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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - 1 CORINTHIANS 1

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    1:1 {Called to be an apostle} (kletos apostolos). Verbal adjective kletos from kalew, without einai, to be. Literally, {a called apostle} (#Ro 1:1), not so-called, but one whose apostleship is due not to himself or to men (#Ga 1:1), but to God, {through the will of God} (dia qelematos tou qeou). The intermediate (dia, duo, two) agent between Paul's not being Christ's apostle and becoming one was God's will (qelema, something willed of God), God's command (#1Ti 1:1). Paul knows that he is not one of the twelve apostles, but he is on a par with them because, like them, he is chosen by God. He is an apostle of Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus (MSS. vary here, later epistles usually Christ Jesus). The refusal of the Judaizers to recognize Paul as equal to the twelve made him the more careful to claim his position. Bengel sees here Paul's denial of mere human authority in his position and also of personal merit: _Namque mentione Dei excluditur auctoramentum humanum, mentione Voluntatis Dei, meritum Pauli_. {Our brother} (ho adelfos). Literally, the brother, but regular Greek idiom for our brother. this Sosthenes, now with Paul in Ephesus, is probably the same Sosthenes who received the beating meant for Paul in Corinth (#Ac 18:17). If so, the beating did him good for he is now a follower of Christ. He is in no sense a co-author of the epistle, but merely associated with Paul because they knew him in Corinth. He may have been compelled by the Jews to leave Corinth when he, a ruler of the synagogue, became a Christian. See #1Th 1:1 for the mention of Silas and Timothy in the salutation. Sosthenes could have been Paul's amanuensis for this letter, but there is no proof of it.

    1:2 {The church of God} (tei ekklesiai tou qeou). Belonging to God, not to any individual or faction, as this genitive case shows. In #1Th 1:1 Paul wrote "the church of the Thessalonians in God" (en qewi), but "the churches of God" in #1Th 2:14. See same idiom in #1Co 10:32; 11:16,22; 15:9; 2Co 1:1; Ga 1:13, etc. {Which is in Corinth} (tei ousei en korinqwi). See on #Ac 13:1 for idiom. It is God's church even in Corinth, "_laetum et ingens paradoxon_" (Bengel). this city, destroyed by Mummius B.C. 146, had been restored by Julius Caesar a hundred years later, B.C. 44, and now after another hundred years has become very rich and very corrupt. The very word "to Corinthianize" meant to practise vile immoralities in the worship of Aphrodite (Venus). It was located on the narrow Isthmus of the Peloponnesus with two harbors (Lechaeum and Cenchreae). It had schools of rhetoric and philosophy and made a flashy imitation of the real culture of Athens. See #Ac 18 for the story of Paul's work here and now the later developments and divisions in this church will give Paul grave concern as is shown in detail in I and II Corinthians. All the problems of a modern city church come to the front in Corinth. They call for all the wisdom and statesmanship in Paul. {That are sanctified} (hegiasmenois). Perfect passive participle of hagiazw, late form for hagizw, so far found only in the Greek Bible and in ecclesiastical writers. It means to make or to declare hagion (from hagos, awe, reverence, and this from hazw, to venerate). It is significant that Paul uses this word concerning the {called saints} or {called to be saints} (kletois hagiois) in Corinth. Cf. kletos apostolos in #1:1. It is because they are sanctified {in Christ Jesus} (en Christ"i iesou). He is the sphere in which this act of consecration takes place. Note plural, construction according to sense, because ekklesia is a collective substantive. {With all that call upon} (sun pasin tois epikaloumenois). Associative instrumental case with sun rather than kai (and), making a close connection with "saints" just before and so giving the Corinthian Christians a picture of their close unity with the brotherhood everywhere through the common bond of faith. this phrase occurs in the LXX (#Ge 12:8; Zec 13:9) and is applied to Christ as to Jehovah (#2Th 1:7,9,12; Php 2:9,10). Paul heard Stephen pray to Christ as Lord (#Ac 7:59). Here "with a plain and direct reference to the Divinity of our Lord" (Ellicott). {Their Lord and ours} (autwn kai hemwn). this is the interpretation of the Greek commentators and is the correct one, an afterthought and expansion (epanorqwsis) of the previous "our," showing the universality of Christ.

