1 Corinthians 1:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

King James Bible
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Darby Bible Translation
For Christ has not sent me to baptise, but to preach glad tidings; not in wisdom of word, that the cross of the Christ may not be made vain.

World English Bible
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Good News--not in wisdom of words, so that the cross of Christ wouldn't be made void.

Young's Literal Translation
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 Parallel
Clarke'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

not to.

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.

Father and Child
Eversley. 1861. 1 Cor. i. 4, 5, 7. "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ. That in every thing ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge . . . So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." This text is a very important one. It ought to teach me how I should treat you. It
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Twenty-Second Day. In Christ Our Sanctification.
'Of God are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, both righteousness and sanctification and redemption; that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.'--1 Cor. i. 30, 31. These words lead us on now to the very centre of God's revelation of the way of holiness. We know the steps of the road leading hither. He is holy, and holiness is His. He makes holy by coming near. His presence is holiness. In Christ's life, the holiness that had only been revealed
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

The National Preacher.
Go ... Teach all Nations.... Matt. xxviii. 19. VOL. II. NEW-YORK, DECEMBER, 1827. NO. 7. SERMON XXVI. By AARON W. LELAND, D.D. CHARLESTON, S. CAROLINA. THE PURE GOSPEL REJECTED BY THE PERISHING. 1 COR. I. 18.--For the preaching of the cross is, to them that perish, foolishness. In the Christian revelation, there is an evident purpose of infinite wisdom, that in all the provisions for man's salvation, his moral agency should be left free and uncontrolled. Instead of accommodation to human
Aaron W. Leland—The National Preacher, Vol. 2 No. 7 Dec. 1827

Good Friday, 1860
(Good Friday, 1860.) 1 Corinthians i. 23-25. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. The foolishness of God? The weakness of God? These are strange words. But they are St. Paul's words, not mine. If he had not said them first, I should not
Charles Kingsley—Town and Country Sermons

Cross References
John 4:1
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John--

John 4:2
although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.

Acts 10:48
So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

1 Corinthians 2:1
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.

1 Corinthians 2:4
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,

1 Corinthians 2:13
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

2 Corinthians 1:12
Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God's grace.

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