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Food Offered to Idols

Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.

Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘no idol in the world really exists’, and that ‘there is no God but one.’ Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. ‘Food will not bring us close to God.’[a] We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling-block to the weak. 10 For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? 11 So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed.[b] 12 But when you thus sin against members of your family,[c] and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling,[d] I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them[e] to fall.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 8:8 The quotation may extend to the end of the verse
  2. 1 Corinthians 8:11 Gk the weak brother . . . is destroyed
  3. 1 Corinthians 8:12 Gk against the brothers
  4. 1 Corinthians 8:13 Gk my brother’s falling
  5. 1 Corinthians 8:13 Gk cause my brother

Concerning Food Sacrificed to Idols

Now about food sacrificed to idols:(A) We know that “We all possess knowledge.”(B) But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something(C) do not yet know as they ought to know.(D) But whoever loves God is known by God.[a](E)

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols:(F) We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world”(G) and that “There is no God but one.”(H) For even if there are so-called gods,(I) whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God,(J) the Father,(K) from whom all things came(L) and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord,(M) Jesus Christ, through whom all things came(N) and through whom we live.

But not everyone possesses this knowledge.(O) Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak,(P) it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God;(Q) we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block(R) to the weak.(S) 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols?(T) 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed(U) by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them(V) in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.(W) 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.(X)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 8:3 An early manuscript and another ancient witness think they have knowledge do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves truly knows.

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