« PreviousContinue »
sent me to baptize, but to baptize, but rather to preach the gospreachi the gospel: pel, that I may have leisure to con
Not, HOWEVER, with vert unbelievers; wisdom of speech, 2 that the Not, however, by using philosophicross of Christ might not cal arguments expressed in rhetorical be deprived of its efficacy. 3 language, that the doctrine of salva(Sce Philip. ii. 7. note 1.) tion through the cross of Christ,
might not be deprived of its efficacy,
as a truth revealed of God. 18 For the preaching (o 18 For the preaching concerning TOU Sæupov, 24.) which is con- the cross of Christ as the means of cerning the cross, to the de- salvation, to the destroyed among the stroyed, indeed, is foolish- heathen philosophers and Jewish ness, but to us, the saved, scribes, is indeed foolishness; but to us (Rom. xi. 26. note 1.) it is who are saved from the errors of the power of God. heathenism and Judaism, it is found
to be the powerful means whereby God
saves sinners. 19 (ræp, 93.) Therefore 19 Because the preaching of a it is written,' I will destroy crucified Saviour would be reckonthe wisdom of the wise, ed folly, it is avritten, I will explode the and will set aside the know- philosophy of the philosophers, and will ledge of the intelligent. 2 set aside the learning of the scribes as
useless, by making the preaching of a crucified Saviour, more effectual
than either for reforming the world. 20 Where is the wise 20 Where is the philosopher ? man ?? Where the scribe? Where the scribe? Where the sceptic
Ver. 19.-1. It is written, I will destroy, &c. This is a quotation from Isaiah xxix. 14. Bebold I will proceed to do a marvellous work amongst this people, even a marvellous work, and a wonder. For the wisdom of their wise men sball perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be bid.
2. The knowledge of the intelligent. As the prophet had in his eye the Grecian and Jewish literature, the word ouver, knowledge, must signify eruditior. ; and GUVETáv, intelligent, must mean learned men.
Ver. 20.–1. Where is the wise man? The Greek philosophers were first named copos, wise men : afterwards they changed the appellation into 0110Fo$, Lovers of wisdom. That they are meant here is plain from ver. 21. where the Gentiles are said, through wisdom, to have lost the knowledge of God.
2. Wbere the scribe? The scribes are often mentioned in the gospels. They were an order of learned men among the Jews, much esteemed for their supposed knowledge of the scriptures. Hence they were consulted by He
VOL. II. 4
hath not God made foolish ο Θεος την σοφιαν του κοσμου the wisdom of this world?
τουτου; 21 For after that, in the 21 Επειδη γαρ εν τη σοWisdom of God, the world φια του Θεου ουκ έγνω
ο κοσby wisdoin knew not God, it pleased God by the too μoς δια της σοφιας τον Θεον,
ευδοκησεν ο Θεος, δια της μωishness of preaching to save them that believe.
ριας του κηρυγματος, σωσαι
τους πιςευοντας. 22 For the Jews require
22 Επειδη και Ιουδαιοι σηa sign, and the Greeks μειον αιτoυσι, και Ελληνες seek after wisdom. σοφιαν ζητουσιν 23' But we preach Christ
23 Ημεις δε κηρυσσομεν crucited, unto the Jews a Χριςον εςαυρωμενον, Ιουδαιοις stumbling-block, and unto μεν σκανδαλου, Ελλησι δε the Greeks foolishness;
μωριαν" 24 But unto them which
24 Αυτοις δε τους κλητους are called both Jews and Ιουδαιοις τε και Ελλησι, ΧριςGreeks, Christ the power
ον Θεου δυναμιν και Θεου of God, and the wisdom of God.
rod concerning the place where the Christ should be born, Matth. ii. 4. If the false teacher was one of this order, the propriety of calling on the scribes to appear with the heathen learned men, to behold the wisdom of this world made foolishness by God, will be evident.
