CONFUSION ABOUT 1 CORINTHIANS 1:21
by Bob Craig
(1 Corinthians 1:21) "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."
I have heard this verse, from the KJV, used by gospel preachers to exalt pulpit preaching and the place of the preacher in God's arrangement for man's salvation. This idea is completely out of harmony with the context. Even in the KJV the word is not a verb; it's a noun but that takes some effort to find out. We can be enlightened by a comparison of various versions.
The ASV helps out considerably by putting a definite article, "the" before the word "preaching." But the NKJ is much more enlightening when it says, "... it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." That translation is in harmony with what Henry Thayer says the original word means: "that which is proclaimed by a herald or public crier, a proclamation by herald 2) in the NT the message or proclamation of the heralds of God or Christ " Several other translations concur. That also agrees with Paul's statement in Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
The old KJV is a grand old book. From it you can learn what to do to be saved and how to conduct yourself as a child of God and go to heaven after a while but it can be rather confusing sometimes as well as enlightening at other times. So continue your Bible study considering other translations as you study.
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