    1:3 Identical language of #2Th 1:2 save absence of hemwn (our), Paul's usual greeting. See on ¯1Th 1:1.

    1:4 {I thank my God} (eucaristw twi qewi). Singular as in #Ro 1:8; Php 1:3; Phm 1:4, but plural in #1Th 1:2; Col 1:3. The grounds of Paul's thanksgivings in his Epistles are worthy of study. Even in the church in Corinth he finds something to thank God for, though in II Cor. there is no expression of thanksgiving because of the acute crisis in Corinth nor is there any in Galatians. But Paul is gracious here and allows his general attitude (always, pantote) concerning (peri, around) the Corinthians to override the specific causes of irritation. {For the grace of God which was given to you in Christ Jesus} (epi tˆi cariti tou qeou tˆi dotheisˆi humin en Christ"i iesou). Upon the basis of (epi) God's grace, not in general, but specifically given (doqeisei, first aorist passive participle of didwmi), in the sphere of (en as in verse #2) Christ Jesus.

    1:5 {That} (hoti). Explicit specification of this grace of God given to the Corinthians. Paul points out in detail the unusual spiritual gifts which were their glory and became their peril (chapters #1Co 12-14). {Ye were enriched in him} (eploutisqete en autwi). First aorist passive indicative of ploutizw, old causative verb from ploutos, wealth, common in Attic writers, dropped out for centuries, reappeared in LXX. In N.T. only three times and alone in Paul (#1Co 1:5; 2Co 6:10,11). The Christian finds his real riches in Christ, one of Paul's pregnant phrases full of the truest mysticism. {In all utterance and all knowledge} (en panti logwi kai pasei gnwsei). One detail in explanation of the riches in Christ. The outward expression (logwi) here is put before the inward knowledge (gnwsei) which should precede all speech. But we get at one's knowledge by means of his speech. Chapters #1Co 12-14 throw much light on this element in the spiritual gifts of the Corinthians (the gift of tongues, interpreting tongues, discernment) as summed up in #1Co 13:1,2, the greater gifts of #12:31. It was a marvellously endowed church in spite of their perversions.

    1:6 {Even as} (kaqws). In proportion as (#1Th 1:5) and so inasmuch as (#Php 1:7; Eph 1:4). {The testimony of Christ} (to marturion tou cristou). Objective genitive, the testimony to or concerning Christ, the witness of Paul's preaching. {Was confirmed in you} (ebebaiwqe en humin). First aorist passive of bebaiow, old verb from bebaios and that from bainw, to make to stand, to make stable. These special gifts of the Holy Spirit which they had so lavishly received (ch. #1Co 12) were for that very purpose.

    1:7 {So that ye come behind in no gift} (hwste humas me hustereisqai en medeni carismati). Consecutive clause with hwste and the infinitive and the double negative. Come behind (hustereisqai) is to be late (husteros), old verb seen already in #Mr 10:21; Mt 19:20. It is a wonderful record here recorded. But in #2Co 8:7-11; 9:1-7 Paul will have to complain that they have not paid their pledges for the collection, pledges made over a year before, a very modern complaint. {Waiting for the revelation} (apekdecomenous ten apokaluyin). this double compound is late and rare outside of Paul (#1Co 1:7; Ga 5:5; Ro 8:19,23,25; Php 3:20), #1Pe 3:20; Heb 9:28. It is an eager expectancy of the second coming of Christ here termed revelation like the eagerness in prosdecomenoi in #Tit 2:13 for the same event. "As if that attitude of expectation were the highest posture that can be attained here by the Christian" (F.W. Robertson).

