1 Corinthians 1 Expanded Bible (EXB)
1 From Paul. ·God called me [L …called] to be an ·apostle [messenger] of Christ Jesus ·because that is what God wanted [L by the will of God]. Also from Sosthenes [C a coworker; Paul may be dictating the letter to him; see 16:21; perhaps the synagogue leader mentioned in Acts 18:15–17], our ·brother in Christ [L brother].
2 To the church of God in Corinth [C an important city in southern Greece; Paul started the church on his second missionary journey, around ad 52; Acts 18], to you who have been ·made holy [sanctified; dedicated/set apart to God] in Christ Jesus. You were called to be ·God’s holy people [T saints] with all people everywhere who pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ—·their Lord and ours [L theirs and ours]:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul Gives Thanks to God
4 I always thank my God for you because of the ·grace [gift; favor] God has given you in Christ Jesus. 5 I thank God because in Christ you have been ·made rich [enriched] in every way, in all your ·speaking [or spiritual gifts of speaking] and in all your ·knowledge [or gifts of spiritual knowledge]. 6 Just as our ·witness [testimony; message] about Christ has been ·guaranteed to [or confirmed among] you, 7 so you ·have every [L do not lack any] ·gift from God [spiritual gift; L gift] while you wait for the ·return [L revelation] of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 ·Jesus [L …who] will keep you strong until the end so that ·there will be no wrong in you [you will be blameless/faultless] on the day ·our Lord Jesus Christ comes again [L of our Lord Jesus Christ; C the final day of judgment, known in the OT as “the Day of the Lord”]. 9 God, who has called you into ·fellowship [partnership; relationship] with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
Problems in the Church
10 I ·beg [urge; appeal to] you, brothers and sisters, ·by the name [or by the authority; or as followers] of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree with each other and not be ·split into groups [divided into factions]. I beg that you be ·completely joined together [fully united; or made complete] by having the same ·kind of thinking [L mind] and the same ·purpose [intention; conviction]. 11 My brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe’s ·family [household; C these could be family members, servants, or business agents] have ·told me quite plainly [reported to me] that there are ·quarrels [conflicts; rivalries] among you. 12 This is what I mean: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another says, “I follow Apollos”; another says, “I follow ·Peter [L Cephas; C Peter’s name in Aramaic; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5; Mark 1:30; John 1:42]”; and another says, “I follow Christ.” 13 ·Christ has been divided up into different groups! [or Is Christ divided?] Did Paul die on the cross for you? No! Were you baptized in the name of Paul? No! [C “No!” is implied but not stated in the Greek.] 14 I thank God I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius 15 so that now no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16 (I also baptized the ·family [household] of Stephanas, but I do not remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 [L For] Christ did not send me to baptize people but to preach the ·Good News [Gospel], and not using ·words of human wisdom [or eloquent language; clever speech] so that the cross of Christ [C the message of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross] would not ·lose its power [or become meaningless; L be emptied].
Christ Is God’s Power and Wisdom
18 [L For] The ·teaching [message; word] about the cross is ·foolishness [folly] to those who are ·being lost [headed for destruction; perishing], but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 [L For] It is written in the Scriptures:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the ·educated person [scholar; or scribe; teacher of the law]? Where is the ·skilled talker [orator; debater; philosopher] of this ·world [age]? ·God has [L Has not God…?] made the wisdom of the world foolish. 21 ·In the wisdom of God the world did [or God wisely determined that the world would] not know God through its own wisdom. So God ·chose [was pleased] to use the ·message that sounds foolish [L folly/foolishness of what was preached] to save those who believe. 22 [L For; Since] The Jews ·ask for [demand] ·miracles [L signs], and the Greeks ·want [seek; look for] wisdom. 23 But we preach ·that Christ was crucified [Christ crucified; or a crucified Messiah]. This ·causes the Jews to stumble [is a stumbling block/offense/obstacle to Jews] and is ·foolishness [folly] to Gentiles. 24 But to those people God has called—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 [L For] Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, look at what you were when God called you. Not many of you were wise ·in the way the world judges wisdom [by human standards; L according to the flesh]. Not many of you ·had great influence [were powerful/strong]. Not many of you ·came from important families [were well-born; were of high social status]. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose what the world thinks is ·unimportant [insignificant; lowly] and what the world ·looks down on [despises] and thinks is nothing in order to destroy what the world thinks is ·important [something special]. 29 God did this so that no one can ·brag [boast] in his presence. 30 Because of God you are ·in [united with; in relationship with] Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God. ·In Christ we are put right with God, and have been made holy, and have been set free from sin [L …and became for us righteousness, holiness, and redemption]. 31 So, as the Scripture says, “If people want to ·brag [boast], they should ·brag [boast] only about the Lord [Jer. 9:24].”