Come Follow Me LDS- 1 Corinthians 8-13 Part 1

'Knowledge, Meat & Sacrifice'
- Paul contrasts the two trees with 'knowledge' and 'charity'
- The more we know, the more we should realize what we don't know
- The Sacrament is like the 'meat' of sacrifices



Come Follow Me LDS Mormon New Testament 1 Corinthians Bible


in this episode we talk about knowledge

meet and sacrifice here we go


in this episode we're going to cover

first Corinthians chapters 8 9 and 10 in

chapter 8 we get the introduction of

another practice that Paul is trying to

sort out remember he has got the Jews

and he's got the gentiles the Greeks

that are that he's trying to bring

together and they're on a different

behavioral spectrum and belief spectrum

their traditions are different and so

one of the things that you have here in

Corinth is with the sacrifices the

animal sacrifices that would be made

there at the temples by the gentile

priests or the pagan priests that's

where most of the meat would probably

come from you're not just out

slaughtering animals regularly people

are slaughtering animals typically for

sacrifice and so what would happen is

they would bring the pagans would bring

just like the Jews would do in Jerusalem

they would bring the animal to the

temple and the animal would be

slaughtered there by the priests and

then the priests would take some of the

meat themselves and that was kind of how

they helped sustain themselves and

then the family would have some of the

meat and then the rest of the meat was

typically put out into the marketplace

and maybe the priests would be the ones

that were gaining from that they would

be the ones that are actually making the

money on this perhaps but there's

there's a monetary there's an economic

benefit here to actually making the

sacrifice and so that's where a lot of

the meat in the marketplace is going to

come from it's from sacrificed animals

and so the question in Corinth here to

Paul is hey is this okay

do we eat me do we consume meat that has

been sacrificed to a pagan god and of

course you know the sacrament in a way

is something very similar right I mean

we are participating in a sacrifice

we're participating in the sacrifice of

Jesus Christ so even though this seems

really odd to us in modern times there

is still an idea obviously every week

that we kind of do something very

similar in the sacrament we are

partaking symbolically of the body of

Christ with the bread and the blood of

Christ with the wine or water but this

is how most of the meat would get out

into the marketplace so if you're a

pagan or had been a pagan and you've

conferred converted to Christianity you

might be thinking to yourself hey this

is great this is fine I'm gonna buy some

of this meat here in the marketplace

it's been sold from the priests to

certain meat dealers or butchers and

it's okay what's the big deal here and

then maybe some of the Jews who are used

to sacrificing animals themselves would

be saying wait a minute here these this

is this is meat that has not been

sacrificed in the right place by the

right authorities therefore we should

not be consuming any of this meat and so

you get a conflict here you get a

problem and so what is Paul gonna do

about this well here's how he starts

this out he says here in verse one now

as touching things offered unto idols we

know that we all have knowledge it's an

important word here throughout this

chapter knowledge puffeth up but charity

edifieth so he's laying the framework of

his argument here and when he says we

know that we all have knowledge he's

basically saying look as Christians we

know what's right and what's wrong we

have the gospel we have learned a number

of different things here so we have a

certain knowledge but knowledge puffeth

up but charity edifieth

so he's gonna talk about these two

avenues it's like look you know better

you know what the gospel is you can look

at these things and say look I have

enough knowledge in the gospel to say

that it's not a big deal if I consume

this meat right that's not something

that is going to change me I have a firm

testimony so to speak but he says that

knowledge you know any knowledge this is

gospel knowledge this is knowledge of

the truth

he says knowledge puffeth up this is

interesting here because we've talked

about Wayment Thomas Wayment's

translation of the New Testament for

latter-day saints it's a book that I

have I go to that often I noticed in his

translation this is the flipside of

using a different translation and

there's you're never going to have

anything that's perfect and when you're

trying to translate language to language

time period to time period you're going

to lose things but for example in Thomas

Wayment’s translation of 1st Corinthians

8:1 he says he doesn't say knowledge

puffeth up he says what we would say he

says knowledge makes us proud

more lice is what he says so here's the

issue I would have with that we've just

been going over here in 1st Corinthians

talking about the leavened and the

unleavened bread right and what it

means to be hypocritical and what it

means to be proud or full of yourself

and so as we talk about the leavened

bread that gets puffed up that's like

being proud and so in the King James

Version here we get that knowledge

puffeth up in the modern Thomas Wayment

version we don't get that and so you

kind of lose that correlation that's the

danger of any translation that doesn't

mean it's a bad translation or it's a

worse translation it just means where

you're getting something out of a newer

translation and I believe it's important

that you do especially with how


Paul is you might lose some other things

just a little point here but he

contrasts the two and says that

knowledge puffeth up but charity


right now when we say edify a--the what

do we mean by that if you heard that in

church before perhaps that's usually

where I hear that word been edified by

