1 Corinthians 8
New Testament for Everyone
Meat Offered to Idols
8 Now when it comes to meat offered to idols, we know that ‘We all have knowledge’. Knowledge puffs you up, but love builds you up! 2 If anybody thinks they ‘know’ something, they don’t yet ‘know’ in the way they ought to know. 3 But if anybody loves God, they are ‘known’ – by him.
4 So when it comes to food that has been offered to idols, we know that ‘idols are nothing in the world’, and that ‘there is no God but one’. 5 Yes, indeed: there may be many so-called ‘gods’, whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’. 6 But for us
There is one God, the father,
from whom are all things, and we live to him and for him;
and one Lord, Jesus the Messiah,
through whom are all things, and we live through him.
Respecting Weak Consciences
7 The problem is that not everybody has this ‘knowledge’. Some have been accustomed up to now to eating idol-food with the assumption that it really does belong to the idol. This has left them with a weak conscience, and now that conscience will be polluted. 8 But the food we eat won’t recommend us to God. We won’t be any worse off if we don’t eat, and we won’t be any better off if we do.
9 But you must take care in case this official right of yours becomes a danger to the weak. 10 Look at it like this: if someone with a weak conscience sees you, a person with ‘knowledge’, sitting down to eat in an idol-house, that conscience of theirs is likely to make up its mind actually to eat idol-food, isn’t it? 11 And so, you see, the weak person – a brother or sister for whom the Messiah died! – is then destroyed by your ‘knowledge’. 12 That means you’ll be sinning against your brother or sister, and attacking their weak conscience; and in doing this you’ll be sinning against the Messiah. 13 So, for this reason, if food causes my brother or sister to stumble, I will never ever eat meat, so that I won’t make my brother or sister trip up.