1 Corinthians 2:2
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
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(2) I determined not to know.—Better, I did not determine to know. The only subject of teaching concerning which the Apostle had formed a determined resolve in his mind when coming to Corinth was the preaching Christ and Him as being crucified. We have here a statement of what was ever the subject-matter of apostolic teaching. St. Paul did not dwell on the miraculous in the life of Christ, which would have pandered to the Jewish longing for a “sign”; nor did he put forward elaborate “theories” of the gospel, which would have been a concession to the Greek’s longing after “wisdom”: but he preached a personal Christ, and especially dwelt on the fact that He had been crucified (1Corinthians 1:17; 1Corinthians 1:23; Galatians 6:14; Philippians 2:8). We can scarcely realise now the stumbling-block which the preaching of a crucified Christ must have been to Jews and Greeks, the enormous temptation to keep the cross in the background which the early teachers would naturally have felt, and the sublime and confident faith which must have nerved St. Paul to make it the central fact of all his teaching. For us the cross is illumined with the glories of eighteen centuries of civilisation, and consecrated with the memory of all that is best and noblest in the history of Christendom. To every Jew and to every Gentile it conveyed but one idea, that of the most revolting and most degrading punishment. The remembrance of this fact will enable us to realise how uncompromising was the Apostles’ teaching—how it never “accommodated itself” to any existing desire or prejudice. This surely is no small evidence of the divine origin of the religion of which the Apostles were the heralds!

1 Corinthians


1 Corinthians 2:2

Many of you are aware that to-day I close forty years of ministry in this city-I cannot say to this congregation, for there are very, very few that can go back with me in memory to the beginning of these years. You will bear me witness that I seldom intrude personal references into the pulpit, but perhaps it would be affectation not to do so now. Looking back over these long years, many thoughts arise which cannot be spoken in public. But one thing I may say, and that is, that I am grateful to God and to you, dear friends, for the unbroken harmony, confidence, affection, and forbearance which have brightened and lightened my work. Of its worth I cannot judge; its imperfections I know better than the most unfavourable critic; but I can humbly take the words of this text as expressive, not, indeed, of my attainments, but of my aims. One of my texts, on my first Sunday in Manchester, was ‘We preach Christ and Him crucified,’ and I look back, and venture to say that the noble words of this text have been, however imperfectly followed, my guiding star.

Now, I wish to say a word or two, less personal perhaps, and yet, as you can well suppose, not without a personal reference in my own consciousness.

I. Note here first, then, the Apostolic theme-Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Now, the Apostle, in this context, gives us a little autobiographical glimpse which is singularly and interestingly confirmed by some slight incidental notices in the Book of the Acts. He says, in the context, that he was with the Corinthians ‘in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,’ and, if we turn to the narrative, we find that a singular period of silence, apparent abandonment of his work and dejection, seems to have synchronised with his coming to the great city of Corinth. The reasons were very plain. He had recently come into Europe for the first time and had had to front a new condition of things, very different from what he had found in Palestine or in Asia Minor. His experience had not been encouraging. He had been imprisoned in Philippi; he had been smuggled away by night from Thessalonica; he had been hounded from Berea; he had all but wholly failed to make any impression in Athens, and in his solitude he came to Corinth, and lay quiet, and took stock of his adversaries. He came to the conclusion which he records in my text; he felt that it was not for him to argue with philosophers, or to attempt to vie with Sophists and professional orators, but that his only way to meet Greek civilisation, Greek philosophy, Greek eloquence, Greek self-conceit, was to preach ‘Christ and Him crucified.’ The determination was not come to in ignorance of the conditions that were fronting him. He knew Corinth, its wealth, its wickedness, its culture, and knowing these he said, ‘I have made up my mind that I will know nothing amongst you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.’

