|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-5 Christ, in his person, and offices, and sufferings, is the sum and substance of the gospel, and ought to be the great subject of a gospel minister's preaching, but not so as to leave out other parts of God's revealed truth and will. Paul preached the whole counsel of God. Few know the fear and trembling of faithful ministers, from a deep sense of their own weakness They know how insufficient they are, and are fearful for themselves. When nothing but Christ crucified is plainly preached, the success must be entirely from Divine power accompanying the word, and thus men are brought to believe, to the salvation of their souls.
Verse 4. - My speech and my preaching; the form and matter of my discourse. He would not attempt to use the keen sword of philosophical dialectics or human eloquence, but would only use the weapon of the cross. Was not with enticing words of man's wisdom; rather, with persuasive words of wisdom (the word anthropines is a gloss). This simplicity was the more remarkable because "Corinthian words" was a proverb for choice, elaborate, and glittering phrases (Wetstein). It is not improbable that the almost total and deeply discouraging want of success of St. Paul in preaching at Athens had impressed him mere strongly with the uselessness of attempting to fight Greek philosophers with their own blunt and imperfect weapons. In demonstration of the Spirit and of power. So he says to the Thessalonians," Our gospel came not to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance." The plain facts, so repellent to the natural intellect, were driven home with matchless force by spiritual conviction. The only heathen critic who has mentioned St. Paul's method is Longinus, the author of the treatise on 'The Sublime and Beautiful,' who calls him "a master of unproved dogma," meaning apparently that his force lay in the irresistible statement of the facts which he came to preach.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And my speech, and my preaching,.... As he determined, so he acted. As the subject matter of his ministry was not any of the liberal arts and sciences, or the philosophy and dry morality of the Gentiles, but salvation by a crucified Christ; so his style, his diction, his language used in preaching,
was not with enticing words of man's wisdom; with technical words, words of art, contrived by human wisdom to captivate the affections; and with bare probable arguments only, a show of reason to persuade the mind to an assent, when nothing solid and substantial is advanced, only a run of words artfully put together, without any strength of argument in them; a method used by the false teachers, and which the apostle here strikes at, and tacitly condemns:
but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; partly by making use of solid proofs out of the writings of the Old Testament, indited by the Spirit of God, and which amounted to a demonstration of the truths he delivered; and partly by signs, and wonders, and miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, those extraordinary instances of divine power, which greatly confirmed the doctrines he preached: and besides all these, the Spirit of God wonderfully assisted him in his work, both as to words and matter; directing him, what to say, and in what form, in words, not which human wisdom taught, but which the Holy Ghost taught; and accompanying his ministry with his power, to the conversion, comfort, edification, and salvation of many.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. my speech—in private.
preaching—in public [Bengel]. Alford explains it, My discourse on doctrines, and my preaching or announcement of facts.
man's wisdom—man's is omitted in the oldest authorities. Still "wisdom" does refer to "man's" wisdom.
in demonstration of … Spirit, &c.—Persuasion is man's means of moving his fellow man. God's means is demonstration, leaving no doubt, and inspiring implicit faith, by the powerful working of the Spirit (then exhibited both outwardly by miracles, and inwardly by working on the heart, now in the latter and the more important way only, Mt 7:29; Ac 6:10; Heb 4:12; compare also Ro 15:19). The same simple power accompanies divine truth now, producing certain persuasion and conversion, when the Spirit demonstrates by it.
1 Corinthians 2:4 Parallel Commentaries
1 Corinthians 2:4 NIV
1 Corinthians 2:4 NLT
1 Corinthians 2:4 ESV
1 Corinthians 2:4 NASB
1 Corinthians 2:4 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible