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1Paul, a called apostle of Jesus Christ, by God's will, and Sosthenes the brother, 2to the assembly of God which is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all that in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4I thank my God always about you, in respect of the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus; 5that in everything ye have been enriched in him, in all word of doctrine, and all knowledge, 6(according as the testimony of the Christ has been confirmed in you,) 7so that ye come short in no gift, awaiting the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ; 8who shall also confirm you to the end, unimpeachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, by whom ye have been called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all say the same thing, and that there be not among you divisions; but that ye be perfectly united in the same mind and in the same opinion. 11For it has been shewn to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of the house of Chloe, that there are strifes among you. 12But I speak of this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. 13Is the Christ divided? has Paul been crucified for you? or have ye been baptised unto the name of Paul?
14I thank God that I have baptised none of you, unless Crispus and Gaius, 15that no one may say that I have baptised unto my own name. 16Yes, I baptised also the house of Stephanas; for the rest I know not if I have baptised any other.
17For Christ has not sent me to baptise, but to preach glad tidings; not in wisdom of word, that the cross of the Christ may not be made vain. 18For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us that are saved it is God's power. 19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and set aside the understanding of the understanding ones. 20Where is the wise? where scribe? where disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom has not known God, God has been pleased by the foolishness of the preaching to save those that believe. 22Since Jews indeed ask for signs, and Greeks seek wisdom; 23but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews an offence, and to nations foolishness; 24but to those that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ God's power and God's wisdom. 25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For consider your calling, brethren, that there are not many wise according to flesh, not many powerful, not many high-born. 27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world, that he may put to shame the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world, that he may put to shame the strong things; 28and the ignoble things of the world, and the despised, has God chosen, and things that are not, that he may annul the things that are; 29so that no flesh should boast before God. 30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who has been made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and holiness, and redemption; 31that according as it is written, He that boasts, let him boast 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.