They did not understand the Lord of glory (1 Cor. 2:8)

“None of the rulers

Of this age

Understood this.

If they had known this,

They would not have crucified

The Lord of glory.”

ἣν οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀρχόντων τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου ἔγνωκεν· εἰ γὰρ ἔγνωσαν, οὐκ ἂν τὸν Κύριον τῆς δόξης ἐσταύρωσαν·

Paul said that none (ἣν οὐδεὶς) of the rulers of this age (τῶν ἀρχόντων τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου) understood (ἔγνωκεν) this.  If they had known this (εἰ γὰρ ἔγνωσαν), they would not have (οὐκ ἂν) crucified (ἐσταύρωσαν) the Lord of glory (τὸν Κύριον τῆς δόξης).  Paul indicated that the contemporary rulers at that time did not understand the role of God or Jesus in salvation history.  Otherwise, they would not have crucified Jesus, the Lord of glory.  Paul put the blame on both the Jewish leaders and the Roman officials for the crucifixion that took place some twenty years prior.  Do you understand the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ?

God’s wisdom (1 Cor. 2:7)

“We speak about

God’s wisdom,


And hidden,

That God decreed

Before the ages

For our glorification.”

ἀλλὰ λαλοῦμεν Θεοῦ σοφίαν ἐν μυστηρίῳ, τὴν ἀποκεκρυμμένην, ἣν προώρισεν ὁ Θεὸς πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων εἰς δόξαν ἡμῶν·

Paul said we speak (ἀλλὰ λαλοῦμεν) about God’s (Θεοῦ) secret or mysterious (ἐν μυστηρίῳ) and hidden (ἀποκεκρυμμένην) wisdom (σοφίαν) that God (ὁ Θεὸς) preordained (προώρισεν) before the ages (πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων) for our glorification (εἰς δόξαν ἡμῶν).  Paul had spoken to them about the hidden mysterious wise plan of God to save the world.  This wisdom plan had only been vaguely laid out among the Israelites prophets and certainly not revealed to the gentiles.  God had laid out this plan to save humans and glorify them, but only revealed it to some Jewish people and not any gentiles.  Paul continued to reveal this higher mysterious wisdom of God to the Corinthians that came through Jesus Christ.  Do you want to know about God’s wisdom?

A different kind of wisdom (1 Cor. 2:6)

“Yet among the mature,

We do impart wisdom,

Although it is a wisdom

Not of this age,

Nor of the rulers of this age,

Who are doomed

To pass away.”

Σοφίαν δὲ λαλοῦμεν ἐν τοῖς τελείοις, σοφίαν δὲ οὐ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου οὐδὲ τῶν ἀρχόντων τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου τῶν καταργουμένων·

Paul said that among the mature or the perfect ones (ἐν τοῖς τελείοις), we do impart or speak about (δὲ λαλοῦμεν) wisdom (Σοφίαν), although it is a wisdom (σοφίαν) not of this age (δὲ οὐ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου) nor of the rulers of this age (οὐδὲ τῶν ἀρχόντων τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου), who are doomed to perish or pass away (τῶν καταργουμένων).  Paul admitted that he and the others had imparted a wisdom for those who had matured or developed in their faith.  However, this wisdom was not like the current contemporary human wisdom of his time.  They were all doomed to disappear and not last.  Paul was talking about a new kind of divine wisdom and not human wisdom.  Do you seek human wisdom or divine wisdom?

Not human wisdom (1 Cor. 2:5)


Your faith

Does not rest

On human wisdom,

But on the power of God.”

ἵνα ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν μὴ ᾖ ἐν σοφίᾳ ἀνθρώπων ἀλλ’ ἐν δυνάμει Θεοῦ.

Paul thus said that their faith (ἵνα ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν) does not (μὴ ᾖ) rest on human wisdom (ἐν σοφίᾳ ἀνθρώπων), but on the power of God (ἀλλ’ ἐν δυνάμει Θεοῦ).  Paul made it clear that their faith was not based on his weak ineffective human words.  The power of God is what made their faith strong, not his words.  Do you recognize the power of God in your life?

The Spirit and power (1 Cor. 2:4)

“My speech

And my message

Were not with enticing words

Of wisdom,

But with a demonstration

Of the Spirit

And of power.”

καὶ ὁ λόγος μου καὶ τὸ κήρυγμά μου οὐκ ἐν πειθοῖς σοφίας λόγοις, ἀλλ’ ἐν ἀποδείξει Πνεύματος καὶ δυνάμεως,

Paul said that his speech (καὶ ὁ λόγος μου) and his message (καὶ τὸ κήρυγμά μου) were not with enticing words of wisdom (οὐκ ἐν πειθοῖς σοφίας λόγοις), but with a demonstration (ἀλλ’ ἐν ἀποδείξει) of the Spirit (Πνεύματος) and his power (καὶ δυνάμεως).  Only the Pauline letters use these words πειθοῖς, that means persuasive, enticing, or skillful, and the word ἀποδείξει, that means a showing off, a demonstration, or a proof.  Paul indicated his message or kerygma were not with some sweet-talking enticing words of wisdom.  Rather it was the power of the Holy Spirit that convinced them about the value of his preaching.  In other words, Paul’s preaching was ineffective without the powerful Holy Spirit who demonstrated his work through him.  Paul was not a great missionary without the power of the Holy Spirit.  Do you let the power of the Holy Spirit be active in your life?

Fear and trembling (1 Cor. 2:3)

“I was with you

In weakness

And in fear

With much trembling.”

