SPECIAL TOPIC: EXCOMMUNICATION (from 1 Cor. 5:5)
1 Corinthians 5:8 says, "to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh." "Deliver" is the Greek term paradidōmi, which is used in the Gospels of turning someone over to the authorities for appropriate punishment (cf. Matt. 4:12; 5:25; 10:4,17; 18:34; 20:19; 26:15; 27:2,18,26) and in Romans (cf. Rom. 1:24,26,28) for turning someone over to evil spiritual powers. This usage fits this context best (i.e., Satan being identified; see Special Topic: Satan).
This is similar to 1 Tim. 1:20. There has been much discussion among scholars and commentators over what this involves. Some see it as resulting in the ultimate physical punishment (i.e., death), as in Acts 5 and 1 Cor. 3:17; 11:30. Others see it as a total excommunication, putting one in the realm of Satan's activity, which is the world (cf. John 12:31; 16:11; 1 Cor. 4:4; 1 John 5:19), where his alienation from fellowship with God and His people may turn him back to God and avert eschatological judgment. Paul saw the world as the domain of Satan (cf. Eph. 2:2). The evil which occurs in this world (i.e., death, disease, loss, etc.) are attributed to the evil one, Satan (cf. 2 Cor. 12:7; 1 Thess. 2:18). It is also possible that "flesh" may refer to mankind's sensual rebellious lifestyle (i.e., Adamic fallen nature; see Special Topic: The Fall).
Copyright © 2014 Bible Lessons International