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1 Corinthians 10:20

    1 Corinthians 10:20 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But I say , that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have communion with demons.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    What I say is that the things offered by the Gentiles are offered to evil spirits and not to God; and it is not my desire for you to have any part with evil spirits.

    Webster's Revision

    But I say , that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have communion with demons.

    World English Bible

    But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God, and I don't desire that you would have fellowship with demons.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have communion with devils.

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 10:20

    Gentiles - A people; nations other than Israel.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 10:20

    But - The negative here is omitted, but is understood. The ellipsis of a negative after an interrogative sentence is common in the Classical writers as well as in the Scriptures. Bloomfield. The sense is, "No; I do not say this, but I say that there are reasons why you should not partake of those sacrifices; and one of those reasons is, that they have been really offered to devils."

    They sacrifice to devils - (δαιμονίοις daimoniois, "demons"). The pagans used the word demon either in a good or a bad sense. They applied it commonly to spirits that were supposed to be inferior to the supreme God; genii; attending spirits; or, as they called them, divinities, or gods. A part were in their view good, and a part evil. Socrates supposed that such a demon or genius attended him, who suggested good thoughts to him, and who was his protector. As these beings were good and well disposed, it was not supposed to be necessary to offer any sacrifices in order to appease them. But a large portion of those genii were supposed to be evil and wicked, and hence, the necessity of attempting to appease their wrath by sacrifices and bloody offerings. It was therefore true, as the apostle says, that the sacrifices of the pagan were made, usually at least, to devils or to evil spirits.

    Many of these spirits were supposed to be the souls of departed people, who were entitled to worship after death, having been enrolled among the gods. The word "demons," among the Jews, was employed only to designate evil beings. It is not implied in their writings to good angels or to blessed spirits, but to evil angels, to idols, to false gods. Thus, in the Septuagint the word is used to translate אלילים Elilim, "idols" Psalm 95:5; Isaiah 65:10; and שׁד shēd, Shaid, as in Deuteronomy 32:17, in a passage which Paul has here almost literally used, "They sacrificed unto devils, not to God." No where in the Septuagint is it used in a good sense. In the New Testament the word is uniformly used also to denote "evil spirits," and those usually which had taken possession of people in the time of the Saviour; Matthew 7:22; Matthew 9:33-34; Matthew 10:8; Matthew 11:18; Mark 1:34, Mark 1:39, et al. See also Campbell on the Gospels, Pre. Dissertation vi. part 1, Section 14-16. The precise force of the original is not, however, conveyed by our translation. It is not true that the pagans sacrificed to "devils," in the common and popular sense of that word, meaning thereby the apostate angel and the spirits under his direction; for the pagans were as ignorant of their existence as they were of the true God; and it is not true that they designed to worship such beings. But it is true:

    (1) That they did not worship the supreme and the true God. They were not acquainted with his existence; and they did not profess to adore him.

    (2) they worshipped "demons;" beings that they regarded as inferior to the true God; created spirits, or the spirits of people that had been enrolled among the number of the gods.

    (3) it was true that many of these beings were supposed to be malign and evil in their nature, and that their worship was designed to deprecate their wrath. So that, although an idol was nothing in itself, the gold or wood of which it was made was inanimate, and incapable of aiding or injuring them; and although there were no real beings such as the pagans supposed - no genii or inferior gods; yet they "designed" to offer sacrifice to such beings, and to deprecate their wrath. To join them in this, therefore, would be to express the belief that there were such beings, and that they ought to be worshipped, and that their wrath should be deprecated.

    I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils - I would not that you should have communion with demons. I would not have you express a belief of their existence; or join in worship to them; or partake of the spirit by which they are supposed to be actuated - a spirit that would be promoted by attendance on their worship. I would not have you, therefore, join in a mode of worship where such beings are acknowledged. You are solemnly dedicated to Christ; and the homage due to him should not be divided with homage offered to devils, or to imaginary beings.