Possesores regni Dei
Possessors of God’s kingdom
6:7 Jam quidem omnino delictum est in vobis, quod judicia habetis inter vos. Quare non magis injuriam accipitis? quare non magis fraudem patimini? [n. 277]
6:7 Already indeed there is plainly a fault among you, that you have lawsuits one with another. Why do you not rather take wrong? Why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? [n. 277]
6:8 Sed vos injuriam facitis, et fraudatis: et hoc fratribus. [n. 281]
6:8 But you do wrong and defraud: and that to your brethren. [n. 281]
6:9 An nescitis quia iniqui regnum Dei non possidebunt? Nolite errare: neque fornicarii, neque idolis servientes, neque adulteri, neque molles, neque masculorum concubitores, [n. 282]
6:9 Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers: nor the effeminate nor those who lie with men [n. 282]
6:10 neque fures, neque avari, neque ebriosi, neque maledici, neque rapaces regnum Dei possidebunt.
6:10 Nor thieves nor the covetous nor drunkards nor revilers nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God.
6:11 Et haec quidam fuistis: sed abluti estis, sed sanctificati estis, sed justificati estis in nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi, et in Spiritu Dei nostri. [n. 286]
6:11 And such some of you were. But you are washed: but you are sanctified: but you are justified: in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God. [n. 286]
6:12 Omnia mihi licent, sed non omnia expediunt: omnia mihi licent, sed ego sub nullis redigar potestate. [n. 290]
6:12 All things are lawful for me: but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful for me: but I will not be brought under the power of any. [n. 290]
6:13 Esca ventri, et venter escis: Deus autem et hunc et has destruet: [n. 295] corpus autem non fornicationi, sed Domino: et Dominus corpori. [n. 297]
6:13 Meat for the belly and the belly for the meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. [n. 295] But the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord: and the Lord for the body. [n. 297]
277. Postquam Apostolus reprehendit Corinthios de hoc quod coram infidelibus iudicibus litigabant, hic reprehendit eos quantum ad ipsa iudicia. Et
277. After rebuking the Corinthians for bringing their lawsuits before unbelieving judges, the Apostle now rebukes them for the judgments themselves.
circa hoc duo facit.
In regard to this he does two things.
Primo ponit in quo peccabant circa iudicia;
First, he states how they sinned in regard to judgments;
secundo manifestat quod dixerat, ibi an nescitis, et cetera.
second, he clarifies what he had said, at know you not that the unjust.
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things:
Primo reprehendit in eis circa iudicia id quod est licitum, sed non expediens;
first, he rebukes them in something lawful in regard to judgment, but not expedient;
secundo id quod est penitus illicitum, ibi sed et vos, et cetera.
second, in what is utterly unlawful, at but you do wrong.
Circa primum duo facit:
In regard to the first he does two things.
primo ponit reprehensionem;
first, he rebukes them;
secundo removet excusationem, ibi quare non magis, et cetera.
second, he rejects an excuse, at why do you not rather take wrong.
278. Dicit ergo primo: dictum est, quod frater cum fratre in iudicio contendit, quod non solum malum est quod apud infideles contenditis, sed iam quidem, post conversionem vestram, omnino delictum est in vobis, id est, ad delictum vobis reputatur, quod iudicia habetis inter vos, inter quos scilicet debet esse pax: quia, ut dicitur II Tim. II, 24, servum Domini non oportet litigare, sed mansuetum esse ad omnes.
278. First, therefore, he says: it has been stated that brother contends with brother in judgment. It is not only bad that you contend before unbelievers, but already indeed, after your conversion, there is plainly a fault among you, i.e., it is regarded as a failing, that you have lawsuits one with another, between whom there should be peace, because the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone (2 Tim 2:24).
279. Apparet autem ex hoc, ut dicit hic Glossa Augustini, quod peccatum est iudicium habere contra aliquem, sed hoc videtur esse falsum: quia si peccatum est iudicium habere, videtur sequi quod etiam peccatum sit iudices constituere, cum hoc sit occasionem dare iudicium habentibus, cum tamen dicatur Deut. I, 16: audite illos, et quod iustum est iudicate, et postea subditur, quia Dei iudicium est.
