1 Corinthians 8 and 9

The church in Corinth had asked about the eating of food which had been offered before an idol. Picture yourself as a Christian in Corinth, invited to a social banquet in a temple, or seated as a guest in the house of a non-Christian friend, and offered food which had been presented in sacrifice to an idol.

  1. 8:1-13. Using the knowledge of truth as their sole guide (such truth as is stated in verses 4-6), what decision did the Corinthians come to about eating food offered to idols? Did Paul agree? List the reasons why he also says that in certain circumstances he would abstain from such eating.
  2. 9:1-27.What basic principle which should govern Christian action does Paul illustrate here from his own conduct? In particular what rights does he show Christian workers to have, and what are his reasons for not using them?


  1. 8:12. ‘Wound their weak conscience’: note the contrast. What requires tender handling is brutally treated. Cf. 9:22. The ‘weak’:i.e, those whose grasp of Christian truth is feeble, and who are timid in exercising their liberty in Christ. Cf. Rom. 14:1-3.
  2. 8:13.This declaration is conditional and personal, not absolute and general. The significance of this should not be overlooked. Cf. 10:27-30.