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1Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother,2unto the congregation {Gr. ekklesia – called out ones} of God which is at Corinth, to those that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:3Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.4I thank my God always on your behalf for the grace of God which is given you in Christ Jesus,5that in every thing ye are enriched in him in all word and in all knowledge,6with which the testimony of the Christ was confirmed in you,7so that ye lack nothing in any gift, waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ,8who shall also confirm that ye shall remain unimpeachable unto the end, in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.9God is faithful, by whom ye were called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfect, joined together in the same understanding and in the same perception.11For it has been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by those of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.12In other words, that each one of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.13Is the Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized into the name of Paul?
14I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius,15lest any should say that ye were baptized into my name.16And I baptized also the household of Stephanas; besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
17For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross {Gr. stauros – stake} of Christ should be made void.18For the word of the cross {Gr. stauros – stake} is foolishness to those that perish, but unto us who are saved, it is the power of God.19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the philosopher of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?21For in the wisdom of God, since the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those that believe.22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom,23but we preach Christ crucified, {Gr. Stauroo – hung on a stake}, unto the Jews a stumblingblock and unto the Gentiles foolishness;24but unto those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.25For that which is foolish of God is wiser than men, and that which is weak of God is stronger than men.26For look upon your vocation, brothers, that ye are not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble,27but rather God has chosen that which is the foolishness of the world to confound the wise, and God has chosen that which is the weakness of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;28and that which is vile of the world and that which is despised God has chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought the things that are,29that no flesh should glory in his presence.30But of him ye are reborn in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption,31that, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.
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Paul's greeting and prayer
1From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from Sosthenes, who is also a follower.
2To God's church in Corinth. Christ Jesus chose you to be his very own people, and you worship in his name, as we and all others do who call him Lord.#Ac 18.1.
3My prayer is that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
4I never stop thanking my God for being kind enough to give you Christ Jesus, 5who helps you speak and understand so well. 6Now you are certain that everything we told you about our Lord Christ Jesus is true. 7You are not missing out on any blessings, as you wait for him to return. 8And until the day Christ does return, he will keep you completely innocent. 9God can be trusted, and he chose you to be partners with his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
A call for unity
Taking sides
10My dear friends, as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg you to get along with each other. Don't take sides. Always try to agree in what you think. 11Several people from Chloe's family#1.11 family: Family members and possibly slaves and others who may have lived in the house. have already reported to me that you keep arguing with each other. 12They have said that some of you claim to follow me, while others claim to follow Apollos or Peter#1.12 Peter: The Greek text has “Cephas”, which is an Aramaic name meaning “rock”. Peter is the Greek name with the same meaning. or Christ.#Ac 18.24.
13Has Christ been divided up? Was I nailed to a cross for you? Were you baptized in my name? 14I thank God#1.14 I thank God: Some manuscripts have “I thank my God”. that I didn't baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius.#Ac 18.8; Ac 19.29; Ro 16.23. 15Not one of you can say that you were baptized in my name. 16I did baptize the family#1.16 family: See the note at 1.11. of Stephanas, but I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.#1 Co 16.15. 17Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to tell the good news without using big words that would make the cross of Christ lose its power.
Christ is God's power and wisdom
18The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God's power at work. 19As God says in the Scriptures,#Is 29.14 (LXX).
“I will destroy the wisdom
of all who claim
to be wise.
I will confuse those
who think they know
so much.”
20What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn't God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish?#Job 12.17; Is 19.12; 33.18; Is 44.25. 21God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him.
Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach. 22Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. 23But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish. 24Our message is God's power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. 25Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else.
26My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn't think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.
28What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important. 29God did all this to keep anyone from boasting to him. 30You are God's children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy. 31So if you want to boast, do what the Scriptures say and boast about the Lord.#Jr 9.24.