Unleavened bread of truth
5:6 Non est bona gloriatio vestra. Nescitis quia modicum fermentum totam massam corrumpit? [n. 238]
5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven corrupts the whole lump? [n. 238]
5:7 Expurgate vetus fermentum, ut sitis nova conspersio, sicut estis azymi. Etenim pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus. [n. 242]
5:7 Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened. For our pasch is Christ sacrificed. [n. 242]
5:8 Itaque epulemur: non in fermento veteri, neque in fermento malitiae et nequitiae: sed in azymis sinceritatis et veritatis. [n. 247]
5:8 Therefore, let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness: but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. [n. 247]
238. Supra Apostolus memoravit duplicem culpam, scilicet Corinthii fornicatoris, et aliorum qui eius peccatum tolerabant, hic utramque culpam redarguit.
238. After reminding the Corinthians of two crimes, namely, that of the fornicator and that of those who condoned the sin, the Apostle now censures both crimes.
Primo culpam tolerantium eius peccatum;
First, the crime of condoning his sin;
secundo culpam fornicatoris, ibi corpus autem non fornicationi, et cetera.
second, the sin of the fornication, at but the body is not for fornication (1 Cor 6:13).
Circa primum duo facit.
As to the first he does two things.
Primo redarguit in Corinthiis negligentiam iudicii;
First, he rebukes the Corinthians for failing to pass judgment;
secundo redarguit in eis quaedam alia vitia circa iudicium, VI cap. audet aliquis, et cetera.
second, for other vices concerning judgment, at dare any of you (1 Cor 6:1).
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things.
Primo redarguit eos qui fornicatorem a se non separaverunt;
First, he blames them for not casting out the fornicator;
secundo reprobat falsum intellectum quem ex verbis suis conceperant, ibi scripsi vobis in epistola, et cetera.
second, he corrects the false understanding they took from his words, at I wrote to you (1 Cor 5:9).
Circa primum duo facit.
As to the first he does two things.
Primo reprehendit quod fecerant;
First, he reprehends what they had done;
secundo ostendit quid faciendum sit, ibi expurgate vetus fermentum, et cetera.
second, he shows what should be done, at purge out the old leaven.
239. Circa primum duo facit. Primo reprehendit culpam praeteritam quantum ad suam radicem. Dixerat enim supra quod ex inflatione sequitur in eis incompassio, et ex incompassione correctionis negligentia. Arguit ergo primo Corinthiorum elationem, dicens non est bona gloriatio vestra, qua scilicet defectibus aliorum gloriamini, quasi vos sitis innocentes.
239. First, he reprehends their past crime as to its root; for he had said above that as a result of being puffed up they lack compassion, from which followed their failure to set others straight by correcting them. First of all, therefore, he censures them for being puffed up, saying, your glorying is not good, because you boast of the defects of others, as though you were without faults.
Debet enim unusquisque in Domino gloriari de bonis sibi divinitus datis, non de aliis, secundum illud Gal. VI, 4: opus autem suum unusquisque probet, et sic in semetipso gloriam habebit, et non in alio. Praecipue autem malum est de malis aliorum gloriari. Dicitur enim in Ps. LI, 3: quid gloriaris in malitia?
For everyone should boast of the blessings given him by God and not of others: let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor (Gal 6:4). And it is especially evil to glory in the failures of others: why do you boast of mischief? (Ps 51:3).
240. Secundo assignat rationem eius quod dixerat, dicens an nescitis quod modicum fermentum totam massam corrumpit? Quasi dicat: hoc ignorare non potestis.
240. Second, he gives the reason for what he had said, saying, know you not that a little leaven corrupts the whole lump? As if to say: certainly you cannot be unaware of this.
Est autem sciendum quod in fermento duo possunt considerari. Primo sapor quem tribuit pani, et secundum hoc per fermentum significatur sapientia Dei, per quam omnia quae sunt hominis sapida redduntur, et secundum hoc dicitur Matth. XIII, 33: simile est regnum caelorum fermento, quod acceptum mulier abscondit in farinae satis tribus, donec fermentatum est totum.
It should be noted that there are two factors to consider in leaven: the first is the taste it gives to bread. In this way leaven signifies the wisdom of God, through which everything human is rendered tasteful: the kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened (Matt 13:33).
Secundo, in fermento potest considerari corruptio, et secundum hoc per fermentum potest intelligi uno modo peccatum, quia scilicet per unum hominis peccatum omnia opera eius corrupta redduntur, puta per peccatum simulationis, quod comparatur fermento. Lc. XII, 1: attendite a fermento Pharisaeorum, quod est hypocrisis. Alio modo per fermentum potest intelligi homo peccator, et ad hoc inducitur haec similitudo.
