Verses I would NOT have written had I gotten the protestant “memo”! 1 Corinthians addition

st-paul-Joe-McClane-CatholicHack-blogAll too often good, well intentioned Christians, the “bible believing” kind, will claim that Catholic beliefs, traditions, or practices can nowhere be found amongst its sacred pages. Somehow, the assertion goes, that Paul was the consumate Protestant, who will never agree with the Catholic Church, let alone teach it from his letters.  Well IF (noticed I tried to use a big IF) that’s true, then it would seem to me that St. Paul must have missed a whole bunch of memos from the home office.  I mean if I were St. Paul, and I  was the “consumate Protestant”, rejecting the Catholic Church, holding up doctrines such as “the bible alone”, “faith alone” , “once saved always saved”, “there is no purgatory”, “the Eucharist is only a symbol”, “pastors are free to marry” and so many others… then I would have NEVER written verses that seemed to suggest anything to the contrary of my beliefs.  Certainly, I would NOT have wanted to confuse my reader, especially since I would have believed in “Sola Scripture”, or the “bible alone”, and wouldn’t want any “traditions of men” to creep up later and dilute the purity of my inspired writings. After all… I would implore the reader…  “by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment (1 Cor. 2:8).” Or else, we may end up with confusion and discord, and clearly, “ God is not a God of confusion but of peace (1 Cor. 14:33).”

I like to take one of the books of St. Paul, from time to time (check out Verses I would NOT have written IF I believed in Sola Fide: Romans Edition!), and just go through it looking for various references to Catholic beliefs, traditions, practices, etc. in an effort to point them out to our non-Catholic brothers and sister, just to show  how Catholic St. Paul really was.  Although I will often employ sarcasm in my work, I don’t mean to offend anyone, rather, I simply hope to emphasize the point in order to make it clear.  To be clear, I do NOT recommend interpreting St. Paul in light of only one of his letters. Every verse of sacred scripture must be taken in context… in the context of the verse before it, and after it, in the chapter before it, and after it… in the entire book, in the entire Testament in which it is found, in the entire Bible, and, of course, in the context of the living tradition of the Church as taught by the Magisterium over the the past two thousand years. However, I think its fun to sit down and go through a single book of St. Paul’s and just point out a few things.  So, with that in mind … If I were St. Paul, and rejected the Catholic Church, I would NOT have written the following vereses in 1 Corinthians.


The Catholic Church must have missed the “memo” that the Catholic Church is the “Hore of Babylon” and is the Devils doing (especially since we proudly proclaim Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior at every Mass):

1 Corinthians 12:3 (RSVCE)

Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.


St. Paul must have missed the “memo” on crucifixes vs. a cross’ (see also Galatians 3:1 – yep, its also in your Bible): 

1 Corinthians 1:23 (RSVCE)

23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,

1 Corinthians 2:2 (RSVCE)

2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

St. Paul must have missed the “memo” on there being NO purifying state after death and before entry into Heaven… i.e. Purgatory:

1 Corinthians 3:10–16 (RSVCE)

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

St. Paul must have missed the “memo” on NOT calling  men “Father”… especially Priests,,, you know, stewards of the mysteries (Sacraments):

1 Corinthians 4:1 (RSVCE)

1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

1 Corinthians 4:15–17 (RSVCE)

15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 Therefore I sent to you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.

St. Paul must have missed the “memo” on “once saved always saved” :

1 Corinthians 4:4–5 (RSVCE)

4 I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God.

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (RSVCE)

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; 27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 10:12 (RSVCE)

12 Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

1 Corinthians 15:1–2 (RSVCE)

1 Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, 2 by which you are saved, if you hold it fastunless you believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:33–34 (RSVCE)

33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Come to your right mind, and sin no more. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

St. Paul must have missed the “memo” on NOT Judging the actions of other believers:

1 Corinthians 5:1–5 (RSVCE)

1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

3 For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing.  When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Corinthians 5:11–13 (RSVCE)

11 But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.”

1 Corinthians 6:2–3 (RSVCE)

2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!

St. Paul must have missed the “memo” on there being NO long standing tradition of maintaing celibacy for those who dedicate themselves to the service of the Kingdom… i.e. Eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven:

1 Corinthians 7:1–7 (RSVCE)

1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote. It is well for a man not to touch a woman. 2 But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control. 6 I say this by way of concession, not of command. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

1 Corinthians 7:32–35 (RSVCE)

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33 but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:38 (RSVCE)

38 So that he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

St. Paul must have missed the “memo” on the freedom of believers on divorce and remarriage:

1 Corinthians 7:10–11 (RSVCE)

10 To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband)—and that the husband should not divorce his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:39–40 (RSVCE)

39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 But in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I have the Spirit of God.

 St. Paul must have missed the “memo” that Christ is NOT truly present in the Eucharist: 

1 Corinthians 10:16–17 (RSVCE)

16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

1 Corinthians 11:23–30 (RSVCE)

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

 St. Paul must have missed the “memo” that we believe in “Scripture Alone”… I guess he also missed the memo on the “Traditions of Men” too:

1 Corinthians 11:2 (RSVCE)

2 I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.

St. Paul must have missed the “memo” that we believe in “Faith Alone” (nothing else, especially works of LOVE, are required; right?):

1 Corinthians 13:2 (RSVCE)

2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (RSVCE)

13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 15:1–2 (RSVCE)

1 Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, 2 by which you are saved, if you hold it fast—unless you believed in vain.

St. Paul must have missed the “memo” that there is nothing special about St. Peter and there is NO authority or a visible hierarchy in the 12 Apostles:

1 Corinthians 15:3–11 (RSVCE)

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.


About the Author:

Joe McClane – The Catholic Hack! – is the director and events coordinator for Fullness of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries, as well as an a Catholic New Media producer & Evangelist. He is married to his lovely wife Michelle and they have five children. The Catholic Hack | Catholic Apologetics, Theology & More!