A Sample Passage from the Comments on Second Corinthians:
10. for it continues (or: is repeatedly) necessary for us – the all-people (the whole of humanity) – to be manifested in front of Christ's elevated place (a step, platform, stage, or place ascended by steps to speak in public assembly in the center of a city; or: = an official bench of a judge or public official), to the end that each one may himself take into kindly keeping, for care and provision (= be responsible for), the things [done] through (or: by means of; or: [during our passing] through the midst of) the Body – [oriented] toward, and facing, what things he practices (or: she accomplishes), whether good or bad, whether serviceable or inefficient, whether fair or foul, whether capable or careless.
(or: for you see that it continues binding for us all to be set in light so as to be clearly seen in
the presence of the judgment seat which is Christ, so that each should keep and provide for
the things performed throughout [His] body, with a view to, and face to face with, what
things [were practiced], whether virtuous or vile).
This verse is a continuation of vs. 9, and however we read that verse, there is a continued, or repeated, necessity (the present tense of the verb) “for us.” Now Paul qualifies this accusative plural pronoun by the accusative plural adjective, tous pantas: the all-people. Another way to say this, since the term is masculine (referring to people) is: “the whole of humanity.” And just what is this continued necessity? “To be manifested in front of Christ's elevated place.” The parenthetical expansion shows that this could be “a step, a platform, a stage, or a place ascended by steps to speak in public assembly in the center of a city.” It can also refer to the official bench of a judge or a public official. Since Christ is also the King, this might be an allusion to Mat. 25:31-32ff. It might also be an allusion to Rev. 7:9.
Before we continue, we should take note that Paul uses the same word “manifested” about himself and his companions in the next verse: “So we HAVE BEEN, and thus remain, manifested (set in the light so as to be clearly seen) in God (by God; for God; to God; with God),” so this is not speaking about some so-called end of time judgment, or even a judgment after this life. It is speaking about a repeated necessity – in this life. God does not wait until our life is over to make corrective decisions about people, or, to give them awards. Read the OT to observe this, and read Jesus’ teachings and parables, as well. We have seen that Jesus’ predictions of judgment upon Jerusalem and Second Temple Judaism happened in AD 70 – as set forth in Mat. 24 and Lu. 21.
Now the reason for this manifestation is “to the end that each one may himself take into kindly keeping, for care and provision (= be responsible for), the things [done] through (or: by means of; or: [during our passing] through the midst of) the Body.” In keeping with our corporate reading of this text, I capitalized the term “Body,” to suggest that Paul is speaking of the Body of Christ, the called-out communities. A larger reading might be to see this as referring to the Body of Adam – humanity at large, but most likely he has the covenant communities in mind with the term the Body, as we saw in 1 Cor. 3:9-17. But what does he mean by “take into kindly keeping for care and provision”? My suggested paraphrase for this is “be responsible for,” but these results seem to place a personal effect upon the person, or the group. They must now care for something, or someone. They must now maintain provision for something or someone. This judgment sounds like now having to do something they had failed to do – perhaps such as “care for the sick” or “visit the imprisoned” of “provide clothing for the naked” or “feed the hungry.” Yes, this rather reminds us of the kids (immature goats) of Mat. 25:41-46a.
The basis for Christ’s decision is: “[oriented] toward, and facing, what things he practices (or: she accomplishes), whether good or bad, whether serviceable or inefficient, whether fair or foul, whether capable or careless.” This sounds very much like reaping what one has sown. Yes, harvests happen throughout the year, and throughout our lives. This sounds a lot like 9:6, below, and like Gal. 6:7b-8,
“’whatever a person is in the habit of sowing, this also he will reap,’ because the
person continually sowing into the flesh of himself (= his estranged inner being), will
progressively reap corruption (spoil; ruin; decay) forth from out of the flesh (= the
estranged inner being);
(or: the one habitually sowing into the flesh [system], of himself will continue to reap decay from out of the flesh [system];)
yet the one constantly sowing into the spirit (or: the Breath) will be progressively
reaping eonian life (life having the characteristics of the Age [of Messiah]; or: life from the
Age that lasts on through the ages) forth from out of the spirit (or: the Spirit; the Breath;
Paul made a similar statement in Rom. 14:10, “For you see, we will all continue [take note of the durative aspect of the future tense: we stand before Him now: the OT is full of example of people living their lives before God, and of His making decisions regarding them] standing in attendance alongside on God's elevated place.” Saul "stood" before Jesus on the road to Damascus and was judged (a decision was made by Christ that changed his life). Jesus was watching what Saul had been doing. We find a promise of Him making decisions about people, in Rev. 22:12,
“Consider this! I am continuously (or: habitually; progressively; repeatedly) coming
quickly (swiftly), and My wage (reward for work; compensation; recompense) [is] with Me,
to give back (give away; render; pay) to each one as his work (accomplishment) is (=
what he deserves).”
Rev. 20:11-15 does not necessarily speak of some “end of time” or “end of life” situation. This was simply a vision that John saw: it is a picture of God judging folks based upon “their works.” Another picture is found in the parable of the sheep and the kids, in Mat. 25:31-46. He appeared “in His glory” to John in Rev. 1:12-16 – when John was “within spirit (or: in union with [the] Spirit; in the midst of a Breath-effect)” (vs. 10). In Rev. 1:8 it was proclaimed to John,
“I am continuously the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, ‘the One
continuously being, even the One Who was and continued being, and the One
presently and continuously (or: progressively) coming and going, the Almighty.’”
He is constantly active, among us.
11. Being, then, folks having seen, perceived, and thus knowing, the Lord's respect (or: the reverence from, and which is, the Owner and Master [= Christ]; the reverential fear*, regard and recognition pertaining to or coming from [Yahweh]), we are constantly persuading people (habitually convincing people; one after another making humans confident). So we have been, and thus remain, manifested (set in the light so as to be clearly seen) in God (by God; for God; to God; with God), yet I am also continually expecting (or: hoping expectantly) to have been manifested (set in clear light) within (centered in; in union with) your consciences.
