Paul’s Approach to Ministry in Corinth

And I, when I[a] came to you, brothers, did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony[b] of God. For I decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling, and my speech and my preaching were not with the persuasiveness[c] of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and power, in order that your faith would not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

The Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit

Now we do speak wisdom among the mature, but wisdom not of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are perishing, but we speak the hidden wisdom of God in a mystery, which God predestined before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew. For if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But just as it is written,

Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
    and have not entered into the heart of man,
all that[d] God has prepared for those who love him.”[e]

10 For[f] to us God has revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man that is in him? Thus also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 things which we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.[g] 14 But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 Now the spiritual person discerns all things, but he himself is judged by no one. 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord; who has advised him?”[h] But we have the mind of Christ.


  1. 1 Corinthians 2:1 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“came”) which is understood as temporal
  2. 1 Corinthians 2:1 Some manuscripts have “mystery”
  3. 1 Corinthians 2:4 Some manuscripts have “with persuasive words”
  4. 1 Corinthians 2:9 Some manuscripts have “which”
  5. 1 Corinthians 2:9 A quotation from Isa 64:4
  6. 1 Corinthians 2:10 Some manuscripts have “But to us God has revealed them
  7. 1 Corinthians 2:13 Or “in spiritual words
  8. 1 Corinthians 2:16 A quotation from Isa 40:13