What does 1 Corinthians 2:2 mean?
ESV: For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
NIV: For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
NASB: For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
CSB: I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
NLT: For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.
KJV: For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Verse Commentary:
In the previous verse, Paul reminded the Corinthians that when he first came to their town, he did not present the gospel to them with lofty speech or human wisdom. In other words, he did not call attention to himself by performing feats of verbal gymnastics as some entertainers of their day did. He did not wow them with a display of his great personal wisdom. Orators of that era were much like entertainers—and Paul did not want to confuse the compelling truth of the gospel with mere entertainment.

Now Paul adds that he made a conscious choice not to display his knowledge about anything at all except for Jesus Christ and His crucifixion. It is not that Paul did not know about anything else, of course. He was well educated and experienced (Philippians 3:4–5; Acts 17:1–4). At least for these particular people, Paul wanted to be sure they weren't attracted by spectacle or entertainment. His mission was not to impress them with all he knew and could talk about. Paul decided to focus on a simple, culturally radical mission: to deliver Christ's message to them.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 2:1–5 begins with Paul asking the Corinthians to remember what he was like with them when he first came to Corinth. He did not tell them about Christ with impressive speaking skills and displays of knowledge. In fact, he was weak, fearful, and trembling. That was a deliberate tactic on Paul's part, for their good, so their faith would be based on God's power and not on any amount of impressive human wisdom.
Chapter Summary:
When Paul first came to Corinth, he did not present the gospel to them with lofty speech and impressive arguments. He presented the truth as simply as he could so their faith would be based on God's power and not human wisdom. Only those with God's Spirit can understand the truths revealed by God, including Christ crucified for human sinfulness. Those without God's Spirit are limited to what can be observed and worked out with human reason. God's Spirit makes it possible for us to understand and believe spiritual things.
Chapter Context:
First Corinthians 2 picks up Paul's train of thought from the middle of the previous chapter. He reminds the Corinthians that he did not make an impressive display of his own speaking skills or knowledge when he first came to them. He wanted their faith to be in God's power, not human wisdom. God's ultimate wisdom can only be understood spiritually, revealed to human beings through God's Spirit. Those without God's Spirit cannot understand spiritual things. As a result, they reject the idea of Christ crucified for human sin as foolish. Through the Spirit, spiritual people have the mind of Christ.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
Accessed 4/22/2024 3:05:19 PM
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