1 Corinthians 10:25 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 10:25, NIV: Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience,

1 Corinthians 10:25, ESV: Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience.

1 Corinthians 10:25, KJV: Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

1 Corinthians 10:25, NASB: Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions, for the sake of conscience;

1 Corinthians 10:25, NLT: So you may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace without raising questions of conscience.

1 Corinthians 10:25, CSB: Eat everything that is sold in the meat market, without raising questions for the sake of conscience,

What does 1 Corinthians 10:25 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The last several chapters address what might seem to be a small issue to modern readers: Is it acceptable for Christians in Corinth to eat meat or other food that has been offered to an idol? The case for allowing the practice is not entirely unreasonable. The Corinthians have argued that they understand the idol is imaginary. It is not, in reality, a god. And the food is just food, nothing more. So why shouldn't a Christian with a strong faith in the one, true God eat food offered by people foolish enough to believe in idols? Paul has agreed with the premise that the idols themselves are nothing and even that there is nothing evil in the physical food (1 Corinthians 8:4–7).

He has disagreed with them on two important points, however. First, not all believers have a strong, mature faith. Some may struggle to know idols are fictional. They may wonder if God will judge them for eating idol food. For these Christians to violate their own convictions is sin (Romans 14:23). Stronger Christians have an obligation not to lead "weaker" brothers and sisters into such sin by their own example. They can lovingly disciple them, developing a maturity to see the idols as those who are stronger in faith do. But they should not flaunt their freedom around those who are not as prepared (1 Corinthians 8:8–13). Chapter 9 gave an extensive argument as to why self-discipline, including giving up things one has a "right" to, is an essential part of the discipleship process.

The second problem is that, though the idols are false, the demons attached to them are real and powerful. No Christian should knowingly associate with demons in any way (1 Corinthians 10:14–22).

With those arguments in mind, Paul gives his final verdict on this issue with a set of specific guidelines. The first one is this: Buy your meat in the market and eat it with a clear conscience. Some had asked about this, because much of the meat sold in the market had been offered to idols. Paul instructs the Corinthian Christians not to ask about that and to eat the meat they buy freely and openly. The physical meat, in and of itself, is not the issue.