In 1 Corinthians 5 and 6, Paul aims to clarify the responsibilities of the church in relation to itself and the wider world. Many have turned from Paul’s gospel, substituting a spirituality of worldly wisdom and moral freedom. Rather than elevating their spiritual status, these new ideas have led to division and a moral laxity that fails to demarcate them as the people in whom God’s transforming Spirit has taken up residence. In chapter 5, Paul deals with the case of a man living in a sexual relationship with his mother-in-law. He chastises the church for not disciplining this man in order to maintain the church’s purity as God’s holy covenant community. In verses 3-5, however, his concern is for the redemption and restoration of this sinful individual. He advises expulsion from the community so that the man will turn from his sin and so be saved.
I. Why Was Paul so Severe?
Though virtually no one would call the Apostle Paul timid, less still “soft,” he rarely reacts as severely as in 1 Corinthians 5.1-5. Lyle Vander Broek’s observation is no doubt accurate, “The wording of the disciplinary action proposed by Paul leads modern readers to puzzle over what appears to be a strange and overly severe condemnation.”1 Paul often addresses the problem of sexual immorality in his churches (cf. 1 Thess 4.3; 2 Cor 12.21; Gal 5.19; Eph 5.3; Col 3.5), and yet only here does he explicitly call out the guilty party. What qualifies this situation as severe enough to merit public condemnation and community expulsion?2 What did Paul find so shocking as to elicit such a harsh response? Many point out that he seems just as angry with the church as a community than with the individual perpetrator (perhaps even more so). This is of course true, and Paul will have plenty to say to the church, but in making such an observation one must not look past the individual who started the whole mess. Notice that Paul assumes that the church should have known to separate from this man, and that it is exactly this assumption—based in part on the odious nature of his behavior—that drives Paul’s heightened anger with the community as a whole. It is this man’s sin, along with the community’s failure to discipline him, which calls forth Paul’s spirited denunciation of both him and them.
There are three basic factors that influence Paul’s response. To begin with, this man’s sin, along with the community’s failure to censure him, broke the church’s covenant responsibilities (cf. Lev 20.11; Deut 27.20). Paul reflects in some detail on the idea of the church as God’s holy covenant community in verses 6-11.3 Because Paul considered them a continuation of Israel, he held them responsible to follow at least some of the Old Testament covenant stipulations in order to maintain the purity and holiness of God’s people (cf. 3.16-17). Any religious community with moral standards is bound to develop boundaries beyond which one may not go without penalty, and this man crossed the line.4 Nevertheless, Paul does not always react so strongly to sinning Christians; in Galatians 6.1, for example, he advises that the mature should restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness, not hand him or her over to Satan.
The second reason for Paul’s strong words may reveal the difference: this man was committing a type of sexual sin that even pagans detested. Though “Jews and Christians were a notable minority in their attitudes about fornication, prostitution, adultery, incest, and the like,” on this matter all agreed: a man should not be sexually involved with his father’s wife.5 Cicero substantiates Paul on this point, “And so mother-in-law marries son-in-law, with none to bless, none to sanction the union, and amid naught but general foreboding. Oh! to think of the woman’s sin, unbelievable, unheard of in all experience save for this single instance!”6 That this lent to Paul’s distress may be evidenced by his drawing attention to the fact that people all over the place were hearing about this (ολως ακουεται).7 In addition to his concern for the Corinthians, Paul was worried about the reputation of the Christian church in the wider world.
The third reason is perhaps the crucial one: this man’s sin, along with the community’s failure to discipline him, brought to the surface many of the deeper problems plaguing the church in Corinth. Paul quickly turns his attention to the fact that instead of mourning this man’s sin and removing him from fellowship, they were “puffed up” with pride—they had “an exaggerated self-conception.”8 Arrogance and boasting were clearly endemic among them (cf. 1.29, 31; 3.21; 4.6, 7, 18, 19; 8.1). The difficulty is knowing whether they were proud in spite of this man’s behavior or because of it. While the latter may seem out of the question to contemporary readers, it falls squarely in line with their misunderstandings of what it means to be “spiritual.” Barrett puts it well: “They were now spiritual persons, and what they did with their bodies was no longer significant, except in so far as it could demonstrate how completely they had transcended the old moral restrictions of conventional religious life, Jewish and pagan alike.”9 They considered themselves privy to a certain broad-mindedness regarding moral matters.10
In addition to not lining up with Paul’s idea of life in the Spirit, this attitude threatened the unity of the congregation (cf. 1.10-17; 2.14-3.4). Paul often deals quite harshly with divisive persons (cf. 1 Cor 3.16-17; Rom 16.17-19). Gordon Fee has detected an additional layer of the problem Paul is confronting, namely, the question of his own role in the faith community: “What seems to be at stake is the crisis of authority that was a large part of what lay behind 1.10-4.21, and especially the authority of Paul vis-à-vis the ‘arrogant’ who were responsible for leading the church in its new direction, both theologically and over against Paul.”11 Along these lines he labels chapters five and six “test cases” to see whether or not the community would follow Paul’s example and instruction—in effect, his very gospel—over against the “arrogant” teachers.