So, then, this Apostle’s conception of his theme was-the biography of a Man, with especial emphasis laid on one act in His history-His death. Christianity is Christ, and Christ is Christianity. His relation to the truth that He proclaimed, and to the truths that may be deducible from the story of His life and death, is altogether different from the relation of any other founder of a religion to the truths that he has proclaimed. For in these you can accept the teaching, and ignore the teacher. But you cannot do that with Christianity; ‘I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life’; and in that revealing biography, which is the preacher’s theme, the palpitating heart and centre is the death upon the Cross. So, whatever else Christianity comes to be-and it comes to be a great deal else-the principle of its growth, and the germ which must vitalise the whole, lie in the personality and the death of Jesus Christ.

That is not all. The history of the life and the death want something more to make them a gospel. The fact, I was going to say, is the least part of the fact; as in some vegetable growths, there is far more underground than above. For, unless along with, involved in, and deducible from, but capable of being stated separately from, the external facts, there is a certain commentary or explanation of them: the history is a history, the biography is a biography, the story of the Cross is a touching narrative, but it is no gospel.

And what was Paul’s commentary which lifted the bare facts up into the loftier region? This-as for the person, Jesus Christ ‘declared to be the son of God with power’-as for the fact of the death, ‘died for our sins according to the Scriptures.’ Let in these two conceptions into the facts-and they are the necessary explanation and presupposition of the facts-the Incarnation and the Sacrifice, and then you get what Paul calls ‘my gospel,’ not because it was his invention, but because it was the trust committed to him. That is the Gospel which alone answers to the facts which he deals with; and that is the Gospel which, God helping me, I have for forty years tried to preach.

We hear a great deal at present, or we did a few years ago, about this generation having recovered Jesus Christ, and about the necessity of going ‘back to the Christ of the Gospels.’ By all means, I say, if in the process you do not lose the Christ of the Epistles, who is the Christ of the Gospels, too. I am free to admit that a past generation has wrapped theological cobwebs round the gracious figure of Christ with disastrous results. For it is perfectly possible to know the things that are said about Him, and not to know Him about whom these things are said. But the mistake into which the present generation is far more likely to fall than that of substituting theology for Christ, is the converse one-that of substituting an undefined Christ for the Christ of the Gospels and the Epistles, the Incarnate Son of God, who died for our salvation. And that is a more disastrous mistake than the other, for you can know nothing about Him and He can be nothing to you, except as you grasp the Apostolic explanation of the bare facts-seeing in Him the Word who became flesh, the Son who died that we might receive the adoption of sons.

I would further point out that a clear conception of what the theme is, goes a long way to determine the method in which it shall be proclaimed. The Apostle says, in the passage which is parallel to the present one, in the previous chapter, ‘We preach Christ crucified’; with strong emphasis on the word ‘preach.’ ‘The Jew required a sign’; he wanted a man who would do something. The Greek sought after wisdom; he wanted a man who would perorate and argue and dissertate. Paul says, ‘No!’ ‘We have nothing to do. We do not come to philosophise and to argue. We come with a message of fact that has occurred, of a Person that has lived.’ And, as most of you know, the word which he uses means in its full signification, ‘to proclaim as a herald does.’

Of course, if my business were to establish a set of principles, theological or otherwise, then argumentation would be my weapon, proofs would be my means, and my success would be that I should win your credence, your intellectual consent, and conviction. If I were here to proclaim simply a morality, then the thing that I would aim to secure would be obedience, and the method of securing it would be to enforce the authority and reasonableness of the command. But, seeing that my task is to proclaim a living Person and a historical fact, then the way to do that is to do as the herald does when in the market-place he stands, trumpet in one hand and the King’s message in the other-proclaim it loudly, confidently, not ‘with bated breath and whispering humbleness,’ as if apologising, nor too much concerned to buttress it up with argumentation out of his own head, but to say, ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ and to what the Lord saith conscience says, ‘Amen.’ Brethren, we need far more, in all our pulpits, of that unhesitating confidence in the plain, simple proclamation, stripped, as far as possible, of human additions and accretions, of the great fact and the great Person on whom all our salvation depends.

