Paulus mysterium Dei dicit
Paul speaks God’s mystery
2:1 Et ego, cum venissem ad vos, fratres, veni non in sublimitate sermonis, aut sapientiae, annuntians vobis testimonium Christi. [n. 73.]
2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not in loftiness of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of Christ. [n. 73.]
2:2 Non enim judicavi me scire aliquid inter vos, nisi Jesum Christum, et hunc crucifixum. [n. 75]
2:2 For I judged not myself to know anything among you, but Jesus Christ: and him crucified. [n. 75]
2:3 Et ego in infirmitate, et timore, et tremore multo fui apud vos: [n. 76]
2:3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. [n. 76]
2:4 et sermo meus, et praedicatio mea non in persuasibilibus humanae sapientiae verbis, sed in ostensione Spiritus et virtutis: [n. 77]
2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not in the persuasive words of human wisdom. but in showing of the Spirit and power: [n. 77]
2:5 ut fides vestra non sit in sapientia hominum, sed in virtute Dei. [n. 79]
2:5 That your faith might not stand on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. [n. 79]
2:6 Sapientiam autem loquimur inter perfectos: sapientiam vero non hujus saeculi, neque principum hujus saeculi, qui destruuntur: [n. 80]
2:6 Yet we speak wisdom among the perfect: although not the wisdom of this world, neither of the princes of this world that come to naught. [n. 80]
2:7 sed loquimur Dei sapientiam in mysterio, quae abscondita est, quam praedestinavit Deus ante saecula in gloriam nostram, [n. 85]
2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, a wisdom which is hidden, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory: [n. 85]
73. Postquam Apostolus ostendit quis sit conveniens modus doctrinae Christianae, hic ostendit se illum modum observasse.
73. After indicating the suitable way to present Christian doctrine, the Apostle now shows that he observed it.
Et circa hoc tria facit:
In regard to this he does three things:
primo ostendit se non fuisse usum apud eos aliqua excellentia saeculari;
first, he shows that he did not make use of worldly greatness with them;
secundo ostendit apud quos excellentia spirituali utatur, ibi sapientiam autem loquimur inter perfectos, etc.,
second, he shows in which cases he employs spiritual excellence, at yet we speak wisdom among the perfect;
tertio rationem assignat, ibi quae etiam loquimur, et cetera.
third, he indicates the reason, at which things also we speak (1 Cor 2:13).
Circa primum tria facit.
As to the first he does three things.
Primo dicit quod non ostendit apud eos excellentiam saecularis sapientiae;
First, he states that he did not manifest the loftiness of worldly wisdom among them;
secundo quod non praetendit excellentiam potentiae saecularis, ibi et ego in infirmitate;
second, that he does not pretend to have the excellence of worldly power, at and I was with you in weakness;
tertio non praetendit excellentiam eloquentiae, ibi et sermo meus.
third, that he does not pretend to lofty eloquence, at and my speech.
Circa primum duo facit.
As to the first he does two things.
Primo proponit quod intendit;
First, he states his purpose;
secundo rationem assignat, ibi non enim iudicavi.
second, the reason, at for I judged not.
74. Dicit ergo primo: quia dictum est quod Christus misit me evangelizare non in sapientia verbi, et quod non sunt multi sapientes, et ego, fratres, quamvis sapientiam saecularem habeam, secundum illud II Cor. XI, 6: et si imperitus sermone, sed non scientia, cum venissem ad vos, convertendos ad Christum, ut habetur Act. XVIII, 1, veni annuntians vobis testimonium Christi, secundum illud Act. IV, 33: virtute magna reddebant apostoli testimonium resurrectionis Domini nostri Iesu Christi, et hoc non in sublimitate sermonis aut sapientiae.
74. He says, therefore: I have said that Christ sent me to preach the Gospel not in eloquent wisdom and that there are not many wise, and I, brethren, although I possess worldly wisdom: even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not in knowledge (2 Cor 11:6), when I came to you to convert you to Christ: teaching the word of God among them (Acts 18:11); with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Acts 4:33); and this not in loftiness of speech or of wisdom.
Attenditur autem sublimitas sapientiae in consideratione aliquorum sublimium et elevatorum supra rationem et sensum hominum. Eccli. XXIV, 7: ego in altissimis habitavi. Sublimitas autem sermonis potest referri vel ad verba significantia sapientiae conceptiones, secundum illud Eccle. ult.: verba sapientium quasi stimuli, et quasi clavi in altum defixi, vel ad modum ratiocinandi per aliquas subtiles vias. Nam in Graeco habetur logos, quod et verbum et rationem significat, ut Hieronymus dicit. Hoc autem dicit Apostolus, quia fidem Christi per huiusmodi sublimitates sermonis aut sapientiae confirmare nolebat. I Reg. II, 3: nolite multiplicare sublimia.