3. Where the disputer ? By ou Snarens, disputer, some understand the Jew. ish doctors who disputed publicly in the synagogues and schools. Thus we are told, Luke ii. 46. that Jesus sat among the doctors, bearing them, and asking them questions. Others suppose the apostle meant the academies or sceptics, who were great disputers. Jerome on Gal. iii. thought the apostle meant natural philosophers, whom the Jews called sapientes scrutationis.
Ver. 21.-1. The world through wisdom. Here the word oodid, wisdom, signifies the disquisitions of the learned Greeks, to which they gave the name of philosophy, but which at length rendered every thing so doubtful, that these learned men lost the persuasion even of the plainest truths.
Ver. 22.-1. The Jews demand a sign. Since the apostle wrought great miracles daily in confirmation of the gospel, the sign which the Jews demand. ed, was, in all probability, the sign from heaven, which we are told Mark viii. 11. the pharisees sought from our Lord himself. For as Daniel had fore. told the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven, to receive the kingdom, the Jews expected that the Christ would make his first appearance in the clouds, and by some great exertion of power, wrest the empire of the Where the disputer 3 of this of this world ? Let them declare world? Huth not God what reformation they have wrought made foolish the wisdom on mankind. Fiath not God shewn the of this world?
foolishness of the wi dom of this world; the inefficacy of philosophy in bringing men to the knowledge of God and to the practice of virtue, by leaving them so long to its guidance
without effect. 21 (Ewuldn yop) For 21 For when, in the wise governo when, in the wisdom of ment of God, (Gal. iv. 4. note 1.) exGod, the world through perience had shewn, that the world, wisdom' knew not God, through philosophy, did not attain the (see Rom. i. 21. note 2.) knowledge of God, it pleased God, it pleased God, through through what the philosophers call the foolishness of preach the foolishness of public p eaching, to ing, to save them who be- save them who believe the things lieve.
preached concerning the Lord Jesus. 22 (Επειδη και, 179.) 22 And although the Jews de mand And although the Jews dee a miracle in proof, that Jesus is the mand a sign, and the Christ, and the Greeks seek wisdom, Greeks seek wisdom,
that is a scheme of philosophy, in
the doctrines of the gospel, 23 Yet we preach Christ 23 Yet, we preach salvation crucified, to the Jews, through Christ crucified, which to the indeed, a stumbling-block, Jews, indeed, who believe that their and to the Greeks foolish- Christ will never die, (John xii. 34.) ness :
is a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks is foolishness, who think it absurd to speak of being saved by one who
did not save himself: 24 But to them who 24 But to them who have obeyed are called, both Jews and the gospel call, both Jews and Greeks, Greeks, Christ the power the doctrine of salvation through of God, and the wisdom Christ crucified, is the powerful and of God.
wise means by which God accumplisheth their conversion. .
world from the Romans. No wonder then, that the preaching of the Christ crucified, was to the Jews a stumbling-block.
Ver. 23.–1. We preach Christ. The Greek word xgisc, Christ, is the literal translation of the Hebrew word Messiah, and both signify an anointed person. Now this name being appropriated by the Jewish prophets to the
25 Because the foolish- 25 Ότι το μωρον του Θεου, , ness of God is wiser than σοφώτερον των ανθρωπων εςι men; and the weakness of
και το ασθενες του Θεου, ισGod is stronger than men.
χυροτερον των ανθρωπων εςι. 26 For ye see your call- 2ο Βλεπετε γαρ την κλησιν ing, brethren, how that υμων, αδελφοι, ότι ου πολλοι not many wise men after
σοφοι κατα σαρκα, ου πολλοι the Hesh, not many mighty, δυνατοι, ου πολλοι ευγενεις not many noble, are called, 27 But God hath chosen
Αλλα τα the foolish things of the
κοσμου εξελέξατο ο Θεος, ένα world, to confound the
τους σοφους καταισχυνη και wise; and God hath chosen
τα ασθενη του κοσμου εξελεthe weak things of the world, to confound the ξατο ο Θεος, ένα καταισχυνη things which are mighty; Tu lo xupa.
