1 Corinthians 1

1 Corinthians 1


Paul,I calledII to be an apostleIII

Notes on verse 1a

I “Paul” = Paulos. From Latin Paulus (small, little). This is Paul or Paulos, meaning little.
II “called” = kletos. 11x in NT. From the same as klesis (calling, invitation); from kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud); related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on). This is the called, invited, calling. Used in the NT as God’s calling.
III “apostle” = apostolos. From apostello (to send, send away, send forth as a messenger, to commission); {from apo (from, away from) + stello (to set, arrange, prepare, provide for); {probably from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand firm)}}. This is a messenger – someone sent out on a mission as an envoy or delegate. It can also refer to someone set at liberty. Generally, this is a messenger who is meant to be a representative of the one who sent them. They are thus, set apart on a mission literally or figuratively.

of ChristIV JesusV by the willVI

Notes on verse 1b

IV “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
V “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
VI “will” = thelema. From thelo (to desire, wise, will, intend). This is the act of will, choice, purpose, or decree.

of God,VII and our brotherVIII Sosthenes,IX

Notes on verse 1c

VII “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
VIII “brother” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
IX “Sosthenes” = Sosthenes. 2x in NT. From the same as sozo (to save, heal, rescue); {from sos (safe, well, rescued)} + sthenoo (to strengthen so that one can be mobile); {from sthenos (strength)}. This is Sosthenes, which means “of safe strength.”

To the churchX of God that isXI in Corinth,XII to those who are sanctifiedXIII in Christ Jesus,

Notes on verse 2a

X “church” = ekklesia. Related to “called” in v1. From ek (from, out from) + kaleo (see note II above). This is properly a calling out or an assembly. It was used to refer to a church.
XI “is” = eimi. This is to be, exist.
XII “Corinth” = Korinthos. 6x in NT. From “Pre-Greek Pelasgian kar (point, peak); perhaps named after Corinthos, a descendant of the god Zeus.” This is Corinth. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%9A%CF%8C%CF%81%CE%B9%CE%BD%CE%B8%CE%BF%CF%82#Ancient_Greek & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Corinth
XIII “sanctified” = hagiazo. From hagios (sacred, holy, set apart, different other; physically pure, morally blameless, or ceremonially set apart); from hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). This is to make holy, consecrate, sanctify, set apart as holy, purify, venerate.

called to be saints,XIV together with allXV those who in everyXVI placeXVII

Notes on verse 2b

XIV “saints” = hagios. Related to “sanctified” in v2. See note XIII above.
XV “all” = pas. This is all or every.
XVI “every” = pas. Same as “all” in v2. See note XV above.
XVII “place” = topos. This is a place or region. It is a smaller space that can only hold a limited number of people whereas chora is a larger place. Figuratively it could be an opportunity.

call onXVIII the nameXIX of our LordXX Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

Notes on verse 2c

XVIII “call on” = epikaleo. Related to “called” in v1 & “church” in v2. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + kaleo (see note II above). This is to call on, appeal to, worship, invoke for help.
XIX “name” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
XX “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.

GraceXXI to you and peaceXXII from God our FatherXXIII and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notes on verse 3

XXI “grace” = charis. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks. It is the sense of being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit. This can be literal, figurative, or spiritual. It is grace as abstract concept, manner, or action.
XXII “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day.)
XXIII “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.

I give thanksXXIV to my God alwaysXXV for you because of the grace of God that has been givenXXVI you in Christ Jesus, 

Notes on verse 4

XXIV “give thanks” = eucharisteo. Related to “grace” in v3. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + charis (see note XXI above). This is giving thanks, being thankful. It is a recognition that God’s grace is good and actively showing gratitude. It can also be used for saying grace before eating. This is where “eucharist” comes from.
XXV “always” = pantote. Related to “all” in v2. From pas (see note XV above) + tote (then, whether past or future); {from hote (when); from ho (the)}. This is literally every when. It is always, at all times.
XXVI “given” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.

for in every way you have been enrichedXXVII in him, inXXVIII speechXXIX

Notes on verse 5a

XXVII “enriched” = ploutizo. 3x in NT. From ploutos (abundance, wealth, or riches; money, possessions, spiritual abundance, or a valuable bestowment); from polus (much, many, abundant) OR pleo (to sail, voyage); {probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow)} OR pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is to enrich, cause abundance, bring fullness.
XXVIII {untranslated} = pas. Same as “all” in v2. See note XV above.
XXIX “speech” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.

