Church of God, New World Ministries

Difficult Scriptures

I Corinthians 8:13 - Does this say Paul did not eat meat?
  1. As shown in verse 4, Paul was talking about those meats offered in sacrifice unto idols.

  2. Paul showed that Christians know an idol is nothing and that there is only one God (verse 4). But some of the brethren who were new and weak ate the meat still thinking the god was in the meat or that it had special significance since it had been offered to the idol. Because of this, their conscience was being defiled.

  3. Verse 10 shows some may have been eating meat in the temple or were close to doing so. They would not worship there, but they could get a cheap meal there, something like a church supper. This led the others who were weak to feel bold to go also into the temple to eat meat. But they still ate the meat with the consciousness that it had been offered to an idol.

  4. This was causing the weak brother to perish (verse 11).

  5. Paul condemned the whole idea of going into the temple to eat meat as sin against the brethren and Christ (verse 12). Later in this same letter (I Cor. 10:19-23) Paul shows that though the idol is nothing there is a demon spirit behind it, and that spirit permeates the idolís temple or false church as well. Therefore, Paul said they should never fellowship with demons, which they would be doing by eating meat in the temple. In I Corinthians 10:21 Paul told them they canít be partakers of Godís table and the table of demons. Acts 15:29 shows a command from James to all the Church to abstain from meat offered to idols.

  6. Paul condemned the idea of eating meat in the temple and their flaunting of their knowledge and liberty before those who were weak and didnít yet understand, not the eating of meat per se. So in verse 13 Paul is saying that if eating meat would make my brother to offend as their eating meat in the temple would cause their brothers to sin, then he wouldnít eat meat.

  7. The fact is that Paul did eat meat, and he condemned vegetarianism as a doctrine of demons (I Tim. 4:1-3).
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