Main point summary
So that the faith of men will rest on the wisdom of God and not that of men, God's messengers must proclaim and comport themselves in line with God's "foolish"/"mysterious" yet straightforward gospel message of "Christ crucified" -- a message anchored in humility, truth, and the power to save.
Paul has received oral reports and a letter from the Corinthian church regarding disunity (53–55 AD). Factions among them have developed who are enamored with sophists (fancy speechmakers artful at turning logic and a phrase), and who are following these so-called wise men into sexual immorality and idolatry, instead of putting their faith in Jesus Christ and the gospel of God. In 1 Corinthians, Paul is responding to these reports. When Paul went to the Corinthians two years before and planted the church (sometime in 51–53 AD), he did not go boasting in himself, or with fanciful speech and sophistry. Instead, laser-focused (v. 2a), he went humbly preaching the "mystery" of the wisdom of God, now revealed, which is “Christ crucified" (v. 2c). Furthermore, Paul’s manner in going to the Corinthians was one of weakness, and of fear and trembling (v. 3), as the gospel message itself conveys the wisdom of God by the Holy Spirit, and is power abundant. Paul let the straight truth of the gospel, of Christ crucified, speak for itself. He did not compete with the sophists by dressing the gospel up in fanciful speech that would impress. There was no need. The gospel message proclaimed is proof enough of God’s power. Why did Paul come so humbly, with no agenda to impress? So that the Corinthians’ faith would be rightly placed in God’s wisdom, that of the cross, which possesses the power to save ( Rom. 1:16 ), and not in the fanciful speech and wisdom of men, which possesses the guarantee of death. We can learn from Paul's witness -- humbly proclaim God's wisdom, his gospel, his crucified Christ... it is power abundant and power to save... in our weakness he is strong.
Arc 4/7/16 - FINAL
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί,
And so it was with me [connecting to 1:31], when I came to you [three years prior], brothers.
And when I came to you, brethren,
ἦλθον οὐ καθʼ ὑπεροχὴν λόγου ἢ σοφίας
I did not come with lofty speech or wisdom,
I a did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom,
καταγγέλλων ὑμῖν τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ θεοῦ.
[I came] by proclaiming to you the mystery of God.
proclaiming to you b the 1 testimony of God.
οὐ γὰρ ἔκρινά τι εἰδέναι ἐν ὑμῖν
For I did not resolve to know anything among you
For I determined to know nothing among you
εἰ μὴ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν καὶ τοῦτον ἐσταυρωμένον.
except [to know] Jesus Christ , and Christ crucified.
except a Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
κἀγὼ ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ καὶ ἐν φόβῳ καὶ ἐν τρόμῳ πολλῷ ἐγενόμην πρὸς ὑμᾶς,
And I , in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling, was with you;
in a weakness and in b fear and in much trembling, I was with you,
καὶ ὁ λόγος μου καὶ τὸ κήρυγμά μου οὐκ [ἦσαν] ἐν πειθοῖ[ς] σοφίας [λόγοις]
and my message and my proclamation [were] not in persuasiveness of wisdom,
and my 1 message and my preaching were a not in persuasive words of wisdom,
ἀλλʼ ἐν ἀποδείξει πνεύματος καὶ δυνάμεως,
but in demonstration of the Spirit's power,
but in demonstration of b the Spirit and of power,
ἵνα ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν μὴ ᾖ ἐν σοφίᾳ ἀνθρώπων
in order that your faith would not be in the wisdom of men,
so that your faith would not 1 rest on the wisdom of men, but on a the power of God.
ἀλλʼ ἐν δυνάμει θεοῦ.
but [would be] in the power of God.
Main Point (Action/Purpose): Paul acted/came to the Corinthians, stripped of human boastfulness and fancy speech, armed only with God's revealed "mystery" wisdom (Christ crucified), and in a manner worthy of the gospel (humble), relying not on human wisdom but solely on the power of God's Spirit to communicate, so that they would believe in the wisdom of God and not in the wisdom of men.
Message/Content (vv. 1-2) (God's "mystery"/wisdom = Christ crucified)
Manner (vv. 3-4) (weakness, fear and trembling; not exalting himself) [Note: not "manner" in grammatical construction, but "manner" in effect]
Purpose (v. 5) (faith rooted in God's power/wisdom; not that of men)
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
1 Corinthians 2:1
1 Corinthians 2:2
1 Corinthians 2:3
1 Corinthians 2:4
1 Corinthians 2:5