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1 Corinthians 1:17-20

Context
1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel – and not with clever speech, so that the cross of Christ would not become useless. 1 

The Message of the Cross

1:18 For 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. 1:19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent.” 2  1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? 3  Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish?

1 tn Grk “would not be emptied.”

2 sn A quotation from Isa 29:14.

3 tn Grk “the scribe.” The traditional rendering of γραμματεύς (grammateu") as “scribe” does not communicate much to the modern English reader, for whom the term might mean “professional copyist,” if it means anything at all. The people referred to here were recognized experts in the law of Moses and in traditional laws and regulations. Thus “expert in the Mosaic law” comes closer to the meaning for the modern reader.



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