Page 188



the beginning of his proclamation of the gospel? 3 To be sure, he sent you a letter in the Spiritr concerning himself and Cephas and Apollos, since you were even then engaged in partisanship.58 4 But that partisanship involved you in a relatively minor sin, for you were par­ tisan towards reputable apostles and a man approved by them. 5 But now consider who has corrupted you and diminished the respect you had because of your esteemed love of others. 6 It is shameful, loved ones, exceed­ ingly shameful and unworthy of your conduct in Christ, that the most secure and ancient church of the Corinthians is reported to have created a faction against its presbyters, at the instigation of one or two persons. 7 And this report has reached not only us but even those who stand opposed to us, so that blasphemies have been uttered against the Lord’s name because of your foolishness; and you are exposing your­ selves to danger.


And so let us dispose of this problem quickly and fall down before the Master and weep, begging him to be merciful and to be reconciled to us, and to restore us to our respected and holy conduct, seen in our love of others. 2 For this is a gate of righteousness that opens up onto life, just as it is writ­ ten, “Open up for me gates of righteous­ ness; when I enter through them I will give praises to the Lord. 3 This is the gate of the Lord, and the upright will enter through it.”59 4 Although many gates open, this is the one that leads to righteousness—the one that is in Christ. All those who enter it are most fortunate; they make their path straight in holiness and righteousness, ac­ complishing all things without disorder. 5 Let a person be faithful, let him be

able to speak forth knowledge, let him be wise in his discernment of words, let him be pure in deeds. 6 For the more he appears to be great, the more he should be humble, striving for the good of all, not just of himself.


The one who experiences love in Christ should do what Christ commanded. 2 Who can explain the bond of God’s love? 3 Who is able to recount the greatness of its beauty? 4 The height to which love leads is beyond description. 5 Love binds us to God; love hides a multitude of sins;60 love bears all things and endures all things. There is nothing vulgar in love, nothing haughty. Love has no schism, love creates no faction, love does all things in harmony. Everyone chosen by God has been perfected in love; apart from love nothing is pleasing to God.61 6 The Master has received us in love. Because of the love he had for us, our Lord Jesus Christ gave his blood for us, by God’s will—his flesh for our flesh, his soul for our souls. . . .


For you know the sacred Scrip­ tures, loved ones—and know them quite well—and you have gazed into the sayings of God. And so we write these things simply as a reminder. 2 For after Moses went up onto the mountain and spent forty days and nights in fasting and humility,62 God said to him, “Moses, Moses, go down from here at


Or: with spiritual concerns


1 Cor 1:12. 59Ps 118:19–20. 601 Pet 4:8. 61Cf. 1 Cor 13:4–7. 62The following account is drawn from Exod 32:7–10, 31–32 and Deut 9:12–14.

Profile for sheekh 3arb