[* cf Deut. 6:5, 13]
The opening, dependent clause is referencing vs. 10, above: Christ's elevated place. We must not forget that Christ bought us – He owns us; we are His possession. Paul was so aware of this that he opened his letter to the community in Rome by introducing himself as, “Paul, Jesus Christ’s slave!” This does not usually sit well, in our post-modern, independent-minded societies. We find it hard to relate to our Savior in a slave/Lord relationship. But just what do we think it means to call Him “Lord”? Slavery was a universal fact of life, in Paul’s day, for a large part of the society in the Roman Empire. Slaves understood the authority and power that their owners had over them. Today, it may be hard for us to relate. We believe that we are free, and have our cherished “free will” – at least until we come to understand that only God has true “free will,” and that we are actually slaves to our governments that continue imposing new restrictions upon us, and to our economic societies that demand most of our earnings. And since Paul has just affirmed that it continues being a binding necessity that we continue living our lives before God’s “official bench,” we may better be able to understand that they were “folks having seen, perceived, and thus knowing, the Lord's respect (or: the reverence from, and which is, the Owner and Master [= Christ]; the reverential fear, regard and recognition pertaining to or coming from [Yahweh]).” Do we still have doubts? Let us turn to Heb. 10:
30. For we have perceived, and thus know, the One saying,
"Execution of right in fairness out of the Way pointed out [is] by Me (or: Maintaining justice and equity [is] in Me). I will continue giving back (repaying) in its place,"
says the Lord [= Yahweh], and again,
"The Lord [= Yahweh] will continue separating and making a decision about
(or: judging) His people." [Ex. 32:35-36; cf Rom. 12:19-21]
31. [It is] fearful (a fear-inspiring [experience]) to suddenly fall-in – into hands of a continuously living God!
And then the same author continues, in Heb. 12:
25. Continue looking, and see! You folks should not at any point ask to the side for yourselves (or: beg for release; decline; refuse; or: = turn your back on) the One continuously speaking (or: the Speaker)! For since (or: if) those asking aside for themselves (begging off; refusing; or: = turning their backs) did not by flight escape (or: flee out from) the one constantly managing (conducting business and instructing) upon earth (or: [the] land), much more we [will not escape], that is those habitually turning ourselves away from the One from [the] atmospheres and heavens,
26. Whose voice shook the land (or: earth) at that time. Yet now it has been promised (or: He has promised for Himself), saying,
"Still once [more; or: for all] I am shaking not only the land (or: earth), but
also the heaven (or: atmosphere; sky)." [Hag. 2:6; cf vs. 19, above; Ex. 19:18; Joel
27. Now the "Still once [more; or: for all]" constantly points to and makes clearly visible the transposition (transference; changeover; change of setting or place) of the things being repeatedly shaken, to the end that the things not being repeatedly (or: continuously) shaken may remain. [cf 2 Cor. 3:7-13]
28. Therefore (or: Because of which), continuously taking to our sides (or: progressively receiving alongside) an unshaken Reign (or: Kingdom; Sovereign influence), we are constantly holding (or: progressively having; [other MSS: can be now having]) grace and joyous favor, through which we are [other MSS: can be] continually serving, well-pleasingly, in God (or: for God; by God; to God), with modesty (an unseen behavior and manner) in taking hold easily of goodness and well-being, as well as discretion and awe as to what is proper, [cf Jn. 1:17]
29. for you see, "even our God [is] a continuously all-consuming Fire (or: our God [is] also a progressively fully-devouring fire)." [Deut. 4:24; 9:3; Isa. 33:14]
Paul was simply aware of who God is; Jesus had stopped him dead in his tracks on the road to Damascus, and so he and the called-out communities had a healthy, respectful fear of their Creator and Lord. To John had been revealed the judgments that were going to come upon Jerusalem (AD 70), and the corrective measures that might come to the called-out communities in Asia Minor (Rev. 2 and 3). I have a healthy respect for His force of gravity, and had a wise element of fear when walking walls, as a carpenter! OK, I think I’ve made my point. But it was because of all this, and for this present life, that he and the other representatives “[were] constantly persuading people (habitually convincing people; one after another making humans confident).”
There is another element of fear which we might not ordinarily recognize as being fear. This is in relationships of deep love and respect. Heb. 12:5-11 discusses the child-training discipline in the relationship between a father and a son and vss. 5b-6 cites to Prov. 3:11-12 when we are instructed,
“’My son, do not be neglecting (giving little care to) the Lord's discipline (education;
child-training), neither be exhausted (dissolved; = fall apart) while being continually
scrutinized or convicted (exposed and put to the test; or: reproved) by (or: under) Him,
for whom the Lord is loving (urging toward reunion and acceptance), He is continuously
and progressively educating (or: disciplining; child-training), and He is periodically
scourging every son whom He is taking alongside with His hands (accepting;
Then vs. 9b admonishes us “shall we not be continually placed under and humbly arranged and aligned by the Father of the spirits (or: the Progenitor of breath-effects and Mentor of attitudes)? And then we shall proceed living (or: progressively live)!” [cf Nu. 27:16]
Paul addressed this same topic in Eph. 6:
1. You children make it a habit to humbly listen and pay attention to, and thus submissively obey, your parents (begetters; those who birthed you into existence) in union with the Lord [= Christ or Yahweh], for this is the Way pointed out (is fair, right and just).
2. "Be continuously honoring (holding in respect; valuing; reverencing; treating as precious and with dignity) your father and mother,"
which very one is a foremost implanted goal (impartation of the finished product within; inward directive) within an act of promising (or: in [the] promise; or: = that embodies assurance),
3. "to the end that it may come to be well and easy for (or: to; in; with) you and
you will continue existing a long time upon the land (or: earth)."
[Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16]
We have had parents, grandparents, teachers and mentors who we respected so much that we would “fear” disappointing them, or having them in any way think less of us. How much more so should we fear God in this way.
Now the final alternate rendering, in the parenthetical expansion, gives us a positive perception of Christ’s “judgment seat,” for we also know that it is a mercy seat. Knowing that we belong to the Lord gives us confidence that He will take care of us and provide for us (vs. 10, above), for He is also the Good Shepherd for His sheep. And He will often do this through His sheep (Mat. 25:35-36).
