A New Look at 1 Corinthians 3:12: “Gold, Silver, Precious Stones”

tmsdecay | August 25, 2009

The six materials in 1 Cor 3:12 are arranged to denote a descending scale by moving from a unit of three good qualities to a unit of three bad ones. The verse uses pictures to represent what Paul calls “work” in vv 13 and 14. Paul’s main point is to encourage building with quality materials that will meet with God’s approval and receive eternal reward. Interpreters sometimes restrict the meaning of the symbols either to doctrine, to people, to activity, or to character. The conclusion is that Paul in the symbols combines several things that lead to Christ ‘s good pleasure and a believer’s reward. These are sound doctrine, activity, motives and character in Christian service.

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