1 Corinthians 2

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1 Corinthians 2
Page 78 of Papyrus 46 (ca. AD 200) showing 1 Corinthians 2:3-11. P. Mich Inv. 6238. University of Michigan.
Book First Epistle to the Corinthians
Bible part New Testament
Order in the Bible part 7
Category Pauline epistles

1 Corinthians 2 is the second chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle and Sosthenes in Ephesus.[1][2]


Page 79 of Papyrus 46 (ca. AD 200) showing 1 Corinthians 2:11-3:5. P. Mich Inv. 6238. University of Michigan.


The New King James Version organises this chapter as follows:

Cross references[edit]

Paul's preaching ministry in Corinth[edit]

Acts 18:1-17 recounts Paul's departure from Athens and his arrival in Corinth. The writer of the Acts of the Apostles states that Paul "testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ, but when [the Jews] opposed him and blasphemed, [Paul] shook his garments and said to them, 'Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles'." Lutheran theologian Harold Buls describes Corinth as "was much like the city of Athens. They admired philosophers and orators. They were always sitting around waiting to hear or tell the latest philosophy. Many of them were sophists, teachers of speech and philosophy who came to be disparaged for their oversubtle, self-serving reasoning. Many of them were skilled in devious argumentation."[3] In 1 Corinthians 2:1 Paul recalls that he "did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom". He states that he spoke "in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling" and "my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom".[4] Acts reports that

The Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you".[5]

Verse 2[edit]

New King James Version

For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.[6]

Buls notes that "'For' is the explanatory 'you see' and explains verse 1".[7]

The rulers of this age[edit]

Paul refers twice to "the rulers of this age" (Greek: των αρχοντων του αιωνος τουτου, tōn archontōn tou aiōnos toutou).[8] Dutch theologian Hugo Grotius suggests that the rulers of this age are the "politicians, who adhere to justice and understand history" [9] but Heinrich Meyer in his Commentary on the New Testament is critical of this opinion: "to say that Paul’s meaning is that he does not teach politics is to limit his words in a way foreign to the connection", preferring a broader meaning of rulers and dominant powers "in general". Some writers (Cameron, Hammond, Vorstius, Lightfoot, Locke, Stolz and Rosenmüller) have associated the words with the Jewish leaders referred to by Paul in his speech in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia:

The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus (Acts 13:27)

but again Meyer also suggests this understanding limits the scope of Paul's intention.[10]

Verse 16[edit]

New King James Version

For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.[11]

In KJV For who hath known the mind of the Lord
The deep counsels of his heart, the scheme of salvation by Jesus Christ, as drawn in his eternal mind, the sense of the Spirit of God in the writings of the Old Testament, the things of the Spirit of God, or the doctrines of grace more clearly revealed under the Gospel dispensation; not any natural man, by the light of truth and strength of reason, has known any of these things. The apostle either cites or alludes to Isaiah 40:13.

  • that he may instruct him?

not the Lord, who needs no instruction from any, nor can any teach and instruct him, nor would any be so bold and insolent as to attempt it nor does the knowledge of the mind of the Lord qualify any for such a work; since if he knows ever so much of it, he cannot know more than the Lord himself: but the spiritual man, whom a natural man, being ignorant of the mind of the Lord, cannot instruct; and so the words give a very proper and sufficient reason why the spiritual man is not discerned, judged, convinced, and instructed by the natural man:

  • but we have the mind of Christ

the same with "the mind of the Lord" which proves that Christ is the Lord, or Jehovah, and so truly and properly God; and which is to be understood, not only of the apostles and ministers of the Gospel, but of all true believers; and therefore want no instruction, as they can have none from the natural man; though chiefly of the former, whereby they were abundantly qualified for the further instruction even of spiritual men.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Halley, Henry H. Halley's Bible Handbook: an Abbreviated Bible Commentary, 23rd edition. Zondervan Publishing House. 1962.
  2. ^ Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. 2012.
  3. ^ Buls, H. H., Buls' Notes on 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, accessed 17 March 2017
  4. ^ 1 Corinthians 2:3-4
  5. ^ Acts 18:9-10
  6. ^ 1 Corinthians 2:2
  7. ^ Buls, H. H., Buls' Notes on 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, accessed 17 March 2017
  8. ^ 1 Corinthians 2:6 and 2:8
  9. ^ Annotations on the New Testament, volume 6 on Paul's Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians and Galatians: Zuidema edition, Groningen 1828
  10. ^ Meyer's NT Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2, accessed 18 March 2017
  11. ^ 1 Corinthians 2:16
  12. ^ John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, - 1 Corinthians 2:16

External links[edit]