But as noted, above, Paul was aware that “we have been, and thus remain, manifested (set in the light so as to be clearly seen),” in front of Christ’s city platform. The object of this verb “manifested (etc.)” – which is in the perfect tense (a past event that continues with lasting effects) – is the term God that is in the dative case, with no expressed preposition. Because of this, we find that Paul may have intended the location function of the dative: they had been manifested “in God.” Sound strange? Well, remember Acts 17:28?
“within the midst of and in union with Him we continuously live (or, as a subjunctive:
could be constantly living), and are constantly moved about and put into motion, and
continue existing (experiencing Being).”
But the other dative functions also make sense to this context. We all continue manifested before His tribunal, “by God; for God; to God; with God.” The NEB offers a helpful paraphrase, here: “To God our lives lie open…” But we keep in mind that this is His work, it is FOR Him, and He presents us TO Himself, and WITH Himself. Remember: we are joined to the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17), so wherever we are, He is there, too (think Ps. 23)! Ah, this is wonderful!
All the same, let us keep a balanced perspective about the fear of and from the Lord, which we learned as children: that it was the beginning of Wisdom. Keep in mind that God is our Father. Respect does not mean that we are to be afraid of God. I’m not afraid of gravity, either. We know that God is Love, and that:
“Fear does not exist within the Love, but rather perfect love (mature love; love having
reached its goal) repeatedly (habitually; progressively) throws the fear outside, because
the fear constantly has and holds a pruning (a curtailment; a checking; restraint; a
lopping off – thus, a correction). But the one habitually fearing or dreading has not
been perfected within the Love (has not been brought to the destined goal of maturity – in
union with love)” (1 Jn. 1:18).
The balance comes when we simply “abide in the Vine” (Jn. 15:1ff). His abiding presence automatically perfects His love, and we move beyond fear to respect and admiration.
Next Paul returns to his theme of solidarity with his called-out communities, and he tells them: “yet I am also continually expecting (or: hoping expectantly) to have been manifested (set in clear light) within (centered in; in union with) your consciences.” He wants them to clearly see him, see his motives, and see his love for them. He wants his teachings to be implanted within their very consciences, so that they too will “constantly be folks [that are] well-pleasing to Him” (vs. 9, above).
12. We are not again recommending ourselves to you (or: making ourselves stand together for you), but rather, continue giving you a starting point and an occasion (a base of operations and an incentive) from the effect of boasting over and being proud of us [other MSS: you] – to the end that you folks may constantly possess (have and hold) [a position; a response; a defense] toward those continuously boasting in a face (in presentation; in personal appearance; in a surface facade) and not in [the] heart.
Paul is saying that this is not a “letter of introduction” to them. He and his associates are not promoting themselves, but rather is wanting to turn their thinking so as to “continue giving [them] a starting point and an occasion (a base of operations and an incentive) from the effect of boasting over and being proud of [him and his associates].” As elsewhere, Paul is having to warn them about, and to prepare them to take a stand against, other members or teachers within their community that either incite division or preach a different “gospel” that is based upon “presentation, personal appearance or surface facades.” He wants them rather to be living from their hearts.
13. For whether we are beside ourselves (standing without; = out of our minds), [it is] for God (in God; to God; by God; with God); or whether we remain sane (of sound mind; reasonable), [it is] for you (to you; with you) folks,
Regardless of Paul’s or his friends’ situations or conditions, it is all for (i.e., on behalf of) the community in Corinth (and of course it would be the same for all of his communities). And in this, it is also, of course, “for God.” Observe, once more, the dative form of the term “God,” and the pronoun, “you.” Read, and contemplate, the parenthetical functions on offer: in, to, by, with. All of these make sense to these respective terms, as noted. It is God, all the way, and in every conceivable way.
This verse may be an example of Paul’s irony.
14. for you see, Christ's love (urge toward accepting reunion; full giving of Himself to [us]) continuously holds us together. [We are] deciding (discerning and concluding; judging) this: that [some MSS add: since] One Person (or: Man) died over [the situation of] all people (or: for the sake of all humans); consequently all people died (or: accordingly, then, all humans died). [cf Rom. 5:12, reversed]
This verse continues vs. 13, amplifying and defining the statement, “[it is] for God (etc.).” What “continuously holds [them] together” is “Christ's love” – even if they “stand without,” that is, “outside of being accepted in the group,” or are, “beside themselves.” This applies to us, as well. “Christ’s urge toward accepting reunion and full giving of Himself to [us]” is what constantly holds us together. Once again, the NEB offers an interpretation of this verb that suggests another insight: the situation described in vs. 13 is for the Corinthians, and so Paul is seen as saying that “the love of Christ leaves us no choice…” Although this may be true, the literal rendering, “holds us together” seems to give a better explanation of how Paul and his associates survive what he just described in vs. 13.
Paul now begins another teaching which continues on through vs. 19. We suggest that he is referring to both Adams, here, by alluding to the first Adam of which he wrote in Rom. 5:12, through whom the Death passed throughout the whole of humanity, but then here he is now pointing us to the Last, or eschatos, Adam which he described as being the Second Humanity, in 1 Cor. 15:47, the One that is “[is made] out of heaven (or: [is] from [the] atmosphere).” It is this Last One that reverses what the first one did. He explained this reversal of humanity’s situation in Rom. 5:15b,
“For you see, since (or: if) by (or: in) the effect of the fall to the side (the result of the
stumbling aside and the offense) of the one THE MANY (= the mass of humanity) died,
MUCH MORE (= infinitely greater) [is] the Grace of God (God’s Grace; favor which is
God), and the gift (or: gratuitous benefit) within Grace – a joy-producing act of Favor –
by that of the One Man, Jesus Christ, surrounded (or: encircles) into encompassing
superabundance (extraordinary surplus and excess) into THE MANY (= the mass of
This Last One, the eschatos Adam, of course, is Christ, and now we read this astounding statement about what Paul “discerned, concluded, judged and decided”:
“that One Person (or: Man) died over [the situation of] all people (or: for the sake of all humans); consequently all people died (or: accordingly, then, all humans died).”
