1 Corinthians 1:20
New International Version
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

New Living Translation
So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.

English Standard Version
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Berean Study Bible
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Berean Literal Bible
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?

King James Bible
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

New King James Version
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

New American Standard Bible
Where is the wise person? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world?

NASB 1995
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?

NASB 1977
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?

Amplified Bible
Where is the wise man (philosopher)? Where is the scribe (scholar)? Where is the debater (logician, orator) of this age? Has God not exposed the foolishness of this world’s wisdom?

Christian Standard Bible
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish?

American Standard Version
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Where is the wise or where is the Scribe or where is the debater of this world? Behold, has not God shown the wisdom of this world to be insane?

Contemporary English Version
What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn't God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

English Revised Version
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Good News Translation
So then, where does that leave the wise? or the scholars? or the skillful debaters of this world? God has shown that this world's wisdom is foolishness!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Where is the wise person? Where is the scholar? Where is the persuasive speaker of our time? Hasn't God turned the wisdom of the world into nonsense?

International Standard Version
Where is the wise person? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? God has turned the wisdom of the world into nonsense, hasn't he?

Literal Standard Version
where [is] the wise? Where the scribe? Where a disputer of this age? Did God not make foolish the wisdom of this world?

NET Bible
Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish?

New Heart English Bible
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn't God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Weymouth New Testament
Where is your wise man? Where your expounder of the Law? Where your investigator of the questions of this present age? Has not God shown the world's wisdom to be utter foolishness?

World English Bible
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn't God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Young's Literal Translation
where is the wise? where the scribe? where a disputer of this age? did not God make foolish the wisdom of this world?

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Message of the Cross
19For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.…

Cross References
Job 12:17
He leads counselors away barefoot and makes fools of judges.

Isaiah 19:11
The princes of Zoan are mere fools; Pharaoh's wise counselors give senseless advice. How can you say to Pharaoh, "I am one of the wise, a son of eastern kings"?

Isaiah 33:18
Your mind will ponder the former terror: "Where is he who tallies? Where is he who weighs? Where is he who counts the towers?"

Isaiah 44:25
who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who confounds the wise and turns their knowledge into nonsense,

Jeremiah 10:7
Who would not fear You, O King of nations? This is Your due. For among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You.

Matthew 13:22
The seed sown among the thorns is the one who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

John 12:31
Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out.


Treasury of Scripture

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

is the wise.

Isaiah 33:18
Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?

Isaiah 53:1
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

hath.

1 Corinthians 1:19
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

2 Samuel 15:31
And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

2 Samuel 16:23
And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.









(20) To the second quotation, which was originally a song of triumph over the enemies of Israel, the Apostle gives a general application.

The wise.--The general reference in this word is to those who would exalt human knowledge, while "the scribe" indicates the Jew, and the "disputer" the Greek, who discussed philosophy (Acts 6:9; Acts 9:29).

Of this world.--These words qualify all three mentioned, and not exclusively the disputer." "World" (more literally, age) does not here mean the physical world, but, in an ethical sense, "this age," in contrast to that which is "to come" (Matthew 12:32; Mark 10:30). It is employed afterwards (last word of 1Corinthians 1:20, and in 1Corinthians 1:21) to designate all who are outside the Christian communion, as in the next verse it is contrasted with "them that believe." . . .

Verse 20. - Where is the wise? etc. (Isaiah 33:18); rather, Where is a wise man? i.e. a scribe, etc., which is even more incisive. These questions are triumphant, like the "Where is the King of Hamath and of Arpad?" The same impassioned form of speech recurs in 1 Corinthians 15:55 and in Romans 3:27. The questions would come home to the Jews, who regarded their rabbis and the "pupils of the wise as exalted beings who could look down on all poor ignorant persons (amharatsim, or "people of the land"); and to the Greeks, who regarded none but the philosophers as "wise." The scribe. With the Jews of that day" the scribe" was" the theologian," the ideal of dignified learning and orthodoxy, though for the most part he mistook elaborate ignorance for profound knowledge. The disputer. The word would specially suit the disputatious Greeks, clever dialecticians. The verb from which this word is derived occurs in Mark 8:11, and the abstract substantive ("an eager discussion") in Acts 28:29. If St. Paul has Isaiah 33:18 in his mind, the word "disputer" corresponds to "the counter of the towers" (comp. Psalm 48:12). Even the rabbis say that when Messiah comes human wisdom is to become needless. Of the world; rather, of this age, or aeon. The old dispensation, then so rapidly waning to its close, was called "this age" (olam hazzeh); the next or Messianic age was called "the age to come" (olam habba). The Messianic age had dawned at the birth of Christ, but the old covenant was not finally annulled till his second coming at the fall of Jerusalem. Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? rather, Did not God (by the cross) stultify the wisdom, etc.? The oxymoron, or sharp contrast of terms - a figure of which St. Paul is fond (see 1 Timothy 5:6; Romans 1:20, etc.; and my 'Life of St. Paul,' 1:628) - is here clearly marked in the Greek. The thought was as familiar to the old prophets (Isaiah 44:25) as to St. Paul (Romans 1:22); and even Horace saw that heathen philosophy was sometimes no better than insaniens sapientia (Horace, 'Od.,' 1:34, 2).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Greek
Where [is the]
Ποῦ (Pou)
Adverb
Strong's 4226: Genitive case of an interrogative pronoun pos otherwise obsolete; as adverb of place; at what locality.

wise [man]?
σοφός (sophos)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 4680: Wise, learned, cultivated, skilled, clever. Akin to saphes; wise.

Where [is]
ποῦ (pou)
Adverb
Strong's 4226: Genitive case of an interrogative pronoun pos otherwise obsolete; as adverb of place; at what locality.

[the] scribe?
γραμματεύς (grammateus)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 1122: From gramma. A writer, i.e. scribe or secretary.

Where [is]
ποῦ (pou)
Adverb
Strong's 4226: Genitive case of an interrogative pronoun pos otherwise obsolete; as adverb of place; at what locality.

[the] philosopher
συζητητὴς (syzētētēs)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 4804: A disputer, as the Greek sophists. From suzeteo; a disputant, i.e. Sophist.

of this
τούτου (toutou)
Demonstrative Pronoun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 3778: This; he, she, it.

age?
αἰῶνος (aiōnos)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 165: From the same as aei; properly, an age; by extension, perpetuity; by implication, the world; specially a Messianic period.

{Has} not
οὐχὶ (ouchi)
IntPrtcl
Strong's 3780: By no means, not at all. Intensive of ou; not indeed.

God
Θεὸς (Theos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

made foolish
ἐμώρανεν (emōranen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 3471: From moros; to become insipid; figuratively, to make as a simpleton.

the
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

wisdom
σοφίαν (sophian)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 4678: Wisdom, insight, skill (human or divine), intelligence. From sophos; wisdom.

of the
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

world?
κόσμου (kosmou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 2889: Probably from the base of komizo; orderly arrangement, i.e. Decoration; by implication, the world (morally).


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