279. It appears from this, as a Gloss of Augustine says, that it is a sin to have a lawsuit against anyone; but this seems to be false. For if it is a sin to have a lawsuit, it seems to follow that it is also a sin to appoint judges, since this is tantamount to giving an occasion to those having lawsuits, whereas it is said: hear the cases between your brethren and judge righteously (Deut 1:16).
Solvitur enim in Glossa quod infirmis permittitur in iudicio sua repetere, non autem perfectis: quibus licet sua repetere, sed non in iudicio.
For it is answered in a Gloss that the weak are permitted to seek their rights in a lawsuit, but not the perfect, who can lawfully seek their rights but not in a lawsuit.
Est autem sciendum hic, quod aliquid est perfectis illicitum, aliquid autem omnibus. Perfecti quidem proprium non habent, secundum illud Matth. XIX, 21: si vis perfectus esse, vade et vende omnia quae habes, et da pauperibus, et veni, sequere me; et ideo non licet eis in iudicio repetere quasi propria, cum eis non liceat habere proprium, licet tamen eis in iudicio repetere ea quae sunt communia. Non enim hoc faciendo peccant, sed magis merentur.
But it should be noted that one thing is lawful for the perfect and another thing for all others. The perfect, indeed, do not have anything they can call their own: if you would be perfect, go see what you possess and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me (Matt 19:21). Consequently, it is not lawful for them to seek in a lawsuit anything that can be considered their own, since it is not lawful for them to possess anything as their own, although they may seek common property in a lawsuit. For they do not sin in doing this, but rather they merit.
Est enim opus caritatis defendere vel recuperare res pauperum, secundum illud Ps. LXXXI, 4: eripite pauperem, et egenum de manu peccatoris liberate.
For it is a work of charity to defend or recover the property of the poor, as it says in a psalm: rescue the weak and the needy, deliver them from the hand of the wicked (Ps 82:4).
Sed iudicium adversus aliquem est illicitum omnibus quantum ad tria. Primo quidem quantum ad causam ex qua aliquis iudicium habet, puta ex cupiditate et avaritia. Unde, Lc. XII, 13, cum quidam de turba Domino dixisset: dic fratri meo ut dividat mecum haereditatem, Dominus dixit: quis me constituit iudicem ad dividendum inter vos? Postea subdit: videte et cavete ab omni avaritia.
But a lawsuit against anyone is unlawful for four reasons. First, as to its cause on account of which one brings a lawsuit, say from covetousness and greed. Hence, when someone had said to the Lord: bid my brother divide the inheritance with me, the Lord said: who made me judge or divider over you; then he added: take heed and beware of covetousness ( Luke 12:13ff.).
Secundo quantum ad modum iudicii, quia scilicet cum contentione et detrimento pacis iudicium prosequuntur; ut enim dicitur Iac. c. III, 16, ubi zelus et contentio, ibi inconstantia et omne opus pravum. Et hoc videtur Apostolus in eis reprehendere, ut patet ex hoc quod supra dixit: frater cum fratre in iudicio contendit.
Second, in regard to the way a lawsuit is conducted, because it is conducted with strife and harm to peace: for as it is said: where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice (Jas 3:16). And this is what the Apostle seems to rebuke them for, as is clear from what he had said above: but brother goes to law with brother (1 Cor 6:6).
Tertio ex perversitate iudicii, puta cum aliquis iniuste et fraudulenter in iudicio procedit, secundum illud Is. X, 2: ut opprimerent pauperem, et vim facerent causae humilium populi mei. Et hoc etiam Apostolus in eis reprehendit, ut patet per id quod subdit: sed vos iniuriam facitis.
Third, on account of the perversity of the judgment, say when someone proceeds unjustly and fraudulently in a lawsuit, as it is said: you turn aside the needy from justice and rob the poor of my people of their right (Isa 10:2). This, too, the Apostle reprehends in them, as he shows from what he adds, but you do wrong and defraud.