Don’t read on, just yet. Read that statement again, and just contemplate its import! That “One Person (or: Man)” is Christ, as vs. 15 explains.
ALL HUMANITY DIED… IN CHRIST! This is the key that unlocks the rest of what he informs us in vss. 15-19.
The symbol of immersion (baptism) gives us a physical picture and is an acted-out parable for what Paul tells us in Rom. 6:3-4,
“as many as are immersed into Christ Jesus are immersed into His death? We, then
(or: consequently), were buried together in Him (or: by Him; with Him), through the
immersion into the death, to the end that just as (or: in the same manner as) Christ was
roused and raised forth from out of the midst of dead folks THROUGH (through means
of) THE GLORY (the glorious manifestation of splendor which calls forth praise; the
assumed appearance) of, from, and which is, The Father, thus also we can walk
around (or: order our behavior) within newness of life.”
Paul goes on to say this last part, again, in Rom. 6:5b, “then certainly we will also continue existing [in and with the effects of the likeness] of The [or: His] Resurrection.” David Bentley Hart’s recent translation of the NT affirms the need of the inserted brackets, due to Paul’s condensed Greek, here in Rom. 6. (Cf his footnote “u” p 299)
So here we can recall how Paul put it so plainly in 1 Cor. 15:22,
“For just as within Adam all humans keep on (or: everyone continues) dying, in the
same way, also, within the Christ, all humans will keep on being made alive (or: in
union with the Anointed One, everyone will one-after-another be created and produced with
Life).” [cf Rom. 5:18]
15. And further, He died over all people (over [the situation] of, and for the sake of all humans) to the end that those living can (or: may; could; would) no longer live for themselves (to themselves; in themselves; by themselves), but rather for (or: in; by; to; with) the One dying and then being awakened and raised up over them (over their [situation]; for their sakes),
We find a parallel expression of this verse in Rom. 4:25,
“[He] who was handed over (or: transmitted; delivered; passed along; or: given to [our]
side) through and because of the effects of our falls to the side (or: with a view to and
for the sake of the results of our stumblings aside, transgressions and offenses), and yet
was roused and raised up through and because of our eschatological deliverance,
being placed in the Way pointed out and turned in the right direction
(or: for the benefit of our being made to be just; or: on behalf of our justifying,
leading to freedom from guilt; or: for the purpose of our being brought into equity and
right relationship: a rightwising of solidarity in covenant inclusion and participation).
Cf Rom. 5:9; Gal. 2:17; Phil. 3:9.
His death made all this possible, for all of humanity. But as in 4:18, above, “[we are continuously looking at] those things not being constantly seen or repeatedly observed,” and he explained this in 1 Cor. 15:23,
“yet each person within the result of his or her own set position [in line] (or: effect of ordered placement; appointed class; arranged time and turn, or order of succession; = place
in a harvest calendar, thus, due season of maturity)…”
We do not observe all people now living “for (or: in; by; to; with) the One dying and then being awakened and raised up over them,” But we know that Christ is both the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (Rev. 1:11), of all humanity, and that each one, in his or her own time, will journey on “into the midst of Him” (Rom. 11:36).
Note AGAIN the dative case, without an expressed preposition, of “the One” – IN the One, FOR the One, BY the One, TO the One, and WITH the One. He is the sphere in which we live, the One for whom we live, the One by whom we live, the One to whom our lives are directed, and the One WITH whom we can now live our lives. He is the Path which we all follow: dying and then being awakened and raised up. THIS is the Good News! THIS is the glory of God! THIS is our patterned destiny!
The dependent clause, “can (or: may; could; would) no longer live for themselves (to themselves; in themselves; by themselves),” should make us aware of our ontological oneness within this resurrected realm of the new creation (vs. 17, below). We no longer live by ourselves, we are joined into one body, in the One New Humanity (Eph. 2:15). This is the Peace – the Joining – that He has given to us. 1 Pet. 4:1-2 gives us another view of not living for ourselves:
1. Christ, then, having undergone experiences and suffering IN FLESH (or: being physically and emotionally affected to the point of suffering) over us (or: over our [situation] and for our sakes), you folks also arm and equip yourselves with the same mental inclination (idea; thought; way of thinking; frame of mind; attitude), because the person [thus] suffering or going through physical or emotional experiences which affect him IN [the] FLESH has in and for himself put a stop to failures, errors and mistakes (or: sins) [or, with other MSS: has been caused to cease from sin],
“This is a word for the disciple, the follower of the Messiah. In Matt. 16:24-25 Jesus
speaks of denying ourselves, taking up our execution stake and following Him.
Peter here points to His suffering and then tells us to expect the same, but then
goes on to give a reason for it: to put a stop to failures, errors and mistakes. This
may refer to our own times of missing the target (as the other MSS state), or, as in
laying down your life for another, we may by such experiences do the works that
Christ did, and bring life to others. Paul said in 2 Cor. 4:
11. For we, ourselves – the continuously living ones – are ever being repeatedly handed over and committed into death (or: =
continuously delivered into life-threatening experiences) – because of
Jesus – to the end that the Life, also, of Jesus (or: so that also the
life which comes from and is Jesus; or: so that Jesus' life) can (may;
could; would) be set in clear light and manifested – within our
12. So then (or: Consequently), the Death is repeatedly and
progressively operating and inwardly working within us, yet that
Life [is constantly operative] within you folks."
(Peter, Paul & Jacob, Jonathan Mitchell, Harper Brown Pub., 2012 p 27).
2. [and comes] into the [condition or situation] to NO LONGER live out the additional remaining course [of his] time within [the] FLESH (= in the natural realm) in the midst of (or: in union with) [the] full passions (or: for [the] over-desires; to [the] rushings of emotions upon things) of humans (or: pertaining to or originating in mankind), but to the contrary, in God's will (or: for God's intent; to God's purpose).
16. so that we, from the present time (or: from now) [on], have seen and thus know (or: perceive; or: are acquainted [with]) no one on the level of flesh (= in the sphere of the estranged human nature; = in correspondence to the self that is enslaved to the System; = according to the old covenant), if even we have intimately, by experience, known Christ ([the] Anointed One) on the level of flesh (or: = in the sphere of estranged humanity; or: = in correspondence to a self that is oriented to the System; or: = according to the old covenant), nevertheless we now (in the present moment) no longer continue [thus] knowing [Him or anyone].
This verse continues his thought that was presented, beginning in vs. 14b, “all people died,” together with the result of that death of the One, together with everyone else, along with the thought (vs. 15): that those living can no longer live for themselves (to themselves; in themselves; by themselves), but rather for (or: in; by; to; with) the One dying and then being awakened and raised up. It is for this reason that from that present time (the generation of the Resurrection) “we have seen and thus know (or: perceive; or: are acquainted [with]) no one on the level of flesh!” This shift in perspective and perception signals the change of the ages: the inauguration of Age of the Messiah, together with its new arrangement (or: covenant) and its “new creation” (vs. 17, below). This was begun, and embodied, in Jesus – as we see from His statement in Mat. 12:50,
“You see, whoever may be doing the will, intent, purpose and desire of My Father –
the One within and in union with [the] heavens (or: in the midst of [the] atmospheres) –
that very person is My brother and sister and mother!”
This is also why Paul could posit in Rom. 8:29b,
“the [situation for] Him to be (or: to continually exist being) the Firstborn among, within
the center of, and in union with many brothers (= a vast family from the same womb;
Not only that, even Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, “we now (in the present moment) no longer continue [thus] knowing on the level of flesh” – or, “according to the old covenant,” with its Law that pertained to the life in the flesh and all the codes and ordinances. Paul’s statement is an outgrowth of Jesus’ words in Jn. 6:63a,
“The Spirit (or: Breath-effect; or: spirit; Breath; Attitude) is (or: continues being) the One continuously creating Life (or: repeatedly making alive; habitually forming life). The flesh
continues being of no help or benefit to anything (furthers or augments not one thing).”
We no longer know Christ in relation to the prophecies of the OT, for within the Christ Event – which we suggest extended from His crucifixion and resurrection on through that generation until the end of Second Temple Judaism in AD 70 – it was,
“to have fulfilled all the things having been written (or: for all that is written to be
fulfilled)!” (Lu. 21:22).
So we no longer know Christ in relation to Second Temple Judaism, or the Law. We no longer know other physical races according to their blood lines or genetic heritage. There is no more separate classifications of “Jew/Gentile.” Paul made this clear in Gal. 3:28,
“Within [Him; us], there is not (there does not exist) Jew nor Greek (or: Hellenist); within,
there is not (does not exist) slave nor freeman; within, there is not (does not exist)
‘male and female’; for it follows that, you folks all exist being one within Christ Jesus
(or: for you see, all you people are one person, centered in, and in union with, an Anointing
We might take note that in this new existence where there is not the separation of “male and female,” he is speaking of a new creation (Christ; the realm of spirit) that has no gender and no separation into “Adam and Eve.” It is the sphere of Christ joined to humanity (the Bride) to now be One Spirit (1 Cor. 6:17).
He said it this way in Col. 3:
9. Do not keep on (or: Stop) lying unto one another! [Be] folks at once stripping off from yourselves (undressing yourselves from; or: go out and away from) the OLD HUMANITY (the old human; = the old Adam), together with its practices,
10. and then [be] suddenly CLOTHING yourselves with (or: entering within) the NEW one (the fresh one which existed only recently), the one being continuously (or: repeatedly; habitually; progressively) renewed (made back up new again, in kind and character) into full, accurate, added, intimate and experiential knowledge and insight which is down from and corresponds to the image (an exactly formed visible likeness) of its Creator (of the One framing and founding it from a state of wildness and disorder),
11. wherein (or: in which place [i.e., within the New Humanity]) there is no Greek [figure of the multitudes who are non-Jews, and of those who are cultured and civilized] and Jew [figure of a covenant people of God], circumcision and uncircumcision [figure for religious in-groups and out-groups; there is no longer a covenant people versus non-covenant people], barbarian [foreigner who speaks a different language], Scythian [figure or example of wild, uncivilized groups], slave, freeman, but to the contrary, Christ [is] all, and within all
(or: Christ [is] all humanity, and within all mankind; or: Christ [is] everything or all
things, and within everything and all things; [note: the Greek is plural, and is
either masculine, signifying “mankind,” or neuter, signifying all creation, in these
17. Consequently, since someone [is] within Christ (or: So that if anyone [is] in union with [the] Anointed One; or: And as since a Certain One [was] in Christ), [there is] a new creation (or: [it is] a framing and founding of an essentially different kind; [he or she is] an act of creation having a fresh character, a new quality): the original things (the beginning [situations]; the archaic and primitive [arrangements]) passed by (or: went to the side). Consider! New, essentially different things have come into existence (have occurred and been birthed; or: It has become new things that are essentially different from what was habitual, before; or: He has been birthed and now exists being ones of a different kind, character and quality). [Rev. 21:5]
This opening word, “Consequently (or: So that),” refers back to all that Paul has just been saying, and now presents us with a concluding result: since someone (or: if anyone) [is] within Christ (or: in union with [the] Anointed One), [there is] a new creation.” As you can observe from the inserted brackets, there are ellipses in Paul’s Greek: there are no verbs in these clauses. This is common in ancient Greek, but in English we must insert a verb, and that is normally some form of the verb “to be; to exist.” In the first clause, “[is]” is the normal copula that is used. But in the second clause, translators have chosen different forms. Following the sense of the first clause, most all translators choose a third person singular of the copula, “is.” But with the second clause, a subject needs to be inserted, along with the verb – and for a third person singular verb we have the choices: he, she, it or there. So how are we to choose? The KJV used italics, instead of brackets, to indicate that the subject and the verb are missing, and has: he is. Now this fits with the subject of the first clause: someone; anyone (KJV gave us: any man). But the antecedent of “a new creation” need not be “someone” or “anyone.” I, and other translators, have read Paul as referencing what preceded his opening word, “Consequently (or: So that),” i.e., vss.14b-16, and “someone/anyone” is merely a marker that indicates that those things have already occurred, and that a new situation now exists. The existential reality of this “new creation” and of the “original things” having “passed by,” is affirmed by what Paul says in 12:2a, below:
“I have known, and am acquainted with, a person (or: a man; a human being) in Christ
(or: within the midst of Christ; in union with [the] Anointed) more than fourteen years
Looking at the explanation that follows “a new creation,” we find that “the original things (the beginning [situations]; the archaic and primitive [arrangements])” – note the plural subject – “passed by (or: went to the side). Consider! New, essentially different things have come into existence.” We suggest that Paul is speaking about the new age, the new arrangement (or: covenant) and the new sphere of existence (Christ; the Spirit; the atmosphere/heaven) that HAVE COME, and it is that the old age, the old arrangement, the old sphere of existence (the Law; the flesh; the earth realm) is what passed by.” This is why “from the present moment (or: from now) [on], have seen and thus know (or: perceive; or: are acquainted [with]) no one on the level of flesh” and therefore no longer participate in the temple cultus and codes of the Law, nor the divisions between circumcision and uncircumcision or Jew and Gentile. The One New Humanity (Eph. 2:15) has come into existence that corresponds to the new Age of the Messiah. Paul may have been alluding to Isa. 65:17,
“For behold Me creating new heavens (atmospheres) and a new earth (or: Land), and the
former shall not be remembered, nor shall they [come] up on [the] heart” (CVOT; additions
It is not that the choice to render the subject/noun of this second clause, “he/she,” is grammatically wrong, it is that it is missing the larger picture of the corporate, the new covenant and the new age. It brings the focus on the individual, instead of on the corporate Christ, the Second Humanity of Paul’s eschatology. The NEB seems to blend these views:
“When anyone is united to Christ, there is a new world (or, f b: a new act of creation); the old
order has gone, and a new order has already begun.”