In summary, Paul is not dealing with just any sin. This man’s behavior not only flaunts God’s covenant commands, it also invokes the disgust of many in the Gentile community. Moreover, this is quite possibly “an ideological act” that proclaims a gospel of total freedom from moral regulations—a message that was tearing the Corinthian church apart. To top things off, this man’s actions, as well as the community’s refusal to call him to account, may well have been intended as an arrogant affront to Paul’s authority and indeed the very gospel he preached.
As helpful as it may be to better understand why Paul said what he said, knowing the whole situation hardly makes clear what he actually meant. Verses 3-5 notoriously present numerous exegetical quandaries, two of which will be explored in detail: What did Paul mean by “the destruction of the flesh”? What did Paul envision when he spoke of “the spirit” being “saved on the day of the Lord?” Before analyzing these two questions, however, a brief explanation of 3-5a is in order. While the details vv. 3-4 remain somewhat of a mystery, their overall point is clear: “The Lord is the authority on the basis of which” a certain “punishment is to be meted out” against this man.11 When they are gathered together (probably for corporate worship), they are to παραδουναι τον τοιουτον τω σατανα (“hand over such a one to Satan”).
Based on certain supposed parallels to magical papyri from the fourth and fifth centuries A.D., some have claimed that Paul is appropriating standard formulae to invoke a curse upon the man in question.13 The problem, however, is that these so-called parallels are sketchy at best. In addition to their (four centuries) late date, the papyri in question do not speak of handing over a person to Satan—either a demon is handed over or a person is handed over by the demon to the one pronouncing the spell (in both cases the demon is directly addressed). Furthermore, Adela Collins, who holds to such an interpretation, admits the absence of an eschatological framework and their concern for personal vendettas rather than communal discipline.14 Virtually every detail differs from this passage, save the use of παραδιδωμι and presence of a demonic being.
Richard Hays is thus perfectly on target: “Probably Paul did not expect the community to perform a ceremony explicitly cursing the man; rather, delivering him to Satan is a vivid metaphor for the effect of expulsion from the church.”15 A vivid metaphor indeed, but not one without substantial support elsewhere in Paul. As virtually all commentators suggest, Paul has in mind the idea that the world outside the church is the domain or sphere of Satan—the realm over which he exercises significant influence and even authority (cf. 2 Cor 4.4; Eph 2.2; Col 1.13).16
