1 Corinthians 5:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 5:2, NIV: And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?

1 Corinthians 5:2, ESV: And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

1 Corinthians 5:2, KJV: And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

1 Corinthians 5:2, NASB: You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.

1 Corinthians 5:2, NLT: You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship.

1 Corinthians 5:2, CSB: And you are arrogant! Shouldn't you be filled with grief and remove from your congregation the one who did this?

What does 1 Corinthians 5:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Visitors to Corinth have reported to Paul that a man in the church is having an affair with his father's wife. This sexual immorality was a violation of both Jewish law and even the decadent Roman standards of decency. Obviously, it is also deeply sinful for Christians. Despite this, the Corinthian Christians apparently tolerated it and allowed the man to continue to meet with them.

Paul now seems to say, "How can you continue to be arrogant about your spirituality and social status when you are allowing this to continue?" He confronted their arrogance in the previous chapter (1 Corinthians 4:6, 18-19). With this flagrant sin going on among them, Paul declares that they should be sorrowful instead of prideful. Their pride just doesn't make sense given their circumstances.

Some Bible teachers suggest that the Corinthians were proud because of their wrong belief that freedom in Christ allows Christians to participate in any kind of formerly sinful practice without guilt or fear of consequence. In that sense, they would see this man as an open demonstration of God's grace. It's not clear this was the source of their pride, however. If it was, Paul will quickly correct their distorted thinking.

Paul urges them to do two things in response to this sin. First, he says that they should mourn. He will make clear that this man is harming himself and others. Later in this letter, he will teach that when one member of the church suffers, all suffer together (1 Corinthians 12:26). Every Christian in the church should be sad about this man's ongoing sinful practice.

Second, Paul tells them to remove the man from among them. They must not allow him to continue to meet with them. He will explain his reasons for commanding this in the following verses.

Notably, Paul makes no reference to discipline or action against the woman involved in this relationship. Most Bible scholars assume she was not a Christian or an attender of their meetings (1 Corinthians 5:9–13). Therefore, it was not the church's responsibility to discipline her (1 Corinthians 5:13).