It also offers f c: “he is a new creature.” Our reading of the scope of Paul’s words will color which rendering that we will prefer.
Before moving on, let us take a moment to focus on the alternative renderings of the last clause:
a) New, essentially different things have occurred and been birthed;
b) He has been birthed and now exists being ones of a different kind, character and quality;
In other words, we are His corporate body and He, being the Head, was birthed in
resurrection as the New Being (Tillich) -- no longer separate, but joined to us so that now we
are (corporately) Him. "A body you have prepared for Me" (Heb. 10:5b).
c) It has become new things that are essentially different from what was habitual, before.
These last two renderings offer two potential subjects (He; It) for the third person which could be referring to either Christ (He), or the new age, etc. (It). A very literal rendering could be, “Look! He has come into existence: [there are] new things (or: situations; etc.)!” Now we find the same ambiguity in the rendering of panta (all humanity, or, all things) in Rev. 21, which we suggest is speaking of the same thing as Paul is speaking of here, in 1 Cor. 5:17. Rev. 21:5,
"Consider this! I am presently making all things new (or: habitually creating everything
[to be] new and fresh; progressively forming [the] whole anew; or, reading panta as
masculine: I am periodically making all humanity new, and progressively, one after another,
producing and creating every person anew, while constantly constructing all people fresh
and new, i.e., continuously renewing everyone)!" [Isa. 43:19; 65:17-25]
Seeing that panta functions as a corporate masculine, singular, or as a neuter plural, both the corporate and the individual are included in Rev. 21:5, and so both readings of vs. 17, here, can be seen. The greater includes the lesser. The first Person to be “in Christ,” was Jesus: “the Firstborn among, within the center of, and in union with many brothers (= a vast family from the same womb; Gal. 4:26)!” (Rom. 8:29b).
We see the idea of the terms, “a new creation,” and the whole of the rest of this verse, said differently in Rev. 21:1,
“Then I saw ‘a new (new in nature; different from the usual; better than the old; superior in
value and attraction; new in quality) atmosphere (or: sky; or: heaven) and a new Land (or:
earth)’ [Isa. 66:22], for you see, actually, the first (former; preceding; earlier) atmosphere
(or: heaven) and the first (former, preceding) Land (or: earth; soil; ground) went away (or:
moved off, and passed away)…”
Paul wrote using a cognate of this “new” in Rom. 6:4b,
“thus also we can walk around (or: we also should likewise conduct ourselves and order
our behavior) within newness of life (in union with life characterized by being essentially
new in kind and quality, and different from that which was former).” Cf Rom. 8:10
He also wrote of this same topic, as his closing argument, in Gal. 6:
14. Now may it not happen to me (or: in me) to take up the practice of boasting, except within the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom (or: through which [i.e., the cross]) the organized System (or: the world of culture, economy, government and religion) has been, and continues being, crucified in me (or: to me; for me; by me; or: through Whom the aggregate of humanity has been, and is now, crucified with me), and I by (to; in; with; for) the domination System (the world; = their culture, secular society, religion, and government).
15. For you see [some MSS add: within Christ Jesus], neither circumcision nor uncircumcision continues being anything, but rather: a NEW and different CREATION (a founding and settling [as a village] with a new character and quality, in a place that was wild and without order; an innovative, new act of framing and building [or: = constructing a covenant]).
16. So as many as are habitually (or: are one-after-another) advancing in line by ranks, corresponding to this measuring rod
(or: continue belonging to the rank living in conformity to this rule; or: shall in this
standard progressively observe the rudimentary elements or elementary principles and walk in line with them), Peace (Harmony of the Joining) and Mercy [are continually] upon them – even (or: that is) upon the Israel of, and from, God (or: God's Israel).
This answers to his opening lines, in Gal. 1:4,
“the One at one point giving Himself, over [the situation of] (or: on behalf of; for the
sake of; [p46, Aleph*, A, D & other MSS read: concerning]) our failures (situations and
occasions of falling short or to the side of the target; deviations; mistakes; errors; sins) so
that He could carry us out from the midst of the present misery-gushing and
(or: bear us forth from the indefinite period of time – characterized by toil, grievous
plights and bad situations – having taken a stand in [our] midst; or: extricate us from
the space of time having been inserted and now standing in union with base
The picture created by this terminology in Gal. 1:4 is an allusion to Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, anchoring the work of Christ within Israel’s story – which is most likely the reason for mentioning Israel in Gal. 6:16, above.