and knowledgeXXX of every kindXXXI— just as the testimonyXXXII of Christ has been strengthenedXXXIII among you— 

Notes on verses 5b-6

XXX “knowledge” = gnosis. Related to “name” in v2. From ginosko (see note XIX above). This is knowing, knowledge, understanding, wisdom. It is direct knowledge – working knowledge that links theory and application.
XXXI “every kind” = pas. Same as “all” in v2. See note XV above.
XXXII “testimony” = marturion. 19x in NT. From martus (a witness whether having heard or seen something; witness literally, judicially, or figuratively; by analogy, a martyr). This is something that counts as evidence whether a witness, testimony, or other proof.
XXXIII “strengthened” = bebaioo. 8x in NT. From bebaios (properly, ground that is solid enough to walk over; firm, unshakable; figuratively, guaranteed, valid, sure, steadfast, enduring; literally and figuratively “solid footing”); from the same as basis (a step; hence, a foot, pace, or base); from baino (to walk or go). This is secure, guantee, reliable, firm, dependable. It is something that you can put your trust in.

so that you are not lackingXXXIV in any giftXXXV as you wait forXXXVI the revealingXXXVII of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Notes on verse 7

XXXIV “lacking” = hustereo. 16x in NT– same verb used by the rich young man when he asks Jesus what do I still lack? (Mt 19:20); used in the parable of the prodigal son to describe him as impoverished (Lk 15:14); used when the wine ran out at the wedding at Cana (Jn 2:3); all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23); used in describing the body of Christ – that we give greater honor to the inferior member (1 Cor 12:24). From husteros (last, later). This is to fall behind, come late, be interior, suffer need, be left out., to fail to meet a goal.
XXXV “gift” = charisma. Related to “grace” in v3 & “give thanks” in v4. 17x in NT. From charizomai (to show favor, kindness, or grace, to pardon, forgive); from charis (see note XXI above). This is grace, undeserved favor, a free gift, or a spiritual gift. It is the working of grace, some spiritual gift or religious qualification. It could be some kind of miraculous endowment.
XXXVI “wait for” = apekdechomai. 8x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + ekdechomai (to take or receive, expect, await; to welcome someone from your heart; focusing on the goal of waiting or the outcome); {from ek (from, from out of) + dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is eager awaiting or fully expecting something.
XXXVII “revealing” = apokalupsis. 18x in NT. From apokalupto (properly to uncover; revealing something that was hidden or obstructed; particularly refers to revealing the essence of something; to make plain or manifest); {from apo (from, away from) + kalupto (to cover, hide, conceal; figuratively, to keep hidden or secret) {related to kalube (hut, cabin)}. This is uncovering, unveiling, appearing, manifestation, or revelation. This is where the word “apocalypse” comes from.

He will also strengthen you to the end,XXXVIII so that you may be blamelessXXXIX on the dayXL of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Notes on verse 8

XXXVIII “end” = telos. From tel– (to reach a goal or aim); This is an end, aim, purpose, completion, goal, consummation, or tax. It is completing a stage of something and everything that results from that completion. It can be literal or figurative.
XXXIX “blameless” = anegkletos. Related to “called” in v1 & “church” and “call on” in v2. 5x in NT. From a (not, without) + egkaleo (to bring charges, accuse, call something into question; to bring to account); {from en (in, on, at, by, with) + kaleo (see note II above)}. This is irreproachable, blameless, or unaccused.
XL “day” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.

God is faithful,XLI by whom you were calledXLII into the partnershipXLIII of his Son,XLIV Jesus Christ our Lord.

Notes on verse 9

XLI “faithful” = pistos. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is faithful, trustworthy, reliable, sure, or true. It is a fullness of faith. This is the same root as the word “faith” in Greek.
XLII “called” = kaleo. Related to “called” in v1 & “church” and “call on” in v2 & “blameless” in v8. See note II above.
XLIII “partnership” = koinonia. 19x in NT. From koinonos (partner, companion, partaker, sharer); From koinos (common, shared, unclean, ritually profane); probably from sun (with, together with). This is sharing in common so it is fellowship, participation, communion, and aid that comes from the community.
XLIV “Son” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.

