1 Corinthians 8:1-3 KJV
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
The question the Apostle intends to answer deals with eating meat offered to idols. He begins his lesson with the subject of knowledge because those in favor of eating this meat make their argument based on knowledge. Paul then contrasts knowledge with charity.
Albert Barnes writes that Paul's answer is that knowledge is not a safe guide.
- We don't know as much as we think
- Knowledge tends to puff and swell the thinking of the one who possesses it.
- It is much better to be known for charity than knowledge
Then, back to the subject of eating the meat, Paul says that though technically their knowledge is right, charity would lead us not to eat the meat, under any circumstances, in order never to offend a brother.
Knowledge has never been a safe guide. Knowledge without intense love for both God and man has led mankind down a pathway leading to destruction. We ought not to abandon education and knowledge, but always temper it with fervent charity.