1 Corinthians 3:18
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.

King James Bible
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

Darby Bible Translation
Let no one deceive himself: if any one thinks himself to be wise among you in this world, let him become foolish, that he may be wise.

World English Bible
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise.

Young's Literal Translation
Let no one deceive himself; if any one doth seem to be wise among you in this age -- let him become a fool, that he may become wise,

1 Corinthians 3:18 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Let no man deceive himself - The apostle here proceeds to make a practical application of the truths which he had stated, and to urge on them humility, and to endeavor to repress the broils and contentions into which they had fallen. Let no man be puffed up with a vain conceit of his own wisdom, for this had been the real cause of all the evils which they had experienced. Grotius renders this, "See that you do not attribute too much to your wisdom and learning, by resting on it, and thus deceive your own selves." "All human philosophy," says Grotius, "that is repugnant to the gospel is but vain deceit" - Probably there were many among them who would despise this admonition as coming from Paul, but he exhorts them to take care that they did not deceive themselves. We are taught here:

(1) The danger of self-deception - a danger that besets all on the subject of religion.

(2) the fact that false philosophy is the most fruitful source of self-deception in the business of religion. So it was among the Corinthians; and so it has been in all ages since.

If any man among you - Any teacher, whatever may be his rank or his confidence in his own abilities; or any private member of the church.

Seemeth to be wise - Seems to himself; or is thought to be, has the credit, or reputation of being wise. The word "seems" δοκεῖ dokei implies this idea - if anyone seems, or is supposed to be a man of wisdom; if this is his reputation; and if he seeks that this should be his reputation among people. See instances of this construction in Bloomfield.

In this world - In this "age," or "world" (ἐν τῷ αἰῶν τούτῳ en tō aiōn toutō). There is considerable variety in the interpretation of this passage among critics. It may be taken either with the preceding or the following words. Origen, Cyprian, Beza, Grotius, Hammond, and Locke adopt the latter method, and understand it thus: "If any man among you thinks himself to be wise, let him not hesitate to be a fool in the opinion of this age in order that he may be truly wise" - But the interpretation conveyed in our translation, is probably the correct one. "If any man has the reputation of wisdom among the people of this generation, and prides himself on it," etc. If he is esteemed wise in the sense in which the people of this world are, as a philosopher, a man of science, learning, etc.

Let him become a fool -

(1) Let him be willing to be regarded as a fool.

(2) let him sincerely embrace this gospel, which will inevitably expose him to the charge of being a fool.

(3) let all his earthly wisdom be esteemed in his own eyes as valueless and as folly in the great matters of salvation.

That he may be wise - That he may have true wisdom - that which is of God. It is implied here:

(1) That the wisdom of this world will not make a man truly wise.

(2) that a "reputation" for wisdom may contribute nothing to a man's true wisdom, but may stand in the way of it.

(3) that for such a man to embrace the gospel it is necessary that he should be willing to cast away dependence on his own wisdom, and come with the temper of a child to the Saviour.

continued...

1 Corinthians 3:18 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Temples of God
'Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?'--1 COR. iii. 16 The great purpose of Christianity is to make men like Jesus Christ. As He is the image of the invisible God we are to be the images of the unseen Christ. The Scripture is very bold and emphatic in attributing to Christ's followers likeness to Him, in nature, in character, in relation to the world, in office, and in ultimate destiny. Is He the anointed of God? We are anointed--Christs in Him. Is He the Son of God? We in Him receive the
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Servants and Lords
'All things are yours; 22. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23. And ye are Christ's.'--1 COR. iii. 21-23. The Corinthian Christians seem to have carried into the Church some of the worst vices of Greek--and English--political life. They were split up into wrangling factions, each swearing by the name of some person. Paul was the battle-cry of one set; Apollos of another. Paul and Apollos were very good friends,
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Alcuin on True Missionary Labours.
THE cause of the first failure of the mission amongst the Saxons, may serve as a lesson and a warning to all times. It was this: that they sought to introduce from without what can only be effected from within; that worldly aims were blended with the diffusion of Christianity; that men did not follow the example of the Apostle Paul, who, in preaching the Gospel, allowed the Jews to remain Jews, and the Greeks, Greeks, and knew how to become to the Jews as a Jew, and to the Greeks as a Greek. The
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Certain it Is, Albeit all this Disputation Go from Side to Side...
38. Certain it is, albeit all this disputation go from side to side, some asserting that it is never right to lie, and to this effect reciting divine testimonies: others gainsaying, and even in the midst of the very words of the divine testimonies seeking place for a lie; yet no man can say, that he finds this either in example or in word of the Scriptures, that any lie should seem a thing to be loved, or not had in hatred; howbeit sometimes by telling a lie thou must do that thou hatest, that what
St. Augustine—On Lying

Cross References
Isaiah 5:21
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!

Matthew 13:22
"And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1 Corinthians 3:17
If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

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.

1 Corinthians 8:2
If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know;

Galatians 6:3
For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

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