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Appendix

The Saints Shall Judge as Angels

1 Corinthians 6:1-3

 

Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Or

Know ye not that because of angels we shall judge? How much more things of this life?  

 

 

In the English translations the third verse of the sixth chapter of first Corinthians appears to contradict the assertion that saints are individuals who are endowed from conception with an angel made a spirit.

Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:3

If the saints are to judge angels they, themselves, cannot be angels.

However, when the context is considered and a study of the Greek text is undertaken, this verse actually reinforces the scriptural reality of the saints being endowed with angels made spirits.

First Corinthians was written both to the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus by the saint, Paul. The we in this context refers to the saints while the you refers to the faithful in Christ Jesus.

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 

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? 

Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:1-3  

In the second verse the translators chose to translate the dative you in the instrumental rather than the locative, dropped the Greek verb to be from the translation, failed to consider the genitive case of the Greek word translated as matters and ignored the substance of the previous verse.1 In consideration of these points and the context, a proper translation would be like this:

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged among you, are ye unworthy to be judged of the smallest matters? 

In the following third verse Paul reinforces the position of the saints to judge but the translation of Paul’s words in the verse is also askew. Here again in their skirting of the reality that the one body of Christ is comprised of two differing groups and the fact that the saints of that one body are endowed with angels made spirits the translators mistranslated the verse.

This third verse of the section is translated like this:

Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

When the Greek letters are converted to English letters it would appear as:

ouk oidate oti aggelous krinoumen ueti ge biotika

For this study the focal phrase is oti aggelous.

Oti is a subordinate conjunction introducing a cause. It is translated as the English’s causative introductions that, because, or for (this reason).2 H. W. Smyth in his Greek grammar writes that subordinate clauses introduced by conjunctions like oti are either subjective or objective.3 This is also applicable to subordinate phrases of which oti aggelous is one. Here aggelous is in the Greek accusative case which is the objective case. Oti aggelous in word order, which must first be considered in translations, follows the verb oidate meaning to know, making the phrase oti aggelous that verb’s object.4

In light of the scope of the subject of angels being made spirits that are joined with the souls of saints, the immediate context and the principles of Greek grammar this third verse of the section should be translated as such:

Know ye not that because of angels we shall judge? How much more the things of this life?

Paul used the future tense we shall judge because the saints as angels will not judge the world until they come with the Lord in his glory in his second advent. Even so, Paul is saying that because of this future reality saints can judge in matters of church members in this life prior to that time.

With the adjusted translations this section would read:

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged among you, are ye unworthy to be judged of the smallest matters?

Know ye not that because of angels we shall judge? How much more things of this life?

 

1  George Ricker Berry, The Interlinear Literal Translation of The Greek New Testament, p. 444

2 Timothy Friberg, Barabra Friberg, & Neva F Miller, A Greek-English Lexicon. Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, #20004 (3)

3 Herbert Wye, Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges, #2189

4 J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners, #43

 

 

 

Chapter 1

The Saints are the Lord’s Holy Angels

By Steve Santini

September, 2015