10 Now I appealXLV to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreementXLVI and that there be no divisionsXLVII among you

Notes on verse 10a

XLV “appeal” = parakaleo. Related to “called” in v1 & “church” and “call on” in v2 & “blameless” in v8 & “called” in v9. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + kaleo (see note II above). This is to call to, summon, invite, request, or beg. It can also be exhort or admonish. Also, this can be encourage, comfort, or console. This word has legal overtones and is used of one’s advocate in a courtroom. It is the root of the name of the Holy Spirit “paraclete” is our advocate and comforter.
XLVI “be in agreement” = ho + autos + lego + pas. Literally, “that you all speak the same.” Lego is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally. Pas is the same as “all” in v2. See note XV above.
XLVII “divisions” = schisma. 8x in NT. From schizo (to split, divide, tear, sever; split in a literal or figurative sense). This is a split or a tear. Figuratively, it can refer to a schism, division, or dissension. This is where the word “schism” comes from and also “schizophrenia” (literally “split mind”).

but that you be knit togetherXLVIII in the same mindXLIX and the same purpose.L 

Notes on verse 10b

XLVIII “knit together” = katartizo. 13x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + artizo (get ready, prepare); {from artios (perfect, complete, ready, adequate, fitted); from arti (now, in the moment); from airo (raise, take up, lift, remove)}. This is to prepare, complete, perfect for final use. This is restoring something to a good condition, whether for the first time or one more. It is to repair in a literal or figurative sense.
XLIX “mind” = nous. Related to “name” in v2 & “knowledge” in v5. From noos (mind) OR from the same as ginosko (see note XIX above). This is mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect. It can refer to God’s mind or human minds – thoughts, feelings, will, or reflective thinking.
L “purpose” = gnome. Related to “name” in v2 & “knowledge” in v5 & “mind” in v10. 9x in NT. From ginosko (see note XIX above). This is plot, purpose, opinion, judgment, advice, consent, resolve.

11 For it has been made clearLI to me by Chloe’sLII people that there are quarrelsLIII among you, my brothers and sisters. 12 What I meanLIV is that eachLV of you says,LVI

Notes on verses 11-12a

LI “made clear” = deloo. 7x in NT. From delos (clear, evident, unmistakable, self-evident). This is making something evident, revealing declaring, showing. Often, making clear through words.
LII “Chloe’s” = Chloe. 1x in NT. From chloe (young green shoot). Chloe means verdant or tender, young plant life. It was also a name used for the Greek goddess Demeter.
LIII “quarrels” = eris. 9x in NT. This is strife, quarreling, wrangling. Figuratively, it is debate or one who likes to dispute.
LIV “mean” = lego. Same as “be in agreement” in v10. See note XLVI above.
LV “each” = hekastos. Perhaps from hekas (separate). This is each one, any, every. It is every individual as a distinct entity as opposed to those counted as a group in small sets.
LVI “says” = lego. Same as “be in agreement” in v10. See note XLVI above.

“ILVII belong toLVIII Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,”LIX or “I belong to Cephas,”LX or “I belong to Christ.” 

Notes on verse 12b

LVII {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
LVIII “belong to” = eimi. Same as “is” in v2. See note XI above.
LIX “Apollos” = Apollos. 10x in NT. Probably from Apollonios (belonging to Apollo); from the same as apollonia (Apollonia, a Macedonian city); from Apollon (the Greek god Apollo, who was god of “light, music, medicine, poetry, prophecy, dance, manly beauty”); possibly from Pre-Greek (to drive away) OR from Greek apollumi (to destroy) OR apolouon (washing) OR apoluon (delivering) OR haploun (simple) OR aeiballon (always shooting) OR a (not) + polus (parts). This is Apollos. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Apollo
LX “Cephas” = Kephas. 9x in NT. From Aramaic kepha (stone or rock). This is Cephas, the Aramaic translation of Peter’s name.

