1 Corinthians 2:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 2:8, NIV: "None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

1 Corinthians 2:8, ESV: "None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

1 Corinthians 2:8, KJV: "Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

1 Corinthians 2:8, NASB: "the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;"

1 Corinthians 2:8, NLT: "But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord."

1 Corinthians 2:8, CSB: "None of the rulers of this age knew this wisdom, because if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

What does 1 Corinthians 2:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has written that God's secret wisdom for the world, established before time began, included His plan to sacrifice His Son for the sins of humanity. In the previous verse, Paul wrote that God decreed this for our glory.

Our sin made it impossible for us to share in Christ's glory. We fell far short of it (Romans 3:23). God's plan, His secret wisdom, would make it possible for our sin to be forgiven by Christ's death instead of our own and for us to be declared righteous based on Christ's righteousness and not our own.

All of this hinged on the crucifixion of Jesus, whom Paul now calls the "lord of Glory." The rulers of this age—the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman government that killed Jesus—did not, of course, understand this. They didn't know that they were fulfilling a role in God's plan. If they had known, they would never have killed Jesus.

It's unclear whether Paul means that they would not have wanted to bring God's plan to pass or that they would not dared to kill the Son of God. In either case, their blindness to God's secret wisdom caused them to do exactly as God had decreed.