1 Corinthians 1:27

Moreover, the foolish, by the outward, of the collection of individuals, God has chosen in order to disfigure the intellectually strong and those lacking bodily vigor outwardly, of the collection of individuals, God has chosen in order to disfigure the physically forcible.

 

This could be referring to God using the weaknesses in the body of the skillful person or the weakening with age in the forcible. The terms are ambiguous. The foolish is an adjective and the word kosmos means the decoration or adornment or the whole collection of individuals. Many translate it mistakenly as world which is such a terribly ambiguous word. However, kosmos is not ambiguous.

Herein lies the root of nearly all of our problems in the modern church. This is a gross watering down of the Word of God and an introduction of both confusion and uncertainty. God’s Word does not read with uncertainty in the original languages. Many passages, especially in the Hebrew, read in at least two ways. Often these are sayings that are completely different, but not opposite things. And in fact when you read the passage in question with both meanings the depths multiply and the amount of truth is immense. Yet it retains the same truths and the same orientation toward mankind and toward God Himself.

The word kosmos is perhaps metaphorically world, but this single word has caused so much confusion in theology. Better to have the term the outward… or outward adornment is even better than world. In fact, the whole collection of individuals works best here and the two together the whole collection of individuals and the outward yield a much more complete picture than simply using the word world.

Textual Analysis

ἀλλὰ τὰ μωρὰ τοῦ κόσμου ἐξελέξατο ὁ θεός, ἵνα τοὺς σοφοὺς καταισχύνῃ· καὶ τὰ ἀσθενῆ τοῦ κόσμου ἐξελέξατο ὁ θεός, ἵνα καταισχύνῃ τὰ ἰσχυρά·

Strong’s Transliteration Greek English Morphology
235 [e] alla ἀλλὰ But Conj
3588 [e] ta τὰ the Art-ANP
3474 [e] mōra μωρὰ foolish Adj-ANP
3588 [e] tou τοῦ of the Art-GMS
2889 [e] kosmou κόσμου outward, adornment N-GMS
1586 [e] exelexato ἐξελέξατο has chosen V-AIM-3S
3588 [e] ho Art-NMS
2316 [e] Theos Θεός God, N-NMS
2443 [e] hina ἵνα that Conj
2617 [e] kataischynē καταισχύνῃ he might disfigure V-PSA-3S
3588 [e] tous τοὺς the Art-AMP
4680 [e] sophous σοφούς, wise; Adj-AMP
2532 [e] kai καὶ and Conj
3588 [e] ta τὰ the Art-ANP
772 [e] asthenē ἀσθενῆ weak Adj-ANP
3588 [e] tou τοῦ of the Art-GMS
2889 [e] kosmou κόσμου outward, adornment, N-GMS
1586 [e] exelexato ἐξελέξατο chose V-AIM-3S
3588 [e] ho Art-NMS
2316 [e] Theos Θεός God, N-NMS
2443 [e] hina ἵνα that Conj
2617 [e] kataischynē καταισχύνῃ he might disfigure V-PSA-3S
3588 [e] ta τὰ the Art-ANP
2478 [e] ischyra ἰσχυρά, strong; Adj-ANP

Greek NT: RP Byzantine Majority Text 2005