Re: 1 Cor 1:24

From: Bill Barton (
Date: Sun Mar 26 2000 - 21:10:09 EST

<x-charset ISO-8859-1>Dmitriy Reznik wrote:

DR>Could you tell me if CRISTON QEOU DUNAMIN KAI QEOU SOFIAN [1Cor 1:24] is
to be translated as "[We preach] Messiah the power of God, and the wisdom
of God" or "Messiah as the power of Cod etc.">

I would read Paul's argument in the passage as follows:

The salvation sought by both Jews and gentiles is a temporal salvation.
>From that temporal perspective the crucifixion of the messiah is foolish
(as a strategy) and powerless (as a tactic) to save mankind from his
temporal problems. But the truly necessary salvation is an eternal
salvation (from the wrath/judgment of a holy God in the resurrection, cf.
Rom 2:5). From that eternal perspective the crucifixion of the messiah is
both wise and powerful in the extreme.

Following the flow of the argument in that way, dunamis and sophia would
refer specifically to the crucifixion rather than to the messiah
personally. That is, the crucifixion was both a powerful act and a wise
act by God. So the sense of 1 Cor 1:23-24 might be rendered as follows:

"We on the other hand proclaim the crucifixion of the messiah: to the Jews
a stumbling block, to the gentiles foolishness; but to those of the Jews
and gentiles who are called, the powerful and wise act of God."

Bill Barton

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