For suppose someone sees you, a man having knowledge [of God, with an intelligent view of this subject and] reclining at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged and emboldened [to violate his own conscientious scruples] if he is weak and uncertain, and eat what [to him] is for the purpose of idol worship?
You have this “knowledge”; but suppose someone with a weak conscience sees you sitting, eating a meal in the temple of an idol. Won’t he be built up wrongly to eat this food which has been sacrificed to idols?
You understand that it’s all right to eat anything, so you can eat even in an idol’s temple. But someone who has doubts might see you eating there, and this might encourage them to eat meat sacrificed to idols too. But they really think it is wrong.
Suppose one of you who has knowledge eats in an idol’s temple. Someone who ·is weak in faith [or has a weak conscience] might see you eating there and be ·encouraged [enboldened] to eat meat sacrificed to idols ·while thinking it is wrong to do so [or as a result of his weak conscience].
Suppose one of you who has knowledge eats in an idol’s temple. Someone who is weak in faith might see you eating there. This would encourage him to eat meat sacrificed to idols. But he really thinks it is wrong.
In this matter, then, of eating meat which has been offered to idols, knowledge tells us that no idol has any real existence, and that there is no God but one. For though there are so-called gods both in heaven and earth, gods and lords galore in fact, to us there is only one God, the Father, from whom everything comes, and for who we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom everything exists, and by whom we ourselves are alive. But this knowledge of ours is not shared by all men. For some, who until now have been used to idols, eat the meat as meat really sacrificed to a god, and their delicate conscience is thereby injured. Now our acceptance of God is not a matter of meat. If we eat it, that does not make us better men, nor are we the worse if we do not eat it. You must be careful that your freedom to eat meat does not in any way hinder anyone whose faith is not as robust as yours. For suppose you with your knowledge of God should be observed eating meat in an idol’s temple, are you not encouraging the man with a delicate conscience to do the same? Surely you would not want your superior knowledge to bring spiritual disaster to a weaker brother for whom Christ died? And when you sin like this and damage the weak consciences of your brethren you really sin against Christ. This makes me determined that, if there is any possibility of meat injuring my brother, I will have none of it as long as I live, for fear I might do him harm.
You see, this is what may happen: Someone who thinks it is wrong to eat this food will see you eating at a temple restaurant, for you know there is no harm in it. Then he will become bold enough to do it too, although all the time he still feels it is wrong.
For instance, say you flaunt your freedom by going to a banquet thrown in honor of idols, where the main course is meat sacrificed to idols. Isn’t there great danger if someone still struggling over this issue, someone who looks up to you as knowledgeable and mature, sees you go into that banquet? The danger is that he will become terribly confused—maybe even to the point of getting mixed up himself in what his conscience tells him is wrong.
Suppose one of you who has knowledge eats in an idol’s temple. Someone who is weak in faith might see you eating there and be encouraged to eat meat sacrificed to idols while thinking it is wrong to do so.
Suppose you, with all your knowledge, are eating in a temple of one of those gods. And suppose someone who has a weak sense of what is right and wrong sees you. Won’t that person become bold and eat what is sacrificed to statues of gods?
Look at it like this: if someone with a weak conscience sees you, a person with ‘knowledge’, sitting down to eat in an idol-house, that conscience of theirs is likely to make up its mind actually to eat idol-food, isn’t it?
For if anyone sees you, the one having da’as (knowledge), eating in the temple of an elil, will not the matzpun of him be strengthened so as to eat the okhel sacrificed to an elil (idol) at the mizbe’ach of avodah zarah?
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 and eat food offered to idols?
Let’s say a person (someone who knows of Jesus) sees you eating in the temple of an idol; and because the person with a weaker conscience is still unsure of things, he becomes confident, follows your lead, and eats idol food.
You know it is not wrong for you to eat these things. But if a weak Christian sees you eating in the idol's house, he will also want to eat food that has been given to an idol. He will do what is against his own belief.
For if any man shall see him, that hath knowing, eating in a place where idols be worshipped, whether his conscience, since it is frail [since it is sick], shall not be edified to eat things offered to idols?
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the New Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!