1 Corinthians 1:28
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,

King James Bible
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:

Darby Bible Translation
and the ignoble things of the world, and the despised, has God chosen, and things that are not, that he may annul 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:

Young's Literal Translation
and the base things of the world, and the things despised did God choose, and the things that are not, that the things that are He may make useless --

1 Corinthians 1:28 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

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.

1 Corinthians 1:28 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Second Day. God's Provision for Holiness.
To those that are made holy in Christ Jesus, called to be holy.'--1 Cor. i. 2. 'To all the holy ones in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi. Salute every holy one in Christ Jesus.'[1]--Phil. i. 1, iv. 21. HOLY! IN CHRIST! In these two expressions we have perhaps the most wonderful words of all the Bible. HOLY! the word of unfathomable meaning, which the Seraphs utter with veiled faces. HOLY! the word in which all God's perfections centre, and of which His glory is but the streaming forth.
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

Corinthians. Calling on the Name
'All that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.'--1 COR. i. 2. There are some difficulties, with which I need not trouble you, about both the translation and the connection of these words. One thing is quite clear, that in them the Apostle associates the church at Corinth with the whole mass of Christian believers in the world. The question may arise whether he does so in the sense that he addresses his letter both to the church at Corinth and to the whole
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

With How Great Reverence Christ must be Received
The Voice of the Disciple These are Thy words, O Christ, Eternal Truth; though not uttered at one time nor written together in one place of Scripture. Because therefore they are Thy words and true, I must gratefully and faithfully receive them all. They are Thine, and Thou hast uttered them; and they are mine also, because Thou didst speak them for my salvation. Gladly I receive them from Thy mouth, that they may be more deeply implanted in my heart. Words of such great grace arouse me, for they
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Of the Effects of those Prerogatives.
From these prerogatives there will arise to the elect in heaven, five notable effects:-- 1. They shall know God with a perfect knowledge (1 Cor. i. 10), so far as creatures can possibly comprehend the Creator. For there we shall see the Word, the Creator; and in the Word, all creatures that by the Word were created; so that we shall not need to learn (of the things which were made) the knowledge of him by whom all things were made. The most excellent creatures in this life, are but as a dark veil
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Cross References
Job 34:19
Who shows no partiality to princes Nor regards the rich above the poor, For they all are the work of His hands?

Romans 4:17
(as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1 Corinthians 2:6
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;

2 Thessalonians 2:8
Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

Hebrews 2:14
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

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