1:26 Think about the circumstances of your call, 1 brothers and sisters. 2 Not many were wise by human standards, 3 not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position. 4 1:27 But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. 1:28 God chose 5 what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, 1:29 so that no one can boast in his presence. 1:30 He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, 6 who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 1:31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 7
1 tn Grk “Think about your calling.” “Calling” in Paul’s writings usually refers to God’s work of drawing people to faith in Christ. The following verses show that “calling” here stands by metonymy for their circumstances when they became Christians, leading to the translation “the circumstances of your call.”
3 tn Grk “according to the flesh.”
4 tn The Greek word ευγενής (eugenh") refers to the status of being born into nobility, wealth, or power with an emphasis on the privileges and benefits that come with that position.
5 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
6 tn Grk “of him you are in Christ Jesus.”
7 sn A quotation from Jer 9:24. The themes of Jer 9 have influenced Paul’s presentation in vv. 26-31. Jeremiah calls upon the wise, the strong, and the wealthy not to trust in their resources but in their knowledge of the true God – and so to boast in the Lord. Paul addresses the same three areas of human pride.