13 Has Christ been divided?LXI Was Paul crucifiedLXII for you? Or were you baptizedLXIII in the name of Paul? 

Notes on verse 13

LXI “divided” = merizo. 14x in NT. From meros (part, share, portion figurative or literal); from meiromai (to get your share, receive one’s allotment). This is to divide, distribute, assign, apportion – separate into parts, bestow, share.
LXII “crucified” = stauroo. Related to “apostle” in v1. From stauros (upright stake, cross; literally the horizontal beam of a Roman cross, generally carried by the one convicted to die); from the same as histemi (see note III above). This can be to attach someone to a cross or fencing with stakes. In a figurative sense, it could be to destroy, mortify, or subdue passions/selfishness.
LXIII “baptized” = baptizo. From bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is to submerge, wash, or immerse. Used specially for baptism.

14 I thankLXIV God that I baptized none of you except CrispusLXV and Gaius,LXVI 15 so that no one can sayLXVII that you were baptized in my name. 

Notes on verses 14-15

LXIV “thank” = eucharisteo. Same as “give thanks” in v4. See note XXIV above.
LXV “Crispus” = Krispos. 2x in NT. From Latin Crispus (Crispus); from crispus (curly, tremulous); from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to turn, bend). This is Crispus, meaning curly. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Crispus
LXVI “Gaius” = Gaios. 5x in NT. Probably from Latin Gavius (Gavius); from the same as gaudere (to rejoice); from “Proto-Indo-European geh-w-” (to rejoice) OR from gaia (earth, land). This is Gaius or Caius. I may mean “of the land” or “made of earthly material” or “rejoice.”  See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Gaius#Latin & https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Gaius.html
LXVII “say” = eiron. This is to speak say, answer, command.

16 I did baptize also the householdLXVIII of Stephanas;LXIX beyond that,LXX

Notes on verse 16a

LXVIII “household” = oikos. This is house – the building, the household, the family, descendants, the temple.
LXIX “Stephanas” = Stephanas. 3x in NT. Perhaps from stephanos (something that surrounds i.e. a crown or garland; properly, the wreath or garland that the winner of athletic games would win; symbolized victory and honor from skill as contrasted with a royal crown, which is diadema in Greek); stepho (to twine, encircle). This is Stephanas, meaning crowned.
LXX “beyond that” = loipon. 13x in NT. From loipos (the rest, remained, remnant, other, residue); from leipo (to leave behind, be lacking). This is what remains, from now on, finally.

I do not knowLXXI whether I baptized anyone else.LXXII 17 For Christ did not sendLXXIII me to baptize but to proclaim the gospelLXXIV

Notes on verses 16b-17a

LXXI “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
LXXII “else” = allos. This is other, another. Specifically, it is another of a similar kind or type. There is a different word in Greek that speaks of another as a different kind (heteros).
LXXIII “send” = apostello. Related to “apostle” in v1 & “crucified” in v13. See note III above.
LXXIV “proclaim the gospel” = euaggelizo. Related to “give thanks” in v4. From eu (see note XXIV above) + aggelos (angel, messenger; a messenger from God bringing news – whether a prophet or an angel) {from aggellos (to bring tidings); probably from ago (to bring, lead, carry, guide)}. This is evangelize – literally to preach the good news. It can be those who hear the news, the news, or a way to say gospel.

—and not with eloquentLXXV wisdom,LXXVI so that the crossLXXVII of Christ might not be emptied of its power.LXXVIII

Notes on verse 17b

LXXV “eloquent” = logos. Same as “speech” in v5. See note XXIX above.
LXXVI “wisdom” = sophia. From sophos (wise, clever, skilled, learned, cultivated); related to saphes (clear). This is skill, wisdom, insight, intelligence, clarity. It is wisdom as applied through a practical skill or shrewdness. It is not thoughtfulness or the mere gaining of intelligence for its own sake. Sophia is wisdom in action for everyday living.
LXXVII “cross” = stauros. Related to “apostle” in v1 & “crucified” in v13 & “send” in v17. See note LXII above.
LXXVIII “emptied of…power” = kenoo. 5x in NT. From kenos (properly, something empty or void; hence, worthless, foolish, ineffective, morally void, pretentious, unreal, or false). This is properly to make something empty or void. It is something without recognition that is seen as having no value. Figuratively, this could be to neutralize, falsify, or cause something to be in vain.

