1 Corinthians 1:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

New Living Translation
The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.

English Standard Version
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

New American Standard Bible
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

King James Bible
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God's power to us who are being saved.

International Standard Version
For the message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God's power to us who are being saved.

NET Bible
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The message of the crucifixion is insanity to the lost, but to those of us who have life it is the power of God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God's power to us who are being saved.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the word of the cross {Gr. stauros – stake} is foolishness to those that perish, but unto us who are saved, it is the power of God.

King James 2000 Bible
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.

American King James Version
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God.

American Standard Version
For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness; but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God.

Darby Bible Translation
For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us that are saved it is God's power.

English Revised Version
For the word of the cross is to them that are perishing foolishness; but unto us which are being saved it is the power of God.

Webster's Bible Translation
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but to us who are saved, it is the power of God.

Weymouth New Testament
For the Message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are on the way to perdition, but it is the power of God to those whom He is saving.

World English Bible
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God.

Young's Literal Translation
for the word of the cross to those indeed perishing is foolishness, and to us -- those being saved -- it is the power of God,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:17-25 Paul had been bred up in Jewish learning; but the plain preaching of a crucified Jesus, was more powerful than all the oratory and philosophy of the heathen world. This is the sum and substance of the gospel. Christ crucified is the foundation of all our hopes, the fountain of all our joys. And by his death we live. The preaching of salvation for lost sinners by the sufferings and death of the Son of God, if explained and faithfully applied, appears foolishness to those in the way to destruction. The sensual, the covetous, the proud, and ambitious, alike see that the gospel opposes their favourite pursuits. But those who receive the gospel, and are enlightened by the Spirit of God, see more of God's wisdom and power in the doctrine of Christ crucified, than in all his other works. God left a great part of the world to follow the dictates of man's boasted reason, and the event has shown that human wisdom is folly, and is unable to find or retain the knowledge of God as the Creator. It pleased him, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. By the foolishness of preaching; not by what could justly be called foolish preaching. But the thing preached was foolishness to wordly-wise men. The gospel ever was, and ever will be, foolishness to all in the road to destruction. The message of Christ, plainly delivered, ever has been a sure touchstone by which men may learn what road they are travelling. But the despised doctrine of salvation by faith in a crucified Saviour, God in human nature, purchasing the church with his own blood, to save multitudes, even all that believe, from ignorance, delusion, and vice, has been blessed in every age. And the weakest instruments God uses, are stronger in their effects, than the strongest men can use. Not that there is foolishness or weakness in God, but what men consider as such, overcomes all their admired wisdom and strength.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 18-25. - The nature of true Christian preaching. Verse 18. - For the preaching of the cross; rather, the word of the cross. To them that are perishing; rather, to the perishing; to all those who are now walking in the paths that lead to destruction (2 Corinthians 2:15). To them it was foolishness, because it requires spiritual discernment (1 Corinthians 2:14); and, on the other hand, human wisdom is foolishness with God (1 Corinthians 3:19). Foolishness. It shows the heroic character of the faith of St. Paul that he deliberately preached the doctrine of the cross because he felt that therein lay the conversion and salvation of the world, although he was well aware that he could preach no truth so certain at first to revolt the unregenerate hearts of his hearers. To the Jews "the cross" was the tree of shame and horror; and a crucified person was "accursed of God" (Deuteronomy 21:23; Galatians 3:13). To the Greeks the cross was the gibbet of a slave's infamy and a murderer's punishment. There was not a single association connected with it except those of shame and agony. The thought of "a crucified Messiah" seemed to the Jews a revolting folly; the worship of a crucified malefactor seemed to the Greeks "an execrable superstition" (Tacitus, 'Ann.,' 15:44; Pliny, 'Epp.' 10:97); yet so little did St. Paul seek for popularity or immediate success, that this was the very doctrine which he put in the forefront, even at a city so refined and so voluptuous as Corinth. And the result proved his inspired wisdom. That very cross became the recognized badge of Christianity, and when three centuries had elapsed it was woven in gold upon the banners and set in jewels on the diadems of the Roman empire. For had not Christ prophesied, And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me"? Unto us which are being saved; who are on the way of salvation. The same present participle is used in Luke 13:23; Acts 2:47; 2 Corinthians 2:15; Revelation 21:24. It is the power of God. Because the cross is at the heart of that gospel which is "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16; Romans 8:3), though many were tempted to be ashamed of it. It could never be a carnal weapon of warfare, and yet was mighty for every purpose (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For the preaching of the cross,.... Not of the Christian's cross, which he is to take up and bear for the sake of Christ; though this is a doctrine taught by Christ, and his apostles, and found to be true by the saints in all ages; and is what is had in great aversion and contempt, being very disagreeable to the natural man: but of the cross of Christ, the doctrine of salvation by a crucified Christ; or the doctrine of peace and reconciliation by the blood of his cross, and of righteousness, pardon, atonement, and satisfaction by the offering up of himself upon it as a sacrifice for sin, is here intended; and which