We see another picture in Eph. 4:
22. to put off from yourselves [as clothing or habits] what accords to the former entangled manner of living (or: twisted up behavior): the old humanity (or: the past, worn-out person) – the one continuously in process of being corrupted (spoiled; ruined) down from and in accord with the passionate desires (the full-covering, swelling emotions) of the deceptions (or: seductive desires) –
23. and then to be continuously renewed (or: from time to time, or, progressively made young again) by (or: in; with) the spirit (or: attitude; breath-effect) of your mind (or: from the mind which is you folks; or: by the Spirit which is your [collective] mind),
24. and to enter within (or: clothe yourselves with) the new humanity (or: the Person that is different and innovative in kind and quality) – the one in accord with and corresponding to God (or: the person at the Divine level) – being formed (framed, built, founded and settled from a state of disorder and wildness; created) within the Way pointed out…
Similarly, we have Col. 3:10,
“and then [be] suddenly clothing yourselves with (or: entering within) the new one (the
fresh one which existed only recently), the one being continuously (or: repeatedly;
habitually; progressively) renewed (made back up essentially new again – different in kind
and character) into full, accurate, added, intimate and experiential knowledge and
insight which is down from and corresponds to the image (an exactly formed visible
likeness) of its Creator (of the One framing and founding it from a state of wildness and
In God’s economy of the new covenant, “the original things passed by (or: went to the side). Consider! New, essentially different things have come into existence.” These new things are the glory of God: manifestations which call forth praise, in newly assumed appearances.
18. Yet further, all things [are] (or: the Whole [is]; = all the things that exist [are]) forth from out of the midst of God – the One transforming us to be completely other [than we were]
(or: bringing us into another place or state of being; changing us to correspond with
other [perceptions and conceptions]; altering us to be conformed to another [person];
changing us from enmity to friendship; reconciling us) in Himself (or: with Himself; by
Himself; to Himself; for Himself), through Christ, and giving to us the attending
service of, and the dispensing
from, the complete transformation [for folks] to be other [than before]
(or: the change into another [position]; the changing to correspond with other [situations;
perceptions]; the alteration to be another [person]; the change from enmity to friendship;
the reconciliation), [cf Rom. 8:19-21]
The first clause could not be a more inclusive statement. Paul is restating what he said in Rom. 11:36,
“Because, forth from out of the midst of Him, then through the midst of Him (or:
through means of Him), and [finally] into the midst of Him, [is; will be] the whole
(everything; [are] all things).”
This leaves nothing out; it also leaves no one out. The final destiny of all humanity is clearly stated in both of these witnesses.
But now Paul goes on to tell us what God (i.e., humanity’s final destination) is like, and what He does:
“the One transforming US to be completely OTHER [than we were].”
Because this is a work of God, Paul uses the verb tense that can be seen as either timeless, or without reference to process or duration. This is simply what God does… and in this He remains the same. God transforms people. The extent of this work, its scope, is clearly stated in the next verse: [the] aggregate of humanity (etc.).
What I have rendered as “transforming… to be completely other” is commonly rendered “reconciling.” Now the idea of reconciliation is contained in the extended semantic range of the participle, but it falls far short of the explicit meanings of the elements of the compound verb katallassō. The root, allassō, means: to make other than it is; to change; to alter; (by extension) to exchange something for something else. In this verse, the addition of the prefix, kata-, can be understood as an intensifier, thus my rendering, “completely other,” with the participle, and “complete transformation,” with the noun that follows.
Now the preposition kata has a semantic range, and so in rendering these compound words, the meanings of this prefix can enter into the resultant meaning of the verb and of the noun. So let us consider these other optional renderings:
a) bringing us into another place or state of being; -- God’s reign and sovereign activities/the heavens;
b) changing us to correspond with other [perceptions and conceptions]; – i.e., the new arrangement;
c) altering us to be conformed to another [person]; -- i.e., conformed to Christ;
d) changing us from enmity to friendship; -- with God and with one another; and thus…
e) reconciling us.
Next we observe that God does this “in Himself.” Pause, and think about what this can imply… Well, we do exist within the midst of Him (Acts. 17:28). But wait, there’s more… This phrase can also read, “with Himself, by Himself, to Himself, or/and for Himself.” Each of these options is a thought worth contemplating. Paul used this same verb, katallassō, in Rom. 5:10,
“For you see, since (or: if) WHILE continuously existing being actively HOSTILE ones
(or: enemies [of people, or of God]) we WERE suddenly CHANGED from enmity to
friendship by God (or: conciliated to God; or: CHANGED to be WHOLLY OTHER and to
be in line, consistent and compatible IN God) through His Son’s death, much more (or:
all the more, then) we will continue being kept safe and will be progressively delivered
(rescued; saved; cured and restored to the health and wholeness of our original state and
condition) – being folks that were conciliated (fully changed from enmity to friendship
and made totally other than we were) within His Life (or: in union with the life which is
How can Paul be any more explicit about the unilateral work of Christ? He used another word for “transformation” in 3:18, above, but he is speaking here about the same things that he was speaking about there.
Then, we see that this all happens “through Christ.” This is laid out more fully, in Eph. 2:8,
“For you see, by (or: to; in; for; with) the grace and joyous favor you are (you
continuously exist being) folks having been delivered (rescued; kept safe; saved; made
whole; restored to your original state and condition) so as to now be enjoying salvation
through [some MSS add: the] faithfulness (or: loyalty; trust; faith; confidence), and even
this not forth from out of you folks, [it is] the gift of and from God (or: the gift which is
God; or: the gift pertains to God).”
But now the baton is passed on to US, for Paul continues, “and giving to us the attending service of, and the dispensing from, the complete transformation [for folks] to be other [than before].” Here, again, we have some optional renderings:
a) the change into another [position]; -- from “earth” to “the atmosphere of the spirit;”
b) the changing to correspond with other [situations; perceptions];
c) the alteration to be another [person];
d) the change from enmity to friendship; -- the Peace of the Joining (Eph. 2:15);
e) the reconciliation; -- between heaven and earth.
