1 Cor 3:15 (The force of the future indicative)
moon at sogang.ac.kr
Mon Apr 1 02:40:49 EST 2002
My comments below.
> Greetings again Moon...
> > The future statement AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI is qualified
> > by hOUTWS DE hWS DIA PUROS.
> > If we understand DIA PUROS to mean "barely", does it make
> > the future statement a possibility which may not be realized
> > or does not affect the validity of the future statement?
> > It seems to have to do with the force of the future statement.
> > My question seems to come down to:
> > Can we understand SWQHSETAI to mean WOULD BE SAVED?
> Interestingly, John Crysostom (_hom. 9 in 1 Cor._) asserted this verse
> to mean that the man will be preserved in the fire of hell, so that he
> will not experience annihilation! I would actually agree with your
> conclusion concerning the meaning of this verse, albeit a bit
> differently. I don't think the solution lies in the force of the
> future indicative alone, but rather in the force of the future
> indicative *when qualified by an adverb*. Take Jesus' statement in
> Matthew 19:23:
> AMHN LEGW hUMIN hOTI PLOUSIOS DUSKOLWS EISELEUSETAI EIS THN BASILEIAN
> TWN OURANWN ("Truly I say to you that a rich [man] will enter into the
> kingdom of heaven with difficulty [lit. as an adverb, 'hardly'--or even
> Jesus here is *not* asserting that a rich man *will* in fact enter the
> kingdom of heaven. He is rather asserting the *manner* in which such a
> man will--*if* indeed he does: *with difficulty*. (Jesus goes on to
> pronounce this to be impossible with men in fact [v. 26])! Thus the
> adverb DUSKOLWS is a very powerful qualifier to the future EISELEUSETAI
> in this passage--it functions practically as a conditional clause.
> Now look again at 1 Cor 3:15:
> AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI hOUTWS DE hWS DIA PUROS ("And he himself will be
> saved but thusly: as through fire").
> hOUTWS here acts as a proleptic adverb, refering to the adverbial
> phrase hWS DIA PUROS, qualifying AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI (as you said). But
> I don't think at all that Paul is assuring that such a man (whose
> "work" is burnt up) will be saved. Rather, he is asserting the
> *manner* in which such a man will be--*if* indeed he is: he himself
> must survive the test of fire (not just his "work"). And the
> implication of vv. 16-17 is that such a man *will not* pass the test.
Steve, in his reponse to my post, said that this passage talks about three
types of leaders. The last type is talked about in vv 16-17. Only they
will be destroyed. Hmm, I simply thought that two types of people
are described here. So, my interpretation of v 15 was influenced by
Are there any clues that three types of leaders are talked about in this
Moon R. Jung
Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea
> I have yet to find a commentary that deals satisfactorily with Paul's
> clear allusion to the LXX of Malachi 3:2-5, 19-24 (NA27 notes the
> parallel in the margin of v. 13). There the prophet talks about the
> coming "Day" (judgment) in terms of a refiner's fire--wherein it is the
> *righteous* who are tested as gold and silver (Mal 3:3) and the wicked
> who are regarded as stubble to be consumed (3:19). Paul mentions the
> same elements in his metaphor (the "Day," "fire," etc.).
> What do I think Paul is saying? He is mixing the Old-Testament
> "temple" and "refiner's fire" metaphors. Those involved in the
> ministry of the gospel should be careful how they build alleged
> converts onto God's temple, the church. Jesus Christ himself is the
> foundation. If Apollos (or anyone else) accepts (or presents the
> gospel in such a way that it allows/draws) false brothers into the
> church, they are corrupting God's temple, which in the end will be
> (metaphorically) tested with fire at the final judgment. Those who are
> found to have corrupted God's temple via introducing false disciples
> will find their "work" (i.e. their converts) "burnt up." Subsequently
> they themselves will be put to the fiery test, which they will
> inevitably fail; since they corrupted God's temple, God will "corrupt"
> them (3:17). (It is not at all unusual to refer to people as building
> materials in the church [cf. Matt 16:18; Gal 2:9; Eph 2:19-22; 1 Peter
> 2:4-8; Rev 3:12; 21:14]. Elsewhere Paul refers to the Corinthians as
> his "work" [1 Cor 9:1] and is quite concerned about the church's purity
> [1 Cor 5:1-13; 2 Cor 11:2-3; etc.]).
> So what is the "wage/reward" (1 Cor 3:14)? IMO, nothing other than
> eternal life--the "crown that will last forever" (1 Cor 9:25). Paul
> elsewhere denies his entitlement to any wage/reward other than the
> grace of apostleship--which for Paul is its own reward (1 Cor
> 9:16-18)--and also speaks of his congregations themselves as his
> "crown" (1 Thess 2:19-20; Phil 4:1). The man who "suffers loss" finds
> the product of his earthly labors (his supposed converts) burnt up,
> while he himself is then tested (and ultimately judged) by the fire.
> This interpretation is also consistent with James' statement that those
> who are teachers "will be judged more strictly" (James 3:1).
> Anyway, I could say more, but it's getting late. I hope I have been
> clear. Let me know what you think...
> My (fairly exhaustive) thoughts... :)
> Matt Eby
> Student, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
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