Son of God, whose coming into the world they foretold, the Christian preachers, by applying it to their master, declared him to be the Son of God. Of this use of the name Christ, the following are esamples, John x. 24. How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ tell us plainly. John xi. 27. I believe thou art the Christ obe Son of God which should come.
Ver. 26. 1.-Call you. These words I have supplied from the first clause of the verse. Our translators have supplied the words, are called, which convey a sentiment neither true nor suitable to the apostle's design. It is not true : for even in Judea among the chief rulers, many believed on him, John xii. 42. particularly Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea Other Jews likewise of rank and learning were called ; such as the nobleman, whose sick son Jesus cured, John iv. 53. and Manaen, Herod's foster-brother, and Cornelius, and Gamaliel, and that great company of priests mentioned, Acts vi. 7. Who were obedient to the faith. At Ephesus, many who used the arts of magic and divination were called, and who were men of learning, as appears from the number and value of their books which they burned after embracing the gospel, Acts xix. 19. And in such numerous churches as those of Antioch, Thessalonica, Corinth and Rome, it can hardly be doubted that there were disciples in the higher ranks of life. There were brethren even in the emperor's family, Philip. iv. 22. In short the precepts in the epistles, to masters to treat their slaves with humanity, and to women concerning their not adorning themselves with gold and silver and costly raiment, shew that many wealthy persons had embraced the gospel —On the other hand, though it were true, That not many wise men, &c were call. ed, it did not suit the apostle's argument to mention it here. For surely God's not calling many of the wise, &c. joined with his calling the foolish ones of the world to believe, did not put to shame the wise and strong, &c. Whereas, if the discourse is understood of the preachers of the gospel, who
25 (OT 255.) There- 25 Therefore, the foolishness of fore, the foolishness of God, the method chosen by God, God is wiser than men, which men reckon foolishness, is and the weakness of God wiser, as being more effectual, than is stronger than any method devised by men; and (For a similar ellipsis, see the weak instruments employed by God, John v.36.)
are stronger than those thought
strong by men. 26 For ye see the call- 26 (rap) For ye see the calling of ing of you, brethren, that you, brethren, that not many persons not many wise men af- remarkable for human literature, not ter the flesh, not many many mighty by their offices, not many mighty, not many noble eminent for their noble birth, are choCALL rou, 1
sen to call you into the fellowship of
the gospel, ver. 9. 27 But the foolish ones 27 But the illiterate ones of the of the world, 'God hath world, God hath chosen to call you, that chosen to CALL YOU, that he might put to shame the learned; and he might put to shame the the weak ones of the world, persons wise, and the weak ones possessed of no worldly power, God of the world God hath hath chosen to call you, that he might chosen, that he might put put to shame those, who, by their rank to shame the strong ones.
and office, were strong ones, persons who, by their authority and example, might have successfully reformed others.
were employed to convert the world, all is clear and pertinent. God chose not the learned, the mighty, and the noble ones of this world to preach the gospel, but illiterate and weak men, and men of low birth : and by making them successful in reforming mankind, he put to shame the legislators, statesmen, and philosophers among the heathens, and the learned scribes and doctors among the Jews, who never had done any thing to the purpose in that matter.
Ver. 27.-1. But, ta recept, sup. Tporwal, the foolish ones of the world. In this passage, the apostle imitated the contemptuous language in which the Greek philosophers affected to speak of the Christian preachers. Yet as he does it in irony, he thereby aggrandized them. The first preachers of the gospel, as Dr. Newton observes on Prophecy, vol. 1. p. 237. “ Were
chiefly a few poor fishermen, of low parentage and education, of no learn“ing or eloquence, of no reputation or authority, despised as Jews by the "rest of mankind, and by the Jews as the meanest and worst of themselves. * What improper instruments were these to contend with the prejudices of * the world, the superstition of the people, the interests of the priests, the