Now lofty wisdom consists in considering sublime and exalted matters that transcend man’s reason and understanding: I dwelt in the highest places (Sir 24:7). But lofty words can refer to the words signifying the thoughts of wisdom: the words of the wise are as goads and as nails deeply fastened in (Eccl 12:11) or to its method of reasoning by subtle paths; for the Greek version has logos, which signifies both speech and reason, as Jerome says. The Apostle says this, because he did not wish to support the teaching of Christ with the lofty speech of wisdom: talk no more so very proudly (1 Sam 2:3).
75. Deinde huius rationem assignat, dicens non enim iudicavi me scire aliquid, nisi Christum Iesum. Non enim ad hoc opus erat ut sapientiam ostentaret sed ut demonstraret virtutem, secundum illud II Cor. IV, 5: non enim praedicamus nosmetipsos, sed Iesum Christum. Et ideo solum utebatur his quae ad demonstrandam virtutem Christi pertinebant, existimans se ac si nihil sciret quam Iesum Christum. Ier. IX, 24: in hoc glorietur qui gloriatur, scire et nosse me.
75. Then he discloses the reason for this, saying: for I judged not myself to know anything among you, but Jesus Christ. For this work there was no need to make a display of wisdom but to show his power: we preach not ourselves but Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:5). Consequently, he employed only those things which proved Christ’s power, and regarded himself as knowing nothing but Jesus Christ: let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me (Jer 9:24).
In Christo autem Iesu, ut dicitur Col. II, 3, sunt omnes thesauri sapientiae et scientiae Dei absconditi, et quantum ad plenitudinem deitatis et quantum ad plenitudinem sapientiae et gratiae, et etiam quantum ad profundas incarnationis rationes, quae tamen Apostolus eis non annuntiavit sed solum ea quae erant manifestiora et inferiora in Christo Iesu. Et ideo subdit et hunc crucifixum, quasi dicat: sic vobis me exhibui ac si nihil aliud scirem quam crucem Christi. Unde Gal. ult. dicit: mihi absit gloriari, nisi in cruce Domini nostri Iesu Christi.
But in Christ Jesus, as it says in Colossians, are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3), both by reason of the fullness of his godhead and the fullness of his wisdom and grace and by reason of knowing the profound reasons of the Incarnation. Yet the Apostle did not declare these things to them but only those that were more obvious and lowly in Christ Jesus; therefore, he adds: and him crucified. As if to say: I have presented myself to you, as though I know nothing but the cross of Christ; hence he says in Galatians: far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Gal 6:14).
Quia igitur per sapientiam verbi evacuatur crux Christi, ut dictum est ideo ipse Apostolus non venerat in sublimitate sermonis aut sapientiae.
Therefore, since the cross of Christ is made void by the wisdom of speech, as has been stated, the Apostle came not in loftiness of speech or of wisdom.
76. Deinde cum dicit et ego in infirmitate, etc., ostendit quod non praetenderit apud eos potentiam, sed potius contrarium et foris et intus.
76. Then when he says, and I was with you in weakness, he shows that he did not pretend to have any power when he was among them, but on the contrary, weakness within and without.
Unde quantum ad id quod foris est dicit et ego fui apud vos in infirmitate, id est tribulationes apud vos patiens. Gal. IV, 11: scitis quia per infirmitatem carnis evangelizavi vobis iampridem. Ps. XV, 4: multiplicatae sunt infirmitates eorum.
Hence in regard to what is without he says, and I was with you in weakness, i.e., I suffered tribulations among you: you know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the Gospel to you heretofore (Gal 4:13); those who choose another god multiply their sorrows (Ps 16:4).
Quantum vero ad id quod intus est, dicit et timore, scilicet de malis imminentibus, et tremore, inquantum scilicet timor interior redundat ad corpus. II Cor. VII, 5: foris pugnae, intus timores.
As to what is within he says, and in fear, namely, of threatening evils, and in much trembling, namely, inasmuch as inward fear flows over to the body: combats without, fears within (2 Cor 7:5).
77. Deinde cum dicit et sermo meus, ostendit quod non praetenderit apud eos excellentiam eloquentiae: et circa hoc tria facit.
