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1 Corinthians 1:16

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The household of Stephanas - From 1 Corinthians 16:15, we learn that the family of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, probably converted and baptized by the apostle himself. Epenetus is supposed to be one of this family. See the note on Romans 16:5.

I know not whether I baptized any other - I do not recollect that there is any person now residing in Corinth, or Achaia, besides the above mentioned, whom I have baptized. It is strange that the doubt here expressed by the apostle should be construed so as to affect his inspiration! What, does the inspiration of prophet or apostle necessarily imply that he must understand the geography of the universe, and have an intuitive knowledge of all the inhabitants of the earth, and how often, and where they may have changed their residence! Nor was that inspiration ever given so to work on a man's memory that he could not forget any of the acts which he had performed during life. Inspiration was given to the holy men of old that they might be able to write and proclaim the mind of God in the times which concern the salvation of men.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And I baptized also the household - The family. Whether there were any infants in the family, does not appear. It is certain that the family was among the first converts to Christianity in Achaia, and that it had evinced great zeal in aiding those who were Christians; see 1 Corinthians 16:15 - From the manner in which Paul mentions this, it is probable that Stephanas did not reside at Corinth when he was baptized, though he might have subsequently removed there. “I baptized none ‹of you‘ 1 Corinthians 1:14. - that is, none of those who permanently dwelt at Corinth, or who were members of the original church there, but Crispus and Gaius - but I baptized also the family of Stephanas, ‹now‘ of your number” - Or it may mean, “I baptized none of you ‹who are adult members of the church,‘ but Crispus and Gains, though I also baptized the ‹family‘ of Stephanas. If this be the true interpretation, then it forms an argument to prove that Paul practiced household baptism, or the baptism of the families of those who were themselves believers. Or the expression may simply indicate a recollection of the true circumstances of the case - a species of correction of the statement in 1 Corinthians 1:14, “I recollect now also that I baptized the family of Stephanas.”

Household - οἶκον oikonThe house; the family. The word comprises the whole family, including adults, domestics, slaves, and children. It includes:

(1)The men in a house, Acts 7:10; 1 Timothy 3:4-5, 1 Timothy 3:12;

(2)“Domestics,” Acts 10:2; Acts 11:14; Acts 16:15, Acts 16:31; 1 Timothy 3:4;

(3)“The family” in general; Luke 10:5; Luke 16:27.

Bretschneider. It was the custom, doubtless, for the apostles to baptize the entire “household,” whatever might be the age, including domestics, slaves, and children. The head of a family gave up the entire “household” to God.

(That adult domestics and slaves were baptized without personal profession or other evidence of faith, is incredible. The word οἶκον oikonindeed includes domestics as well as children, out while the latter must have been admitted on the profession of their parents, it is reasonable to suppose that the former would be received solely on their own.)

Of Stephanas - Who Stephanas was, is not known. The Greek commentators say that he was the jailor of Philippi, who, after he had been baptized Acts 16:33, removed with his family to Corinth. But of this there is no certain evidence.

Besides - Besides these.

I know not … - I do not know whether I baptized any others who are now members of that church. Paul would, doubtless, recollect that he had baptized others in other places, but he is speaking here particularly of Corinth. This is not to be urged as an argument against the inspiration of Paul, for:

(1)It was not the design of inspiration to free the memory from defect in ordinary transactions, or in those things which were not to be received for the instruction of the church;

(2)The meaning of Paul may simply be, “I know not who of the original members of the church at Corinth may have removed, or who may have died; I know not who may have removed to Corinth from other places where I have preached and baptized, and consequently I cannot know whether I may not have baptized some others of your present number.” It is evident, however, that if he had baptized any others, the number was small.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
In the great things of religion be of one mind; and where there is not unity of sentiment, still let there be union of affection. Agreement in the greater things should extinguish divisions about the lesser. There will be perfect union in heaven, and the nearer we approach it on earth, the nearer we come to perfection. Paul and Apollos both were faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, and helpers of their faith and joy; but those disposed to be contentious, broke into parties. So liable are the best things to be corrupted, and the gospel and its institutions made engines of discord and contention. Satan has always endeavoured to stir up strife among Christians, as one of his chief devices against the gospel. The apostle left it to other ministers to baptize, while he preached the gospel, as a more useful work.
Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 352

Is it necessary that in order to solve the problem of education one must commit robbery toward God, and refuse to give God the willing service of the powers of the spirit, soul, and body? God calls upon you to be doers of His word, in order that you may be thoroughly educated in the principles that will give you a fitness for heaven. No method of education should be followed that will crowd out the word of God. Let the word of God be the man of your counsel. The purpose of education should be to take in light in order that you may impart light by letting it shine forth to others in good works. The highest of all education is the knowledge of God. “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Read the first and second chapters of 1 Corinthians with deep interest, and pray that God will give you understanding so that you may comprehend and put into practice the truths there revealed. “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” “The Lord is exalted; for He dwelleth on high: He hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure.” FE 352.1

Time is short, and there are but few workers in the vineyard of the Lord. Several have been sent from this part of the world to be educated at Battle Creek, in order that they may become laborers together with God. It was hoped that the Holy Spirit would work with them for the salvation of those who are in the shadow of death. These students have been supported by the sacrifices of men and women who, to my certain knowledge, have hired money to pay the tuition and to cover the expenses. The world is to be warned; and yet you have thought it necessary to consume time and money in making an unnecessarily large preparation for the work that these students may be called upon to do. The same God lives today that Isaiah saw in his vision, and can give enlightenment to those who are acting a part in the work of fitting men for a solemn, sacred work. He says: “I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.” FE 353.1

Those who are directing in the work of education are placing too large an amount of study before those who have come to Battle Creek to fit up for the work of the Master. They have supposed that it was necessary for them to go deeper and deeper into educational lines; and while they are pursuing various courses of study, year after year of precious time is passing away, and golden opportunities are flitting by never to return. There is procrastination in setting these men to work; and students are losing their burden for souls, and are depending more and more upon an education in book-knowledge, rather than upon the efficiency of the Holy Spirit, and upon that which the Lord has promised to do for them. FE 353.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1082
Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 481

God declares, “I will be glorified in My people;” but the self-confident management of men has resulted in putting God aside, and accepting the devisings of men. If you allow this to continue, your faith will soon become extinct. God is in every place, beholding the conduct of the people who profess to represent the principles of His word. He asks that a change be made. He wants His people to be molded and fashioned, not after man's ideas, but after the similitude of God. I entreat of you to search the Scriptures as you have never yet searched them that you may know the way and will of God. Oh, that every soul might be impressed with this message, and put away the wrong! TM 481.1

We would do well to study carefully the first and second chapters of 1 Corinthians. “We preach Christ crucified,” the apostle declared, “unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” The human being who undertakes to become wisdom for another will find himself coming short. TM 481.2

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Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 322.1

Self to the Background—In the first chapter of Corinthians, Paul has given us instruction which every true laborer needs to study, especially the following verses: “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” [1 Corinthians 1:23-25]. Here is a lesson of special consequence to every worker in the vineyard of the Lord. It will not result in solid work for men to preach to please the ears of the people, while the truth is not held forth in a manner to bring them to the cross of Jesus Christ. The messenger of God must present eternal truths plainly, and keep in distinct view before the people their peril in neglecting eternal interests. While self is kept out of sight Jesus Christ must be ever lifted up and exalted. VSS 322.1

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