1 Corinthians 1:19 question/discussion

1 Corinthians 1:19 (NKJV) For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
This scripture was something me, Angie, and Brian talked about awhile ago. We talked about what it meant with why destroying the wisdom of the wise meant. I wanted to know if anyone had any other insight as to what God meant in scripture.


Have you checked what the word, “destroy,” means?


Stephen, I was just reading that passage :slight_smile: The scripture leading up to this one declares that the message of the cross (what Jesus did for us and how we put our old man up there as well) is foolishness to those who are perishing. Why so? The scripture you chose, I think, sheds light on the reason; knowledge and understanding can puff people up. Pride is quite a stumbling block for many and we know how God reacts to pride: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. I hope that can give some context. :slight_smile:


Thayer’s Lexicon has a great definition of the word “destroy”. It means “to render useless, cause its emptiness to be perceived.” This definition fits perfectly when looking at Isaiah 29 which is the chapter that Paul referenced in the scripture Stephen brought up.

Isaiah 29:9-11

Pause and wonder!
Blind yourselves and be blind!
They are drunk, but not with wine;
They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.
For the Lord has poured out on you
The spirit of deep sleep,
And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets;
And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.

The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.”

And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”

Historically, many philosophies originated from Greece and so the Greeks had a tendency to understand the Word of God through an intellectual approach, completely absent of the help of the Holy Spirit. The world through wisdom cannot know God (1 Corinthians 1:21) because God reveals the hidden mysteries through His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10).

For the church of Corinth which was called out of that pagan society, I believe they were experiencing a pressure/push from the outside to approach the Word in a similar manner. Paul writes instruction and correction in his letter to encourage the Corinthian church to continue in Christ.

In terms of destroying the wisdom of the wise. I think one awesome way God does this is by elevating those who are not considered wise, mighty, and noble according to the world’s standards. And by doing this, it puts to shame the wisdom of the world. Looking at an example in today’s time, you don’t need a degree or other titles of commendation which are held in such high esteem in the world’s eyes to understand the deep things of God. His will is that all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Thanks be to God!


I looked it up on my Bible app. Strong’s Definitions: apóllymi, ap-ol’-loo-mee; to destroy fully (reflexively, to perish, or lose), literally or figuratively:—destroy, die, lose, mar, perish.


@sguillen I still like that God is bringing to light that there is a difference between wisdom that is from us and wisdom that is from Him.

Also, it’s suuuper powerful that He points out that man’s wisdom can be destroyed and His can’t.

Sidepoint-all it really takes to destroy a person’s wisdom is to bring up a variable they haven’t thought of, or create doubt with evidence to the contrary. Fallible.

This passage kind of reminds me of a debate, or lawyers that in a court before a judge. Except, it’s funny to think that we’d have a chance to outwit God. It’s better to be humble before Him and ask for His wisdom for this, or that situation, than to think that you don’t need His wisdom. That just sounds proud.

Proverbs 9:10 - “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”


Proverbs 1:5 - “A wise man will hear and increase learning’ And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel” The lone wisdom of a man leads to a possible temporary result. The result is limited by a man’s understanding of what wisdom really is. God’s wisdom contains the ultimate good result for those who seek it. Learning the ways of God allows us to constantly increase His wisdom without limitation on how far we can go. Secondly we can collectively increase God’s wisdom and power by seeking the counsel of of the believers that surround us. The recipe for wisdom is hearing, learning, understanding coupled with the wise counsel of those around who are also in Christ, The Wisdom of God never fails. “But fools despise wisdom and instruction”


Thank you! I loved your comments

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Hello everyone. I am incredibly blessed and impressed to see all the students of the Word… looking into definitions of words and into other reliable sources. That is a true Disciple my friend. “A Learner” who excavates the depth of God’s words in order to understand. Oh how God needs those that desire the truth more than even knowledge. Indeed you are all right. Knowledge puffs up. But when all is said and done, and we stand before the Lord who created the heavens and the earth, who weighed out all the substance of the Universe in His mind, who put into motion a perfect balance of all things here on the earth, then we have a miniscule understanding of who we’re dealing with. GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING. Everything! There’s been many times when God has indeed destroyed my wisdom (that I thought was wise thinking) and has brought to naught my understanding. I was so incredibly wrong when He showed me ‘the right’. He has staggered and toppled my perspectives, my knowledge, my understanding with one liners. He’s simply… brilliant.

Our knowledge and perspectives are so jaded. By our worlds, our formative years, our character, our education… and so on. When we stand before Him… He will actually need to remove the things that are not His truth in all of us. His Kingdom does not need man’s imperfect knowledge and wisdom. We need God’s truth forever and ever… amen!

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