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1Sha’ul, a called emissary of יהושע Messiah by the desire of Elohim, and brother Sosthenes,
2to the assembly of Elohim which is at Corinth, to those who are set-apart in Messiah יהושע, called set-apart ones, with all those calling on the Name of יהושע Messiah our Master in every place, theirs and ours:
3Favour to you and peace from Elohim our Father and the Master יהושע Messiah.
4I thank my Elohim always concerning you for the favour of Elohim which was given to you by Messiah יהושע,
5that in Him you were enriched in all – in every word and all knowledge –
6as the witness of Messiah was confirmed in you,
7so that you are not lacking in any gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Master יהושע Messiah,
8who shall also confirm you to the end, unreprovable in the day of our Master יהושע Messiah.
9Elohim is trustworthy, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, יהושע Messiah our Master.
10And I appeal to you, brothers, by the Name of our Master יהושע Messiah, that you all agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be knit together in the same mind and in the same opinion.
11For I have been informed concerning you, my brothers, by those of the house of Chloe, that there are strifes among you.
12What I mean is this, that each one of you says, “I am of Sha’ul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Kĕpha,” or “I am of Messiah.”
13Has the Messiah been divided? Was Sha’ul impaled for you? Or were you immersed in the name of Sha’ul?
14I thank Elohim that I immersed not one of you except Crispus and Gaios,
15that no one should say that I immersed into my own name.
16Now I did also immerse the household of Stephanas. For the rest, I do not know whether I immersed anyone else.
17For Messiah did not send me to immerse, but to bring the Good News, not with wisdom of words, that the stake of Messiah should not be nullified.
18For the word of the stake is indeed foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of Elohim.
19For it has been written, “I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise, and set aside the learning of the learned ones.”# Isa. 29:14#See Mat. 11:25; Rom. 1:22
20Where is the wise? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Has not Elohim made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21For since, in the wisdom of Elohim, the world through wisdom did not know Elohim, it pleased Elohim through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.
22And since Yehuḏim ask a sign, and Greeks seek wisdom,
23yet we proclaim Messiah impaled, to the Yehuḏim a stumbling-block and to the Greeks foolishness,
24but to those who are called – both Yehuḏim and Greeks – Messiah the power of Elohim and the wisdom of Elohim.
25For the foolishness of Elohim is wiser than men, and the weakness of Elohim is stronger than men.
26For look at your calling, brothers, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble.
27But Elohim has chosen the foolish matters of the world to put to shame the wise, and Elohim has chosen the weak of the world to put to shame the strong.
28And Elohim has chosen the low-born of the world and the despised, and the ones that are not, that He might bring to naught the ones that are,
29so that no flesh should boast in His presence.
30And of Him you are in Messiah יהושע, who became for us wisdom from Elohim, righteousness also, and set-apartness and redemption,
31that, as it has been written, “He who boasts, let him boast in יהוה.”# Jer. 9:23, 24
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The divine calling
1I Paul was divinely chosen to be the Apostle of Jesus Christ. In my calling the will of God was made manifest, and in this high office and appointment I now address you who are in Corinth, and with me Sosthenes, brother in the faith. 2We speak to you who have also been sharers in this divine calling, whose lives have been enlarged and purified in Christ Jesus, who have received the holiness that comes from faith — and with you in this appeal I associate all who, in whatever place they may be, wherever we may be, do together with us invoke his name, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 3May grace come to you, may peace abide with you from God, who is the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
4Because of the grace that has come to you I feel incessant gratitude to God. 5You have found the riches of the Christ; the word and the knowledge of God are spoken and fulfilled in your midst; 6the witness of the Christ is there; it is unassailable evidence; 7and the full measure of His gifts is counted in you, nothing is wanting for your completion, whilst you wait for that unveiling and revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8Yes, there will be no faltering, no failure in his support of you, till you are made perfect, in the “end,” “the day” of our Lord Jesus Christ, the day of perfect revelation. 9For God, through whom this calling, this share in His son Jesus Christ our Lord has come to you, is faithful in all His ways.
No room for disunity in Christ
10Through this name of Jesus Christ our Lord, I urge you — for that is the secret of his name — to have one mind, one persuasion and precept amongst you, to be all of one mind with one idea. O let schisms and divisions be unknown to you, for your perfection is in unity. 11Strifes there are amongst you, it has come to my knowledge through the members who meet in Chloe's house. 12They tell me some describe themselves as disciples of Paul, others of Apollos, others of Cephas, others of Christ — 13but Christ is not divided. I was not crucified for you, nor were you baptised into my name. 14-15For this very reason I was careful not to baptise disciples personally amongst you. It is to me a cause of gratitude to God that I baptised only Crispus and Gaius, 16and also the household of Stephanas — not another soul, I think, did I baptise, and purposely, that it might not seem that I was making disciples. 17Christ Jesus sent me not to baptise, but to make known the word of joy, not intellectually, not with the persuasive brilliance of personality and personal influence, lest the cross of the Christ should be obliterated and ruled out.
The foolishness of worldly knowledge
18Cleverness, human wisdom, intellectual strength do not accomplish the mighty works of the Gospel. Ours is the word of the cross; it saves us; there is in it the power of God; but to those who are in the power of death and subject to its ever-increasing dominion, this word appears as folly, as an impertinence. 19And so the word of the Bible comes true:— “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, I will make nothing of the intelligence of those who profess to know.” (Isa xxix. 14.) 20Where is the wise, the scribe, the learned investigator of material things? God makes the wisdom of the world foolishness, 21forasmuch as it was in that wisdom that the world lost the knowledge of God, it was by reason of that that its eyes were closed, and lo! the wisdom of God now appearing is proclaimed as a thing foolish in the sight of that old wisdom; but the preaching of this heavenly word saves, it saves all who have faith in it, who accept it spiritually. It does not commend itself to the old thought. 22The Jews demand miracles and signs, the Greeks ask first and last for wisdom, 23but it is the crucified Christ that we preach, and that appears a fool's message to the Greeks, and a scandal to the Jews. 24Think of it! God's power, God's wisdom, the Christ, takes on that semblance in the sight of men. 25But there is more wisdom in God's foolishness than in men's cleverness, more strength in God's weakness than in human power. 26Not many wise, powerful, highly placed are found in our number. 27Why? Because this calling of God is not on the lines of anything which the world sets up as important. 28God would not have anything of the flesh to plume itself on a value of its own. Thus it was that He chose that which was weak, despised, unsupported by birth and tradition, that which in the eyes of the world had no existence at all. 29This He chose and by its means He dismantles all the world's glory, leaving us faith alone. 30For in Christ Jesus your being comes from him, not from the world, and he is your wisdom, your righteousness, your cleansing and your redemption coming to you from God alone, from Him apart from all else, 31in order that as Jeremiah says, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (Jer. ix. 24.) By that saying the prophet referred to the distinction between the talents and qualities that are believed to belong to the flesh and the personal self, and the grace and power that flow from the Spirit only.