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Greeting From Paul and Sosthenes
- Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus the Anointed through God’s will, and Sosthenes our brother,
- to the church of God living in Corinth, (who were – and are – being made holy in Jesus the Anointed) called to be holy with all the men who call on the name of the Anointed Lord Jesus in every place, both theirs and ours;
- grace(1)“grace” The Greek word here is “χάρις” (charis), most often translated “grace” or “gift”. It was a technical term in the 1st century, referring to the Patronage system in place. The Patron (from “pater” = “father”) would give gifts or do favors (both called a charis) for someone. A charis was always given/done freely to anyone who would be grateful for it, and this person then became a “client” of the patron. The clients were expected to reciprocate by telling everyone what the patron had done, and offering their services to the patron whenever the patron needed them. This reciprocal act was also called “charis”, and the ones who reciprocated were “being faithful”. Both were done out of gratitude, not legal obligation. A client who wasn’t faithful and grateful probably wouldn’t receive any more charis from his patron, or any other patrons. The patron was responsible for taking care of all his clients, and making sure their needs were met. Christian Grace and Faith is well picture by this system. The Heavenly Patron (God the Father) freely gave a gift (Jesus’ blood), and the clients who accept it (Christians) are expected to “be faithful” out of gratitude. and peace to you from God our Father and the Anointed Lord Jesus.
- I thank My God always concerning you, for God’s grace which was given to you in Jesus the Anointed,
- because in everything you’ve been made rich in Him; in every word and all knowledge,
- even as the testimony of the Anointed was secured in you,
- so you won’t lack – not even in one gift(3)or “grace”, see note on verse 3. – as you’re eagerly awaiting the unveiling of our Anointed Lord Jesus,
- who will also secure you until the end; blameless in the day of our Anointed Lord Jesus.
- God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus the Anointed, our Lord.
Call for Unity
- But brothers, I urge you by the name of our Anointed Lord Jesus that you all speak the same things, and that there wouldn’t be divisions among you, and that you’d be joining together(2)“joining together” is a single difficult-to-translate word in Greek. It properly means to “fully adjust” so the object is prepared and in a proper working order. Thus, it can also have the sense of repairing/mending something which was already prepared so it’s prepared again, or joining two things together a first time so they function properly. Further, the passive and middle voice of this verb share the same ending. Therefore, Paul could be saying they should “join themselves together” (middle voice) or “be joined together” (passive voice). Either or both could’ve been intended. in the same mind and in the same opinion.(4)“opinion” or “judgement”, in the sense of making a decision between two or more things
- For about you my brothers, it was revealed to me by Chloe’s men that there are quarrels among you.
- Now, I mean this: each of you says: “I’m following Paul.” or “I’m following Apollos.” or “I’m following Cephas.”(5)“Cephas” is Aramaic for “a rock”, and is another name for the disciple/apostle Peter. or “I’m following the Anointed.”
- Was – or is – the Anointed divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he?” Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
- I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
- so someone can’t say that you were baptized in my name.
- Now, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. But about the rest, I didn’t – and don’t – remember if I baptized any other.
- For the Anointed didn’t send me to baptize, but to proclaim the Gospel. And not in wise speech, so the cross of the Anointed won’t be emptied of its power and value.(6)“emptied of its power and value” is one word in Greek. It’s in the passive form here, which means to be emptied out, which can carry the connotation of losing power, losing value, or both. I.e. it becomes powerless and/or valueless.
Wisdom of God and Foolishness of Man
- For the preaching of the cross is indeed foolishness to the men who perish; but it’s the power of God to us, the men who are saved.
- For it was – and is – written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will nullify the intelligence of the intelligent.”(7)Quotation/allusion to Isaiah 29:14
- Where is the wise man? Where is the Scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Didn’t God surely prove the wisdom of the world foolish?(8)“prove… …foolish” is one word in Greek. It can also mean to make something foolish; either or both senses might’ve been intended.
- For since in God’s wisdom, the world didn’t know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save the men who believe through the foolishness of the gospel’s proclamation.
- And since Jews ask for miraculous signs and the Greeks seek wisdom,
- we preach the Anointed who was – and is – crucified, (which indeed is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles)
- but to the called(9)literally “but to they the called” – both Jews and Greeks – God’s Anointed is the power and wisdom of God.
- For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
- For look at your calling brothers; that not many are wise according to the flesh,(10)“flesh” The Greek word here literally means the “flesh”, as in the muscle or skin that covers the bones. Metaphorically, it refers to things done without God, especially those things done in our own strength or ability. not many are powerful, and not many are of noble birth.
- But God chose the world’s foolish so He might shame the wise. And God chose the world’s weak so He might shame the strong. (11)Verse note: many translations add the word “things” to the items on this list, eliminating the possibility that Paul is talking about people (Christians) here. The probable reason is they are all in the neuter gender, making that translation not necessarily wrong. However, Paul might’ve been referring to both people and/or things.
- And God chose the world’s low-born; and those who were – and are – despised; and those who are not, so He might abolish those who are…
- so that no flesh might boast before God
- But because of Him, you are in Jesus the Anointed, who became wisdom to us from God, and also righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,
- so just as it was – and is – written; “The man who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.“(12)Quotation/allusion to 9:23-23
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