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W was created in the 11th century from VV. J was distinguished from the original I only during the late Middle Ages, as was the letter U from V. Classical Latin did not contain sentence punctuation , letter case, [48] or interword spacing , but apices were sometimes used to distinguish length in vowels and the interpunct was used at times to separate words.

The first line of Catullus 3, originally written as. The Roman cursive script is commonly found on the many wax tablets excavated at sites such as forts, an especially extensive set having been discovered at Vindolanda on Hadrian's Wall in Britain. Most notable is the fact that while most of the Vindolanda tablets show spaces between words, spaces were avoided in monumental inscriptions from that era. Latin is a synthetic , fusional language in the terminology of linguistic typology. In more traditional terminology, it is an inflected language, but typologists are apt to say "inflecting".

Words include an objective semantic element and markers specifying the grammatical use of the word. The grammatical function can be changed by changing the markers: the word is "inflected" to express different grammatical functions, but the semantic element usually does not change. Inflection uses affixing and infixing. Affixing is prefixing and suffixing.

Latin inflections are never prefixed. There is an inherent ambiguity: -t may denote more than one grammatical category: masculine, feminine, or neuter gender. A major task in understanding Latin phrases and clauses is to clarify such ambiguities by an analysis of context. All natural languages contain ambiguities of one sort or another. The inflections express gender , number , and case in adjectives , nouns , and pronouns , a process called declension. Markers are also attached to fixed stems of verbs, to denote person , number, tense , voice , mood , and aspect , a process called conjugation.

Some words are uninflected and undergo neither process, such as adverbs, prepositions, and interjections. A regular Latin noun belongs to one of five main declensions, a group of nouns with similar inflected forms. The declensions are identified by the genitive singular form of the noun. The first declension, with a predominant ending letter of a , is signified by the genitive singular ending of -ae. The second declension, with a predominant ending letter of o , is signified by the genitive singular ending of -i. The third declension, with a predominant ending letter of i , is signified by the genitive singular ending of -is.

The fifth declension, with a predominant ending letter of e , is signified by the genitive singular ending of -ei. There are seven Latin noun cases, which also apply to adjectives and pronouns and mark a noun's syntactic role in the sentence by means of inflections. Thus, word order is not as important in Latin as it is in English, which is less inflected.

The general structure and word order of a Latin sentence can therefore vary. The cases are as follows:. Latin lacks both definite and indefinite articles so puer currit can mean either "the boy is running" or "a boy is running". There are two types of regular Latin adjectives: first- and second- declension and third-declension. They are so-called because their forms are similar or identical to first- and second-declension and third-declension nouns, respectively.

Latin adjectives also have comparative more --, -er and superlative most --, est forms. There are also a number of Latin participles. First and second-declension adjectives are declined like first-declension nouns for the feminine forms and like second-declension nouns for the masculine and neuter forms. For example, for mortuus, mortua, mortuum dead , mortua is declined like a regular first-declension noun such as puella girl , mortuus is declined like a regular second-declension masculine noun such as dominus lord, master , and mortuum is declined like a regular second-declension neuter noun such as auxilium help.

Third-declension adjectives are mostly declined like normal third-declension nouns, with a few exceptions. In the plural nominative neuter, for example, the ending is -ia omnia all, everything , and for third-declension nouns, the plural nominative neuter ending is -a or -ia capita heads , animalia animals They can have one, two or three forms for the masculine, feminine, and neuter nominative singular.

Latin participles, like English participles, are formed from a verb. Latin sometimes uses prepositions, depending on the type of prepositional phrase being used. Most prepositions are followed by a noun in either the accusative or ablative case: "apud puerum" with the boy , with "puerum" being the accusative form of "puer", boy, and "sine puero" without the boy, "puero" being the ablative form of "puer".

A few adpositions , however, govern a noun in the genitive such as "gratia" and "tenus". A regular verb in Latin belongs to one of four main conjugations. A conjugation is "a class of verbs with similar inflected forms. Irregular verbs may not follow the types or may be marked in a different way. The "endings" presented above are not the suffixed infinitive markers. The first letter in each case is the last of the stem so the conjugations are also called a-conjugation, e-conjugation and i-conjugation. Third-conjugation stems end in a consonant: the consonant conjugation.

Further, there is a subset of the third conjugation, the i-stems, which behave somewhat like the fourth conjugation, as they are both i-stems, one short and the other long. There are six general "tenses" in Latin present, imperfect, future, perfect, pluperfect and future perfect , three moods indicative, imperative and subjunctive, in addition to the infinitive , participle , gerund , gerundive and supine , three persons first, second and third , two numbers singular and plural , two voices active and passive and two aspects perfective and imperfective.

Verbs are described by four principal parts:. There are six "tenses" in the Latin language. These are divided into two tense systems: the present system, which is made up of the present, imperfect and future tenses, and the perfect system, which is made up of the perfect, pluperfect and future perfect tenses. Each tense has a set of endings corresponding to the person, number, and voice of the subject. Subject nominative pronouns are generally omitted for the first I, we and second you persons except for emphasis.

The table below displays the common inflected endings for the indicative mood in the active voice in all six tenses. For the future tense, the first listed endings are for the first and second conjugations, and the second listed endings are for the third and fourth conjugations:. As Latin is an Italic language, most of its vocabulary is likewise Italic, ultimately from the ancestral Proto-Indo-European language. However, because of close cultural interaction, the Romans not only adapted the Etruscan alphabet to form the Latin alphabet but also borrowed some Etruscan words into their language, including persona "mask" and histrio "actor".

After the Fall of Tarentum BC , the Romans began Hellenising, or adopting features of Greek culture, including the borrowing of Greek words, such as camera vaulted roof , sumbolum symbol , and balineum bath. Because of the Roman Empire's expansion and subsequent trade with outlying European tribes, the Romans borrowed some northern and central European words, such as beber beaver , of Germanic origin, and bracae breeches , of Celtic origin. The dialects of Latin evolved into different Romance languages. During and after the adoption of Christianity into Roman society, Christian vocabulary became a part of the language, either from Greek or Hebrew borrowings or as Latin neologisms.

Over the ages, Latin-speaking populations produced new adjectives, nouns, and verbs by affixing or compounding meaningful segments. Often, the concatenation changed the part of speech, and nouns were produced from verb segments or verbs from nouns and adjectives. The phrases are mentioned with accents to show where stress is placed. In ancient times, numbers in Latin were written only with letters. Today, the numbers can be written with the Arabic numbers as well as with Roman numerals. The numbers 1, 2 and 3 and every whole hundred from to are declined as nouns and adjectives, with some differences.

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt.

Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt. Eorum una pars, quam Gallos obtinere dictum est, initium capit a flumine Rhodano, continetur Garumna flumine, Oceano, finibus Belgarum; attingit etiam ab Sequanis et Helvetiis flumen Rhenum; vergit ad septentriones.

Belgae ab extremis Galliae finibus oriuntur; pertinent ad inferiorem partem fluminis Rheni; spectant in septentrionem et orientem solem. Aquitania a Garumna flumine ad Pyrenaeos montes et eam partem Oceani quae est ad Hispaniam pertinet; spectat inter occasum solis et septentriones. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Latin disambiguation. Indo-European language of the Italic family. Latin inscription, in the Colosseum of Rome , Italy. Language family. Writing system.