77. Then when he says, and my speech, he shows that he made no pretence at loftiness of speech among them. In regard to this he does three things.
Primo excludit indebitum modum praedicandi, dicens et sermo meus, quo scilicet privatim et singulariter aliquos instruebam, Eph. IV, v. 29: omnis sermo malus ex ore vestro non procedat, sed si quis bonus est ad aedificationem fidei; et praedicatio mea, qua scilicet publice docebam, non fuit in verbis persuasibilibus humanae sapientiae, id est per rhetoricam, quae componit ad persuadendum. Ut scilicet supra dixit quod non fuit intentionis quod sua praedicatio niteretur philosophicis rationibus, ita nunc dicit non fuisse suae intentionis niti rhetoricis persuasionibus. Is. c. XXXIII, 19: populum impudentem non videbis, populum alti sermonis, ita ut non possis intelligere disertitudinem linguae eius, in quo nulla est sapientia.
First, he disavows any unbecoming method of preaching when he says, and my speech, whenever I instructed anyone separately and in private: let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying (Eph 4:29), and my preaching, whenever I spoke in public, was not in the persuasive words of human wisdom, i.e., rhetoric, which forms phrases to persuade. Hence, just as he had said earlier that it was not his intention to make his preaching rest on philosophical reasoning, so now he says that it was not his intention to make it rest on persuasions of rhetoric: you will see no more the insolent people, the people of an obscure speech which you cannot comprehend (Isa 33:19).
78. Secundo ostendit debitum modum quo usus fuit in praedicando, dicens: sermo meus fuit in ostensione Spiritus et virtutis, quod quidem potest intelligi dupliciter. Uno modo quantum ad hoc quod credentibus praedicationi eius dabatur Spiritus Sanctus, secundum illud Act. X, 44: adhuc loquente Petro verba haec, cecidit Spiritus Sanctus super omnes qui audiebant verbum. Similiter etiam suam praedicationem confirmabat, faciendo virtutes, id est miracula, secundum illud Marc. c. ultimo: sermonem confirmante sequentibus signis. Unde Gal. III, 5: qui tribuit vobis Spiritum, et operatur in vobis.
78. Second, he discloses the correct method, which he employed in preaching, when he says: but my speech was in showing of the Spirit and power. This can be interpreted in two ways: in one way that the Holy Spirit was given to those who believed his preaching in the sense of Acts: while Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all of them who heard the word (Acts 10:44). Similarly, he also confirmed his preaching by showing power, i.e., by working miracles: confirming the word with signs that followed (Mark 16:20); he gives to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you (Gal 3:5).
Alio modo potest intelligi quantum ad hoc quod ipse per Spiritum loquebatur, quod sublimitas et affluentia doctrinae ostendit. II Reg. c. XXIII, 2: Spiritus Domini locutus est per me. Et II Cor. IV, 13: habentes eumdem Spiritum fidei credimus, propter quod et loquimur. Confirmat etiam suam praedicationem, ostendendo in sua conversatione multa opera virtuosa. I Thess. II, 10: vos enim testes estis, et Deus, quam sancte et iuste sine querela vobis qui credidistis, affuimus.
In another way it can be taken to mean that the Spirit spoke through him: the Spirit of the Lord speaks by me (2 Sam 23:2); since we have the same Spirit of faith, we too believe (2 Cor 4:13). He also confirms his preaching by showing forth many powerful works in his manner of life: you are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our behavior to you believers (1 Thess 2:10).
79. Tertio assignat rationem dictorum, dicens ut fides vestra non sit in sapientia hominum, id est non innitatur sapientiae humanae, quae plerumque decipit homines, secundum illud Is. XLVII, 10: sapientia tua et scientia tua haec decepit te. Sed in virtute Dei, ut scilicet virtuti divinae fides innitatur, et sic non possit deficere. Rom. I, 16: non erubesco Evangelium, virtus enim Dei est in salutem omni credenti.
79. Third, he assigns the reason for this when he says, that your faith might not stand on the wisdom of men, i.e., not rest on human wisdom which frequently deceives men: your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray (Isa 47:10), but on the power of God, i.e., that faith might rest on divine power and so not fall: I am not ashamed of the Gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith (Rom 1:16).
80. Deinde cum dicit sapientiam loquimur, etc., ostendit apud quos excellentia spiritualis sapientiae utatur. Et
80. Then when he says, we speak wisdom, he shows with whom he uses the loftiness of spiritual wisdom:
primo proponit quod intendit;
first, he states what he intends;