The Wisdom of God

18 For the word of the cross is (A)foolishness to (B)those who [a]are perishing, but to us who [b]are being saved it is (C)the power of God. 19 For it is written:

(D)I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And the understanding of those who have understanding, I will confound.”

20 (E)Where is the wise person? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of (F)this age? Has God not (G)made foolish the wisdom of (H)the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God (I)the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, (J)God [c]was pleased through the (K)foolishness of the [d]message preached to (L)save those who believe. 22 For indeed (M)Jews ask for [e]signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach [f](N)Christ crucified, (O)to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles (P)foolishness, 24 but to those who are (Q)the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ (R)the power of God and (S)the wisdom of God. 25 For the (T)foolishness of God is wiser than mankind, and (U)the weakness of God is stronger than mankind.

26 For [g]consider your (V)calling, brothers and sisters, that there were (W)not many wise according to [h]the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but (X)God has chosen the foolish things of (Y)the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of (Z)the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the [i]insignificant things of (AA)the world and the despised God has chosen, (AB)the things that are not, so that He may (AC)nullify the things that are, 29 so that (AD)no [j]human may boast before God. 30 But it is [k]due to Him that you are in (AE)Christ Jesus, who became to us (AF)wisdom from God, [l]and (AG)righteousness and (AH)sanctification, and (AI)redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written: “(AJ)Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Paul’s Reliance upon the Spirit

And when I came to you, brothers and sisters, I (AK)did not come as someone superior in [m]speaking ability or [n]wisdom, as I proclaimed to you (AL)the [o]testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except (AM)Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I also was with you in (AN)weakness and (AO)fear, and in great trembling, and my [p]message and my preaching were (AP)not in persuasive words of [q]wisdom, but in demonstration of (AQ)the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not [r]rest on the [s]wisdom of mankind, but on (AR)the power of God.

Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are (AS)mature; a wisdom, however, not of (AT)this age nor of the rulers of (AU)this age, who are (AV)passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a (AW)mystery, the hidden wisdom which God (AX)predestined before the (AY)ages to our glory; the wisdom (AZ)which none of the rulers of (BA)this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified (BB)the Lord of glory; but just as it is written:

(BC)Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the human heart,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

10 [t](BD)For to us God revealed them (BE)through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the (BF)depths of God. 11 For who among people knows the thoughts of a person except the (BG)spirit of the person that is in him? So also the thoughts of God no one knows, except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we (BH)have not received the spirit of (BI)the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. 13 We also speak these things, (BJ)not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, [u]combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

14 But [v]a (BK)natural person (BL)does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are (BM)foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But the one who is (BN)spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is [w]discerned by no one. 16 For (BO)who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But (BP)we have the mind of Christ.


  1. 1 Corinthians 1:18 Or perish
  2. 1 Corinthians 1:18 Or are saved
  3. 1 Corinthians 1:21 Or resolved
  4. 1 Corinthians 1:21 Lit preaching
  5. 1 Corinthians 1:22 Or confirming miracles
  6. 1 Corinthians 1:23 I.e., the Messiah
  7. 1 Corinthians 1:26 Lit see
  8. 1 Corinthians 1:26 I.e., human standards
  9. 1 Corinthians 1:28 Or lowly
  10. 1 Corinthians 1:29 Lit flesh
  11. 1 Corinthians 1:30 Lit from Him
  12. 1 Corinthians 1:30 Or both
  13. 1 Corinthians 2:1 Lit speech
  14. 1 Corinthians 2:1 Or cleverness
  15. 1 Corinthians 2:1 One early ms mystery
  16. 1 Corinthians 2:4 Lit word
  17. 1 Corinthians 2:4 Or cleverness
  18. 1 Corinthians 2:5 Lit be
  19. 1 Corinthians 2:5 Or cleverness
  20. 1 Corinthians 2:10 One early ms But
  21. 1 Corinthians 2:13 Or interpreting spiritual things for spiritual people
  22. 1 Corinthians 2:14 Or an unspiritual
  23. 1 Corinthians 2:15 Or judged

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