1 Corinthians 1:23
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,

King James Bible
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

Darby Bible Translation
but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews an offence, and to nations foolishness;

World English Bible
but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks,

Young's Literal Translation
also we -- we preach Christ crucified, to Jews, indeed, a stumbling-block, and to Greeks foolishness,

1 Corinthians 1:23 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But we - We who are Christian preachers make Christ crucified the grand subject of our instructions and our aims in contradistinction from the Jew and the Greek. They seek, the one miracles, the other wisdom, we glory only in the cross.

Christ crucified - The word Christ, the anointed, is the same as the Hebrew name Messiah. The emphasis in this expression is on the word "crucified." The Jews would make the Messiah whom they expected no less an object of glorifying than the apostles, but they spurned the doctrine that he was to be crucified. Yet in that the apostles boasted; proclaiming him crucified, or "having been crucified" as the only hope of man. This must mean more than that Christ was distinguished for moral worth, more than that he died as a martyr; because if that were all, no reason could be given why the cross should be made so prominent an object. It must mean that Christ was crucified for the sins of people, as an atoning sacrifice in the place of sinners. "We proclaim a crucified. Messiah as the only redeemer of lost people."

To the Jews a stumbling-block - The word "stumbling-block" (σκάνδαλον skandalon) means properly anything in the way over which one may fall; then anything that gives offence, or that causes one to fall into sin. Here it means that to the Jews, the doctrine that the Messiah was to be crucified gave great offence; excited, irritated, and exasperated them; that they could not endure the doctrine, and treated it with scorn. Compare the Romans 9:33 note; 1 Peter 2:8 note. It is well known that to the Jews no doctrine was more offensive than this, that the Messiah was to be put to death, and that there was to be salvation in no other way. It was so in the times of the apostles, and it has been so since. They have, therefore, usually called the Lord Jesus, by way of derision, "תלוי Tolwiy, the man that was hanged," that is, on a cross; and Christians they have usually denominated, for the same reason, צבדי תלוי 'Abday Tolwiy, servants of the man that was hanged." The reasons of this feeling are obvious:

(1) They had looked for a magnificent temporal prince; but the doctrine that their Messiah was crucified, dashed all their expectations. And they regarded it with contempt and scorn, just in proportion as their hopes had been elevated, and these high expectations cherished.

(2) they had the common feelings of all people, the native feelings of pride, and self-righteousness, by which they rejected the doctrine that we are dependent for salvation on one who was crucified.

(3) they regarded Jesus as one given over by God for an enormous attempt at imposition, as having been justly put to death; and the object of the curse of the Almighty. Isaiah 53:4, "we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God." They endeavored to convince themselves that he was the object of the divine dereliction and abhorrence; and they, therefore, rejected the doctrine of the cross with the deepest feelings of detestation.

To the Greeks - To the Gentiles in general. So the Syriac, the Vulgate, the Arabic, and the Aethiopic versions all read it. The term "Greek" denotes all who were not Jews; thus the phrase, "the Jews and the Greeks" comprehended the whole human family, 1 Corinthians 1:22.

Foolishness - See the note at 1 Corinthians 1:18. They regarded it as folly:

(1) Because they esteemed the whole account a fable, and an imposition;

(2) It did not accord with their own views of the way of elevating the condition of man;

(3) They saw no efficacy in the doctrine, no tendency in the statement that a man of humble birth was put to death in an ignominious manner in Judea, to make people better, or to receive pardon.

(4) they had the common feelings of unrenewed human nature; blind to the beauty of the character of Christ, and blind to the design of his death; and they therefore regarded the whole statement as folly.

We may remark here, that the feelings of the Jews and of the Greeks on this subject, are the common feelings of people. Everywhere sinners have the same views of the cross; and everywhere the human heart, if left to itself, rejects it, as either a stumbling-block or as folly. But the doctrine should be preached, though it is an offence, and though it appears to be folly. It is the only hope of man; and by the preaching of the cross alone can sinners be saved.

1 Corinthians 1:23 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Second Day. God's Provision for Holiness.
To those that are made holy in Christ Jesus, called to be holy.'--1 Cor. i. 2. 'To all the holy ones in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi. Salute every holy one in Christ Jesus.'[1]--Phil. i. 1, iv. 21. HOLY! IN CHRIST! In these two expressions we have perhaps the most wonderful words of all the Bible. HOLY! the word of unfathomable meaning, which the Seraphs utter with veiled faces. HOLY! the word in which all God's perfections centre, and of which His glory is but the streaming forth.
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

Corinthians. Calling on the Name
'All that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.'--1 COR. i. 2. There are some difficulties, with which I need not trouble you, about both the translation and the connection of these words. One thing is quite clear, that in them the Apostle associates the church at Corinth with the whole mass of Christian believers in the world. The question may arise whether he does so in the sense that he addresses his letter both to the church at Corinth and to the whole
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

With How Great Reverence Christ must be Received
The Voice of the Disciple These are Thy words, O Christ, Eternal Truth; though not uttered at one time nor written together in one place of Scripture. Because therefore they are Thy words and true, I must gratefully and faithfully receive them all. They are Thine, and Thou hast uttered them; and they are mine also, because Thou didst speak them for my salvation. Gladly I receive them from Thy mouth, that they may be more deeply implanted in my heart. Words of such great grace arouse me, for they
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Of the Effects of those Prerogatives.
From these prerogatives there will arise to the elect in heaven, five notable effects:-- 1. They shall know God with a perfect knowledge (1 Cor. i. 10), so far as creatures can possibly comprehend the Creator. For there we shall see the Word, the Creator; and in the Word, all creatures that by the Word were created; so that we shall not need to learn (of the things which were made) the knowledge of him by whom all things were made. The most excellent creatures in this life, are but as a dark veil
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Cross References
Luke 2:34
And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed--

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:21
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 2:2
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:14
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

1 Corinthians 4:10
We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.

Galatians 3:1
You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?

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