GENEVA BIBLE 1599
The Bible of the Pilgrims who founded America and also the Bible of the Reformation.
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1 And (1) I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with (*) excellency of words, or of wisdom, shewing unto you the (a) (♣) (♠) testimony of God.
(1) He returneth to 1 Corinthians 1:17; that is to say, to his own example, confessing that he used not amongst them either excellency of words, or enticing speech of man's wisdom, but with great simplicity of speech, both knew and preached Jesus Christ crucified, humbled and abject, as touching the flesh.
(*) 1 Corinthians 1:17 .
(a) The Gospel.
(♣) Or, mystery.
(♠) That is, the Gospel, whereby God doeth manifest himself to the world, or whereof God is the author and witness.
2 For I (b) esteemed not to (*) know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
(b) I purposed not to profess any other knowledge, but the knowledge of Christ and him crucified.
(*) Or, I thought nothing worthy to be known.
3 (*) And I was among you in (c) (♣) weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
(*) Acts 18:1 .
(c) He setteth weakness, against excellency of words, and therefore joineth with it fear and trembling, which are the companions of true modesty, not such fear and trembling as terrify the conscience, but such as are contrary to vanity and pride.
(♣) Herein appeareth his great modesty, who was not glorious, but abject and humble, not full of vain boastings and arrogancy, but with fear and trembling set forth the mighty power of God.
4 Neither stood my word, and my preaching in the (*) enticing speech of manís wisdom, (2) but in plain (d) evidence of the Spirit and of power,
(*) 1 Corinthians 1:17; 2 Peter 1:16 .
(2) He turneth that now to the commendation of his ministry,
which he had granted to his adversaries, for his virtue and
power which they knew well enough, was so much the more
excellent, because it had no worldly help joined with it.
(d) By plain evidence he meaneth such a proof, as is made by certain and necessary reasons.
5 (3) That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
(3) And he telleth the Corinthians, that he did it for their great profit, because they might thereby know manifestly, that the Gospel was from heaven. Therefore he privily rebuketh them, because that in seeking vain ostentation, they willingly deprived themselves of the greatest help of their faith.
6 (4) And we speak wisdom among them that are (e) (*) perfect; not the wisdom of this world, neither of the (f) (♣) princes of this world, which come to nought.
(4) Another argument taken of the nature of the thing, that
is, of the Gospel, which is true wisdom, but known to them
only which are desirous of perfection, and is unsavory to
them which otherwise excel in the world, but yet vainly and
(e) Those are called perfect here, not which had gotten perfection already, but such as tend to it, as Philippians 3:15; so that perfect, is set against weak.
(*) They whose understandings are illuminated by faith,
acknowledge this wisdom, which the world calleth folly.
(f) They that are wiser, richer, or mightier than other men are.
(♣) The word is here taken for them whom either for wisdom, riches or power, men most esteem.
7 (5) But we speak the wisdom of God in a (g) mystery, even the hid wisdom, (6) which God had determined before the world, unto our glory.
(5) He sheweth the cause why this wisdom cannot be perceived
of those excellent worldly wits, to wit, because indeed it
is so deep, that they cannot attain unto it.
(g) Which men could not so much as dream of.
(6) He taketh away an objection: if it be so hard, when and how is it known? God, saith he, determined with himself from the beginning, that which his purpose was to bring forth at this time out of his secrets for the salvation of men.
8 (7) Which (*) none of the princes of this world hath known; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the (h) (♣) Lord of glory.
(7) He taketh away another objection: why then, how cometh it to pass, that this wisdom was so rejected of men of highest authority, that they crucified Christ himself? Paul answereth; because they knew not Christ such as he was.
(*) That is, very few.
(h) That mighty God, full of true majesty and glory; Now this place hath in it a most evident proof of the divinity of Christ, and of the joining of the two natures in one, which hath this in it, that which is proper to the manhood alone, is vouched of the Godhead joined with the manhood; Which kind of speech, is called of the old fathers, a making common of things belonging to someone, with other to whom they do not belong.
(♣) He calleth Jesus the mighty God, full of true glory and majesty, whom David also calleth the King of glory, Psalm 24:7; and Stephen nameth him the God of glory, Acts 7:2; and hereby appeareth the divinity of Christ, and conjunction of two natures in one person.
9 (8) But as it is written, (*) The things which eye hath not seen, neither ear hath heard, neither (♣) came into (i) manís heart, are, which God hath prepared for them that love him.
(8) Another objection: But how could it be that those witty men could not perceive this wisdom? Paul answereth; Because we preach those things which pass all man's understanding.
(*) Isaiah 64:4 .
(♣) Man is not able to think Godís providence towards his.
(i) Man cannot so much as think of them, much less conceive them with his senses.
10 (9) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit (k) (*) searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
(9) A question: if it surmount the capacity of men, how can
it be understood of any man, or how can you declare and
preach it? By a peculiar lightening by God's spirit,
wherewith whosoever is inspired, he can enter even to the
very secrets of God.
