God’s Hidden Wisdom – A Brief look at 1 Cor 2:6-16

In this section no significant new historical or cultural aspect is to be introduced or explained. However, we do see the same problem at play. Whether Paul takes terminology of the given reports or uses his own terms is beyond the scope of this article (and maybe our knowledge), yet we do see him using the word teleios. This term is translated in most versions as “mature.”
According to Thiselton this term “had also acquired currency at Corinth to support the power bids of a self-styled elite” (1 Corinthians, NIGTC, 225). This then takes us back to the social background mentioned in 1:26. These distinctions are made “on the grounds of education, social status, or the manifestation of more spectacular spiritual gifts, claimed the rank of inner-circle leaders who possessed this ‘wisdom’ by which they directed others” (idem.).
Paul mentioned the Spirit in v.4 to demonstrate the power and source of his message. This then leads into “theme of the next discussion” (Garland, 1 Corinthians, BECNT, 90). As a literary note Garland also observes that there are many antitheses in this passages which are expressed in the “not/but” statements (idem.):

2:6-7               not a wisdom of this age, but the wisdom of God
2:8-10             not what the rulers of this age understood to be wise, but what God has made known through his Spirit
2:12                not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God
2:13                not taught by human wisdom, but taught by the Spirit
2:14                not what the natural human can understand, but what is made know by the Spirit
These “not/but” statements are interwoven in the most positive statements of what true wisdom is: “The positive statements reveal that this wisdom was foreordained (2:7) and prepared by God (2:9). It is a mystery that is hidden (2:7) but revealed by God (2:10) to the mature (2:6) who love God (2:9) and have received the Spirit (2:12)” (idem.).
The wisdom of God is for “our glory” because it is for the benefit of our resurrection and eternal life spent with God in the New Jerusalem. This aspect of the argument anticipates ch.15 where the resurrection of Christ and us is more fully discussed (cf. Garland, 96).
Even a preliminary reading sees the emphasis on the Spirit of God and that only through his work in the Corinthian believers can the foolishness and weakness of God (1:25) be seen as His utter wisdom and power – Jesus Christ.

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