II. So let me ask you to notice the exclusiveness which this theme demands.

‘Nothing but,’ says Paul. I might venture to say-though perhaps the tone of the personal allusions in this sermon may seem to contradict it-that this exclusiveness is to be manifested in one very difficult direction, and that that is, the herald shall efface himself. We have to hold up the picture; and if I might take such a metaphor, like a man in a gallery who is displaying some masterpiece to the eyes of the beholders, we have to keep ourselves well behind it; and it will be wise if not even a finger-tip is allowed to steal in front and come into sight. One condition, I believe, of real power in the ministration of the Gospel, is that people shall be convinced that the preacher is thinking not at all about himself, but altogether about his message. You remember that wonderfully pathetic utterance from John the Baptist’s stern lips, which derives much additional pathos and tenderness from the character of the man from whom it came, when they asked him, ‘Who art thou?’ and his answer was, ‘I am a Voice.’ I am a Voice; that is all! Ah, that is the example! We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord. We must efface ourselves if we would proclaim Christ.

But I turn to another direction in which this theme demands exclusiveness, and I revert to the previous chapter where in the parallel portion to the words of my text, we find the Apostle very clearly conscious of the two great streams of expectation and wish which he deliberately thwarted and set at nought. ‘The Jews require a sign-but we preach Christ crucified. The Greeks seek after wisdom,’ but again, ‘we preach Christ crucified.’ Now, take these two. They are representations, in a very emphatic way, of two sets of desires and mental characteristics, which divide the world between them.

On the one hand, there is the sensuous tendency that wants something done for it, something to see, something that sense can grasp at; and so, as it fancies, work itself upwards into a higher region. ‘The Jew requires a sign’-that is, not merely a miracle, but something to look at. He wants a visible sacrifice; he wants a priest. He wants religion to consist largely in the doing of certain acts which may be supposed to bring, in some magical fashion, spiritual blessings. And Paul opposes to that, ‘We preach Christ crucified.’ Brethren, the tendency is strong to-day, not only in those parts of the Anglican communion where sacramentarian theories are in favour, but amongst all sections of the Christian Church, in which there is obvious a drift towards more ornate ritual, and aesthetic services, as means of attracting to church or chapel, and as more important than proclaiming Christ. I am free to confess that possibly some of us, with our Puritan upbringing and tendency, too much disregard that side of human nature. Possibly it is so. But for all that I profoundly believe that if religion is to be strong it must have a very, very small infusion of these external aids to spiritual worship, and that few things more weaken the power of the Gospel that Paul preached than the lowering of the flag in conformity with desires of men of sense, and substituting for the simple glory of the preached Word the meretricious, and in time impotent, and always corrupting, attractions of a sensuous worship.

Further, ‘The Greeks seek after wisdom.’ They wanted demonstration, abstract principles, systematised philosophies, and the like. Paul comes again with his ‘We preach Christ and Him crucified.’ The wisdom is there, as I shall have to say in a moment, but the form that it takes is directly antagonistic to the wishes of these wisdom-seeking Greeks. The same thing in modern guise besets us to-day. We are called upon, on all sides, to bring into the pulpit what they call an ethical gospel; putting it into plain English, to preach morality, and to leave out Christ. We are called upon, on all sides, to preach an applied Christianity, a social gospel-that is to say, largely to turn the pulpit into a Sunday supplement to the daily newspaper. We are asked to deal with the intellectual difficulties which spring from the collision of science, true or false, with religion, and the like. All that is right enough. But I believe from my heart that the thing to do is to copy Paul’s example, and to preach Christ and Him crucified. You may think me right or you may think me wrong, but here and now, at the end of forty years, I should like to say that I have for the most part ignored that class of subjects deliberately, and of set purpose, and with a profound conviction, be it erroneous or not, that a ministry which listens much to the cry for ‘wisdom’ in its modern forms, has departed from the true perspective of Christian teaching, and will weaken the churches which depend upon it. Let who will turn the pulpit into a professor’s chair, or a lecturer’s platform, or a concert-room stage or a politician’s rostrum, I for one determine to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

III. Lastly, observe the all-sufficient comprehensiveness which this theme secures.

Paul says ‘nothing but’; he might have said ‘everything in.’ For ‘Jesus Christ and Him crucified’ covers all the ground of men’s needs. No doubt many of you will have been saying to yourselves whilst you have been listening, if you have been listening, to what I have been saying, ‘Ah! old-fashioned narrowness; quite out of date in this generation.’ Brethren, there are two ways of adapting one’s ministry to the times. One is falling in with the requirements of the times, and the other is going dead against them, and both of these methods have to be pursued by us.

But the exclusiveness of which I have been speaking, is no narrow exclusiveness. Paul felt that, if he was to give the Corinthians what they needed, he must refuse to give them what they wanted, and that whilst he crossed their wishes he was consulting their necessities. That is true yet, for the preaching that bases itself upon the life and death of Jesus Christ, conceived as Paul had learned from Jesus Christ to conceive them, that Gospel, whilst it brushes aside men’s superficial wishes, goes straight to the heart of their deep-lying universal necessities, for what the Jew needs most is not a sign, and what the Greek needs most is not wisdom, but what they both need most is deliverance from the guilt and power of sin. And we all, scholars and fools, poets and common-place people, artists and ploughmen, all of us, in all conditions of life, in all varieties of culture, in all stages of intellectual development, in all diversities of occupation and of mental bias, what we all have in common is that human heart in which sin abides, and what we all need most to have is that evil drop squeezed out of it, and our souls delivered from the burden and the bondage. Therefore, any man that comes with a sign, and does not deal with the sin of the human heart, and any man that comes with a philosophical system of wisdom, and does not deal with sin, does not bring a Gospel that will meet the necessities even of the people to whose cravings he has been aiming to adapt his message.

But, beyond that, in this message of Christ and Him crucified, there lies in germ the satisfaction of all that is legitimate in these desires that at first sight it seems to thwart. ‘A sign?’ Yes, and where is there power like the power that dwells in Him who is the Incarnate might of omnipotence? ‘Wisdom?’ Yes, and where is there wisdom, except ‘in Him in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ ? Let the Jew come to the Cross, and in the weak Man hanging there, he will find a mightier revelation of the power of God than anywhere else. Let the Greek come to the Cross, and there he will find wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption. The bases of all social, economical, political reform and well-being, lie in the understanding and the application to social and national life, of the principles that are wrapped in, and are deduced from, the Incarnation and the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We have not learned them all yet. They have not all been applied to national and individual life yet. I plead for no narrow exclusiveness, but for one consistent with the widest application of Christian principles to all life. Paul determined to know nothing but Jesus, and to know everything in Jesus, and Jesus in everything. Do not begin your building at the second-floor windows. Put in your foundations first, and be sure that they are well laid. Let the Sacrifice of Christ, in its application to the individual and his sins, be ever the basis of all that you say. And then, when that foundation is laid, exhibit, to your heart’s content, the applications of Christianity and its social aspects. But be sure that the beginning of them all is the work of Christ for the individual sinful soul, and the acceptance of that work by personal faith.

Dear friends, ours has been a long and happy union but it is a very solemn one. My responsibilities are great; yours are not small. Let me beseech you to ask yourselves if, with all your kindness to the messenger, you have given heed to the message. Have you passed beyond the voice that speaks, to Him of whom it speaks? Have you taken the truth-veiled and weakened as I know it has been by my words, but yet in them-for what it is, the word of the living God? My occupancy of this pulpit must in the nature of things, before long, come to a close, but the message which I have brought to you will survive all changes in the voice that speaks here. ‘All flesh is grass . . . the Word of the Lord endureth for ever.’ And, closing these forty years, during a long part of which some of you have listened most lovingly and most forbearingly, I leave with you this, which I venture to quote, though it is my Master’s word about Himself, ‘I judge you not; the word which I have spoken unto you, the same shall judge you in the last day.’