Quarto propter scandalum quod sequitur. Unde et Dominus mandat, Matth. V, 40: qui vult tecum in iudicio contendere, et tunicam tuam tollere, dimitte ei et pallium.
Fourth, on account of the scandal which follows. Hence the Lord commands: if anyone would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well (Matt 5:40).
Ex caritate vero, sua in iudicio repetere licitum est. Unde Gregorius dicit in Moralibus: cum curam rerum nobis necessitas imponit, quidam dum ea repetunt, solummodo sunt tolerandi: quidam vero servata caritate sunt prohibendi, scilicet ne rapientes non sua, semetipsos perdant.
But out of charity it is lawful to seek your own in a lawsuit. Hence Gregory in Morals: when necessity forces us to have charge of things, some are merely to be tolerated, when they demand things, but others to be forestalled, as long as charity is preserved, from snatching what is not theirs and thus destroying themselves.
280. Deinde cum dicit quare non magis, etc., tollit excusationem.
280. Then when he says, why do you not rather take wrong, he takes away their excuse.
Possent enim dicere: necessitas nos inducit ad iudicia habenda, ut scilicet resistamus iniuriis et fraudibus aliorum; sed hoc excludit, subdens, quantum ad primum, quare non magis iniuriam, scilicet manifestam, accipitis, scilicet patienter sustinendo, secundum illud quod Dominus dicit, Matth. V, 39: si quis te percusserit in maxillam, praebe ei et alteram.
For they could say a necessity forces us to have lawsuits in order to resist harm and dishonesty from other men. But he rejects this, as to the first, saying: why do you not rather take wrong by enduring it with patience, as the Lord says: if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matt 5:31).
Quantum vero ad secundum subdit quare non magis fraudem patimini, id est, dolosam seductionem, secundum illud Matth. V, 41: si quis te angariaverit mille passus, vade cum illo et alia duo. Sed, sicut Augustinus dicit in libro de Sermone Domini in monte, haec praecepta Domini non sunt semper observanda in executione operis, sed semper sunt habenda in praeparatione animi, ut scilicet simus parati hoc facere vel sustinere potius, quam aliquid agere contra caritatem fraternam.
As to the second he says, why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded, i.e., suffer the crafty wheedling, for it says: if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him another two miles (Matt 5:41). But, as Augustine says in The Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, these precepts of the Lord are not always to be observed in the performance of a work, but we should be prepared to obey them, so that we would be always prepared to do this or endure that, rather than do anything against fraternal charity.
281. Deinde cum dicit sed vos, etc., reprehendit in eis id quod est omnino illicitum.
281. Then when he says, but you do wrong, he rebukes them for something altogether illicit.
Et primo arguit in eis manifestam iniustitiam, cum dicit sed vos iniuriam facitis, scilicet manifeste loquendo contra iustitiam aliorum, vel in iudicio, vel extra iudicium. Eccli. IX, 17: non placeat tibi iniuria iniustorum. Secundo dolosam deceptionem, cum subdit et fraudatis, Prov. XII, 5: consilia impiorum fraudulenta. Tertio aggravat utrumque, cum subdit et hoc fratribus, id est, fidelibus, ad quos debemus bonum maxime operari, secundum illud Gal. ult.: dum tempus habemus, operemur bonum ad omnes; maxime autem ad domesticos fidei. Et ideo contra quosdam dicitur Ier. IX, 4: omnis frater supplantans, supplantabit, et omnis amicus fraudulenter incedet.
First, he accuses them of obvious injustice, when he says: but you do wrong, namely, by speaking openly against the justice of others either in court or outside: do not delight in what pleases the unjust (Sir 9:12). Second, for crafty deception when he says: and defraud: the counsels of the wicked are treacherous (Prov 12:5). Third, he adds to the weight of both, when he adds, and that to your own brethren, i.e., believers to whom you should do good: as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith (Gal 6:10). Therefore, it is said against some: every brother is a supplanter, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer (Jer 9:4).
282. Deinde, cum dicit an nescitis, etc., manifestat quod dixerat. Et
282. Then when he says, know you not, he clarifies what he had said.
primo, quantum ad id quod est omnino illicitum;
First, as to what is altogether unlawful;