For Christ did not send me to baptize, but -- to proclaim good news; not in wisdom of discourse, that the cross of the Christ may not be made of none effect;
1 Corinthians 1:17 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For Christ sent me not to baptize - Bp. Pearce translates thus: For Christ sent me, not so much to baptize as to preach the Gospel: and he supports his version thus - "The writers of the Old and New Testaments do, almost every where (agreeably to the Hebrew idiom) express a preference given to one thing beyond another by an affirmation of that which is preferred, and a negation of that which is contrary to it: and so it must be understood here, for if St. Paul was not sent at all to baptize, he baptized without a commission; but if he was sent, not only to baptize but to preach also, or to preach rather than baptize, he did in fact discharge his duty aright." It appears sufficiently evident that baptizing was considered to be an inferior office, and though every minister of Christ might administer it, yet apostles had more important work. Preparing these adult heathens for baptism by the continual preaching of the word was of much greater consequence than baptizing them when thus prepared to receive and profit by it.
Not with wisdom of words - Ουκ εν σοφιᾳ λογου. In several places in the New Testament the term λογος is taken not only to express a word, a speech, a saying, etc., but doctrine, or the matter of teaching. Here, and in 1 Thessalonians 1:5, and in several other places, it seems to signify reason, or that mode of rhetorical argumentation so highly prized among the Greeks. The apostle was sent not to pursue this mode of conduct, but simply to announce the truth; to proclaim Christ crucified for the sin of the world; and to do this in the plainest and simplest manner possible, lest the numerous conversions which followed might be attributed to the power of the apostle's eloquence, and not to the demonstration of the Spirit of God. It is worthy of remark that, in all the revivals of religion with which we are acquainted, God appears to have made very little use of human eloquence, even when possessed by pious men. His own nervous truths, announced by plain common sense, though in homely phrase, have been the general means of the conviction and conversion of sinners. Human eloquence and learning have often been successfully employed in defending the outworks of Christianity; but simplicity and truth have preserved the citadel.
It is farther worthy of remark, that when God was about to promulgate his laws he chose Moses as the instrument, who appears to have labored under some natural impediment in his speech, so that Aaron his brother was obliged to be his spokesman to Pharaoh; and that, when God had purposed to publish the Gospel to the Gentile world - to Athens, Ephesus, Corinth, and Rome, he was pleased to use Saul of Tarsus as the principal instrument; a man whose bodily presence was weak, and his speech contemptible, 2 Corinthians 10:1, 2 Corinthians 10:10. And thus it was proved that God sent him to preach, not with human eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect but with the demonstration and power of his own Spirit; and thus the excellence of the power appeared to be of God, and not of man.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
John 4:2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
Acts 26:17,18 Delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom now I send you...
1 Corinthians 2:1,4,13 And I, brothers, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God...
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully...
2 Corinthians 10:3,4,10 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh...
2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ...
words. or, speech.
1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:17 Parallel CommentariesBaptise Baptism Baptize Christ Cleverness Cross Deprived Discourse Effect Emptied Fear Glad Good Gospel Merely News Power Preach Proclaim Speech Tidings Value Void Wisdom Wise Word Words Wouldn'tBaptise Baptism Baptize Christ Cleverness Cross Deprived Discourse Effect Emptied Fear Glad Good Gospel Merely News Power Preach Proclaim Speech Tidings Value Void Wisdom Wise Word Words Wouldn'tTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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