Father de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

2:1  And I, when I came to you, brethren, came not in sublimity of language, or of wisdom, announcing to you the testimony of Christ.
2:2  For I did not judge that I knew anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

In this chapter the Apostle declares that the language he had used when at Corinth was simple and unpretending; but that the truths he taught were high and heavenly, taught neither by men nor angels, but by the Spirit of God.

2:1  Not in sublimity of language.  The simplicity which the apostle has just declared a characteristic of the preachers of the Gospel, and which the Greeks, proud of their elaborate skill in rhetoric and philosophy, despised as folly, St Paul here declares he had practiced and adopted himself when he first went to Corinth.  He used no lofty language, made no parade of wisdom.  The Syriac version says: ‘not with grandiloquent language or show of wisdom, I proclaimed to you the secret of God.’  The Greek text has: the testimony of God.

2:2 I did not judge. I judged it best, coming to a city of learned men, to seem to know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  The death and passion, resurrection and ascension of Christ, were the message he had to deliver, and this he delivered in the plainest language.  And to do this with more effect, whatever else he knew, he kept to himself.

2:3 And I was among you in infirmity, and fear, and much trembling.
2:4 And my discourse, and my preaching, were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in display of the Spirit and of power.
2:5 That your faith may not be in man’s wisdom, but in the power of God.

2:3 In infirmity and fear.  We may perhaps gather from these words, that St Paul was in feeble health while he was at Corinth.  It is certain also, from the narrative in Act of the Apostles, chapter 18, that he was subject to great persecutions and annoyance from the jealousy of the Jews, who ultimately raised a formidable outbreak of violence against him, which possibly caused his retirement from the city or hastened it.  His discourse, he declares, was in harmony with his circumstances and surroundings.  He delivered no great orations, but spoke on all occasions simply and plainly, proving the truth of his words by the display of the Holy Spirit and of power, that is by frequent miracles.

2:5  That your faith may not be in man’s wisdom. May not originate or spring from human eloquence and wisdom.  Or that your conversion to the faith of Christ may not be ascribed to man’s wisdom, but to the power of God, may be a divine, not a human work.  That which you believe and are convinced of, should be, not the wisdom and knowledge of your teacher, but the power of God who commissioned the teacher, and wrought the miracles.

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1 Response to Father de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

  1. Pingback: Commentaries and Resources for Sunday Mass~Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Feb 9, 2014) | stjoeofoblog

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