Map indicating the greatest extent of the Roman Empire under Emperor Trajan c. Many languages other than Latin were spoken within the empire. Range of the Romance languages, the modern descendants of Latin, in Europe. Main article: History of Latin. Main article: Old Latin. Main article: Classical Latin. Main articles: Vulgar Latin and Late Latin.

Main article: Medieval Latin. Main article: Renaissance Latin. Main article: New Latin. Main articles: Contemporary Latin and Ecclesiastical Latin. Main article: Latin spelling and pronunciation. Main article: Latin alphabet. Main articles: Latin grammar and Latin syntax.

Main article: Latin declension. Main articles: Latin grammar and Latin conjugation. Further information: Latin numerals linguistics. Ancient Rome portal Language portal Catholicism portal. Britannica ed. Glottolog 3. A companion to Latin studies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Archived from the original on 21 April Retrieved 15 February In Italy, all alphabets were originally written from right to left; the oldest Latin inscription, which appears on the lapis niger of the seventh century BC, is in bustrophedon, but all other early Latin inscriptions run from right to left.

London: Broadway Books. From Latin to modern French with especial consideration of Anglo-Norman; phonology and morphology. Publications of the University of Manchester, no. French series, no. Manchester: Manchester university press. Source book of the history of education for the Greek and Roman period. The story of Latin and the Romance languages 1st ed.

Introduction to the New Testament

Documents in medieval Latin. Ananias vouched for him by his vision. This was a public committal and a proclamation of his new creed. There was tremendous pith and point in this statement from Saul. It rests at bottom on Paul's own experience of grace. We need not argue Garvie, Studies of Paul and His Gospel , 51 that Paul understood at once the full content of the new message, but he had the heart of it right. There was evidently a tumult in Paul's soul. He had undergone a revolution, both intellectual and spiritual. Before he proceeded farther it was wise to think through the most important implications of the new standpoint.

He did not go to them for instruction or for ecclesiastical authority. He did not adopt the merely traditional view of Jesus as the Messiah. He knew, of course, the Christian contention well enough, for he had answered it often enough. But now his old arguments were gone an4t he must work his way round to the other side, and be able to put his new gospel with clearness and force.

Henceforth to him Jesus is Lord. We know nothing of Paul's life in Arabia nor in what part of Arabia he was. He may have gone to Mt. Sinai and thought out grace in the atmosphere of law, but that is not necessary. But it is clear that Paul grew in apprehension of the things of Christ during these years, as indeed he grew to the very end. But he did not grow away from the first clear vision of Christ. He claimed that from the first and to the very last.

Pfieiderer Influence of the Apostle Paul on the Development of Christianity , 3rd edition, , rejects Colossians because of the advanced Christology here found. But the Christology of Col is implicit in Paul's first sermon at Damascus. The narrow Jew has surrendered to Christ who died for the sins of the world. The universal gospel has taken hold of his mind and heart, and it will work out its logical consequences in Paul.

The time in Arabia is not wasted. He is now the slave of Christ. For him henceforth to live is Christ. He is crucified with Christ. He is in Christ. The union of Paul with Christ is the real key to his life. It is far more than a doctrine about Christ. It is real fellowship with Christ Deissmann, St. Thus it is that the man who probably never saw Christ in the flesh understands him best Wernle, Beginnings of Christianity , I, Their former hero was now their foe. The disciples had learned to run from Saul.

This then is the beginning of the active ministry of the man who was called to be a chosen vessel to Gentiles, kings, and Jews, There was no need to go back to the wilderness. He had gotten his bearings clearly now. He had his message and it had his whole heart. No door was open as yet among the Gentiles. Sooner or later he must go to Jerusalem and confer with the leaders there if he was to cooperate with them in the evangelization of the world. Saul knew that he would be an object of suspicion to the disciples in Jerusalem. That was inevitable in view of the past. It was best to go, but he did not wish to ask any favors of the apostles.

They knew each other, of course, as opponents. But Saul comes now with the olive branch to his old enemy. He did see James, the Lord's brother, who was not one of the Twelve. All had been quiet, and now Saul suddenly appears in Jerusalem in a new role. It was, they feared, just a ruse to complete his work of old. But for Barnabas, Saul might not have had that visit of 15 days with Peter.

Barnabas was a Hellenist of Cyprus and believed Saul's story and stood by him. It was a repetition of Damascus, but Saul did not wish to run again so soon. One martyr like Stephen is enough. It was an ominous beginning for a ministry with so clear a call. Where can he go now? Who would welcome him there?

At Jerusalem he apparently avoided Gamaliel and the Sanhedrin. He was with the Christians and preached to the Hellenistic Jews. The Jews regarded him as a turncoat, a renegade Jew. He was not idle then. The way was not yet opened for formal entrance upon the missionary enterprise, but Saul was not the man to do nothing at home because of that. If they would not hear him at Damascus and Jerusalem, they would in the regions of Syria and Cilicia, his home province.

We are left in doubt at first whether Paul preached only to Jews or to Gentiles also. He had the specific call to preach to the Gentiles, and there is no reason why he should not have done so in this province, preaching to the Jews first as he did afterward. He did not have the scruples of Simon Peter to overcome. When he appears at Antioch with Barnabas, he seems to take hold like an old hand at the business. It is quite probable, therefore, that this obscure ministry of some 8 or 10 years may have had more results than we know.

Cilicia was now part of the Roman province of Syria. So then we conclude that Saul had a Gentileministry in this region. One can but wonder whether Saul was kindly received at home by his father and mother. They had looked upon him with pride as the possible successor of Gamaliel, and now he is a follower of the despised Nazarene and a preacher of the Cross. Findlay HDB argues that Saul would not have remained in this region so long if his home relations had been altogether hostile. It is a severe test of character when the doors close against one. But Saul turned defeat to glorious gain.

If we count the years strictly, 14 from 56 AD would bring us to 42 AD. Garvie Life and Teaching of Paul , 41 holds he received the call first. He had undoubtedly had a measure of success in his work in Cilicia and Syria. He had the seal of the divine blessing on his work among the Gentiles. But there was a pang of disappointment over the attitude of the Jerusalem church toward his work. He was apparently left alone to his own resources. There is no bitterness in this tone - but puzzled surprise.

It seems that the 12 apostles are more or less absent from Jerusalem during this period with James the brother of the Lord Jesus as chief elder. A narrow Pharisaic element in the church was active and sought to shape the policy of the church in its attitude toward the Gentiles.

This is clear in the treatment of Peter, when he returned to Jerusalem after the experience at Caesarea with Cornelius Acts There was acquiescence, but with the notion that this was an exceptional case of the Lord's doing. Probably mindful of the discipline attempted on Simon Peter, he refrained from going back at once to Jerusalem. Moreover, he believed in Saul and his work, and thus he gave him his great opportunity at Antioch. So great was the outcome that the disciples received a new name to distinguish them from the Gentiles and the Jews.

There was then a great Greek church at Antioch, possibly equal in size to the Jewish church in Jerusalem. This contribution would help the Jerusalem saints to understand now that the Greeks were really converted. It was apparently successful according to the record in Acts. The incidents in Acts 12, as already noted, are probably not contemporaneous with this visit, but either prior or subsequent to it. But then Paul is not giving a list of visits, but is only showing his independence of the apostles.

If they were absent from Jerusalem at that time, there would be no occasion to mention it. Besides, Luke in Acts 15 does recount the struggle in Jerusalem over the problem of Gentileliberty. The Pharisaic element was apparently quiescent, and the outlook for the future work among the Gentiles seemed hopeful.

Paul had already preached to the Gentiles in Cilicia and Syria for some 10 years. The work was not new to him. He had had his specific call from Jerusalem long ago and had answered it. But now an entirely new situation arises. His work had been individual in Cilicia. They were to go together, and they had the sympathy and prayers of a great church. No such unanimous endorsement could have been obtained in Jerusalem to this great enterprise.

It was momentous in its possibilities for Christianity. Hitherto work among the Gentiles had been sporadic and incidental. Now a determined effort was to be made to evangelize a large section of the Roman empire. There is no suggestion that the church at Antioch provided funds for this or for the two later Campaigns, as the church at Philippi came to do. How that was managed this time we do not know. Some individuals may have helped. Paul had his trade to fall back on, and often had resort to it later. The visit to Cyprus , the home of Barnabas, was natural.

We are left to conjecture as to results there and through the whole island till Paphos is reached. There they meet a man of great prominence and intelligence, Sergius Paulus , the Roman proconsul, who had been under the spell of a sorcerer with a Jewish name - Elymas Bar-jesus compare Peter's encounter with Simon Magus in Samaria. He won Sergius Paulus, and this gave him cheer for his work.

From now on it is Paul, not Saul, in the record of Luke, perhaps because of this incident, though both names probably belonged to him from the first. There is no evidence here of resentment on the part of Barnabas at the leadership of Paul. The whole campaign may have been planned from the start by the Holy Spirit as the course now taken may have been due to Paul's leadership. Paul and Barnabas push on to the tablelands of Pisidia. Paul the Traveler , 93 thinks that Paul had malaria down at Perga and hence desired to get up into higher land.

That is possible. These terms are ethnographic descriptions of the southern divisions of the Roman province of Galatia, the northern portion being Galatia proper or North Galatia. So then Paul and Barnabas are now at work in South Galatia, though Luke does not mention that name, using here only the popular designations.

The work is wonderfully successful. In these cities, on one of the great Roman roads east and west, Paul is reaching the centers of provincial life as will be his custom. Paul may have kept notes of the discourse. There were devout Gentiles at these services. These were the first to be won, and thus a wider circle of Gentiles could be reached. Paul and Barnabas were too successful at Antioch in Pisidia. Similar success brings like results in Iconium. At Lystra, before the hostile Jews come, Paul and Barnabas have great success and, because of the healing of the impotent man, are taken as Mercury and Jupiter respectively, and worship is offered them.

The attempt on Paul's life after the Jews came seemed successful. From Derbe they retrace their steps to Perga, in order to strengthen the churches with officers, and then sail for Seleucia and Antioch. They make their report to the church at Antioch. It is a wonderful story. No report was sent to Jerusalem. What will the Pharisaic party do now? There was peril to the supremacy of the Jewish element. They had assumed at first, as even Peter did who was not a Judaizer Acts 10 , that the Gentiles who became disciples would also become Jews.

But they had not agreed to a campaign to Hellenize Christianity. The matter had to stop. So the Judaizers came up to Antioch and laid down the law to Paul and Barnabas. They did not wait for them to come to Jerusalem. They might not come till it was too late compare Barnabas in Acts Paul and Barnabas had not sought the controversy. They had both received specific instructions from the Holy Spirit to make this great campaign among the Gentiles. They would not stultify themselves and destroy the liberty of the Gentiles in Christ by going back and having the Mosaic Law imposed on them by the ceremony of circumcision.

They saw at once the gravity of the issue. The very essence of the gospel of grace was involved. Paul had turned away from this yoke of bondage. He would not go back to it nor would he impose it on his converts. The church at Antioch stood by Paul and Barnabas. Surely there is no inconsistency here.

It is not difficult to combine the personal narrative in Gal 2 with the public meetings recorded in Acts In this private conference some of the timid brethren wished to persuade Paul to have Titus, a Greek Christian whom Paul had brought down from Antioch a live specimen!

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But Paul stood his ground for the truth of the gospel and was supported by Peter, John and James. They agreed all around for Paul and Barnabas to go on with their work to the Gentiles, and Peter, John and James would push the work among the Jews a division in sphere of work, like home and foreign missions, not a denominational cleavage.

Here, then, for the first time, Paul has had an opportunity to talk the matter over with the apostolic teachers, and they agree. The Judaizers will have no support from the apostles. The battle was really won in their private conference. In the second public meeting Acts all goes smoothly enough. Ample opportunity for free discussion is offered. Then Peter shows how God had used him to preach to the Romans, and how the Jews themselves had to believe on Christ in order to be saved.

He opposed putting a yoke on the Gentiles that the Jews could not bear. There was a pause, and then Barnabas and Paul note the order here: courtesy to Barnabas spoke again. After another pause, James, the president of the conference, the brother of the Lord Jesus, and a stedfast Jew, spoke. He suggests liberty to the Gentiles with the prohibition of pollution of idols, of fornication, things strangled, and blood. If this is correct, the decree prohibits idolatry, fornication and murder Wilson, Origin and Aim of the Acts of the Apostles , , At any rate, the decision is a tremendous victory for Paul and Barnabas.

If the other reading is correct, Jewish feelings about things strangled and blood are to be respected. The new ground for complaint was that they had not settled the question of social relations with the Gentiles in the Jerusalem conference and that Peter had exceeded the agreement there reached. It was a serious crisis. Peter had not changed his convictions, but had once more cowered in an hour of peril. But the Judaizers had renewed the war, and they would keep it up and harry the work of Paul all over the world. Paul had the fight of his life upon his hands.

The impulse to go out again came from Paul. They pass through the Cilician gates to Derbe, the end of the first tour, and go to Lystra. Here they pick up Timothy, who more than takes Mark's place in Paul's life.

Verse 12:34

Timothy's mother was a Jewess and his father a Greek. Paul decided therefore to have him circumcised since, as a half-Jew, he would be especially obnoxious to the Jews. This case differed wholly from that of Titus, a Greek, where principle was involved. Here it was a matter merely of expediency. Paul had taken the precaution to bring along the decrees of the Conference at Jerusalem in case there was need of them.

He delivered them to the churches. It has to be noted that in 1 Cor 8 through 10 and in Rom 14 and 15, when discussing the question of eating meats offered to idols, Paul does not refer to these decrees, but argues the matter purely from the standpoint of the principles involved. The Judaizers anyhow had not lived up to the agreement, but Paul is here doing his part by the decision.

Paul ; The Expositor T, , has become by his able advocacy the chief champion of the view that Paul never went to Galatia proper or North Galatia , and that he addressed his epistle to South Galatia , the churches visited in the first tour. For a careful history of the whole controversy in detail, see Moffatt, Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament , , who strongly supports the view of Lightfoot, H. The arguments are too varied and minute for complete presentation here. It is by no means certain that this is the idea of Luke.