the Spirit edify means is from the same

root word of edifice right it's - it's a

building so to be edified means to be

built up with a strong structure

right it's like looking at the

temple right with a cornerstone and how

everything is built with a foundation

and that's being edified you're

strengthened so that's on one side and

then on the other side you have being

puffed up or proud like the loving to

bread so for me again as I use the

interpreters the four interpreters and I

go back to temple imagery and drama I

immediately think about the contrast of

the tree of knowledge knowledge puffeth

up the tree of knowledge of good and

evil versus the Tree of Life which is of

charity that's Christ and that edifice

that builds you up that strengthens you

that to me is makes it makes this

chapter ring even truer and give a give

a little better context to it because

the tree of knowledge of good and evil

we've talked about that being the law it

is also the tree of the individual and

I'll go over this a little bit more in

depth another time but it's the

Aaronic tree in us in a sense

and you might say to yourself oh wait a


the tree of knowledge of good and evil

was bad right how can the Aaronic

priesthood which is god's priesthood be

associated with the tree of knowledge of

good and evil

because Adam and Eve fell to

earth in a sense right we all fell to

earth the ironic priesthood is the

earthly priesthood and it is the

priesthood of the individual that is the

priesthood of your agency it is the

priesthood of your choices

and of the commandments and of obedience

and therefore it is the representation

or the tree of knowledge of good and

evil would be a representation of being

proud or earthly in a sense being carnal

right carnal is earthly proud is about

yourself right it's about it's just the

individual and if you're just an

individual and there's nothing beyond

you then there's a problem so I see this

as temple imagery here with Paul I think

that there's a contrast between the tree

of knowledge of good and evil it's laid

out here as knowledge and the tree of

charity or the Tree of Life the tree of

Christ that's what that tree of life is

right it's Christ and his sacrifice and

then he says something really

interesting here in verse 2 he says and

if any man think that he knoweth

anything he knoweth nothing yet as he

ought to know so this is a very

important principle and it's one where

knowledge is very relative right as if

you've got somebody who's really a

know-it-all they know everything about a

subject it's very easy to be puffed up

right that knowledge is like hey look at

me it's all about me and I've got

all of this knowledge here but the fact

is that knowledge like everything

else is infinite and so it's just

relative and we all know that the more

we know about something the more we

should realize at least that we don't

know anything because the amount of

knowledge in any given sector or field

is so immense that retaining some

humility is pretty important it's

hard in for example academia where they

know the most about certain things but

what should be understood is that they

really have a better idea actually

should have a better idea that they

don't really know anything because the

more you know

the more you realize how much you don't

know so for example science if you're

talking about the medical field the more

we know right now the more we can see

that we don't know a whole lot because

it so many new doors are opened up into

biology for example and into medicine

into psychology into evolution geology

or any other field and so Paul is saying

look you may know a lot about something

you may know a lot about the gospel and

you're able to firm up a testimony

based off of that

but realize that the more you know the

more you should realize that you don't

know because knowledge too easily is

going to just puff you up and then he

comes back and contrasts that knowledge

with love again and says in verse 3 but

if any man love God the same is known of

him so in other words love saves the day

much more than knowledge does and he's

gonna back that up and give us his

reasoning for this contrast then he goes

off on a little bit of a tangent here

and he talks about there being just one

God right the end of verse four he says

and that there is none other God but one

right this would be a mainstream

Christian argument that there is just

one God but here's how he follows this

up here he says in verse five for though

there be that are called God's whether

in heaven or in earth who's he talking

about as there be God's many and Lords

many but to us there is but one God so

we can look at that in a lot of

different ways and it's from a more

latter-day Saint point of view we would

see that as a cosmology of infinite

hierarchy of spiritual nobility of

spiritual royalty that the heavens are

full of individuals but that to us there

is just one God and he comes in and

backs that up by giving us the idea that

there are two different beings he says

in verse 6 but to us there is but one

God the Father so he calls the father


of whom are all things and we in him and

one Lord Jesus Christ by whom are all

things and we by him so this is where we

get in Greek the term God here is Theo's

and the term Lord here is what we've

talked about before with Paul on his

road to Emmaus with kurios or kurios

this is Jehovah this is the term that is

oftentimes used for Jehovah and has been

used in the old testament for Jehovah in

the translations by the Jews that were

put into Greek and then he comes back

and he talks about this meet again and

he says look there are different members

of the church on different levels of

knowledge and testimony and for those

that are stronger and have a greater

knowledge don't be puffed up about this

but take on responsibility in helping

those that may not have the same

knowledge in other words some may feel

threatened by some that might be eating

