Page images


sent me to baptize, but to baptize, but rather to preach the gospel, preach' the gospel : that I may have leisure to convert

Not, HOWEVER, with unbelievers ; wisdom of speech, that the Not, however, by using philosophical cross of Christ might not be arguments expressed in rhetorical landeprived of its efficacy. : guage, that the doctrine of salvation (See Philip. ii. 7. note 1.) through the cross of Christ, might not

be deprived of its efficacy, as a truth

revealed of God. 18 For the preaching 18 For the preaching concerning the (6 78 saupe, 24.) which is cross of Christ as the means of salvaconcerning the cross, to the tion, to the destroyed among the headestroyed, indeed, is foolish- then philosophers and Jewish scribes ness, but to us, the saved, is indeeil foolishness, but to us who are (Rom. xi. 26. note 1.) it saved from the errors of heathenism is the power of God. and Judaism, it is found to be the

powerful means whereby God savęs

finners. 19 (Tag, 93.) There- 19 Because the preaching of a fore it is written, 'I will crucified Saviour would be reckoned destroy the wisdom of the folly, it is written, I will explode the wise, and will set aside the philosophy of the philosophers, and will knowledge of the intelli- set aside the learning of the scribes as gent. ?

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. Behold I will proceed to do a marvellous work amongst this people, even a marvellous work, and a wonder.

For the wifdom of their wise men shall perish, and the undersi anding of their prudent men shall be hid.

2. The knowledge of the intelligent. As the prophet had in his eye the Grecian and Jewish literature, the word cuyerW, knowledge, must fignify erudition ; and Odvetw, intelligent, must mean learned men.

Ver. 20.1. Where is the wise man? The Greek philosophers were first name cofos, wise men : afterwards they changed the appellation into Pirogofos, 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. Where 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 Herod concerning the place where the Christ should be born, Matth. ii. 4. If the false teacher was one of this order, the


hath not God made foolifh ο Θεος την σοφιαν τ8 κοσμο
the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that, in the 21 Επειδη
wisdom of God, the world

εν τη σQ

γας by wifdom knew not σας φια τε Θεε εκ έγνω ο κοσit pleated God by the fool2 μεν δια της σοφιας τον Θεον, ihnefs of preaching to fave ευδοκησεν ο Θεος δια της μωthem that believe.

ριας τα κηρυγματG- σωσαι

τ8ς πιςευοντας. 22 For the Jews require a 22 Επειδη και Ιεδαιοι σηsign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom.

μείον αιτ8σι, και Ελληνες

σοφιαν ζητεσιν 23 But we preach Christ

23 Ημεις δε

κηρυσσομεν crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto

Χριςον εςαυρωμενον, Ιεδαιοις the Greeks foolishness;

μεν σκανδαλον, Ελλησι δε

μωριαν" 24 But unto them which

24 Αυτοις δε τοις κληare called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of

τοις Ιεδαιοις τε και Ελλησι God, and the widon of Χριςον Θεα δυναμιν και Θεε God.


[ocr errors]

propriety of calling on the fcribes to appear with the heathen learned men, to behold the wisdom of this world made foolishaess by God, will be evident.

3. Where the disputer? By ouśnturns, disputer, some understand the Jewish doctors who disputed publicly in the synagogues and schools. Thus we are told, Luke ii. 46. that Jesus sat among the doctors bear. ing them, and asking them questions. Others suppose the apostle meant the academics or sceptics, who were great difpuiers. Jeroine on Gal iii. thought the apostle meant natural philosophers, whom the Jews called fapientes fcrutationis.

Ver. 21. The world through τυifdem. Here the word σοφια, τυiflom, signifies the disquisitions of the learned Greeks, to which they gave the name of philosophy, but which at length rendered every thing fo doubtful, that these learned men lost the persuasion even of the plainest truths.

Ver. 22. The Jews demand a fign. Since the apostle wrought great miracles daily in confirmation of the gospel, the Jigo which the Jews

demanded, was, in all probability, the sign from heaven, which we are lllatt, 12:7told Mark viji. 11. the pharifees fought from our Lord himself. For

as Daniel had foretold 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 ex.