In St. Paul the Traveler , , Ramsay pleads for the aorist of subsequent time, but Moulton Prolegomena , will have none of it. With that I agree. The aorist participle must give something synchronous with or antecedent to the principal verb. This is certainly very artificial and unlike the usual procedure. According to the other view, Paul had already visited the churches in Lycaonia and Pisidia on his former visit.

He wished to go on west into Asia, probably to Ephesus, but was forbidden by the Holy Spirit, and as a result turned northward through Phrygia and the regions of Galatia, using both terms in the ethnographic sense. Paul was already in the province of Galatia at Derbe and Lystra. It is still in debate, but the present interpretation is in harmony with the narrative in Acts. It is possible that Luke may have come to his rescue here. At any rate, he finally pushes on opposite Mysia and Bithynia in the extreme north and was forbidden by the Spirit from going on into Bithynia.

The gospel is finally planted in the great provinces of Macedonia and Achaia. In Philippi, a Roman colony and military outpost, Paul finds few Jews and has to go out to a prayer-place to find a few Jewish women to whom he can tell the story of Jesus. But he gains a start with Lydia and her household, and soon arouses the hostility of a company of men who were making money out of a poor girl's powers of divination.

But before Paul and Silas leave the jail, the jailer is himself converted, and a good church is established. At Thessalonica Paul has great success and arouses the jealousy of the Jews who gather a rabble and raise a disturbance and charge it up to Paul. At Philippi appeal was made to prejudice against Jews. At Thessalonica the charge is made that Paul preaches Jesus as a rival king to Caesar. Left alone in Athens, Paul's spirit was stirred over the idolatry before his eyes. But curiosity leads them to invite him to speak on the Areopagus.

This notable address, all alive to his surroundings, was rather rudely cut short by their indifference and mockery, and Paul left Athens with small results for his work. He goes over to Corinth, the great commercial city of the province, rich and with bizarre notions of culture. He gave them, not the flashy philosophy of the sophists, but the true Wisdom of God in simple words, the philosophy of the cross of Christ 1 Cor through This very success led to opposition, and Paul has to preach in the house of Titus Justus.

But the work goes on till Gallio comes and a renewed effort is made to have it stopped, but Gallio declines to interfere and thus practically makes Christianity a religio licita , since he treats it as a variety of Judaism. While here, after the arrival of Timothy and Silas, Paul writes the two letters to Thessalonica, the first of his 13 epistles. They are probably not very far apart in time, and deal chiefly with a grievous misunderstanding on their part concerning the emphasis placed by him on the Man of Sin and the Second Coming.

Paul had felt the power of the empire, and his attention is sharply drawn to the coming conflict between the Roman empire and the kingdom of God. He treats it in terms of apocalyptic eschatology. When he leaves Corinth, it is to go by Ephesus , with Aquila and Priscilla whom he leaves there with the promise to return.

He is back once again in Antioch after an absence of some 3 or 4 years. Denney Standard Bible Dictionary conjectures that Paul's brief stay at Jerusalem see above was due to the fact that he found that the Judaizers had organized opposition there against him in the absence of the apostles, and it was so unpleasant that he did not stay.

But I have put this incident as more probably before the disagreement with Barnabas over Mark, and as probably contributing to that breach at the beginning of the second tour. It is not necessary to suppose that the Judaizers remained acquiescent so long. What became of Silas? Paul has a ministry of 3 years, in round numbers, in Ephesus, which is full of excitement and anxiety from the work there and in Corinth.

Ephesus was the seat of the worship of Diana whose wonderful temple was their pride. It was with great difficulty that Paul was kept from going to the amphitheater, as it was. But here, as at Corinth, the Roman officer the town clerk defended Paul from the rage of his enemies there the jealous Jews, here the tradesmen whose business suffered. The household of Chloe had brought word of this situation to Paul. The effect on Paul was instantaneous. The latter part of the epistle 1 Cor 10 through 13 deals with the stubborn minority who still resist the authority of Paul as an apostle.

On the proposed treatment of these chapters as a separate epistle see the earlier part of this article. Paul seems to wait a while before going on to Corinth. He wishes the opposition to have time to repent. We have placed Galatians in the early part of this stay in Corinth, though it could have been written while at Ephesus. Romans was certainly written while here, and they both treat the same general theme of justification by faith. Perhaps messengers from Galatia with the contributions from that region report the havoc wrought there by the Judaizers.

Gal is a tremendous plea for the spiritual nature of Christianity as opposed to Jewish ceremonial legalism. Paul had long had it in mind to go to Rome. He had changed some details in his plans, but not the purpose to go to Jerusalem and then to Rome. Meanwhile, he writes the longest and most important letter of all to the Romans, in which he gives a fuller statement of his gospel, because they had not heard him preach, save his various personal friends who had gone there from the east Acts The statesmanship of Paul comes out now in great clearness.

He tarried at Philippi while the rest went on to Troas. At Philippi Paul is joined again by Luke, who stays with him till Rome is reached. We cannot follow the details in Acts at Troas , the voyage through the beautiful Archipelago , to Miletus. There Paul took advantage of the stop to send for the elders of Ephesus to whom he gave a wonderful address Acts They change ships at Patara for Phoenicia and pass to the right of Cyprus with its memories of Barnabas and Sergius Paulus and stop at Tyre , where Paul is warned not to go on to Jerusalem.

The hostility of the Judaizers to Paul is now common talk everywhere. There is grave peril of a schism in Christianity over the question of Gentile liberty, once settled in Jerusalem, but unsettled by the Judaizers. At Caesarea Paul is greeted by Philip the evangelist and his four daughters prophetesses.

He seems to have done so. Luke gives the story of Paul in Jerusalem, Caesarea, and the voyage to Rome in much detail.

He was with him and considered this period of his ministry very important. Ramsay's notion that he may have fallen heir by now to his portion of his father's estate is quite probable. They only wish Paul to show that he does not object to the Jewish Christians keeping up the Mosaic regulations. He was a Jew. He saw no inconsistency in a Jew doing thus after becoming a Christian, provided he did not make it obligatory on Gentiles.

The real efficacy of the sacrifices lay in the death of Jesus for sin. It is a matter of practical wisdom, not of principle. To have refused would have been to say that the charge was true, and it was not. So far as the record goes, this act of Paul accomplished its purpose in setting Paul in a right light before the church in Jerusalem.

It took away this argument from the Judaizers. If it be objected that the Jerusalem Christians seem to have done nothing to help Paul during his years of imprisonment, it can be said that there was little to be done in a legal way, as the matter was before the Roman courts very soon. The attack on Paul in the temple was while he was doing honor to the temple, engaged in actual worship offering sacrifices. It is a splendid illustration of the blindness of prejudice and hate.

But it will take Paul five years or more of the prime of his life to get himself out of the tangled web that will be woven about his head. Peril follows peril. It would remind Paul of Stephen's fate. Almost in despair, the captain, wishing to know the charge of the Jews against Paul, brings him before the Sanhedrin. It is a familiar scene to Paul, and it is now their chance for settling old scores. Paul makes a sharp retort in anger to the high priest Ananias, for which he apologizes as if he was so angry that he had not noticed, but he soon divides the Sanhedrin hopelessly on the subject of the resurrection compare the immunity of the disciples on that issue when Gamaliel scored the Sadducees in Acts 5.