1 Corinthians 2:2-5. For I determined not to know any thing, &c. — To act as one who knew nothing, or to waive all my other knowledge, and not to preach any thing save Jesus Christ and him crucified — That is, what he taught, did, and suffered. Or, not only to preach the gospel sincerely, without any mixture of human wisdom, but chiefly to insist upon that part of it which seems most contemptible, and which human wisdom does most abhor, namely, concerning the sufferings and crucifixion of Christ. And I was with you — At my first entrance; in weakness — Of body, 2 Corinthians 12:7; and in fear — Lest I should offend any; and in much trembling — The emotion of my mind affected my very body. For I knew that I had enemies about me on every side, Acts 18:6; Acts 18:9, and laboured under natural disadvantages, 2 Corinthians 10:10; and the force of the prejudice which I had to encounter was strong. And my speech — In private; and my preaching — In public; was not with enticing words — Or persuasive discourses; of man’s wisdom — With eloquence or philosophy, or with that pomp and sophistry of argument, which the learned men of the world are so ready to affect; but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power — With that powerful kind of demonstration which flows from the Holy Spirit; which works on the conscience with the most convincing light, and the most persuasive evidence. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, &c. — That your belief of the gospel, and the various important truths of it, might not be grounded on, or appear to be gained by, human wisdom or eloquence; but in the wisdom and power of God — Teaching men’s ignorance, guiding their foolishness, and giving efficacy to such weak means as he has seen fit to use.

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.For I determined - I made a resolution. This was my fixed, deliberate purpose when I came there. It was not a matter of accident, or chance, that I made Christ my great and constant theme, but it was my deliberate purpose. It is to be recollected that Paul made this resolution, knowing the special fondness of the Greeks for subtle disquisitions, and for graceful and finished elocution; that he formed it when his own mind, as we may judge from his writings, was strongly inclined by nature to an abstruse and metaphysical kind of discussion, which could not have failed to attract the attention of the acute and subtle reasoners of Greece; and that he made it when he must have been fully aware that the theme which he had chosen to dwell upon would be certain to excite derision and contempt. Yet he formed, and adhered to this resolution, though it might expose him to contempt; and though they might reject and despise his message.

Not to know - The word "know" here εἰδέναι eidenai is used probably in the sense of "attend to, be engaged in, or regard." I resolved not to give my time and attention while among you to the laws and traditions of the Jews; to your orators, philosophers, and poets; to the beauty of your architecture or statuary; to a contemplation of your customs and laws, but to attend to this only - making known the cross of Christ. The word εἰδω eidō to know, is sometimes thus used. Paul says that he designed that this should be the only thing on which his mind should be fixed; the only object of his attention; the only object there upon which he sought that knowledge should be diffused. Doddridge renders it "appear to know."

Anything among you - Anything while I was with you. Or, anything that may exist; among you, and that may be objects of interest to you. I resolved to know nothing of it, whatever it might be. The former is probably the correct interpretation.

Save Jesus Christ - Except Jesus Christ. This is the only thing of which I purposed to have any knowledge among you.

And him crucified - Or, "even καί kai him that was crucified." He resolved not only to make the "Messiah" the grand object of his knowledge and attention there, but even a "crucified" Messiah; to maintain the doctrine that the Messiah was to be crucified for the sins of the world; and that he who had been crucified was in fact the Messiah. See the note at 1 Corinthians 1:23. We may remark here:

(1) That this should be the resolution of every minister of the gospel. This is his business. It is not to be a politician; not to engage in the strifes and controversies of people; it is not to be a good farmer, or scholar merely; not to mingle with his people in festive circles and enjoyments; not to be a man of taste and philosophy, and distinguished mainly for refinement of manners; not to be a profound philosopher or metaphysician, but to make Christ crucified the grand object of his attention, and seek always and everywhere to make him known.