is foolishness in the esteem of many; and that because man's wisdom has no hand either in forming the scheme of it, or in the discovery of it to the sons of men; and besides, being revealed, it is very disagreeable to the carnal reason of man. This way of preaching is very impolite and unfashionable, and therefore despised; it is a doctrine which is not received by the wise and learned, but has been in all ages loaded with reproach, stigmatized either as a novel or licentious doctrine, and attended with persecution; though the only doctrine God owns for conversion, which administers comfort to distressed souls, and is food for the faith of believers; yea, it is a display of the highest wisdom; is what angels approve of, and desire to look into; is wiser than the wisdom of men; it has made foolish the wisdom of this world, and is what is only able to make a man wise unto salvation; and yet this doctrine is accounted foolish, yea foolishness itself; but to whom is it so?

to them that perish. All mankind are in a lost and perishing condition, by reason of sin, and want of righteousness. There are some who shall not perish; the Father has chose them unto salvation, the Son has redeemed them, and the Spirit sanctifies them; but there are others who do perish in their sins; wicked and ungodly men, Carried away with their own lusts and blinded by Satan, the god of this world: these are they that are lost, to whom the Gospel is hid, and who judge it foolishness; but their judgment of it is not to be regarded, being no more capable to judge of the glory and wisdom of the Gospel, than a blind man is of colours: but unto us which are saved; who are chosen in Christ unto salvation; whose persons and grace are secured in Christ, and in the everlasting covenant; for whom Christ has wrought out salvation; and to whom it is applied by the Spirit of God; and who are kept unto the full enjoyment of it by divine grace: to thest is the power of God; organically or instrumentally; it being the means of quickening them when dead in sin, of enlightening their dark minds, of unstopping their deaf ears, of softening their hard hearts, and of enemies making them friends to God, Christ, and his people: and it is likewise so declaratively, there being a wonderful display of the power of God in the ministration of it; as may be seen when observed who were the first preachers of it, men of no figure in life, of no education, illiterate mechanics, very mean and abject; into these earthen vessels were put the treasure of the Gospel, that the excellency of the power might appear to be of God, and not man; as also the doctrine they preached, a crucified Christ, disagreeable to the wisdom of men; the manner in which they spread it, not by force of arms, by carnal weapons, but spiritual ones; moreover, the opposition they met with from rabbins, philosophers, princes, kings, and emperors, and all the states and powers of the world; and yet in how short a time, maugre all opposition, did they carry the Gospel throughout the whole world, to the conversion of millions of souls, and the planting of churches everywhere; and which Gospel has continued and increased, notwithstanding the efforts of persecutors and false teachers, and all the power and artifice of men and devils; all which can be attributed to nothing else but the mighty power of God: add to this, that the Gospel is the power of God in the esteem of the saints, who know it to be so by inward experience; they have felt the power of it on their hearts; it has wrought effectually in them, and therefore they are the best judges, and are capable of giving the best account of it.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

18. preaching, &c.—literally, "the word," or speech as to the cross; in contrast to the "wisdom of words" (so called), 1Co 1:17.

them that perish—rather, "them that are perishing," namely, by preferring human "wisdom of words" to the doctrine of the "cross of Christ." It is not the final state that is referred to; but, "them that are in the way of perishing." So also in 2Co 2:15, 16.

us which are saved—In the Greek the collocation is more modest, "to them that are being saved (that are in the way of salvation) as," that is, to which class we belong.

power of God—which includes in it that it is the wisdom of God" (1Co 1:24). God's powerful instrument of salvation; the highest exhibition of God's power (Ro 1:16). What seems to the world "weakness" in God's plan of salvation (1Co 1:25), and in its mode of delivery by His apostle (1Co 2:3) is really His mighty "power." What seems "foolishness" because wanting man's "wisdom of words" (1Co 1:17), is really the highest "wisdom of God" (1Co 1:24).

1 Corinthians 1:18 Additional Commentaries
Context
Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE."…
Cross References
Acts 2:47
praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

1 Corinthians 1:21
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:23
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

1 Corinthians 1:24
but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:25
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

1 Corinthians 2:14
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 4:10
We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!

2 Corinthians 2:15
For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

2 Corinthians 4:3
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.

2 Thessalonians 2:10
and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

Hebrews 12:2
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Treasury of Scripture

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God.

the preaching.

1 Corinthians 1:23,24 But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and …

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, …

Galatians 6:12-14 As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain …

to.

Acts 13:41 Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work …

2 Corinthians 2:15,16 For we are to God a sweet smell of Christ, in them that are saved, …

2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all delusion of unrighteousness in them that perish; because …

foolishness.

1 Corinthians 1:21,23,25 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God…

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: …

1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, …

Acts 17:18,32 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, …

unto.

1 Corinthians 1:24 But to them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power …

1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached …

Psalm 110:2,3 The LORD shall send the rod of your strength out of Zion: rule you …

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power …

2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through …

1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not to you in word only, but also in power, and …

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any …

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