This was turning the tables on his enemies, and was justifiable as war. He claimed to be a Pharisee on this point, as he was still, as opposed to the Sadducees. That was a blessed hope. But the troubles of Paul are by no means over. At any rate he was no longer in the clutches of the Jews. Would Roman provincial justice be any better?

Felix follows a perfunctory course with Paul and shows some curiosity about Christianity, till Paul makes him tremble with terror, a complete reversal of situations compare Pilate's meanness before Jesus. But love of money from Paul or the Jews leads Felix to keep Paul a prisoner for two years, though convinced of his innocence, and to hand him over to Festus, his successor, because the Jews might make things worse for him if he released him Acts The case of the Sanhedrin, who have now made it their own or at least the Sadducean section , though pleaded by the Roman orator Tertullus, had fallen through as Paul calmly riddied their charges.

This way, though a long one, offered the only ray of hope. The appearance of Paul before Agrippa and Bernice was simply by way of entertainment arranged by Festus to relieve his guests of ennui , but Paul seized the opportunity to make a powerful appeal to Agrippa that put him in a corner logically, though he wriggled out and declined to endorse Christianity, though confirming Paul's innocence, which Festus also had admitted Acts through Paul was fortunate in the centurion Julius who took him to Rome, for he was kindly disposed to him at the start, and so it was all the way through the most remarkable voyage on record.

Luke has surpassed his own record in Acts 27, in which he traces the voyage, stage by stage, with change of ship at Myra , delay at Fair Havens , Crete , and shipwreck on the island of Malta. In it all Paul is the hero, both on the ships and in Malta. In the early spring of 60 another ship takes Paul and the other prisoners to Puteoli. Thence they go on to Rome , and enter by the Appian Way. News of Paul's coming had gone on before his epistle had come 3 years ago , and he had a hearty welcome. But he is now an imperial prisoner in the hands of Nero.

And here Luke leaves him a prisoner for 2 years more, probably because at this point he finishes the Book of Acts. He still has the churches on his heart. They send messengers to him, and he writes back to them. The incipient Gnosticism of the East has pressed upon the churches at Colosse and Laodicea, and a new peril confronts Christianity. In the presence of the power of Rome Paul rises to a higher conception than even that of the person of Christ and the glory of the church universal.

In due time Paul's case was disposed of and he was once more set free. We should live distinctively Christian lives in the world. Jesus, during His earthly ministry, is our great example. This epistle calls the church in every age to recognize its responsibility to its "city. We live in a cultural climate very similar to the one in which the Corinthian Christians lived.

It is a culture characterized by intellectual pluralism, situational ethics, and personal selfishness. We face the same challenge the Corinthian believers did. Consequently, what this epistle reveals is extremely relevant for us. We have responsibility for how people in our "city" think, how they behave, and whom they glorify.

What they need is the message of the Cross delivered in the power of the Resurrection. First, we must separate from absolute intellectual freedom and willingly submit our understanding and thinking to the revelation that God has given us in Scripture chs. There is a growing belief that all religions lead to God. Increasingly we hear that it does not matter too much what someone believes, because we will all supposedly end up in the same place eventually. We need to counter that view with the revelation of the exclusive way of salvation that God has provided for people who are hopelessly lost and dead in their sins.


Peter preached, "There is salvation in no other name …" Acts Jesus said, "I am the way …" John Paul wrote, "There is one mediator …" 2 Tim. God has also called us to separation from moral laxity. Our culture is playing down personal morality and marital morality today. We need to proclaim the standards of God in these areas, even though we may face strong opposition for doing so. Paul held these standards up in chapters 5—7. Likewise we need to separate from selfish living. We need to make a break with goals and plans that are designed to glorify ourselves.

Instead, we need to evaluate all of our activities by the standard of chapter By way of application, we can conclude several things from these observations about the emphases in this epistle. First, the influence of the church is the influence of its individual members. The sum of its individual members' influence is that church's influence. Everything that is true of the church, therefore, is usually true of the individual believer in it, to some extent.

Second, there should be perpetual conflict between the church and "the city. It may be that "the city" has invaded the church. Third, the message of the church must always be the message of the Cross and the Resurrection. This is a message of failure and success, of success out of failure. That is the message of hope "the city" needs to hear. Consequently, we need to "be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord," because we know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord To begin his letter, Paul greeted the Christians in Corinth and expressed gratitude to God for them.

This positive and complimentary introduction contrasts with the generally critical spirit of the epistle that follows. Paul began with praise and commendation for his readers' good qualities, as was his typical practice. He knew this congregation well, having lived in Corinth for 18 months. The fact that he referred to "Jesus Christ" or "Christ Jesus" or "Lord Jesus Christ" or "Christ" or "Jesus Christ our Lord" nine times in these first nine verses shows the central place that the Lord Jesus occupied in the apostle's thinking and writing that follows.

The Apostle Paul began this epistle, as he did his others, by identifying himself and a fellow worker known to the readers. Then he identified and described the recipients of the letter and greeted them with a benediction. This is the most extensive elaboration of an address that we have in Paul's letters. The idea of authority received added strength from the reference to "the will of God" cf. He was with Paul in Ephesus when Paul penned this epistle. Though Luke did not record his conversion in the Book of Acts, Sosthenes quite clearly became a believer, assuming this was the same man.

Probably he was the same man, and Paul referred to him because the Corinthians knew him well. Sosthenes was probably not the co-writer or amanuensis of this epistle, but only Paul's companion who joined Paul in sending it to Corinth. However, to the Corinthian church, where party spirit was a problem, this reminder focused on the church's true Lord "their Lord and ours". This was not the church of Cephas Peter , or Apollos, or even Paul, each of whom had their admirers in Corinth.

There may or may not have been more than one house-church in Corinth at this time. God had set the Corinthians apart from sin but not from other sinners to be His holy people, by uniting them with Him through faith in His Son cf. John They were "saints" Gr. The concept of being "in Christ" may be the most foundational and pervasive one in Paul's theology. The Corinthians were not saintly in their conduct i.

Perhaps Paul mentioned their saintly "calling" to inspire them to be more saintly in their conduct. They were saints who were sinning. II Thess ; I Pet ; 2 positional, a perfect standing in holiness, true of all believers from the moment of conversion cf. Acts ; ; 3 progressive, equivalent to daily growth in grace cf. Jn ; Eph ; II Cor ; 4 prospective, or ultimate likeness to Christ positionally and practically cf. I Thess The use of the perfect participle here refers to positional sanctification.

If the gospel itself is at stake in the Corinthians' theology and behavior, so also is its visible expression in the local community of redeemed people. The net result is more teaching on the church here than in any of Paul's letters. The saints "in every place" are probably those in churches in other places, some of whom had come to the Savior through the witness of Christians other than Paul.

This seems more likely than that they were just Paul's converts near Corinth cf. Paul evidently wanted his readers to remember that they were part of a large body of believers cf. They needed to fit into the family of God harmoniously, rather than being a rebel congregation. Calling "on the name of … Christ" means confessing faith in Him, worshipping, and praying to Him cf. It sums up Paul's whole theological outlook. Paul followed his salutation with an expression of gratitude for his original readers, as he usually did in his epistles. In this case, the focus of his thanksgiving was on God's grace help in giving the Corinthians such great spiritual gifts cf.

