1 Corinthians

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16

1 Corinthians 1 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 1 Corinthians 1 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

(1:7-8) "Be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Paul expected Jesus to return within the lifetime of his followers.
What the Bible says about the end of the world
This letter is not only addressed to the church at Corinth, but to the churches of all places and all times as is clear from verse 2: “with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.” Paul exhorts believers of all times to wait for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Not just believers in his time. This verse says nothing about Paul's expectation other than that Paul expected followers of Jesus Christ always to be waiting for the coming of their Lord.

8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

(Jehovah's Witnesses) "Now I exhort you, brothers ... that you should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among you, but that you may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought."(NWT)
The Governing Body uses this verse to control the thoughts and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are instructed not to accept or read the religious literature of others, not to listen to criticism of the Watchtower Society's teachings, and to fight against independent thinking.
As Jehovah's witnesses are not Christians and hardly believe anything found in the Bible, I leave it to them to defend their false teachings.
But everyone else, reading this verse, will see it is not about being clones, but that Christians should have the same doctrine. And that doctrine should be based upon the word of God. It is sad this is not the case today. Take for example the division between immersionists (baptists) and those we keep the covenant as God instructed Abraham, Gen. 17:10, and baptize their children.
The Bible promotes independent thinking, in the sense that everything that people say to us we must believe, should based upon the Bible. We are not to accept any doctrine that man tells us, unless it is in the Bible, Acts 17:11.

11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

"I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."
The oldest Christian denominations were partisans of Paul, Apollos, Cephas, and Christ.
The oldest Christians were not partisans from the beginning, nor was their partisanship in all churches. In the church of Corinth, after the departure of Paul, partisanship arose for a time, but Paul corrects them here: they are wrong, they should be one as Christ is one.

13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

(1:14-16) "I know not whether I baptized any other."
Poor Paul is confused. First he says that he baptized no one. Well, except for Crispus and Gaius. And maybe Stephanus and his household. He can't remember if he did it to anyone else.
The reason Paul might have inserted Stephanas here is that Paul had baptized Stephanas, but not in Corinth, but in another place. Afterward Stephanas had moved to Corinth. And the meaning of “I know not whether I baptized any other” is that there might be other persons who Paul had baptized in other places, who had moved to Corinth afterward. And Paul might not have heard if they did. But in Corinth itself Paul had baptized only two: Crispus and Gaius.

17 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.

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.

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

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise."
Is wisdom a good thing?
It depends. The wisdom of the world is regarded as foolishness by God. Christians desire Christ, the wisdom of God, verse 24, but reject the wisdom of philosophers.

20 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?

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.

"It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
God saves fools and is pleased with their foolishness.
Is it good to be foolish?
God saves fools, that is true. God also saves sinners. But God is neither pleased with foolishness nor with sins. But he graciously forgives both. Paul uses the word foolishness, because that is what the world thought and thinks of it. in their eyes it is but foolishness.

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

"God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise."
Is God the author of confusion?
The author of the SAB compares apples and oranges. In this verse the object of God is to make the wise of this world ashamed. In chapter 14:33 the context is the church and what people hear there. When God talks to his own people, there is no confusion, and if there is confusion, the message isn't from God.
In this verse God did not chose confusion, nor does he give a message of confusion to the wise. God chose the foolish things of the world. That the result in those that are wise according to this world is confusion is entirely to blame upon the wise of this world. They think they should have been chosen. They have somehow more rights by virtue of their background or education.

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.