This third rendering, c, that means that we are to be “another person,” suggests the idea of being born back from above – which also is completely the work of our Father. Opting for the rendering “reconciliation,” and offering what I give as “attending service” as the performance of an “ambassador,” we can imagine the reconciliation a beings set in motion by a representative from the other party. That “other party” is God, in Christ. The NEB reads: “We come, therefore, as Christ’s ambassadors. It is as if God were appealing to you through us: in Christ’s name… be reconciled to God!” Reconciliation is good, but “the complete transformation [for folks] to be other [than before]” is better. Keep in mind: this announcement is intended for the whole aggregate of humanity.
This “attending service of” and “the dispensing from,” is what the sent-forth representatives (Paul and his associates; Peter; etc.) were doing by birthing (Gal. 4:26 – they became a part of the Jerusalem which is above) the called-out communities, and then by caring for them – as through the very letter that we are presently reading. This service has continued ever since it began.
19. as that God was existing within Christ (God was and continued being centered in, and in union with [the] Anointed One) progressively and completely transforming [the] aggregate of humanity (or: world) to be other [than it is]
(or: progressively bringing [the] ordered System into another level or state; repeatedly
changing [the] universe to correspond with other [conditions; perceptions]; progressively
altering [the] ordered arrangement of culture, religions, economy and government to be in
line with another one; habitually and progressively changing [the] secular realm [of
humanity] from enmity to friendship; reconciling [the] world [of mankind]) in Himself, to
Himself, for Himself, by Himself,
and with Himself, not accounting to them (not putting to their account; not logically considering for them; not reasoning in them) the results and effects of their falls to the side (their trespasses and offenses), even placing within us the Word (the Logos; the Idea; the Reason; the message; the pattern-forming information) of the corresponding transformation to otherness (or: the full alteration; the change from enmity to friendship; the conciliation).
And so Paul goes on to expand the message of Goodness, Ease and Well-being, which he had just told them was this complete transformation. He points out that it was God that was existing within Christ. Rendered differently, “God was, and continued being” – here the verb is in the imperfect tense: a state of being that was begun in the past (either in the Incarnation, or at Jesus’ immersion by John in the Jordan River, and the Anointing by the Spirit) and continued in existence, on into the present. God was CENTERED in, and IN UNION with [the] Anointed One.” Christ’s work on the cross was NOT to appease an offended god; Oh NO! God was WITHIN Him experiencing the beating and the death, on the cross. God and Jesus were together in this Act of giving Their Life to humanity. The mystery of this cannot really be explained, other than it was an Act of Love that completely covered humanity’s pain and death, and in Their resurrection (remember Jesus and His Father were/are One) They brought Humanity into Resurrection Life – each one to experience this in their own time and re-birth (1 Cor. 15:23).
“God was… progressively and completely transforming [the] aggregate of humanity to be other [than it is].” The participle in this clause is in the present tense. As you observe, we have alternate renderings on offer:
a) progressively bringing [the] ordered System into another level or state; -- the term rendered “aggregate of humanity” and “ordered System” is the Greek kosmos. This is the same word used by John in Jn. 3:16, “For thus God loves the aggregate of humanity (ordered System)…” God loves everything that He made (Gen. 1:31), and He cares for all of it; here, the “ordered System” may be speaking of the “new creation” of vs. 17, above;
b) repeatedly changing [the] universe to correspond with other [conditions; perceptions]; -- this may seem to be an extreme rendering, but it is legitimate; this could be seen as an allusion to Gen. 1:2-3ff, i.e., to God in His ongoing acts of creation, such as referenced in Rev. 21:5;
c) progressively altering [the] ordered arrangement of culture, religions, economy and government to be in line with another one; -- God repeatedly invades history and makes changes;
d) habitually and progressively changing [the] secular realm [of humanity] from enmity to friendship; -- as we see in the last clause, He has us participate in this; this extended use of the word calls to mind Jas. 2:23, where Abraham “was called ‘God's friend,’” and so here we can see “the world” being changed in order to be a part of what Abraham signifies in Paul’s teachings; we even see this change of relationship evidenced in what Jesus said to His disciples (Jn. 15:15b):
“now I have declared you folks friends, because I make intimately and experientially
known to you everything (or: all things) which I heard and hear at My Father's side
and in His presence;”
e) reconciling [the] world [of mankind]; -- this is completely inclusive.
Now He did, and continues doing this: in Himself, to Himself, for Himself, by Himself and with Himself. Regarding the last phrase, “with Himself,” let us call to mind Paul’s words in Gal. 2:20a,
“I was crucified together with Christ [= the Messiah], and thus it remains (or: I have
been jointly put on the execution stake in [the] Anointed One, and continue in this state)...
yet I continue living! [It is] no longer I, but it is Christ continuously living and alive
Putting Himself within us is what changes us – completely transforms US!
The next statement flies in the face of the old covenant arrangement (the old kosmos). This new covenant swallowed up the old, and now – to our great joy we find that God is “NOT accounting to them (not putting to their account; not logically considering for them; not reasoning in them) the results and effects of their falls to the side (their trespasses and offenses).” What grace; what mercy! Here, Paul may be reaching back to Isa. 43:25,
“I! I [am] He [Who] wipes out your transgressions on My [own] account; and your sins I shall
not remember further” (CVOT).
Unfortunately, much of Christianity did not get the memo – they have completely overlooked this. They not only (unlike God) hold people’s trespasses against them, they threaten folks with their imaginary “endless torment” if they don’t comply with religion’s demands. But in contrast to this, Paul instructs us that God was “even placing within us the Word (the Logos; the Idea; the Reason; the message; the pattern-forming information) of the corresponding transformation to otherness (or: the full alteration; the change from enmity to friendship; the conciliation).” Through His body, the Logos is repeatedly becoming flesh (Jn. 1:14), so that others can continue to behold His glory (3:18, above; Jn. 1:14b). What an honor; what a privilege.
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GOD'S MESSAGE OF
WHICH BRINGS GOD'S
GIFTS OF HIS SPIRIT,
HIS LIFE, HIS GRACE,
HIS POWER, HIS
FAIRNESS, HIS PEACE
AND HIS LOVE