    1:8 {Shall confirm} (bebaiwsei). Direct reference to the same word in verse #6. The relative hos (who) points to Christ. {Unto the end} (hews telous). End of the age till Jesus comes, final preservation of the saints. {That ye be unreproveable} (anegkletous). Alpha privative and egkalew, to accuse, old verbal, only in Paul in N.T. Proleptic adjective in the predicate accusative agreeing with humas (you) without hwste and the infinitive as in #1Th 3:13; 5:23; Php 3:21. "Unimpeachable, for none will have the right to impeach" (Robertson and Plummer) as Paul shows in #Ro 8:33; Col 1:22,28.

    1:9 {God is faithful} (pistos ho qeos). this is the ground of Paul's confidence as he loves to say (#1Th 5:24; 1Co 10:13; Ro 8:36; Php 1:16). God will do what he has promised. {Through whom} (di' hou). God is the agent (di') of their call as in #Ro 11:36 and also the ground or reason for their call (di' hon) in #Heb 2:10. {Into the fellowship} (eis koinwnian). Old word from koinwnos, partner for partnership, participation as here and #2Co 13:13f.; Php 2:1; 3:10. qen it means fellowship or intimacy as in #Ac 2:42; Ga 2:9; 2Co 6:14; 1Jo 1:3,7. And particularly as shown by contribution as in #2Co 8:4; 9:13; Php 1:5. It is high fellowship with Christ both here and hereafter.

    1:10 {Now I beseech you} (parakalw de humas). Old and common verb, over 100 times in N.T., to call to one's side. Corresponds here to eucaristw, {I thank}, in verse #4. Direct appeal after the thanksgiving. {Through the name} (dia tou onomatos). Genitive, not accusative (cause or reason), as the medium or instrument of the appeal (#2Co 10:1; Ro 12:1; 15:30). {That} (hina). Purport (sub-final) rather than direct purpose, common idiom in _Koin‚_ (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp.991-4) like #Mt 14:36. Used here with legete, ei, ete katertismenoi, though expressed only once. {All speak} (legete pantes). Present active subjunctive, that ye all keep on speaking. With the divisions in mind. An idiom from Greek political life (Lightfoot). this touch of the classical writers argues for Paul's acquaintance with Greek culture. {There be no divisions among you} (me ei en humin scismata). Present subjunctive, that divisions may not continue to be (they already had them). Negative statement of preceding idea. scisma is from scizw, old word to split or rend, and so means a rent (#Mt 9:16; Mr 2:21). Papyri use it for a splinter of wood and for ploughing. Here we have the earliest instance of its use in a moral sense of division, dissension, see also #1Co 11:18 where a less complete change than haireseis; #12:25; Joh 7:43 (discord); #9:16; 10:19. "Here, faction, for which the classical word is stasis: division within the Christian community" (Vincent). These divisions were over the preachers (#1:12-4:21), immorality (#5:1-13), going to law before the heathen (#6:1-11), marriage (#7:1-40), meats offered to idols (#1Co 8-10), conduct of women in church (#11:1-16), the Lord's Supper (#11:17-34), spiritual gifts (#1Co 12-14), the resurrection (#1Co 15). {But that ye be perfected together} (ete de katertismenoi). Periphrastic perfect passive subjunctive. See this verb in #Mt 4:21 (#Mr 1:19) for mending torn nets and in moral sense already in #1Th 3:10. Galen uses it for a surgeon's mending a joint and Herodotus for composing factions. See #2Co 13:11; Ga 6:1. {Mind} (noi), {judgment} (gnwmei). "Of these words nous denotes the frame or state of mind, gnwme the judgment, opinion or sentiment, which is the outcome of nous" (Lightfoot).