the meat that is sacrificed to the gods

and so the important thing here is to

look at the two things it's not a big

deal that you know better what's

important is your charity what's

important is how are you giving an

example or putting your arm around those

that might be weaker in their testimony

or have less of a knowledge don't raise

yourself up because of your strengths

but lower yourselves to those that don't

have as much strength in that area or

idea of covenant and be an example and

someone who lifts them up and he

concludes that thought in the last two

verses here in verse 12 he says but when

you sin so against the Brethren what

he's talking about here is members not

the apostles he's talking about members

of the church and wound their weak

conscience ye sin against Christ so if

you're playing with this idea with the

meat that sacrificed to idols to pagan

gods because you just don't think it's a

big deal and maybe it's not

but if there are those that are

threatened by it how should you act you

have a responsibility here he says

wherefore if meat make my brother to


I will eat no flesh while the world

standeth lest I make my brother to

offend so he's saying basically he's

using the rule of being being an example

to those around you

or doing something that will help

strengthen other members of the church

even though it may not be that important

to you personally and by the way also

when we look at the term knowledge the

underlying Greek here gnosis or no seem

here is feminine of course

right because knowledge would be

feminine who partakes of a tree of the

knowledge of good and evil first

remember to the Greeks it is who is


it's Athena and who is Sophia

and where we get the term sophisticated

from wisdom these are female

characteristics female goddesses that

would be tied to knowledge just like Eve

and then in chapter 9 Paul continues

with this theme of meat and talking

about also his body or a body something

he talks about a lot in the epistles and

he talks about kind of the right of a

spiritual leader that if that spiritual

leader is imparting spiritual things

that they would receive carnal things in

return for example food and lodging and

he says basically that's kind of their

right to do that but that he turns it

down he asks the question here in verse

11 he says if we have sown unto you

spiritual things is it a great thing if

we shall reap your carnal things if

others be partakers of this power over

you are not we rather nevertheless we

have not used this power but suffer all

things lest we should hinder the gospel

of Christ

so Paul the last thing that he wants is


right priestcraft is where in the Book

of Mormon were told that if priestcraft

were to ever take over it would be the

end of the church priest graph is

basically saying that the priesthood in

its hierarchical structure is going to

be completely based off of a physical

economy they an earthly economy and so

he wants to make this point to everyone

that look I could get these things I

should maybe even get some of these

things I should be supported somewhat by

the membership of the church I should be

helped out but he says the following in

verse 15 i have used none of these

things neither have i written these

things that it should be so done unto me

for it were better for me to die then

that any man should make my glorying

void so in other words who does he glory

he glories Jesus Christ he doesn't ever

want there to be the stigma placed upon

him that he was doing this for his own

gain for his own profit that's not

always what we see out in the world

these days right and he follows up here

in verse 16 for though I preached the

gospel I have nothing to glory of for

necessity is laid upon me yea woe is

unto me if I preach not the gospel in

other words that's all he's about and

then in 17 I really like this he says

for if I do this thing willingly I have

a reward but if against my will a

dispensation of the gospel is committed

unto me or rather when we say

dispensation here what we'd be talking

about is the responsibility of the

gospel he's holding on to the

responsibility that he has as an apostle

as a servant of God and that's all that

matters to him and in 19 a very good

principle for though I be free from all

men what does he mean by that

though I be free from all men I think

what he's saying there is that he makes

his own decisions that he is not

indebted in any way emotionally or any

other way

to men or women and that he is free of

their influence and only indebted to God

so he's free of all men yet have I made

myself servant unto all that I might

gain the more so I don't owe anybody

anything but I'm serving everybody

anyway I'm still their servant again the

greatest among you is the least among

you and then he gives us a little bit of

a rundown on how he does his missionary

work he's basically becomes the people

that are around him so that he can

relate to them he says and unto the Jews

became as a Jew that I might gain the

Jews to them that are under the law as

under the law that I might gain them

that are under the law to them that are

without the law that I might gain them

that are without law so to the Gentiles

to the week became I as week that I

might gain the week I am made all things

to all men that I might by all means

save some

and this I do for the Gospels sake that

I might be partaker thereof with you so

the negative side we could look at here

is oh so you're not really you don't

have a core right you don't have

principles of your own and therefore you

just become your environment instead of

creating your environment which is what

the Lord would have us do but that's not

what he's saying right what he's saying

is is how do I relate to everybody who's

around me this is an act of charity I

become weak to those that are weak so we

might think of ourselves as what he does

is he puts himself at that person's

