Where the false teachers in Corinth took pride in their learning and eloquence, Paul makes clear that human wisdom and ability pale when compared to that of God. In commenting on 1 Cor 14:26, Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531), the reformer of Zurich, recognizes in the first disciples a foil to those who claim that worldly approval and ability are necessary for the spread of the gospel. By choosing the overlooked and uneducated in society to share his message, Zwingli argues, God makes clear that people are drawn to him only by his power.
1 Corinthians 14:26
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:26
From this it is not difficult to recognize that Jesus chose ignorant and simple fishermen to preach the gospel instead of the many who were wise or able to speak eloquently. And through the preaching of those men, however simple they may have been, Christ subjected to himself the most important people of this world, indeed, the entire world, for he was able to make the strength of tyrants nothing as well as the learning of philosophers. Consider then the condition of those who believed (for he is able to do so much more through preaching than believers realize). At the beginning, when the gospel was first preached, not many powerful people, not many of noble birth submitted to the yoke of faith. For who from among the leaders and the Pharisees believed in him? Consequently, it was the simple that were entrusted with preaching the gospel. Similarly, it was simple people who believed this teaching. Therefore, nothing is to be attributed to human wisdom and strength, for all power is God’s alone.
1 Corinthians, ed. Scott M. Manetsch, Reformation Commentary on Scripture, NT vol. 9a, p. 27.
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