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Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by ralb, Dec 19, 2003.
Who is Paul talking about re: the unpresentable parts of the body in 1 Cor 12:23?
I don't know about you, but first thing in the morning I think my face could be considered an "unpresentable" part of my body.
It seems like the Apostle is trying to get them to think differently. To look at things spiritually instead of "in the flesh".
I think it's about being fair and finding unity.
Those that are wealthy (in anything) should not consider themselves or be considered by others as more spiritual or more favored by God. On the contrary, they should consider themselves and be encouraged to consider themselves as low and be afraid for the temptations that are peculiar to the wealthy.
Those that are poor (in anything) should not consider themselves or be considered by others as less spiritual or less favored by God. On the contrary, they are encouraged and should be encouraged to glory in their low estate, because they are really rich.
The world has it backward and they are sadly wrong. They are lost, blind and depraved. It is very sad state to be in.
Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain shall be made low. Isaiah 40:4
Here is my opinion for what its worth:
When we look at any passage we find the key to understanding in the context. David gets part of it when he says that it is about finding unity. In I Corinthians 12 Paul is talking about the gifts of the spirit. The body that he speaks of is not a physical body, but the body of Christ, the church. Look at verses 12-14.
12. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14. For the body is not one member, but many.</font>
The use of the word unpresentable in the NIV in verse 23 is a bit confusing. I think it is easier to understand in the KJV (but then I think that about most verses). The KJV says:
23. And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.</font>
It is clear here that what Paul is saying is that we think some members of the body (some members of the church) are more honourable than others (Paul lists some of these in verse 29, apostles, prophets, teachers). But the truth is that we are all one body in Christ. Look at verses 22 through 25 as a whole.
Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.</font>
So to summarize, what I hear Paul saying here is that although we think some members of the Church are more important than others, i.e. a pastor or teacher, God does not see it that way. He gives us different gifts, but we are all part of the body of Christ and all necessary for the proper functioning of that body. Although others in your church may have more visible gifts and may receive more honor on earth (they may be more presentable) your gifts and your service is vitally important and we should all work together to advance His work.
Don't push the details too far. Paul is using an analogy. We might consider something like the liver or kidneys as "unpresentable" ... perhaps our knobby knees ... in other words, they just aren't that attractive we think. But they serve vital roles that we must have ...
Paul is merely teaching that every part of the body is a part of the body. Just because the eyes see, doesn't mean that the knees don't need to work.
I've always considered the analogy to be something other than the liver or kidneys (ahem). I'll stop there.
Kidney, man, kidney. THAT was the seat of all feeling and emotional decisions to most Jews and Greeks!
(OT = kilyah; NT = nephros) Might seem "uncomely to us, but it was like a sweet Valentine to your love back then.
Serious answer? Male private parts. "eshek" would not be "metionable" or "presentable" any more than going into greater detail on an open forum would be appropriate.