1 Corinthians 1:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

King James Bible
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Darby Bible Translation
Where [is the] wise? where scribe? where disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

World English Bible
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn't God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Young's Literal Translation
where is the wise? where the scribe? where a disputer of this age? did not God make foolish the wisdom of this world?

1 Corinthians 1:20 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Where is the wise - the scribe - the disputer of this world? - These words most manifestly refer to the Jews; as the places (Isaiah 29:14; Isaiah 33:18; Isaiah 44:25) to which he refers cannot be understood of any but the Jews.

The wise man σοφος, of the apostle, is the חכם chakam of the prophet; whose office it was to teach others.

The scribe, γραμματευς, of the apostle, is the ספר sopher of the prophet; this signifies any man of learning, as distinguished from the common people, especially any master of the traditions.

The disputer, συζητητης, answers to the דרש derosh, or דרשן darshan, the propounder of questions; the seeker of allegorical, mystical, and cabalistical senses from the Holy Scriptures. Now as all these are characters well known among the Jews, and as the words αιωνος τουτου, of this world are a simple translation of עולם הזה olam hazzeh, which is repeatedly used to designate the Jewish republic, there is no doubt that the apostle has the Jews immediately in view. This wisdom of theirs induced them to seek out of the sacred oracles any sense but the true one; and they made the word of God of none effect by their traditions. After them, and precisely on their model, the schoolmen arose; and they rendered the doctrine of the Gospel of no effect by their hypercritical questions, and endless distinctions without differences. By the preaching of Christ crucified God made foolish the wisdom of the Jewish wise men; and, after that the pure religion of Christ had been corrupted by a Church that was of this world, God rendered the wisdom and disputing of the schoolmen foolishness, by the revival of pure Christianity at the Reformation. The Jews themselves allow that nothing is wise, nothing strong, nothing rich, without God.

"Our rabbins teach that there were two wise men in this world; one was an Israelite, Achitophel, the other was a Gentile, Balaam; but both were miserable in this world."

"There were also two strong men in the world; one an Israelite, Samson, the other a Gentile, Goliah; but they were both miserable in this world."

"There were two rich men in the world; one an Israelite, Korah, the other a Gentile, Haman; but both these were miserable in this world. And why? Because their gifts came not from God." See Schoettgen.

In truth the world has derived very little, if any, moral good, either from the Jewish rabbins or the Gentile philosophers.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

is the wise.

Isaiah 33:18 Your heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?

Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?


1 Corinthians 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

2 Samuel 15:31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray you...

2 Samuel 16:23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counceled in those days, was as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God...

2 Samuel 17:14,23 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel...

Job 12:17,20,24 He leads counsellors away spoiled, and makes the judges fools...

Isaiah 44:25 That frustrates the tokens of the liars, and makes diviners mad; that turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish;

Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Father and Child
Eversley. 1861. 1 Cor. i. 4, 5, 7. "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ. That in every thing ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge . . . So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." This text is a very important one. It ought to teach me how I should treat you. It
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Twenty-Second Day. In Christ Our Sanctification.
'Of God are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, both righteousness and sanctification and redemption; that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.'--1 Cor. i. 30, 31. These words lead us on now to the very centre of God's revelation of the way of holiness. We know the steps of the road leading hither. He is holy, and holiness is His. He makes holy by coming near. His presence is holiness. In Christ's life, the holiness that had only been revealed
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

The National Preacher.
Go ... Teach all Nations.... Matt. xxviii. 19. VOL. II. NEW-YORK, DECEMBER, 1827. NO. 7. SERMON XXVI. By AARON W. LELAND, D.D. CHARLESTON, S. CAROLINA. THE PURE GOSPEL REJECTED BY THE PERISHING. 1 COR. I. 18.--For the preaching of the cross is, to them that perish, foolishness. In the Christian revelation, there is an evident purpose of infinite wisdom, that in all the provisions for man's salvation, his moral agency should be left free and uncontrolled. Instead of accommodation to human
Aaron W. Leland—The National Preacher, Vol. 2 No. 7 Dec. 1827

Good Friday, 1860
(Good Friday, 1860.) 1 Corinthians i. 23-25. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. The foolishness of God? The weakness of God? These are strange words. But they are St. Paul's words, not mine. If he had not said them first, I should not
Charles Kingsley—Town and Country Sermons

Cross References
Job 12:17
He leads rulers away stripped and makes fools of judges.

Isaiah 19:11
The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools; the wise counselors of Pharaoh give senseless advice. How can you say to Pharaoh, "I am one of the wise men, a disciple of the ancient kings"?

Isaiah 33:18
In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror: "Where is that chief officer? Where is the one who took the revenue? Where is the officer in charge of the towers?"

Isaiah 44:25
who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense,

Jeremiah 10:7
Who should not fear you, King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you.

Matthew 13:22
The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

John 12:31
Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

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