Where the disputer 3 of this of this world? Let them declare world ? Hath not God what reformation they have wrought made foolish the wisdom on mankind. Hath not God pewn of this world!

the foolishness of the wisdom 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 gui

dance without effect. 21 (Επειδη γαρ) For 21 For when, in the wise governwhen, 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 preaching, 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 fesus demand And although the Jews de- a miracle in proof, that Jesus is the mand a lign, and the Christ, and the Greeks seek wisdom, Greeks feek wisdom, that is a scheme of philosophy, in the

doctrines of the gospel, preach

we preach salvation Christ'crucified, to the through Christ crucified, which to the Jews, indeed, a stumbling- fews, indeed, who believe that their block, and to the Greeks Christ will never die, (John xii. 34.) foolishness :

is a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks is foolifoness, 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 accomplisheth their conversion.

23 Pet


23 Yet,

ertion of

power, wrest the empire of the world from the Romans. No wonder then, that the preaching of the Christ crucified, was to the Jews a ftuinbling-block.

Ver. 23. We preach Chrif. The Greek word Xeos, Chrift, is the literal translation of the Hebrew word Messiah, and both fignify an anointed person. Now this name being appropriated by the Jewish prophets to the Son of God, whose coming into the world they foretold, the Christian preachers, by applying it to their master, declared


25 Ori

25 Because the foolish

Οτι το μωρον τα nefs of God is wifer than men; and the weakness of 088, 0oRw tegov TWv avigare God is stronger than men,

πων εςι και το ασθενης τα Θεε, ισχυρότερον των ανθρω

πων εςι. . 26 For ye fee your cal- 26 Βλεπετε γαρ την κληling, brethren, how that not

σιν υμων, αδελφοι, ότι και πολύ many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not λοι σοφοι κατα σαρκα, 8 πολmany noble, are called.

λοι δυνατοι, και πολλοι ευγεν

εις. 27 But God hath chofen the foolish things of the

Ta moga TE world, to confound the wise; x00u8 EĞERE&ATO eos ivec and God hath chofen the τες σοφες καταισχύνη και weak things of the world, τα ασθενη τα κοσμε εξελεξαto confound the things which το ο Θεος να καταισχυνη τα are mighty;


27 Αλλα

him to be the Son of God. Of this use of the name Christ, the following are examples, John X. 24. How long dost thou make us to doubt? If tbou be the Christ tell us plainly. John xi. 27. I believe thou art the Christ the Son of God which should come.

Ver. 26. Call you. These words I have fupplied 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 fick fon 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 them selves with gold and silver and coftly 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 called, it did not suit the apoftle's argument to mention it here. For surely God's not calling





25 ('OTI, 255.) There- 25 Therefore, the foolishness of God, fore, the foolishness of the method chosen by God, which God is wiser than men, men reckon foolishness, is wiser, as and the weakness of God being more effectual, than any meis stronger than men. thod devised by men ; and the weak (For a similar ellipsis, fee instruments employed by God, John v. 36.)

stronger than those thought strong by 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 after remarkable for human literature, not the flesh, many many mighty by their offices, not many mighty, not many noble eminent for their noble birth, are CALL rou.)

chosen 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 rou, he might put to shame the learned; and that he might put to fame the weak ones of the world, persons the wife, and the weak pofleffed of no worldly power, God ones of the world God hath chosen to call you, that he might hath chofen, that he might put to shame those, who, by their rank put to shame the strong ones. and office, were prong ones, persons

who, by their authority and example, "might have successfully reformed others.

many of the wise, &c. joined with his calling the fastilli ones of the world to believe, did not put to shame the wife and strong, &c. Whereas, if the discourse is understood of the preachers of the gospel, who 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 hy making them successful in reforming mankind, he put to shame the legislators, ftatefmen, and philosophers among the heathens, and the learned scribes and doctors among the Jews, who never had done any thing to purpose in that matter,

Ver. 27. But the newpor, sup. Taposwad, 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 obferves, on Prophecy, vol. 1. p. 237. were chiefly a few poor fishermen, of low parentage and ão education, of no learning or eloquence, of no reputation or autho“ rity, despised as Jews by the rest of mankind, and by the Jews as * the meanest and worst of themselves. What improper inftruments “ were these to contend with the prejudices of the world, the supersti

« PreviousContinue »