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1 Corinthians 1:13

ESV Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
NIV Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?
NASB Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
CSB Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in Paul's name?
NLT Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!
KJV Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

What does 1 Corinthians 1:13 mean?

Paul has called out a source of hot conflict between the Christians living in Corinth. Instead of being united together, as God has called them to be, they have divided themselves into factions based on their loyalty to different leaders. Four are given, at least as examples of these groups: those claiming Paul, Apollos, Peter, and Christ.

At first glance, we may wonder how people could be so committed to just one Christian leader that they would fight with other believers over it. After all, didn't all of them teach the same message: Christ's gospel? Wouldn't one assume all of these leaders preached that salvation comes only by faith in Christ? Experience, however, shows how easy it is for human beings to lose perspective and divide over issues of personality, authority, and race.

We don't have any reason to assume that Apollos or Peter were encouraging this conflict. Nor do we see evidence they were building factions against other teachers. Paul certainly was not, as he makes clear in this and the following verses. In fact, Paul sounds both baffled and angry. Can Christ be divided into parts, he asks. In other words, isn't Christianity all about Jesus Christ, not some fallible human teacher? How can loyalty to one person's truthful teaching about Jesus cause those in Christ to declare opposition to other truthful teachers about Christ?

Paul immediately calls out any group which would say it is loyal to him and against the others. He pointedly and sarcastically asks if he was the one who was crucified to pay for their sin? Were they baptized in Paul's name? No, of course not. All Christians were baptized in the name of Jesus as a way of identifying themselves publicly with Him. Paul's remark is not only cutting, it is telling: those who identify more with a human teacher than with Jesus should consider in whom they are truly trusting.
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