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Greeting
1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2to the church of God sanctified in Christ Jesus that is in Corinth,#Some manuscripts have “to the church of God that is in Corinth, sanctified in Christ Jesus” called to be saints, together with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord#*Here “Lord” must be supplied to indicate the referent; otherwise this could be understood as “their place and ours” and ours. 3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving for the Corinthian Believers
4I give thanks to my God always concerning you, because of the grace of God which was given to you in Christ Jesus, 5that#*Or “because”; the conjunction either (1) introduces a content clause (“that”) giving the content of Paul’s thanks, or (2) introduces a causal clause (“because”) giving the reason for Paul’s thanks in everything you were made rich in him, in all speech and all knowledge, 6just as the testimony about Christ has been confirmed in you, 7so that you do not lack in any spiritual gift as you#*Here “as” is supplied as a component of the participle (“eagerly await”) which is understood as temporal eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8who will also confirm you until the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, by whom you were called to fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Divisions in the Church at Corinth
10Now I exhort you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing and there not be divisions among you, and that you be made complete in the same mind and with the same purpose. 11For it has been made clear to me concerning you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people#Literally “those of Chloe”, that there are quarrels among you. 12But I say this, that each of you is saying, “I am with Paul,” and “I am with Apollos,” and “I am with Cephas,” and “I am with Christ.” 13Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he?#*The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I give thanks#Some manuscripts have “I give thanks to God” that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15lest anyone should say that you were baptized in my name. 16(Now I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Beyond that I do not know if I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to proclaim the gospel, not with clever speech#Literally “wisdom of word”, lest the cross of Christ be emptied.
Christ Crucified, the Power and Wisdom of God
18For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the intelligence of the intelligent I will confound.”#A quotation from Isa 29:14
20Where is the wise person? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe. 22For indeed, Jews ask for sign miracles and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a cause for stumbling, but to the Gentiles foolishness, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,#Literally “man” and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.#Literally “man”
Boast in the Lord
26For consider your calling, brothers, that not many were wise according to human standards,#Literally “according to flesh” not many were powerful, not many were well born. 27But the foolish things of the world God chose in order that he might put to shame the wise, and the weak things of the world God chose in order that he might put to shame the strong, 28and the insignificant of the world, and the despised, God chose, the things that are not, in order that he might abolish the things that are, 29so that all flesh may not boast before God. 30But from him you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31so that, just as it is written, “The one who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”#A quotation from Jer 9:24
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1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – their Lord and ours:
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving
4I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way – with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge – 6God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
A church divided over leaders
10I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,#1:10 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verses 11 and 26; and in 2:1; 3:1; 4:6; 6:8; 7:24, 29; 10:1; 11:33; 12:1; 14:6, 20, 26, 39; 15:1, 6, 50, 58; 16:15, 20. in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: one of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas#1:12 That is, Peter’; still another, ‘I follow Christ.’
13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptised in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I did not baptise any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so no-one can say that you were baptised in my name. 16(Yes, I also baptised the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptised anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the gospel – not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
Christ crucified is God’s power and wisdom
18For 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. 19For it is written:
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’#1:19 Isaiah 29:14
20Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For 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. 22Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, 29so that no-one may boast before him. 30It 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. 31Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’#1:31 Jer. 9:24