1 Corinthians 1:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 1:19, NIV: For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.'

1 Corinthians 1:19, ESV: For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

1 Corinthians 1:19, KJV: For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

1 Corinthians 1:19, NASB: For it is written: 'I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE UNDERSTANDING OF THOSE WHO HAVE UNDERSTANDING, I WILL CONFOUND.'

1 Corinthians 1:19, NLT: As the Scriptures say, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.'

1 Corinthians 1:19, CSB: For it is written,I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,and I will set aside the intelligence of the intelligent.

What does 1 Corinthians 1:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul often quotes from the Scriptures of his era: what we call the Old Testament. He does this to support his claim that these are the words and message of God. In the previous verse Paul wrote that the cross of Christ is foolishness to those perishing, and the power of God to those being saved.

Here he quotes from Isaiah 29:14, referencing a time when Israel followed supposedly wise human advice. They formed an alliance with Egypt seeking to strengthen their position against Assyrian invaders. What was really needed was trust in the power of God to save them (2 Kings 18:17–19:37).

Paul cites Isaiah, quoting God as saying He will destroy the wisdom of those considered wise according to human understanding. God declares He will thwart—He will "trip up"—those thought to be discerning apart from Him. In other words, God is committed to revealing as foolishness what those opposed to Him see as wisdom and vice versa.