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1 Corinthians 2:1-8

Context

2:1 When I came 1  to you, brothers and sisters, 2  I did not come with superior eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed the testimony 3  of God. 2:2 For I decided to be concerned about nothing 4  among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 2:3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling. 2:4 My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 2:5 so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.

Wisdom from God

2:6 Now we do speak wisdom among the mature, 5  but not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are perishing. 2:7 Instead we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, that God determined before the ages for our glory. 2:8 None of the rulers of this age understood it. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1 tn Grk “and I, when I came.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, κἀγώ (kagw) has not been translated here.

2 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:10.

3 tc ‡ A few important mss (Ì46vid א* A C pc as well as some versions and fathers) read μυστήριον (musthrion, “mystery”) instead of μαρτύριον (marturion, “testimony”). But the latter has wider ms support (א2 B D F G Ψ 33 1739 1881 Ï and some versions), though not quite as impressive. μαρτύριον may have been changed by scribes in anticipation of Paul’s words in 2:7, or conversely, μυστήριον may have been changed to conform to 1:6. Transcriptionally, since “the mystery of God/Christ” is a well-worn expression in the corpus Paulinum (1 Cor 2:7; 4:1; Eph 3:4; Col 2:2; 4:3), while “testimony of Christ” occurs in Paul only once (1 Cor 1:6, though “testimony of the Lord” appears in 2 Tim 1:8), and “testimony of God” never, it is likely that scribes changed the text to the more usual expression. A decision is difficult in this instance, but a slight preference should be given to μαρτύριον.

4 tn Grk “to know nothing.”

5 tn In extrabiblical literature this word was applied to an initiate of a mystery religion (BDAG 995 s.v. τέλειος 3, gives numerous examples and states this was a technical term of the mystery religions). It could here refer to those who believed Paul’s message, the mystery of God (v. 1), and so be translated as “those who believe God’s message.”



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