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1 Corinthians 8:10

ESV For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols?
NIV For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol's temple, won't that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols?
NASB For if someone sees you, the one who has knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will his conscience, if he is weak, not be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?
CSB For if someone sees you, the one who has knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, won't his weak conscience be encouraged to eat food offered to idols?
NLT For if others see you — with your 'superior knowledge' — eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol?
KJV For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

What does 1 Corinthians 8:10 mean?

Paul is giving a warning to those in Corinth who understand that eating idol food, in and of itself, is not sinful. After all, those gods and idols are not real. They have the knowledge that only God is real. Paul entirely agrees that there is nothing inherently wrong in eating those foods. Christians who fully understand this are not sinning, at all, when they do so.

However, Paul has pointed out that there are believers who don't really know this, yet. In the case of Corinth, many converts were from a background steeped in idol worship. Thanks to that temptation or confusion, they cannot eat idol food with a clear conscience. They are not fully convinced the idols are not real. Paul labels this as a weakness, but does not insist they change their minds (1 Corinthians 8:7). Rather, as seen clearly in other letters, Paul encourages believers to be fully convinced before God, before they do anything (Romans 14:23). Time and discipleship are meant to strengthen the conscience.

Paul points out that by eating idol food—which they have a right to do—those Christians with stronger consciences may risk causing others to stumble into sin. Context, as always, is key here. Paul is not saying that eating that meat, itself, is a sin. Rather, he is saying it is a sin to violate one's conscience in such matters. Therefore, "strong" Christians need to be careful not to tempt "weak" Christians to do something the "weak" believer mistakenly thinks is immoral.

Paul proposes an illustration: one with a weaker conscience sees a stronger believer in an idol temple eating idol food. To modern readers, the idea of a Christian eating in an idol temple for any reason is surprising. But the ancient Corinthian culture was so steeped in the worship of false gods and idols that many places outside of one's own home were connected to idolatry. Idol temples were the default banquet halls, where family gatherings, business meetings, weddings, funerals, and all kinds of other events were held.

To refuse to enter an idol temple, in that era, would require a Christian to opt out of involvement in many areas of life. It was no small restriction. Still, it was the price of loving one's brothers and sisters in Christ.

In his illustration, Paul asks if the weaker Christian will be encouraged to eat idol food when he sees another Christian doing it, though his conscience tells him not to? That seems likely.
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