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1 Corinthians 1:21 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not [come to] know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— For when in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom has not known God, God has been pleased by the foolishness of the preaching to save those that believe.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— For, seeing that, in the wisdom of God, the world, through its wisdom, did not get to knew God, God was well-pleased—through the foolishness of the thing proclaimed, to save them that believe.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— for, seeing in the wisdom of God the world through the wisdom knew not God, it did please God through the foolishness of the preaching to save those believing.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For, seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world, by wisdom, knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of our preaching, to save them that believe.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— For after that, in the wisedom of God, the world by wisedome knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishnesse of preaching, to saue them that beleeue.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— For inasmuch as in the wisdom of Aloha, the world by wisdom hath not known Aloha, it hath pleased Aloha, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them who believe.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— For in the wisdom of God, because the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to quicken them who believe.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
For 1063
{1063} Prime
γάρ
gar
{gar}
A primary particle; properly assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification; often with other particles).
after y1894
[1894] Standard
ἐπειδή
epeide
{ep-i-day'}
From G1893 and G1211; since now, that is, (of time) when, or (of cause) whereas.
that x1894
(1894) Complement
ἐπειδή
epeide
{ep-i-day'}
From G1893 and G1211; since now, that is, (of time) when, or (of cause) whereas.
in 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
wisdom 4678
{4678} Prime
σοφία
sophia
{sof-ee'-ah}
From G4680; wisdom (higher or lower, worldly or spiritual).
of God 2316
{2316} Prime
θεός
theos
{theh'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
world 2889
{2889} Prime
κόσμος
kosmos
{kos'-mos}
Probably from the base of G2865; orderly arrangement, that is, decoration; by implication the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively [morally]).
by 1223
{1223} Prime
διά
dia
{dee-ah'}
A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through (in very wide applications, local, causal or occasional). In composition it retains the same general import.
wisdom 4678
{4678} Prime
σοφία
sophia
{sof-ee'-ah}
From G4680; wisdom (higher or lower, worldly or spiritual).
knew 1097
{1097} Prime
γινώσκω
ginosko
{ghin-oce'-ko}
A prolonged form of a primary verb; to 'know' (absolutely), in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as shown at left, with others not thus clearly expressed).
z5627
<5627> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2138 plus 1 in a variant reading in a footnote
not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
God, 2316
{2316} Prime
θεός
theos
{theh'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very.
it pleased 2106
{2106} Prime
εὐδοκέω
eudokeo
{yoo-dok-eh'-o}
From G2095 and G1380; to think well of, that is, approve (an act); specifically to approbate (a person or thing).
z5656
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
God 2316
{2316} Prime
θεός
theos
{theh'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very.
by 1223
{1223} Prime
διά
dia
{dee-ah'}
A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through (in very wide applications, local, causal or occasional). In composition it retains the same general import.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
foolishness 3472
{3472} Prime
μωρία
moria
{mo-ree'-ah}
From G3474; silliness, that is, absurdity.
of preaching 2782
{2782} Prime
κήρυγμα
kerugma
{kay'-roog-mah}
From G2784; a proclamation (especially of the gospel; by implication the gospel itself).
to save 4982
{4982} Prime
σῴζω
sozo
{sode'-zo}
From a primary word σῶς [[sos]] (contraction for the obsolete σάος [[saos]], 'safe'); to save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively).
z5658
<5658> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 516
them that believe. 4100
{4100} Prime
πιστεύω
pisteuo
{pist-yoo'-o}
From G4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), that is, credit; by implication to entrust (especially one's spiritual well being to Christ).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Corinthians 1:21

_ _ after that — rather, “whereas.”

_ _ in the wisdom of God — in the wise arrangement of God.

_ _ world by wisdom — rather, “by its wisdom,” or “its philosophy” (John 1:10; Romans 1:28).

_ _ knew not God — whatever other knowledge it attained (Acts 17:23, Acts 17:27). The deistic theory that man can by the light of nature discover his duty to God, is disproved by the fact that man has never discovered it without revelation. All the stars and moon cannot make it day; that is the prerogative of the sun. Nor can nature’s highest gifts make the moral day arise; that is the office of Christ. Even the Jew missed this knowledge, in so far as he followed after mere carnal world wisdom.

_ _ it pleased God — Paul refers to Jesus’ words (Luke 10:21).

_ _ by the foolishness of preaching — by that preaching which the world (unbelieving Jews and Gentiles alike) deem foolishness.

_ _ save them that believe — (Romans 1:16).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:17-31.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Corinthians 1:21

For since in the wisdom of God — According to his wise disposals, leaving them to make the trial. The world — Whether Jewish or gentile, by all its boasted wisdom knew not God — Though the whole creation declared its Creator, and though he declared himself by all the prophets; it pleased God, by a way which those who perish count mere foolishness, to save them that believe.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Corinthians 1:21

(23) For after that in the (q) wisdom of God the (r) world by wisdom knew not God, (24) it pleased God by the (s) foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

(23) He shows that the pride of men was worthily punished by God, because they could not behold God, as they properly should have, in the most clear mirror of the wisdom of the world, and this wisdom is the workmanship of the world.

(q) By the world he means all men who are not born again, but remain as they were, when they were first born.

(r) In the workmanship of this world, which has the marvellous wisdom of God engraved on it, so that every man may behold it.

(24) The goodness of God is wonderful, for while he goes about to punish the pride of this world, he is very provident and careful for the salvation of it, and teaches men to become fools, so that they may be wise to God.

(s) So he calls the preaching of the Gospel, as the enemies supposed it to be: but in the mean time he taunts those very sharply who had rather charge God with folly than acknowledge their own, and crave pardon for it.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
in:

1 Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Daniel 2:20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

the wisdom:
Dr. Lightfoot well observes, "that σοφια [Strong's G4678], του [Strong's G5120], Θεου [Strong's G2316], the wisdom of God, is not to be understood of that wisdom which had God for its author, but of that wisdom which had God for its object. There was, among the heathen, σοφια [Strong's G4678], της φυσεως, wisdom about natural things, that is philosophy; and σοφια [Strong's G4678], του [Strong's G5120], Θεου [Strong's G2316], wisdom about God, that is, divinity. But the world, in its divinity, could not, by wisdom, know God." The wisest of the heathen had no just and correct views of the Divine nature; of which the works of Cicero and Lucretius are incontestable proofs.

the world:

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
Romans 1:20-22 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: ... Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

the foolishness:

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Dn 2:20. Mt 11:25. Lk 10:21. Ro 1:20, 28; 11:33. 1Co 1:18, 24. Ep 3:10.

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