18 For the messageLXXIX about the cross is foolishnessLXXX to thoseLXXXI

Notes on verse 18a

LXXIX “message” = logos. Same as “speech” in v5. See note XXIX above.
LXXX “foolishness” = moria. 5x in NT. From moros (dull, stupid, foolish, flat; literally, not having an edge; used figuratively for someone whose understanding is dull, is sluggish, acts in a brainless way, or does not fully have a grip on reality). This is foolishness, absurdity, or dullness. This is where the word “moron” comes from.
LXXXI {untranslated} = men. Same as {untranslated} in v12. See note LVII above.

who are perishing,LXXXII but to us who are being savedLXXXIII it is the powerLXXXIV of God. 

19 For it is written,LXXXV

“I will destroyLXXXVI the wisdom of the wise,LXXXVII

Notes on verses 18b-19a

LXXXII “perishing” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.
LXXXIII “saved” = sozo. Related to “Sosthenes” in v1. See note IX above.
LXXXIV “power” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.
LXXXV “written” = grapho. This is to write or describe. It is where the word “graphic” comes from.
LXXXVI “destroy” = apollumi. Same as “perishing” in v18. See note LXXXII above.
LXXXVII “wise” = sophos. Related to “wisdom” in v17. See note LXXVI above.

    and the discernmentLXXXVIII of the discerningLXXXIX I will thwart.”XC

Notes on verse 19b

LXXXVIII “discernment” = sunesis. 7x in NT. From suneimi (to put together – used figuratively to mean understand, consider, gain insight; this is bringing together facts or notions and synthesizing them into a whole; making a summary to arrive at a final conclusion that includes how to apply the insight to life; it can also imply acting piously or being wise); from sun (with, together with) + hiemi (to send, put). This is understanding, cleverness, intelligence, knowledge, or insight. Just as the root verb, it is synthesized reasoning that brings facts together to understand indirect truths from the facts at hand.
LXXXIX “discerning” = sunetos. Related to “discernment” in v19. 4x in NT. From suniemi (see note LXXXVIII above). This is intelligent, wise, discerning, clever. It is finding understanding within one’s own frame of reference by connecting facts and concepts. Focuses on the mental process of putting things together – being prudent or wise.
XC “thwart” = atheteo. 16x in NT. From athetos (not having position or place); {from a (not) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position)}. This is setting something aside, ignoring or nullifying it, refusing or rejecting. It can also mean to annul or cancel out the effect of something. Literally, this is to un-place. It can also be rejecting something, despising it, or considering something invalid.

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scholar?XCI Where is the debaterXCII of this age?XCIII

Notes on verse 20a

XCI “scholar” = gammateus. Related to “written” in v19. From gramma (what is drawn or written so a letter of the alphabet, correspondence, literature, learning); from grapho (see note LXXXV above). This is a writer, scribe, or secretary. Within Judaism, it was someone learned in the Law, a teacher. Also used in the Bible of the town-clerk of Ephesus. See Sirach 38:24-39:11 for a lengthier, positive passage about who scribes were and what they meant in society.
XCII “debater” = suzetetes. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + zeteo (to seek, search for, require, demand, desire, deliberate, strive, try; properly, this is seeking something out by asking questions or investigating; looking for a final solution or conclusion to get to the bottom of things; by a Hebrew turn of phrase, this could be to worship God; it could also mean to plot to kill someone). This is a disputer or debater. As one who seeks together, they are inclined to seek out debate or argument so as to figure something out – generally philosophical or religious things.
XCIII “age” = aion. From the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.

Has not God made foolishXCIV the wisdom of the world?XCV 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not knowXCVI God through wisdom, God decided,XCVII

Notes on verses 20b-21a

XCIV “made foolish” = moraino. Related to “foolishness” in v18. 4x in NT. From moros (see note LXXX above). This is to become a fool, taint, become insipid or useless. It can also mean tasteless.
XCV “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
XCVI “know” = ginosko. Related to “name” in v2 & “knowledge” in v5 & “mind” and “purpose” in v10. See note XIX above.
XCVII “decided” = eudokeo. Related to “give thanks” in v4 & “proclaim the gospel” in v17. From eu (see note XXIV above) + dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is to think well of, to be pleased or resolved. Properly, this is what someone finds good or acceptable – approving of some action or generally thinking well of.

through the foolishness of the proclamation,XCVIII to save those who believe.XCIX 22 For JewsC ask forCI

Notes on verses 21b-22a

XCVIII “proclamation” = kerugma. 9x in NT. From kerusso (proclaim, preach, publish; properly, to act as a herald – announcing something publicly with confidence and/or to persuade). This is proclamation – both the preaching and that which is preached. Sometimes times used to refer to the Gospel itself.
XCIX “believe” = pisteuo. Related to “faithful” in v9. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (see note XLI above). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.
C “Jews” = Ioudaios. From Ioudas (Judah, Judas); from Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Jewish, a Jew, or Judea.
CI “ask for” = aiteo. This is to ask, demand, beg, desire.

signsCII and GreeksCIII desireCIV wisdom, 

Notes on verse 22b

CII “signs” = semeion. From the same as semaino (to give a sign, signify, indicate, make known); from sema (a sign or mark). It is literally a sign of any kind. It also refers to a sign given by God to confirm or authenticate a message or prophecy. It is not necessarily miraculous, but it can be. The Gospel of John generally uses this word instead of miracle.
CIII “Greeks” = Hellen. From Hellas (Hellas, what Greeks called themselves); perhaps from helane (torch) OR from selene (moon). This is Greek, but was used for Gentiles, broader populations that spoke Greek and were a part of Greek culture regardless of their heritage. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_(given_name)
CIV “desire” = zeteo. Related to “debater” in v20. See note XCII above.

23 but we proclaimCV Christ crucified, a stumbling blockCVI to Jews and foolishness to gentiles,CVII 

Notes on verse 23

CV “proclaim” = kerusso. Related to “proclamation” in v21. See note XCVIII above.
CVI “stumbling block” = skandalon. 15x in NT. Perhaps from kampto (to bend or bow). This is a stumbling block, offense, hindrance, or scandal. Properly, this is the part of the trap that triggers it shut on the victim. So, as a snare, it is anything that causes error or offense, something that makes one stumble or traps someone. This is where the word “scandal” comes from.
CVII “gentiles” = ethnos. Probably from etho (a custom or culture). This is people who are united by having similar customs or culture. Generally, it is used to refer to Gentiles. This is a tribe, race, nation, or Gentiles in general. This is where the term “ethnicity” comes from.

24 but to those who are the called,CVIII both Jews and Greeks, Christ the powerCIX of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For God’s foolishnessCX is wiserCXI than humanCXII wisdom,

Notes on verses 24-25a

CVIII “called” = kletos. Same as “called” in v1. See note II above.
CIX “power” = dunamis. Same as “power” in v18. See note LXXXIV above.
CX “foolishness” = moros. Related to “foolishness” in v18 & “made foolish” in v20. 12x in NT. Se note LXXX above.
CXI “wiser” = sophos. Same as “wise” in v19. See note LXXXVII above.
CXII “human” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.

and God’s weaknessCXIII is strongerCXIV than human strength.

26 ConsiderCXV your own call,CXVI brothers and sisters:

Notes on verses 25b-26a

CXIII “weakness” = asthenes. Related to “Sosthenes” in v1. From a (not) + sthenes (strong, vigor); {from the base of sthenoo (to strengthen so that one can be mobile); from sthenos (see note IX above)}. This is without strength so weak, sick, helpless, frail, feeble. It can also be unimpressive or impotent. It can be used for physical or moral weakness.
CXIV “stronger” = ischuros. From ischuo (to be strong, healthy and vigorous, able, have power, prevail; strength that engages a resisting force); from ischus (strength, might, power, force, ability; power that engages immediate resistance). This is strong – first of physical strength. Later, also used figuratively for forcible, powerful, mighty, vehement, or sure.
CXV “consider” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
CXVI “call” = klesis. Related to “called” in v1 & “church” and “call on” in v2 & “blameless” in v8 & “called” in v9 & “appeal” in v10. 11x in NT. See note II above.

not manyCXVII of you were wise by human standards,CXVIII not many were powerful,CXIX not many were of noble birth.CXX 

Notes on verse 26b

CXVII “many” = polus. Related to “enriched” in v5. See note XXVII above.
CXVIII “human standards” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).
CXIX “powerful” = dunatos. Related to “power” in v18. From dunamai (see note LXXXIV above). This is mighty or powerful. It speaks of ability of persons, possibility of things. It is what can be given the power or ability that the subject exhibits. The root verb is also related to miracles i.e. deeds of power.
CXX “noble birth” = eugenes. Related to “give thanks” in v4 & “proclaim the gospel” in v17 & “decided” in v21. 3x in NT. From eu (see note XXIV above) + ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is noble or high status birth. It can literally refer to a higher rank or it can be used to speak of a noble nature, which is to say, generous.