The second factor is corruption. Then in one way leaven can signify sin, because by one sin all of a man’s works are corrupted; for example, by the sin of hypocrisy which is compared to leaven: beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Luke 12:1). In another way a sinful man himself can be signified by leaven.
241. Sicut enim per modicum fermentum tota massa pastae corrumpitur, ita per unum peccatorem tota societas inquinatur. Unde Eccli. XI, 34: ab una scintilla augetur ignis, et ab uno doloso augetur sanguis. Et hoc quidem contingit, dum per peccatum unius alii provocantur aliqualiter ad peccandum. Vel etiam dum peccanti consentiunt, saltem non corrigendo, dum possunt corrigere, secundum illud Rom. I, 32: digni sunt morte, non solum qui faciunt ea, sed etiam qui consentiunt facientibus. Et ideo Corinthiis non erat gloriandum de peccato unius, sed magis cavendum, ne peccato unius omnes inquinarentur ex eius consortio, secundum illud Cant. II, 2: sicut lilium inter spinas, sic amica mea inter filias, ubi dicit Glossa: non fuit bonus, qui malos tolerare non potuit.
241. And this is precisely the point of his metaphor, for just as the entire lump of dough is corrupted by a little leaven, so by one sinner a whole group can be defiled: from one spark comes a great fire and from one deceitful man much blood (Sir 11:34). This happens when by the sin of one person others are prompted to sin or even when they consent to his sin, by not at least correcting him when they can: they are worthy of death not only who do these things but also who consent to those that do them (Rom 1:32). Consequently, the Corinthians should not have boasted of another’s sin but rather taken steps to prevent others from being defiled by associating with him: as a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens (Song 2:2), on which a Gloss says: he was not a good man, who could not endure evil men.
242. Deinde, cum dicit expurgate vetus fermentum, ostendit quid de caetero sit faciendum. Et
242. Then when he says, purge out the old leaven, he shows what should be done in the future.
primo ponit documentum;
First, he presents the teaching;
secundo rationem assignat, ibi pascha nostrum, et cetera.
second, he assigns reason, at for our pasch.
243. Dicit ergo primo quia modicum fermentum totam massam corrumpit, ideo expurgate vetus fermentum, id est, expurgate vos, abiiciendo a vobis vetus fermentum, id est fornicarium, qui peccando rediit in vetustatem corruptionis antiquae, secundum illud Baruch III, 11: inveterasti in terra aliena, coinquinatus es cum mortuis. Quod quidem dicit, quia per separationem unius peccatoris tota societas expurgatur. Unde et, egresso Iuda, Dominus dixit Io. XIII, 31: nunc clarificatus est Filius hominis.
243. He says, therefore, first, that a little leaven corrupts the whole lump, therefore purge out the old leaven, i.e., purge yourselves by casting out from your midst the old leaven, i.e., the fornicator who returned to the old state of former corruption by sinning: you are growing old in a foreign country, you are defiled with the dead (Bar 3:10). And this is what he says, because by cutting off one sinner the whole group is purged; hence when Judas left the Lord said: now is the Son of man glorified (John 13:31).
Potest etiam per vetus fermentum intelligi antiquus error, secundum illud Is. XXVI, 3: vetus error abiit, vel etiam corruptio originalis peccati, secundum illud Rom. VI, 6: vetus homo noster simul crucifixus est, vel etiam quodcumque peccatum actuale, secundum illud Col. III, 9: expoliantes vos veterem hominem cum actibus suis: horum enim admonitione homo expurgatur.
By the old leaven can also be understood the old error: the old error is passed away (Isa 26:3), or even the corruption of original sin: our old man is crucified with him (Rom 6:6), or even any actual sin: seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices (Col 3:9), for a man is purged by removing them.
244. Ponit autem consequenter purgationis effectum, dicens ut sitis nova conspersio. Dicitur autem conspersio commixtio aquae et farinae novae, antequam admisceatur fermentum. Remoto ergo fermento a fidelibus, id est peccatore, vel peccato, remanent sicut nova conspersio, id est, in puritate suae novitatis, secundum illud Ps. CII, 5: renovabitur ut aquilae iuventus tua; Eph. IV, v. 23: renovamini spiritu mentis vestrae.
244. Second, he mentions the effect of this cleansing, saying, that you may be a new paste. Here paste means a mixture of water and new flour, before leaven is mixed with it. Therefore, once the leaven, i.e., the sinner or sin, is removed from the faithful, they become as it were a new paste, renewed in purity: your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Ps 103:5); be renewed in the spirit of your minds (Eph 4:23).
