Commentary on 1 Corinthians
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Paul makes several points here. First, he reminds the reader that the message of the gospel is not in the rhetoric or eloquence of the words; it is in the power of the cross. The Greeks had a great appreciators of wisdom and this idea of a savior on a cross seems like foolishness, yet Paul argues it is the wisdom. Another point here is that Paul recognizes baptism, but does not say that the power is in the act of baptism.
He recognized his purpose was to preach, not to perform rituals MacDonald. Verse For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Paul brings up an important point for Christians here. He reminds the readers that there is only two ways to see the cross, as foolishness or as a saving power.
This emphasizes that Christians have a need to see the world in black and white. Nothing in the gospel appeals to the pride or knowledge, which the Corinthians had great love for. Paul reminds them that the real power in the world is found in the cross MacDonald. Additionally, the foolishness here would be more blatant to the readers of the time as crucifixion was considered one of the more shameful methods of execution.
Paul writes of God's power in turning the least likely actions into the most powerful effects Keener. Verse For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate. This is a quotation of Isaiah The context of that verse is particularly important to the understanding of this passage. In Isaiah's time, the nation of Judah had just made an alliance with Egypt in preparation for the coming invasion of Sennacherib, rather than rely on the power of God to protect them.
Great kings in the past sought the way of God and ended victoriously, where the kings who sought the ways of man historically lost. The king of this time, Hezekiah, submitted to the way of God and won the battle. This verse reminds the readers that sometimes the methods that appear wisest, prudent, or even obvious can often be wrong in the eyes of God.
The power of God is superior to all Earthly ways MacDonald. Verse Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world? Some translations use the word "scribe" instead of "scholar.
The word "world" here refers to all people rather than the Earth Ellingworth. Verse For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. The message in this verse is highly important to the readers, to the Corinthians no more than to the modern Christian. This is a reminder that no one can find God by their own power. Human knowledge and understanding never reveals God, despite innumerable philosophers, scholars, and teachers through the ages.
Only in the word of the gospel may humans find salvation MacDonald. This is a reiteration of the previous verse. Paul brings up specific examples of humans looking for God in something other than the cross. The Jewish were shown 10 plagues leading them out of Egypt and this still was not enough to convince them forever of God's love Ellingworth.
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Verse but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles,. The act of preaching of Christ's sacrifice turns out to be one of the most influential events in history.
It is from this that the permanent church of Christianity is established Faussett. Note should be made of Paul's word choice here. He uses the phrase "those whom God has called" against the more modern term "Christian. Verse For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. This should be read very delicately. Paul is not saying that God is foolish or weak. He is pointing out the irony of the situation. What sometimes looks like the weakest or most foolish acts of God is beyond what man can comprehend.
Introduction to the First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians
Beyond that, even these acts are wiser and stronger than anything man can produce. Verse Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many of you were influential; not many were of noble birth. As a reminder, the society of that day was highly hierarchical. It was a society where one's place was determined by how noble one was at birth. Worldly standards don't apply to God though Ellingworth. Also, Paul says "not many" as opposed to "not any.
God often passes by who humans view as the most likely to be his instruments MacDonald. Verse But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. This refers to some of the stranger actions of God that resulted in some of the most influential events in Jewish and Christian history. Jericho's walls fell by marching around the city with horns, Gideon's army was victorious when God reduced their number, Samson defeated armies with a jawbone as a weapon, Jesus fed multitudes with a small number of loaves of bread and a few fish MacDonald.
Verse He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nillify the things that are,. It is from and in the lowest, most hated, most despised things that God creates hope MacDonald. Boast here may be better understood as trying to appear better than someone else. In God's presence especially, this reversal of society destroys attempts to shine by example Ellingworth.
Verse It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Christ here is personified as wisdom. As basic definitions, righteousness is making things right by the power of God through Christ. Sanctification is making something holy, or setting it apart.
Redemption is being set free from the bonds of sin.
Verse Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. This is a quotation of Jeremiah The wording is awkward for understanding however, it would probably be better understood as, "Let him who boasts, boast as a result of what has been done for us" Ellingworth. Alternatively, "Let him who boasts, boast in having and understanding of God" Keener.
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After the fall of man God appears or speaks only to reveal his purpose to his people. There are many times in the Old Testament where God reveals himself, his revelation, through nature. For example there is Moses and the burning bush, God appeared to Job in a whirlwind. He has also revealed himself to people in dreams dictionary bib. And so on are ways that God gave revelation in the Old Testament.
Nobody is certain where the Galatians churches were that Paul wrote to. The Roman province at that time was a large area of central Asia Minor, present day Turkey, the Galatia land stretched to the cities of Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, these cities have been mentioned in the books of Acts stating that Paul and Barnabas had done missionary work there. Yet, Paul does not mention any towns or cities in the letter, making it difficult to find where the churches of Galatia were. Likewise we do not know how many churches there were NIB.
Knowing where the letters were intended does not change the translation or its meaning; however, it brings the uncertainty of dating the letters. Since the author states he is the apostle Paul and no other piece of information from within this document or from early church tradition has questioned that it is a Pauline authorship. In the first chapters of his letter Paul tells them about his call from the road to Damascus to when he was writing the letter to them. This could explain why he does not state any specific cities or towns NIB.
In previous letters the way Paul greats the churches also hint to why he wrote the letter. Following this pattern in Galatians Paul greats by stating that he is an apostle and sent by God and not men. Crispus was a former leader of the synagogue in Corinth who, along with his household, became a believer and was baptized Acts The Gaius mentioned here could be the one whom Paul mentions as having hosted Paul and the whole church Romans Otherwise, we know nothing for sure about these men. It is too easy to forget that the person performing the baptism is just a servant—a servant of Christ.
Top 5 Commentaries on the Book of 1 Corinthians
As noted above, people in that time and place regarded names almost as a surrogate for the person. Nothing could be further from the truth. Baptism derives its power by its association with Christ, not Paul. Paul mentioned in verse 14 that he baptized Crispus and Gaius.
Now he suddenly remembers that he also baptized Stephanas and his household. Stephanas and his household were the first converts in Achaia Achaia is the province of which Corinth is the capitol city. Paul speaks highly of Stephanas at the end of this letter, saying that Stephanas has devoted himself to service to the saints, by which Paul means ordinary Christians at Corinth.
Paul encourages the Christians at Corinth to help Stephanas, and notes that Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus visited Paul probably in Ephesus and lifted his spirits Once again, it sounds as if Paul might have a low view of baptism, but that is not the case see the comments on verse 14 above. He was called to proclaim the Gospel—to evangelize. Presumably, as part of their shared ministries, others have carried out baptisms for those whom Paul has converted. Sophia is the Greek word for wisdom, a subject near and dear to Greek hearts.
1 Corinthians 2
Greeks prize both wisdom and its outward manifestations in rhetoric the art of preparing persuasive arguments and oratory the art of public speaking. In the verses that follow, Paul will contrast human wisdom with the Godly wisdom that sent Christ to the cross. If his proclamation of the Gospel smacked of human eloquence and wisdom, that eloquence and wisdom would distract from that which is the focus of everything Paul does and says—the cross of Christ. He wants them to keep their eyes focused on the cross of Christ.