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14 Therefore, my beloved, avoid idolatry.(A) 15 I am speaking as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?(B) 17 Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.(C)

18 Look at Israel according to the flesh; are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?(D) 19 So what am I saying? That meat sacrificed to idols is anything? Or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I mean that what they sacrifice, [they sacrifice] to demons,[a] not to God, and I do not want you to become participants with demons.(E) 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.(F) 22 Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger? Are we stronger than he?(G)

Seek the Good of Others.[b]

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  1. 10:20 To demons: although Jews denied divinity to pagan gods, they often believed that there was some nondivine reality behind the idols, such as the dead, or angels, or demons. The explanation Paul offers in 1 Cor 10:20 is drawn from Dt 32:17: the power behind the idols, with which the pagans commune, consists of demonic powers hostile to God.
  2. 10:23–11:1 By way of peroration Paul returns to the opening situation (1 Cor 8) and draws conclusions based on the intervening considerations (1 Cor 9–10).