(2) he is not to be ashamed anywhere of the humbling doctrine that Christ was crucified. In this he is to glory. Though the world may ridicule; though philosophers may sneer; though the rich and the frivilous may deride it, yet this is to be the grand object of interest to him, and at no time, and "in no society" is he to be ashamed of it!

(3) it matters not what are the amusements of society around him; that fields of science, of gain, or ambition, are open before him, the minister of Christ is to know Christ and him crucified alone. If he cultivates science, it is to be that he may the more successfully explain and vindicate the gospel. If he becomes in any manner familiar with the works of art, and of taste, it is that he may more successfully show to those who cultivate them, the superior beauty and excellency of the cross. If he studies the plans and the employments of people, it is that he may more successfully meet them in those plans, and more successfully speak to them of the great plan of redemption.

(4) the preaching of the cross is the only kind of preaching that will be attended with success. That which has in it much respecting the divine mission, the dignity, the works, the doctrines, the person, and the atonement of Christ, will be successful. So it was in the time of the apostles; so it was in the Reformation; so it was in the Moravian missions; so it has been in all revivals of religion. There is a power about that kind of preaching which philosophy and human reason have not. "Christ is God's great ordinance" for the salvation of the world; and we meet the crimes and alleviate the woes of the world, just in proportion as we hold the cross up as appointed to overcome the one, and to pour the balm of consolation into the other.

2. The Greek implies, "The only definite thing that I made it my business to know among you, was to know Jesus Christ (His person) and Him crucified (His office)" [Alford], not exalted on the earthly throne of David, but executed as the vilest malefactor. The historical fact of Christ's crucifixion had probably been put less prominently forward by the seekers after human wisdom in the Corinthian church, to avoid offending learned heathens and Jews. Christ's person and Christ's office constitute the sum of the Gospel. I did not value myself upon any piece of knowledge I had attained, saving only that of

Christ, and him crucified; or, I determined with myself to carry myself amongst you, as if I knew nothing of arts, or sciences, or languages, but only Christ, and him crucified; not to make any thing else the subject of my public discourses. I was acquainted with the Jewish law, rites, and traditions, with the heathen poets and philosophers; I troubled you with none of these in my pulpit discourses; my whole business was to open to you the mysteries of the gospel, and to bring you to a knowledge of and an acquaintance with Jesus Christ; this was my end, and the means I used were proportionable to it.

For I determined not to know anything among you,.... This was a resolution the apostle entered into before he came among them, that though he was well versed in human literature, and had a large compass of knowledge in the things of nature, yet would make known nothing else unto them, or make anything else the subject of his ministry,

save Christ, and him crucified: he had a spiritual and experimental knowledge of Christ himself, and which he valued above all things else; and this qualified him to make him known to others; and which knowledge he was very willing and ready to communicate by preaching the Gospel, which is the means of making known Christ as God's salvation to the souls of men; and on this subject he chiefly insisted, and in which he took great delight and pleasure; he made known the things respecting the person of Christ, as that he was God, the Son of God, and truly man. God and man in one person; the things respecting his office, as that he was the Messiah, the mediator, prophet, priest, and King, the head, husband, Saviour, and Redeemer of his church and people; and the things respecting his work as such, and the blessings of grace procured by him; as that justification is by his righteousness, pardon by his blood, peace, reconciliation, and atonement by his sacrifice, and salvation alone and entirely by him. His determination was to preach none but Christ; not himself, nor man; nor the power and purity of human nature, the free will and works of the creature, but to exclude all and everything from being partners with Christ in the business of salvation. This was the doctrine he chose in the first place, and principally, to insist upon, even salvation by Christ, and him, as

crucified: that which was the greatest offence to others was the most delightful to him, because salvation comes through and by the cross of Christ; and he dwelt upon this, and determined to do so; it being most for the glory of Christ, and what was owned for the conversion of sinners, the comfort of distressed minds, and is suitable food for faith, as he knew by his own experience.

