Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Corinthians 8:3

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But if any man love God - In that way which the commandment requires, which will necessarily beget love to his neighbor, the same is known of him - is approved of God, and acknowledged as his genuine follower.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But if any man love God - If any man is truly attached to God; if he seeks to serve him, and to promote his glory. The sense seems to be this. “There is no true and real knowledge which is not connected with love to God. This will prompt a man also to love his brethren, and will lead him to promote their happiness. A man‘s course, therefore, is not to be regulated by mere knowledge, but the grand principle is love to God and love to man. Love edifies; love promotes happiness; love will prompt to what is right; and love will secure the approbation of God.” Thus, explained. this difficult verse accords with the whole scope of the parenthesis, which is to show that a man should not be guided in his contact with others by mere knowledge, however great that may be; but that a safer and better principle was “love, charity” ( ἀγάπη agapē), whether exercised toward God or man. Under the guidance of this, man would be in little danger of error, Under the direction of mere knowledge he would never be sure of a safe guide; see 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

The same is known of him - The words “is known” ( ἔγνωσται egnōstai) I suppose to be taken here in the sense of “is approved by God; is loved by him; meets with his favor, etc.” In this sense the word “known” is often used in the Scriptures. See the note at Matthew 7:23. The sense is, “If any man acts under the influence of sacred charity, or love to God, and consequent love to man, he will meet with the approbation of God. He will seek his glory, and the good of his brethren; he will be likely to do right; and God will approve of his intentions and desires, and will regard him as his child. Little distinguished, therefore, as he may be for human knowledge, for that science which puffs up with vain self-confidence, yet he will have a more truly elevated rank, and will meet with the approbation and praise of God. This is of more value than mere knowledge, and this love is a far safer guide than any mere intellectual attainments.” So the world would have found it to be if they had acted on it; and so Christians would always find it.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
There is no proof of ignorance more common than conceit of knowledge. Much may be known, when nothing is known to good purpose. And those who think they know any thing, and grow vain thereon, are the least likely to make good use of their knowledge. Satan hurts some as much by tempting them to be proud of mental powers, as others, by alluring to sensuality. Knowledge which puffs up the possessor, and renders him confident, is as dangerous as self-righteous pride, though what he knows may be right. Without holy affections all human knowledge is worthless. The heathens had gods of higher and lower degree; gods many, and lords many; so called, but not such in truth. Christians know better. One God made all, and has power over all. The one God, even the Father, signifies the Godhead as the sole object of all religious worship; and the Lord Jesus Christ denotes the person of Emmanuel, God manifest in the flesh, One with the Father, and with us; the appointed Mediator, and Lord of all; through whom we come to the Father, and through whom the Father sends all blessings to us, by the influence and working of the Holy Spirit. While we refuse all worship to the many who are called gods and lords, and to saints and angels, let us try whether we really come to God by faith in Christ.