As It Is Written
The Wretched Man
by Patrick Henry Reardon
It is not uncommon for the Apostle Paul to employ the first-person pronoun when he intends to designate either human beings in general or Christians in particular. We recognize this usage, for example, when he writes, "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have agape, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal." When Paul declares that, without agape, "I am nothing," we discern that he is speaking for all of us (1 Cor. 13:1–2).
It seems likely, too, that Paul is appealing to this rhetorical reference when he writes, "If a particular kind of food (broma) causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again" (8:13). In the exhortatory context of this assertion, it is clear that the apostle intends to establish a moral norm for all Christians, not just a personal preference. He uses the same idiomatic style repeatedly in his treatment of prophecy and glossolalia in 1 Corinthians 14:6–19.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!
Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
more on bible from the online archives
more from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor