1 Corinthians 1:19
 1 Corinthians 1:19 
New International Version (©1984)
For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

New Living Translation (©2007)
As the Scriptures say, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent."

English Standard Version (©2001)
For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
For it is written, "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE."

Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the experts.

International Standard Version (©2012)
For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the intelligence of the intelligent I will reject."

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
For it is written: “I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I shall take away the opinions of the intelligent.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Scripture says, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. I will reject the intelligence of intelligent people."

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

American King James Version
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

American Standard Version
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nought.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the prudence of the prudent I will reject.

Darby Bible Translation
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and set aside the understanding of the understanding ones.

English Revised Version
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the prudence of the prudent will I reject.

Webster's Bible Translation
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

Weymouth New Testament
For so it stands written, "I will exhibit the nothingness of the wisdom of the wise, and the intelligence of the intelligent I will bring to nought."

World English Bible
For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing."

Young's Literal Translation
for it hath been written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the intelligence of the intelligent I will bring to nought;'

Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For it is written - This passage is quoted from Isaiah 29:14. The Hebrew of the passage, as rendered in the English version is, "the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." The version of the Septuagint is, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the understanding of the prudent I will hide" κρύψω krupsō, corresponding substantially with the quotation by Paul. The sense in the Hebrew is not materially different. The meaning of the passage as used by Isaiah is, that such was the iniquity and stupidity of "Ariel" Isaiah 29:1, that is, Jerusalem, that God would so execute his judgments as to confound their wise men, and overwhelm those who boasted of their understanding. Those in whom they had confided, and on whom they relied, should appear to be bereft of their wisdom; and they should be made conscious of their own lack of counsel to meet and remove the impending calamities. The apostle does not affirm that this passage in Isaiah refers to the times of the gospel. The contrary is manifestly true. But it expresses a general principle of the divine administration - "that the coming forth of God is often such as to confound human prudence; in a manner which human wisdom would not have devised; and in such a way as to show that he is not dependent on the wisdom of man." As such, the sentiment is applicable to the gospel; and expresses just the idea which the apostle wished to convey - that the wisdom of the wise should be confounded by the plan of God; and the schemes of human devising be set at naught.

I will destroy - That is, I will abolish; or will not be dependent on it; or will show that my plans are not derived from the counsels of people.

The wisdom of the wise - The professed wisdom of philosophers.

And will bring to nothing - Will show it to be of no value in this matter.

The prudent - The people professing understanding; the sages of the world. We may remark:

(1) That the plan of salvation was not the contrivance of human wisdom.

(2) it is "unlike" what people have themselves devised as systems of religion. It did not occur to the ancient philosophers; nor has it occurred to the modern.

(3) it may be expected to excite the opposition, the contempt, and the scorn of the wise people of this world; and the gospel makes its way usually, not with their friendship, but in the face of their opposition.

(4) its success is such as to confound and perplex them. They despise it, and they see not its secret power; they witness its effects, but are unable to account for them. It has always been a question with philosophers why the gospel met with such success; and the various accounts which have been given of it by its enemies, show how much they have been embarrassed. The most elaborate part of Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," is contained in his attempt to state the causes of the early propagation of Christianity, in 1 Corinthians 15:16; and the obvious failure of the account shows how much the mind of the philosophic sceptic was embarrassed by the fact of the spread of Christianity.

(5) the reception of the gospel demands an humble mind; Mark 10:15. People of good sense, of humble hearts, of childlike temper, embrace it; and they see its beauty, and are won by its loveliness, and controlled by its power. They give themselves to it; and find that it is suited to save their souls.

(6) in this, Christianity is like all science. The discoveries in science are such as to confound the wise in their own conceits, and overthrow the opinions of the prudent, just as much as the gospel does, and thus show that both are from the same God - the God who delights to pour such a flood of truth on the mind as to overwhelm it in admiration of himself, and with the conviction of its own littleness. The profoundest theories in science, and the most subtle speculations of people of genius, in regard to the causes of things, are often overthrown by a few simple discoveries - and discoveries which are at first despised as much as the gospel is. The invention of the telescope by Galileo was to the theories of philosophers and astronomers, what the revelation of the gospel was to the systems of ancient learning, and the deductions of human wisdom. The one confounded the world as much as the other; and both were at first equally the object of opposition or contempt.


Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

For it is written - The place referred to is Isaiah 29:14.

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise - Των σοφων, Of wise men - of the philosophers who in their investigations seek nothing less than God, and whose highest discoveries amount to nothing in comparison of the grand truths relative to God, the invisible world, and the true end of man, which the Gospel has brought to light. Let me add, that the very discoveries which are really useful have been made by men who feared God, and conscientiously credited Divine revelation: witness Newton, Boyle, Pascal, and many others. But all the skeptics and deists, by their schemes of natural religion and morality, have not been able to save one soul! No sinner has ever been converted from the error of his ways by their preaching or writings.


Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

As it is written,.... The passage referred to is in Isaiah 29:14 where it is read, "the wisdom of their wise men shall perish; and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid"; and is rendered by the Septuagint, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will hide the understanding of the prudent": which is much the same with the apostle's version of it: and the sense of the prophecy is, that in the times of the Messiah, under the Gospel dispensation, the mysteries of grace should be hid from the wise rabbins among the Jews, the Scribes and Pharisees, who, with all their sagacity, parts, and learning, would not be able to comprehend the doctrines of the Gospel; by these their wisdom and understanding would be nonplussed, so that they would reject them as foolishness, because their carnal reason could not reach them; which shows what an infatuation they were given up to: and if this should be the case, as it was with the wise and learned philosophers among the Gentiles, it need not be wondered at; it was what was foretold in prophecy concerning the Jews, who had the oracles of God, and the advantage of a divine revelation; and therefore it need not be stumbling to them that are saved, that the Gospel should meet with so much scorn and contempt among them that perish in the Gentile world. These words are very pertinently cited by the apostle, since they are acknowledged by the Jews themselves to signify the departure of wisdom from the wise men of Israel, in the times of the destruction of the temple, as Jarchi on the place observes.


Vincent's Word Studies

I will destroy, etc.

Cited literally from the Septuagint, Isaiah 29:14, except that the Septuagint has κρύψω I will conceal, instead of I will reject. The Hebrew reads: "The wisdom of its (Judah's) wise men shall perish, and the sagacity of its sagacious men shall hide itself."

Wisdom - prudence (σοφίαν - σύνεσιν)

The two words are often found together, as Exodus 31:3; Deuteronomy 4:6; Colossians 1:9. Compare σοφοὶ καὶ συνετοί wise and prudent, Matthew 11:25. For the distinction, see, as to σοφία wisdom, on Romans 11:33; as to σύνεσις prudence, on Mark 12:33; Luke 2:47. Wisdom is the more general; mental excellence in its highest and fullest sense. Prudence is the special application of wisdom; its critical adjustment to particular cases.

Will bring to nothing (ἀθετήσω)

See on Luke 7:30. Originally, to make disestablished (ἄθετον) something which is established or prescribed (θετόν) Hence to nullify, make void, frustrate, and, in a milder sense, to despise or reject, as Galatians 2:21. The stronger sense is better here, so that Rev., reject is not an improvement on the A.V. The American revisers render: And the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nought.


Geneva Study Bible

{22} For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

(22) The apostle proves that this should not seem strange, seeing that it was foretold so long before, and declares further that God often punishes the pride of the world in such a way, which so pleases itself in its own wisdom: and therefore that it is vain, indeed a thing of no value, and such as God rejects as unprofitable, which they so carefully laboured for, and considered to be so important.


People's New Testament

1:19 I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. By turning to the passage in Isa 29:14, its meaning is clear. God will put aside the wisdom and understanding of men; these will not save; but he will save by what the world called foolishness.


Wesley's Notes

1:19 For it is written - And the words are remarkably applicable to this great event. Isaiah 29:14


Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

19. I will destroy-slightly altered from the Septuagint, Isa 29:14. The Hebrew is, "The wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." Paul by inspiration gives the sense of the Spirit, by making God the cause of their wisdom perishing, &c., "I will destroy," &c.

understanding of the prudent-literally, "of the understanding ones."


Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:17-25 Paul had been bred up in Jewish learning; but the plain preaching of a crucified Jesus, was more powerful than all the oratory and philosophy of the heathen world. This is the sum and substance of the gospel. Christ crucified is the foundation of all our hopes, the fountain of all our joys. And by his death we live. The preaching of salvation for lost sinners by the sufferings and death of the Son of God, if explained and faithfully applied, appears foolishness to those in the way to destruction. The sensual, the covetous, the proud, and ambitious, alike see that the gospel opposes their favourite pursuits. But those who receive the gospel, and are enlightened by the Spirit of God, see more of God's wisdom and power in the doctrine of Christ crucified, than in all his other works. God left a great part of the world to follow the dictates of man's boasted reason, and the event has shown that human wisdom is folly, and is unable to find or retain the knowledge of God as the Creator. It pleased him, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. By the foolishness of preaching; not by what could justly be called foolish preaching. But the thing preached was foolishness to wordly-wise men. The gospel ever was, and ever will be, foolishness to all in the road to destruction. The message of Christ, plainly delivered, ever has been a sure touchstone by which men may learn what road they are travelling. But the despised doctrine of salvation by faith in a crucified Saviour, God in human nature, purchasing the church with his own blood, to save multitudes, even all that believe, from ignorance, delusion, and vice, has been blessed in every age. And the weakest instruments God uses, are stronger in their effects, than the strongest men can use. Not that there is foolishness or weakness in God, but what men consider as such, overcomes all their admired wisdom and strength.


Isaiah 29:14 Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."
Jeremiah 10:7 Who should not revere you, O King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you.
1 Corinthians 4:6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.
1 Corinthians 4:10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!

Clever Cleverness Designs Destroy Discerning Discernment End Exhibit Frustrate Holy Intelligence Intelligent Nothingness Nought Ones Prudent Side Stands Thwart Understanding Wisdom Wise Writings Written


For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

3:19 Job 5:12,13 Isa 19:3,11 29:14 Jer 8:9

1 Corinthians Chapter 1 Verse 19

Alphabetical: And aside clever cleverness destroy For frustrate I intelligence intelligent is it of set the will wisdom wise written

NT Letters: 1 Corinthians 1:19 For it is written I will destroy (1 Cor. 1C iC 1Cor i cor icor) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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