1 Corinthians 10:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 10:28, NIV: But if someone says to you, 'This has been offered in sacrifice,' then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience.

1 Corinthians 10:28, ESV: But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience—

1 Corinthians 10:28, KJV: But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:

1 Corinthians 10:28, NASB: But if anyone says to you, 'This is meat sacrificed to idols,' do not eat it, for the sake of that one who informed you and for the sake of conscience;

1 Corinthians 10:28, NLT: (But suppose someone tells you, 'This meat was offered to an idol.' Don't eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you.

1 Corinthians 10:28, CSB: But if someone says to you, "This is food from a sacrifice," do not eat it, out of consideration for the one who told you, and for the sake of conscience.

What does 1 Corinthians 10:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This offers Paul's final verdict on when a Christian should or should not eat meat that has been offered to an idol. So far, he has given believers freedom to eat meat of unknown association with a clear conscience. If they buy it in the market, they should eat it freely. If they are served it as a guest in the home of an unbeliever, they should also enjoy it without hesitation. It's just meat, ultimately, and not something God labels as a sin for any particular reason.

This verse, however, creates a sharp contrast to what's been said so far. The difference is striking, though the reason is consistent. In short, intent matters. Paul has said that it's wrong for a person to violate their conscience (Romans 14:23). He's indicated that the good of others is paramount, even over our "rights" (1 Corinthians 9:12). He has also said it's a sin for a "stronger" Christian to tempt a "weaker" Christian to do something against their convictions, even if that thing is not necessarily sinful (Romans 8:8–13). The "strong" Christian has the freedom to enjoy—and there is no sin in doing so. That same Christian, however, has an obligation to consider the perspective of those who are spiritually weaker.

So, here, Paul mentions what to do if someone—presumably a weaker or concerned Christian—questions the meat's connection to idolatry. If the unbeliever mentions that the meat has been offered to an idol, Christians should not eat it. Paul is clear about the motive: Refusing to eat meat known to have been offered to an idol should be done for the sake of the person who told them about it, for the conscience of the unbeliever.

Paul insists that the believers in Corinth avoid giving even the slightest bit of knowing support to idol worship to show unbelievers that they are separated from it. Those who do not know Christ should not be confused about who Christians worship. They should know both from the words and the actions of the believers that Christians worship Christ alone and no other gods.