1 Corinthians 8:1
1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
As we recall, the Corinthian church has written a letter to Paul detailing many of the contentions taking place in the church between members. Among many topics, the church has asked him about arrogance, boasting, sexual immorality, and marriage. In chapter eight, he writes about liberty and caution in eating meat that has been sacrificed to idols. The Greek word ismἱερόθυτος eidolothytos. Notice the word idol. This warning concerns only meat that has been killed and offered to an idol in worship. It is dealing with some animal that has been killed on an altar for a particular god.
Now as touching things offered unto idols. The use of the word touching (KJV), does not mean physical touch; the word means concerning things (or meat) offered to idols.The Greek word for touching is περαιτέρω peri, and it means around, about, near, and even because of. We use the word in this manner today, for example, “Let me touch on this subject over here.” Used as a preposition, The English dictionary defines touching as concerning (NKJV).
He will come back to this topic of idols, but first, he gives a little parenthetical statement that will extend to the end of verse 3. It begins with, We know.
We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge is good, but there can be danger in knowledge.
Paul is warning against the knowledge one might have about eating meat that has been sacrificed to idols. There is a danger that knowledge will cause one to be puffed up; that is, making the one with knowledge feel superior. There must be love in knowledge, but charity (love) edifieth. We can be so knowledgable in our faith that we become offensive. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
Therefore, regarding this topic of eating meat offered to idols, Paul first warns to approach it, not with knowledge only, but with knowledge understood in the light of love.
Love will keep us from being dogmatic on certain issues within the church.