κἀγὼ ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ καὶ ἐν φόβῳ καὶ ἐν τρόμῳ πολλῷ ἐγενόμην πρὸς ὑμᾶς,

Paul said he (κἀγὼ) was (ἐγενόμην) with them (πρὸς ὑμᾶς) in weakness (ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ) with fear (καὶ ἐν φόβῳ) and much trembling (ἐν τρόμῳ πολλῷ).  Paul was a little concerned when he first came to Corinth.  He was weak and fearful with a lot of trembling.  Normally, this was an attitude toward God.  However, Paul did not assume success, since he was trying to convey the idea of a transcendent God in a human Jesus Christ to people who were not Jewish.  He certainly was in his weak human condition where he was full of fear and trembling in the face of this divine task.  Paul was not boasting.  The Danish philosopher theologian Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) built his whole philosophical and religious beliefs around this theme with his book Fear and Trembling in 1843.  Do you have a trembling fear toward God?

The crucified Jesus (1 Cor. 2:2)

“I decided

To know nothing

Among you

Except Jesus Christ

And him crucified.”

οὐ γὰρ ἔκρινά τι εἰδέναι ἐν ὑμῖν εἰ μὴ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν καὶ τοῦτον ἐσταυρωμένον.

Paul said that he decided (γὰρ ἔκρινά) to know (τι εἰδέναι) nothing (οὐ) about them (ἐν ὑμῖν) except (εἰ μὴ) the crucified (καὶ τοῦτον ἐσταυρωμένον) Jesus Christ (Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν).  Paul indicated that he did not want to know about the Corinthians, except that Jesus Christ was crucified.  Paul was single minded in his preaching.  He simply was proclaiming the crucified Jesus.  Nothing else mattered to him.  He only wanted to know one thing, whether they accepted and believed in the crucified Jesus Christ.  Do you accept the crucified Jesus Christ?

Paul the preacher (1 Cor. 2:1)


When I came to you,

I did not come


To you

The testimony of God

In lofty words

Or wisdom.”

Κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, ἦλθον οὐ καθ’ ὑπεροχὴν λόγου ἢ σοφίας καταγγέλλων ὑμῖν τὸ μαρτύριον τοῦ Θεοῦ.

Paul called them brothers (ἀδελφοί) at Corinth.  He spoke about how he had come to them (Κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν πρὸς ὑμᾶς).  He came (ἦλθον) proclaiming to them (καταγγέλλων ὑμῖν) the testimony or witness of God (τὸ μαρτύριον τοῦ Θεοῦ) not with lofty words (οὐ καθ’ ὑπεροχὴν λόγου) or wisdom (ἢ σοφίας).  Only the Pauline letters use this word ὑπεροχὴν, that means a projection, eminence, superiority, excellence, preeminence, or authority.  According to Acts, chapter 18:1, Paul had arrived in Corinth, probably around the year 51 CE.  He had come from Athens about 45 miles away on his second missionary journey, after the council in Jerusalem around 50 CE, concerning the acceptance of the gentile Christians.  Paul explained to his readers in Corinth that he had arrived in Corinth a few years earlier.  He proclaimed to them the testimony, witness, or mysteries of God, but not with lofty difficult words or superior wisdom.  He had come to them as a simple Jewish Greek speaking Christian.  There was at least one synagogue in this Roman capital commercial city of Achaia.  From Acts, 18:11, he probably stayed there in Corinth a year and a half.  Do you use lofty words of wisdom?

Boast in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:31)


As it is written.

‘Let him who boasts,

Boast in the Lord.’”

ἵνα καθὼς γέγραπται Ὁ καυχώμενος ἐν Κυρίῳ καυχάσθω.

Paul said that therefore, as it is written (ἵνα καθὼς γέγραπται).  “Let him who boasts (Ὁ καυχώμενος), boast (καυχάσθω) in the Lord (ἐν Κυρίῳ).”  Only the Pauline letters use this word καυχάσθω, that means to boast or glory proudly.  Paul paraphrased a text from the prophet Jeremiah, chapter 9:23-24, to prove his point.  Yahweh warned, via Jeremiah, that the wise should not boast in their wisdom.  The mighty should not boast in their might.  The wealthy should not boast in their wealth.  If they want to boast it should be in their understanding and knowing Yahweh.  He should be their boast, because God acts with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness.  Yahweh delights in all those things.  Thus, the prophet Jeremiah was the inspiration for Paul about boasting in the Lord alone.  Do you boast about God?

God is the source of your life in Christ (1 Cor. 1:30)

“God is the source

Of your life in Christ Jesus,

Who became for us

Wisdom from God,



And redemption.”

ἐξ αὐτοῦ δὲ ὑμεῖς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, ὃς ἐγενήθη σοφία ἡμῖν ἀπὸ Θεοῦ, δικαιοσύνη τε καὶ ἁγιασμὸς καὶ ἀπολύτρωσις,

Paul said that God is the source (ἐξ αὐτοῦ) of your life (δὲ ὑμεῖς ἐστε) in Christ Jesus (ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ), who became (ὃς ἐγενήθη) for us (ἡμῖν) wisdom (σοφία) from God (ἀπὸ Θεοῦ), righteousness (δικαιοσύνη τε), sanctification (καὶ ἁγιασμὸς), and redemption (καὶ ἀπολύτρωσις).  Only the Pauline letters use this word ἁγιασμὸς, that means consecration, sanctification, becoming holy, or set apart.  God was the source of our life in Jesus Christ that comes from God, not ourselves.  By our Christian life, we have become wise, righteous, holy, and redeemed from death.  God worked in our lives, not us, to make us followers of Jesus Christ.  Do you recognize God as the source of your Christian life?