Re: 1 Cor 5:5

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Fri Nov 20 1998 - 23:23:41 EST

John M. Tait wrote:

> An initial query: I was surprised to find that the Translator's New
> Testament (The British and Foreign Bible Society, 1973) translates THS
> SARKOS in 1 Cor 5:5 as "of his _body_" without a note. I'm aware of the
> view that SARX here refers to the physical rather than the sinful nature,
> but "body" seems to me to be rather interpretative in a text intended for
> translation purposes. Any illumination?

A number of the more talkative members of b-greek are at a clam bake in
Orlando Florida. So the new folks that have arrived in the last day or so are
not getting much of a welcome.

Your question about 1 Cor 5:5 lands us right in the middle of what some folks
call a crux (difficult problem). I did a quick scan of Gordon Fee's lengthily
treatment of this passage as well as checking Grosheide, H.A.W. Meyer, Hodge,
Plummer, Findlay (EGNT), and Henry Alford. Fee's treatment of this passage is
breathtaking. If you can only afford one commentary on 1Cor, get Gordon Fee's.

There is a major theological problem raised by this passage which I will not
explore here, it has to do with the scheme one uses to describe the nature of
man (e.g., body soul spirit).

The majority of the sources I checked stressed that Paul would have used SOMA
and not SARX if all he wanted to say was destruction of the BODY. Where the
commentators disagree is on the precise sense of SARX. Some want it to be an
exclusive reference to mans fallen nature (not his physical body), claiming
that this reading is supported by Paul's PNEUMA/SARX opposition. Others hold
out for an interpretation that SARX in this passage includes all of man's
fallen nature including his physical body. One commentator seemed to adopt
the body only reading of SARX, which I found surprising.

I am prone to go with the either the first or second position. I cannot accept
SARX in this passage as being limited to the physical body. I don't think Paul
would link the destruction of the physical body with hINATO PNEUMA SWQHi. I
would conclude that rendering the word SARX as BODY in this passage without
further comment is not doing justice to Paul's intended thought.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

Post Script

Is there a large population of Sioux in Scotland?

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