    1:11 {For it hath been signified unto me} (edelwqe gar moi). First aorist passive indicative of delow and difficult to render into English. Literally, It was signified to me. {By them of Chloe} (hupo twn cloes). Ablative case of the masculine plural article twn, by the (folks) of Chloe (genitive case). The words "which are of the household" are not in the Greek, though they correctly interpret the Greek, "those of Chloe." Whether the children, the kinspeople, or the servants of Chloe we do not know. It is uncertain also whether Chloe lived in Corinth or Ephesus, probably Ephesus because to name her if in Corinth might get her into trouble (Heinrici). Already Christianity was working a social revolution in the position of women and slaves. The name {Chloe} means tender verdure and was one of the epithets of Demeter the goddess of agriculture and for that reason Lightfoot thinks that she was a member of the freedman class like Phoebe (#Ro 16:1), hermes (#Ro 16:14), Nereus (#Ro 16:15). It is even possible that Stephanas, Fortunatus, Achaicus (#1Co 16:17) may have been those who brought Chloe the news of the schisms in Corinth. {Contentions} (erides). Unseemly wranglings (as opposed to discussing, dialegomai) that were leading to the {schisms}. Listed in works of the flesh (#Ga 5:19f.) and the catalogues of vices (#2Co 12:20; Ro 1:19f.; 1Ti 6:4).

    1:12 {Now this I mean} (legw de touto). Explanatory use of legw. Each has his party leader. apollw is genitive of apollws (#Ac 18:24), probably abbreviation of apollwnius as seen in Codex Bezae for #Ac 18:24. See on Acts for discussion of this "eloquent Alexandrian" (Ellicott), whose philosophical and oratorical preaching was in contrast "with the studied plainness" of Paul (#1Co 2:1; 2Co 10:10). People naturally have different tastes about styles of preaching and that is well, but Apollos refused to be a party to this strife and soon returned to Ephesus and refused to go back to Corinth (#1Co 16:12). cefa is the genitive of cefas, the Aramaic name given Simon by Jesus (#Joh 1:42), petros in Greek. Except in #Ga 2:7,8 Paul calls him Cephas. He had already taken his stand with Paul in the Jerusalem Conference (#Ac 15:7-11; Ga 2:7-10). Paul had to rebuke him at Antioch for his timidity because of the Judaizers (#Ga 2:11-14), but, in spite of Baur's theory, there is no evidence of a schism in doctrine between Paul and Peter. If #2Pe 3:15f. be accepted as genuine, as I do, there is proof of cordial relations between them and #1Co 9:5 points in the same direction. But there is no evidence that Peter himself visited Corinth. Judaizers came and pitted Peter against Paul to the Corinthian Church on the basis of Paul's rebuke of Peter in Antioch. These Judaizers made bitter personal attacks on Paul in return for their defeat at the Jerusalem Conference. So a third faction was formed by the use of Peter's name as the really orthodox wing of the church, the gospel of the circumcision. {And I of Christ} (egw de cristou). Still a fourth faction in recoil from the partisan use of Paul, Apollos, Cephas, with "a spiritually proud utterance" (Ellicott) that assumes a relation to Christ not true of the others. "Those who used this cry arrogated the common watchword as their _peculium_" (Findlay). this partisan use of the name of Christ may have been made in the name of unity against the other three factions, but it merely added another party to those existing. In scouting the names of the other leaders they lowered the name and rank of Christ to their level.

    1:13 {Is Christ divided?} (memeristai ho cristos;). Perfect passive indicative, Does Christ stand divided? It is not certain, though probable, that this is interrogative like the following clauses. Hofmann calls the assertory form a "rhetorical impossibility." The absence of me here merely allows an affirmative answer which is true. The fourth or Christ party claimed to possess Christ in a sense not true of the others. Perhaps the leaders of this Christ party with their arrogant assumptions of superiority are the false apostles, ministers of Satan posing as angels of light (#2Co 11:12-15). {Was Paul crucified for you?} (me paulos estaurwqe huper humwn;). An indignant "No" is demanded by me. Paul shows his tact by employing himself as the illustration, rather than Apollos or Cephas. Probably huper, over, in behalf of, rather than peri (concerning, around) is genuine, though either makes good sense here. In the _Koin‚_ huper encroaches on peri as in #2Th 2:1. {Were ye baptized into the name of Paul?} (eis to onoma paulou ebaptisqete;). It is unnecessary to say {into} for eis rather than {in} since eis is the same preposition originally as en and both are used with baptizw as in #Ac 8:16; 10:48 with no difference in idea (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 592). Paul evidently knows the idea in #Mt 28:19 and scouts the notion of being put on a par with Christ or the Trinity. He is no rival of Christ. this use of onoma for the person is not only in the LXX, but the papyri, ostraca, and inscriptions give numerous examples of the name of the king or the god for the power and authority of the king or god (Deissmann, _Bible Studies_, pp. 146ff., 196ff.; _Light from the Ancient East_, p. 121).

    1:14 {I thank God} (eucaristw twi qewi). See verse #4, though uncertain if twi qewi is genuine here. {Save Crispus and Gaius} (ei me krispon kai gaion). Crispus was the ruler of the synagogue in Corinth before his conversion (#Ac 18:8), a Roman cognomen, and Gaius a Roman praenomen, probably the host of Paul and of the whole church in Corinth (#Ro 16:23), possibly though not clearly the hospitable Gaius of #3Jo 1:5,6. The prominence and importance of these two may explain why Paul baptized them.

    1:15 {Lest any man should say} (hina me tis eipei). Certainly sub-final hina again or contemplated result as in #7:29; Joh 9:2. Ellicott thinks that already some in Corinth were laying emphasis on the person of the baptizer whether Peter or some one else. It is to be recalled that Jesus himself baptized no one (#Joh 4:2) to avoid this very kind of controversy. And yet there are those today who claim Paul as a sacramentalist, an impossible claim in the light of his words here.

    1:16 {Also the household of Stephanas} (kai ton stefana oikon). Mentioned as an afterthought. Robertson and Plummer suggest that Paul's amanuensis reminded him of this case. Paul calls him a first-fruit of Achaia (#1Co 16:15) and so earlier than Crispus and he was one of the three who came to Paul from Corinth (#16:17), clearly a family that justified Paul's personal attention about baptism. {Besides} (loipon). Accusative of general reference, "as for anything else." Added to make clear that he is not meaning to omit any one who deserves mention. See also #1Th 4:1; 1Co 4:2; 2Co 13:11; 2Ti 4:8. Ellicott insists on a sharp distinction from to loipon "as for the rest" (#2Th 3:1; Php 3:1; 4:8; Eph 6:10). Paul casts no reflection on baptism, for he could not with his conception of it as the picture of the new life in Christ (#Ro 6:2-6), but he clearly denies here that he considers baptism essential to the remission of sin or the means of obtaining forgiveness.

    1:17 {For Christ sent me not to baptize} (ou gar apesteilen me cristos baptizein). The negative ou goes not with the infinitive, but with apesteilen (from apostellw, apostolos, apostle). {For Christ did not send me to be a baptizer} (present active infinitive, linear action) like John the Baptist. {But to preach the gospel} (alla euaggelizesqai). this is Paul's idea of his mission from Christ, as Christ's apostle, to be {a gospelizer}. this led, of course, to baptism, as a result, but Paul usually had it done by others as Peter at Caesarea ordered the baptism to be done, apparently by the six brethren with him (#Ac 10:48). Paul is fond of this late Greek verb from euaggelion and sometimes uses both verb and substantive as in #1Co 15:1 "the gospel which I gospelized unto you." {Not in wisdom of words} (ouk en sofiai logou). Note ou, not me (the subjective negative), construed with apesteilen rather than the infinitive. Not in wisdom of speech (singular). Preaching was Paul's forte, but it was not as a pretentious philosopher or professional rhetorician that Paul appeared before the Corinthians (#1Co 2:1-5). Some who followed Apollos may have been guilty of a fancy for external show, though Apollos was not a mere performer and juggler with words. But the Alexandrian method as in Philo did run to dialectic subtleties and luxuriant rhetoric (Lightfoot). {Lest the cross of Christ should be made void} (hina me kenwqei ho stauros tou cristou). Negative purpose (hina me) with first aorist passive subjunctive, effective aorist, of kenow, old verb from kenos, to make empty. In Paul's preaching the Cross of Christ is the central theme. Hence Paul did not fall into the snare of too much emphasis on baptism nor into too little on the death of Christ. " this expression shows clearly the stress which St. Paul laid on the death of Christ, not merely as a great moral spectacle, and so the crowning point of a life of self-renunciation, but as in itself the ordained instrument of salvation" (Lightfoot).

