1 Corinthians 4:6 Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 4:1 - 21
ESV - 1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.
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I would say that Paul made this statement as a follow-on to his guidance earlier in the epistle (1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9) cautioning the Corinthian Christians not to place their loyalty to a given Christian leader or evangelist (including even Paul himself) above their loyalty to Christ. Their allegiance to a particular spiritual leader might cause them to "go beyond what is written" in established Scripture by placing that leader's writings or teachings on the same level of authority as inspired Scripture itself. Paul is telling them they must avoid this.
1 Corinthians 4:6 “Not to go beyond what is written” is a debatable phrase, but the difficult Greek phrase used here, to mē hyper ha gegraptai, likely reflects a common slogan among the Corinthian believers. It is possible that the phrase refers to Scripture in a general sense or, more specifically, to scriptures already cited in the letter (e.g., 1 Cor. 1:19, 31; 2:9, 16; 3:19–20). This idiom was evidently recognizable to the Corinthians. Paul helps the congregation to remember the need to allow Scripture to shape our reasoning. We should base our appraisal of our chapel's chiefs on Scriptural norms as opposed to individual inclination.
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