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Deliver unto Satan is an expression found in 1 Tim. 1:18-20 and 1 Cor. 5:3-13.
Some[who?] understand it to mean simple excommunication from the Church. But this seems quite inadequate to exhaust the meaning of the words employed by Paul. Others[who?] take it to signify the infliction of some bodily suffering or disease. This also is quite insufficient as an explanation. It seems that[by whom?] a person who was delivered unto Satan was cut off from all Christian privileges, he was "put away" from the body of Christian believers, and handed over to "the Satan," the Evil One in his most distinct personality (1 Cor 5:2,5,13). Compare the cases of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), and of Elymas (Acts 13:11)[non-primary source needed].
It is important that the purpose of this sentence is not be overlooked[by whom?]. The intention of the punishment was distinctly remedial. Both in the case of Hymeneaus and Alexander (Ephesian), and in that of the person dealt with in 1 Cor 5, the intention was the attaining of an ultimate good. In 1 Cor it is "for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."[non-primary source needed] Similarly, Hymeneus and Alexander are delivered unto Satan, not for their final perdition, but that they may be taught[non-primary source needed], through this terrible[clarification needed] discipline—for such is the signification of the word which is translated "taught"—not to blaspheme. The purpose of this discipline, that they might learn not to blaspheme, shows the dreadful length of impiety and of railing at Christian truth to which Hymeneus had gone[non-primary source needed].
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- This entry incorporates text from the public domain International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, originally published in 1915.
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