“To Submit To The Judgement Of The Saints” -- By: D. W. B. Robinson

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 10:1 (Apr 1962)
Article: “To Submit To The Judgement Of The Saints”
Author: D. W. B. Robinson


“To Submit To The Judgement Of The Saints”

D. W. B. Robinson1

IT IS THE PURPOSE of this article to put forward some suggestions about the exegesis and interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. In particular it will be suggested that ‘the saints’ in this passage refers, not to all believers, but to Jewish believers in their role as the holy remnant of Israel (Rom. 11:5, 16) and the instrument of God’s revelation to the Gentiles. (This brief discussion is part of a wider study the author is making of the relationship between Israel and the Gentiles within the New Testament picture of salvation.)

The Corinthian correspondence provides us with our most extensive insight into Paul’s relationship with one of his Gentile churches. It shows us, among other things, some of the severe tensions which that relationship involved. A modern ecclesiastic might wonder that Paul did not ‘resign’. But that course was not open to the ἐθνῶν ἀπόστολος. He may be an earthen vessel, but the vessel is in the hand of God Himself. Paul, like Jeremiah and like the Servant of the Lord of Isa. 49, was called from the womb to be a light to Gentiles (Gal. 1:15, 16). Further, although Paul has a unique distinction in this ministry, he is not alone in it. Other Jews, such as Cephas, Apollos and Sosthenes, are likewise ‘stewards of the mysteries of God’ to the Corinthians (4:1). The Corinthians appear to have recognized that the gospel came to them by the hand of Jews, members of the elect nation, the holy people. One might say ‘I am of Apollos’, another ‘I am of Paul’, another ‘I am of Cephas’, and another ‘I am of Christ’ (1:12); but it is not accidental that there was no Gentile name among these teachers to whom allegiance was boasted. The dependence of the Gentile church on the Jews is again seen in the collection for the Jerusalem

church. Despite the exteme delicacy and even embarrassment of the situation, Paul regarded it as essential to secure the voluntary participation of the Corinthians in that collection. The explanation is given in Rom. 15: 27: ‘Yea, it hath been their good pleasure; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their...

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