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1 Corinthians 3:18

    1 Corinthians 3:18 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Let no man deceive himself. If any man thinketh that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Let no man have a false idea. If any man seems to himself to be wise among you, let him become foolish, so that he may be wise.

    Webster's Revision

    Let no man deceive himself. If any man thinketh that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise.

    World English Bible

    Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Let no man deceive himself. If any man thinketh that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise.

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 3:18

    Let - To hinder or obstruct.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:18

    If any man among you seemeth to be wise - Ει τις δοκει σοφος ειναι· If any pretend or affect to be wise. This seems to refer to some individual in the Church of Corinth, who had been very troublesome to its peace and unity: probably Diotrephes (see on 1 Corinthians 1:14 (note)) or some one of a similar spirit, who wished to have the pre-eminence, and thought himself wiser than seven men that could render a reason. Every Christian Church has less or more of these.

    Let him become a fool - Let him divest himself of his worldly wisdom, and be contented to be called a fool, and esteemed one, that he may become wise unto salvation, by renouncing his own wisdom, and seeking that which comes from God. But probably the apostle refers to him who, pretending to great wisdom and information, taught doctrines contrary to the Gospel; endeavoring to show reasons for them, and to support his own opinions with arguments which he thought unanswerable. This man brought his worldly wisdom to bear against the doctrines of Christ; and probably through such teaching many of the scandalous things which the apostle reprehends among the Corinthians originated.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 3:18

    Let no man deceive himself - The apostle here proceeds to make a practical application of the truths which he had stated, and to urge on them humility, and to endeavor to repress the broils and contentions into which they had fallen. Let no man be puffed up with a vain conceit of his own wisdom, for this had been the real cause of all the evils which they had experienced. Grotius renders this, "See that you do not attribute too much to your wisdom and learning, by resting on it, and thus deceive your own selves." "All human philosophy," says Grotius, "that is repugnant to the gospel is but vain deceit" - Probably there were many among them who would despise this admonition as coming from Paul, but he exhorts them to take care that they did not deceive themselves. We are taught here:

    (1) The danger of self-deception - a danger that besets all on the subject of religion.

    (2) the fact that false philosophy is the most fruitful source of self-deception in the business of religion. So it was among the Corinthians; and so it has been in all ages since.

    If any man among you - Any teacher, whatever may be his rank or his confidence in his own abilities; or any private member of the church.

    Seemeth to be wise - Seems to himself; or is thought to be, has the credit, or reputation of being wise. The word "seems" δοκεῖ dokei implies this idea - if anyone seems, or is supposed to be a man of wisdom; if this is his reputation; and if he seeks that this should be his reputation among people. See instances of this construction in Bloomfield.

    In this world - In this "age," or "world" (ἐν τῷ αἰῶν τούτῳ en tō aiōn toutō). There is considerable variety in the interpretation of this passage among critics. It may be taken either with the preceding or the following words. Origen, Cyprian, Beza, Grotius, Hammond, and Locke adopt the latter method, and understand it thus: "If any man among you thinks himself to be wise, let him not hesitate to be a fool in the opinion of this age in order that he may be truly wise" - But the interpretation conveyed in our translation, is probably the correct one. "If any man has the reputation of wisdom among the people of this generation, and prides himself on it," etc. If he is esteemed wise in the sense in which the people of this world are, as a philosopher, a man of science, learning, etc.

    Let him become a fool -

    (1) Let him be willing to be regarded as a fool.

    (2) let him sincerely embrace this gospel, which will inevitably expose him to the charge of being a fool.

    (3) let all his earthly wisdom be esteemed in his own eyes as valueless and as folly in the great matters of salvation.

    That he may be wise - That he may have true wisdom - that which is of God. It is implied here:

    (1) That the wisdom of this world will not make a man truly wise.

    (2) that a "reputation" for wisdom may contribute nothing to a man's true wisdom, but may stand in the way of it.

    (3) that for such a man to embrace the gospel it is necessary that he should be willing to cast away dependence on his own wisdom, and come with the temper of a child to the Saviour.

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