    1:18 {For the word of the cross} (ho logos gar ho tou staurou). Literally, "for the preaching (with which I am concerned as the opposite of {wisdom of word} in verse #17) that (repeated article ho, almost demonstrative) of the cross."Through this incidental allusion to preaching St. Paul passes to a new subject. The discussions in the Corinthian Church are for a time forgotten, and he takes the opportunity of correcting his converts for their undue exaltation of human eloquence and wisdom" (Lightfoot). {To them that are perishing} (tois men apollumenois). Dative of disadvantage (personal interest). Present middle participle is here timeless, those in the path to destruction (not annihilation. See #2Th 2:10). Cf. #2Co 4:3. {Foolishness} (mwria). Folly. Old word from mwros, foolish. In N.T. only in #1Co 1:18,21,23; 2:14; 3:19. {But unto us which are being saved} (tois swzomenois hemin). Sharp contrast to those that are perishing and same construction with the articular participle. No reason for the change of pronouns in English. this present passive participle is again timeless. Salvation is described by Paul as a thing done in the past, "we were saved" (#Ro 8:24), as a present state, "ye have been saved" (#Ep 2:5), as a process, "ye are being saved" (#1Co 15:2), as a future result, "thou shalt be saved" (#Ro 10:9). {The power of God} (dunamis qeou). So in #Ro 1:16. No other message has this dynamite of God (#1Co 4:20). God's power is shown in the preaching of the Cross of Christ through all the ages, now as always. No other preaching wins men and women from sin to holiness or can save them. The judgment of Paul here is the verdict of every soul winner through all time.

    1:19 {I will destroy} (apolw). Future active indicative of apollumi. Attic future for apolesw. Quotation from #Isa 29:14 (LXX). The failure of worldly statesmanship in the presence of Assyrian invasion Paul applies to his argument with force. The wisdom of the wise is often folly, the understanding of the understanding is often rejected. There is such a thing as the ignorance of the learned, the wisdom of the simple-minded. God's wisdom rises in the Cross sheer above human philosophizing which is still scoffing at the Cross of Christ, the consummation of God's power.

    1:20 {Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world?} (pou sofos; pou grammateus; pou sunzetetes tou aiwnos toutou;). Paul makes use of #Isa 33:18 without exact quotation. The sudden retreat of Sennacherib with the annihilation of his officers. "On the tablet of Shalmaneser in the Assyrian Gallery of the British Museum there is a surprisingly exact picture of the scene described by Isaiah" (Robertson and Plummer). Note the absence of the Greek article in each of these rhetorical questions though the idea is clearly definite. Probably sofos refers to the Greek philosopher, grammateus to the Jewish scribe and sunzetetes suits both the Greek and the Jewish disputant and doubter (#Ac 6:9; 9:29; 17:18; 28:29). There is a note of triumph in these questions. The word sunzetetes occurs here alone in the N.T. and elsewhere only in Ignatius, Eph. 18 quoting this passage, but the papyri give the verb sunzetew for disputing (questioning together). {Hath not God made foolish?} (ouci emwranen ho qeos;). Strong negative form with aorist active indicative difficult of precise translation, "Did not God make foolish?" The old verb mwrainw from mwros, foolish, was to be foolish, to act foolish, qen to prove one foolish as here or to make foolish as in #Ro 1:22. In #Mt 5:13; Lu 14:34 it is used of salt that is tasteless. {World} (kosmou). Synonymous with aiwn (age), orderly arrangement, qen the non-Christian cosmos.

