New International Version
You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.
New Living Translation
You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols.
English Standard Version
You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.
New American Standard Bible
You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led.
King James Bible
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
You know that when you were pagans, you used to be led off to the idols that could not speak.
International Standard Version
You know that when you were unbelievers, you were enticed and led astray to worship idols that couldn't even speak.
You know that when you were pagans you were often led astray by speechless idols, however you were led.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
That you were pagans and you were being led without discrimination to those idols which have no voice.
GOD'S WORD® Translation
You know that when you were unbelievers, every time you were led to worship false gods you were worshiping gods who couldn't even speak.
Jubilee Bible 2000
Ye know that when ye were Gentiles, ye went, even as ye were led, unto the dumb idols.
King James 2000 Bible
You know that you were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as you were led.
American King James Version
You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, even as you were led.
American Standard Version
Ye know that when ye were Gentiles ye were led away unto those dumb idols, howsoever ye might led.
You know that when you were heathens, you went to dumb idols, according as you were led.
Darby Bible Translation
Ye know that when ye were [of the] nations [ye were] led away to dumb idols, in whatever way ye might be led.
English Revised Version
Ye know that when ye were Gentiles ye were led away unto those dumb idols, howsoever ye might be led.
Webster's Bible Translation
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
Weymouth New Testament
You know that when you were heathens you went astray after dumb idols, wherever you happened to be led.
World English Bible
You know that when you were heathen, you were led away to those mute idols, however you might be led.
Young's Literal Translation
ye have known that ye were nations, unto the dumb idols -- as ye were led -- being carried away;
Parallel CommentariesMatthew Henry's Concise Commentary
12:1-11 Spiritual gifts were extraordinary powers bestowed in the first ages, to convince unbelievers, and to spread the gospel. Gifts and graces greatly differ. Both were freely given of God. But where grace is given, it is for the salvation of those who have it. Gifts are for the advantage and salvation of others; and there may be great gifts where there is no grace. The extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were chiefly exercised in the public assemblies, where the Corinthians seem to have made displays of them, wanting in the spirit of piety, and of Christian love. While heathens, they had not been influenced by the Spirit of Christ. No man can call Christ Lord, with believing dependence upon him, unless that faith is wrought by the Holy Ghost. No man could believe with his heart, or prove by a miracle, that Jesus was Christ, unless by the Holy Ghost. There are various gifts, and various offices to perform, but all proceed from one God, one Lord, one Spirit; that is, from the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the origin of all spiritual blessings. No man has them merely for himself. The more he profits others, the more will they turn to his own account. The gifts mentioned appear to mean exact understanding, and uttering the doctrines of the Christian religion; the knowledge of mysteries, and skill to give advice and counsel. Also the gift of healing the sick, the working of miracles, and to explain Scripture by a peculiar gift of the Spirit, and ability to speak and interpret languages. If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any power to make it known, we must give all the glory of God. The greater the gifts are, the more the possessor is exposed to temptations, and the larger is the measure of grace needed to keep him humble and spiritual; and he will meet with more painful experiences and humbling dispensations. We have little cause to glory in any gifts bestowed on us, or to despise those who have them not.
Verse 2. - That ye were Gentiles. The undoubted reading is, that when ye were Gentiles. The sentence is then in form an anacoluthon; in other words, it is not grammatically finished. The ancients were much less particular about these small matters of precision and symmetry than the moderns; and writers who are deeply moved by their subject, and hurried along by the strength of their feelings, often fall into these unfinished constructions (see Romans 2:17-21; Romans 15:25-27; Galatians 2:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, etc., in the Greek). Dumb idols. This characteristic of idols (Habakkuk 2:18; Psalm 115:5; Psalm 135:16) is fixed upon to show that their "oracles" were mere falsity and pretence. We find an illustration of the epithet in the statue of Isis at Pompeii, where the ruined temple shows the secret stair by which the priest mounted to the back of the statue; and the head of the statue (preserved in the Museo Borbonico) shows the tube which went from the back of the head to the parted lips. Through this tube the priest concealed behind the statue spoke the answers of Isis. Even as ye were led; rather, howsoever ye might be led, as in the Revised Version. The Greek phrase shows that, under the oracular guidance of dumb idols, the Gentiles had been, as it were, drifted hither and thither "as the winds listed."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ye know that ye were Gentiles,.... That is, by religion; hence the Syriac version renders it "profane" persons, given up to wickedness, bigotry, and superstition; for by nation they were Gentiles still; and which must be understood of one part of this church only; for some of them were Jews, as is clear from many passages in the epistle to this church, and practices referred to. This the apostle observes to humble them, by putting them in mind of what they had been formerly; they were born and brought up in the Heathen religion, when they knew not the true God, much less had any knowledge of Christ, and still less of the Spirit of God; and therefore if they were favoured with any of his gifts, these must be owing to his grace, and not to their deserts, and therefore they ought not to glory: he adds, with the same view,
carried away unto these dumb idols; to idols that were nothing in the world, had no divinity in them, as he had before asserted; to dumb ones, that had mouths, but could not speak, the oracles that were delivered from them, being spoken not by them, but were either satanical delusions, or the jugglings of a priest; to these they were carried by the power of Satan, the influence of their priests, and the orders of their magistrates, to consult them as oracles, to pay their devotions to them, and do them service:
even as ye were led; that is, to these dumb idols; the Syriac adds, , "without any difference", not being able to distinguish between these and the true God; and to whom they were led as brute beasts were, that were sacrificed unto them, or as blind men are led by the blind, as they were by their blind and ignorant priests; and therefore, if they had now received the Spirit, and his gifts, they ought to ascribe the whole to the free grace of God, and be humble under a sense of their unworthiness.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. (Eph 2:11).
that ye were—The best manuscripts read, "That WHEN ye were"; thus "ye were" must be supplied before "carried away"—Ye were blindly transported hither and thither at the will of your false guides.
these dumb idols—Greek, "the idols which are dumb"; contrasted with the living God who "speaks" in the believer by His Spirit (1Co 12:3, &c.). This gives the reason why the Corinthians needed instruction as to spiritual gifts, namely, their past heathen state, wherein they had no experience of intelligent spiritual powers. When blind, ye went to the dumb.
as ye were led—The Greek is, rather, "as ye might (happen to) be led," namely, on different occasions. The heathen oracles led their votaries at random, without any definite principle.
1 Corinthians 12:2 Additional Commentaries
Spiritual Gifts Bestowed
1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. 3Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.…
They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.
They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer; it cannot save them from their troubles.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good."
"Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak.
1 Corinthians 6:11
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (which is done in the body by human hands)--
1 Thessalonians 1:9
for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,
1 Peter 4:3
For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
Treasury of Scripture
You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, even as you were led.
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NT Letters: 1 Corinthians 12:2 You know that when you were heathen (1 Cor. 1C iC 1Cor i cor icor) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools