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1 Corinthians 1:28

    1 Corinthians 1:28 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    and the base things of the world, and the things that are despised, did God choose, yea and the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the things that are:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the low things of the world, and the things without honour, did God make selection of, yes, even the things which are not, so that he might make as nothing the things which are:

    Webster's Revision

    and the base things of the world, and the things that are despised, did God choose, yea and the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the things that are:

    World English Bible

    and God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that are not, that he might bring to nothing the things that are:

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    and the base things of the world, and the things that are despised, did God choose, yea and the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the things that are:

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 1:28

    Base - Lowly; meek.
    Nought - Nothing.
    Yea - Yes; certainly.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:28

    And base things - and things which are despised - It is very likely that the apostle refers here to the Gentiles and to the Gentile converts, who were considered base and despicable in the eyes of the Jews, who counted them no better than dogs, and who are repeatedly called the things that are not. By these very people, converted to Christianity, God has brought to nought all the Jewish pretensions; and by means of the Gentiles themselves, he has annihilated the whole Jewish polity; so that even Jerusalem itself was soon after this, trodden under foot of the Gentiles.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 1:28

    And base things of the world - Those things which by the world are esteemed ignoble. Literally, those which are not of noble, or illustrious birth τὰ ἀγειῆ ta ageiē.

    Things which are despised - Those which the world regards as objects of contempt; compare Mark 9:12; Luke 18:19; Acts 4:11.

    Yea - The introduction of this word by the translators does nothing to illustrate the sense, but rather enfeebles it. The language here is a striking instance of Paul's manner of expressing himself with great strength. He desires to convey in the strongest terms, the fact, that God had illustrated his plan by choosing the objects of least esteem among people. He is willing to admit all that could be said on this point. He says, therefore, that he had chosen the things of ignoble birth and rank - the base things of the world; but this did not fully express his meaning. He had chosen objects of contempt among people; but this was not strong enough to express his idea. He adds, therefore, that he had chosen those things which were absolutely nothing, which had no existence; which could not be supposed to influence him in his choice.

    And things which are not - τὰ μὴ ὄντα ta mē onta. That which is nothing; which is worthless; which has no existence; those flyings which were below contempt itself; and which, in the estimation of the world, were passed by as having no existence; as not having sufficient importance to be esteemed worthy even of the slight notice which is implied in contempt. For a man who despises a thing must at least notice it, and esteem it worth some attention. But the apostle here speaks of things beneath even that slight notice; as completely and totally disregarded, as having no existence. The language here is evidently that of hyperbole (compare the note at John 21:25). It was a figure of speech common in the East, and not unusual in the sacred writings; compare Isaiah 40:17.

    All nations before him are as nothing.

    And they are counted to him less than nothing and vanity.

    See also Romans 4:17, "God, who - calleth those things which be not, as though they were." This language was strongly expressive of the estimate which the Jews fixed on the Gentiles, as being a despised people, as being in fact no people; a people without laws, and organization, and religion, and privileges; see Hosea 1:10; Hosea 2:23; Romans 9:25; 1 Peter 2:10. "When a man of rank among the Hindus speaks of low-caste persons, of notorious profligates, or of those whom he despises, he calls them "alla-tha-varkal," that is, "those who are not." The term does not refer to life or existence, but to a quality or disposition, and is applied to those who are vile and abominable in all things. "My son, my son, go not among them 'who are not.'" "Alas! alas! those people are all alla-tha-varkal." When wicked men prosper, it is said, "this is the time for those 'who are not.'" "Have you heard that those 'who are not' are now acting righteously?" Vulgar and indecent expressions are also called, "words that are not." "To address men in the phrase 'are not,' is provoking beyond measure" - Roberts, as quoted in Bush's Illustrations of Scripture.

    To bring to naught - To humble and subdue. To show them how vain and impotent they were.

    Things that are - Those who on account of their noble birth, high attainments, wealth, and rank placed a high estimate on themselves and despised others.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 1:28

    1:28 Things that are not - The Jews frequently called the gentiles, Them that are not, 2 Esdras vi. 56, 57. In so supreme contempt did they hold them. The things that are - In high esteem.