1 Corinthians 10:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 10:30, NIV: If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

1 Corinthians 10:30, ESV: If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

1 Corinthians 10:30, KJV: For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

1 Corinthians 10:30, NASB: If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered about that for which I give thanks?

1 Corinthians 10:30, NLT: If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?

1 Corinthians 10:30, CSB: If I partake with thanksgiving, why am I criticized because of something for which I give thanks?

What does 1 Corinthians 10:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This passage has dealt with the question of Christian liberty: the proper use of our freedom in Christ. Paul's simplified approach has been to agree that all things—more or less—are "lawful," but that not all are beneficial (1 Corinthians 8:4–6; 10:23–24). And, that it's crucial for "strong" Christians who understand their liberty to be gentle with the convictions of "weak" Christians who struggle to embrace it (1 Corinthians 8:7–13).

The question here follows up the question asked at the end of the previous verse. Bible scholars suggest there at least two ways to read this pair of questions together. On the one hand, Paul is perhaps giving voice to those who disagree with him about choosing not to eat idol food when someone tells them that's what it is. He may be suggesting that setting aside our right to participate in something we could give thanks for is still the right thing to do—even if no one there would object.

More likely, Paul is referring to the Christian freedom of eating meat without knowing if it has been offered to idols, even in the home of an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 10:27). In that instance, Paul agrees Christians should enjoy that which they are free to enjoy. They can do so while giving thanks to God, without being denounced. The "weak" conscience of other Christians is not meant to hobble the freedom of "strong" Christians, at all times, in all situations.

Still, Paul's restriction stands that Christians must not eat idol food once they become aware it is idol food for the sake of those who are watching them. Through all of this, Paul has made paramount the need to lovingly care for the spiritual needs of others.