1 Corinthians 10:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 10:22, NIV: Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

1 Corinthians 10:22, ESV: Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

1 Corinthians 10:22, KJV: Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

1 Corinthians 10:22, NASB: Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?

1 Corinthians 10:22, NLT: What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord's jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?

1 Corinthians 10:22, CSB: Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

What does 1 Corinthians 10:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has stated clearly that to participate with idols in any way is to participate with demons. Nobody can continue to participate with Christ while also participating with demons (1 Corinthians 10:14–21). Now Paul asks two questions that show why.

Paul's question bluntly asks if we want to make the Lord jealous. The idea that God is "jealous" for the loyalty of His people runs throughout the Bible. In the context of a being who is truly perfect, holy, and the Creator, that's an entirely justified attitude. So, God does not overlook the worship of any other deity. Paul wants to remind the Corinthians of this truth and to warn them. God will act on His jealousy if He is provoked, just as He did with the Israelites in the wilderness.

Next Paul asks if we are stronger than God. Notice that Paul includes himself in these questions. He acknowledges his own vulnerability before God. He has written earlier that he must continue to keep himself under control in order not to be disqualified from his ministry (1 Corinthians 9:24–26).

The obvious answer to the second question is also no. None of us are stronger than God. If He decides to discipline us for involvement with false idols, there will be no stopping Him. It's far better to keep our distance from any amount of involvement with idols.