II. What is the Destruction of the Flesh?
But what of the effects of “handing such a one over to Satan”? εις ολεθρον της σαρκος immediately follows this injunction, which means “for (the) destruction of the flesh.” This phrase indicates the (at least hoped for) result of handing him over. The first of two basic interpretive options is a position many claim as the majority: Paul envisions this man’s literal death, or at least some type of physical suffering or harm.17 There are four arguments in favor of such a reading (which is often, though not always, linked to the curse interpretation of “hand such a one over to Satan”). Firstly, it takes ολεθρος in its normal sense of destruction, ruin, or death.18 Secondly, according to the Old Testament, this man (along with his mother-in-law) must be put to death (Lev 20.11), a penalty often associated with the expulsion injunction Paul quotes in verse 13 (cf. Deut 17.7). Thirdly, Satan is quite often associated with sickness and death, perhaps most notably in the case of Job (in Job 2.6, God allows Satan a measure of influence in Job’s life, which Satan exploits by, among other things, causing him physical pain).19 Fourthly, proponents of this approach point to important parallels: 1 Corinthians 11.30-32, where Paul sees some members’ sickness and death as consequences of misusing the Lord’s Table; 2 Corinthians 12.7, where a messenger of Satan tormented Paul via a “thorn in the flesh”; Acts 5.1-11, where God (apparently) strikes Ananias and Sapphira dead for lying to the church and testing the Spirit (Satan is said to have filled Ananias’s heart; 5.3). These instances produce a pattern wherein Satan is associated with physical suffering and death. In this case σαρξ (“flesh”) would refer to the man’s physical body, which is by no means out of the question lexically, for σαρξ enjoys a wide variety of possible meanings (for this one, cf. Gal 6.13).20 Even the instances where σαρξ (“flesh”) and πνευμα (“spirit”) are contrasted evidence a range of meaning rather than a standard usage from which Paul never deviates.21
The second interpretive option understands εις ολεθρον της σαρκος as referring to the destruction of this man’s sinfulness or, as Witherington puts it, his “sinful inclinations.”22 In this sense σαρξ refers not to the physical part of the man (as opposed to the immaterial), but “the whole self as perceived in terms of a specific aspect. Hence its ‘destruction’ can refer to the destruction of the particular aspects or qualities which the term denotes.”23 In this regard Anthony Thiselton calls attention to the difference between terms that are merely descriptive (“That dog is big.”) and terms that are both descriptive and evaluative (“That dog is scary.”). Words in the latter category not only describe a thing, but also offer a value judgment from a specific point of view (such as one’s fear of large dogs). As often in Paul, here σαρξ functions in this sense as an evaluative term: it refers to the whole man as he stands in relation to God, namely, as a rebellious sinner. This flesh is “man himself, in so far as he gives himself up to his own aims in opposition to God.”24 It is a colorful way of talking about eliminating sin.
How might this perspective answer the arguments of the physical suffering or death interpretation noted above? Firstly, while ολεθρος normally refers to literal destruction, if Paul can speak of the flesh’s crucifixion without having in mind a person’s actual death (cf. Gal 5.24), there is no reason why he cannot similarly speak of its destruction. Moreover, according to the second interpretation the man is still in a real sense destroyed, just not in a physical sense. Secondly, Jewish communities in Paul’s day often reinterpreted OT death penalty injunctions along less severe lines.25 Thirdly, while Satan’s association with physical suffering and/or death is prominent, it is by no means universal. Among other pursuits, Paul often identifies Satan with attempts to break down the church’s unity and mutual pursuit of holiness (cf. 1 Cor 7.5; 2 Cor 2.11; 1 Thess 2.18).26 Fourthly, the “parallels” are too dissimilar to merit interpretive influence on this text. While Acts 5.1-11 and 1 Corinthians 11.30-32 are similar in that “people receive capital punishment for spiritual offences,” in neither is there “any hint of a curse or solemn act of the assembled church.”27 Furthermore, the fact that Satan’s activities vary according to situation weakens the impact of Paul’s discussion of his own satanic messenger in 2 Corinthians 12.28
In addition to all of this, interpreting σαρξ as the man’s physical body belies Paul’s normal grammatical habits. While Paul often contrasts σαρξ and πνευμα, on only two such occasions does σαρξ refer to a person’s body, and neither has anything to do with salvation (2 Cor 7.1; Col 2.5). Furthermore, when Paul uses σαρξ in reference to a person’s body, he usually qualifies it with a possessive pronoun; there is no possessive pronoun in 1 Corinthians 5.5.29 On the other hand, in nearly two-thirds of Paul’s σαρξ−πνευμα contrasts, σαρξ refers to a person’s sinful nature, and no lexical factors indicate any other meaning here.30 Another question often posed to the suffering-death camp is how this might bring about the saving of the spirit. This question, however, begs another: What does the spirit being saved actually mean?
III. What Spirit Will Be Saved on the Day of the Lord?
Whatever Paul meant by ινα το πνευμα σωθη εν τη ημερα του κυριου (“in order that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord”), he intended both the handing over and the destruction of the flesh to serve the purpose of bringing it about. The ινα purpose clause clearly indicates that this was ultimately what he hoped to induce.31
Of the four interpretive possibilities, two may be easily dismissed. He does not have in mind the salvation of the non-bodily part of this man—i.e., his “spirit” in contrast to his “body.” Not only would this abuse the σαρξ−πνευμα contrast, it would also assume a non-bodily picture of eternal salvation that is absolutely foreign to Paul (cf. 1 Cor 15.35-55).32 Neither does he have in mind Adela Yarbro Collins’ suggestion that το πνευμα refers to the Holy Spirit: “If they have lived in accordance with the Spirit, it will be preserved or kept safe for the community; that is, they will remain in union with it, God, and Christ.”33 Though “preserve” or “keep safe” is a viable interpretation of σωζω, in none of Paul’s other twenty-eight uses does he employ the term in this way.34 He never refers to the Holy Spirit in this sense either. While he could obviously use both terms in a construction uniquely adapted to this situation, the phrase “day of the Lord” signifies the more characteristic meaning of eschatological salvation, not safe-keeping.
