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1 Corinthians 1:26

    1 Corinthians 1:26 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called :

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For you see God's design for you, my brothers, that he has not taken a great number of the wise after the flesh, not the strong, not the noble:

    Webster's Revision

    For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called :

    World English Bible

    For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For behold your calling, brethren, how that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:26

    Ye see your calling - Την κλησιν. The state of grace and blessedness to which ye are invited. I think, βλεπετε την κλησιν, etc., should be read in the imperative: Take heed to, or consider your calling, brethren; that (ὁτι) not many of you are wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble: men is not in the original, and Paul seems to allude to the Corinthian believers in particular. This seems to have been said in opposition to the high and worldly notions of the Jews, who assert that the Divine Spirit never rests upon any man, unless he be wise, powerful, and rich. Now this Divine Spirit did rest upon the Christians at Corinth, and yet these were, in the sense of the world, neither wise, rich, nor noble. We spoil, if not corrupt the apostle's meaning, by adding are called, as if God did not send his Gospel to the wise, the powerful, and the noble, or did not will their salvation. The truth is, the Gospel has an equal call to all classes of men; but the wise, the mighty, and the noble, are too busy, or too sensual, to pay any attention to an invitation so spiritual and so Divine; and therefore there are few of these in the Church of Christ in general.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 1:26

    For ye see your calling - You know the general character and condition of those who are Christians among you, that they have not been generally taken from the wise, the rich, and the learned, but from humble life. The design of the apostle here is, to show that the gospel did not depend for its success on human wisdom. His argument is, that "in fact" those who were blessed by it had not been of the elevated ranks of life mainly, but that God had shown his power by choosing those who were ignorant, and vicious, and abandoned, and by reforming and purifying their lives. The verb "ye see" βλέπετε blepete, is ambiguous, and may be either in the indicative mood, as our translators have rendered it, "ye do see; you are well apprised of it, and know it," or it may be in the imperative, "see; contemplate your condition;" but the sense is substantially the same. "Your calling" (τὴν κλῆσιν tēn klēsin) means "those who are called" 1 Corinthians 1:9; as "the circumcision" means those who are circumcised. Romans 3:30. The sense is, "took upon the condition of those who are Christians."

    Not many wise men - Not many who are regarded as wise; or who are ranked with philosophers. This supposes that there were some of that description, though the mass of Christians were then, as now, from more humble ranks of life. That there were some of high rank and wealth at Corinth who became Christians, is well known. Crispus and Sosthenes, rulers of the synagogue there (Acts 28:8, Acts 28:17; Compare 1 Corinthians 1:1); Gaius, a rich, hospitable man Romans 16:23; and Erastus the chancellor of the city of Corinth Rom 16:23, had been converted and were members of the church. Some have supposed ("Macknight") that this should be rendered "not many mighty, wise, etc. 'call you;' that is, God has not employed the wise and the learned 'to call' you into his kingdom." But the sense in our translation is evidently the correct interpretation. It is the obvious sense; and it agrees with the design of the apostle, which was to show that God had not consulted the wisdom, and power, and wealth of men in the establishment of his church. So the Syriac and the Vulgate render it.

    According to the flesh - According to the maxims and principles of a sensual and worldly policy; according to the views of people when under the influence of those principles; that is, who are unrenewed. The flesh here stands opposed to the spirit; the views of the people of this world in contradistinction from the wisdom that is from above.

    Not many mighty - Not many people of power; or men sustaining important "offices" in the state. Comp, Revelation 6:15. The word may refer to those who wield power of any kind, whether derived from office, from rank, from wealth, etc.

    Not many noble - Not many of illustrious birth, or descended from illustrious families - εὐγενεῖς eugeneis, "well-born." In respect to each of these classes, the apostle does not say that there were no men of wealth, and power, and birth, but that the mass or body of Christians was not composed of such. They were made up of those who were in humble life. There were a few, indeed, of rank and property, as there are now; but then, as now, the great mass was composed of those who were from the lower conditions of society. The reason why God had chosen his people from that rank is stated in 1 Corinthians 1:29. The character of many of those who composed the church at Corinth before the conversion, is stated in 1 Corinthians 6:10-11, which see.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 1:26

    1:26 Behold your calling - What manner of men they are whom God calls. That not many wise men after the flesh - In the account of the world. Not many mighty - Men of power and authority.