The Corinthian church was weak in its spirituality, but it was strong in its giftedness. The believers were blessed by the Spirit, but they were not walking by the Spirit cf. This put the emphasis on His divine character as Messiah, rather than on His human nature, and encouraged his readers to submit to Him as their Lord. As we shall see, knowledge and eloquence were two things the Corinthians valued very highly. These characteristics appear, by their usage in this letter and in 2 Corinthians, to have been common buzzwords in Corinth.

Logos occurs 26 times in 1 and 2 Corinthians, compared to 58 times in Paul's other epistles, and gnosis appears 16 times in these two epistles, but only seven times in all of Paul's other writings. Paul had to put these gifts in their proper place among the other gifts. Nevertheless they were great gifts, and Paul was thankful that God had given them to the Corinthians.

Giving these gifts was one of the ways God validated "confirmed" the gospel message in the early history of the church cf. Note that Paul praised his readers for their gifts "you are not lacking in any gift" , but not their behavior. Ancient orators typically praised their audiences for both. The revealing "revelation" of "the our Lord Jesus Christ" to His saints at the Rapture would be God's greatest gift to them. The early Christians awaited His return eagerly. This reference to the Rapture is one of many indications that the apostles taught the imminent i.

The word means personal presence , and is used of the return of the Lord as that event relates to the blessing of Christians 1 Cor. This word emphasizes the visibility of the Lord's return. It is used of the Lord 2 Th. And 3 epiphaneia , translated 'brightness' 2 Th. It means an appearing , and is used of both advents first advent, 2 Tim. It is not the day of the Lord , which is a term both Old and New Testament writers used to refer to the period beginning with the Tribulation and extending through the Millennium.

This coming day is referred to as 'the day of the Lord Jesus' 1 Cor. The Greek word translated "blameless" anegkletos means not reprovable or without accusation cf. It does not imply that at the judgment seat of Christ there will be complete equality among believers cf. Moreover, it does not mean that once God regenerates a person, that individual never sins again cf. It means that every Christian will stand before the Lord guiltless, unimpeachable, because God has imputed the guilt of our sins to the Savior, and He has borne them cf. It rested on God's ability and promises to preserve them.

God had begun the good work of calling them "into fellowship with His Son," and He would be "faithful" to complete that work cf. We enjoy more or less fellowship with a variety of individuals in our various circles of acquaintances. The Corinthians' fellowship with Christ began when they trusted Him as their Savior. But Paul's major concern, in this epistle, was that they would enjoy deeper, more intimate, and more satisfying fellowship with Christ, as they dealt with things that were limiting that fellowship.

All of the problems in the Corinthian church, and its needs that Paul addressed, were hindrances to this fellowship. Christians have more or less fellowship with Christ to the extent that they trust and obey Him cf. Campbell Morgan wrote that and are the "boundaries" of this epistle. Chapter 1 verse 9 contains Paul's fundamental affirmation, and is his concluding exhortation. And in every case that work is mediated by or focused on 'his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Everything God has done, and will do, for the Corinthians is done expressly in 'Jesus Christ our Lord.

An over-realized eschatology is an understanding of the future that stresses present realities to the exclusion of related future realities. For example, an over-realized view of the resurrection emphasizes the believer's present spiritually resurrected condition to the exclusion of his or her future physical resurrection. The apostle's confidence in God, as he expressed this in these verses vv.

God was for the Corinthians. Now they needed to orient themselves properly toward Him. The warm introduction to the epistle led Paul to give a strong exhortation to unity. In this exhortation, he expressed his reaction to reports of serious problems, in the Corinthian church, that had reached his ears. Here Paul's understanding of the gospel and its ethical demands—his theology, if you will—is getting its full workout. This alone accounts for the unusual nature of so much of the argumentation. The first major problem that Paul addressed was the divisions that were fragmenting this church.

It is sometimes, and it was in Corinth, an evidence of an over-realized eschatology, which is that we have already entered into certain blessings of salvation that really lie ahead of us in the eschaton end times. Prosperity theology is one popular form of triumphalism. The surface manifestation of this serious problem was the party spirit that had developed. Members of the church were appreciating their favorite leaders too much, and not appreciating the others enough. This was really a manifestation of self-exaltation.

They boasted about their teachers of wisdom in order to boast about themselves. This is the tenth reference to Jesus Christ in the first ten verses of the epistle. Clearly Paul was focusing the attention of his audience on Christ, who alone deserves the preeminence. The Corinthians were to regard what he was about to say as coming from the Lord Himself.

Bad theology usually lies behind bad behavior. There was already disagreement among members of the congregation, but there was not yet division in the sense of a church split. Paul urged his original readers to unite in their thinking "that you all agree … in the same mind". The Greek word katartizo , translated "made complete," describes the mending of nets in Mark Paul wanted them to take the same view of things, to have "the same mind" cf.

For the most important principle of our religion is this, that we be in concord among ourselves. This is the burden of this letter and the theological presupposition behind every imperative. Therefore, although apocalyptic-cosmological language is also found, salvation is expressed primarily in ethical-moral language. She evidently had a household or business that included servants, some of whom had traveled to Corinth, and had returned to Ephesus carrying reports of conditions in the Corinthian church.

They had eventually shared this news with Paul. Quarrels and dissension should never characterize the church cf. I have learned that in some churches the entire church is a bawl room, because of the bawling baby Christians. It was normal that some would appreciate "Paul," since he had founded the church, and had ministered in Corinth with God's blessing for 18 months. He was a gifted apologist and orator Acts There is no scriptural record that Peter ever visited Corinth, though he may have.

Since Peter was the leading apostle to the Jews, it is understandable that many of the early Christians, especially the Jewish believers, would have venerated him. Some may have been his converts. Perhaps they had had some personal contact with Jesus in Judea. They appear to have regarded themselves as the most spiritual element in the church. They had devised their own brand of spiritual elitism that made them no better than the others. This, in a sense, "cut" Him "off" from the other members of the church.

Such an idea was unthinkable, and by stating it, Paul showed its absurdity. Next Paul addressed his own supporters. How foolish it was to elevate him over Christ, since Christ did what was most important was "crucified for" them. Note the central importance of the Cross in Paul's thinking. Paul's followers had not submitted to water baptism in order to identify with Paul, but to identify with the Savior. This reference shows how highly Paul regarded water baptism.

It is God's specified way for the believer to identify publicly with his or her Lord Matt. Acts ; ; Rom. It implies turning over allegiance to the One named in the rite. Acts x. Baptism in or into the name of Jesus is to be regarded as an abridged expression to signify Christian baptism, retaining the characteristic element in the formula. This man was a Gentile convert who lived next door to the synagogue, and who opened his home to the church after the Christians could no longer meet in the synagogue Acts ; Rom. Some Christians contend that water baptism is essential for salvation.