(k) There is nothing so secret and hidden in God, but the Spirit of God pierceth into it.
(*) For he is one God with the Father and the Son.
11 (10) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the (l) spirit (*) of a man, which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
(10) He setteth that forth by a similitude, which he spake
of the inspiration of the Sprit. As the force of man's wit
searcheth out things pertaining to man, so doeth our mind by
that power of the holy Ghost, understand heavenly things.
(l) The mind of man, which is endued with ableness to understand and judge.
(*) Manís mind, which understandeth and judgeth.
12 Now we have (*) received not the (m) spirit of the world, but the Spirit, which is of God, (11) that we might (n) know the (♣) things that are given to us of God.
(*) We are not moved with that Spirit, which teacheth things wherewith the world is delighted, and which men understand by nature.
(m) The Spirit which we have received, doth not teach us
things of this world, but lifteth us up to God, and this
place teacheth us against the Papists, what faith is, from
whence it cometh, and what force it is of.
(11) That which he spake generally, he restraineth now to those things which God hath opened unto us of our salvation in Christ, lest that any man should separate the Spirit from the preaching of the word and Christ, or should think that those fantastical men are governed by the Spirit of God, which wandering besides the word, thrust upon us their vain imaginations for the secrets of God.
(n) This word (know) is taken here in his proper sense, for true knowledge, which the Spirit of God worketh in us.
(♣) All the benefits of God in Jesus Christ.
13 (12) Which things also we speak, not in the (*) words which manís wisdom teacheth, but which the holy Ghost teacheth, (o) comparing (♣) spiritual things with spiritual things.
(12) Now he returneth to his purpose, and concludeth the argument which he began in 1 Corinthians 2:6; and it is thus, the words must be applied to the matter, and the matter must be set forth with words which are meet and convenient for it; now this wisdom is spiritual and not of man, and therefore it must be delivered by a spiritual kind of teaching, and not by enticing words of man's eloquence, that the simple, and yet wonderful majesty of the holy Ghost may therein appear.
(*) 1 Corinthians 1:17; 2 Peter 1:16 .
(o) Applying the words unto the matter, to wit, that as we teach spiritual things, so most our kind of teaching be spiritual.
(♣) As that which we teach is spiritual, so our kind of teaching must be spiritual, that the words may agree with the matter.
14 (13) But the (p) (*) natural man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are (q) spiritually discerned.
(13) Again he preventeth an offence or stumblingblock; how
cometh it to pass that so few allow these things? This is
not to be marveled at, saith the Apostle, seeing that men in
their natural powers (as they termed them) are not endued
with that faculty, whereby spiritual things are discerned
(which faculty cometh another way) and therefore they
accompt spiritual wisdom as folly, and it is as if he should
say, It is no marvel that blind men cannot judge of colors,
seeing that they lack the light of their eyes, and therefore
light is to them as darkness.
(p) The man that hath no further light of understanding than that which he brought with him, even from his mother's womb, as Jude defineth it, Jude 1:19 .
(*) Whose knowledge and judgment is not cleared by Godís
(q) By the virtue of the holy Ghost.
15 (14) But he that is (*) spiritual, (r) discerneth all things, yet (15) he himself is (♣) judged of (s) no man.
(14) He amplifieth the matter by contraries.
(*) Proverbs 27:19 .
(r) Understandeth and discerneth.
(15) The wisdom of the flesh, saith Paul, determined nothing certainly, no not in its own affairs, much less can it discern strange, that is spiritual things. But the Spirit of God, wherewith spiritual men are endued, can be deceived by no means, and therefore be reproved of no man.
(♣) For the truth of God is not subject to the judgment of
(s) Of no man, for when the Prophets are indeed of the Prophets, it is the Spirit that judgeth, and not the man.
16 (*) (16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he might (t) instruct him? But we have the (u) (♣) mind of Christ.
(*) Isaiah 40:13; Romans 11:34 .
(16) A reason of the former saying: for he is called
spiritual, which hath learned that by the virtue of the
Spirit, which Christ hath taught us. Now if that which we
have learned of that Master, could be reproved of any man,
he must needs he wiser than God; whereupon it followeth,
that they are not only foolish, but also wicked, which think
that they can devise something that is either more perfect,
or that they can teach the wisdom of God a better way than
they knew or taught, which undoubtedly, were endued with
(t) Lay his head to his, and teach him what he should do.
(u) We are endued with the Spirit of Christ, who openeth unto us those secrets, which by all other means are unsearchable, and also all truth whatsoever.
(♣) That is, Christís Spirit, John 16:13; Romans 8:9 .
1 Corinthians 14:8
And also if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to battle?
"Let not Geneva be forgotten or despised. Religious liberty owes it most respect." John Adams, the second president of the United States