For I {b} determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

(b) I did not profess any knowledge but the knowledge of Christ and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:2. For I did not resolve (did not set it before me as part of my undertaking) to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and that the crucified, i.e. to mix up other kinds of knowledge with the proclamation of Jesus Christ, etc.[325] Had Paul not disdained this and not put aside all other knowledge, his καταγγέλλειν would not have remained free from ὑπεροχὴ λόγου ἢ σοφίας. The ordinary reference of the negation to τι: I resolved to know nothing, etc., is in arbitrary opposition to the words (so, however, Pott, Flatt, Rückert, Osiander, Ewald). In ἔκρινα Calvin and Grotius find too much, since the text does not give it: magnum duxi; Hofmann again, too little, with Luther and others: I judged, was of opinion; for Paul could indeed discard and negative in his own case the undertaking to know something, but not the judgment that he did know something. His self-determination was, not to be directed to know, etc. Comp 1 Corinthians 7:37; 2 Corinthians 2:1; Romans 14:13; Κρῖναί τι καὶ προθέσθαι, Polyb. iii. 6. 7; Wis 8:9; 1Ma 11:33; 2Ma 6:14, al[327] He might have acted otherwise, had he proposed to himself to do so.

τὶ εἰδέναι] πρὸς ἀντιδιαστολὴν τῆς ἔξωθεν εἴρηται σοφίας· οὐ γὰρ ἦλθον συλλογισμοὺς πλέκων, οὐδὲ σοφίσματα, οὐδʼ ἄλλο τι λέγων ὑμῖν, ἢ ὅτι ὁ Χριστὸς ἐσταυρώθη, Chrysostom. But the giving up of everything else is far more powerfully expressed by εἰδέναι (comp Arrian, Epict. ii. 1) than if Paul had said λέγειν or λαλεῖν. He was not disposed, when among the Corinthians, to be conscious of anything else but Christ. The notion of permission (Rückert), which might be conveyed in the relation of the infinitive to the verb (see Lobeck, a[329] Phryn. p. 753; Kühner, a[330] Xen. Mem. ii. 2. 1; Anab. v. 7. 34), would here only weaken the force of the statement. Were τοῦ εἰδέναι τι the correct reading (but see the critical remarks), the right rendering of the genitive would not be: so that (Billroth), but: I made no resolution, in order to know anything. Comp on Acts 27:1.

κ. τοῦτ. ἐσταυρ.] notwithstanding the offence therein implied for Jew and Gentile, 1 Corinthians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 1:23. Comp Galatians 6:14.

[325] Causaubon remarks well, that Ἰησ. x. refers to the person, and κ. τοῦτ. ἐσταυρ. to the officium, and “in his duobus totum versatur evangelium.” But the strong emphasis on the latter point arises from looking back to 1 Corinthians 1:17-24.

[327] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[329] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[330] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

