1 Corinthians 6:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 6:2, NIV: Or do you not know that the Lord's people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

1 Corinthians 6:2, ESV: Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?

1 Corinthians 6:2, KJV: Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

1 Corinthians 6:2, NASB: Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to form the smallest law courts?

1 Corinthians 6:2, NLT: Don't you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide even these little things among yourselves?

1 Corinthians 6:2, CSB: Or don't you know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the trivial cases?

What does 1 Corinthians 6:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has raised another issue that demonstrates how—and perhaps why—the Corinthian church is divided into factions (1 Corinthians 1:11–12). Paul is concerned over members taking one another to secular court over a minor dispute. In fact, Paul is outraged by this. The secular Roman courts of that era grossly tipped in favor of the rich and powerful. Proceedings relied heavily on bitter attacks on the personal character of both parties to try to win a favorable verdict.

Paul now asks the first of several "do you not know" questions found in this chapter. Perhaps he has previously taught the believers in Corinth that the saints will, at the end times, serve as judges of those who are in the world. Paul does not stop to explain this powerful idea, and the Bible doesn't provide much detail about how those who are in Christ on this side of eternity will judge those who are not. In Revelation 2:25–26, Christ is quoted as saying that those who conquer and keep His word to the end will be given a share of His authority over the nations and rule over them.

Whatever that will look like, Paul's point here is that the Corinthian Christians are living as if this was not their destiny. They are acting as if they are incompetent to judge the smallest issue! If they understood that in Christ they would be the ultimate judges of the world, would they be taking each other to court to be judged by the world (1 Corinthians 2:14–15)?

Paul asks if it is an issue of competence or ability. If Christ will give to them such grand authority over others in eternity, shouldn't they be able right now to demonstrate the ability to serve as judges of "trivial" issues between themselves? This phrasing leaves open the possibility that Paul is not condemning court involvement in major problems, which might require the involvement of government.

As he does throughout this letter, Paul will urge these Christians to stop living as if they are merely citizens of their culture and to live up to who they are in Christ right now and who they will be in Christ forever.