27 But God choseCXXI what is foolishCXXII in the world to shameCXXIII the wise; God chose what is weakCXXIV in the world to shame the strong;CXXV 

Notes on verse 27

CXXI “chose” = eklego. Related to “speech” in v5 & {untranslated} in v10. From ek (from, from out of) + lego (see note XXIX above). This is to choose, select.
CXXII “foolish” = moros. Same as “foolishness” in v25. See note CX above.
CXXIII “shame” = kataischuno. 13x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, among) + aischunomai (to dishonor, put to shame, shrink, disfigure); {from aischos (shame, disgrace, disfigurement)}. This is literally to shame down, which is to say disgrace or implying make someone blush. It can be frustrate, dishonor, confound or shame.
CXXIV “weak” = asthenes. Same as “weakness” in v25. See note CXIII above.
CXXV “strong” = ischuros. Same as “stronger” in v25. See note CXIV above.

28 God chose what is lowCXXVI and despisedCXXVII in the world, things that are not, to abolishCXXVIII things that are, 

Notes on verse 28

CXXVI “low” = agenes. Related to “noble birth” in v26. 1x in NT. From a (not, without) + genos (family, offspring, kin – in a literal or figurative sense); {from ginomai (see note CXX above)}. This is literally, not have a family. So, it can refer to someone whose heritage is unknown or someone who is ignoble.
CXXVII “despised” = exoutheneo. 11x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + oudeis (no one, none, nothing; ruling out absolutely); {from oude (and not, neither, not even) {from ou (not, no) + de (but, and, now, indeed)} + heis (one, first, alone)}. Properly, this is casting someone or something out as nothing, consider someone or something nothing – of no account. This would be to treat someone with utter contempt or to ignore them.
CXXVIII “abolish” = katargeo. From kata (down, against, according to, among) + argeo (to delay, linger, be at rest, be idle, do nothing); {from argos (inactive, idle, lazy, thoughtless, useless, unemployed, unprofitable) {from a (not) + ergon (word, task, action, employment)}}. This is making something inactive or bringing it to nothing. So, it could mean making something inoperative or powerless, annulling, or severing. It can also mean to make something ineffective or invalid.

29 so that noCXXIX oneCXXX might boastCXXXI in the presenceCXXXII of God. 

Notes on verse 29

CXXIX {untranslated} = pas. Same as “all” in v2. See note XV above.
CXXX “one” = sarx. Same as “human standards” in v26. See note CXVIII above.
CXXXI “boast” = kauchaomai. Perhaps from auxen (neck). This is literally holding one’s head high – to boast proudly or to glory, joy, exult, rejoice. It can be boasting in a positive or negative sense.
CXXXII “presence” = enopios. Related to “human” in v25. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + ops (see note CXII above). This is literally “in sight of.” It means before in a literal or figurative sense.

30 In contrast, God is why you are in Christ Jesus, who becameCXXXIII for us wisdom from God, and righteousnessCXXXIV and sanctificationCXXXV and redemption,CXXXVI 31 in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Notes on verses 30-31

CXXXIII “became” = ginomai. Related to “noble birth” in v26 & “low” in v28. See note CXX above.
CXXXIV “righteousness” = dikaiosune. From dikaios (correct, righteous – implies innocent; this is that which conforms to God’s notion of justice, uprightness); from dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is judicial or divine approval of character or action. This is righteousness, justice, justness, divine righteousness.
CXXXV “sanctification” = hagiasmos. Related to “sanctified” and “saints” in v2. 10x in NT. From hagiazo (see note XIII above). This is consecration, sanctification, holiness. It is making something holy or holier, set apart, being purified.
CXXXVI “redemption” = apolutrosis. 10x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + lutroo (to redeem, liberate, release because ransom was paid in full; figuratively, returning something or someone to their rightful owner) [from lutron (ransom, the money used to free slaves; also a sacrifice of expiation; figurative for atonement); from luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld)]. This is redemption, deliverance, or release particularly with the notion of ransom paid – a buying back what had been lost.

Image credit: “Paul in Cyprus” by John Paul Stanley of YO! Ministry.

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