A third option, suggested as early as Tertullian and argued recently by Barth Campbell, is that το πνευμα (“the spirit”) refers to “the corporate life of the church lived in union with God through the Holy Spirit.”35 For Campbell, this would also entail a corporate understanding of της σαρκος (“the flesh”) as “the prideful orientation of the Corinthians and its accompanying expressions.”36 In addition to this interpretation lining up with the (assumed) communal focus of the entire passage, his case proceeds along rhetorical lines. In short, he presents Paul’s case as a deliberative argument in which the two proofs in verses 6-11 (6b-7c and 7d-11) clarify the meaning of the proposition in verse 5. Since these two arguments disclose Paul’s concern for the church’s purity as God’s holy people, verse 5 must embody the same consideration.37
Although rhetorical criticism is helpful, one must be careful not to disallow Paul from breaking (or at least stretching) rhetorical rules. Assuming that Paul was aware of and committed to such rhetorical patterns, he is quite capable of transgressing them to make his point(s). While such an observation alone fails to discredit Campbell’s proposal, certain factors call it into question. As with the second interpretation, Paul simply never uses πνευμα with σωζω in this sense. Moreover, in Paul’s letters σωζω always takes actual persons (whether individuals or groups) as its object, never viewing people as a single collective entity. When Paul does refer to the πνευμα (sg.) of an entire community, he always uses the plural personal pronoun, which is absent here (cf. Gal 6.18; Phil 4.23; 1 Thess 5.23; Philem 1.25). Lastly, the weight of Campbell’s rhetorical analysis may be superceded if one can demonstrate that for other reasons Paul may have intended both points (purity of community as well as restoration of individual sinner) to be heard, namely, his usual concern for errant ones being brought to repentance and restored into the life of the community (cf. 2 Cor 2.5-11; 7.8-13; Gal 6.1-2; 2 Thess 3.14-16; Tit 1.13).38
The final option is also the most probable: just as Paul used σαρξ (“flesh”) to identify the whole person from one distinct angle, so πνεμυα (“spirit”) speaks of “man so far as he belongs to the spiritual realm and interacts with the spiritual realm.”39 In other words, πνευμα refers to “that dimension of the whole man wherein and whereby he is most immediately open and responsive to God.”40 While Paul will go on to speak of communal holiness and the negative effects of this man’s presence upon the community as a whole (vv.6-13), here he reveals a deep concern for this man’s repentance and redemption.
One may very well consider Paul’s instructions to be a strange way to save a man in sin. Yet regardless of whether contemporary readers agree, Paul believed that “stern community discipline can lead to transformation and reintegration into the life of the community.”41 How this may have worked is another topic for another day, but it likely had to do with the crucial role the early Corinthian church played in the lives of its members. While the fact that Paul’s social world was based to a large degree on honor and shame may have assisted his cause, surely Fee’s disconcerting voice must be heard: “Maybe the most significant thing we can learn from such a text is how far many of us are removed from a view of the church in which the dynamic of the Spirit was so real that exclusion could be a genuinely redemptive action.”42 In any case this was exactly what Paul envisioned. By disciplining this sinful brother through exclusion from the community (handing him over to Satan’s domain), Paul aimed not only to maintain the purity of the church as God’s holy covenant people, but also to shame him into repenting of his evil ways (the destruction of the flesh) and returning to the life-giving community of faith in which salvation could be found, anticipated, and enjoyed (the spirit being saved in the day of the Lord).
[This essay was originally written for a class on 1 Corinthians at Fuller Theological Seminary in Fall 2006.]
1Lyle Vander Broek, “Discipline and Community: Another Look at 1 Corinthians 5,” Reformed Review 48 (1994), 5.
2Thomas E. Schmidt, “Discipline,” Dictionary of Paul & His Letters (Downers Grove: IVP, 1993), 217; see Goran Forkman, The Limits of Religious Community (Lund, Sweden: Gleerup, 1972), 140.
