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1 Corinthians 8 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Love Is Greater Than Knowledge

Now let me address the issue of food offered in sacrifice to idols. It seems that everyone believes his own opinion is right on this matter.[a] How easily we get puffed up over our opinions! But love builds up the structure of our new life.[b] If anyone thinks of himself as a know-it-all, he still has a lot to learn. But if a person passionately loves God, he will possess the knowledge of God.[c]

Concerning food sacrificed as offerings to idols, we all know that an idol is nothing, for there is no God but one.[d] Although there may be many so-called gods in this world, and in heaven there may be many “gods,” “lords,” and “masters,” yet for us there is only one God—the Father. He is the source of all things, and our lives are lived for him. And there is one Lord, Jesus, the Anointed One, through whom we and all things exist.

But not everyone has this revelation. For some were formerly idolaters, who consider idols as real and living. That’s why they consider the food offered to that “god” as defiled. And their weak consciences become defiled if they eat it. Yes, we know that what you eat will not bring you closer to God. You are no better if you don’t eat certain foods and no better if you do. But you must be careful that the liberty you exercise in eating food offered to idols doesn’t offend the weak believers. 10 For if a believer with a weak conscience sees you, who have a greater understanding, dining in an idol’s temple, won’t this be a temptation to him to violate his own conscience[e] and eat food offered to idols? 11 So, in effect, by exercising your understanding of freedom, you have ruined this weak believer,[f] a brother for whom Christ has died! 12 And when you offend weaker believers by wounding their consciences in this way, you also offend[g] the Anointed One!

13 So I conclude that if my eating certain food deeply offends[h] my brother and hinders his advance in Christ, I will never eat it again. I don’t want to be guilty of causing my brother or sister to be wounded and defeated.


  1. 1 Corinthians 8:1 Or “we all have knowledge.”
  2. 1 Corinthians 8:1 That is, knowledge may make a person look important, but it is only through love that we reach our full maturity. It is simply “Love builds up.” It builds up our lives, our churches, our families, and others. Love is the most powerful substance for building what will last forever.
  3. 1 Corinthians 8:3 Explicit in the Aramaic and implied in the Greek, which can also be translated, “is known [acknowledged] by God.”
  4. 1 Corinthians 8:4 See Deut. 6:4.
  5. 1 Corinthians 8:10 Or “have his conscience built up.” Ironically, this is the same Greek word Paul used in v. 1 for love “builds up.” The implication is that the weak believer will be emboldened to violate his conscience by watching a more mature believer freely eating food offered to idols.
  6. 1 Corinthians 8:11 This is because the “freedom” of the mature could lead the immature believer back into what he feels is idol worship.
  7. 1 Corinthians 8:12 That is, “They bring an offense against the teachings of Christ,” as translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “When you sin against a weaker believer . . . you also sin against Christ.”
  8. 1 Corinthians 8:13 The Greek word skandalizō (from which we get our English word scandal) means “to throw a snare in front of someone purposely to trip them up.”
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

1 Corinthians 8 New International Version (NIV)

Concerning Food Sacrificed to Idols

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

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

But not everyone possesses this knowledge. 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, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; 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 to the weak. 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? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 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.


  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.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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