Page images
PDF
EPUB

Text. 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the jews a stumbling block,

and unto the greeks foolishness. 24 But unto them which are called, both jews and greeks, Christ,

the power of God, and the wisdom of God: 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men ; and the

weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men

after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to con

found the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the

world, to confound the things which are mighty: 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised,

hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

and the game

crucifiedve nothing

PARAPHRASE. signs and miracles, and the greeks seek wisdom: 23 But I have nothing else to preach to them, but Christ

crucified, a doctrine offensive to the hopes and ex

pectations of the jews; and foolish to the acute men 24 of learning, the greeks : But yet it is to these, both

jews and greeks, (when they are converted) Christ,

the power of God, and Christ, the wisdom of God : 25 Because that, which seems foolishness in those, who

came from God, surpasses the wisdom of man; and

that, which seems weakness in those sent by God, 26 surpasses the power of men. For reflect upon your

selves, brethren, and you may observe, that there are not many of the wise and learned men, not

many men of power, or of birth, among you, that 27 are called. But God hath chosen the foolish men,

in the account of the world, to confound the wise ;

and God hath chosen the weak men of the world, 28 to confound the mighty: The mean men of the

world, and contemptible, has God chosen, and those that are of no account, are nothing, * to displace TEXT. 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye, in Christ Jesus, who, of God, is made unto • us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemp

NOTES. by what he expresses in these verses, in the neuter gender, means persons, the whole argument of the place being about persons, and their glorying: and not about things.

28 * Tă prin orta, “ Things that are not,” I think may well be understood of the gentiles, who were not the people of God, and were counted as nothing, by the jews; and we are pointed to this meaning by the words XATALOXÚvn

tion : 31 That, according as it is written, “ He that glorieth, let him

“ glory in the Lord."

PARAPHRASE. 29 those that are: That so there might be no room, or

pretence, for anyone to glory in his presence. 30 Natural, human abilities, parts or wisdom, could

never have reached this way to happiness: it is to his wisdom alone, that ye owe the contrivance of it; to his revealing of it, that ye owe the knowledge of it; and it is from him alone, that you are in Christ Jesus, whom God has made to us, Christians, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, which is all the dignity and pre

eminence, all that is of any value, amongst us Chris31 tians: That as it is written, He that glorieth,

should glory only in the Lord.

NOTE. aud xarapyon, “ by the foolish and weak things," i, e. by simple, illiterate, and mean men, God would make ashamed the learned philosophers, and great men of the nations ; but, by the uni öyto, “ things that are not," he would abolish the things that are, as, in effect, he did abolish the jewish church, by the christian, taking in the gentiles to be his people, in the place of the rejected jews, who, until then, were his people. This St. Paul mentions here, not by chance, but pursuant to his main design, to stay their glorying in their false apostle, who was a jew ; by showing that, whatever that head of the faction might claim, under that pretence, as it is plain he did stand upon it (see 2 Cor. xi. 21, 22.) he had not any the least title to any esteem, or respect, upon that account ; since the jewish nation was laid aside, and God had chosen the gen. tiles to take their place, and to be his church and people instead of thein ; vid. note on ch. ii, ver. 6. There one may see who are the xataprópevos, “ the abo." lished," whom God says here, watapyhon," he will abolish.”

SECT. II. No. 3.

CHAP. II. 1–5.

CONTENTS.

FARTHER to keep them from glorying in their leaders, he tells them, that as the preachers of the gospel, of God's choosing, were mean and illiterate men, so the gospel was not to be propagated, nor men to be established in the faith, by human learning and eloquence, but by the evidence it had, from the revelation contained in the old Testament, and from the power of God accompanying and confirming it with miracles.

TEXT. 1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

PARAPHRASE. 1 AND I, brethren, when I came and preached the gos

pel to you, I did not endeavour to set it off with any • ornaments of rhetoric, or the mixture of human learn

ing, or philosophy ; but plainly declared it to you, as a doctrine coming from God, revealed and attested *