3See above all else the excellent discussion of Paul’s use of the Old Testament in Brian Rosner, Paul, Scripture and Ethics: A Study of 1 Corinthians 5-7 (NY: Brill, 1994), 61-93. Highlighting Paul’s quotation of Deuteronomy 27.17 in v. 13, his use of the Passover imagery in vv. 6-8, and numerous other OT (LXX) allusions, he draws attention to three OT motifs prominent in this passage: Israel as God’s covenant community who is held responsible to certain terms of agreement; holiness, in which the community is called to reflect the God they serve; and corporate responsibility, in which one member’s sin puts the whole group in danger. In a very real sense these motifs may be wound together: Israel was (and thus the church is) God’s people who had agreed to meet certain standards (covenant) which reflected the character of God (holiness); if even one member failed to do so, the whole group placed themselves in a state of unfaithfulness (corporate responsibility). Similarly, Rosner concludes, “Paul’s use of the three motifs associated with excommunication in the Scriptures indicates that he understands the church to be a sanctified (holiness motif), covenant (covenant motif) community (corporate responsibility motif)” (p. 91). Richard Hays likewise emphasizes that Paul does not address the church as analogous to Israel, but as Israel. As he states, “God’s word to Israel has become God’s word directly to them.” Cf. Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians (Louisville: John Knox, 1997), 88. Though a fuller discussion of these issues unfortunately fell outside the scope of this paper, what Rosner, Hays, and others are saying must not be ignored, because it forms the necessary theological basis on which Paul builds his entire argument. Without this foundation of the church as God’s holy covenant community, one simply cannot understand why Paul advises what he does on an practical level.
4C. K. Barrett, A Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians (NY: Harper & Row, 1968), 123. See also William Horbury’s thorough survey of community discipline in Second Temple Judaism (“Extirpation and Excommunication,” Vetus Testamentum 35 (1985): 13-38).
5Ben Witherington, III, Conflict and Community in Corinth (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 153; cf. Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 196-7.
6Quoted in South, Disciplinary Practices, 29. See 29-30 for more similar examples from Roman and Greek literature. Raymond Collins calls incest “the most universally recognized sexual tabu” (sic). First Corinthians Sacra Pagina. Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 1999), 209.
7Cf. J. Paul Sampley, The First Letter to the Corinthians NIB. Vol. 12 (Nashville: Abingdon, 2002), 846.
8The word family seems to have to do with blowing air into a thing and thus “inflating” it. Danker, Lexicon, 1069.
9Barrett, First Epistle, 122. Virtually all commentaries recognize this as a problem for the Corinthian community. For a grammatical defense of this interpretation, see the Author’s Translation, footnote 4.
10In his discussion of various sociological models and the light they shed on the Corinthian situation, Gerald Harris explores a theory of developing eschatologically-oriented communities such as Paul’s churches. The basic formula moves from “old rules” to “no rules” to “new rules.” According to this analysis, Paul has taught the Corinthians about freedom from the “old rules” of the Law. They therefore find themselves in a “no rules” situation, or so they think; Paul quickly adjusts his emphasis and lays down “new rules” to which the community must adhere. (“The Beginnings of Church Discipline: 1 Corinthians 5,” New Testament Studies 37 (1991), 12-13). Some have also suggested the possibility that wealthy patrons are involved in this situation, and that the church’s actions are in some way financially motivated. Cf. Witherington, Conflict and Community, 156; Thiselton, First Epistle, 386, 396-7. Whether this is the case cannot be determined with certainty, but Adelo Yarbro Collins may very well be correct in claiming that “the incestuous alliance was . . . an ideological act done openly with the approval of at least an influential sector of the community” (“The Function of ‘Excommunication’ in Paul,” Harvard Theological Review 73 (1980), 253, emphasis added).
11Fee, First Epistle, 195.
12Raymond Collins, First Corinthians, 207.
13Cf. Forkman, Limits, 143; Adela Yarbro Collins, “Excommunication,” 255-6. For the arguments against this view, see above all South, Disciplinary Practices, 43-65.
14Adela Yarbro Collins, “Excommunication,” 256.
15Hays, First Corinthians, 85.
16Commenting on 2 Cor 11.13-15, Daniel Reid presents a similar assumption, “The underlying point is that Satan is vested with a sovereignty, however limited it might ultimately be, that is powerful, compelling and clearly opposed to the work of God in Christ.” Reid, “Satan, Devil,” DPL (Downers Grove: IVP, 1993), 864.
