1 Corinthians 8:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 8:13, NIV: "Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall."

1 Corinthians 8:13, ESV: "Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble."

1 Corinthians 8:13, KJV: "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."

1 Corinthians 8:13, NASB: "Therefore, if food causes my brother to sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to sin."

1 Corinthians 8:13, NLT: "So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live--for I don't want to cause another believer to stumble."

1 Corinthians 8:13, CSB: "Therefore, if food causes my brother or sister to fall, I will never again eat meat, so that I won't cause my brother or sister to fall."

What does 1 Corinthians 8:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul concludes his first argument about why the Corinthians should not eat food offered to idols. Though it's not immoral, in and of itself, it might cause weak-conscience believers to sin against their own consciences by eating idol food when they mistakenly think it is wrong. When that happens, those with strong consciences will end up being guilty of sinning against both their brothers and against Christ, who died for them. (1 Corinthians 8:1–12).

Now Paul applies this idea to his own life, in a personal way. If there is any chance the food he eats will cause a brother in Christ to stumble into sin, he simply will not do it. In fact, Paul adds that he would forgo meat of any kind to avoid risking causing another person to sin. He sees loving his brothers in this way as that important.

Context makes it clear Paul is not telling the Corinthians to become vegetarians. Nor is he declaring himself to be a non-meat-eater. He will be clear in chapter 10 about what restrictions he is setting on eating meat that may or may not have been offered to an idol. Instead, he is claiming it would be worth eliminating meat from his diet, if it would avoid causing other Christians to sin. Since those with undue restrictions are "weak," part of the responsibility of the "strong" believer is to educate and train the weaker believer. Over time, they can help them overcome false guilt; but in the immediate sense, they need to be careful not to become a spiritual obstacle.