From: Sha'ul, called by God's will to be an emissary of the Messiah Yeshua; and from brother Sosthenes
To: God's Messianic community in Corinth, consisting of those who have been set apart by Yeshua the Messiah and called to be God's holy people - along with everyone everywhere who calls on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, their Lord as well as ours:
Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
I thank my God always for you because of God's love and kindness given to you through the Messiah Yeshua,
in that you have been enriched by him in so many ways, particularly in power of speech and depth of knowledge.
Indeed, the testimony about the Messiah has become firmly established in you;
so that you are not lacking any spiritual gift and are eagerly awaiting the revealing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
He will enable you to hold out until the end and thus be blameless on the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah -
God is trustworthy: it was he who called you into fellowship with his Son, Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.
Nevertheless, brothers, I call on you in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah to agree, all of you, in what you say, and not to let yourselves remain split into factions but be restored to having a common mind and a common purpose.
For some of Chloe's people have made it known to me, my brothers, that there are quarrels among you.
I say this because one of you says, "I follow Sha'ul"; another says, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Kefa"; while still another says, "I follow the Messiah!"
Has the Messiah been split in pieces? Was it Sha'ul who was put to death on a stake for you? Were you immersed into the name of Sha'ul?
I thank God that I didn't immerse any of you except Crispus and Gaius -
otherwise someone might say that you were indeed immersed into my name.
(Oh yes, I did also immerse Stephanas and his household; beyond that, I can't remember whether I immersed anyone else.)
For the Messiah did not send me to immerse but to proclaim the Good News - and to do it without relying on "wisdom" that consists of mere rhetoric, so as not to rob the Messiah's execution-stake of its power.
For the message about the execution-stake is nonsense to those in the process of being destroyed, but to us in the process of being saved it is the power of God.
Indeed, the Tanakh says, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and frustrate the intelligence of the intelligent."
Where does that leave the philosopher, the Torah-teacher, or any of today's thinkers? Hasn't God made this world's wisdom look pretty foolish?
For God's wisdom ordained that the world, using its own wisdom, would not come to know him. Therefore God decided to use the "nonsense" of what we proclaim as his means of saving those who come to trust in it.
Precisely because Jews ask for signs and Greeks try to find wisdom,
we go on proclaiming a Messiah executed on a stake as a criminal! To Jews this is an obstacle, and to Greeks it is nonsense;
but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, this same Messiah is God's power and God's wisdom!
For God's "nonsense" is wiser than humanity's "wisdom." And God's "weakness" is stronger than humanity's "strength."
Just look at yourselves, brothers - look at those whom God has called! Not many of you are wise by the world's standards, not many wield power or boast noble birth.
But God chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise; God chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the strong;
and God chose what the world looks down on as common or regards as nothing in order to bring to nothing what the world considers important;
so that no one should boast before God.
It is his doing that you are united with the Messiah Yeshua. He has become wisdom for us from God, and righteousness and holiness and redemption as well!
Therefore - as the Tanakh says - "Let anyone who wants to boast, boast about ADONAI."