And I, brethren - Keeping up the tender and affectionate style of address.
When I came unto you - When I came at first to preach the gospel at Corinth. Acts 18:1 ff.
Came not with excellency of speech - Came not with graceful and attractive eloquence. The apostle here evidently alludes to that nice ant studied choice of language; to those gracefully formed sentences, and to that skill of arrangement in discourse and argument which was so much an object of regard with the Greek rhetoricians. It is probable that Paul was never much distinguished for these (compare II Corinthians 10:10), and it is certain he never made them an object of intense study and solicitude. Compare I Corinthians 2:4, I Corinthians 2:13.
Or of wisdom - Of the wisdom of this world; of that kind of wisdom which was sought and cultivated in Greece.
The testimony of God - The testimony or the witnessing which God has borne to the gospel of Christ by miracles, and by attending it everywhere with his presence and blessing. In I Corinthians 2:6, the gospel is called "the testimony of Christ;" and here it may either mean the witness which the gospel bears to the true character and plans of God; or the witnessing which God had borne to the gospel by miracles, etc. The gospel contains the testimony of God in regard to his own character and plans; especially in regard to the great plan of redemption through Jesus Christ. Several mss. instead of "testimony of God," here read "the mystery of God." This would accord well with the scope of the argument; but the present reading is probably the correct one. See Mill. The Syriac version has also "mystery."
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing 1 Corinthians 2:1:
1 Corinthians 2:16
1 Corinthians 3:1
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