Deinde ponit modum debitum expurgationis cum dicit sicut estis azymi, id est, sine fermento peccati. Dicitur enim ab a, quod est sine, et zyma, quod est fermentum. Unde Dominus Matth. XVI, 6 dicit discipulis cavete a fermento Pharisaeorum et Sadducaeorum.
Third, he mentions the form purging should take when he says, as you are unleavened, i.e., without the leaven of sin. In this sense the Lord says: beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt 16:6).
245. Deinde, cum dicit etenim pascha nostrum, assignat rationem eius quod dixerat, scilicet quare fideles debent esse azymi, quae quidem ratio sumitur ex mysterio passionis Christi. Unde
245. Then when he says, for our pasch is Christ sacrificed, he assigns the reason for what he had said, namely, why the faithful should be unleavened; and this reason is taken from the mystery of Christ’s passion.
primo proponit ipsum mysterium;
First, therefore, he mentions the mystery;
secundo concludit propositum, ibi itaque epulemur, et cetera.
second, he concludes to his point, at therefore, let us feast.
246. Circa primum considerandum est quod inter caetera sacramenta legalia celeberrimum erat agnus paschalis, qui, ut praecipitur Ex. XII, 1 ss., immolabatur ab universa multitudine filiorum Israel in memoriam illius beneficii, quo angelus percutiens primogenita Aegypti pertransivit domos Iudaeorum, quorum fores linitae essent sanguine agni. Unde nomen Paschae sumitur, secundum quod ibi dicitur est enim phase, id est, transitus Domini, et ultimo virtute huius beneficii transivit populus Mare Rubrum, ut dicitur Ex. XIV, 15 ss.
246. As to the first it should be noted that the most excellent sacrament of the old law was the paschal lamb which, as was commanded in Exodus 11, was sacrificed by the whole multitude of the children of Israel in commemoration of the event in which the angel striking the first born in Egypt passed by the homes of the Jews, whose posts were smeared with the blood of a lamb. The word pasch is derived from this event: it is the Lord’s Passover (Exod 12:11). It was in virtue of the blessing that the people passed over the Red Sea (Exod 24:15ff).
Ille enim agnus figura fuit Christi innocentis, de quo dicitur Io. I, 29: ecce Agnus Dei. Sicut ergo ille agnus figuralis immolabatur a filiis Israel, ut populus Dei liberaretur ab angelo percutiente, et ut transirent Mare Rubrum, liberati de servitute Aegypti, ita Christus est occisus a filiis Israel, per cuius sanguinem populus Dei liberatur a diaboli impugnatione et servitute peccati per baptismum quasi per Mare Rubrum. Ille autem agnus figuralis pascha Iudaeorum dicebatur, quia in signum transitus immolabatur. Unde dicitur Matth. XXVI, 17: ubi vis paremus tibi comedere pascha? Id est, agnum paschalem.
But this lamb was a figure of the innocent Christ, of whom it is said: behold the Lamb of God (John 1:36). Therefore, just as that lamb was slain by the children of Israel in order that God’s people be delivered from the avenging angel and after being freed from the slavery under the Egyptians, pass over the Red Sea, so Christ was slain by the children of Israel, in order that God’s people be delivered from the attacks of the devil by his blood and from the slavery of sin by baptism, as though by the Red Sea. Now that lamb was called the pasch of the Jews, because it was immolated as a sign of the passing; hence the disciples ask: where do you wish us to prepare for you to eat the pasch? (Matt 26:17), i.e., the paschal lamb.
Dicit ergo Apostolus: ideo debetis esse azymi, etenim, id est, quia, sicut figurale pascha veteris populi est agnus immolatus, ita pascha nostrum, id est, novi populi, est Christus immolatus, cuius etiam immolationi convenit nomen paschae, tum significatione linguae Hebreae, quod significat transitum, Ex. XII, 11: est enim phase, id est, transitus, tum significatione linguae Graecae, prout nomen paschae significat passionem. Christus enim per passionem, qua fuit immolatus, transivit ex hoc mundo ad Patrem, ut dicitur Io. XIII, 1.
Therefore, the Apostle says: you ought to be unleavened, for, i.e., because as the pasch of the old people was the sacrificed lamb, so our pasch, i.e., of the new people, is Christ sacrificed. His immolation deserves the name ‘pasch’ both by reason of what the word means in Hebrew, namely, ‘passage’: it is the Lord’s Passover (Exod 12:11), and what it means in Greek, namely, ‘passion’: for Christ passed from this world to the Father by means of the passion, in which he was sacrificed (John 13:1).