NOTE. 1 * Td Map Túploy tô o, “ The testimony of God," i. e. what God hath revealed and testified in the Old Testament; the apostle here declares to the corinthians, that, when he brought the gospel to them, he made no use of any huinan science, improvement, or skill; no insinuations of cluquence, no philosophical speculations, or ornaments of huinan learning, appeared in any thing he said to persuade them: all luis arguments were, as he tells them, verse 4, from the revelation of the Spirit of God, in the predictions of the Old Testament, and the miracles, which he (Paul) did among them, that their faith might be built wholly upon the Spirit of God, and not upon the abilities and wisdom of man; thongh Mapiúprov tõ Otő, “ The testimony of God,” agrees very well with so much of St. Paul's meaning, as relates to his founding his preaching on the testimony of God, yet those copies, which read pushprov, mystery, for peoplúplov, testimony, seem more perfectly to correspond with St. Paul's sense in the whole latitude of it. For though he owns the doctrine of the gospel, dictated by the Spirit of God, to be contained in the scriptures of the Old Testament, and builds upon revelation; yet lie every-where teaches, that it remained a secret there, not understood vill they were led into the hidden, evangelical meaning of those passages, by the coming of Jesus Christ, and by NOTES. the assistance of the Spirit, in the times of the Messiah, and then published to the world, by the preachers of the gospel: and therefore he calls it, especially that part of it which relates to the gentiles, almost every where, pusópoov, mystery. See, particularly, Rom, xvi. 25, 26.

TEXT. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus

Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much

trembling. 4 And my speech, and my preaching, was not with enticing words

of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of

power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdoni of men, but in

the power of God.

PARAPHRASE. 2 by him.. For I resolved to own, or show, no other

knowledge among you, but the knowledge *, or doc3 trine of Jesus Christ, and of him crucified. All my

carriage among you had nothing in it, but the ap

pearance of weakness and humility, and fear of of4 fending you f. Neither did I in my discourses, or

preaching, make use of any human art of persuasion, to inveigle you. But the doctrine of the gospel, which I proposed, I confirmed and inforced by what the Spirit * had revealed and demonstrated of it, in

the Old Testament, and by the power of God, ac5 companying it with miraculous operations : That your

faith might have its foundation, not in the wisdom and endowments of men, but in the power of God .

2 * St. Paul, who was himself a learned man, especially in the jewish knowledge, having, in the foregoing chapter, told them, that neither the jewish learning, nor grecian sciences, give a man any advantage, as a minister of the gospel, he here reminds them, that he made no show or use of either, when he planted the gospel among them; intimating thereby, that those were not things for which their teachers were to be valued, or followed.

3 + St. Paul, by thus setting forth his own modest and humble behaviour amongst them, reflects on the contrary carriage of their false a postle, which he describes in words at length, 2 Cor. xi. 20.

4. There were two sorts of arguments, where with the apostle confirmed the gospel; the one was the revelations made concerning our Saviour, by types and figures, and prophecies of him, under the law: the other, miracles and miraculous gifts accompanying the first preachers of the gospel, in the publishing and propagating of it. The latter of these St. Paul here calls Power; the former, in this chapter, he terms Spirit: so ver. 12, 14. “ Things of the “ Spirit of God, and spiritual things," are things which are revealed by the Spirit of God, and not discoverable by our natural faculties. *5 $ Their faith being built wholly on divine revelation and miracles, whereby

NOTE. all human abilities were shut out, there could be no reason for any of them to boast themselves of their teachers, or value themselves upon their being the fol. lowers of this or that preacher, which St. Paul hereby obviates.

SECT. II. No. 4.

CHAP. II. 6–16.

CONTENTS.

The next argument the apostle uses to show them, that they had no reason to glory in their teachers, is, that the knowledge of the gospel was not attainable by our natural parts, however they were improved by arts and philosophy, but was wholly owing to revelation.

TEXT. 6 Howbeit we speak wisdom amongst them that are perfect : yet

not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought.

PARAPHRASE. 6 Howbeit, that which we preach is wisdom, and known

to be so, among those who are thoroughly instructed in the christian religion, and take it upon its true principles *: but not the wisdom of this world t, nor of

NOTES. . 6 * (Perfect] here is the same with spiritual, ver. 15; one, that is so perfecily well apprised of the divine nature and original of the christian religion, that he sees and acknowledges it to be all a pure revelation from God, and not, in the least, the product of human discovery, parts, or learning; and so, deriving it wholly from what God hath taught, by his Spirit, in the sacred scriptures, allows not the least part of it to be ascribed to the skill or abilities of men, as authors of it, but received as a doctrine coming from God alone. And thus, l'erfect, is opposed to, Carnal, ch. iii, 1, 3. i. e. such babes in chris. tianity, such weak and mistaken christians, that they thought the gospel was to be managed, as humau arts and sciences amongst men of the world ; and those were better instructed, and were more in the right, who followed this master or teacher, rather than another, and so glorying in being the scholars, one of Paul, and another of Apollos, fell into divisions and parties about it, and vaunted one over another; whereas, in the school of Christ, all was to be built on the authority of God alone, and the revelation of the Spirit in the sacred scriptures.

+ 56 Wisdom of this world,” i. e, the knowledge, arts and sciences attain.

« PreviousContinue »