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1 Corinthians 1:18–21

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the word of the cross is bfolly to cthose who are perishing, but to us dwho are being saved it is ethe power of God. 19 For it is written,

f“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 gWhere is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? hHas not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach2 to save those who believe.

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1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — The New International Version (NIV)

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20 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? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 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? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — New Living Translation (NLT)

18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise

and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — New Century Version (NCV)

18 The teaching about the cross is foolishness to those who are being lost, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 It is written in the Scriptures:

“I will cause the wise to lose their wisdom;

I will make the wise unable to understand.”

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where is the skilled talker of this world? God has made the wisdom of the world foolish. 21 In the wisdom of God the world did not know God through its own wisdom. So God chose to use the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

18 For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

And the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nought.

20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

18 For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us that are saved it is God’s power. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and set aside the understanding of the understanding ones. 20 Where is the wise? where scribe? where disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom has not known God, God has been pleased by the foolishness of the preaching to save those that believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

18 The message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. 19 Scripture says,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.

I will reject the intelligence of intelligent people.”

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the scholar? Where is the persuasive speaker of our time? Hasn’t God turned the wisdom of the world into nonsense? 21 The world with its wisdom was unable to recognize God in terms of his own wisdom. So God decided to use the nonsense of the Good News we speak to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. 19 For it is written:

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and I will set aside the understanding of the experts.

20 Where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? 21 For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and the intelligence of the intelligent I will confound.”

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — New International Reader’s Version, 1998 ed. (NIrV) (NIrV)

18 The message of the cross seems foolish to those who are lost and dying. But it is God’s power to us who are being saved. 19 It is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of those who are wise.

I will do away with the cleverness of those who think they are so smart.”

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where are the great thinkers of this world? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21 God wisely planned that the world would not know him through its own wisdom. It pleased God to use the foolish things we preach to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”

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?

21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.