1 Corinthians 2:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,

New Living Translation
And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.

English Standard Version
and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

New American Standard Bible
and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

King James Bible
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a powerful demonstration by the Spirit,

International Standard Version
My message and my preaching were not accompanied by clever, wise words, but by a display of the Spirit's power,

NET Bible
My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And my message and my preaching were not in the persuasiveness of the words of philosophy, but in the demonstration of The Spirit and power,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I didn't speak my message with persuasive intellectual arguments. I spoke my message with a show of spiritual power

Jubilee Bible 2000
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

King James 2000 Bible
And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

American King James Version
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

American Standard Version
And my speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And my speech and my preaching was not in the persuasive words of human wisdom, but in shewing of the Spirit and power;

Darby Bible Translation
and my word and my preaching, not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of [the] Spirit and of power;

English Revised Version
And my speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

Webster's Bible Translation
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power:

Weymouth New Testament
And my language and the Message that I proclaimed were not adorned with persuasive words of earthly wisdom, but depended upon truths which the Spirit taught and mightily carried home;

World English Bible
My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

Young's Literal Translation
and my word and my preaching was not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power --
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

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.

enticing—rather, "persuasive."

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 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul's Message, the Spirit's Power
3I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
Cross References
Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:19
by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

1 Corinthians 2:1
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.

1 Corinthians 2:13
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

1 Corinthians 4:20
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

2 Corinthians 6:6
in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;
Treasury of Scripture

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

my speech.

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God.

not.

1 Corinthians 2:1,13 And I, brothers, when I came to you, came not with excellency of …

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not …

Judges 14:15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said to Samson's …

Judges 16:5 And the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and said to her, …

2 Samuel 14:17-20 Then your handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be …

2 Samuel 15:2-6 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: …

1 Kings 22:13,14 And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, …

2 Chronicles 18:19-21 And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he …

Proverbs 7:21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering …

Proverbs 20:19 He that goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets: therefore meddle …

Jeremiah 20:10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say …

Ezekiel 13:6,10,11 They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD said: …

Romans 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly…

Colossians 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.

2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known …

2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through …

enticing. or, persuasible.

Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, Almost you persuade me to be a Christian.

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for …

but.

1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

John 16:8-15 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, …

Romans 15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; …

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

1 Peter 1:12 To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they did …

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