If it is, it would seem natural that Paul would have emphasized its importance by personally baptizing more than just two new believers in Corinth cf. This was one way he kept Christ central in his ministry. Paul believed baptism was important, but each baptism was just as valid whether he, or any other believer, administered it. He was not superior to other believers in this respect. It was unimportant to Paul whom he personally baptized; he was not keeping score.

This is clear because he temporarily forgot cf. As he continued to write, the Lord brought them to mind. Paul's point was that "preach[ing] the gospel" is more important than baptizing. He used a figure of speech, litotes , for emphasis. In litotes , a writer makes a negative statement to emphasize the positive alternative. For example, "No small storm" Acts , means a very large storm. Paul would hardly have said what he did if baptism were necessary for salvation. One of the features of "Paul," "Apollos," Peter "Cephas" , and "Christ," that made them attractive to various segments of the Corinthian church, was evidently their individual oratorical styles.

Later, Paul pointed out that the Corinthian Christians were viewing things through carnal eyes, namely, seeing things as unsaved people do Paul did not emphasize or place confidence in the method of his preaching, but rather in the message of "the Cross. Preaching is the proclamation of the cross; it is the cross that is the source of its power. The cross clothed in wisdom of words vitiates this appeal. The Gospel must never be presented as a human philosophical system; it must be preached as a salvation.

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Should he be rejected on that account, as if he spoiled it, or obscured the glory of Christ? I answer first of all that eloquence is not in conflict with the simplicity of the Gospel at all, when, free from contempt of the Gospel it not only gives it first place, and is subject to it, but also serves it as a handmaid serves her mistress. This verse provides a transition into the next section of the epistle, in which Paul contrasted God's wisdom and human wisdom.

As in Romans cf. The crux of the Corinthians' party spirit lay in their viewing things as unbelievers did, specifically Christian preachers and teachers. They failed to see the important issues at stake in ministry, and instead paid too much attention to external, superficial matters. This was a serious condition, so Paul invested many words in the following section to deal with it — This is still a major problem for many Christians worldwide, who have been too influenced by the attention given to celebrities in their respective cultures.

Paul set up a contrast between cleverness of speech impressive oratory and the Cross in verse Next he developed this contrast with a series of arguments. Boasting in men impacts the nature of the gospel. He pointed out that the gospel is not a form of sophia human wisdom. Its message of a crucified Messiah does not appeal to human wisdom Second, its recipients are not especially wise in the eyes of humanity Third, Paul's preaching was not impressive in its human wisdom, but it bore powerful results They may be regarded as the letter's principal theological discourses and as such deserve special attention.

In each instance Paul's reflections on the topic are deliberate and focused, and lead him to develop a more or less extended and coherent argument. Moreover, each of these passages occurs at an important point within the overall structure of the letter. The discourse on wisdom, situated prominently at the beginning of the letter, supports the apostle's urgent appeals for unity — It can be argued that the discourse on Christian community undergirds, directly or indirectly, all of the counsels and instructions in chaps.

And the discourse on resurrection, a response to those who claim that 'there is no resurrection of the dead' , is located prominently at the end of the letter. Superficial displays of erudite oratory, which to the Corinthians appeared to be demonstrations of wisdom, impressed them too greatly. Paul pointed out that the wisdom of God, the gospel of Christ, had power that mere worldly wisdom lacked.

Indeed, it is one of the truly great moments in the apostle Paul. Here he argues, with OT support, that what God had always intended and had foretold in the prophets, he has now accomplished through the crucifixion: He has brought an end to human self-sufficiency as it is evidenced through human wisdom and devices. When people hear it, it produces opposite effects, in those "who are" on the way to perdition "perishing" , from those on the way to glory "who are being saved".

Paul contrasted "foolishness" and weakness with wisdom and "power" cf.

Job ; Isa. Paul's references to "this age" Gr. God's wisdom centers on the Cross. Rather, wisdom was a public philosophy, a well-articulated world-view that made sense of life and ordered the choices, values, and priorities of those who adopted it. The 'wise man,' then, was someone who adopted and defended one of the many competing public world-views. Those who were 'wise' in this sense might have been Epicureans or Stoics or Sophists or Platonists, but they had this in common: they claimed to be able to 'make sense' out of life and death and the universe.

These benefits come only through the "foolishness" in the eyes of the natural man of "the message preached" Gr. Paul was not saying that all the "wisdom" that unbelievers have produced is worthless. However, in comparison with what the wisdom that God has revealed about Himself can accomplish, human wisdom is of little value. Paul has something more specific in mind … Paul aims specifically at the human wisdom about God as 'wisdom of the world,' at 'theo-logy' as 'wisdom of the world. Neither did Paul mean that we can know nothing about God from the things that He has made cf.

He meant that we cannot obtain a full knowledge of God through these things. In contrast, the message of the Cross, "Christ crucified" v. Likewise, the Greeks typically respected "wisdom"—an explanation of things that was reasonable and made sense to them. However, the message of the Cross did not appear to make sense. How could anyone believe in, and submit to, One who was apparently not smart enough to save Himself from suffering execution as a criminal—when He was not one? Furthermore, how could anyone look to such a One as a Teacher of "wisdom"?

God must function as the all-powerful or the all-wise, but always in terms of our best interests—power in our behalf, wisdom like ours! For both the ultimate idolatry is that of insisting that God conform to our own prior views as to how 'the God who makes sense' ought to do things. Paul used the terms "Greeks" v. But it is precisely the depth of this scandal and folly that we must appreciate if we are to understand both why the Corinthians were moving away from it toward wisdom and why it was well over a century before the cross appears among Christians as a symbol of their faith.

He is also the instrument of God's "wisdom" in solving the problem that human reasoning could not unravel, namely: how people can know God and come to God. The wisdom literature of the Old Testament personified wisdom as God's agent in revelation, creation, and redemption. Jesus Christ personally is that wisdom , because He is "the power of God" for the salvation of everyone who believes Rom. I am not for a moment suggesting that there is nothing to be learned from such studies.

But after a while one may perhaps be excused for marveling how many churches were planted by Paul and Whitefield and Wesley and Stanway and Judson without enjoying these advantages. Of course all of us need to understand the people to whom we minister, and all of us can benefit from small doses of such literature. But massive doses sooner or later dilute the gospel. Ever so subtly, we start to think that success more critically depends on thoughtful sociological analysis than on the gospel; Barna becomes more important than the Bible.

We depend on plans, programs, vision statements—but somewhere along the way we have succumbed to the temptation to displace the foolishness of the cross with the wisdom of strategic planning. Again, I insist, my position is not a thinly veiled plea for obscurantism, for seat-of-the-pants ministry that plans nothing. Rather, I fear that the cross, without ever being disowned, is constantly in danger of being dismissed from the central place it must enjoy, by relatively peripheral insights that take on far too much weight.

Whenever the periphery is in danger of displacing the center, we are not far removed from idolatry. In these verses , Paul sought to raise the Corinthians' regard for the gospel message, by showing its superiority over anything humans can devise through reasoning and philosophizing. His purpose in doing so was to encourage them to value the content of the message more highly than the "wisdom" evident in the presentations of those who delivered it.

It is difficult, for the very reason it was in Corinth. We simply cannot abide the scandal of God's doing things his way, without our help. And to do it by means of such weakness and folly! But we have often succeeded in blunting the scandal by symbol, or creed, or propositions. God will not be so easily tamed, and, freed from its shackles, the preaching of the cross alone has the power to set people free.

Paul turned from the content of the gospel to the Corinthian believers, to strengthen his argument that the gospel he preached contradicted human expectations. God had chosen "nobodies" rather than the "beautiful people" of Corinth. They themselves were evidence that God's "foolishness" confounds the "wise. The names of early converts to Christianity indicate that the majority of them were either slaves or freedmen i. In the Book of Judges, for example, we see Him using an ox goad Judg. His method did not change with the coming of Christ, nor has it changed since then.

Paul did not mean that God cannot or will not save the affluent, but the glory of the gospel is that God's mercy extends to those whom the affluent tend to write off. How wrong then to glorify His messengers! Glorying "boast before God" here has the idea of putting one's full confidence in some inappropriate object in order to secure oneself. The "and" in this verse, that precedes "righteousness," can be translated "even. Instead of emphasizing the Lord's servants and what they have done, we should focus on what the Lord Himself has done in providing wisdom and power in Christ.

God's purpose was not to make a superficial splash but to transform lives, something the Corinthians could see in their own experience. Paul opens the letter by affirming not only his call 'called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God' but also that of the Corinthians 'called to be saints,' This conviction reappears in the final verse of the thanksgiving, functioning there as part of the ultimate ground for Paul's confidence : 'God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Corinthians, it seems, have not grasped what election means. Paul offered the example of his preaching among the Corinthians as a further illustration of what the wisdom of God can do, in contrast to what the words that humans regard as wisdom can do. Otherwise, much of the chapter reads like pure gnosticism, and Paul is made the advocate of a private religion reserved for the spiritual elite The difference is not very significant.

The gospel was both the message that God had previously not revealed, which the apostles made known, and the message to which they bore witness. The apostle's preaching in Corinth was "not in excellence of rhetorical display or of philosophical subtlety. Paul points out that he did not come to them like such sophists, pandering to popularity see further 2 Cor He left all other knowledge aside "determined to know nothing among you except …".

I wonder whether many have not been deceived in that way. I hear people speak of knowing they are saved, and when asked why, they reply, 'Because I believe John or John ," and you look for some evidence of a new life in them and do not find it. The letter in fact primarily seeks to influence the minds, dispositions, intuitions of the audience in line with the message Paul had initially preached in the community , to confront readers with the critical nature of God's saving action in the crucified Christ in such a fashion that it becomes the glasses to refocus their vision of God, their own community, and the future.

The advancing of such an epistemology gives the letter a theological purpose that unifies its otherwise unconnected structure. Centering his preaching on "Christ crucified" was not a new tack that Paul took in Corinth—because of previous lack of response cf. Acts Lazy preachers have no right to appeal to 1 Corinthians to justify indolence in the study and careless delivery in the pulpit.

These verses do not prohibit diligent preparation, passion, clear articulation, and persuasive presentation. Rather, they warn against any method that leads people to say, 'What a marvelous preacher! Rather, he emphasized the simple message he announced. Conviction came as a result of the Holy Spirit's "power," not the "wisdom" of the preacher. We should not interpret this verse as deprecating persuasion cf.

It comes as the Holy Spirit opens blind eyes when Christians herald the gospel. The warning is against self-reliance in the preacher. The apostle's conviction concerning the importance of the superior power of the gospel message was clear in his own preaching. Paul's reference to the Holy Spirit's "power" vv. The Corinthians needed to view ministry differently. The key to this change would be the Holy Spirit's illumination of their thinking. People who are pursuing true wisdom sophia cannot perceive it except as the Holy Spirit enlightens them.

Paul constructed his argument in this section with three contrasts that overlap slightly: The first contrast is between those who receive God's wisdom and those who do not vv. The third contrast is between the "natural" person and the "spiritual" person vv. He is retooling their understanding of the Spirit and spirituality, in order that they might perceive the truth of what he has been arguing to this point. The theology, however, is his own, and it differs radically from theirs. Immature Christians cannot understand the real depths of the gospel fully "we do speak wisdom among those who are mature".

Later, in chapter 3, Paul would say the Corinthians were not mature Paul could have been using the word "mature" as synonymous with "Christian. However, Paul later distinguished between the natural person, the spiritual person, and the carnal person — Consequently by "spiritual" he probably meant one who has followed God's Spirit for some time, not just one who has His Spirit cf.

The deep things of God require a type of "wisdom" that is different from secular wisdom "not of this age". In "this" present "age" between the two advents, those who control the climate of public opinion dominate secular wisdom. These "rulers" are those individuals who set the standard for what unbelieving people, who disregard God's revelation, consider as true cf. However, these people are on the way out "passing away" , because the popular perception of what is true changes, and because Christ will end their rule eventually ; Col. It was not a revelation in addition to the gospel.

The message about "Christ crucified" embodies the wisdom of God. This message was unknown "a mystery" before Christ came. The message of the Cross is a further unfolding of God's plan and purpose—beyond what He had revealed and what people had known previously. Paul expounded on the fact that God had decreed "predestined" this mystery from before creation "before the ages" in Ephesians The Ephesian church was more mature and better able to understand this revelation than was the Corinthian congregation. The end purpose of this new revelation was the saints' ultimate glorification "to our glory" by conformity to the image of God's Son.

Those responsible for the death of Christ were members of this group cf. Acts ; Luke The rulers of this age whether understood as political and religious figures or as apocalyptic powers demonstrated their ignorance of divine wisdom when they crucified the Lord of glory.

The very mention of the crucifixion shows the argument very much in continuity with the preceding section and reminds us that the wisdom of God, which is incomprehensible to the world, is nothing other than the word of the cross The phrase "Lord of glory" implies the divine fullness. It also ties in with the saints' glory v. It is through union with Him that we will experience glory. However, in a truer sense, the gospel is anything but simple.

It involves the most profound philosophy which has ever been presented to the intellect of man. It comes directly from the mind and heart of God. It is so subtle, so mysterious, it so far surpasses the most exalted creations of human reason, that it cannot be understood or appreciated by men unless they are aided by the Spirit of God. It summarizes Paul's point well. There are many things we can know only by revelation. The more God reveals, the more clearly we see that He has designed His plans for humanity for our blessing. Any and every believer can understand and appreciate "to us God revealed" them, because the indwelling Holy "Spirit" can enlighten him or her.

The mystery religions of Greece promised deeper insights and new knowledge to their devotees. However, any Christian can apprehend the very best that God has revealed, because every believer possesses the spiritual organ of perception, namely: the Holy Spirit. Animals cannot do it. Likewise it is necessary for someone to have the indwelling "Spirit of God" to understand know "the things thoughts of God. All believers have received "the Spirit who is from God," i. He helps us understand "know" the "mind " thoughts ," v.

They did not choose their "words" based on what people generally regarded as the best ones with which to persuade "words taught by human wisdom". They did not rely on the rhetorical devices that the orators used, either. The Holy Spirit guided them not only in their communication of divine truth, but in their perception of it.

The Spirit enables us to speak in language appropriate to the message instead of "words taught by according to human wisdom. In short, the Holy Spirit plays an indispensable role both in understanding and in communicating God's revelation.