"649 It may be part of an early Christian formula. The last words in the Bible echo this prayer:
"Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen." (Revelation 22:20-21)
And Paul's final words sound similar:
"22b Come, O Lord! 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love650 to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen." (16:22b-24)
Q4. (1 Corinthians 16:22) Whom does Paul curse in this
verse? Whom does he invite to come quickly? Why, do you think, Paul looks
forward so much to Christ's coming?
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And so we conclude one of Paul's most powerful but difficult letters. Paul's focus has been to bend a church heavily influenced by paganism and a kind of super-spirituality into a church of disciples who love Jesus, love one another, and are committed to building one another up in healthy congregations. May this epistle have the same effect in our lives and in our churches. Amen.
Father, as I read this chapter I catch just a bit of Paul's no-nonsense approach to ministry. In the midst of both opportunity and danger, he continues faithfully. He loves the Corinthians who have been hard to love of late. He goes about his work as one who has been called to serve. Put that same kind of no-nonsense service into me, as well as the kind of fearlessness that can carry your gospel further yet. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
"On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made." (1 Corinthians 16:2)
"A great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me." (1 Corinthians 16:9)
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 14 Do everything in love." (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)
"If anyone does not love the Lord -- a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!" (1 Corinthians 16:22)
611. See also 7:1, 25; 8:1; 12:1; 16:12.
612. "God's people" (NIV), "saints" (NRSV, KJV) is hagios, "believers, loyal followers, saints," of Christians as consecrated to God (BDAG 11, 2dβ).
613. Bruce, 1 and 2 Corinthians, p. 158.
614. Acts 20:7; Didache 14.2.
615. "Set aside" (NIV, NRSV), "lay by him" (KJV) is the very common verb tithēmi, "put, place," here, as a commercial technical term, "to lay aside/deposit (money), put aside, store up, deposit" (BDAG 1004, 2).
616. Par' heautō, "at home." Para, "at/by (the side of), beside, near, with," in someone's house (BDAG 757, B1bα).
617. Saving it up" (NIV), "save" (NRSV), "in store" (KJV) is thēsaurizō (from which we get our word "thesaurus"), "to keep some material thing safe by storing it, lay up, store up, gather, save something" (BDAG 456, 1).
618. Euodoō, BDAG 410.
619. "According to his ability" is two words. (1) The adverb kathōs, "as," here, "of extent or degree to which, as, to the degree that" (BDAG 494, 2). (2) The verb euporeō, "to prosper financially, have plenty, be well off" (BDAG 410), in the same word group as euporia, "prosperity," and euporos, "well off."
620. "Collections" (NIV, NRSV), "gatherings" (KJV) is logeia, "collection of money," from logeuō, "to collect" (BDAG 597).
621. "Gift" (NIV, NRSV), "liberality" (KJV) is charis, (from which we get our word "charity"), "grace, favor," then, as here, "practical application of goodwill, (a sign of) favor, gracious deed/gift, benefaction" (BDAG 1079-80, 3a).
622. "Seems advisable" (NIV, NRSV), "is meet" (KJV) employs the adjective axios, "pertaining to having a relatively high degree of comparable worth or value," here, "worthwhile, fitting, proper" (BDAG 93, 1c).
623. "If the Lord permits" uses the verb epitrepō, "to allow someone to do something, allow, permit" (BDAG 385, 1).
624. Propempō, BDAG 873, 2.
625. "Effective" (NIV, NRSV), "effectual" (KJV) is energēs, "pertaining to practical expression of capability, effective, active, powerful" (BDAG 335).
626. "Who oppose me" (NIV), "adversaries" (NRSV, KJV) is the verb antikeimai, "be opposed to someone, be in opposition to" (BDAG 89). It is a compound verb, anti-, "against" + keimai, "to lie."
627. "Refuse to accept" (NIV), "despise" (NRSV, KJV) is exoutheneō, "to show by one's attitude or manner of treatment that an entity has no merit or worth, disdain someone" (BDAG 352, 1).
628. Kataphroneō, "to look down on someone or something with contempt or aversion, with implication that one considers the object of little value, look down on, despise, scorn, treat with contempt" (BDAG 529, 1).
629. Propempō, BDAG 873.
630. The verb is eukaireō, "to experience a favorable time or occasion for some activity, have time, leisure, opportunity" (BDAG 406), from eu-, "good" + kairos, "time."
631. Grēgoreō, BDAG 208, 2.
632. Stēkō, BDAG 944, 2.
633. Andrizomai, BDAG 76.
634. Krataioō, BDAG 564.
635. "First converts" (NIV, NRSV), "first fruits" (KJV) is aparchē, "first fruits, first portion" of any kind (BDAG 98, 1bα).
636. "'Set themselves.' Remarkable statement worthy of attention today. This noble family appointed themselves to be ministers to the saints that needed it (the poor and needy). (Robertson, Word Pictures).
637. "Devoted" (NIV, NRSV), "addicted" (KJV) is tassō, "to bring about an order of things by arranging, arrange, put in place." (BDAG 992, 1b).
638. "Service" (NIV, NRSV), "ministry" (KJV) is diakonia, "performance of a service" (BDAG 230, 2a).
639. "Submit" (NIV, KJV), "put yourselves at the service of" (NRSV) is hypotassō, "subject oneself, be subjected or subordinated, obey" (BDAG 1042, 1bβ).
640. "Joins in the work" (NIV), "works" (NRSV), "helpeth" (KJV) is synergeō, "to engage in cooperative endeavor, work together with, assist, help" (BDAG 969).
641. "Labors" (NIV, KJV), "toils" (NRSV) is kopiaō, "to exert oneself physically, mentally, or spiritually, work hard, toil, strive, struggle" (BDAG 558, 2).
642. Epiginōskō, BDAG 369, 4.
643. "Refreshed" is anapauō, "to cause someone to gain relief from toil, cause to rest, give (someone) rest, refresh, revive" (BDAG 69, 1).
644. "Supplied" (NIV, KJV), "made up for" (NRSV) is anaplēroō, literally, "make complete," here, "to supply what is lacking, fill a gap, replace" (BDAG 70, 3). "What was lacking" (NIV, KJV), "absence" (NRSV) is hysterēma, "the lack of what is needed or desirable, frequently in contrast to abundance, need, want, deficiency," here the phrase means, "to make up for the person's absence, represent the person in the person's absence" (BDAG 1044, 1).
645. Also Romans 16:16; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; cf. 1 Peter 5:14.
646. "Love" is phileō, "to have a special interest in someone or something, freq. with focus on close association, have affection for, like, consider someone a friend" (BDAG 105, 1a). Used of loving God only occasionally (John 5:20; 16:27b; 21:15-17). The usually word is agapoō, though I don't attach any special significance here.
647. "Curse" is anathema, "that which has been cursed, cursed, accursed" (BDAG 63, 2), Galatians 1:8-9; Matthew 25:21; Romans 9:3; 1 Corinthians 12:3.
648. Matthew 4:17; Luke 5:32; 13:3, 5; 15:7, 10; 24:47; Acts 11:18; 20:21; Hebrews 6:1; 2 Peter 3:9.
649. We also see it as part of a communion prayer in the late first century document, The Didache 10:6.
650. "Love" is agapē.
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