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1From: Sha’ul, called by God’s will to be an emissary of the Messiah Yeshua; and from brother Sosthenes
2To: God’s Messianic community in Corinth, consisting of those who have been set apart by Yeshua the Messiah and called to be God’s holy people — along with everyone everywhere who calls on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, their Lord as well as ours:
3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
4I thank my God always for you because of God’s love and kindness given to you through the Messiah Yeshua, 5in that you have been enriched by him in so many ways, particularly in power of speech and depth of knowledge. 6Indeed, the testimony about the Messiah has become firmly established in you; 7so that you are not lacking any spiritual gift and are eagerly awaiting the revealing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 8He will enable you to hold out until the end and thus be blameless on the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah — 9God is trustworthy: it was he who called you into fellowship with his Son, Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.
10Nevertheless, brothers, I call on you in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah to agree, all of you, in what you say, and not to let yourselves remain split into factions but be restored to having a common mind and a common purpose. 11For some of Chloe’s people have made it known to me, my brothers, that there are quarrels among you. 12I say this because one of you says, “I follow Sha’ul”; another says, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Kefa”; while still another says, “I follow the Messiah!” 13Has the Messiah been split in pieces? Was it Sha’ul who was put to death on a stake for you? Were you immersed into the name of Sha’ul? 14I thank God that I didn’t immerse any of you except Crispus and Gaius — 15otherwise someone might say that you were indeed immersed into my name. 16(Oh yes, I did also immerse Stephanas and his household; beyond that, I can’t remember whether I immersed anyone else.)
17For the Messiah did not send me to immerse but to proclaim the Good News — and to do it without relying on “wisdom” that consists of mere rhetoric, so as not to rob the Messiah’s execution-stake of its power. 18For the message about the execution-stake is nonsense to those in the process of being destroyed, but to us in the process of being saved it is the power of God. 19Indeed, the Tanakh says,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and frustrate the intelligence of the intelligent.”
20Where does that leave the philosopher, the Torah-teacher, or any of today’s thinkers? Hasn’t God made this world’s wisdom look pretty foolish? 21For God’s wisdom ordained that the world, using its own wisdom, would not come to know him. Therefore God decided to use the “nonsense” of what we proclaim as his means of saving those who come to trust in it. 22Precisely because Jews ask for signs and Greeks try to find wisdom, 23we go on proclaiming a Messiah executed on a stake as a criminal! To Jews this is an obstacle, and to Greeks it is nonsense; 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, this same Messiah is God’s power and God’s wisdom! 25For God’s “nonsense” is wiser than humanity’s “wisdom.”
And God’s “weakness” is stronger than humanity’s “strength.” 26Just look at yourselves, brothers — look at those whom God has called! Not many of you are wise by the world’s standards, not many wield power or boast noble birth. 27But God chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise; God chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the strong; 28and God chose what the world looks down on as common or regards as nothing in order to bring to nothing what the world considers important; 29so that no one should boast before God. 30It is his doing that you are united with the Messiah Yeshua. He has become wisdom for us from God, and righteousness and holiness and redemption as well! 31Therefore — as the Tanakh says — “Let anyone who wants to boast, boast about Adonai.”
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Greeting
1Paul, # Ac 13:9 called as an apostle # Rm 1:1 of Christ Jesus by God’s will, # 2Co 1:1; Eph 1:1; Col 1:1; 2Tm 1:1 and Sosthenes our brother: # Ac 18:17
2To God’s church at Corinth, # Ac 18:1; 19:1; 2Co 1:1,23; 2Tm 4:20 to those who are sanctified # Ac 20:32; 26:18; 1Co 6:11; Heb 10:10 in Christ Jesus and called # Rm 1:6-7 as saints, with all those in every place who call on the name # Gn 4:26; Ps 79:6; Jn 10:25; Ac 9:14; 15:14; Rv 14:1 of Jesus Christ our Lord — both their Lord and ours.
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father # Rm 1:7; 2Co 1:2; Gl 1:3; Eph 1:2; Php 1:2; 2Th 1:2; Ti 1:4 and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving
4I always thank # Rm 1:8; Php 1:3; Col 1:3; 1Th 1:2; 2Th 1:3; 2Tm 1:3; Phm 4 my God for you because of God’s grace given to you in Christ Jesus, 5that by Him you were enriched # 2Co 8:9; 9:11 in everything — in all speech and all knowledge. # Rm 15:14; 1Co 12:8; 2Co 8:7; 1Jn 2:20 6In this way, the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you, # 2Th 1:10; 1Tm 2:6; 2Tm 1:8; Rv 1:2 7so that you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait # Lk 17:30; Rm 8:19; Php 3:20; Heb 9:28; 2Pt 3:12 for the revelation # 1Pt 4:13 of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, # Php 1:6; 1Th 3:13 so that you will be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. # Lk 17:24; 1Co 5:5; 2Co 1:14; Php 2:16; Col 1:22 9God is faithful; # Dt 7:9; Is 49:7; 1Co 10:13; 2Co 1:18 you were called by Him # Rm 8:28 into fellowship with His Son, # Jn 5:19; Heb 1:2; 1Jn 1:3 Jesus Christ our Lord.
Divisions at Corinth
10Now I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction. 11For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by members of Chloe’s household, that there is rivalry # Ti 3:9 among you. 12What I am saying is this: Each of you says, “I’m with Paul,” or “I’m with Apollos,” # Ti 3:13 or “I’m with Cephas,” # Jn 1:42 or “I’m with Christ.” # Mt 23:9-10 13Is Christ divided? # 1Co 12:5; 2Co 11:4; Eph 4:5 Was it Paul who was crucified for you? Or were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14I thank God # Other mss omit God # Or I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Crispus # Ac 18:8 and Gaius, # Rm 16:23 15so that no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16I did, in fact, baptize the household # Rm 16:5 of Stephanas; # 1Co 16:15,17 beyond that, I don’t know if I baptized anyone else. 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to evangelize — not with clever words, so that the cross # Lk 23:26; Php 3:18 of Christ will not be emptied of its effect.
Christ the Power and Wisdom of God
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. # Ac 19:11; Rm 1:16; 2Co 13:4 19For it is written:
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and I will set aside the understanding of the experts. # Is 29:14 # Is 29:14
20Where is the philosopher? # Or wise Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? # Lk 16:8 Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? 21For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached. 22For the Jews ask for signs # Mt 12:38 and the Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, # Lk 23:26; 1Co 2:2; Gl 3:1; 5:11 a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. # Other mss read Greeks 24Yet to those who are called, # Rm 1:6 both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom, 25because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Boasting Only in the Lord
26Brothers, consider your calling: Not many are wise from a human perspective, # Lit wise according to the flesh not many powerful, # Ac 25:5 not many of noble birth. 27Instead, God has chosen # Mt 24:22; Eph 1:4 what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. 28God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world # Lk 18:9 — what is viewed as nothing — to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, 29so that no one # Lit that not all flesh can boast in His presence. # Ac 7:46 30But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us — our righteousness, # Mt 6:33; Rm 1:17; 2Pt 1:1 sanctification, # 1Th 4:3 and redemption, # Eph 1:7 31in order that, as it is written: # Mk 1:2 The one who boasts must boast in the Lord. # Jr 9:23-24 # Jr 9:24