1 Corinthians 1:28
Parallel Verses
New International Version
God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are,

New Living Translation
God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.

English Standard Version
God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,

New American Standard Bible
and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,

King James Bible
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world--what is viewed as nothing--to bring to nothing what is viewed as something,

International Standard Version
And God chose what is insignificant in the world, what is despised, what is nothing, in order to destroy what is something,

NET Bible
God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he has chosen those of low descent in the world and the rejects and those who are nothing, to nullify those who are,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
God chose what the world considers ordinary and what it despises-what it considers to be nothing-in order to destroy what it considers to be something.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and that which is vile of the world and that which is despised God has chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought the things that are,

King James 2000 Bible
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are:

American King James Version
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are:

American Standard Version
and the base things of the world, and the things that are despised, did God choose, yea and the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the things that are:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the base things of the world, and the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen, and things that are not, that he might bring to nought things that are:

Darby Bible Translation
and the ignoble things of the world, and the despised, has God chosen, [and] things that are not, that he may annul the things that are;

English Revised Version
and the base things of the world, and the things that are despised, did God choose, yea and the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the things that are:

Webster's Bible Translation
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are:

Weymouth New Testament
and the things which the world regards as base, and those which it sets utterly at nought--things that have no existence--God has chosen in order to reduce to nothing things that do exist;

World English Bible
and God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that are not, that he might bring to nothing the things that are:

Young's Literal Translation
and the base things of the world, and the things despised did God choose, and the things that are not, that the things that are He may make useless --
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

Verse 28. - And the base things; literally, low-born, unborn; "those who are sprung kern no one in particular" - nullo patre, nullis majoribus. Nothing could be more ignoble in the eyes of the world than a cross of wood upheld by feeble hands, and yet before it "kings and their armies did flee and were discomfited, and they of the household divided the spoil." And the things that are not. The not is the Greek subjective negative (μὴ); things of which men conceived as not existing - "nonentities." It is like the expression of Clement of Rome, "Things accounted as nothing." Christianity was "the little stone, cut without hands," which God called into existence. We find the same thought in St. John the Baptist's sermon (Matthew 3:9).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And base things of the world,.... Who are reckoned the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things; men of mean birth, education, and business of life:

and things that are despised; and set at nought, as poor persons generally are; yet God

hath chosen them; even the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of a kingdom:

yea, and things which are not; some think the Gentiles are here intended, who by the Jews are called "things that are not": as in the apocryphal books:

"O Lord, give not thy sceptre unto "them that be nothing", and let them not laugh at our fall; but turn their device upon themselves, and make him an example, that hath begun this against us.'' Esther 14:11

"56 As for the other people, which also come of Adam, thou hast said that "they are nothing", but be like unto spittle: and hast likened the abundance of them unto a drop that falleth from a vessel. 57 And now, O Lord, behold, these heathen, which have ever been "reputed as nothing", have begun to be lords over us, and to devour us.'' (2 Esdras 6)

See Gill on Romans 4:17 for note on non-entities, or such who are not in being, are meant; but who are not accounted of, or are reckoned as nothing; and these the Lord calls by his grace, as a fruit and evidence of electing love:

to bring to nought things that are; who, on the account of their noble birth, large possessions, and high attainments in knowledge and learning, thought themselves something; all which will one day be abolished, and will stand them in no stead with regard to future happiness and glory. The Jews (q) have a saying quite contrary to all this, that "the Shekinah, or presence of God, does not dwell on any but upon a wise man, a mighty man, and a rich man.

(q) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 92. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

28. yea, and things which are not—Yea is not in the Greek. Also some of the oldest manuscripts omit "and." Thus the clause, "things which are not" (are regarded as naught), is in apposition with "foolish … weak … base (that is, lowborn) and despised things." God has chosen all four, though regarded as things that are not, to bring to naught things that are.

1 Corinthians 1:28 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Foolish to Shame the Wise
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, 28and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29so that no man may boast before God.…
Cross References
Job 34:19
who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?

Romans 4:17
As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

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 2:6
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

2 Thessalonians 2:8
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

Hebrews 2:14
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--
Treasury of Scripture

And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are:

things which.

Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before …

2 Corinthians 12:11 I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought …

to bring.

1 Corinthians 2:6 However, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the …

Deuteronomy 28:63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to …

Job 34:19,20,24 How much less to him that accepts not the persons of princes, nor …

Psalm 32:10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusts in the LORD, …

Psalm 37:35,36 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like …

Isaiah 2:11,17 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men …

Isaiah 17:13,14 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall …

Isaiah 37:36 Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the …

Isaiah 41:12 You shall seek them, and shall not find them, even them that contended …

Daniel 2:34,35,44,45 You saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote …

Revelation 18:17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nothing. And every shipmaster, …

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