1 Corinthians 2:2. οὐ γὰρ ἔκρινά τι (or ἔκρινα τὶ) εἰδέναι κ.τ.λ.: “For I did not determine (judge it fit) to know anything (or, know something) among you, except (or, only) Jesus Christ, and Him crucified”. This explains Paul’s unadorned and matter-of-fact delivery.—οὐ negatives ἔκρινα, not εἰδέναι (the rendering “I determined not to know” contravenes the order of words); nor is there any instance of οὐ coalescing with κρίνω as in οὔ φημι (nego) and the like—these interpretations miss the point: had P. chosen another subject, he might have aimed at a higher style; he avoided the latter, “for” he did not entertain the former notion. His failure at Athens may have emphasised, but did not originate the Apostle’s resolution to know nothing but the cross: cf. Galatians 3:1, 1 Thessalonians 4:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:9 f., Acts 13:38 f., relating to earlier preaching. For the use of ἔκρινα (statui, Bz[299]) as denoting a practical moral judgment or resolution, cf. 1 Corinthians 7:37, 2 Corinthians 2:1. Ev[300] renders τὶ εἰδέναι (thus accented), “to be a know-something” (aliquid scire)—to play the philosopher—according to the well-known Attic idiom of Plato’s Apol., § 6, and passim, where οἴεται τὶ εἰδέναι = δοκεῖ σοφὸς εἶναι; cf. 1 Corinthians 8:2, and the emphatic εἶναι τὶς (τὶ); also 1 Corinthians 3:7, Galatians 2:6; Galatians 6:3, Acts 5:36. This rendering accounts well for εἰδέναι, and gives additional point to the ὑπεροχὴ of 1 Corinthians 2:1 : P. brought with him to Cor[301] none of the prestige of the professional teachers, who claimed to “know something”; Christ and the cross—this was all he knew. For εἰ μὴ in the corrective sense “only,” demanded by this interpretation, see 1 Corinthians 7:17.—εἰδέναι is to possess knowledge, to be a master; γινώσκειν (1 Corinthians 1:21), to acquire knowledge, to be a learner. On ἐσταυρωμένον (pf. ptp[302], of pregnant fact), cf. notes to 1 Corinthians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 1:23.

[299] Beza’s Nov. Testamentum: Interpretatio et Annotationes (Cantab., 1642).

[300] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary.

[301] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[302] participle

2. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified] He had come to deliver a testimony concerning God, and as we have seen, that testimony must needs result in the humiliation of man. Accordingly, its matter is very simple. All he knows is Jesus Christ, and even Him as having been reduced, in His humanity, to a condition which to the purely human apprehension appears one of the deepest disgrace. The words and Him crucified may be rendered thus, and even Him as having been crucified. See 1 Corinthians 1:23.

1 Corinthians 2:2. Οὐ γὰρ ἔκρινα, for I determined not) Although I knew many other things, yet I so acted, as if I did not know them. If a minister of the Gospel however abstains from the things, in which he excels, in order that he may simply preach Christ, he derives the highest benefit from them. The Christian doctrine ought not, for the sake of scoffers and sceptics, and those who admire them, to be sprinkled and seasoned with philosophical investigations, as if in sooth it were possible to convince them more easily by means of natural theology. They, who obstinately reject revelation, will not be gained by any reasonings from the light of nature, which only serves the purpose of instructing in the first rudiments of (theological) education.—ἔκρινα) This word with its compounds is often used by Paul in this epistle to the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 2:13, etc., 1 Corinthians 4:3, etc., 1 Corinthians 11:29; 1 Corinthians 11:31-32; 1 Corinthians 11:34.—Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν, Jesus Christ) Paul well knew, how little the world esteemed this name.[16]

[16] Εσταυρωμένον, crucified) An antithesis to “sublime wisdom,” 1 Corinthians 2:1.—V. g.

Verse 2. - I determined. The unadorned simplicity of my teaching was part of a fixed design. Not to know anything. Not, that is, to depend on any human knowledge. Of course, St. Paul neither means to set aside all human knowledge nor to disparage other Christian doer, toes. His words must not be pressed out of their due context and proportion. Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Christ, in the lowest depth of his abasement and self sacrifice. He would "know" nothing else; that is, he would make this the central point and essence of all his knowledge, because he knew the "excellency" of this knowledge (Philippians 3:8) - knew it as the only knowledge which rose to the height of wisdom. Christ is the only Foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11). In the person and the work of Christ is involved the whole gospel. 1 Corinthians 2:2Crucified

Emphatic. That which would be the main stumbling-block to the Corinthians he would emphasize.

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