1 Corinthians 21 When I came ▼
▼ 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 (kagō) has not been translated here.to you, brothers and sisters, ▼ I did not come with superior eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed the testimony ▼
▼ ‡ A few important mss (Ƥ46vid א* A C pc as well as some versions and fathers) read μυστήριον (mustērion, “mystery”) instead of μαρτύριον (marturion, “testimony”). But the latter has wider ms support (א2 B D F G Ψ 33 1739 1881 Maj. 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.of God. 2 For I decided to be concerned about nothing ▼
▼ Grk “to know nothing.”among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling. 4 My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.
Wisdom from God6 Now we do speak wisdom among the mature, ▼
▼ 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.”but not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are perishing. 7 Instead we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, that God determined before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But just as it is written, “Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, ▼
▼ Grk “entered the heart,” an OT expression, in which the heart functions like the mind.are the things God has prepared for those who love him. ” ▼ 10 God has revealed these to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God. 13 And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. ▼
▼ Or “combining spiritual things with spiritual words” (i.e., words the Spirit gives, as just described).14 The unbeliever ▼
▼ Grk “natural person.” Cf. BDAG 1100 s.v. ψυχικός a, “an unspiritual pers., one who merely functions bodily, without being touched by the Spirit of God.”does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The one who is spiritual discerns ▼
▼ Or “evaluates.”all things, yet he himself is understood ▼
▼ Or “is evaluated” (i.e., “is subject to evaluation”); Grk “he himself is discerned,” that is, the person without the Spirit does not understand the person with the Spirit, particularly in relation to the life of faith.by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to advise him? ▼ But we have the mind of Christ.
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