    1:21 {Seeing that} (epeide). Since (epei and dˆ) with explanatory gar. {Through its wisdom} (dia tes sofias). Article here as possessive. The two wisdoms contrasted. {Knew not God} (ouk egnw). Failed to know, second aorist (effective) active indicative of ginwskw, solemn dirge of doom on both Greek philosophy and Jewish theology that failed to know God. Has modern philosophy done better? There is today even a godless theology (Humanism). "Now that God's wisdom has reduced the self-wise world to ignorance" (Findlay). {Through the foolishness of the preaching} (dia tes mwrias tou kerugmatos). Perhaps "proclamation" is the idea, for it is not keruxis, the act of heralding, but kerugma, the message heralded or the proclamation as in verse #23. The metaphor is that of the herald proclaiming the approach of the king (#Mt 3:1; 4:17). See also kerugma in #1Co 2:4; 2Ti 4:17. The proclamation of the Cross seemed foolishness to the wiseacres qen (and now), but it is consummate wisdom, God's wisdom and good-pleasure (eudokesan). The foolishness of preaching is not the preaching of foolishness. {To save them that believe} (swsai tous pisteuontas). this is the heart of God's plan of redemption, the proclamation of salvation for all those who trust Jesus Christ on the basis of his death for sin on the Cross. The mystery-religions all offered salvation by initiation and ritual as the Pharisees did by ceremonialism. Christianity reaches the heart directly by trust in Christ as the Savior. It is God's wisdom.

    1:22 {Seeing that} (epeide). Resumes from verse #21. The structure is not clear, but probably verses #23,24 form a sort of conclusion or apodosis to verse #22 the protasis. The resumptive, almost inferential, use of de like alla in the apodosis is not unusual. {Ask for signs} (semeia aitousin). The Jews often came to Jesus asking for signs (#Mt 12:38; 16:1; Joh 6:30). {Seek after wisdom} (sofian zetousin). "The Jews claimed to _possess_ the truth: the Greeks were seekers, _speculators_" (Vincent) as in #Ac 17:23.

    1:23 {But we preach Christ crucified} (hemeis de kerussomen criston estaurwmenon). Grammatically stated as a partial result (de) of the folly of both Jews and Greeks, actually in sharp contrast. We proclaim, "we do not discuss or dispute" (Lightfoot). Christ (Messiah) as crucified, as in #2:2; Ga 3:1, "not a sign-shower nor a philosopher" (Vincent). Perfect passive participle of staurow. {Stumbling-block} (skandalon). Papyri examples mean trap or snare which here tripped the Jews who wanted a conquering Messiah with a world empire, not a condemned and crucified one (#Mt 27:42; Lu 24:21). {Foolishness} (mwrian). Folly as shown by their conduct in Athens (#Ac 17:32).

    1:24 {But to them that are called} (autois de tois kletois). Dative case, to the called themselves. {Christ} (criston). Accusative case repeated, object of kerussomen, both {the power of God} (qeou dunamin) and {the wisdom of God} (qeou sofian). No article, but made definite by the genitive. Christ crucified is God's answer to both Jew and Greek and the answer is understood by those with open minds.

    1:25 {The foolishness of God} (to mwron tou qeou). Abstract neuter singular with the article, the foolish act of God (the Cross as regarded by the world). {Wiser than men} (sofwteron twn anqrwpwn). Condensed comparison, wiser than the wisdom of men. Common Greek idiom (#Mt 5:20; Joh 5:36) and quite forcible, brushes all men aside. {The weakness of God} (to asqenes tou qeou). Same idiom here, {the weak act of God}, as men think, {is stronger} (iscuroteron). The Cross seemed God's defeat. It is conquering the world and is the mightiest force on earth.

