Who is the "we" in ἐσμέν in 1 Corinthians 15:19?

ESV 1 Cor 15:19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

In particular, who are the ones pitied ἐλεεινότεροι? Is Paul speaking only of the apostles? Or of all believers?

  • If all Christians are partakers of the faith of the apostles (cf. 2 Peter 1:1), then why on earth should we qualify this expression as regarding only the apostles? Of course, since Christians, unlike non-Christians, voluntarily suffer tribulations and privations in this life with the hope of resurrection by the resurrected Christ, then if the latter thing is not true, the non-Christians will be in a better position than Christians, for at least in this life they have a greater comfort, while Christians are devoid of even that, having nothing better, in fact, to rely upon. – Levan Gigineishvili May 21 '18 at 21:41
  • @Levan I agree with you, but when you hear what some Christians are teaching, they seem to be excluding present day Christians. Or, may they are trying to qualify this verse by saying they are prosperous in this life because of the resurrection. – Perry Webb May 21 '18 at 21:53
  • Here is where Jeff Myers refers to this verse in the History chapter on world views: "In fact, the Bible itself claims that either Christ is a historical figure; the Bible is a historical document that describes God’s communications with humanity; and records real events in the life of Christ; or that the Christian faith is bankrupt and our so-called “faith” is described as pathetic (1 Cor. 15:14)." Myers, J. (2015). Understanding the times: a survey of competing worldviews. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook. – Perry Webb May 26 '18 at 12:47

Throughout the Corinthian letters Paul is ever conscious of who is speaking to whom. He uses pronouns correctly and thoughtfully. I call your attention to how he differentiates between "our preaching" and "your faith".

NIV 1 Cor 15:

12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

He goes on to say "we are found false witnesses" and "your faith is futile...".

So he does distinguish. However, here he has pointed out that there not being a resurrection creates problems for all, apostle or lay person. So "we" should, I believe be taken inclusively rather than just the apostles.

However, it should be noted that the apostles in particular suffer for Christ so it makes it especially true for them.


We who are alive and remain of course when Christ comes the dead in Christ shall rise first and we in the living sense of course are the body of Christ the reason why the writer uses the word we because God is a god of the living not of the Dead so we need to read it as if we are the ones because God is a living God it always speaks to us as believers... Could you imagine if he put down you which are alive and remain that means when we read it we'd always be saying you well that would not be proper since the word is still alive till the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as far as the mystery of Christ... Till he closes the door Revelations chapter 10 and 11 speak to this. If I hope in Christ is only in this world we are done most to be pitied you speaking as a Jew the Jews hope in Christ is only in this world asking to do if he's a Believer at all and also it's imminent to them all of a sudden peace they think but that is simply not the case Elijah has to come first and that profit the two witnesses.

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