level and when you think about somebody

that does that think of the Prophet when

he goes around and he meets with people

from different parts of the world or

somebody who really cares about people

that's what they do they relate to the

individuals to the people on their terms

one of the most important things I

learned when I was on my mission in

Mexico was to be a Mexican right that

was the most important thing

because once I could do that once I

could steep myself in their culture and

and try and feel like I was one of them

then things kind of started to fall into

place there's a higher level of trust

there are more doors that are opened

that's what you do when you're a

missionary you become one of the people

and then in chapter 10 he sticks with

this theme about the meat that is eaten

for sacrifice and he ties that together

with the sacrament he goes back and he

talks about the Israelites and how all

of them did the same good things in

other words they all went through the

Red Sea and were in the cloud and he

compares that to baptism and

interestingly he starts off with that

starting off with baptism and then he

says in verse 3 and did all eat the same

spiritual meat as a sacrament right

that's the manna from heaven that fell

to them that's the bread that we

partake of and did all drink the same

spiritual drink for they drank of the

spiritual rock that followed them and

that rock was Christ we've talked about

the rock in Christ before there's a

strong parallel and symbol to the rock

and water and was almost certainly a

part of the Temple of Solomon probably

in the Holy of Holies and he says but

even though everybody participated in

these things many of the Israelites

followed after their own lusts so doing

all these things isn't enough some

people are going to make the wrong

decisions and he's saying look we are

like the early Israelites that are off

on this Exodus being an exodus away from

Judaism and paganism into Christianity

this is brand-new to us we have the

manna from heaven and the water from the

rock that's the sacrament that they are

partaking of that is renewing their

covenants based on the sacrifice of

Jesus Christ but that they need to look

back and remember as we do in the

sacrament right remember

in the sacrament prayers go back and

look at the Israelites and remember what

the Lord did for them just like Nephi

says to laman and lemuel so that we

don't fall away also like so many of

the Israelites did then he says

something really interesting here and

this is where we see an entrance of

Paul's kind of his idea of the Nehor

principle that I talked about he says

here in verse 9 neither let us tempt

Christ as some of them also tempted so

he's talking about the Israelites

tempting Christ as some of them also

tempted and were destroyed of serpents

remember if you've watched or listened

to the episode on the Nehor principle

parts 1 & 2 on this podcast then you

know that I refer a lot to throughout

the whole series actually to the new

Houston or the brazen serpent the

Gospels refer to this all the time they

allude to it constantly and here Paul is

bringing this up and he's saying don't

tempt Christ like the Israelites tempted

Christ right so he is putting that

parallelism together here of the brazen

serpent as being Christ and saying that

the Israelites knew that that was Christ

they knew that that brazen serpent

represented the Messiah I think that's


it isn't talked about enough here and as

he's warning them about what the

Israelites did and their pitfalls he

says this which is really important for

us in verse 13 there hath no temptation

taken you but such as is common to man

so the temptations that we are given are

common they're everyday things and

they're simply well they're mostly the

same things or a variant of the same

thing over and over again throughout all

of the ages

because there are specific tests

specific trials that we have to go

through if we're going to progress those

steps are the same for all of us and so

we have to be exposed to options and to

failure with those options so that we

can learn these precise lessons while

we're here in mortality and then he

finishes up here in verse 13 with what

reminds me of first Nephi 37 this will

sound familiar to you he says but God is

faithful who will not suffer you to be

tempted above that ye are able right so

in first Nephi it's for the Lord giveth

no Commandments safe he shall prepare a

way that he should accomplish the thing

which blah blah blah I don't have it

memorized was something to that effect

so this is what he's saying here Paul is

saying the same thing so interesting how

when we go back to the Book of Mormon we

can find so much context and clarity

inside of the Bible even with the New

Testament because they have the same

source of truth and principles like this

are universal and he says but will with

the temptation also make a way to escape

that ye may be able to bear it so we are

all given the temptation but we are all

given the ability to move beyond that

temptation to overcome it and he wraps

it back around in verse 17 for we being

many are one bread and one body so this

whole theme here with this consuming the

meat of sacrifice includes the sacrament

for we are all partakers of that one

bread so we can see how Paul is weaving

this theme throughout this letter to the

Corinthians or this portion of the

letter to the Corinthians and the

participation that we have with the

sacrament each week is exactly the same

thing it is symbolically partaking of

the body and blood of

Christ who is the sacrifice so we can

see that the sacrament table is a lot

like an altar and that the priests who

bless the sacrament are similar to the

priests in the ancient times who would

offer up the animals for sacrifice which

were a foreshadowing of the great

sacrifice of Jesus Christ I'll talk to

you next time


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