Did St Paul go to confession?


1 Corinthians 4:3-4
"But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. "

It sounds like Paul doesn’t even practice an examen of conscience. Am I misunderstanding this passage?


You are mistaking confession and absolution with Judgement. The priest does not say “go now in peace, I judge you worthy of heaven.” He absolves you of your sins and admonishes to sin no more. God is the only and final judge when it comes to the salvation of a man. There’s a distinct difference between the two.


Promethius is exactly right. None may judge but God alone. That does not mean that none may loose but God alone. Nor does it mean that none may bind but God alone. Your problem, as I see it, is that you are reading too much (read: your preconceptions) into the text.


Or possibly that Paul believes his conscience is convicted by the Holy Spirit:thumbsup:


I think the context has nothing to do with confession, the Judaizing Christians were questioning Pauls Apolostolic authority and some saying he was not an Apostle so St. Paul has to bring them into correction.


‘I am not aware of anything against myself’ - that very much sounds to me like something someone would say only AFTER having examined their consciences.

It’s what most all of us in effect say to ourselves when we go to receive Communion. I say ‘not aware’ because, being human, we know that we can possibly be misguided about whether we have committed sin or not.

You really think St Paul never worried about whether or not he was in a state of sin??? :eek: When he wrote so strongly about receiving communion worthily??? I don’t believe it for a second. And knowing the other Apostles he would probably be aware of James’ admonition to ‘confess your sins to each other’.


In fact, “I am not aware of anything against myself” sounds like something one would say after going to Confession and receiving absolution. Especially someone who elsewhere says: “For the good which I will, I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do.” Romans 7:19 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition.)

Pax Christi vobiscum.

John Hiner


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