1 Corinthians 1:26
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

New Living Translation
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.

English Standard Version
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

New American Standard Bible
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;

King James Bible
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Brothers, consider your calling: Not many are wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth.

International Standard Version
Brothers, think about your own calling. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

NET Bible
Think about the circumstances of your call, brothers and sisters. Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For you see also your calling my brethren, that not many among you are wise in the flesh, neither are many among you mighty, neither are many among you children of a great family line.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Brothers and sisters, consider what you were when God called you to be Christians. Not many of you were wise from a human point of view. You were not in powerful positions or in the upper social classes.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For look upon your vocation, brothers, that ye are not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble,

King James 2000 Bible
For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

American King James Version
For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

American Standard Version
For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called :

Douay-Rheims Bible
For see your vocation, brethren, that there are not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble:

Darby Bible Translation
For consider your calling, brethren, that [there are] not many wise according to flesh, not many powerful, not many high-born.

English Revised Version
For behold your calling, brethren, how that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

Webster's Bible Translation
For ye see your calling, brethren, that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called:

Weymouth New Testament
For consider, brethren, God's call to you. Not many who are wise with merely human wisdom, not many of position and influence, not many of noble birth have been called.

World English Bible
For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble;

Young's Literal Translation
for see your calling, brethren, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:26-31 God did not choose philosophers, nor orators, nor statesmen, nor men of wealth, and power, and interest in the world, to publish the gospel of grace and peace. He best judges what men and what measures serve the purposes of his glory. Though not many noble are usually called by Divine grace, there have been some such in every age, who have not been ashamed of the gospel of Christ; and persons of every rank stand in need of pardoning grace. Often, a humble Christian, though poor as to this world, has more true knowledge of the gospel, than those who have made the letter of Scripture the study of their lives, but who have studied it rather as the witness of men, than as the word of God. And even young children have gained such knowledge of Divine truth as to silence infidels. The reason is, they are taught of God; the design is, that no flesh should glory in his presence. That distinction, in which alone they might glory, was not of themselves. It was by the sovereign choice and regenerating grace of God, that they were in Jesus Christ by faith. He is made of God to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; all we need, or can desire. And he is made wisdom to us, that by his word and Spirit, and from his fulness and treasures of wisdom and knowledge, we may receive all that will make us wise unto salvation, and fit for every service to which we are called. We are guilty, liable to just punishment; and he is made righteousness, our great atonement and sacrifice. We are depraved and corrupt, and he is made sanctification, that he may in the end be made complete redemption; may free the soul from the being of sin, and loose the body from the bonds of the grave. And this is, that all flesh, according to the prophecy by Jeremiah, Jer 9:23-24, may glory in the special favour, all-sufficient grace, and precious salvation of Jehovah.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 26-31. - The method of God in the spread of the gospel. Verse 26. - For behold; or, consider (imperative, as in 1 Corinthians 10:15; Philippians 3:2). Your calling; the nature and method of your heavenly calling; the "principle God has followed in calling you" (Beza); see Ephesians 4:1; Hebrews 3:1. Not many wise after the flesh. Those who hear the calling arc alone the truly wise; but they are net wise with a carnal wisdom, not wise as men count wisdom; they have but little of the wisdom of the serpent and the wisdom of "this age." The Sanhedrin looked down on the apostles as "unlearned and ignorant men" (Acts 4:13). "God," says St. Augustine, "caught orators by fishermen, not fishermen by orators." Not many mighty; i.e. not many persons of power and influence. Almost the first avowed Gentile Christian of the highest rank was the consul Flavius Clemens, uncle of the Emperor Domitian. This was the more marked because the Jews won many rich and noble proselytes, such as the Queen Helena and the royal family of Adiabene, Poppaea the wife of Nero, and others. The only illustrious converts mentioned in the New Testament are Joseph of Arimathaea, Nicodemus, Sergius Paulus, and Dionysius the Areopagitc. Not many noble. All this was a frequent taunt against Christians, but they made it their boast. Christianity came to redeem and elevate, not the few, but the many, and the many must ever be the weak and the humble. Hence Christ called fishermen as his apostles, and was known as "the Friend of publicans and sinners." None of the rulers believed on him (John 7:48). It must, however, be borne in mind that these words apply mainly and primarily to the first age of Christianity. It was essential that its victory should be due to Divine weapons only, and that it should shake the world "by the irresistible might of weakness." After a time, the wisest and the noblest and the most powerful were called. Kings became the nursing fathers of the gospel, and queens its nursing mothers. Yet the ideal truth remains, and human power shows utter weakness, and human wisdom is capable of sinking into the depths of folly.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For ye see your calling, brethren,.... That is, those that were called by the grace of God among them; for as circumcision and uncircumcision stand for circumcised and uncircumcised persons, and election for elect persons, and righteousness for righteous persons, Romans 3:30 so here "calling" designs men called by grace; the manner of whose calling, and what sort of persons they were, the apostle signifies, they did or might, or ought, to see, observe, and consider; for respect is here had, not, as some have thought, to the first preachers of the Gospel, who were mechanics, fishermen, illiterate persons, very mean and despicable; but to the members of the church at Corinth, whether public preachers, or private members. The city of Corinth had in it many noble families, of high birth and quality, abounded with learned philosophers and rich merchants; and yet it was easy to be seen,

how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. The apostle does not say that there were none of the wise, the mighty, and noble called; for there were Crispus, and Sosthenes, rulers of the synagogue, and Gains a rich hospitable man, and Erastus the chamberlain of the city, and it may be some others of a like or better figure in life; but there were not many of them; instances of this kind are but few recorded in the Scripture; as Joseph of Arimathea a rich counsellor, Paulus Sergius a Roman deputy, Dionysius the Areopagite, and some in Caesar's palace; which show that nobility, riches, and learning, as they do not at all contribute towards a man's salvation, so neither can they hinder it where grace takes place; but, generally speaking, God has thought fit, for wise reasons, to choose and call persons of different characters.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

26. ye see—rather, from the prominence of the verb in the Greek, "see" or "consider" (imperative) [Alford from Vulgate and Irenæus].

your calling … are called—Instead of the words in italics, supplied by English Version, supply, "were your callers." What Paul is dwelling on (compare 1Co 1:27, 28) is the weakness of the instrumentality which the Lord employed to convert the world [Hinds and Whately; so Anselm]. However, English Version accords well with 1Co 1:24. "The whole history of the expansion of the Church is a progressive victory of the ignorant over the learned, the lowly over the lofty, until the emperor himself laid down his crown before the cross of Christ" [Olshausen].

wise … after the flesh—the wisdom of this world acquired by human study without the Spirit. (Contrast Mt 16:17).

1 Corinthians 1:26 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Foolish to Shame the Wise
25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,…
Cross References
Job 37:24
Therefore, people revere him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?"

Matthew 11:25
At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Romans 11:29
for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1 Corinthians 2:8
None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Treasury of Scripture

For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

that.

1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of …

1 Corinthians 2:3-6,13 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling…

1 Corinthians 3:18-20 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise …

Zephaniah 3:12 I will also leave in the middle of you an afflicted and poor people, …

Matthew 11:25,26 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord …

Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank you, O Father, …

John 7:47-49 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are you also deceived…

James 3:13-17 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show …

not many mighty.

Luke 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all …

Luke 18:24,25 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly …

John 4:46-53 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water …

John 19:38,39 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but …

Acts 13:7,12 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent …

Acts 17:34 However, certain men joined to him, and believed: among the which …

Philippians 4:22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.

James 1:9-11 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted…

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers, Has not God chosen the poor of this …

2 John 1:1 The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the …

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