    1:26 {Behold} (blepete). Same form for imperative present active plural and indicative. Either makes sense as in #Joh 5:39 eraunate and #14:1 pisteuete. {Calling} (klesin). The act of calling by God, based not on the external condition of those called (kletoi, verse #2), but on God's sovereign love. It is a clinching illustration of Paul's argument, an _argumentum ad hominen_. {How that} (hoti). Explanatory apposition to klesin. {After the flesh} (kata sarka). According to the standards of the flesh and to be used not only with sofoi (wise, philosophers), but also dunatoi (men of dignity and power), eugeneis (noble, high birth), the three claims to aristocracy (culture, power, birth). {Are called}. Not in the Greek, but probably to be supplied from the idea in klesin.

    1:27 {God chose} (exelexato ho qeos). First aorist middle of eklegw, old verb to pick out, to choose, the middle for oneself. It expands the idea in klesin (verse #26). Three times this solemn verb occurs here with the purpose stated each time. Twice the same purpose is expressed, {that he might put to shame} (hina kataiscunei, first aorist active subjunctive with hina of old verb kataiscunw, perfective use of kata). The purpose in the third example is {that he might bring to naught} (hina katargesei, make idle, argos, rare in old Greek, but frequent in Paul). The contrast is complete in each paradox: {the foolish things} (ta mwra), {the wild men} (tous sofous); {the weak things} (ta asqene), {the strong things} (ta iscura); {the things that are not} (ta me onta), {and that are despised} (ta exouqenemena, considered nothing, perfect passive participle of exouqenew), {the things that are} (ta onta). It is a studied piece of rhetoric and powerfully put.

    1:29 {That no flesh should glory before God} (hopws me kaucesetai pasa sarx enwpion tou qeou). this is the further purpose expressed by hopws for variety and appeals to God's ultimate choice in all three instances. The first aorist middle of the old verb kaucaomai, to boast, brings out sharply that not a single boast is to be made. The papyri give numerous examples of enwpion as a preposition in the vernacular, from adjective en-wpios, in the eye of God. One should turn to #2Co 4:7 for Paul's further statement about our having this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.

    1:30 {Of him} (ex autou). Out of God. He chose you. {In Christ Jesus} (en Christ"i iesou). In the sphere of Christ Jesus the choice was made. this is God's wisdom. {Who was made unto us wisdom from God} (hos egeneqe sofia hemin apo qeou). Note egeneqe, became (first aorist passive and indicative), not en, was, the Incarnation, Cross, and Resurrection. Christ is the wisdom of God (#Co 2:2f.) "both righteousness and sanctification and redemption" (dikaiosune te kai hagiasmos kai apolutrwsis), as is made plain by the use of te--kai--kai. The three words (dikaiosune, hagiasmos, apolutrwsis) are thus shown to be an epexegesis of sofia (Lightfoot). All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ Jesus. We are made righteous, holy, and redeemed in Christ Jesus. Redemption comes here last for emphasis though the foundation of the other two. In #Ro 1:17 we see clearly Paul's idea of the God kind of righteousness (dikaiosune) in Christ. In #Ro 3:24 we have Paul's conception of redemption (apolutrwsis, setting free as a ransomed slave) in Christ. In #Ro 6:19 we have Paul's notion of holiness or sanctification (hagiasmos) in Christ. These great theological terms will call for full discussion in Romans, but they must not be overlooked here. See also #Ac 10:35; 24:25; 1Th 4:3-7; 1Co 1:2.

    1:31 {That} (hina). Probably ellipse (genetai to be supplied) as is common in Paul's Epistles (#2Th 2:3; 2Co 8:13; Ga 1:20; 2:9; Ro 4:16; 13:1; 15:3). Some explain the imperative kaucasqw as an anacoluthon. The shortened quotation is from #Jer 9:24. Deissmann notes the importance of these closing verses concerning the origin of Paul's congregations from the lower classes in the large towns as "one of the most important historical witnesses to Primitive Christianity" (_New Light on the N.T._, p. 7; _Light from the Ancient East_, pp. 7, 14, 60, 142).

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