17Barth Campbell calls this view “the consensus of scholarship,” though he notes many detractors. Campbell, “Flesh and Spirit in 1 Cor 5.5: An Exercise in Rhetorical Criticism of the NT,” JETS 36 (Sept 1993), 332.
18Danker, Lexicon, 702.
19Cf. Raymond Collins, First Corinthians, 212.
20Richard Erickson lists this as the second of six possible meanings; “Flesh,” DPL. (Downers Grove: IVP, 1993), 304, and Danker as the 2nd of five; Lexicon, 914-6.
21Erickson, “Flesh,” 304. Cf. Rom 1.3; 1 Cor 6.16-17; Gal 4.29.
22Witherington, Conflict and Community, 158-9. This is the view of Origen and John Chrysostom as well.
23Thiselton, First Epistle, 395.
24Anhony Thiselton, “σαρξ,” Vol. 1. NIDNTT (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975), 676.
25Horbury, Extirpation and Excommunication, 27-30; Rosner, Paul, Scripture and Ethics, 82.
26Cf. N. George Joy, “Is the Body Really to be Destroyed? (1 Cor 5.5),” The Bible Translator 39 (1988), 434-4; Thiselton, “The Meaning of Σαρξ In 1 Corinthians 5.5: A Fresh Approach in the Light of Logical and Semantic Factors,” Scottish Journal of Theology 26 (1973), 223.
27South, Disciplinary Practices, 47. Commenting on 1 Corinthians 11.30-32, Fee observes, “There Paul is making a judgment after the fact, as it were—indeed after two facts. They are destroying the Table; and some of them are sickly, or have even died…. But that is far from ‘excommunicating’ for the very purpose that the man might suffer physically unto death” (First Epistle, 211-2).
28Not to mention the fact that this is a highly disputed passage. Though it lies beyond the scope of this essay to argue, he may very well have in mind the false teachers rather than some bodily ailment (in the Old Testament, “thorns” referred to Israel’s enemies (Num 33.55; Josh 23.13; Judg 2.3; cf. also 2 Sam 23.6, where thorns refers to people in a different sense). In any case, he obviously doesn’t envision his own death.
29Erickson, “Flesh,” 305. He also points out that when Paul uses σαρξ in reference to the ways of the world in opposition to God, he never combines it with the article, as he does here. On the other hand, “Those uses of σαρξ which refer to human rebelliousness almost invariably appear with the article.” This defeats Adela Yarbro Collins’ suggestion that flesh may refer in a general sense to “those elements and aspects of creation hostile to God” that will be destroyed in “the fiery trial of all creation.” Adela Collins, “Excommunication,” 259.
30Erickson, “Flesh,” 304. Cf. Rom 8.4-6, 9, 13; Gal 5.16-17; 6.8.
31This is true whether one sees the former clause as resultative (Fee, First Epistle, 209) or proximate purpose “Campbell, “Flesh and Spirit,” 335); in either case the latter phrase is the ultimate purpose.
32As Joy (“Destroyed?” 433) states, “The New Testament never speaks of the salvation of any particular part of the human personality.” As for the πνευμα−σαρξ contrast, Thiselton (“Meaning of Σαρξ,” 214-5) argues, “Even if σαρξ, on its own, sometimes means the physical body, and even if πνευμα, on its own, occasionally designates the non-physical, when the two terms stand together in opposition the contrast which results is almost always a different one…. In the overwhelming majority of instances in which σαρξ and πνευμα oppose each other, they set up a polarity between what accords with the working of the Spirit of God and human characteristics which, to all intents and purposes, have been arrived at independently.” Contra Barrett, First Epistle, 126.
33Adela Collins, “Excommunication,” 260. She goes on to state the contrasting possibility, “If they have defiled the Spirit by, for example, sexual sins, the Spirit will be lost to the community and they will be excluded from the kingdom of God (see 6.9-11).”
34Danker, Lexicon, 982
35Campbell, “Flesh and Spirit,” 341.
36Campbell, “Flesh and Spirit,” 340.
37Campbell, “Flesh and Spirit,” 336-339.
38Cf. Schmidt, “Discipline,” 216; Barrett, First Epistle, 127.
39James D. G. Dunn, “πνευμα,” Vol. 3. NIDNTT (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978), 693.
40Dunn, “πνευμα,” 693.
41Hays, First Corinthians, 86.
42Fee, First Epistle, 214. For a discussion of the possible influences of the cultural values of honor and shame, see Witherington, Conflict and Community, 152, 154-5.